Attention! Please? Share this Content

Attention! Please? Share this Content

Attention. Yours. Me. Trying to get. Not sure. Words. Working, are they?

No, I’m not having a stroke. “Attention” has been troubling me since I began charting new paths here in Haarlem. My thoughts on it, like these sketches, have been a bit…fractured.

Bloemendaal beach in the Netherlands
Tide’s out.

To get my head on straight, I took advantage of one of those rare autumn mornings when the infamous Dutch “Low Sky” lifts for a few hours, and headed for the coast on my bike. I’ve always found that it clears my head and focuses my thoughts. Weird for a person who grew up about as far away from the ocean as possible, but I don’t make the rules. Poseidon does, I guess.

In these sketches, I’ve tried to be funny and sad, insightful and stupid in equal measure. I’ve included whimsical pictures of cats and garden gnomes. I’ve explored intense personal struggles, stroopwafels, and pet pigs. I have tried to “write what I know” and “write hard and clear about what hurts” without resorting to excessive abuse of alcohol or solvents.

Anecdotally, I’ve heard that my formula-free formula is working, and that at least some of you are enjoying these scribblings. But the numbers tell me that readership isn’t growing, despite my efforts to do things like “maximize SEO,” and push the sketches on social media.

I need your help in spreading the word. Share the sketches with friends you think might be interested, or post a link on your social media platforms of choice. You can use the buttons at the bottom of every post. “Likes” are nice, but shares will help get the Slaughterhouse in front of a lot more interested eyeballs. If you have time to include a mention of the Slaughterhouse on your own site or blog it would help immensely.

And for those of you who have shared, I want to thank you for doing so. Keep it up, and let me know how I can return the favor.

The struggle to get and keep your attention is real. I get that. The internet is awash with competition—sleepy chinchillas, probiotic muffin recipes, and “what kind of onion are you?” quizzes. There’s also that orange-tinted carnival barker shouting his way through a never-ending Shit Circus of his own making—a creature whose din, in turn, is then amplified by the “outrage-adulation” cycle that follows ever incoherent utterance.

It is breathtakingly stupid. And deafening.

I’m not sure there’s anything in the Slachthuisbuurt that can take your attention away from the ugliness outlined above—for many of you, it is the story of human decency’s last stand against ignorance, oppression, and Sean Spicer’s “dancing.” Heavy stuff. At least one of those is no longer part of the picture.

Putting words on a screen and sharing them with you is still fun, and I remained convinced, for now at least, that there’s an audience for these sketches. So I’m going to keep them going for a while longer. All I ask is that you share them. You’re an intelligent, interesting, and engaged group of human beings, and that means others in your various orbits are too. So if you like what you’re reading here, there’s a good chance they might as well. That’s why your help is so important.

Now’s the time to either double down and start posting Kardashian clickbait, or it’s time to take my writing offline, drop out of society entirely, and start wearing live animals as hats.

My wife rolled her eyes at the former, and Pepper is terrified by the latter, so don’t share the Slaughterhouse love for my sake. Do it for them.

Pepper my pet cat in Haarlem, the Netherlands
Clearly terrified of being worn as a hat…

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