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Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Blog That Wrote Itself

Our friend Rusty has written eight months’ worth of blog posts, and he wanted to experiment to see what might happen if he went a while without blogging. He should be pleasantly surprised to find out that since he’s created the impetus, the blog can write itself even in his absence. On the one hand, it may be comforting for him to know that what he’s started has built up so much steam, yet he might also think of himself as expendable if the blog doesn’t always need him. Take heart, Rusty. You’re needed here, and we couldn’t do it without you.

In the spirit of writing what Rusty would want to write about, a topic has been chosen which will hopefully represent his way of thinking and do him proud. That’s right, we’re going to explore the finer nuances of spelunking (as opposed to just the garden variety nuances). Now, it needs to be pointed out that spelunking gets quite a bad rap, and this is nothing short of unfortunate. It's been argued that spelunking is the fastest-growing outdoor activity in the northern hemisphere (and who cares if the arguing was being done by a cadre of inconsequential rodents?). According to projections based on this model, spelunking could very well become the third most popular recreational activity by the year 2067 — and just in time for the Christmas rush. Anyway, when you start to see this new gear replacing the rafting section in retail outlets, you won't be in the dark as to why. The spelunkers of the world will have at long last united as a legion to be reckoned with, which is how it should be.

So, what would Rusty think of all this? We can only guess, but in our best estimation, he’d likely pontificate about how we’re all spelunkers by nature, and that we have a rich heritage of spelunking throughout the meandering yet otherwise revealing course of human history. He might assess the skills necessary to be an effective spelunker (good sense of direction, bright personality, lack of any other skills, the propensity to hiccup on demand), and he might further opine that some famous people, like Kevin Bacon, Shel Silverstein, Leonard Maltin, Ugueth Urbina, Christopher Hitchens, Florence Henderson and Connie Chung would all make splendid spelunkers, if for no other reason than they possess that extra-special spelunking mentality. But alas, Rusty is presently unavailable, so we are left continuing to wonder whether our cogitating aligns with the truer reality. And we soldier on...

Like many of you, we've admired spelunkers for their ambition, their tenacity, their running away from society, their lack of social adeptness, their obsession with attaching lights to their heads, their penchant for playing in the mud, their disregard for responsibility, their wanton devil-may-care attitude, and their many inspirational stories that keep us coming back for more and make us wonder to ourselves why we're not spelunking too.

Boy, after further review, we’re just going to have to admit right here while cutting most of our losses that spelunking is a prototypical elementary endeavor that, while having a promising future, remains in the underground for the time being and does not lend itself directly to extended analysis.

But what we are even more fascinated by is how pop culture feeds off itself. You may have noticed how awards ceremonies are arranged to “honor” the celebrities (nah... not to give them more publicity...), and pop culture thinks it’s an event more of gauging who got dressed in what's termed the most hideous of attire, as if clothing were a competition. And they always talk about (can I underline the word ‘always’ there and highlight it with the brightest pink neon marker you’ve ever seen in your life or anyone else's life and then stomp on it like Rumplestiltskin’s disgruntled hairdresser who had the wrong thing for lunch and didn't mind if she made everyone suffer because of it?) the dresses that were quote-unquote "disasters". (hopefully I didn't misquote anyone there)

You didn’t know this, but the dresses caused catastrophic conditions in scattered locales throughout the world. When Jessica Biel showed up in something she apparently had to wrap and tuck in haste from her bathroom wardrobe (hey, celebrities can be in a hurry too), the resulting force of her apparel produced measurable earthquakes in Zanzabar and outer Mongolia. They have it on record, with the correlated times.

And then the media types make their obligatory list of worst-dressed people, in order for us to be aware of who has the poorest costume judgment quotient according to their own quasi-objective fashion reference point. But we do, in fact, need to know who made critical mistakes in what they wore to special events. This provides us with key information about something that will most assuredly come in handy at a later point in our existence. What that is, there is no earthly clue, but hunches are fine to go by in the absence of anything else.

It would seem to be splitting hairs to call these assorted extravagant outfits 'disasters', when upon deeper reflection a disaster is more like non-athletic folks wearing ill-advised shorts and halter tops. Kind of brings in a little context there.

It’s all calculated anyway. How many celebrities may be thinking to themselves, “I feel like wearing something outrageous tonight”? Or “I want to get a reaction”? The press is so impressed by this development that it builds it all up as entertainment news. (now there’s an oxymoron waiting to happen…) Anyway, the subjects in question specifically posed for the picture in a pre-designated photo-op spot, specially christened by 17 Hollywood churches for the benefit of all these photo flashers as a means to get the celebrities' dresses all over the media and have people debating about them over a victimless crime that will garner them more sympathizers than critics. So what's the big deal?

A voice cries from the ashes to us, bemoaning the inclusion of such matters among what’s now loosely known as news. Call us old-fashioned, but we miss the day when news was about things that weren’t concocted… but then who are we to judge? After all, if it happened, then it’s news, isn’t it? (Wait… doesn’t everything happen?) It does make for a more convenient version of news when one doesn’t need to wait for something to first occur, but can instead choreograph it. Mold it, shape it, and then sell it to the masses and act surprised so that they will be too.

But we’re not going to write about any of that stuff. No, not us. In the end, we have to admit that we have no idea what Rusty would’ve written about. And yet… it’s so fun to pretend.


Renee said...

Yeah, the news is so tiresome lately. At first I wondered if it was always this way and I just didn't know it (like when you're younger and think your dentist and doctors know everything). But I think the news media is grasping for straws in trying to catch our attention and they're not going for the right straws. When the plane landed on the Hudson River, that was great news. Real news. Fantastic news.

Anonymous said...

This blog entry makes me wonder what you WOULD have said if you had been there (here). You might read this and say, "I couldn't have put it better myself."
About Renee's comment on the news. The problem with the news media now is that they really, really have bad things to talk about what with our wonderful and expensive stimulus package and budget packages. You see, our drive over the edge media loves Obama, and it abhors them to have to tell us the truth, that he is going over the edge with them.


Anonymous said...

Tell them that you secretly wanted to vote for Obama.

"Wait-- doesn't everything happen?" *snort*


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