Have you ever called someone up, and you’re disappointed when they answer the phone? You wanted the machine. You know, and you’re always kind of thrown off, you go “Oh, I eh, I – I didn’t know you were there, I ah – just wanted to leave a message saying, sorry I missed you.”
So here what we have is two people who hate each other, don’t really ever want to talk, but the phone machine is like this relationship respirator keeping these marginal brain dead relationships alive. And we all do it — Why? So that when we come home, you can see that little flashing red light. You go “all right, messages.” You see, people need that. It’s very important for human beings to feel they are popular and well liked amongst a large group of people that we don’t care for.
From Jerry’s opening monologue of “The Bubble Boy” episode which originally aired in 1992.
The world is so huge, so many things to do and see … And for us, in the West, with more money and power and freedom than any other people in history … To be bored is really a crime. It’s an insult to everyone who doesn’t have money and power and freedom.
From Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
Then it hit me: Life is too precious and too fleeting to waste my time on bullshit like tenure. I didn’t become a professor to get tenure. I became a professor to make the world better through science. From this day forward, I will spend my time on problems and solutions that will matter. I will make a difference.
I stopped working on problems for the sole purpose of notching up a publication. I shifted gears to cybersecurity. I found a project on cancer in the med school. I joined a project in chemical engineering using super-computing to fight global warming.
Suddenly, my papers started getting accepted.
To summarize: being a jerk is likely to fail you, at least in the long run, if it brings no spillover benefits to the group; if your professional transactions involve people you’ll have to deal with over and over again; if you stumble even once; and finally, if you lack the powerful charismatic aura of a Steve Jobs. (It’s also marginally more likely to fail you, several studies suggest, if you’re a woman.) Which is to say: being a jerk will fail most people most of the time.
Yet in at least three situations, a touch of jerkiness can be helpful. The first is if your job, or some element of it, involves a series of onetime encounters in which reputational blowback has minimal effect. The second is in that evanescent moment after a group has formed but its hierarchy has not. (Think the first day of summer camp.) The third—not fully explored here, but worth mentioning—is when the group’s survival is in question, speed is essential, and a paralyzing existential doubt is in the air.
In the 60’s and 70’s, there was a boom in camper manufacturing and sales throughout the country. Many of these manufacturers didn’t survive the 80’s oil bust, yet remnants of the era can be found along country roads, abandoned in fields and junkyards. However, back in the heyday of the family road trip, the big name in these “canned-ham” style camper trailers was Shasta, leading the pack with their coveted Compact model. From Shasta’s Compact, sprang several copy-cat style knock-off trailers from manufacturers looking to cash in on the market, including a model from Bell Manufacturing, who, 30 years later, has long since closed up shop.
We happened across such a camper that we determined to be the perfect prospect for our needs, and over the past few months, the ’73 Bell (model unknown) has been in the hands of Camper Reparadise who’s been bringing her back to life as a modern-day, bullet-proof, adventure rig. After much anticipation, we’re stoked to finally be able to release her back into the wild this past weekend as we embarked on the official maiden voyage (minus the champaign bottle send-off, though that would have been awesome) with a quick trip to Vernal, Utah. Needless to say, we are stoked, as the Bell proved to be everything we could have hoped for in a vintage camper adventure rig.
1. We are what we pretend to be.
2. When you’re dead you’re dead.
3. Make love when you can. It’s good for you.
As noted in his work, Mother Night
I’ve had Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s, Beware in my collection for a while now, however until last night I had yet to give it a proper listen. While listening, I started reading various interviews with Oldham and the following excerpt from an article published in the New Yorker stood out.
Parsons wanted to know how much Oldham charged for a concert. Oldham said, “Fuck, anywhere from zero to twenty-five thousand dollars. It depends who asks.”
From The New Yorker’s, The Pretender