Writer’s Block: Glorious mediocrity

For those of you who have asked – and I quote – “Where’s your next lousy blog post?”, I have a confession. I have writers block. I had resolved to write about the 4th of July.   But, I got nothing. My resolution has gone the way of all my New Year’s resolutions, upon which if I had followed through would have resulted in David (now apparently referring to himself only in the third person ) would be 185 lbs with six pack abs and biceps that make LL Cool J jealous. Instead I am around 210, I have abs the size of a six pack, and my biceps wouldn’t strike fear into the heart of Richard Simmons.

So, it’s no surprise my resolution to write about the 4th of July can’t even be aided by a 5th of Jack Daniels.

I’m sure this even happened to the greats. I’m sure Shakespeare had trouble…. “To be or…. what? To be…. or… that is the question”.

Or even Mel Brooks. Young Frankenstein “what door bells!?… no that doesn’t work… what hooters! That doesn’t even make sense in the scene. What knockers! That’s it!”

At least I am in good company.

Truth is, I’ve not written much in a month or more. I could never make a living this way. Writing requires creativity. Even writing an article for a dry scientific journal requires the brain to be firing on all cylinders. Mine clearly is not. Why this is, is as simple as water yet as complex as a nuclear submarine[1].

The simple part is I haven’t cared much about writing. The complexity is in the why. Might have something to do with my marriage ending, the rest of my personal life in the crapper, my career sputtering, and my “give a shit factor” (aka “GAS Factor”) being at zero. That actually describes the past month pretty well.

But it’s getting better. I’m me again. In all my glorious mediocrity, I am me. Even if I am idling a little rough and in desperate need of a “valve” job.

Please don’t think I am cutting myself down by calling myself mediocre. Statistically speaking, if “normal” lays (lies?) within two standard deviations of the mean, then 95% of us are normal. I’ll accept that I am somewhere in that 95%. Only 2.5% of us suck and only 2.5% of us are truly extraordinary. I don’t believe I am really extraordinary. I might suck, but I don’t swallow, so I got that going for me.

This 4th, I wanted to write funny things about our nation’s independence. Like how our national anthem is basically unsingable. The fact that the tune is an old drinking song doesn’t help. If we want to use a famous drinking song as our national anthem, Free Bird remains available. We already stand when it’s sung and every southern boy already knows the words. Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw is another fine option. I bet the current president has sung it a time or three.

I thought about songs that could define our last election and the three campaigns .

Gary Johnson: One Toke Over The Line (Brewer and Shipley)

Hillary: Evil Woman (ELO)

Trump: Crazy Train (Ozzy) or maybe just Crazy by Patsy Cline.

I wanted to write about how Andrew Jackson was really the Donald Trump of his age: Faux common man who wasn’t a “politician”.

I wanted to say something about how America remains a great experiment in government by and for the People. About how the Founders devised the Senate to be a chastity belt restraining the passions of the House. Today the senate tends to inflame those passions.

These are all things I wanted to write about. Nope. Not happening. Even so, here are a few things that make me proud to be an American.

For example, Donald Trump, who proves any vulgar, misogynistic, lying, grab-em-by-the-Putin, paste eating moron can become president. Means there’s hope for even the worst of us.

Also for television commercials with dogs driving Suburus and a subtitle to make sure we know it’s a really just a dramatization.

For Costco where I can by a pack of 48 condoms or a box of 48 diapers in case one of the condoms breaks.

Speaking of which…. I’m glad to see young people today so educated about condoms. We weren’t. Through undergrad and vet school not a single woman asked me to wear one nor did I offer. We were either ignorant or willfully foolish. To us, condoms were a means of birth control. HIV was regarded – wrongly – as a gay disease. Other STDs were (we thought) rare and/or treatable.  I can’t speak for anyone else with certainty but I know they never came up. It may have taken a generation, but it seems the concept of safe sex has finally sunk in. Even for Neanderthals like me.

Perhaps that’s emblematic of America. We fuck up. We learn. We move on. Sometimes our mistakes are deadly. But we generally learn from them, even at other’s expense. It’s true, we are always preparing for the last war, the last epidemic. But we survive; sometimes in spite of ourselves.

That’s America. And because it is, in all our glorious mediocrity, not just us, but tens of millions more are free.


[1] I’m not even sure I like that sentence, but I have nothing better.

About Life Along the Edge

In my 50's, I'm enough to remember the first Apollo landing. I'll eventually forget it, or worse, decide it was all a conspiracy done on a Hollywood sound stage. Most of the rest you need to know about me you can discern from my writing. Other important stuff: I have one wife and three daughters. I live in Arizona. I love seafood and being outdoors. But, most importantly, I'm on a journey following Jesus. God leads, I do a shitty job following. He's patient with me. I pray you will be too. Grace and Peace, David
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