You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much since just before the holidays. I haven’t been on vacation (dammit), had writers block, been in jail, been recruited by the CIA (there’s a need for decrepit middle aged men, I hear), or any other exotic sort of adventure.
I am afraid to Google how many blogs exist in the world, and I am aware that many if not most of them are vacuous exercises in self-indulgence. I don’t really mind being self-indulgent – but vacuous? Perish the thought! This morning, however, as I was searching for a quote to use in another venue, a couple of my own pieces came up – and they were good! I suppose every writer is steeped in self-doubt from time to time. Sometimes, when people ask me what I do, I tell them, “I am a freelance writer, which is my case is more free than lance.” Perish the thought, I am turning into one of those [hopefully not very] smelly hippies who understands that one produces art for art’s sake, and so it must be true that one writes for writing’s sake – with the possible exception of political speech writers, who write to produce vocal turds for professional sphincters.
Oh, but I am oh-so-weary of all of the writing that wants to insist that “most people are just like me” and then goes on about some part of the author that most people definitely do not share. Whatever part of myself that I have not yet fully accepted, I simply have a look around for even the smallest clue that most people really do share that trait. Then I write – voluminously, preferably – about how Jesus (or some other figure, or entire populations) really was/is a seven foot three inch tall, six fingered dwarf. If you dare to suggest to me that it isn’t possible to be a seven foot three dwarf, I will point out your five-fingered privilege in hopes of shutting you down. God forbid we have open discourse and exchange of ideas in the twenty-first century. What’s more, if you do happen to be a seven foot three, six fingered dwarf, people will do a double take when you walk past. Relax, it’s evolutionary programming and not any sort of bias.
I suppose that, on some level at least, it’s fine for anyone to argue about anything they want as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, kind of like that Bundy family (Cliven, not Al). If you really believe in your heart of hearts that the government has devised a way to confiscate the estimated 350 million firearms that are privately owned in the United States and that background checks are simply a prelude to that effort, I say write about it until you are blue in the face. It will help the rest of us identify who the idiots are, in case we ever want to round you up and force you into treatment (at those words, all the paranoid delusionals who read them just logged off the Internet to go into hiding).
If you really are upset over what sort of equipment the person in the next rest room stall might be packing between their legs, more power to you. In the name of honesty, however, I must tell you most of us almost never have a second thought about the person in the next stall, unless they fall off the seat where they have been either squatting or hovering to avoid germs and crash off the stall walls on their way to the floor, that is. Then we laugh heartily. Other than that, nada. The fact that you do worry about it may well meet diagnostic criteria for something or other. Have you considered a hobby?
I really don’t want to write about this sort of tripe any longer, except perhaps to point out that I really couldn’t care less about it. We all have things that impact us but not too many other people. It’s fine to work to change that, but to pretend that such things are more important than those poor starving children in China our parents told us would love to eat the half masticated offal they had served for dinner is remarkably myopic. Again, if this makes your day I say go for it, but I really can’t anymore – nor can I pretend to give a damn about the discussion.
All of this is a rather longish way to say that I won’t be turning out many handy little six line bits of wisdom over the next several months, even though they are both very handy and very wise. I am not going to subject myself to a schedule, choosing instead to write more organically and when the spirit moves me. There is plenty of nonsense on the Internet to entertain you when I am silent. We will see what happens!