Who loves losers? Uh, who doesn't? Oh, a lot of people... Well, fuck me...

Everybody loves a loser…


You guys/gals ever notice how awesome Steve Winwood is?  If you don’t, you should.  Take some time and appreciate the man, his hair, his videos, his keyboard prowess, but mostly, his insanely catchy and wonderfully-constructed songs.  Use five minutes of your weekend to listen to THIS SHIT.  He even gets all grammatical on our asses by correctly saying “an Higher Love.”  I could (and frequently do) listen to this on repeat in the car when I’m feeling down.  Some days it’s “Valerie,” some days it’s “Back in the High Life” but Mr. Winwood is frequently in the mix of the pick-me-up-playlist.  As is THIS SONG.  Man, sorry what was I going to talk about, again?  Oh yeah, something I know quite a bit about:  Losing.  (aside:  God, I hope people didn’t think I was going to use Steve Winwood as my segue into losing and losers… No, I’m talking about me.  Sorry, that intro was confusing as shit but it’s Friday Night, which, if you’re keeping score at home, is for the Drinkers and I’m definitely partaking in that social more (mor-“A”, or mor-“eh” for our Canadian friends, which is also, incidentally, how they order another beer).  If I was a professional writer I wouldn’t have been so MISLEADING but I’m not, so fuck it, and on with the show!)

What I wanted to talk about today, which isn’t “today” in the same sense to me as it is to you, since who knows when you will be reading this (if anyone reads this shit at all to begin with), was the idea and societal perceptions of LOSING.  There’s a distinct fear of LOSING, a perceived hatred/shame toward LOSERS and this insane idea that LOSING is completely unacceptable and the absolute worst thing that can happen to a person or group of persons (or people?  Not sure, don’t care).  People have become deathly afraid to be WRONG, to LOSE or to FAIL.  I’ve watched people waste and/or ruin their lives because of an intense fear of LOSING or FAILURE.  I understand that a lot of these feelings are the products of other, deeper issues; that this is an effect, not the cause.  I get that.  But I don’t.  Or I guess I should say, I don’t understand that.  My brain, addled as it may be, or perhaps because of said addling, doesn’t work like that.  There are a lot of reasons that it doesn’t work like that, which, if you really want to know, feel free to ask me at a later date and I might tell you (booze always helps!).  But, it’s heartbreaking to see people’s lives controlled by the fear of LOSING or FAILURE.  Just for the record (and because nobody fucking asked) my biggest fears are: 

  1. Driving my car off a cliff and plummeting to an untimely and grotesque, fiery death, AND
  2. Missing out on Packers games (which is why I support, and fully endorse, Football on Your Phone.

Oh, and not doing something great, original, influential and memorable with my life.  But, I will accomplish this with the release of my second album (and the double-secret forthcoming Kindears album; wait, I just mentioned it, FUCK!), so I’m not too worried about this one anymore…

One of the things I’ve noticed over the years, is that the growing disdain people feel towards LOSING/FAILURE has slowly morphed into an entire era where people are simply avoiding putting themselves into a situation where LOSING/FAILURE is possible and/or likely.  I do not believe this is an entirely new concept but it has been subsequently reinforced by our modern culture, most specifically, with the dreaded “Hipsters” (Wooo, scary sound effect, but not too scary because “I’m too fuckin’ cool to care anyways” he said in his best hipster, aka Michael Cera, voice).  They’ve subsequently decided that none of them want to be losers, and henceforth, in order to erase losers, you must also erase winners and, thusly, everyone is equal and the same.  Yay!  What a fun world we live in, where no one is good and no one is bad, we’re all just stuck in the same boring ass, fucking Hipster Purgatory.

Now, I think the best example of the fear of LOSING, and the subsequent damage it can cause, is probably the Cleveland Browns.  They’ve fallen into the Fear of Losing Death Spiral, where:

Fear of Losing = Changes = Losing = More Changes = More Losing = Fear of Losing

And on and on, repeating like the two fucking chords of a half-hour Phish jam.  Teams are more likely to get stuck in this holding pattern than to get out.  The inverse is also true with teams like the Packers and the Patriots.  Just as in nature, it takes more time, and more importantly, energy to stop and start anew than it does to keep moving in the same direction.  That’s what makes what the Oakland (as of now) Raiders have done even more admirable.  They could have easily replaced Reggie McKenzie (Ted Thompson disciple), burned down the operation and started over a couple times, as the Browns have done, and continued to win 3-5 games each year for the forseeable future.  Instead, they kept him around for the third (and now fourth and fifth) season.  Browns fans, you might already be confused as I’m guessing you didn’t know GM’s and coach’s contracts could go beyond 2 years, but they can.  Was it rough on the Raiders, and moreso the fans, for a spell?  Yes, of course.  Did the Raiders fans cry out for change?  I’m certain many did.  Did they let the howl of the wolves deter them from their overall plan?  No.  In fact, fuck no.  Because teams can’t turn things around without a great effort.  But now the Raiders have a legitimate chance of making the playoffs this season and the Browns, well, they have RGIII…

I know many of you are thinking that, ultimately, these decisions come from the top down, from ownership, and you’d be right…  Sort of.  Of course, these egocentric (and generally not football-minded or football-smart) billionaires are generally impatient pricks.  If they were good at waiting around, being patient, always giving the benefit of the doubt, being kind and gentle, forgiving and caring, they probably wouldn’t be successful billionaires.  God knows, that hasn’t worked for me – though I’m not really THAT patient, kind or any of the other shit, anyways.  These men are accustomed to winning, and winning largely and frequently.  Again, very much so unlike me.  Losing, and responding to said losses, has made me who I am today.  My favorite story about LOSING is a tale about how awesome my brother is.  For years growing up, we played a lot of chess.  We played almost every single day.  Now, just so you know, I was 15 or 16 when we started and my brother was 7 or 8.  I refused to just let him win.  Was it mean to beat him every time?  Maybe, but I didn’t think he would learn the nuances of the game properly if I didn’t play him for real.  So, after losing hundreds of games, he finally won.  He beat me.  He was like 1-500 in his career but I’ll never forget it.  I couldn’t have been prouder of him.  It felt like a monumental moment.  I know he felt it too.  He went on to start a chess club in High School and I’m sure he was the best player on the team.  And, I’m positively certain, he would fucking destroy me if we played today.  Did he like losing all those games?  I can’t imagine he did, but now he’s a better player than I ever could be.  Losses can often be the building blocks to winning.  But these billionaire cocksuckers (yes, I’m jealous.  I want one of those blue stripy shirts with the white collar so everyone knows I’m both rich and a douchebag) are defined by winning; they don’t lose often and they don’t lose well.  But the other half of that is the fact that they intensely hate being perceived as LOSERS.  So, when the fans and the critics and the media start labeling THEIR team as LOSERS, being the vain and egocentric people they are, they DEMAND CHANGE.  Someone must be held accountable and FIRED.  LOSING is UNACCEPTABLE!  Except, obviously, if winning were easy, we’d all be doing it; just like we’d all be billionaires if we could.  This is the subtle fact that seems to elude them.  So, because in our modern culture, driven heavily by the Hipster movement, people can’t stand LOSING, the owners have become much more impatient and more frequently force change upon their LOSING team and, thusly, perpetuate the LOSING, which, of course, perpetuates the Fear of Losing Death Spiral.  So, yes, Cleveland, you can probably, and rightfully so, blame Hipsters and impatient Billionaires for your pain and suffering. 

P.S. – If you start a class-action lawsuit, I want in.  Anything to stop this Hipster takeover.  It’s worse than the fucking hippies in the sixties.  They don’t stand for anything, they just hate everything; especially winning and losing.  Perhaps, someday, we’ll all be boring and mediocre but until then, I’d rather the whole world wasn’t just like Cleveland…


P.P.S. – I originally had this epiphany (or rant, as my girlfriend likes to say) before the Cavaliers won the NBA Title.  I spoke lots of ill toward the Browns, because, well, they suck.  But, for the record, I wholly supported LeBron defeating the mighty Warriors, which I feel are the quintessential Hipster team.  LeBron is a once in a lifetime athlete, built to specs most of us can’t even read or even if we could, we wouldn’t fucking comprehend or know how to put them together.  He is most definitely from another planet.  That’s probably why people love Steph Curry so much.  They love Steph because he seems the most like us “normal” humans.  He’s not sculpted by His own hands and chosen by God to wreak havoc on the basketball world while we all bask in his undeniable glory.  But that’s the greatest fucking thing about sports.  I relish watching these genetic freaks and glorious humans achieve things beyond our wildest imagination (ex.  THIS MUTHAFUCKING SHIT!!!!!).  Step back 3’s be damned.  That shit is real.  Like, for fucking real.  Seriously.  Except that it isn’t real, except in LeBron James’ world.  And, Hipsters be damned, that’s the world I want to live in, eternally and with all the grace of God.  God bless you, LeBron James.  God bless you…