Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Dystopian Curse

My next substantial piece of writing is way overdue.

People keep asking me if I am writing a new book. No. But I should be.

The trouble is, I want it to be funny. I am pretty good at making people laugh, usually just by saying something unexpected. Something other than the “how are you?” “fine” kind of stuff.

These ambitions are daunted, subdued, quashed by two factors.
       
First, the enormously depressing news of what is going on in our world. It’s as if news reports were written by Margaret Atwood or George Orwell. It seems irresponsible to write something fluffy.
     
Second, I too often let the enormously depressing news quash my own sense of humor.

However, I do understand why Hollywood pumped out lots of lighthearted movies during the Depression. When they were so urgently needed. That’s an important precedent. But someone on the West Coast must have been buoyed by more ebullience than I can muster… most days.

Writing dystopian tales seems the only logical response to current events.
And they are not funny. At all.

Still, I keep trying. I’ve even invented a character, Gertrude, who (just a coincidence) is experiencing with ironic humor all the indignities of getting old… alone.

So I will persevere. I will take a walk and actually look at the beauty around me. I will eat a piece of chocolate. And snuggle with my cat. And write another damn paragraph full of wit and good cheer.

Amen.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

I want a lion


This is Harlan’s lion. 

As Linus used a blanket, Harlan (age 3) uses his lion. It's something for him to hold on to when things (either good or bad) get overwhelming. 

Mostly the news is about something terrible ... every day: 
A pipeline . . . 
A wall . . .
A shooting or bombing . . .
A massive fire or tsunami . . .
Alliances shattered; treaties ignored . . .
Environmental safeguards dissolved . . .
Governments paralyzed or paranoid or predatory . . .
More than 260 million people wandering the planet with no home and little hope -- having left everything they have ever known ... Millions escaping the unacceptable, only to become unacceptable. 
All kinds of toxicity

All the time

I (considerably older than 3)want a lion