- It’s better to focus on where you are going than how you are feeling
- Criminal penalties for wage theft won’t fix the problem
- My child will not be attending Hogwarts, thank you very much
- Here’s To Life podcast: Tori Reid chats with entertainment legend Phylicia Rashad
- We men need to talk about what we’ve let our friends do to women
After a recent study discovered that 56% of applicants were caught lying on their resume, I’ve decided to take it to the other extreme.
When I was young, I wanted to be destined for great things. I didn’t think there was any other way to be a legitimate and loveable member of humankind. I would be either special or I would be nothing. As I grew older I had to shut out more and more of reality in order to maintain that fantasy. Considering yourself special affords you a high degree of passivity. You can spend half the day in bed eating Nesquik cereal straight out of the box and tell yourself this is all part of your beautiful Cinderella story.
This has had a profound effect on my career: I now have no career. My twenties were one long free-form experimentation in delusion. Like jamming with hubris. I feel like that is the main thing I learned in my twenties: I am not special. That is probably the only concrete takeaway. If only knowing that were a marketable skill. In the hope that it is, I want to find a way to tell that to prospective employers.
So I decided to write an honest CV.
(2002-2006) Tyler Durden-infused delusions of grandeur
I wanted to be a sexy, anti-capitalist warlord. I thought it was feasible. I had not yet realised that Fight Club is mostly about fear of castration and that Tyler Durden is the Carrie Bradshaw of anarchism. He seemingly appeals to the opposite sex when actually appealing mostly to the same sex. Carrie marries a billionaire, Tyler blows up his city’s financial centre: both creative solutions to escape crippling credit card debt. Occasionally I would have a novelty condom idea. The stunningly original barb wire design on a condom: for those who both have issues with sexuality and want their penis to look like Checkpoint Charlie.
Resisting the urge to walk into the offices at Trojan with a portfolio and a dream.
The ability to rant about commodity fetishism whilst unironically chain-smoking Marlboro lights.
(2006-2011) Talking about writing constantly whilst never writing
It was during this time that “‘I’m writing this thing’ turned into ‘I’m trying to write this thing’” turned into “I wanted to write this thing”.
List of things not written:
– A literary porno. Because those who cannot write fantasise about teaching those they imagine cannot write how to write.
– About 100 short story ideas that went nowhere. Most of them some half baked “critique” of consumer capitalism involving fast food, theme parks or cheese.
– A Starship Troopers prequel no one asked for, featuring mormons. So I tried to flesh it out into a trilogy. You may be thinking: “careful, three books is a lot for you to not write. Are you sure you want to commit to that much writing?” To which I would answer: “you have no idea what I’m capable of not writing once I don’t get going.”
– A young adult novel series to make those JK Rowling billions, aka the most effort and time consuming way to play the lottery. But also a fun way to retreat from reality into a secret world where I have been chosen to collect all four pieces of the heart of pegasus before joining forces with the reanimated head of Clausewitz and the first horse to battle Blackwater in Kazakhstan. I would say more, but I don’t want anyone stealing what is clearly a billion dollar idea.
– Screenplays. I found that screenwriting was 5% inspiration, 25% coming up with a great concept that invariably turns out to be Jurassic Park and 70% getting stoned while fantasising about meeting Ben Affleck.
Squandering every ounce of upper class white male privilege I could possibly squander within three years of graduating university.
Ultimately realising that the lifestyles featured in Entourage and Californication are not realistic or accessible career options.
(2011-2015) Stand-up comedy in Finland, seriously, that’s not a punchline
Wrote run of the mill western millennial comedy material whilst being in an environment where I was shielded from that realisation both geographically and linguistically.
A working knowledge of Finnish national stereotypes. I can’t over-stress the kind of competitive edge that gives me in my everyday life.
Finding in comedy the necessary perspective to talk myself down when I snap and start to really believe I am the next Jesus/Kanye/Carrie Bradshaw.
(2015-present) Maybe if I stick to a strict diet of only doing whatever I feel like whenever I feel like it, some sort of calling will just emerge organically; also I’ve run out of money and the window for prostituting myself is closing rapidly
Opening and closing tabs and apps whilst waiting for meaning and purpose to materialise on my screen. Scrawling up and down Facebook trying to stave off visions of manual labour and homelessness with heartwarming content about cats.
The ability to finally admit I don’t have any skills.
I can start Monday.