Why “e-commentary”, “e-ssay”, and “e-poem”?
© 2005-2017 e-commentary.org, e-ssay.org, and e-poem.org.
Venturing answers to questions that have not even been asked.
e-commentary, e-ssays, e-poems and e-short stories about life in the land of the Freeway and the home of the Wave crafted weekly by a “journalist citizen” seeking to elucidate as much Truth on as many issues in as few words as possible and to leave a “commentary of record” for later review.
Why? Because neither a citizen nor a journalist should abide dishonesty, hypocrisy, incompetence, arrogance or fraud; especially hypocrisy; particularly hypocrisy. And arrogance. Because personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility, and legal responsibility (the rule of law) still seem more virtuous. Because a citizen and a journalist should do something. Because in a few extraordinary and rare situations, a citizen can contribute to the daily discourse as a “journalist citizen” as well as one who is formally ordained a journalist.
According to the daily statistics, you likely are the only viewer of this site today. Welcome. There is something here, albeit in an unfamiliar format.
Carrying a sandwich sign on the sidewalk or towing a banner behind an airplane to warn of troubling developments is unpromising. Writing letters to editors once a week is inadequate. Doing something is imperative. Resorting to the Internet is promising.
The Internet, the world’s public square and community billboard, allows a citizen to be an electronic pamphleteer and journalist. This e-ndeavor is one individual’s effort to make a statement and a difference. This pursuit is not underwritten with any outside public or private support of any kind not even a gratis glass of tepid tap water. An editor admittedly would not diminish the final product.
Readers have little appetite or patience for a traditional two or three thousand word essay. Any discussion over a few hundred words is self-defeating. Limited to 200 – 400 words, with some exceptions, the “e-ssay” is written for today’s busy readers who subconsciously do not start reading a piece unless they believe they have time to finish it. [See the “e-ssay” titled “So Many Words, So Few Ideas (Sept. 21, 2009).”] Edit, edit, edit. If it extends beyond the screen, it likely will not be read. Edit.
Traditional rules of grammar and syntax are not disregarded, yet they are not always observed scrupulously. The writing style endeavors at the same time consciously to enlist the casual viewer and to engage the more informed and involved participant. Creating accessible and pithy prose to convey a story understood by and accessible to all is the overriding goal of this undertaking.
“Essay” derives from the French infinitive “essayer” which means “to try” or “to attempt.” The “e-ssay” emerged as an effort to try and to attempt to write something. The “e-poem” evolved from an attempt to weave in a poem without announcing and warning the reader that there is a poem lurking up ahead.
Michel de Montaigne, the French fellow who helped define and develop the early essay, explored individual traits and personal characteristics in his celebrated collection of Essais. He also shared personal ruminations and anecdotes about Society. Most individuals are more interested in their personal lives than they are in Sino-American relations, the U-6 Unemployment Rate, or the Dormant Commerce Clause. Recent “e-ssays” are looking inward. And outward.
The “On [Traits/Characteristics]” series has covered to date traits and characteristics such as “Respect, Fear, Admiration and Irreverence”, “Courage and Truth”, “Generosity and Magnanimity”, “Regret”, “Advice” and “Ambition.”
The “Less Government Regulation Series” has addressed to date issues such as “Love and Marriage”, “Drugs”, “English Language”, “Building Codes and Competition”, “Motorcycle Helmets”, “Cell Phones And Driving”, “The Terrorist Tax Again”, “Homebuyer Tax Credit” and “Google.”
Public discourse may have degenerated into sound bites and bumper sticker slogans. Recent “e-ssays” conclude with a playful, cryptic, felicitous, mischievous and/or antithetical or just plain goofy statement in the “Bumper sticker of the week” section. Entertain and you may enlighten.
The “e-ssays” are written and have been posted weekly since January 2005 with a walkabout in late 2005 and a hiatus in the summer of 2008 when everything seemed extraordinarily unpromising.
Regular field research includes observing and interacting with others at auto and truck shows, Presidential Inaugurations, anti-war and public policy demonstrations, Supreme Court oral arguments, sporting extravaganzas, Transition Town meetings, April 19 gun and Oath Keepers rallies, Bioneers sessions, motorcycle soirees (Daytona and elsewhere), Permaculture Guild programs, gun shows, energy auditor conferences, Tea Party teas, garden club events, design/architecture presentations, poetry slams, check-in lines, municipal hearings, check-out lines, lectures of all kinds, and any gathering of one or more human beings. Listening carefully to the ideas and concerns of other individuals provides a more personal and grounded perspective and informs the dialogue and “e-commentary.”
These “e-ssays” may be prescient. Some saw It coming and sounded the whistle and are still sounding the whistle. [See the “e-ssays” titled America the Bankrupt: Economics 210 in the Land of the Freeway and the Home of the Wave (January 17, 2005) discussing the looming “Hyperdive” decline in the economy; Greenspan’s Legacy – Apres moi, Le Meltdown (January 30, 2006) when Bernanke* came on board as the house of cards was collapsing; When the Bubbles Burst (December 4, 2006) discussing the macroeconomic and microeconomic consequences of the housing market collapse; and The Dow Jones (the Murdoch ?) Hits 14 K In A Hollow Economy (July 23, 2007) discussing the coming decline in the stock market that arrived three months later.] Other “e-ssays” on money are on the money. The ones on banking can be taken to the bank, although a suggestion to transfer assets from a bank to a credit union is ventured. [See the “e-ssay” titled Boycott Big Banks (February 1, 2010).] The four “e-ssays” discussing “Pensions” are worth a thought.
The “e-ssays” are at times wry, frank, edgy, outraged, absurd, strident, caustic, ironic, outrageous, passionate, pessimistic and/or more often than not optimistic. Perhaps one “e-ssay” will make a difference.
This e-ndeavor will be maintained as a written record for as long as possible; the three primary web addresses are reserved for as long as possible. Some of the early “e-ssays” were mangled when they were saved and uploaded on this platform. Please note any misspeling at email@example.com. Any concerns about copyright matters should be noted at the same address.
Bumper stickers of the week:
“It doesn’t require many words to speak the truth.” Chief Joseph
“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” Percy Bysshe Shelley “Essayists are the unacknowledged legislative policy wonks of the world.”