Everyone loves a winner!
Winning isn’t the most important thing, it’s the only thing!
Keep trying, keep fighting, and you will win.
Barf. Sorry. If you’ve ever won something significant, congratulations. Hell, if you take pride in winning connect 4 with your toddler, go for it. But we are so damned obsessed with victory. It doesn’t really matter what we are hoping to win, but most of us want to win at SOMETHING. So much so that we’ll even claim the victory of other people as our own. Read any Twitter thread after a sports ball match and the insufferable prattle of fans will make you want to gouge your eyes out. Particularly if you’re one of the fans of the winning team, in which case fuck you, I don’t care. Julius Caesar once said Vidi, Vini, Vici. I came, I saw I conquored. Well yeah. If you count sitting back and letting men who had no choice in the matter stab each other in the faces until there was enough dead people. I’m certain his correspondence with Ptolemy fans was annoying as fuck.
Egypt sucks, Rome number one! Smashed you XXII to IV!
But it’s not really about sports or BCE wars, what I’m really referring to is treating everything we do like a victory, or a failure. No, this isn’t some motivational speech about learning from failures.
Thank you Sir Ian. I learned a valuable lesson, but I feel the teabagging was unneccessary.
Nor is it some sad sack woe is me I never win lament. I win, sometimes. Almost everyone “wins” at something eventually. But is it really winning? (Ok, yes. Playing XI on a triple word score two directions in scrabble is winning, and totally pisses off your opponent.) Why aren’t we talking about earning as much?
Because meritocracy barely exists. So we seek to win, instead of not lose. Yeah, you have some control over some of it. But most shit is just out of your hands. Think about the best player on the losing team, the best solider in the losing army, they did their best and one ended up going home without a trophy, and the other without his head.
That’s the world we live in. We created a society that doesn’t reward effort so much as it does circumstance. For every story of a plucky young thing who grew his small patch of pumpkins in to a New England area monopoly on the gourd market, there are a million crashes and burns. A woman marries a man, he abuses her, then leaves her, she has kids, a deadbeat ex, and can’t make ends meet. What about the student who doesn’t have a rich mommy and daddy to pay their way through Ivy league? They lose by comparison to the brain dead dumbfucks who have no brains but plenty of money. Not to name any names.
Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on toast. Yeah. That’s it.
I don’t want this piece to be long. The point is, you aren’t going to win much. When you do, a lot of it won’t have to do with you. If it does, it will likely be a small victory. If it’s not, It will probably be the only thing of real significant triumph. And if it’s not, well fuck you, you overachiever. Congratulations. For most of us it’s I came, I saw, I failed.
We go through life mostly making ends meet, and trying to extract some happiness from existence, and we succeed or fail at varying levels. It’s mind-boggling that people still think that working hard and effort are the key to success. It’s like they’ve never met a CEO.
We can take one small Schadenfreude for the jerks who win though. Those assholes who prance and strut about their victories, or make declarations of their own awesomeness. Victory is fleeting. Winners typically turn in to losers. They get defeated down the line. Fall on their face, or simply slip away in to obscurity. I’m not saying we should be jerks ourselves. But don’t feel to jealous, or worry about it too much. It won’t last. Just like that smug bastard Caesar, who really had a sharp end to his win streak. (Yes. you are allowed to unfollow me or send me a message cursing me out for that joke.)
I came, I saw, I shit myself as I bled out.