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Teetering on the brink of fame

October 12, 2007

Okay, in all reality I’m a long way from the brink of fame, but this blog has opened up some interesting opportunities for me.   The piece I wrote on Cody Ring’s funeral got published in the United Methodist Reporter, then my Mantle of Piety post got picked up by the same publication, and now one of my posts is being quoted in the Reporter again.

I’m becoming more of a high-profile Methoblogger than I had originally anticipated.  I have no problem with that.

I always wanted to be famous.  There are a few obvious obstacles: I’m a bit aged to pursue fame at this point, I’m not exactly your Depp-Clooney-Pitt-McConaughey in the looks department, I’m not quite Eric Clapton on the guitar or Bob Dylan with the songwriting, and I’m not sure I’m MLK as speakers go.But I guess I am a bit on the brave side.  I have been open to self-disclosure on this blog and I like for others to read my personal rants.

So it’s no surprise to me, then, that I have to take a moment to reflect upon my public persona.

I’m a David Letterman fan.  Always have been.  Back in high school I had to drag my sorry butt to class looking like a zombie because I was up late the night before watching Dave.  And I had to get up early to catch a ride to school because my mom was a teacher and she had to be at school early.  So I didn’t sleep much, but I laughed a lot.

Dave is cranky.  I vaguely remember someone (and I can’t remember for the life of me who it was) commenting after Letterman’s heart surgery that his personality changed from “cranky-cranky” to “zen-cranky.”  He used to be kind of genuinely nasty, now he sort of laughs at his meaner thoughts.   He’s not an angry cranky anymore; he’s enlightened cranky.Looking at the quotes that will be published in Robin Russell’s upcoming piece, I realize that I come across as a bit cranky.  The entire “mantle of piety” entry grows out of my crankiness.  I recently described my personality to a friend as “deeply rooted dark cynicism thinly veiled by a layer of easygoing jocularity.”

I think that’s why I love Letterman so much.  We have that kind of zen crankiness in common.  The multilayered bureaucracy that must be navigated in the ordination process is by nature absurd.  And I have chosen to navigate that absurdity because I understand my life’s calling to become (vocationally) an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.   [I also discern a calling to be a Christian, a faithful husband, father, friend, musician, songwriter, etc.]  I can’t change the absurdity of the situation, I can only respond to it.  I choose to respond to the absurdity by laughing at it rather than railing against it.

I say choose because  I do believe we have choices when it comes to our response to absurdity; but I choose laughter by default now because I have made a habit of laughing at absurdity in general.  Does the absurdity of the system make me angry?  Yes.  No doubt.  But I have a choice in how I deal with that anger.

I choose to make absurdity something to laugh at rather than something to give myself a heart attack over.  Why?  Well, one response is healthier and enables me to navigate the absurdity with a degree of energy.  The other leaves me frustrated, stuck in the mud, and making myself less healthy (both mentally and physically).  I’m going to be angry, I’m going to be cranky; I choose to be funny-angry rather than destructive-angry.

Zen cranky.  Enlightened cranky.

So I guess I’m okay with my cranky public persona.  I guess I have to be.

Meet Will Deuel, cranky Methoblogger.
(Oh, and it’s still okay to call me Willie, just never “Pastor Willie,” that just sounds goofy).

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Layman Erik permalink
    October 13, 2007 10:51 pm

    Congratulations Willie.

  2. arachnerd permalink
    October 15, 2007 11:03 am

    The fact that the reprinting of Mantle of Piety on the Reporter site has an “online exclusive” link at the bottom to “Hear Will Deuel’s original song ‘One Legged Chicken'” cracks me up more than just a little bit!

    http://www.umportal.org/article.asp?id=2689

  3. lin stern permalink
    October 16, 2007 9:58 pm

    thanks for the article in the reporter portal. as a woman in a conservative state there are other things going on when someone doesn’t ask me to pray before the potluck, however, i do know my limitations and celebrate being “an ordinary” being–differently called than the members of the church. you have a great way of writing, i am glad to know of your joy and your singing!!! blessings, lin

  4. October 17, 2007 10:36 am

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Lin.

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