A brief An increasingly lengthy history of this blog’s birth, destruction, and subsequent rebirths and deaths.
THE DERIVATION, updated 18 February 2011
In response to my current glut of free time (which may or may not last until August), I feel compelled to create a tighter schedule. Perhaps I need the organization.
So in its fourth year, I give this blog its fourth title: The Derivation. The blog will still have its occasional discordant rambling post; otherwise, planning a post a week on a reading, perhaps roughly two book posts a month, and a song and a poem each week. Filling the world with words in some meaningless conversation with everything.
SOCRATES DIED TALKING, update 9 September 2010
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
– The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, trans. Edward FitzGerald
This page debuted three and a half years ago untitled. After several months, it had a brief stint with the title The Strings My Lord Are False, then for about two years now has been and yes I said yes I will Yes.
In the first case, my imagination was hooked by a throw-away line in Shakespeare’s Caesar. Brutus wakes his boy from a nap, and the disoriented youth cries out, “The strings, my lord, are false!” apparently having dreamt of his lyre being out of tune. But Brutus rouses him with the intent to ask if he saw or heard the ghost of Caesar who furtively stole into his tent. In some ways, the boy has answered: Brutus, your mind is out of tune. In other Shakespeare plays, the ghosts seem more real. (In Hamlet, other than some postmodern rereading, there is little doubt.) But in Caesar, the ghost seems very much like a mad figment of Brutus’s imagination. The Strings My Lord Are False was meant to imply that I, and people in general, quickly find ourselves out of tune with this world. The blog sought to provide a rhythm to it. Formally, it was unsuccessful; but in terms of content, it gave me a place to put my thoughts and focus my thinking.
and yes became an affirmation of that goal. Taken, of course, from Molly’s final words in Ulysses, I co-opted her passionate affirmation of love as an affirmation of the ever-continuing process of discovery, which more often than not was the discovery of my own ignorance.
And now a third title: Socrates Died Talking. The name change is in part because I’ve been rereading Plato, but mostly because it seems to carry the same purpose of this blog forward. The purpose has always been to talk into darkness and see if anything reverberates. If anything is out there at all. The more deeply I feel that truth, the more I write, the more I talk. So this blog is a release for that logorrhoea that plagues me. Socrates died talking. The man whose name is as synonymous with wisdom as Einstein is with intelligence never ended with answers. He took such a delighted joy in talking into emptiness. Of course, he didn’t write a single word, an act that gives words and the ideas underlying them the illusion of permanence when really even they are as ephemeral as the air that makes up the spoken word. Perhaps, though, he could have kept a prolific blog, since these words readily fall away into the virtual din.
Socrates died talking, comfortable in knowing nothing, taking pleasure in nothing – which of course means he took pleasure in everything, and perhaps knew everything.
* update 1 June 2010
My name is David. I am about to be an ex-high school teacher and an aspiring grad school creative writing student. This page – and yes – is a place for me to reflect on the readings I am doing in preparation for that endeavor, but also a virtual coffee shop where I can sink into a comfy chair and share insights and inanities with friends and strangers. Some of my favorite topics:
writing & reading;
tv & movies;
art & aesthetics;
religion & politics;
sports, especially football & hockey,
especially the Lions, Bucs, & Red Wings;
food, travel, life & love.
I embrace passionate arguments; I cherish controversial topics; I am sincere but well-versed in sarcasm; I am earnest but transition quickly to frivolity; I am unabashedly liberal but am receptive to logical counterpoints; I am not adverse to doing a 180; I am an atheist who thinks religion is to morality as Kleenex is to tissue.
AND YES I SAID YES I WILL YES, 1 January 2009
Opened the first day of summer 2009, I merged numerous older, pseudo-blogging ventures (myspace, plinky, facebook notes, iWeb blog, and random mass e-mails) into one.
and yes I said yes I will Yes is my reminder to stay open to the possibilities of the world and faithful to that possibility that I know as my self.
and yes I said yes I will Yes is a place to store my focus because I lose it frequently. It is a place to remember who I will be.
and yes I will say to music, and yes I said music and books, and sometimes the cover art of each, and yes I said yes I will write about writing and talk about words, and yes I said yes I will occasionally mutter some curses under my breath, but yes I said yes I will write about love and words and ideas and living and I will