We’re going to fire up SplendorQuest.com full-bore this week. For now it’s nothing, no need to link to it. But if you’ve ever done a whois on any one of our domains, you will have seen that SplendorQuest.com lives at the top of everything.
I’ve talked about Splendor a lot at BloodhoundBlog. It’s the defining metaphor of my life. I wrote my best philosophical defense of the idea, so far, in January and February of 1988, and my best ostensive definition in 1997. I’ve promised myself for two solid decades that I would get back to this idea, thinking that it was something that I would attend to in full in my retirement. Lately, that seems to me to be a less than satisfactory resolution. For one thing, this is the perfect time to talk about Splendor, just as we are about to suffer the full consequences of a hundred centuries of the worship of Squalor. And for another, I have just lately come to the realization that I will never, ever retire.
I predict that SplendorQuest.com, whatever else it might become, will be a place of manifestoes. Even so, I think I’ve already written my own SplendorQuest manifesto. There’s a lot that I’m saying in that little extract, and you could read it every day and always find something new in it. But the essence of the thing, for me, is this: “[P]art of being who I am is a conscious refusal to hide things like this just because many people don’t want to hear them. I don’t believe that I owe anything to other people, but the best gift I can offer my fellow men is not to hide who I am.” I love my life, but, much more importantly, I refuse to affect to hold my life in contempt. That’s not Splendor, not by itself, but that’s a gift I can share with my brothermen just by being alive.
What we have planned — what I have planned, at least — is simply to be alive in public as this thing that I want to become. Just to be shamelessly alive, that’s all — just to be alive as a living, yearning, churning mind — without shame, without apology, without fearing ridicule or craving praise — without anything other than an insatiable obsession to do better and to be better as a free, rational moral agent.
I have no idea where this is going to go. I have a few really huge metaphors that I want to explore in essays and stories, and there will be other contributors, now and later, with their own agendas to attend to. It’s plausible to me that SplendorQuest.com could turn into books, but it’s also plausible that SplendorQuest.com is the first post-book book. The future is always a surprise, no matter how well we plan.
What is certain is that I am about to spread myself even more thinly. And that’s why I’m writing: I need help. Here are a few things that I would love to be able to delegate to other people:
First, BloodhoundBlog needs an amanuensis — a curator, as it were. We have a category called “Enduring Interest” that should contain nothing but the absolute best of BloodhoundBlog. If it were properly maintained, we could say to new readers, “If you devote some part of your attention to ‘Enduring Interest’ until you’ve read it all, you will be up to speed with the rest of us here.” The posts are there, but the category is a mess. If you are a mind of methodical bent, and if you would like to assure that the best of BloodhoundBlog truly endures, speak up.
Second, I have a pretty desperate need for art — good art. I do most of the decoration that gets done around here, but I suck at it. If you can express the idea of SplendorQuest.com as a vector-based (glyph-based?) logo, you’re who I am looking for.
Third, I have admin jobs in abundance. I’d love to have someone take over Real Estate Weblogging 101, perhaps to make an ongoing tutorial site out of the content we built there. I could use help, in due course, on BloodhoundBlog.net. There are others. If you would like to administer a piece of our empire, I could not be listening more intently.
I’ve been juggling a lot of really interesting ideas for the past three years, most ardently over this summer and fall. Everything gelled for me Friday night in one, huge, overarching defining metaphor. I understand where we can go, as a people. Not where we must go, but where we can go if we dare to reach for it. I want to write about this. At an absolute minimum, I want to leave a record of what I think is possible for humanity, at its absolute best. But much more than that, if I can, I want to goad humanity into being its absolute best.
If you want to be a part of this, I have a lot more chores than I have hands or time to accomplish them. But: They also serve who only stand and watch. So do tune in. This is going to be a great show.Related posts: