Now I’ve seen everything. Canadian Tire is on at me to write about the Coleman cooler I bought from them a month or so ago. Andy Warhol might have done something with this object, but I’m afraid I can’t. Am I less of a human being and writer because I find myself unable to rhapsodize on command about a blue picnic cooler?
Genius. . .paranoia with a Ph.D.
The greatest improvisers are always the overscripted. They, of all people, know the importance of getting off script from time to time.
Worrying about political correctness, today, is like worrying about stains on your wallpaper while the foundations of your house are crumbling.
I’ve never been any good at fixing things. What I am good at is creating things: essays, plays, works of fiction, memoirs, histories. And also tasty dishes in the kitchen. I’ll take that, any day.
Far too often forgotten, in the brouhahas arising when the weather forecasters haven’t got the forecast right, is just how often they do get it right–when they are in fact spot on. Today was a case in point. The CBC internet forecast called for a cloudy morning, with showers to start at around noon. Having a piece of writing to do that I didn’t feel could wait, I did that from about 9:00 to 11:30. Arriving at the Lac Leamy Beach parking lot to start my walk around at the lake at 11:57, I felt the first raindrops hitting me just as I got out of the car. With forecasts like this, one can actually plan one’s life somewhat intelligently.
When, as I sometimes do, I talk about some of the finer points of English grammar and usage with literary friends, I feel a bit like someone on the deck of the Titanic discussing what type of evening dress to wear for dinner.
While my mind is at its best early in the morning–creative, adventurous, and equally ready to work or play–the same is not true of my body. During the hours between 7 and 10 a.m., it is generally, if not frail, distinctly tentative, and not at all prepared for sudden shocks of any kind. I could no more listen to Wagner at 8 a.m., let alone to that alleged music known as rap, than I could drink a tumbler of Scotch or rye. Brahms and Mahler, at that hour, are borderline. Give me Mozart, Vivaldi, or if you must a bit of early Beethoven. Nothing more challenging than that.
I’m nothing if not versatile. I may be found in your kitchen, on the golf course, and even (if you are really lucky) on a bed where two lovers are embracing. Who or what am I?
Many of my old friends have been lamenting the recent decline of the English language in North America. I, too, lament that decline. But no one should be surprised at it. The past few decades have seen sharp declines in the quality of our collective political life, our educational system, our physical environment, our physical infrastructure, and our willingness and ability to care for one another. With the world all around us in a process of such severe decline that it doesn’t seem an exaggeration to use the term “negative evolution,” how could the language describing and representing that world do anything but decline as well?