Thomas Sowell used to call them Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene. Ammo Grrrll calls them RANDOM THOUGHTS IN SEARCH OF A TOPIC. She writes:
A topic, a topic, my kingdom for a topic. Writing a weekly column in which one is expected to be accurate, interesting, and intentionally rather than inadvertently humorous is a particular kind of challenge. Oh, sure, anybody can make her readers laugh by stupidly typing “.9” for “9 mm” caliber ammo in a column in which said hypothetical writer purports to know SOMETHING about guns ‘n ammo. That was my most embarrassing moment so far, but I’m confident I will top it one day. To my everlasting distress, I continue to be relentlessly human.
The rub with a weekly column comes in the same way that it comes for housewives to whom falls all the cooking in the household. Mama and I would frequently discuss the daily grind of coming up with ideas for “what’s for dinner?” – although we called it “supper” in rural Minnesota — and also our occasional desire to lay a cast iron skillet upside the head of the next person who asked us that question. (Old standbys in a pinch: Waffles; Grilled Cheese/Tomato Soup; Chicken Pot Pies; or Chipped Beef on Chow Mein Noodles.)
It wasn’t so much the cooking itself, we agreed, as the onus of coming up with IDEAS for what to cook. I mean, really, how much trouble is it to stick a few baking potatoes into the oven along with a roasting hen? Or throw a few steaks on the grill? Open a can of corn or simmer a few frozen peas and call it dinner. Keep bringing out little containers of things like pickles (dill and sweet), olives, some iffy coleslaw that has already been rejected three times, and assorted condiments to make the table look less pathetic.
Once, in a galaxy far, far away (OK, New York City), I worked in an anti-war office. In fact, I was part of a staff of about 40 largely unemployable, lazy, young radicals. This is why I laughed out loud when Barack Hussein Obama described himself as a “community organizer.” I had known these people; I had BEEN these people, and I knew what a bunch of useless slugs they (we) were.
The 26-year-old who supervised us was once tasked with composing a fund-raising letter to be sent out to the wealthier liberal suckers who financed us “kids” doing the grunt work. For days, every time I went by his desk, he appeared to be hard at work on this singular task, scowling into a yellow legal pad. On the day the letter was to have been typed, mimeographed, and sent out in a bulk mailing, he finally showed me what he had so far.
He had only the salutation, which read “Dear Monkey Meat.”
It was not my first inkling that he and several other of my co-workers might be clinically insane. Now I empathize with his writer’s block. So we have established that the first problem with writing, especially after 200-ish columns, is coming up with a TOPIC. Once I have a topic or a taking off point, I can write like the wind. In fact, I am known as a very windy writer.
The other major problem, which you have heard me whine about before, is that with writing just once a week, if a juicy thing happens on Thursday, when I have already submitted my Friday column the day before, it will be 8 long days before I can comment amusingly upon it. In Blog World, eight days might as well be a decade. All the humor has been wrung out of it by the hundreds of bloggers and commenters alike. Damn not only my 4 esteemed witty colleagues, but our clever commenters, who are frequently more pithy than us bloggers. After eight days, pith is in short supply.
A case in point: I had nearly finished a guaranteed Pulitzer-contending column discussing the shocking fact that the Democrats preferred to screw U.S. citizens, including the military, in order to keep the illegal alien DREAMERS here. Fed, educated, incarcerated, and medicated for free by taxpayers. Then Trump illustrated the obvious in the way only he dared to and the whole Resistance Lite collapsed like Hillary being heaved into a waiting van. The cowardly virtue-signalers must have circulated their internal polling data and by last Monday already decided to run for cover. Column status: Dead On Arrival. Ammo Grrrll hardest hit! Pulitzer Dreamer’s hopes evaporating like sweat in Arizona in August.
I had a hilarious column in its embryonic stages before that on the flimsy life raft the Democrats cling to that Trump is crazy and unfit for office. (“You there – the one in the vagina costume barking at the moon – what was your question again about sanity?”) But the handsome Presidential Doctor faced the bleating little sheeple of the White House Press Corps and put our minds at ease over the questions that keep us all awake at night — like whether or not our President wears dentures. He does not. Whew! Good to know.
The great songwriter, John Prine – whom I have opened for! – has a lyric, channeling a weary, jaded middle-aged guy that goes, “I’m sitting on the front steps drinking Orange Crush, wondering if it’s possible if I could still blush.” Embarrassment is a vital human emotion. Do these miserable little trained seals ever DVR one of the press conferences and cringe when they see themselves ask for the 22nd time if the physician is SURE that he didn’t miss that critical “tell” of Presidential Insanity that would allow impeachment to go forward? I guess you would need a modicum of self-awareness for that. Asked and answered.
And so, in the end, with two columns kaput, I will just write about American Generosity. Last week, some 133 people, most complete strangers, contributed $6,249 to my candidate for Constable, Glenn Morrison. Money they could just as well have used for a nice evening out, a fine bottle of Scotch, or a toy for a grandkid. Think about that for a minute. What a country!! Since I was the one who asked for your support, it is only fitting that I am the one to express my profound gratitude. But I want to end with Glenn’s own words:
The generous outpouring of support from Ammo Grrrll’s friends and fans is stunning!! The concerns over how to fund such an important campaign have been weighing heavily on me and a huge load has been lifted. The people I am working to serve deserve the best possible person for the job, not just the person who can spend the most. I now stand at least a fighting chance!! For the first time in a couple of months, I’m going to be able to sleep tonight. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for your support.