December 30th, 2008

Eric Beret


You can't just Forrest Gump your way into world domination. It takes talent, drive, and a whole hell of a lot of hard work. It just doesn't happen on its own.

Everybody knows you never go full retard. Check it out. Dustin Hoffman, 'Rain Man,' look retarded, act retarded, not retarded. Counted toothpicks, cheated cards. Autistic, sho'. Not retarded. You know Tom Hanks, 'Forrest Gump.' Slow, yes. Retarded, maybe. Braces on his legs. But he charmed the pants off Nixon and won a ping-pong competition. That ain't retarded. Peter Sellers, "Being There." Infantile, yes. Retarded, no. You went full retard, man. Never go full retard. You don't buy that? Ask schpydurx. Went full retard, went home empty handed...

I got a late start in life, having grown up in almost every sense of the word, average. Average height, average build, average grades, coming from an average household income in an average city. Of course as a young man I simply tried to be as much like everyone else as I could, but I found this difficult because try as I may, I wasn't like everyone else. I was much more than the insipid masses which surrounded me, eventually choosing to focus on pedantic pursuits - things which would ultimately set me apart from others rather than trying to blend in. Of course this change didn't happen quickly, or easily.

Freddy, as a younger man, I was a sculptor, a painter, and a musician. There was just one problem: I wasn't very good. As a matter of fact, I was dreadful. I finally came to the frustrating conclusion that I had taste and style, but not talent. I knew my limitations. We all have our limitations, Freddy. Fortunately, I discovered that taste and style were commodities that people desired. Freddy, what I am saying is: know your limitations. You are a moron.

I've always gravitated toward those much, much smarter than myself - in order to learn from them. The only thing I lacked at this point was self-confidence, being the only non-genius in a group of them. Before I learned that I had other talents - such as wit, and humor - which was usually lacking amongst the groups I ingratiated myself into - I started holding my head up higher when I walked, rather than seeking the ground in front of me. A little thing, to be sure, but surprisingly, those around me saw it as confidence before I myself actually had grasp of it. And other's thinking you are confident is catalytic in becoming so.

You simply cannot wait around for things to change for you. Being proactive is a must.

I'm just thankful that as I near 40 being 'eccentric' is more widely accepted.