You’ll have noticed the Zero site isn’t actually officially live yet. I say you’ll have noticed, actually you won’t be able to have noticed because the site isn’t officially live for you to read this yet. But when the site is officially live and you come across this entry in the archives, you’ll notice that at the time of writing the site wasn’t officially live yet.

Sorry, that was a complete waste of a paragraph. That’s how it goes with paragraphs around here. They always start out with the best of intentions but somehow they lead themselves astray. Look at this one, for example. It’s gone from apologising for a rambling first paragraph to criticising itself. That’s two in a row now. Better cross your fingers for the third…

At the point at which you noticed, you’ll have noticed the site isn’t actually officially live yet. On the one hand that’s giving me the time I need to polish the articles ready for the launch but on the other it’s denying humanity the chance to better itself through my teaching. That’s quite the ethical dilemma. Happily, a solution has presented itself in the form of the university’s student magazine.

I’ve taken a regular page to spread the Zero word to the 2,000 potential readers on campus, 4 of which are likely to actually read the thing and 2 of which are likely to find it mildly diverting. The first issue looks at setting up ethical homes, having left behind the tyranny of the “while you’re under our roof” parental decree. That takes in environmentally friendly energy, recycling, water conservation, buying second hand, buying Fairtrade, ditching plastic carrier bags and opening ethical bank accounts. The next issue covers sex so I’m doing a bit on the ethics of porn and how viewers are unwittingly supporting filmed prostitution and gender discrimination. It’s so right on it’s practically a 1980s lesbian peace camp.

The old Zero charm’s been diluted somewhat, with most of the gags and all of the smut being cut to the point of not being very funny any more. It’s as if I told a joke about a chicken crossing the road and all reference to the chicken was removed along with the punchline, and it instead came across as a po-faced examination of motorway resurfacing within the East Cirencester local authority boundaries. But them’s the breaks out in the world. Besides, calling Bono a fanny probably isn’t the done thing.

Still, I’m getting out there. It would perhaps be too egotistical – some would say even delusional – to compare this minor effort to the launch of the Internet, the publishing of the Gutenberg Bible, or the carving of the Ten Commandments. But I’m going to. It’s as big as all those things. Probably bigger.

Photo credit: Richmond Film & Television/ITV. All great people, no need to sue anyone