Keeping the Shiny Side Up

Lately, keeping the greasy side down has seemed like a bit of a lost ideal. My entire metaphor was about turning this biker term into this extended idea of life’s journey and the things we do to try to keep the shiny side up.

There have been plenty of starts along the way, focusing on local music, focusing on travels through Arizona, focusing on meeting new people and trying to bring something of their life into my own. I have tried to pave this highway consisting of all of these thoughts and discoveries that I have tried to bring into my own experience. I have tried to write about my human journey.

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Everything I have tried to do has led to something else, and in that respect, this endeavor has been a success. However, much of that success has also had a very profound effect on goals, and forced a re-analysis of what my original intent was. I cannot be as involved in say the local music scene, and actively being involved in Tucson workshops, that require intensive writing daily, all week. It is a matter of aligning goals, and trying to work towards new doorways as they open. Obviously, the regularity of my essays and article releases shows this conflict.

That is the way with everything in life, I guess.

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However, at the same time, my time on social media has not changed. In fact, I think perhaps it has increased. Several interactions lately, have shown me with gross acuity that my intentions and motivations are largely lost in this digital realm, and, worse, there is really no interest in resolving it. It is like speed dating: instant words that cause irreversible opinions. And in a culture of fairly pervasive hot topics, and a while lot of value placed in opinion, this has not gone over well.

Social media, and my personal use of it, has been on my mind an awful lot lately. Our world is a complete train wreck, but all of us are being continually barraged by it. It is on the 24 hour news, it is all over our Newsfeed; we are inundated with the events of the world. At the same time, the way that we have, as a society combined Op-Ed type writing and News, is troubling, and it has made almost all human communication suspect. Perhaps that has always been the case, but it seemed that their has been an erosion of foundations. It is difficult to build the structure of any conversation about anything, without a fundamental set of givens upon which to build it.

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Many articles, which I posted all over social media, of late have talked a lot about depression and its causes. One idea that has been repeated more and more, is our culture’s general sense of isolation. I am no different. My social media feed almost becomes a stream of consciousness mental slinging of everything I am reading and being influenced by. And the immediacy of it, Facebook on our phones for instance, has in many ways removed my filter. There is a degree of distance and anonymity on Facebook, and in many ways the divisions we perceive in our world could be seen as a direct correlation to the polarization of the ways we discuss our opinions of the news.

Regardless, beloved star suicides and Trump’s constant assault on our collective world view, has turned my time into a blender turmoil of rants, pontifications, and verbal assaults. None of which are doing anything to help me keep the greasy side down. Furthermore, providing this filter-less experience into my personal bee-hoard of a mind, is not doing anything to build relationships and friendships; contacts and networks.

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Interestingly enough, a major point that has come up at Writer’s Workshop lately is the idea of how much author subtext I insert, and the effect that has on taking away from the illusion created by story. It has led to a lot of introspection about the value of story versus the value of what it is I feel that I have to say. Saying things with a sledgehammer is not always the most effective way to approach your reader, in fact, it never is. Lessons are everywhere… and I am nothing, if not a continual student.

My wife and I have been watching Sherlock, on Netflix, and the series starts out with Watson being assigned a blog. Something to help him process his thoughts. Writing a blog requires time, and time applies a filter. I guess, readers…. this is what I am going to try to do. Article, blog posts will try to put into perspective the thoughts on given topics that might be colliding in my brain. Writing about them in long prose, might allow me to piss off less of the rest of the world.

I also… just might learn a bit of something.

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For now….. maybe it is a tool to utilize to try to be a better person… in a world where too much is too fast, and too little thought is given enough time.

So, moving forward, perhaps this is the medium to try to delve into my thoughts on the world that I am a travelin in….. and live Facebooking can be for music and movie polls. And maybe…. this is not just another sign of our eventual decline, shallowness, and sad sense of escapism…. perhaps it is just a chance to remember that we are all

…. human.

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2 comments

    • Most days… I agree… nobody is going to change any opinions from Facebook. I think part of it… is most of us would never talk about stuff at all. Facebook becomes this room where everyone is standing and screaming to the wall. But… like in my case… if I didn’t scream at a wall…. I think I would explode.

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