Apropos of nothing

For the record: If AMV doesn’t post about some work or author or event or interWebs kerfluffle related to Mormon arts and culture, it’s probably for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. We’re totally snubbing you/it/him/her/them.
  2. All of us our way too busy to turn our precious attention to The Thing (whatever it may be at the moment).
  3. We’re working on something — may even have it written — but we’re waiting to post it so that we can have the final word.
  4. The rest of the Bloggernacle and entire interWebs have hashed the thing to death and even our amazing mastery of discourse(s) has no power to resuscitate.
  5. We’re not only snubbing, we’re making a pointed, utterly devestating statement with our silence. Of course, there is a slim possibility that we just aren’t aware of you/it/him/her/them/whatever/The Thing/The Big Deal/Crazy Stuff so you’ll just have to use your best judgment about what’s going on. Of course, whatever you decide is probably wrong. Just so you know.
  6. Each of us co-bloggers is waiting for the other co-blogger to post something. It’s like a game of chicken. Shawn lost the last round.
  7. We just totally, utterly, with every fiber of our being and beyond a shadow of a doubt couldn’t care less.

Please note that I’m speaking fully for myself here and not for any of my co-bloggers with whom I haven’t discussed this post nor anything else that this may or may not be apropos of. Somehow we never got the big AMV back channel going where we have heated discussions about all this stuff. Usually it’s just — “Hey, I’m going to be at the AML conference — anyone else going to be there?” or “Hey, I’m going to do some poetry month posts — anybody else in?” or “Hey, what’s the latest on the planning for the coup d’ état of William?” etc. etc.

Edited 3/16/09: Fixed a couple of grammar mistakes and changed “without” to “beyond.”

71 thoughts on “Apropos of nothing”

  1. I have no idea what we aren’t posting on. Maybe that’s why I don’t write about the really big stuff-I’m totally clued out 🙂

    Um, and there had better be no coup d’ etat of William. The rest of us aren’t as self-sacrificing as he is!

  2. As the local thread-killer around here, I’d just like to say:

    YAY KERFUFFLE! Hold on while I go get my popcorn.

  3. Th and Laura — There’s no you or we here. Beneath the snark, the reasons I mention are very real and it’s quite possible that someone at some point will post here at AMV about the “Apropos of nothing” or about any other thing. In fact, this post came out of not just the recent thing, but also some other things.

    MoJo: pssst — you’re in the wrong place (for now). Try the AML List. Or, you know, pretty much any place else.

    Laura: That’s very sweet of you to say, but in the interest of full-disclosure every single one of my self-sacrifices is totally in the interest of self-aggrandizement. So yes, I may joke about being a benevolent dictator, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is My Show. Which reminds me: Postum! Twilight! Stephenie Meyer is a Mormon! Orson Scott Card! Mormon kitsch! Shannon Hale! David Archuleta!

  4. MoJo: pssst — you’re in the wrong place (for now). Try the AML List. Or, you know, pretty much any place else.

    No, I went to one place at Laura’s direction. *yawn*

  5. [aside to Tyler: if you’re going to do dry, don’t break character immediately afterward — you got stick with it throughout]

    ;-P

  6. Notice that I have turned off auto-convert-to-images-smilies here at AMV. That’s because I think it’s dangerous to Internet discourse when the linkage to keyboard characters are removed. If it was up to me, this whole GUI fad be over and done with and we could get back to only ASCII.

  7. I think I’m missing a lot of the conversation here. But yeah, I’m glad we aren’t doing certain topics to death. And yeah, like I’m TOTALLY going to launch a coup against William. Not. (See! Sarcasm without an emoticon in sight…)

  8. .

    I’m glad. I don’t like smileys and I especially am irritated when something like (McConkie 208) gets sunglasses.

  9. Oh, we have plenty of idea. Not so much of the doing. Or maybe that’s just me.

  10. Mojo,

    Irony doth sound the knell, “Untrue!”

    Wm,

    Doing is overrated.

    Doing’s a beehive thing. One of the things I like about AMV is we are not a beehive.

    At the last AML conf. Terryl Givens remarked upon that most famous Utah symbol of industiousness, saying that the honeybee is emblematic of a shift in evolution, a “left behind” story. Darwin, he said, noted that the honeybee’s stinger is not adapted as a perfect matter. If it stings, it kills itself, unlike other stinging insects, such as wasps, who sting repeatedly and live to tell about it. The honeybee’s progess, as a matter of natural selection, was halted at this imperfect point.

  11. .

    Halted?

    Also: how can we say that’s an imperfection? Perhaps there are advantages to it.

    Application

    Both wasps and bees have violent means of protection. Wasps stand to lose little from vitriol. Bees stand to lose much. Which are we?

    Alternate application

    Wasps are solitary creatures who rely on their wits and their butts for survival. Bees have each other. And are possessed with the capacity to sacrifice all for the hive. Which would we do better to emulate.

    One more possible application

    Bees are imperfect monstrosities while wasps have those sexy model-waists. Wasps are killer 007s stinging and leaving in more ways than one. Bees are way too boring to make for a decent action movie metaphor. Which where how?

  12. Apropos of the nothing about which you’re not kerfuffling, might it be asked what, if any, commonalities things such as these — or rather non-things — share?

  13. Both wasps and bees have violent means of protection. Wasps stand to lose little from vitriol.

    Sounds good to me, especially if vitriol is more efficient than ethanol.

    Wasps are solitary creatures who rely on their wits and their butts for survival.

    Many wasps live in society in hives. Witness: the yellow jacket.

    You spend too much time indoors, Th.

    And are possessed with the capacity to sacrifice all for the hive.

    As are wasps. And it could be argued they can sacrifice with greater efficiency, landing several blows before they’re smacked down.

    But the point of my comment was to make this point: the honeybee’s progress… was halted at this imperfect point.

    C’mon, at least guffaw.

  14. And as a follow up — and specifically WRT the application of reason #7: would it be the case that if someone were to find a “non-item” that AMV COULD care less about than the item presently not being discussed, the effect of the discovery would be to bump up the previously undiscussed non-item into its being an item that would now be discussed? Or is it simply the case then that all non-things that AMV could not care less about are destined to mingle together, forever undiscussed, as a class?

  15. .

    Many wasps live in society in hives. Witness: the yellow jacket.

    Wait. We’re not allowed to oversimplify?

    C’mon, at least guffaw.

    It’s just not in my nature. I’m horribly serious.

    And I still take issue with the words “halted” and “imperfect”—I don’t see evolution as halted and I don’t see a difference between perfection and imperfection. I’m created in the image of God but my knees and back are still at an imperfect evolutionary midpoint. My body just wasn’t built to stand upright.

    (Which is why I spend so much time indoors. I don’t like people to see me apin’ around.)

  16. Wait. We’re not allowed to oversimplify?

    Well, since we’re not really discussing the Thing we’re not talking about, and since we’re not actually doing anything about the Thing or about any other Thing/Big Deal/Crazy Stuff, I suppose oversimplifying is not out of the question we’re not asking.

    It’s just not in my nature. I’m horribly serious.

    I guess that’s better than being hideously serious.

    And I still take issue with the words “halted” and “imperfect”–I don’t see evolution as halted and I don’t see a difference between perfection and imperfection.

    Careful. You’re getting dangerously close to talking about a Thing there.

    (Which is why I spend so much time indoors. I don’t like people to see me apin’ around.)

    Heh heh, I’ve been watching the 80s TV series Planet of the Apes. I think it might resonate with you. ;-}

  17. justmehere now:

    would it be the case that if someone were to find a “non-item” that AMV COULD care less about than the item presently not being discussed, the effect of the discovery would be to bump up the previously undiscussed non-item into its being an item that would now be discussed?

    I think that would definitely make it less likely to be not discussed.

    Or is it simply the case then that all non-things that AMV could not care less about are destined to mingle together, forever undiscussed, as a class?

    At the risk of being disrespectful of others’ sincere attempts to be respectful, and at extreme risk of appearing insecure about what we ought to feel most secure about, and in light of the fact the church is moving forward rapidly, I’d have to say …

    Maybe.

  18. .

    Careful. You’re getting dangerously close to talking about a Thing there.

    This is why I did not bring up hippopotami.

  19. Or are we still not talking about that?

    I need to go watch some National Geographic. Cheetahs chasing jackals; lions eating cheetahs. Now that’s wilderness interface…

  20. I was talking about ELEPHANTS!

    I was not not (hm, I’m losing track–do I need another not or not?) talking about that other flash of nothing in the pan.

    How else would you speak of such loving, faithful, and complicated beasts, capable of undertaking epic emotional and physical quests for the good of their society? The devotion and intelligencce of elephants makes for real drama.

    I can see where your mind is, Tyler. I suggest you sing a hymn. Memorize a scripture.

    Something.

  21. [aside to Tyler: if you’re going to do dry, don’t break character immediately afterward — you got stick with it throughout]—WILLIAM MORRIS

    This is why I did not bring up hippopotami.—TH.

    Of course not! (because, apparently, “It” is DRY…)

  22. #43: That’s the spirit, Tyler.

    You seem like a very agreeable fellow. We ought to not talk more often.

    #44 Shawn: See Mahonri’s comment, #34.

    You wouldn’t be tryin’ to make sense of non-sense, would you? Because that would be absurd.

    #45, Justmeherenow: We’re not just not talking “dry,” we’re talking global-warming-style drought-to-end-all-droughts.

    Oh wait. If a drought ends a drought, that means the drought is over, doesn’t it?

    Or not. Or …?

    Oh,oh. And here I thought I knew everything. I thought I understood my place in the universe, my role in the eternal scheme of things. I thought my aesthetic sense impeccable, unquestionable. I believed I had grasped at last the tail of the tiger of Truth.

    It’s all crumbling in the wake of this philosophical venture into the not spoken of.

    My testimony’s feeling testy.

  23. Where I come from, if you folks got paid for all this nothing, you would be a union.

  24. Now there’s an idea worth considering, Lora. As of right now I’m forming the United Mormon Writers of the Radical Middle. Who is with me?

    Now to force some concessions out of all those fat cats at Irreantum, Dialogue, Sunstone, Segullah, Parbles, Zarahemla Publishing, etc.

  25. Did not know that. But my mission president in the MTC claimed that if you fried radishes in butter, they tasted just like mushrooms!

  26. [and yes that’s meant to be a metaphor for us Mormon writers — we may be radishes, but if we’re fried in enough butter we can be just like the mushrooms!]

  27. United Mormon Writers of the Radical Middle

    YET AGAIN I have no place.

    we may be radishes, but if we’re fried in enough butter we can be just like the mushrooms!

    Green jello.

  28. Good job keeping the conversation on topic, Wm.

    Or on the not-topic.

    Iron fist in a velvet glove, you are.

    While we’re on the topic of basidiomycetes as being metaphoric (metasporic?) for the Mormon writing experience, I’d like to point out that, given how mushrooms reproduce, your metaphor is apt and ties in nicely with remarks you’ve made elsewhere about diaspora.

    You could put a mushroom giving off lightning bolts on the MWRMU flag.

    However, more than mushrooms belong to that rather large group of fungi. Have you considered the emblematic virtues of the puffball, that most fascinating of spore-producing lifeforms?

    (Corn smut belongs to the same family, but that would hardly do.)

  29. Well, I was also thinking truffles, which would make those of us who also dabble as literary critics…

  30. You know, before this truly dazzling not-conversation, I was despairing of the bloggernacle’s ever coming to anything.

    Now I can see it’s true potential to come to absolutely nothing.

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