…in an endless sea. For your consideration we offer Jailfire, another in a long cyberspace conga line of adjunct graduate course web pages. You’ll quickly discern that I have not the slightest, teensy-tiniest idea of what the hell I’m doing. But that’s not what makes jailfire remarkable. No way Nelly! Because in this ever-expanding world of cyber-communications, we’ve all of us visited the blogs of folks who have no business running blogs, so this by itself is no mark of distinction.
As for starting a blog, I recall here the words of Stephen Stills at the iconic 1969 music festival in Woodstock New York, when he and his obscure-but-soon-to-be-staggeringly-famous band took the stage for the first time. Stephen confided in the intimate audience of 500,000: “This is the second time we’ve played in front of people, man. We’re scared sh**less.” Sorta like that.
The remarkable part is this — the site was created thru the website wizardry of a website design company called Digital Stax. Digital Stax is owned and operated by one of my ex-pupils, a Mr. Raymond Dean, by name. And when I say ‘pupil’ (no one uses ‘pupil’ to mean ‘student’ anymore, and that’s just silly) I should explain that the San Jose State University, particularly their School of Library and Information Science, has asked me six times in the last eight years to instruct certain of their more adventurous (foolhardy?) graduate students in a seminar that I boringly dubbed Correctional Library Management. This seminar is how, in early 2008, I had the good fortune to meet & greet the tenacious Mr. Dean. Almost from our first series of flippant email exchanges, we struck up a satisfying professional relationship built upon a reverence for each other’s command of the mother tongue, a mutual penchant for the base, vulgar, and common, and a shared value of directness and bare-faced honesty.
Judge for yourself: when I approached him with the idea for this site after not having heard from me for one solar year, the very first sentence of my ex-pupil’s email (it should be distinctly understood that I gave him an ‘A’ ) read: “I thought I had rid my life of you completely.” I’m quoting, by the by, and not paraphrasing. Well, I have this affect on people.
And Mr. Raymond Dean is a people, and he’s good people. Whatever good comes out of jailfire, it’ll be due to Raymond and his self-taught, hard-won, practiced talent for stacking things digitally.
Raymond, glad to have you in my corner of the Cosmos. Just please scooch over a bit, my legs’re cramping! There.