Ode to the Common Good

Every one of these faces represents a page in history, a story and an aspiration.

In Working Towards The Common Good – And The Speed Bumps

Ode to the Common Good
Every one of these faces represents a page in history, a story and an aspiration. Humanity is like that.

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After almost a month of being down from a crashed server and attempting to put back some 7,000 posts, we’re finally back up and running. What the downtime did was put a huge dent in our Fundraiser, as the outage happened right as we were getting underway. It’s been an effort to get back up to speed, with the July 4th holiday weekend and most of you out of town, away from social media, taking a much-needed break from the news of the day. Unfortunately, all the expense incurred while getting back up and running normal just added to the complications and now the Fundraiser has taken on the extra added attraction of taking care of an emergency while also looking at what it takes to keep operating during the year to come.

Someone once said “well, this is a hobby of yours, isn’t it?” – aside from being an insult it was also quite far from the truth. If this was a hobby, I would only post sporadically and not really care about digitizing the collection; preserving it and making it available for people to be reminded and to learn from. If this was a hobby I would have given it up a long time ago. But there’s a bigger picture here; the common good. The fact that, as we get further and further from those life-changing events, the less and less we remember the events themselves and the lessons we got from them. It’s that old cliché of being doomed to repeat mistakes if we didn’t learn anything from them the first time around.

We live in a world under siege – news almost constantly; fake news, real news – news with spin – news to distract – news to inform, but somehow buried in an avalanche of spin and conspiracies, laced with finger-pointing. It’s a fractured and divided time, and many just want to tune out, go to a place where the constant buzz of hysteria is blocked out. To look for some solution, some safe-haven, even for a few minutes.

One of the things I have been trying to do with Past Daily is to make it as many things to as many people as possible; to achieve a common good – to offer history, to offer those voices and events that either changed our lives from that moment on, or were harbingers of changes yet to come. But it’s also a chronicler and preserver of our culture – those things that strike positive chords, voices of people who influenced us in many ways, but had profound affects on society in general. Styles and movements that were revolutionary at the time, but tame by comparison now. Those events that spark remembrance or evoke perplexity that yes, we were also very naive in our past.

I don’t like nostalgia – I don’t feel a dewey-eyed depiction of a past that really never existed serves any good or useful function. As a people and a culture, we’re loaded with good ideas that were bad in the long run – bad ideas that actually turned out to be good over time. And one person’s pleasant memory can trigger an onslaught of life-changing events to another. We are all different and we all experience different things in different ways at all times. I try to make them all available to be contemplated or to be enthused or encouraged by – but I try to make them all available.

But what’s this have to do with Fundraising? In a way, a lot. It all boils down to making these choices available to you, the person reading this right now. And because we live in a society where money is the common denominator in most things, asking for financial help to assist in paying to keep a site like this going is necessary and crucial. In short, I can’t do it alone. Past Daily represents an archive that borders on the vast. The monthly upkeep alone could qualify as a living expense for some – but its necessary and it needs to be done.

That’s why I’m asking for your help – either by way of Patreon or by PayPal; two methods that seem to work best for just about everyone. Your contributions help keep this operation going; the day to day – the preservation – the hours it takes to prepare just one of these posts each day – and I strive to do at least three and as many as six on a single day. For me it’s a seven-day-a-week endeavor. It’s not just that I want and love to do it, but I feel compelled to make all of this available to as many people as possible in order to help make a difference, to offer some solution, to shed some light, I am looking at history and the common good in this.

Forgive me if you’ve been seeing a lot of pitches from me lately – the site going down and not being online forced me to reach out to people either individually or via Facebook and other social media platforms, just to let you we were still at it and still asking for your contributions and donations. But we’re up and back now and picking up where we left off.

And so many of you have made contributions so far. To you I am grateful beyond words. I am heartened to know that you do feel Past Daily can make a difference and should be here. You cannot know just how much you have helped out so far – you helped put us back up and running and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To everybody else, to those on the fence or reading this for the first time; do what you can – as much or as little as you’re comfortable with remembering its for the common good. Just know that it all goes to keeping Past Daily up and running and offering you the best and rarest of our world and our cultures.

I’ll be here as long as you are.

Gordon Skene
Past Daily

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