Notes From the Margins…

The Infernal Machine: the Relaunch!

  • December 29, 2018
  • by

Hello world!  It’s been a while since I posted on this site, and I must apologize to my regular readers for my prolonged absence.  I haven’t been here for a number of reasons.  Firstly, I simply didn’t have time.  There is only so much of an average day that you can spend writing, and I have spent most of the last six months trying to to meet a deadline, while simultaneously researching and preparing other book projects.  So I have had to prioritize, and I found I had less and less time to keep up my blog.   

The time factor was also coupled with the dizzying craziness of the events taking place all around me, which I felt required a much more detailed and coherent response than I was able to provide.  Admittedly, if I had a whole year without absolutely nothing else to think or write about I would struggle to find any coherence faced with the jawdropping spectacle of national implosion that has been taking place in these isles for the last two and half years.  Quite simply, it has been difficult at times to know what to say about the dismal procession of events that we have all witnessed – they really have reduced me to a state of horrified stupefaction. 

As some of you know, I’ve also spent much of the last two years campaigning with the 1DayWithoutUs campaign – a rewarding but also draining experience that left me with even less energy for writing a blog.

Nevertheless I have missed being here.  I’ve been writing this blog for seven years now, engaging in dialogues and discussions with some of my readers that I would like to continue. Blogwriting for me has been a reactive kind of writing.  It’s not a diary exactly, but a place where I can respond to events as they unfold in front of me from week to week and day to day and try to reflect on them as best I can.  There is no other place where I can do that kind of writing, and it has its own very specific satisfactions – and limitations.

Now 2018 is almost over and even though not many of us will be sorry to see it go,  2019 is going to be one white knuckle ride  ride of a year.  So I thought to myself I should start up the Infernal Machine once again and see how far I can take it.

As you see, I’ve redesigned it, with the help of a very talented friend of mine.  The new Machine will be more accessible, I hope.  Posts will generally be shorter, because we all have a lot of things to think about, don’t we?  And a lot of different sources of commentary and information.

But I will still be in the driving seat.  The voice will still be mine, writing and thinking as freely as I can about this still-beautiful madhouse of a planet.  You may not agree with everything you find here, and there are times when I look back on things that I’ve written and I don’t agree with myself.  As I’ve said, this is spur-of-the-moment reactive writing to a world that I have very little influence on and almost no control over,  and I’m not here to be right all the time, but to try as best as I can to make sense of the history that we are all making and living through. 

That said, I hope that those of you who visited this site before will come back again, and we can continue our conversations.   And I wish you all solidarity, strength and resilience in the coming year and hope that we can all somehow make it to a better place together and put some serious effort into putting this country to rights.

It needs it!


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  1. Richard Carter

    29th Dec 2018 - 5:49 pm

    Well, that’s a great (late) Christmas present! Welcome back, Matt, it’ll be good to have your blog again, especially with this damned Brexit coming (maybe?) to some sort of conclusion in 2019.

    • Matt

      29th Dec 2018 - 6:15 pm

      Thanks Richard. Good to be back. Hope you’ve been keeping well.

      • Richard Carter

        29th Dec 2018 - 6:39 pm

        Yes, well thank you Matt – apart from an outbreak of vomiting caused by seeing that a government minister had expressed concern for the safety of migrants crossing the Channel. Crocodile tears!

  2. Andreu

    9th Jan 2019 - 3:12 pm

    Welcome back! 🙂

    • Matt

      11th Jan 2019 - 8:53 am

      Thanks Andreu!

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About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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