First Post

When I was 17 and working the summer in north Ontario, I came down to the docks where 6’8” friendly “Douglas Big George” put up his fists to me—ahh play spar, just a joke. And so I’m smiling with hands raised too. He then leverages that full frame to drive a swift knee straight to my crotch. I drop to the sand beside some empty Labatt Blues and feel pain. That old hollow nut-trauma pain that takes you back to a playground somewhere. And to me this is what good writing is: it’s clear and clean, you know where you’re at--and then whack, you did not see it coming and it nails you hard.

I think good art shows what it’s like to be human. And not just where the troubles lie but where there is hope and beauty too. As well, I believe non-fiction can be creative work and full of beauty. Who would say art can’t be found in a medium of the plainest truths? And both are vehicles delivering things that matter.

All around us there are hidden potentials and sometimes we won’t know what will happen when we put something into play. The chance does not have to be large if the consequences are. And in that regard, well chosen words can change minds and cause actions and occasionally small efforts can impact people profoundly.

The thoughtful work of others have many times helped steer my course. And interestingly, most of those people will not know of it. They simply shared a good idea, I found it, and I’m the better for it.

The most important feature of humankind is our ability to create good ideas, to share and criticize them civilly, and then employ them to beneficial ends. This is fundamental to philosophy and science, but also to pursuits commonly seen as disparate, like art, philanthropy, comedy, cuisine—basically anything that matters. What seems distinct is not entirely so. At ground level they are all connected by deliberate effort to better our world.

I’m attracted to sharing an idea when it’s not widely known or accepted, or poorly understood and someone else might gain from a new or altered perspective. There is a chance I could make something here that benefited another. That’s it. That pulls me in.

Almost like magic, there are skewed bets that have no downside. This is me at the poker table on a free roll; me throwing it out there because the ref called off-side and interceptions are null. This site is a small space for the occasional idea.

If a post or even a single sentence mattered enough to another person there could be satisfaction there.

The Pulp and the Pit is a small project of short articles including both original ideas and reflections on those of others.

Tom Stewart