I Can’t Write That

About a month ago, somewhere in the Third Age of the House Arrest, I wrote about The Kind of Writer I Want to Be.

The Cliff Notes Version:  I do not want to be a copywriter.

That’s become more and more apparent over the last few months and weeks as my inbox is full of emails from just about every site I’ve ever visited.

For weeks it was “we’re all in this together” or “in these uncertain times” or fill in the blank.

You know of what I speak.

Every company, every website, every campaign had to send out their message about the virus.  Their special brand of encouragement.  Their special plan for helping you get through by offering 75% off of whatever they were selling.

For the record, I don’t care how good your special sales are, I’m not buying pants until I know what size I’m going to end up at the end of house arrest.

I digress.

But, day after day, the emails came.

And, I realized, someone got paid to write this drivel.

I could do that.  I have done that.  But I’ve only got fifty or sixty good years of writing left. I have to make it count.

I want to be able to believe the things I write.

That’s one of the main reasons I got out of the business of writing about politics.  I looked at my screen one day and said “I can’t defend these guys.”

That’s another post.

So why bring this up today?

My inbox is now full of the message of Black Lives Matter.

Every company, every website, every campaign has to send out their message.

I get it.  Or I’m trying to get it.

Before I go on, let me be clear that I appreciate the message of Black Lives Matter.  It took a while for me to get the concept.

I think I mentioned this the other day, it’s like when you say “Save the Rainforests” it’s not that you hate the other forests, but the rainforests are the ones in trouble.

So now we have the marches and the graffiti, and all of the signs saying “Black Lives Matter.”

I’m trying to understand the message. I do not have the same experiences.  I do not walk the same path.

I understand that there are things I need to learn.

What I can’t understand is why my in-box is full of the same message.

As a friend put it the other day “Why do I have to know that my underwear believes Black Lives Matter?”

Exactly.  In some ways it just seems that it’s the trendy thing to say.  Somehow it dilutes the message.

A few months from now our emails will likely be filled with another special message.

But will they be sincere?

Somebody has to write that stuff.

And that’s why I don’t want to be a copywriter.

Photo by C Drying on Unsplash


If it’s Tuesday, We Must be Cranky

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

1984, George Orwell

I don’t have the rule book handy, so I’m not sure if in 2020 it’s the left or the right who gets to quote Orwell.

Trouble is, just too much of what he wrote fits these days.

I’ve told you this before. Each day I am more and more convinced that we severely overreacted to the virus.

The Write Side Shop
(click the pic)

I’m also not sure if we’re supposed to believe or not believe WHO today, but now they’ve said “Asymptomatic spread of coronavirus is ‘very rare.’”

Coronavirus patients without symptoms aren’t driving the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials said Monday, casting doubt on concerns by some researchers that the disease could be difficult to contain due to asymptomatic infections.

Would Typhoid Mary please pick up the white courtesy phone? Typhoid Mary to the white courtesy phone.

Thomas Chatterton Williams wrote this week in The Guardian:

The climate-change-denying right is often ridiculed, correctly, for politicizing science. Yet the way the public health narrative around coronavirus has reversed itself overnight seems an awful lot like … politicizing science.

Is it any wonder we’re cranky?

There’s a move on in the City of Richmond to erase history. I told you what I thought about that last week.

Just save enough eraser for 2020.