As a bit of a car nut and an F1 enthusiast, I found myself watching something called Formula E on Sunday or, as I prefer to call it, Formula Sewing Machine. For the uninitiated, it's sort of F1 for electric cars.
This particular race was around the famous Monaco circuit where real F1 cars annually make so much noise that it sounds as though they are intent on disturbing the very foundations of the Monte Carlo casino. Not on Sunday, though.
The Formula E machines hummed their way around the track and were about as awe inspiring and menacing as a food blender on the number one setting. If you can remember Nigel Mansell's desperate attempts lap after lap to overtake the slower Ayrton Senna in the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix, you'll know how thrilling such a duel can be.
By comparison, the Formula E event was not unlike watching a football match being played behind closed doors as a punishment for earlier crowd trouble. In the pantheon of great sporting spectacles, it was right up there with dominoes. Formula "E"? More like Formula Mogadon.
Who the hell thought this would be a good idea? Watch a scary film with the soundtrack turned down and it's as frightening as the Teletubbies (actually, the Teletubbies are far more sinister). Why remove the soundtrack from Formula 1? And what about that other sensory stimulant, the smell of Formula 1? That oil and petrol fug that hangs over a motor sport track and just adds to the "atmosphere". Formula E must smell the way your garden does when your electric hedge trimmer gets a branch lodged between its teeth.
Those and similar questions were playing around in my mind when it struck me that Formula E is exactly like digital photography. The machines are boring, there's a lack of noise, no soul and, no doubt through time, they'll replace real cars that have served us well for over a hundred years. Raw? Visceral? Emotional? Yes, it was none of those things. Just like digital.
I used to deny being a Luddite citing my love of the internet in my defence. However, I've come to realise that it's not a defence but an exception. Whether it's cars, job-stealing computers, digital photography, electric trains or whatever, I now tend to think that they've robbed life of much of its charm.
If I could, I'd scrap them all and go back 60 years to when Leica and Rolleiflex were at their peak. Photographically-speaking can anyone really claim that what we have now is an improvement?