Friday, January 1, 2010

Top of the Year

Hello, my name is Der Viator and today marks the beginning of my blog. I’m so excited, and I trust you are too! Since I’m part of a witness protection program, I can’t give you my real name. All I can reveal is that I live somewhere in the Upper Midwest; I’m a very attractive male (or so I’m told by many; I personally don’t put much stock in what they say, though); I have a weird uncle named Hezekiah; and Rudy “Knife Edge” Ginomazzini alone is responsible for sitting behind bars, not me! No doubt you’ll find this site a source of wit, charm, perspicacity, and no small amount of humility. I realize you’re probably sitting alone in some basement room like me, with a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red in hand and staring at your dried urine on the wall. If you’re able to multitask, then check out my blog too, and time will fly by as you await the sweet release of death.

Okay, listen, chances are you don’t exist. By you, I mean readers out there in the nebulous blogosphere. However, I’ve resolved to give the illusion that someone, somewhere, is at the other end reading my musings and helping me escape this solipsistic hell I’ve created for myself. If you’ll indulge me, this blog is an attempt to fill the void, forge purpose out of my existential crisis, or maybe it’s just an effort to commune with imaginary friends. The other day, for instance, I took a drive out to the country accompanied by Rodrigo Il Bastardo, a 14th-century condottieri and “nephew” of Pope Giovanni Bon Jovi IX. I told him about a movie I recently saw with my kids—Sherlock Holmes—and he regaled me with his exploits. I nearly laughed to tears when he told me about his invasion of Lombardy and abduction of the Duke of Milan—all paid for by papal coffers.

Most of all, writing and updating a blog gives me a creative outlet, provided I don’t go off my medication.  The last time this happened my wife found me aimlessly wandering through a park wearing nothing but a Batman outfit.  In fact, I was wearing only the mask and cape, and we still don't know where I got the costume.  Witnesses say I was mumbling something about government conspiracies.  But I'm getting off topic here.  As I say, I hope to engage in some creative writing: fiction, nonfiction, and things in-between.

Look, I think I got out of line when I suggested earlier that you don’t exist. I know I have quite an audience, and I’d like to say hello to you all right now. Hi, mom. Hi, dad. I suppose I could have just gone downstairs to say hi to y’all, but when you’re 44 years old, you start avoiding the stairs. Besides, my pot stash is in the closet. Why should I leave? That is to say, my collection of rare herbs and spices from Afghanistan. I’m just messing with you, mom!

In this maiden voyage I think it fitting that I address in brevity the origin and meaning of the word blog so as to clear up a lot of confusion. The first theory is plausible but upon closer scrutiny completely bogus. Many believe the term comes from the 1957 B-movie entitled The Blog about a slimy monster that gobbles up bored internet users and suffocates them with inane commentary, images, and links. Others think the term comes from Blog, a Neanderthal whom many paleontologists believe to be the first crooner in history, or prehistory rather, anticipating Sinatra by some 400,000 years. Perhaps the most pernicious lie foisted on an unsuspecting people is the ridiculous notion that the word is a contraction of the compound neologism weblog. Morons will believe anything! Another theory is that it’s an acronym for Bastion for Loving Ornery Goats, a bestiality organization that, according to its website mission statement, “promotes sensitivity if not sensuality with respect to our four-legged friends and close fellowship within the mammalian family.” The first “blog” on the internet supposedly originated from B.L.O.G.’s safe house in Cucamonga, California. The public's mindless acceptance of erroneous ideas never ceases to amaze me.  Actually, blog comes from the word blogosphere. Simply thus! Some things are just too easy for even clever folk to figure out.

Finally, since it's the beginning of a new year and I'm a part-time social scientist, I’ll offer my prediction for 2010. My prognostication is rather sanguine. I take into account various factors—President Obama’s acquisition of the Nobel Peace Prize, my cats Xerxes and Ramses finally getting along, shoe bombers effeminizing into panty bombers, and so forth. I feel quite confident in informing you that by this time next year we—the human species—will have achieved global peace and harmony. Armies and terrorist organizations will beat their swords into plowshares, the lion will lie down with the lamb, the Hassidic Jew and Hezbollah operative will toss a Frisbee in the park, and my cousin Jerry will forgive me for peeing in the prune juice jar and placing it back in the frig when the family was on vacation.  On the downside, world peace will last barely a year, for 2012, according to the Mayans and a recent movie, marks the end of life as we know it.  With this inevitability in mind, I've already begun stockpiling water, canned food, and weapons in my basement.  The first son of a bitch who invades my home in the coming war is going down!  It's a dog-eat-dog world out there.

In the meantime I'll write my blog.  A caveat lector might be appropriate here.  I anticipate the topics of this blog to be rather diverse: social commentary, reflections on history, thoughts on war and diplomacy, dark humor, critiques of music and other aspects of popular culture, travelogue, short stories in installments, and scatological observations.  You'll find that a fair number of entries will cover genocide and evil.  I teach courses on these unpleasant topics as an adjunct professor of history at "Hexington College" (fake name).  You should also be aware that I have a congenital proclivity for irony and sarcasm.  What I plan to do in the coming months is categorize the blog entries into specific categories after their initial appearance.

Okay. That’s enough for today. I worry that creditors or mobsters will be busting through my door at any moment.  Once I take a few swigs from this here bottle, I'll be good to go.  Till tomorrow...