Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Just Buy an Umbrella Already

I owe all of you an apology. This review was technically "due" last week, on December 23rd. But, and here's where I proffer up excuses when as far as I can tell you really don't give a flying rat's ass, last Thursday was my last day at work before a year-end, sanity-restoring, very much needed break. And although I was able to compile my notes together for this review, I was simply unable to write a single word. My writer bone was simply snapped in two. So for a few days, I let it be. I went where I wanted to go. Did what I wanted to do.

And as of this morning, I feel oddly healed. Partially.

So, Vishwa, are you ready for me?

Back in the months I spent in the monastery in the Alps, there was an unusual fellow from Colombia who had the chamber adjacent to mine. When it would rain, he would wander outside and just wallow in self-pity and self-loathing. He was otherwise such a nice person, but this behavior indicated so clearly his underlying demons, it was of no great surprise to anyone when he was hospitalized for a series of mental and emotional breakdowns. As I understand it now, he is stable and runs a chain of Tae Kwon Do dojos, so perhaps the breakdown was necessary.

I mention this only because Vishwa's blog -- A Walk in the Drizzle -- seems to indicate early on a similar sort of potential downward spiral. For those of you sick fucks who think it might be fun to see someone spiral into the pits of despair, I suggest only that you will be disappointed, because that actually never seems to happen. That said, he expresses such a joy at the misery of walking in the rain, at the self flagellation thereof, that I was in the early years a bit worried about the guy.

Instead, though, we get a person who is contemplative and spiritual, and yet possessed of a pragmatic core. He spends time with a spiritual leader and yet works in IT. This sets up a conflict inside of him. The spiritual and contemplative side bemoans the fact that working in IT doesn't feed the spiritual, and yet the pragmatic side rules the roost. It's fine to want to be a philosopher and what not, but you don't get dental with that, and the part of him that likes to eat and live with a roof over his head wins.

Vishwa writes well enough. I wasn't constantly wanting to bash him over the head with a Strunk & White or anything, but his boring choice of templates is a bit of a canary in the coalmine for what's to come. His writing is a bit self interested for my liking. He splashes a bit of humor and humanity here and then, and rewards the patient reader with a nugget of truth about who he is rather than what he's thinking about, but it doesn't come often enough. He comes across as a navel gazer who only occasionally looks up to interact with anyone who might be in front of him.

To complicate matters, his last post was three months ago. And I really hate reviewing abandoned or retired blogs. On the one hand, like studying Latin is nice because it's a closed system that never needs updating, a dead blog is easier to review because you never have to worry about a recent post completely changing your whole perspective, but on the other hand it seems a bit pointless. If you are done, you obviously don't need tips on how to improve.

In the end, I have to conclude that Vishwa is not living up to his demonstrated potential. But he isn't totally abysmal. So, for him, I proffer a single star.

Consider it a belated Christmas gift.


  1. It is becoming clear that we are fighting a losing battle against capostrophes.

    (Catastrophic apostrophization - right? Guys? Hey? COME ON)

    "Likes" needs no apostrophe. Thank you. Merry Bye-Bye.

  2. Nutjobber,

    Thanks for taking the time to review my blog and for the christmas gift. I was expecting worse, looking at the bashing other blogs got here off late, amidst some real rocking advice on writing. ;-)

    Totally agree with your observation on navel-gazing. I started out trying to make a career in writing but had to shift into IT because of the pragmatic reasons you mention. Blogging started as an attempt to keep the writing muscle alive amidst the stress of IT, and I guess, it morphed into some kinda self-observational, reflective writeups without firing any other engines. Of course, it helped refine my writing, well enough to contribute to some real interesting content elsewhere ('ll have a good time bashing that website but I'm not submitting it for review :-D

    You missed the mark on the conflict between the spiritual/IT. Spiritual for me is not reclusive but living life to the fullest, realizing ones potential and expressing it in the day-to-day living. Meditations and spiritual practices help this process. Don't know if this hasn't come across well in my posts.

    The blog isn't done yet, just on a winter slumber. Thanks again for your observations and for digging and bringing up some really old posts. Belated Christmas greetings and a very happy New Year to all of you, well in advance.

  3. sorry, the comment is for Scorpio...

  4. I am so using Merry Bye Bye.


Grow a pair.