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Feeling It

Call it my own response to hard times. I'm not feeling the need to talk politics. I'm feeling the need to write funny.

I have two paid writing projects. First, the continuing GONE series. I'm almost done with book #3, with 3 more lined up. They are heavy and dark and intense. And I'm all-but-signed to a new series pitched a bit younger than GONE. Where GONE is fantasy/horror, the new thing will be comic/adventure.

That's a good balance for me. 600 pages a year dark and scary, 400 pages funny. My strange little brain in abstract.

But right now obsessing over politics feels a little off. It's time to put away childish things, as President Obama said. And in some way I can't quite explain, seriousness for me feels childish right now. Funny feels like the grown-up thing to do.

I'm feeling like my political schtick is wearing thin -- with me. The era of the Limbaughs and, in a very different income tax bracket, the Michael Reynoldses, is past. The grown-ups need to step in. The dialog needs to advance. The thrust and parry, the counting coup, is tired and irrelevant. The games played by the people I disagree with, and the games I myself play, they've become joyless, off-topic, suddenly ancient. Embarrassing.

Something has changed. It's not just Obama, it's the wave of revulsion that swept Obama into office. Politics isn't entertainment when Americans are in serious trouble. Not for me, anyway. But it's not just this recession, it's that it all doesn't feel quite right. Not much of an explanation, I realize, but for me intuition provides the hypothesis to be tested by logic. I start with the feeling that something has changed.

I told my friend Annie at Ambivablog that I was going to make myself scarce in her comments sections. It isn't petulance, it's a response to a feeling that I was doing the same old same old when something fundamental has changed. I don't get paid to be behind the curve. I don't want to be peddling schtick 20 years past its sell-by date. I'm not going to be Charo. I'm not Vanilla Ice.

There is a disturbance in the force. Change is coming. Change is here. It's already happening and I'm riding the aftershocks. The paradigm has shifted The zeitgeist is geistier. I don't see it clearly enough yet to describe it. But I feel it.

I'm not ending this blog, just warning the few remaining readers that I'm analyzing the new environment. Considering what it all means. And in the meantime instinct is telling me that my most useful contribution is probably to provide a few laughs.

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“Feeling It”

  1. Anonymous gljunket Says:

    Right again! It has really shifted this time....tactonically speaking. And we're going to need your "laughs." Looking forward them....

  2. Blogger Tom Strong Says:

    Part of the reason I stopped blogging was because I increasingly found myself not enjoying the "sport" aspect of it. Without that - and without believing that it actually makes a difference - it loses it's appeal pretty quickly.

    I'm still an addict of course, so I still participate at amba's from time to time. And sometimes the threads there become very moving or funny or educational. But even there, a lot of the time it's just sport.

  3. Blogger Objectivist Says:

    So where are you going to be more at?

    And talking about laughs, how about bringing God back for a few comments (I know He's been busy and all, but His holy presence has been sorely missed.)

  4. Blogger Fern Driscoll Says:

    Mencken smencken - so write funny. We're not going anywhere...

  5. Blogger amba Says:

    Gee, I had a post kind of like this -- "at sea" I think it was called. Outis said something about surfing the (new) wave, and somehow that got me to saying I was trying to dance to music that was still being composed. I was satisfied with that formulation.

    Things have shifted but the change isn't manifest yet. It hasn't precipitated. There haven't been any signal events or landmark cultural products or styles that will leave their mark on this era. Even the badness of the economy hasn't really hit yet, if you haven't been laid off or foreclosed on. There are no men with apples or pencils on street corners.

    I remember a strange, strange, gray morning in -- it had to be March 2000. I was out in Washington Square park and I felt something like gears shifting in the sky. It was a bleak change, I didn't know anything else about it. A day or two later the dot-com bubble burst. You don't have to be a weatherman to know the wind has changed direction.

  6. Anonymous Dave Schuler Says:

    Sensing the zeitgeist is simultaneously difficult and inevitable. You're always moving with the flow which sometimes makes it rough to see that the character of the flow has changed.

    I tend to be an anti-flow kind of guy—trying to keep my head while all about me are losing theirs. That's tough, too. And not particularly rewarding as the world sees rewards.

    The ability to write humor is a gift. I wish it were one I had. Good luck!

  7. Anonymous GN Says:

    It is the year 2050 ... the sky is dark and visible through the pyres of decaying stone as the crowd faces the cold alter ... somewhere in the crowd a young child looks up at his father and says,"Is it true ,Dad" Was there really a Micheal Reynolds? And did he really know this would come to be? .... in the archives of the Mighty Middle like Nostradomic prediction of what would come .... actually one of my first comments after reading a very interesting blog. Looking forward to the humor.

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