Thursday, May 19, 2011
In nearly nine years as an anonymous internet author, the most difficult piece I've ever had to write was my final "Friday Music News Bootleg" column in February 2006.
That weekly column ran for three years beginning in February 2003 – 51 weeks before my son Jalen was born – and ended just a few days after his second birthday. I bawled like a baby as I pounded out the last few tired jokes at the expense of my favorite pop culture punching bags and wrote my goodbyes to everyone who had read and supported my work.
I remember when I decided to end it. At the two-year mark, I began to feel like I'd written everything possible about outrageous rapper behavior and the unwanted reunions of decrepit rock stars. I slogged through one more year – with increasingly uneven results – and knew the time had come.
That same feeling of finality hit me a few weeks ago – on May 1, to be exact.
It was Sunday night and I was sitting where I always sit on Sunday nights after Jalen's gone to bed and Mrs. Bootleg's just begun step three of her seven-step Sunday night hair care escapade (somewhere between "pre-wash scalp massage" and "navigating her salon-quality, sedan-sized hair steamer in from our garage"). I was less than 10 minutes in – staring blankly at the screen, overcome by the creative inertia washing over me – when I was jarred back into the real world with breaking news from my local FOX affiliate: Osama Bin Laden had been killed.
Obviously, it would be silly to question the newsworthiness of this interruption. But, if my Sunday night routine had been broken up – under similar circumstances – five years ago? I'd have lost my mind. (And, yes, I concede that I'm overwhelmingly in the minority here.) I used to be unnervingly rigid with some of my more whimsical pursuits. Three Sunday nights ago, however, I was transfixed to the television, watching this internationally impactful story unfold.
Afterwards, I could've easily opened my laptop and tried to finish my Sunday night as I usually do, but the desire simply wasn't there. Truth be told…the desire's been missing since at least last December. Some of my readers have even called me out on it. Just one more reason why I love you guys.
Earlier this week, I found myself deleting material I hadn't even half-finished. I never thought I could be so abrupt with something I once loved so much. But, like my decision to end my weekly music news column five years ago...the time, I fear, has finally come.
So long, The Simpsons.
You were a credit to dementia.