19 June 2015

Finding my calling in life

Dear diary, before I discover my calling in life, here is a picture that I found in a dictionary. It was being used to illustrate the word goatee.

Prolengomenon to exposing my special purpose

There’s an attitude that I’ve observed in online interactions – I wish that I could acquire it, but I’ve found it elusive:

When people communicate with each other on the social networks, they employ phrasing that is attractively blasé. Their remarks are casual and offhand – their words come off as having been written spontaneously – it all feels so easeful… I find it soothing to read such nonchalant proclamations.

I could search for examples of this style of discourse, and copy them here as illustrations; but that would only make me sad. For, to me, this skill is impracticable.

I’m like an aspiring illusionist who keeps floundering. I cannot figure out how all of these professional magicians accomplish their tricks – and with such flair! My own attempts are unimpressive. And there is no hope of my improving at this trade – after years of trying, I admit: I simply lack the aptitude to execute a dazzling illusion.

The crucial question and its only possible answer

So what is my function? For although I may not be suited for the fineries of online chitchat, my skills might prove useful in some other field.

I once heard a journalist use the phrase “brutal dictator.” That rings a bell, for me – I think that I would make a good brutal dictator. Not because I dislike humankind; on the contrary: I have a deep love for people; only I can never figure out how to get along with them. Thus, I am a perfect fit: My affection adds an intriguing twist to the office, while my social clumsiness ensures that it will remain sufficiently cruel. (This is important; for, if love is expressed with competence, it nullifies the brutality of one’s dictatorship – one degenerates into a savior, the only cure for which is assassination.)

Perquisites (1)

I know that people would never willingly ask me to join them for an evening of wine, literature, and conversation. But the advantage of being a brutal dictator is that one possesses an entourage of armed thugs. Although admittedly the threat of violence cannot alter the inmost desires of one’s populace, what armed thugs can do is change the dynamics of the social habitat. In consequence, my citizenry’s actual desires no longer matter: it only matters what they seem to desire. Every evening, therefore, a new group of interesting people, seemingly of their own accord, shall request that I join them for wine, literature, and conversation.

Perquisites (2)

And when the population is sequestered in the royal theater for our weekly screening of Wrong Cops (2013), everyone will savor the presentation: not even a single audience member will be wearing a sour expression on their face because a deficiency of verve prevents them from discerning the movie’s brilliance. And my brutality would be lenient, in this event: I would provide free refreshments.


Best of all, historians will celebrate me for implementing the Great Shade and the Great Lamp. Every individual agrees about exactly two truths: daytime is bothersome, and nighttime is bothersome. The lighting conditions of one’s outside world should be subject to the dictates of one’s brutality, the way that a gas chandelier responds to a dimmer switch. So here’s the solution: At sunrise, we lift the Great Shade to make pitch-black midnight; and, at sundown, we hoist the Great Lamp to cause midafternoon.

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