Higgs article


I find that when I have a good idea, it's usually one I've had before, often a long time before. Reading back through old notebooks is often an exercise in realising that this new novel shiny-penny is actually something I first thought about a year ago. My good ideas aren't invention as much as archeology. It's also important because I often take a while to wind myself up to taking action—I'm often spurred along by things that "chime" by coincidentally reminding me of whatever I was thinking of, or seem somehow to align with it. 

For example: I was thinking that I should probably go to some more Fringe shows this year. Traditionally, my housemate and I go through the programme when it's released and try to see what good stuff is on, but last year we booked an awful lot of stuff and then ended up being too tired to go to a lot of it, so we resolved to give it a rest this year. Maybe a few things here and there, but what? I tried to look at the programme, but after I'd read the umpteenth identical "great stuff - the performer's mum" description of comedy shows I gave in. I've still been taking piecemeal recommendations from other sources, though, and when I signed up to John Higgs' newsletter (after seeing it recommended in the generally good Nothing Here) I saw he was having a book launch at the Fringe, so I thought I'd go along.

I am extremely glad I did. The event was a series of talks, interactions and performances, anchored around Higgs' new book The Future Starts Here, which (to judge by his précis in the talk) is about generational differences between Gen Y and the rest, the death and potential return of future optimism and The Breakfast Club. I bought a copy after the show (along with his previous book Stranger Than We Can Suppose, Salena Godden's poetry collection Pessimism Is For Lightweights because she was very good in the show and that's a banger title, and an algorithmically generated version of a John Higgs book because I thought them having gone to the effort was funny) so expect a book report on that before too long. Higgs himself was very entertaining, looking for all the world like a middle-aged Hbomberguy, stringing together ideas in a very pleasant manner. The (extremely varied) guests were all some stripe of interesting too.

The real glory of the event for me was a personal one: reconnecting to a part of myself that's been a bit neglected of late. I've fallen out of chanelling energy into some of my key creative outlets, namely amateur sociopolitical theorising and talking bollocks at variable length on the internet. This really just felt like my kind of thing, and I in turn sat there feeling like I needed to start doing things again. This "chimes" with my recent thought that Memetic Hazard should really make a return—it was put on emergency hiatus after I took on the secretary job for my CLP but now I'm a bit more used to that, I think we might be OK to bring it back. We will see. Thank you, John Higgs.