Hello. Good morning.
You know the rest, I suspect, but I’ll go through it anyway and say, “Welcome to another Thursday.” It is, of course, self-evidently time for another edition of my weekly blog. If it were not, or if I’d simply decided not to write a post this week, you wouldn’t be reading this. Since you are, it’s either time for that weekly post, or I’ve decided to write something extra in between…which does happen from time to time but isn’t happening now*.
Anyway, enough of that nonsense.
I hope you’re all doing as well as you can. From a certain point of view, of course, people are always doing as well as they can, for who would choose—willingly and willfully—not to do as well as they can if they were, at bottom, able to do so? But circumstances are unusual right now, as you know, what with the pandemic and its consequent discombobulation of the ordinary courses of most people’s lives. So, given all that, I want to get my two cents in—for what it’s worth, which is probably much less than two cents—and send you my good thoughts and best wishes.
I’m in the office today, doing some necessary things, but there will only be a handful of us here, masked and hooded like Nazgul…or so it feels. Business has kept up pseudo-normally, but it’s not proceeding at its usual pace. That seems to have more to do with the difficulty people have getting motivated when they’re working from home than with anything else.
I think many of us spend too much time watching or reading the news, forgetting that there isn’t that much “new” stuff happening on a regular basis that’s pertinent to our lives, but that the various “news” sources—being commercial products, not public services—do their best to keep us watching so they can sell advertising.
It’s something of a shame, and it leads to various odious phenomena, not the least of which are “click-bait” headlines which say things like, “Here are the five things you NEED to know…” about whatever. Of course, there’s only a tiny fraction of what’s being reported that you truly need to know, by any reasonable definition of the word “need”. The need that’s truly operant here is the purveyors’ need for you to think that they have something important to say so that you’ll patronize their website or program.
I make it a personal policy never to click on or flip to or open anything that has the temerity to tell me what I need to know. I need food, water, air, shelter, clothing…and that’s pretty much it. Contrary to the great John Lennon’s words**, I don’t even truly need love. Trust me, I know.
Nevertheless, while I don’t literally need to do it, I feel the strong urge to tell you that Unanimity is proceeding well. I’m enjoying the penultimate read-through and edit quite a lot, even to my own surprise. Yesterday, at the end of my editing session, I said aloud to myself, “That’s a good story.” You may, when the time comes, disagree, of course. I doubt there’s any one story that’s universally loved***, or even liked, though there are probably a few that come close. But I still enjoy it, so those of you with similar tastes to mine—and, to my frequent surprise, there seem to be a lot of you—can look forward to at least having an enjoyable time reading it.
It’s a shame that I didn’t get it out sooner, because it is long, and might make a nice diversion during the various levels of lockdown involved in slowing the progression of this pandemic. Well, no great matter; my various other works are available for you to read if you like. You should be able to find them here. They’re all available for Kindle, so you don’t even have to venture out into the virus-infested wilderness to procure them—you can have them at a moment’s notice (I have to admit that I particularly like the look and feel of the “hard copy” of The Chasm and the Collision, but even that can simply be delivered to your door).
I’ve even heard tell that there are books and stories by other people that some of you might like, insane as that may seem.
With that, I’ve probably said far more than was needed for the week, but I hope I’ve at least helped you pass a bit of time. In all seriousness, do please take care of yourselves and of those you love…and even do what you can for strangers if the circumstances present themselves. We are all vastly more alike than unlike, after all, and to ease each other’s suffering, even if only a tiny bit, is gratifying and incredibly potent, often even more so for the one helping than for the one who is helped. Go figure.
*This is one of those all-too-numerous circumstances in which something “goes without saying”, and yet someone charges in and says it anyway. I know how absurd it is, and yet I can’t seem to resist doing it.
**I don’t like to contradict him, but he wasn’t always right.
***I can understand how there might be rare souls who don’t like The Lord of the Rings, in book or movie form, or any of the various Star Wars movies…but it’s difficult for me to credit the fact that—apparently—there are those who have been legitimately exposed to his works, and who are native English readers, and yet somehow do not enjoy any of the works of Shakespeare. These are probably the same Philistines who can listen to Patrick Stewart’s reading of A Christmas Carol and not be moved to tearful smiles by the end.