Allow me to commence this “comment” with characteristic self-absorption. Perhaps this is self-evident, but I am a man of eminence, of success. Indeed, my appetite for achievement is surpassed only by my appetite for major awards recognizing my achievement, which in turn is surpassed only by my appetite for refusing major awards recognizing my achievement on self-aggrandizing grounds. So you might well be forgiven for asking how I am able to occupy such fevered heights of exaltation. In truth, it is primarily because I am in possession of a second, and perhaps even third, “level of reality” inside my head, which allows me access to unique insights and experiences. But since this is of scant consolation to you ignoble masses, I shall advocate another, decidedly more attainable, “secret to success”: never give up.
I personally never give up. Ever. I abhor the whole concept of “Giving Up.” It is repellent. Indeed, if I could fight any idea — like, actually physically fight it, as if it were a person — I would fight Giving Up. Yes, if Giving Up stood before me, actualized in person-form, I would most certainly buffet his abject visage with fists in short order. I would raze his wasted face, reducing it to deep hues, perhaps even rendered in vertical thirds like a Romantic nation’s flag. And though my furor would inevitability knock Giving Up unconscious, this would not represent the end of our contest. Indeed, if I were to walk away at that moment, I would lose. I would have given up, thereby awarding Giving Up victory by default.
Instead, I would abide. My sluggish opponent would no doubt lie prostrate for hours or even days, as is his wont. But he would eventually be roused, if only by way of circadian rhythm or the will of instinct. At that point, I would promptly knock him out again. My boundless industry would ensure that this same violence would be repeated again and again, unfurling over hours, days, years and even into eternity. It would be never-ending knocking out. Time would eventually disappear. Context would fade. Perhaps I might eventually lose sight of my purpose for repeatedly knocking this person out. I might slowly begin to question “why?” But the moment I ceased, the moment I “gave up,” I would lose.
Simply put, I would never — nay, could never — nay, will never — give up defeating Giving Up in fistic combat. I would advise anyone seeking success to inhabit this same barbaric rigour. Start immediately, wherever you are, whether you currently bathe in almond milk and lime, or squat perched upon a rocky outcropping overlooking the malachite seas. Close your eyes right now and picture Giving Up standing before you. Can you see his craven constitution? Does he arouse your ire? What does he look like?
Here’s a hint: because I never give up, it would likely appear as the exact opposite of me. By this, I mean his skin would be inside-out. His organs would droop garishly on the outside. He would stand erect on his head. Now, set upon him with fists. Set upon the only true course to success.
Well, I think I’ve made my point. The time to conclude this comment draws nigh. Ah! You believe I’ve been caught in a contradiction? That terminating this piece would somehow be tantamount to “giving up” on it? Not so, slavish admirers. I am simply taking this effort, this conversation, into new arenas. While this initial comment piece will be available to you physically, digitally and emotionally via the Manitoban henceforth from Nov. 4, 2009, I personally commit to being available forever to continue its discussion at length.
Here is my expected schedule and locations — by all means, search me out so that we may continue talking about not giving up! Most evenings and weekends I shall wait at my place of residence, 323 Marion Avenue in Winnipeg. Weekdays, I am likely to be located at the Manitoban offices at 105 University Centre.
Allow me to conclude this comment with characteristic self-absorption. I said that if I could make any idea a person it would be Giving Up, so that I might knock him out repeatedly for eternity. Well, if I could make any person an idea, it would be Me, so that I might inspire for eternity.
D. Ainsley Purdy is Arts Editor of the Manitoban.