Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Delay-fish Picture

    While I was advertising the last big article to be published at the now-defunct website Bread n Circles, I wrote the "Delays, Delays, Delays" article on November 15th of 2009 describing why it was taking so long for the article to get posted.  I used this picture to portray the situation, representative of a scene in the movie Finding Nemo in which Marlin (the father of young Nemo) tries to ditch Dory because she is slowing him down with her short-term memory loss and high-maintenance need to interact with his search efforts--he describes her as a "delay-fish."

    In an unrelated situation, I had just finished seeing the "Hermagorus Forgotten" article posted as a generous alternative to opening a private debate about its merits as an official submission for consideration as a co-editor of the website.  It was received poorly because its dismissive attitude towards the subject it claimed to defend was too harsh and contemptuous for the current editors to stomach.  In other words, it felt more like a slap-in-the-face than a high-five to them.

    But I am not here to talk about what is happening (or not happening) with the staff of Bread n Circles.  I am here to talk about all the stuff that has happened since then.  You see, the popularity of my blog has been largely due to the inclusion of that very picture and not my writing style or choice of content; and a very small number of hits represent Actual Readers or even Returning Visitors.

    So, the complete lack of interest has nothing to do with my willingness to discuss lofty notions such as the meaning of Truth, in a lengthy and witty article which was posted at Bread n Circles on Thanksgiving day and Christmas Day of 2009.  I had entertained high hopes that the Truth article would be the thing that would save Bread n circles from the wistful wandering-apart which led its contributors to pursue other interests, that it would make Bread n Circles a popular search result in Google's database.  But the simple reality was that all five of us needed to focus on other responsibilities and hobbies, such as parenting, law school, extended job descriptions, and struggling to maintain financial stability during a global meltdown.  The final article posted at Bread n Circles was an advertisement (in a brief blurb) for my newly-published book, Mangled Doves.

    But I did not know how to market the disparate compilation of poems, short stories, essays and fragments that my book presented.  I knew that I needed to be the person to do it, but I had no inkling of what to say that would interest people in it--or even where to find the kind of audience that it would deserve.  Meanwhile, I had to continue writing.  I spontaneously began and persisted in writing an absurd allegory within my Production Report emails at work, and was enthralled at it when I read the entire text after I completed it.  In order to preserve the text of a story which slowly revealed itself to me in short blurbs hammered out in daily reportings of Production Reports at a work-environment which should have shunned such unrelated and creative activities, I posted the compiled (abridged) text and called it "The Production Report Story." It was too long for Google's article-size, so I posted it in four parts.  But its lack of significance and comprehensibility when removed from its original context rendered it largely unentertaining.  Defending it was hopeless, despite its value as a feat of literary ingenuity.  Even in the article titled "Unpublishable Content," I reviled its reliance on pre-existing pop-culture references while extolling its virtue as a literary work.  Although I secretly wished to rewrite the story in a publishable form, I moved on to other subjects.

I wrote a few articles about political and philosophical topics, but I really needed to advertise my book, which was published at in March 2010, so I signed up with the Amazon associates program, which allowed me to post links to products available at and would earn a little percentage from products purchased via links from my blog. As I continued to seek randomly unrelated subjects to blog about in a blogosphere widely dominated by heated rants about economics, politics, religious intolerance, and shaming patriotism, I began to write an unintentional review of the book Constructing Quarks by Andrew Pickering in a series of articles called "Appearing to Study Particle Physics."  I had stumbled upon the title while reading Shrodinger's Kittens, by John Gribbin.  I had liked Gribbin's book, but fought to appreciate Pickering's harsh historical portrayal of the development of Quark Chromodynamics.  Although the first half of the book is entrancing, the accusatory tone began to be too pervasive to be trustworthy.  So, I just returned the book to the library.  After I wrote the closing article of the series, I re-arranged them and posted them as a page in my blog titled "De-Constructing Quarks."   In re-reading the series of articles, I found that it was symbolically a very expressive and succinct review of the book it discussed.  Hence, it stands as my final assessment of Pickering's book.

     Shortly after that, I began a new series of articles called "Dissing Economics at Snacktime," which began in late October and continued in November, but have interrupted the progress of those articles with compiled re-postings of old texts which I had written for Yahoo!Answers in 2008 and 2009.  And now I will resume the series on Dissing Economics, occasionally checking my Hit-counter to see if the random visitors who visit my blog are beginning to find this article instead of "Delays, Delays, Delays" because that picture has been removed form that article and is now in this one. (Just in case, here is another picture!)

Postscript added October 23rd, 2011:  That change has in fact occurred, as my Analytics reports now show that the greatest number of hits fall on this article than any other posting, and the "Delays, Delays, Delays" article does not even show up on the report. So, in a very real sense, nothing has changed.

  In the meantime, I have competed the Dissing Economics article-series and removed the individual articles to a page prefaced by a warning about its sexist content, and have begun writing another new article-series called "Misguided Notions of Internet Journalism."
Another Postscript added February 11th, 2014:  This article has been published in the book, Appearing to Study Particle Physics, which is currently available at