Saturday, November 26, 2005


Mom's not letting me tell you how my Thanksgiving was, because certain people might read my blog and become offended. Suffice it to say that I learned how my generation is lazy, how we'll never change the world, how we have no imaginations, and how we don't know whatnot bout how to writing good. I have this strange feeling that, in a parallel universe somewhere, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson made a mediocre comedy about my family's Thanksgiving.

I think that last sentence was pretty well-written. I challenge anyone in the Greatest Generation or in the Baby Boom to improve on it.

Since I have a soul — albeit a withering, emaciated one — I'm more than a little overcome with guilt, considering that I live better than at least ninety-nine percent of the people on Earth and the ratio of time I spend appreciating my family, my health, my freedom, and my comfort to time I spend bitching about those same things is... well, let's be honest, I don't really spend any time at all appreciating what I have. This entry was originally a mean-spirited rant about that little bastard kid with muscular dystrophy or whatever who writes assy inspirational poetry, but it just takes one idiot reader to get offended before I'm in trouble with Mom, again, cause she can't understand why I can't muster up the constitution to be positive and gracious about anything.

Okay, Mom, here's something positive. Poetry Boy died last year. That means while he probably outshone me back then, when it comes to longevity, I win. Boo-yah!

Hmm... I'll bet Mom's not too happy with that. She's so difficult to satisfy.

But when I see someone who's life is in the shitter acting all Norman Vincent Peale while I'm hopelessly downing two Prozacs a day, it stings more than a little. It's like detox, and it's impossible to focus on the roof over my head or the comfortable bed I sleep in or the alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma I'm not suffering from till all the toxins wash away first. I think it would be great if Poetry Boy's heartfelt Heartsongs and Reflections of Heartsongs and Chicken Soup for the Heartsongs or whatever really did move me, but apparently happiness and gratitude and that living for the moment bullshit is a little too complicated to be reduced to a eighth-grader's creative writing class.

I almost feel like I should be grateful for something, but it's not on the standard list of friends and family and at least you've got your health. Something more transcendant: maybe God wants me to find someone even more miserable than I and pray, "Thank you, Lord, for not making me that guy." That sounds awfully cruel, but I think it also pretty accurately describes my barely masked contempt for God (assuming He exists, which I prefer not to assume). There's this charlatanry, and Norman Vincent Peale, and Poetry Boy, and the company that makes those inspirational posters hanging in the breakroom are all in on it, busy tricking us into thinking everything's okay so no one will feel compelled to actually go out and improve anything, like we're all Job, sitting around doing the same old things while things fall apart. If you're rich, if you're famous, if you're best friends with Oprah and fading pop-star Lance Bass — ahem, Poetry Boy — if your problems can all be solved with a few phone calls, that stuff, the things that put you in the top one percent of the top one percent of all six billion people in the world, you should be thankful for. But just living day to day, a piece of human meat to be used by society, ignored by nature, not really living for anything... that's literally the very least a moral God can do for you. It's not like I'm the one going around encouraging genocides or giving little kids cancer, and I'm a bit tired of being treated like I am — MOM.

Which is what really grinds my gears about Poetry Boy there. We all have problems, and I'm not going to start this pity contest to see who's problems are worse because that would be asinine: misery falls into two categories, that which you can handle and that which you can't. Experience has shown me that I can hardly handle my own crap, and I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle Poetry Boy's crap either — but God chose him, made him a prophet, inspiring millions of extremely vapid housewives (and Oprah — holy shit I despise Oprah). If I come down with ALS or mesothelioma, is the Make-A-Wish foundation going to turn my last days into something fulfilling? Would it be worth getting some terminal disease if they did? It seems telling that I'm not too willing to find out. (It's not telling, but it seems that way.) I'll just wait. Maybe by next Thanksgiving, God will grant me a reason for existing, and then I'll be grateful for that.