Normally, this time of year I write about Guy Fawkes and revolution. It’s true, check out my previous early November blogs. Why do I talk about revolution in November? Simple, Guy Fawkes and his failed attempt at revolution. However, some strange force in the universe has guided me along another path.
Growing up, as a child of the 1970’s, when television offered only three corporate channels and one public access channel, my entertainment came either from prime time programing or the Children’s Television Workshop. Sesame Street to be exact. For some reason I didn’t connect with Kermit or any of the feel good Muppets. Instead, The Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch were the characters I identified with. Not the normal connection a young child should make.
To be truthful, I think that, at the time, CTW placed unsavory characters in their shows to instruct kids how they should not be. Grumpy, greedy, one sided and maybe a bit self-centered. A monster, no, a person in touch with their inner selves and life. Someone or something that truly knows what makes them happy. Someone who knows what makes them happy in life. Be it cookies or the suffering of others. Yup, they were the ones I identified with were the outcasts and the disenfranchised.
Then they introduced Mr. Snuffleufagus. His first name, Aloysious. A name I’m more than familiar with. This character was usually depressed and felt like he was invisible. Another trait I could identify with. Muppets with a singular purpose. A goal in life and the knowledge of what makes them happy. Yup, that is what I felt streaming out of the fluorescent information of the cathode ray tube of small screen, large box televisions.
I was a quiet and surly kid. A child who revolted and rebelled against any and all authority that I came into contact with. My teachers, my parents, the neighbors and the local police held any control over me. All I wanted was to feel normal, to be accepted and to feel as if I was not as fucked up as everyone told me I was.
Doesn’t seem like much to ask for, but ask yourself, “How do I explain to the world at large and the folks in my life who and what I am?” You can’t. After all, how many people in your life would really accept you for the person who stares back at you in the mirror every morning? I mean seriously, what sort of fucked up secrets that are rattling around inside of your head can you truly divulge to the people in your life? You can’t. It’s simple math. Really, it is. Reach down inside your most heinous thoughts and desires and then divulge them to the person and people that are close to you.
My bet is that you won’t do it. But, in this instance I can. I like being an outsider. A person who is not in touch with his co-workers, their inner machinations of life choices or the secret and unsubstantial jokes that provide a daily recognition of one’s personal need for acknowledgement in life. Nope, I prefer to be the one outside, the one who observes and sees the writing on the wall of others path through this existence.
It is where I am most comfortable. Like Oscar, like Cookie, like Mr. Snuffalapugus. I prefer to be a ghost in the machine. After all, I know who and what I am, where I belong and my eventual path will lead me. So, I will break all of this down for you…
I have maybe two or three friends I can talk to completely unshielded. If you think you know who you are, then maybe you are. I have about fifteen acquaintances who are right now thinking they are amongst the two or three folks in my inner circle. Then there are the rest of you, the ones who read my blog, who I talk to occasionally and we both walk away from the conversation feeling better about ourselves. Then there are the people I’ve never met, who if they met me in real life, on a day when I’m surly and cold would walk away thinking I’m nothing like the person they thought I was.
Basically, I’m Oscar the Grouch with a large portion of Cookie Monster thrown in and a dash of Mr. Snuffflupagus. Yeah. I’m a muppet for the ages and I like it that way.
Recently, some co-workers told me I said something that I don’t recall saying. I trust them in what they said and in the context of how I said it. Do I remember what I said? Nope. I don’t. Are they at fault or am I? I would like to think they are but I know differently.
I know who I am and what I am. I am a man, a frustrated and sometimes angry man. A man who tries to hold the ever changing world at bay and fails miserably. I’m a person who doesn’t accept change readily or easily. I like the status quo and I don’t want to diverge from it. No matter what the cost, the benefit or the detriment. I like to keep things true to the nature of what is going on in the world as I know it.
I am Oscar the Grouch, I am the Cookie Monster. I am a disgruntled and frustrated middle age person who longs for a simpler time. A time before mass media and instant gratification of the internet. Even though I benefit from the later more than I do from the former.
Which muppet are you?