May 11, 2009

Wild. Outrageous.

I was emailing with my blogging mentor the other evening, and she said:

“It's virtually impossible to get a lot of traffic with the kind ofthing you do. It's very good, but it's not what people consume obsessively. Be more wild and outrageous.... No one wakes up in the morning and asks: What's the latest finely tuned observation.”

Well, I do! So I write it to find out.

In my opinion, what this country needs is some finely tuned observations. What have we gotten from wild and outrageous? Billionaire bankers ruining the economy with their wild, outrageous new derivative securities. Draft-dodger politicians wildly and outrageously invading countries that pose no threat to us. In the age of wild and outrageous, all that matters is explosions: it’s not interesting unless something's blowing up. Which did you read today, the article about the new commanding general in Afghanistan or the one about the soldier in Iraq who shot five of his buddies?

My reply to my mentor:

“Getting a lot of traffic isn't my game. I'm not unworldly enough to think I'll get it with this kind of post. I just have this online journal and write what I want. Wild and outrageous I wouldn't know, unless it happens by accident. It would probably have something to do with popular culture or current events, and that doesn't interest me.”

I wonder: could I ever be wild and outrageous? My first answer is, No, that’s not me. But I’ve learned that there is no immutable “not me,” and that changing is mostly a matter of deciding. Maybe someday I’ll decide to be wild and outrageous. It would be new -- the first time.

Wild and outrageous people are like children, getting the same laugh from telling the same joke a thousand times. Some wild outrageous people are fun and some of them have been geniuses. I like to be around them in order to observe, take notes, and make wisecracks. I don’t think I’d want their inner lives, for the most part. If they stood still for five minutes to think about it, they’d want mine.

Geniuses aside, “wild and outrageous” makes me visualize a group of white thirty-year-olds getting drunk and jumping up and down to bad music, flinging their arms and whooping in order to pretend they have soul. People who boast how “crazy” they and their friends are; whose refrigerator doors are cluttered with photos of people making manic faces, the same exact wild and outrageous faces in millions of photos across the nation’s refrigerator doors. They’re like a movie whose ads call it “hilarious” but which turns out to be moderately amusing in some spots and witlessly vulgar in others.

Aw, who am I kidding? Don't you wish you could do this:

Labels: , , ,