Ashcan Hubris: 29 November 2020

This is Ashcan Hubris: 29 November 2020 edition, the weekly newsletter where in my foolish self-confidence I believe I’ve written things worth reading.

Explaining the Joke

Starting today, this weekly quasi-newsletter is now officially named ASHCAN HUBRIS. There are several reasons for this change. Most revolve around my odd sense of humor, so I’m more than happy to explain.

First, the more I have to tell people what hubris is, the more I’m going to lean into it. The original iteration of HUBRIS was a zine that carried the tagline “The Journal of Cultural Horror”. It was basically and op/ed rant zine about the damage caused by other peoples’ arrogance and dangerous overconfidence. The tone was decidedly not humorous. I ended up packing it in because the research I had to do in order to write thoughtful and informative essays was affecting my mental health. There is some dark and demented stuff going on in the world, in case you haven’t noticed.

“In reality there is, perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history. For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”

Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography, (1784)

The most recent iteration, the weekly thing here on the site, carried the tagline “wherein I believe I’ve written something worth reading”. I’m keeping that for this latest evolution. This is about my own hubris, the foolish pride it takes to throw one’s words out into the void and expect anyone to care.

Ashcan Hubris

Which brings us to ASHCAN HUBRIS. An ashcan can be a waste container. The rubbish bin. Trash can. Literally a burn barrel when the contents end up as ashes. Ashcan Hubris is a collection of my writings; links in the newsletter, an actual anthology in the zine I have planned for 2021. It is a self-effacing, juxtapositional joke. [HOLD FOR LAUGHTER]

An ashcan can also be a comic, banged out quick-and-dirty with limited distribution to secure copyrights. I have seen some lo-fi zines referred to as ashcans as well. Both of these definitions fit with what I’m doing here.

In Case You Missed It

Ashcan HUBRIS: 29 November 2020

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