A few weeks ago Nic and Jonathan and I had one of our occasional drinks at the Crown and Greyhound and ended up in a very politely heated debate on 'meaning', which we are planning to jointly thrash out here and over at Haunted Geographies (though not sure exactly when he'll be posting).
It had started innocently enough. Nic asked how Sigur Ros was, and I mentioned my thoughts about music being somehow 'beyond language'. He argued that without language there can be no meaning. And I want to try to explore why I disagree with that, and why I think that disagreement is important, rather than totally academic - which I'll probably get to in the next post. So bear with us.
My hunch that began the conversation was that there is a meaning behind language that we, very occasionally, get a glimpse of.
Just a note - if you're in the US the prices, including delivery are approx $23 for hardback and $15 for paperback.
From the UK the postage can be a lot. (Hardback $30 inc. delivery and $22 for paperback, about £18 or £14)
However, I can bulk order and get free postage. So if you'd like one in the UK, email me on kesterATthecomplexchristDOTcom and I'll be able to do them for £15 hardback and £10 paperback (inc delivery in UK).
In case you've been wondering, it's DIY week. Or half term - never can remember what it's really called these days. Certainly not holiday... Will need a relaxing week's teaching after all this. Carpentry, wallpapering, re-wiring, insulating... The list goes on. And on.
I remember hearing one David Pawson speak - yup, the guy who wrote 'Leadership is Male' (thankfully 'Limited Availability') - who said that he was very happy for people to come and stay with him and his wife, but only if they were prepared to do a day's work. He backed it up with some proof-text, and claimed he'd deny you your dinner if you hadn't done enough work. A dinner his wife would doubtless have to have cooked. The same wife who he wouldn't let pull the switch on an electric chair, though he'd do it himself.
One of those bizarre Christian talks you never forget.
Think I've earned my pie tonight anyway.
A few people have been asking for this... Just a way of searching through the blog archives.
PS - can anyone help me get the align correct? The thing needs bumping in a few pixels to line up with the other items, but I can't work out how. Nothing in the sidebar2 template seems to suggest this list item (ie I pasted the google code into a typepad list, which this template calls) has any different settings...
For those who asked, I've just received the final (hardback) product from Lulu, and the quality is excellent.
If I was being finnickity I'd prefer matt to gloss finish on the cover, but apart from that, no hesitation at all in recommending them.
Jonny has some wider ideas about how Lulu could be used to get materials out there, and Maggi has some great thoughts, with interesting discussion going on, about the wider implications in terms of copyright, writing forms etc.
As the boundaries between forms become more fluid, it's definitely something we'll see more of; the screen just hasn't hit it as a comfortable reading format yet.
And if we are happy to publish our comments globally on each other's blogs, we ought not to be shy of them being on the printed page, should we?
One of the things I dislike about blogging is the volatility of posts: you write your heart out, and in a couple of days it's disappeared into the aether, too far down for scrolling, rarely to be seen again.
Perhaps this is why Doug Pagitt has decided that blogs are not a good way to conduct discussion and debate. I disagree, but personally need a different format to keep up with what I've written. I just don't find online archives a good way to browse back.
Hence I hearby declare the word created, and announce the arrival of Plogging: Publishing a hard copy of your blog.
I called the book (sic) - "an adverb used in brackets after a copied or quoted word that appears odd or erroneous to show that the word is quoted exactly as it stands in the original" - which sums it up pretty well I think. Mine is a beautifully bound edition of the unexpurgated posts, comments and tags from this blog, July - December 2005.
It's really easy to do through Lulu - an excellent online publisher, which I think is going to radically change the nature of publishing as we know it.
PDF previews of the first few pages are available there too. I'm personally really excited about having a hard copy of the blog - it runs to 260 pages or so - and being able to browse a book, rather than a screen! Looking through it, it's amazing to be reminded of the stuff people have contributed... dirt, humour, insight. Doing so makes me want to challenge Doug to think again. Going private on discussion may not do everyone a service.
No I don't expect any sales. And no I haven't considered copyright of people's comments ;p
Really good to spend some time last night with the guys from Pompey. Brave Christians of the finest sort: deconstructed everything in order to think and pray carefully about reconstruction. Very generously listened to my ramblings, despite the darts final being on. Exciting times lie ahead I'm sure. Thanks, and welcome anyone who's having a look after last night.