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Confessions of an Old Media Columnist

I’m a columnist for the most important newspaper in the world. That makes me very important. Only now I’m not so sure I’m anything but a fading echo of a dying era. Still, what else can I do but use my position and power to ridicule that which I don’t understand?

stack of newspapersI used to have a real voice, until I became so jaded that I had to steal ideas and try to refute insights from unknown online columnists. Now I’m revealing myself for what I am, just another hack that has no insights of his own.

On the other hand, aren’t I entitled to riff off anyone I can? I’ve risen to the top of the heap. I write for the most important newspaper in the world.

How dare these self-righteous vegetarian bloggers tell me my shit stinks more than theirs just because I love a big, juicy steak? These young twits have no idea how hard I’ve worked to get here, sitting on top of the heap.

Then again, more and more I can’t escape the stink of the mountain of horseshit I’ve climbed. It’s all so meaningless, and deep down I know I’m an utter mediocrity tapping out words I barely feel. That’s why I have to take ideas from unrecognized writers with insight and passion.

What is passion anyway? It’s been so long since I’ve felt it that I’ve forgotten what the word even means. In truth I’m empty, shallow and lost, and it’s beginning to show between every line I write. But what else can I do but fool myself, and hope I’m fooling enough people to keep my pay, perch and perks?

I sentimentalize my adopted country, the United States of America, and still see the world in terms of us vs. them—Putin vs. Obama, ISIS vs. the West—because though I’ve been to 100 countries, my worldview is as small as I am.

Truth stopped meaning anything to my twisted heart and mind decades ago, but I go on churning out words, flip-flopping between hard-edged realism and sentimental schlock.

I twist the truth into unrecognizability because I have become unrecognizable to myself. Besides, I don’t believe there is anything but my truth and your truth, indeed, that there is any such thing as truth at all.

What choice do I have but to try to destroy insight with my darkness, and cram the shards I glean into a box no bigger than myself, even as I ridicule the politics of me?

What else can I do from my perch of power and weakness except insult people trying to make the world a better place, when I’m such a fraud?

What option do I have except to wax sentimental about America, Europe and even my own past? If truth and intellectpatriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, I’m proud to be a scoundrel.

After all, I write for the most important newspaper in the world. I travel the world. Then again, why am I so empty and shallow, and have so little to really say?

To tell the truth, I don’t have a clue what the difference is between the politics of me, and the life of a true individual. So I project my utter confusion through mockery and lame attempts at satire by throwing both into the same bin.

It’s completely beyond me when someone says that taking care of the self is inherently selfish, while being self-knowing is the foundation of right living and a good society. I ridicule people who believe that the great failing of all past attempts to change societies is that they did not start from changing self, because me, myself and I is all that I have to live by.

I realize that there’s a huge difference between accentuating the self and self-knowing, but what else can I do in my darkness but mock the light?

After the thinning pleasures of my whiskey and steak wear off, at least I’m sure I’m an adult. It’s my deepest pose and pretension, though I’m emotionally and spiritually arrested.

I’ve playing the game for so long I don’t believe there is anything beyond the game. I’ve sharpened my intellect so much that it’s breaking off at the tip, and taking me with it.

I’m smart enough to know that taking care of self is inherently selfish, but stupid enough to mock mindfulness and wellness.

Why not? In the end, isn’t everyone like me? Nothing is given, everything is taken, and the world goes to hell.

I sure am. But so what, when you’re dead you’re dead. Right? Right.

Martin LeFevre

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