Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy

Never has a blog title spoken quicker to the absolute truth than "Spiraling Toward Irrelevancy" ...


Winding Down.

Anyways. Following my failure to produce new columns last month, it finally – finally, finally – became clear that whatever I had previously hoped was my dream quietly passed at some point in the last two years. I began winding things down for good.

Over at BrianWise.com, a Kennedy assassination column from November 2002 (in which I took a pro-conspiracy position) was, a couple weeks ago, corrected to fit what I now realize is the proper view (Oswald as lone shooter). Some small corrections, having mostly to do with punctuation missteps and oddly-placed or missing words, were made to The Unabrian Manifesto. Expect to see the corrected version whenever I get round to it. To get a jump on the site’s functional shutdown, an image has been posted at the top of the main page. It reads: “Sorry, we’re no longer updating this site. We’ve left it as reference.”

Though I’ve been attempting to write postings for this blog, I’ve nothing even passively interesting to say without a writing career and an informed opinion at my back. The updates I’ve written have all pretty much descended to who’s fucking me and who isn’t; who’s lying to me; who’s not speaking to me and vice versa, so on and so on down that sad old high school line. To have posted that goddamned nonsense would have brought me perfectly in league with the half-a-country of fat, lonely 15-year-old girls who maintain the vast majority of MySpace accounts and blog pages (and who sooner or later will overtake Facebook, as well). Christ only knows the world doesn’t need another of those.

If something interesting or important should arise, you will find me here. And if I ever write again, it certainly will be posted here. If not, I bid you all a fond farewell.

Killface for President.


Frances Snyder, 1919 - 2007

Frances Snyder, a woman who bares more mention than my rapidly diminishing writing talents will allow, died last Tuesday morning (7 August), at 88. Frances had been gradually declining since a bout with pneumonia two years ago, but up until a fall and short hospital stay a couple weeks ago was holding her own with this family’s jetset, such as it is – if there was a car in motion, and if that car was taking people to eat or shopping, she was on board, oxygen, walker or wheelchair, and all.

Frances died as every one of us hope to die: In her right mind, unable to move as freely as she would have liked and with diminished eyesight, but very much aware of everything happening around her, and to her. Frances long ago made her peace with the Lord and had absolutely no fear of shuffling off this mortal coil, or of whatever awaited her in the aftermath.

My mother died in 1985, and when my father remarried in 1997, Frances (mother of the bride) was part of the package. The bigger of the two spare bedrooms (once occupied by my brother and myself) was retrofitted for her arrival and she moved right in, becoming as quickly the centerpiece of that home as she had her own family so many years before.

Having scarcely met the woman before serving as my father’s best man, my initial decision regarding how to treat her was to tease her unmercifully. This was for a few reasons, the first being that if she was going to be part of the family, she should be treated like part of the family (my father and I have traded barbs for years across dinner tables and at all types of social occasions). But more importantly, it’s always seemed to me that too many of us seem content to handle older people as though they somewhere along the line stopped possessing wit, or laughing, or appreciating a good joke. So that was the tact, and I can tell you without hesitation that for the vast majority of the years I knew Frances, she gave as good as she got. That was our bit, and I’ve since been told that she loved that part of our relationship, but it wasn’t as though I really needed to be told. It was written all over her face.

I last saw Frances two Saturdays ago; by then it was obvious that two years worth of gradual decline had crossed that fine line and had become her final descent. To my way of thinking, Frances would only be with us for another few weeks. The next day, my brother (henceforth Cool Hand) called to say he’d just come from the family home and agreed that things didn’t look good.

Frances rebounded nicely on Monday (6 August), as only she could: eating, sleeping, and communicating well, before getting about the regular business of life Tuesday morning. Nancy (my father’s lovely bride, Frances’ daughter) helped Frances to the shower, during which she asked for the water to be a little warmer. As Nancy stretched to adjust the dials, Frances simply breathed her last and slumped slightly forward; at peace, at last. Even in death, Frances Snyder didn’t want to be a bother.

If there is a Heaven, Frances Snyder lingers today with the greats. Rest in Peace.