Monthly Archives: November 2021

A Gen Xer’s Lament

There was a meme floating around Facebook earlier today that said something to the effect of “I was born in the 1900s, I’ve seen some things.” Leaving aside the depressing connotations of coming from “the 1900s,” as if I used to wear a straw boater and a fur coat while I motored about in my flivver, I was inspired to have a bit of fun with Rutger Hauer’s famous “tears in the rain” monologue from Blade Runner. I’m rather proud of the result… and a bit wistful about that vanished world where everything was harvest-gold and wood-paneled…

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe… television consoles the size of sofas… I’ve stood in shag carpeting and breathed secondhand smoke in public spaces… all these moments will be lost in time… like… dimes in broken payphones…



Words to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self

In the never-ending stream-of-consciousness that is Twitter, a hypothetical was proposed: “You meet 16-year-old you. You have 10 seconds only. What do you say?

And here is my wistful response, speaking as a white-bearded middle-aged man who can look backward on more than a few regrets (just imagine me studying the light shining through a glass of single-malt as my words slowly unwind in a Harrison Ford-style grumble):

Don’t be so afraid of making the wrong choice. Take the risk. If it doesn’t work out, don’t sulk, move on. Travel more. Write more. Give more serious thought to moving away for college. And above all, don’t just assume you’ll “get around to it someday.”

Why are these things so clear in hindsight?


Music for the Times

Sometime last year, when we were all hunkered down in our bunkers made of hoarded toilet paper and existential dread was creeping through the streets like the green-mist curse of Egypt in The Ten Commandments, I discovered a gentleman called Patrick Dexter. He’s a cellist who lives in a bucolic cottage somewhere in the west of Ireland. Every few days throughout the long, dark Lost Year of the Plague, he posted a video to social media of himself, sitting outside in the clean sunshine, playing for us while the Irish breeze ruffled the grass and his dog roamed the grounds behind him. His musical selections cover the gamut from traditional Irish songs to classical pieces to covers of popular hits, and just last week he released his first original composition, written for his niece who was born during the height of the pandemic. I’ve enjoyed all of his videos — as I tweeted to him at some point, they’re refreshing moments of grace in a dark world, affirmations of life and beauty that came along just when I needed them most. But there’s one in particular that I keep going back to. I’ve listened to it a number of times over the past few days…

An affirmation of life and beauty… just when I need it. It’s been a hell of a week.



Don’t Come Around Here No More

There are multiple reasons why this blog has kind of petered out, but this is a big one:

You can write the most interesting stuff, make the most beautiful music, perform the most incredible entertainment, but if there’s no audience to receive it, it starts to feel a little pointless. Facebook is where the people are, and something I post there is seen by hundreds of thousands of people, while something I post here is seen by a few thousand at best. Facebook is also where the conversation seems to have moved, and I genuinely enjoy the conversation that used to happen in blog comments, way back in the before times.

Wil Wheaton

Now, obviously I do not and never have had the kind of reach Mr Wheaton does, even in the most rollicking heyday of this blog and even with a few hundred contacts on FB. But the principle applies. I’ve felt for a long time that my writing here was just shouting into a void. Mental masturbation. And there are other contributing factors as well <gestures at… everything…>. I don’t want to shut this place down entirely, but I no longer feel much compulsion to write on it either. And so it goes…