Virtually nobody reads the story of David and Goliath as a tragedy, despite the fact that it ends in the death of one combatant via blunt force impact. The killing is justified, we've come to know and believe, because the losing team was on the wrong side of history in regards to religious beliefs and behavior. This unexpected and miraculous result helped set off a long chain of events, which resulted in the victorious combatant's clan going on to rule Western history for millennia. "Philistine" is still a lightweight insult to this day.
But take one step away from the black and white mindset. Behind the six-foot-nine power forward troll who kept up a solid WWE heel act for 40 full days, there was an army of commoners who had lives that made perfect sense to them, who believed what they believed enough to fight for their lives over it, and wound up dead on roadsides at the hands of the surging armies of Israel and Judah.
Pay very close attention to this very important story detail: the Philistines turned and ran for their lives, instead of attempting hot revenge for Goliath's death. Most, if not all of them, were cut down in their tracks. Among those fallen, surely, were soldiers who held the beliefs they held due to powerful and manipulative propaganda from above their station.
If you can read the three previous paragraphs and not feel your blood boil from your deeply held convictions, if you feel the slightest modicum of sympathy for Goliath and the Philistines, you have successfully completed this exercise. You are fully capable of looking beyond the simplistic flashpoint of a famous battle and of examining the Big Picture of matrices and consequences, beyond good and evil, across the wide span of time. You are ready for Project Darkhorse.
Over the past couple months since we last chatted, there's been solid progress on the book. We've completed one research trip to Singapore. There will be a set of fairly comprehensive essay drafts in January. If you are a donor at the $100 or above level, you'll be able to read them in the PDH Slackspace. (And even though the project budget was set and finalized in October, you can still preorder or upgrade your perks via the project page.)
The book also has a working title -- as in that's what the computer files are called -- of Goliath & David. Please talk me out of this, it just kinda stuck.
On January 1, 2019 at noon Eastern time, The Mid-Majority's ten seasons of archives will return to the internet at mid-majority.com. Every single post, from November 9, 2004 to March 31, 2014. Every single Prologue, Essay Season entry, Bally cartoon, 800 Games Project report, John Gasaway guest post and emotional Epilogue. Every everything.
Why now? TMM has been offline for nearly five years and a big deal was made about taking it down. I was off the grid for about four of that. When I came back, it was overwhelming to find out that a number of TMM community regulars had passed on, and that unexpectedly hit hard -- even though the final post was all about my dad dying. There will probably be "The 10 Worst Mid-Majority Posts" listicles from folks who still hold a grudge from the old days over something or other, but this is a dedication to the writers we lost who wrote great 800GP's that don't deserve to stay hidden.
This project would not be possible without Tim Burke of The Daily Beast, the one-man Wayback Machine, the greatest content archiver in the history of the internet.
THE FUTURE/THE DREAM
After over seven years out of print, the children's book Bally's Dream will now once again be available in casewrap hardcover. This is a limited run of 100 books only, and they'll start shipping in late January. The text has been updated for modern NCAA Tournament bracket reality, and there will be bonus previously unseen artwork and lowkey UMBC references to make the purchase even more worthwhile. The price is $25.00. Same as in 2010! Fully postpaid, worldwide. And yes, it's available right this minute for purchase.
Why now? I still get photos and videos of parents reading BD to their kids or kids reading the book themselves. It occurs to me that a lot of these children weren't even alive when the book came out, and that unexpectedly hit hard because children are the future. Plus there are Robots and outer space and magic flying things in this book, and everyone loves that stuff no matter what year it is. Even Elon Musk.
This is a non-profit exercise. Proceeds after printing and shipping will be issued to my co-author Beth's preferred charity: BARC Shelter in Brooklyn, N.Y., a private no-kill shelter for doggos and kittehs.
Hope you're all having a Merry Christmas and happy holidays, however you do it, and I'll see you on the other side of the new year.