Welcome to OTOHOTO, my new blog on perspective, often with a comedic twist. It’s pretty much anything else I feel like writing about. (Isn’t everything about perspective anyway?) OTOHOTO stands for “On The One Hand, On The Other” (not an automotive joint venture between Ireland and Japan, as one friend thought).
OTOHOTO is one perspective, informed by multiple perspectives that I’ve absorbed through curiosity, empathy and osmosis, and based on the premise that no one person has all the answers. It’s about looking at the world through different lenses, something I do regularly, not just because I’m bespectacled, astigmatic and keratoconic, but because my background is a mashup of what I grew up thinking was the right path and what my gut has been trying to tell me. This tension between the rational and the emotional resides in all of us. It is the essence of being human. By this measure—and only this measure—I feel super-human.
I’m suffused with paradoxen. (If oxen= >1 ox, then paradoxen= >1 paradox.) I’m a qualitative marketing researcher by profession, a lawyer by training (and the soul-crushing of my early 20s), and a comedian and writer for fun. Sure, I suffer from a bit of agita, but it makes for some fun Rorschach interpretations.
The upside of this mélange of thoughts is a love of making connections (when I was proofreading this, I thought I wrote “love-making connections”—that’ll be a different blog) and finding commonalities, both of which, I hope, bring people together in joy. Robin Williams (may his memory be a blessing, and who was a giant inspiration for me) was the comedic master of this.
With OTOHOTO, I’m not attempting to reconcile the paradoxen. I’m just going to embrace them.
OTOHOTO is my playpen. I’ll reflect on a variety of subjects, not beholden to any particular ideology or singular way of thinking, but rather open to novel, even if inconsistent, ways of interpreting our fascinating, albeit too often horrifying, world. I’ll play with words and visuals, pray on idiocrats and hypocrites, pay tribute to the silly and the sublime, and pay homage to my friends pursuing passion projects. What you’ll find is a gallimaufry* of ideas, many of them inchoate and incoherent, some inspired, some perhaps inspiring once in awhile.
*Some etymologist say that “gallimaufry” comes from the archaic French, ‘galimafrée’, an “unappetizing dish.” But that word comes from the Old French, ‘galer’ (“to make merry, live well”) + the Old North French ‘mafrer’ (“to eat copious quantities”). So we can think of OTOHOTO as a place to have fun and pig out!
Postings will be sporadic, intermittent and nonlinear. I’ll ask questions as much as offer answers because OTOHOTO is about both—it’s holistic. But PLEASE slap me down if stray into the pretentious or ass-holistic—that’sa no good, as Chico Marx would say. There’ll be high-entropy non-sequiturs and neologisms at will and ad nauseum, so pack the Dramanine, kids! You may read this stuff and go, “eh.” But maybe it’ll make you think, feel, smile, giggle, chortle, even guffaw occasionally. We’ll see what happens…
Coincidentally, OTOHOTO is a palindrome (not to be confused with “palindrone”). I like palindromes. My daughter’s name is a palindrome, and I’m launching this blog at the start of a palindromic year in the Jewish calendar: 5775. Since palindromes can be read right to left, they’re particularly fun for my Hebrew-, Arabic-, Farsi- and Urdu-speaking brethren—something the too-often warring peoples have in common. Like eating dessert first, palindromes remind us that sometimes you can start at the end of something and appreciate it just as much. I didn’t choose “OTOHOTO” because it’s a palindrome. I just liked that the phrase makes a cool acronym. Maybe it’s serendipitously more playful that way.
I start this blog without any fanfare—and without any fans, for that matter. But you can change all that. For just three easy payments of– (Wait, wrong blog.)
I’d like to know what OTOHOTO means to you. Share moments when you’re had to wrestle with conflicting viewpoints here. If had minions, I’d be flooded with responses immediately. Alas, we’ve only just begun*…
Thanks for being here!