There is a distressing number of people on the Facebook Nano group saying they are ‘about to fail’ Nano. This makes me sad because it focusses on one aim, to reach 50,000 words and forgets everything else; the words you may have actually written and their potential, the habits you may have begun to create, the ideas that have flowed, the characters and plots that have emerged – in short it seems a very limited vision to me.
But that’s where we live right now. All we care about are winners and losers; who’s in, who’s out, who’s up and who’s down, who slaughtered who and who was used as a mop with which their opponent could wipe the floor. It’s all very sad. You’ve only got to watch the end of ‘Strictly’ (and it never does seem to end; you can sit there waiting for ‘Casualty’ or ‘His Dark Materials’ thinking why does this programme seem to be on every day? and why does it take them about half an hour to finish?) to get the picture. Nice as everyone is, though they hug each other and say how wonderful it’s been and how brilliant their partner has been and how much they’ve enjoyed it, it’s all about winners and losers; who’s going to leave with a tear in their eye and who’s going to wipe away tears of joy.
Hence our current obsession with polls, and to me the more polls I see the less I understand. I am not the only person to comment that recent opinion polls seem so far removed from my experience that it’s like living on another planet; they just don’t seem to reflect what I see and hear. It’s not only that my friends and acquaintances think differently, it’s more or less everyone I meet. And yet the polls tell a completely opposite story.
There are two possible reasons for this: either I live in a bubble or the polls are just plain wrong. OH has introduced me to a study of why this might be so, why opinion polls can produce different answers depending on a number of factors such as the way questions are worded and even the order in which the questions are asked. People want to appear consistent, so they may answer yes to a question because answering no might appear to contradict a previous answer, yet had the questions been in a different order it might have produced the opposite result.
Human beings are complex creatures and cannot be reduced to a series of yes-no answers. Anyway, here‘s the video.
In other news, I have reached 44,000 words and am on course to finish Nano. And we had a lovely time with Maisie the other day. I’ve put this pic on my phone and it always cheers me up: