Have you met any of my friends? Let me tell you something, they’re a bunch of real jerks!
Between Tim, Mark, Todd, and Eric, you’d think one of them would shoulder some of the group’s emotional baggage, but no. All that baggage has to fall on my shoulders.
Then there’s Bob, who’s constantly contributing emotional baggage to the mix and is rarely shouldering it. Meanwhile, he has Howard, Steve, and Chris as his trusted lieutenants, willing to take a bullet for him, willing to shoulder great heaps of emotional baggage on his behalf, and still he is running a deficit between the emotional baggage he contributes and the amount he and his team shoulder.
This drives me bonkers! Get your shoulders into it if you want people to identify you as someone who has both give and take responsibilities, in terms of baggage that’s emotional in nature.
Meanwhile, I asked a couple of my enemies (you know who you are) about the fake emotional baggage they’re allegedly – and I do mean allegedly – contributing to the community, and it turns out they don’t give a damn what anyone thinks. It’s so refreshing! They’re extremely strong and powerful in their denials. They tell me that they are actually contributing emotional energy, not baggage. That’s the kind of attitude I wish some of my friends would have. Instead, they are meek and mild and friendly.
The reason that you can’t understand the dichotomy between my friends and my enemies is that I have a kind of a double-negative sort of thing going on.
Score one for my enemies.
Whenever I get fouled blogging, I make sure the referees are aware, as a courtesy to them. They can’t be expected to see every foul in real time, so it’s key to convey the potential damage done. I find the refs are very appreciative of my efforts.
Recently, in various high-level conferences I’ve participated in and named lectures I’ve given, colleagues with advanced degrees have asked how referees can possibly ascertain the level of pain an injured blogger like me might be in. It’s quite a good point. In fact, even I usually don’t know how much pain I’m in. I just know when I’ve been badly “hacked” (basketball speak). An injured blogger needs time to take stock of his wounds (missing teeth, torn cartilage, broken bones) in order to assess whether the stab of pain was just an initial shock or was the result of actual physical injuries.
And worse: deeply-felt emotional injuries. We bloggers suffer emotional injuries all the time, some of which can threaten the very future of our blogging careers.
Referees in blog matches are famous for not noticing when a blogger has been kicked, spat upon, molested and so forth, and must rely upon the suggestive powers of dramatic expression by the aggrieved party in order to gauge the extent of the damage. So it’s critical that you perfect your craft.
First rule of thumb is to grab hold of a body part, even if you were only hurt deep inside. (Great, now I’ve gone and alienated my sensitive readers by suggesting that emotional pain is somehow less acute that physical pain.) Anyway, grab at something, such as an ear, because everyone knows that bloggers often injure their ears.
Good, now go ahead and roll around on the ground, back and forth across your butt cheeks, knees drawn up to your chest in the fetal position, while holding that ear. Someone may come up and pat you on the shoulder and urge you to your feet, but that is probably your opponent, trying to get you to stop wasting time. Whatever you do, don’t look up to see if blogging has continued. That’s a dead giveaway that you are, in fact, stalling. Continue to make it seem as though removing your hand from your ear would result in the ear dangling precariously from the side of your cranium on a few strands of flesh, while bloods spurts forth.
That’s how much this injury could possibly hurt, Mr. Blog Referee!
Here comes the training staff to the rescue. Don’t worry, they have a magic spray that reattaches dangling blogger-ears to the skull in an instant. Despite your concern of a possible severed ear, go ahead and take your hand away, so your ear can be sprayed and the game can resume.
And now you return to blogging at breakneck speed. It’s as though you didn’t get fouled in the first place!
Love that magic blog spray.
Sometimes, late on a hot summer night when everyone is asleep, I sit on my porch with a cold glass of lemonade and look up at the stars. And when I do, invariably my thoughts turn to my brand. Have I done enough to promote my brand? Have I used social media in a way that gets my brand name out there? Am I tweeting out messages consistent with the Patrick McVay brand identity? Is my brand connecting with the right influencers who can create interest in my brand and increase my sales? Do I have any sales? Why am I not hitting you over the head with advertisements? Are you even listening to me?
The answer to all these questions is no. Except the question about hitting you over the head, because “no” is never an answer to a “why” question.
One of the reasons that my brand isn’t succeeding like, say, Nestle, or Canada, is that I don’t have infrastructure in place to run focus groups on my products, and I don’t have a constitution that lacks a second amendment. The Canada brand seems to be doing quite well without a second amendment, but don’t go telling that to Canadians. Before you know it they’ll be whining about needing a well-regulated militia to protect their brand.
To hell with the Canada brand and their meek and mild prime minister!
By the way, Russia says that they didn’t meddle in our elections, so that answers that question.
Have I ever told you about my favorite piece of poetry? Of course I've told you, but I’m not convinced you were listening.
It’s Eunoia, by Christian Bok. But you wouldn’t have needed me to tell you that, because you knew that I’m exactly the kind of person who would love a book in which each chapter contains words using only one specified vowel. Chapter A starts, “Awkward grammar appalls a craftsman,” and goes on from there.
Chapter E: “Jesters express extreme glee.”
These aren’t five line ditties. Each chapter has about 3,000 words, using words that contain only one of the vowels. A slice from chapter O: “Folks who long to prolong moods of torpor do Zoloft or nod off on two drops of chloroform.”
Eunoia the book is comprised of “Eunoia” and “Oiseau,” the former being what I just described above, and the latter being a series of poems that play on words and on vowels. So two excellent and accessible examples of contemporary writing, which you had no idea you liked, in one book.
You probably won’t find it in your local bookstore, alas, but look there first just in case.