|Change (Reinventing the Whack)|
|August 10, 1997|
I think now is a good time for change. I mean for over two years I have pretty much written my Whacks with the same basic format. I open with some sort of paragraph introducing what the main topic of the Whack will be; I then go on to write three main paragraphs dealing with three facets of the main topic; then when I approach the average length of a Whack I abruptly bring it to an end with my signature closing paragraph; and finally I try to force out some sort of related top ten list. It's like I have some sort of template for my word processor that all I have to do is add in some funny lines and then the Whack writes itself. Well it's long overdue that I threw away that template. The Whack has become too tight, too formal, too much of a chore to do. It's almost as if it's become like a school assignment or something. Like, oh no, I got to write another Whack. Well that's not how it should be, nor was that how was supposed to be. So instead of stop writing Whacks, I'm just going to stop writing Whacks the same old way anymore. Many people who read the Whacks regularly have told me that two ones that stick out in their heads are the two where I just reprinted stuff I wrote in my ninth grade English class journal (The Roots of Feff Part 1 & 2). Basically I can understand why. That journal was just me writing whatever funny thought came in my head down in a notebook. It's a very simple concept. In theory, it's the exact same concept that I had in mind when I came up with the idea of doing a Whack. Each week I was going to sit down in front of a computer and just write whatever was on my mind. No format, no limits, just complete freedom of thought. It was supposed to be a virtual "spit-valve for the brain." But somewhere down the line this valve grew thinner and thinner, until it just let one drop out at a time. Yeah, that was probably the most repressive feature of the Whack, trying to write it on one main topic. I mean I have the attention span of a gnat. I could never talk about just one thing for an extended period of time, I could never think about just one thing for an extended period of time, so how can expect myself to write about just one thing for an extended period of time? I mean I'm already getting bored writing this Whack about changing the Whack. I pretty much have to force myself to keep my attention on one thing. I'm doing it right now. It's taking forever to dredge through this Whack because a thousand other thoughts are flying through my head to distract me. However, I must suppress these thoughts. I must push these thoughts to the back of my mind and force myself to concentrate on the main topic. You will never get to see any trace of those thoughts. Well at least you wouldn't of if I kept doing Whacks the same way. I hope to have a place for these thoughts in future Whacks. I want you the reader to see the closest thing possible to the natural progression of my mind. I think that's the least that you deserve. I mean ever since I started writing Whacks I have gotten nothing but positive feedback about them. You guys really seem to dig them. So if you seem to like what I have to force out of my brain each week, hopefully you'll like even more what just flows out naturally. And when I use the word flow, I mean the closest thing I can get to a flow without losing all writing structure whatsoever. I mean I'm not going to start writing in incoherent sentence fragments. I still plan on using complete sentences, however maybe all my paragraphs won't have topic sentences, or my Whacks a main thesis. It will just be a whole bunch of main ideas and topic sentences all jumbled up together in something that will hopefully put a smile on your face when you read it. Ultimately that's my main goal. It was the same way back when I did that journal in ninth grade. I would write in for ten minutes, and then the first thing I would do is turn around and give it a friend of mine (most of the time is was Joe) to read it. Humor is nothing if you keep it to yourself. Lastly, one more thing about the Whack that I'm changing is it's regularity. I shall no longer call it the Weekly Whack, but just plain old and simply The Whack. The second most repressive feature about the Whack was the fact that it had a time frame for when it was supposed to be done by. Every Sunday I had to sit down and get the Whack done. And if I happened to be in a funny mood that particular Sunday you got a good Whack, if not, I forced out something sub-standard. From now on I plan on writing Whacks when I'm in the mood to sit down and write a Whack, whether is it once a week or even multiple times a week. It takes all the pressure off myself and off of Joe. I'll just keep writing them and sending them to Joe, and he'll just put them up as he gets them. But I'm still going to retain some sort of discipline. I will try to write at least one Whack every week, but I will guarantee you that I will always write at least four Whacks every month. So you can just keep on checking for the Whacks when you normally do, and at times you may see a couple new Whacks, but also there may be times that there won't be one. Now you must be all asking yourself the question why. Why change the Whack now? Well the main reason I did it is because I don't think I could have kept doing it the same way. I've done over a hundred Whacks already, and I want to do over a thousand. And I had to change the way I did them or I wouldn't be able to keep it up that longer in the future. Now a lot of people may be upset that I'm changing the way I do the Whack because it's breaking tradition, but I say the hell with tradition. When tradition gets into the way of quality and of the future, it is definitely time to break tradition. So I hope you understand everything I had to say, and hopefully things will be a bit clearer to you when I start popping out what will become known as the next generation of Whacks.
And screw this week's top ten list, I'll just give you a poem I recently wrote:
The Sesame Bagel:
A flower grew in the summer.
In winter it was dead.
Next summer another flower grew.
In winter it was dead.
The summer after that, another flower grew.
In autumn a dog ate that flower and died of poisoning.
The following summer another flower grew,
But the dog was still dead.
He should have eaten a sesame bagel instead.