VOLUME TWO Issue 23: September 2010 Thrill and Terror

”So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late …” –Bob Dylan

Thrill and Terror …

 Yes, I felt thrill and terror when I learned of Stumbling: http://www.stumbleupon.com. Nowhere has this rare combination of feelings been shown than in the video which appeared as the first presented in the first/inaugural issue of this Burning Shorts, early 2006.

Our first video is a wordless, visual poem of thrill and terror. Like all great poetry, it reveals more in each new context. This Issue announces that we surely have arrived in a new context. Here, to begin again* and to prepare to address the new context, is our first video. Ever.

Surf’s Up


So, to these feelings of thrill and terror, I add: Urgency … hence, the wisdom of Dylan and the warning of Reubens about seizing the moment in the words and painting above. (*Where have we been editorially? There are answers for another time. For now, this Issue reignites the engine, fires afterburner, and levers thrust vectors. One other factor: during our editorial hiatus, traffic to Burning Shorts continued to surge steeply as it has done since birth and during earlier periods of intense editorial attention. We took this as an invitation … And, with our “motto” and our Stumble upon SU, here we are.)

Urgency means: The moment is now. Our motto: ALWAYS READY/NEVER PREPARED. We must walk the talk.

When I first learned of StumbledUpon or “SU” as the site’s logo refers to it, I felt both thrill and terror. SU tracks web surfing and, as wonderful Pandora (www.pandora.com) does with music, SU uses an engine to interpret page landings, and then SU infers other “stumbles” or kindred pages, delivering them inexhaustibly for the audience to behold at each click of the mouse. Given my sour view of humanity generally, my terror was that this fascinating—yes, thrilling—site would fast swirl and suck down a vortex into moral and intellectual sewage.

Gloriously, my terror was absolutely unjustified and unfounded. Why? In an expression of epistemological genius, SU guides the visitor through a “questionaire”, an artfully crafted series of topics and subject choices that inform SU of the visitor’s web surfing as well as personal preferences. The questionaire shapes “stumbling” not downward into sewage but upward to surf across an endless, thrilling wave of stunning discovery.

I remain in humble awe of the wholeness and effectiveness of stumbling, and I submit it is of such potential importance, we reignite this enterprise, Burning Shorts, to add our support and tribute.

Once again: http://www.stumbleupon.com…and, we of Burning Shorts are once again ablaze.

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