I’m starting a blog about books, caffeinated beverages, black and white movies and photography, and other things with a mirror on a service that nobody can join any more, as well as that bodes for the future. This makes more sense than one might think.
At least, I hope it will.
Caffeination, the main focus of my activity as I used this profile, is not going to be a book review blog in the conventional sense, and if it were, it would be maybe the most pretentious effort to reach the Internet. While I might talk about recently published works, sometimes, usually I won’t. I’m going to spend more than a little time reading old classics I’ve meant to get to, or have been away from for too long, along with lesser known work from the same eras. Do you really need me to tell you that Poe wrote some excellent horror or that MacBeth was worth watching?
I wouldn’t imagine that you would, but I will have fun talking about the work. The difficulty of customizing Tabulas blogs provided me with a fortuitous accident, I think. The grayscale minimalism that I initially viewed with displeasure suggested a deliberately anachronistic, “retro” look at I now consider with pleasure, as I begin. It helps set the right mood for a blog in which most of the fiction and poetry I’m reading as I write it was published before the end of World War Two.
Think of the act of reading my blog as being the equivalent of taking a virtual trip to the coffeehouse with me. I bring some reading material with, probably relatively light reading, because I want (and need) dead, churchlike quiet for my research and studies. “Relatively light? Like Wittgenstein and Proust, Joseph?”, somebody asks, staring at the stack of books I’ve gathered for the trip. “Anybody tell you that you have a strange idea of how to relax?” “But I’m only reading them in translation”, I plead, seeing that I am not making my case.
I am not cool. But then, I don’t really want to be.
I hike to the coffeehouse, perhaps taking a few black and white shots along the way, enter, order my drink, go upstairs and park myself in a nice, soft seat, spending the next few hours reading, at times putting away my books for a little crowd watching and journaling, in between sips. The coffeehouse, as much as it may resemble the Bourgeois Pig in Chicago, when it doesn’t morph back into Kopi, exists only as a metaphor, and so has no trouble stocking itself with an assortment of gluten-free, vegetarian dishes based on a variety of cuisines, some of which aren’t as fashionable in the Midwestern United States of today as I wish they might be, for some reason or another. You’ll see recipes.
In part, then, I’m blogging about an idealization of the experience I have when I go the coffeehouse, into which I’ll let reality intrude.
Navigational Links. My site is not all on one server. It spills over onto a few of them. My main blog, the side blogs, my social media pages (including this one) – they’re all parts of an integrated whole, not things that exist independently of each other.
I mirror my own content, with copies of my main blog found on Tumblr and Tabulas, in part because hosting services can be unreliable. Is Tumblr down? Then you can maybe read the same post on Tabulas. Or vice versa.
But, sad to say, my main concern as I set up mirrors is not the reliability of hardware, but the integrity of my fellow man. I have a G rated vacation travel site that got chased from server to server, just because some anonymous person thought it was funny to keep sending in meritless complaints and employees at the hosting companies would just keep rubber stamping the complaints. Fair or unfair, they clearly didn’t care – whatever worked out to be the least work for them, that’s what they did.
Best of all, when I would complain about the unreasonability of this, employees at my former hosting services would habitually lie to me about the contents of my own site. The prevailing level of professionalism in this industry is very low and I can’t fix that. I can, however, make an effort to make a company look as bad as it has been if it deletes one of my blogs without cause and then lies about what was on it. Third parties, on seeing the surviving mirror to the blog (or other website) can see for themselves who was telling the truth and who was not.
Dishonest company employees, on seeing that link, are given something to think about, as are dishonest people who’d complain about perfectly innocent material. By creating a deterrent for the dishonorable company employees out there, I help reduce the likelihood of the conscientious empoyees being pestered with absurd complaints, because those who would send in such complaints are left with the thought that they are less likely to succeed and so they are less likely to bother to try in the first place.
Sad that I have to think in those terms when setting up a site about old books and coffeehouses, because what could possibly be offensive about any of that, but then, what’s so offensive about a trip I took to New Mexico with my dad? Some people are just like that, so one does what one has to do.
Tumblr Comment and Media Journal – This is where I’ll be embedding my videos. Given the flakiness of that party of the industry, you’d probably do better to link to a post in which one of my videos is embedded than to the video, itself. If the video gets removed from its original location because a troll launches a false flagging campaign just for the lulz, you’ll still have a link to a page where the video should appear again, if the problem has not been arising over and over.
Also, this is where I’ll be commenting on posts I’ve seen on Tumblr and discussions I’ve been in on that site. I have analogous comment journals for Blogger (where I also talk about content and discussions on Livejournal), WordPress.com and Typepad, the Typepad blog also being used as a photoblog.
Profiles on Other Media Sites
This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.