I'm a huge fan of Douglas Adams' satirical sci-fi series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". The FIVE books in the 'trilogy' are genius, pure and simple. Adams died far too young, and the world of humor writing is the poorer for it.
Anyway, there is a scene in one book where the protagonist, Arthur Dent, says to no one in particular, "I seem to be having difficulty with my lifestyle."
The problem is, at the moment he says those words, a hole opens up in the space-time continuum, and his seemingly benign observation is transported back in time and dropped into the middle of an intense negotiation between representatives of two warring factions. Unfortunately, in their language the phrase "I seem to be having difficulty with my lifestyle" is the most thoroughly vile, filthy and offensive insult imaginable, and the two enemies have no choice but to engage in a war that lasts hundreds of years.
When they finally realize that the whole thing was just a big misunderstanding, and the source of the insult was our own galaxy, they join forces and, thundering across the universe in their mighty warships, they eventually descend on planet Earth and declare war on humanity.
However, due to an unfortunate miscalculation in scale, the entire fleet is swallowed by a small dog. Things like this, apparently, happen all the time.
My point is this: I'm not really very controversial. I'm outspoken, no argument there. But I usually have such silly opinions on such ridiculous subjects that no one feels the need to get terribly worked up over anything I have to say. And I try, whenever possible, to say things in such a way that I can always hide behind the humorists' shield known as, "Hey, just kidding, folks!"
Well, my last post was not a joke. It came from a kind of frustrated place, to be sure. But it wasn't intended to make anyone unhappy, either. Or annoyed. Or really even to motivate folks to do more than just say, "Hmmm..." and then move on to far more pressing concerns, like whether or not they can go a third day without washing their hair.
But if my e-mail is any indication, my semi-benign observations have frosted a few people, people I love and who shouldn't ever read anything I write and feel bad about it, and I want to apologize to anyone who took this far more to heart than I ever would have imagined.
From now on, I'll leave the social rants to the experts, like Stephen Colbert and Oprah. And I'll keep writing about the things that matter most, like how many Israelite women were on their happy weeks at any given time. I enjoy laughing with you all so much more, anyway!
If that doesn't work, I'll just grab my towel, stick out my inter-stellar thumb, and wait for Douglas Adams to swing by. I'm pretty sure he would have some interesting thoughts on the subject of authentic living.
And he's totally unavailable by e-mail, on account of his being deceased and all...