Hi, I’m Daniel. I’m Georgian by birth, Texan by conditioning, and Narnian at heart. I care about clarity and ideas. And the way ideas are communicated best is through stories. So I care about stories and I try to write them. I find myself examining stories—studying, criticizing, praising stories—a lot.

Very Public Secret Society is a space to do more of that. Because we are all doing it all of the time: creating stories, telling stories, examining the stories of others. Some of us write them down and some of us put them to music. Some of us paint and some of us build. Some of us teach and some of us study. For some, the scalpel is the pen and the plate is the canvas.

We are story-bound, meaning-seeking people. And that is what this substack is about: making stories and seeking meaning.

I hope you subscribe (for free). I think you’ll find something valuable here.

what I’ve been thinking1

I think physical books are aesthetic, social, and spiritual goods—and I had to lose one of my favorites to really get that.

I think the BBC’s adaptation of His Dark Materials is a masterclass in probing moral, ethical, philosophical, and theological dilemmas in a dramatic TV show. While Prince Corin is a minor character in The Chronicles of Narnia, he might be C.S. Lewis’ greatest cipher and the harbinger of the writer’s much-desired Joy.

There’s a passage in Genesis that triggered a most profound and apparent spiritual experience. And there’s a reason The Mandalorian works so well in a world that kicks against creedal religion.

I think Perelandra says something important about sex and gender identity. As much as I love Batman, I think he’s a terrible superhero. (Most of them are—in a way.) I examined racism, cultural superiority, beauty standards, and inclusiveness through the lens of one of the most beloved fantasy series. I think J.R.R. Tolkien would have loved Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I think Phil Coulson is near-Messianic.

If you can’t tell, I love science fiction and fantasy and superheroes and C.S. Lewis. I love stories published in diverse mediums.

I think faith is important and God is real and near. I think Jack Gilbert would have approved of Pixar’s Soul. I think multiple things can be true at the same time and that Spider-Man: No Way Home did a bad thing and that Bruce Wayne is finally dead (and that’s a good thing).

I also think music is powerful and creators should create aggressively no matter what.

I love good conversation with interesting people about interesting things, so please feel free to leave comments all over the place. If you want to send me things to read or watch or listen to, or tell me why I’m wrong, follow me on Twitter @dmarkwiv or Instagram at @danielmwiv.

I love having you here.


There’s a more complete overview of things I’ve written on my website. If you think there’s something I should write about for your publication, shoot me an email.

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creating aggressively. making stories and seeking meaning.


Daniel Whyte IV

Part-time writer, full-time fantasizer. Obsessing about stories and what they tell us about culture, humanity, and faith. Signal booster for common sense, objectivity, and humor.