Tag Archives: blogging as displacement activity

The Pinnacle of Procrastination

Boxed Lord Byron Medallion by Ron Dutton

I have a list of jobs to do. Some of them are quite important. None of them are particularly interesting. So I’m going to write another blog post and pretend it’s important because I am being “a writer”. It’s a bit like the old saying “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but give him a fishing rod and you won’t see him all weekend.” It works with computers too. Give a man a computer and he’s suddenly “a writer” or “a poet” or “a blogger”. And he’s nowhere to be seen when there is work to be done.

Butlins Veleta Competition Medallion 1954

Butlins Veleta Competition Medallion 1954

I can’t speak for everyone but I’m just a man with a computer who finds it easier to procrastinate if he can say he’s writing something. It’s not really writing, it’s just producing words and avoiding work.It is, as the title says, the Pinnacle of Procrastination.

If I was still mobile I’d be looking at fishing tackle catalogues and planning a retirement where Julia hardly ever saw me. My first purchase would be one of those waistcoats with loads of pockets and  I’d then dream my life away riffling through catalogues and muttering about test curves and breaking strain as I accumulated a mountain of gear.

Magistrates’ Court Medallion

At heart, I believe that most fishermen are also collectors. I had a friend who definitely was. He decided to take up fishing in late middle age (having been a keen fisherman in his youth) and he also decided, within weeks, that he was going to collect fishing reels. With Nottingham being the home of the “Nottingham Reel” it seemed a logical thing to do.

Collectors, you see, come in all shapes and sizes and are never short of an excuse to start a new collection. If they aren’t collecting things they are buying things to keep them in, or books to learn about them. And if all else fails, I can always claim to be cataloguing my collection. It’s not such a high level gambit as “writing” but it still suffices to deflect actual work.

Flying Horse of Gansu medallion & leaflet