Rage, Rage Against The Dying of the Dark.

July 17, 2012

Humor

First thing’s first: I have returned from exile!  In what can only be described as a global grassroots movement, the governments of the world have been forced to take notice, and I am home from my forced labor.  Also, my step-father-in-law just got tired of cleaning.  The tomatoes remain now, only in my dreams.  By no means take that as an indication that the rallies and protest should cease.

Because now we have bigger problems.  And when I say “we,” I mean “I.”

You see, I’m worried about my edge.  Now, I totally own that I’ve mellowed with age, but I like to think there’s still a little edge there, enough that you should keep me in a drawer, and only use me pointing away from yourself.  So there’s a modicum of edge, and now I’m worried about it.   We’ve all seen it happen.  I know I have, but always to other people.  And it’s always so tragic.  Maybe it’s spending so much time around destructive, damaged artist types.  They’re dark, and hurling venom at a world too numb to care.  They have an edge so sharp you could slice through hypocrisy with it.  And then…

And then…

Then they have a baby.

They get this shotgun blast of love to the chest and suddenly they’re smiling at… things.  Normal things that have no deeper meaning, or are ironic, or at least reveal some sick truth about life.  Things that are just “nice.”  Suddenly they’re all, “Don’t you love cupcakes?” and “I got the first 4 seasons of King of Queens off eBay for next to nothing!” and eating at Applebee’s.

The thing is, we’ve been working on the baby’s room.  We got one of those decal wall-murals and, well, I made this little scene:

Yes, it’s a little bird giving another bird a flower. Yes, the other little bird has a little heart. It’s a metaphor. A metaphor for… um… rampant corporate corruption?  The futility of existence?  The mental warfare of the Reality TV hegemony?

I know.  Dark, brooding men don’t create love scene with big-eyed birds.  Everyone knows that.  I’m on my way to being edgeless.  Spherical.

I don’t think hope is lost, not yet.  But that’s a red flag, isn’t it?  Hang tough, Byronic Man. Hang tough.  Deep breath.

Maybe a bloomin’ onion will help me regain my focus.

(*Editor’s Note: I’ve just been informed that the Bloomin’ Onion is not at Appelbee’s, but a different chain restaurant. See?  See?  I didn’t know that!  There’s a little iconoclasm left.  A little edge.)

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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108 Comments on “Rage, Rage Against The Dying of the Dark.”

  1. Chris Biscuits Says:

    I reckon you could salvage it painting of the eyes and jowls of a ravenous tiger on the opposite wall, and thus make the whole room a metaphor for turning one’s back on the inevitable end in favour of pleasant falsehoods and fairy tales. I make no promises on the effect it may have on the child.

    And on that cheery note, hello!

    Reply

  2. Paul G. Eberlein Says:

    Relax, B-man! All you need to do to fix this “sappy” scene is to add a cat at the base of the tree licking its chops, hoping one of the birds falls out of the tree into its waiting jaws. Presto! Your edge is back!

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Or maybe a whole montage, in which the heart-bird is actually just luring the other one in, to scam him for his money. Then she and another bird, who’s her accomplice, run off leaving the first bird hollow and ruined.

      I’m going to need a lot of decals.

      Reply

  3. Tez Says:

    Have no fear brave, Byronic Man. The edge is merely submerged under a tsunami of hormones surging through your brain. The parent/child bond – it’s like falling in love but bigger and better. The edge returns, with a vengeance, cleaner, sharper and more powerful once you, your partner and offspring start sleeping all through the night.
    So, indeed, hang tough, deep breath and enjoy.

    Reply

  4. Don't Quote Lily Says:

    I’m sure there’s still a smidgen of hope for you. But uh…the wall…it’s really cute, bordering on adorable.

    Reply

  5. Life With The Top Down Says:

    Look in the mirror every single day and reinforce your edge, your daughter will be much better off with an edgy dad! There you go…do it for her! I just saw rocker parents over the weekend. The baby was wearing a black onsie with a guitar and a fedora…there’s hope!

    Reply

  6. 1pointperspective Says:

    It’s a little known fact, that you can maintain your edge by giving your child an unbelievably bizarre middle name. It tells the world: “Yes, I’m a parent, and I change diapers and watch Zoobilly Zoo, but that doesn’t mean that I’m so grown up that I can’t flip off the norms of this button down world!”

    I was reminded of this fact when I happened across a story about the tragic passing of Sylvester Stallone’s son, Sage. His middle name was so outlandish, that I’m not even cool enough to type it, and it kept Sly edgy until he did the cop movie with Estelle Getty.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      There’s no coming back from “Stop, Or My Mom Will Shoot.” A lesson we should all remember.

      Reply

      • 1pointperspective Says:

        A lesson learned from Darla’s post about the risks of commenting while not exactly awake, and then having to live with it, because we can’t edit what we’ve said on other people’s posts. I didn’t want to appear cavalier about the recently deceased, but with a middle name like that, I couldn’t let it go.

        Reply

  7. on thehomefrontandbeyond Says:

    when I had my kids I totally lost my edge – not that I ever really had one, but I pretended–I stopped pretending and turned, can I say it, sort of conservative (which everyone knows there is no such thing in Canada, we are all liberals)

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I would think that conservative is the new edgy in Canada. Although, considering the pretty serious turn to the right Canada’s taken the last few years that’d be a lot of edgy Canadians.

      Reply

  8. Sandy Sue Says:

    No, see, the stem on that flower is really a fuse! All you need to do is add a little spark at the bottom of the stem and *poof* the edge is back!

    Reply

  9. A Broad at Home Says:

    I guarantee that a blooming onion will give you something, but I don’t think it will be simply focus.

    I barely know ye, yet I’m sure you will be a great pop pop! Stay strong. And when all else fails, break something on your skull.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I actually think I read somewhere that the blooming’ onion is the most unhealthy dish served in mainstream restaurants in America. In AMERICA, home of the “if you can eat it in an hour, it’s free” burger.

      So, good advice – I’ll just headbutt it.

      Reply

  10. The Bumble Files Says:

    Congratulations on baby! That’s wonderful. Is it your first? You’ll never look at life the same way…

    Reply

  11. speaker7 Says:

    I lost my edge when I started keeping a daily log of my son’s bowel movements. He’s 24. I’m kidding. Not about the daily log of his logs, but his age. It’s hard to keep your edge when you constantly discussing pee and poop with your spouse, which inevitably happens when the baby arrives. But if anyone can do it, I think you can. Aren’t the mudslides at Applebee’s so yummmmmy?

    Reply

  12. She's a Maineiac Says:

    And so it begins.

    Soon enough you’ll be wearing a crown, sitting in a tiny pink Princess chair, sipping fake tea and eating fake cupcakes with your daughter. Something tells me this transition will be an easy one for you.

    But don’t worry, your edge will come back once you realize that one day guys will be trying to date your daughter. Then you can bust out the shotgun and go all Rambo on their ass. Works for my husband.

    Reply

  13. Eagle-Eyed Editor Says:

    Edgeless? YOU? Perish the thought!

    Reply

  14. Kate Says:

    I just had three glasses of wine with my dad over dinner. Well I had one, he had three. It was awesome. I think you have to start with the bird decals to lay the ground work, but in 20 something years, you’ll see rewards.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Maybe I’ll replace the hearts and flowers with little captions that have the animals saying, “Your dad kicks ass” and “Your dad is the coolest guy there is.” Really get a head start.

      Reply

      • Kate Says:

        Could you become a policeman or fireman in the near future? Because I hear that helps, particularly if you are having a son…

        Reply

        • The Byronic Man Says:

          Hm. Maybe. I can certainly TELL her that I’m a Fire-Policeman.

          Reply

          • Kate Says:

            I don’t know if falsehoods are a good start – I just finished up my paediatrics term. The kids with the lying parents…not that I judge.

            But I had another thought…are the bird decals indicative of something you feel was missing from your own childhood?

            Reply

  15. Valentine Logar Says:

    Never mind, it is only temporary. Remember you are having a daughter. Your edge is necessary with daughters, in fact you will need to sharpen it in order to cut through testosterone poisoned teenagers slathering at your door.

    Think teenage daughter
    If necessary go to Fanzines and cut out pictures of wildchild teen girls such as:
    Early Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Miley Cirus
    I am certain you can think of others who were caught in sexcapades, drinking and other scandals before their 18th birthdays.

    Now every single time you think your edge is missing just look at those early pics and think to yourself, my daughter will not go down this road.

    Practice: I will tear a knot in that narrow azz…..go to your room

    You will be fine.

    Reply

  16. jubilare Says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much if I were you. Give it a few years and you will be polishing a shotgun on your porch to scare her dates into good behavior. 😉

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I enjoy the periodic “shotgun on the porch” evening now and again already. The daughter will give it a nice legitimacy.

      Reply

      • jubilare Says:

        You can come up with fun, creative twists on it too. My brother, for instance, capitalizes on the fact that he looks like a viking and my grandfather, rest his soul, was a nurse and had access to all kinds of terrifying medical implements, some of which he brought home with him…

        Reply

  17. WSW Says:

    After about fifteen seconds of Sesame Street, your edge will come screaming back and it will take every ounce of self control you have not to stick a shiv in the talking Elmo doll.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Oh, I’m going to restrict her viewing purely to things I like. She’s going to ask to watch Princess Disney Whatever, and I’ll say, “Honey, you know that’s not appropriate. Now come watch Pulp Fiction with daddy again.”

      Reply

  18. k8edid Says:

    Some properly placed snarky comments in bubbles above the birds’ heads would be a start…

    Reply

  19. susielindau Says:

    Even most villains have a soft spot. Think of it as a way to show greater contrast in your character. Your feminine side will make the manly man part of you look even more burly! I guess that could work in reverse and that wouldn’t be good….

    Reply

  20. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    Oh you big silly ! First, let me say the lovebirds are FAB ! Its a metaphor for “you’re a sap”.
    Your edge ? Still there. My guess is you have more than one edge and you are going thru a cocooning of sorts.
    And fear not – remember your post on bad drivers? Nothing compared to the material you will find in the insane sports parents you will see at a 5 year old’s soccer game or the moronic PTA mom-bot. All this will only sharpen your spidey-senses….The rose colored glasses will be cast away and the “Really? this is the world I’m raising my daughter in?” Byronic Dad will triumph.

    Not to mention the lack of sleep is priceless. Every minute with your daughter will be magical – and then the outside world rears is idiotic head.

    Reply

  21. Lori Lipsky Says:

    The wall is adorable. Maybe that edge isn’t so terrific after all.

    Reply

  22. artzent Says:

    No worries: once an edge always an edge!

    Reply

  23. artzent Says:

    You have the cutting edge with your blog. You cannot deny that!

    Reply

  24. Kerry Peresta Says:

    Wait til you are over 50. Even a youthful, vibrant, edge-worthy 50-something is hard-pressed to cut anything. However, spherical is not so bad…at this point, I shoot for elliptical

    Reply

  25. earthriderjudyberman Says:

    You will rediscover your inner edge when your daughter becomes a teen – or, even earlier. Your protective instincts will kick in not only when she begins dating but when you sense that her world, her security, is threatened.
    Congratulations on your baby girl. Enjoy every moment of sappiness. This, too, shall pass – not the love that you feel, but the edge you fear you’re losing.

    Reply

  26. Rinth Says:

    Hey look on the bright side; you have an heir! He/she has your DNA… so the chances are huge he/she will carry on your legacy and take the edge when it’s slipping through your fingers. Maybe he/she will be even edgier ;P… just sayin :-S.

    Reply

  27. mkultra76 Says:

    Don’t worry. It’s only temporary. It will come roaring back, eventually… Plus, all of the cool kids have edgy dads. It’s a fact.

    Reply

  28. Facetious Firecracker Says:

    Fear not. I have a few friends from high school who have always had a sharp wit (edge, if you will) and have procreated. Not only are they still edgy, but they seem to have improved their edginess through laughing at parenthood. Almost like a fine wine. Or maybe it’s just the lack of sleep – who knows.

    Reply

  29. Go Jules Go Says:

    Why oh WHY did I take a sip of coffee right after the picture? I had a big laugh there, thought I was safe, and then: “Spherical.” HA!

    I am seriously impressed with your artwork! Your daughter is one lucky little bean.

    I think you’re still edgy. It’s totally sweet.

    Reply

  30. jubilare Says:

    There might be an argument to be made that your cute artwork and willingness to post it to your blog prove that you are edgy. After all, how many people are brave enough to admit to cuteness? That’s badarse edgy.

    Reply

  31. Love & Lunchmeat Says:

    Never fear. Once you’re a parent, you’ll find even more ironic comedic fodder, mainly other parents! And once you’ve been doing it for about eight years, there’s nothing funnier than brand-new parents… (Sorry, but true…)

    Just ignore all of those parenting books, and rely on your instincts. Those books all contradict each other anyway. Oh, yeah, and beware of your wife. Hormones are a real b*tch in the postpartum period. Valentine’s Day cards made me cry after I gave birth to my son. Buckets. It’s kind of embarrassing in retrospect. I can’t really properly make fun of the birds having said that…

    Reply

  32. Audrey Says:

    You might be back from exile but it sounds like we still need to create that Facebook page to save you before the edge is completely lost. It’s a super cute mural though… 🙂

    Reply

  33. Carrie Rubin Says:

    As long as you don’t get a minivan, you’ll be fine. Or start wearing sandals with socks.

    Reply

  34. mj monaghan Says:

    Yeah, you lost your edge with those decals, my friend. Welcome to my world. Now that the kids are grown, I’m just starting to get it back. hehehe

    Reply

  35. Michelle Gillies Says:

    Bloomin’ Onions can fix a lot. So first…get the heck out of Applebee’s (really?) and get on over to the “Outback”. Come on, just saying “I’m headed to the Outback” is edgier by far and if you add for a “Bloomin’ Onion” that is killer. Edge in tact.
    Love the cutesy whootsey little birdies, by the way 😉

    Reply

  36. Barbara Backer-Gray Says:

    Oh Byronic Man, that’s sooooo adorable! You’re just going to be one big, round, fuzzy ball of lovidoviness. You’ll be such a cute daddy that little old ladies will want to pinch your cheek. Women with young daughters will drool over you, hoping their future son-in-law will be like you. Just face it, Byronic Man, you’re a goner.

    Reply

  37. Wilma Says:

    I don’t know. First, there was the whining from the breezy hazelnut orchard, now this. Words escape me.

    Reply

  38. Rog Says:

    Don’t worry Byronic Man, maybe next Father’s Day Mrs. Byronic will buy you a “World’s ‘Edgiest’ Dad” mug you can proudly flaunt to all your co-workers on your lunch break.

    Reply

  39. Drew Downs Says:

    Man, I so relate.

    Reply

  40. Rob Says:

    Fear not, oh Byronic Man! Your edge isn’t becoming bull-nosed. Just you wait until that baby is two, or three, consumes thirty-six more chocolate chips than they should have, only to “give them back” 45 min. into your nightly slumber. And the giving continues for the next four hours.

    Yes! There is yet hope for the “nearly edgeless”!

    At least that’s my theory, based not on personal, realistic events that didn’t happen last night.

    Reply

  41. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

    You just need to put something really scary on the other wall. Like a purple unicorn or a Care Bear. Or My Pretty Pony, one of the ones who is kind of bitchy. Sorry. The birds are on the wall. You are doomed to be a great father.

    Maybe buy some of those dark rimmed glasses all the basketball players are currently wearing.

    Reply

  42. mistyslaws Says:

    Skulls. Skulls on the opposite wall. That will be the only thing that will save you from become a complete and smoothly round circle of baby proofed rubber.

    Reply

  43. becomingcliche Says:

    I can help you find your edge again. Imagine someone doing something mean to your precious baby. See? I helped you find your edge again. You’re welcome.

    Reply

  44. List of X Says:

    Some of my friends have not lost their edge after having multiple children. I think their secret was – but I have to warn you, it’s not for everyone – to spent as little time on parenting as possible.

    Reply

  45. thesinglecell Says:

    You’ll never eat at Applebee’s. Everything’s going to be fine. Also, add some green pigs to the wall. Instant Angry Birds.

    Reply

  46. Dale Long Says:

    Your are so rightbabout that shotgun blast. Word of warning, these feelings will extend to other children. You will watch a scene on TV where a child is in peril of feeling lost or sad and your heart will go out to that child. You will get mushy and maybe a bit weepy.

    Trust me, I speak from experience. That’s why I write horror. Counter balance. 😉

    Nice scene, by the way.

    Reply

  47. madtante Says:

    It’s great you’re turning them onto social media already.

    Reply

  48. Angie Z. Says:

    King of Queens is a really good show. And you poke fun of Applebee’s but yet you love Olive Garden and even once described it to me as “The best Italian food I’ve ever had, hands-down, including that one time I was in Italy”? That makes no sense to me.

    I believe Freud said that birds represent our fear of the impending moment when we’ll unabashedly be singing Wheels on the Bus in a McDonald’s playland.

    Reply

    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I never said that! I said that “Olive Garden is the most AUTHENTIC, Italian food I’ve ever had, hands down, including that time I was in Italy; AND the best food I’ve ever had ever.”

      Do you get free, creepy, bleached breadstick in Italy? No, you do not.

      Reply

      • Angie Z. Says:

        Breadsticks? I thought those were our complimentary neck pillows.

        Reply

        • pegoleg Says:

          Just came from a restaurant that served that kind of bread stick. It was kinda creepy. On the upside, after 3 glasses of Friday-night-dinner wine, everything has a kind of soft, rosy glow. I like the world through these glasses!!!

          Reply

          • Angie Z. Says:

            I would eat complimentary neck pillows with enough wine in me.

            I think this is the second time I’ve emailed with you after you had a night of heavy drinking.

            Reply

  49. Anastasia Says:

    Laughing… Aaaaand still laughing.

    Reply

  50. angeliquejamail Says:

    Don’t worry, B-Man, you’ll be fine. After the first few months of no decent sleep at night, your edge will come back with a vengeance, and the good news is that you won’t even truly want to direct it at your family. It’s all good. 🙂

    Reply

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  1. 7.21.12, “This Week” « - July 21, 2012

    […] “I’m on my way to being edgeless.  Spherical.” – The Byronic Man […]

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