December 22, 1998
The Art of Self-Delusion
(I know I’m right.)
One of the few things I am experienced in is the art of self-delusion. I do it every morning. “Damn you look good today. Who’s the man? You are!” I scream into the mirror over my sink. I have experience.
Some may call it the art of bullshitting oneself, but I prefer the scientific title of self-delusion. It looks better on the mental health records, too.
I am skilled in the art of self-delusion. Just look at this column. Fortunately, my delusionary tactics carry over into my judgement of my own writing. Although I usually think my work is complete shit, I can never stop myself from re-reading my beautiful creations at least ten times after they’ve been posted (or virtually published). As I said, I am skilled.
Many people envy this ability of mine. That is why I feel it my duty to empower you by conveying the art of self-delusion through this column. Week after goddamn week.
Like all good recipes, the act of deluding oneself has steps that must be followed to the letter and, most importantly, should be practiced alone. Or on the Internet.
1. Realize your need to write a good piece. (A deadline imposed by a school or employer is usually good motivation.)
2. Try writing something. (First tries always suck. Hopefully, you’re at least on par at this point.)
3. Read someone else’s good writing. (I usually stick with Mike Jasper’s ConstantCommentary — there’s a variety of subjects to choose from and they’re all about how his life is worse than mine. Although, somehow, that isn’t much comfort.)
4. Don’t get depressed. (See above.)
5. Heavy drinking. (I suggest at least one case of Budweiser.)
6. Commence writing your own piece now. (It will still turn out as shit, but you’ll be too drunk to care.)
7. Sleep. (Like you have any choice after a case of beer.)
8. Overcome the hangover. (What!?)
9. Try writing again.
10. Now that the headache has subsided from both writing too much and the beer from last night, understand that the piece really does suck and you can’t write worth a shit, but because your readers depend on you, this is good enough.
If this doesn’t work — welcome to my Hell.
I wanted to write a little bit about my meeting with the legendary Mike Jasper last Friday night. I tried to wait and, he being the senior writer between us, let him compose a piece before I posted my own, but it’s Christmas and I feel the need to screw someoneover. Sorry, Jasper.
Now, without coming off as too much of an ass-kiss, I’d like to sing my thanks to Jasper for a thoroughly enjoyable and interesting night on the town last Friday. Okay, maybe we’ll leave out the singing part.
Although I later found out that I was a tad sick, that being the cause of my untalkative-ness that night. Lucky bastard.