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Event # 232: LOCK & LOAD
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Baltimore - 10 September, 2000 - No matter how good a juggler you think you are, sometimes it seems like you might have too many balls in the air. That's how Yours Unruly feels this week. Like I have TOO MUCH going on. Projects launching at my Day Job at Andover.net, now called OPEN SOURCE DEVELOPERS NETWORK (osdn.com,) The World's Magazine's collaborative project with the MediaChannel.org on international conflicts, assessing the value of bringing two new sites under the G21 umbrella, getting my glasses adjusted, wondering when I'll finally do the X-rays and tests my new physician keeps haranguing me about, the next phase of The Writer's career which is prodding me to let itself emerge. SHEESH!
I'm getting too old for this crap. (Don't laugh!)
AND the Holy Days are looming once again. Do you think it was a coincidence we ran that Holiday Shopping Poll last week? Man-oh-man, I'm so not ready for the holidays!
And I --- maybe under pressure --- find myself making more re-write requests and rejection notices these days. I'm starting to focus on the Next Version of the World's Magazine and what I want out of it. THIS WEEK we're supposed to have the Flash Project completed --- three weeks behind schedule.
Take my e-mail address. Please!
When I close my day dumping my e-mail box, I see that I have labored through responding to hundreds of people --- writers, potential writers sending in queries, readers, spam, press releases, my employer and colleagues. Did I make sense? Did I provide an adequate response this time?
I got an e-mail today from a "pen-pal" in Madrid, Spain, asking me what I think of this article at the Village Voice.
I get this kind of mail because I'm supposedly a "professional Web pundit." But I'm just a guy living in a small apartment in Baltimore trying to express himself and maybe make a living when I *do* write professionally. My opinion, actually, doesn't mean squat.
I don't say that in my response, of course. I'm not that impolite.
Instead I try to give my honest assessment that appealing to the Lowest Common Denominator will always get you more "hits" than reasoned discourse. And then I move on to completing this task of launching a new edition of The World's Magazine in my "spare time."
Do I sound a little harried this time out? That's because I am.
Rat BastardWe've talked a lot about my past relationships in this space. I'm proud to say that I've not tried to pull any punches with you, but I still get that "sensitive soul" stuff from readers a lot of the time and I know it just ain't true. I'm as venal and corrupt as the worst of you. A dog.
The example I hold up most of the time to validate this fact to myself is my time with Nancy the Nurse. I treated her abominably. I cheated on her a lot.
I never would have dated her if not for a comment by a pal of mine about her having a "photogenic pussy." You know me, curiousity is one of my worst traits. Those two words, which I couldn't, for the life of me, understand made me go after this woman I didn't even know --- just to get a referent for that two-word definition.
Since I didn't know what my pal meant, I felt I had no choice but to pursue this woman.
- This was out of character, in one sense, because she was not particularly attractive. She was short and mousey, in fact. Not my type at all.
- Like I say, I didn't even know her.
- I had no intention of having her stand in the way of other women I really did want to get involved with. Surely, a formula for disaster.
Nonetheless, I pursued her, made her trust me, convinced her that I was head-over-heels in love with her.
And once she was "conquered," I abused her, rat bastard that I was.
When my friends, Sal and Mardi up in Connecticut, sent their wedding invitation, I had Nancy pay our way up to the wedding. Why? Well, she was a Registered Nurse and made more money than I did as a bartender. (discounting the cash I squandered chasing other tail, of course,) and I was sleeping with her.
You see, I never held back with Nancy, even though I wasn't particularly excited about her. My reputation was at stake. It was important to me that --- no matter how badly a relationship ended, in those days --- that at the very least I would keep my reputation as a good lover intact. Rat bastard.
This latter is revealing over time. Here's why: When I broke up with another woman, over a decade later, after we had gone over all the bad things about our relationship, she said, "Well, at least the sex was good."
I said, "It was okay."
She had bared her throat to me, you see. I knew that my comment would cut her to the quick. I knew that if nothing else would kill our relationship those three words would do it. I have always been a master of the game of long knives in a dark room, the game of emotional injury. Rat bastard.
My ex-wife knew that about me. That's why our marriage could end without inordinate carnage. She knew better than to get into the long-knives game with me....
I never got into long knives with Nancy. It wasn't necessary. By the time she realized that I would never be the lover I had pretended, and she knew that she hated me, I believe she also knew that ours was the kind of relationship that only young people need to endure. She could walk away relatively intact and I would go on to the next conquest.
Maybe we should call the foregoing Rod's Guilt Trips- Part Umpteen.
That's your dose of voyeurism for this week.
The Me Nobody KnowsI had a long talk with a friend of mine in California a few weeks back about fear of abandonment, something my childhood has left with me, and how it has been my practice to abandon others first..
I don't consider it "tossing," as was referred to last week, so much as knowing how to avoid opening old wounds. The habit has given me more than my share of bitter endings. I have felt it my duty, being the injurer instead of the injuree, to endure those bitter endings with the requisite amount of stoicism. I have taken that as part of my penance.
A couple of women have beaten me to punch, of course, darn it. Statistically, I must now assume, that was unavoidable. This fact did not lessen my shock or dismay, certainly; it's just that hindsight has rendered me more philosophical about the dreaded events.
What did Herod say to Claudius in Graves' wonderful I, Claudius? "Trust no one". That has been my watchword, for the most part, and it has served me well.
I can think of only one instance in my entire life when I felt the need to exact revenge upon another person... In so doing, as it turns out, I not only "got my own," but also lost a dear friend of long standing in the process because that friend could not bear knowing the cruelty I was capable of. So, yes, I got my own and lost it, too. I added my name to ranks of the unforgiven... The friend I lost, who could not bear to see my cruelty, was worth more to me that the offender and the offense were ever worth.
THINGS THAT BOTHER ME THIS WEEK1. Dealing with the fluctuactions of the NASDAQ.
2. "If I had known then what I do now..."
3. The prospect of being a man who hates shopping and knowing that I need to buy winter clothing.
4. I awakened the other night with an essay in my mind. It was about my admiration for the early Christians. What became immediately troubling for me was the comparison between the early Christians and those I see around me now. My basic thesis was the validity of the adage that character is not demonstrated when we are in adversity, but after we have become successful. I wondered what part of my own character I would reveal if I were ever to succeed...
Thanks for coming back this week.
"Work like you don't need the money,
"Love like you've never been hurt,
"Dance like no one is watching..."
This is another Web site made on a Macintosh.
ROD AMIS has published this magazine since 1990. It first appeared as a hardcopy 'Zine. In March, 1996, he launched it here on the Web. Rod was a Contributing Editor at Suite101.com, where he wrote the " 'Net Publishing" feature. His work has been featured in the San Francisco Bay Guardian Online, NRV8, and at WebLab's Reality Check site. Rod was also a contributing writer on technology for Faulkner Information Services.
Rod was a columnist for the Andover News Network, where he wrote over two hundred articles on web design and development issues. He is also principal writer and Editor for IT Manager's Journal, where he reviews technology issues weekly. He became the Managing Editor for Electronic Mail/Newsletter Publications at Andover.net at the end of February, 2000.
He lives in Baltimore, MD, at the moment (though it seems to most people he *actually* lives on the Web,) edits the writing of people from four continents for The World's Magazine, and wonders who The Last Woman will be in his "spare time."
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