1. My diminished abilities. When I was a kid, I can remember devouring whole plates of food at Sunday dinner. In high school we’d show up for lunch and demolish entire pizza buffets. Now, after a semi-full plate and a slice of pie, I feel like I’ve just tried to ingest the entire pantry. It turns out I’m not the glutton I once was. I just can’t eat like I use to… and lord, don’t even get me started on how my metabolism is determined not to even bother trying to burn off what I do eat. It’s a hell of a thing to contend with on the holiday celebrating mass consumption and gluttony.
2. Leftovers. The only real challenge of being the guest at Thanksgiving is that even when they send you home with leftovers, you don’t have an endless supply of turkey sandwiches or the makings of a solid turkey-broth based soup. Now, I’m not in any way saying I want to be in charge of Thanksgiving dinner next year… but there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll be roasting a turkey breast this weekend for the express purpose of having sandwiches for days.
3. A million ways to die in America. One a single screen of The Washington Post, I can see three articles covering sensational ways that people died or been seriously injured over the last few days. You can take you pick… feral hog attack, tape worms laced hotpot, and bacteria laced dog licks. I’m sure if you’re the person lying in bed dying from any one of those things, it’s a very serious matter. With the sheer volume of people in the United States who don’t die of those things, though, I have to think that they’re pretty statistically aberrant ways to get killed. They’re interesting enough stories if you’re looking for filler, but mainline ink on the front page of a news site feels like something of a stretch.
The Washington Post ran an editorial recently that went to great pains to denounce Sir Winston Churchill as a genocidal despot in the same vein as Stalin and Hitler. I’m not going to link to it as a matter of principle. It’s bad enough that I gave them the benefit of my click. I don’t want to be directly responsible for any others. Im satisfied enough calling it an agenda driven hatchet job along the same lines as those penned by scads of contemporary revisionists who want everyone to trip over themselves apologizing for history.
There will be no apologies here. I will not gnash my teeth nor rend my garments. I’m simply unwilling to suspend disbelief and malign the clarion voice that stood alone and rallied the world to the defense of Western democracy in it’s most endangered moment.
Was he a man of his time, a voice for empire in the imperial age? Yes, of course. Did he advocate actions that, from our oh so enlightened vantage point deep into the 21st century, strike a sour note? Yes. Was he a man full of human faults and failings? Undoubtedly.
Still, taken all in all, if I were pushed deep into a corner and could have only one man rise to my defense, I would take the lionhearted Churchill over the poisoned pen editorialist any day of the week and twice on St. George’s Day.
Now that the initial buzz (and corresponding sales) for Nobody Told Me: The Cynic’s Guide for New Employees has died down, it’s time to start getting serious about the long term marketing plan. The big push this week is to get press releases to the local newspapers here in the greater Ceciltucky area (local resident does good), in Western Maryland (hometown boy does good), and to the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, and New York Times (because my ego clearly knows no bounds). I’m willing to concede that this whole thing may just be an exercise in vanity, but a bigger part of me still feels like there’s plenty of room in the marketplace of ideas for another snarky, sarcastic jerk who you’d probably still enjoy having a beer with.
As for what comes after that, well, to be perfectly frank I don’t really know. Writing and marketing are two tremendously different skill sets. I have some raw skill in one and a touch of formal education in the other, but I’m not anywhere near a master of either. The part of me that writes because it’s what I enjoy doing would be happy to get back to doing that and ignoring everything else. Of course the part of me that wouldn’t mind making a few coins from the effort is still chomping at the bit to sell, sell, sell. As usual, reality is going to land somewhere in the middle and be guided at least as much by the limits of available time as by anything else.