Let’s resolve to do it some more
Or, we all know what happens to goals and resolutions, but what the hell, it's a new year
Dr Essai thinks little of resolve, and so does not bother with resolutions at the turn of the year. A renowned sourpuss like the doctor knows what becomes of all those bold declarations of what shall be accomplished in the ensuing 365 days.
As for goals, the doctor renounces them. Goals are the invention of management and thus to be avoided whenever possible. Goals were created by the same geniuses who came up with core values and mission statements. Their true purpose has always been to con the working stiff into doing more to advance the careers of management and increase the net worth of owners. A knock-on effect has been the fostering of the witless Getting Things Done industry with its “productivity experts” and other mountebanks, a striking number of whom produce newsletters read by far more people than read The Joggled Mind. Not that Dr Essai harbors envy or resentment.
The doctor does not have goals. The doctor has a life and an intention. The latter is to spend as much of the former as possible reading, thinking, and writing. His material intention for 2023 is to write 60 or so more letters, delivered to you, dear reader, by the magic of excited electrons. He hopes to grow his readership and list of blessed paid subscribers, but has no targets. Those would goals.
His amanuensis, Mr. Keiger, once described himself as “besotted by words.” Asked at a conference what gets him up in the morning, the gentleman replied, “Love, beauty, and language.” As a friend once said, lawdy-friggin-dah. But Mr. K seemed to mean it. He also seemed to mean it when he said his life had a tripartite purpose: love his wife, love his friends, and tell true stories. Dr Essai has nothing smartass to say about that.
Mr. Keiger has been at work for some time now on a long print essay about all the books he hasn’t read, and hopes to complete that one in the coming year. Reports indicate he also has been mulling essays on American primitive guitar, the mathematics of Klondike solitaire, the history and modern manufacture of bells, and the twisted folk musicologist Harry Smith. He is rumored to be collecting notes for a peculiar writing manual, working title The Teahead Sutras. Bookmakers are not offering odds on these projects appearing in print, but Mr. K seems intent. Dr Essai notes there is little chance of any other writer stealing these ideas because, well, come on...
The Joggled Mind came into existence on October 13 and has already attracted a gratifying number of readers. No one involved takes that for granted. Dr E and Mr. K cannot thank you enough, and wish for you a safe and lively 2023. As John Prine said, it’s a big ole’ goofy world. Somebody has to pay attention to it.
Peace and love.