Thursday, January 7, 2016

No More St. Corbinian's Bear Blog?

"Blog" sounds like it could be the national drink of Romania. Whoever invented it clearly had in mind a ship's log. A place for frequent entries of things like, " 2230, changed lightbulb in starboard head." The Bear has no idea where the "B" comes from, and doesn't care. It's short, ugly and unnatural, like Eyegore in Young Frankenstein.

Back when blogs were new, maybe the word fit. The first blog the Bear ever visited was an uncomfortable place where a young mom shared far too much personal information. But this is the 21st century. Blogs can turn into beautiful swans. Or clever Bears. It's time for a new word for blogs that aspire to something finer.

Look at the word, "essay." It's a beautiful-sounding word. It has an inspiring alternative meaning, "to try." There is dignity and history to it. Montaigne (a Catholic, by the way) and Pascal (ditto) take it back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Since an essay is just a short piece on a single topic, it probably goes back to the invention of writing. "Crocodile Hunting," by Nebenteru the One-Legged.

Which brings us to the replacement name. Egyptian papyri are fragile, and only a relative handful survived by luck. They're not meant to last, any more than a Victorian Valentine's Day card, or a letter, or a newspaper edition. There is a word for collectibles like this.


First of all, it's an undeniably beautiful word. Second, it, too, has an inspiring alternative meaning. An ephemeris provides the positions of heavenly bodies. Finally, a different form of the word, ephemeral, means "lasting for a very short time." That certainly describes what appears on a blog. A piece is read for a day or two, then gets thrown into the backlog, to be replaced by a new day's thought or outrage.

Think of it. No more ridiculous, pseudoscientific-sounding "blogosphere." No more "blogdom," either, which sounds like a nation of dimwits ruled by the Great Blog.

Instead, we would speak of the "Catholic ephemera." It would be "St. Corbinian's Bear ephemeris," admitting its transitoriness while aiming for the eternal stars. We writers would be ephemerists, not bloggers, which is crude British slang, for all the Bear knows.

The Bear is optimistic that this will catch on as quickly as all his other ideas expressed in this -- ephemeris.


  1. I like it. Pewsitter could be instrumental in promoting. Keep featuring things self-identified as Catholic ephemera.

    Would love your take on the wretched new ecumenism video issued by the Vatican. Have an anti-emetic ready.

    1. Ask and you shall receive. It's a game-changer.

  2. I was unaware of the multiplicity of meaning underlying "ephemera." Very interesting. And "blog" is such a vulgar-sounding word, isn't it?

    1. I'll see if I can talk His Tradiness into the rebranding.

  3. The B in blog is the tail end of Web (web log is what they were called back in the day.) Somewhere along the way weblog morphed into just blog. Love yours, BTW. Thanks for it.

  4. I recommend 'musings' in place of 'blog'. 'Musings' suggests humility, brevity, and spontaneous thoughts. 'Blog' suggests something otherworldly (trolls), inebriation (grog), and a host of negatively suggestive rhyming words: demagogue, pettifog, befog.


Moderation is On.

Featured Post

Judging Angels Chapter 1 Read by Author

Quick commercial for free, no-strings-attached gift of a professionally produced audio book of Judging Angels, Chapter 1: Last Things, read...