Sunday, September 20, 2015

Face to Face With Reality

This is going to sound as if I am complaining.

I am not.


I am observing.

And the observations, since they are from my deepest daydreams and reveries, are pretty stark.

And so they sound as if I am whining.

Which I think I am, but with positive intent.

I can be as positive as shit at times.

The observations go like this:

I can’t seem to see why A Curious Confluence is not at least as successful as any other half baked novel.

But it isn’t; it isn’t even a failure; it is simply non-existent.

I can’t seem to see why Saigon 1967 hasn’t had some degree of readership and some degree of success.

But it hasn’t. It is a pretty good book. I have read it 3 or 4 times and I have been amazed at what an easy, pleasant and entertaining read it has been. 

But then I wrote it so how could I feel otherwise?

I do value my time, so three or four reads have taken time that I probably will regret as I check out of this life in some future time. But I can’t think of that time as otherwise than having been enjoyably well spent.

So I keep coming back to the question “why don’t other people agree with me?”

I REALLY can’t seem to see why Screen Saver hasn’t put me in league with  Samuel Pepys.

But it hasn’t.

And why don’t my cat videos – of Cinq and Rose and Alfie – go viral?

And why, when I post a major – 30 minutes long – movie that I have made in support of Screen Saver – that has a blatant violation of copyright law ( I used Poles apart by Pink Floyd without permission or anything) on my web site, haven’t I been threatened by Pink Floyd’s attorneys?

The only thing I can think of to explain this phenomenon is that there is a parallel phenomenon.

My wife described it to me many years ago.

We were both staff people at IBM.

As such we had to call and attend never-ending meetings.

After not many of those meetings, in the early phases of her IBM meeting life, my wife said that she became invisible in those meetings: men would talk and people would react; she would talk and then men would talk – no recognition that she had even been there, let alone having said anything.

I didn’t know what to say.

So I didn’t.

But not too long after that – I was in my fourth decade at the time – I found that I had lapsed into a state of invisibility while standing in a line at MacDonald’s.

That was unnerving; but good for my marriage; and it was a painless place for me to learn how I had ceased to exist in a marketable, business job holding sense.

So the IBM package of 1992 that purged the bunch of us that came into the company in the 360 era seemed to be a logical part of the progressive track to oblivion that I seemed to be on. 

Any of us IBMers that had been blessed with vision of our individual invisibility were being offered a lot of money to purge ourselves.

So we – my wife and I - did.

And I went on to other professional endeavors.

And she went on to other professional endeavors.

But we remained invisible.

So why should I be surprised that, with access to that most amazing self-promoting platform in human history to date – the internet - I can’t get anybody to pay attention to me?

I guess I am not.


But it has only been recently that I have had the revelation of what I really need to know.

I have total access to that self-promoting platform.

The fact that some kid in Yonkers can use the same platform promoting a picture of a blue frog and that the promotion “goes viral” is not unfair to me.

It just sums up the futility of my trying to fight being invisible.

And it probably says that what I do, or write, or think, or say, or don’t do,or don’t think, or don’t write, or don’t say is pointless.

I am invisible.

And probably untalented.

At least in the internet age.

Knowing one’s place is a good thing.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Russians v Bears

I just heard this on the BBC. 
Five Russian meteorologists are trapped in an igloo by a crowd of hungry polar bears. 
"No problem" thrust itself into my mind. 
Puty  The Great will drop from a helicopter and wrestle the Bears - one at a time - into submission. 
It's even better than little green men.