Stumbling Thru the March of Time, Pt. II: In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night...

You may have noticed over the past few months that the Pylon has been steadily more “substance”-free. Not that it ever is that substantive – though I do try to make a good show of it now and then, but even if one includes the pieces that at least halfway attempted to be reviews of various pop cultural items or trends as what passes for substance on the Pylon, then this blog has become less and less of a place for even that lowly placed regard in recent months.

Take a look at things on here since September, after I had just finished knocking out a long series of “reviews” of short films for Spout.com, and you will find that I have resorted more and more to “puff” pieces than actual reviews or pieces breaking down aspects of criticism, felonious or laud-worthy. I spent a third of September in Disney World, and literally used the Pylon as an outright diary/journal for those ten days or so. Not that I wouldn’t resort to such antics again – September did become my biggest post month of the year (23) for this reason, and I intend on journaling once more this coming December from our just secured awesome two-bedroom suite (with a water view, and monorail access just next door at the Contemporary) in the recently constructed Bay Lake Tower (for which we will pay less than $330 a night for a suite that will run $655 a night off-season – sorry for the diversion, but I just found this out…) October wasn’t too bad – being focused on all of my newly purchased Halloween discs at that time -- but something happened in November which formally stuck me firmly in the muck. And it was all my own doing.

More on that in a bit, but here’s what happened after that November occurrence. My focus slipped more and more, and seeing my brother and sis-in-law in Seattle for Thanksgiving was a grand time, but it led to another round of space-filling journaling. (While it could be considered “journalism” in the truest sense of the word, TV talking heads have ruined that term for eternity, so I will never use it.) I had a lot I wanted to recount, and I was genuinely excited about every minute of my Washington travels. But my attention was clearly wavering, and all because there was a nasty form of nausea growing ever larger within my stomach over my actions in November. The ultimate proof of my heart just not being in it is that I left off with the last two days of that vacation recap unwritten.

Then, strange things started to happen to pieces within the course of my regularly scheduled writing vein: I watched the excellent anti-finning and long-lining documentary Sharkwater, got all riled up politically, wanted to rail against the irresponsibility of the Asian fishing market, knocked out a preface to a review of the Sharkwater DVD explaining my basic interest in the subject matter… and then never wrote the review, which was intended to jump-start once more my interest in working on my Shark Film Office side-blog.

Even more shocking, I wrote the first of a two-part piece on being ten feet away from Bruce Campbell at a special screening of his latest self-referential opus. I even took pictures outside the theatre, and was genuinely wound up over sharing the experience in print. And then, continuing my new trend, I couldn’t summon up the nerve to write the second half.

Horrors on top of horrors, once January hit, I was merely content to put up more filler, like railing against Facebook users and their need to tag me on every idiotic application or overly used meme that drops into their laptops. That this was a largely ineffective rant is proved by the fact that I now get emails that say, “I know you don’t like being tagged, but I knew you just had to see this…,” as if I wasn’t, as a Facebook user myself, equally as open to seeing the same damn list of applications, or as a person with several email accounts, equally as prone to receiving chain emails telling us all to smile because “God loves us” (and please, please, please pass this on to 25 people that you care about or your dog will get AIDS, courtesy of the devil), lists of questionable origin or requests to help out Nigerian princes the same that they are. Yes, I saw all of these, I want to shout, I just chose to ignore them. (See? The rant continues…)

Finally, the bit with the Oscars. My initial point was to see as many contenders as possible before the ceremony. I rounded up all of the available nominees on Netflix, timing it out so each would arrive in time with the variances in the respective schedules of my beloved and myself. Over the course of three weeks, we hit every available film in the theatres that we hadn’t already seen, with the exception of “The Wrestler,” which I did manage to catch on a very tired Thursday night in my hotel room at the Wilshire Grand in L.A. after working on setting up our show at the L.A. Convention Center that day. I was going to update the list of nominees that I had posted and marked earlier, and then I was going to make my predictions, not based on who I would like to win (because that is often an entirely different list of nominees) but who I thought was going to win. And then it turned out that, as the Oscars began, that I would just be leaving our own show, and while I was excited at the notion that the Oscars were being held not all that far away from where I was working, it meant little once I realized that I would not be at home to watch them when they actually started the ceremony. Though I had clear opportunity to write on the laptop through the course of my stay in L.A., with free internet in my room, I was simply too mired in my low state by this point to be any actual good to myself.

By not following up on my list of Oscar nominees in the middle of February, while simultaneously sinking my concentration deeper and deeper into the running of our upcoming convention, I missed surefire opportunities to get myself back in the game. Even easy posts, which seem like mere candyfloss and filler, can be extremely beneficial to someone who relies on just simply continuing to use their instrument. By not following up on the can’t-miss easy stuff, I realized that I had, at this point in time, lost the will to blog, to write, to draw… to create anything.

This is not about being blocked. I don’t actually believe in writer’s block, and this is not it. I can write at the drop of a hat, and about anything. But I must have the will. And this is purely about losing will… misplacing the fire. And in the two weeks leading up to the Oscars (which collided with what is genuinely my busiest working fortnight of the year), I knew that I was once more in the grips of my old demons, where I get lost in the day-to-day, and the mundane takes the wheel. I can no longer feel the hobbled but comforting surface of the yellow brick road, and my fantasy life – which is so very, very dependent these days on my outlet of creative writing – takes a major loss.

And I knew how I got to this point, and I knew exactly what started me towards it.

And it was all my own doing…

[To be continued…]

Comments

EggOfTheDead said…
Thanks for the update, even with the cliffhanger :-)

I started re-watching "Action" last night and thought of you. I'm pretty sure you're the only other person I know who's heard of it.
Holden's Heir said…
Like Cursive's "art is hard" says "you gotta sink to swim"

Thank you for taking us on this journey with you. It's educational, inspiring, and entertaining. I love what you said about tuning your instrument. Sometimes I don't write because I feel like my subject is weak, but what you said makes sense. Even if it's fluff, it's still writing, it's still me, and it's still art.

I'm loving your current series!

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