I have a Ludditish tendency to prefer meat space communities to virtual ones. This is why my social media presence is normally limited to a private Facebook account and a public one to promote this website and post useful, interesting things.
My columns are my comments.
I will not "...tweet/turn up on Youtube/podcast/go live on Facebook to answer questions from my fans ad infinitum, ad nauseam, etcetrium."
I have neither coffee cups or t-shirts for sale.
I don't want to sign you up for my newsletter, my class, or burden you with yet another notification.
However, if you'd like to receive my column via email you can easily sign up to do so on my website. I won't sell your address to someone else.
Any ethical, right-thinking Citizen of the Republic should endeavor to supplement my pathetic retirement income by buying me some coffee.
"He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how." -Nietzsche
My why is my daughter, son-in-law, and the Stickies (grand and great-grand).
If you're too cheap to support my work at least share it, particularly with your more prosperous acquaintances.
Long version: My primary motivation for creating and maintaining this site is to
Unfortunately for them, If I were to drop dead while writing this, as things stand at the moment, I wouldn't be leaving enough cash (or possessions) on the table to take the edge off of their no doubt overwhelming grief and sense of loss. Sorry guys. Oh well, at least you won't need lawyers.
Another reason I'm doing this is to demonstrate to any and all potential publishers/literary agents/syndicators/etceterizers that I have the ability and discipline to crank out a weekly column.
Finally, it's a hobby. I'm a
“At this point I reveal myself in my true colours, as a stick-in-the-mud. I hold a number of beliefs that have been repudiated by the liveliest intellects of our time. I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology. I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven't changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history. History is ourselves. I also hold one or two beliefs that are more difficult to put shortly. For example, I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people's feelings by satisfying our own egos. And I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole. All living things are our brothers and sisters. Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible.”
― Kenneth Clark, "Civilization"
I spend an inordinate amount of time online due to the fact that the Internet is ideal for a
[For the record, my addiction does not include celebrity news and/or sports. I don't peer down my nose at the many people that find one or both of those subjects fascinating, I don't peer down my nose at anyone (well, mostly...).]
I'm an equal opportunity offender, I enjoy poking (relatively gentle, usually) fun at everyone including me. I am somewhat crankish, and I am an unrepentant smarty-pants.
But I've also self-diagnosed myself and come to the conclusion that I'm a well-adjusted (well, mostly...) introvert. So, once you help me to become a successful writer, and entrepreneur (step 2), you won't have to worry about dealing with yet another talking head turning up here, there, and even over there, wild-eyed and addicted to endless self-promotion.
I have a decent pair of speakers and a subwoofer attached to my computer and I listen to music or watch TV online, but I don't watch much mainstream TV. I'm a world-class time-shifter who rarely sits through a commercial. I thought this made me one of the cool kids, but I've apparently devolved into a typical hooplehead.
I read somewhere that nowadays the cool kids use their smartphones as their primary (often only) device for internet access and to listen to music. I don't own a smartphone as of yet, but I'm sure it's inevitable.
[Update: I now own a smartphone and I plan to eventually/cautiously learn how to use it to do things besides make phone calls.]
As much as I enjoy trying to talk to people with surgically attached earbuds, and/or Facebook addicts busy commenting on the comments about their comments, I humbly and gracefully accept that I'm not one of the cool kids after all.
Now that I've accumulated a good bit of content without somehow going viral I've faced the book and can be accessed via a limited presence in the social media world.
The Flyoverland Crank can be found on Facebook. I post new column announcements every Saturday.
I regularly post content from the web that I find at least vaguely related to my crankish outlook on Facebook. I post a lot of stuff from the Wall Street Journal there as they have a very effective paywall and social media is the only way to share their content.
I peruse myriad sources of info, but for the record, I think The WSJ is America's (and the world's) paper of record. Truly objective, and real, journalism combined with an amazing op-ed department whose motto is, "Free people, free markets." Also, they despise crony capitalism as much as I do and have the resources to enthusiastically expose it.
[You may have seen "Endorsed by the Flyoverland Crank" printed above the masthead of the paper on both their website and dead trees versions.]
I'd rather you didn't send me a picture of that awesome quiche you had for breakfast. Real men not only don't eat quiche, they're even less likely to send you a (insert name of this week's cool, new social media app here) of themselves eating quiche. Also...
[And you feel compelled to share all of this fascinating bonkercockie because?]
Well, Dana, the thing is, I feel (slightly) guilty because I want readers and patrons and conventional wisdom dictates that I'm s'posed to "establish a community" and um, commune I guess if I'm to be successful. I'm supposed to tweet/turn up on Youtube/podcast/go live on Facebook to answer questions from my fans ad infinitum, ad nauseam, etcetrium.
I prefer to devote my limited time and energies to my writing, my hobbies, and the various and sundry overlapping meatspace communities that I'm a part of. I don't want to worsen anyone's Dizzinformation Anxiety Syndrome. I do want to write an old-fashioned weekly column that will, hopefully, make you smile.
My column/letter and my column/letter's Facebook page is all that I burden my fellow H. sapiens with. My version of the frequently used, frequently annoying cliche — it is what it is — is that they are what they are, make of them what you will, feel free to argue among yourselves.
I've lost my taste for argument and/or debate. I prefer quietly considering various viewpoints and quietly deciding where I stand. The current, apparently highly popular practice of talking heads yelling at each other on TV, or everyone yelling at everyone else via the internet (squawk! tweet, tweet) is not enlightened discussion, it's common denominator infotainment.
This website strives to create a hybrid, Enlightened Infotainment.
One last thing. As I was about to say before (deservedly) being interrupted by my imaginary gentlereader, Dana, who peers over my shoulder while I'm writing, I try to limit links in my weekly letter.
Ofen as not they will take you to my glossary; I collect unusual and made-up words. We all complain (especially me) about drowning in data. In my semi-humble opinion the ability to link here, there, and everywhere on the information superhighway often results in getting lost in traffic.
The fact that multitasking has been scientifically proven to be a bogus strategery (this would be a good place for a link) dovetails nicely with my belief that striving to live life within a personally mandated speed limit is an essential element of the Pursuit of Contentment, the title, and subject, of my very first column.
[For the record, that column was published on 7.23.15 but is now dated 8.20.16 due to technical incompetence on my part.]
One last, last thing. As to my grammar/spelling/punctuation/usage/etceterage, if you're a purist or language snob of some sort I apologize in advance, but not particularly sincerely, for my tendency to um, color outside the lines.
I use a spelling/grammar checker that constantly beats up on me for my sins. Being about as far from being a spelling/grammar master as it's possible to be and still be considered relatively literate doesn't discourage me from following my own contextually shifting rules, not that standing up to some software requires much in the way of manly courage.
Have an OK day.
Mark Mehlmauer (The Flyoverland Crank)
P.S. Remember, Cranky don't tweet but he does have a Facebook page that he posts to regularly.