The other night at 3:30 a.m. I had this great idea for a column where I’d shred every person, place and thing that irritated me in 2020 with surgical precision in under 1,000 words for all of northern Minnesota to read with their Saturday morning coffee.

The words flowed from the deep recesses of my over stimulated brain as I laid in bed wishing I was fast asleep instead of conjuring up columns that probably don’t get half the readership I think they do.

It all started with a single thought: “If a blogger shares his or her opinion via a Tweet and gets less than six likes does anyone really care what that person thinks?”

Sort of a new take on the old ‘tree falls in the woods, but no one is there so does it make a sound,’ deal.

When it comes to bloggers and their online opinions, the proof is in the pudding — otherwise known as likes, comments and shares. If a blog (basically a newspaper column one writes for free) gets little or no reaction, nobody really cares. Well, nobody except the blogger and his or her significant other who most likely long ago begrudgingly accepted the fact that blogging wasn’t going to really lead to fame and fortune.

On the bright side — at least they have a stay-at-home mom or dad to change diapers in-between keyboard clicks.

I wonder if bloggers that post something online spend all day checking out the analytics and getting excited with each individual hit. It must be very exciting to see someone from Sweden or California stumble upon their work.

Then what happens? Do they wait at the door like a happy puppy for their husband or wife to return so they can leap into their arms and declare a successful day?

“Look honey! I got a dozen hits on my 1,500-word masterpiece chronicling my snow shoveling adventure during that storm in 2008.”


Anyway, back to me and my thing.

Over the years I’ve read more than once that great writers have these types of a-ha moments in the darkness all the time and many keep a note pad next to the bed so that when inspiration strikes, they can hit the lights, grab a pen, and jot down whatever nugget of awesomeness pops into their craniums regardless of hour.

Personally, I’ve never been that ambitious — or should I say motivated — to produce a work of art. It’s safe to say that many a potentially great idea, line, or in this case, column, has slipped in and out of my mind more times than I care to admit.

Sleep is just much more important to me than work and the pay is nearly the same.

Long story even longer — my great idea for this column vanished into the dark regions of an aging mind. It’s gone. Long gone.

In its place you get this: A filler piece lodged into a space that would otherwise hold an opinion piece from some big national newspaper hack rehashing the same old, same old for the umpteenth time or better yet a blogger’s guide to navigating the ins and outs of a day in the life of someone you don’t really care about.

It’s probably better that my original idea vanished into thin air and you got this instead. Nobody really cares what I think about 2020 or needs to be reminded that it was a long 12 months. I’m ready to move on to 2021 and all the wonderfulness that awaits us here.

Still, I do remember bits and pieces of my early morning epiphany, including that I was going to write something witty and sarcastic about bloggers and how they are just about as irrelevant as the Hollywood types that like to use the social media sites to share their opinions — particularly people like Mark Ruffalo.

Why that guy was in my head at 3:30 a.m. is beyond me, but there he was, front and center, dominating my fragile mind.

Ruffalo, the actor who plays the Incredible Hulk in the movies, was just one of many Hollywood tough guys with much to say about Donald Trump over the past four years. Usually, his quips in 130 characters or less were bitter, hateful, and full of tough guy bravado.

And every time I’d see one of them, I’d think “this guy believes he’s actually the Incredible Hulk.”

To be honest, I think I’d like to see him fight Trump because I feel like orange man would knock Ruffalo out. The guy stands about 5-foot, 8-inches tall, and weighs 160-pounds so the tough guy act is kind of uncomfortable to watch. If we can have Mike Tyson versus Roy Jones Jr. in 2020, I see no reason why we can’t have Ruffalo versus Trump in 2021.

Or maybe even Ruffalo versus Baron Trump. At this point, the kids seems a bit more stable than his old man and really does look like he could go a few rounds.

I’m not sure exactly what it is about Ruffalo that ruffles my feathers so much compared to other Twitter loud-mouth celebrities like Meathead (Rob Reiner) or Ron Perlman (a pretend biker on a cable show that ended long ago). Perhaps it’s the way Ruffalo looks like the type of kid who would mouth off in school but when it came time to put up or shut-up he’d hide behind someone bigger and stronger.

Someone like Nicolas Cage. Now that guy seems like he might be tough in real life. He stands about six foot tall and comes off like a dude who isn’t really acting.

But Cage doesn’t really share his opinion so there’s that.

Bloggers, however, do share their opinions. Just like I’m doing right now — sharing my opinion via a rambling, seemingly endless, column that is filled with what I believe are witty observations and cutting sarcastic remarks that makes me giggle as I type them just like I’m sure you are giggling at home.

Look honey! The killer shred piece I just wrote got 12 hits today. I’m on my way baby.


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