Emerging from out of the shadow of obfuscation, please allow us to present to you a second helping of the pod, such as it is. Like all new parents, I am proud of my ability to spawn and have perhaps have already allowed my excitement to lead me to folly. Also, like new parents, I am immediately overcome with an anxiety to perform good works. To guide our progeny towards being a being worth knowing. Before all that though, it is necessary to be mindful of two facts. The former is to remember that children are not coloring books to be filled in as the progenitor dictates. The latter is the reminder that podcasts do not have legs. The pod will only go as far as we allow her to go. Watch her run.
We open with a story of unfortunate circumstances. A tale of dashed dignity, and the need to shower with a poopy cat named Dipstick. I wish I were making this up but the tragedy of pride is that sometimes you have to take it out back behind the tool shed and shoot it. Your pride. Not the cat. Don’t worry, we’re not going for toilet humor for the purpose of being low brow, but because dignity is a fickle thing, and poopy cat is an excellent reminder that life isn’t always peaches and purring. True dignity is doing what you gotta do. Be above being above dirty work. Brian of course, needs no reminder. He is unflappable.
A good friend of mine once relayed to me some advice from a physics professor at UCSC. It was something to the extent of, “There’s room at the top. So few people are really trying. Haven’t you noticed?” No. I hadn’t. Not till then, but it did remind me of the only time I made straight A’s in high school. For a semester. Not the year. I’m not a masochist. I had decided I wanted that mark of distinction, at least once. The surprise was that I didn’t even do that much more work than I normally had. Just a bit more. And that was all that was needed. My achievement unlocked and my expectations of reality cracked a little more than they had been three months prior, I characteristically resumed my disdain for the high school rat race and arbitrary designations of quality, written in some foreign cypher. A, B, A, C, A, C. Never could get that code right.
Getting it right is the source of so much suffering. Not the doing of it, the wanting of it. Perhaps there’s some cosmic podcast god entity we should check in with to see if we’re doing it right. Having all the answers and knowing the right moves to make would certainly help ease all this doubt, the fear, the procrastination. Such a being might bless you with a gift. The secret to the universe, the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Whispered into your mind you realize this is no gift. It is a burden. The god being opens the maw of one of its eleven heads and sings the song that ends the world.
Up Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start
In all the confusion you’ve forgotten why you wanted this power. You find yourself with the ability to choose how your story will go. You can edit the fundamental order of the universe, predict, change, alter the narrative of your life. You have the mega jump, infinite lives, all the weapons to protect you from those who have hurt you, who would do you harm. You are invincible, have the warp cheat enabled, and know which castle your princess is in. You are suddenly blessed with all the hidden knowledge and subtle nuance that eluded you before. It can now easily be brought to the forefront. You know without thinking that the inventor of Tetris didn’t receive royalties until 12 years after the game’s release and that the video game Doom was named after Tom Cruise’s pool cue in 1986 film The True Color of Money. With that, you get your first inkling that you might have made a huge mistake.
You continue to play the game, exploring the entire map, fearless, and unchallenged. The magnitude of your decision only truly begins to dawn on you as you realize that your desire to escape fear and uncertainty has had an unintended consequence. A consequence that will ultimately ruin the experience. The point of the game seems to have eluded you. You were never meant to win. There wasn’t ever a victory condition. You are bored. The point of the game was to play.
Are we really talking about video games? Is it really about doom? Or is it just a misnomer? I think not. Art is an expression of the unexplainable. Limitations add depth and character to art. The limitations of life are worth having. The doubt and the fear aren’t there to hold you back. They are there to give you the surprise that life has to offer. The surprise isn’t ruined by spoilers, by its nature it can’t be spoiled. It can only be experienced. So I have no reservation in telling you its secrets. There may be room at the top, but its the sides of the mountain that contain life, not the top. Enjoy the clouds and the rocks and flowers and life that you find along the way. Well, I’m from Florida, the flattest state, so take my mountain metaphor with a grain of sea salt.
~Here we are, killing time. Kill Time? Pfft. As if you could injure eternity.
Listen to the Podcast Episode: Episode 2 – A Measure of Humility
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