The Canted Arabesque
has existed in my head and on the web since 1998, but because I could never decide exactly what I wanted the site to be 'for' or look like, most of that time I used it only for e-mail addresses and personal on-line storage. In 2007, however, after spending far too much time thinking about it, I finally settled on a design and a focus that pleased me, at which point I no longer had any excuse to avoid putting the site to work. As for the name, the words Canted
have many meanings and shades of meanings
and it has been my intention all along that most senses of the words would have some resonance here. The website is supposed to be a bit off-kilter, a little fancy, somewhat intricate and intriguing, and sometimes lyrical, as well as intelligent and, hopefully, refreshing. Toward that end, my posts are written in what I hope is an educated, interesting, and understandable style.
Of course, everything that exists must have a purpose, even if that purpose is only to be ornamental, but while my reasons for creating TCA are fairly simple, I do not intend for this site to be only decorative. For many years, what I wanted (and have with this site) is a public place of my own, where I can ruminate, harangue, proselytize, whine, declaim, or even ramble incoherently about whatever shiny or slimy new thing happens to have my attention—without having to fret about topical relevance, political correctness, self-absorbed customers, generational and gender jingoism, or any of the other simple-minded reductionist nonsense that hobbles intelligent discourse in our talk-show saturated, tweetering-idiot society. I'd like to think my opinions have some value and that my observations of the world are valid, useful, and meaningful, and that what I have to say makes a difference. To that end, if when you leave this site, you find yourself thinking about an old subject in a new way, or about relationships and juxtapositions that hadn't occurred to you before, or even if you just find yourself rearranging your prejudices to rationalize away a discomforting new idea, I consider my efforts worthwhile.
As for 'focus,' this site is meant to be politically, religiously, and philosophically unaffiliated. This doesn't mean I am neutral or perfectly centrist, nor that I am disinterested or even especially tolerant. It does mean The Canted Arabesque is not a place where a single perspective or viewpoint holds sway, and readers should make no assumptions about which issue, political party, or religion might find favor here. In fact, the only real constant is that I am unabashedly a flag-waving American and I intend for this website (like my life) to reflect that. I know ours is not a perfect country, so not everything I post here will be complimentary to my countrymen or my government, but that does not mean I am even slightly interested in "America-bashing," regardless of whether it's done by foreigners or lifetime residents. There is a lot wrong with the U.S., but a lot more is right, and since there seems to be no dearth of people who are willing to denigrate anything good, especially if it's "made in America," I do the opposite whenever I can. The short of it is that anyone seeking to validate his or her ignorance about the U.S. shouldn't look for support here. I only serve up truth as I perceive it, and in this subject area, the only truth I recognize is that most people who consistently criticize the United States are home-grown idiots, ignorant foreigners, or outright enemies. That's not to say the U.S. is undeserving of criticism, but for every negative 'fact' I hear about my country, I can come up with at least two positives, and the simple bottom-line truth is that the United States is still the destination of choice for most of the world's immigrants, a good many of whom are willing to sacrifice everything to come here. As to that, I am only a second generation native American and I am endlessly thankful that my great-grandparents brought my grandparents to this country. Of course, being eastern European Ashkenazic Jews, they didn't have much choice if they wanted to survive, let alone prosper, but who am I to complain? Look where I ended up!
And finally, while I certainly hope people will feel the time they spend here is worth it and will return often, I'm not charging admission, so anyone who finds he or she really doesn't like my brand of humor, my writing style, or my gyroskeptical, contrabiased, congenitally nonconformist views would be best served elsewhere. As I see it, this website is a public opening into my convolutionary and complexicated mind, and a decision to stop and look around is no different than the decision to look through the uncurtained window of a well-lit room as you pass by on a dark street. It takes no effort, and clearly the owner wants people to look inside, so you do. Of course, not everything is interesting to everyone, and it may be that some of it is interesting to no one, but that's how it is with voyeurism. Sometimes there's nothing to see worth mentioning, other times the mysteries of life are glimpsed—even revealed—and sometimes, what one sees violates every rule of propriety, shattering complacency and setting the moral compass to reeling like a drunken dervish. I can't say this website will be as interesting as all that, but I can promise there will be some things worth seeing, hopefully often enough to make this place worth visiting.
For now, though, thanks for stopping by and for reading this far.
By The Way . . . .
Unless specifically noted elsewhere on this site, The Canted Arabesque is solely the product of my own mind, and is not in any way affiliated with nor supported by any other individual or organization. The views and opinions expressed on this site may be shared by other people, but I alone am responsible for everything that is posted or displayed here, so if you've got a complaint or if you just want to make a comment, you can contact me by using the 'E-Mail Me' link at the top of this page.