i think the greatest achievers are often the most unlikeable weirdos

i have a theory. it started out in early 2007 when i became intimately acquainted with the rollins band album, ‘the end of silence.’

i was going through a difficult period of change (not like a sex change or anything, just personal growth) and that album suited my state of mind at the time really well. it spoke to me so clearly, it applied to me in such huge ways that i felt connected to henry rollins, like we shared some powerful core experience. i became really curious about henry rollins on a personal level and i checked out a number of his interviews, like this one with nardwuar, the human serviette.

and i realized, “jesus christ, hank rollins is an asshole. i wouldn’t want to hang out with him at all.” i was shocked! i couldn’t believe this man who had been instrumental in helping me through such a difficult time could be such a dickhead.

then i started thinking about some of my other favourite artists, like prince. i think prince is god-like. i firmly believe he is a michaelangelo or davinci of our lifetime, he is truly a living legend. but same thing, he’s a fucking dink. he’s so esoteric and smug and pretentious. and the same goes for a lot of other great artists who are geniuses but really fucking unlikeable in a great variety of ways — sting, mike patton, david lynch, stanley kubrick, marlon brando. i could go on but i’m sure you get the idea. it’s a shame but i think it’s largely inherent to any artist who ventures out on their own, doing something new and interesting and genuine. they have to be strong, proud, stubborn individuals to do something unique and crazy and be successful with it. but those qualities don’t usually make for good buds you want to go for dog walks with.

then i saw the olympics a couple years ago and watched an interview with some world class athlete. i can’t remember who it was but it was a young, beautiful woman who was one of the best in the world at some obscure, essentially useless talent. i thought, “wow, so accomplished, and what a babe. i wonder what lucky dude she’ll end up with.” but then i listened to the interview and she talked about her rigorous training schedule, nutritional regime, how hard she had worked to get to this point, that sort of thing. her entire life from like age 8 on had been all been nothing but buildup to olympic level shotput or high jump or breaststroke or whatever, and i realized that despite the things i admired her for, she was a horrifically imbalanced individual. she had never had the time to make lasting friendships, to date people and learn about love and romance, to party, to hang out at mason’s in the summer and drink discount kick sodas…

it was a poor man’s jolt cola that no one bought, so they sold it for next to nothing. we bought it up like hot cakes.

…and she wouldn’t be any fun to hang out with. she and most other olympic athletes must be so stunted from living with such a singular purpose that i actually feel bad for them. they are on top of the world for a few weeks out of their lives, and the rest of the time they are missing out on the things that make life worth living. or things that make my life worth living, anyway.

and that’s how i came up with this theory that the people who seem the most talented or have achieved the greatest things are probably the most imbalanced, odd, and unpleasant to be around. we average schlubs may not make it into any history books but i’d way rather spend late nights dancing with my pals at seedy bars and house parties than doing anything at all with prince, henry rollins, or david lynch. i love their shit but those guys are weird as all hell.

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