For years I’ve wondered why I’m not a famous writer. I mean, I seem to have all the ingredients: proficiency with language and sincerity of emotion, a romantic worldview coupled with a healthy disdain for humanity, and of course the crippling depression. The formula has worked for so many others. Faulkner and Fitzgerald are universal. Even Hemingway and Plath were able to produce volumes of work and chum-buckets of praise before getting sick of it all. Why not me?
OK, granted, I haven’t really given alcoholism a fair shake. I admit that, and I promise to try harder in the future. But still, it seems like I should be producing something, doesn’t it?
Eighty years ago a brooding, intellectual recluse had few options for diversion. I don’t even know what they would’ve been… Reading? Whittling? Even when TV came along there were only a few channels, and they’d go completely off the air overnight. Midnight to 3am are an alcoholic insomniac’s busiest hours! What else was there to do but write brilliant prose?
But now there are literally gazillions of gallons of words and pictures dancing at my fingertips. I’m not even counting the pr0n (that’s how internet people spell “porn”). There is no end to the information. If I didn’t have to work or shop, I could remain a fully-informed citizen of the world without ever leaving home. Why spend valuable time and effort being productive when I can more comfortably read about movies I won’t see and electronics I won’t buy? Why channel my loneliness into something useful when instead I can build one-way pseudo-relationships with people who’ve never met me and probably wouldn’t like me if they did?
It’s so much easier. It’s such a cozy excuse. Instead of trying anything that could actually make me less miserable, I’ll just go ahead and check the headlines again. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and subscribe to my RSS feed! Internets forever!