The Walk of Shame

Dear Diary,

LOL just fucking with you. 

It's 8:41am (and I only know that because when I think I'm running late, every minute at a bus stop is the same as a treadmill minute, or a microwave minute) and I am already sweating balls. Just under 30c/86f with 79% humidity (yeah, I looked that shit up #accuweather) and the walk to the bus stop alone felt like cardio. I board the 143, find a seat, and soak in the air conditioning (itself worth the bus fare). Gazing out the window, I notice a young woman: her black, frizzled hair, slightly smeared makeup, and crumpled dress (combined with the time of day, early Saturday morning)  made me think to myself...

" look kinda walk of shame-y..."

Wow, dude. What the fuck? Did I just think that to myself? Suddenly ashamed and thankful no one else could overhear my unforgiving and unfounded critiques of others, I began to dissect the pop culture catch phrase: walk. of. shame.

Next thought:

"seriously though, what's she got to be ashamed of? she probably got her's last night."

Did you get any? Sex or no, did you have a fun time last night? Sure, she might've made a few choices that she regrets at the moment (Korean hangover drinks don't do shit, btw), but I think it's safer to assume she had a great time and it was of her own volition. 

Next thought:

"rock on."

My bus crosses the Han and I'm left curious as to what her story actually is. I prefer to believe that whatever happened last night to result in her disheveled 9am bus ride, she'd gladly choose to do it all over again. 

Next thought:

"walk of shame? more like strut of glory, amirite or wut?"

I'm glad we crossed paths. Cheers, next round's on me.


Feed me for now, nourish me forever

I could attempt to explain what Words of Mass Destruction is meant to be, but these things never end up quite the way you envision. Here's the elevator pitch though: it's my nose dive into perspectives, communication, and semantics. 

Here's the first installment: Feed me for now, nourish me forever. Leave a comment, if you feel so compelled.

You're too honest. It's what makes you a good writer, but maybe not an ideal MC. 

Sure, I get that. Because obviously, everyone who tunes in MUST desire to be the recipient of a huge, steaming pile of contrived shit. The listeners couldn't possibly handle, or dare I say, WANT the truth...could they?

Right now, you're not good enough. You had your chance when you filled in for the music show, and if you caught someone's attention, something would've come from that. Actually, it's counter-productive, a turn-off, when you vocalize your enthusiasm to host like that. It has the opposite effect: it makes the management not want to give you an opportunity.

If I might paraphrase: "We do not want listeners to perceive passion, enthusiasm, or even general interest in the topics from the broadcasters we select to present them". Message received, loud and clear.

Radio is dead, though. 

Yup, just like books are dead. Oh, wait...

Hey! This is GP, he has an awesome podcast! 

Yeah, I do. But you don't know that. You haven't listened to a second of it. Don't patronize me.

My initial reactions to the above comments were more along the lines of 'fuck you, die slow'. The above reactions were crafted with (marginally more) thought and articulation. 

My reaction in the hours and days AFTERWARDS is what I'd really like to zoom in on though: those comments lit a fire in me that was like pre-workout for my pen and microphone; C4 for my soul. I fed off their negativity (most of it far less explicit, coming in the form of 'yeah dude I saw that on Facebook, I gotta check it out some time...'). The hatred and self-righteousness sizzled in my veins and allowed me to push through the late night audio editing marathons. Sound graphs and wave forms began to make their way into my dreams. 

But, it didn't matter. I had a legion of nonbelievers who I had shot my mouth off at, most of which was behind their backs, using placeholders like 'my coworker' or 'this guy at my gym' in place of their actual names (most of which take me a few failed guesses to recall, anyway). 

I couldn't get caught with my pants down.

Those comments got me through the times when my eyelids were heavy with fatigue and coffee hangovers became a real thing. The anger was useful. But after awhile, their quotes faded into the rearview and I realized that no matter how great my podcasts, productions, or words were, the nonbelievers weren't listening anyway. 

And then, there were these: far more concise, reserved comments, but their minimal words carried the weight of the world... At least, they did for my ears. 

This was really well done. I didn't know there was anyone in Korea doing anything like this.

Well...there wasn't. I could've done more. I could've done it better, but hindsight's 20-20, right?

You know, I was always curious about this subject, I'm glad you did something on this. I shared it on my page.

For sure, dude. I was curious too; that's why I did it. And you know what, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more I wanted to say in that episode. Anyway, I'm super grateful you thought it was worth sharing!

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to vocalize my thoughts. Means a lot.

No, thank you. I'm honored you shared with me. Next time, maybe we won't need a microphone to bleed together.

I'm disappointed in myself: I have to admit that these generous words were far harder to recall. Their effect, though, was practically a bukkake of positive energy: it poured down over me, overflowing from my ears, dripping down to what felt like the tips of my fingers and toes. I brought that energy with me into the days that followed, and though their initial impact has faded, I know that the experience added something to them, as well as to me. 

We both benefited in some way or another. It was not an exchange where you took from me but gained nothing yourself. 

I'm lucky enough to receive these comments from time to time, and when I do, they always leave a residue on my soul. One that justifies my life's work, my reason for doing what I do, and adds a moral authority to encouraging others to pursue what they love. To embrace the things, pursuits, and people that would also embrace them. To appropriate the correct amount of stock, time, mental energy, and resources to the rest. It's simple economics, and I like economics.

If this was the old analogy, the naysayers and my hatred would've been the fish that fed me for a day. The encouragement, help, partners, and supporters would be learning how to fish: nourishing me forever. Choose your weapon carefully, because there's a time for both.