Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What light through yonder window barks.

Something's gone terribly wrong here. It seems that I've lost my will to rip on famous dead people, once a little side-hobby of mine when I was feeling a little down in the dumps.

See, this morning I read a quote by Edith Wharton (as a footnote to my Word a Day e-mail, I wouldn't be seeking that crap out, believe you me) that was at once incomprehensible and annoying. It was perfect starter material for a truly good self-esteem-boosting tear-down of her supposed writing skills. I copied that quote, pasted it into a Word document so as to have it ready to rip to shreds, started working up a grand fire of indignant wit, and

realized I simply don't have it in me. It's Edith Wharton, for heaven's sake. She was a great writer of her day, but she's been dead for over 70 years! Probably her next of kin are dead too, and their kids are tottering around in an old folk's home someplace quoting from 'Ethan Fromme' in an uncanny imitation of Franklin Roosevelt. It would be fruitless to try to tear apart what is probably not Edith's best work (most likely written during a period of time when she was having to take a 'rest cure' for her 'nervous ailments' and so in all likelihood not done during a particularly bright spot in her life, must like asking Courtney Love to sing the lead in 'Iolanthe' while in the midst of one of her marathon stays at rehab), because 1) it's just stupid and 2) I'd come off as some kind of dodderpot, carefully constructing a comeback to something that is so trivial it's not even as important as this season's new black.

Not that I COULDN'T, mind you, just that I won't. There comes a time in everyone's life when they realize that spending great amounts of time crafting a work of sublime repartee in response to something some long-dead high-society divorcee wrote a century ago is perhaps a smidge too twee an exercise to undergo when there are far more compelling issues to rail on about.

Like this season's new black. Please, don't tell me it's orange.


This sudden turn of events leaves me with a hole in my arsenal of 'things to be on my high horse about,' which is bothersome. Of course I didn't KNOW it would be a hole until I decided to ignore the thing I thought could be the source for a blast of self-righteous snarkitude and possible intellingent brain-wankery, but that's of little import now. What I need is a topic, a bit of mind-meat to gnaw on, to chew on, to stew on, to baste and simmer and sautee.

What are YOU bitching about today that I might borrow a cup of to stuff into the hole left in my quiver of complaints?

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