Unnamed Journal has finished four volumes and is about to start its fifth. It’s gotten into a nice steady rhythm now. I enjoy the process of creating it. Short fiction and essays are always a challenge worth grappling with.
But it wouldn’t be UJ if we weren’t thinking about how we could improve it. A couple of things have been under serious, two-beers-in discussion:
Opening Up Submissions. We’ve been producing everything in-house so far, except for one or two outside-written pieces. We’re open to having a place for other people’s wierd fiction, driven snark, and long-form jokes.
Charging for Subscriptions. There’s a point at which giving it away for free loses its luster. Producing a literary magazine and a podcast does take some work. So we’re looking at Patreon as a possible solution, as well as others.
I suspect that if we do one of these, we’ll probably do both, as they both kind of fulfill the need to grow UJ to the next level. But everything’s on the table at this point, including staying the current course of a quarterly free lit mag.
The idea of generations, especially as Demographers use them, is overrated. I’ve said so before, I’ll likely go on saying it.
Being born at the same time as others gives you a set of shared cultural memories and not much else. Now, those shared cultural memories can be powerful, especially given the rate of pop culture decay, but they aren’t as determinative as people like to believe.
I have some more to say on this topic, over on Contena.com, which is a writer’s resource that’s added a blogging feature. I like to try out blogging features, so I penned Dead X.
The idea of “Generation X” was coined by the Canadian writer Douglas Coupland, and he was referring to people born around his time, the late fifties to early sixties, who came of age in the seventies. Too young to really be involved in the great Sixties upheaval, they lived in the immediate consequences of it. We would call these folk today “Late Boomers”.
Now, this is a provocative idea, if we were to apply the 15-year cycle that Democraphers are fond of using today. What if, instead of this:
Baby Boom: 1946-1964
Generation X: 1965-1980
Generation Z: 1996-2010
Generation Alpha: 2011-2025
We borrowed from Coupland’s original notion, and went with this:
Baby Boom: 1946-1960
Generation X: 1961-1975
Generation Y/Xennials: 1976-1990
Generation Z/Millenials: 1991-2005
Generation Alpha: 2006-2020
This setup has the virtue of a) recognizing that postwar birthrates started to decline in the early 60’s, when birth control became a reality, b) using the original conception of Generation X, c) moving the group called “Millenials” to those born around the actual Millenium, and d) giving the “Xennial” identity an actual demography.
Of course, it would shift myself from Generation X to Generation Y, but it would put me in the same Generation as my wife, so… I can live with it.
The Havamal is a collection of sayings attributed to Odin, Lord of Battles, Most Wise and Most High. Much of it is advice on wisdom. Some of what is said here is specific to the time and place of Medieval Scandinavia and needs to be considered with that in mind. But much of it if […]
(https://pixabay.com) “One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.” C. S. Lewis (https://en.wikipedia.org) “Fantasy fiction is essentially about the concept of power; great fantasy fiction is about people who find it at great cost or lose it tragically; mediocre fantasy fiction is about people who have it and never lose […]
Chris Hughes, who co-founded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg and others 15 years ago when they were students at Harvard, believes the federal government should dismantle the extraordinarily powerful social-media giant. In a 5,700-word New York Times op-ed piece published Thursday, Hughes argued that Zuckerberg holds “unchecked power” that is “unprecedented and un-American.” “Mark is a…
I’m fine with this. The libertarian in me dislikes the notion of the government smashing companies with a hammer, seemingly as punishment for their success, but the more primitive mind says “Facebook isn’t my friend”. Principles of liberty are not a suicide pact.
… it’s not actually about Alexander the Great, but some nonsense tertially related to Alexander the Great.
Normally I like Crash Course, because it doesn’t take itself too seriously and usually provides some kind of interesting take on historical events. But this one is trying so hard to be Woke that it ends up saying absolutely nothing at all about its ostensible subject, and the things it does say are, well, wrong.
The only reason Alexander didn’t build institutions is because he died before he could build them. At the time of his death he was back in Babylon and preparing himself to build the Hellenistic Empire that would have fit the Hellenistic Culture that arose in his wake. His death without an adult male heir is also the reason that Empire collapsed, despite the efforts of at least some of the Diodachoi to hold it together. For further reading, check out Ghost On the Throne
Alexander wasn’t a very destructive conqueror. Most of the deaths of his wars were military ones, i.e., his soldiers and the ones he was fighting. He wasn’t a sacker of cities, and indeed was careful to respect the lives and property of the people he subjugated. He was so as a matter of policy, pertaining to point 1: He wanted the Greek and the Persian, the Greek and the Egyptian, the Greek and the Syrian, etc., to come together in a single realm. He acted accordingly.
Alexander pursued Darius because Darius was the crowned King of Persia, and Alexander’s reign would never be secure until he was dead. And after Darius died, Bessus claimed the throne. Comparing this to Ahab’s monomaniacal obsession is deeply silly. Do you not understand how monarchies work?
Other conquerors didn’t just decide to emulate Alexander randomly. Why, for example, did Julius make Alexander his hero, and not, say Hannibal? Or Scipio Africanus? Or Phyrrus of Epirus? They were all great generals, too. Why Alexander particularly?
The answer lies in what Alexander was fighting for. His aura was never merely about war and conquest, but war and conquest in the name of a unified world. War to end wars, if you will. That appealed to Caesar, and Napoleon, and others, precisely because it was what they wanted to accomplish, too. Both Caesar and Napoleon grew up in times of political disorder and wanted to bequeath an ordered world to posterity. So did Alexander. Their admiration is neither accident nor dumb-jock hero-worship, as your endless references to dimwit reality stars seems to imply.
And as regards that, we get it, you’re Too Smart for The Jersey Shore. But you’re not smart enough to ignore it, so it infects this video about a legendary historical figure for some reason, and in an ironic twist, to your beginning moaning, ensures that people will know about Jersey Shore as long as this video exists on YouTube. Nice job.
A final point, germain to my title: If you want to teach us about Alexander the Great, teach us about Alexander the Great. If you want to teach us about people who haven’t been talked about nearly as much as Alexander, but who deserve to be, then teach us about that. But don’t talk about one in a video about the other, because you end up teaching about neither.
And yes, I know that blogging about a video published in 2012 might as well be commenting about 50’s Fashion Tips, but there’s plenty of internet people doing exactly that, so welcome to the Post-Modern Age. Everything is Too Old to talk about, and nothing is.
He’s in rare form, beyond calling out the puritanical screeching that has become so obligatory on the Left, he makes this salient point:
I often see people describe rags like the New Yorker as “intellectual”, and then they lament how America is “anti-intellectual.” No. America isn’t anti-intellectual. The problem fucking halfwits assigning themselves a title they don’t deserve. There was nothing intellectual about this. There was no deep thinking. This was some dude having a public hate boner against a chicken restaurant in proxy for his unresolved issues.
The New Yorker is about as intellectual as the Chess Club table in the school cafeteria. It’s all a bunch off dully, snarky whining, a vain attempt to out-do each other shoehorning as many SAT-vocab words into your conversation as you can before the bell rings to send you to gym.