“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
— Mary Pickford
My reformulation: Failure is is not determined by how many times you have been knocked down, success is predicated upon how many times you can get back up.
A boxer once said he has learned nothing from winning, everything he has learned he learned from losing.
The task of a creator with a potential time limit of 60 or so years is to create quality contributions that you love and which are beneficial to yourself, your society, and/or your planet. In order to do this, for some unchangeable reason that is built into the fabric of The Universe, you are required to think in ways that no one else in your society, on your planet, thinks or your creation will be called ‘boring’.
This makes you different. Different people are called ‘wierd.’ Wierd people don’t get invited to parties, and parties are where creations are best observed.
My favorite successory meme is the one about Abraham Lincon, it is in one of my meme collections. All you hear about in the history books in school is that there was this 60 year old guy who became president 150 years ago and when everyone was fighting he led them through it to a world everyone agreed was an improvement. Very few other American leaders accomplished something so difficult with such success. It rings out in a way. It should be studied, everyone should learn how this guy pulled off these wildly improbably accomplishments, and created things no one else could but which everyone agreed they needed after the fact.
One day in or around 2003 I was unemployed in a totally random, boring place, the Chicago headquarters of a company that sells water purifiers, and I saw this successory for the first time. It was like getting hit with a thick book thrown from a hundred years away. This guy’s life story is so powerful, even when reduced to a single sheet of paper, that it resonates a hundred years later.
Abraham Lincoln was not popular. He was not everyone’s friend. He spent years in solitude. Everyone had told him he was wrong and incompetent his entire life. When he ran for president, he had only lost elections his entire life. His businesses failed. His love life was a mess.
He was different. People called him wierd. He didn’t get invited to parties. For 40 years. Then he rocked the world and got shot by accumulation of people who were put to shame by it, who had likely been born with a mountain of advantages Mr. Lincoln had not yet who had been proven wrong and by any assessment to be lesser men.
Abraham Lincoln upset the oxcart, someone from nowhere came to rule the center of everything, proving this is possible when the conventional wisdom of the system says it should not be.
An entire ideology was brought into question with every breath he took, so the system treated his breathing like a virus.
Systems don’t treat those things which prove them to be a lie very nicely, rather they try to erase them from history.
Just as my history books had erased from a fairly detailed account so many of Abraham Lincoln’s words, methods and ideas.
It is actually true that in 2019 America, the confederate flag, racist confederate ideas and numerous sideways implementations of pro-slavery ideology are more popular than Abraham Lincoln’s much more moderate ideas about banking, finance and law which he demonstrated, with his life, as successful.
This indicates, I believe, a pretty serious systematic illness in the United States of America which I believe it is silly to overlook while thinking one is being effective, while actually letting the bad guys win over the long term.
We should be questioning some of the bigger assumptions about what is American and what is not, in 2019.
Also, we should be aware that there are incompetent losers born with money and advantages that are always going to secretly conspire against poor people more capable than they are. Well, actually anyone else, but especially poor people who pulled off something that scares them literally to death.
Indeed, even the prospect of being as poor as Abraham Lincoln or I have been for most of our lives(and am right now), makes rich people jump from tall buildings so it is no wonder they are afraid to even argue with us, and happily turn off social mobility like a spigot.
I thought it might be a fun excercise to write about my failures, losses and humiliations in one little collection.
Here we go, strap in for a wild ride.
-boy scout troop disintegrated after I had paid my dues, never make eagle scout
-damaged back for life by playing marching band snare drum through puberty
-failed at being little league umpire
-fired from first real job at pizza place
-fired from first IT job at university campus
-fired from waiter job
-fired from pizza delivery job, car vandalized by coworkers
-wrote play about impending dister due to systemic failures, summer 2001, no one will read
-dropped out of engineering school due to depression, 2001
-got D in feedback theory, dropped out of microprocessor architecture
-debilitating chronic back pain, can’t be treated
-attempt to buy a car for cheap on ebay to sell for profit, borrow money, lose it all due to bizarre problem with title
-lost girlfriend I was in love with due to depression, inability to exist economically in columbia, mo
-unable to repay student loans, go into default, cripples credit rating for the rest of my life**
-failed organizing first attempt to change drug laws -wrote book about the need for credible internet debating, no response from publishers, or anyone -started web development company with friend, failed
-wrote first screenplay, no response from production companies, guy laughs in my face in new york city
-funk band in missouri fails
-self release first album of original songs, no kind words
-fired from IT job in 2007, can’t find another one, sell everything, leave missouri
-live on balcony in hawaii, get job, ride bike to work in traffic
-fired from 2 IT jobs in Hawaii in 2008
-threatened by crazy chinese landlords in Century Tower
-physically threatened by crazy drug addicted** mok roommate in makiki, must move under duress
-move in with kind pearl harbor survivor, Mr. Robert McCoy, live in tiny condo living room of 84 year old man with colostomy bag, I do not steal his awesome japanese dagger from Iwa Jima. *
-open mic night in hawaii fails
-band in hawaii fails
-mom diagnosed with alzheimer’s disease, requests I return to Missouri, move back in with mom
-fired from IT job in missouri, 2009
-fired from IT job in illinois, go homeless
-move to los angeles on unemployment, live in bizarro half way house on santa monica
-fired from IT job, 2010
-write multiple screenplays, no one will even read
-threatened physically and legally by bizarro roommates, lose 2 deposits
-car accident in downtown los angeles causing debilitating neck pain for next 5 years, lose job, settlement does not come for 4 years and it is small
-only movie project I have chance to work on, I am unable to attend actual shooting due to conflict with roommates
-perform literally hundreds of free open mic and bringer shows, hundreds of auditions, no success, no friends, no girlfriend
-lose another IT job 2012
-move to portland on unemployment, cannot find a job in Portland
-band fails in portland
-mother requires in home assistance, sleep on living room floor in tiny apartment for most of 2014, can’t afford car payment, do not place in comedy contest
-try to live in intentional community, fails
-move to kansas city, get part time job taking phone support calls for ISP
-lump that might be cancer, unable to get insurance, must beg
-several bizarro roommate experiences in kansas city, finally get own apartment, lose all deposits
-apply for consulting job which turns out to be at a military base out of desparation, do not get job for clearance reasons after 4th interview, entire clearance application leaked to darknet shortly thereafter
-find out credit rating has charges on it that did not come from me
-fired from 3 IT jobs in kansas city between 2015 and 2017
-car begins shutting down randomly, replacing computer costs all savings
-violently mugged at open mic night while playing guitar in front of bar, severe head injury, nonprofit must cover 5k medical expenses, car stolen but returned by police $500 stuff missing, including phone, develop post traumatic stress
-attempts to start bands fail in kansas city, no one comes to comedy show, ecstatic dance fails, podcast fails, lose good friends, homeless twice
-write album of comedy music in character, promote friday night burlesque show, attendance: 5
-lose apartment, become homeless, move in with family to look for jobs in seattle
-cannot find job in Seattle after really trying
-pick fruit in wenatchee forest, live in car, get job at bar, fired for no reason
-fired from 4 restaurant jobs without explanation in 2017, paycheck withheld out of spite by 5 guys burgers and fries in issaquah washington, physically pushed out of store during lunch rush**
-car computer fails completely without explanation for the 2nd time, replaced under warranty must borrow money from family to pay for service
-bizarro roommate experience in seattle, move out after 2 months, consider leaving country
-leave country for my own safety using borrowed money, arrive in germany, january 2018
-living in student dormatory get work visa teaching english, lose all english classes after 6 months due to top down corporate decision
-try to join band, fail
-try to start a band, fail
-comedy show, never called back
-write 100k words on steemit, earn nothing
-only friend in city moves away
-write all local theaters, no response
-2 bizarro roommate experiences, finally get own apartment
-fired from IT job
-write 5 short plays in 2017-2018, to date only one family member has read ***
-stalked on way to work by middle eastern strangers, accuse and open credible prosecution against one of them, ongoing
-post about my experiences of political persecution in the United States****, called crazy, accused of having chip on shoulder and persecution complex, experience further JTRIG style forum manipulation
-write 50k words on website, 0 btc/xmr donations….
Yet he persists.
Now we are all caught up, welcome to my 2019.
Note: This is a work in progress, I am sure I will remember more failures(the monkey parts of my brain quite naturally loves this project…and at the same time the more evolved parts of my brain love using the bricks thrown at me as building material….)
*never underestimate the luck that can befall you if you honestly help an older person configure their new HP computer so that the cruftware does not drive them insane and they can email in the right sized font with their family
**it is legal in washington state to withhold pay from employees, businesses face no effective punishment for doing this
***received a favorable review
****very little of which appear in this list, although when I say bizarro roommate experiences I now believe that was coordinated by the secret police, cointelpro/mkultra/fusion center agents. Also, I now believe much of the entertainment industry if not all of it is dominated by the same or allied interests, so when I fail as an author, comedian, musician, songwriter, actor and probably other things, I am clearly going against a cultural hegemony and now recognize I shouldn’t so surprised.
******Actually I have learned, since so many people have student loan debt, apartments and car dealerships ignore student loan debt almost completely. I am also a resister, illegimate debts should not be paid as a way of fighting back. FYI, if everyone stopped paying their loans at once, it would actually stop this system and those preying on people would have a bad day.
******Life Tip: A lot of people who are on meth say they are on coke.
*******For all of the times I have gotten fired, I have never been accused of dishonesty, doing anything illegal, or comprimising the security of my employer. Frequently, people have been quite awful to me and held me to unreasonable, arbitrary standards as this is allowed and encouraged in the corporate system. Generally I do not fit in well after a month or so because people learn gradually that I am different, and so they call me wierd, and don’t want to invite me to their party. But guess what, the internet is a bigger party, one that doesn’t stop, and here no one can absolutely monopolize the narrative like can be done at a residence or place of business.