How to Lose at Life, Especially When it Counts

by Shaun Terry

Nothing matters. Everyone says this drab, obvious shit, but it’s true and you fucking know it. Nothing matters. At all. There’s no point in anything. There’s no order in the world, there’s no justice. Something can make perfect sense, you can feel that you have the answer safely in the palm of your hands, and the universe will pop up and snatch it away and leave a flaming pile of shit where perfection used to be. Then, you’re supposed to clean up the flaming shit while you wallow in terror and shock. Fucking sucks, right?

There’s really no point in doing anything or being anything because it’ll only get ruined. You’ll probably be the one to ruin it eventually because of all the pressure, as well as the fact that you’re just generally a fuck-up. Everything requires a perfect balance, but few of us will ever be such emotional tightrope walkers. And trust me. If you’re reading this bullshit, you’re not doing well. Don’t feel bad, though; I’m actually writing this hot garbage. You’re welcome, fuckface.

Some people deal with the terribly unfair reality that is humanity by being nothing, by feeling nothing, by being perfectly molded by the asininity floating in the atmosphere of the world around us. Some people traverse the Earth looking like they live on a boat, driving SUVs, putting money before all other gods, and laughing at shitty, stupid sitcoms on network television. They take vacations to places like Miami or Wyoming, occasionally going to Cancun when they’re feeling very fucking adventurous. They read novels by John Grisham and E. L. James and Ayn Rand, and they laugh at you when you talk about what’s really beautiful in the world or how good things could be for everyone. And they’re right. In fact, they’re winning. They’ve mastered the whole goddamn thing by just being nothing, by thinking nothing. They’re nothing-people, and that’s how they beat you. They beat the shit out of you, in fact. Unless you’re one of them; in which case, fuck you.

You try to point out starving children in Africa and these boat people violently laugh at you and jack off onto your face. They make fun of your “small car.” They illuminate statistics meant to demonstrate that men are victims of abuse just as much OR EVEN MORE THAN! women or some shit about reverse racism or how transsexuality’s some made-up bullshit so that pervs and queers can molest kids or some other ridiculous bullshit. They fucking hate protestors. They want to murder them all, actually. They gnash their teeth at the mention of Anonymous or Al Gore or The Huffington Post™ or, god forbid, “The Whole World is Watching.” They’re emotionally dishonest with themselves because it’s really the only way to deal with the world. Who could blame them?

College campuses are filled with the children of these boat people, and they pass by signs that are intended to bring awareness to problems like rape on campus, racial discrimination, religious discrimination, LGBTQ issues, etc. These boat students walk by these reminders of the important questions in modern societies while they casually use the words “fag,” “bitch,” and “nigger” in casual conversations. The greediest (they like to say “hungriest”), most driven of them are business majors, and the ones who lack sufficient greed settle for economics or marketing or accounting or some other such Capitalistically-driven bullshit major. Can you imagine the old Greek philosophers observing universities where people major in advertising or management? Holy fuck.

These kids will grow up to wear the same stupid-looking brand name clothes at the same stupid country clubs, playing on the same stupid golf courses as their parents. Sure, lots of them vote Democrat, but they only go for corporate Democrats, who might as well be Republicans for what little difference it makes. Thanks, President Clinton. And to be clear, I don’t necessarily suppose that all Republican politicians are shittier than Democratic ones or are even shitty at all. We live in a weird time, really. The boat people seem to have taken over and driven us to Diarrheaville, USA.

But these people are honestly winning. All of them are winning. They’ll die brainless and happy, and leave large sums of money to their boat children, so that those dumb kids can go to Ivy League schools and later take high-paying jobs in New York, only to cheat on their spouses and thoughtlessly spill Dom Perignon at exclusive fundraising events, just like their parents and grandparents did.

They don’t know what it is to lose. They’ve never had the experience because even the ones who came from more modest means were born into a world that was perfectly set up for them to conquer. This world — their world — has been perfectly calibrated so that their combination of fortunate genetic inheritance and fortunate environmental inheritance can lead them to do whatever the fuck they want at everyone else’s expense. When other people (that is non-boat people) argue for raising taxes, boat people react in disbelief and disgust. That’s when you know you’ve won: you’re now advocating for everyone to keep more of what they “earn” because the needs of the most vulnerable people aren’t even an afterthought anymore. They’re just not a thought at all. Some people aren’t born so lucky, though.

In a way, I almost won once. I held something perfect. It seemed so easily attainable; in fact, it was all completely organic and almost accidental. I finally had the answer. I was at the finish line and I’d basically already won. But then, an evil force emerged from the shadows and found the only vulnerability in the inevitable perfect life I had lain before me, and this monstrosity exploited the vulnerability in the most conniving, effortless, heartless way. It served to ruin what would have been my perfect life. There was no other virtue in it. In fact, it only ruined everything for everyone.

I was made to be the bad guy as the evil force did its manipulating and abusing so that it could have what it wanted: to make me fail and to rob me and others of the best chance at happiness we’d ever had. It worked. I lost. We lost. Completely.

Would I ever recover from this? Well, I can say that I haven’t recovered yet and the prospects don’t look good. I’ll never get back the opportunity at that perfect life that was at that point guaranteed. Maybe I’ll find something else just as good. Doubtful. Who the fuck knows?

I guess I could take solace in the fact that living a good, happy life is kind of pointless, too. We live on this tiny Pale Blue Dot and we think we’re so fucking important, but the truth is that there’s this infinite universe that we know nothing about, and the vast majority of it doesn’t even know we’re here. The limit as x approaches us is zero. For all intents and purposes, we’re practically nothing. Long after we’re gone, the universe will keep spinning around some point that isn’t us, just as it did for the countless millennia before we got here. And it won’t have heard an Earthly sound. And then the universe will eventually peter out, too. And there’ll be nothing. So why give a shit about anything?

Everything dies in the end. There’s no point in pretending otherwise. All we’re doing is delaying the inevitable with childish, vapid hopes that we’ll discover a cure before the last gasp. It’s stupid. We’re dying. We’re all dying. Just as the universe is dying. Might as well embrace it. Or not. Who cares.