Saturday, July 4, 2009

The 3rd of July

My son's birthday was yesterday. A little family get together. He came early and did some O-lifts -- Olympic movements like cleans and snatches. I joke around here a lot, about my incredible masculine beauty. It's only a joke to me because you can't be sure whether behind it all I'm really serious. If you knew the truth of the matter, I'd have to tone it down. But I'm serious about my son. Just about ideally proportioned. Sort of a David thing going on, only, I think, better. And none of it is bodybuilding nonsense, this big muscle and that big muscle. I'm sure he enjoys, a lot, looking like a Men's Health coverboy. But it's about performance. That's what I'm really proud of. Common sense, head screwed on right. He's on the same page with me, now -- diet is key. There is a lock and a door and a building, but there is a key, that comes first.

My nephew is deeply interested in tennis, and has aspirations, but he's lost 30 pounds in the past few years, and not of fat. Just unhealthy. His well-intentioned but incompetent parents were looking for all sorts of advice for him, which is good, but I've given them advice before, solicited, and very little seems to stick. My son was, frankly, repeating what I'd said on previous occasions, and the mom was assiduously taking notes on napkins. Diet and exercise, and no magic bullets. Discipline. It's not enough to know -- you have to do it. Everyone knows it, but there's a point when one might just become cynical. Good intentions count for nothing, when your athlete son is nearly anorexic.

Then there's my other brother, he of the child bride. No comments about her -- she's sweet and in a not very easy situation, although it must be materially better than her earlier life. But my brother is just a creepy freak. Creepy in every sense of the word. It's not merely that he gives potatoes and rocks and panties as Christmas presents. That might pass as humor, to a certain sort of mind. It's not that he's been pumping himself up with creatine and bodybuilding movements, so that he can wear an inappropriate muscleman wifebeater shirt to birthday parties, to show off his slightly oversized and soft-looking squishy biceps and back hump. Well, yes, it is that. But it's also his near-autistic vocalizations, by which he attempts to dominate a social situation with volume and inept monologues and ejaculations. Being obnoxious without any ironic intent is, well, it's something that gets noted in blog post paragraphs.

For my part, I was sociable and quite normal. I had my role, you see -- N's dad. On my own I thought to put on nice cloths. See? -- I can be thoughtful. And there was plenty to talk about, since we have similar interests. You are unfortunate to have missed it. We're quite fascinating. Between the two of us, our base of knowledge is both broad and deep.

Today? The Fourth? I have isolated myself. Just waiting for it to end. That's normal, right? No matter. It harms no one. I looked for something of broader appeal to write about. I'm just not moved. I was thinking I might get deranged about Obama, really indulge my inner liberal in terms of irrational invective, and I expect I will so indulge in the future. But it's not just in me right now. I could say something about Palin and her odd move, but I'm just not motivated. Jackson is dead, encased in acrylic I'm given to understand. But he was mostly acrylic before he died. No need at all to embalm him. There was talk that LA would pay for his memorial. It's simply the most incompetent city government in the country. But the entity that they've just reelected was reelected, so it's on the voters, legal and illegal, the catastrophe they've stored up for themselves. Same as at the national level. I know inflation is going to start climbing. Your savings will shorty be halved. Invest in tangible assets, if you have any money. And NoKo has launched more missiles, predictably and of course in defiance of the International Community, otherwise known as the Feckless Cowards. Lesson learned. The more monstrous you are, the more you get away with. If you would be evil, be brazen. There are hardly ever any Bushes, to back words up with force.

The Fourth? It is symbolic of independence, which is the opposite of dependence. Therefore it is ironic, given the fact that in this century it takes a village. Wasn't the saying originally it takes a village to raise a child? And here the world is, moving toward infertility. Well, the First World. So we have an emerging ethos of increased dependency, without dependants. The rhetorical symmetry pleases me. It's worth becoming a socialist nation, if language becomes more succulent.

But I don't have anything to say. All my themes bore me. You seem not to be answering my needs anymore. Maybe I will leave you. But maybe not. If I can come up with enough verbal formulations to amuse me, I may stay. Say, something along the lines of Dependence Day, with a long bitter sarcastic essay of predictable but well-phrased polemic. Or maybe the Force of July, passionately defending the historical and logical necessity of national strength so that freedom may be preserved. Neutral Switzerland has an army, after all, in which everyone is forced to serve. But I've said these things before, and all my themes are boring to me now. Ennui benumbs me.

If I could escape my personality I would. If my body holds up, I will start rolling harder now. No reason for it. I have no purpose. I am an example to no one. I am an amusement. Still, I know exactly where I was 25 years ago yesterday. That really is enough, for all that it may have to be.


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