Looks like it is time for the ominous inaugural blog post.
Why am I bothering to blog? Is there not enough content on the internet without me throwing in my penny’s worth? Well, quite, but I hope I can make a bit of a contribution to the debate, whatever that debate happens to be.
As an academic lawyer, I am expected to write. There is wider a debate about whether academics should blog (see e.g. here and here), but I do not plan to get into that; or at least not yet. That debate notwithstanding, I will use this as an attempt to shape and share ideas, rid myself of writer’s block, and perhaps save the world just a little in the process if I’m lucky.
A rather boring practical reason for this blog is that there have also been occasions when I’ve tweeted (from my account @BaseDrones) what I thought was a pertinent point and then that thought got lost in the relentless churn of tweets. When the debate moved on, or moved full circle, the ability to link to a blog would have been a handy to make the quick repetition of a well developed point quickly.
So that is why I am blogging. Why should you read this blog then? I would prefer not to shout into a void, so if you would like to read this I would be grateful. I suspect one blogger’s gratitude is not enough to make you read this, so what makes this blog worth reading? Rumour has it that I can enjoy a bit of a cerebral joust, so in accordance with the adversarial legal tradition from which I emerged I hope to present any case I might make well, but please feel free to champion or lance any such case as you see fit. Perhaps the truth, whatever that is, will emerge from that adversarial clash.
Hmm, that was a little jurisprudency. Which leads on to my other point as to why you might want to read this. I hope to stick to my professional interests and (to the extent I can claim any) strengths in this blog. Those who follow me on Twitter will know I veer off into tweets about music (the incongruous combo of Scottish folk music and 90s metal feature prominently), fitba (Aberdeen Football Club and the Scottish national team’s most recent misadventure feature regularly), downright inanity (sorry) and occasionally even politics (did you hear there might be a referendum in 2014?). I don’t plan to blog on any of that, but I suspect I might touch upon such issues every once in a while. The Rangers newco saga had a fair spattering of law involved, or so I am led to believe, and I understand there are some legal wrinkles that need to be carefully ironed out before Scotland might attain separation/independence from the rest of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Further, as someone with a more than passing interest in land law reform I can well appreciate law and politics overlap in a manner that cannot be avoided. So, mainly law plus one or two pretentious things about thinking, perhaps what books I have been reading. But no moaning about any goalkeeping errors in that weekend’s big fitba match.
Why else will I stick to my comfort zone of law? A recurring discussion is the relative merits of journalists and bloggers. Journalists, it is argued, are well trained, carefully source materials, subject writings to peer review and must meet certain standards set by watchdogs. Bloggers may do some of these, but they rarely do all four. They bring instantaneity and provide a forum for airing controversial issues. Bloggers may not always hit the right notes, but they sometimes hit a nerve. And when a nerve is hit, the person doing the hitting matters not.
To bring this analogy into the legal sphere, lawyers are journalists, equipped with a qualification and the blessing of a professional body to fortify any thoughts. Bloggers are everyone else. But is that quite right? No, clearly not, but I suspect I will be a little more robust in my own defence if I stick with what I know with my blog. I suppose this blog sets me up as a blogger who can metamorphose into a critic when the need arises. Think of this blog then as a crude claymore, which might be fashioned into a rapier for more strategic challenges if the need arises. I will try not to be too wordy in my posts, but I might tend towards verbosity from time to time. Feel free to let me know if I sound pretentious or incomprehensible at any given moment.
I will conclude my “coming out” blog by linking to this story of another exciting, inaugural post. No, I’m not about to come out, but I imagine I will say something in this blog (perhaps in this post) people disagree with or might want to improve. Comments very welcome, but do please play nice. Helpful suggestions also welcome. (One kind reader has already helped me to compress long urls into clickable “link” words. I’ll learn the ropes eventually…) I am not looking for any comments about how to “gay up” this blog, but if you can make it prettier or cleverer I would welcome any thoughts.
Finally, what is the blog’s name all about? It is a bagpiping pun: perhaps not the best one in the world at that. I play the great Highland bagpipe, which makes a racket by way of three drones and a chanter. The chanter plays the tune, the bass and tenor drones omit the background, didgeridoo-like hum. These drones drone away and in so doing make an important contribution to the overall sound. Again, I come back to the fact that I would be hopeful I too can make an important contribution, even if I am not contributing the melody notes. And yes, I know “bass” and “base” have different meanings and spellings. And no, I do not mean drone in the context of an unmanned attack plane. There are some legal implications of using such planes – that might be a future blog topic.
Thanks for reading. I hope to produce some worthy prose in the future and that you come back.