Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Failure and Success

Lowell George: 20 Million Things

I have one reoccurring dream. In my dream, I am a senior in college, and my final project is due, but I haven't started it yet. When I dreamt this dream again this week, I was on my way across campus to meet with a counselor. I wanted to discuss with her my ambivalence about what I was supposed to be doing. It wasn't just a problem of procrastination: I was risking failure because I wanted to risk failure. What would happen if I failed? What would people think of me -- my friends, my professors, my parents?

I encountered many distractions on my way across campus that made me late for my meeting with my counselor. Another sign of my ambivalence. When we finally met, my counselor played me two songs on her stereo. One was an obscure tune that I recognized as Syd Barrett. The other was a faceless hit song. "Could be Beyonce, could be Nelly Furtado, could be anyone," I said. Somehow I felt my counselor was contrasting these two songs to make a point about success in the field of popular music, or any endeavor.

Then my dream became symbolic. My final project, which would allow me to graduate and begin a professional career, was a box. I had stuffed a dead rat into the box. What would happen when they discovered the dead rat where my project was supposed to be? Would they be disappointed or angry with me? Worse yet, what if no one cared? And why am I still having this dream, twenty years after I finished college?

My wife says the dream is telling me that "you listen to too much arcane music, and procrastinate instead of doing things that you need to do." Her point is amplified by this William Bowers column, where he concludes that engaging in "the eventlessness of (the) computer-crouch" is a way of disengaging oneself from the unpleasantries of the real world.


At 8/30/2007 2:35 AM , Blogger Sonic Reducer Radio said...

oooohhh man. I'm with you on this thought.

At 8/30/2007 7:04 AM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Hey, thanks for reading! Which thought -- the one about spending too much time on the computer?


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