The views and opinions expressed in O'Keefe's Briefs(tm) are not necessarily those of The Management. In fact, they are very likely not even the views and opinions of the writer, the typeface designer, god or the President of the United States. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who shares the extraordinary worldview expressed below, and should you, run. Far and fast. The Management would also like to point out that any references or similarities to any persons living, dead, or undead are entirely coincidental since we all know there are no such things as zombies anyhow.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Armageddon This Saturday! Can I Have Your Stuff?

So, apparently, the world will be ending this Saturday instead of in 2012 as the movies promised. People around the country are giving away their worldly possessions and quitting their jobs. My question is: Is this Armageddon, or just the RaptureTM?

It makes a difference. If the world really is ending on Saturday, well, we're all pretty much boned. However, if it's just the RaptureTM, then the 90% of us who will be left behind still have a shot. And if you're a 10%-er, I just want to know if can I have your stuff. I mean, you won't be needing it where you're going. I'm sure heaven has a 96" plasma screen HDTV with premium cable and every gaming console (with games), so if you could just toss that over in my direction I'd really appreciate it. Thanks. You know, waste not, need not. Also a car would be useful. As a new dad, it would make visiting my family much easier than having to take mass transit. Just sayin'.

What really bothers me about this (besides the total disrespect for the Mayan doomsday prophets) is what if the RaptureTM really did happen 1000 years ago? The only people left behind were probably dicks or at least idiots. They certainly wouldn't warn us. Hell even if there were a few left over who could read and write, they would probably deliberately omit the whole "Hey! The RaptureTM just happened"-thing because they didn't get chosen, so "screw everyone else." Am I right? I mean, that's totally what I would do.

Yes, I just called all of our ancestors dicks and idiots. But you have to wonder why the Dark Ages happened. If everyone who was literate 1000 years ago were monks, it stands to reason that these holy men would be among the chosen. Yeah. Let that sink in.

I know, right?

Let's assume, though, that we're not all descended from dicks and idiots. (Use your imagination.) When the RaptureTM occurs this Saturday, let's just make the most of it. I mean, it's not the end of the world; that'll be in 3011. If you're among those going, or at least believe you are, give me your stuff, so I can take better care of my family. That's all I'm asking. I swear I'll give you a receipt, and if you're not in that 10% (there are an awful lot of holy men and women in the world today), I will return your goods to you. I promise.

Honestly, you have nothing to lose except perhaps your holier-than-thou attitude. Which I totally forgive you. I was sure you were in like Flynn!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

In Defense of Whimsy

I own a bow tie. This is not a confession. I wear it occasionally much to the bafflement of my family, friends, and coworkers. When asked why -the only and first question one ought to expect when wearing a bow tie- my stock answer (prepared beforehand and field tested) is: Because there shouldn’t be anything Orville Reddenbacher can do that I can’t. It’s a much simpler reason, if only spiritually true and invented after the fact, than why I own and occasionally wear a bow tie.

For a person often too much in his own head, at times to the point of near-paralyzation, I also tend to indulge in manic fits of whimsy. I do things like buy and wear a bow tie for example for the sheer joy of doing something silly; and when challenged I am as likely to tell an amusing tale by way of explanation as I am merely to smile and shrug. That’s how whimsy works; it’s at once an act of rebellion and an indulgence. And it’s vital not just to my own psychological health, but I believe to everyone’s.

Our childhood ends once we enter school, wherein invention and imagination are systematically drilled out of us one standardized test at a time until, by the time we are graduated, most of us have lost the simple ability to create. And the product of this process is considered to be a healthy, fully functional adult. What kind of life is that person supposed to lead? Wake up, cornflakes, commute, work, dinner, reality TV, bed. Repeat. I yawned halfway through writing that. I can’t even begin to imagine living that way, and when I begin to - hey! we all have off-days - that’s when whimsy kicks in. Read my other blogs, they’re full of whimsy, puns, jokes, and word-plays of every sort. I write to entertain myself; my readers are collateral damage. And my twitter feed (@Donwrite)? It’s one inanity after another.

I often say that a writer has one story he is trying to tell, coming at it again and again from a new angle each time. This can apply to the themes that an author explores through his writing, or even just a specific narrative. If you read any particular author’s work religiously, I think you understand. My through-line is whimsy. Whether by turn of fate or turn of phrase, it’s something that appears in everything I write. Heck, my first novel1 had a character named Destiny who was invented simply to throw a monkey wrench in the works- so to speak.

Thus ends my short meditation on the importance of whimsy. Apparently I couldn’t be bothered to devise a thoughtful conclusion, but hey! It’s nice outside. Go forth and be whimsical.

1 - “The Bookslinger” was never published. It was written a decade ago when lad-lit was making its brief appearance as a viable genre. The story was old before it was told. Oh, well. Contrary to popular belief and common sense, I am still rather proud of it.