“That Got Me To Thinkin’…?” “Disinterested, Disinterested, Disinterested” Chapter 87
By Bruce Williams
I started writing a column this week about March Madness—partly because I was watching it and partly because I feel guilty sometimes about almost never writing about sports—even though my writing appears on a sports website. I watched Kentucky go down to St. Peter’s in a huge upset the night before, busting everyone’s brackets and leaving the Wildcats crying in frustration. I got a paragraph in and realized that it wasn’t very interesting prose. Utterly forgettable.
I began to think (instead) on what makes something interesting. I pondered on Putin—the war in Ukraine has dominated my tv watching of late, and Putin’s legacy will be that of a liar and a child killer—not as the savior of bygone Sovietism that he so craves. A little man in every way imaginable. But we would probably all agree on that at this point…nothing too controversial or in-depth there. I’m looking forward to the day when the whole world just marches him to the edge and unceremoniously pushes him off (there’s one for you Flat-Earth putzes).
Then I started thinking about conversations that I check out of almost immediately whenever the topics veer into certain categories that are like giant sighs packaged with bows of boredom. Your golf game or workout routine. The particular qualities of the wine you’re drinking. Your gluten intolerance or burgeoning veganism. The wild success of your fantasy football team. My son talking about his video games…I know—I’m awful, but it’s true. Instead, I concentrate on the valuable eye contact with those big beautiful blue eyes of his as he regales me with tales of Rocket League or WWE.
I suppose it’s different for everybody. I don’t like watching too many ‘behind-the-scenes’ sports programs because usually when someone achieves the pinnacles of sports they’re pretty one-dimensional. For every colorful Charles Barkley there’s a hundred automatons like A-Rod or Tom Brady. I’m always drawn to humor—especially the scatalogical. Just a giant grade-schooler looking for fart-joke yuks. Human interest stories pique my interest—especially when the protagonist opts for unexpected choices or the ending isn’t neatly tied up with a ribbon.
I love movies with original stories. Ones that dare to project human foibles in their most ugly or vulnerable. That’s probably why I’m so fascinated with the daily newspaper…every day we humans come up with some new atrocity—some unbelievable outcome or the newest stupidity coming from Florida Man down there in America’s geographical penis.
When I start reading a new book and the main character is wealthy, good-looking, a doctor or lawyer, married to a beautiful blonde, well-dressed, well-educated and overly woke I begin to fade out into my own thoughts. Give me your Ignatius J. Reillys (A Confederacy of Dunces) or the layering of a Lev Nikolayevich (The idiot) over a guy that has a walk-in closet with a drawer full of Rolexes.
I was trying to explain what I was writing about this week to my wife and she picked up on it pretty quickly—rapidly citing a few of her own snoozers and clicking off, “Disinterested, disinterested, disinterested,” with a dismissive wave of her index finger. That’s what I love about her as a mate—it’s virtually impossible for us to offend one another, so that keeps just about everything “on limits.” She’s great for workshopping mild irks into fluid ideas.
Well, it’s time to wrap up and after a whole week off I’ve managed to write regarding just about nothing again. I keep waiting for Eli to tell me they’ve had well enough, but they haven’t yet so I’ll keep spewing conscious streams until they do. In the meantime—keep it interesting…if your dog or mother don’t want to hear it, I probably don’t either. Be well.