Rule #15: The Squares Outnumber The Hep Cats 10-to-1

Friday, 8:56pm
Reno, NV
“Like, that is totally squaresville, man.” Maynard G. Krebbs, to Dobie Gillis

Howdy.

Do you recognize the quote, above?

If you do, you’re old enough to remember when the world was pretty much divided between the “squares” (buzz-killing, humorless mainstream zombies)…

… and the “hipsters” (the dudes and dudettes with no boundaries on experience or knowledge).

I’m not gonna go into the history of the word “hip”… because it would take me days to get through it. Entire Ph.D programs are based on research into this peculiar area of mid-last-century American life…

… and you might be shocked to realize where the original term comes from. (Hint: It’s more about overdosing on cough syrup than being well-read or artsy.)

(Though it was still important to BE well-read as you toasted your brain.)

No. Today, I just want to touch on a small part of this history…

… as it pertains to business.

Here’s what I’m talking about: I have always been attracted to intelligent people…

… and through that attraction, I learned that many smart-ass folks tend to be “free thinkers”…

… which means they aren’t afraid of new ideas, or excursions into the darker areas of human experience.

As a slacker, I was obsessed with writers from the Beatnik ranks (Kerouac, Wm. S. Burroughs)… the “Lost Generation” (Hemingway, Henry Miller)…

… and the travails of First Amendent “freedom of speech” heroes like Grove Press (whose owner was frequently prosecuted, along with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, by insisting on publishing books the uptight element of American politics wanted to ban and censor).

(And yes, they went to jail because The Man didn’t want Americans reading stuff that might be dangerous to the power structure.)

I wanted to know and experience the world as deeply as possible… so reading “dangerous” authors and studying “degenerate” art movements opened me up to ways of thinking completely alien to my otherwise normal lower-middle-class small-town upbringing.

The early lesson I learned from this was alienation.

When you care about stuff that most of the rest of the world is appalled of…

… you start to feel “different”.

Nowadays, geeks have earned some respect. The greatest directors in Hollywood indulge in sci-fi and fantasy, comic books are regarded as high art forms, and wealthy people collect vast archives of childhood memorabilia without shame.

Back in the last century, though, being “different” made you a social leper.

Unless, of course, you were lucky enough to find other like-minded souls to hang out with.

This is why my professional career veered sharply from working with “A List” clients like Rodale and large corporations…

… to entrepreneurs.

The corporate world paid well… but was soulless.

And pretty much mindless, too.

It nurtured conformity and mediocrity.

So when I met Gary Halbert, I chucked everything (and I was one of the rising stars in the “A List” ranks of copywriters) to go slumming in the entrepreneurial world with him.

I turned my back on millions in royalties. Because I valued intellectual stimulation more than collecting coin.

Then, as now, that entrepenurial world was sharp, edgy and wild — like a great street party in a bad part of town.

(While the corporate advertising world is like a mild, boring cocktail party in an overpriced condo where you gotta be careful not to get the white carpeting dirty.)

Changing gigs like that was like taking off a tight-fitting girdle… and breathing deep again.

We could swear like sailors around clients. We were irreverent, on all subjects. We glorified in reading weird literature, and in knowing obscure things.

We built our reputations on being different, and made it pay.

And, through fame, we became magnets for other like-minded writers and marketers.

All my life, I’ve yearned for my own Algonquin Table. (That was the infamous back-room table of a bar in New York back in the Roaring Twenties… where the greatest, wittiest, funniest and most irreverent writers in America hung out and drank and created scenes. Dorothy Parker, George S. Kaufman, Robert Benchley — of The New Yorker, the Marx Bros. movies, and early comic novels, respectively — held court there, and every savvy writer of every following generation has lusted for the same kind of opportunity.)

I’ve been lucky to get close over the years.

Hell, it’s one of the main reasons I host and speak at seminars. (Yes, the rumors you’ve heard about the exploits around San Francisco after the recent Hot Seat Seminar there are true. Those photos you’ve seen being Twittered about are real, and untouched.)

(Oh, the shame…)

All of my favorite people are voracious readers, eager to explore scary intellectual alleys and unafraid of self-examination, expanded consciousness, and (gasp!) new ideas.

But here’s the thing: You cannot ever, ever, ever forget…

… that the squares still run the world.

And they are uptight about sex… unamused at sick humor… unforgiving about moral lapses… and pretty much permanent assholes when it comes to what they consider “too much freedom to do just anything you damn well please to do.”

Basically, everything the hep cats consider fun, valuable and worthwhile…

… is taboo to the squares.

And they love to make laws against it.

So you gotta be careful.

It is tempting, when surrounded by your pals (who all think your twisted jokes are hilarious… and who all agree that challenging authority and flaunting rebelliousness and one-upping each other with increasing levels of shocking behavior is just the best way to spend an evening)…

… to be lulled into thinking that what you’re doing is innocent, or even acceptable.

Because, you know, all your buds are “in” on it, and you’re not hurting anybody, and it really IS funny stuff. And the deep thinking really IS profound and intellectually invigorating.

It is a mistake to think there is no danger in embracing and enjoying your “otherness”.

It is, in fact, extremely dangerous.

And I’m not talking about the more obvious stuff, like letting your sexual freak flag fly, or imbibing illegal substances, or even challenging political or religious orthodoxy.

Naw. That’s too easy.

The lesson I learned, early, was this: Most people do not get the joke.

Not “some” people.

MOST people.

A few universities have studied humor, and the results I’ve seen are shocking.

A pitiful minority of folks actually have ANY sense of humor at all… let alone a sophisticated one.

Many learn to laugh on cue when the crowd laughs. They don’t actually “get” what’s so funny, but they want to be part of the fun.

It’s akin to asking someone “You believe in the Bill of Rights, right?”

In America, most will nod enthusiastically. Of course I do. It’s the foundation of our strength as a country.

Of course, if you list out what’s actually IN the Bill of Rights — without telling the average person what you’re quoting — you might get slugged as a commie terrorist.

The disconnect in the brains of most squares is breathtaking.

If you’re smart…

… and you revel in being smart, and educated, and interested in life deeply…

… dude, you’ve got to be careful about how you engage with others.

Halbert and I both had bizarre senses of humor. Our “hobby” during seminars (and we both enjoyed this tremendously) was to try to crack the other one up on stage through passed notes or whispered messages.

Extra points if we did it so well it interupted things. (I almost made Gary wet himself once from laughing so hard. On another occasion, he made me fall off my chair, giggling uncontrollably and snorting snot. On stage. God, I think it’s on film somewhere.)

One of the other ways we entertained ourselves was to insult each other in cruel and vivid terms, publicly.

Oh, we were vicious with each other. It got ugly at times… and I remember those episodes with a smile on my face.

We were good at it. And praised each other’s capacity to absolutely stun ourselves with what seemed to outsiders as hurtful taunting.

Don’t ask me to explain it. I think we shared this trait with a lot of other folks in high-stress positions. It’s the premise of the movie M*A*S*H. (Not the lame-ass TV show, the movie.) (Okay, and the book.)

But here’s the strange part: Frequently, someone from outside our little group would think it was just the greatest idea in the world to join in.

So they would come up to us — as complete strangers — and toss out a crude insult.

And expect us to just laugh, and let him into our confidence as “one of us”.

Wow.

Totally clueless.

Remember Curly from the original 3 Stooges? Their routine involved fake fights — they poked eyes, pulled out hair, slugged each other with fervor and generally performed constant assault and battery throughout their Hollywood careers.

Outsiders, however, didn’t always understand that it was part of an act.

So they would come up and poke Curly in the eye. Like it was just the funniest thing in the world.

The squares don’t “get” it.

If you’re on the inside, and you enjoy breaking taboos and challenging social hierarchies and questioning authority…

… don’t ever get complacent about it.

You may not get blow-back for years. Maybe not ever, if you’re one of the lucky few.

However, eventually, being too casual about ignoring the power that squares wield in the world…

… can bite you in the ass in ways that will crush your reality.

Don’t fight it.

The rule is simple: Know your friends, and know when the circle has been breached by outsiders.

Most of the world sleep-walks through their day, and they are genuinely insulted by people who are different.

This is why I love America so much. Thanks to the First Amendment, the pursuit of intellectually-stimulating and challenging humor has been a first-rate entrepreneurial adventure for decades here.

Just never forget that ALL of your favorite current comedians wouldn’t exist…

… without the Lenny Bruce’s, the Smothers Bros., the George Carlins, the Cheech & Chongs, the Mort Sahls, and all the others…

… who often went to jail, and suffered ostracism and FBI stalking…

… so that you could laugh at politicians and religious leaders today.

This is not something you should take lightly.

There has never been a situation like this in the history of civilization. Your smart-ass ancestors always had to look over their shoulders.

It’s better now. But you’re not completely in the clear.

Keep your edgy humor and your twisted behavior under wraps amongst the squares.

And cultivate the situations where you truly can create your own Algonquin Table of like-minded people.

For most of the really good writers I know…

… we have to constantly remind ourselves we’re strangers in a strange land.

And I’m okay with that.

You just gotta stay frosty, and not kick the beast unnecessarily.

Okay?

Okay.

Comments welcome.

If you guys want to hear it, I’ll get into the whole subject of “cool”… which is completely and stupidly misunderstood in this culture.

But it’s heady stuff. Writers talk about it a lot in our small groups.

Let me know if this subject — or any other subject — is something you’d like to see explored on this blog.

Later, man.

John Carlton

Just enter your name and primary email address below and we'll send you the new report right away.

"11 Really Stupid Blunders You're Making With Your Biz & Career Right Now."

  • Dave Doolin says:

    I have a *lot* to say about this whole topic, which is very near and dear to my heart.

    But I’m not going to say it… yet.

    Please write more!

  • Craig Woolven says:

    John And All You Other Cool Cats……………

    Seems there is such a fine line between “crazed and kooky” versus “eccentric” versus “cool”.

    One persons cool is another persons whacky, and that works for you looking out at the world and the world looking in at you. (really looking in or just what is presented to the outside world?)

    We were taught as kids to play by the rules and know your limitations.

    As teenagers we were asked to think outside the box but we quickly learned to be real careful about actually venturing outside that box.

    A few demonstrations of how quickly the world was ready to slap you down was fast and effective instruction. Pulling punches became second nature.

    Common interest groups assembled, alliances were forged.

    As a collective we were quickly herded into three groups – those wonderfully well adjusted offspring, those a little misguided but considered ultimately harmless, and those on the road to a life of truly anti-social behaviour.

    That whole process has changed in the world of instant communication.

    The proliferation of social websites has redefined what cool and being part of the “in” crowd is to a new generation.

    Being expelled from the “in” crowd is just a few clicks away.

    For those totally immersed in that culture, living their life and at least partly guaging their self-worth by mouse click rules, the squares are really really square.

    I suspect the divide between what those people present to the outside world and what is really going on in their lives (meaning in their heads) is becoming a lot wider, and hence more difficult for a marketer to get a bead on.

    And that is worth investigating further and discussing.

    Craig

  • Peter Frank says:

    Hi John,
    Love to see you write some more on these topics.

    I’m one of those people who most just don’t understand.
    Thankfully my wife does as does my adult son (equally wicked sense of humour and intellect) My daughter mostly doesn’t get it and my joke at her wedding died totally.

    I’m often hunted down by people wanting to access my knowledge on obscure subjects… mostly alternate health.
    e.g. Last week a phone call out of the blue to ask about which is the best oil to use in finishing a polished floor… the first contact from them for 6 months.

    I have found most people who fit this warped mould can exist happily in their own head with little contact with others for days or even weeks… however they thrive in company of like minded souls.

    Keep up the good writing John… it makes a refreshing change from much of what’s being written online by your peer group of copywriters at the moment.

    I’m happily unsubscribing from some lists because of their diatribe on what’s happening to your country at the moment.

    Peter

  • Kevin Rogers says:

    That’s a head full, John. Thanks.

  • Tia Dobi says:

    I totally get this. I grew up overseas in some terrific schools (S Afrika, London, Tokyo) and when I moved to Houston, TX going to a public highschool was hell. Wacky chick with heavy British accent that no one understood – or wanted to.

    College wasn’t any better…I went to Dan Rather’s alma mater (Sam Houston State U in Huntsville, Tx). I finally escaped when a director recruited me to New York…I even worked very closely with Dan at CBS. And never told him we graduated University same place.

    People here in Los Angeles (left NYC because of the snow) are always very interested in my name (I don’t reveal the nationality…which pisses most of them off no doubt) and that I’m a Buddhist (for some reason I’m supposed to teach them all the secrets).

    Maybe I should take up golf…perhaps that’s less intriguing.

    I was calling Texas the Iraq of America ages ago…and certainly the weather food and most people there are niiice.

    Eh, employers in la la land can be very conservative as well. (I would like San Fran…not sure about driving on hills tho. I navigate the Hollywood Hills at @ 12 mph.)

    Too, I don’t know what “Frosty” means…then again I never did get the “Cheers” thing.

    Peace and profits,
    Tia D.

    John Carlton replies:

    Tia, go spend a week in SF. Just do it. You’re wasting your life in LA.

    And “stay frosty” is from Aliens, the movie. It’s also a Marine saying, but I didn’t realize that until later. The “marines” in the movie used the term just before facing the monsters. I’ve always liked the phrase, because for me it implies a Zen kind of awareness — in the moment, yet ready for anything. The best way to approach business, and life.

  • Mick says:

    Dude,

    You gotta hit us with the rant on “Cool”.

    Mick

  • Karen says:

    Wow. You are so right. I really get that.

    You know, (and I know you do), I have always been a little… ah… odd. Admittedly, I have always been this way but there is NO DOUBT AT ALL that this condition was ‘fine tuned’ by hanging out with you and Gary for 3 amazing years in the Keys (seems like many life-times ago).

    For most of my life I have taken little notice of mainstream expectations. No matter what the cost, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    But here’s the thing, people like me need people like you JC – you make me laugh, you make me THINK and you normalize my strangeness.

    Write the blog about cool.

    And thanks.

  • hey John,

    May seem like a kinda dumb statement but if you think about it there’s a reason for it.

    There are so many wannabe’s out there who haven’t really “done it” in every field and every aspect of life. AND IT SHOWS…

    That’s what pisses the “squares” off. because they need their safe space. ( Maslows heirachy of mediocrity comes to mind here )

    So, if you’re gonna write about cool then that will be …errrr…Cool ?

    Looking forward to it already.

    Frosty it is…

    Mike

  • Kevin Rogers says:

    John,

    This post has been haunting my subconscious. The image of some doofus poking Curley in the eye and being shocked that it pissed him off reminds me of a certain type of heckler I’d encounter in my live stand-up days.

    The clueless guy or girl who would shout at you throughout the act, blow your timing, stomp on punchlines and then rush over after the show and say “you’re welcome” for “helping out.”

    They really believed they were doing you a favor.

    (We used to like telling them: You missed rehearsal dipshit, your part got cut!)

    One would think being that out-of-touch requires a special blend of square-itis, but frighteningly, it’s common… especially among the paying customers.

    Like you said: “…we have to constantly remind ourselves we’re strangers in a strange land.”

    Worth it though for those (all too rare) Algonquin moments.

    Kevin

    P.S. Thanks again for San Francisco! You, Stan and the gang do everything first class.

  • Tim Schaefer says:

    Hey Kevin, go find the Stooges TV biography they made back in 2000. Michael Chiklis plays Curly and does a bang-up job. There’s a scene where the “squares” actually start pulling that shit on him in a hotel lobby.

    John,

    I’ve always had a rough time in more “common” circles. I don’t know how many times I let a comment slip (in which I started cracking up) to blank stares and confusion.

    Every once in a while you’d hear your own amusement echoed by another. Those are instant connections. From that point on you can converse like long lost pals.

    It can be frustrating at times to feel out of place. It was the main driver for me to leave the corporate world. Even the “cool kids” in that world were tragically bland.

    It’s always comforting to know where you can turn to find relief, be it friends, a book, a movie, or a website.

  • Ron Reed says:

    This post reminds me of the book, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” when Hunter S. Thompson walks into the hotel loaded and completely mind-bended…

    … only to find a Police Convention taking place.

    Awesome!

    It also reminds me of the phrase, “inside joke”.

    For me, one thing that separates those who “get it” and those who don’t is something I learned in poker years ago:

    When sitting at a poker table, if you look around and you can’t spot the sucker… YOU’RE it!

    I’ll give this advice to a square and with near perfect foresight i’ll hear, “I don’t get it… what does that mean.”

    Seriously!

    Makes me laugh everytime. And from now on it will remind me of this post.

    Thanks John.

    -Ron

  • Tom Ash says:

    Hello John:

    That was one of the most thought provoking articles I’ve ever read, and I read a lot. Freedom of speech and America are intertwined, but, with that freedom, comes responsibility.
    Just as you never yell “fire” in a crowded movie theatre, the ability to say anything should never be totally free. However, the aforementioned statement provides a conundrum: how can you be “free” if you have to watch what you say? In short, you have to exercise discretion.
    Based on what I have read by you and Gary Halbert, I would love to drinks with you two – I believe in Heaven so we’ll have to wait. Based on what I have read, you are comfortable in your skin. Many of the people who try and inject themselves in your jokes and fun are doing so, because they are scared to be left out. They don’t want to be outsiders, and have people think they “don’t fit in”.
    The challenge though is that, they don’t think about what they are doing. The freedom to speak and do things that we all cherish here in this country leads to some unintended consequences. I believe that you have the ability to discern some of the consequences of your actions, but others do not. You know if you do drugs or drink too much, you will feel like crap after. Consequently you do it (now I suspect – maybe not when you were younger) probably far less if at all. Others either don’t have the ability to stop (they always have the freedom), or they think they have to to “be cool”. The people never lose their freedom (to stop), but they often lose their lives.
    I love this country, because it allows people like you and me to be free: free to flourish and free to fail. It’s amazing. However, too much freedom can lead to unintended consequences. We are free to not work, free to give up, and free to let the government bail us out. However, if enough people follow the let the government bail us out model, there is nobody left working. I fear we are heading “over the cliff” as Warren Buffett just said. It is amazing the opportunity we have here, but it is amazing how badly we can screw it up. I don’t believe we are doomed, but I think we have to exercise the discretion that I referenced earlier.
    In the mean time, I apologize if I am ranting. However, your article elicited this article – makes you pretty powerful. I think you use your gift and power in good ways. I hope you continue to do so, and it stimulates more “enlightened thinking”.

    Stay Frosty back to you,
    Tom Ash
    AgentsPayingForward.com

  • ken says:

    True about humor, since it’s based on poking fun at common frames of reference, and there’s so much diversity in what a frame of reference is nowadays, it’s easier to get humor wrong than right, with many folks.

    Seeing a rant on cool (the ‘real’ story) would be great.

    living la vida loca,

    -k

    John Carlton replies:

    Excellent point, Ken.

    It truly IS all in the framework of how things “are”, and this involves all sorts of nuanced “X” factors (including the personalities involved, the length and depth of the friendship, the surrounding environment, fear, stress, even success).

    You just went a level deeper than I did in the post. Always great to get your feedback on this stuff…

  • Yavor says:

    John,

    I have noticed the way you ‘insult’ each other during Gary’s seminars. Hilarious.

  • Mividalogo says:

    I realize that this is just one way to divide society, but I dislike the definition. Possibly because my entire life I’ve been a misfit – too much questioning authority to be a square, too understanding of the structure to be hip. The problem is I do get it. I understand the view from both sides.

    I think it’s a truly narrow view to see all of humanity as either squares or hep cats. I can’t help but draw my own conclusions. I worry when anyone draws lines around groups, creating an us and them type of playing field. It’s exclusionary. It reminds me of the religious cult I escaped. I feel like now I must learn the secret handshake in order to play in this clubhouse.

    I’ve seen the squares brand the hip people as deviants and I’ve seen the hip people disparage the squares and make fun of them. I dislike jokes where the recipient end is the object of humiliation. Doesn’t matter which side of the coin it falls on.

    All anyone really wants is to belong: whether it’s a clueless guy poking Curly in the eyes, hurling insults at Halbert and Carlton, or heckling a comedian. All these people have one thing in common, they WANT to get it. It’s in our DNA. We crave being accepted by the group, whichever group we identify ourselves with.

    It sounds like you’re saying, if you don’t get the joke, you’re the outsider and you’ll be the butt of the joke. “Know your friends and know when the circle has been breached by outsiders.” Call me paranoid, tell me I don’t get it, but aren’t you setting up the same type of limiting criteria the squares have?

    It’s like saying this is the way it has always been as a means of justification. I would have thought a guru such as yourself would be busy inventing a new paradigm, especially in an economy and world changing as fast as ours is now.

    Color me Clueless,

    Mividalogo

    John Carlton replies:

    Man, you’ve slammed smack up against one of my pet peeves, and something I’ve been writing about since I became a teacher. I was an idealist as a young man, and part of growing up and carving out my own niche in the world involved the painful process of jettisoning all idealism.

    It’s fun to toy with, idealism. The world is screwed up, and it would be just fabulous if it weren’t.

    Ah, but it is. Most of the world really DOES stumble around in a zombie daze, and cruelty and stupidity are built-in defaults for humans. You will get nowhere in biz or in life until you stop seeing the world as you wish it was, or believe it ought to be… and, instead, see it as it really is.

    It will NOT bum you out. Top marketers lead better lives because they do not fear reality. You can still love mankind, and still be the best person you can be, even while you are no longer surprised at the idiocy around you or the stubborn refusal of your fellow humans to operate in a state of aware consciousness.

    You have not read much of my stuff if you are surprised by this, Mivdalogo. I DO understand people, at a very deep level… based on my psychology education, and my decades of working in the ad biz, where your stuff won’t work if you don’t get into people’s heads.

    It’s okay to question this stuff.

    Just know that your idealism is like a big damn blindfold, and it’s ruining your ability to operate and influence and move ahead in the real world.

    Sorry to sound so aggressive here, but this is THE fundamental problem I find with newbies in biz. It’s why my Hot Seats and critiques are often brutal and make people cry. Moving away from idealism to reality is like giving birth to a new consciousness, literally.

    John

  • Mividalogo says:

    You did not answer any of my points but merely turned and fired.

    You said comments welcome. Apparently this only refers to comments that support your thoughts. It’s okay, I understand people on a really deep level, too. I know how screwed up this world is. I developed my understanding learning to survive. I certainly understand you a whole lot better right now.

    Since you’ve already judged me lacking and lumped me with the zombie masses unable to cope with reality, I won’t bother to attempt to dissuade your opinion.

    It’s obvious I’m out of my league. I’ve no doubt you can make me cry. You are a brilliant marketer. I’ve been studying your stuff for some time. I happen to disagree with you here and stand by my original comments. Having empathy and compassion doesn’t mean I don’t pay close attention to reality. If that makes me a lesser human in your eyes, so be it. I have tissues!

    John Carlton replies:

    Oh, stop.

    You purposely misread everything I wrote. There was no personal attack on you — rather, I addressed the idealism in your prior post. As I have done over the years every time someone presented an idealistic vision of the way things should work.

    There was no “idealist = zombie” statement, either.

    I love a good argument. This one you’re picking, though, is off-the-wall. You’re taking general statements personally. Are you doing this on purpose because you like being contrary and argumentative?

    Does anyone else disagree with me out there? Am I being unfair here? Am I the one missing the point?

  • Ron Reed says:

    Did someone just say idealism?

    This could get interesting.

    The brawl that just broke out in the corner intrigues me because the original post was provocative enough to smoke out an idealist.

    Case in point.

    In my opinion, John nailed it because he entered the back door of our subconsious minds and downloaded YEARS of insight regarding the all-mighty beast.

    This type of brain-dump is not uncommon of John with his blog posts.

    However, something in Mividalogo jolted them from their seat to craft a response to this “narrow view” as they call it.

    By golly, that’s cool. I love this type of “action-taking”.

    Now, granted, I’m no long-term veteren of this blog. But I am attentive to the comments and conversations that pursue the original posts.

    To my knowledge… this is Mividalogo’s first appearance?

    I could be wrong, but what excites me is the fact that they rose from their seat and spoke their differences.

    A huge congrats on that!

    In the end, I don’t think Mividalogo expected the response they received from John.

    In fact, (Mividalogo) I’m willing to bet you expected the opposite??

    Maybe not, but whatever. It’s all the same in the end because the way you crafted your reaction DEMANDED a response.

    In not by John, then me.

    I’m not gonna come out and make you grab a tissue, but I will sniff around the idea that you tend to lean more towards the square way of thinking than the contrary.

    Why?

    Because… you accused John as if he “turned and fired”.

    Bullshit!

    He simply called you out on what resembles an idealistic point-of-view.

    Truth be told, I’m willing to bet the only reason you originally responded is because you’ve never belonged to an Algonquin Table and are threatened by the very fact they exist.

    Better yet, I’ll go a step further and say you’ve never belonged to an Algonquin Table because you haven’t ALLOWED yourself to.

    Like you said, people yearn to be accepted… to belong…

    … but far too many of them don’t have a clue on how to gain that acceptance. Mostly because they view the world in an idealistic fashion.

    -Ron

    P.S. — BTW, this isn’t an insult or personal attack on you. It’s simply an invitation to a conversation at the Table, if you will.

    Cheers!

  • Mividalogo says:

    I’d like to thank you, Ron, for illustrating my point so nicely. By suggesting this is my first post, you effectively cast doubt on me as an outsider. You further it by trying to categorize me as a square. I won’t defend myself since you’re already convinced you’ve got me figured out, besides I really did not intend to pick a fight.

    Did I take your words personally, John? Absolutely. Not deliberately as you suggested, but because that’s how I thought they were meant. Since you say that is not the case, I agree to disagree. We are all entitled to our opinions. Peace out.

  • Man,

    I love this blog.

    I only stumbled onto this blog a few days ago…it’s been on my “must check out list” for a while, but I kept forgetting about it.

    You know how it is…

    Anyway, what an interesting post…

    I’ve always felt like an outsider simply because the things I pursue are outside the “normal” realms of interest…

    But now I’m gathering it’s just part and parcel of being a writer lol…and a musician I guess.

    And john, if you care to get into the subject of cool, I’m sure there are a ton of us that would love to read it.

    And argue about it lol

    David

  • Ian says:

    John, I’m not sure what the problem is.

    Maybe you stepped on his umbilical cord.

  • ken says:

    reason #203909 why I don’t let just anybody post in my forums and blogs, because common frames of reference are frequently misunderstood, leading to miscommunication and conflict.. life’s too short, let’s go have fun…

    -k

  • >