Listening to a very dull serial on the radio, I realised that I was taking the side of the protagonist, although I didn't particularly like him. Which led me to think about the whole businesss of taking sides. It seems we are - or at least, I am - programmed to take sides. Whether it's a novel or a film, a goody or a baddy, I look for someone to side with. And if the book/film has no-one I can sympathise with, then I lose interest (unless the plot itself is exceptionally exciting). I hated The Talented Mr. Ripley for this reason; I didn't like the hero (I'm sure I wasn't supposed to) and I didn't really like anyone else in the novel, either. Similarly, in the Booker prizewinning A Line of Beauty, I thoroughly disliked the main character, and hence the book. It may have been well-written, but there was no-one it in with whom I could identify. I still don't know why I bothered to finish it.
And I suppose much of life is about taking sides, from gangs in the school playground - even friendly ones - to belonging to clubs, supporting football teams or whatever. Wars are about taking sides. The bloody election is about taking sides.
The election... And I'm still floating. Because I don't like any of the party leaders, so I'm not really on their side (but I shall vote when the time comes, because voting gives me licence to grumble).