Latest 3 Things

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

3 New Things

It’s relatively easy to make promises and resolutions when you’ve got no real idea about what sort of sacrifices it’s going to take to see them through. It’s a whole other thing to make those same promises when you’re fully aware of the time, effort and sweat involved, especially when the memory of what it took to keep a year-long promise is still fresh in your head. But despite all of this, less than a month after publishing this column into a first book, and less than a week after publishing last year’s last piece, I’ve resolved to come back for a third year of weekly writing, knowing full well that it means writing through writer’s block, on weekends where I haven’t got a spare minute - let alone a spare couple of hours, and relying on the kindness of friends, family and loyal readers for editing, publicity and that little positive feedback that makes it all worthwhile. So here we go friends, on another year’s worth of picks, pans, and rants - and just to entice you to spend another year on this journey, here are 3 things you can expect from THREE THINGS in 2011:

1. More Mr. Nice Guy. If reading over a year’s worth of writing has taught me one thing, it’s that I’m one angry bastard. Seriously. Two-thirds of my titles had the word “bad” in them. There’s more optimism in a South Carolina School Board meeting than I’ve got in the average column. I’ve seen more happiness at a cancelled emo concert than I put in my weekly musings. There are better vibes in an adult bookst... well, you get the point. So, you can expect to see a little more sunshine amidst the raincloud that is normally my Tuesday spotlight on social decay. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not going all Stuart Smalley on you. You have a better chance of locating a three digit IQ at a Tea Party rally than finding an affirmation on the pages of THREE THINGS. This isn’t about to become the rainbow unicorn of columns just because I wanted to turn up the nice a bit. No, you’ll still be able to drop by and find me poking fun at the purposefully stupid, the petulantly ignorant, and anyone who insists that the sound coming out of Miley Cyrus’ mouth is “music.” But, I’m also going to stop and smell the roses every once in a while, too. If only to appreciate just how awful the awful really is.

2. My Favorite Favorite. Everyone loves a little variety. Baskin-Robbins didn’t make their money by having 31 versions of the same flavor. But you can also be damned sure that when I trot my lazy behind into one of those shops, I’ll be leaving with a scoop of Chocolate Peanut Butter, no matter what the other 30 flavors are. So while you might fairly expect that 2011 will bring a whole bevy of threes that you’ve never heard of and never expected, there will also be a healthy helping of your old favorites. The fact is, there is never going to be shortage of horrible things that people wear, ridiculous things that people say/write, or inexplicably stupid behavior. It’s never been about finding only three of these things to write about on any given week - it’s been about picking three out of the countless there are to choose from (or, more to the point, identifying the three that have been aggrieving me the most on that particular week). So, if your favorite topic has already been covered, and you think from here on out it’s going to be also-rans, fear not - I’m bringing the most popular topics back (albeit with brand new threes), and chances are that yours is in there.

3. Reach Out and Touch Someones. At the heart of any writing is a desire to communicate, and at the heart of every writer is a burning desire to hear something, anything, after he/she shouts their monologue into the abyss. After all, if a column is written in the forest, and there’s no one around to read it, does it make a difference? Nothing I have written in this project has meant as much to me as any of the things that you have written back to me - and in 2011, there’s going to be a whole lot more of you in what I’m writing. I’m pulling a new distribution list from Facebook for the e-mail notices; I’m taking column requests (okay, I'm still taking column requests) ; I’m reaching out with the book, and I’m asking each of you to, at least once during the year, leave something here - in the hopes that I can add a “Best Comments” chapter to the book at the end of the year - and make you all a real part of a project that wouldn't be possible without you. With far too many of you, this column is the only meaningful communication we have - and that makes the fact that it’s mostly one-sided that much more tragic.

* * *

The excitement and promise of the new year is certainly not lost on THREE THINGS. I had no idea what this project would be when I started it, and even after 55 installments, two editors, one book and some well-intentioned Photoshopping, I’m still just as excited about what could become of it. I have no delusions of grandeur, and don’t expect to go viral tomorrow. I have long known that candid photos of Wal-Mart shoppers, Chuck Norris declarations and the auctioning off of things you don’t really need will always be more popular than good writing. But I labor under the steadfast belief that the artfully crafted essay will endure, as a place where you can exercise your mind at the same time you’re tickling it. Sure, it’s not the most objective viewpoint I’ve got, but the belief that there are still people out there who love a good read just as much as a good laugh does a whole lot more than keep me writing, it keeps me waking up in the morning. So thank you for reading - and I hope you enjoy the ride.


Anonymous said...

way to go on the book Glenn. Great idea! I will continue to read and look forward to you smelling the roses! Best in 2011!

Kasey Rodgers said...

Glenn, consider me your "Three Things" stalker for the new year. I'm going to read your book and brag about you to all my friends. This is great stuff, keep up the crazy my friend!

Kristina said...

What exactly is "well-intentioned Photoshopping"? LOL

I was going to ask if we can make suggestions, but you answered it. And, well, I really don't have much to say other than, to say. Hi! I read it, it made me smile, as usual, which I actually DO need right now!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing every week! It's an amazing accomplishment.

I'm totally with you on the mixing things up a bit. I actually ate Indian food for the first time the other day instead of a Subway foot long tuna on wheat with bacon, swiss, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno and a tooouucchh of lite mayo. I did have this sub the next day of course, but at least I am trying new things.


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