Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Sanity is overrated. Why must everyone be so fucking sane all of the time? It’s one of the most annoying things. It’s important to overstate things, exaggerate, press people to be far too honest, overdo it, offend whenever possible. It’s important not to second-guess these undertakings! If we can’t blunder enormously, that means we’re sending the rest of the world the wrong message. We owe it to the sane (who are very bored) to demonstrate how to appear troubled, draw criticism, and generally alienate all but the hardiest plants, animals and humans. When you’re disturbed to the point that it embarrasses and inconveniences others, you never have to doubt the loyalty of the friends you still have.
See? An overstatement. Watch and learn.
Being normal has never really been an option for me. I don't mean to suggest that I'm deliciously zany or spirited or kooky in an adorable way. No, man! Not like that. I just can't be normal, and yes I think I have tried very hard to be normal, more when I was younger, but I think I still try, in small ways, to make normal people understand or like me. Why do I do this? It's a waste of my time.
You know those dreams when you go to school and you look down and realize that you forgot your pants and underwear? That's always how it went for me. Never naked, always just missing the bottom half of my clothes - which is about a million times more unattractive and stupid-looking than just being naked, I might add. Well, I've pretty much had to come to terms with the fact that I forget my pants a lot. I can put up big signs on my front door: DON'T FORGET YOUR PANTS, DUMB ASS! But I still forget them regularly.
Fuck pants, though. Who needs pants? Some part of me obviously believes that pants are overrated, and that's why I keep forgetting them. No more pants. Down with pants. Pants bad.
To review: Insanity, mistakes, missteps, overstatements, exaggerations, obnoxiousness, confessions, being misread: Good. Sanity, normality, pants: Bad.
Monday, March 22, 2004
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
See it. SEE IT. see this movie. SEE it NOW.
Thursday, March 18, 2004
I just wanted to make sure that you knew how great you were. I think it just about every time I read one of your "I Like to Watch" or other zany articles. I try to space my praise out into irregular doses, so that I don't get slapped with any restraining orders. Please be aware: your devotion to the O.C. will never be wrong. You got me and, I'm quite certain, countless millions hooked on the "greatest show on television," and for that I'm forever in your debt. Thank you for stealing countless hours from my employer, and thank you for making my wife wonder on a weekly basis if it really is time for me to seek professional help.
Today I definitely don't know how great I am, or I didn’t until I got your letter. Thanks to you, though, I’ve switched over from defeated and shaky to wildly overconfident - a remarkable shift, particularly considering your use of the word "zany," which I dislike and was tempted to edit out of your letter. This transformation turns out to be mighty convenient for me, since Wildly Overconfident is by far the best state of mind for writing and I have to write my column today. I also appreciate the way you cc’ed my boss and my CEO.
Of course, I wouldn’t want you to think that I depend on a few encouraging words to prop myself up every morning, since it might give you a false sense of power, as if you control my ability to plod forward in life, as if your simple note of support were clattering around noisily in the dangerously empty fuel tank of my ego. I certainly wouldn’t want to give you the impression that I depend on such praise to sally forth, or that I am hoping dearly that you might adhere this irregular dose of praise to some sort of regular schedule, say Tuesdays and Thursdays, just for example, or Monday afternoons and Wednesday mornings. No, no. I’m perfectly satisfied with this little email as a token of your esteem, as fleeting as it is, even though I won’t really be sure whether your well wishes and appreciation continue over the coming months, or if these praises peter out in a day or two. So it goes! Although naturally I would prefer that you fill out the attached document, a short, easy-to-understand, legally-binding contract obligating you to submit a minimum number of letters of praise at predetermined intervals, I can't expect to convince you to do so by suggesting that the quality of my writing might decline precipitously if you don't, or that your refusal to comply hints at the weakness of your character, or leads me to believe that you smell bad. Such remarks would surely be construed as insidious and controlling. And that's not me! So, instead, I leave my fate to the whims of the universe, and I bid you adieu.
Best wishes to you and yours,
p.s. David Talbot’s email address has recently changed. Please make a note of it.
Friday, March 05, 2004
NEW PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
"Just because a chimpanzee does it, that doesn't make it right."
Readers have sent me a lot of Life Philosophies, but most of them were written by someone else, and in lieu of reprinting Bartlett's Familiar Quotations on this website (which I've done plenty of times before - it's not beneath me or anything), I think we can all agree that this little nugget makes all other philosophies irrelevant. After all, so many of us move through this life using chimps as our role models, and while that's not necessarily wrong, it's not necessarily right, either. I just think we need to be reminded of that every now and then.