Thursday, July 29, 2004

It doesn't have to be that way

It doesn't have to be that way.

The day after focus on the money line from John Edwards' speech last night, "Hope is on the way," has completely overshadowed the important line (and line of thought) from his speech. It doesn't have to be that way. A little something I would call the rousing power of should.

We can do better, different, other than we are doing. We only need choose to do so. It is not set in stone- whatever it is. Educational opportunities. Wealth inequalities. Entrenched political and economic powers. It can be changed, if we so desire and so choose.


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Has my Shark been Jumped?

My reader, assuming they are still alive, must have noticed the paucity of posts these last few months. Sadly, I have no excuse. I could certainly make one up were they to insist- work the past few weeks, uh, you get the picture.

But I do have a reason. Outrage fatigue. But it's more than that. Roughly, somewhere around January/February I became fed up with being fed up. I was inured to the regular depradations against sensibility, honesty, and a respect for getting things right. And less and less were events and discoveries able to stir my mind and soul to have an opinion. They became like Thursdays. Do you have an opinion on Thursdays? (And if you're one of those impertinent f*cks who has an opinion on everything, including Thursdays, then please allow me to rephrase: Do you have an opinion on Thursdays which anyone actually cares to hear?). By May, nothing moved me anymore. It is an indescribably terrible feeling- the emptiness of another day, another offense. My posts, and this blog in toto, are not forged in a place of outrage (how terrible a thing that would be, requiring outrage to drive you). But rather on distinctions (outrage being a useful tool in that regard).

What is needed. What is more sorely needed than anything right now is ephemeral hope. A glimmer of better times, of uplifting change, of a reordering of virtues and values that does some good (simply doing less bad is not enough). In many ways, this is inspired by, but by no means limited to, political events (and there is a whole Nader column on the surface, hopefully I write it). Politics- along with economics and values in their own spheres- sets the limits of the possible. And it is this constriction of the possible which suffocated the germ of opinion in yours truly.

And thus, this title to this post. In order to continue to maintain this effort- something I want to do- my content is going to have to shift predominantly to the personal. Now that's not a bad thing, in and of itself. Life is hilarious, poignant, and well, life. And that should be given voice. But it strikes me as the height of narcissism and a regrettable outlet for the modern focus on and careless gratification of the "I" (another column for another day). Plus, I promised myself at the outset of this blog that it was not going to be "About" me. But, here we are. Actually, the change shall not be anywhere so drastic as I make it out to be. It is simply the raison d'etre of this blog which is, temporarily, MIA. Hopefully inspiration which reignites me is not too far around the bend. Until then, welcome to the day to day through my eyes.

May I Also Avoid This Fate

The following is the verbatim text from an email I received today under the subject line: Missing

If anyone happened to inadvertently pick up a tube of Arm & Hammer toothpaste from the men's room, I would appreciate its return. Please feel free to leave it in my mailbox outside of room xxxx.
xxxxxx (redacted)
This was sent to approximately 100 people who, mostly, share the same floor as the aggrieved.

Fella, it's freaking toothpaste. I will go across the street to Rite-Aid and buy you a fresh new tube. Inadvertantly picked up? Jimminy! I thought that was my tube of toothpaste! Huh? If this had been something personal- a wedding ring, wallet, anything personal- I would understand. But toothpaste! And mine is a highly respected organization. If the outside world only knew.

May That Never Be Me

Today. The Office. My officemate, who is soon but not quite so soon as ones dreams may desire to switch offices (all the way across the hall!) and another co-worker. Two men, we'll go with late-40s types. Staring, blankly, at the abandoned but still furnitured office. Wondering how this move would take place. And staring blankly. Everything aside from common sense (that is, workplace regulations, 'the way it's always done,' and personal timidity) said call the movers and wait. But they couldn't get that nagging little voice telling them to be freaking useful out of the room. So they tossed the stack of Wall Street Journals and the other stack of Wall Street Journals (in the fire marshal's report, these would be Fire Hazard #1 and Fire Hazard #2) in the trash- no small feat considering the stacks were as tall as a point guard-, shifted some other papers, and went back to looking perplexed. Sighing. And each leaving it up to the other ("If you think we should, I'm for it. But I'm not making the call.") until the co-worker pulled rank on my officemate. After which point, the tears (of hilarity and dismay, comingling) blur my memory.

Except for this one thing. A gasp which escaped my lips. May That Never Be Me. While I certainly hope to avoid passing my days as Befuddled Urban Male, I think I could endure (with the aid and comfort of a good, nay saintly, woman). But Useless Guy- small, shrunken, afraid to do what he knows he must- that would be unbearable under any circumstance. Life without your verve, I shudder to think. Maybe I should ask my officemate how he copes. I don't imagine he'd mind... at least not in any effective way. May That Never Be Me.