“‘Over The Edge‘ would never have achieved its present level of adeptness if it had not had years to develop. This aspect has allowed not only the perfection of techniques, but also evolving practices such as subtle but fruitful themes which would never occur as anyone’s first choice, returning casts of characters, regular ‘features’, a whole fictional network called The Universal Media Netweb, and countless interrelated ‘plots’ and fantasys which have developed over time. And just when all that becomes too familiar, we can pull a complete hoax and pretend to replace O.T.E. with some other show entirely. All this depends on the ability to play with regularity. (A key to understanding the effects of all transmission media.) Being somewhat interactive in unfamiliar ways, O.T.E. in particular, requires a regularly scheduled slot which listeners can become acquainted with and, over time, explore their own ways to develop a creative relationship with it. Such potentials are not always fulfilled, but they are important potentials to hold out, and there is always next week… I repeat: GET YOUR OWN SHOW.”
This is my show. It’s a blog as hupomnemata. Michael Foucault defined hupomnemata as a personal notebook similar to a spiritual journal but with a different goal. He did not want “to pursue the unspeakable, nor to reveal the hidden, nor to say the unsaid [like a spiritual journal does], but on the contrary to capture the already said, to collect what one has managed to hear or read, and for a purpose that is nothing less than the shaping of the self.”
The Japanese have a literary tradition in a similar mode, zuihitsu. The method to zuihitsu can be described in this way:
“[S]he writes personally and casually, for the joy of it, about anything that comes to mind, providing that what she thinks might impress readers…excluding anything completely fictional.”-Stephen Carter, ed. Introduction to The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays: Zuihitsu from the Tenth to the Twenty-First Century. Washington, D.C: Columbia University Press, 2014.
My method is to post something at least once a day. I post quotes from articles, images, video and so forth that I think are interesting, even if they might not “impress” anyone else. Posts are stacked in next available slot, as I find them. Any commentary I wish to add is just added to a post if it short enough. Longer comments get added to the stack, like any other post. Most of my longer comments will be quick, off the cuff and written in a day or less, in the zuihitsu style. Sundays are for music I’ve listened to recently.
Initially, I tried a different focus every year. Now, I simply focus on one daily post. Below is a chronicle of how I got to that point:
- In 2017: Established blog then moved it to an open source platform without advertising and started publishing something every day mid-year.
- In 2018: I made it a goal to post every day for the full year.
- In 2019: I posted twice a day, then added a noon post from my archive of photos mid-year.
- From 2020 on: Returned to posting once a day, with a focus more on quality.
My intent with this blog is to just go with the flow and see if any patterns or creative directions emerge. The tagline comes from a post from Austin Kleon, a reminder that regularity is key. Evolution requires iteration.
I didn’t imagine an audience for this blog beyond myself and perhaps a few friends. But, over the years, there seems to be some content that people like. If you have somehow stumbled upon cafebedouin.org, then welcome. Feel free to stir the swill bucket.