Sunday, November 2, 2014

Expressively (Irresponsibly) Yours

I don’t care if I have Ebola, I’m riding my damn bike. - "Kaci Hickox"

When I was back there in seminary school ... there was a guy who used to get bogged down in expressing himself.  Huge sports fan, he was also (like me) a theater geek - and (also like me) used to write and direct things, and strut around like Fellini.

But when it came to expressing himself in public, when not dismissively, almost disdainfully, breaking off sentences to snort in bemusement ... M.D. would flounder for words, often babbling, repeating himself.

To be clear (and fair to the guy), I also have trouble getting sentences spoken in public to make sense ... Sometimes, getting them out of my mouth is a challenge!  Being a writer, I tend to overthink speech:  when speaking, I sometimes wrestle with adjectives ... synonyms, adverbs, metaphors, "flow" ... the same way I do as I when I'm writing.

The difference is that writing, no one's listening to me.  The exercise is done in private, the sweat and the grunting remain offstage.  The only thing a reader "hears" of my written words and stories is the result, not the process.

When speaking, I can sound retarded.  Confused, marble-mouthed (... and I mean no offense whatsoever to people with marbles in their mouths!) ...

Anyway, M.D. from F.U., I suspect, used to struggle similarly.  A fellow wordsmith ... but he also used to get into these paroxysms of frustration over events that he felt he couldn't control.  There was Chernobyl ... Black Monday ... Tiananmen Square and the Hillsborough soccer disaster in England (probably the most frustrating of all to him ... big nutty sports fan that I knew him to be back then).

Then locally, on at least one occasion ... I remember him during a meeting of our relatively small theater department -- convened specifically to address something or other which mattered then -- and M.D. literally sputtering, repeating, "All of the ... BULLSHIT ... has to stop!  We can't continue with this ... BULLSHIT.

"I would just like all of the ... BULLSHIT ... to end!"

"What are you referring to?" he was patiently asked.

"Just ... BULSHIT!  I can't explain the ... BULLSHIT."

Our poet laureate emerged from that, somehow, with a new patina of respect ... as rather than being mocked, he received backslaps, handshakes and commiserations after the meeting ... not to mention going home with my girlfriend that night!

It dawned on me then that by speaking up, be(com)ing a voice, no matter how eloquent (or not) your message ... you will be heard.
Ode to a Self-Absorbed Medical Worker

I've also come to understand all too well the immediate power and limitless reach of the World Wide Web ... a potentially devastating power and overreach, which is only now beginning to be recognized and kept in check:  lids are being placed back on steaming kettles, masks ripped off and new gates erected ...  not at all "ending" Freedom of Speech, but rather, returning to civil discourse.

This is overdue.

So instead of weighing in more than I already have about the stricken "Hero" Without Sense, Dr. Craig Spencer, and pulling punches entirely on the obnoxious and causelessly rebellious Nurse Kaci Hickox, I'll instead put forth the proposition that Shoshana Roberts has a fine ass ...

Shoshana Roberts has a fine ass.

Shoshana Roberts has a fine ass.

... I CANNOT say Shoshana Roberts has a FINE ASS!!!!!!