A Congregation of Elephants: Our Introduction

It would be too vague and constricting to say what we are, especially since we may want to expand on that subject. If we say we are, for example, library bums, it would be difficult to justify articles about art galleries. Here is what we are not:

We are not hipsters – I dare anyone to truly define what this word even means anymore. Everywhere I look something is hipster, or not hipster. Even mutually exclusive things are hipster, apparently. It’s getting to the point where this has become an all-inclusive excuse for not doing things. “Oh, I don’t need to read. Dat’s hipster!”
No.
It’s not.
But, if you mean Buddy Holly glasses-wearing, ironic-Ts, Urban Outfitters, designer headphones, apple products, and craft beer –do not fear. We can’t afford any of that. We do sometimes like our alternative music and independent cinema, but that has never stopped us from singing every word to every Ke$ha song or watching superhero movies.

We are not academics –It’s not that we don’t think that education is important and potentially useful for many people, including your friend Ted, and maybe even you. We’re not dropouts ourselves. But, we are not totally enamored with traditional education. We’re not professors. We’re not teachers. We like some professors and teachers, and others we dislike. We don’t like how your college English professor symbol-hunted the hell out of Robert Frost. We do not see education and literature as a part of an elite club for people who use “qua” a lot.
Don’t use “qua”.

We are not Grammar Nazis –In fact, Grammar Nazis are the enemy of Circuit C. We don’t care if you have a few typos, speak colloquially, have less than perfect spelling, or make a grammatical error. We may do the same. We’re more interested in the beauty, expression, delight, enjoyment, rapture, titillation, elucidation, tear-jerking, laughter-inducing, sacred, profane, mysterious, elevating, seductive, sensual, repulsive, terrifying, and enlightening use of language. Your grammatically perfect driving manual and insurance policy will never be as beautiful as the experimental, liquid, and ever-changing nature of language.
Also, we think it’s a load of crap to give up on an otherwise sound idea just because someone misused the word “disinterested”.
This does not mean that we do not care about quality writing. We do. But, we also know that people make mistakes. WE will make mistakes. YOU will make mistakes. And, we also know that sometimes nontraditional grammatical forms are just preferable for a particular piece of writing.
So, we will not be channeling our rage at someone’s less than stellar knowledge of transitive verbs.

We are not sophists –We are not here to argue for the sake of looking sharp. We do not believe that the pursuit of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness is best suited to pseudo-philosophical hair splitting and mind games.  Pardon our inability to be impressed by either your debate team record or your amorous affairs with a thesaurus. We do not expect to impress everyone with how brilliant we are. We’re not impressive or impressed.

We are not partisan politicos –Honestly, we don’t care whether you pledge allegiance to the donkey or the elephant. Our pursuits may sometimes seem right and sometimes seem left, depending on what we think is correct.

What we are is Outraged. We are Literati. We are the Outraged Literati. We are the Outlits.

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