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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Negativity versus Realism OR A Rose by Any Other Name

I was able to visit my sister last weekend who is remodeling her kitchen. It is entirely gutted and consequently their kitchen things are scattered around her house. My brother-in-law was complaining about what a pain it was having to go through multiple steps to do tasks that before the tear-out, had taken seconds and little thought. I jokingly called him a Negative Nellie and he said, “Oh, look who’s talking! If it were you you’d say, ‘All this is happening and we’re all gonna die anyway!’ I laughed and said, “We’ll all die sooner!” but it got me thinking.

Now I know that I talk a lot about death. All you have to do is read this blog to know that Pollyanna I am not, but just because I talk about death, does that make me a Negative Nellie? Or is it just realism? I mean I AM going to die, most likely from this disease. But that probability has no inherent negative value attached to it. In the parlance of our times - it is what it is. What then, makes it negative?

The thought of death and dying is, without a doubt, unpleasant for almost everyone. Because it’s unpleasant, it makes people uncomfortable. My question is, is it the discomfort felt by the listener about death (or any given unpleasant topic) rather than the topic itself that makes it (and by extension the broacher of the topic ) appear negative? I think so. So ultimately my alleged negativity is not really mine at all but the projected discomfort and negative feelings of the listener, i.e. my brother-in-law, onto the discusser, i.e. me, for an unpleasant topic, i.e. the impending doom of my death.

Dearest brother-in-law:  Word.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

David Rakoff is Dead

A person whose writing I adored. Whose use of the English language I envied and admired. At 47 years old. Cancer.

It's an odd thing when someone you didn't really know, but followed in one way or another - or someone that you once knew, but haven't seen in years, dies.

Suddenly there's a hole. A piece missing. Something is not quite right with the fabric of the world.

His writing was phenomenal.

I will miss him.