Them: “Hi, welcome to *Customer Service*. How can I help you?”
Me: “Should I be worried about how you used air quotes, just then?”
“…I have always been so skeptical of the whole contemporary critical scene, in which the text is regarded as some immutable miracle, to be worshipped or dissected as if it were the story itself. What anyone trained as an editor and rewriter knows is that the text is not the story—the text is merely one attempt to place the story inside the memory of the audience. The text can be replaced by an infinite number of other attempts. Some will be better than others, but no text will be “right” for all audiences, nor will any one text be “perfect.” The story exists only in the memory of the reader, as an altered version of the story intended (consciously or not) by the author. It is possible for the audience to create for themselves a better story than the author could ever have created in the text. Thus audiences have taken to their hearts miserably-written stories like Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs, because what they received transcended the text; while any number of beautifully written texts have been swallowed up without a trace, because the text, however lovely, did a miserable job of kindling a living story within the readers’ memories.”
—Orson Scott Card, from Maps In A Mirror
I don’t much like his politics, but OSC knows from writing.
“[One Must Learn]…never to swim farther with a snorkel than you could swim back without one.”
-Theodore Sturgeon (from “The Man Who Lost The Sea” (1959))
- In your sense of self, move from fear of destruction to a sense of timelessness.
- In your self-worth/self-image, move from all external validation to belief in your inherent worth (and trust it will be recognized by others).
- In your sense of control, move from a feeling of scarcity and zero-sum to being receptive to the flow of life and its abundance. You’ve got enough time, there will be enough money—you got this. That is the type of faith that most matters.
And know that, as you do these things, you will be moving away from our ego-driven culture and the path it wants for you. So, be ready: probably you’ll piss off most people. But, if you figure out what type of (societally beneficial) activity your authentic self wants to do and do that, things should work out.
“In sf, we’ve generally fallen out of love with the tycoon—where these business titans appear, they are revealed to be bumbling sociopaths whose unique talent is in ignoring their consciences as they cheat, crush and loot their way to power.”