Things I've Tagged ‘Fiction’

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Death of an Ideal

You can look to the stars or you can look to the dirt, but in each you see the enormity of the variety of worthless choices and ideas you face. Yet, the stars are as lifeless as the dirt is plentiful; and if you look deep into the dirt you’ll find it is full of life.

So, why aren’t we constantly reminded of our own shortcomings? The inequality that exists within us all is as evident as any blemish on the skin, but we are gifted the illusion of a capability we do not possess and never will; our hard work be damned, because in reality we are a limited people with various roles to fill based solely on our skillfulness. No amount of want or desire will bring about what you most wish for–don’t count on effort either.

Fear not the thing that offends you most; being told you are not good enough is a shot to the face of rationality and is to be desired above all else. The dirt brings health, life, and self‐worth; the rational man takes these things with a joyous heart and rejoices in his limitations. As it were, not all people are all capable of much greatness.

So instead of dreaming big, in terms of unreachable heights, why not think of the attainable blackness that is topsoil? These are things that make sense beyond the ridiculous, “shot for the moon” that we are all told to grab at, because if we miss we’ll be lost for an eternity in utter despair.

Know your limits, as I now know mine.

A Pleasent Fiction of Rich and Poor

“You know Marcus, a person can be rich in more than one way,” my old uncle used to spit, with that knowing little impish smile. You know what I say? Only poor fools like that sort of talk. Makes them feel like they have something too–when in fact the haves know everyone else, well, has not.

Hell, it makes me feel good…I’m rich in feeling good. But how good can you feel when you’re dirt poor? You can’t live that way and be happy. No. Fucking. Way.

They would have you believing that the poor person is happier, friendlier, and more noble than any rich person could ever be. The rich person is far too greedy to care about the greater community; he wouldn’t stop for a second to help a guy out. He wouldn’t stop to pick up a dime–it’s not worth the time they say. Well, chief, what about the statistic that 73.3% of donations1 made come from individuals that earn roughly $500,000 or more? You ever hear that one? And whatever’s left comes from the rest of us bums earning a paltry sum.

All I’m saying is, a small percentage of people even approach that bracket, yet they seem pretty damn philanthropic to me; hell, they’re living well and helping others, only making themselves feel even better. They must have happiness issues. Tax breaks for philanthropy don’t explain it.

You tell me. What do you think? Are the rich simply hoarding and making life harder for us regular, normal folk? Is it time to revolt against the rich classes?

Hell no.

What good will that do? There will always be a class of people that have what we do not. Even in that bullshit utopian, communist dream, the party is rich and extravagant, while the people generally suffer the consequences of central planning.

Look, the rich do a great job of distributing their wealth without government interference, so why press it? Because envy is on their minds.

Can’t make anyone happy.

  1. 93.4% of all statistics are made up.

Cross posted at Minor Speculum.

My Career as a Humorist

Isn’t it funny how one day you can wake up and remember how it used to feel to have something to live for? I don’t mean that life isn’t worth living; on the contrary, life is worth every penny. But really, think about those times that made it seem like it was true; those days when life seemed to be going the way you wanted—too bad I rarely wake up with that feeling. Most of the time I’m stuck working a job that makes me feel sick to my stomach. You know, I wish I didn’t have a conscience; it would make things a lot easier. But really, my job requires that I don’t; it’s written in the description on page two, right around line three sub‐paragraph six. If my boss found out about mine, I’d be fired in a second.

So you’re probably wondering what it is that I do, because I know I would be curious. In a few words, I find ways to sell you stuff that you don’t really need, but are willing to spend thousands of dollars for—going in debt along the way—in order to get that momentary sense of elation. And don’t pretend like you don’t know what I mean. We’ve all sent in those three easy payments of $19.95 for the Ronco Rotisserie Oven in the hopes that we could make as juicy of a game hen as Ron Popeil did; those blasted infomercials. But, I’m basically charged with creating the same kind of campaign. The kind of advertising that makes you drool. Makes you want to lick that roasted duck on the television screen; tricks the hell out of you into buying the product that’ll never get used, and will definitely never create the five star dinner the ‘normal’ chef on the tele made—but it sure looks tasty. Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s a great job. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be on the inside? Not that most people don’t catch the techniques we use—on second thought, eighty percent of the American public will definitely never catch those techniques—but I certainly do.

So I have to lie a little about the products to do my job—what’s wrong with that if I can make a quick buck in the process? It’s pretty simple really, a few pieces of currency exchange hands for goods slash services and everyone is happy. No harm done; its not like anyone really expects their Dyson Cyclonicon Pro Vacuum to do a good job. It has moving parts; it is bound to fall apart sooner or later. Right? I guess if you want to get technical, I’m not actually doing the lying, I really only pick the colors and typefaces that trick your eyes into looking at the ad. A little kerning here and a leading adjustment there and we’re all set to ship it off to the various magazines that’ll print the marketing department’s little white lies for thousands to consume—provided that my designs are approved.

Seriously, though, who wouldn’t want this job? You sit back and get to create all day—really, you get to problem solve and figure out what solution will best fit the given advertising situation. How? By helping to create the little lies that get your mommy and daddy to purchase that brand new Lexus LS 300M Mark II with a base MSRP of $45,699; pretty nasty when it comes to financing, since they’re already stretched so thin they can no longer afford to make timely payments, but what do I care? My little contribution to the ad was so small it isn’t worth mentioning or even attributing to their need for the vehicle—but I’ll tell you anyway. I adjusted the kerning on the word “the” next to “all new.” So maybe my contribution wasn’t glamorous, but I had a hand in the final ad. On top of that, I was always quick in getting the art director his morning cup of coffee, which I’m relatively certain sets me up for the next promotion in the office. I’m crossing my fingers on that one, but it’s a lock. Really, what could be better than earning that Assistant to the Artistic Creditor position? I definitely don’t know.

What would I be doing once I land that promotion, since I most definitely will? I get to take notes and pour cups of coffee for yet another person; boy, I’m pumped about that one. I can’t wait to hear, “Hey you, can you get me another tall mocha espresso latte, with a double shot of the espresso? Yeah, thanks. Make it quick, alright?” Seriously, this is my dream career; in another five years I’ll have enough experience to start designing entire campaigns on my own. Mind you, they’ll be immediately ripped apart by the art director, and then completely redesigned or even ignored, but I’ll get the ball rolling on the process and that is what truly matters. Hell, by that time I’ll have learned to lie so subtly you might not even trust me enough to have a conversation with me, let alone befriend me—you really always have to have a goal—and won’t that alone make life worth living? I think so.

Really, the chance to influence others easily, albeit without their knowledge, sounds like the dream of every man with a Napoleon complex—and I get to do it every day. It seems to me that Disney didn’t lie. Some dreams really do come true. Sure, you spend most of your professional life catering to higher‐ups, but what is that in the scheme of things? Not much. The bottom line is a career in marketing and advertising is the way to go, and it’s the best job I’ve ever held. Hell, I guess I must be learning something since I got you to believe half the stuff I just wrote.