Building The Library

So as we discussed yesterday, you have a bookcase in your room and a bed and that's about it. So you've got books on the shelves and books on the floor and books you shoved under the bed, because fundamentally your brain is a nerd.

And all day long your brain lies on the bed goofing off, and when you need to know something it has to go get a book.

But we don't all have the same size library. So how does the library get built? What makes some people install stacks like the Library of Congress, while others use the free plastic piece of shit they got from the Doctor Suess book club?

Well, that's handled by a very complex process referred to as neuroplasticity, which I will vastly and inappropriately oversimplify here.

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How Things Work

Let's talk a little about how your brain works. We've spent a lot of time talking about how the world works (or doesn't), and how people work (or don't), and how you were born to be a badass and somehow managed to fuck it up - as people do. It's not your fault. The world did this to you, because it doesn't like you. You'd best watch yourself; it's wanted. It has the death sentence in twelve systems. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

But hey, it's what we've got, so we need to work with it. And the only real tool we have to do that is our brain. But most people don't really stop to think about how that tool works, so let's do that. This alone will make you smarter and more efficient and, face it, just flat-out better than the average person.

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Bruce Lee Fixes Your Shit

See, if anyone could fix your shit, you just know it would be Bruce Lee - right? The badass of badasses. "BUT CHUCK NORRIS," I hear you saying. Except Bruce kicked Chuck's arse in Return of the Dragon. So there. (The image above was done by Colin Theriot, by the way, one of the most badass copywriters on the planet.)

Now, Bruce Lee used to tell a story about learning martial arts. It's not my favourite story - my favourite would be when he went to study under Grandmaster Yip Man, saying he wanted to be able to beat up people he didn't like, only to be sent away until he came up with a better reason. Which he did, ultimately; Yip Sifu would be Bruce's primary mentor for the rest of his life. But the story I want you to hear (or rather, read) today is about a college professor who went to "study" with a zen master.

It was obvious from the very beginning that he didn't want to learn so much as he wanted to impress the master. Whenever the master told him something, he would respond "oh, I know that; here is what we say about it in my field of study." And the master would smile.

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What Most People Really Are

If you don't recognise that picture, it's dung beetles. And there's a good reason I chose that image to represent most people.

See, dung beetles do not just roll shit around. That's the common perception, of course, that dung beetles are sort of silly and like to roll balls of dung around the desert for God only knows what reason, I guess maybe they just think it's jolly good fun or whatever.

The reality is that dung beetles do not simply roll balls of shit around the desert. This is their food. And it gets worse.

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Motivation And Shit

Let me take a short detour here, as I'll tend to do on Sundays, just to cover something you might be noticing off to the side of the main discussion.

One of the biggest problems people face when starting to develop badassery, and this certainly applies to me, is other people trying to talk you out of it. It sometimes seems like a complete waste of time, especially in the early stages of it - you get out there to do your thing and say "I'm gonna be a badass!" immediately before making a giant dork of yourself.

And that's when people will heap the most SHIT on you, because deep down they know that even trying to be a badass has to be prevented, lest you actually succeed and make them look foolish. Which, since we've been hardwired from day one to avoid the negative more than we seek the positive, can really make you feel like it's simply not fucking worth it.

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Oh Shit, It’s SHIT

So yesterday, I talked about what a badass is, and as you will recall I closed with the promise that I would explain the problem tomorrow. Which is today.

Except not really, because I'm writing this on the same day I wrote the post about what a badass is, so I am explaining the problem today which is two days before you can read this post because I've actually written both of them on the first of May but the one published yesterday is actually being published tomorrow so today is the day after tomorrow and not tomorrow like the post said yesterday which was tomorrow.

Is tomorrow? Will be tomorrow. TIme travel is confusing.

And if you're reading this in the archives, God only knows when you are reading it and the question of a couple days is probably just entirely irrelevant and what am I doing wasting your time with all this nonsense.

Plus when I publish the book none of this part will make any fucking sense at all and I'll just have to chop it out entirely. So it's really in the nature of an exclusive and you should feel privileged. Of course, I will also replace this bit with something else... so I can make you buy the book, too. You don't want to miss out, right? Of course you don't.

See what I did there? Marketing!

But mostly I am here to talk about SHIT.

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What Is a Badass?

Whenever you start talking about how to do or be something, the first thing you have to establish is what exactly that thing... you know, means.

If you go look it up, you find some weird stuff around it. On the one hand, you have this noun for a mean or belligerent person with extreme attitude, behaviour, or appearance.

On the other hand, you have the adjective, for having extreme attitude, behaviour, or appearance... that is considered admirable.

Among the synonyms, you have "admirable," "awesome," and "wicked" in the sense of "Excellent; awesome; masterful; deeply satisfying." Also five related definitions of "cool" - "calm and in control," "unenthusiastic and skeptical," "audacious," "considered popular," "part of the in-crowd."

And, of course, the 1970s-era definition of "bad" - which means, you know, "good." Because in the 1970s, we were still on the 1960s drugs and only just getting started on the 1980s drugs, which meant we were all twice as fucked up.

All of this adds up to a rather schizophrenic definition of someone mean and calm, belligerent and in control, audacious and unenthusiastic, good and popular, extreme and part of the in-crowd. It's a mass of contradictions. What the fuck is that? When I talk about the badass manifesto, about the concept of being a badass and the process of becoming one... what, exactly, do I mean by this?

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What the Fuck is Up

In the place to be... coming on the mic is Eazy-motherfucking-E... Dre is on the beat... Yella's on the cut... so listen up close while we rip shit up...


Okay, I apologise for that, I just kind of got stuck. But uh, here's the thing about this blog, and shit.

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