Then and Now
It is with modest pride and mild aplomb I present to you:
My New Site!
After taking a copy-writing course on brand voice (check out the guide I did for Nonzero News!), I finally have enough confidence in both my skill and strategy to begin officially declaring myself open for clients.
This has been a long and difficult road for me over the past five years. In my prior position, I would often listen to YouTube videos on the craft while I worked to force myself to spin a hamster wheel of redundancy.
Now that I am free, I’ve been spending the past three weeks ardently working on my site, client scouting, applying for jobs, and crafting portfolio samples.
Nothing could bring me more joy, and it is astounding how much the ability to work toward a meaningful goal has improved my psychological well-being.
For all of you who’ve supported me (here and elsewhere), THANK YOU!
But what does this mean for Curiosophy Now?
Not much, but a couple of significant things. I will no longer be keeping up with the Instagram account, and podcasts are somewhat up in the air. It is possible that I will use some of my brand voice skills to give the idea a makeover.
That said, I will still be blogging here on Mondays and Fridays, as per usual. It keeps me in the game, and I love interacting with all of you. Don’t be surprised if some of the content starts to shift in theme. I hope I won’t lose you. It’s simply the case that now I’m in writing-sample mode, and I’m becoming a corporate whore. (Just kidding! But it is possible that I’ll start writing more about companies, goods, and services.)
I still have two podcasts in the queue, so you will still be receiving a bit more content there. It remains to be seen how that will go. I hope to continue doing them, but if professional obligations call me away, I shall have to heed the siren song.
On the Names of (a) Holiday(s)
I was a bit perplexed watching NBC on Independence Day. This isn’t a common thing for me — I only watched snippets of it because it happened to be on in my parents’ living room.
Uncharacteristically, I found myself feeling like the angry grandpa bellyaching because no one says “Merry Christmas” anymore.
The program only talked about “July 4th,” and it never a single time referred to anything with respect to the secession from Britain. I never thought about it before this year, but the actual name of the holiday is Independence Day.
There was a lot of talk on the show about “The American Dream” — something unmentioned in any of our founding Democratic documents, and generally a fuzzy concept all around. Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (in contrast) once had a dream, and he laid out very specifically what it was, and how it could be actualized.
Listening to the various rappers performing on Long Island, I began to wonder whether the adherents to the myth were thinking more of Locke than Jefferson, opting more for a right to property than a right to pursue Eudaimonia (which Jefferson translated as Happiness).
Was this spectacle the fruit of the type of thought we see in the 1619 project, which is taught in some New York schools? I don’t know. It seems conjectural at best to assume so. Still, I worry about the ultimate ends of such a sentiment. To turn toward an emphasis on materialism would create quite a lot of friction with King’s vision.
Okay, sure, but isn’t the “American Dream” still relevant? A culture’s mythology is just as important as its legislative documents, right? I guess, but (again) this dream has no clear referent, and its ambiguity makes it ripe for all sorts of manipulation. And if we have no admiration for the very noteworthy accomplishment of founding a modern, representative democracy (assuming it instead to be, by definition, oppressive), I’m not certain what purpose celebrating the 4th serves.
That said, I think I’m on record as thinking the Revolutionary War was, indeed, worth fighting (and it shed far less blood, and had far better immediate consequences than the French Revolution, what with its Reign of Terror and all).
But there is another reason I’m somewhat irked about it, which at face will seem as a contradiction to my post on Monday. There, I expressed concern about the rise in fascistic attitudes, which can easily poison Nationalist sentiment. So why in my right mind would I want to celebrate Patriotism?
And therein lie the rub. The program on Tuesday night wasn’t the good kind of Patriotism — the kind that celebrates the best aspects of the thing worth preserving. In fact, it was eerily similar to the fascistic attitudes, only coming at it from another side of the political divide.
During the Trump presidency, I made friends with RINOs who were ardently anti-Trump. While I most likely disagree with them about a number of issues, we had a strong solidarity with respect to our appreciation of the Constitutional document that strives toward an ever more perfect (but never perfect) union. (Trump seemed to see the Constitution more or less as a pain-in-the-ass.)
It’s in this light that I make a somewhat bold proclamation: one way to push back against Fascism might be for more Liberals to consider being a little more enthusiastic about our Nation’s significant contribution to world politics, warts and all. Outside of Boston, we tend to be easily caricatured as those who secretly revile the nation and wish to see it destroyed.
Like any generalization, there is a kernel of truth to the portrayal. But every time we see someone on the far right overstep, it’s often the Constitution that we turn to in order to try to right the imbalance.
To be sure, the language in that document is troublingly inchoate (say in the 2nd Amendment), and there are many rules and regulations which can and perhaps should be revised.
And it is downright maddening when something like Originalism is used to interpret the law to try to force our square peg into the round hole of late-eighteenth-century cultural values. Their Ethos, however, I purport to be sound.
But without something to improve, there is nothing. We got to where we are from single-cell organisms by step-by-step adapting in response to our environment. Not everything from the past worked, but what did work worked damn well.
And Now for the Weekend
The more time I spend with dogs, the more impressed I am by their sentience.
In this video (which my sister shared with me), please observe a sheepadoodle performing somewhat incredible semantic feats using pedals that say words.
With Great Affection, I am