You might have noticed that things have been slow-going, here. You might not have noticed at all, as a simple by-product of how slow it has been. Things are still going to be a little slow, from this point on, but the crescendo is mounting, and when we're at full pitch you'll probably wish we'd go a little slower. You see, of the many different ventures of our sort that have been put forward, the vast majority of them have two things in common: an initial burst of fevered energy, and a death so sudden as to almost be without purpose – and we're not interested in that way of doing things. We're here, slowly gathering, accruing, doing it right, or as right as we can, and when you actually get a glimpse of the vast array of things we have yet to even sort out into a plan, you'll understand why.
But what is beginning now, right now actually, is what's going to be the meat and potatoes of our elaborate meal plan. These are the basic functions of Cabal, the consistent candle burning under our toes as we juggle the many festive-colored chainsaws that we might decide to drop on you all. While most other groups tend to base themselves around catering to members, using their works for their gallery, often being determined to get everyone to write better, or brush their teeth, or run the mile faster, we don't care what you do on your own time - this isn't about you. This is for you. It is content, of many different sorts, being prepared and presented for you to enjoy, or disagree with, or analyze, or steal for your senior thesis and get kicked out of college with. While many other pivotal things we've got planned have a stake in not only presenting you with something, but asking you for something, we thought it was crucial to anchor ourselves in actually being productive, rather than a vaporous pact between a 'Group' and its 'Members' to agree to do whatever this particular set-up is about.
And so we came up with two different primary things that we think are pretty cool on their own, and will do a lot to stabilize us as we Buzz Lightyear this shit out past infinite:
Columnists - These are people who say interesting things at you. For the most part, we try to keep with the old tradition of sustaining a theme for each column, with the exception of a few who were so special they got the theme of Whatever I Damn Well Please. These will be run on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, but this is intended as a baseline, a minimum that shouldn't be fallen below - and not only are all columnists welcome to write much more, we'd like it if they did, and the only real stipulation to how much you're allowed to write is that the quality of the writing itself be maintained throughout. I (~NLY) manage the Columnists half of things, and I have sent out requests to people who I think would be especially apt for the job, but I also want it to be made clear, up front, that this is an open-application scenario. If you send me a column and I like it (and I will be reading every column before it goes to press in the gallery, and rejecting anything I deem tossed-off or unfit), I will invite you to the class where you can submit it, and you can submit it, after we've discussed the terms of your column itself, and your own personal plans for it.
For now we're going to be taking things steadily, as we build up steam and a reliable core of columnists themselves. Some of us are currently facing health problems, some of us are studying for pharmacology exams, some of us are inundated by life in the usual fashion, and some of us are just lazy bastards who will need multiple kicks in the ass on a regular basis to get the job done, and as such we're going to start out with approximately 1-3 a week, though we could wind up with much more.
Contributors - This half of the equation is run by the illustrious `salshep, a person uniquely qualified for doing so. For you see this will be a field of endeavor that requires vast patience and capacity for nurturing, like the process of bringing a field to crop, bringing a garden to fruition: These are what you might think of as Cabal Authorized Writers - all writing is illegal, let's say, unless otherwise approved by the ranking authority (and who are you to say that isn't us?), and until a writer is authorized they are an outlaw of dubious quality. The Gallery zone which is typically for regular members has been set aside for these people, because we trust them, and like reading them, and want you to read them, and want them to be read. Whenever these people write something which they are especially proud of, they get to submit it to us, and to you, and we all get to pass judgment along them. Everyone is free to run their galleries as they please, and here at Cabal we allow those who disagree - no idiots, of course, but dissenters and naysayers get their say, too, when they read a work they find of dubious quality and want to let it be known. It should be understood that while we are very much putting these people on a pedestal, and making them a carrot on a stick to be followed, we are also opening them up to all public hazards which come from being on a pedestal.
It is, then, a tightrope dynamic that will have to be firmly and surely monitored and encouraged, and for obvious reasons we won't be asking for submissions, or applications for the right to be in this category. This is merit-based, and like most merit-based things this is based around the perceptions of a few people, and in particular those of Salli herself.
Note: For all incumbent bribers, I heartily recommend to you that with enough Jager and chocolate Salli might actually think you were a good enough writer and let you in.
This isn't a Zine, though, and we don't want you to think it is one. We're not totally convinced the internet, let alone dA, is the best place to run one of those, and we think what's even more interesting about this medium is the ability for it to present so much more organically, to live and breathe with continual bits of content being driven into each other like raindrops colliding in a hard wind, rather than adhering to a model which is specifically grouped around a dirt world system of publishing.
That's all for now. It is beginning. Let it begin.