Naturally, the web already has a “Diaspora Project.” But so shall dekalborama. And now I sense a digression coming on….
Redundancy is, after all, the new herald of popularity. Come to think of it, it was also the old one. Heedless reproduction in all its forms—flattery included—seems to be what the web’s about these days. The quickest test of plagiarism is simply to Google a long phrase: how many sites post/host identical articles, unattributed, un-peer reviewed, just copied because someone thought them interesting and therefore cred-worthy? (Wait, is it all just some tedious cocktail party writ large, and without the free punch, at that?) Speed up the film—the web’s great at this—and it’s easy to see the process that has always been there. Flowers open no more quickly in the digital age, but fewer of us than ever stop to watch with our own eyes. Who has the time? My point being: “viral” and “unique” are becoming more apparently contradictory trends. OK, back to diaspora….
So I introduced a “Diaspora” blogroll widget to the sidebar here just to plug a few home pages once I realized how many of us had them. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that gigging musicians and composers had secured their own namesakes, even if the medium is largely inconsequential (many of us are on the web in some form, even to the casual seeker, but how much of what we do uses the web more than incidentally?). I just posted one representative link each, constrained by the WordPress blogroll widget’s single-link limitation. But some of us have central sites featuring ourselves, while others appear only as adjuncts to others’ obsessions, or are cited in multiple articles, have several employers, moonlight in other bands. So choosing one link of many in the case of, say, Steve Doyle, ends up being my somewhat arbitrary choice, won’t necessarily please Steve, and isn’t open to Steve or others adding their own links, commentary, photos, or tunes; not even as personable as those truncated bios you read in the Playbill programs.
And then I started thinking about it…and damn. Digression two is a soapbox. Apologies in advance.
It’s a medium, folks! Some of you I collaborated with in some way at some time and it was good. But that was then, and we were there—the audience often smaller than the ensemble—the recordings are fading to dust with time, and we already have a project for that (Projects: how ADHD/OCD individuals muster their impulses into constructive, if irrelevant, actions). And many of you I have never collaborated with at all, nor even met. And now herein lies an opportunity.
The search for the Neoteric diaspora should be a project in its own right. Tracking down old members today, even flying little flags in their honor once found, is a nice job for a maiden aunt (one of the few jobs I’ve never applied for). And I’ve even had a little success, which is stroking, in its way. But one or two guys with a few email addresses are unlikely to do anything more than wax nostalgic. So I’m about to solicit more help. Your help. The diaspora themselves.
We could use this thing. Link. Join. Merge. Perform. Do new things. At least have some fun.
Think about it.
So to open things up, cede control, and (gods willing) pass the buck, I am about to rehome the blog Diaspora links to user pages on dekalbowiki. There will be some minor mechanical challenges as folks sign up—for example, your chosen user name may or may not be your real one, or I might start a page using a former nickname you’ve come to loathe—but that’s what redirects are for. MediaWiki is very forgiving of these things, really. And once this is done, your wiki bio is yours to do with as you like: add links, text, pics, tunes; ramble uninterrupted; defend against well-meant or malicious edits.
The Diaspora Project on dekalborama. Coming soon. Maybe this afternoon.
I just wanted to say hello. I was in the Neoteric Ensemble under Joseph Pinzarroni in 1984-85. It was an awesome group and I have amazing memories of Joe – the conspirator of anything wild, wacky and wonderful. He was the first person to get me to really think outside of the box. Presently, I still outside of that box and I owe that to him.
Keep your group together if at all possible. During this time of maddening politics and incomprehensible logic, the deep thinking that made the Neoteric Ensemble work is sorely missing in todays society. I teach at Elon University along with Jenny Whitaker (http://email@example.com) who was in the ensemble a year or two after or before me. I also remember Betsy Start who was in the ensemble with me (http://elizabethstart.com/about.htm). I hope to hear good things from you in the future.
Hey, Jim, it’s great to hear from you. If you have any memorabilia to post or writings to add, just drop a line. We do try to moderate promptly, but I can provide a login if you’d like a more spontaneous option.