January 22nd, 2013


anything, you say

"What would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?"


First of all, I'd play video games for most of the day.

I'd sit right down on my ass, mini-fridge of club soda on my left, bowl of fruit just up and to the right, maybe behind the plate of nachos. And I'd play video games until I got bored. Then I'd watch a movie, maybe some television, whatever was good. Sports! I would have a box seat in every stadium in the country and I'd go to any event that struck my fancy. Straight up drive around the country, meet people in diners and dispense advice that maybe would stick with them or not, and then be on my way. In my incredibly hot car which I bought with my unobjectionable money. I wouldn't have to worry about speaking my mind or offending anyone, because my apologies would be attached to hundred-dollar bills.

I drive around, I stop, I play video games, I watch a movie, I get up, I drive around some more. When I run out of land I get on an airplane and fly to a new continent with new roads to drive and new movies to watch, probably in foreign languages that I don't understand. I don't have to! Money's no object! I can pay someone to explain the parts I didn't understand!

Now, at this point in the description, the counselor or student aptitude wisdom dispenser or whatever always interrupts, and says to me: "have you considered being a writer?" No. No no no. You are missing the point. I don't want to write about this shit for a living. Yeah, sometimes I like to share my experiences. I enjoy throwing down a few hundred words of godawful prose and sometimes people read it and it touches their lives for a couple of brief seconds, right? I don't enjoy writing those hundred words, padding them with two hundred more, then revising them to meet the standards of a magazine editor who's going to pay me what, twenty bucks for it? I don't have newspaper writer standards, I have very low standards. I don't even like that sentence I just wrote, or this one, there's too many commas, this whole paragraph and in fact this whole post is chock full of "I I I I I I I I I YEAHHH" sentences, but I'm way too lazy to change it. If money wasn't an object I would probably be even lazier than I already am in terms of my creative output. I'd own a telephone that would let me upload pictures to the internet, and I would just wander around snapping photographs of random things. I'd hire somebody to analyze my twitter account and all my livejournal and formspring and tumblr posts and design a program which would automatically write descriptions of these random photos in my voice. And then I'd make myself popular by giving away money every time a certain number of people followed me. I'd enter myself in road rallies and poker tournaments because why the hell not? Money cannot object!

There's this weird idea that if you like doing things which involve creative impulses, like reading books or watching movies or even playing video games, then you'll probably be good at making these things. Read books? Write books! Watch movies? Film movies! Play video games? Program video games! Using the math and science you learned in high school! You learned math and science in high school, right? That's how you make video games. There's no gym class in video games (the Madden series sells 60 million games every year) or writing either (everybody loves Portal because GLADoS and Cave Johnson say hilarious things which somebody had to think of and write down) so here, money's no object, go to school for eighteen years to learn how fucking physics works and then make a game where boxes slide off a see-saw at a world-appropriate weight and you have to jump over a fence before the ramp gets too low. But for me, making things is just an aspect of doing things which I enjoy from time to time. I'm a lazy ass motherfucker. That's it. If you gave me your hypothetical infinite supply of money, I'd waste it all, at least from the point of view of investments and returns. Because frankly, I don't care about money until it's gone.

You're asking the wrong question. What you should be wondering is what I'd do if influence was no object. If you told me, right now, that in three months, you were going to rip the latest copy of my novel off my hard drive, print it out, and give it to a hundred thousand people and they were all gonna read it? I'd be on that shit like a felon on a shortsighted armored truck driver.