Thursday, November 09, 2006


OK. This really is my last Stat Counter post for a while. Because I have come to the fall which naturally follows on pride. I was all set to wonder what had brought folks from the University of Indiana at Bloomington, Dartmouth College, and the corporate drones of Shimizu America Corporation and Lockheed Martin out to Sea -- and then I made the mistake of going to the piece of the statistics that shows how long these people had stayed here.

I will ignore for the moment the fact that one poor soul has spent some 22 hours out at Sea over some [please, God, very long] period -- one of the South Africans who make up a whopping 4% of "our" readership. [You know who you are.]

But most of the hits lasted precisely

0 seconds.

Did I say anything yet about pride coming before a fall? Well I do believe that's where we are.
Does Gay Pride come before a Gay Fall?
Well, have a gay fall, one and all.

But NEVER fall for statistics. Here is what Mark Twain had to say about them:

Once there was a neck opposite Port Hudson, Louisiana, which was only half a mile across, in its narrowest place. You could walk across there in fifteen minutes; but if you made the journey around the cape on a raft, you traveled thirty-five miles to accomplish the same thing. In 1722 the river darted through that neck, deserted its old bed, and thus shortened itself thirty-five miles. In the same way it shortened itself twenty-five miles at Black Hawk Point in 1699.

Below Red River Landing, Raccourci cut-off was made (forty or fifty years ago, I think). This shortened the river twenty-eight miles. In our day, if you travel by river from the southernmost of these three cut-offs to the northernmost, you go only seventy miles. To do the same thing a hundred and seventy-six years ago, one had to go a hundred and fifty-eight miles!--shortening of eighty-eight miles in that trifling distance. At some forgotten time in the past, cut-offs were made above Vidalia, Louisiana; at island 92; at island 84; and at Hale's Point. These shortened the river, in the aggregate, seventy-seven miles.

Since my own day on the Mississippi, cut-offs have been made at Hurricane Island; at island 100; at Napoleon, Arkansas; at Walnut Bend; and at Council Bend. These shortened the river, in the aggregate, sixty-seven miles. In my own time a cut-off was made at American Bend, which shortened the river ten miles or more.

Therefore, the Mississippi between Cairo and New Orleans was twelve hundred and fifteen miles long one hundred and seventy-six years ago. It was eleven hundred and eighty after the cut-off of 1722. It was one thousand and forty after the American Bend cut-off. It has lost sixty-seven miles since. Consequently its length is only nine hundred and seventy-three miles at present.

Now, if I wanted to be one of those ponderous scientific people, and 'let on' to prove what had occurred in the remote past by what had occurred in a given time in the recent past, or what will occur in the far future by what has occurred in late years, what an opportunity is here! Geology never had such a chance, nor such exact data to argue from! Nor 'development of species,' either! Glacial epochs are great things, but they are vague--vague.

Please observe:

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. That is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period,' just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upwards of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long,
and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen.

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

Hang on and hang in there.
And, if you are the praying kind, pray for Drew and Nate and all others who approach a crossroads from which there is no going back.
I will try to do the same. God help me.


  1. God helps those who help themselves.

    The importance of the destination depends on the journey one is willing to make. What good is a short-cut when it is the process that gives one character?

  2. Danny:

    help me out here. I am having some trouble putting the two paragraphs together.

    Since when does the Mississippi have to worry about character? Or have I been taking short cuts?

    yr easily confused

  3. Wow, that was fast. I have only read your original post and the posts from today and yesterday. It was I who took the short-cut. The paragraphs are non squiturs.

    I have gleaned from those three posts that you are living a dichotomy. As gay men we have all endured this hell in one way or another. I may have, in error, thought you envious of Miss Mississippi in her power to cut thorugh barriers.

    I am reading Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now.

    Often obtuse,

  4. Danny:

    Time to play "Name That Dichotomy." Or is that up to me?

    Here I thought I was now neatly cut in half so that the onboard dichotomy was off the table for the time being.


  5. I am presumptuous. I was referring to your lives in gay and hetero worlds and their co-existence--to the allegory of the rites held for your friend who has passed and the funeral for your straight past.

    I should have been more direct in a designated bullshit free zone. Love and accept yourself.

  6. Danny:

    no presumption worth worrying about.

    I just don't see how my journey, which was meant to be all about integration and wound up being about having to make ghastly choices, is about dichotomy. To me it seems to be about the inability of people to accept more than one thing at a time, about an unwillingness to deal with reality in its multiplicity.

    But maybe I am covering what you see as dichotomy with the veil of "necessity". I know it is getting late enough that I can't think straight.

    Well, be well. Check in again some time. We are always here.

    The Troll [and his dichotomic twin]

  7. Well that was some exchange.......

    Waiting for my Gay fall just as soon as I figure out the pride first.........

  8. Ah, the impact of Blogger and her “NEXT BLOG” link.

    Are people so bored that they will mindlessly click on “NEXT BLOG” until they find something captivating to read?

    What are they really looking for? Do they have no faith in “SEARCH?”

    And those corporate time-wasters (as you politely call them), what did they do before the Internet?

  9. Troll, I may have some good news for you. The amount of time registered for readers has a lot to do with what sort of browser they use, and whether or not they have cookies enabled in that browser. I myself have left "0 second" tracks on people's blogs that I have actually spent hours reading. So you never know!