Yesterday, I was walking around Yoyogi Park in Tokyo with a friend, feeling butthurt at all the hipsters who were cooler and better-looking than me. We got to the other side of the park and stopped by the dog run to look at dogs.
Awkwaaard. Anyway, I wish you could have seen what we saw, but I find it annoying to take pictures so I never take any. I tried to prod my friend, Naoko, into taking pictures for us because that’s what girls and people from Japan do, right? But no, she hates taking pictures, too. So we have no pictures of these dogs and bitches but, suffice it to say that it was glorious.
By way of approximation, here’s someone else’s video of other dogs at the same dog run on another day. It’s not necessarily as cool as what we saw, but it’s more than good enough for government work and close enough for practical purposes:
Anyway, so them dogs was running like crazy. Roughhousing, roundhousing, milhousing, jumping over objects and other dogs, playing tag. This is urban Japan, so these were tiny dogs, but they were going at maximum warp for their ship class. It was a joy to watch. Watching them run made me want to run.
And it made me realize how we’ve forgotten the one and only real reason to run, and we’ve replaced it with a bunch of good but ultimately stupid reasons. We run to win. We run because it’s healthy. We run for money. We run to save time. All of these are good reasons to run. And that’s why they’re terrible reasons to run. Good reasons are the worst reasons to do anything. Why? Because good reasons are unsustainable.
Fun gets done. Good reasons don’t. Good reasons are great for making yourself feel guilty, feel like a schlemiel; they’ll get you started but they’ll never help you stay the course. Don’t believe me? Dude, there are people with HIV who die because they don’t take their medication in the right way (apparently, the exact timing and dosage of the drug cocktails is essential 1). And why? Because it’s boring. Don’t you think they had a good reason? Who better than they? They had the chance to prevent suffering and death from a chronic illness, but taking the medication was so boring that they essentially chose death instead. They were literally bored to death by their good reasons. If good reasons can’t even get a little pill into your mouth, how can you expect them to get a whole language into your head? 2
The real reason to run is because it’s fun. The real reason to learn Japanese is because it’s fun. No other reason matters. No other reason is sustainable. Globalization? Who the fark cares — my nuts are globe-shaped, why not come over here and globalize these nuts 3! Friendships? I can make English-speaking friends! Chicks? Why would I need to hear a woman’s opinion I mean women and minorities are great and I care about them and hearing about how their day was. Money? Start a business; you don’t need to learn a whole freaking language just so some pedophile in the HR department can consider throwing you a few extra crumbs each month. Prevent dementia? Yaaaaaaawn. What a demented reason. 4
Screw other people. Screw what they think of you. Screw what their mothers think of you. Screw the supposed rewards. Screw the praise. Screw the professionals who do it better (but, often enough, end up hating it). None of them matter. None of it matters. None of it is worth fighting for. None of it is worth playing for. Screw. Them. All.
Why climb the Japanese mountain?
Because it’s there.
Don’t clutter your mind and path with the pebbles of good reasons. Leave the good intentions to the hellbound. You just keep playing Persona.
- this is all hearsay from Dan Kennedy by the way; I haven’t confirmed it, but it’s very illustrative hearsay ↩
- Clearly, in terms of logic, this is a fallacy of equivocation, but it makes for awesome rhetoric, doesn’t it? 😛 ↩
- What does that even mean? ↩
- Of course knowing a language is worth money, but so are practical jokes — just ask Johnny Knoxville. You can’t make that the reason why you do it, though. Well, you can, it’s just a crap reason that won’t sustain you or the project. ↩