Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Get a Life!

On occasion, when I have been rattling on about some esoteric subject or other, or ranting about some vexing issue that nobody else is interested in, I am advised to 'Get a Life'. I believe this is intended as a form of generic putdown and abbreviated critique.
Well, over at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB), help for unfortunates such as myself is at hand. The ODNB is an archive of biographies of people who have, in some way, contributed to British history, politics, or society. They only feature articles on on dead people, however. But on the Home page there is a button to click on which says 'Get a life at random'. Of course, by life they mean biography, but it struck me as a groovy concept that one could merely click on a button and 'Get a Life'. So far today I have been a member of 'The Cato Street Conspiracy' - a radical group who plotted to blow up the British Cabinet in 1820, but were betrayed by a Government spy - and a 19th Century publisher, writer and editor named Charles Ollier who published works by Keats and Shelley.
Sadly for all you plebs one has to be a subscriber to take advantage of this facility, which I am by virtue of my status as a student of the highly esteemed Open University. You may be similarly institutionalisationally affilliated. Or not. Get a Life.

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