First: I’ve now moved to monkeyorchestra.wordpress.com for reasons I cannot explain with language. Currently running that. This is an archive of older content.
Some reflections on the Museum:
Having written on this website for an entire year without stopping, I believe the time is ripe for some reflections. This will be the final update I make to the Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum.
First, obviously, I named it after the wrong King Crimson song. I should have called it ‘Frame by Frame’ because after a certain point every single article here talks almost excessively about the way people view the world, rather than any facts about the world itself. There’s a progression, a very slow one, until it seems entirely different at the end.
You can really see the points where I discovered the works of certain people (particularly Peterson and Taleb), because the content is just so obviously influenced. Nonetheless, the website begins and ends with a similar set of principles. The first post and the penultimate post are the same, really, only one is far more developed than the other.
Many of these posts are trash-talking, to be honest. Many times I scrabbled around for a topic to write at the last minute, other times I was waiting impatiently for Wednesday so I could articulate a certain thought I’d had on something…but the important part is the consistency of publishing.
I don’t want to lie, I’m pretty proud of that consistency. I believe that even though many of my hypotheses can probably be disproven by someone with a larger knowledge base, at least every post on this website encourages some kind of discussion. And that was the point – I didn’t make this thing to go over what people already knew. That’s why so much of the stuff on here is ‘obscure’. I wanted to be wholly original. Sometimes that’s pretty interesting and sometimes it just results in my talking crap. But the general rule of thumb was, if you can Google it, it doesn’t belong. Not the content itself, obviously, because I didn’t create that much. But the comparisons and the type of analysis. There are quite a few surprisingly apt comparisons all over the site.
All of these essays could use a little editing and tightening up. That’s fine; I own them, I intend on tweaking a few.
The purpose of this website, in my mind, changed several times. It began as a way to establish a knowledge base. I wanted to set down my principles – Trump had just been elected, and I had a few things I wanted to sort out for myself. A few basic guidelines. After I’d made that post (by the way, frustratingly, still the most popular one on the site) I maintained the URL for a few reviews, a bit of awful prose, and a way to write about as many disparate topics as possible.
After a while, the focus shifted to historiography, particularly misconceptions about history and the way in which things were perceived. I wrote about some great little cultural histories and the ways research is conducted. My investigations into music became more fundamental, not reviews, my investigations into literature ever more specialist and reliant on inspecting the framework. Video content is pretty lacking, but there you go. It became almost exclusively about frameworks.
At the same time, I was pulling an amateur Montaigne – as I wrote the articles, I saw how my own framework of values was presented, and realised that this website was a much more personal statement than if I wrote “John Smith, 24, University of Texas,” or whatever on the About page, like Montaigne’s essays. So I followed suit, and never defined myself. I did no advertising, and got 400 views, and a few comments (all positive) one from a long-established Mervyn Peake fansite (I’m pretty satisfied with that). I’ve been read all over the planet at this point, which is quite gratifying to be honest with you, especially since I was never trying to be.
So we’ll cut the red ribbon on the Oyster Museum, it’s open for business, come on in, etc etc. Available online 24/7, copyright me, trademark Warner Bros.
I believe this content is suitable for a general audience, although you may require Google, and I strongly encourage you to give it a look. Every article has a twist.