I hand it to you, Julian, you’re a master of confusion!
Here’s my dilemma:
Your post-birthday ‘laugh-it-all-off’ missive would have convinced me of your good nature, had it been your initial response to our humble offerings of literary criticism.
Coming (as it does) after various implausible legal threats, after thoroughly wasting police time, and after mock-hysterical press releases, it smells unfortunately a little more like a bully running out of options.
Even so, because the monkeys have a trusting faith in the basic goodness of mankind, we’d probably have accepted it as genuine – but within three days, you’re yodelling about ‘cheap and spiteful bile’ and how nasty everyone is. Oh Julian, could you possibly be thinking of the monkeys and me when you type such cruel accusations?!
Meanwhile, you’re back to this business of a ’round-table discussion’ about grants. Now, I gather that there are a few people who are willing to take you up on that invitation – but I must, with sadness, decline. You see, I’m not very interested in grants.
A passing reader would expect me to be on your side – it is surely a sign of something badly wrong in Cardiff that this blog itself receives not a penny of public subsidy! – but no, I just can’t summon up the energy to care.
In general terms, I expect grants are broadly a good thing, that they need scrutiny, and that providing them in Wales in a similar way to how they’re provided in England is probably sensible. They are such a vanishingly tiny percentage of the Welsh Assembly’s budget, though, I just can’t get all that worked up about them.
Now commas – there’s a different matter.
Commas I care about.
So how can we resolve this in a way which causes the least possible further damage to commas?
Oh, I’ve got an idea!
If you really want to reinvent yourself as hale and hearty character who laughs off criticism, engages in a light-hearted way with his critics, and wins new fans and friends by his openness, his respect for others and his willingness to admit when he’s wrong, just copy this short declaration and put your name to it on your own blog – and we’ll have to confess that you’ll have confounded our expectations!
The Declaration of Juliedependence
#1 – Wasting police time is naughty, and I shouldn’t have done it.
#2 – Editing my own ill-fated entry in Wikipedia was naughty, and I shouldn’t have done it.
#3 – Calling myself a best-selling author without any evidence of my sales is silly, and I won’t do it any more.
#4 – Leaving reviews for my own work on Amazon is naughty, and I shouldn’t have done it.
#5 – Swearing at ladies walking their dogs is not the act of a gentleman, and I apologise.
Belated happy birthday to you, old bean. I must admit, I don’t hold out as much hope as the monkeys do, but it would be a genuine pleasure to see you take the unexpected route on this one.