Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Tyranny Of The Blank Life

Writers frequently complain about writer's block as "the tyranny of the blank page."
Conversely, I've never been very adept at shutting up. Since typing is almost as easy as talking, here we are.

I did a foolish thing when I was young and, well, foolish. I decided I wanted to live an interesting life. (Kids, don't do this!) Unrestrained in my conceit, I think I have done so. I can also recommend the eternal truth that the Chinese saying "May you live in interesting times." is always intended as a (not so) subtle curse.

Is my life cursed? I think not. In fact, it's been a pretty good life, with scattered spectacular patches. But I would have preferred a simpler and more predictable existence, all things considered. (If you know where I can go to order that, contact me here at this address.) But if that had happened, I wouldn't be starting this, and you'd have nothing from me to read, yawn at, mock, jeer, sneer, or, God love you, laugh over and perhaps enjoy. If I'm any bloody good at all.

 Let me fill in with my response to "have you done anything?" from another blog:

"I did a tour and change with Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, 5 years armed security and consulting on the southern border catching 2-legged coyotes and cartel drug runners, most of my degree work is in political history and international affairs, got 200 feet of bookshelves (that I've read) incl. everything military from the U.S. Army TO&E of 1936 to the Colonial Army Manual of Arms to the Lessons Learned in Vietnam ca. 1969 and in the Indian War ca. 1869. And most everything in between.
I've shot documentaries, worked on 100+ feature films and network shows, written published articles and shot photos of the Border War currently occurring to the south, run shelters in major disasters, trained Navy docs, nurses, and corpsman for gunshot trauma before they went into Iraq in 2002, racked up almost 20 years of emergency medical work, the last 12 exclusively in the busiest ERs on the planet, zipping up enough body bags and strapping down enough crazy people to last me a lifetime. I've resurrected the dead, cared for the sick, tended the injured, started the breathing and stopped the bleeding, and been punched, kicked, puked on, pissed on, spat upon, promoted, commended, fired, nearly arrested, and occasionally even thanked for my efforts. I've flown cars, been toyed with by grizzly bears, petted mountain lions, stolen dogs, juggled kittens, and wrangled pigeons and seagulls, and have both the scars and soiled undergarments to prove it. I also have a decent number of small arms, have shot semi-competitively, sold guns retail and wholesale, crossed 3 international borders on foot -1 of them legally, speak better Spanish than most of the hispanics I work with, which isn't bad for a white guy, and I am a successful business, as the IRS reminds me every year. I've broken rules, laws, bones, and hearts. I've seen The Exorcist 27 times and it keeps getting funnier every time I watch it. I'm a Virgo, my turn-ons are cowboy guns, automatic weapons, and hot blondes in leather skirts, and I have a cat. In my spare time I log onto internet blogs, and regularly get my @$$ handed to me by 7-year olds on X-Box Live Call of Duty.

That and $1, gets me 3 glazed donuts at Krispy Kreme.

So yeah, I've done stuff."
Guilty as charged.

So what I aim to inflict upon any random gaggle of folks who stumble by are the flashes of memory that inhabit my mind at this point in my existence. I think some of them are funny, or interesting, or illustrative of some greater truth. A hat tip, even, to my own misanthropy. As Mel Brooks said, "Me stubbing my toe is tragedy. You falling off a cliff is comedy!"

Or else it's just that at this point in life, I've finally lived enough that, like eating too much meatloaf, some of the spicier bits keep getting burped out. Who can say? My fingers clack this stuff out, because some unseen muse has finally made me her thrall.

If I make factual errors, mistype, misspell, or otherwise bollocks up anything here, it's my own fault. If I say anything that offends, irritates, or annoys you, or generally twists your panties 3 sizes too tight, I honestly, sincerely, and humbly beg you to get over it. And if I hit the mark ever, let alone with any regularity, I offer my sincerest and most heartfelt applause to a couple of truly extraordinary English teachers in high school. (Back in the late Pliestocene, when TV came in two colors: black, and white.)

With that out of the way, I defer to the words of a wiser man than myself (which is no small club):
All that's past is prologue.

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