Sunday, December 11, 2005

Has the music died?

I took the automatic re-direct out of my last blog and was browsing through the last 10-or-so entries. I'm pretty amazed -- I actually took time to look stuff up for blog entries, I made them current, and I tried to add something to whatever public discourse was going on about a particular issue.

What the hell happened? Why did I quit writing current stuff? I mean, aside from the weekly column I repost here, there's little on this blog that deals with current events anymore.

So what's going on? I used to get comments from people who said they left A Healthy Alternative to Work well-informed and entertained. I'm not drawing that kind of response any more.

I can blame myself for at least part of my malaise here. I'm just not as motivated to write at the moment, and it's something that bothers me on a daily basis. I love writing -- or I did -- and I've pretty much committed myself to it for the long-haul. It's a bit late in the game to switch gears now. And it's not as if I've lost any of the abstract love I have for it... I just don't do it as much as I ought to be.

The other problem has been a complete disappointment I've felt in society. Politicians all seem horrible, and any move they make now seems to me to be clouded by devious, behind-the-scenes machinations that no one talks about but everyone sort of knows is going on anyway. We've come to a point where we actually swallow the bullshit fed to us on national issues, and the public debate takes place on that level: bullshit and buzzwords. If it can't be distilled into a three-minute video package, it ain't worth talking about.

So I've pretty much given up. I watch what's going on in the world around me with a sort of grim disinterest, sort of like a kid might watch an ant farm disintegrate after a week of neglect. It feels like I should care, but I just can't seem to muster up any passion about it.

Maybe it's time to recharge, which for me, involves two things: first, going out and getting inspired. That means heading up to Louisville to see the cultural scene -- anything to break through the doldrums of life in rural Kentucky. Second, it means staying in and getting inspired -- and that's by reading other people's work. I just finished Robert Mason's Chickenhawk, which I thought was great. I'm about to start Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities, which I sure hope is better than I Am Charlotte Simmons. In between, I've been picking up short pieces by David Sedaris (for a nice, cynical holiday read, try Holidays on Ice.)

A change of scenery's on the horizon, anyway. I'm about to head home to my family home in upstate New York. I leave Friday, and I'll be gone for two solid weeks -- definitely a good chance to get caught up on reality, since it seems to come in occasional spurts, at best, here.

I've also got a couple Thompson books I've been saving for just an occasion such as this -- more collected letters and essays, not the weird but structured narratives he's famous for -- and I think the Good Doctor may supply a much-needed dose of muse.

Wish me luck, friends. I'm not calling a hiatus or anything -- but I figured I'd let you know why it's been a bit on the dry side in here.