Thursday, November 14, 2019

"Bye Bye Blackbird (And More Relevant Species, Not On Old-Time Musical Playlists"

I read a while back that twenty-nine percent of birds have progressively disappeared.  (If this is not true, blame what I read.  And me, somewhat, for passing it along.)

Unlike rapidly melting ice flows – which I have not personally experienced – this avial absence has substantially hit home.  On our last trip to Michiana, unlike in years past, we saw no cardinals, no scrubs jays, and heard no woodpeckers, tapping on nearby trees, or, less idyllically, the vulnerable exterior of our log cabin.

I don’t know.  Maybe, like us, they were just on vacation.  But stacked-up newspapers by abandoned nests suggest otherwise.

It appears those indigenous species have all permanently left town.

Why do birds “go”?  (He surmised, lacking authorizing credentials.)

Because the stuff they eat is no more.

It’s like they go to a restaurant and the menu says,

“Nothing for birds.”

And that’s it.

No sustenance. 

No survival.

Analogizing from something that truly matters to something mattering only to me – that’s how I feel about the places where I once derived ideas for blog posts but now find discouraging “dry holes.”

It appears that my blogatorial “menu” is dangerously depleting, leaving me relegated, like today, to writing about how there is less and less for me to write about.  Which I can do only so often – I believe the “Lifetime Allotment” on the subject is three.  (Note:  I may well have exceeded my quota.) 

Some of this problem involves age.  Not as in, “I am so old, I have written about everything.”  It is more that, since the main source of my material is entertainment, today’s attention to younger audiences means, “Nothing for you.”

Some of it’s that.

And some of it’s personal. 

I leave you to sort out the distinction.

Chronicling my “Natural Sources of Nourishment”…

After you’ve said you don’t watch them, there is nothing to say about shows you don’t watch.

Also “Ditto” for movies you don’t see.

Politics?  (Although like mis-guessing the recent World Series winner, I’d be delighted to be wrong.)

If the final outcome feels essentially ordained – See:  Sold-out Republican Senate, low-watt Democratic opponents – what remains on my (erstwhile) political “programming of preference” is endless speculation, tone-deaf predictions, followed by sad-faced discussions about where they went wrong. 

Having foreseen the ending, why not skip the whole thing?

So another item, stricken from the menu.

Okay, sports?  (Especially, more and more, football, which, when it comes down to it, is an exercise in variations of falling, damaging your knees, your shoulders and your brain.  The happiest guy on the field?  The man who runs out of bounds, ending the play without having to fall down.  He’s like, “I gained nine yards and ran back to the right huddle!”)

I have lost enthusiasm even for “Home Teams”, turned off because players make thirty million a year, which should not matter, but does. 

Sports today’s about billionaire owners, vying for high-priced “free agents.”  We’re not rooting for “Our Guys.”  We are rooting for wallets. 

I have cut back on reruns of westerns, seen so many times, I know if the marshal was shot in the leg or shot in the shoulder.

And there you have it.

My “Traditional Grazing Land”, shorn to haircuts, given warrior recruits.

Remember the actor “Slim Pickens”?

It’s like that’s how it feels.

Existentially precarious.

I ponder the lost cardinal, the scarce scrub jay, the absent woodpecker?

And I start wondering,

Who’s next?


FFS said...

"A regular person thinks about things and then writes about them."

Sounds like you are contemplating a second retirement.

I guess the question is what would you do with the time that opens up if you stop. Is there something more satisfying out there that you would start doing? Since you can’t stop thinking about things, the only change you would be making is to stop writing. How about cutting back with re-runs on the days when you need a break. There are over 3000 posts to choose from.

My mornings start with coffee, the ever thinner Toronto Star and your blog. I’m not sure I’m up for any change in that routine.

JED said...

It does look like the number of song birds is dwindling but not getting enough to eat is only one of the possibilities. Another is that humans are ruining their (and our) environment and they cannot adjust fast enough. But because they are necessary for the web of life and are so beloved by humanity, there are conservation efforts to try to help them flourish again. This goes for blog writers, too.

You say that you write about entertainment and that its focus on younger people makes it much harder to find things to write about. Well, as with the birds singing that brightens our dreary days, so does your blog. It informs our days and points out the shortsightedness in the entertainment industry. If ever there was a need for an elder statesman of the entertainment industry to point this out - IT IS NOW! Sorry for the caps - I'm getting worked up now.

I love your stories whether it is your walks to the coffee shop or your adventures wrapping boxes for a Princess. I want to hear how your latest piano piece is coming and about your grandchildren. And if you won't continue your struggle for blog post subjects for us, do it for them. Do you want to doom them to a life of 6 seasons of shows like 2 Broke Girls and never-ending origin stories of Marvel characters?