Folks who can briskly dispose of their newspapers and magazines are surely smarter than me. As I sit surrounded by heaps of them, wondering what to do with the massive clog, the feeling of stupidity can be intense and paralyzing.
To a self-styled down-to-earth realist like myself (is "delusional realist" an oxymoron?) the practical answer should be simple enough: transform news events into my own writing and make a decent dollar peddling the scintillating critical thoughts. And then heave the damn wads of paper into the blue-box.
That's the theory; in practice the wads just pile up (remarkably fast, as I have three newspaper subscriptions) and I just sit, altogether flummoxed as to which topic to tackle and what to say. Truly stumped, in spite of being a trained and experienced writer.
The main problem is simply the sheer quantity of events that happen in our eventful world, and pile up on the inked page every day. Gun crime, climate-change, a festering civil war in Syria, the astounding incomes of dead celebrities, the Quebec election (gosh--which way will the herd of voters stampede this time?), the dwindling shock-and-awe of television crime-shows (or can viewer-dupes be endlessly wowed by the endlessly cloned Hollywood crazy?), Conrad Black's status as ex-Canuck ex-con, the festering smart-phone wars, the boomer-demographic (that's me) starting to hit retirement age and the health system, the festering jihad in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Julian Assange prosecution cum soap-opera cum witch-hunt, the festering recession, the festering finances of magazines and newspapers, now (suddenly) the #Eastwooding mega-trend (give it a week or two, then check how fast the e-sites vanish), the festering U.S. election (gosh--which way...?), the festering issue of religion in public schools, dozens of festering Hollywood scandals, the festering explosion of comic-books (is "festering explosion" an oxymoron?--or just a mixaphor?), the festering European debt-crisis, the festering social-media...
Yep, the human comedy has expanded exponentially since Dante's time, and how in hell can one person cover it all?
Well, actually hundreds of professional pundits already do, and millions of blog-flogging amateurs and in-betweeners, venting at almost every facet of it, often in a manner so vehement it piles comedy upon comedy. Pick a topic as obscure as you will, and the web-search will still turn up five or ten sites covering it, like stink on a skunk. Pick a topic that's popular and you could spend the rest of your life just browsing.
And yet, paradoxically...
(Cliff-hanger!! Hm, and maybe for sale; let's just leave this baby hanging...)
Thread: what exactly does an intellectual DO?--and how language helps and hinders, with the usual tedious examples
Punchline: There never is or will be a good time to start anything. Don't overthink it all, just gird up ye olde loins and jump into the fray.