Citizens of the world past, present, and future:
This is an advertisement for Wandering Albatross Press’s newest product: A tiny little onepiece for very young children (babies, really) with the words “Objectively Cute” emblazoned on the front in what I can only suppose is a basically safe acrylic-type print.
$18 for a dab of cotton welded into a shirt with leg holes and a button-up butt-wrap. Outrageous! But then write “Objectively Cute” on the garment. So! Now, we’ve got a novelty item; now we’ve got an idea that you can buy and so to some degree join, vote for, collaborate with, even–by adding to your collection of purchase-nods–take credit for. Now we’ve got a conversation starter.
Now we’ve got something for Søren and Regine to exchange pleasantries over as they meet on cool cobblestones beneath the thin northern sun. “Oh, yes! Clever! And there’s perhaps something to it: by the inward appropriation of the delightful fire your child lights in your heart, your subjective understanding grows in its relationship to the objective reality.” “Yeah, I know–but it’s also kind of funny, right? How everyone says of course they know they’re partial to their children and that that colors their views and that the truth is that of course all babies are very cute–but really, let the friends head off and leave a mother and father to confer alone, and quick as a wink it’s: ‘of course, our little one really is the most attractive of the bunch!’” “Oh, yes, quite! And yet the tender glowing love that a parent has for a child, and the open-hearted love beaming out of infants even more so–these spiritual support-beams of the phenomenon of infantile cuteness are solemn and profound hints about the nature of divine love; and so this little onepiece leads the mind round and round the enchanting paradox that for mortal minds and hearts, the objective can be gained only through the subjective: we cannot mentally or emotionally grasp the nature of the one true objective reality–the divinity of God and how that divinity relates to Gods’ creation–, but through the inward process of experiencing, accepting, willing, and celebrating the love that radiates into and out of our souls, we inwardly appropriate a subjective knowledge of the divine and its ties to this world; that is to say: we grow in subjective knowledge of the objective reality.” “Oh, yes, certainly–the T-shirt reminds us that though love is a subjective experience, it is also our only clear path to experiencing the one objective reality–the Love of God in, through, and as the world. We thought it was an interesting and a fun little garment–got it from Wandering Albatross Press, are you familiar with them?” “No, no, I don’t believe–perhaps they don’t publish very many theological books; but so wonderful to see you! Such a blessing to find you so well!” “Yes, you too! It really is!”
What, people, do you really want? To halt capitalism and materialism and have everyone grow their own food and knit their own outfits?
Allow me to suggest: you want what you already have: a reality made entirely out of Pure Love, and a divine light working its way through all the forms, kindly and unstoppably shepherding us all home–deeper into the path of wisdom, of a knowing goodness. And so, by all means: let’s get it together–admit we are all of one cloth and all in this together and that the direction towards better and better understanding and following love is the only path that offers any hope for any of us; by all means! By all means, let’s quit pretending we are different from the people we think we disagree with and work together before it is too late (to keep from destroying this world and this particular adventure–not “too late” in an eternal sense; but if you like me think there are still neat things that could be done as humans, then you have a “too late” to worry about)! Certainly–by all means. But beyond that, what can we say except that this Wandering Albatross Press company is–given its setting–probably an OK thought: we’ll sell the same novelty type products you buy anyway, the ones that tickle your fancy and make a nice gift in a world where cute ideas are appreciated and gift-giving generally involves converting raw materials into finished products that are sold, admired, used for a while, and then discarded; but we’ll try to push further towards the art end of novelty gifts and also to wrap our gifts within more layers of art and thought, letting our longing to make beautiful art bleed more into novelty knick-knack capitalism, and vice-versa. Why not? Probably won’t make things worse, and might, by encouraging reflection in both us dreamy artists / bold capitalist entrepreneurs and you dreamy art-lovers / poor sheep consumers, do some good. So we throw our thoughts on your table.
Would you like to buy this product? Kind of charming. Might make a good gift.
This released on Memorial Day, which prompted a reflection which I’ve decided to move to another post.
Published May 25, 2015
Author, excepting for the concluding poem: Bartleby Willard
Editor/ad-director/copyright keeper: Andy Watson
About this project:
We’re letting Bartleby write his book; we’re even publishing it for him; it is a loosely bound sketchbook: stories of his time here at Wandering Albatross Press interspersed with writings from that time or from now but somehow connected to that time; the supplementary writings will be mostly stories about manufacturing, marketing, distributing, and selling Pure Love (Love at a Reasonable Price) (The Apocrypha you have to pay a little more for because it isn’t really canon; it’s just other writings that happened around the same time and the same themes). This blog will consist of extracts from the book’s chapters as they are released into the lumiferous aether. You can buy BW’s book as he writes it here. You can also consider this blog a long advertisement for Wandering Albatross Press’s some-such-several wonderful products; like . You can also view this blog as it’s own thing–a good unto itself–and as such a sweet, chaste little kiss running through the infomaterous aether (the theory of a lumiferous ether through which electromagetic waves move is no longer widely accepted and its originators all long dead; it is very much in the public domain and so publishing houses, such as the beautiful WAP, can use it any way they please). But insofar as this is a commercial venture, we still need it fundamentally grounded not in profit-motive, but in kind delight. So cross your fingers for us; say a prayer for us; keep a gentle but stern, a wary but hopeful eye on us. Help us to try. Or at least let us try.
Author: Bartleby Willard, fictional character
Copyright holder/editor: Andrew Mackenzie Watson (of the Sand Springs Watsons)