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Nothing is new under the sun, which makes our job harder

June 28, 2013

They’re gonna dig Aaron Hernandez’s funky hat in jail.

Another professional athlete has been arrested for violence against someone else…and this is since former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murdering a semi-pro football player. (A Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker allegedly tried to kill someone–and failed. Only in crime is failure punished at a lower rate than success.)

This occurred in the same week a celebrity said something stupid and made things worse in trying to explain it away. And another trial–in Florida (go figure)–threatened to inflame the country and make us all look like a bunch of boobs. Again.

And a Supreme Court ruling made one portion of the country happy and another portion angry. And all of them scurried to Facebook to let their opinions be known.

To quote the great Cher, “the beat goes on.”

The book of Ecclesiastes is a wonderful part of the Bible, in particular for people who suffer through the yearly travails of rooting for the teams I root for in professional sports. It’s lusciously cynical, in particular when it says several billion times that nothing is new under the sun.

I’m glad I blog about writing stuff, because to be honest, with the exception of the blog post about Paula Deen, which wasn’t really about Paula Deen, I can’t think of anything new to say about any of the other topics I referenced above. All of these scripts have been written before. Aaron Hernandez is Rae Carruth II: The (Further) Wrath of a Self-Indulgent Violent Idiot who frittered away millions of dollars because he (allegedly) needed to kill someone.

There he is. The truculent pundit and sports journalist who described a Washington Redskins receiver using a racist term, RIGHT THERE!

Paula Deen is Rush Limbaugh is Michael Richards is Al Campanis is Howard Cosell. I probably missed several dozen in between, but all have stumbled over race-related misstatements and seen their employment picture change.

The George Zimmerman trial has all the intrigue of the Casey Anthony trial, but now includes knock-knock jokes. Seriously. The defense started their opening statement with a knock-knock joke.

How in the hell do I, as a writer, compete with that?

But that’s our job. We take the mundane and make it new and fresh. We set Ecclesiastes on its head. Maybe nothing is new under the sun, bu there’s a fresh way to look at something–fresh enough to make it look and feel new, even if it isn’t.

It’s heavy work, this writing thing. Not only do you have to get all the pieces to line up appropriately, but you also need to arrange the same pieces everyone else uses and make them lok like something no one’s ever made before.

How do we do it?

How do you do it?

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5 Comments
  1. Peggy Lambert permalink
    June 28, 2013 7:08 am

    ‘Only in crime is failure punished at a lower rate than success.’ hmmmm. It could be an excellent quote if I could figure out what it means. Would you elaborate?

    • Chris Hamilton permalink
      June 28, 2013 9:11 am

      If you attempt to murder someone and you aren’t competent enough to do it, you are punished less than if you’re competent enough to succeed.

  2. June 28, 2013 7:54 am

    Presentation and piquancy tweak base ingredients from fast food grub into gourmet food to tempt jaded palates. Southern fried or cordon bleu – its still chicken!

  3. June 29, 2013 1:44 am

    As a writer I am privileged to to make my living telling stories. However, I do labor under the delusion that I am about to reinvent the wheel with the tales I come up with. I write as originally as I am able, but the fact is I am subject to my own experiences. It is the well from which I draw, and frankly my life, though colorful, has being anything but singularly unique. So what do I do? I try to be as entertaining as I can, and hope people enjoy the fruits of my labor. And I must be honest,..unless I’m curing cancer or bringing peace to war-torn nations why should I expect more from being a writer of fiction? The answer is, I don’t. But that’s fine by me. I love what I do.

  4. June 29, 2013 2:57 am

    Chris,

    Well said.

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