I’m not sure if I cheated or not.
This morning, Michelle challenged me to write for fifteen minutes using the third line of the last song I heard as an inspiration.
which is a street corner in Harlem where Lou Reed bought drugs in the 1960s. While there are undoubtedly tons of stories associated with that buyer, that process and that corner, well, none of them are mine. So I dismissed this prompt and we went out to breakfast. After that we walked to the farmers’ market where I talked to a hippie, got shouted at by a farmer (maybe I’ll tell that story tomorrow) and glared at by a florist. Then we went to the store. Then home. Then a visit to the nice young lady that lives down the street. Then I broke into someone’s garage and stole stuff. Then I played a bunch more VU and websurfed dead physicists, dead (and not-so-dead) musicians and the price of heroin in New York City fifty years ago. (Plus some ‘adult‘ content of course.)
Somewhere in there I had an idea. Not an inspiration, but an idea. There was still no inspiration in the intersection of Lexington and 125th, but it occurred to me that the album came out at a significant (dare I say ‘pivotal’) time.
I did a little research (“I’ll take ‘celebrity deaths’ for 200, Alex.”) that told me that the album came out in March of 1967, barely a month after the death of one of the significant (Dare I say ‘pivotal’ again? It’s a little unfair but his name is often associated with two of the greatest shadows cast over the recent-ish past.) figures of the twentieth century.
I’m pretty sure that entire process took rather longer than fifteen minutes but how much of it counts as ‘writing’? Did I cheat? I have no idea. The fact that I posted this (if indeed I did post this) means that I don’t much care I guess.
He was a physicist. Me, too. I mean, he was a much, much better one than me but technically we were members of the same ‘club.’ (Sort of like one of the things I share with Sam Carter.)
He was also a figure that destroyed things. Big things.
Hey, me too.
Except that, again, I’m underachieving. He ushered in science and technology of such potential — not a little of it destructive — that he brought significant change to the entire world. Me? Nothing nearly so grandiose or world-shattering.
I destroy blogs.
I don’t mean to, you understand. I don’t even understand how I do it. I just know that I do. Call it a knack, I guess.
How do I know this? Well, a while back I audited (saying that I ‘took’ it might imply a little more commitment than actually existed) a blogging ‘course’ from Werdpress. One of the assignments (that I sort of did, but in my usual half-assed way) made the claim/point/statement that blogging is a communal kind of thing and since it’s a communal kind of thing, there is value in ‘engaging’ with the community. So we were supposed to get out there and follow five new blogs. As it happens, I actually did what I was told.
One of that group of five is still going strong — a new post once a week or so. The evidence suggests that I didn’t disrupt her life or kill her blog. That’s nice.
Of the remaining four, one of these was by a prolific young lady with a nice writing ‘voice’ and a good sense of humor. I clicked ‘Follow.’
(Not completely, you understand. Just mostly. I think she’s posted once in the last year. So I didn’t kill her. Just her blog. And it may not be dead; it may just be resting.)
And then there was another young lady, somewhat less prolific but with a nice, somewhat self-deprecating verbal style. I liked her blog a lot so, as before, I clicked ‘Follow.’
She vanished too. (Again, not completely — while there were no posts in 2014 there has been one this year so she’s still out there.)
The fourth was another young lady with an impressive sense of the absurd who also apparently took the ‘Weirdness Magnet‘ disad. ( That second link appears to be intermittent. Suffice it to say that it’s fifteen points; you can buy a lot for fifteen points.) Again, I clicked ‘Follow.’
She didn’t exactly ‘vanish’ but her marriage ended and (understandably) she didn’t write much after that. Oh.
The last blog, well, after I started following her, the writer had significant health problems (not life-ending; after all, I kill blogs, not people) which slowed her down a lot and definitely changed her focus.
So. To recap.
Opje, the physicist (unlike me, a good one) who died the same year as the song I listened to, invented a device of mass destruction. I can’t destroy worlds but the available evidence suggests that I can destroy four out of five blogs simply by reading them.