don’t want to write about politics. It’s not a topic I enjoy, but it is a topic I can’t get away from. Right now, what with the Dopey Don and his gang of goons hacking the nation apart and selling off chunks at bargain-basement prices it feels irrelevant to write about the historical puzzles and acts of contemporary lunacy that actually interest me—rather like writing a nice letter home about the interesting people I’ve met on the Lusitania while ignoring those pesky U-Boats.
But I am getting old. The friends of my youth have died in the fullness of their years without anybody remarking how they were taken from us too soon, and I do have things I want to get done before I shuffle off to oblivion. So, in this spirit, I am going to start writing again about things that actually interest me, and write about the ongoing international disaster only when the spirit actually moves me.
Since nobody reads what I write anyway, as a rule, take these meanderings as notes to myself. I hope (intend is too strong a word) to get started on some planned multi-part pieces on canon (looking at Conan, Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, the Beatles, and the New Testament for grist); on fake history (I have material on some of the works Goodspeed called “Modern Apocrypha” I haven’t seen gathered together at any rate, as well as stuff related to Empedocles, Jesus, Paul of Tarsus, Edward de Vere, and others); on The Gospel According to Mark (I’m really hoping to get my online informal commentary launched before hell freezes over); on the history of English-language parody (I’ve got half-jelled pieces on Swift’s “Meditation on a Broom-stick,” J.K.S.’s “The Last Ride Together,” and Kingsmill’s retelling of Othello as a Jeeves and Wooster story); and I have some Vinyl Memories about records like Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center (1964), That's The Way It's Gonna Be (1965), Moldy Goldies (1966), “Horror Asparagus Stories” (1967), Touch (1969), The Naked Carmen (1970), Atom Heart Mother (1970), Short Circuits (1970), Good-Bye Pop (1976), Boulez Conducts Zappa (1984), and others.
Will I do any of these things? I don’t want to tempt the gods by making rash promises, but I’d like to get at least some of this material out in a form where that rare person who actually is interested in the topics I like to ramble through can access it, so I’m going to make an effort. At least, I’m going to think about trying to make some kind of effort in that direction.
Just take it as understood that I am concerned, nay appalled, at America’s current obsession with destroying itself and its future, with the rise of criminal thugs to power (think Erdoğan, Duterte, and Kim Jong-un as well as Vlad the Appalling and his little friend the Dopey Don), and with the wanton destruction of this fragile liferaft we call home. But I can’t do jack about these particular long-gone goblins looming ahead, and I can give anybody who is interested the benefits of my insights (valuable or not) about subjects that interest me. So—at least for this moment—that’s what I intend to do.
And good luck, everybody. Hope to see you all on the other side of the Catastrophe.