Sunny Days ahead for SOLO

wsscherk's picture
Submitted by wsscherk on Wed, 2006-04-26 03:29

I find the SOLO site to be very impressive, with so many tools for communication. Props to the team.

I am coming to the faith that a truly free site (which SOLO now mostly is due to the light touch that is Linz's genius) may be like a map of the world.

Looking out through the SOLO window on my monitor, I do believe that the varied strands of Rand-influenced thinkers and actors and scholars can build whatever communications they wish, here, through the window.

A rather clownish person like me can retire to a blog -- a small, blue-ish pink, flickering window -- post occasional image-laden observations, experiment with different tones and tonics, accept essay commissions from my best critics, spend more time listening to music and working in the real world.

Another person can inhabit the chatbox, or pepper popular threads with machine-gun one-liners. Yet another person can diligently apply her labour to expanding analysis in one of the less-read threads . . . and so on.

It is a bit like a map, an index, a window on the world, this box on my table, this SOLO box: yes, there are great continents, one dark, one light . . . but there are also smaller homelands, high mountain passes, navigable seas of long sweeping sands and intricate fjords and more; island redoubts, outposts and entrepots; vast archipelagos of opinion spattered like light across the surface of the globe . . .

Huge satellite composite night world image

Thank you all my backstage acquaintances, those who have said, "don't fuck up, Scherk," or "don't fuck up again, Scherk," or "you know what'll happen if you fuck it up again, Scherk?" -- and thank you to my glee club of Guignolards. See y'all at the Jennathon!


( categories: )

Come on, William

James Heaps-Nelson's picture

You have to admit there's a certain sunniness about the site right now Smiling.


"The Punch and Judy allure."

William Scott Scherk's picture

I wrote this back in late April of 2006. The imagery and sentiment may be too lush.

There is no more Jenna Wong (she got slagged by Diana) nor much of Dan Edge, nor Jody Gomez nor Phil nor much of Marnee or Jen these days.

SOLO here was a bit larger back then, and not quite so full of ruffled feathers and if Fred Weiss was active in one thread that didn't mean Chris Cathcart wasn't active in another.

Funny to be dismissed by the site owner as a schism junkie. If he believes this to be true, then he must not be reading much of his own site and its contents.

Wishing there was more chatting going on. I find that communication takes on a different form in a chatbox.


Confesso Vobis

Ted Keer's picture

William and I exchanged a very few emails after certain people here accused me of being him. I didn't get why I was being called a "sherk-jerk." I thought a sherk was some sort of biting insect or other Kiwi slang. I appreciated being filled in on the joke, and no party involved was unaware of the behind the scenes communication.

Regarding the map, no mystery with the density. First, the U.S. was settled East to west. Mere laziness. Second, the west is dusty, dry and mountainous. Humans like the well-watered, green, tree-dotted meadows you find in the east, not the scrubland you find in the west. California, with its mediterranean clime, mineral wealth, fertile San Joaquin Valley, and access to the coast was settled thinly by Mexicans and often quite densely by Indians well before the American Revolution. If it had more river deltas and natural harbours it would be even more thickly populated. Many corn and wheat filled Mid-western "outback" states are actually losing population as farming becomes ever more mechanized. Life near the ocean offers moderated weather and easier travel, and is just so much less boring.

Ever notice that most school shootings happen in this part of the country? It is environmental despair, not mere christianity. If you can't visualize what I'm talking about, imagine Dorothy's Kansas and Romeo Dynamite. The provocative picture below is of the American dustbowl. The cloud is dried up topsoil, and may have been a hoizontal tornado.

Behind the Scenes E-mails :-)

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

Lest Linz think there was anything behind the scenes, I have never e-mailed with WSS, although he seems an amiable enough fellow. I saw his Sunny Days ahead for SOLO post in the Popular content list and decided to comment.

Until WSS used it, the last time I'd heard about the Grand Guignol was in French class in high school. It's some kind of French puppet play.

Encore Mr. Scherk, the last time I encountered your quirky sense for oddities was reading the three books of the Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies. Anyhow, carry on!


Light, heat, threads

William Scott Scherk's picture

Hey Phil, James, Lindsay, thanks for resurrecting this thread (and me).


Satellite Picture

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

Looking at the satellite picture, it's amazing how much more densely populated the East is compared with the West, with the exception of the West Coast.


Master Civility, to You

PhilipC's picture

Not Doctor Civil, I only have a Master's me Master Civility

What all this crap is, Miss Grundy

William Scott Scherk's picture

Have mercy, Phil. I posted this long, long ago. There was a time before my removal when all voices were in jostling cacophony here. And I liked it. The gushy prose is the key indicator of a dreamy mode. You can take it from there: it's a sloppy image-laden Hope Card, ferkeeristsakes. At the time, I was like a naive schoolgirl . . . in love with my freedom and my smart mouth, with profound 'secret crushes' all over the place. Ed Thompson, Jody Gomez were two, Jenna Wong another, Jen Iannolo too. I almost had a crush on you, but you hectored too much for my delicate sensibilities.

Teacher and sage, here is the link to "By the better angels of our nature," the provocation that made Lindsay uncap the red button and push firmly. See, Dr Civil, because of my respect for you, I do your research!

Now, go get laid or something, Teach. You may resume hectoring us all later on.

: )


Um ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

The behind-the-scenes e-mailers are all a-flurry, still, I see. Smiling

Mr. Sherk was booted for being a jerk. A pomo-wanker extraordinaire. But he can come back if he wants. I am appreciating the value of unfettered debate more than ever in the light of the Hsiekovians' anal-retentiveness. Only I hope he doesn't waste so much space with ostentatious visuals.


And what is all this crap

PhilipC's picture

And what is all this crap about Linz moderating with a "light touch"? Allowing other people to be insulting as well as him?

What exactly did WSS do to get banned? Anyone remember exactly?

I like the imagery too...

J. Heaps-Nelson's picture

And could it only be 8 months ago that we had the Grand Guignol on stage Shocked. Mon Dieu! Allons enfants de la Patrie!


I like the imagery here.

John M Newnham's picture

I like the imagery here. Well said WSS. I see you've got plenty reads. Could be, that people are reading a second or third time. That kind of repeat business says much about the writing, and the sentiment.


I think I am glad you have no idea but thank me anyhow

wsscherk's picture

You are welcome to ponder on it, Linz. I don't pretend to a neutrality in the irk and rant and melodrama of the Rand-influenced world, but I don't really have a dog in the ring. I could be trying to say that even the most awful of your erstwhile opponents should chill a little bit and engage. I salute Robert Campbell for his posts, I salute you for never even thinking about pushing the red button on him, no matter what supposed provocation. I salute Diana for getting in there and getting whacked about, I salute all the folks who engage.

If your aim is to air everything and pull the plug on no one, then this Linz window on the world will prosper and grow. Yeah I skim over 'pus-balls' and nameless 'them' blusters and battle cries of vengeance and betrayal (I generally chuckle), knowing I am not missing the more congenial brick by brick argument that names names and hauls up statements for dissection, the kind of argument that I pay attention to. I don't take these lurches by you and others any more seriously than I would a cartoon beating or a Christmas Pantomime with a Grande Dame larding and screaming about the stage. It's entertainment. When it really gets going, it becomes classic post-modern Grand Guignol.

That you didn't pull the plug on my Universe of Evil rant told me that you did not read it or that you were taking your hands away from the controls in a rather deft instantiation of tolerance. But then, you don't tend to use the hammer of real punishment (banning) as much as you use the rather operatic rubber hammer of your own rants -- viz. nameless pus-bags and yadda yadda and etcetera. That is too bellicose to be very really real, in my present view.

So, I am now no longer troubled by the harshness and mania I find in the odd corner of the Rand-influenced world (muchas gracias to Bill Dwyer and other kind-hearted and generous Rand-folk in RoR for helping me get over that difficult hump). That kind of stuff neither represents some final Objectivist Ur, nor some Bizarro Evul Superman world. Thus I figure the 'accused' and erstwhile Objectivist Living mentors and participants will be wrong to sit this one out entirely. Giv'er time. Sure SOLO can be a snake pit, where accusations of vile behaviour are commonplace, but that's just part of the Punch and Judy allure -- that's the way the story gets told sometimes . . . that's how you get away with it and attract a wider audience.

I have posted only ten or so rants, but have been read over a thousand times. That surely can't be the quality of my own thought or my writing, hmmmm? Why has "Sunny Days ahead for SOLO" had 151 reads but only one comment?

So, yes, because the philosophy of Rand can be reduced to such powerful elementals, absurd, inane, and pathological interpretations abound -- and when people at SOLO decide to stage an Invectathon, my tongue goes in my cheek and I imagine a lustrous but monocular Empress atop the ramparts in a blaze of war. I do not quite grasp objectivism in action, and find its schisms both understandable and creepy -- but I would't blame Objectivism for the rather awful posts you drop now and again, and I don't blame you for other people's failings or being nutbars and I don't see the schisms as being all that rigid and inflexible.

If you expand your remit and get the whole world in, Linz, you will have great success, and go down in O-land history as a convenor. You are still young enough to make it happen in your lifetime. No bridge once burned cannot be rebuilt.


Mr. Scherk ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I've no idea what most of this is about, but I thank you for it.

I think.



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