In the last few days I've blogged on subjects ranging from Syria and macroeconomics to football, tattoos and Miley Cyrus, prompting the question: am I serious or not?
The fact is, I can't tell the difference. Westminster politics is supposed to be serious. But is it? Nick Cohen's description of Nick Clegg - "a beta male, a mediocre conformist" - or David Aaronovitch's of Ed Miliband ("he is not a presence at all, he is an absence") could apply to most frontbenchers. They rely for what little credibility they have upon the gravitas of office: would anyone really take seriously George Osborne's thoughts (by which I mean stream of cliches) on the economy if he weren't Chancellor? Would he even have any thoughts?
Satire used to thrive by undermining the pompousness and high-mindedness of politics. But this is no longer possible. Nobody notices when you puncture a deflated balloon. Satire - be it The Thick of It or the Daily Mash - seems indistinguishable from good reportage.
Which is in turn easily distinguished from actual reportage. A lot of political reporting consists either of trivial Kremlinology - a description of a soap opera in which most "characters" are interchangeable one-dimensional cyphers - or of an unquestioning imposition of an ideology which fetishizes "strong leadership."
Of course, millions of people are suffering because of political decisions. But whilst their troubles are serious, the politics that caused them are not.
If allegedly serious subjects aren't serious, then the opposite is also true - "light" subjects contain important messages.
Back in the early 90s, when his bellendery was of only measurable proportions, Toby Young helped found the Modern Review, with the tagline "low culture for high-brows." It was an important insight. So-called "low culture" such as Miley and TV programmes can raise interesting economic issues at least as often as does Westminster politics; economics, remember, is not just (or even mainly) macroeconomics.
There's another reason for taking "low culture" seriously.It's that the culture, ideology and cognitive biases that help sustain inequality don't just manifest themselves in formal party political statements, but in our everyday lives; this is the truth captured by the often misused phrase, "the personal is the political." Ideology is manifested in tattoos and football as much as in "serious" matters.
It's an easy trick for writers to contend that we live in a post-something age - post-modern, post-ideological, post-industrial, post-truth, whatever. Perhaps we live in a post-serious age.