Archive for April, 2011

My grandfather is dying.

Cheery, I know.

I’ve had a…problematic relationship with family during my life. I moved out when I was fifteen due to a near fatal combination of my teenage rebellion and my mother’s hellish and sadistic early menopause. My brother and I have different fathers; his tried to be a parent to me when mine wouldn’t and, for reasons so clichéd they sometimes make me ashamed to have not been written by Dan Brown, I wouldn’t let him and so he lost interest.

I have had slightly more meaningful relationships with a couple of my favorite hotdog vendors than I have had with some members of my immediate family. And the guys at my local comic shop? They are dear to me in a way that the people who bought me birthday presents when I was six simply aren’t anymore.

I am not, in some cases, without regret in these matters. I’m sure some of the family I’ve distanced myself from are far more complex and nuanced as human beings than I ever gave them credit for when I was younger. And, to be fair, I have redeveloped some of those connections over the last few years; it’s amazing how quickly baby photos on Facebook will incentivize people to call you out of the blue.

But nothing fills me with more regret than the distance that grew between my grandfather and I.
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I haven’t been here for a while.

I mean, I’ve been here, sitting in front of my computer, doing…stuff (yes, fine, there’s been some porn involved) but I haven’t been blogging.

And it’s not because I haven’t had anything to say; I’ve drowned Twitter with my inanity and the things I’ve learned just at my job the last eight months or so would fill about twenty posts worth of material; I’ve just had a hard time sorting through all the noise to find something I wanted to write about.

That noise…

The world is vastly different now than it was even a couple of years ago.  Whole lives are lived digitally; the online world allows bravery and cowardice in equal measure and the Internet as a whole has gone a long way to reversing the popular wisdom that led to, “Video Killed the Radio Star.” It no longer matters entirely what you look like, first impressions are now based on what you say about things people care about.  Let’s not kid ourselves; it’s not as though we’re living a brave new world wherein you don’t still have to go to the gym in order to get your chat room sweetheart to blow you, but we’ve certainly come to a place where thought is currency.

That led me to think about the 14-year-old Walrus and what he would think about the world as it is now.  Would he stand in awe at the technological marvels we’ve wrought? Or would he cringe at the fact that the future of Western civilization is so very bleak?

The world as we know it is ending. (more…)