Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pringles coffin beats the campaign trail any day

This morning tried to make myself interested in the campaign headlines, but I was distracted by the MSN headline, "Police Hunt Thong-clad Thugs." Now, how can I be expected to read election updates when a story like that is at the bottom of the page? That's like displaying fresh asparagus next to chocolate cake. I like asparagus, it's good for me, but then there's the chocolate cake and the story about thugs in thongs next to it. I'm sorry, I'm still stuck on the image of a masked bank robber fleeing into an alleyway so he can pull out his wedgie, and it became mixed with my asparagus-cake analogy.

Anyway, my point is that I've been trying to get myself interested in politics since I was twelve. Back then I idolized my Aunt Anne who, with no children of her own, took me under her wing and introduced me to amazing books that I wasn't assigned in school, art painted on old New Orleans buildings that I'd never paid attention to before, the sweet, tragically broken voices of folk music singers, and (mostly) left-wing perspectives on politics. Of these four things guess which one I was least interested in. She letured me on the importance of getting all the facts I could on a topic, and reading right, left and moderate views so that I could wittle out my own well-informed theory on how to make the world a kinder place for folk musicians. But try as I might I was, as I am to this day,more likely drawn to headlines that say, "Buried in Pringles Can- Fredic J. Baur, creator of the potato crisp's packaging system, had a portion of his ashes buried in the iconic container."

In my teen years all the way to my early twenties I figured that I just wasn't mature enough yet to care about the political state of the world. From ages 23-29 I chalked up my lack of interest to sleep deprevation from having three babies close together. But here I am at 32 still more interested in "Britain's Shin-Kicking Championships" than I am about a campaign that will directly effect the lives of everyone I know.

And I think I know why. Life is too damn serious. It's not nearly silly enough and I'm beginning to suspect that I wasn't brought into this world for serious purposes. When I read, see, or write ridiculousness it produces this energy that (as cliche as I know this is) makes me feel alive. Lately when I write in the morning I begin by listening to "Queen Bitch" by David Bowie.

It goes:

She's so swishy in her satin and tat

In her frock coat and bipperty-bopperty hat

Oh God, I could do better than that

Lord help me, I just can't take myself seriously after that. And I don't want to. Yeah, I'm prone to write serious dramatic stuff at times but it doesn't really pump my nads, you know? It doesn't make me happy. The problem is that sometimes I get thoughts that have nothing to do with anything and I don't know what to do with them. For instance, I'm taking yoga classes at this place called Wild Lotus. Every time I say it out loud I think it sounds like an erotic botanical garden. Just the thought of that trumps whatever points of spiritual enlightenment I'd orginally thought to discuss. There are two girls in my class whose real, legal names are Olwynn and Sunshine. One of them is a hippie and I suspect that the other is an elf mage with a 17 charisma and 6 hit points. I just can't take these people seriously, and for this reason I think they're fantastic.

I will keep forcing myself to read interviews with candidates on both sides, and stay alert on home and world-wide issues, as every nuclear-attack-fearing American should (yeah, I know the Cold War is over, but I don't think the fear of being nuked ever quite goes out of style). In the mean time, I will share a newsworthy link to the latest socially significant struggle - Barbie suing Bratz Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow, my good people.

ps- Ok, there's another reason it's hard to stay serious. I've only been editing my book for the last hour and I've been interrupted by the kids six times - twice for food, four times because of a fight over a stuffed animal. Sigh...keep remembering what they tell you about some day missing these early years, Gen. And stop gnashing your teeth, it's unattractive.


biggearhead said...

I have this problem at work all the time. I'll read something, grab the coworker next to me, and say, "Look, see how the header in this paragraph says 'Great Minds?' If you swap the consonants for both words you get...Meat Grinds!" Then I get "the look," wich mixes disbelief, fear, and annoyance. I have trouble being all that serious, perhaps one reason why I've not scaled the ladder to corporate greatness (in addition to the fact that I have little skill in the area...which reminds me...I should get back to work on that short story so I can get paid to be fanciful and nonserious).

Genevieve said...

Oooooooh...I think I know who you are. Tom, tell me the truth. You don't actually work at work, do you? If the answer is no then cool! You're practicing writing and still managing to do your other job at the same time! It's the dream, man! I forgot that you're working on a short story. How's it coming?

Ok, now I must check out this blog thing you've got going.

biggearhead said...

I do definitely work at work, in addition to other things which may or may not be related to writing.

The short stories are going okay since your last comment above. I started and finished one, and now have gone back to the unfinished one that preceded it and I'm finishing that one. Nothing stellar, it's just that I had a conversation with an artist friend of mine who accented the importance of finishing something. She said she thought she'd finished almost everything she'd started in the past several years, even if she didn't like it. On her own personal scale she is doing very well, so I thought I'd take that practice and apply it to my own work as well.

Now, let's see...what else is laying around here that's halfway done?...