The word sounds vaguely Orwellian, reminiscent of a major shift in current events. But it is necessary, given that categorizing the content here is the only way that anyone, least of all myself, can make sense of it all.
As of today, I’ve written around 2,600 posts – 1,600 posts which remain uncategorized. For any other blogger, this may seem a ridiculous sum to collate into a taxonomy. But since I’m known to be somewhat zealous and anal about setting my ducks in a row, and since the categories offer a valuable method of tracking the development of my thoughts (such as they are) and associations, it has become essential for me to get them all set up once and for all during the first quarter of 2006. (I should note that this is part of a general self-imposed regimen to get my shit together. I still consider myself to be a very lazy man, but then the indolence standard I apply is comparable to 19th century labor.) It helps immensely that WordPress 2.0, with its DHTML “Add” box, has made it especially easy to categorize things. And 1,600 posts, at 20 posts to recategorize a day, is not as arduous a figure as one might expect.
My goal then is to provide a kind of uber-meta context for everything so that readers can participate more fully in the discussions and call me on my shit if I end up striking the same chord far too many times. A mini-Wikipedia with more ruthless standards, if you will. I’m hoping that some of the topics and obsessions here can flesh out into something more concrete, possibly becoming entirely new entities separate from this blog. And for the extremely bored reader determined to sift through the 2,600 or so posts (at an average of 500 words per post, that adds up to easily over a million words I’ve written here in the past two years, a tally that truly astonishes me), I’ve added little updates and annotations noting changes in information that seem pertinent or slightly entertaining.
All this probably means nothing to 99.99% of you. But I suppose what pushed me over the edge was some email correspondence with a few people about Peter Greenaway’s Tulse Luper project. Apparently, I’m the only Yank excited about it, much less aware of it, even if I can’t get my hands on any of the films in question. What I admire greatly about Greenaway’s project is the way that he has dared to throw information out there in an uncompromising way and that perhaps only he and a few people will understand it. Much like the novelist William T. Vollmann, Greenaway is one of the few prolific artistic visionaries out there producing a disparate body of work that grad students and artistic appreciators will spend years sifting through long after Greenaway’s death.
While I wouldn’t dare put myself or these efforts in the same pantheon as Vollmann or Greenaway, I am nevertheless hoping that this blog, which I apparently spend more time on than I realize, can serve a similar purpose. For the past two years, I have been working on various projects (limitless false starts and hundreds of pages of dialogue that have been painfully written and painfully thrown away), hoping that I can find a way of applying the brio that seems to come naturally here to that form. If experience serves as a guide, hard diligence and an open mind eventually leads me closer to the direction I need to be wandering in.
Recategorization then is partly a personal quest, to see exactly how frequently I am writing about certain topics and to drop kick the diffidence I apply to others and pursue them further. Only an information-obsessed geek will understand this impulse. But hopefully a few readers might find something of interest along the way.