Category Archives: To the Reader

Learn to be Successful with these 3 Simple Tricks

How to be Successful

When I was a young lad of about three hours younger than I am as I write this, I dreamed of becoming the Tetris World Champion. Shortly thereafter I realized I was bad at Tetris, didn’t really like Tetris, and was already very good at being a broke, shut-in virgin who writes poetry for a living.

In less than a day, I accomplished more than many people do in their entire lifetimes: I gave up on a stupid idea and moved on. That being accomplished, I realized my true calling is writing self-help essays for a few dozen people on the internet who think I’m occasionally funny (and my parents).

The text you are reading at the moment has been written, stared at, erased, rewritten, sneered at, re-erased, and so on many times, so I’ll just get to the point:

The best way to be successful is to be marginally better at some common things than someone else.

Read it again, but in bold:

The best way to be successful is to be marginally better at some common things than someone else.

Here’s an example to illustrate what I mean:

Say you’ve just had a long day. You’re tired, hungry, cranky, possibly sweaty, and definitely just want to go home, eat empty calories, and masturbate while you watch true crime shows. As you’re walking down the street, you come upon a person who is standing neutrally and doing nothing in particular. This is a person with plentiful free time, a lack of unattractive blemishes, seemingly-effortless nonchalance, and you hate them.

Imagine now the same scenario, but the person you see is fat, ugly, extremely rich, and kissing your significant other on the hood of your car (which has been destroyed in a freak forklift accident while you were blinking). You hate this person too, and will likely be physically or verbally aggressive toward them. The nondescript person nearby has not even drawn your notice, and has thus been upgraded from an object of hatred and derision to a not-unpleasant bit of scenery.

The nondescript person has achieved tremendous success not through their action, struggle, inherent virtue, divine mandate, or any other exclusive or difficult condition. They achieved it by being less bad (and therefor marginally better) at something common (existing) than someone else.

Alas, we are not often so fortunate as to be constantly in the presence of public displays of romantic infidelity and simultaneous realization of property damage when faced with unpleasant people in our lives. To compensate, I suggest any of the following tactics.

Tactic 1: Hang out in unpleasant places.

Most people like to be happy and comfortable. Most people, while in unpleasant places, are not happy and comfortable, and thus will leave. That said, there are enough people who hang out in unpleasant places with such frequency and consistency that these places garner a reputation for being unpleasant.

Imagine then that you, being one to frequent these nasty niches of the world, invite a friend (or just happen to encounter someone, for those of you with no friends) to join you in your unpleasant meeting place of choice. Your hypothetical acquaintance joins you (likely a person of poor taste, given you’re still reading this), and would normally be inclined to think of you as a person of poor taste. Then they see a mostly-nondescript-but-slightly-unpleasant-in-a-”can’t-put-my-finger-on-it”-sort-of-way person violently assault a second party who was displaying amorous inclinations on an abandoned vehicle. Your hypothetical acquaintance suggests you find a new place to meet, you agree, and you are no longer considered a person with questionable tastes. In fact, you are someone agreeable with whom your hypothetical acquaintance shares something in common.

Tactic 2: Shut Up

If someone is talking, they are having a good time. Sane people speak when people are present, and generally to engage with another person (creating a pleasant atmosphere) or break an awkward silence (avoiding discomfort). If you are talking, other (sane) people are not, unless you are arguing, in which case your fellow arguer likely does not think of you in a good light. If you are silent, someone else will almost certainly begin to talk, which makes them happy. If you continue to be silent, a third party will probably speak. Now you are part of a conversation between happy people who (being sane) will immediately recognize you as the root cause of their happiness and shower you with praise (to which you should not respond, obviously).

Tactic 3: Read bad poetry, and encourage others to do the same

Let’s assume things that are good are good, things that are bad are not, and things that are neutral can sometimes cause irrational rage if not accompanied by gratuitous sexuality and automobile wreckage.

All in agreement? Good!

Given our assumptions, reading bad poetry will make you feel uncomfortable or unhappy, which will make otherwise insignificant things that might otherwise cause you stress to be ignored. You’re used a pawn to capture a rook, so to speak.

Now, having eliminated many minor stresses for one large, rhyming one, you share some of these bad poems with a friend (or hypothetical randomly-encountered individual). That individual, if sane, will think you a person of poor taste, and never contact you again. After several repetitions of these events, you will be entirely alone, therefore eliminating most reasons for talking. When you don’t talk, you will by necessity shut up. When you shut up, people will like you. When people like you, you can invite them to join you in unpleasant places.

Need I say more?

In conclusion (as University has taught me I must declare before ending an essay), being successful can be achieved quite easily through a few counter-intuitive tactics. Any lack of success on your part can be eliminated by being less happy, less comfortable, and spending more time and money consuming bad poetry. If all else fails, make friends with people in troubled relationships and buy (or steal) a forklift.

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If You Sell Love to Haters, Don’t Ask Why No One Is Buying

To those who make their homes beneath rocks

I offer this poetic plea

Regarding demonstrations by civilians and jocks

With the hopes you will listen to me.

Yes, it’s important all people are equals

And treated with love and respect.

Yes, there’s been push-back, misinterpretation,

But, frankly, what did you expect?

The symbols with which you display your ideals

May change some opinions for sure;

If I spit on a puppy and say “Yay world peace!”

You might doubt my intentions are pure.

Likewise if you stand for freedom and justice

By kneeling in front of a flag,

By fleeing from songs about love for our nation

Some people will think you’re a drag.

If instead when the anthem is sung by our siblings

And you stand to honor our banner

Those who disparage your reason for protest

No longer disparage its manner.

And after you’ve captured the ear of your rivals

You show them the point you want made

You swapped some derision for some indecision

And that is a valuable trade.

To those who were hateful and know are uncertain

You do not decry them as bad

But make your point clear and then disappear.

Don’t be an unskippable ad!

Don’t show what’s troublesome, worrying, scary

By showing disdain for what’s good.

Instead show you’re with us, then raise our awareness

And maybe we’ll do as we should.

And if we keep not being how you would wish us,

Disrespect you, or call you a name,

Consider the best way to make the world better

Is simply to not do the same.

I don’t ask this often, but if you agree with my perspective, please share this poem.

Share it with those who think as you do, because they’ll likely enjoy it too.

Share it with those with whom you disagree, for that is the path to the change we must see.

Share it with those who will argue and fight. You may not kill darkness, but you can shine a light.

Share it with those with whom you would be one, for we share the same air, the same earth, the same sun.

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How (And Why) Men Think

This is not a poem. I just saved you 3-5 minutes. You’re welcome.

In college, I was often told by professors not to begin essays with a definition. Having had a terrible college experience and feeling tremendous spite for the aforementioned professors, I now present Merriam-Webster’s definition of economics:

A social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services

Having graduated with honors with my degree in economics six years prior to writing this essay and having since enjoyed a long and profitable career in the disciplines of music, poetry, and comedy, I have come to realize that my degree in economics is roughly equivalent to a degree in women’s studies, but with fewer scholarship opportunities. Pursuing that thought to it’s ultimate conclusion, I realized that a degree in economics is essentially a degree in men’s studies, minus history and practical job skills.

Much of economics is considered with the idea of equilibrium, a condition in which all things are balanced and to which all things would return if governments would quit screwing everything up. Men’s lives are likewise drawn continuously to equilibrium, as can be demonstrated by the following thought experiment:

Imagine a man is at home. It can be any time or location, because those don’t actively concern our imagined man. Our man is in a state of equilibrium. The doorbell might ring, a volcano could erupt, a poet could make a meaningful contribution to society (not really), but a man would not stir from equilibrium. The only thing that can stir a man from equilibrium is the power of thought, thus leading to most men’s aversion to thinking.

Our hypothetical man has a thought: He is hungry. Being hungry is not as comfortable as being in equilibrium, so the man assigns a negative value to his situation. He realizes the only way to regain equilibrium is by inputting positive stimuli to counteract his hunger, and he begins to calculate…

The man could fix himself a gourmet, nine-course French dinner, eliminating his hunger but placing him in a difficult position of over-stimulation. He would have to correct the over-stimulation through negative actions, such as getting up, learning to cook, and thinking about France, and he concludes that this course of action would result in a situation more negative than being hungry. The idea is summarily dismissed.

Next the man gauges that, although getting up is inevitable, walking distance and effort in food preparation can objectively be minimized through careful planning (the man is no longer afraid to think, being in a state of disequilibrium). He identifies the closest food that doesn’t require preparation, acquires the food, eats one box of dry raisin bran and a tin of Fancy Feast, then returns to his chair. He reevaluates his situation, realizes he is no longer hungry, and happily reenters equilibrium until, by nature or accident, he is again forced to think.

Now, not all disequilibrium is negative. A Man can add positive stimulation to his life by turning on the TV, passing gas, or momentarily enjoying the fact that his cat has died, so he need not replace the Fancy Feast can he just ate. Some men, however, suffer a particularly gruesome thought known as ambition, leaving them in a state of long-term disequilibrium solved only by progressively more grandiose positive stimuli, like fishing or car-ownership. To counteract these huge positive stimuli and return to equilibrium, these ambitious men generally resort to two extremes: Women and Work.

Work is generally the safer option, and most men (even the unambitious) partake in it to some extent. The tremendous negative stimulus of work yields a positive counter-stimulus in the form of money, which can be exchanged for new TVs and motivational posters reminding them not to adopt another cat. Women are the more extreme solution, yielding extreme highs and lows and requiring careful balancing, often resulting in more thought and yielding negative consequences for thoughtlessness that did not exist before the introduction of women.

To those still skeptical, quit reading. If you found this essay dull, go watch TV to reestablish equilibrium. If you enjoyed this essay, watch an Amy Schumer comedy special. If you are a woman, neither of these solutions will likely satisfy you because your mind does not naturally gravitate towards constant equilibrium. If this is the case, I present you with one final story:

A child is born. This makes the child very unhappy, and, being male, it introduces the positive stimulus of screaming and shouting about nothing in particular to resume equilibrium. At other times, it finds a breast within easy reach and, to counteract this new positive stimulus, it defecates on itself. These two cycles continue for some time until nature plays the cruel trick of developing sentience in the young human.

The young human enjoys a few years of mostly unobjectionable life, wherein it is given copious amounts of candy and toys in return for reductions in its odious personal habits. After this joyful era, however, comes school. School, being designed to constantly introduce new stimulation without adequate balancing in the form of idle mindlessness, causes great stress to the young human, and it responds by being a tiny demon until puberty.

When the child reaches puberty, he gains two useful abilities for counteracting the negative effects of school. First is the ability to stare mindlessly at women. Second is the heightened social acceptability of hitting each other, also known as sports. For the remainder of the male human’s life, sports and idle staring at women will occupy the majority of its waking hours. These two activities also frequently lead to ambition, whether to excel at sports (or at least get hit less by those who do), more actively interact with women, or stare idly at parts of women they are less inclined to show men who do not excel at sports. Enter work and women, followed by death.

In conclusion (another wonderful saying my professors told me not to use), comprehension of male thought and the corrective behavior that follows it can be enhanced by the study of economics. That’s pretty much the whole conclusion, but schooling has permanently damaged by ability to allow a conclusion to a single sentence. Don’t adopt a cat.

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From One Fool To Another

Throughout history there are many stories of comedians, often called “Fools,” who wielded great political influence. These fools were gifted with a rare ability to communicate with idiots, which is why they were so often employed by politicians and autocrats.

Today I write not a poem, but a vague shout into the void. My hope is that, like the fools of old, an idiot will hear it and reconsider their position, if only for an instant; An instant is all gravity needs to move mountains.

A few days ago, two men experienced the worst days of their lives. George Floyd was executed without trial for the crime of cooperating with the police. Derek Chauvin, the executioner, was sentenced to the loss of ignorance and the knowledge of his own corruption.

For several days, numerous greater crimes were committed by those who deserved, but were not blessed with, Chauvin’s fate. These people gathered in cities across the nation to combat violence with violence, to protest an injustice against their neighbor by committing injustices against their neighbors.

I now write as an eager fool a few ideas I’ve pored over for all of 15 minutes in the shower, but consider to be true. If you share these ideals, share this message, that one fool shall join another (a phenomenon we’ve recently witnessed to be incredibly powerful). If you don’t, you have the opportunity to rid this fool of his foolish notions through the unlimited power of anonymous internet commenting.

My ideas are these:

A warrior’s enemy is not an opposing warrior, because their purpose is to create conflict. The warrior’s enemy is the peacemaker.

Hate of one thing does not fear hate of another, because their goals intertwine. Hate fears forgiveness.

A tragedy occurred because of heightened emotion, lack of empathy, abuse of power, and a failure to listen. Let us be the calm, empathetic, powerless listeners that tragedy fears.

You won’t have the satisfaction of feeling outraged. You won’t know the euphoria of feeling right. You won’t be noticed, acknowledged, interviewed, or appreciated…

It’s worth it.

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This Is Infinitely Better Than Whatever Poem I Come Up With Today

http://inspirobot.me/

Do it 🙂

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Walmart 8: 3-9

3: The disciples were doubtful

4: And they said “Lord, it cannot be done, for no man hath ever done it

5: But Jesus said “Do not be doubtful or have doubt or other synonyms for uncertainty.”

6: And he scanned the first item and placed it in the bagging area.

7: But there was no alarm or error message, and no staff member had to enter an arbitrary code to validate that the avocados were indeed on sale, and the whole purpose of the self checkout was not rendered moot.

8: The disciples were shocked and declared “Jesus Christ!”

9: And Jesus was all like “yeah bro. Nothing is impossible ’cause God.”

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A Poetical Update/Cry For Help

As I was reading through my blog

Upon this snowy day

I realized there’s lots of posts

That, by default, went away.

There are two-thousand-something poems

That I’ve written on this site

And to have them be forgotten

Just really isn’t right.

I looked into solutions

But to add a button here

To send you to a random post

Costs $600 a year (Seriously WordPress? Seriously?)

So my solution to preserve

Those posts into which I put thought

Is to compile a book that’s bigger

Than the books you’ve already bought. (Hint hint)

So a thing that I am wondering

About my biggest-book-yet dream

Is whether to just compile stuff

Or whether to have a theme.

And here’s the part where you come in:

Please help me make you happy

By commenting or emailing me

Advice to make the book less crappy…

Is an omnibus of random poems

With my thoughts added enough

Or do you want a theme again

With more never-published stuff?

And if, of course, you don’t reply

I’ll just decide myself

But I’ll make the cover aubergine

So it looks weird on your shelf 🙂

Comments welcomed on the site, or emailed to thedailytravesty@yahoo.com

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All The Credit To You!

It took almost six whole years

But this blog has made it’s mark.

One-thousand and five subscribers

Have felt TDT’s spark.

It proves, with dedication,

Anyone can win it:

I did in 69 months

What a bikini-clad person does in minutes!

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51% And Growing

What if, with perfect certainty, you knew how to be good. You

Would have no ills or evils. With this great power would you

Live your life accordingly, an angel we’d admire,

Or is flawless, certain perfection a goal to which you’d not aspire?

Now if perfection weren’t certain and ’twas painful to act well

Would you trade your Earthly pleasure for 50/50 odds of Hell?

Would you suffer every moment if it might bring future joy

Or would you say “be happy now” and make pleasure your toy?

The point that I am making is in our uncertain years

Where our good or evil instincts are affected by our fears

That we might be a villain who believes that we are just

Or perhaps a clumsy angel whose good intent is all a bust.

If you’d be truly evil or would be extremely good

Then here’s a course of action that to take I think you should:

To seek a path of certainty. Through thinking you will find

More often the results you seek are those which you will find

And if another does you wrong seek not to cast your blame

But know that if you thought like him you’d probably do the same.

Hero, villain, victim are alike a future you

So why not think and weight the coin that judges all we do?

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A Lie Detector Poem

Such is the river adamant:

Neither deep

Nor swift upon the rocks

Of misunderstanding,

Nor should she nod

When it means “optic nerve,”

Or so the sages said.

Two times the wolf.

Two times the narrator.

So why is this a lie detector?

Just read this to someone and ask them what it means to them.

If they say “it’s crap,” congratulations! You have an honest friend.

If they say “the bit about the wolf was chilling” (or anything else, for that matter) you have a suck up, a liar, or (worst of all) a PhD on your hands.

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