Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Won't somebody save Blog Boy?

Mea Culpa?
Once again, sorry for abandoning this blog to dehydrate in the void. My only excuse is that I recently turned sixty, and it caused some unforeseen consequences in my psyche…

I didn’t want to be sixty. I wanted to be 59 again. For two weeks before my birthday, and two weeks after, I spent brooding. Brooding, however, I came to realize, is a young man’s game. Brooding after a certain age does not come across as brooding, which can be sexy in a young person, but in older persons is merely perceived as “grouchy.” Brooding can be considered sexy. The most grouchiness can achieve is a kind of “cute,” as in: “Aw, look at that grouchy old guy. Let me take your picture with him!” Who needs that?

I also became concerned that my aversion to, say, Twitter, was not a response to its vapidity, but more an indicator of my own incipient geezerness. Moreover, I felt that my blog was just one blog among twelvety. My opinions, intelligent and irreplaceable as they may well be, are just a drop in the data bucket. Everybody’s a writer now. Everybody has opinions. And everybody puts them out there for free. Chris Anderson notwithstanding (he wrote the book FREE, which says that we can make money by giving ideas away; well of course HE can – he’s the editor of WIRED and therefore has both a job and credibility, and can make oodles of money giving lectures about how you can give yourself away), I have not found the New Economy conducive to making a goddam living.

But I am letting all that go.

I came across a study saying that young people do not get Twitter; it’s mainly embraced by folks over 35. So it’s not just me! I hate Twitter too! I’m still young! Ish!

And I’ve read that blogs are now so last week. That will thin the herd! Look out, DAILY KOS, LITTLE GREEN FOOTBALLS. Only my blog will be left standing! Soon I too will be self-important!

Speaking of which – I feel free to say this now – I don’t get HUFFINGTON POST. I enjoy various posts there, but I don’t see why it exists. A kajillion bloggers, some good, some not, blogging for free, near as I can tell, or near free, just to give Arianna Huffington the gravitas she needs to attend A-list parties.

Thanks. I feel better now.

Shiny objects!
I made a solemn vow a few years back to never ever ever watch television news again. I have fallen off that wagon occasionally, and become inadvertently mesmerized by solemn men and women as they stand adjacent to the scene of some disaster, venturing opinions on what might be happening should something actually happen; but by and large, I have successfully steered clear of the whole enchilada, and my digestion has improved enormously, not to mention my knowledge of actual news.

So I missed the whole balloon boy thing. Of course I caught up with it on the radio, and newspapers, and online. I understand that America, and the world, watched transfixed as a strange-looking runaway balloon floated around Colorado, a balloon which may or may not have had a small boy as a passenger. But as we learned, there was no boy on the balloon. So basically America and the world was watching a strange-looking runaway balloon for no reason at all, other than it was shiny.

In the aftermath of the event (which may eventually include the father of the child being charged with fraud for engineering the whole thing as a publicity stunt to land him and his family a reality television show), there was much chiding of viewers and the media by viewers and the media for giving in and watching the balloon.

This behavior is called, of course, having your cake and eating it too. You videotape yourself eating the cake, and then replay that video endlessly, chiding both yourself and the viewer for watching it, even though the cake is long gone, if in fact it ever was.

Some among us have been trying to find the Lesson In All This, though it seems pretty obvious.

As it happens I had seen Mr. Heene and his family before, on WIFE SWAP. (Yes, while I have imposed restrictions upon myself regarding television news, I have no such restrictions when it comes to reality television. I watch reality television avidly, to discover when, if ever, actual reality will intrude upon the experience. So far, no evidence has been found.)

I remember the father as being both energetic and nuts. He is a storm chaser, and his wife his enthusiastic supporter, and their children out of control. Mr Heene’s also way into UFOs, and his WIFE SWAP wife, a psychic from Florida, who did not convince Mr. Heene to discipline his unruly children more, did (if memory serves) convince him that one of them might be an extra-terrestrial. Mr. Heene struck me as a guy who would be fun to be around for about fifteen minutes, and then you’d start looking desperately for the nearest exit. (I just read that one of the supposed reasons Mr. Heene staged this runaway balloon gag, if indeed he staged it, was to get reality teevee money fast, before 2012, and the Mayan Prophecy comes true; he wants to build a bunker for his family’s hunkering, so they can all be dead in a safe place when the sun explodes.)

Mr. Heene had a YouTube Channel, now gone. In one video he dressed up in a brassiere, to rant about Britney Spears. In another he made a claim, whether as a joke or not, that Hillary Clinton may in fact be a reptilian alien.

For those of you who follow that sort of thing (and I do), the reptilian alien theory was first posited (I believe by David Icke), once a British soccer player and sportscaster, who has since carved out his niche in the world of loons with his theory that all of human history is secretly controlled by disguised reptilian aliens.

Followers of true crime may recall that the 1999 New Mexico murderer of Girly Chu Hossencofft claimed to be a reptilian shape shifter at his trial.

So what does all this mean? Well, clearly, human beings are doomed as a species. If it’s not reptilian aliens, it’s our own refusal to stop watching the news.

At least balloon boy is safe. He was hiding in the attic the whole time. An activity I recommend to all of you. If you don’t have an attic, get one. Now.

I got your intelligence right here!
Liz Sidoti of The Associated Press recently posted an interesting article, which states in part: “Obama has been a constant presence in the mass media as he expands the bureaucracy's reach into the private sector.... In doing so, he has created a quandary. Put aside for a moment the question of whether government is actually intruding into people's lives more than before. The point is that many people feel like it is -- in part because Obama doesn't stop talking about his goals. If President George W. Bush got slapped around for being inarticulate, is Obama obnoxiously articulate?”

“Obnoxiously articulate.” How dare he be well-spoken? His very presence of mind is a chiding! He shames us. Shun him.

It’s an interesting concept, especially in today’s times, when I think that sometimes I can actually see America’s i.q. points rising and falling, like barometric pressure.