RW231 - A Tweet in the Morning

This week, Dan and John talk about:

The show title refers to John having seen Twitter as an integral part of what he did, he would send a tweet in the morning, one in the evening.

Raw notes
The segments below are raw notes that have not been edited for language, structure, references, or readability. Please do not quote these texts directly without applying your own editing first! These notes were not planned to be released in this form, but time constraints have caused a shift in priorities and have delayed editing draft-quality versions to a later point.

John still using a mono headphone adapter (RW231)

John is back in Seattle now and he still has the same mono headphone problem from last week (see RW230). He has a couple of different recording setups in a couple of different locations and this is the one that he keeps forgetting. As soon as he is done he should go find the right jack, but he forgets instantly. Dan has read a study that you are more apt to forget the thing that you were thinking about if you are going to be walking through a doorway. Everyone has had the feeling of: ”Why did I come in here? What did I want to do in here?” and it is made worse if you go through a doorway. There is a membrane of forgetfulness or something.

John being distracted all the time because of his phone, Twitter (RW231)

John is distracted all the time, and it is probably the phone. The time we spend looking at our phones creates a situation like if you had some brain injury or lobotomy, because half of your mind is always thinking about the phone. After he left social media he really believed that that would go away because half of his mind was thinking about the conversations he was having online, maintaining friendships he only had online, wondering from moment to moment whether he was going to get between 5-15 faves or between 500-1500 faves and what was the difference between these things and why was it so hard to know.

In his first year on Twitter John thought every post had to be 140 characters before he learned that they didn't, but that was his mission, and then people would tell him that in order to share his Tweets he had to leave space for them to say ”RT” at the front and if it is 140 characters they couldn’t RT them: ”Can you make them 135 characters?” - ”You don't understand!” - ”No, you don't understand! The whole thing that we do is share them and that is how people find you!” - ”Yeah, but my tweets have to be 140 characters.” It took John a while to understand the social media part of it.

Then there was Favstar and some of his tweets got Favstarred really highly, but he would look at other people's tweets, Merlin and whatnot, and he couldn't tell the difference between the humor in Merlin’s and the humor in his. How was his ten times funnier than John’s? Still not understanding that social media was was more than just an Olympic committee judging tweets. It was everything, it was all the social stuff. John would put Tweets up and say: ”This one is going to go!” As more and more people joined Twitter there were millions of snorks on there that weren't even trying to be funny or interesting and you would see some tweet that had a million likes although their profile had 700 followers and the Tweet wasn't even that good. How did they get a million likes? It really did feel like a way of being paid.

John always admired Rob Delaney, his tweets were amazing, and he supported the accolades he reaped and the career he built. There were a lot of people that were gifted, like Cool Pond and whoever these characters were, and John aspired to join their ranks and even his last hurrah, when he was composing the tweets that comprised Beandad he was thinking of it as a tweet-essay that he hoped would connect with people and that it would reverberate out and it would be something that got liked and forwarded and talked about. Lo and behold he finally accomplished his goal.

No-one in John’s world has ever thought it was a coincidence that Twitter came around right about the time his next record should come out and he never came out with another record after. Some people in his business told him that Twitter was the downfall of his music career. The thinking is that prior to Twitter he really wanted to be known in the world and he had no way to connect with the world and talk with the world except by writing records and putting them out. Those were laborious and difficult year-long projects and then people wanted to interview him and he could try to translate his sense of humor and his world view through a young reporter for the River Front Times who was just trying to fill 500 words. It was very frustrating!

Twitter was the place where he finally could speak for himself and in doing that he got that daily reinforcement, the praise of faves, and it became a very short-term reward loop. For a decade his emotional life got increasingly tied to it so that a tweet in the morning and a tweet in the afternoon, and one of them would would get a bunch of ”ha ha clap clap!” from randos in the universe and he would feel validated for another day. At first he argued that it was a new art form because it felt like one, and being good at it was a valid thing to pursue because it was connecting with people and it was pithy in a way that felt new and important, not pithy in a dismissive sense, but it was transitory, a new way of communicating.

That felt real and people even then said: ”You should be working on your record instead of tweeting all day!” when he was tweeting 3-4 times a day. It wasn't all day, although he was thinking about it all day. One time somebody from his record label sent him in an angry way a graph of his record sales over time and they marked with a big arrow the day he went on Twitter, the implication being: ”This has done nothing!” Twitter promotions like: ”Hey, I am playing a show!” and on this graph the story they were trying to tell at the record label was: ”Twitter has done nothing for your career!” He was making the case that all creative people make, which is: ”Without Twitter how would I publicize my stuff? How would I get the word out? How do you have a career creative without Twitter?”

The problem with that was that we all remember five years before when some of the bands that we were close to, they label mates and friends, got on the Letterman Show, which was always the goal, and they printed out then graphs of record sales and the Letterman Show made no difference. You wanted so desperately to see that the following week there was a huge bump in sales as everybody ran out to buy your record, but it never happened and nobody could believe it because getting on the Letterman Show seemed like a crowning achievement, and was, and John never did, but it had no effect on whether or not people bought your records.

Gradually it stopped being an art form, it stopped being fun, it stopped being even pleasurable, but like any drug addiction it didn't stop being necessary or a compulsion. It felt very much like a descent into drugs, where the early days of those big highs and those fun times, those parties you remember where you were getting loaded with all your best friends and these are the days just gradually turn into a situation where your good friends don't come to these parties and the people that are at these parties are not really your friends and this isn't a very fun party, but you are still chasing it and then maybe there is a party after this party and pretty soon you start to lose stuff. It just feels like drugs!

The compulsion and the thinking about it all the time and that thing that you have where you are in a room with actual people and your actual friends and you are just thinking about your Twitter life and they can tell. ”Well, I got this thing going on on Twitter right now. I am in an argument with some kid in Nowheresville and they scored a point with their last tweet now and I am getting ready to really lay them out. I am following the progress of some tweet that is out making the rounds!”, but the weird part is that John has been off of all of that social media for nine months and it is not like in the past where he took a voluntary break from social media that was a month long or even longer, but it is a real clean break, and yet the phone itself still pulls him like the Ring of Power.

If he puts it on his finger he is visible to Sauron, so he can't do that, he can’t go actually onto the Internet, but he is carrying it around his neck on a gold chain, and he fondles it and looks at it and thinks about it, playing games on it, and it is just always there and it is sucking from him. It is the reason why he feels like when he goes through a door he doesn’t remember what he went through the door to do. When you can't find your phone, you don’t say: ”Ah, I will find it later!”, but you got to find your phone. The number of times that John has left the house, realized he didn't have his phone, and then just comfortably spent the rest of the day doing the things he was headed out to do, that is nobody! There are 1 billion rings of power now!

Sometimes as an exercise when he forgets his phone he won’t go back for it and he will spend the day without it. He used to do it all the time intentionally, leave the phone at home because he need to break this hold, but for weeks it has been blowing his mind that it is the phone that has is the hold. It is the 5G in his head! He honestly doesn't know what it is. It is not his friend.

John losing his train of thought for the third time in a week (RW231)

This is the third time this has happened in the last week where John forgot where he was in conversation, and that has never happened to him. Normally in a situation where he was wondering where he was he just keeps going and forages his way back to the main road. In this instance right now, and it happened with Merlin earlier this week (see RL435) and it happened with Ken. He suddenly felt like he had gone out to look over a Vista, walking out on a rock, and he suddenly just felt like he was standing on the rock and there wasn't a path back to the road and he had no idea what he was just saying. If there is any reason he is a successful podcaster, it is because he never goes: ”What was I saying?”

This feeling that the phone is distracting him is part of this larger feeling that there is a little bit of a fog, but he has never felt like his mind couldn't find words or that he couldn't find the path back through the woods. It is a thing that doesn't terrify him about aging, but a thing he is not prepared for. He has been drinking a lot of coffee, and he hasn't had a lot of vitamins, but that has always been true. His sleep has been better the last few days than in a long time. He is actually stalling right now, hoping he can bring it back. It was just a tiny path, he was over talking about photographs just for a second, a component of a minor little step off the path into the grass, and he has no way of rejoining it.

That is scary because it is so unprecedented and it is such a key part of his identity that he doesn't get lost and he doesn’t misremember that he feels very vulnerable right now. Dan frequently forgets what he is talking about and even more so forgets what other people are talking about. In this case he kind of remembers what they were saying, but not really. John has been on the other side a million times where somebody says: ”What was I saying?” and then they trace it back. The irritating thing is that every single person listening is shouting into their phones right now, and the reality is that they will never get back to it.

It is key to John’s identity that he is never bullshitting. It is always connected, every story is always rooted in another story, it is an encapsulation, and by the end of an hour of talking it almost always either circles back or brings the whole cavalcade of thoughts down for a landing. In that moment he could have just bounced to something, but that is not what he does, he doesn’t bounce, he pivots. It is always a pivot, never a bounce. John had to come clean because it was such an extraordinary feeling of having no idea where he was, and he connects it to aging.

As long as he has known old people he has seen the disappointment and resignation of feeling: ”Well, I am lost! Now I have no idea what I was talking about!” and he got frustrated with older friends and relatives when he would ask questions about the past and they would say: ”No, I can't remember!” - ”You can't remember who your first girlfriend was?” - ”Well, no, I just can't remember!” He could never empathize with that fully because it was not how his memory worked, he remembered everything, and he took pride in remembering it accurately, both as a story but also as a composite of details.

It is a rare power and he has been thinking about this for a long time: ”What if one day I lose it?” It is a must, it is the march of time! Dan’s therapist told him a week or two ago when he was talking about one of his older relatives and how they struggle sometimes to remember things, that cognitive decline is inevitable, it will happen to everyone if you live long enough. How long that takes varies from person to person, for most it is in your 70s/80s, if you live long enough that will happen. John is much more scared about it than losing his mobility.

John not wanting his picture taken when he was young (RW231)

When John was a kid he loved having his picture taken and it wasn't until Junior High or High School that he started to be uncomfortable. By the end of High School, from probably about age 15-25 he ruined every picture he was in, not intentionally, but there would be five people: ”Hey, let's get a picture!” and he would be making a face or finger guns, he couldn't just be in a photograph. But from the age of 19-22 there are probably 3 pictures of John in total. His 21st year there is not a single extent picture of him. Dan also didn’t want to be in a photo, but he doesn’t remember his thinking on that.

There is a famous picture of John Belushi wearing a sweatshirt that says COLLEGE. For a few years it hung in every dorm room. It is not a screenshot from Animal House, but a promo photo from the making of the film. His mouth is open, he is going: ”No!” because somebody dropped a case of whiskey. 10 years ago Dave Bazan got really tired of seeing his picture because his fans always want to take pictures with him and he got really tired of looking at himself and he started to make this face in fan photos where to his mind it looked like he was in the middle of a big laugh.

Every band has seen promo photos of cool bands where one of them is laughing in the background. He put on this face like somebody said something funny, and this was his face that he started to do in every photo, but the problem was it was the exact same face in every photo. It didn't take very long for the light to go out of his eyes and it just looked like he was screaming in horror.

John’s mouth was always open in these pictures of him as a young guy, but not like somebody just dropped a box of whiskey, but in a ”Whaaa! We are about to go over the edge!” He didn't like his face, so he contorted it to look more interesting in a National Lampoon way, trying to look animated, maybe.

John's daughter being impossible to photograph (RW231)

John’s daughter has always been impossible to photograph. As soon as she knows there is a camera pointed at her her face her whole posture changes. It has always been true since she was two years old. You couldn't get her to smile and when she did smile it was a forced smile.

For years John has the same picture of his daughter as the screen saver, probably through three successive phones. It is a picture of her from first grade. Maybe there was an art troop that came through her elementary school and they set up a camera and they gave the kids themselves the button and said: ”You push the button when you are ready to take the picture!”

It was the first ever picture of her that was naturalistic. She looked like herself in the photograph. You don't want to say to a little kid: ”Smile! No, not that, a different smile! No, not that smile!” because your kid thinks: ”What am I doing wrong? I am just standing here, I wasn't doing anything, and then you pointed this camera at me and now I am doing something wrong?”, but you want photographs of your lovely little child and whoever these people were with their automatic camera, they handed her the button and she took this photo that captures her perfectly, charming, and sweet and her at her most real.

They celebrate this photograph because she has continued as a young person. Now she is actively sabotaging photos with weird looks and John can only imagine that that will remain the case until she is 30 and it is going to be impossible to get a picture of her. John had this picture on his phone for years because it delights me, but it is possible that it has connected his phone to something he loves and when he picks it up and it is always this picture of his daughter. Even though she is in first grade she still looks like this. There are pictures that were taken a day or two on either side of this photograph where she looks like a little kid, an unrecognizable little baby, and in this picture she looks like she will look when she is 30, she looks like she looked when she was born, she just looks like herself.

Every one of John’s phones for the last five years has looked like his blessed little child and maybe he should change his screensaver to something that says: ”Fuck you bastard! You are gross!” or a picture of a sucking wound or something that makes him when he pick up his phone go: ”Urgh!” and realize that the phone is not his friend. The phone is not a little metal box that his beautiful daughter lives in, but it is a prickly device and the thing he only picks up out of necessity. He is trying to think of a way to recalibrate his relationship with it because not being on social media for nine months he is still as married to it, and not only as married to it, but he feels the decline continuing, the dependency, the lack of independence and smarts, the desire to have conversations with strangers, whatever it is, the phone is a sap.

John feeling like his Twitter is the permanent record, relating everything to history (RW231)

John keeps that picture because he never wants to get rid of that, like his Twitter icon is the same as it was from the first day he joined, that feeling of: ”No, it has to be permanent!” and that was behind the flaw of feeling: ”I have to keep all my tweets. I can't delete any tweets, it is the record. Your Twitter history is the record of time and as we grow and learn you leave your old ugly tweets up, too, because times have changed and that should be reflected because it is a form of journalism!”, but you learn: ”No, actually, no! That is not how people use Twitter and leaving your stuff up there is like leaving the front door of your house open!" Maybe he should log on to Twitter, which he does once a month to post links to things and actually change his little face, too. Maybe he should put out a record and change the name of his band, but naming bands is really hard.

For a long time John thought he was going to have a little super-twee Indie Pop band called Artwork by Elephants. He first said Artwork for Elephants, but that sounds a little Flowers for Algernon (short story by Daniel Keyes). A band that sounded like that would have to sound like Belle and Sebastian. Just change everything! There is no permanence, there is no history! History is so important to John and he is so consumed by it, he thinks about history, he uses it to contextualize everything.

It was one of the things about Snapchat that just made it impossible for him to interact with it because it was anti-history and he didn't understand why you would put your work there, your energy, but it was because he had long ago graduated to thinking that the things that he said and the way that he appeared on the internet was his work, it was not his pleasure, it wasn't himself.

The Weekend, When I’m fucked up that is the real me (RW231)

There is a song by The Weekend with the lyrics ”When I'm fucked up, that's the real me” (The Hills), and when John first heard that line he had a visceral disagreement with it, but it has stuck with him and it pained him in a way that good art does, and he reflects on it even still. It describes a generation gap between him and Millennial Girlfriend because it felt like such a Millennial idea. He was taught to understand that when you are fucked up, that is not the real you, that is the whole argument and that is what makes that song great. That is how The Weekend was given flipping the double birds to… In a way it is like: ”They tried to get me to go to rehab and I said: No, no, no!”

It was a similar sentiment that connected with people because it was a sea change in the way we talk about it. It was so bold to say: ”I see your rehab and I raise you that I don't want to not be fucked up!” Everyone on drugs, everyone suffering from drugs and drink thinks that in their heart, but that is the thing you say as you storm out the door and burn the last bridge. It is not what you say when you introduce yourself to the world. ”When I'm fucked up, that's the real me!” is a just a further leap from: ”I actually don't want to get better. I would like to stay fucked up. Actually, that is who I am, and when I am not fucked up that is the fake person!”

Dan adds like Superman is really Clark Kent, but Bruce Wayne is really Batman. Bruce Wayne is Batman's alter ego, his true self is Batman, not Bruce Wayne, but Superman is really Clark Kent and he puts on a costume and becomes Superman, but he is Clark Kent. Bruce Wayne does not become Batman, but he is Batman and he acts like Bruce Wayne when he needs to.

The generation gap of that song was not that Millennial Girlfriend was on drugs, but that she understood empathized and sympathized with the lyric in a way that didn't seem like a strange sentiment. Maybe it is the relationship that we have to the Pop music that comes out at certain times of our lives. Also, a lot of people don't interrogate Pop music. The struggle John had reckoning with: ”Fucked up is the real me!” was very connected to the idea that his relationship to the public, his persona, the work that he did, was all of a piece. He did not step on stage and become Superman, he also was not Batman all the time. It was like running a Corporation. There was this going on over here. There was this going on over here, this over here and then his private life, his family, his inner life, but also his irons in the fire, his calendar, his relationships, he never felt bifurcated, there is not a Private Me and a Public Me. It is all an inter-mixture, although most people assume that there is a Private Me.

Introvert/Extrovert, Kathleen Edwards calling John the most introvert person (RW231)

John got a text from somebody who said they were talking to Kathleen Edwards, and she said that she thought that John was the most introverted person she had ever met, and in hearing her say that through the lens of somebody else, not something that she said to him, but he heard that enough times in his life from other people that are close to him.

Kathleen understands him, there is a human bond between them, and she never said anything like that to him, but to hear it is shocking because he has really been re-evaluating this introvert/extrovert polarity, where he fits in it, how much he lets that define him anymore. 10 years ago he really was into it as a way of explaining his path, and lately he has really been wrestling with it.

”Does that work anymore? Does that fit?” and to hear that report in a casual text is a reminder that the people that know him really well, that really think about things, see this truth. Kathleen doesn't know Kristin Cosmos (the one who first said that to John), she is not comparing notes with anybody, that is just a thing that she perceived.

John not keeping any secrets, talking about everything, not having a Private Me, wanting to be part of history (RW231)

The same way that other friends have perceived it independently, but there is not a Private Me and a Public Me like you would think there would be. John doesn't have a whole other world in his mind. He has his inner world, but that is very different from public/private. He shares everything, he doesn’t have any secrets, really. What constitutes secrets is that he tells some people some things and other people other things, these friends need to know this, these friends need to know that, and his podcast listeners get a very broad picture of who he is and what he does and what he is thinking. Most of the things that he doesn’t say on podcasts is either other people’s sensitive information, and he treads pretty close to that line sometimes, but he tells all his own sensitive information.

The only stuff he leaves out is stuff that even back in the day you just wouldn't say publicly about yourself or anyone. As much as you want to live in a world where truth rains, the people that feel the most strongly about truth and honesty are the ones that don't say the most because they don't want to say something that is untrue, so they have to be quiet a lot of the time because if they say the true thing it is not acceptable. There is a slice of the pie of things that John just doesn't say because it is not acceptable, but everything else he tells. It does get him in trouble sometimes when friends listen to the shows and they go: ”Why would you say that on the show but you never said it to me? How could you tell 30.000 people a thing that you should have said to me directly?” and John doesn't have an answer for that. There is something about the invisible audience, the permeable 4th wall, that allows him to take everyone into his confidence in that way, and it protects him from danger that everybody knows everything.

John has been thinking about Beandad a lot lately because for the several months after he felt very strongly that in order to guard himself he needed to just not think about it. It happened, it was like a bad storm, a lot of stuff got washed away, and he just needed to pick up and move on. Lately somewhat his relationship to his phone has been dredging it up, and he has been spending time stewing on why he hasn’t heard from friends, stewing on what it all means. The fact that he has been so forthcoming on his podcasts is why his shows didn't lose any listeners during a time when the whole world was tilted against him based on a misunderstanding or a misapprehension or the rage tornado bounced over here for a minute.

The people that listen to the show understand where he is coming from. If he had kept a whole universe of secrets, if Beandad had read to the people who listen to the show as a glimpse inside his life that they hadn't seen before, ”John is finally showing his true color, this horrifying look behind the scenes!”, but anybody that listens to the show knows everything about him and his daughter, his thinking good and bad. There is no: "Oh, I read these antisemitic tweets and John is an antisemite!” No-one that has ever listened to any of the shows would come to that conclusion in reading those tweets, they would go: ”Oh, he was being sardonic!” His transparency did save him there! It did what he always thinks of it doing, which is it protects him because not having secrets from the world is how you don't get blackmailed, it is how you don't get caught.

It is just that Twitter isn't the place where that transparency is effective because there are millions and millions of people milling around in an undifferentiated and lawless space and they can't all know you, they can't all have heard everything. It did protect him because his world of broadcasting remained intact. His world didn't, weirdly, and that is the part he is stewing on. His local world did, but his larger world didn't. The world of people listening to the show and interacting with him in that way. Dan said the last time they talked that the ratings didn't change at all, or if anything went up, and that is true of all the great shows. It would be true of Friendly Fire if that show had survived.

John can't say ”When I'm fucked up, that's the real me!” He doesn't differentiate anything he does from performance. There is a huge difference between him standing behind the curtain and him stepping in front of the curtain. It is like stepping through a doorway, he does forget everything, he walks out on stage and he is on, and he doesn’t forget why he came in, but when he steps back off stage, even exhausted, he doesn’t think of it as going back into the Real Me. The Onstage Me is a Me and the Backstage Me is Me, the Me on this show is a Me, he is performing, but if his mom were sitting here in the room, you wouldn't hear a different Me and she would laugh and chuckle because he was doing a bit, but if he started talking meaningfully about he is recognizable to her, even though he is talking into a microphone to a friend that lives in Austin with the expectation that there are a lot of people listening in. That is the miracle of podcasting because that is available.

Merlin is an exaggeration of himself, Dan is, but not that much of an exaggeration. There are a lot more things that Dan doesn't say on the show or on any of his shows, he has secret lives, he is the Batman, people don't know that about him. Podcasting facilitates that, but there is no place in his life where he is not thinking about the work that he is doing and how it will be received by history, partly because he was raised in a time when history was the way we perceived. When he was 10 in 1978 World War II was still very present, the veterans of World War II were all turning 60-ish, they were still in the prime of their life, they were reflecting on what they had been through, the Vietnam War, the Hippies, Nixon, the social revolutions, it all made it seem like every day was adding a new newspaper to the pile of history. To be in the paper was to be in history, and to be in history was the job.

That relationship has changed. That is not the way people think now. Driving across the country recently and interacting with a lot of people John did not get the feeling that most people were thinking about being in history and the shocking realization is that most people never did. It is a way that he was raised because the people in his father's family in particular thought that way about being in history. It is always shocking to him to interact with people that have absolutely not only no interest in being in history, but no sense that that was ever an opportunity for them.

Being part of history means having your contribution to history recorded. History was one thing before it touched you, and then you touched it in some way. Malcolm Gladwell writes popular books that all have a turns-out at the end. He does research and he has a thesis and people like his books and they are just good enough that the academic world can't poopoo him to death. They have to head-nod him. He is a TED Talk writer, smart, and he has added a lot to history by virtue of connecting with people who read his stuff and allowing them the opportunity to go: ”Huh, I actually thought that, too!” and to be shown how easy it is to be mistaken without being wrong.

He will never get a Nobel Prize in Physics, but he is working in a non-fiction vein, and he is changing the course in a subtle way. He is in history, he is making some kind of difference, hard to tell what. Hopefully he is benign and is not encouraging people to become dictators, but he is showing: ”Statistics, turns out, shows that what we all thought was true is not the whole story!” He is not like quite Paul Harvey, but…

Thinking about what you do in life, can you do that? You meet somebody at a place that is rotating your tires and there is one guy at the place, wiping his greasy hands off on a rag, making comments, everybody is laughing, his co-workers are laughing, the people that are there getting their tires rotated are laughing, he is making a difference somehow, and he is conscious that he is adding to the story, he knows that the people that were there to get their tires rotated didn't expect to have any additional aspect to that experience.

They didn't think they were going to come away being made to feel good with anything to think about, and so that tire store comedian is adding more than just his work, and that More reverberates and he knows it does. It reverberates well beyond what he will ever see and he knows that one of these days somebody is going to come in, he is going to add that to their tire-changing experience, and they are going to go later on in that day and do something differently that is going to have an effect down the road.

That is the mentality that John carries into everything and he recognizes others who are doing it in the world and who are trying to get into history, they are trying to write themselves in, and you will never know the effect of it, you never see the ripple. Just changing the tires on the person's car gets them down the road and it changes history, but you are not trying to insert yourself by doing your job or by working hard and getting home and having your space and time to yourself. There is the extra effort.

Why does the tire store comedian work so hard at being funny? Sometimes to the detriment of the changing of the tire. There is always somebody that works with him that is like: ”Would you just shut up and get get down here and help me put this tire on?” Maybe partly he thinks somebody is going to come and say: ”Hey, you would be perfect for my television show!” And that is true of John, too. All of his work, he is always wondering whether it won't just help people, but it will lift him up out of poverty or out of an impoverishment of some kind or another.

It is extra effort above and beyond what you are there to do in the first place, what you are called to do. At the largest scope you pursue an education, you pursue a career with the sole intent of being in that space and of helping people. Nobody goes into politics because they want to put their head down and get as many laws passed as they can. Nobody becomes a CEO because what this job really needs is somebody that decisions come across their desk and they make the best one. CEOs become that because they believe they are going to change the world.

As a kid and as a young adult John assumed everybody wanted to change the world and people were just successful at it at varying degrees, but surely everybody was trying. The scales have been falling from his eyes for 40 years that this is not true, it is not necessary, it is not fair, it might not be possible, but it is not even a desire. That motivation still fuels every step John makes out of the door.


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