Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

09 Nov 2005, 14:07 p.m.

Limitations Of The Form, or, "There shall be grief."

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2005 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

The webcomic Cat And Girl hits it out of the ballpark nearly every time. The author admits to ripping off Calvin and Hobbes but I don't mind; she gets her nuggets of wisdom across very effectively in the form she's chosen. I've been thinking about certain topics that I want to write about yet are really hard to address in a newspaper column. Jon Carroll made some fine hay of this problem:

However, a flamenco piece crying out for limiting subsidies to agribusiness would probably be unsuccessful no matter how talented the performers, and a newspaper column seeking to tap the deepest reservoirs of pity and terror and hopeless love has a probable failure rate of close to 100 percent.

My current "how could I do that in 750 words?" topics include:

  • I only really regret a few things I've done, where I hurt others, not the many times I've hurt myself
  • When good fortune arrives, the disillusioned find it bewildering and long-absorbed suspicions make enjoyment impossible
  • The role of booze in my life
  • The tight smile of the despairing fool