Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

There are 9990 roads to heaven

Posted by metaphorical on 4 April 2007

Calvin: Yesterday dad went out to buy a hardcover novel. He said he wanted to read something long, rich, and thought-provoking for a change… Then he said he was going to buy the book with cash, so nobody could trace the purchase to him and exploit his interests for commercial purposes.

Hobbes: Your dad’s going into the future kicking and screaming, isn’t he?

Calvin: What if he’s turning into some kind of subversive?

Exponential change means everything up to now doesn’t count.
— Rick Rashid

I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy – but that could change.
   — Vice President Dan Quayle, 5/22/89

Sometime today, this blog will have been viewed for the 10,000 time, according to the limited statistics that WordPress maintains. That’s not a lot in blog terms, but it’s only been around for five months (and with its current frequency of posting, four). That’s still not a lot in terms of being one of the big kids, but the big kids aren’t entirely distinguishable from the knee-jerk polarized opinion-machines that were the reason some people leave the cable news channels and enter the blogverse to escape. (Chris over at Creek Running North had a very nice post earlier this week that explored the idea that when it comes to blogging, “If you’re a thoughtful writer who tends to write longer essays then you’re at a disadvantage.”)

This blog’s best days are also its high-comment days; there’s no escaping the conclusion that, like all written work, it’s a cooperative venture between writers and readers.

In that spirit, I’m going to try something new. My nephew, who has been commenting under the name digglahhh (he needs to figure out if he’s keeping that name for the long haul, and if so, at some point he has to explain it to me and the other old fogies) and wrote one post (“Hip hop just died this morning”) will become a contributing editor, as we would say in publishing, blogging once a week on the weekend. Among other things, he can make up for some serious deficiencies I have on the sports and entertainment front, looking that them through the lenses of politics, technology, and, especially, language.

As Alfred North Whitehead once said, “The art of progress is to preserve order amid change
and to preserve change amid order.” (The quote that heads this post, by the way, is from the movie Red Sorghum.)

So, once again, thanks in advance for the 10,000th birthday, especially Claire, Mambo/Swanny, Athena, Hannah, Kevin, Andrew, Tigtog, CMD, David, and other regular readers in places like Shanghai; Palo Alto; Piscataway, N.J.; Nashua, N.H.; and Kbenhavn, Staden Kobenhavn, Denmark; who I don’t know except as locations in SiteMeter.


7 Responses to “There are 9990 roads to heaven”

  1. ptomblin said

    I suspect “digglahhh” is a refernce to Dirk Diggler.

  2. Damn I’m an idiot. That’s one of my favorite movies. In my defense, in real life, digglahhh is a bit more John C. Reilly than Mark Wahlberg.

  3. digglahhh said

    Thank you, Meta.

    The Boogie Nights reference is in no way self-aggrandizing. I’m part Irish for heaven’s sake…

    Several years ago while on vacation for the July 4th weekend, a friend of mine (more like a human chemistry experiment at that particular point in time) became convinced that I looked like a 1970’s porn star. I was wearing a pair of large, light-tinted sunglasses and a straw hat, somewhat in jest. Other than that, I was wearing a T-shirt, shorts and a pair of Air Max 95s (how about that, Keith, I remember the sneakers I was wearing when I was given my nickname). Basically, I looked nothing like anybody from the seventies- porn star, virgin or anywhere in between. The name indeed was intended to be a Boogie Nights reference, apparently Dirk and Derek were close enough too, for Keith Richards over there…

    The name stuck anyway and I began to accept it. The funny spelling was just something I did to it because when I tried to register it as en email address most of the closer forms were already registered.

    Anyway, I’d like to thank Meta for this opportunity and I hope to do him proud. Meta has always been the (unattainable) intellectual standard I’ve set for myself, so I am glad that he offered to share the space that features his writing and analysis with me.

    I’m a huge fan of sports and (80’s and 90’s) hip-hop music and culture, so I’ll probably be composing numerous pieces in the future that deal with these two themes. But, what I really enjoy is discussing them in a socio-political context. Don’t worry or lament if you are not a fan of either; all roads lead back to Orwell.

  4. Swanny said

    Meta has always been the (unattainable) intellectual standard I’ve set for myself,

    Geez, Dig, talk about lowered expectations…heh heh.

    Congrats to you and congrats to Mister Blowing His Own Horn Like David Sanborn On Meth over there.

  5. ClaireDePlume said

    Will there be balloons & a brass band for the 10,000th reader?

    All silliness aside, congratulations are in order to Met our guiding luminary, and his new protege. May this communal netroom be blessed with many more bright beacons offering even more of humanities breakthroughs than breakdowns, joys more than sorrows, inventions rather than conventions, dreams over nightmares… and perhaps throw in a bag of chips too.

    I look forward to double the liveliness and double the debate. I can feel my synapses dividing & multiplying as these words emerge from my keyboard.

    Cheers Met & Dig!

  6. I tried to watch the momentous viewing of the 10,000th page. I had WordPress’s stats page open on one screen and SiteMeter in the other. Right before lunch, WordPress was up to 9998. I kept looking at the who’s-on-now in SiteMeter. I could see a new visitor. So it should have gone to 9999. It didn’t.

    People were assembling in the hallway to go get lunch. Still 9998. Then suddenly two new visitors in SiteMeter, one of whom looked at two pages right away. Finally 9999. I put on my jacket and did one more refresh. All of a sudden, 10,004! So I think there’s a lag in the way WordPress updates. Very anticlimactic. Lunch was good though.

  7. Blue Athena said

    As someone who’s never seen Boogie Nights was a bit confused by the name digglahhh, and just had to scroll up the page to check the spelling. I also have had a little trouble holding a pronunciation in my head.

    Given the theme of this blog, how about Simile or Allegory or Onomatopoeia?

    OK, just kidding — at least on that last one…but you get the idea. :)

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