I have been dumbfounded when it comes to the task of writing a new article lately. Things have been changing so quickly that I can barely process before one thing before something else happens. It's hard to react to something let alone develop an opinion on it, especially one that could lead to something proactive. No wonder people have been taking “Facebook Vacations.”
I’m becoming increasingly jealous of dolphins. Dolphins put half of their brain to sleep for about 45 minutes at a time. Their lives are primarily spent amusing themselves, although I guess we could argue that about ourselves as well. They just seem to enjoy it more, but then again it’s hard to see the look of existential dread on a marine mammal’s fixed toothy grin.
I’ve been sick, too, which should really stop taking me by surprise at this point. As long as sickness doesn’t bake into pregnancy, though, I think I’m more okay with it. It’s just an excuse to break out the ‘tussin.
In the news there is gun violence, sex crimes and pedophiles. I wonder if I was just naive and the world has always been this insane. Maybe we just have more access to it, like in the 1960s when you could see the war on television for the first time.
We can inhale the entire world in (now) 280 characters. I feel like I’m getting compassion fatigue just by turning my phone on. Compassion fatigue is a term you’ll hear in the volunteer world, nursing or other social services. I’ve heard it’s particularly bad if you work with animals, but that’s anecdotal. You begin to suffer such classy symptoms like hopelessness, increased response, decreased pleasure in daily activities, inability to focus and so, so much more!
Not surprisingly, compassion fatigue has been considered to be leaking into the everyday media consumer. There’s been #MeToo, complete with graphic and triggering recounts of abuse. There’s the slow, sick realization the GOP has had to come to terms with that the reigns of their party have been passed over to some openly fucked up people. Every day is a massacre.
By the time Louis CK got his name in the Twitterlight, I felt deadened. Not sad, disappointed, relieved or I don’t know. I don’t know what response to that you’re supposed to have. I think I’ve felt like I was supposed to have a response to it because this rumble is so old. In fact, I wrote a piece condemning the coverage of it when Gawker posted its original story. My point was largely against Jen Kirkman's podcast, who came forward and also backpedaled and remained pretty vague, which frustratingly diluted the ground feminists have been fighting for and means it’s harder to take it seriously.
Older me would like to agree with past me in theory, but older me also knows that in some ways, lies are a complicated friend of the truth. I should also point out that I wrote this before coming to terms with my own lies, ones that carried me until the truth was far enough away that I could admit it, but that’s a different story.
There’s even a More Perfect podcast (because of course I listen to shit like that) featuring some of the times where reality had to be tailored for social progress, or regress in an arguable antithesis. It’s worth listening to, if for no other reason than to acknowledge that lies, for better or worse, are just as much a pillar of social life as truth and justice. The truth might not be pleasant, morally sound or psychologically healthy.
And now I’m here, writing for what seems like the billionth time about my grappling with truth. I feel too empty to have rage. I wonder if this is compassion fatigue. It’s not like I feel helpless, I just feel like nothing helps, and I’m not even sure why I consider those two things separate.
Sweetboy and I have this line we use that has helped us avoid a lot of fights, “I have nothing for you.”
When one person wants more attention, feels like the other isn’t “happy,” or simply doesn’t match up to whatever demand, the other can explain their lackluster responses by saying, “I have nothing for you.”
It’s self contained and honest. I’ve found it very helpful because there is no room for interpretation and there's no blame attached. Whenever someone says that, it means that they need to take a moment, maybe 45 minutes to turn off half of their brain, and go into social sleep. It’s not personal. It’s not an “I don’t want to talk to you,” or “Of course I’m fine,” or anything else that would require further explanation. Person two doesn’t get to argue, because initiating more argument demands energy that person one has explicitly stated he/she doesn’t have.
That’s how I feel about current events right now. World, I have nothing for you. I am going to watch the leaves fall. I am going to get high on cough syrup and get over this fucking cold. I’m going to draw silly monsters, tell jokes and tell jokes that aren’t taking a big stance on the issues. A horse with broken legs can’t carry anybody up a hill.
That’s a lot of how it felt in Denver. There would be these great clouds of online arguments and drama. I even caught them from North Carolina, and as collateral damage my old show is cancelled. It’s going to take me a long time not to be pissed off about that, but it also made me realize something. I have nothing for them.
I am a grey wall when it comes to this kind of feuding. I didn’t care when I was there, and then I left, and while it followed me like wisps of fog somehow sneaking into the folds of clothing, I’ve stretched it out and shaken it off. Current events will never be shaken from the folds, though. That’s the world we live in, and it is an exhausting one, one that begs for half a brain just to maintain some semblance of peace.
I am very slow to react to things unless they are relentlessly painful or aimed directly at me. I don’t really know how I’m supposed to feel about the take down of powerful men who have let sexual assault be some sort of hobby. I know I’m supposed to be angry, and I guess I am, but I’m also satisfied that it’s being discussed openly. That the vagueness of sexual assault is becoming more concrete. I also dislike people conflating their own personal frustration and ire with current events as some sort of social media vigilantism that makes them look wholly stupid, arrogant or narcissistic. That’s what shouting looks like to grey walls. I am a grey wall that would like to be a dolphin.
I think it’s okay to be a glacier, a grey wall, but of course, I have been wrong before. I think it’s okay to move on or move slowly. I think it’s okay to see something tragic and shocking and shitty and acknowledge it without feeling. I hope so, anyways, because I’m out of feelings for now.
About A Blog
I'm a Denver Comedian, occasional cartoonist and person of interest to someone, probably. These articles are really too long.