Tirades, also known as Polemics, Diatribes, Rants, or in this case E-Rants.
The Original “Ancient” Tirades
These include two as old as the 1970s, originally appearing in my longest-ever novel “Get Even with the Man,” set in San Francisco, Baltimore and Mexico City.
A portion of my readers — of which I could myself be part — have found these fundamentally unintelligible. Logically, that is. Rhetorically and emotionally I believe they work. You judge.
The Story of the Third Tirade (Revised Dec. 2012)
The third — and first “modern” — tirade is the one against Front-Enders, begun in Feb 2012. What’s the story behind this one? Well, my wife died in Sept. 2011 and we held a big memorial event in January 2012 (Why then? ‘Nother story, for ‘nother time). We decided our singer and pianist would perform Grace’s kind of songs. At the end of the formal part of the event I had my good friend and the emcee announce that “Though Grace and Jerry saw eye-to-eye in a number of arenas, music wasn’t one of them.” Attendees were instructed to collect a CD of “Jerry’s Songs” at the door.
Okay, very good. What’s this to do with the Third Tirade? Well, a couple of individuals emailed me in the days that followed that they listened to or enjoyed the songs on the CD. I idly asked a friend if he’d liked the songs, or maybe whether he’d listened yet. I discovered he listened to only 25 seconds of a song before zipping ahead to the next.
I was appalled. Hadn’t I carefully selected these songs out of thousands, hadn’t I structured them to help — along with the “liner notes” that I provided — to continue to tell the story of Grace’s and my love and our struggles to be together across 9,000 miles?
I asked a friend who had already emailed me that he liked some of the songs and asked how long did he listen to a song before zipping to the next. He said ten seconds! What had the world come to? You will read my anatomy of what they and Other Front-Enders have been missing as they rush through this life. (See also my later “Tirade Against ‘Living in the Moment.’”)
Fourth and Later Tirades
These began to germinate either in the wonderful summer period of 2012 or otherwise in the truly miserable period that followed hard upon.