Saturday, August 13, 2005

We're Going to Hell in a Handbasket

That phrase has really become a cliche these days, huh? I have mixed feelings about it, and through this BLOG, I'd like to explore it as it pertains to EVERYTHING to show, well, that I personally think that taking this phrase as an attitude and as something said a lot really doesn't help to change our direction toward Paradise in a parade of joy.

I mean that more as a metaphor, not as some belief in a Utopia.

What I say will make more sense after you read more of The Lextopia, even if I don't necessarily touch upon it right away. Even though three sentence blurbs have their place in the world, even here, I will not always use them. A training course or a book I read about Risk Management or something or the other in my insurance education once said something about the choice to write someone a letter rather than calling them on the phone. I think it pretty much addressed that, one out of many reasons, we insurance professionals write to clients because want them to think a little bit more about the topic in the letter than they would if we called them or had a meeting with them. Even though I will use blurbs on The Lextopia every once in awhile (especially when I'm tired, stressed or some other good reason), I write because I want my audience to think a little bit more about the topic than they normally would.

I also want to use The Lextopia to keep people updated on my life. A BLOG really hit me as a great way to do so from the surprise my friend, who writes at, that people actually read his BLOG. He said that he knew it, on some level, but to have people tell him that they know stuff about him that he tried to tell them in the midst of conversation really struck him, especially when he hadn't seen us for years, and during some of those years, we had open hostilities and didn't want to talk to each other. That's a story not worth addressing to the public, but his reason to react the way he did struck me as motivation to start up The Lextopia.

Do you wonder where that name came from? I originally wanted to call this place 'Blogotronic,' but someone already took that address in the beginning of June. . .and has only written one entry. . .*grumble* Personally, I think if you take a potentially easy to remember and potentially popular name for a BLOG, you should write somewhat regularly, at least, more than once in three months. That's just my opinion.

So. . .with the name that I had gotten stuck on for a week taken and with me really really having the motivation to start up a BLOG again, I thought hurriedly. I have 'Lex' somewhere in my name and people who know me know that it has involvment in my Internet presence. In a way, I have 'Lex' as something of a brand now. When some people think of the_lex and the Internet, they think of me.

The power of branding really hit me a few months ago when a friend of mine who DJs told me that he has to have two DJ names for branding purposes. People knew his original DJ name for spinning a certain type of techno, but he likes to spin all types of techno and likes to attract all types of people, so he had to come up with another DJ name to attract those other people without disappointing the people who like his original style of DJing. Thanks, DJ friend and also NPR reporting for letting me know the power of branding.

Regarding -topia, it comes from the Greek 'topos', I believe, and means 'place,' so the title of this BLOG means, "The Place of The Lex." I even have a story for this one: For nearly the last ten years, I've been studying utopianism. I will publish a dystopian novel someday, and I may finish writing a thesis addressing some fictional literature and communities that fall under the field of utopianism. Anyone who has looked up utopia or has read anything about utopia will know the etymology of the world. I've already explained -topia, while u- has a mixed etymology. The word comes from both the Greek and Latin 'ou-' and 'eu-.' One of them is Greek and the other Latin, not sure which, but anyway. . .'ou-' means 'no' in English and 'eu-' means 'good.' St. Thomas More, the Catholic saint, coined the term with his literary work, Utopia.

According to, The 19th-century British utilitarian (not to be confused with unitarianism or Unitarian-Universalism) social philosopher, John Stuart Mill, coined the word, dystopia, in some political speech to denounce some political group. Mill, in his part, derived the word, dystopia, from another utilitarian social philosopher associate, Jeremy Bentham, who coined the word cacotopia. From what I understand, they both pretty much used the words for the same purpose, or maybe it's possible that Bentham just used cacotopia as a descriptive word. Fascinating, huh?

I have the feeling that you'll hear plenty more about utopianism from me. I made something of a tentative agreement with my girlfriend to not really work on my thesis for about a year because it has frustrated me and my mood swings regarding it have stressed her out a bit. I can get a little obsessive about it, though, and have found a prospect in a book called Story of Utopias by Lewis Mumford, an early 20th-century, social critic who focused on technology, urbanization and us humans should have an organic rather than mechanical relationship with stuff. I read the first couple pages of it, and it resonated with me. Too bad I don't own it. . .I'll have to wait for my next paycheck to purchase it.

Another prospect comes from the concept of fundamentalism. Someone once gave me an interesting lecture on the topic after reading a book about it. Fundamentalism, as a sociological term for a symptom of rapid social change (or generally, more specifically, Modernism) that tries to defend against the encroachment of the change on their identity and group identity by somewhat calcifying and sticking to their guns as to the true belief of something, will help me, I believe, one paper for the thesis. I still need to read a book I found about the topic on, but I've already got some ideas that I can probably use for the paper.

Unfortunately, though, I feel kind of guilty approaching the thesis at the moment because of the way that it affects my life somewhat like an addiction. Like many challenges that I have trouble immdiately solving, I can become very very focused and moody when involved in it. I can get a very narrow tunnel vision. If you didn't know, I'm a Taurus. =d But yeah, this thesis has become a very big challenge that has affected my life in many many ways, and at times, while actively working on it regularly and it puts up a single challenge that lasts a year or so, it can tend to affect my day-to-day life, so if I approach the thesis now, I have to learn moderation, especially if I intend on successfully making it through the many life changing events that I plan on going through over the next 9-10 months.

I will write more about the thesis, novel, utopianism (please note that the links for two terms, utopianism and utopia will take you to two different entries -- somewhat important), my life changes over the next 9-10 months and other things that I believe require some thought in the days to come, however. I have other things that need to get done today, and I can't let The Lextopia get in the way of my day-to-day life. Stay tuned for more thought packed adventures.

Thank you for reading and for understanding my situation. You're wonderful. =D


Kirk said...

I'm surprised you went for the dash in the name...reminds me of whats his name the old old guy on the onion whou would always write about "ro-bots" and "tele-phones"

Speaking of stuff like that, how come you still write it BLOG? You're the only person I've seen do that on a regular basis.

helioshamash said...


Utopia. What with th' Greek an' th' Latin etymology one could say it's a "no good place".

As fer th' name, I thought you were goin' for a play on "telex", as in telephone exchange...

helioshamash said...

Wow. That sounded negative. Not what I meant at all! Supposed to be funny but it's too early in th' morn...

The_Lex said...

Kirk: I did it in haste and error. I wish I didn't have it there, but changing it would cause tons of hassle.

Writing BLOG, I live behind the times these days, especially when it comes to technology and even news. I still have about three months of Daily Show to watch and three months of e-mail news to go through. Funny thing, though, not much changes except for little idioms really change. . ..

Helio: No worries, at all. I never thought about utopia in that way. Good play on words!