I really should tell some people (i.e. any people) that I have a blog. I don't feel that it's particularly likely anyone will look at this otherwise. Yessssss. (Said like Mr. Burns, with fingers steepled.)
I just had an idea that I wanted to put out there for any eventual readers... my friend Jef & I had long ago (3 years ago?) thought about making a magazine called "Il Manifesto" (before we knew there was some Italian magazine by that name; pesos'll get you dollars that it is in some way connected to PM Berlusconi (subparenthetical comment: no, they won't -- despite Berlusconi's Eliot Carver-like media monopoly (Carver, villain of Bond flick "Tomorrow Never Dies") in Italy, Il Manifesto is, somewhat unsurprisingly, an independent communist daily. Duh.)).
The (to us) funny irony would be that Il Manifesto would have no manifesto, in terms of explicit political agenda -- we'd publish anything that was well argued. (There is, of course, the question of what counts as well argued. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O'Reilly makes sense to some people. Christopher Hitchens, for god's sake, apparently still makes sense to somebody, because they still publish him at Slate. Same for Mickey Kaus. Personally, I think Fred Kaplan usually makes a hell of a lot of sense, which for others, simply proves that I'm biased. But I digress.) Further, I think, we'd have a running commentary, so we could attempt to actually *synthesize* some knowledge. A friend of a friend, who is an ex-journalist, wasn't immediately familiar with the idea of writing synthetically (random googled link to synthesis here), apparently because journalism is supposed to only report facts, and not synthesize, this apprarently being the reader's job. (Rant on this to come.) There's some sense in this, but as synthesis must start somewhere (i.e. despite the fact there are competing claims about, say, the Holocaust, or the earth's roundness, most media have already synthesized the claims into what seems to emerge as the facts of each case), why not explicitly do more of it? Not in all news, to be sure, and there's also the "arc" problem, like with TV shows -- how do you attract readers midway if they have to have read the previous ones to understand? Luckily, I am not the TV show Angel, and I'm not the WB, so I don't have to worry about ratings. If I'm lucky, someday I'll have the chance to sell my soul, only to choose to stay comparitively obscure and stay true to myself. Or something.
So the original (and originally short) idea I had was to do "Il Manifesto" here on Blogspot. So if anyone reads this, and has (what they think are) well-reasoned arguments on (practically) anything, I'd like to start it up. I had the idea while... er, on a "thinking throne", of a Group webBlog, or as I thought of it, a Grog. I then tried to think of a way to make it mesh with "Grok" (basically, to understand/absorb completely into your being; to symbolically (usually) eat an idea), like "The Grogk", or just "Grok" or "The Grok Grog."
They look pretty clumsy, writing them now.
If anyone's outthere sometime, feel free to contact me via comments on the Continuum (this Blog).
The language impact of the Confucius Institutes
16 hours ago