Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why Detritus?

I waited a long time before starting up a blog.  For a while it seemed such a trendy, hipster thing to do that I had an aversion to it.  But with the advent of newer "social media" blogging has become retro.  Imagine, sitting down and actually writing....with paragraphs.  And full words.  And even story arcs that carry on over long stretches of time.  Weird.

My long suffering spouse had started blogging a year previous, and one day when we were snowed in by a most unwelcome late season blizzard she encouraged me to give it a try.

Detritus of Empire refers to my related interests in archeology, politics and popular culture. I think the things we throw away, the things we discard as being of little value say much about us. Of course things get discarded for all sorts of reasons.  Probably it happens more often because something is just incredibly commonplace and typical than because it is in any fashion defective.

But the result is a skewed version of history, in which the atypical survives to tell the tale.  We get monuments not muppets, Ozymandius not Frank Oz.

I am also intrigued by how nations rise and fall.  Or more commonly bob up and down for long stretches of time.  Why did Rome succeed instead of Carthage?  Could wiser leadership have prevented the Decline and Fall, or the sun setting on the British Empire, and perhaps on America? 

I am certainly no pessimist in this regard.  Our times, akin to so many others, are filled with frivolity and bountiful examples of other human frailties and venalities.  But there are as well many notable examples of human nature at its best.  I see both.

For the record my politics trend towards the conservative side, but my opinions are less dogmatically rooted than my belief that courteous discussion among those with varying beliefs provides the best path forward.  You may of course revile me as a running dog, neoconservative ninny if it pleases you to do so.  I will not retaliate, and actually enjoy some of the wittier political invective. 

Bloggers come and go.  It seems that the one year mark weeds out many.  I intend to soldier on long term, so my three posts a week will rarely be exceeded.

The current blogger.com platform is less than ideal, so if you have tried without success to post comments my apologies.  If I have been deprived of both kudos and invective, rest assured I appreciate the intent in either case!

I borrowed my blogging name not from this minor Roman emperor named Tacitus, but from the earlier historian he claimed as an ancestor.  But the image was too good to not use.

1 comment:

Harry said...

Every time I take the time to stop by & rediscover your blog, I'm glad I did. Thrilled to see you typing away! What I do with my Flotsam Diaries has an awful lot of its roots in archaeology, the concept of what we throw away versus what we value. Whether what washes up on a beach can tell someone anything about a culture.

Re America's future, I use the line I use for many things now. I'm an optimist: I've got a little girl who will inherit my world, and it simply has to be a good one. So whatever petty silliness we're dealing with now, I have to believe that sane & serious minds will prevail.