Monday, December 31, 2018

Send in the clowns

I would be remiss if I didn't finish out the year with a blog post, which makes this number 66 for the year and the most posts I've written since 2011.

If I'd written 666, it would explain the above photo.  Suffice it to say I was just clowning around.

But I digress.

I finished watching a documentary on Netflix last night called, "The American Meme." It essentially pointed out how miserable (and miserably rich) social media stars like Paris Hilton, a large man who goes by the unpolitically correct name of Fat Jew and another Instagram star whose name escapes me. But his millions of followers tuned in to see him get blackout drunk at parties he hosted that included scenes of him pouring champagne over women's breasts and butts.

All of the social media stars bemoaned that millions of people adored them but they were essentially lonely.

Sad clown.

The irony to me was that the only one of these celebrities I'd ever heard of was Paris Hilton. And it occurred to me once again how really old I am. Though I think I'm glad I wasn't born in this generation having never known what it was like not to stare blankly into the digital desert and wonder if that's all there is.

So I suppose end 2018 on a grateful note that perhaps it is a good thing that Dizgraceland has never discovered. Other than the vast amounts of cash it would bring in, it would just be a major annoyance to have people idolizing me and hanging on every word I wrote.

Happy new year.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Misty, water-colored memories

Well, another year is almost ready to slip into the ending credits and roll off the screen. It has been a busy and in some cases, an expensive year. I had to replace the engine in one car and actual replace our other car. I also had to have a new fence installed around our yard.

On the bright side, I finally earned a character skin (what the avatar looks like) in Fortnite that looks like me: Sergeant Winter. Okay, as my son informed me, he looks like me if I could grow a full beard and actually had muscles, but at least he isn't a man-bun wearing Millennial.  And we both have white hair.

I actually have become fairly adept at playing Fortnite and have been accepted by all of my son's 10-year old friends who play on our squad. I have accepted many challenges and can emote with the best of them. I will be sad when Fortnite is replaced by the next trend and Sergeant Winter and I are forced into retirement to sit around in easy chairs recalling our past glory.

But I digress.

I started 2018 out strong with regular blog posts. I managed to avoid ranting about the current political nightmare that continues to infest the White House. I lost steam in the last part of the year and didn't post much. My absence was met by the same response as my presence. Which confirms my believe in my own invisibility.

The highlight of my year (other than becoming Sergeant Winter) was finally going to Graceland to pay my respects to the King and his castle. Other highlights included seeing Hamilton with my daughter and the Lion King with my entire family. It was a Broadway musical kind of year.

I've never been much on New Year's resolutions. I still workout on a regular basis, but I've resigned myself to never actually having Sergeant Winter's muscle tone. I pretty much stopped eating beef in 2018. Part of this was because of the bond I formed with the cows on Hoehn Bend Farm that we stayed at in February.  I kind of became fond of the chickens there, too, but I draw the line at not eating chicken or eggs.  Screw the vegans and vegetarians.

Damn, this post is starting to sound like one of those end of the year newsletters that people stick in their Christmas cards.

I hate those. I resolve not to write one in 2019.

Not that I ever have.

Better end now and go play Fortnite. I've got some emoting to do (ask your children what that means if you don't get the reference).

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

All retch and no vomit

I've been watching YouTube videos of British philosopher Alan Watts' lectures lately. Actually I am just listening to Alan Watts since he died in 1973 before the world captured every moment with a digital camera. Watts was one of the first Western philosophers to embrace Zen Buddhism (and kind of understand it).

In one lecture Watts used the phrase, "He was all retch and no vomit." I realized it was a intellectual version of "all hat and no cattle."

And why am I listening to lectures by a dead British Zen philosopher who died at age 58? Because I have to have something to do in between playing matches on Fortnite.

Oh, and I'm passing through one of my soul searching phases. I've also been meditating for ten minutes a day using an APP called Calm. And I went on a crystal craze for a bit, surrounding myself with various quartz crystals.

I think I'm over that, though.

I have also been watching alot of TED talks, too.

It's not too different than reading self-help books in the 80s and 90s.  Nor is it different than being in therapy. The result is pretty much the same. I keep hoping someone has an answer and than I realize that if they really had an answer, they wouldn't be trying to sell it on YouTube or charging you $150 an hour to ask you what you think.

In all fairness, Watts isn't trying to sell his own brand of snake oil on YouTube. He is dead after all. It's other people trying to sell his regurgitated snake oil on YouTube.

The regurgitating reference brings us full circle to most of the YouTube philosophers and TED talkers who are all retch and no vomit. But if I hear one more platitude about finding something you are passionate about and making that your vocation, I will throw up.