14 July 2019

On Not Writing Here, On Not Protesting and On a Few Other Topics As Well

Anti-War Protest in the Sixties, Before the Internet
I'm writing out of a sense of obligation. I've had this blog for over 11 years and for most of that time I've posted once even twice or three times a week. Last year my number of postings fell of significantly and through the first half of this year I've barely posted at all. I don't flatter myself that there are people all over the world who are waiting anxiously to hear from me, but in having a blog I feel duty bound to post now and again. Actually, as I write these words I'm not sure why I've been feeling so damn guilty about the recent paucity of postings. But I do. I did start a post a few days ago, it was one of those in which I rant and rave, perhaps later in this writing I'll get back to that abandoned post. Suffice to say when I stopped at one point to take a look at what I'd written I was not pleased.

It may be surprising that while I've hardly updated ye olde blog these past few months I've been writing more than ever. However it has almost exclusively been directed to completing a novel. I "finished" it about a month or so ago but have since been adding, subtracting, pruning and fussing over the damn thing. Before I start peddling it I want the book to be the best I can possibly make it.

I love writing. I like stringing words together into a cohesive sentence and sentences into a cohesive paragraph and paragraphs into a cohesive story or essay or review or critique or commentary or anything else that another person might read and enjoy or be edified by.

The blog post I started and never finished recently, was an angry screed about how my friends on the left express their outrage at the political nonsense in the US these days and how they don't express it. They do express it with angry tweets, clever GIFs and memes, outraged letters, petitions signed comments posted. They do not express it by hitting the streets and demonstrating. It boggles the mind that the US is separating families at the border, keeping children in cages and denying asylum seekers basic human rights and we haven't had massive demonstrations in Washington DC and every other major city in the country. In the Sixties there was no Twitter nor for that matter any internet so people protested by getting off their asses and marching. It began with the Civil Rights Movement and continued with protests against the draft and the war in Vietnam. There have been any number of outrages perpetrated by the current administration in DC and only a few have spurred demonstrations. They should be going on damn near everyday. Realistically maybe every week or two. The internet has made everyone lazy. So that's what I wrote about but it came off like I was a hectoring old fool and not a sober reasoned individual so I dropped it. Come to think of it this paragraph reads a little like the frothing of an aging radical. Aww the hell with it. Point made.

Other topics....

I saw this quote on Instagram: "There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." To me it summed up the difference between being depressed and happy. (I spend a lot of times yo-yoing between both worlds.) Nothing impresses you when you're depressed. Nothing seems beautiful, unique or interesting. When you're feeling good, of course, it's the opposite, you are aware of and delighted by the wonders of the world

I heard someone the other day going on about how indifferent they were to soccer how they didn't really like it, found it boring and found some of the tactics confusing. The person went on to say how he would watch it whenever the US men's team was playing an important match. This little story perfectly illustrates why I so vociferously root against the US in men's soccer (that's football, to the rest of the world). While other countries love the sport and follow it year round you have millions of Americans whose only interest in the game is to see the damned United States beating some other country. Disgusting. Let soccer glory go to the people who appreciate the sport.

The Internet Movie Database is an invaluable source of information on virtually any and every film and TV show ever made. It is a must have site for film fans regardless of what type of movie you like. However it tries desperately to cater to young people whose idea of movie-going is taking in the latest blockbuster at the nearest multiplex. For example every day on their front page they list five people from the world of cinema who were born on that day. Today was typical in that they had someone named Phoebe Waller-Bridge and someone else named Scott Porter but omitted one of the greatest and most influential directors of all time (and my favorite) Ingmar Bergman. For some reason I look at the daily birthdays every day and every day, like today, there are one of two or even three people who I've never heard of, then  later -- perhaps on twitter -- I'll see that is the birthday of some iconic film star or director who IMDb did not deem worthy of mentioning. For "Top News" IMDb typically has five or six items and invariably there's news about garbage like Spider-Man, X-Men, or the latest proposed sequels, remakes, a reboots, prequels in addition to news about what's been killing it at the box office. It's like they hardly consider film an art form at all.

I have some ideas for future blog posts -- many have been kicking around in the cavernous regions around my brain  for a long time -- that may at last be coming to this blog. First, of course, I've gotten to get that novel done and dusted then prepared for submission, query letter, synopsis and all. No estimate on when that will be but it could be in weeks (whether that's two weeks or sixty two weeks remains to be seen). Thanks for reading (assuming you did).

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