Hi, I’m Daniel, and I’m trying to summarize this substack in a way that’s serious but not too serious, funny but not silly. I guess I’ll start by telling you about me.

I’m Georgian by birth, Texan by conditioning, and English (at least a little bit) somewhere in my heart. After meddling for years in web design (got a degree in that) and independent publishing, I’m pursuing my master’s degree in Mass Communication & Journalism.

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 them, criticizing them, and praising them. I do that a lot.

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.

And that is what I’m doing here. Creating aggressively. Or as aggressively as a busy work, school, reading, sleeping, interior-designing, TV-watching, soon-to-be cat-tending life can allow.

That is what the very public secret society is about. 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.

A picture I took in Norwich.

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) and I hope you find something valuable here.

For now, I’ll be publishing a newsletter (with an article on something Very Important) every other week. And some Asides in the weeks in between.

I love good conversation with interesting people about interesting things, so please feel free to leave comments all over this substack. 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 on Instagram at @danielmwiv.

I hope to see you around.

Subscribe to very public secret society

creating aggressively. making stories and seeking meaning.


Daniel Whyte IV

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