On Irony And Whatnot.

As Forest Gump said, “I’m not a smart man, but I know what irony is”. I’ve never claimed to be the sharpest crayon in the box but I always thought I was reasonably average with the English language. Yes I have trouble from time to time getting the commas and periods in the right places (I’m comma happy and I know it). And there are some tricky words I mangle here and there. All in all, I can somewhat put a sentence together. I paid attention when conjunction junction, what’s your function came on.

Having said that, I was inspired to write something today that quickly got away from me when I realized that you know nothing Jon Snow (if you don’t follow Game of Thrones, I’m ygsorry for you). I saw some news about the latest protests outside a Trump rally. I was going to make some brilliant insightful comments about the protesters, La Raza, and the future of my former city of San Jose. Looking for pictures or video I quickly grew frustrated at how truly awful most “newspaper” web sites are. I must have cycled through half a dozen before giving up. Poor page design, auto-start videos, and so many ads and pop-ups that simply trying to navigate through a gallery can take several minutes just to view a few photos.

I changed my mind and decided on a new topic. I was going to deliver a blistering review (and yes it would also be brilliant and insightful) on the current state of the newspaper industry. Most importantly – I was going to show the irony of an industry built on effective delivery of information being so horrible at it in the digital age.

But is that really irony? Figuring I better look it up before embarrassing myself in front ofirony three or four readers, I consulted the internets. Either I’m even dumber than I thought, or the definition of irony is hard. Dictionary sites, Wikipedia, writing and literary resources… and I’m still not sure I know what the definition is. Maybe the criticism of Alanis Morissette wasn’t entirely justified? Is it ironic that the website isitironic.com relies on readers voting to answer the question? Is it ironic that so many people have a hard time defining what irony is?

Welcome to the strange workings of my mind. Time to go take a nap. That little thought exercise burned up a few too many brain cells.

Forrest Gump: Hello. I’m Forrest, Forrest Gump.

Recruit Officer: Nobody gives a hunky shit who you are, pus ball. You’re not even a low-life, scum-sucking maggot. Get your ass on the bus, you’re in the army now!


Rust In The Brain

This writing stuff is hard. It’s obvious that I put my brain on energy conservation mode quite a few years ago. Knocking off the rust and getting it working again has been an interesting process the last few weeks. I frequently have all kinds of ideas for stories, a novel, and blog posts floating around in my head. Usually they appear when I’m nowhere near a computer.  By the time I sit down to write they’ve disappeared. Potentially discouraging, but I’m reminded of a favorite movie scene in “Get Shorty“. Bo Catlett is talking to Chili Palmer, trying to convince him that they could write a screenplay themselves. It’s simple according to Bo: “There’s nothin’ to know. You have an idea, you write down what you wanna say. Then you get somebody to add in the commas and shit where they belong, if you aren’t positive yourself. Maybe fix up the spelling where you have some tricky words… although I’ve seen scripts where I know words weren’t spelled right and there was hardly any commas in it at all. So I don’t think it’s too important. Anyway, you come to the last page you write in ‘Fade out’ and that’s the end, you’re done.”

I’m heartened by that because all the pesky grammar, commas and shit, tend to get in the way of my creative process. I know I have the next great novel in me if I could just stop worrying about punctuation and spelling and stuff.

Speaking of rust in the brain, I find it interesting that I’m less rusty when I first wake up in the morning. I know some folks struggle with basic motor functions like speech and movement until they’ve had multiple cups of coffee and an hour of warming up by the heater. Oddly I’ve never been that way. Be it writing or programming I tend to solve problems and come up with ideas when I sleep. When my eyes open in the morning my brain seems to be clear and sharp. I can’t count the number of times I’ve struggled for hours in the evening on a programing problem or how to fix or build something with little success. Go to bed and I’ll wake up with the answer. Hmmm, maybe this means I should start taking naps during the day? I think I’ll start that today.