The Benevolent Dictator – Plots And Plans

I find myself pondering Jim’s posts ssooo much. 

Some I end up taking as personal slights – “meek and unambitious” for instance has been in my head for the past week now. But, I think I need to “let it go”. I think Jim will believe what he wants to believe, without any effort from me to try and counter it, or offer a differing opinion on his thinking. He has a point. I guess I just wish, from a personal viewpoint, that he’d have phrased it better. 


I’m not sure where this is going to go. Most days I feel the drive to write SOMETHING…almost a compulsion to do it, without any set, clear agenda of what it is going to be. I just want to sit and type and express myself. Why that should be, I don’t know. Nobody is interested in what I have to say, and nobody really SHOULD be either. Who the fuck am I to say or express anything?! Let alone feel it even remotely important enough to be read by anyone?

I don’t know. I am finding this need to write very perplexing. Maybe it *is* “ambition”?! *pulls shocked face*

Today I am pondering the notion of the “benevolent dictator”. That is how I consider nearly all cats to be – benevolent dictators. Surely “benevolent dictator” could just be another, slightly less kind description for a manipulator, no? 

I also pondered on who we were describing in Jim’s post with this term? Was Jim referring to himself? Or was he aiming this description at Charlie? 

Does Simple Minds work under a “benevolent dictatorship”? Should we even be made privy to the world of band politics? Don’t we as fans endlessly speculate on this stuff ad nauseum as is? Why does Jim want to kick the hornet’s nest? 

It really is a paradox, the “benevolent dictator”. Jim has always fairly much come across to me as the old “it’s my way or the highway” type. Perhaps that’s the “last chance saloon” Kerr stance? Perhaps before it gets to that tensive “breaking point”, it’s the “charm offensive” prior to that? Try to win them ‘round first? I know he puts me in enough of a spin that sometimes I think he could do quite sinister things with me and I’d just take it, or bend to it. (I’d like to hope my principles would save me in the end. “Principles? You have principles?”)

We speculate because we think we know. We think we know these people. We believe we know their traits and we are made to feel as if we know them…but it’s all public persona. 

Masks. We all wear masks to some degree – and I’m not meaning our new Covid world fabric face-covering – I mean, in metaphorical terms, a complete cover – a cloak of who we really are, even to ourselves, or how we want to be perceived and how we appear. EVERY SINGLE PERSON DOES – whether they are conscious of it or not. Whether they would admit it to themselves or not.

So Steven van Zandt said “a benevolent dictatorship OF SOME KIND”? That seems instantly contradictory. Does this mean the dictator can change from day to day? One day it’s Jim, the next day Charlie? Dependent upon who is passionate and forthright enough about whatever problem has arisen and what the solution is? If so…then aren’t we actually back to … DEMOCRACY? The thing that got dismissed out of hand as not working when it comes to band politics? 

Yes! Sometimes I do like to overthink! I’d rather bloody overthink than not fucking think at all, sure enough! Give me my overthinking, over-analysing brain ANY DAY than the brain of an unthinking mind. A mind that doesn’t want to be challenged and … (hello Mrs!) stimulated. 

Perhaps I should be thanking Jim once again for….stimulating my grey matter (I could continue, but I’ll leave it there…I don’t need to elaborate any further. Lol)

Perhaps last night’s post was an exercise in Jim airing a “You’ve won THIS ROUND, Burchill, but next time…next time, PAL!” ??? Lol

On the one hand I am wondering why we were privy to such a thing last night, but I do love that it results in me pondering. I ponder so much stuff when it comes to this band, honest to god. I have sssoooo many questions. I run a Simple Minds themed blog – but I know because I have been told “Jim and Charlie don’t do blogs” (Yeah, and my name is Slartibartfast!) that I will never get the privilege of interviewing Jim (or Charlie). 

The questions come and go. Differing things. So many different things. Like right now I’d love to know at what precise moment did it turn real for Jim? Knowing absolutely that this was the thing he wanted to do with his life and that he was going to set out to do it. WHEN EXACTLY was that? And was he not even REMOTELY scared? With NO background in music or songwriting, or singing …. like….just….HOW?! And I mean actual “how”, not as in Glasgow “how” (ie: why). 

Today, before coming up to my bedroom to sit at my computer to type this out, I had this little …. Fantasy? Daydream? Spark of an idea? Delusion? About sitting down and starting a story. Just…a story. I wouldn’t even be so bold as to believe I could spin it out long enough to make it a novel. Just…the first few sentences. The germ of a seed. That soon expanded into what could end up for someone who is actually a writer, as a fully fledged novel. Almost to the end page. With nothing in the middle. 

Could I even flesh that out? Could I even start? To me, every story has already been told. So…how do I make MY story different, more entertaining, more enthralling, different enough to have people want to read it? And do I have the patience to sit here for months making something that would ultimately flop? 

And there’s the UNAMBITIOUS! It’s all been done. So why start? WHAT’S THE POINT?! I guess maybe I should start it for shits and giggles. What’s there to lose, right? Most of the time I sit here every day typing something out. On a good day, I can easily get to 1000 words. Base that on the average length of a novel, and account for me dealing with the thought of story direction, plot twists, etc, etc – a minimum of three months this would take. Allowing time for “bad days” and writer’s block – I could have a complete manuscript by the Simple Minds gig in Paris. 

See you then?

(P.S. Photo is my “writer’s view” today.)