Sunday, October 3, 2010


This morning, a big, soft mist settled over Los Angeles and finally broke the heat with its little cat feet.  As the heat-induced tensions lifted, I realised just how oppressive the heat had been and to what extent it had curtailed mental and physical activities.  Could this be why most of the great civilisations have evolved in the colder North, rather than the tropics?
During the past week of horrible heat (113ยบ, a record even for summer in LA!), when most of our activities were focused on staying cool (cool drinks, cool meals, cool ice, cool air conditioning), several really big, nasty problems sneaked into my life.  Most arrived in innocent-looking emails that were really landmines and time-bombs, requiring instant action when I was least equipped to deal with such things.  Don’t bother me now, I’m making more ice, I felt like telling them.
      The majority of folks I follow on Twitter spare each other the real tribulations of their life, keeping their Tweets bright and witty (or dark and witty) but definitely on the airy side.  Or maybe they just have carefree, comfortable lives with fairies and flunkies to take care of difficulties.  Occasionally, though, I discover in a DM that horrible things are happening to them and I’ll be amazed that they can Tweet so cheerfully.  Now and then there are Tweets about catastrophes, like the editor whose apartment burned down with all her worldly possessions (she had no insurance) so a PayPal account was set up and money and help poured in from Twitter and that was wonderful.
But Twitter is best for sniveling and whining about life’s little irritations and annoyances and our small triumphs over minor adversity, not Tweeting about tragedy and horrible diseases.
Blogs are a different matter.  Lots of dramatic, heart-breaking stuff goes into blogs.  I understand the need to unload misery, but I don't agree with burdening the reader with it.
The nasty ghastliness of life and the terrible things that befall us are best dealt with in private--then woven into the pages of a best-selling novel or exposed in a prize-winning misery memoir later.
Misery should be made to pay for itself! 

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