Recovered from the Wayback Machine.
There’s a cicadia shell hanging off my neighbor’s door. It’s been there over a week. He (my neighbor) comes and goes daily, and I keep expecting him to flick it off. But each day when I go outside–to the store, the laundry, a walk–I look over and it’s still there.
I thought about flicking it off myself, but it is his door; it is his cicadia shell.
Speaking of shells, Sour Duck made an interesting comment in the post “Shiny, Happy, …”. She wrote, To my mind, this blog is still currently living in the shadow of that megalith, Burningbird..
Not a truer phrase spoken: my old site casts a big shadow. Not as creepy looking as the cicadia shell, maybe, but still noticeable. It was, after all, my identity for a time. No, that’s wrong. It was my ‘brand’.
Brand. I’ve been reading that term with increasing frequency; people are worried about their ‘brand’ now. Not their sites, or their identity, or their writing. No, the focus, now, is on ‘brand’.
Recently, when the PodShow site re-published several podcaster syndication feeds, it replaced the copyright information with the site’s own. The developers associated with the site said it was a mistake, and it could have been. Until it was fixed, though, there was a minor uproar among those so recursively syndicated. In particular, more than one podcaster mentioned about the ‘threat to their brand’ in having the syndication feed republished without proper copyright and attribution.
Brand. Huh. I grew up in farming country, where the only brand was the one made of twisted metal and burnt into the butts of cows to mark ownership. When I hear ‘brand’ among webloggers, I still see that big furry butt with the squiggle inside a circle with a bar across the top.
I walked away from a site that might be considered a popular site. Or more popular than some. The popularity, though, stayed with the site; the momentum of links and syndication is such that it stops for the will of no woman or man. All that’s left now is this simple site with it’s plain name and odd colors, and my other sites, which I’ll probably start and drop and change on a whim. This site, this writing, these pictures, the code, me, and you, of course; you, silent or otherwise who weren’t so caught up in the ‘brand’ that you forget it is little more than a facade. Or, perhaps, like me grew up around cows and recognize burned bovine butt when you see it.
As for the ‘megalith’ as SD called it, I walk the Ozark ‘mountains’ and they’re small and quaint compared to the those where I grew up in the Northwest. Hardly more than green rolling hills. Yet in the past, the Ozarks were an imposing mountain chain that reached high above the plains–tall and jagged and snow covered. Time wore them down. Time wears everything down. Nothing is meant to be immutable.
I was thinking that the old subscriptions to the Burningbird syndication feed also remind me of the cicada shell. It is humbling to see them. They, too, had meaning once; a use. Now, like the bug’s old body, like Burningbird, they’re just a remnant.
Now that that’s out of the way…