Thursday, 7 June 2012

Lady Luck Is Only A Lady When She's Not A Bitch

(Sorry for the lack of humorously captioned images... I forgot I wouldn't be able to write this over the weekend because of Download Festival. So instead I just pulled something out of my arse during my lunchbreak on thursday... that's part of my commitment to excellence)

Luck is the most powerful force in the universe. Anyone who says otherwise is either ignorant of how the world works or alternatively very lucky. The CEOs of major corporations for example will constantly hold forth on how they got were they are due to an insane amount of hard work. That’s probably true but it completely overlooks the fact that they had the good fortune to be born in a time when their particular talents were linked to such a high financial reward. Were they born in the Medieval period of human existence then they would never have reached the top because that system didn’t allow it. Equally prisons are filled with people who, had they been born four thousand years ago, could’ve have been tribal leaders of great power and importance. I myself believe I would have been more suited to a period either in the past or future where fucking off and exploring was a much more realistic option, basically either actual piracy or space piracy… I think I’d be good at it.

It’s not just about having the good fortune to be born in the right time-frame, it’s about being born in the right place. I’m not speaking about those that have the good fortune to been into an affluent Bel-Air family… or at least be born the nephew of a successful judge who lives in Bel-Air. I’m speaking about the fact the Google guys had the good fortune, not just to be born at a time where their particular brand of genius could be applied but also in the right portion of the planet for them to use those skills. There’s not much of a tech start-up scene in the Congo. Equally those born in the Congo who excel at guerrilla warfare and merciless slaughter are lucky they weren’t born in South-East England where that kind of thing is very much frowned upon.

Then there’s the fact that the most successful people you’ve ever heard of got there because they met the right people. Che Guevara would be nothing if his life hadn’t brought him into contact with Fidel Castro and the same goes for Castro. John Lennon never went into a special centre slapped his hand on the counter and said give me two musical geniuses and a drummer. Instead the universe accidentally threw those three crazy geniuses together and later they met Ringo. Hugh Laurie was one of the highest earning television actors, clocking a million dollars an episode, of the last decade but you’d never of heard of him if he’d not gone to university with Stephen Fry. If Kurt Cobain hadn’t killed himself Dave Grohl would be the drummer from Nirvana and it’s only because of Walt Disney’s wife being in a funny mood that Mortimer Mouse became the infinitely more marketable Mickey.

None of this is to denigrate these people’s achievements. Unless you’re new here you’ll know that I’m big on Darwin, but if his friend had just published his paper without sending him a letter you’d never have heard of him. That’s not to say that Darwin isn’t a genius but genius is nothing without luck. Think about the people in your life. We all know at least one person that should be much more successful than they are and one guy who finds everything easy. There may be real reasons for that, maybe one’s a raging alcoholic and the other only made his business contacts through the furry scene but if different things had happened to each of them early in life they might have swapped vices and therefore lives. I’m not saying that hard-work won’t reward you but just remember a lot of unlucky people worked really heard to make Yahoo the best search engine, a lot of people worked really hard to make flying machines before the Wright Brothers beat them to the punch and a lot of Polish people worked very hard to make a go of it before the Nazis swarmed across the border and destroyed everything they’d worked at.

The world is filled with people who have become rich and successful at things that in logical world have absolutely no right to pay-off look at the people who took crazy long-shots that brought them success. Hell Gabe and Tycho, of Penny Arcade fame, shunned getting real jobs to professionally make immature jokes about computer games and dicks. They have personally warned others off of following in their footsteps because and I quote ‘there is no way this should have worked.’ Every success story is the tale of someone who rolled the dice just right and then made the most of that and a lot of every other story is the people whose roll of the dice went terribly and then they made the most of it. Hell I’m not a professional writer despite the fact that it is literally the only thing I am good at that doesn’t take place in the fictional city of San Andreas. I’m far from alone in this and the plain truth of the matter is that for most of us the universe never gets out of the way long enough to let dream-following become an option.
The simple truth of the universe is to hope that if and when your luck changes you bet as big as you can… unfortunately you usually won’t know if it had changed until just afterwards.

eddie <good luck and god speed>

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