April 3, 2008

I need help.

(Yes, yes, ha ha ha.)

In preparation for the release of Swish, I’m updating my website, with the generous aid of this gorgeous gentleman (and while I’m at it I should mention that she valorously rescued me from a horrible web-host disaster that I was about to bring down upon my own head).

The problem is that now I am confronted with the dilemma out of which I found my way, when last confronted with it, by cheating. It was all well and good labeling individual pages “Books” and “Music” and “Blog,” but the man who has never been seen in the same room with me was utterly helpless to think of what to label the home page itself. Working in concert, he and I decided to fill the page with reviews of the book to correspond with the release of which he had timed the launch of the site; it could then very easily be labeled “Gay Haiku Reviews.”

But the imminent release of a second book renders that title inappropriate. Unfortunately, neither he nor I has any better ideas this time around. The two we’ve come up with so far are Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate (“abandon all hope, ye who enter here,” inscribed on the gates of Dante’s Hell), and Mene mene tekel upharsin (when a spectral hand wrote these words on the wall in the court of Babylon, the prophet Daniel interpreted them for King Belshazzar as “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting”; neither Belshazzar nor the Babylonian empire lived to see morning, and we got “the writing on the wall”).

Somehow these seem a bit . . . I don’t know, frivolous.

One friend suggested “Gay Gay Giddy Gay Gay,” but, while it’s accurate, I feel that this title lacks sufficient gravitas.

Another offered “Raconteur,” which I actually like very much, except that the kind of guy who labels his home page “raconteur” is the kind of guy I dread running into at parties.


Addendum: I see from tinman’s comment and from a couple e-mails that I haven’t been clear. All I mean is that, for the sake of consistency and aesthetic felicity, there has to be something at the top, since there’s something at the top of every other page. It can’t be my name, since that’s already there, above the photo.

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12 Responses to I need help

  1. Jeff says:

    I’m confused. Why does it need a name at all? I’m not being snarky – I honestly don’t think you need one. It’s The Website of Joel Derfner. What else would you want people to think it was?

  2. birdoparadise says:

    Book ‘im.

    At the risk of falling out of grace, I must ask: what does “alea iacta est” mean? Google translator thinks it says “dice game bragging is.” Even with zero Latin skills, somehow I know this is wrong.

  3. Ochre says:

    I’m kind of with Jeff on this one.

    But since we both know you’ll get progressively more neurotic about this as time goes by, maybe “Poetry Camp” (or “Camp Poetry” could work too) as a riff on both haiku and the title of the new book? Something along those lines.

  4. Jeff says:

    I understand now. Well, you could go all meta and say “Page With No Title.” Or there’s always “Home.”

  5. Aidan says:


  6. Jeffrey Ricker says:

    “Almost too gay to function”?

  7. Jeffrey says:

    epater les bourgeois

    -to deliberately shock people with conventional values

    mettere in piazza (to put it out in the town square)

    -especially used when someone reveals intimate details in public

    Hart Ducha – Polish
    -self mastery in the face of both internal and external forces

    Between your blog and the Upside Down Hippo, I am uber challenged to become a blogger or a writer, both I understand require some perfunctory adherence to some silly things called spelling and grammar. Now I am told that it is also somewhat important that one actually have something to say. I am so completely screwed.

  8. snaggle says:

    Ochre: “The die has been cast.”

    I vote for simple, English, “Gayer than Thou.”

  9. TED says:

    Frankly, I don’t think I can do better than Jeff’s suggestion of “Home.” If the rest of your pages had clever rather than functional titles, then it’d be a different matter.

  10. birdoparadise: snaggle is correct; it means “the die is cast.” It’s what Julius Caesar said in 49 B.C. when he crossed the Rubicon to make war on Pompey.

    Ochre, Aidan, Jeffrey, Jeffrey, and snaggle: These are all brilliant suggestions, which means I’m going to worry for days about whether my not taking them will make you hate me.

    Jeff and TED: I think you are correct. If my powers of invention weren’t failing faster than the dollar, I might be able to come up with something, but they are, so I can’t.

  11. birdoparadise says:

    Perhaps”Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate” would be appropriate for your mailing list as well. Okay, I’ll cross the Rubicon. (Wait. Did Caesar win?)

  12. birdfarm says:

    “Lasciate” etc was on the wall on the way from Widener to Lamont or Lamont to Widener. I always thought it was hilarious.


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