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Just Old, Not An Adult.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007 by Michael Reynolds

So, there's this guy who really hates me.

Yeah, yeah, I know: not all that surprising.

I'm not going to mention a name or show a link because the specifics are not the point. Here's the point: Anyone who takes me seriously enough to hate me has entirely missed the point.

I'm not a serious analyst. I'm not a deep thinker. I'm not an intellectual. Deep, serious and intellectual are not my character traits. I am quick, I'm agile, I'm good with words, and although my kids would laugh at this notion, I'm playful.

I'm not going to try and sell the idea that no one should take offense at anything I write because I'm "just kidding." I'm not just kidding. I take ideas seriously. I think ideas are important, but I don't they're fragile. I don't think they're the "good China." It's okay to pick up a big, heavy, serious idea and sail it across the room like a frisbee just to see what happens.

It's okay to joke and provoke and push buttons just to see what happens. There's way too much reverence in the world, way too much solemnity. I'm not saying ideas aren't important, and I'm not saying words aren't important. But words are also toys, things you take apart and put back together, assemble and jumble up because they're really neat to play with. And because if you aren't willing to play with your words you won't be able to make anything out of them. Lincoln wrote one Gettysburg Address but he told a million funny stories. Shakespeare understood that even a tragedy needed a fool and a few dirty jokes.

Am I comparing myself to Lincoln or Shakespeare? Um, sure. In much the same way I would compare my fat, bug-eyed pug dog to one of George R.R. Martin's direwolves.

I can certainly see being irritated by me. I can see not liking my schtick. But hate is such a serious emotion it seems out of place directed at someone who is not terribly serious. You hate Iago, not The Fool.

Like any writer I don't like my words being misunderstood: I take it as a reflection on my professional skills. This guy who hates me has evidently been reading what I write much more carefully than I deserve, and yet in all that time, he's managed not to understand that I'm just the guy the king would call in (after the last of the wild boar had been finished off) to juggle and make a leering remark about the duke's hot wife.

I put my little ideas out here on this blog, and occasionally on other people's blogs, expecting that readers will pick through them like swap meet shoppers, finding things of value, finding crap, finding bits of silliness, and that they'll know which are which. Caveat emptor: everything is sold "as is," and no, that's probably not a real Chippendale.

After 9-11 there was a concern that maybe we couldn't laugh at things anymore. That everything had to be serious and literal and that we'd better all march through life motivated by High Purpose. No more playing, we're all adults now.

Well, sorry, but I'm just old, not an adult. I apologize if I gave the impression I was.

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