inessential by Brent Simmons


Frontier: Bulletins and Shared Membership Groups.

Dave asked for an RFC on a Manila Theme that uses the metaphor of the Basic Black dress. Though it was originally written for UserLand eyes, at Dave's suggestion I posted the un-edited RFC on this site.

"RFC: Basic Blog Theme".

(RFC means Request for Comments.)

We went to the circus -- Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco -- last night. Amazing!

Sheila: "Sometimes when you see a person doing something wonderful, you feel like you can do something wonderful, too. Then I think you have seen something truly wonderful."

Theory: the amazing is one of the roots of art. We've seen the cave paintings, but there are no recordings, of course, of cave people entertaining each other by juggling rocks or swinging from vines.

The amazing is usually an aspect of performance. Think of ballet. But sometimes composed arts can be amazing -- rhyming, strictly metered poetry, for instance, can be amazing. When I read Shakespeare's sonnets, I wonder: how the hell did he do that? Of course, I appreciate their beauty, but the simple feeling of amazement is still there. And that's not wrong.

It's also one of the roots of sport. Why watch baseball? Partly for the narrative aspects. (Every at-bat is a story. Every inning is a story. Every game is a story. Every season is a story.) But a big part of it is I want to see something amazing. I want to see the shortstop make a diving catch followed by an impossible throw to first to get the runner out by half a step.

Another amazing circus, and totally different from Cirque du Soleil, is the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. Highly recommended. But not for children, people with pacemakers, or Mrs. Grundy.