I know I haven't posted much (or anything) for a while. I have my reasons, which aren't really important. Suffice to say I didn't post for a while, I have a couple things to put up, so hopefully you should hear more from me in the coming weeks.

It IS good to know that even when you haven't posted in a while, Google has a habit of popping this place up at inopportune times. Like job interviews. Where instead of discussing your qualifications, you instead discuss why your interviewer disagrees with your tips on Getting Laid Without Being a Dick. His argument: just be a dick. Persuasive stuff, from an internship I didn't wind up taking: It's never a good sign when your prospective boss's argument against being a dick pretty much boils down to: "Ok but how bout being a dick?"

It was at this time that I strongly considered a bunch of pseudonyms, but they were quickly discarded for a number of reasons: "XHHatfield?" Too pretentious. "Tucker Max"? Too clearly a fake name. "Paul Frank?" Isn't that a serial rapist?

In the end, I decided just to keep my own name. For better or worse. Though I might not do any more pieces called "I Sell Drugs" for a while, unless I'm interviewing in Baltimore.

Anyway, the actual point of this post: while thumbing through the internet, I came across a slew of interesting facts:

  • Beethoven was raised by an abusively alcoholic father who domineered him from an early age, and ended his life nearly entirely deaf to the point he avoided idle conversation.
  • Proust spent the last three years of his sickly-life essentially confined to his bedroom.
  • Van Gogh was reported to have suffered from syphilis, earlessness and, towards the very end of his 37 years, a severe case of shooting himself in the chest.

Maybe a career in the arts isn't exactly all it's cracked up to be.

This could very well be an egregious cherry-pick, but there seems to be a pretty high corrollation between being a person of note and being either a) absolutely insane, b) utterly miserable or c) both. There are even a bunch of modern parallels: sure I want to be a famous rapper but how do I get street cred? My distaste for weightlifting and aversion to forcible anal penetration make jail a less-than-attractive option, and a recent physical uncovered a latent allergy to gunshot wounds. I can't be a rock star—heroin makes me gassy and leather pants make my thighs sweat. I'm hard-pressed to find famous creative-types whose lives sound like anything less than exercises in self-loathing.

Except George Handel.

Handel seems to not only have avoided being thoroughly beaten for no reason as a child, he was, by most accounts, a generous, affable, happy adult. I'm sure he's by no means alone in this, but the more you read about famous people, the less it seems like it's impossible to be influential, happy, and noble. At least in a way that I would find appealing: as an obvious example, Thomas Jefferson himself was a terrible cook and regularly picked up the phone with the phrase, "You got Tom the Bomb J. what does your mom say?"

In conclusion, some famous people were also mean or unhappy.


Related

Resources