A Madcap Manifesto.(Preface-Introduction)


Alright, don’t let the title startle you. I have not taken leave of my senses and started hoarding survivalist supplies. Nor am I writing this hold up in a cabin in Montana.

What I am developing here and in the posts to come, are simply a collection of thoughts, ideas, and observations that relate not just to woodworking, but also to a few other sociologically interesting issues that often interface with woodworking as well.

As I begin to try to string together my thoughts and plan out what I want to say here, I find the process a little bit akin to tugging at that stray string on your sweater. I keep discovering little bunny trails that coincide with original subject thoughts. I keep unravelling more and more that ties in directly with modern woodworking, especially at the professional level.

Interesting and a little frustrating at the same time.

A little while ago I found myself at an interesting confluence. I had been reading several blog posts by Paul Sellers that discussed the historical importance of the traditional apprentice – journeyman model from years past, contrasted with their current state of near extinction.

At the same time I had the fairly rare opportunity to talk with my youngest son about college, the future, and most satisfyingly, life and happiness and what they really look like. Heady things to discuss indeed.

All of this lead me to this place. I wanted to spend a little time documenting my thoughts and observations.

It sounds easy at first. At least  I thought it did. However, the more I tried to sketch out a blog post in my mind, the more I had to say. The more I had to say, the larger the catalog of subjects to talk about became.

Ultimately, I settled on the idea of a series of posts that touched on some of these subjects. While this post is going to be the Preface and introduction to what is to come, I suspect that there may never, truly, be an end. I know myself well enough to know that as the blog develops, there will undoubtedly be times that I feel the need to amend or supplement, or reverse position on what will initially be the Madcap Manifesto.

Earlier in this blog, I mentioned that I may be touching on more esoteric aspects of woodworking, craft, and craftsmanship ….  This is it.

To be fair though, the discussion of just those subjects, I’m discovering, require exploration of the more sociologically based topics as I mentioned above.

Happiness, satisfaction, education, career, worth, self worth, stress, fairness, equality, inequality, social change, sustainability, ecological responsibility, are all topics that have influence on modern woodworking as a profession.

They, and many similar topics, all have (or should have) relevance to the modern professional or serious amateur.

Finally, I invite comment on anything written here. Please be aware that my posts may end up with a hint of “ramble” as I sometimes struggle to get multiple thoughts down in a coherent and thoughtful manner. Not because I have not given them thought, no, quite the contrary, I sometimes feel I have thought about them too much. (Usually during long sessions of sanding projects, or sometimes after having read something somewhere, or even just wondering what my kids futures will look like.)

Just know that I will endeavor to keep things simple, and hopefully both thought provoking and entertaining at the same time.

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