Thursday, September 1, 2011
"Hell, there are no rules here, we're trying to accomplish something!"-Edison
I'm going to do my best to ignore the fact that today is September 1st (*shifty eyes*) and that Monday is Labor Day (*extremely shifty eyes*), and that the summer is over (*rage rising*) and stay on some kind of message. To wit: yesterday, sports fans, I wrote about the need to follow your dream, no matter how insane the haters may say it is, if your dream makes you happy. I mean, yes, you need to temper your dream with some reality, but: life is hard. Maybe you've heard that before? It is true; the cats and I can verify. Life is very hard, not only in Queens, and if this is your dream, whether it's of writing the great Jewyorican novel or meeting a fun man who is sexy, smart and will win the approval of the cats (If the Kitten was awake, that would make him chortle.)...you have to fight for it. That's not a suggestion, son. It's far too early for me to be kidding.
Because if you don't, if you let people frighten you otherwise, you don't just lose that dream...you lose your confidence and that is a very serious loss. Because, let's face it: in life, in art, in business, there are no rules: no one knows what the hell they're doing. You think other people know what they're doing, when they do crazy things that lead to great things? Ha. Don't believe the hype. Later on, if they're honest, these people will sort of chuckle bitterly and admit they were just sort of messing about and praying that it worked before they got evicted, and now, if you don't mind, they're going to do infomercials and reap the intellectual rewards (translation: "date" their yoga instructors and be as naked as possible).
Business, like art, like love, is about whatever works at the time. Think about how many things, throughout history, were, at the time, expected to fail miserably. And then, for whatever reason, that "mistake" caught on and suddenly, the inventors went from zero to hero. (It's 5:30am, so the best my brain can come up with right now is the film Alien. A film which would eventually spawn a franchise, and make obscene amounts of money around the world but which, at the time, the studio was convinced would be a horrendous bomb: weird sets, weird music, and a female lead?? Mwah hah hah.)
So, I need you to take whatever frightened gibberish people have chanted to you about rules, or being nice, or fitting in, or listening to your elders...and hit the (mental) delete key. I need you to block that sh*t. I need you to think: "F**k that noise," as a former boytoy of mine used to say, in his great nasal, Chicagoan accent. Because the people who harp on the rules...they're the people who never got it. Whatever the "it" is/was. Remember: they. Never. Got. It! They're the ones anxiously trying to research why some people succeed and others fail, instead of just succeeding. They're the ones who, sadly enough, never experienced what the masterful Russian poet Osip Mandelstam spoke of, when he was truly at the height of his extraordinary powers and he described the knowledge of his powers as "feeling [his] wingspan." He was murdered by Stalin's thugs, and died in the Russian gulags, his body thrown into an unmarked mass grave...but while Stalin lies, pox-marked and blood-stained on the dust-heap of history, Mandelstam's clear voice rings on. Reading Mandelstam's poems today, one can witness his tremendous spirit and gift because... he knew he was right.
In business, in art, in life, you're "right" when you make it happen, and you animate your vision, when you feel your wingspan...so tell me, please: what could rules ever have to do with being right?