31 July 2007

what a revolting development

One of the glories of being me (and trust me, the list of said glories is as long as it is strange) is the ability to dismiss pretty much any setback as trivial and irrelevant. In some ways I'm like a Weeble toy (OK, more than a few ways) in that I can get bumped and knocked around and still I'll wobble and right myself and maintain the same stupid expression. (I am, by the way, also safe for ages 3 and up, and I am dishwasher safe).

Part of this ability is likely due to flawed wiring between the ears: some people look at failure as a sign of failure, while I often look at it as an inspiration for amusing comment. So few succeed in life, after all, while most fail, so why not find a way to get some use out of the more common stuff of humiliating defeat than to hang your hopes on a harvest of success which likely will never come anyway?

I don't mind falling face down, as I'm experienced and accustomed.

What utterly confuses me is success. Knowing as I do the position and motion of every molecule in the Universe gives me the secure understanding that we are all doomed to lonely ignominious soul-crushing defeat and despair, yet sometimes the Universe will play truly dirty pool and throw the foulest jape of all: success.

Like today. I sort through the mail, toss out the 3 pounds of assorted useless crap, and at the bottom of the stack I find that thin one-page note from the Nicholl Fellowship folks, surely that same "thank you for playing *DING!* next?" note Greg Beal sends out to 95% of us suckers, er, I mean entrants into the Nicholl lottery.
"Dear Mr. Nicholson,

Congratulations! You have advanced into the Quarterfinal Round of the 2007 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. In doing so, yours is one of only 254 entries to survive the First Round."

Well there's a new kick in the old wedding tackle.

How the hell is a card-carrying Gold Circle Member of the Piss and Moan Club supposed to handle such an announcement?

For now I'll likely stay the course and just carry on: "scratch butt, look vaguely annoyed, find something pointless to waste time upon."

But I gotta tell ya: these be strange waters we now sail.
"hope" is a four-letter word B


Scott the Reader said...

Congrats, man. Is this Lilya?

Julie O'Hora said...

Wish I were there to watch you try not to grin.

Congrats, B - I'm proud of you.

aggiebrett said...

Yes, it's Lilya.

And so far I have been largely successful at not grinning. I have tremendous reserves of pugnacious spite.

But I might indulge myself in a moment of joy later today.

Rod Thompson said...

You could piss and moan that they chose over 200 scripts that came close to the calibur of your greatness!

Congrats though, Brett...you're officially more hated than me at Zoetrope now.

aggiebrett said...

Never, Rod. Never.

sweeper said...


I remember an old girlfriend of mine who was awarded "Most Spectacular Fall" for a tumble in a major ski race. When asked to say a few words about the fall, she said, "If you ain't falling, you ain't learning."

Most people took this as a message of inspiration.

I've found more truth in Homer Simpson's philosophy: "Starting out is the first step towards failure."

Regardless, congrats on making the cut. Hoping it'll be more than scouting trips that keep you returning to California.

PJ McIlvaine said...

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. (Yeah, I took my meds today).

Dante Kleinberg said...


Step 1: Quarterfinals of Nicholl
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!

aggiebrett said...

That's funny, as one of my favorite sayings has always been "if you ain't bleeding, then you ain't trying." If you never TRY the impossible, you're a lot less likely ever to actually pull it off. And in the likely event that you fail utterly and absolutely, you can at least warm with pride as someone says "whoa, DUDE! Nice faceplant!"

It COULD happen to a nicer guy, but for now I remain reasonably not displeased that it DIDN'T.

It's that mysterious Step #2 that's proving difficult. I am reminded of this classic cartoon.

Perhaps, in the end, we all must overcome our own personal Step Two.

Or maybe we just say "fuck it—let's go bowling."
Subchakian B

Pooks said...


Have a margarita. You deserve it!

Ryan Rasmussen said...

Well done. Thank God there's not an Insufferable B. That would be too much.

Charming R