“Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad.
Hiro used to feel this way, too, but then he ran into Raven. In a way, this was liberating. He no longer has to worry about being the baddest motherfucker in the world. The position is taken.”
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
I had a moment like this today. Just sat back in awe of someone elses work and realised that no matter what I did, how much money I spent, what mad crazy skills I learned (Even though I would never have the time to learn them)… I could never best what he had done.
Unlike Hiro though, I can’t really say I found it liberating. In a way it was inspiring to see what is actually possible (Some of these things I never would’ve thought could be done previously), but it was also slightly depressing. Made my own efforts seem rather feeble.
Anyway, if ever I needed an excuse to quote some Neal Stephenson, this was it.