Are you taking any steps to keep shit real?

From a Dave Eggers rant on ‘selling out’:

“I really like saying yes. I like new things, projects, plans, getting people together and doing something, trying something, even when it’s corny or stupid. I am not good at saying no. And I do not get along with people who say no. When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I’ll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about all the no’s you’ve said. No to that opportunity, or no to that trip to Nova Scotia or no to that night out, or no to that project or no to that person who wants to be naked with you but you worry about what your friends will say.

No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message.

There is a point in one’s life when one cares about selling out and not selling out. One worries whether or not wearing a certain shirt means that they are behind the curve or ahead of it, or that having certain music in one’s collection means that they are impressive, or unimpressive.

Thankfully, for some, this all passes. I am here to tell you that I have, a few years ago, found my way out of that thicket of comparison and relentless suspicion and judgment. And it is a nice feeling. Because, in the end, no one will ever give a shit who has kept shit ‘real’ except the two or three people, sitting in their apartments, bitter and self-devouring, who take it upon themselves to wonder about such things. The keeping real of shit matters to some people, but it does not matter to me. It’s fashion, and I don’t like fashion, because fashion does not matter.”

4 thoughts on “Are you taking any steps to keep shit real?

  1. I disagree on the first part, my ability to say “no” is very important to me, for myself and how I feel about me.
    As for if my shit is real, I’m not sure, but I am sure my shit stinks.
    Buddha’s name be praised.

  2. Saying ‘no’ is important, for sure, but I think perhaps my quote lacks the context of the full article… ‘no’ is fine, but ‘no’ not because you don’t want to, but because you’re worried about how people percieve your ‘sell-out-ness’ or ‘hardcoreness’is utter crap.

  3. Yes, that makes more sense. Looking back on those days it’s hard to beleive how much I thought it ment to me. Now when i see people like that, so image conscience (which is not to say I’m fully over it, I just chilled out a bit) I can’t help but think that they are just kinda stagnant.

  4. (loosely related comment)

    Do you have any clue where to find McSweeneys Quarterly in Ottawa? Mags and Fags nor Chapters nor the other place they suggested at Mags and Fags carries it :/

    I miss the bookstore in Saskatoon where I used to buy this magazine. :P

Leave a Reply