Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Age and Hate

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It may, or rather, should come as a complete shock to you gentle reader, but I do, nearly every day, think about this venue and what I should be throwing up here. Not in a proactive way, I'll admit. In a sort of "I've got to get started on my taxes" sort of way. That uneasier form of procrastination that never fully leaves your mind in peace. I prefer the more satisfying version of procrastination, rooted in a magnificent, sublime irresponsibility. The dirty dishes that actually disappear as soon as you turn your head and walk from the kitchen sink. The debt to a friend that bothers for a while, then fades away into a fat, content obscurity until the day he needs to, without much subtlety, reference the debt in a blog post...

But this empty page needles me. In part because as I stumble through my days, the sheer volume of experience out there deserving content overwhelms me. A good portion of what it deserves is derision and scorn, sure, but I figure the Internet is jammed with folks who delight in that sort of thing, and I kind of spent 27 years doing that already. Not that I don't enjoy it, or feel like I'm good at it, I do and I am. But you can enjoy something without taking much joy out of it.

I am getting older. I hear there's a lot of that going around.
I'm not over the hill or anything, but I have begun to notice that there are certain processes taking place. I do not believe these all began recently, I am quite sure they have been taking place since that unknown moment in my youth when I started making independent decisions. I seems as if there are moments of quiet up there in the rock box that were not there before, moments that allow one to notice the quieter things, the slower movements.

It can be disconcerting, that quiet, if it hits you suddenly, the same stunning silence that shot through the room back in grade school on a test day, everyone silent and focused on empty bubbles and number two pencils, then the furnace blower shuts down and the silent room is instantly....more silent? How was it possible? A sudden vacuum. But soon enough your head is back down and to the business at hand.

One process I've noticed is my reduced lack of glee at other's misfortune. I've never been a fan of general misfortune, lets get that straight. I'm not a big fan of America's Funniest Home Videos, for example. God knows I love pets doing silly things, but I spend most of the human-oriented part of the show with one hand over my mouth and the other reaching to call 911. I have close friends who love it, and I think the difference is I've been involved, in one way or another, with a lot of those dumbass-ideas-gone-wrong and when I watch those three second clips of "hilarity", all I can see are hours of pain and boredom in emergency room waiting areas. But there was a time, very recently, when I loved to see certain, specific it. They might be those I disagreed with socially or politically, someone whose public personae I despised, or just that a-hole who always stands in every one's way on the subway platform, every day.

I used to love watching those people wipe out, either figuratively or literally, (I'm not a picky guy), but I seem to have lost a lot of the relish once associated with those occasions. And I ascribe that to getting older. It's not bad like failing eyesight, but I don't see how it makes me any better in any way. I don't cover my mouth, gasp in horror and hope they are okay, after all, the guy does stand in every one's way, every day, and is an a-hole... So it's not an improvement it's just one of those things.

Which is not a big deal, until you've got a blog and need to come up with stuff to write about. After all, there is arguably nothing the internet excels at more than providing a platform for vitriol. Ann Coulter can tell you that television is a bad VDM, (vitriol delivery medium). There is something about watching bigotry actually leaving someone's mouth that makes it all icky and realistic, almost as if the person spewing it were, say....a bigot. That doesn't hold true for blogs, probably not even for radio. Don Imus was okay until video of his papery lips actually forming those words hit a wide audience. (Over the internet via Youtube, which probably waters down my point but which I will brush aside as ironic) The things Imus and Coulter and Rosie and Tom Cruise get themselves in trouble with in the larger media are the Everyday Bread and Butter of the blogosphere. The space between inflammatory and passively narcissistic must exist in the blog world, its just hard to find.

For those of you keeping score at home, this posting is in the latter camp, though I prefer to think of it as an active, even sporty narcissism.

So, free to hate and run, but out of conventional fuel...where to go? Thats next...


  1. I am looking forward to finding out.

    PS. I hope today is a good one.

  2. Anonymous1:37 AM EDT

    I just basically would like to wish you a Happy Borthday, and even if you are getting older and maybe a bit crabbier too, I still like ya ;)