When I started this blog I was in my mid-20's. Back then I talked about things that, I think, made sense for someone in his mid-20's to talk about--working at my retail job, adjusting to the experience of living with my parents again after graduating college, getting back into the dating world after the end of a 3+ year relationship, and Nutella.
I'm in my late 30's now. In 6 months I'll be unemployed and will probably have to move back in with my parents. My 5-year relationship was euthanized by my ex 4 years ago and I've only been out on a few dates since. I own no property, have no career, am not the patriarch of a family. I weigh too much, earn too little, and take the bus because I have no car.
It's hard to quantify any progress I've made over the last decade, but the tangibility of my stagnation is quite. Tangible.
(Also my shoulder hurts today.)
In my earliest entries I used this space to bitch about things in my life in a quasi-stream-of-consciousness way, without writing multiple drafts or doing much editing at all. At some point I decided that I wanted to provide content that was artful; by that I mean, content that used semi-colons. In between the semi-colons I wanted to publish clauses that would offer readers more than just complaining. Sometimes this makes it difficult to come up with appropriate topics for this space.
I have less time and less money to go out and experience the world. And I hate myself less. So much of my writing came out of that hatred.
I often think about the state of satire in the early 21st century. Satire typically involved exposing unethical behavior or corruption from a (shared) position of righteousness. It can still do that but attitudes about what constitutes "right" are more divided now and there is no common ground to appeal to, so a lot of satire is exclusionary. It affirms the values of one group at the expense of those who do not agree. On the other hand, postmodern satire can resist taking any position at all and instead pursue a line of thinking to its "logical" endpoint.
I usually avoid political satire and try to avoid being exclusionary. When I think about my idols, Twain chief among them, I wonder why they remained engaged in the world as long as they did; my thoughts frequently turn to Candide's reply to Pangloss, which struck me as a turning away from public life. But really it could just be that living the life of a shut-in has made me more pessimistic than I used to be. (That would really be something!)
There's more in that reference to Voltaire than I had intended, but it offers me a nice way to stitch this mess together and make it appear intentional. Pangloss is a philosopher and teacher who believes that we live in the best of all possible worlds. After Candide, his pupil, has traveled the world and become educated in humanity's potential for wickedness and suffered much, his response to Pangloss is simply, "we must cultivate our garden." If this is indeed the best of all possible worlds there is still much evil and suffering in it.
My worldview isn't that dark (yet) and I haven't suffered much at all compared to what others have endured, but I understand what it's like to imagine all of the great things the world has in store for you and to discover that after ten years of scrounging and working you're not much better off and may, in fact, have fallen behind.
And for a while I haven't been able to come up with a funny way to say that, and I don't know when I'll be able to. So I don't know how I will fill this space or what I will talk about here. Twelve years ago I felt like I was venturing out into the world, making new friends, trying new things and learning about myself and in ways that are not fully evident to you (the reader) my writing reflected that. What my writing will look like now that I'm dead inside... that's not a question I've been willing to answer, or to subject readers to. But I'm bored so whatevs.