Segarini – Excuses Excuses Excuses
Some of you may have noticed I have been MIA for the past month, some of you may not have noticed at all, and some of you may have noticed other things, like a change in the mood of Canada or a growing concern over the long term effects of Kale on your sexual performance, or the fact that Sportsball teams can be as disappointing as the new Adele single. Of course, if she was always a disappointment to you, the letdown is far easier…like the Sportspuck team from Toronto.
Regardless of whether or not you noticed my absenteeism here at DBAWIS, I was, indeed, not present for a number of reasons, most of which read like excuses, but are actually reasons…even though they appear to be excuses.
To clarify, THIS is an excuse: The dog ate my homework.
This is a reason: The dog ate my homework and got really sick, so I had to take him to the vet.
Reasons for something always change. You can only use “I had to attend my Grandmother’s funeral” once…at the most, twice, or if you were passed around like a bong at a house party as a child, maybe four or five times depending on how often your actual parents remarried.
I do not want to bore you with each and every reason I failed to deliver a column this month, but I will bore you with as good an explanation I can offer without sounding like I am making excuses, which, in the eyes of some of you, will appear to be excuses anyway.
In no particular order….
THE REASONS I HAVE NOT BEEN POSTING COLUMNS AT DON’T BELIEVE A WORD I SAY
I was so overwhelmed by the amount of things I had to do, I couldn’t do any of them.
I felt “icky”
I wrote 2000 words about the impact of Drake on actual music, re-read it, and deleted it in a frustrated and mindless rage.
I started to write a column about the state of radio, burst into tears, and spent the next two days weeping under my bed.
I binge-watched 18 episodes of “Ironside” and forgot I had to write a column.
I was researching Virgin Radio’s top ten for a column and managed to get through 2 songs and suddenly burst into tears and spent the next three days weeping in the hall closet.
I did 700 words on why there is no ‘e’ in Weeknd, and realized the world is a cruel and hopeless place, burst into tears, and spent the next 5 days weeping on the kitchen floor with my head in the oven.
The dog ate my column.
By my estimation, I owe you at least 4 new columns.
One to finish my Dad’s story, one to complete the “Stopping Stupid” serial, one to review and share my experiences at this year’s Indie Week, and one to tell you all about my short vacation in Montreal with the GF to see old friends and eat a great deal of food.
I was going to post one today, but I must spend every waking hour until Wednesday afternoon writing two and a half minutes of brilliant verbiage to share at a worthwhile fundraiser for Lisa’s Journey of Hope at The Phoenix Wednesday night (starting at 7:00) where I will join David Marsden, Jesse & Gene, Roger Ashby, Steve Anthony,Rick Ringer, “Mad Dog”, Randy Taylor, Neil Hedley, and Robbie Lane, onstage as part of the “Legends of Toronto Radio” portion of the show. Our incessant talking will fortunately be interrupted frequently by artists like Donnie Walsh (Mr. Downchild), Greg Godovitz, Jordan John, The Carpet Frogs and a special performance by Cirque de Soliel!
Buy a ticket. Show up. Support this cause. Buy me a drink.
It will please some of you to know that I will be back in these pages with an all new column this coming Friday. Others of you may not be thrilled or even happy about it and to you I say, “poop”.
As for those of you who will enjoy my return, I leave you with a column from a few years ago concerning the difficulties of writing, the weight of having to deliver day after day, week after week, and give your best each and every time. Also, I do wish to just say thank you to you, our readers, and to my fellow writers here, the brave men and women who do their best to inform, enlighten, and entertain you at DBAWIS each and every week.
Thank you. All of you. Except that guy. You know who you are. Prick.
The Wall has different meanings for different people. There is one in China that can be seen from outer space. There is the one on Facebook where the graffiti of your life and the lives of your friends can be shared instantly. There is the one that marathon participants hit when they just can’t run anymore. And there’s the one that is part of the legacy of a somewhat vague and pretentious British rock band whose lasting popularity is based on its musical dexterity and lyrics that can be interpreted to suit whatever the listener chooses to believe. Then there is my Wall. The one I hit almost every time I sit down to write.
Writing is not the easiest way to communicate. It is difficult to convey sarcasm, nuance, and other easily verbalized inflections, yet we are a culture that has chosen to text, tweet, email, and instant message, instead of pick up the phone and call someone or engage in a face to face conversation. We go to clubs and bars where the music is so loud verbal communication is next to impossible. A family of 4 can be in the same room, but with mom on the laptop wishing someone happy birthday by writing on their wall on Facebook, dad chatting with his buds on a fantasy football site, Jr. playing Warcraft with his friends, and sis texting her BFFs, they might as well be on 4 different mountains on 4 different continents.
Communicating the way we do has all but destroyed grammar, punctuation, and spelling. We write in a kind of goof-ball shorthand most of the time. If you get any snail mail these days, it is a bill, a flyer, or a postcard. Very few of us write letters anymore, which is probably a good thing. Most of us have trouble with ‘there, their, and they’re’, ‘to, too, and two’, and the always popular, ‘your, yore, and you’re. Is it ‘here, here’, or ‘hear, hear’? And when is it ‘its’ and not ‘it’s’? Most of us get away with these mistakes because no one cares if you use the wrong word anymore. The vast majority of us would fail an 8th grade English class…if they still really taught English. How far do you think LOL, L8R would get you in a pop quiz?
Because we have become so acclimated to getting our information in short bursts these days, reading is in as much trouble as writing. People tend to glean whatever information they think they are reading, rather than fully understanding the words. We skim. We glance. We see the words we think are important and dismiss the rest. We are, for some inexplicable reason, in a hurry; swallowing the words whole instead of chewing on them and getting their full flavours, their full meanings. Words are written and read without context. How many times have you read a wall post in your Facebook newsfeed that says something like “I hate that!” with no indication of what the fuck ‘that’ is?
Over the years I have discovered that eloquence in speaking or writing falls prey to the opinion that anyone who speaks well or writes well is pulling a fast one. Silver Tongued Devils using words to corrupt, or sway, or manipulate us into believing whatever it is they’re on about. The unwarranted and slightly paranoid belief that anyone who can express themselves so clearly, so engagingly, must be up to no good. That opinion runs rampant in our culture, the same culture that is perfectly at home with believing cancer can be cured by eating a radish every 20 minutes, Elvis is still alive and owns a gas station in Rome, Georgia, and all Republicans have a secret headquarters where they meet every Wednesday under the stairs at an Akron, Ohio Hooters and eat their young…because they read it on Facebook or Twitter. Then, to add insult to injury, they ask us to repost or re-tweet their information or make it our ‘status’. And you wonder why I drink.
When I first started writing these columns (for FYIMusic) back in February of 2009, I couldn’t wait to sit down in front of the laptop. I wrote 3 columns a week without breaking a sweat for 2 years. It was easy and it was fun. I wrote about my life in music, in radio, and just my life in general. I wrote about stuff I love, like television, comic books, movies and food. I still do. But now almost every time I sit down in front of the computer, I hit The Wall.
I am terrified I will sound like an idiot. I am afraid I will so screw up the punctuation or use the wrong word or miss a typo that you will think I’m typing with my elbows while driving. I am afraid I will be boring…and I am afraid I will repeat myself or, worse yet, fail to come up with something to write about, or repeat myself.
Much of what plagues me these days is in my frustration with so many things. I obsess about the public’s inability to differentiate between popular and good. I fret about people’s inability to communicate honestly and simply with one another. I am troubled that pertinent information goes unshared. I am saddened by the fact that violence and rage are implemented by the hopelessly insecure (and we are all insecure to a degree, the connective tissue that makes us human) more than dialogue and diplomacy, and I am disappointed that discourse is a lost art, more often than not just the opening salvo to an argument that ends in name calling or worse. I am disgusted by the lack of common sense in our leaders and ourselves, and I am frightened by how easily we accept mediocrity as good enough, and celebrity as a goal. All of this just gives me the blahs.
I am tired of tip-toeing around the fact that most of what you hear on the radio is premeditated shit. I am weary of hearing how shitty today’s music is when in fact today’s music is miraculous, it is just not as easy to find as it used to be. I am sick and tired of the guiding lights of the entertainment industries who insist that we are criminals for embracing the present while they continue to champion a past that has no place in today’s world. Mostly, I am just plain fed up with personal agendas, greed, and bullheaded misanthropes who punish innovation and creativity and reward conformity and superficiality. I’m tired of those to whom passion and talent are mere buzzwords with no real meaning behind them at all, hollow praise to describe that which has no passion, those who possess no talent, as though saying it will make it so.
I know this feeling will pass. It has before, and it will again. And when it does my sense of humour will return, the wall will dissipate, and writing will once again become easy and fun. Until then…fuck…I really don’t have anything to say.
Segarini’s column appears whenever his dog doesn’t eat it
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.