Archive for the Admin Category

Unpause

Hello everybody,

I’m sorry that the essay hiatus was significantly longer than originally anticipated. I’ll be sorting out a consistent publishing pace in the near future, so stay tuned.

Best,

Kevin

New Stuff!

Big news items for the site:

1) Pop has written his own introduction now, which has been swapped into the first post on the site, here, and the newly-created About Ezra page, here.

Seriously, check it out — it was written specifically for this blog, and is in my opinion particularly good.

2) I’ve introduced new “Browse by” pages in the top navigation bar, because I realized that some people prefer more order to my semirandom uploading schedule. Viewers can now see all essays in both the order they were written and the order they were published. I’ve also added brief descriptions to summarize each essay and make browsing a little faster. These should be updated roughly once a week. Maybe Sundays.

3) Aside from aforementioned intro post, today saw the first live publication of a fresh Essay, emailed to me as it was completed by Ed just a few hours ago. It’s about reptiles and Viagra, and is fantastic. Check it out here, or just scroll down.

4) I’m going to do some tinkering with the display names of the users on the site, so that future essays hopefully say “by Ezra” up by the top instead of “by Kevin.”  Of course, administrative posts like these will still say “by Kevin,” but you get the point.

 

I’m really happy with how the site is coming along. But I’m welcome to suggestions, certainly! Just leave a comment and I’ll see what I can build.

Cheers all,

-Kevin

About Ezra’s Essays

Hey all. Kevin Shepherd here, of the China Match fame, if you can call it that. This site represents a new personal project of mine, one that I anticipate will take between one and two years to complete.

This site will publish and categorize each of my grandfather’s nearly 700 essays, which cover everything from reflections on 90 years of life to critiques of the current political administration, from war stories to what may fairly be called tirades on the subjects of religion and language.  Categorizing these is actually perhaps more daunting a task than simply uploading and commenting on all of them, because while there are certainly major themes that run through large swaths of his writings, the man is not in the habit of self-censorship. This means that pretty much any topic imaginable from 1922 forward is fair game. For example, consider one of his essays that I read on the subway home today; it discusses the concept of a “forgettory” which exists in all of our minds and archives the things which we are in a rush to not remember (and how Mitt Romney’s is even now probably working in overdrive).  This subject would be tricky enough to place into a category (I’ll be using WordPress tags, to this end) even if the essay did not also feature Pop’s evaluation of flushing toilets, which he naturally ties into a discussion of the five loneliest locations where he was stationed throughout his military career.

The essays are damn good — did I mention that yet? That part’s important.

There is rather a lot to say about Mr. Ezra Edgar Carr to the uninitiated. I’ve left him the post below to write his own introduction, but for my part I can describe him like this: Pop is a brilliant, self-educated human being. He is a loving grandfather, an outspoken liberal, a decorated veteran, a committed atheist,  a literary critic, and a bluntly effective writer. He is charitable and sharp and vulgar and well-read and I think if anyone deserves to have an archive of his thoughts and experiences uploaded to the Internet, he certainly does.

There is of course much more to learn about Ed — the name he actually goes by — but thankfully he has gone to the trouble of saying most of it himself with his essays that he’s been writing since at least the year 2000. This means that it’s possible that I could have been reading these things since I was 10, but I don’t think I started actually picking them until I was fourteen or so for reasons largely unknown to me; I suspect that either Pop’s occasional vulgarity might have caused his daughter to censor the essays from her 10-year-old child, or perhaps I was just more interested in videogames than the writings of a then-78-year-old man.

In any event, the posts  immediately following this one will be a couple of my favorites of his from 2012. I will then proceed with uploading ideally at least seven a week in whatever order I decide makes sense — I think I might do all of 2012 and then jump back to 2000, of course updating with new essays as he continues to crank them out. I will be making heavy use of the tagging feature to keep all the posts straight and easy-to-browse.  I do not know and have no way of knowing what this blog’s readership will turn out like, but that does not bother me very much. Regardless, if a readership does eventually accumulate then I anticipate that the “favorite” tag in particular will be handy for any new readers. And if Pop feels like it, maybe he can get his own “favorite” tag as well, which would give a list of essays which he esteems as particularly noteworthy. But I can’t really guarantee that either, because I have no idea to what extent Mr. Carr will keep tabs on a blog dedicated purely to things that he has already created. Hopefully I can learn enough about optimizing the site for screen readers and other similar software that such an option is even possible. I am not a coder at heart, though, so this may be a slow process and the site may undergo some pretty severe changes in the weeks ahead. For now, however, it will suffice to simply begin uploading essays — they will be published exactly as they are, incidentally, without any editing on my part — because I have a long way to go and may as well get started.

Please enjoy,

-Kevin