Monday, April 19, 2010

Onward to Fossilization!

So, I'm behind on blogging again with a few more posts in the pipeline on top of still brainstorming for my April short story on here. In the least, it's time for my usual yearly musings on aging. I was 22 when Spiral Reverie first launched, and today, I'm 26. Already old with more old piled on top. (Old!) Yes.

 Aging is always a time for reflection. The past two years, I've done a fair amount of reflection here around my birthday. I turned the spotlight in a rare moment of uber-narcissism. (As opposed to the regular kind I exhibit around here.) I turned discussion of my life into a manipulative Nike commercial using out-of-context audio to try to sell Tiger Woods as a brand - and in turn, Nike products.

Wait, maybe that's not it.

Regardless, another year has passed. I haven't accomplished anywhere near what I wanted to in the past year. A reoccurring theme: the annual disappointment. I'm keeping my sights to the clouds - there's nowhere else to be - while my body's still dragging on the ground like a sack of rocks and imagined orbital debris. If I flap my arms hard enough, I will fly someday. Metaphor works like that. (Who needs concrete reality?)

Still, I've done some things. I finished my first novel and am making decent progress on my second already, and I've at least done my homework and started the agent querying process off on the right foot. At least, on the right foot in the sense that while no one has responded to my queries yet, I actually made a point of educating myself so that I actually know what I'm doing here. A tremendous number of aspiring authors apparently don't bother doing their homework, figuring they've got such a work of staggering genius on their hands that chucking the manuscript at everybody they possibly can with a poorly thought out letter and tacked on ego would give them a sea of agents begging to represent them and millions in publishing deals in no time. I may live with my head in the clouds, but even I know better than this, actively trying to avoid ending up on one of those query fail blogs or tweets out there. I'd like to think that this gives me a bit of a leg up on a fair number of others seeking representation, at least.

And hey, if I'm lucky, I'll find the means to escape North Carolina sometime within the next couple of years. I'd rather not be stuck here into my thirties. We're obviously just a a few attempted militia uprisings and violent riots led by teabaggers from the collapse of civil society as is. (I really hope that there's no truth to this statement.) On which note, it wasn't until this year, in the face of all these conservative dissidents screeching out in the name of further squashing of the majority by the minority with the nation's wealth and power that I became really conscious of the fact that the Oklahoma City Bombing happened on my birthday back in 1995. It's the fifteenth anniversary of this ultra-conservative militant terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 168 people, including 19 children. Some on the absolute fringe see this as a day to be celebrated for the tragic anti-government violence carried out that day. The extreme of the "the government should cease to exist but somehow still provide me with everything that maintains civil society while corporate interests and oppression reign!" segment of society, of which the teabaggers largely just represent the old, overweight, white, wealthy, confused, angry, and racist. Whipped up by none other than Fox News, which should have seen a serious FCC crackdown some time ago that it has yet to - they've been cashing in on shouting fire in a crowded theater disguised as news and "opinion journalism" for well over a year now, completely violating their free speech rights. There's a limit to what's protected under free speech, and as things stand, the first amendment's being beaten to a bloody pulp by America's worst.

I guess, when you get down to it, the theme of my little aging-blurb this year is this: Hey, crazy people who don't understand how society works and somehow think the ultra-wealthy are victims of oppression by the lower classes. We're sliding into collective poverty as a nation while you guys scream about "socialism," ignoring decades of active redistribution of the nation's wealth upward to a tiny minority. Greed, selfishness, ignorance, and hate are cancers that threaten to take America to pieces from the inside and strike the rest of the globe with a serious crisis as a result. Let's use our hearts and minds and beat this, shall we? It's probably a hopeless plea, but one that should be made to the very end. In the least, let's not have any conservative terrorist commemorative violence on my birthday, shall we? Someday, a few people might know who I am and possibly even enjoy my characters and what I have to say through my writing. They might not be too happy if you ruined my birthday by killing people. And I wouldn't be too happy with that, either. There isn't a single one of us who can't do better than violence. Let's make my birthday a day to celebrate impermanence. (There's that narcissism.)


livenomad said...

Its your birthday? Wishing you many happy returns of the day. :)
Its the time to make your wishes and dreams known to all so that you can accomplish them - put out your goals and dreams to all those you know as that is the way things get done. Wishing you all the best.

Benjamin Fennell said...

It was on Monday, anyway, haha. Thanks, though! :)
I'm doing what I can to keep pursuing my dreams every day. Book work, query work, more writing in the pipeline for this blog. Keeping myself busy, and there's always lots more to be done. I just have to keep my fingers crossed that my efforts pay off in time.

*T-Abby* said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Great Post as always. If you're ever in the mood for an NYC adventure to write about you've got a homie right here :)

Benjamin Fennell said...

Thanks! Glad to hear you enjoyed. I've got one or two more in store for the coming week as well - hoping to get another story together for the month's end.

I'll keep that in mind! :) I've only been to New York once, on a spring break field trip for the string orchestra back in 6th grade. (We had to sell candy for it and everything.) I loved it, though, and it's one of the cities I've been considering as to where I eventually want to be when I get out of the south. As a writer, it's a very appealing place.

*T-Abby* said...

6th grade New York is a lot different than grown up New York,But both are pretty great. I'm a native New Yorker so I got the benefit of little NY and Grown up NY. Most of us artists and writers live pretty "modestly" here though lol especially compared to the south, I hear. but there's almost anything to do and experience here if you want evens out :)I think you've inspired me, I'm going to do a NYC themed blog.

Benjamin Fennell said...

Undoubtedly. There's a certain kind of magic to the city when you're a kid - but at the same time, things seem a lot more culturally whitewashed. We're all innocent when we're young, after all. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of the skyline when going downtown when I lived in Cincinnati. Haven't lived in a big city with a decent skyline in years - Charlotte had a bit of one when I was there for college, but it wasn't much. It's mostly a banking city anyway, so despite being NC's largest city, it was a fairly dull place to be.

That's great. I'm sure whatever city I end up in, I'm going to spend years getting lost before I really figure out my way around. Gradually getting to know smaller areas and expanding from there. It's all an adventure, anyway. It all sounds really fantastic, anyway. New York seems like a city you could spend your whole life exploring and still never exhaust it. Far more interesting than the south. I'll definitely check out your NYC blog. :)