Baumli's Blusterings, Bilge, & Bilious Brilliancies
(instead of a blog)
Despite the above title, it warrants being stated that this exercise in online publishing is attached to considerable modesty. There is more than one etiology by which to explain why the particular works herein are being presented: Some are works which have already been published in hard copy format, but in my opinion, deserve to remain in print even if it be online. Others have unique merit, but only for a small audience; hence, they do not warrant being published in hard copy even though certain such pieces, which might garner no more than 20 avid and intelligent readers, may nevertheless possess more intrinsic value than a book which sells two million copies. Other of these works are here published because I simply never tried to publish them elsewhere. And a few are juvenilia, which do not warrant being published in hard copy and perhaps scarcely warrant being here published online, except insofar as they might be of some interest to Baumli aficionados, his voyeurs, and his critics who will find splendid satisfaction at discovering these juvenilia and using them as ammunition by which to slander Baumli’s abilities as a writer.
The works here published are grouped into ten listed categories, and to the extent I am able, I give each of them a date indicating when they were written. Once these works are put into their proper category, they then are organized by various criteria which should be clearly discernible to any reader. Clearly the issues of The Aviary are published in the order they were written. As for works by other writers, these are listed alphabetically by author. Their works are then usually (though not always) printed in the temporal order they were written.
The Aviary was my yearly form letter for many years, but I stopped writing it, partly because I hadn’t the time, but also because its audience was often hostile (a matter I have never understood), or so clamorous for more as to make the writing of it feel like a duty, and thereby an onerous chore whereas in earlier years it had been a pleasure.
Not all of my confrontations with the universe have been appropriate for The Aviary. Certain mundane, or climacteric, or even perverse reckonings now and then come upon me. Most of these, of course, deserve privacy—even secrecy. But occasionally they warrant public forum, if for no other reason than to divert the attention of voyeurs away from those aspects of my life which are even more private and secluded. Hence the section herein called “Autobiographical Excursions and Aneurisms,” which sets forth both what is serene and also what can be tumultuous in my dealings with the world. Many people have suggested I write a complete autobiography, to which I always reply that really I have no interest in this at all, and besides, I’ve essentially already done this since my many writings are so often about various aspects of my life. Now and then, however, I am obligated to submit a short autobiography for some business reason, and it is always interesting to discern what I presently consider important, and also discover what I now do not consider important even though I did at an earlier time. So I shall publish these previously-submitted autobiographies (the ones I can find, that is) and thus give my readers some knowledge of the particulars—the facts—of my life. Also, since in many ways my life, however reclusive and secluded, is partially defined by the company I keep—especially with family and a few close friends—there are times these autobiographical excursions are more about them than about me. Such is the nature of this writer’s generosity when it overfloweth.
The “Literary Litanies” are just that. Sometimes they are brief observations—an article or essay that makes a single point. Other times they are more ambitious, comprising an entire book.
Most of my publications over the years have been in the area of “Men’s Liberation,” even though I never quite intended it to be this way. This publishing record has reflected my own personal proclivities, but now as the men’s movement fades away, I find that there still remain a few topics I wish to write on. However, all major men’s liberation publications, by now, are defunct. There are a couple of online publications for such topics, but if that is the direction such publishing has taken, then I might as well do it myself. This way I do not have the hassle of dealing with editors who are almost as imperious and stubborn as they are ignorant and stupid.
I received my B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in philosophy, and so have written a good deal in this field. However I have not much cared about publishing philosophy, especially articles, ever since years ago when I saw a study showing that once an article has made its way past a journal’s review board, the average number of readers for each article is ... one. Why fling my insights into the void? Why, I sometimes wonder, even bother writing them down? But I have written a few down, and hence the section herein called “Philosophy.”
If my main proclivities have always been toward literature and music, it also is the case that I have had more than a passing interest in science. This interest was quite strong in my youth, to the point that I could almost be considered an expert in nuclear physics by the time I was in the fifth grade. (Admittedly the field was more limited back then.) In later years such interests have taken various turns, ranging from psychology and neurology to microscopy and mathematics. I always feel very pleased when I succeed in publishing something in science, given that I have relatively little formal education in this area. So here I include a section on “Delvings and Dalliances in Science” for the sake of setting forth a few of my writerly endeavors in this field.
As for the section called “Musical Musings and Audiophilic Ponderings”—well, music is my favorite of the arts, I made my living as a musician for many years, now do much writing on music, and do much listening to music on what is called a high-end stereo system. Moreover, I sometimes dabble in certain lightweight topics that have to do with audio engineering, and over the years have even published several articles in this field (these pieces usually receiving considerable, and favorable, notice both from general readers and also from audio engineers). So I have elected to put a few observations on these topics within this website.
Being an atheist, who more specifically is a nultheist (an atheist who keenly and privately mourns, even loudly laments, the loss of theistic beliefs), I nevertheless am imbued with the symbiology, emotional fervor, and the theological meaning of a theistic God, however much I may have “fallen away” from believing in the reality of that God. In truth, these issues loom colossal in my soul. Hence the section entitled, “Religious Trysts and Transient Ischemias,” for the sake of setting forth my wrestlings with issues of divinity, as well as the resulting ecstasies and despairings.
My more scholarly friends, and those I know who possess impressive intellect, will please forgive my “Diverticulitic Diversions.” Perhaps they will understand that even the most serious and rarefied of minds must now and then play in the muck of mediocrity for the sake of avoiding the accusation that we are divine.
And why am I publishing writings by other writers? Because I am generous. Also because I have a strong belief in the considerable merits of certain other writers who show absolutely no interest in publishing. I want to see them published, much more than they do, even if it be online. Also there are a few obligations I want to try and discharge—at least to some degree. When I had my small, but very successful, literary agency I focused on books only—especially translations of books. Occasionally I took on short pieces by certain authors simply because I found them so impressive. I managed to publish several of these, and even though this made me no money, I felt I was providing a service to the writer and to the public. But a few pieces fell by the wayside when I sold my literary agency. They did not get published at the time, and ever since have languished without readers. I wish to make amends, to the extent that I can, and am attempting to do so by publishing them on this website.
So here it is: a compendium of online publications, some of which have been in print, others which never made it into print, and several which never really deserved a hard copy publication. Obviously I think these all have some merit or I would not here include them. The reader can skim, titter, smirk, become immersed, or forever be inspired. I am so benignly aloof I really do not care which of these options any one reader chooses. I do believe, however, that some of these pieces have much merit, possess considerable value, and can even be put to practical use.
I am sure a few readers will appreciate the service they have received by being given these forays, foibles, and occasional colossi. But if you, the reader, find them useless, do not bother me with your complainings. You got what you paid for.
(This introduction written 7-11-2012.)