Thursday, September 22, 2005

In the new beginning...

In the new beginning, there was the truth, and it wasn’t a word. It was a million words in a thousand languages, chanting the same thing over and over again. The truth was painted on canvas, it was sung in songs, and it was told in stories in the new beginning.

This is the new beginning, and it’s called The Bow and Grimace.

The B&G is….

Politically:

Essentially and unavoidably non-partisan, frankly, because we don’t believe in political parties. We think they’re divisive and deceptive. There will UNDOUBTABLY be numerous people who dispute this claim, so let us make it a little clearer. We don’t believe in designating certain political agendas “liberal” or “conservative” because it gives the illusion that the other side can’t or shouldn’t agree. It’s a silly idea, and it gives political hacks the power to control public opinion. Therefore, we have no regard for partisan claims.


Topically:

With no defined subject more particular than life. The B&G will focus on every aspect of life its writers see as important (just as any other journal): art, politics, philosophy, society, media, science, literature, comics, poetry, Mexican food, bumper stickers, etc.


Professionally:

Unprofessional. We are experts in nothing (again, like most other writers for any given journal), and interested in everything. Among us, we have a vast, intimate, and diverse understanding of the world, but we are not political scientists, anthropologists, or dietitions.

We will write as honestly as humanly possible, and we will welcome even the harshest criticisms like long-lost friends—though we prefer fluffy, flower-scented criticisms just the same.

This is not to say that we will be happy to find how miserably mistaken we can be, but we will be content in the knowledge gained from making mistakes. That said, however, we’ll always be more content to learn from other people’s mistakes.

Furthermore, just any old acerbic disagreement does not pass for criticism. If, for instance, we say, “Carrots are good for you,” but you don’t like carrots—the texture just makes you wanna throw up—that does not give you justification to write back calling us carrotnicks or dorkus caroti (for you witty horticulturists out there). On the contrary, we would prefer for you to write something along the lines of:

Dear B&G,

I found you’re article on carrots disconcerting. I did not find it up to the normal standards of B&G I myself do not like carrots because of the texture, and I would appreciate you presenting a more balanced argument concerning carrots.

To this message, I have graciously attached information on alternatives to carrots that I believe you should have mentioned in your article—which I find too biased towards carrots.

Thank you, and have a good day,

Spinach McShrimp

We do not take kindly to:

You’re just a bunch liberal/conservative carrot lovers! I hope your skin turns orange!! Or red, like the commie/red-state bastard you are!

Anonymous


Factually:

Without fault. That is to say that, there is a truth in every word which may not be the words spoken, but the meaning conveyed. We are students of deconstruction and orientalism by design, not by choice. Anyone who believes the truth comes only from strict explanation need only watch political speeches from any politician in any party in any country—there you will see the Truth is not what’s being said, but what’s understood.

We know that some people will want to construe this as us making or forming our own truth, and we pledge with the utmost earnestness that we are not in the business of creating the Truth. We have nothing to gain from lying, and everything to lose. We are searching for the Truth for ourselves and presenting what we find along the way because we know that we cannot find the Truth alone.


Stylistically:

Is hopeless romantic, learning to be and act realistically. It’s post-modern and satirical.


In it's representation:

International. We have correspondents on six continents. Our polar correspondant called from Ushuaia:

"Hello," we said when the phone rang.
"Hey, it's you're polar correspondant," he said when after we said "Hello."
"Hey!" we said, gleefully, "How's it goin'?"
"Great! I'm ready to catch my boat. I just called to get the information."
"Boat?"
"You have organized my transport to Antarctica, haven't you?"
The line crackled, and Tom muttered something.
"Wait, who is this?" we asked.
"It's Tom, your polar correspondant."
There was an awkward pause here.
Then Tom sighed. "I'm cold. This is long distance," he said, his voice cracking.
"We think you may have the wrong number."
"Why'd you sound like you were expecting me when I called."
"We just thought it was a joke, man," we said, nervously, twurling our right index finger in the phone cord.
There was another really awkward pause, then we said, "Hey, Tom, we gotta dip. The cable company's on the other line with a great deal. We might be able to get HBO and Cinemax!" We hung the phone and looked at each other (in a non-literal sense, seeing as we're on six different continents). "That was close," we said to ourselves.

We no longer have a polar corresponant, however, we'll pursue that avenue once things start heating up in the region (no pun intended). The rest of us are perched in our respective corners (France, America, Argentina, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Brazil, Thailand, etc.), ready to provide a unique experience for all of our readers.


Patriotically:

Hasn’t even the hint of patriotism in its air. We are anti-patriots who do all that we do to benefit anyone in any way we can. This is the origin for the Title of this journal. It’s found in one of Joseph Addison's entries in The Spectator (No. 69) on May 19, 1711, in which Addison describes the satisfaction he gets from walking through the Royal Exchange. He describes all of the varied people of the world that are gathered in London “consulting together upon the private Business of Mankind:”

I have often been pleased to hear Disputes adjusted between an Inhabitant of Japan and an Alderman of London, or to see a Subject of the Great Mogul entering into a League with one of the Czar of Muscovy. I am infinitely delighted in mixing with these several Ministers of Commerce, as they are distinguished by their different Walks and different Languages: Sometimes I am justled among a Body of Armenians: Sometimes I am lost in a crowd of Jews, and sometimes make one in a Groupe of Dutch-men. I am a Dane, Swede, or French-Man at different times…

Though Addison takes pride in being an Englishman—for the reason that it is in his country that this beautiful exchange is taking place—he says that if asked his nationality, he’d rather answer that he’s a “Citizen of the World.”


When Addison describes his relationship with an Egyptian man who recognizes Addison—and vice versa—as he walks through the crowd, AddisonCoptick, our Conferences go no further than a Bow and a Grimace.” notes that “as I am not versed in the Modern

This interaction is something we of the B&G know well from living and traveling abroad. The grimace is not one of contempt or of frustration. It’s a communiqué and an acknowledgement that we both know what the other wants to say, but neither one of us can do it in the other’s language. It’s just as genuine as speaking, but perhaps more awkward. The bow shows respect and politesse, while the grimace shows the want for exchange. Anyone who’s learned a new language in a foreign country or had the opportunity to be close people from far away, they’ll certainly, I hope, understand The Bow and the Grimace.

This is the new beginning, and we have big goals. The truth is, though, we’ve got no choice but to do what we’re doing.

2 Comments:

Blogger magpie said...

I look forward to reading about carrots.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. I found your blog while browsing the internet on the subject Joseph Addison. There it is stated that The Bow and Grimace: International journal inspired by Addison's Spectator no. 69. I wanted to ask you if you have more knowledge about this subject. Thank you. Jo

10:49 PM  

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