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(103) Maleenaviy

People often appeal for me to make this site easier to navigate—you know, put some sidebar with links to old archives or desist from writing articles under the words for colours in various languages (Russian has been a rich vein in this regard—and who doesn’t want to see the Russian word for “Chartreuse” transliterated into English?). Well, my answer is that I’m not going to make it easier for you—I mean I know when people ask for me to make it easier they just want to rapport-build, but they have a rational point too.

There are some people who build an identity around being “the eternal nay-sayer”—men like Jeremy Clarkson even make a career out of it, “the grumpy old git”. This is not my motivation to make it difficult, not to flatter some image I have of myself as a quasi-sadist. I hate people like that, I hate that pretence. It’s a rational decision: you will not en-joy it if I make it easy for you. If you like to read it, then, yes, scrolling backwards or using the search bar will be tiresome—sometimes downright frustration; as will the fact the article titles don’t correspond to the content. Yet, I can assure you, these will be your fondest memories about the site—perhaps more so than the actual articles. The worst things to experience, as Ted Hughes said, are best to remember.

This is why people are nostalgic about websites from the 1990s or when there were only three channels on TV. It’s the fascination of what’s difficult, to steal a title from a Yeats poem. If you want something easy and accessible, you can get a subscription to Disney+—though you’ll never remember it fondly. Easy entertainment, easy women; no fondness there. In fact, when I write anything in αρχαία ελληνικά I’ll only use the script with no transliteration from now on so you’ll have to pause and google it…and that’s the fascination of what’s difficult.


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