25 January, 2012

This Is Me Complaining For 1500 Words

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those only of the author and may only coincidentally reflect those of Mystic Metals, its employees, or associates. All responses should be posted as comments here, or mailed directly to the author, A. Robert Basile, at ihatebasile@gmail.com.
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This Is Me Complaining For 1500 Words

I have this problem. I’m going to share it with you now because I trust you kids for some reason. It’s a big problem, and I should probably save it for therapy, but here we go. I am worried, kids. I am very worried. I am worried that my cat in Sims 3 Pets will not reach the top of the hunting stat. I know, I know; it’s a tragedy, and I’m working on communicating with him so that we can reach a resolution acceptable to us both. My Sims cat, Lecter, just learned how to catch lizards, and I’m afraid he will become complacent to just catching lizards when there is a world of things to catch. Hopefully when I see him tonight (for an unhealthy three or four hours), he’ll be more willing to catch more than lizards. Here’s hoping.
I want to talk about some things that affect your beauty. No, I’m not talking about spray tans and hair product and labret piercings and Whopper value meals. Though Whopper value meals are evidence that God loves us. I’m talking about goals and aspirations. These are tricky things. They are tricky because, if you’re like me (and God help you if you are) you tether firmly success and beauty. I have difficulty feeling beautiful when failing. The lynchpin is that I am failing. A lot. So let’s talk about it.
I watched the State of the Union Address last night, which I hope most of you did as well. This is an election year which means it was our president’s fourth address. I’m not a democrat. I didn’t vote for our president, and I won’t vote for him again, but listening to what he has to say is very important, and supporting our system is also important because if one is dissatisfied with the system, one can’t hope to change it from an uneducated point of view. In the address, the president let fall from his face a lot of bullshit. Democrat or republican, that is mostly to be expected. Politicians are professional bullshitters that we choose to bullshit on behalf of us, after all. But in the address, the president talked about the country and its greatness. He talked about taxes and economy and foreign policy. He talked about what it means to be a successful American. He talked about greatness through success and hard work. Agree or not with his policies, one can’t really argue with American cheerleading.
I looked at my own successes, especially my recent ones, and I realized I don’t have many. I feel less beautiful. I think success is very important to one’s own beauty because it provides a pride and a comfort, and with the pride and comfort comes a confidence. A belief in self. And isn’t that all that beauty is, a belief and comfort in self? So how do I achieve it? How do I find that element of comfort and beauty that is nestled in success? Simply, to be successful. And like the president said, hard work and sacrifice will germinate into success.
Then I look at my work ethic and how that ethic has changed since whenever date in the past. I think, much to the likely observational disagreement of my folks, my work ethic has gotten more rigid and more intense. My writing has gotten more intense in terms of how much I write. My bass playing has gotten tighter and more focused. I released a Nook and Kindle book, and have gotten some more rejection letters from publishers and agents. I’m working harder than I ever have, and I’ve been doing this hard work for a long time. But these personal successes have not materialized into the comfort and beauty I’ve hoped they would. And why is that? Because my failures are still greater, and most of those failures are beyond my control which, if you talk to my therapist, I am not at all OK with.
What are these failures. I’m not getting any healthier, and the list of things I can’t do is getting longer. I make shit money for the amount of work I put in and the bullshit I have to put up with. I’m not selling many books and publishers don’t want my shit even though I firmly believe it is quality work. These things fall into the life goal category, and though life goals are not in any way achieved quickly, I feel as if they are getting smaller and narrower in the perspective, down the road view. The frustration of the combination of working harder and arriving further from my goals is beauty damaging. Making money, of course we all want that regardless how much this administration would like to punish the hard working successful. My health, of course every one wants to be healthy and wants to have the freedom to do anything with his body, though we both know we’re not going to be picking up cars or saving Lois Lane from falling off a building any time soon. (And for the percentage of citizens that have actually fallen off of a skyscraper, she’s really beating the curve.) As a writer, all I can do is write and hope. Refine my craft, work hard, write better work. Which is what I’m doing. Then submit to publishers and wait for the rejections. I’m doing the hard part, right? The hard part ought to be creating the world and the people and the scenarios, right? If it were easy, everyone would do it; isn’t that what Tom Hanks says in “A League Of Their Own?” The hard part of achieving my life goal to have a book on a shelf in a bookstore (or in the hands of a cougar at the beach) is very much something I cannot manipulate or control. That is very frustrating.
So what’s the difference between my sharing how I feel with you cats and kittens, and my having a woe is me bitch fest? Not much, it seems. But that’s not the point of this rant. The point of this rant is that there are other things that erode our beauty, and we all need to be conscious of these things. We need to know that we have some power (albeit very little sometimes) over things that can aid in our perception of self. Success can breed beauty just as quickly as modifications to our aesthetics. Modification helps me, as I am sure it does all of you, to more firmly grasp a sense of beauty; but achievement and the reaping of rewards from time spent and hard work fulfills a beauty that tattoo and piercing and suspension and hair dye and fingernail paint and new outfits and high heeled shoes and beards and tans and sexy glasses and giant purses and those stupid rain boots the kids wear now cannot. And it isn’t so much that those things can’t provide a warmth and beauty to the self as it is a different warmth, a different beauty, a different pride, and a different solace. That’s the solace I am looking for right now, and it seems as if it is a long way off. That’s the frustration and the acid that erodes the beauty that I’ve worked hard to maintain, and it is also the demotivating processes through which we must galumph and trudge before we can rest on the grassy shore, away from the mud and mire of difficulty and frustration. That seems like a simple goal, one of perseverance and hard work and hope.
I’m going to stop bitching now. Go be successful, kids. Go work hard, work perfectly, and do. Go do and achieve and the beauty that you acquire from it will be one that cannot be robbed or destroyed. Go write a bestseller and forever you’ll have been the one who wrote a bestseller. Go write a gold record, and forever you’ll be the one who wrote a gold record. Go hit a game winning homerun, and forever you’ll be the one who won the game. Go get that promotion and the accolades at your job, but do it because you fished for it. You looked for it and hunted it with devotion and loyalty and hard work and the right attitude. Then, you’ll be the one with success that you garnered on your own by your own sweat and sacrifice. That beauty is teflon and unable to be demanufactured. Do it for your own beauty, kids. Go be successful. Stay beautiful, kids.

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