Monday, May 13, 2013

The End-of-Things Guy

Last Thursday night, I was part of a trivia team at at local bar.  We finished 4th that night.  It was kind of fun.  

The week before I had pronounced "Trivia Night" dead.  It came late in the 2nd part of the competition, when the double-point question involved a) what main character on a sitcom's Halloween episode was obsessed with the "slutty pumpkin" and b) what network was the show on.  At that point, I knew not just that we didn't know the answer but that we had no business being part of the competition.  It was not aimed for people like us.  I do not say that critically.

For years, I have been teased because I declared probably ten or more years ago that our fantasy football league was, well, dead as well.  I'm still in the league

Concerning this blog, I have called it deceased any number of times, including last night, when I texted my blog partner and told him. "Just because I am still posting blogs doesn't mean that I don't think the blog is dead."  He got .ost in the double negative, as well he should.  I have even written a post that ran for a few minutes a couple of months ago before my blog partner convinced me that it wasn't fair to him that I declare this blog dead unilaterally.  It sits in our blog "workshop" as a draft.

I told a friend that Springsteen's live shows could not equal what he had once done.  And then I proceeded to go see the man in concert as far away as Chicago and Kansas City.

I am the end-of-things guy.

I don't apologize for that, if for no other reason than that in our modern world, no one apologizes for anything.  Beyond that, though, I don't apologize because I think I'm right (which, again, doesn't do much to differentiate me from the rest of humanity).

But I will, to this day, argue that, sadly, I was indeed ahead of the curve and that our fantasy football league has never since been as fun--team owners have not been as involved in the camaraderie or the shared messaging or the commitment to the league that the owners had in those early days.  The caliber of the owners and the league events is not the same.   That we continue on is for motives I don't always understand. Perhaps it is the quandary Robert Frost found himself  in "The Oven Bird," when he wondered "what to make of a diminished thing."

Similarly, both this blog and that trivia league had some glory days of major participation and involvement that is not happening now.  The reasons for that probably don't need elaboration.

Actually, I do understand why things like leagues and blogs and Thursday evenings continue on--it is because of friendship.  Isn't it?

But it also likely stands as true among the many dividing lines of humanity that there are two kinds of people in the world, those who know when something is finished and those who don't.  I'm willing to say that I think I am the former, but I really have no way of knowing.  I only think I know when something is played out.  In social situations, for example, I usually think it is time to leave before my wife does.  I accuse her of not being able to extricate herself.  That discussion does not always go so well.

Which probably makes me, in some eyes, a naysayer, a person who is willing to let go earlier than others.  Prescience or character flaw?  I'm not really sure.  I know what I think, of course, but based on comments I get from others, I can't say that I'm right, just pretty consistent.

I wish that things like what I've mentioned were as great as they've always been, but they aren't.  They are hollow versions.  Of that, I am certain.  Ah, you big silly life, you always make us choose between what we think is true and what we do for love!


troutking said...

I like your post and I enjoy your declarations, but I do do you know when something is only temporarily less fun than it was? For example, there were many opportunities to say that Dylan was done over the years, but then you would have missed masterpieces like Blood on the Tracks and Oh Mercy and Time out of Mind and "Love and Theft" etc. And, what if something isn't quite as great as it once was, but it's still enjoyable? To me, that's not quite the same as "over." I guess I tend to continue to do something until it isn't fun at all or I find something else to replace it.

troutking said...

Also, I'm sure Bruce was awesome in 1978, but damn he was pretty great in Chicago and Kansas City, huh? Not to mention the burnt ends.

troutking said...

Nothing really to say, just know you like to see the number of comments go up.

troutking said...

See above.

troutking said...

Hi, Bob!

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of this great new band named Polyp?

Daisy said...

Maybe your letting go early is just a self fulfilling prophecy. You say the blog is dead and people start wondering if you're right. Next thing you know they are commenting less often and days go by before they even check for new posts. Maybe they are trying to ready themselves for the end and inadvertently bring it about quicker.

Bob said...

Nah, daisy, I'm not taking the heat for that one. I didn't call for fewer posts per month.