Monday, February 19, 2007

Dancing in the Dark

Sometimes I feel that I'm not clear enough on some things. It should be obvious that I write. What I hope isn't painfully obvious is that I try to be as funny as possible when I write. If it's obvious I'm trying, then maybe it's not working.

Most of the criticisms I've had are very vague. I'm not what people are looking for. One helpful person once told me my comic strip was, "Not funny. At all." His comic tanked after about 20 strips, and so I took perverse pleasure in the fact that I was still going, still plucking away in the face of adversity, not listening to the naysayers who just don't get my style.

Of course, I don't actually have a "style" with my comic strip, it's just me getting things down on paper so I don't forget. I once joked that I was the Gen X slacker version of Cathy. Then I read some people's opinion of Cathy, and I didn't mention her anymore. (I still read Cathy.)

Right there is a pretty good glimpse into what most of my time has been wasted doing. I back down when people like something else, because I feel that they obviously must know more than I do. When everyone else my age was listening to rap, I was listening to The Cure. Other kids would ask if I'd seen In Living Color, I said that I watched Monty Python. People were flocking to theaters to see the latest movies, I was just catching up with last year on cable. I felt guilty for a long time, embarrassed by myself, so I wouldn't talk about what I liked, expecting that no one would know what I was on about. I spent a great deal of the 1980s being happy by myself in my room with my high-falutin' books by dead authors, Atari video games, and tapes of bands that mainstream radio never played.

Twenty years down the line, I hear other people my age saying how much they liked things I liked, and I'm jealous I didn't get to go to school with them. I've always been convinced I could have amounted to much greater things much quicker if I'd had constant input on my ideas, but I realize now that I never actually approached anyone, because I had already decided that whatever I had to say, it was either trivial or no one would "get it." I'm bloody grateful I had one good friend to put on shows with and be silly with and be a kid with, he even led to me getting this blog account (Yo, X). Of course...he didn't like my Level 42, but after hearing their new album, maybe he had something there.

(This post sat in drafts since December of 2006. Four years later I decided it was time to post it. And I still love Level 42, I don't know what I was on about in that last line, don't mind me, Level 42, you're lovely and I hope you tour in the US in 2010.)

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