Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nothing to Say

I have nothing to say this week.

Of course, even on those weeks when I have something to say, I don’t have much to say, which is why I feel compelled to remind you that you really should not be reading this blog (I’m telling you, people: it’s exactly what it says on the tin).  But this week I have even less to say than usual.  If you manage to stick around after this week, you’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.  I mean, hell: I can’t even stand to listen to me half the time, and I am me.  What chance do you have?

Usually when I don’t make a post it’s because of lack of time.  I do have a life, you know.  Well, okay, sometimes.  But, this week, I have the time, I just don’t have anything to say.  I’ve been trying to think of something to say, but nothing has sprung to mind.  Or nothing that I really want to talk about, anyway.  I have a few topics that I could probably expound on, but my heart isn’t in it, so it would come out lame.  Lamer than usual, even.

I remember in Freshman Comp they told us what to do if we couldn’t think of what to write.  Brainstorming, and cubing, and free writing ... at no point did they tell us what you really ought to do if you can’t think of what to write, which is to shut the hell up.  It is far better to be silent than merely to increase the quantity of bad books.  Supposedly, Voltaire said that, although who knows ... anything that sounds cool and snarky is attributed to Voltaire, unless Mark Twain grabs it first.  But, you know, it can be true even without being famous.

So I’ve decided I just won’t write anything.  Nope, nothing at all.

You know, I did this once for English class.  I had to write a paper, and I couldn’t think of anything to write about, so I wrote a paper about not being able to write a paper.  It was called “Scaling the Blank Page” or somesuch twaddle, and it was pretentious crap.  I still run across it every now and again, generally when I unpack stuff after a move (or pack stuff in preparation for a move).  For some reason, I have every paper I wrote for that class, in a folder.  It’s vaguely amusing to break out stuff that you wrote 20 years ago and laugh at yourself.  If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

So I shan’t increase the quantity of bad books—or bad blog posts—any further than I have already.  Which, looking back ... man, I have 44 posts.  We’re coming up on a year’s worth.  And, of course, some of them are like this one—i.e. utterly useless and very short—but most are around 1,500 words long.  Let’s see ... there’s actually 9 interstitials, which leaves 35 actual posts (and, yes, I did just pop to another window and have my computer do that math for me) and that makes, very roughly (popping to that other window again) ... over 52,000 words.  Such logorrhoea!  (You know, I threw in that link just because this is the web and you’re expected to do that sort of thing, but I bet you could tell what it meant just from the shape of the word, couldn’t you?  There ought to be a word for that: a word that means a word whose meaning is obvious from way the word sounds.  You know what I mean?  Or maybe there is and it’s just non-obvious.  But I digress.) So ... yeah.  Lotta words.  And, if you’ve read even a portion of that half-hundred-K, are you any better for it?  Probably not.  So there’s proof positive that I need to keep it to myself unless I have something worth saying.

Except I don’t, do I?  It’s a good thing I believe in paradox, because this entire blog sure is one.  On the one hand, I keep telling you how blogs suck, and on the other I keep posting to the blog.  I tell you not to read, but I pump out 50 thousands words for your perusal.  Man, am I confused or what?  I suppose I could tell you that I’m just writing for me, and it doesn’t matter whether or not anyone reads it.  But that’s not entirely true.  Writing is an art form, and art requires an audience.  A tree falling in a forest may or may not make a sound; it really depends on your definition of “sound.” But my definition of “art” absolutely requires an audience.  Art is a dialogue, a dialectic.  Without interpretation, art is lifeless.  The act of experiencing it allows it to speak; before that, it is sterile and silent.

So there’s a perfectly good excuse gone.  And I can’t think of any others.  I certainly will continue to write whether or not you continue to read, and I will perversely continue to insist that you do not continue to read, and I will stubbornly continue to insist on believeing that you do continue to read, else there would be no point.  Both are true; all are true.  And all are false.  It doesn’t matter, and it does.  I’m okay with that.  Hopefully you are as well.  Certainly it’s difficult to imagine that you could have made it this far if you weren’t.  Clearly you have either already found something worth your while, or you are hopelessly optimistic; either way, I welcome your continued participation even as I advise against it (because I could not in good conscience do otherwise).

So carry on with your regularly scheduled life.  Because, just for this one week, I have nothing to say.

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