Beck. Petty. Radiohead. Me.


“I’m A Loser Baby So Why Don’t You Kill Me?” – Beck

“Even the losers get lucky sometimes.” – Tom Petty

“I’m a creep.” -Radiohead

“Guilty.” -Me

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for several months. I don’t think I was avoiding it on a conscious level. Every time I thought of Beck’s line from his 1994 single ‘Loser’ I would say today is the day! But my brain just kept latching on to a more pressing idea to write about. Like comic book women.

But I’ve had some real shitty family crap go down recently. Well, recently isn’t the right word. That implies that it’s a singular event that has an end an a beginning. If you consider age 10 the beginning you’d be half right but I don’t see any end in sight. I can’t say this recent “shitty family crap” was the worst I’ve had to deal with ever. It wasn’t the easiest, either. But life is not a movie.  Shit doesn’t get incrementally worse until the hero gets blown up. Life is more like Chinese water torture. A drop by itself is nothing. The final drop is everything.

I imagine you’re annoyed by now. You might want me to tell you what exactly the latest “shitty family crap” was. But I won’t do that right now. All you need to know is that it spurred me to write this post (which is probably enough of a reason to be upset).

Ok. Let’s do this.

Draw the curtain. Shine the lights. The maestro begins.


A courtroom. Sort of like the one in Too Kill a Mockingbird.


Wearing a judge’s robe and sitting behind the bench is The Living Tribunal, a cosmic entity that sits in judgment of all realities in the Marvel multiverse (Yeah I’m a geek – so what? It’s my self -indulgent post. I’ll do what I want.). You know how Thanos is supposed to be all-powerful when he takes possession of all six infinity stones? This guy decreed that was no longer possible after the gauntlet series of events. The gauntlet is HIS dog.


I am standing at the standard accused’ table and I will be representing myself.


(There are no cameras allowed in this court but the stock photo above shows me with my buddy. I’m on the left. We did a movie together.)

That’s my anger animal, anyway. But what human beings see is the following:

A man stands 5’10” tall. He is fair skinned (not Scottish pale but more like a very light skinned Greek). He’s bald with a scraggly salt and pepper beard. He’s clearly overweight with a pronounced beer belly and a slightly lazy left eye. It’s conceivable that he could have once been run of the mill in terms of physical appearance but the years haven’t been kind and he hasn’t even attempted to take care of himself. He wears an obscure comic book T-shirt, cargo shorts, and some sneakers. Other than a permanent, slight frown, no hint of any emotion can be gleaned from his face. He’s now safely ensconced in the 2nd to last physical attractiveness caste.

The Living Tribunal clears his throats:

Sir, American society charges you with being a loser. In particular, your violations are:

  1. Not complying to the standards for maximizing your physical beauty and thereby causing an eyesore for any humans who might encounter you. The court grants you didn’t have much to work with but your steady diet of carbohydrates and high fructose corn syrup products and regimen consisting entirely of biweekly masturbation showed clear negligence. Exhibit A is an artist’s representation of the accused:
  2. Dressing with absolutely no regard for fashion or basic aesthetics. See exhibit A.
  3. Eating unhealthy food (from chain restaurants, processed foods, everything that tastes good) which has exacerbated your medical problems and caused you to contract Type 2 Diabetes. See exhibit A. Exhibit B: current A1C score: 169.69, easily eclipsing the world record.
  4. Poor dental hygiene (not brushing twice a day and never flossing) and not using your retainer which has given you banged up teeth and many avoidable dental procedures. Exhibit C: your jacked up teeth resemble this gentleman’s:
  5. Exercising, on average, once per year, has resulted in your current unattractive form and certainly contributed to your Type 2 Diabetes and most likely increased your mental health challenges. Exhibit D: your typical exercise session:
  6. Increasing your medical insurance premiums by running off the Type 2 Diabetes cliff with the other lemmings. Exhibit E: photo of your peer lazy fat asses group (the defendant is the second from the left):
  7. Seeing several psychologists and psychiatrists to attempt to cure yourself of indulgent diseases when you could just man up and decide to get better on your own. Exhibit F: even if the defendant’s Mental health practitioners were the quality of the father of psychoanalysis, it would have done no good:
  8. Regarding manning up: never winning a fight or standing up to physical bullying. Exhibit G: no cowardly photo could be found so prosecution presents a visual antonym:
  9. Never standing up to verbal bullying. Exhibit H: photo example of verbal bully with no intelligence or physical threat:
  10. Never taking advantage of your privileged educational opportunities, in particular: lying, cheating, stealing or slouching your way to mediocre bedlam or empty credentials. You have, to this date, wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars in educational expenses. Exhibit I: student loan balance: ~$325,000.00 USD versus current yearly income of $24,960.00 USD.
  11. Financially stirring chaos for yourself, your loved ones, and most institutions and individuals who have the misfortune of entering into financial pacts with you. In particular: (redacted – offense against a loved one, metaphysical life sentence ongoing), chapter 11 bankruptcy, (ongoing offense against a loved ones), untold thousands of defaults against corporations, thousands of dollars in defaults against loved ones, gambling away rent money, failing to pay student loans in a timely manner so that the amount owed is now over $325,000.00, and never once, not ever, having the basic human discipline to follow a budget for even one week. Exhibit J: artist rendition of defendant’s educational achievements and financial reality:
  12. Professionally, having started at least 5 distinct careers and never once being promoted or going beyond entry level. Having been fired 3 times for very just causes. Your resulting professional history is a haphazard mess. Exhibit K: the defendant has held 8 out of the following 10 jobs and not all of them at the beginning of his career:
  13. Morally, violating your own cherished morals countless times and usually against people you purport to care about. To list all your moral transgressions would violate this court’s commitment to a speedy trial. Exhibit L: unlike Omar Little, the accused has never adhered to his own so-called values:
  14. Ethically, violating the external code of ethics of multiple organizations to which you were a member. Again, enumerating is beyond the time limit of this trial. Exhibit M: an extreme example of an unethical group (but even the defendant is not this low or base):
  15. Romantically, at age 44, never having had a girlfriend or wife or even a committed relationship. This is in direct violation of society’s best life requirement. Exhibit O: the female version of the defendant:
  16. Romantically, ghosting, lying, and just generally being a shitty date to hundreds of women. Exhibit P: Disney puppet version of accused:
  17. Having fathered a son who you see roughly two to four weeks a year and for whom you provide a less than decent amount of financial support. He deserves better. Exhibit Q: the defendant is bothering unlike the subject in the visual aid below but he is clearly on the “not bothering” spectrum:
  18. Petulantly, having ended multiple significant friendships because of perceived offenses that did not warrant such an extreme act and only hurt yourself. Exhibit R: the accused holds grudges more than the movie:
  19. Regarding kindness, having on more than one occasion been unkind to those who did not merit it. Exhibit S: Johnny hurt people who didn’t deserve it. The difference between the accused and him is the accused has no swagger:
  20. Not having your shit together by the advanced age of 44, specifically living with your parents (with whom you have a severely toxic relationship), working gig economy jobs, having a net worth of over NEGATIVE 325,000.00 and not really having a clear idea of what the hell you want to do with your life. Exhibit T: the following dude is what most people think of when they think of an adult male living with his parents:
  21. Creatively, having spent close to fifty thousand dollars on a writing degree but having only published a short story (from the university) and a single poem (again from a university). Exhibit U: the accused cannot be said to be suffering from writer’s block because he has made no effort to create any poetry or prose:

Living Tribunal: The court could go on with some more personal and embarrassing proofs of your loserness (i.e. sexual, hypocritical, family) but the amount of evidence presented thus far is more than enough to support the main charge. How do you plead?

Me: Guilty.

Living Tribunal: Pardon me?

Me: Guilty.

Living Tribunal: I see some character references in your file from friends and there are some positive references from former employers. You don’t wish to note these?

Me: No.

Living Tribunal: Very well. Do you understand the penalty for these crimes?

Me: Yes. I no longer am subscribing to society’s advice. I agree to abide by the legal requirements of a citizen of my country but I will be following my own morals and living quietly, hiding in plain sight, in society. I accept any and all labels society has for me.

Living Tribunal: You do realize you are effectively making yourself an untouchable?

Me: Pursuing society’s golden standards and safeguarding my reputation has only caused me pain. I am no longer interested in society’s approval. I surrender all my rights to approval. I cede complete victory to the Joneses. I am simply not equipped or inclined to tap dance for terrible advocates anymore.

Living Tribunal: You place the blame on others for your failings?

Me: No. Everyone on this planet is terrible to some degree. I’m no exception. I’m just no longer interested in society’s prescriptions. I will heal myself. I will live up to my own standards and principles. And they will make me a less terrible person.

Living Tribunal: Very well. You are hereby declared a loser. As a duly appointed representative of society, I censure you and add you to the official loser list. I have to say. I’ve seen many people plead guilty to this state. But I’ve never seen one with a serene look on their face. Human beings are social animals. Aren’t you afraid?

Me: To quote Theodor Seuss: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” For most of my life, I was who society said I should be. And all it did was make me hate myself. If a person who tries to follow their true North is a loser, then I do not want to win. I do not want to play this horrible game anymore.

Living Tribunal: You should leave.

Me: I’ll let myself out.


Leave a Reply