Some might protest! No, no, Sterling, you are a failure! You are! Look at the record. The double-penetration bookkeeping of life’s ledger is never wrong!
At forty, you have no job, no career, no kids, no house, no car, no wife or girlfriend, no monetizable accolades or celebrity! Your only socially-recognized achievement, your Phd, is an albatross around your neck, a white elephant of a degree, a monument to your arrogance, a gnostic testament to your holier than thou pig-headed refusal to play by the rules of the only reindeer game that you were ever allowed to play.
I want -- desperately, passionately, tourette-tely -- to say, “yes, Zeitgeist, oh, yes, Zeitgeist, you are so right.” I want it to be true! I want to stand in solidarity with all the beautiful losers, past, present, and future, who have flung themselves from the high walls of ambition onto the jagged rocks of bedbug poverty and feckless failure.
But, I can’t stand with them. They won’t have me! I have a roof, a warm bed, plenty of food and drink, good friends, and, sin of sins, a well-seasoned savings accounts. My library card is in good order. My credit rating is as clean a convent’s urinal! I have three pairs of good shoes, and suits!
Yes, the beautiful losers are as little interested in me as the ugly winners, and for the same reason! I have succeeded by the terms that I have set for myself, by my standards, my system of values, according to the internal logic of my beautifully unique snowflake. The beautiful losers cherish only failure, and only on the terms they have set for themselves and everyone else too.
Of course, the market does not much care for anyone’s own standards, values, or snowflakes. History, too! Yes, the tricky bit, as always, is that my ambition is forever pointed at some nowhere neverland, where people care not to tread not out of fear but out of indifference. A blazer leaves no trail if no one follows along to give purpose to his efforts. Untrodden, the trammeled and trampled bush grows back quickly behind our intrepid pioneer, even as he or she blazes on with such compassless purpose, s/he is neither lost nor found.
Am I visionary trailblazer or delirious dilettante crank? It is unknowable in the wonderful forever of now, and the ultimate judge is that deaf, dumb, and blind beast we call the market or, still worse, that fickle friend, history, who is always too ready to align herself cheek-by-jowl with any johnny-come-lately with a limp dick and a hard gun of dough.
No, fuck the market! Fuck history! Give me one good reader who gives a damn enough to make a meal of the crumbs I’ve left behind. Give me one good reader whose attention can span the bridge of words between us. A DJ may saves lives, but a good reader can breed a million multiverses with one sweet load of attention, within their his-and-her warm wombs of reflection. A saved life counts for nothing in evolution’s horney narrative! Breed, brother, breed. Breed, sister, breed. Not another bawling planet-sucking baby, but words, ideas, and words again -- the only renewable resource other than love that matters. With one good reader, we can breed armies of universes that stand together. Like readers!
Oh, give me you, dear reader. If I can’t have love, wealth, success or a split-level bungalow, let me have you for one moment, one breath, one eternity; oh, think of the universes we might breed!