Losing Your Pants in a Dumpster Fire

It’s almost gone!

No, really…it’s almost freaking gone!

Let’s be honest here — 2020 can’t die soon enough.  Sadly, I have the strangest, most disconcerting feeling that this dumpster fire of a year will not actually end.  Maybe it’s just the looming, ominous music I can hear playing behind every story about 2020 that I read, but this freak show has all the hallmarks of turning into Freddie Krueger and coming for us over and over (and over and over and over…ad infinitum).

Harrumph.

Even the inevitable, inane stories and pieces that accompany every new year — the best and worst lists, the memorable moments spotlights, the year-in-review diaries — are more than a little grudging and bitter this year.  It’s like the folks writing those bits are doing so because they have to, rather than out of any real desire.

Oh wait, that’s exactly why they’re writing those pieces.  To focus on art and quality and exploring the human condition is all well and good, but well…the bills have to be paid, and editors stopped listening to what writers want a very long time ago.  Nowadays, those decisions about content and tone are made by SEO teams and marketing committees, not writers.

It’s rather like the old, old wisdom: we complain about politicians being self-serving and dishonest, then turn around and vote for the most narcissistic, dishonest politicians we can find.  Well, translated into writing terms: we complain about the shallow inanity of articles, then turn around and click on those very same pieces. So long as we keep clicking on the, well, click-bait, they’ll keep producing it.

I am, as a matter of fact, more than a little guilty of that myself. I’m complaining out shallow, shit articles…right after spending an hour of my morning clicking on those very same pieces. There aren’t enough harrumphs in the world for that one.

Okay…so…well…New Year’s Eve has come, and it’s the time for the inevitable, annual festival of always-broken resolutions.  Except that I don’t actually do resolutions.  Hell, I don’t even do New Year’s Eve, really.  When you get right down to it, New Year’s is just an excuse to go to a party or a bar and get roaring drunk.  I can do that just fine without the excuse, thank you very much.

Fine, fine, the resolution-thing is expected, so I’ll give it a shot anyway.

I resolve to be better about regular posting here on the blog.  For a couple of years I was posting three times a week, as regular as clockwork.  Then, well, life got in the way and I started the (not so) long, slow slide into posting only when the “mood was right.”

To all my fellow writers out there: there ain’t no such a thing as a writing “mood”!  There is no waiting for the “right mood.”  To wait for the right mood is nothing more than an excuse.  Like most excuses, all that one amounts to is an internal salve for failure.

“I sat down to write, but I just couldn’t get in the right mood” isn’t, as excuses go, a whole lot different from “I saw the kid run into the street, but I didn’t save her because I wasn’t in the right mood.”

And, yes, I fully realize just how incredibly hypocritical that is, coming as it does from someone whose freaking choice of music defines his writing mood!

Ahem…back to resolutions…

I’ll add a resolution here to ignore the 2021 version of the political circus that 2020 has been.  That particular brand of national insanity isn’t going to get any better, and it just is not worth the frustration.  Crazy folks are gonna crazy just fine with or without my attention, so why bother?  I will — hopefully! — let the crazy play out all by itself, and focus instead on putting my thoughts and opinions on the current insanity into my fiction works, rather than these blog posts.

Oh, and as a little addendum to that, I most definitely will stop going to the more extreme websites (on both sides of the political spectrum) just to read the comments.  As amusing as that can be, the Google algorithms have looked at my search history and decided I’m completely, hopelessly insane.  I’m pretty sure they have me listed in a special file now…

Of course, like all writers, I just have to do a Year in Review bit as well:

Calling 2020 a dumpster fire is an insult to honest dumpster fires.  If 2021 follows in the same vein, I may have to join a cult and go live in the jungle somewhere.  Hey, the Kool Aid can’t be as bad another year of this shit!

Happy New Year, then, and here’s a toast to our collective responsibility to make this new year better than the last!  Now go get stinking drunk so you can properly send 2020 off in an alcoholic haze, and wake up fresh in 2021 like you should: hungover and missing your pants.

Hmm…what to do for a final Musical Note for 2020? I could go all serious and introspective and put a song here to really explore things…

But I’m not in that “mood,” so let’s try something completely different, shall we? It’s starting to get pretty long in the tooth now, but it’s still a song that has some awesome lines and insights:

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