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Who is Not Saussure? Blogpower Testimonial 7

Link: Not Saussure.

Not Saussure is a newish blog (est. August 2006) and I could have read the posts from beginning to date quite quickly. I didn't, because I became intrigued. Like most people, when I enjoy someone's writing, I tend to become curious about the person behind it. There is no "About" page with the usual jokey self-description to avert suspicions of barminess. The blogger's Technorati Profile serves the same purpose while giving nothing much away. I would guess we are dealing with an academic of some kind, who is older than the average blogger. By the time I had completed my researches, I knew more about the blogger's mother. She is a character, it seems. She also needs to be bought some better wine, for her favourite tipple was memorably dismissed by a French friend of mine with the words "I piss better than that."

Is the blogger the author of the crisply-titled book "Not Saussure (Language, Discourse, Society)", retired Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester, Raymond Tallis? Or a former student or other fan? Much as I hope to the contrary, I suspect Professor Tallis's mum is not alive to drink Pouilly Fumé. Is the reticence deliberate? Perhaps the blogger is in some sensitive political job and I should stop speculating before I cause a problem? Probably not. The blog's subject matter is similar to the fare at the Last Ditch, albeit from a more conventionally conservative, anti-American, anti-War on Terror point of view.

There is no sign of the sort of warped thinking that almost inevitably results from economic dependence on the State. Disaffected bloggers of all political persuasions are pretty much united in contempt for the "sound bite" culture of the political lightweights who lead our government (and Her Majesty's Opposition). Maybe Not Saussure is just trying to set a higher tone of political discourse?

Everyone who blogs, blogs for a reason. Not Saussure's reason seems purely political. There is certainly no sign of narcissistic tendencies. The blog covers a wide range of topics and rarely descends to the "what is the world coming to?" pessimism with which many opposition bloggers wrestle. I admire the way Not Saussure always addresses the issue at hand, rather than just ranting, whingeing or groaning at the manifest stupidity of our rulers. It takes patience and firm purpose to keep debating with those who disrespect logic as much as they despise liberty. Even though a policy has obviously been devised to win a headline, not improve our lives, Not Saussure takes it seriously and discusses the pros and cons - leading us towards a view, not bludgeoning us with it.

Whoever Not Saussure may be, you can be ssure you are dealing with a civilised, intelligent, rational fellow-citizen. I recommend this blog for your daily perusal.

Next up: The Waendel Journal


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Must have missed Blogpower in my enforced abscence !

Tom Paine

Actually, that's right. I had that in my notes, but I wrote it over several days in between work things and forgot that point. So I put myself to the work. Sorry.

Not Saussure

I'm sorry you were put to so much trouble -- I have, in fact, a few times mentioned that I'm a widower, but obviously it didn't register. Probably just as well; had you read my posts in more detail I'm sure wouldn't have been half as complimentary!

james higham

I agree with DAve Petterson but it's a bit rough on poor Tom here. There's a lot of work in one of these reviews.

As for Notsaussure, he is intriguing, isn't he? At first, with the post on lock-picking, I thought he had to be some young buck. His graciousness belies that though. He seems to me to be more in my area [age-wise and I don't mean 90]. Then, if you look at his blog format, it's a crisp work of art and one suspects he's in the business.

One thing for sure - Tom hit the nail on the head about his writing style. He is a superior blog to the average and if he were ever to be lost to Blogpower ... well, one doesn't recover from that sort of blow.

Tom Paine

You are welcome. Thanks for clearing that up. The "Man" of mystery cleared something up too. Do you know what hard work it was to write the review without saying "he" or "she" and without resorting to "s/he"?

Not Saussure (International Man of Mystery)

Why, thank you for the kind words. My reticence is partly just my natural style and partly because I sometimes touch on professional matters; while they're hardly world-shattering and the references would be completely meaningless to anyone not directly involved, I don't really want to risk finding myself in a position where someone could say I've published anything privileged or confidential.

I can, however, assure you that I'm not a Professor of Geriatric Medicine, retired or otherwise.

Dave Petterson

These reviews you are doing are works of art. I think you should do more than 10.

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