Latest 3 Things

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

3 Reasons to Come Back

As many of you have no doubt noticed, Three Things has been on hiatus of late. The intervening time since the last published piece has been punctuated by some of the most troubling times I can recall, with the majority of my time and effort spent on survival rather than the relatively leisurely task of bringing you three things each week. I have to admit, I thought about walking away - even titled my farewell piece (“3 Final Things”) - and began to walk this project into the proverbial sunset. But with the help of friends, family and the catharsis of good work, I found a reason to turn Three Things back from the abyss, and, at the very least, finish the year we’ve embarked on. In fact, I found three. And so for you, dear and faithful reader, here are the 3 reasons Three Things is back.

1. D-Spite. I’d like to be able to tell you that all the reasons I came back for are positive, sunshiney things; hearts, flowers and puppy dogs that turned my frown upside down and gave me reason to get back to this keyboard. But as a person who has always, at least in some part, been powered by vengeance, anger and spite, I would be lying to paint such a rosy picture. No matter how colorfully it’s painted, at the core of each rant is at least a kernel of hatred, and nothing seems to drive me to action quite like being wronged by someone. And so, it should come as no surprise that both a significant amount of the pending strife and the strength to pull myself out of it owe to someone rather than something. Of all the turn-the-other-cheek style advice that is peddled around to discourage revenge, the only bit I’ve ever found to be true is that success is the best version of it. And all that nonsense about how revenge won’t make you feel any better is ridiculous. Revenge, and especially revenge via success feels fantastic. I’d be hard pressed to come up with a better feeling than letting someone who didn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t believe in me know that not only did I do great without her, but that I did it because I was without her. And so, in the interests of letting her know just that - I’m back.

2. Laughing to Keep From Crying. You can call it catharsis, but I think that this project accomplishes something both more and less profound. Whether it be me, my age, outlook or whether it’s actually true - we appear to be living in a time of unparalleled ignorance, indifference and indignity. And while May 21st came and went with only a subtle burp from an Icelandic volcano, one might argue that we are trundling through a Second Dark Ages - where the only apocalyptic “rise” is the rise of the purposefully unenlightened. In these dark times, where education has apparently become a tool of oppression rather than a tool to rage against it, those who have retained, against all odds, the ability to reason, logically evaluate and objectively learn, have a duty to keep their voices heard. It would be easiest to hole up in some kind of intellectual compound; walled off from an increasingly paranoid and foolish proletariat in the hopes that their decay into mindlessness ultimately results in some kind of cannibalism (or at least a tendency for self-destruction and/or violent insurrection) and allow the educated few to repopulate the wasteland they leave behind. But because I have not only promised to do otherwise, but as Burke said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” - I will carry on. Even if my “do nothing” is only to offer a little insight, humor and sanity to a world increasingly devoid of each.

3. For You. Dear readers. For every moment that I have spent staring at a blank screen with a blinking cursor, wondering if I’ve exhausted my inspiration, vocabulary or simply my utility as a writer; for every time I’ve looked back in horror on something I wrote before I thought I knew how to write; for every critic and criticism that makes me want to hang it up; and for every moment I’ve wondered if I’ll ever amount to anything more than just another navel-gazing hack who's better off keeping his musings in a private journal - there have been countless moments where all of you have made it worthwhile. You’ve laughed, cried and ranted right back at me. You’ve praised, panned and passed along the things I’ve written. You’ve been inspired, provoked and pissed; embarrassed, tickled and reminded. You remind me that I’m not shouting into the abyss, because the abyss doesn’t shout back. You give me the greatest gift of this era, with each passing word - your time, and you carry on a tradition passed on from time immemorial by reading my thoughts to inform your own. And because I’ve yet to repay any of you in any small part for all of this - I’ll endeavor to keep trying to do so.

* * *

After over a month spent away from this keyboard, there’s a lot of catching up to do. Thankfully, the world continues to frustrate and amaze me in equal measure, whether I write about it or not - so inspiration abounds, and I suspect I’ll be caught up in no time. I can only hope that in my brief time away, you haven’t filled up the precious few minutes each week that you used to spend with me, with something more entertaining, more blissfully caustic, or heaven forbid, funnier. But on the off chance you have, I’ll make you a deal: if you come back and don’t find yourself laughing, nodding or head-shaking harder than you ever did before, you’re free to go with my blessing and the only good three things to ever come out of a “boy band”: Bye Bye Bye.

As for the rest of you, hold on to your screens - it’s gonna get bumpy.


Kristina said...

YAY! You're Back! :)

Jen and Tonic said...

How did I miss this?? I am so happy you're back!

I totally understand the idea of being powered by vengeance. Someone once told me that the best to way get back at an ex-boyfriend is to live happily without him. I'm convinced this is why, even though they didn't want me then, they want me now.

Your second point REALLY hit home with me. I don't know that I could have survived life if I didn't laugh it off at some point later on. The absurdity and pain in life would kill people if they didn't have a way to cope, and yours is humor.

Good to have you back!

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