March 29, 2008

Friday Diversion: Jonathan Coulton

Not his best song (that'd be The Future Soon or maybe Code Monkey) but reminds me of psychiatry. The other songs are so-- accurate. If you don't get them, then you weren't there.

The guy is a awesome. I am so learning the guitar.

For those who don't know, he's a former programmer (in VB, no less-- before .net) who had always had the lingering (nerd?) dream to become a musician. So he quit. Two extra points: he was already married with a baby, and as far as I know he didn't live on top of a uranium mine; it was recommended to him to try and write a song a week for a year-- and he did.

It's a stunning thought, to the point of vertigo, how much time and energy and sweat and blood we invest in a life we don't actually want. On your knees every night, praying to make it-- into college, into law school, into the sales job, into the management slot, into, into, into... only to be in the second week and think, wait a second, I think I've made a very serious mistake. I'm guessing anyone married before 2001 has had the same thought about their marriage.

The problem is the upbringing. Don't laugh. Parents like to think that there are multiple paths to success and happiness, but somehow they all involve good grades, college, a job, a tie. The saddest part is that the parents should know better: do you want your life for your kids? Do you look at your 2 year old daughter and think, I can't wait to break her spirit and her faith in humanity?

It is no surprise that the people we admire took alternate paths.

And no, it's no surprise psychiatry is a massively growing industry. I'll wager: never has there been a greater disconnect between id and ego in the near total absence of superego. That's right. Look it up.