So howcome we don’t hear about citizen doctors, citizen lawyers, citizen architects…

So today I’ve been a good citizen. That is, a really disruptive internet break-the-mould stick-it-to-the-man citizen.

Started off being a citizen chauffeur. (OK, driving the family about. But you know, that’s doing a specialist job. Though why is it that if you stick “celebrity” in front of something, people don’t assume you’re the celebrity? If you called yourself a “celebrity chauffeur” people would assume you drove celebs about, not that you were famous and liked ferrying.)

Then moved on to being a citizen childminder. Well, actually, they were just my kids, so “childminder” might have been sort of overstating it a bit, since I didn’t get paid, and didn’t take any exams – but hey, not taking exams is the whole idea about being a “citizen something”. It’s about how you don’t do it.

Then I did a bit of work as a citizen electrician. Yeahhhh, really sticking it to The Man there. Rather than getting an electrician to come in and fix our light switch, I bought one, replaced the old one – having, yeah, switched off the electricity in that part of the house – and put it in. Lights work! Yeah! Come on! Citizen electricianery.. er, electriciany.. electricianing.. anyway, doing it yourself is the wave of the future! Come on, who wants their home wired? Well, I can do the light switches.

Then I did some citizen interior decorating. Yeah, we had a curtain pole that had to be put up. You know, there are people who would charge you good money for that sort of thing. They call themselves “decorators”. Come on – you know that the internet has empowered us to go to exactly the same stores that they do to buy our supplies and Change The World. So – me, a curtain pole, a couple of rawlplugs, a cross-head screwdriver. Oh, damn, a pencil. Down tools. Got the pencil! Oh, damn, a hammer. Down tools. Right! Set. Oh, damn, the rawlplug’s pulled out. Drill drill. It feels so good to be changing the world. If only the flipping holes in the poles would line themselves up. Trust me though – it’s the wave of the future. Soon we’ll all do our interior decoration. It’s going to change completely, baby. Skills in our hands.

So, with that done, and the curtain pole mostly level, it was time to do some citizen gardening. Well, mowing. But you know, that was damn good mowing. If hot.

And that’s not mentioning the citizen paddlingpoolcleaning, citizen chef-ery and citizen just plain reading that I’ve done today. I tell you, being a revolutionary is pretty hard.

Though I think I’ll leave it to others to do the citizen medicine, or citizen architecture, or even citizen policing. Some things, I guess, you need a little training for. I mean, I wouldn’t want to hear that the person trying to reset my broken leg learnt all her expertise from watching ER and House. Hell, I’d do it myself if I thought that approach would ever work.


  1. You do realise that being a citizen electrician is technically (and actually) illegal – you are not allowed to do your own electrical work these days without being in someway “qualified”.

  2. Charles

    Sunday 11 May 2008 at 10:17 pm

    @L: so define “electrical work”. (Emphasis on the “work”.) Changing plug? Changing bulb? Changing light switch? This seems to be the problem with this “citizen” label, doesn’t it – strays very quickly into territory where it has no value. It’s either electrician-ism or it’s not…

  3. “Electrical work” you can do according to The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister-

    You DO NOT need to tell your local authority’s Building Control Department about:
    •repairs, replacements and maintenance work; or
    •extra power points or lighting points, or other alterations to existing circuits
    (except in a kitchen, bathroom, or outdoors).

    Anything else you have to tell you local building authority about before you begin the work. So we can all be citizen electricains to a point but then the government steps in – typical big brother!

  4. Well, you could make the argument the we do self-medicine and “citizen” medicine all the time. We are constantly offering each other advice on our aches and pains, comparing our Lipitor dosages, telling people to take their Airborne before a long trick. Heck even a prescription for chicken soup might be considered citizen medicine. (SMILE)


  5. Not quite sure I agree with you re “celebrity xx”. A celebrity chef is a celebrity for his cheffing; he’s not a chef to the stars. Usually.


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