For the offended
Really? Not hunger? Not hatred? Not abandoned kittens dying of neglect?
You're bothered by this blog's title? "Every goddamn day?" By the word "goddamn" because ... it has the word "god" in it, right? Have I guessed right? I bet I have.
Well, big sigh of relief — I can set your mind at ease right now, by drawing your attention to the lower case "g"— it's "goddamn," not referring to your one-and-only God at all, not the uppercase Almighty, King of the Universe, Lord of Lords, or whatever personal deity you hold in far higher regard than your fellow mortals.
No, this a small "g" minor deity — Hermes, perhaps, or Pallas Athena, unless you worship those; then it's someone else. I know that's frustrating — there's a certain unacknowledged joy in being offended, a permission to rush over and beat the crap out of whoever you have decided has offended you, verbally if not physically. You probably feel like taking a few whacks anyway, just on general principles, right?
Of course that might be overstating the case. The first people who were taken aback by the blog title were readers who reacted more in sorrow than anger — a "do-you-really-need-to-call-it-that?" kind of reluctant objection.
Actually, yes, I do. The name is why this blog exists. Back when the Sun-Times ran my column four times a week, I suggested it run the column every day, out of pure gumption and joy at what I do, and said I even had an advertising slogan to go with it, "Neil Steinberg: Every goddamn day — only in the Chicago Sun-Times."
They didn't take me up on that idea. But I mentioned it to a public relations pal during lunch, and he licked his chops over the slogan, and asked: had I secured the domain name? Of course not, I said. I'd never done anything like that, never considered it. But seeing his eyes glow made me rush to snap it up. That was years ago.
I like the title because it reflects the relentlessness of life. Existence comes at you, like a defensive lineman in a football game, ready to slam your teeth into the grass, and you have to somehow slide around him and get where you want to go. Again and again and again. Every day. Every goddamn day. I like the word because it's a filter. If it upsets you, then maybe, rather than complaining to me — who wrote the thing, remember — you should consider whether you are in the right place. Because I'm not writing this for people who passionately dislike it — I'm writing it for people who enjoy this perspective, and if you don't, well, why not go find something you do enjoy? Assuming that such a thing exists.
But we're skipping around your sense of outrage, deflating in your hand — or not. See, this is the thing. Your beliefs, I'm sure they do you great credit, and there are a million web sites that echo what you think in perfect harmony — church blogs and religious newsletters and such. This is not one of them. This is for people who view life in a different way. We're not atheists or radicals, though we might be. We're not necessarily any particular thing. We just like to think for ourselves, to follow our reasoning where it goes, with humor if possible, without worrying too much about offending some abstract Supreme Being or straying over a line that some shepherd drew in the sand 2,000 years ago.
That said, I hope you stick around and read anyway, because you're probably the kind of person who needs it most. And if you have to argue, despite what I've said, remember, there's a chance I'll post it, because people such as myself — the people who are not you, the people whom this is written for — get a kind of wry satisfaction out of reading the thoughts of people who believe that the Master of the Universe, capital G God, is grabbing the armrests of His throne in heaven, rising to His feet, eyes aflame, focusing on one tiny human eyeblink of a blog on a small planet nestled in a distant corner of creation. I wish.
Okay, okay, I know, it isn't God who minds, it's you — you want to wallpaper the world, and remove from it all the things you don't agree with. Good luck with that strategy, pal. One final thought, something I just have to pass along. Brace yourself. Here it comes: There are other people in this world beside yourself, people who believe other things, different things, than what you believe — it isn't just me — and those people, amazingly enough, are sincere and impassioned, just as sincere and impassioned in their convictions as you are in yours. Maybe even more. They think they are right and, from my way of thinking, they are right. I'm sorry to have to be the one who tells you.
Actually, I'm not sorry about that either. I kinda dig it.