Monday, November 21, 2016

A note to readers.

If you feel like I haven't been writing as much lately, I think you're right. And I think it's due to a number of factors.

First off, if I don't have anything original to say on a given topic I don't say anything at all. If I've written about something in the past that reminded you of something you read somewhere else it just means that you got to it before I did. Or, it could mean that we've all digested the same views or opinions and incorporated them into our own. But if I write about something that I've consciously read somewhere else I try to provide a link to the original. If I don't -- and I'm sure I haven't at some point -- then it's an honest mistake on my part.

And, really, what could I have possibly written about Donald Trump or the Cubs that hadn't already been said -- many times -- elsewhere? Although I was prompted to write about both (click here and here) after one of my readers texted me, "I feel like any thoughts from a personal perspective are original by definition."

And that provides me with a convenient segue into another reason I haven't been writing as much lately: I just don't wake up with that burning desire to Tell the World What I Think about whatever issue is in the news that day. Does that mean I'm not as opinionated as I used to be? Ha! Hardly. I think it's more a function of being sleep-deprived due to a new work schedule which leaves me getting six or fewer hours of sleep most nights. Even though I try to take a nap in the afternoon it just doesn't seem to be enough. I'm not complaining, mind you -- I have an easy job and an easy life. It's just that I've always functioned best on at least seven or eight hours of sleep. So instead of waking up Loaded for Bear like I used to it's all I can do to just scroll bleary-eyed through Twitter for much of the morning.

Which brings me to another reason. Like many bloggers over the years, I find myself migrating more and more to Twitter. And what would have been a blog post in the past is now often a Tweet storm. Is this good or bad? And is it permanent? I don't know. I do know, however, that Twitter is one of the most valuable things on the Internet. (Although the market doesn't agree with me.) You can follow so many interesting people and read so many links to interesting pieces -- I really love it! And Twitter, I'm convinced, is its own new, unique literary form. (Stop laughing!) Really. Not only has Donald Trump adopted it much in the way FDR used radio or JFK television, but many of the people I follow have practically elevated it to an art form just by using 140 characters or less in an innovative and clever way. (If you want to know what I'm talking about just start by following @jbarro or @davidfrum.)

Finally, there's high school football. If you're wondering why I'm not writing so much about it it's because in part I've tried to distance myself a little. After years of going to so many games (I recall once telling someone I had been to 22 -- and that was before the playoffs were even over!) I've been consciously cutting down since moving back to the city two and a half years ago. A corollary to this is that I think I'm genuinely losing interest. Has the quality of Illinois high school football gone down? Coaches have told me the numbers are off considerably; this would have to affect the quality at some point, wouldn't it? Or maybe I've just gotten my fill and am moving on with my life. I don't know.

But I do know that I'm still here dammit. And I hope to keep writing and I hope you continue to read my rants about Whatever. To those of you who read this blog, thanks for indulging me. And to those of you who have responded in some way, thanks for the feedback.


Ed Crotty said...

Thank you. Here's a great tweetstorm I saw today.

I don't quite understand how folks' memories are so bad to hand the whole government back to the Republicans. It really is a triumph of marketing.

It's going to be a long 4 years.

Ed Crotty said...

The only thing that seems to make sense to me is that these folks really don't believe they are racist - they just are super uncomfortable having a black man as president, or anyone who thinks that it is ok that a black man was president, and that they need to "take their country back" from anyone who thinks that a diverse and egalitarian country is ok, and that we really need a white guy there. But totally not in a racist way. It is clear that only a very small number of people identify as white nationalists or as "alt-right", but also clear that a LOT of people are just more "comfortable" with a white guy. But totally not in a racist way, as they will tell you. They became "very concerned" with the deficit the minute the black guy was elected, but didn't care about it one whit when Bush was President. And Trump's plans to add $1 TRIILION annually to the deficit are now necessary to "Make America Great Again".

I guess I just want to know if *I* am the one who is crazy - Am I fitting these observations to fit my narrative?

Mike Tracy said...

If you're crazy then so am I. And so are a lot of other people.