When I was in high school many years ago, a close friend of mine opined that the opening paragraph of Winnie the Pooh was the perfect metaphor for the human condition. At the time, my favorite literary description of life was from the Scottish play: "It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing." But over the years, I have come to feel that "sound and fury" is too grand a description and Pooh's entrance better matches my experience.
Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.
That's life. There must be a better way of doing it, and we could figure it out if only the head-banging would stop long enough for us to think about it.
Head-bangings are not all bad. Some are neutral, some are even good, but all are distracting. My clever wife had half of her teeth pulled out a few weeks ago. She has needed a lot of attention. I'm a born nurturer so this is at least as good as it is bad (for me, at least). My boss has serious parental health issues lately. She's my friend as well as my boss, so the vicarious pain is as important as the bad-mood-boss crisis. I stressed about the launch of the Carnival of Bad History, which turned out less good than I hoped and better than I expected. My Mom has a new tumor and is going back on chemo. That trumps everything.
Sometimes it's hard to take the news seriously. We're no longer executing criminals who were kids when they did the crime, but we'll still send kids off to die in the villages of Mesopotamia. Hunter Thompson is gone, but Molly Ivins lives on. The State Department is criticizing Iraq for detaining people and denying due process, but...what!? Hillary Swank has a lovely back? In a world where Henry Kissinger can win the Nobel Peace Prize, irony is no longer possible.*
Meanwhile, at 6:24 this evening someone on the West coast became my 30,000th visitor. Thank you, whoever you were. Bump, bump, bump, life goes on. I might go into hiding for a while or I might decide to take my frustrations out by writing rude things about the powers that be.
* Tom Lehrer never said that, but he does endorse the sentiment. He also said this, "I'm not tempted to write a song about George W. Bush. I couldn't figure out what sort of song I would write. That's the problem: I don't want to satirize George Bush and his puppeteers, I want to vaporize them." And, as an old clavicle fan, I do believe Hillary Swank has a lovely back.