(The alternate title to this post was “VARGAS TO OVERUSED MEME: DROP DEAD.”)
Not that I have much of a readership, but I figured I should let the nine of you know that I’m about done here; no more Mets blogging—or much of any style of blogging, really—for me. In a rambling list, I’ll explain why, but basically…
…I write all the time:
—My degree is in screenwriting, and I’ve been working since 2003 on an idea for a television show. I’m fool enough to have decided to write the whole thing before peddling it. Mostly I took that on to get the idea out, but besides which it’s served as a self-imposed graduate school: five pages on the way to work, five pages on the way back, four days a week, forty weeks a year, for the past four years. I broke for a year to work on other scripts, and I still do. I must put out 200 ~ 225 pages a month, and that’s just A LOT.
—Not only do I write screenplays on the side, but I’ve horribly neglected a comedy side project on and off for the past three years. It’s at alushinrio.com. Since early 2010, I’ve been trying to get something going to create an independent pipeline of material, and it’s been absurdly difficult to do so. This has sapped a bit of my motivation, really. I think I’ll keep on, but I’m not completely sure I will. Which makes the guy who spent hours on the college radio station (which had maybe seven total listeners in three years) really sad.
—Not only do I write a lot, and think about writing a lot of comedy and feel bad for not writing it all the time, but I write poetry. BAD poetry, that nevertheless indulges my need to repeatedly alliterate the “s” sound. So stupid are these stanzas that I post them under an assumed name. Won’t even tell you what it is. But if you’re a fan of language, and you write, I suggest writing poetry. It’s a morning stretch or yawn: something involuntary that will make you feel fresher if you let it happen, and stulted if you don’t. Blogging felt like that for me, too. But I’ve neglected the brevity and simplicity of verse for the ponderous complications of an extended post. Like I’ve been trying to recreate the plot of Inception writ-baseball. Fuck that.
—Not only do I write a lot, and think about the comedy and try to write the poetry, but I also indulge some visual arts itch I’ve got, and ostensibly I actually do that for money. Not a LOT of money, mind you, but some, and I could have more if I spent my time wisely and spruced up a portfolio I haven’t even published yet. It, too, sits on cinder blocks at seamussprague.com. I can’t even remember how to log into it, and my old design PC with the saved login page kicked the bucket some months ago. If I’m ever to upgrade from this used MacBook to something a little more stylish, with a bit more horsepower, I’ll have to start actually taking the jobs I’ve been offered.
—Not only do I do all of this stuff, but I do it with a unique perspective. When I blog about anything, I fear I am not covering a unique perspective. That’s important to me. Color me dickish, but I prefer feeling exceptional.
…and I’m bored/irritated with what I read:
—I mean no disrespect to those who have promoted the scant material I’ve published or engage me in conversation for the sole fact that I once posted regularly, but man, can blogging act like an echo chamber. I’m kinda done with it.
I’ve started and stopped eight different posts on how I still have no clue how to mate an interest with observation to a marked disinterest in saying absolutely nothing of value beyond, “Well, sample size is a bitch.” I won’t finish them because I still don’t have a clue. The last attempt, started yesterday, came upon hearing some sad relationship news about two friends. I thought they were in it for the long haul, though I could always see a problem or two that might derail them.
It went from that to Bobby Fischer (tangentially, of course) to a throwing-open of the doors to doubt and observation. I was going to go from the existence of a table to the existence of the Mets, and then I ran out of steam and fell asleep. Two-thirty in the morning is no time to be pontificating about quantum mechanics, especially without a degree anywhere near mathematics.
I want to care about sample sizes. I want to care about statistics that reduce observation bias. I really, REALLY do. Thing is, I want to watch baseball more. And I like sleep, and I need to write on what I need to write about.
—I don’t begrudge those who write a lot of shrugging after analysis. I find what I choose to read very entertaining, and on the occasions wherein those I like to read stray too far into tired schtick, I accept it. Even Aaron Sorkin dropped a clunker of a West Wing episode every now and again. But I’d rather just be a reader than a writer of the material, and yet I have felt compelled to respond to the overuse of “who knows?” as both a way to try and get it to stop, and to try and find material for a quick post.
And that LAST part is a shitty way to go about expressing oneself creatively. I don’t want to spend what precious time I have allotted to thinking about a blog post trying to find something that makes me angry. Lord—there’s enough to be angry about in life without looking for things just to mouth off. That’s John Montone Land. And I HATE John Montone.
(This is worthy of a slight digression: John Montone “works” for 1010 WINS news radio in New York. Usually he seeks quotes from people on the street about this or the other, and exposes how little people think when a microphone’s in their face [or perhaps how little they think in general], and signs off within a minute. He’s a color analyst on the loose. But he’s abysmal when getting reaction on a story announced by the anchor, worthless during his “Mouth Off To Montone” bits, and even worse when covering a Subway Series.
I blame 1010 WINS management for trying to report on some stories without actually reporting them, and NPR for being too slow to the point for my showers, and 880 for CONSTANTLY getting the weather report wrong, leaving me to suffer 1010 WINS in the first place. But mostly I blame Montone. Anyone with an iota more talent or a smidge more conscience would’ve left such a job long ago, perhaps to shovel manure uphill.)
Actually, that Montone digression allows for a more seamless transition to this:
—I DO begrudge those who repeatedly berate the people who are working and not the work. John Montone is in and out in under a minute, and thus is worthy of the same amount of bashing. If the man ever tried to interview me in the street, I’d tell him how I feel about him in PG-rated but no uncertain terms, and move on. I’d feel no need to indulge in an attack. I read too much of that, too, and want to respond.
And it feels like it’d be the same as trying to wrestle away two unknown toddlers from a fight in the supermarket. They’re not your kids, but they’re engaged in this nonsense, when what they should be doing is playing. So you pry them apart, and they both run to their moms and yell and scream, and their moms look disapprovingly on you, and you don’t have a leg to stand on, because they weren’t your kids to pry apart anyway.
Man, we’ve lost touch with civilty and common sense. And my simile doesn’t even cut it anymore. We’re anonymous enough online to beat the ever-loving SHIT out of each other, and say things we wouldn’t say to someone’s face; we’re quick to declare an invasion of space and privacy if common sense is shoved before us in person. I’m guilty of it, too. I’ve no business listening to my iPod as loud as I do. But don’t you touch me gently on the shoulder to ask me to turn it down.
This is getting away from me. My specific point is on some guy whose stuff I’ve never read but whose tweets I see mentioned. Apparently, this guy sucks. From the tweets (Lord) that I’ve read, his opinions blow. That’s fine. But he’s also a big guy, and that’s been used as a means of deriding him.
And that’s poor. Too poor to even suggest in jest that we use another meme and #BlameBeltran for it. I’m not saying I don’t want to blog anymore because people make fun of this guy for being fat, but I don’t think it’s right. And it just reminds me of how much is wrong with all of this.
…and I’m wrong for this kind of thing on my own.
I can’t do it as often as I want, and I certainly can’t do it if, whenever I sit down to write something, I’m distracted by vitriol I didn’t engender or am actively spewing. I’ve got too much going on to feel guilty about not writing about how bizarrely irritated I feel. Too many layers of nonsense, there.
And I can’t do this small. I’d want to be a MetsBlog or a FAFIF or a TedQuarters if this were the thing I most wanted to do. But I don’t have the access, or the time to weave colorful narratives, or the same love of embarrassing pictures of Cole Hamels and sandwiches.
(A hearty love for sandwiches, don’t get me wrong. I once made the Best Sandwich Ever, and its name is, in fact, Best Sandwich Ever. Just not a dedicated passion for me, the sandwich. Scotch, maybe. But awhile ago.)
My love for the Mets isn’t dampened, nor is my love for spectacle; if there’s a game I enjoy or an event I attend or something very specific I wish to say, I’m sure I’ll find a way to do it. And if it’s something I want to publish, I’m sure I’ll find a way to get it out there.
I’ll keep this site because it’s an “omniality” joint, and “omniality” has been my internet handle for so long that I’m working on my third logo. (Add another thing to the “I’m Really Busy” list: search “omniality” on Google and I’m the first thing that comes up—really MUST do something to cash in on that.) Posts will remain here until Sunday, when I’ll have enough time to compile them and purge them. From then on, I don’t know what I’ll do with this space, but I’ll do something.
Cheers, again, to those who’ve promoted my work on occasion. Hope I get to run into the five or six of you and buy you each a pint. Because just one pint and six straws would be a little cheap.
I’ll leave you with a thing.
Again, we’re all kicking around the Mets because something about the team drives us to do so. Whether conferred by birthplace or passed on by birthright, those guys deserve our honest, unvarnished opinion of their performance because they themselves are engaged in some foolhardy business: throwing or hitting a ball before an audience of millions, for millions. The love can’t be the love if the threat of loss isn’t there.
Theirs is a unique job which can’t be reduced to their performance, because their statistical performance stirs something in us that defies statistic, and thus brings us to part with our money and our time to watch them. And we watch them BECAUSE we want them to do something that defies the stats in the lean years, and defies expectation in a miracle year, and sustains a run of greatness, however improbable that is to do in baseball, in the superlative years.
Their work is our fun. And we want them to be better than their numbers are, so that we can have MORE fun. Sport is unlike any other job you just DO. So we owe them as much honesty as we can give them. We owe them rallies on the Shea Bridge and t-shirts that harken to the Blitz. We owe them our catcalls and our haranguing of their rivals. We owe them our full-throated support of what being a baseball fan is, because without it their work is just work, and they’re anthropomorphized dice.
And we owe each other the room we want and need to get a handle on something that barely makes any damn sense: rooting for twenty-five freaks of nature over twenty-five other freaks of nature. Without the stats, you couldn’t tell just how spectacular Jose Reyes has been this year, or how fantastic it feels for Jason Bay to make safe contact with a baseball. And without feeling great or relieved, the stats would merit an eyebrow raise and a question as to whether a data point was collected correctly.
And we owe each other our reasoned, effective discourse. For the sake of the future of humanity, we all should start getting better at talking to each other, and explaining more effectively why this guy or that woman or those people are out of their damned minds. We should do it everywhere, but if we practice with sports, and get better at it, we can move on to things like social programs and the scale of tax revenue collected. Stuff that keeps us healthy and in enough coin to enjoy the sport and the team we love so much. Less, please, of the, “I don’t like this guy’s opinions, so let’s talk about how fat he is, and pretend that has something to do with why I think his particular impression is wrong.”
All I’m asking is for some honesty, some grace, and some common sense. Let’s all be as amazing as the guys on the field.
Dillon Gee and the Mets go up against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers tonight. I’d wish for some daylight for long-suffering Dodgers fans, but the Mets can do something they’ve never done before if they sweep this four-game set.
And I’m in it for the spectacle.
Let’s go Mets!