As I continue to finish other projects, my contributions to this blog become more and more of a chore. Some weeks, I manage to hit the target, others I miss. The only time I have truly whiffed—outside of hiring someone to do a guest blog—on getting an entry was shortly after the election. Things didn’t make any sense then, and they haven’t exactly started making more sense.
And yet, every time I try to run blog topics through my mind, they seem either ill-timed, or crass, or I’m not the right guy to make the point. I’ve come at this week’s entry from several different angles, and none of them work right. All I’ve managed to do is come up with a bunch of disclaimers to go in front of blogs I probably won’t write.
I wrote enough of them that, as fate would have it, they became a blog post all their own.
DISCLAIMER #1: At the end of the last week’s blog I promised some stuff coming down the pike. We here at Party Now, Apocalypse Later Industries are still waiting for some clearances on a few things. When that is done, we’ll get into it here. I’m anxious to share it with you. Deeply anxious. If you look into the directory here at the website, or (as of press time) go searching for certain terms on Stitcher, you might find some of the things idling in wait. The wheels are moving and they can’t be stopped now. But, it is another Sunday, and a blog must be posted.
DISCLAIMER #2: Speaking of wheels that can’t—and by all rights shouldn’t—be stopped: As a child, I attended Robert E. Lee Elementary School. At the time, it never seemed like an issue to me. We were fed a regular diet of the historical anecdote that Lee was the gentle giant of the Lost Cause, and that he was so tragically torn about the issue of slavery and the Civil War. He was kind, and gentle to all people and all the woodland creatures. We even sang a song about how great he was.
It feels sort of nauseating now. However, when anything more than a cursory glance at history became available to me, I wasn’t terribly offended that I had been at such a place. It seemed eclectic. I went to Lee Elementary, George Washington Carver Middle School, and Booker T. Washington High School. Only in Oklahoma, amiright?
The more I think about it, the name needs to be changed. There are generations of children who had to sing songs in praise of this man whose sole claim to fame was spending a longer-than-average amount of time internally debating whether or not he should commit treason… and then went ahead and committed the treason anyway. A hero, indeed.
Maybe the pro-confederates and I can reach some sort of compromise (although we shouldn’t). We could change the name of the school to John Wilkes Booth Elementary School, so that we can lionize the legacy of a man who shot another man in the back, only to pause his escape to deliver a quick monologue to a captive audience. Or maybe we could change it to Jefferson Davis Elementary School. He was captured in a dress!
DISCLAIMER #3, part one: That Davis felt comfortable in women’s clothing should be celebrated.
Part Two: He wasn’t actually captured in a dress, but if we’re going to fudge history, let’s reach for something better than Lee.
DISCLAIMER #4: On some—possibly unearned—level, those last few felt a little glib. I like to keep the writing—especially on this blog—on the lighter side. It’s where I function best. Indeed, in my relatively few public speaking engagements, I’ve never been more unnerved by a stretch where the audience isn’t laughing. When I imagine you reading these posts or pages of the books I’ve written, I need you to be laughing. That’s my own hangup, but one I’m more often than not content to put to some kind of productive use.
Except, if I were tempted to write something about current events, there wouldn’t be a lot of funny to find out there. It makes me feel as if there is not much to be said at all. It’s easier to retreat back into work other than this blog. So, I’m sorry about that.
DISCLAIMER #5: And yet, staying silent about any of this is capitulation. I understand that.
Nazis (and White Nationalists, and KKK members…) are bad, absolutely. People who are opposed to them are good, absolutely. There is no moral equivalency on this issue; any claim otherwise is a delusion. Oh so many things in life are a grey area; this is one of the few times when there is an absolute right and an absolute wrong.
I deeply resent the fact that we live in a world where that all needs to be said. And yet, I also acknowledge that complaint is a profoundly minor one in the grander scheme of things. If it needs being said, I am content to say it.
If you believe otherwise, then you are free to do so. We are under no obligation to celebrate you, and laws dictate that we ought not punch you in the face.
And yet… You have such punchable faces.
DISCLAIMER #6: I’m not actually so sorry about that last one.