we dream, we create, we change, we love

Pressured, Virtually

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The entirety of all that I write, all that I sketch or paint or shape, all that I record, all that I diagram or plan or calculate, all that I even wish I could dream I could think I could imagine, all that I create and all that I so endlessly modify, even all that I discard or forget, et cetera — think of all of that as if it were the community in which I live: myself and my family and my friends and my neighbors and others including visitors and intruders, the streets and the yards and the lakes and the countryside, the signs and the wildlife and the nearby airport’s approach path, the bridges and the parking lots and all the buildings and everything else. And in that virtual community of my writings and all, this weblog – aftermath – would be the main building, with its excutive offices and business center, with its activity rooms and lounges and exercise rooms and library, with its meeting hall and its stage and its kitchen and its restrooms, even with its storage places and equipment rooms and closets and hallways.

And that main building called aftermath is caked solid top-to-bottom inside and out with mold.

Mold. Dirt. Rust and waste and dust and muck.

So like I have done this week helping other community volunteers to rid some of our curbs and streets of a decade or more of black mold, I need as badly to pressure-wash aftermath.

The goals for this virtual version might seem at first glance to be sharply divergent. For the real community, our primary goal had to do with appearances. My #1 goal fighting mold that intrudes into my own house would be personal health, with a close second being the physical integrity of the building itself, with cosmetics following closely behind yet still no better than third. But for the curbs and streets and sidewalks of our community, our concern is almost exclusively in how we look to ourselves and to guests (and eventually to future purchasers).

In contrast, for aftermath I care nothing about how all this looks to anyone else at all. Even to the limited extent I open some of it up to public access, that doesn’t mean I am performing or presenting nor even that I mean any of this to communicate to anyone other than myself. The problem with the mold here is not in terms of the impressions it might make on anyone else, but rather on how the rust has rendered it of less use to me for what I had been using it for and continue to use it for.

But all in all, those two different goals are more similar than they are different, in that they both relate to quality of life. Accept the curb mold the way this community has for the past decade, and we accept a lower standard of living than we could rather easily take responsibility for making for ourselves. Ditto, if I continue to accept the weblog mold that aftermath has accumulated, then I accept a lower quality for my virtual life, on which I depend so heavily to conduct so much else of my real life.

So, haul out my cyber pressure washer and off I go down aftermath‘s creaky sidebar and down through its clanky categories and off through its pages and tags and settings, through all its content, then off through all its tunnels to the broad virtual home I have made for myself here. It’s a never-ending chore, yes, but one I can’t let go as long as our community ignored its curbs.

bumper sticker [] - aftermath

Written by macheide

18 July 2014 at 1:25 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Dead Zones — A legacy playlist I had set up at survives, although I had to modify its dead link that I’d placed near the top of aftermath‘s sidebar as “bg sounds.” But my old account there is frozen in place — it was set up under a long-gone e-mail with a password I lost to shenenigans. I’ll leave it intact on the sidebar for now, especially since I do find it nostalgically comforting to have it playing even now as I pressure wash my hallways around here.

    Much of the cleaning I need to tend to is like that: links that have long gone nowhere, often for sites that I’ve lost access to, sometimes for places that no longer even exist. Not all of them are as disdainful as Google’s predisposal to junking things, but the moldy effect of all is pretty much the same in terms of link after link that no longer work for me as I meant them to.


    18 July 2014 at 2:38 pm

  2. Online category listings I’m finding to be more trouble than they are worth to me. Google is utterly unreliable, is not as flexible as I’ll need, and I have no other simple recourse. But then as I repeatedly point out, all this – even what I allow to be public – is here for me to use, not so much caring for what anyone else might ever see. So since I do have the obvious solution – offline category listings – that’s the direction I’ll go. I don’t like how the offline basis is more difficult to make readily accessible across my various devices, but that’s of minor concern for now. So let’s pressure wash all the attempts at category listings that I’d ventured here, and move on.


    19 July 2014 at 3:03 am

  3. Moving this chore to RTM for further management. Worth remembering as I do so that technically the mold here exists only in the broken links — old websites that have long since disappeared or which have been replaced by new services. When I returned here this past week, at first I couldn’t click on much of anything and expect it to respond acceptably. But broken or obsolete links are really the only mold here. Not to over-organize it, but the minute I get into building completely new functionality into the site, I’m off of pressure washing the mold and into building new structure and capability into the effort. Which isn’t so bad, except that it can distract me too much if I don’t keep focus on the mold. Could turn out, I could find myself with a page that serves some current project quite fine but still boasts broken links all over the place for older yet still active activities.

    Like the metaphor I’ve been using — we can distract ourselves from the mold on the curbs to attend to a new fountain here or a better sound system there or whatnot, and yes that is all fine and worth attention, but beware lest we still have decade-old mold turning age twenty ten more years down the road.


    19 July 2014 at 10:23 am

  4. My virtual pressure-washing this morning focuses on clearing aftermath‘s bg check page of its mold. Second only to the sidebar in terms of how bad it had grown with its broken links and obsolete references, the stepwise manner of its construction had introduced a uniquely venal malady: contagion. In the form of copying one portion of code in order to establish a new portion of code, but doing so without properly modifying all of the elements of that initial section of code, such that the new portion of code carries incorrect labels or simply fails to work at all. My virtual pressure-washing is attending to clearing all that out along with the rest of the mold.


    20 July 2014 at 7:07 am

  5. Some people are so quick to take offense that efforts such as my virtual pressure-washing of the mold of broken links here at aftermath are being conducted primarily if not exclusively for purposes of my own use of my own journaling. It has to be about them, or else it is worse than worthless and worthy only of ridicule. Then again, some people are always looking for something to insult and reject in someone else and easily fabricate something if there’s nothing there for them to point a finger at.

    My virtual pressure-washing here at aftermath is not unlike when I tidy the clutter from my nightstand. Sure, I’ll grant, one very very very distant motive in that chore is to keep the area “presentable” in the event any guest to the house should happen to pass through our bedroom, and that an acknowledged secondary motive in that chore is respect for Suzi’s feelings about the space she lives in, yes. But my primary motive in tidying my nightstand, so primary a motive that it feels at times almost like it’s the only reason I do it, is to keep the nightstand workable for me and for what I do. When it gets too cluttered to hold one more poetry book or to find a decent pen or to lose my keys or to for that half a cup of coffee I’m still sipping on to be maybe five days old, then it’s time to tidy, not for Suzi and certainly not for the benefit of any guest, but for me.

    So go ahead and call that selfish. Get insulted because it’s not all about you. Laugh at my idiosyncrasies. Then preach to everyone about acceptance because I happen to know my nightstand works for me better when it has a low level of clutter. Me, I’m still going to be working at eliminating the broken links here at aftermath and hey, if you don’t like me doing so, fine, I was fixing the broken links for my own purposes anyway, not seeing the need to ask anyone’s permission to do so.


    20 July 2014 at 7:45 am


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