When the web first became a mainstream proposition in the mid to late 90s, we had ringingly, unrealistically high hopes for it. The information superhighway was going to bring down undemocratic governments, stop human rights abuses and usher in a world free of ignorance.
Since then we’ve had a masterclass on the gulf between what idealistic early-adopters envisage and what the mass market demands. Instead of being a gleaming vehicle for intellectual debate and the spread of freedom the net is about porn, chatting inanely to friends, buying unnecessary stuff and, increasingly, watching telly.
I much prefer to drink coffee, listen to music and to paint when I feel like it.
Our greatest national ancillary skill - teasing the English - has been on the critical list for some time. On the news that the touring team would feature a chap called Root, it sat up in bed, brushed its hair and took a little chicken soup, but things remained pretty dire.
Until now. The English team’s travelling menu - all 82 richly textured and hysterically detailed pages of it - is like a shot of super-concentrated foetal stem cells into the wasted arm of our domestic sledging industry.
The quinoa requests alone would keep a slips fielder sassing for days.