If Trump isn’t careful they’re not going to be able to put him on the dollar bill until his fourth term in office.
When people tell you that you should turn what you love into your job, I would be really careful about following that advice. I’m not saying don’t do it. I’m saying to have a look at the practicalities and make an informed decision.
If you love fine art and painting, this does not mean you should be a graphic designer. Graphic designers don’t get to draw what they want. They mostly get to draw what unimaginative, soulless business assholes want. Or think they might want. But, you know, they’re really not sure. Could you make it a little more, I dunno, zippy? You know, like that commercial with the thing, but not so close that we get sued.
Hey I took a picture on my phone of this flower. I want that as my logo. Can’t you just zip that through your computer and make it for me in an hour? What kind of graphic artist are you anyway?
I may love writing but that doesn’t mean I want to write copy for a living. Well, maybe “love” isn’t the right term. It’s more like I have a demon in me that rapes my soul constantly, and writing is the one thing that seems to calm it down. It uses lube and bites less when I’m providing it a good word count. So I guess we can call it love. That’s a kind of love, isn’t it?
Be that as it may, I love the craft enough that I don’t want to ruin it for myself by turning it into something I have to do for a living. There is only so much time in the day, and I have only so much creative energy. I don’t want to waste what little I have on the mundane bullshit required to keep myself alive.
I’m so precious with it that I’m halfway through writing my second novel and I still don’t want too many people reading it. First and foremost, I want it to be for me. I want it to be what I want to read. I don’t want that vision getting compromised. Once it’s all done I’ll send it out into the world to sink without a trace, but I need it to be done right first.
What I’m trying to say here, is that if you have a serious muse that you want to pursue, don’t try to turn that into your job. Try to make your job something that you’re good at, but that leaves plenty of energy in your reserves. Maybe marrying for money or some other form of harlotry, if nothing else seems to work out.
If, however, you have a strong faculty for something without the burning drive to get it right, to have it be just so, then you might be looking at a very marketable skill. The market loves people who are highly skilled but lack any real passion for what they are producing.
That’s what success is all about.
I have an inner disco daddy. His name is Yum Yum.
Yum Yum gets down in the club with grooves so funky that people get high just from breathing near him.
Who’s the cool cat that all the young gay boys want to get penetrated by?
Behold Yum Yum, striding long, his plush fur coat slung over his shoulders like a cape. His knee-high golden platform boots stomp, stomp, stomp their way out the front of that coat, driving Yum Yum into the club like the majestic steed of a Knight of the Round Table. Musky.
The coat drops into the arms of the coat check girl. Let your eyes feast upon Yum Yum’s velvet hot pants, skin tight, with a bulge as lovely as it is pungent. Yum Yum has no shirt. Yum Yum needs no shirt. Yum Yum’s thick, manly chest mane is shirt enough. Golden pendants rustle through that torso fur, like sexy jungle cats in their favorite haunt.
Yum Yum is in the house! The party has now begun.
Do you remember when you were little, there was that place you were afraid of? A crawlspace in your house, or under the basement stairs. Or perhaps in the back yard or the woods nearby; a little nook under some bushes that only a child could reach.
You were afraid of that place, and you were right to be. You knew something evil dwelled there.
Sometimes you would go to peep into that place, to assure yourself that there was nothing there. But then the horror would rise in you, and just for an instant, you would see it crouching in the dark, staring out at you. And for that instant, a part of you would remember.
You had been in there once, and it got you. It did things to you. It grabbed you with its long, cold fingers and held you tight so it could press its placid, white face up to yours and force you to look into its eyes.
Its eyes. Tiny and pure black, in puckered sockets of corpse white wrinkled flesh. Its eyes showed you things. Things you still know deep within you. Things that visit you in the night when you are half asleep. Unspeakable horrors that slide into bed with you like slithering eels.
Do you know that it made a room for itself inside you? Inside your soul, it carved a little home for its essence. And one of these nights it will creep out into your consciousness and join you again. You will see it in the corner of your room, crouching, staring at you in bed with those black, black eyes. You will freeze, like a deer in headlights, and wait for it to creep up to you again.
And then it will show you more things.
And you will wake up in the morning and not remember.
But that corner of your room will haunt you.
And your soul will be smaller yet.
And it will wait inside you for its next visit.
It is depressing to me that I have yet to be visited and given a blowjob by my future self. This means one of two things: either time travel does not get invented in my lifetime, or future me is a selfish asshole.
The act of giving oral sex is very much like other gift giving. We may give purely out of a generous spirit, or we may do so because we feel obligated due to social convention or other reasons. But at the heart of it we often give so that we can then receive. It’s a kind of social contract. I give you a birthday present so that I get one in return later. With sex this often is much more a direct negotiation and an immediate exchange. What some rapper or another referred to as exchanging fuck faces.
Access to a time machine would enable one to engage in just such an exchange with themselves. Game changer! The negotiation that would take place would be purely internal, with the important distinction on whether one goes forwards or backwards in time to make with the oral sex (or whatever else). So if I’m feeling horny, all I need to do is zap forward say thirty minutes, do the deed on myself, and then go back to my original timeline to wait for the payoff. Easy. This is the direct equivalent of the negotiated fuckface exchange with another partner.
Then there is the purely generous act of going back in time. Doing so is an entirely altruistic act of kindness for your former self. I suppose you could try to get your former self to reciprocate, but that really is an awful lot to spring on an unsuspecting you, don’t you think? Better just to be giving and generous and regard the experience as a chance to hone your skills.
Now, there are a couple of related issues concerning this whole practice that I should probably touch on.
The first of these is dealing with all the simpleton assholes who are going to be getting their dander up because this is somehow “gay.” First of all, so what if it is? You have a problem with that? Fuck you then. Secondly: is it? Every time you masturbate you are engaging in a same sex sex act (whatever that may be). Now whether a you in an alternate time is actually you or another distinct person is a philosophical question worth exploring. However, I’m willing to leave that determination to keener minds than mine. Regardless of the judgement, however, if I get my hands on a time machine this shit is going down. You can apply whatever label to the behavior that you want.
The second issue that people might have is what they might see as a misuse of a time machine. People might be thinking, “how dare you use such a fantastic resource for such a tawdry purpose! You should go back in time to kill Hitler or something!”
In answer to this I respond: who says I wouldn’t go back in time to kill Hitler? I have a time machine, asshole! I can fit both in.
As well, this whole notion of killing Hitler when he was young to stop World War II and the Holocaust is a crock of shit anyway. Wouldn’t work. Do you honestly believe these huge events were are all the doing of one individual? If Henry Ford had never existed, do you think someone else wouldn’t have figured out the assembly line? Hitler was a product of his times and culture, not the other way around. Eliminating him would just mean that the German industrial military complex would have found some other demagogue to rabble rouse their way into the war they wanted. Yes, some of the window dressing would have been different, but in no way would killing the individual change the political, economic, cultural, historical, and social forces that all came together to create the situation that Hitler exploited to rise to power.
In going back in time to kill Hitler, your gift to the world would probably be nothing more than letting hipsters today rock the Charlie Chaplin stache.
Now you see what a difficult and troublesome thing time travel is if used to fuck with the past to engineer the perfect present. So much better to fuck in the past to engineer just a little more happiness through self love.
Get on it science!
When you find yourself saying that people need to get a sense of humor, or are too easily offended these days, you are probably an asshole.
This doesn’t mean you’re wrong: they probably are easily offended and do need to get a sense of humor. And you’re an asshole. These are not mutually exclusive.
It’s fine. I’ve spent most of my life as an asshole. It’s been fun.
Just don’t be surprised and get all cunty when people treat you like the asshole you are. You are not owed laughter for your shitty jokes, nor agreement with your shitty opinions.
If you find this upsetting, you are the snowflake.
So, millennials, huh? What went wrong there? And golly, Enid, those flappers sure were a real menace, what with their reefer and jazz music and sex in motorcars.
And then with the beatniks! And don’t get me started on those dirty hippies! Punks! The world is going to hell in a handbasket!
Hmmm, now that I start to dig into it a little, it’s almost as though there’s always been people who insist on framing things in terms of generational conflict. Who go for the layup of old versus young (or vice versa) when they want to get their dander up about something. Goddamnit they aint gonna let something like not having anything interesting or useful to say stop them from getting their spleen on!
And then oh what a bland cul-de-sac of the zeitgeist we find ourselves in.
At this point, those of you expecting a hit piece on millennials are probably wondering what the fuck I’m doing.
The short answer is: You’ve been clickbaited.
Now, there are two camps of people who would respond to such bait: those who agree that millennials are terrible; and those who took offense at the title and came looking for some more of that sweet, sweet offensive fuel for their raging fire of righteous indignation.
For those of you in the first group who came looking for something of an echo-chamber to amuse yourselves: sorry, there’s not going to be much here for you in terms of that. But do feel free to pull up a chair and hang about if you’re so inclined. I do actually have a point here and it might not do you any harm to check it out.
Now, for those of you who came torches and pitchforks in hand, I would ask you to take a step back and ask yourself how it is that you’ve been clickbaited. Not why (that’s an easy one: it’s to drive traffic to my content), but how?
The how of it is actually pretty simple. It’s an old sales technique and one of the tricks in the How To Win Friends and Influence People bag. To combat indifference and disinterest, the manipulator instigates the target’s irritation or anger. These feelings, while negative, are an emotional response. The target now has engaged emotionally with you; a connection has been established. From there it is child’s play to defuse the anger, and what follows is a dopamine rush from the perceived conflict resolution, however minor. In that state it, the mark is much more likely to buy that used car they didn’t want.
But this is the internet. There’s no car for them to sell you. So what’s the payoff? Attention. Traffic. That is the currency. You see something that pisses you off, and what do you do? You share it, you comment on it; then your friends to the same. Attention. Traffic.
You read something that pisses you off and you click to read more. In order to do what? What need does that impulse serve for you? I have already told you what need of mine you have serviced, but what service are you doing yourself? The only logical answer is that you like being angry and offended. Fair enough then. But if you don’t like that mental state, then what the fuck are doing to yourself? For my benefit, no less.
This is the media cycle we now are meant to participate in. The celebrity offensive act or tweet, followed by the mea culpa apology circuit. These are not missteps; they are calculated manipulations.
Their name is trending on Twitter. Attention. Traffic.
This is not to say it isn’t useful to get angry at things sometimes. But take a second and think about how you are interacting with what has angered you. Is your attention hurting or helping the object of your ire? Are you signal boosting exactly what it is you claim to be fighting against?
Get angry, sure. Say your piece, even better. But don’t serve their fucking agenda. Make a case for what you believe without linking to that offensive tidbit that baited you into action. That’s the way to do it.
Think of it in terms of that old philosophical exercise:
“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a noise?”
The answer is: no it doesn’t. Noise is a human concept. There are vibrations in the air, but they are not interpreted by a human mind that makes a judgment about what is noise and what isn’t.
So, if a shitty tweet is posted and no one reads it, is it offensive?
Without human attention and interpretation, all of this is nothing more than dust blown into the void. Binary ones and zeros dumped into a sea of data storage.
Until you make it something.