Subject: Blog posts I didn’t write.
You’ll be happy to know that I learn a lot about myself writing this blog. Well, maybe not happy, but perhaps intrigued. Or at least interested, which is “intrigued” on a considerably lower flame. Bottom Line: I would settle for “Not bored to tears.”
They are written on scraps of paper or sometimes scraps of paper in my head – ideas for blog post that seem like they’d be okay. How do I know that? Because they feel like the ones I already did. Not in terms of content – they are not repetitions.
There’s just this bell in my brain that goes “Ding-Ding-Ding – That’s a blog post!” And these scribbled or brain-stored notions definitely set it the thing off.
They have caught my attention. They appear blog-worthy.
I can’t seem to write them.
Being congenitally unconfident – even in an arena I’ve been toiling in for nigh on half a century – I immediately chalk my failure to execute up to an insufficiency in ability.
The ideas are there.
They are writable.
But not by me.
Because I’m not good enough.
How do I define “good enough”? If I were good enough, I could write them.
Thoughts in this direction were most recently triggered by a TV commercial in which two middle-aged parents are berating their son Jeremy for using an overly expensive overseas phone plan. For some reason – and you may or may not agree – it was apparent to me that the berating parents in this commercial were Jewish.
This led me to think: “A blog post about stereotyping.” That sounds like me. But with an Earliciously original spin on the subject. As in,
“What’s ultimately worse: Being stereotyped, or being homogenizingly assimilated?”
I am not certain what ignited that soupcon of perceived Jewishness. Was it their physical appearance? The sense-memory-triggering insistence in their voices? The name “Jeremy”?
Or was it because the commercial’s message was about the issue money?
That familiar territory ignited something too. And it didn’t feel comfortable. So I left it alone.
Then there was the post I’ve been wanting to do about writers employed in the task of supplying messages for fortune cookies. It seemed like a funny sub-genre of the writing profession.
Fertile terrain for a lighthearted blog post.
How many messages did they have to crank out a day? (Or an hour?) What constituted an acceptable fortune cookie message: A prognostication of future events? Some Oriental “Words of Wisdom”? A smile-inducing contradiction culled from everyday life? Did the messages have to sound Chinese? Was a pretend “Charlie Chan” dialect required?
At some point I realized that no matter how entertainingly I fashioned it, what I was basically doing was making fun of somebody else’s job.
So I set it aside.
Then I thought about how fortunate the movies were never to be short of a villainous enemy for American heroes to fight against. It began with the Indians. For a while, it was the Mexicans. Then, in World War I, it was the “Huns.” Then there were alien anarchists. Then, during World War II, it was the Nazis and the Japanese. Then if was the “Commies”. Then it was the Chinese. Then it was “Creatures From Other Planets.” Then it was “Commies” again. And just when the “Commies” went kaput, the Middle Eastern terrorists showed up.
If you noticed, the “Threats to our Nation” never arrived in two’s. Each archenemy seemed to politely wait its turn. Only when one of them fell out of the picture did another immediately step up to take its place: Goodbye, Russkies – Hello, Camel Jockeys!
Not to worry, Makers of Movies. There was always somebody to fear.
It occurred to me that it seemed disingenuous to pretend that that was actually about movies. It was more likely about us. (Egged on by the arms manufacturers and their political surrogates.)
Too dark for a blog post. At least from this location.
And finally: Law & Order SVU. I watch multiple episodes virtually every day. There had to be something to write about there. What was its mesmerizing appeal?
Upon further consideration, it came to mind that the “Special Victims” on SVU were invariably women or children, but virtually never
People like me.
Making SVU, like football, an entertainment I was enjoying at other people’s expense.
I turns out, it would seem, that it is not necessarily a deficiency of imagination that leaves me incapable of executing certain blog posts. Considering the previous examples, the explanations for my “Failure to Launch” are, in order:
A residual enthno-sensitivity
An inappropriate feeling of superiority
An unseemly hyper-cynicism
And an inherent feeling of self-disgust.
A person could definitely write about those things.
But that person was not going to be me.