It seems like every time I sit down to write one of these things, my brain stares out into the abyss and goes shrieking off to some dark corner. It’s there currently, knees curled to its chest, rocking and softly singing “Mary had a little lamb,” over and over and over again.
I am writing on sheer instinct at this point.
I would tell you what exactly sends my brain scurrying for the quiet dark, but when I think about it…
… “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” …
…and it keeps getting louder. So, we’ll table any discussions that involve sanity-preserving repetitions of nursery rhymes, for now.
Let’s do a little updatery, shall we?
I have dug out my electric typewriter, and much to my wife’s chagrin, have begun using it to write things.
I can’t tell you. With a few, and very rare exceptions, I try not to talk about a work in progress, lest the emotional cues I pick up from others interfere with my own emotional process of writing. I’ll get cues from others when I have a serviceable draft, or three. It won’t be too long.
Hell, I’m just happy to be back at it.
With the exception of some notes and a couple of poems, I hadn’t written anything in a year. Depression will do that to you. Well, to me – as the case may be.
I’ve taken a giant backward step from Facebook. I haven’t dropped off completely, but I have really stopped reading posts. I figure if it’s important, someone will tag me in it, or – heaven forefend – actually text me. (It is probably too much to hope to receive a real life telephone call, but that might be for the best. They get awkward after a couple of minutes anyway.)
Strangely enough, I’m too lazy to adjust twitter so it doesn’t auto-repost to Facebook. So, all of my tweets, and this blog will end up on Facebook by dint of chain reaction. Where, in all likelihood, the comments I receive for any given blog will vastly outnumber the comments that actually end up on my blog. There’s some kind of interweaving of irony there, but…
… “MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB!”
In short, I’ve dropped off the Facebook carousel for one main reason: People are fucking nuts.
Even people I love, respect, and admire.
Fekkin’ batshit nuts.
What is it about social media that promotes the most petty, vain, illogical, and mean-spiritedness in us?
(That’s not a rhetorical question, by the way. I’ve been researching, but if you have some reasoned answers, I’d love to hear them.)
So, it came to a head when one member of my extended family posted something quite ranty, but obviously pointed towards a particular individual. This member of my family did not mention said person’s name, because the poster has a sense of dignity and decorum. I was going to post a comment in support, maybe something soothing. That was my intention, anyway. Then I saw the list of comments that preceded me, and I began to lose heart. Just some of the most vicious, soulless, mean-spirited shit about whole swaths of the American public. The kind of statements that include the term, “those people”. Insanely broad generalizations, and unearned, ignorant self righteousness.
It made me a little ill.
That’s not hyperbole. I actually got queasy.
My usual shtick is to educate and argue. For some reason I didn’t do that this time. This time, all I did was ask – ask – that people take a second to realize that maybe they didn’t have all the information, and could we try to have some compassion.
That’s what I asked for.
Can you guess what happened next? I bet you can.
I got attacked. A lot.
You’d think I had made a bad joke about someone’s dead mother. (I have a few of those. Ask me sometime.)
I argued, for a while. Being the only unpopular opinion in the room doesn’t frighten me nearly as much as it used to. Also, I’m quite capable of being a mean bastard when the moment requires it. But this was sickening.
Sickening like the first time you see unedited car wreck photos, and you resolve, then and there, to never drive without your seat belt firmly fastened, regardless of how short the trip.
(Incidentally, I am that guy.)
And I had to stop.
Too much hate. Too much nonsense. Too much.
And all because I asked people to have some compassion – to maybe not be so vicious with people they had never met, in all likelihood will never meet.
That was their bridge too far.
So, I’m off, for I don’t know how long. I’ll check in, from time to time, because I really don’t have any other way to get in touch with some people.
It’s been a couple of weeks now, and you know what? I don’t miss it. And I do feel better for not bathing in that miasmic swamp of mean-crazy.
(Disclaimer: yes, I know that not everyone on Facebook is crazy. But it feels an awful lot like it since a certain campaign cycle kicked off more than a year ago. )
After a two month hiatus, two rounds of antibiotics, and about 4 weeks of physical therapy I finally got to start going back to the gym. Been back at it into the third week now. Cautiously optimistic and trying not to hurt myself. Managing fairly well so far. Should be a couple more weeks before I’m back to the strength I was before I had to take the forced downtime, but that’s okay. It’ll come back.
Well, that’s probably enough for now. The Nursery rhymes are coming slower and less frantic now. Maybe I’ll go watch some TV. Maybe I’ll see what’s been happening on the news…
… “MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB!!!!!!!!”
Well, so much for that.