Better To Burn Out

Hypothetically speaking; when do you give up on your dreams?

When do you quit?

At what point do you just roll over and let the bastards win? Which specific failure indicates totality? How do you know it’s not a minor setback, or a learning experience?

You don’t have psychic powers, right? I mean, that’s a safe bet. As far as I can tell, no one does, outside of made-up comic book characters. The Amazing Randi proved it.

So unless a person is dead, thus closing the book on their life’s efforts, what would qualify you to judge them as a failure? For all you know, success could be a moment away.

So when do you give up? When is the “right time” to quit?

What about after you’ve alienated your friends and family, should you stop then? What about when you don’t get laid anymore? How about when everyone seems to be deliberately ignoring you, and your “web presence” amounts to jack shit for months? Is that quittin’ time?

What about those moments when you feel like you’ve wasted your life, and you want to stick a gun in your mouth? Are you sure you’re the only one who’s ever felt that way?

Let’s say you dream of making great music. You’ve spent your life learning standard musical notation, and/or proficiency on an instrument. Why keep at it? Singing on pitch isn’t even necessary anymore; we have autotune for that. I can’t imagine why you’d practice any musical instrument; it’s clearly no prerequisite for producing popular music in 2020. All it takes to be a superstar is to act like a sulky cunt and have hair and fingernails that resemble animal vomit. Even better if no one can figure out what fucking gender you’re supposed to be.

Literally no millennial gives a flying fuck about any pop culture created over a year ago. Plus, their conditioning makes them perceive any and all negative comments as violent assault. Why bother developing well-rounded knowledge about music, culture and art? So you can write articles no one will read? In what universe does that make sense?

Why would anyone bother creating animation or quality videos to post on YouTube? The most-viewed material is all losers playing video games for donations (or other losers reacting to those videos). Oh wait- they’re not losers because they’re making money, right? Under the current standard, a home-school twerp shitting in a tube sock while playing Fortnite all day is a raving success.

Even more so if no one can figure out what fucking gender they’re supposed to be.

So why not give up? Why not just let the bastards win? Don’t they always win, anyway?

I mean, clearly they’ve won. Look around you, at the artless, generic, boring world in which we march inexorably towards death. Count how many times you’re charmed or uplifted by what others have created. Let me know when you get to one.

There are books on the New York Times Bestseller List by people who don’t know how to write. There are billion-dollar-grossing movies produced by people who can’t write a screenplay, starring people who can’t act, and are either blackmailed into appearing or cast for their skin color. The biggest rap stars can’t rap, and the most lauded singers can’t sing.

See why you can’t just give up? See why I can’t?

You can’t give up because that tiny atom of inspiration you’re nursing might be the only thing keeping someone else from giving up.

Real teachers never give up, even when they’re given up on. Real captains go down with the ship. Commitment commands respect; compromise is for house-husbands and Canadian diplomats.

You can’t give up because it could be you that makes life better. It could be you that gives someone that all-too-precious laugh they needed, when the walls are caving in around them. It could be you that gives someone the strength to carry on for one more day.

That’s why it’s better to burn out. Because I don’t just do all this for myself. I do it to make other people’s lives better. If I only did it for myself, I wouldn’t have gotten very far. I would’ve quit when the money dried up, and gone into insurance.

It’s better to burn out, than fade away.

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