Tuesday, December 8, 2015

You've got to be better

This is a letter to when I was ten.

You've got to be better. You've got to.
You've got to be better than flipping on another sitcom from Chuck Lorre.
You've got to be better than getting lost inside the poetic mind of this generation's hottest MC.
You've got to be more interesting than anything happening inside style pages,
You've got to do better than Goop. You've got to be relevant,
You've got to avoid doing the unselfconsciously horrible stunts from ignorance.
You've got to know what it looks like when you are about to do those things.
You've got to know what it looks like when you are inside other viewpoints.
You've got to challenge yourself. You've got to be better you've got to.
If someone else was going to do it, it would have already happened.

You've got to understand your environment.
You've got to know what other people want, and you've got to give some of it to them.
You've got to show them what they get when they believe you are relevant.
You've got to understand that they aren't going to be interested in anything blaming them.
You've got to show what you mean by responsibility.
You've got to perceive that words mean different things depending on who's speaking.
You've got to be helpless, then you've got to decide that isn't happening again, but
You've got to understand that you don't control everything.
You've got to compete against everything, while participating in it.
If you want to be relevant, that is. You can't afford to be apart from your culture and claim relevance.

You've got to seek connections, and you've got to let yourself hurt when you make them.
You've got to see the way people are speaking about each other, and hear the real things.
You've got to understand what it means when people speak their dark fantasies.
You've got to understand why rhetorical flourishes flourish, and what powers them.
You've got to speak even if it's through fingertips. You've got to teach them.
You've got to compete against your own influences, to teach better than they did.
You've got to give up on being perfect because you were shaped by them.
You've got to be better than infinite regression and the grand return.
You've got to stop tolerating the same behavior you found intolerable as a kid.
This time you have to face the fact that you're the one who is doing it. No blame shifting.

You've got to be the reason people come together. You can't afford not to.
You've got to know what the responsibility for this means.
You've got to understand being mean, to avert it and to see when it is not the same as being angry.
You've got to master being angry if you want to be better, or even to accomplish anything.
You've got to master being angry, and reading it again will ensure you think about every meaning.
You've got to be better than to think authors write for single interpretations. Think in systems.
You've got to offer the audience a thing worth interacting with, and you have to present artifice.
You've got to contract for art and deliver, it's a role, you can't take over from a sub position.
You've got to empty the vessel of the self. You've got to be a reflection.
When you know the mirror project's essence you'll root the system for multitasking.

You've got to be willing to do the things to write them. You've got to accept this is terrifying.
You've got to wipe the tears from your eyes and assume the position.
You've got to admit you knew it would happen when you contracted for this.
You've got to be better. You've got to prove relevance. You've got to understand the secret.
You've got to prove that radical demonstrations of extreme competence are the most defiant thing.
You've got to be brighter than the best CCFL 4K HD LED tech upgrades.
You've got to bump louder than the best speakers. You've got to compete with all of them.
You've got to design artifacts for your artifice that reflect and interact with everything you've been.
You've got to embrace that language is a technology, and see it interacting with those other things.
No one can teach you to navigate wonders that no one has ever seen.

You've got to be better. You don't have a choice. You've got to.
You've got to reign in the excesses of the people you were born knowing were irrelevant.
You've got to take control from them without breaking the sub position.
You've got to understand power without wanting it to do any of these things.
You've got to understand that's impossible without being hurt so badly you can't handle touching.
You've got to come to terms with already being all these things. When they sing together listen.
You've got to be the lead and the chorus. You have to feel pride and degradation in both positions.
You've got to remember to maintain the integrity of each sub system.
You've got to give people something tantalizing but still puzzling to keep them interested.
It's exhibitionistic as hell to challenge them. You might lose out by doing it.

That's why you've got to be better. You've got to deliver.
You've got to find the discipline to take patterns seriously.
You've got to feel when there's better effect in letting a pattern sit there unraveling.

- Athena the Architect
12/8/15