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One Door Closes… Another Door Opens…

03/10/2015

Entry 03/08/2015 07:36:05 AM – Mentat 899

At the end of last week, I found myself rather surprised that an acquaintance of mine has blocked me from Twitter and removed me from his feed. I found myself taking it rather personally because I was left without word as to why it had happened, and that it simply changed in the course of a couple of hours. I also took it personally because like all the sites that I frequent — from WordPress, Deviant Art, Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook — I usually discriminate based on the feeling that such acquaintances (and friends) are usually there to stay for the long haul. They often know that good and bad, I have an opinion and I’m going to share it. Be it affirmatively, be it as the contrarian that I often am. Be it off-sided, and sometimes even off-colored, I share it and try to do so eloquently (or in the 140 character limit of Twitter: Succinctly).

The straw that broke the camel’s back for this acquaintance: he posted one of this daily inspirational quotes. One from Steve Jobs.

My answer, while be from one of the more comic sites (Cheezburger.com) covered rather poignantly some of the epic douche-baggery of Steve Jobs in his years while he was running Apple Corporation and had his hooked sunk into Pixar Entertainment. Let’s face it — anything inspirational and/or prophetic from this man had to have been generated within the well known reality-distortion field that Mr. Jobs used to spin himself the messiah of all things Apple/Macintosh.

This of course wasn’t the first time. A couple of weeks before this acquaintance mis-attributed a quote to Thomas Edison of which I’m well familiar to that man’s douche-baggery during his years of feuding with Nikola Tesla, suspected that if he had ever said it, it was stolen. (I was since corrected by another of this acquaintance’s followers that the quote he had attributed to Edison had come into creation a few decades after Edison’s death).

I even commented to him as succinctly as possible (in a private communiqué) that he should do some research into some of the quotes that he was pulling to inspire his followers that from as these two — Edison and Jobs — are proof positive of the saying, “the rat race is over, the rats won”.

The thing is that I have equal rancor for not only Edison and Jobs, but Gates, Ballmer, (Michael) Dell, (Steve) Case and a host of others that people often try to paint as the pioneers of the Information Age. I don’t tend to put it all up front; I usually do it opportunistically based on whether or not they’re mentioned. Because from my perspective, it’s that often the quotes people attribute to many of these people as inspirational were often used in the middle of some of the most vapid PR campaigns generated in the 20th Century. Campaigns used to cover-up not only their vices and villainy, but much of the vices and villainies of the peers of their time. They also been shown to have relied on the strengths of others (Wozniak for Apple comes readily to mind; I know there was one or two on Microsoft’s side, but I can’t recall them off the top of my head) and took the credit for those accomplishments. But I’m not here to go down the dark and often barbed rabbit hole on this, I’m talking more personally…

Through the weekend while I was working through this surprise (and disappointment), I performed a quick inventory of this budding friendship and realized it was entirely one-sided. He never made a favorite nor commented on anything that I ever created. Even so far as never followed me to see what I was going to create next. He never showed any curiosity for anything that I made, wrote or talked about unless it was referenced directly to him.

This isn’t friendship Michael, I thought to myself. Far from it; this is one-sided.

I then took an inventory of this acquaintance’s actions and realized that with extremely rare exceptions, a majority of his actions and activities were the sort of self-absorbed drivel I would expect of someone wanting followers and fans. The sort of followers and fans that only have stars and likes (and favorites) to flourish, and ne’er an opposing word to anything spouted by this acquaintance. Looking at this inventory, I got the strongest impression, what he wanted were supplicants for his cult of personality… In order to make money.

I readily admit, I might be intentionally villainizing him in a method of handling the hurt and surprise in an adolescent fashion. So to balance this immaturity out (just a little) I’ll say something less villainizing: I don’t damn him for taking his talent and making money from it. Music-making is tough enough in this dog-eat-dog world. Lord knows I understand this intimately from fellow artists (painters, sculptors, fractal artists, jewelry makers, the list goes on) that the only time the kind of art I practice makes money when the artist (that created it) is dead. I applaud his attempts at generating revenue from it — even from a single song. I might not personally relate to his music, but others do and that’s something to be respected.

The thing is that I don’t respect his thoughtform that he’s been subtly creating, A thoughtform that I should blindly worship him. That I should be the visions of light, goodness and softness for all that he spouts to the world around him. For failing to being this vision, I should be punished (by exclusion) when I go beyond that myopic vision of how people should act around him. Because the last thing I’ll ever be is part of anyone’s advertising machine. (After all, I believe that if they or their product cannot sell itself, no amount of my pushing it will do the same). Nor will I ever see them as anything less than an equal: and being equal means that you get the good with the bad. The agreement with the disagreement. The praise with the criticism.

For another acquaintance from years gone by had hit the nail on the head when he commented on my personality and the years of crotchety, snarky and acerbic rebuttals from the likes of me on a public newsgroup when he said:

Merrick is Dr Leonard McCoy. The barbs! The barbs! Not to mention professional brilliance, sharp opinions and scathing wit! Nonsense–even of the superficially logical sort–will not go unchallenged by either of these men. Two of the most colorful characters on Star Trek and ATSTV, Bones and Merrick are in a class of their own. You gotta love the way they blurt out their opinions, devil-may-care, if you don’t like it, that’s just too damn bad! Original and unique, they will never go unheard. They may be masters of irony, but the most ironic thing of all is that underneath the acerbic jabs are men of great sensitivity and tremendous heart.

I never crafted this attitude, I simply was me — spouting (or sharing) my opinion. Debating against one side (or the other), trying to create balance through the actions of both sides trying to create a perspective. Critiquing what I was seeing as weakness in the hopes of garnering strength. Tearing down strength(s) when they appeared to be hubris. And most importantly working towards optimistic visions while cutting away from the dreck and dross to find the germ (of the grain) and gem (of the jewel).

So with all this — a door has been closed. Time to move on — into the world — continuing to be me.

And what door has been opened? Why just the sort of job I’ve been missing for years. Yes, it’s a tech support job. Yes, it’s something that I’m rather talented at doing. And most importantly; yes, it’s on third shift. You heard it here — I’m going to be Nightbreed once again. I’m going to be missing from my usual postings, commenting and usual Day-Walker shenanigans for the rest of the month, but after that what was done during the day will be done in the middle of the night. The best part is that it’s just over 3 miles (4.8 km) from the house which means that for the spring through the autumn I can walk it (in an hour), ride it (in about 40 minutes or less, it’s pretty even terrain from here to there) and avoid the butt-loads of traffic through the major streets at the butt-crack of dawn or late in the evening. Best of all, I can return to the usual giggles and guffaws of watching my fellow homo sapiens in the morning, being complete zombies as they head to work while I’m heading home to sleep.

I’ll tell the story about this — once I’ve started the job. Until then, that’s enough from me because I really don’t want to jinx it any more than I have than mentioning it here. I’m going to wander off for the time being. Off to play a little before I head to bed. Until the next time.

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