Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Millennium Man

When I sat down to write today I actually noticed the fact that this marks the one thousand and first of these little missives, which undoubtedly gives rise to the question, "How can one with so little to say say it for so long?" I do not know the answer to that question. Seeing that I had turned the virtual page to a second millennium prompted me to gaze backwards for a moment to the point of inception for this little experiment.

As has been the case throughout my life on too many instances to count the inspiration to do this (a/k/a the source of the idea that I brazenly burgled) was my brother Bill. Occasionally he would forward me something that he had written for his blog, which I presumed (having not taken the time to ask him the whys or wherefores associated with it) had been written for publication in a magazine or newspaper. One day - if memory serves me correctly - in or about March 2008 I actually paid attention to the link that was identified at the bottom of the piece. I copied and pasted it into my browser and had my eyes opened wide - and my mind even wider. Simply amazing stuff. Over the course of the past (almost) three years I have learned much by making him my first read of the day. You could do far worse than to do so yourself.

While I grasp why it is I read what Bill is thinking about and writing about on a daily basis, I fail to grasp why folks pop by this particular piece of virtual real estate regularly. My wife and children will attest to the fact that if I am not the planet's most selfish human being I am assured of a place on the medal stand. What I do here I do for me. And because I do it for me I sign my name to it. One of the things I think that has happened as we have become more and more like passengers on a virtual train together is that the concept of "beer muscles" has transcended its original meaning. Now, with on-line, Internet anonymity there are those among us who utilize screen names as shields behind which they say brutal and sometimes cruel things to one another - even if they are members of a larger community. My word need not be your proof on this issue. As a passionate Springsteen fan, I belong to a fan site that is dedicated to all things Springsteen. Yet the "boards" there are replete with incredibly damning comments aimed from one person to another....with whom presumably there is a shared bond.

Anonymity can promote a lack of civility among neighbors as easily as it can among strangers. Presently I live 'NTSG in a town that has perhaps 5,000 residents. Among the local population there are two very politically active (if not astute) factions who wrestle for control of the local governing body. While I have lived here for close to two decades I am hard-pressed to recall when exactly one side has campaigned against the other on anything bearing even a casual resemblance to a real issue. More well thought and articulate political debate takes place between children in sandboxes across this country every day than takes place within the geographical boundaries of my little town. Again, I need not serve as your barometer of the truth on this point. Invest a moment here and read the nonsense that is flung back and forth between people who probably know each other very well and who are willing to attack each other on-line in a way that they would be unlikely to do face-to-face.

Not a huge fan of beer muscles. If I have something on my mind that I think (and likely am in an exclusive group in so thinking) is worth saying, then I shall say it. And I shall attach my name to it. That way there is no misunderstanding about who said what and what was the meaning of what was said. You can complain right at the source.

1,001 days of saying nothing seems like a lot. I cannot pretend to know whether this exercise shall end tomorrow, continue on for another 1000 editions or cease to exist at a point between or a point beyond those mileposts. If I did this only as long as I had something to say, then I likely would never have published even the first one. Sadly I suppose I shall do it for as long as I need to do it. I shall do it for as long as I need both the therapeutic boost and the cathartic cleansing associated with it. That could be a very long time indeed.

To infinity and beyond? No. Something closer to being hopelessly lost but making good time. Either way it is a journey for which the destination lies ahead on the horizon line just beyond my line of sight.

-AK

1 comment:

dweeb said...

The purpose of art, wrote Mary Shelley to Keats, is to conceal art.

Congratulations on your first thousand!