The hardest thing about being a writer, besides knowing what to do with all your happiness and wrestling trophies, is the constant, nagging awareness that your success is based on how well your work stacks up to every other written thing in human history. Other professions don’t have this problem. Michael Jackson’s physician thought putting a refurbished Chucky doll to sleep every night with a Costco-sized barrel of horse tranquilizers was a good idea, and he still knows more about medicine than the 2,000 years of wizards that came before him. Most of the apps on my smart phone run as smoothly as Michael J. Fox being chased by bees down a steep hill, but the real miracle is that we have these amazing products in the first place. But writers are using glorified Sumerian technology whose novelty expired around the time crossbows were invented. They’re automatically competing with every person, living or dead, who ever picked up a pen–oh, and no pressure, but one of them was Jesus.
For me, this was a huge problem. I was bit by a werewolf once. But I had pissed the werewolf off by cutting him off in traffic (long story) (also a total lie), so instead of giving me lycanthropy, he gave me the far more debilitating curse of thinking before I speak. Now I wander the earth asking “Do I have anything to say?” before opening my mouth. It’s awful. Blogging is something I’ve been interested in for a while, but every time I asked myself the only question that matters, the only answer I could come up with was something like “well I urrrrrrr could do sassy video game reviews but with attitude.” Weighed against the already oversaturated market of sassy e-pinions, my entry seemed redundant. Despite its reputation, the Web is, if you promise to never visit forums for any reason, actually full of brilliant, insightful people with bushels of real-world experience in diverse and exotic fields. I’m an English tutor at a community college. I read constantly and have my share of interesting adventures, but nothing compared to some of the other bloggers out there. So for a while I held the idea in limbo. Then something happened. I had the world’s most obvious epiphany.
People are idiots. I told you it was obvious, but I was buying into the “they make money so they must be doing something right” fallacy that tells us Sarah Palin and J-Woww are actually shrewd Machiavellian chessmasters, not fetal alcohol disasters whose very existence disproves market capitalism. The fallacy is much better for your sanity than reality, I assure you. But the more I read, watched, and responded to, the more transparent the whole charade became. Glenn Beck isn’t a ninja intellectual, but a cheery moron who worked really really hard to fill a tragically huge niche. Brock Lesnar didn’t become 300 pounds of gorilla through his intense study of anatomy and physiology; he was just too dumb to come up with a good excuse not to go to the gym. Rush Limbaugh’s educational background consists of…well, it’s Rush Limbaugh. You get the point. There’s no qualifications for anything anywhere.
So now I’m out of excuses. This blog has to go up and I have to share my thoughts, even if my entire field of expertise is which karate schools not to go to (Radunz Isshin-Ryu in Waterford, MI). It’s my duty as a citizen. Odds are, like Chris Nowinski’s controversial views on the Iraq War, I’ll just piss people off. For that, I’m sort of sorry. But there’s so much to talk about in this ridiculous blogosphere, like how stupid the word “blogosphere” is, and if anything I say leads to a man wearing chainmail panties over his face getting drop kicked, you can thank me later.