Monthly Archives: June 2012

Interviewed!

The lovely people at Philistine Press recently interviewed me and the results are now on-line.

So, if you want some insight into the workings of my mind, here’s the place to go -> http://www.philistinepress.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/patrick-whittaker-interview.html

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Official: I am now a Fictioneer

Welcome

The Tyranny of the Odd Sock Taboo

People of the world, we need to talk about socks. Specifically, we need to talk about odd socks. For too long, these orphans of the clothes world have been ignored and that has to stop.

Here are some scary facts about odd socks:
The average person in the western world has 13.6 of them.
If you took all the odd socks in the world and lay them end to end, you would be a very sad person.
In England alone, the space taken up by odd socks is equivalent to 27,500 semi-detached homes.
Odd socks are a leading cause of marital break-ups and domestic violence.

I have lots of odd socks. Exactly how many, I don’t know – but certainly more than 13.6.

Most mornings see me scrabbling through a mound of hosiery trying to find a matching pair. This always takes at least ten minutes. If you add together all the time in my life spent doing this, you would end up with a very large number.

Well no more! Enough is enough! It is time to put an end to this Reign of Terror for once and for all!

Let us stop beating about the bush and get to the heart of the matter. The only reason why odd socks are problematic is social convention. Peer pressure dictates that our socks must match. Dare to step outside your front door – or even your own bedroom – in socks of a differing clour and/or pattern and you will be mocked and derided.

But why, people? Why?

A sock is a sock. Unless it’s got a hole in it (and don’t get me started on the subject of perforated socks) it’s going to do the job it’s designed for – namely to stop your shoes filling up with sweat.

So why shouldn’t I wear odd socks? Why shouldn’t you for that matter?

This ridiculous prejudice against odd socks is both irrational and harmful to the environment. It also smacks of prejudice.

If enough people say “To Hell with it!” and endure the slings and arrows of being mocked for sartorial dissent, not only will odd sock wearing become socially acceptable it will in time become first fashionable and then de rigeur.

I have a dream! It is a dream deeply rooted in practicality. It is a dream that one day people will rise up and declare: “We hold this truth to be self-evident: that all socks are created equal.”

This is my hope and my creed. From this day forth, I will each morning take from my sock draw the first two socks that come to hand. I shall not judge them according to some arbitrary matter of taste and aesthetics. Nor will I give a stuff about how similar they are in style, length, pattern or colour. I will just put the blessed things on and get on with the rest of my day.

Will you join me in this? Will you dare challenge convention and be proud to announce, ‘I am wearing odd socks and I don’t give a damn who knows!”?

Will you?

Ray Bradbury (1920 – 2012)

So farewell then Ray Bradbury.

I heard the news at about 1 in the morning while I was watching an episode of Stargate Universe. He was 91 when he died and I picture him passing on with a smile on his lips, knowing that he’s lived a full life and brought pleasure to millions. Perhaps a part of him was wondering what now? What comes next?

He was to my mind one of the two greatest short story writers of the post-war years (the other being J.G. Ballard). There’s no questioning the influence he had on other writers, myself included. Indeed, when I’m writing I often ask myself how would Ray Bradbury handle a particular passage. Not that I aim to pastische or emulate him. I have my own writing style but I look to writers like Bradbury and Ballard to show me how to push the envelope. They both set the bar high. I’ll never clear that bar but in trying I become a better writer.

Will I miss Ray Bradbury? Of course not. I only knew him from his works and they’ll be there for me whenever I want them.

Mourn his passing? No. I’d much rather celebrate his life and his legacy. It’s what he’d want.