Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Merrily We Blog Along

Hello again. Sorry for the delay. Usually I write my blog on my palm when I'm on the subway, but lately I've been working on my book (11k words down- about 39 pages- only 101k to go.) I seem to be pouring all my brain drippings into it, so there's nothing really overflowing at the moment. I'll try to do my best:

My wife lovingly informed me that she doesn't want to hear my advice, (I'm very, very good at telling other people how to be happy,) because I make the solutions to life's problems seem so simple, when they're not. The trouble is that the solutions are always simple; it's just us people that get in the way. For example: I'm overweight. The solution- eat the right things and exercise. Do I do it? No. The solution is simple- the problem is me. None of us really want to know what to do, what we want is the strength and/or ambition to do what we already know we should.

I'm still on a Vonnegut kick. His novels are pretty short and easy to read, so I go through them like water. I'm reading Bluebeard right now. One of his reoccurring themes that has been an epiphany to me is that the reason Americans are so sad is because we're lonely. We don't have the huge extended families we once had anymore. We don't have a well of friends, brothers, and cousins nearby to be with. Vonnegut's often stated that the problem with marriages today is that we're all so isolated. When a couple with large families in the same town got married, the man got a bunch of new buddies from his wife's family, & the woman got a bunch of girls to gossip with from his. These days, a lot of isolated couples only have each other. Maybe that's why so many people get in trouble from their friendships they make in chat rooms. They're just lonely.

Did I ever mention I met my wife in an AOL chat room?

In his novel Slapstick, Vonnegut tries to solve the loneliness problem on a national level: the president of the United States issues new middle names to everyone in the country. Everyone sharing your middle name is to be considered a member of your extended family. This works, until the population is decimated by ingesting microscopic Chinese people.

Hey, if you're going to read something, make it interesting.


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