OK, so here we go again. My 5th FAWM.

In previous years I have found it helpful to have a theme to work with. Last year was Advertising and particularaly the adverts that have found their way into my psyche and lexicon. The year before that it was children’s TV from my youth. Both of these themes were useful in that they provided me with a mass of samples I could use and a theme/mood for each track.

This year my brain decided, about halfway through a very drunken Christmas period, that this year’s theme would be the word “should”.

“Should” is about the most annoying and pointless word in the language, it has many meanings so vague that the dictionary has to resort to context examples rather than definitions, and is largely used to nag, shame and cajole people in a very¬†irritating way. However, while I think this is a great theme for a larger piece of work I think it lacks the immediacy and utility required for a FAWM theme. Unfortunately my brain has imprinted on this like a duckling and I am finding it hard to shake it off..

I tried to expand this out to include a broader theme of shame and shaming as “should” is, in essence, an attempt to shame someone into complying with your will.

Implicitly “should” includes the suppressed premise that the action being proposed is self evidently correct and you are at fault for not performing said action. This is a richer vein of material as shame, and shaming, is used in many arenas these days in lieu of debate. Rather than engage on actual issues it is common for activists and zealots of various types to state, rather blandly, that disagreement with this or that proposition is evidence of a certain unacceptable condition, and therefore those disagreeing are racist, sexist, inadequate, unmasculine, unfeminine (or masculine or feminine), anti-whatever, islamophobic, fat shaming, bigoted etc etc etc.

Anyway – this is also a weighty topic and not really useful as a FAWM theme. In fact now that I have written it down it seems even less useful as a FAWM theme.

I am going to go out for dumplings (in defiance of my diet) and see if I can come up with something a bit more practical.