1.26.2010

A Look Back

In three different incarnations as a blogger (at the destroyed & defunct A Voyage Thither, then Q-Majin, and now at Both Wearing Black Masks) I have published more than 700 posts. In almost five years! So I decided to review them recently and publish a list of my favorite ten posts of all-time. Most of my favorites, I've discovered, use very concrete examples (like video games or drawings) to make an abstract point. Here's the list:
  1. The Collapsing Bridge of Ontotheology
  2. It Shadows Forth
  3. Heresy as Sophomoric Attempt at Blasphemy
  4. A Sick Philosopher is Incurable
  5. Parmenides for Stoners
  6. Taking G-d out of the Dictionary
  7. Dwelling in It
  8. I Had Not Power to Tell
  9. Literature as Religion
  10. The Most Boring Post of All-Time
And because my first blog was inaccessible via link (I have it saved in .doc-form), I will republish here my favorite post from my first blog, A Voyage Thither. Enjoy:
Imagism
Friday, March 2, 2007


When I was a kid--in about 5th grade--I received an assignment to "do a report on Saturn." I asked my mom what that meant. She told me I would have to write down some notes on a notecard and "we'll get a big piece of posterboard for you to make a poster." Before getting the poster, Mom stopped at the library and checked out 2 books on Saturn. Those books had pictures in them (that's all I remember). Eventually, my poster had a royal blue background with a drawing I had drawn with markers. I remember that I struggled to draw what appeared to be Saturn's yellow rings--my yellow marker turned into green the moment it hit the royal blue background. By the time I turned it in, there was also a little 8-inch by 4-inch piece of paper with some words on it (thanks, Mom).

This first picture is a picture of Saturn that reminds me of the pictures I saw in the 2 Saturn books that I read when I was 10:

See the yellow rings? The background is black, but Mom bought royal blue--no big deal. Isn't Saturn pretty? It looks like one of those Gobstoppers after you've sucked off the top layer and a half. And then those rings. To this day, I cannot imagine anything more mystical than this image. I looked at those pictures of Saturn for days--perhaps 8 or 9 hours in total!--and then I never really looked at pictures of Saturn again. In those 8 or 9 hours I formed a very serious and, I think, permanent bond with Saturn. I identify with Saturn's glowing orange--it looks "lit-from-within," doesn't it? And those rings. If there was ever anything ideal made real, it was those rings. And do you see the shadow-on-the-rings over Saturn's left shoulder?

I don't have those books anymore, and don't have access to them. But I would bet my entire personal book-library that the ideal curving lines of the "rings" were somehow unbroken (unshadowed, unshaded). Saturn's rings were not broken when I was a child. This image is interesting--but it is not the Saturn I used to know (the one I identified with).

Then: a recent article released by NASA included photographs--new photographs--of "Saturn." Here's one of the new pictures:

This is the new picture of Saturn. One of a series of new images of Saturn taken from a different point of view. New pictures of "Saturn" taken from a different perspective.

Any questions? Anyone want to ask me what I think? I have some opinions about Saturn, you might remember.

The Saturn I know will always be two sunsets rolled onto their sides and then backed up against each other. The rings disappear into the distance, but are never fragmented like this. There is no evil black line across Saturn's face like there is in this photograph. Saturn is not a digitized arch-modernist with plans to conquer.

I reject this image of Saturn. We will need to discuss our terms. My favorite color is royal blue.

Tomorrow's topic: Universal Sympathy.

1 comment:

Monica said...

I vote for "It Shadows Forth," but I'm sure that's no surprise.