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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anonymous said... What I wonder is why you care so much about what people think about how you live your life. If you're having fun and not hurting anyone or yourself, then just live your life (like the rest of us do). Why spend so much time and effort trying to draw attention to yourself? It's not really all about you, Bob.

Anonymous, whoever Anonymous is, asked a Very Important Question in response to my most recent "Bob's blog" posts and email notifications thereof.  Here's what Anonymous asked me, Bob, anonymously:

Anonymous said...

What I wonder is why you care so much about what people think about how you live your life. If you're having fun and not hurting anyone or yourself, then just live your life (like the rest of us do). Why spend so much time and effort trying to draw attention to yourself? It's not really all about you, Bob.

And here is my considered response, which I am providing to you all after a protracted period of self-analysis and reflection, which lasted all of 2 minutes:

Bob Dutcher aka Grandude said...

Great Comment, Anonymous. The answer is simple. The only way to live a life of comedy and clowning, with a goal of entertaining an audience, is by putting oneself in funny and laughable situations, and exhibiting oneself to people in those ways. That goal requires that I try to draw as much attention to myself, my activities, and my thoughts as possible. While you, as is your right, choose to live your life Anonymously, Anonymous, I choose to live mine in whatever limelight I can attract. Therefore, my life really is, All About Bob, All The Time. I just can't get enough attention to satisfy my need for attention. Maybe the fact that I'm the youngest of three children and therefore had to show off and perform to get attention will help you understand where this impulse for attention comes from. Maybe not. Your psyche, Anonymous, is Anonymous to me and mine, Anonymous, is mostly a Mystery to me. Go figure. Aren't Human Beings, Mere Mortals, an Interesting Bunch?
Thanks so much for your comment. It gives me something to think about in the few seconds of each day when I'm not seeking attention from other people.


  1. a couple of problems, Bob. 1. What you call "entertaining" other people call "irritating." And 2. You're not funny.

  2. Thanks, Anonymous, for your extremely enlightening perspective. I deal with this problem of comics who don't laugh at my material when I do stand-up in comedy clubs and other venues by realizing the following, which undoubtedly is true in your case. You see, I get the Ugly Man Discount in most of the lower class establishments where I am now allowed to shop. When comics and Anonymous audience members, like yourself, fail to laugh at my stuff, I am fully aware that they, and you, are aware that I was a philosophy major at Wesleyan and a trial lawyer of 35 years' experience. As such, I know that they, and you, know I know all about the Philosophy of Inferences. And I realize, now, that they, and you, are reluctant to laugh at my stuff, or admit you find it funny, because they, and you, are afraid I'll INFER you're laughing at the Ugliness of My Face. Please do not fear that I will draw that inference; your fear is unfounded. Now, Anonymous, you are free to concede the funny-ness of my routines. If you continue to deny that fact, I can only conclude that you haven’t given up your unfounded fear of offending me because of the inferences you fear I will draw from your laughter (but will not). You see, Anonymous, because I am focused only on comedy, and not the serious side of life, which obviously is your domain, I am free to have my cake and eat it too.

  3. This is Anonymous #2. You're spot on, Bob. It sounds like someone is just jealous.

  4. You responded to a comment:
    "I have come to realize that it is better for me to rely on my own sense of how I should live my life than take polls or votes or consult focus groups of relatives, friends, or strangers."
    Oh really?? Then why the constant solicitation of others' opinions of what you do and write?

    You wrote:
    " I listen to all that these people have to say to me, and I listen carefully. . . I find what you say interesting, curious, and revealing--about you, but not of much value to me, except in so far as I'm interested to learn how my life strikes other people in the world."

    And yet you, Bob, can't stop asking other people what they think about you. They tell you and then you savage them. This is fucked up.

  5. Which is why people comment anonymously. You can't criticize, or appear to criticize, Bob without getting savaged, or being accused of being "jealous," or having Bob in the same breath turn your comments around and say it all has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with the commentator, while simultaneously saying he's open to all comments/criticisms and "listens carefully" to them. Yeah, right. If you're not affirming what Bob's doing, then it's you who has the "problem."

  6. Dear Anonymous #3,
    I am calling you Anonymous because you don’t care to tell me your name. Since I believe that more than one of you is calling yourself Anonymous, I’ll have to identify you by some other means. In your case, I’ll refer to you as Anonymous #3, because there are two Anonymous Commenters who preceded you in this set of Comments.
    So, Anonymous #3, let me respond to your interesting remarks, as follows.
    Have you ever considered becoming a trial lawyer or some other kind of Professional Sophist? Your technique of trying to play a game of “Gotcha” is just such a sophistical technique as clever trial lawyers use in court when they’re trying to do their best to confuse a jury about what a witness is actually testifying.
    For example, you have taken the first quotation about polls and votes and focus groups out of context. I do NOT take polls, or votes, or consult focus groups to decide how to live my life. On the other hand, I AM interested in people reading my writing and giving me feedback about how they like the writing, whether they find it thought-provoking, whether they think I’m right or wrong or anything else they think about my writing. Writers write primarily because they NEED to write. Writing’s their life blood. However, some writers also want to be READ. By READERS. And some of those writers actually are interested in hearing what their readers have to say, in response to the writings. I am one such writer.
    That being said, it doesn’t follow that I also want my readers to be the Dictator of How to Manage My Life. I don’t. It’s that simple.
    As for your Second claim, that “I can’t stop asking other people what they think” of me, that is simply NOT true. I CAN stop asking, but I CHOOSE not to stop asking. I don’t know why you think I am not free to stop asking, if and when I so choose. I can so choose, but choose not so to do. Simple as that.
    As for your Third claim, that I savage the people who tell me what they think, I suppose it depends on what you mean by “savage.” If you want to show me particular instances, we could then have a discussion about whether my response fairly can be characterized as a “savaging” of them, a constructive critique, a mild rebuke, a logical analysis and deconstruction, or any number of other possibilities. I suppose I am mildly sorry if my views are more complex than you wish them to be, Anonymous #3, but that’s just the way it’s going to have to be. Deal with it, Anonymous #3, and do so anonymously, Anonymous #3, since you obviously are resistant to coming out of the Identity Shadows. That’s fine with me. Suit yourself.
    Finally, Anonymous #3, when you say “This” is fucked up, what exactly is the referent of your “This”? Is it (a) that I don’t stop asking people their opinions about my writing, or (b) that they tell me their opinions, or (c) that I then, in your estimation, “savage” them, or (d) that the “This” itself is what is, in your choice words, “fucked up”? Or none of the above? I am confused and would appreciate your expressing yourself with greater clarity, and, if it is within you to do, felicity.
    Thank you so much, Anonymous #3, for taking the time to Comment about “Bob’s blog.”

  7. This is Anonymous #2 again. Just remember, fellow Anonymii, no one is placing a gun to your head, and compelling you to read Bob's Blog. You are free to, at any point in time, click the nice little "X" at the top of your browser window, and never return. What Bob chooses to do -- whether it be writing his highly entertaining blog posts, dancing at the various establishments in downtown Middletown, or otherwise -- should frankly be none of your concern.

    Luckily, fellow Anonymii, we live in a free society, whereby one may choose, by their own volition, to, for instance, quit a burdening profession and live their life in the way that makes them happy and fulfilled. In the same instance, they are in no way compelled to make YOU happy, or make YOU fulfilled. If one chooses to do so, then great! If one attempts to take such a path, by means of, for example, attempting to bring about an entertaining environment at the Mezzo, or trying their hand at comedy in New Haven, and fails at making you feel happy or fulfilled, so be it. For lack of a better phrase, you're betting with house money. That, however, gives you no sense of entitlement. That does not give you the right to be critical of one's life decisions -- especially behind the guise of an anonymous username.

    Perhaps, however, as I mentioned in my earlier comment, you are jealous of Bob's ability to retire from his profession and live his life as he sees fit. Who knows what your circumstances are. However, life is short. Think about it -- it really is. After all, why NOT enjoy the life that you have left. Soon enough, you'll be laying 6 feet underground, and you might as well take advantage of life's offerings while you are able-bodied and able-minded.

    In short, you are in no way compelled to read Bob's Blog, and if you find it in any way offensive, you are free to leave. However, you have no right to make anonymous criticisms, and ruin the entertainment that we get from Bob, in the process.

    -Anonymous #2

  8. Thank you, Anonymous #2, for putting it better than I could. However, I must warn you of this. The deadening forces of habit, convention, nay-saying, and moral hypocrisy are on the move, monitoring "Bob's blog" for any hint of self-liberation or happiness-seeking, no matter how harmless. By throwing your lot in with Bob on these issues, you're risking being hit by immorality-seeking missiles. The mere fact that none of us know if the Grim Reaper will appear on our own doorsteps this very night will not shield you from these nuclear-tipped, happiness-destroying projectiles. Stand proud, and strong, Anonymous #2, as you endure the slings and arrows of outrageously humor-less Anonymii.

  9. I suspect that Anonymous #2 is Bob himself (the writing style is similar), else why be one of the Anonymii?

  10. Dear Anonymous, one of the many Anonymii,
    I assure you, I am NOT Anonymous #2. It never occurred to me to call the class of Anonymous Commenters by the Latin appellation, Anonymii. That, I suspect, is the brilliant creation of someone who probably knows Latin so well that he or she speaks, or once spake, Latin.
    There is no reason for Bob, who is so un-Anonymous about his life, should suddenly decide to write under the Anonymous pen name.
    Thank you, however, for your interesting speculation about the Anonymii Mystery.
    Best wishes,

  11. Dear Anonymous (me), one of the many Anonymii (whoever I am),I assure you (with no assurance), I am NOT (revealing that I am) Anonymous #2. It never occurred to me to call the class of Anonymous Commenters by the Latin appellation (since my intellect far exceeds your inferior one), Anonymii (or AnonyME). That, I suspect, is the brilliant creation of (myself)someone who probably knows Latin (which I scored in the 1st percentile) so well that he or she speaks, or once spake (man, I am so clever), Latin (de minimis non curat lex).
    There is no reason for Bob (showing my great importance to the world that I must refer to myself in the third person), who is so un-Anonymous (but yet at the same time so Anonymous) about his life, should suddenly decide to write under the Anonymous pen name (which I certainly have...and will again, and again, and uh...again).
    Thank you, however (small as your intellect is), for your interesting (yet highly uninspiring) speculation about the Anonymii Mystery (of which wasting my higher education and experience of a trial lawyer of 35 years, which I happily quit because I was so tired of just making money).
    Best wishes (for a timely demise),
    Bob (Anonymii, Anonymous #2, Anonymous #3)

  12. Dear "Anonymous(me), one of the many Anonymii(whoever I am,"

    I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but to anyone in need of the services of a writing-mimic, a satirist, or a skilled writer, I would not be able to recommend you.

    Nice try, but no one, reading your revealing Comment, will reasonably think I wrote it.

    But keep on trying....

    Best wishes,


    P.S.: If you'd like to talk with me in person, call me and I'd be happy to meet with you. I think I can help you.

  13. Dear Anonymous #2,
    Whoever you are, it would be most interesting to see if you can figure out how to prove, in a Comment, that you and I are not the same person. The most recent Comment by one of the Anonymii (I love your creative use of the Latinate phrase) suggests a strong current of skepticism running through the Comments, not just about my life but also about my, and your, very identities.
    This Mission Nearly-Impossible, should you accept, will be a most challenging assignment. But I have faith that you, sir (or are you, in fact, a woman?), have thinking and writing skills which are sufficient unto the day and task.
    Good luck, dear sir or madame, or mademoiselle, if you agree to undertake this perilous, but potentially extremely rewarding, task. That said, please be aware of the potential danger you face.
    The Anonymous who tried, almost successfully, but not quite (I can't say why), to savage me with satire, ended his or her missive with the following threatening closing phrase: "Best wishes (for a timely demise), Bob (Anonymii, Anonymous #2, Anonymous #3)" Although the literal meaning is that he or she wishes I die a timely death, i.e. in the natural order of things, which in my case would be in my late 80's or early 90's, based on my parents' example, I think this writer intended to suggest that he or she hoped I died an UN-timely death. I don't know which meaning this other writer intended, but, like any other written production, once you put it out in the public domain, you now longer "own" the words. Being public objects, words can be interpreted by anyone who lays eyes on them, in any way that strikes their fancy.
    Best wishes,

    Bob Dutcher