A friend—a very smart, talented friend with a blog of his own of vastly greater scope and readership than my own—gave me some very simple advice, which he delivered as gently as possible.
As he put it, “I think, in general, people really like to read short things.”
A five-page amateur exegesis of a middling work by a long-dead New England poet is probably the paradigm example of how I’ve ignored his advice. And I will continue to ignore his advice as the spirit moves me but, for this moment, I am going to take his words to heart and share with you some small—I was going to say unconnected, but I caught myself—some small, disjunctive thoughts that have been stacking up in the hopper labeled “Blog entries I intend to write next.” It is my hope that by pulling out some of these tangled branches and stumps, I will open up the flow a little and get the good, clear cordwood of quality ideas flowing more quickly into the furnace.
So, here goes.
1. Everything is connected. There. I’ve said it. It’s not the most interesting thought ever but it is one of the founding principles of this blog. One way of putting it is that all things are similar to one another in an infinite number of ways. That Coke bottle on my desk and the box of tissues share in common the fact that they are not the lamp. Or the phone. Or my big toe. They are both 36 inches off the ground. They are both not four feet off the ground. Nor five feet. Nor five feet two inches. You can see where this is going and it's true enough,if trivially so, and pedantic and, frankly, pretty useless in the general day to day. But what I mean is, if you look at a thing long enough, you can start to see it connect to everything else. For example, I think there’s a relationship between Carol Hathaway’s really crappy boyfriend, John “Tag” Taglieri, and my penchant for bursting into tears. I just don’t know what it is. But I have some ideas.
2. Somebody has to write a blog entry about John “Tag” Taglieri. I think that somebody is going to be me, but when the opportunity arrives, I find myself thinking, “Really? A whole entry about Tag? Why?” Well, see point 1 above. For example, there is magic in Tag’s freak-out speech to Carol on the street in front of the hospital. If I can tap on the right keys in the right order and somehow capture that magic, well, my job is done.
3. Likewise, Dr. Div Cvetic, though a minor character, is a subject which I almost fear to tackle because I suspect that, if I were somehow able to communicate the truth about him and what he stands for in print, I would spontaneously self-immolate and my poor, beautiful wife would find nothing left behind but a pile of ash and one hell of a blog entry. However, I am going to go ahead and attempt it one day soon because that is the job.
4. At some point I’m going to have to come out and apologize to everyone who loves Battlestar Galactica, to the crew of the ship, to the actors who portray this crew, to the production crew, to the network executives responsible for the show and, especially, to anyone I might have dissuaded from watching it, because it is pretty great and I have secretly begun watching it again myself. I’ve just gone back over that list and, you know what? Fuck the network executives. The rest stands.
Though there’s a part of me that’s thinking, “wow, only four things?” I guess I will leave it at that or else I’ll end up violating my friend’s advice in the taking of it. But I will add two links to other blogs because I’m told that such links really give a blog an interactive feel which is pretty much price-of-entry with the young demographic today.
So, first is this website, created by a colleague, which I stumbled across—ok, he sent it to me—back when my friend’s advice was newly rattling around in my bean. I looked at this and thought, “Good god! Short is easy to read and this website proves it.” This website also explores the tight and complex connection between easy and tedious but, hey, check it out here.
Second is the website of my friend with all the great advice. Honestly, because he’s my friend, I would tell you that it is an awesome and inspiring site even if I didn’t believe it, so I’m at a little bit of a loss as to how I can navigate the heuristics of this complex situation and make this claim ring with the authority it deserves. Wait, I know: click here.