Sunday, September 26, 2004

Today I am two people, and they're looking at each other with open hostility

Well on one hand I am that homey, busy, constructive person. This is my inner housewife, although the phrase housewife is probably sexist (but she does not mind) , and also slightly unfitting as it implies I spend time dressing up in ladieswear from the 1950s (which, I hasten to add, I do not), so this is my inner homemaker. This part of me made biscuits, cleaned, lit perfumed candles (possibly the most inane product in my shopping basket); the biscuits were a bit rubbish but she refused to be downhearted and countered with a jolly tra-la-la type of comment (the sort of comment which should be backed by the "hands that can do dishes can be as soft as your face ... with mild green, fairy liquid" jingle). The other me is the black dog, which keeps on pinning the other me to the sofa and forcing me to watch TV all day despite the fact I do not want to have ended the day having achieved bugger-all. One of those days.

I have recently discovered the Something Awful website, which teeters between insanity and humour in a similar way I do with domestic bliss and citalipram. This article I found particularly funny, although I am not quite sure why, possibly because it is all right to laugh at sadism as long as the victims are computer-driven avatars. But aren't we all just computer-driven avatars? (Insert wide-eyed-shock-moment that appears in the climactic revelation scene of all good mass-murder thrillers here). Well no, we aren't. (Orchestral climax peters-out as it turns out Laphroaig isn't about to confess to sadistically murdering all those people).

A friend has been describing the process of qualitative analysis she has to carry out for her PhD. I do not understand. She has 88 interviews she has to read. Now, if you say "a large number of people were hostile to view Z" then you can say "how many?" and it becomes quantitative. So what is qualitative? "Several subjects were observed wearing angora cardigans?" But "several" is again quantitative. "It was possible to see the inner turmoil in the eyes of subject 12?" How about "a cat wandered into the room during the interview with subject 81, in its glance it was possible to see disdain of all this and, something else, a pity perhaps that we had not yet seen the world for what it was: its domain". Or am I confusing qualitative analysis with bad melodrama? Oh dear, am I just an accountant at heart?

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