ShalomPlace.com    Shalom Place Community    Shalom Place Discussion Groups  Hop To Forum Categories  General Discussion Forums  Hop To Forums  Book and Movie Reviews    A Course in Lyricals - johnboy's book is out!
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
A Course in Lyricals - johnboy's book is out! Login/Join
 
posted
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to gather the materials together for this book I'm supposed to write one day. My book is now finished and is dedicated to Veronica. I dedicate it to Veronica because she has fully bought into the notion that my writing is a legitimate form of ministry, even though she must harbor suspicions at times about whether or not it is just a hobby, an obsession or some type of channeling phenomenon that will one day be called A Course in Lyricals . If she has such suspicions, she has never entertained them too very long and never, ever, not even once, suggested that I should either go back to work and get a real job, one on hand, or assist more with most homemaking responsibilities, on the other hand.

So, anyway, that is the name of my book, A Course in Lyricals, and it is now published here, online. The first thing you will notice is that it needs a good bit of editing. Wink You see, I haven't organized these materials in any way, shape or form. There are thousands of written pages in A Course in Lyricals and just the index , which is what one downloads when clicking on these links, is 54 pages long and 1.2 megabytes in size . That's a lot of electrons by any standard of cyber-publishing. If these essays, poems, monographs and other materials ever get organized, I assure you that it will be posthumously. I'm no editor. Problem is, most people tell me I'm no writer either, at least not for the huddled masses. Sometimes I slow down and toss a few crumbs to the anawim but mostly I'm engaged in a full frontal but loving assault on the dissolvent forces of skepticism, scientific materialism and schmaltzy new age syncretisms, trying to advance ecumenism and a global ethic and trying to promote spirituality and mysticism as the heritage of every human being, thanks to Jesus.

I would like to thank Google
for keeping track of all of this stuff without me even asking (except for a few strategically placed metatags by PSR Wink ). I would like to thank Phil St. Romain for telling Veronica that my role as a moderator at Shalomplace is a valid Christian ministry and also Sr. Louise and the Dominican Sisters of the Heartland Center of Spirituality who have sponsored Shalomplace as an integral aspect of their own ministry these past few years. May my sheer bandwidth absorption be a testimony that I have contributed here and also that I don't sleep at night. I sleep, rather, during the day, if I can. Oops. 5:35am Bedtime. Gotta be up, soon, to see Dabe off to school.

pax, amor et bonum,
jb
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
If these essays, poems, monographs and other materials ever get organized, I assure you that it will be posthumously.

Not that I�ve read all that stuff (let alone understood it), but I could take a view that a lot of that stuff is the raw fruits of extensive and talented research and that to regurgitate it to us low-brows would mean tightening it all up just a bit. It would require a condensing and organizing of your thoughts and ideas into a more layman language. Yes, the intellect and reasoning that went into your informed musings may have been quite extraordinary, but if the discoveries and theories themselves can�t be explained in plain language then aren�t you falling prey, at least a little, to a sort of aristocracy of thought where the best and greatest ideas are meant only for the elite?

Problem is, most people tell me I'm no writer either, at least not for the huddled masses. Sometimes I slow down and toss a few crumbs to the anawim but mostly I'm engaged in a full frontal but loving assault�

B.S. When you want to be you are an extraordinary writer and communicator. Again, I�ll challenge you, JB. Is there some hidden prejudice on your part that thinks that these ideas can only be dealt with and grasped with the use of arcane language and terms? Is there some part of you that thinks �pop� automatically means dumbing down and that these ideas are so finely nuanced that to do so would drain them of their meaning?
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
re: Not that I�ve read all that stuff (let alone understood it), but I could take a view that a lot of that stuff is the raw fruits of extensive and talented research and that to regurgitate it to us low-brows would mean tightening it all up just a bit.

Right on, Pecan. The tightening up would have to take place on two different fronts. If it were to go the peer-reviewed route into academia, then a lot of resourcing and attributions would have to be done. If it were to go the popularized route, then a LOT of re-writing would have to be accomplished, a very deliberate and laborious attempt, in order to be accessible to a more generalized audience.

re: It would require a condensing and organizing of your thoughts and ideas into a more layman language. Yes, the intellect and reasoning that went into your informed musings may have been quite extraordinary, but if the discoveries and theories themselves can�t be explained in plain language then aren�t you falling prey, at least a little, to a sort of aristocracy of thought where the best and greatest ideas are meant only for the elite?

Well, I perfectly well understand the elitism aspect and I even understand why it may come across that way, because it does. There's far too much evidence there, eh?

The real crux of the writing style issue is this. I didn't come into cyberspace with an agenda to teach anyone anything. I came here to learn. It saved me no too few trips to the library. My writings and scribblings were an effort to synthesize and process these issues, which were mostly of great existential import to me, and from their sheer volume one might be able to glimpse how existentially engaged I indeed was.

When I scribble, it pours out in very much the same manner as I would give a verbal rendering, which must resemble, in style, the very form of writing that I have been immersed in. It's kind of like one writes what one reads and the stuff that I have read is a la Hans Kung and that ilk. But none of it was really for a wide audience, just enough of an audience as might could tneder some feedback and challeneg as to whether or not I was totally in left field, that is to say, some admoinishment and correction, such as one might seek if they truly really wanted to get certain existential issues correct, and passionately did not want to err on that which was most insistent and urgent. I wasn't trying to edify an audience but rather myself.

Condensation and organizing, as you might well imagine, would take longer and more effort than writing this stuff in the first place. The volume of materials I have dealt with in my explorations and the volume of my written body of processing would likely be cut in half, if I was writing for popular consumption, or academic consumption, for that matter. So, really, less so any form of ministry, it has been a formative exercise for me and, if anyone else benefits here and there, that was incidental. Not entirely though, for as you have noted, sometimes I purposefully write to an audience and, when I do, well ... it's more than obvious that I have done so inasmuch as it stands in stark contrast to when I don't.

So, this brings us to: "B.S. When you want to be you are an extraordinary writer and communicator. Again, I�ll challenge you, JB. Is there some hidden prejudice on your part that thinks that these ideas can only be dealt with and grasped with the use of arcane language and terms?"

No. See the dynamism explicated above.

re: Is there some part of you that thinks �pop� automatically means dumbing down and that these ideas are so finely nuanced that to do so would drain them of their meaning?

No. Not at all. Phil is a case in point that this would not be true vis a vis his publishing history. I have been content with interacting with the best of the best authors, providing them feedback and ideas and, should I offer anything novel or a unique perspective, that deserves a wider audience, they'd deal with it or hint at it (and Phil does prod from time too time and my excuse is: Let me recommend a few really good books.).

"Pop" just means a whole lot of work that I don't feel called to do. It means not going learn anything new tomorrow but rather stopping and reporting back in for some kind of debriefing. As most people will now know (those who don't hang out on internet discussion boards but who ever read this) is that I have only ever shared with them but a tiny fraction of what I have written because I knew they were not interested and that I likely didn't have it properly translated for mass consumption. There are about 4 people who have ever seen much of this, outside of virtual reality. I used to massmail my treatises but quickly learned that they weren't consumables; neither, however, were my graduate school notebooks. No bother. So, I paid more attention to sending out only those missives meant for such an audience as my address book and it ain't too often I've felt led to compose and mail those. So, you see, I'm really here just for you, Brad, and to provide ongoing challenge and stimulation to Phil. I have a ministerial motto: Ministering to the few who minister to the many. This is true even at ask-an-atheist@yahoogroups Big Grin

The big issue for publication, even of a popularized johnboysian treatise, is whether or not there is an audience. The trickbag is that it likely is an academic audience but that that audience already knows the stuff I have been dealing with. The academic philosophers and theologians studied all of this in school, in depth, and I have nothing new to offer them. There may be discoveries but they are personal discoveries. There is a popular audience and people like Richard Dawkins, on one extreme, and Jack Haught and Robert Russell, on the other, have done an excellent job reaching them. I don't have a new and improved Jack Haught to offer but I do want to point people in his direction. Same with Jim & Tyra Arraj or with Phil.

So, I thought my best contribution would be to put up a website and point people toward the wonderful resources I have discovered, should they be interested. So, GATEWAY TO DIALOGUE was launched back in December [and got a whole lot of traffic quick, from all over] and that was my way of sharing my journey, for all of those links and pointers are the equivalent of a photo album or slide show of my around the world of metaphysics trips Smiler

So, today, I kinda feel like I stand on a new threshold. I feel like I have graduated from graduate departments of philosophy and theology and can slow down insofar as the learning curve is no longer as steep for me in those areas. Once the learning curve flattens out and one truly knows and understand one's subject matter better, then one can, with greater facility, explain it to other people. And, so as not to offend charity, I do mean to do a better job of it even here, especially here. With no small amount of gratitudes to you, too and w.c. and others!

There it is. I've been exposed. I'm really a very personable and ordinary sort, except when I am writing. Wink

pax!
jb
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
Well, I perfectly well understand the elitism aspect and I even understand why it may come across that way, because it does.

Well, that's not quite what I meant. There was nothing elitist about Einstein's theory of relativity. It was just damned hard to understand. And I know that one can not talk about esoteric subjects without sometimes resorting to the appropriate terminology. But because I think your ideas are so interesting I wish I better understood them. I try very hard sometimes, but still I can't always penetrate your meaning. I'm more than willing to grant that this is my shortcoming. But the stuff that you are talking about I believe is some pretty fundamental stuff that more people can and should be learning about.

Condensation and organizing, as you might well imagine, would take longer and more effort than writing this stuff in the first place. The volume of materials I have dealt with in my explorations and the volume of my written body of processing would likely be cut in half, if I was writing for popular consumption, or academic consumption, for that matter.

Hey - less is more. (That jibe was for Phil's Macbenefit.) I totally understand. And I totally understand that you are just being natural, that this is your style of writing. And I know that SP isn't the only place you post. But beware of the dreaded academia virus! You know the one. If a thought isn't couched in almost impenetrable complexity then it couldn't have been a very profound thought. And - dread of dreads - one might not appear to be scholarly. Wink

So, really, less so any form of ministry, it has been a formative exercise for me and, if anyone else benefits here and there, that was incidental.

I would rather have a sometimes impenetrable JB than no JB. Smiler

The big issue for publication, even of a popularized johnboysian treatise, is whether or not there is an audience. The trickbag is that it likely is an academic audience but that that audience already knows the stuff I have been dealing with. The academic philosophers and theologians studied all of this in school, in depth, and I have nothing new to offer them.

Well, we both know that it isn't always the original thought that counts but who can best communicate it and put it to some use.

There it is. I've been exposed. I'm really a very personable and ordinary sort, except when I am writing.

I'll reserve judgment on that. Smiler But I do thank you for your thoughtful reply. It's interesting to see behind the curtain once in a while. You truly are a unique (in a good way!) person, JB. Thanks for letting me bust your chops. I fear I now owe you one.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
re: And - dread of dreads - one might not appear to be scholarly.

Cross my heart, like a playtex bra, I don't nurse a snooty image, honest. My kids tell me that I was Seattle before Seattle was cool, but my wife calls it grunge and I think she means it pejoratively (that word means in a negative sort of way Wink ). Now, at the same time I don't nurse such an immazh, that doesn't mean that I am not a proud person. Long ago, my card buddies nicknamed me Exxon. No kidding, right after Humble changed its corporate name. You see, before that they had nicknamed me Humble and I think they meant that sarcastically (that word means that they were using irony [that word means the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning] to make fun of my arrogance), for you see I never ever lost at Hearts or Strip Poker Big Grin

I'm best when I'm bad (that word means whatever Michael jackson says it means) and when I'm being bad, I am really, really good. My motto is: If you can't be good, then be good at it. Cool

OK - so now Phil and I have now both poured our hearts out to you, and any other lurking voyeurs, explaining our dysfunctional approach to discussion board dynamisms, both here and elsewhere, our desperate attempts to interact with normal people. YOUR turn, Bradley Nelson!

C'mon Phil, I feel a cyber-lynching coming on. Razzer

pax, amor et bonum (recommencing next week),
jb
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
sarcastically (that word means that they were using irony [that word means the use of words to express something other than and especially the opposite of the literal meaning] to make fun of my arrogance)

Touch�! (derives from the name of a cartoon turtle).

for you see I never ever lost at Hearts

That enuhthin like Pee-nuckle?

OK - so now Phil and I have now both poured our hearts out to you, and any other lurking voyeurs, explaining our dysfunctional approach to discussion board dynamisms, both here and elsewhere, our desperate attempts to interact with normal people. YOUR turn, Bradley Nelson!

My approach to internet discussion boards is to try and better understand other people and myself � without the risks of getting too close. People over the internet can be safely kept at a distant. They�re not likely to show up at your door at three O�clock in the morning with a couple hookers on each arm while slurring out the lyrics of the latest pop tune intermixed with percussive belches. When I�m done with JB, or Phil or persona Brad I can just turn them off and then get back to a good book, a little peace and quiet, or whatever is on the tube. Questions?
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
re: When I’m done with JB, or Phil or persona Brad I can just turn them off and then get back to a good book, a little peace and quiet, or whatever is on the tube. Questions?

Yes. I have a question.

Does this mean that you have pretty much figured out that johnboy is Phil's alter ego, just another fabricated persona?

Does this mean I am like totally busted? Frowner

Sincerely,
Phil
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
I would like to thank Phil St. Romain for telling Veronica that my role as a moderator at Shalomplace is a valid Christian ministry . . .

Great, our plan worked! Razzer

Now would you be willing to post somewhere that I could probably do a better job with this Internet ministry if I had a new Powerbook? I could call that to Lisa's attention and even get Sr. Louise in on the support proposal. Big Grin

------

That's quite an impressive array of material, JB! You already have content for several books, only you'd need to find a way to "package" things. Something along the lines of Lewis Thomas' Late Night Thoughts on Mahler's Ninth Symphony would be a good way to do that, allowing for a diversity of essays in a single volume.

BTW, that book is a lot of fun.

Re. Google: I've got my home page well-tweaked with meta tags so it comes up at the top in Google, which is great for bringing traffic to the site. The google bot simply follows links throughout the site, which is why it has so many listings with your name--especially from the old board, which created a new web page for each post! Eeker
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
You mean to tell me that you DON'T have a POWERBOOK? ? I'm just incredulous. There is no way you could have been this productive without one, n'est pas? And assuredly it needs to be networked at home and work with a DSL wireless router! This is truly a no brainer. All the time it could free up from routine maintenance of Heartland's web-presence for other ministries! All the time it could free up at home for even more cooking and cleaning and yard work! Oh, yes, most definitely!
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
re: You already have content for several books, only you'd need to find a way to "package" things.

Ah, but that's exactly what I've done. It is now packaged and web bots will crawl over that page linking my name to just about everything, starting with apophatic and ending in xenophobic, from the Big Bang to Thomism, from the FabFour to Fabiola. I may not become famous (or infamous) 'til I'm gone (which I understand is actually a bonus), but JB the Cosmic Curmudgeon will have left his verbose vapor trail in the cyberether for all of implicate order posterity.

Always long-playing but never wrong-playing, I remain, truly yours
jb

who just hopes his fans have gotten their money's worth
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
JB the Cosmic Curmudgeon

I think we just found the book title. Any sadomasochists out there who would like to volunteer as editor? I'd be glad to edit the conservative stuff. Big Grin
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
posted Hide Post
re: the Cosmic Curmudgeon, I do hereby bequeath any and all writings ... ... hold on a sec ... I ain't doing this without a hold harmless agreement Razzer
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

ShalomPlace.com    Shalom Place Community    Shalom Place Discussion Groups  Hop To Forum Categories  General Discussion Forums  Hop To Forums  Book and Movie Reviews    A Course in Lyricals - johnboy's book is out!