What Kind of Year Has It Been

I've been having a creative crisis lately. I don’t have any projects except the two blogs, The Stop Button and Comics Fondle. Having finished my four post Eleanor Parker career retrospect and watching a lot fewer movies–even though I’m programming a weekly movie night now–I’m not sure where I want to go with Stop Button. Comics Fondle, as always, is chugging along. But it’s going through some changes too. And while I’m definitely not stopping with my Love and Rockets readthrough, I had hoped the posts about each issue would be different. Snootier actually. As well as a more creative gesture, a weekly one.

The lack of snooty creative outlet is fine; I’m still reading through Love and Rockets. It’s amazing and wonderful and gorgeous. Things one definitely needs in 2018. But it does mean no weekly creative outlet, snooty or not.

When I started Summing Up over a year and a half ago, I had been thinking about a more colloquial blogging project for at least a year. I had been waiting for micro.blog to launch. In the year since I last posted on Summing Up, micro.blog launched. And I made a micro.blog. It was called a.micro.blog. But as it turns out, I don’t think I wanted a micro blog. It sounded cool. And I did write with some pretty intense word constraints on the two blogs for years–150 words for Comics Fondle and 250 for Stop Button; I can do micro.

Like I said, turns out I didn’t really want to do micro. So yesterday, after renewing my micro.blog subscription a couple weeks ago, I cancelled it. No more micro blogging for me. Out of vague courtesy, I went to check out new WordPress themes, thinking maybe I could start up Summing Up again.

Only to discover it had been 364 days since I “closed” the blog.

I fell off on Summing Up for a few reasons. Blogging about Somerset Maugham books when every day had become dreadful–there’s no other word for it, we live in dreadful times–didn’t seem a particularly salient project.

And I stopped reading Maugham. He’s good, sometimes great, but he’s not good enough to spend a year reading.

A year later, lots has happened. The world has gotten worse. It’s been revealed as worse, but it’s also gotten worse. Bill Cosby got convicted, which is great, but, you know, ICE. Ben Carson running HUD. Every daily shitty thing with the U.S. government; they’re still doing all the regular shitty things–drone strikes–but they’re never news. The United States has become a melodramatic reality show where if you don’t pay attention, your soul has probably already suffocated from the sand. And if you do pay attention… well, you wish you could suffocate in the sand. Except ignoring reality is what got the world to this shitty point and this is a moment. Every day is a moment not to look away, to reason through, to power on. Because otherwise what’s the point. What kind of monster wants to take advantage of their privilege in 2018. It’s inevitably going to happen, because it’s passive too, but one needs to stay vigilant.

At least if you’re white and cishet. Especially if you’re also male.

We are, by and large, astoundingly awful. Sexual predators putting themselves on pedestals for outing other sexual predators. And then the incels. Fuck them.

(And, wow–does USA Today have more editorial reality than the New York Times these days? I’m assuming yes.)

It’s a bad time. It’s been a bad year. I’ve had some good in real life, I’ve had some bad in real life. Some of that real life bad is hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles, ready to drop and crush me with all I want to avoid. I can’t right now. I need to give it time before I confront it; frankly, just like I’m avoiding Woody Allen. He’s out until he dies. I can wait.

But the bad has gotten normal. “This is not normal” is a fail, y’all. John Oliver starts his show every week with an administration recap. It’s a regular feature of his show. It’s normal.

Also, koalas are in danger of extinction. The world is shit. And if you’re over a certain age, in a certain income bracket, with a certain level of education, especially if you’re a white person, especially if you’re a white man, it’s our fault. Because it’d be easy to say it was inevitably going to be this bad, but it wasn’t. The technological advances of the last twenty years needed to be taken seriously.

But people didn’t. The United States got pwned on hacking by Russia. American exceptionalism turned out to be an even bigger joke than originally anticipated.

So it’s been a bad year. And I’ve acclimated. And I want to more write again. Finally. So Summing Up. Again.

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