The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Friday, November 01, 2013

Writer's block, or the revenge of the incredible zombie rats

If you are a long time reader of these pages then you are probably accustomed to my more than occasional bouts of writer’s block, which is a most annoying affliction to suffer from, no two ways about it, and leads me to look at blank pieces of paper in much the same way someone suffering from chronic constipation looks at toilet bowls; relief will come when the page or the bowl is full, but getting from here to there is a Sisyphean labor in reverse.  I wish I knew when these dry spells were coming, but life does not reveal such things for reasons best known to itself.  You wouldn’t think that it would be hard to write satire at a time like this, when the former junior Senator from Illinois and his malfeasant crew of hacks, henchmen, and horse thieves are falling all over themselves trying to deny that the public has caught them with their pants down around their ankles in the middle of Main Street USA, but writer’s block is a vile condition that respects no condition save illiteracy and spares no sufferer from its ongoing psychic distress, and so the public nudity of our prairie solon must go uncommented on for the time being.

People familiar with my unending fight with this horrid condition understand just how much I loathe its never-ending mental anguish and try to help, offering me all manner of solutions to the problem.  I should try, for example, to suffer through the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and by taking a pencil to this sea of troubles, end them, which is a nice way of saying that I should write through the dry spell as if it wasn’t there as well as showing that they’ve actually read Hamlet.  This is a nice idea if you want to drape the occasional bit of Shakespeare over your cocktail party conversation, but I don’t go to cocktail parties, largely because I have all the personality of a wet newspaper, and Hamlet, if you remember the play, winds up dead at the end of Act V, a consummation devoutly to be skipped, if you want my opinion, and to be skipped for as long as medical science can arrange the skipping.  And, of course, if I could write through the dry spells I would be writing and not suffering through the tortures of writer’s block.  In short, if I could, I would, but since I’m not, I ain’t.  That’s just the way this puppy floats.

People who know about this sort of thing also suggest that I should restrict my intake of caffeine.  I must admit that this particular line of reasoning took me surprise; I had never heard that caffeine ingestion caused writer’s block, ingrown toenails, or any other malady that I had ever heard of, although I do suppose that caffeine probably causes cancer in laboratory rats, but then again, at this point what doesn’t cause cancer in laboratory rats? Laboratory rats seem susceptible to a whole slew of diseases that ordinary rats seem to shrug off without any problem, so it seems to me that laboratory rats should probably stop hanging around laboratories so much; it’s clearly not good for their health. In any case, let me just say that while I appreciate the suggestion, cutting back on the caffeine is not going to happen.  My intake of Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi will continue at its present ridiculous pace and no amount of do-gooding by well-meaning friends is going to change that.  The science on that may not be settled, but my opinion is and my opinion is the one that counts here.  

If I wanted to I could blame the block on my encounter with the knockout game, an activity in which socioeconomically disadvantaged urban youths wearing hoodies and shorts polish their boxing skills on unsuspecting passersby, but that hardly appears likely; the young practitioner who tried this on me didn’t even manage to knock my glasses off, much less knock me out, and I doubt such a feeble attempt would have caused writer’s block of such longevity.  I mean, really, if you have the advantage of surprise and you still can’t knock a gimp’s hat off of his head in one mighty blow then you should learn to play something that is more your speed, like Chutes & Ladders or Parcheesi.  

So I must sit and wait this thing out, I fear, and my apologies to one and all who come here. I realize that my wild inconsistency in posting must be irritating in the extreme, and I assure you that no one is more irritated about these seemingly endless dry spells than I am.  Having the syrup and not being able to pour, to use Gertrude Stein’s quip about a blocked member of the Lost Generation, is frustrating to the nth degree. I do promise, however, that I will be back posting just as soon as the dry season ends. Really. I mean it.

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  • At 8:11 AM, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said…

    Intake of caffeine? If you were even a moderate consumer of alcohol I would know what to recommend. Otherwise, the only method that comes to mind is that applied to Gargantua by his new teacher. I am not going to quote here, due to sensibilities of possible female readers. But it worked for Gargantua.

  • At 11:04 AM, Blogger Dick Stanley said…

    Well, just for starters you could write about how the demented liberal (aka communist) de Blasio got elected mayor of the burg down your way. Perhaps having something to do with a third of the population being under age 24? Apologies for not recalling whether you actually live in his fiefdom or not, but you are close, right?

  • At 10:40 AM, Blogger Akaky said…

    No, I live about 65 miles north of the city, in the hinterlands between the outermost suburbs and that fearful place known as Upstate, where trees grow without permission from the Parks Department and you can occasionally see groups of Republicans doing whatever it is groups of Republicans do here in the Vampire State.


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