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History Lesson

Posted on the 18 June 2024 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

This blog, which has come to define me in many ways, wasn’t my idea.  A niece started it for me when Neal Stephenson suggested I should have a place for podcasting.  I still have ideas for podcasts, but finding the time to put them together (and a place to host them) has proven quite challenging.  In any case, the title, “Sects and Violence in the Ancient World,” reflected where I was at the time.  I started posting when I was 46, and now I’m over 60.  Things are bound to change a little.  From the start, I wrote about books.  Indeed, for things I’ve read since summer of 2009, I check the blog to find out when.  I also noted significant movies.  In the early days I tried to limit the posts to religion-themed topics since, well, I have three degrees in the field.

As I gradually grew comfortable discussing pop culture (generally horror), I gradually addressed movies and books without a religious bent.  It could be that I didn’t record everything I read or watched here, and that makes things before 2009 kind of a muddle.  While the muddle really began before 2005—my last year at Nashotah House.  That period was a kind of maelstrom of desperation to find a job, teaching classes, pretending to be an editor, making my way in a world unfamiliar to me and certainly unchosen.  Eventually this blog came to focus on horror movies more than religion.  Now, like my life, it’s a jumble of conflicting impulses trying to make sense of the world as an existentialist with a bit of faith.  I’m still aspiring to that mustard seed.

History Lesson

I’m not sure when it was that I began commenting on most movies I watched.  I’ve used movies as therapy since 2005—for some reason horror made me feel better.  Even now, when I want to remember when I saw a movie I check this blog.  Or if I want to know when I read a book.  My wife pointed Goodreads out to me in 2013, and that became another place to post on books, even if they didn’t qualify for “Sects and Violence.”  But that slushy period between 2005 and 2013 was full of books, I know.  In addition to movies, I read incessantly.  If I want to remember when I read what, however, I’ve only got the last decade really covered.  Goodreads says I’ve read about a thousand books since 2013.  For movies, I have no way of knowing how many I’ve seen.  Or where, for the most part.  Maybe I need to start keeping a proper diary.  Maybe one with a lock and a key.

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