Thursday, June 30, 2011

Being Boring

I have a confession to make:  I am boring.  It's not something I like about myself, but it is something I've noticed from time to time while cutting my toenails or watching a movie or even when I'm talking about something that I've clearly overstated or haven't completely understood. This isn't to say I'm no fun, or even useless, but I can no longer say that I am a truly fascinating person.  That's okay, though.  Neither are you.

Teddy Roosevelt--now that was an fascinating guy.  Killed animals for fun, went with his son Kermit and explored the Amazon Basin, became president, fought in a couple wars, got shot and yet still continued his speech--this is the kind of guy that people watch with their mouths hanging open and write books about and argue about and try to find out what made him tick.  He's a fascinating guy.  Other fascinating guys include (but are not limited to) Hemingway, Lincoln, Gandhi, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Da Vinci, you know, all the people that get posted on elementary school bulletin boards.

There is a difference in fascinating people, though, and people who do interesting or fascinating things.  Frank Zappa is an interesting guy, and I think that some of his ideas were great, and he was an awe-inspiring musician, but I can't really put him up there with Lincoln--maybe you can, I don't know, but I don't think that he's so good that you'll see his name in elementary school textbooks.  Another interesting guy is Julian Assange--I don't necessarily want to read a biography of him, nor would I really like to know everything about the guy, but I do find him interesting in the work that he does, why he does it, and his ideals concerning privacy and transparency.

My dog used to make this same noble face when he was watching me eat tomatoes.

But I was just really looking at myself and I find that it's very possible no one will ever write a book about me, no one will ever want to sit me down and interview me on my ideas of the world, no one will probably ever really be interested in everything I say.  I'm not going to have fans like George Lucas or have my biography eagerly anticipated like Mark Twain.  I'm just not that special.

Here's the rub, though--it's okay.  Who fucking cares? there's really no point to trying to be any of those people, and they would be the first to tell you that.  They became famous and interesting all on their own by just doing the things that came naturally to them--Teddy Roosevelt was an adrenaline junkie and couldn't sit still if he wanted to.  He had to be off being the champion of...whatever.  Julian Assange leaked files because he knew in his heart that was the right thing to do, even if others thought it was wrong and others still thought it amounted to treason (PS I have a definite opinion on this guy, but I have no desire for politics).  These guys didn't do things because people were watching them or because people might be watching them--they did them because it made sense.  To them.


So now I'm trying to write a book--I don't know if people will like it, I don't know if anyone will even buy it or read it.  But to me, it's an important work, and may be the first thing that I've ever written that takes me to a different place as a writer--this isn't just a story, this is something I'm writing to figure myself out--I think that this book may change me fundamentally, and that can't be a bad thing.  But there are moments when I doubt myself, when the animals in the back scream out "shut up, you're boring and no one cares what you say" and that may be kind of true--but this time it doesn't matter.  I'm writing for me and I'm going to finish the fucker, hell or high water.  And maybe that isn't that boring at all.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments:

Post a Comment