FROM MY CORNER
Us Failed Geniuses
We humans are an unruly bunch, hard to manage, difficult to manipulate, stubborn as mules. With eight Billion of us, it’s not surprising that we keep bumping into each other and blocking each other’s goals all the time.
At some time in life I caught on that I had some modest ability to craft a fairly sensible written sentence. I found that if I studied some problem of society and thought about it a bit, I could usually write a few paragraphs that some people would judge worth reading for a minute or two.
So, I figured great publishers would flock to me. Never happened. They kept telling me my ideas just didn’t match up with what most people were thinking. They simply couldn’t figure out now to make money off of my penmanship.
Then my future changed for the better. The 9/11 terrorist attack destroyed my entire income. In the strange way fate plays her cards, that event eventually acquired for me a Veterans Disability Pension.
Freed for the first time in life from having to struggle for a living, I started doing some thinking. I bought a sailboat and did some solo ocean cruising. You have a lot of free time to ponder things while floating alone out on the ocean.
I realized finally that most of us humans eventually get the notion that our idea of what life is all about is the real McCoy. And that everybody else’s idea is pretty off base.
The trick seemed to be not to try to convince everybody that I knew what is best for all of us, but rather to try to make some sense out of it in words. Well, was that an eye opener.
I found that trying to make logical sense of things just got me laughs. I hated that. Like Rodney Dangerfield, I felt I just wasn’t getting any respect. So I tried to write a few pieces people would judge to be funny.
Imagine my surprise when a handful of people took that stuff seriously and proclaimed me a burgeoning somebody. Unlike Mr. Trump, I’ve never declared myself a somebody, let alone a genius.
But, I got the idea that if I wanted to win at this writing game, I should always write the opposite of what I wanted to convey to readers. That is, if I really wanted to achieve my goals and pocket a new dollar or two.
This sort of strategy, of course, backfired. I was accused of cheating. Told I was a dissembling s.o.b. After I looked up the meaning of dissembling (I knew the meaning of s.o.b.), I decided people were correct.
So I decided to stop thinking before I write. It works a lot better to just type the first sentence and see where that leads. Which now leads me to look back at this piece and wonder what it’s all about.
It’s beyond me, I admit. I hope you can figure it out. I’m busy trying to make some sense out of all the media brouhaha about the new Trump book. The guy who wrote it seems to have found the answer to making money from words.
I’ll have to study his style, guess if I’m ever going to crack the money barrier of writing. But, you know, I don’t think I’ll do that. Not having, or wanting, to make money from my habit of putting words on paper keeps me feeling honest.
That may be ego, but it’s my goal when I write. So, if you can determine what this piece means, and tell me – maybe that will be the turning point for me in my now aging scribble habit.
Getting my habit to match up with money might be a good thing. If it ever happened, I hope I’d use the excess dough to do something good. They tell me, however, that money corrupts one’s sense of morality.
They may be right. I’ll try not to get too caught up in the idea of money. Keeping my income modest keeps me from becoming one of those guys who think they’re geniuses. I may not be much smarter than Bubba Gump, but I sleep well nights.