Tuesday, December 31, 2019

nomenclature & its miscontents

Hmm. I haven't thought about it until now, but Beyond Easy is fast approaching its tenth year.

I don't want to dwell on this—but this time of year, we're all of us prone to retrospection, evaluating where we've been and what we've done since the last time we had to toss out another obsolesced calendar. Now that we're on the verge of 2020, it's hard not to extend the survey range from now back to when the sight of the "1" in the third column of the CE year was a disconcerting novelty. Updating this blog—sometimes regularly, sometimes sporadically—has been one of the few constants in what's been a decidedly tumultuous decade for me.

Almost twenty years ago(!!) I made a webcomic that a lot of people were reading, if only for a few minutes. If the counter was to be trusted, 8 Easy Bits was getting something like 700–900 daily views for a while. Nothing internet-breaking, but I wasn't pixelling in total oblivion. Now I don't do comics anymore. It's out of my system.

Then maybe fifteen years ago(!) I started writing exhaustive essays about video games. I'm still shocked by the reach those had, and how many emails I still get about them. I've given those up, too—for the most part.

Now I'm mostly writing fiction (I've got a new short story appearing in a forthcoming issue of The Southwest Review) and putting down a few thoughts here once a month or so. Let's not talk about what the page views look like on a given day.

This is to say I have no illusions of prestige. If I was ever Relevant, I hit my expiration date. Ten years ago, this would have bothered me. But at this point I'm just happy to be making the stuff I want to make and following my interests wheresoever they take me with what time is available to me.

In other words, this blog isn't going anywhere anytime soon. I don't care if blogging is passé, or if the only regular reader I have at this point is my mother, checking up on what I'm doing because I don't call often enough. (Incidentally: hi mom.) Organizing and setting down my thoughts is a valuable exercise, and the public (however unnoticed) nature of the format enforces a rigor that I'd probably fail to observe if I were just jotting down fragmentary thoughts in a journal.

Now that we've established that Relevance is not my motive concern, I'd like to rattle off some thoughts on a topic that's become most fascinating to me over the last few months: the strain of medieval philosophy called nominalism.

Still with me?

Oh well.