So Why Be In This Industry?

That’s the big question, isn’t it? Why even be in an industry that is such a shithole in the first place?

It’s not just this industry. It’s every industry. It doesn’t matter where you go, it’s still full of Slim Jims and you still need to be Fat Jack to get anywhere. I’m not talking about the way people in this industry think right now, I’m talking about the way everyone everywhere thinks all the time.

And you don’t get to live in some special different world where people aren’t people. It doesn’t work that way.

We all have some stupid fantasy that we will separate the world into “us” and “them,” and we will stay over here while they stay over there. But it’s not like that. It’s not just hard to tell the difference – there isn’t one.

That’s right, you are Slim Jim. And so am I. Fat Jack isn’t something we are at the core of our being; it’s a part we play, a mask we wear, so we can ourselves be selfish and lazy and ignorant and mean.

I mean, what do you really want out of life?

Stop right there! “I want…” is how that starts, right?

That’s selfish.

And you want more leisure time, right?

That’s lazy.

And this is all based on what you think is true now, right?

That’s ignorant. (You don’t already have this because you’re wrong about something.)

To top it off… you’d like everyone who told you this wasn’t going to happen for you to see it happen and be jealous, right?

That’s mean.

We’re all Slim Jim. There is no “us and them.” We are them and they are us and it’s all just arbitrary bullshit.

You can put it away for a while. You can even stop for a while and direct your selfish and lazy and ignorant and mean ways at the same thing someone else would. That’s serendipity for a lot of people; the scraps that fall off your plate land nicely on theirs, and the little work you did means they don’t have to do any themselves, and you both happen to agree on the same ignorant shit, and you’re both being mean to the same people.

But this is a temporary alliance, a truce, which persists only until you have something they want and think they could take from you. Once you’re happy and they’re not, they’ll turn on you and tear you to pieces.

Oh, me? Would I do that? Like, to you?

Nobody will ever say yes.

There’s an old Chinese proverb that no vendor cries “bitter melons, sour wine.” So are my melons bitter? My wine sour? Will I turn on you and tear you apart if it benefits me?

Of course not, he said, exactly as he would if the answer was yes.

Always assume the answer is yes. Don’t even ask. Your friends will turn on you. It is only a question of when and why. If that never happens, hey, you may live your entire life with good friends who don’t turn on you.

But make no mistake – under the right conditions, given the right incentive, they always would.

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