In "Song of Myself," the autobiographical manifesto from his 1855 Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman writes: "I too am not a bit tamed--I too am untranslatable; / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world." I'm no Whitman, but I thought his quote was an appropriate one with which to begin my first blog entry. What I'm hoping to do here is twofold: to sound off about the issues, ideas, idiosyncrasies, and idiocies of our time, and to provide readers easy access to a variety of my writings, including fiction, creative nonfiction, and political essays. Hardly original for a blog, I know, but I hope you'll find something of worth in these pages.
By way of introduction: J. David Bell is my pen name, something I use when I write creatively. Such writing has been my focus over the past year, and will continue to be my focus in the future (though in the past I've published academic prose under my real name, and you'll see occasional links or other references to it here, as below). I'm also a teacher, a political cartoonist (once I figure this thing out, I'll post some of my stuff), an environmental and antiwar activist, a fantasy literature and film fan, and a follower of the writings and teachings of such thinkers as Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and Rachel Carson. Not to overdo the Whitman, but I hope I can say along with him: "I am large, I contain multitudes." As do all of us, of course. It's my hope you'll find my writings and reflections engaging, enlightening, occasionally infuriating, but always interesting.
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing what you think!