Just recently, I saw this tweet by Mike Davis.
The older I get, the less I have to say.
— Mike Davis (@misanthropemike) April 21, 2017
Typically, tweets fall into three categories for me: interesting, funny, or non-existant. I like Twitter in that I can laser target things that interest me, but if a tweet falls outside that spectrum, it’s like reading blank paper ie, white space.
If I find someone producing too much “white space”, I just stop following or in the case where unfollowing will produce political results, I just mute them.
Mike doesn’t produce white space. He’s an interesting guy and I always take note of his tweets. I became aquatinted with him through his Lovecraft zine.
I did submit a story to him, but it ended up getting rejected. Nothing personal. Just business. Bad writers cry about rejections. Good writers build relationships with them. I haven’t written in a couple of years so I’m not trying to back pat myself here.
In any case, I do like his tweet because it makes me think.
“The older I get, the less I have to say” – at first glance, you’d think it’s a quote about growing wiser, but I don’t think it is. If you froze time and live life like Groundhog’s Day, then yes — ultimately, your ideas may run dry or you find yourself too stagnant to be original.
But lately .. with everyone being online – with everyone writing – with everyone telling stories which are often derivatives of other other stories – in a sea of communication, it’s hard to say something meaningful, because there are a choir of people are already saying it.
Sometimes, I’ll see a news headline or online video and an immediate joke comes to mind. Then I check the comments and lo and behold at least five other people have experienced that eureka moment. My originality is just a pattern of observation that has been already established.
Years ago, we didn’t see these patterns but now with everyone having access to the same bull horn, it’s becoming clear that while we may all be unique, the differences are more subtle than we’d like to acknowledge.
So why say things when a legion of folks have got you covered? It sounds like a cynical question. But I think the answer is simple and honest. It’s: because. That’s it. I say these things simply because.
My goal is that the older I get, the more I want to say. Not because it’s meaningful or significant. Not because it will change the world or do even the slightest thing worthy of mention.
I want to say things because life is worth squawking about, even to those who won’t listen. I may not be original, but I am alive, breathing this wonderful air, and grateful to be able recognize it.
In any case, thanks Mike for the interesting tweet.