Category Archives: points of view


Being a truth-teller or a truth-bender is not always an open choice.  The origins of an idea or narrative can act like a magnetic field, making new shapes and patterns, infinitely varied or repetitively patterned.  Each gathered set of data, each chosen quoddity, each twist or spin provides individuality to the piece; makes it hard to judge evidence or suggest any comparison except of the more commonly contrasting features.

Ducking stools, ordeal by water and by fire make the wordsmiths into witches, publishers into pharmakoi.

Words are false, fickle and flirty, and that’s a fact.


Publishers, priests and politicians come together when it suits them, sometimes often, in meetings that are rarely, in the long term, legitimate or fruitful.  Their interests are too at odds, too difficult to reconcile one to the other, too irrelevant to the others’ views of time, space, aims and desires.

Policies, programmes, projects, and ambitions all turn into neat ideas in the publisher’s fevered imagination.  When looking doable, desirable, even great, the discussion with colleagues and collaborators can rise to an unreal state of great excitement and enthusiasm.

Looking like it’s not a serious business.  Daft really.


Multiple narratives don’t always help. The people in the multi-storey, multi-story dwellings don’t know each other any better than spread-out rusticals.  Their stories do not intermingle as they might, but stack up, tottering, only to be brought together in few intimate moments or by ideology and hopefulness.

Finding ways to broadcast other points of view is more difficult than putting them on cloud, stick, disc or shelf. Naming a lost or drought-doomed child may tell a story, but identifying the dead doesn’t tell anyone anything anywhere.

Published voices, like trees in forests, fall silent if no one hears their sound.


Direction of travel, momentum, is divined for each individual message.  Where it’s come from not more important than where it’s going. In straight or curving lines, the energy in it determines the movement, and the environmental resistance.  The lubrication that speeds it on or the friction that keeps it back is as important as the starting velocity.  Publishing is never instant, but often timely.

Preparations for the launch are managed in big and tiny detail, and the crew is trained for survival and success.  At a certain time the point is to get there, wherever, at whatever cost, and can become the satisfaction of mere solipsistic ambitions.

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 – we have lift-off.


On the borders, chauvinism is often at its most potent, with distinctions of them and us, them and them, and us and not-quite-us. Frontiers are always permeable, in spite of the fortifications facing out to the supposed danger, books forming inappropriate barricades.

Fierce enforcement from behind the lines hopes to lessen lawlessness, but the places near the edge none-the-less attract renegades and mavericks. There are frequent border skirmishes with marauders, reavers and moss-troopers.

This is a place where custom and constraint cannot prevent a motley mix of selves.


Expressions, turns of phrase, figures of speech put us a little nearer the under-the-skin of others, but we mostly see the point of view from the outside.  There is no knowing what others think or feel. Published discourse, unlike identity-centred mediated blah-blah, makes a show of putting forward other cases.

Writing and reading as public enterprise leads to an idea of socializing the publishing process, mixing our and other people’s views in Babel or Bedlam.  Flat smooth facets reflect kaleidoscopic confusion in which all the variations are prettily distorted versions of the same old, same old.


Publishing’s a yes-or-no decision, binary determination of value and if the tale is told: needing rationales, synopses, presentations, story boards, support material and multi-media interpretation. An explosion of curation talk: determinedly showing the value of the interventions.

Points of view, shaped and burnished before punters’ comments are allowed, with designers and printers who intervene to shape the process. Standing between writer and reader, agents, consultants, editors and curatorial voices articulate deep open publishing messages.

Yes is yes, no is no, or start again, revise, reconsider, resubmit.


Avoid diatribes, present arguments and opinions. It’s different from, with many a nuance, the cheesy scoring of debating points. Pushing home a cooked-up point, ignoring evidence, perverting known and unknown knowns, will only briefly blindside medium, message, messenger and messagee.

Voice, developed consciously or not, eases both friendly recognition and the critique of branded personality.  Words and images, still and moving, archived and interactive, offering and requiring interpretation, are a basis, not a substitute, for knowledge, understanding, truth, and wisdom.


Publish the thing; strive to be something other than uniform; writers and readers looking for more than unique selling points and the target markets, aiming points, near or far, out in the open or concealed in undergrowth with sniping rifle or shotgun. Making points gives value to having a point of view.  Drawing attention to the unpopular, inconvenient, embarrassing, heretical; exposing even if no-one wants to look just now.

Fact and opinion spin into one another: the register of each elaborates the imposition of the combination.  Checking facts in an old way, not looking at the for-the-moment latest post or wiki, requires judgment and close attention not constantly to reinforce self-reference.