I used to write a website about movies and television with the occasional Think Piece on Gwyneth Paltrow’s spending power. It is a website that just happens to be closing up shop for good tomorrow, unfortunately. Ours was a love the world could not understand. R.I.P.
By the end of my tenure at the soon (so soon) to be defunct pop culture website, it genuinely felt like I was reading the Entire Internet every day, and the only takeaway one can have from reading the Entire Internet every day is that the Internet is 100% Horrible. There’s a common sense that the Internet is just a collection of sad adolescent trolls hiding in their parents’ basements throwing digital feces through the proverbial bars, but the truth is much worse. Everyone is throwing the digital feces. The trolls just enjoy it a little more.
So, one of the most wonderful aspects of stopping writing for that website on a daily basis was that I also stopped reading other websites on a daily basis. With rare exception, I haven’t LOOKED at a blog in six months, much less read one. I still look at Tumblr most days, but Tumblr might as well be Instagram. It hardly counts.
And yet, I somehow have not managed to escape Blog Culture, because Blog Culture has become so pervasive that we are all doomed to a wasteland future of ad hominem non-jokes, knee-jerk unreflective judgements punched out on iPads during commercial breaks, and a Smithsonian’s worth of #selfies.
I have had that scratchy sore throat for a couple of days and it really makes me miss my Nonna because she would have dosed me with a bit of whiskey muddled with a cube of sugar and an inch of peppermint stick slightly warmed up. I have often tried this remedy on myself and various friends and invariably we have just gotten drunk with semi-sweet smelling breath. She said as a girl in the 20s she would spend the night with her best friend whose father was a doctor and believed in a “hot toddy” for every member of the family each morning when the weather was cold to ward off the ailments that the weather would bring. When my grandmother would come home and probably slurringly ask-as only a 20s tween could for the hundredth time-as to why her parents didn’t do the same, my great-grandmother in her exasperation over her alcohol-free breakfast finally shouted in her genteel way “Phillip! Go buy this child some whiskey!”
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.