A Brief Reminder (for the Uninitiated, or Perhaps Some of You Who Aren’t Very Bright) of What This Blog Is About
by David Kennedy Bird
Greetings, o gentle reader.
In the case of some of you who may feel somewhat out of the loop, who have, that is to say, jumped on the train at some recent point without having read the first few posts to this blog — which, admittedly, are shrouded in the mists of about three years ago — there may be some small measure of confusion regarding what the heck is going on around here.
“This blog — ”
you may be saying,
” — i mean, well, golly, this blog, i have to say, i don’t really get it. What’s it all about? Is it really about flockbinkers? What’s flockbinkers? Seriously? That hasn’t been explained to my complete satisfaction. At all, really. And if it’s a blog about flockbinkers (whatever that is), why aren’t they mentioned in every post? Only some of the posts talk about flockbinkers. Sometimes the guy just rants about stuff he finds frustrating, or talks about logic, or philosophy, or puts on a pop quiz, or pretends he’s getting letters from readers that he’s actually making up himself and he prints them and then responds to them. I mean, what the heck? What IS this? What am i EVEN reading?”
The good reader may certainly be forgiven if he suffers from a sense of disorientation. The first 23 posts to this blog, stretched unevenly over the past three years, have tended to jump about somewhat like one of those disembodied frog’s legs you hear about, you know, the ones that leap when you touch them with an electrode.
Perhaps this post will help clear up some of the confusion.
“Calling All Flockbinkers” is, in fact, a blog about flockbinkers. Sure. I’ll admit it. It is. It’s a blog that is unapologetically about flockbinkers… and you know what, i don’t care who hears me say it. It’s an unapologetic blog that is unapologetically stuffed with flockbinkers, a blog that is flockbinker-saturated and flockbinker-rich. It’s a flockbinker-rich environment. A target-rich environment for flockbinkers. If there’s such a thing as flockbinker season, which i don’t think there is, but my point is that if there is, you’re sure to bag some o’ them babies on this here blog without even trying. You can’t turn around without poking a flockbinker in the boomflop. Why, you can’t chuck a brick around here without nailing a flockbinker right in the fobwazzit. The place is veritably flocking with flockbinkers. It’s binking with flockbinkers.
But, ahem, in response to the dear reader’s earlier objection that flockbinkers are not mentioned in every post…
…that, in fact, some of the posts are about Three Scotsmen Sitting on a Fence, or about the difference between “horse-people” and people who are not horse-people, or about a couple of people named Little Biffy and Jennifer Smith who have long discussions about meaning and existence and the nature of God and the role of logic in modern life, or about something called ‘ontology’ that sounds awfully complicated, or about why it’s ridiculous to be naming Winter Storms, or about some guy named Elvis Wu who claims to have been the Last Philosophy Major…
…in response to this objection i reply that you don’t actually have to be talking about flockbinkers, in order to be talking about flockbinkers. Or, to put it another way, the subject matter of your discourse can be flockbinkers even if you have not mentioned them, not even once.
The Good Reader: Oh, come on.
The Blogger: The Good Reader! Delightful of you to show up. Somehow i sensed that you would.
The Good Reader: Well, i can’t just sit by and let you try to put this sort of thing over on the three other people who are reading your blog.
The Blogger: Three is almost certainly a low estimate. But let’s set statistical analysis to one side for the present. What exactly is it that you’re objecting to?
The Good Reader: You expect me to dignify that question with a serious answer.
The Blogger: I do.
The Good Reader: Really.
The Blogger: Of course i do! Dignify away. Dignify with passion and zeal; dignify as if your life depended on it, Good Reader; dignify like the wind.
The Good Reader: [mumbles something unintelligible, but which sounds like the sort of thing a properly brought-up lady simply does not say, and which the editors have chosen not to attempt to replicate here]
The Blogger: I’m not sure i can count that as either an answer or a dignification. Try again.
The Good Reader: You said that you can talk about flockbinkers without talking about flockbinkers. You can mention flockbinkers and yet not mention flockbinkers.
The Blogger: Splendid! You’ve been paying attention.
The Good Reader: Well, on the subject of ‘paying attention,’ do i remember something you said once about Aristotle’s three Laws of Logic? And one of them was that a statement and its opposite cannot both be true at the same time?
The Blogger: Good Reader, you take my breath away. I am deeply impressed.
The Good Reader: Okay, stop being impressed already and give me a straight answer. What would Aristotle say if he heard you prancing about and saying, “I’m talking about flockbinkers, i’m not talking about flockbinkers! This blog post is about flockbinkers, just kidding, it’s not about flockbinkers, no, it really is after all!”
The Blogger: I don’t ‘prance about.’
The Good Reader: I’ll tell you what Aristotle would say. He would say, this man is an idiot, who gave him permission to set up a blog and talk about philosophy?
The Blogger: He most certainly would not.
The Good Reader: Would so.
The Blogger: Would not.
The Good Reader: Would so.
The Blogger: Would not!
The Good Reader: Neener neener.
The Blogger: If Aristotle were to appear right here with us, right now, he would simply acknowledge that i have nuanced the term ‘flockbinker’ so as to enable it to mean different things in two different contexts, thus the Law of Non-Contradiction does not apply.
The Good Reader: Oh my word.
The Blogger: You can talk about flockbinkers… that is, carry on a mode of discourse that might technically be characterized as ‘talking about flockbinkers’… even if the term ‘flockbinker’ does not feature as an element in the discourse.
The Good Reader: Just kill me right now. Right now.
The Blogger: In a sense, the theme of ‘talking about flockbinkers’ is the subject-matter of every single post to this blog, even the ones that are about winter storms or horse-people or that joke about three Scotsmen sitting on a fence. In that more technical sense — which i would not expect you, a non-specialist, to understand —
The Good Reader: Right now. Kill me right now.
The Blogger: — as i say, in that more technical sense, ‘talking about flockbinkers’ is the all-pervasive theme that weaves through all of the posts, even the ones that don’t ‘talk about flockbinkers’ in the common sense.
The Good Reader: This is how philosophers cover their tracks. They make up a pile of fancy-sounding vocabulary and then try to make you feel inferior for not understanding them.
The Blogger: Oh, Good Reader. You wrong me. You cut me to the quick.
The Good Reader: Just admit that about half of your posts have not actually been about flockbinkers, either in a technical sense or in the regular sense — if there’s such a thing as ‘the regular sense’ of talking about flockbinkers. Regular people don’t actually talk about flockbinkers.
The Blogger: But if we can get enough of them reading this blog, they will!
The Good Reader: Apart from the four of us — give or take — who make up your current readership?
The Blogger: I’d like to dispute that figure. I’m not sure where you’re getting your numbers from. There are WAY more people than that reading this blog. I have readers in Canada, Australia, Scotland!
The Good Reader: …and me. That makes four. Anyway, the point is that anytime you begin to make extravagant and ridiculous claims that are an appalling insult to the intelligence of your readers on this blog, you can depend on me to step in and inject a note of reality.
The Blogger: And i can assure you that i — along with my thousands of other readers — value and appreciate that very much about you.
The Good Reader: Thousands. THOUSANDS of readers.
The Blogger: See you again soon, The Good Reader! [pulls the plug on her]
…and, for the rest of you, my extensive international readership, i hope this little discourse has helped clear up any confusion you may have had about the subject-matter of this blog. Until the next time!