Before I get into this crop of alphabetized self-horrors, an update on the last post: Apparently a lot of you know some Jeff’s and I’m getting a lot of mixed signals. Seems like nobody can put a universal personality on Jeff. Guess it’s not a name like Blake or Lindsay or a life choice like “lacrosse player.” I still welcome assessments of Jeff’s in the hope of knowing whether or not I should seek out a Jeff or two. On to the alphabetical Cirque Du Soleil of self-loathing.
M-Mendacity. I’m terrible at lying to people. Pretty good at lying to myself, but in both cases, this is a detriment to me. (For those who don’t know, “mendacity” means the act of being untruthful. You can remember this great SAT word by remembering “Mendacity: Men in da city are liars.” You’re welcome.) I’m not one of those jerks who doesn’t know when to substitute a compliment in lieu of an insult. “Am I stupid or is this hard?” I know enough not to confirm a person is an idiot, I can deflect with, “There are some complicated aspects of this process, I get that.” But if I tried to lie, it would come off as an obvious lie, like, “No, you am smart, stoopid smart you is.” However, if it’s me, asking myself that question, the answer is clearly, “No, this thing is clearly overly complicated, created by jerks who don’t think of the end-user.”
I just realized I should have used “M” for “Mental Health.” That would have worked way better. Or “Melissa Etheridge” because I love her. What a nimrod I am.
N-Nostalgia. It’s something I struggle against because I believe it’s a lie we’re allowing our inner-child to tell us. There are so many things that I loved as a child that are, upon re-watching as an adult or taking an objective peak under the smothering covers of sentimentality, are soberingly awful. The vast majority of television I watched was laughably bad (sorry, Thundercats) and believing the story told by nostalgia causes people to be tricked by modern, predatory marketers. I give you the improbable success of the Transformers franchise. That show was based on a toy line and lacked a coherent plot from the beginning but because it was something my generation played with and saw come to life on Saturday mornings, it allowed Michael Bay to hypnotize a populace into giving his overtly racist and sexist movies money. Nostalgia is dangerous, it’s like a drug. Is there anyone who buys just one toy or old Nintendo cartridge or record and stops right there? Or do they all try to chase the dragon and buy and hoard everything from their childhood in a desperate attempt to recapture the false notion that they were happy as a child? Memory is unreliable and the most unreliable orator of memory is nostalgia. But what do I know, I’m a 35 year old comic book collector (I gots to have my stories!).
O-Out of Ideas. This is usually the part in the A-to-Z Challenge where most writers run out of ideas and come up with a one-or-two sentence toss-off post, a filler post. It’s where participants hit a wall and the seams of the entire idea of the challenge start to show and fray. I’m not really an exception. I could have gone with “origin story” or “originality” and my fears of attaining/straying from that or “obstinate” and my inability to spell that word correctly on my first try every time, or, at this point, “or,” but I didn’t write about any of those topics because I’m tired, as are all of the participants in this Icarus-esque desire to cheaply follow a template in order to continue to generate content. Also, since I’m cheating by not doing this every day, should one of those other “o” words catch your attention, I’m willing to revisit this letter, because I’m a cheater.
See? If I was a better liar, I would have instead said, “because I am fully in service to the people goodly enough to read this tripe.” I couldn’t even let myself get away with that lie without crapping on myself. One day I’ll learn to not be so charmingly self-deprecating (and using “charm” was my way of lying to myself, it all wraps up in a nice bow). I’ll be back to milk this dead cow on Monday. (By-the-way, “milking a dead cow” would be a pretty good euphemism the Playboy bunnies could use for getting Hugh Hefner off.)