Issue #3 March 8, 2020
Welcome to another issue. My audience is still small, but I hope those of you who have decided to join me in this newsletter are finding it useful and interesting so far. I'll be the first to admit I'm still trying to find my way. This is the third issue and the third format I've tried with three different ways of putting together the content. I imagine I'll be experimenting a bit more. The title of my newsletter, Farrago, was intended to signify the mismash of topics I'd write about, but, so far, it also accurately describes the forms this newsletter has taken over its short life. Newsletters are a format that I both like to consume and create, but I still have a lot to learn about what constitutes a successful one. If you yourself are interested in the process of creating newsletters then I can recommend this set of posts from CJ Chilvers.
In a recent issue of his newsletter, Roden Explorers, Craig Mod discusses how he deletes all of his old tweets.I knew this was a thing some people did and I had even done something similar once myself with an Instagram account, but I had a great deal of trepidation in doing so and actually regretted it after it was done. I used to think it was important to maintain the integrity of the web as an archive, but I’m not sure I’m convinced anymore. For one, the web has never been a very good archive of anything. All you have to do is go browse the archives of anyone’s blog, tweets or bookmarks and marvel at the number of broken links you can find there. Stuff disappears all of the time and nothing I do in my own little corner of the web is going to change that. Recently, I deleted the previous version of my website, the one that still existed from the days when I spent most of my time online futilely promoting my photography. It wasn’t easy to let it go (I have it archived offline as I couldn't bear to permanently assign it to the trashcan), but I don’t regret taking it down. I’m starting to think it might be good to reinvent yourself every once in awhile online and to shed the weight of past interests and posts. Very little I have done online in the past has reached a wide-enough audience to warrant keeping it around. If I'm honest with myself it simply doesn’t matter and so it feels like a significant weight has been lifted off my shoulders when I just get rid of it and start fresh. As for what I'm going to do with my Twitter account, I wrote a little script that will go through and delete any tweet older than 30 days and any tweet I've liked older than 90. I've backed up my Twitter account; all I have to do is run it. I’m hesitant. Old habits and values die hard, but I’ll run it this week and then I’ll keep on running it. My tweets and likes will be ephemeral and I think I will like it better that way.
Today is International Women’s Day and The 2020 Women’s Prize longlist was announced earlier this week. I had a few of these books already in my TBR list, but I haven’t read any of them yet, something I plan to rectify soon with The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa.
In related news, I enjoyed this interview with Jenny Offill, another of the nominees of the Women’s Prize, about her new book, Weather, at the Chicago Review of Books. This particular quote stuck out to me: “That’s not to say we shouldn’t be trying to match our actions with our ethics, but you don’t have to attain ethical purity in order to speak.”
The above interview also mentions Offill’s website, An Obligatory Note of Hope, which contains information and resources for collective action on the issue of climate change.
I've been really far behind on watching the TV shows I have on my watch list, but I have been taking the time to watch The Outsider on HBO. Its season finale is on tonight.
I'm continuing to very good progress on my reading challenge for this year. Finished a few more books over this last week and I'm already at 23 books out of my goal of 52.