Let’s Be Friends Again: Hoping for my failure
I really want Eugene Ahn to fail.
I don’t hate him, I’m not jealous, I just fear what his success will say about me.
He’s from Memphis, just like me. He was raised middle-upper class, again, same as me. Good college, loving parents. He had the same early fascination with the world of comic books, the place you could escape and fuck off but still justify it to your parents with the whole “hey, at least I’m reading, I could be doing drugs” kind of excuse.
We both find a high amount of comedy in the art of hating on people, and we have such a similar taste in women that I can’t imagine our friendship won’t end in some kind of terrible crime of passion.
Pretty much the biggest difference between us is the way we play video games, me like a tireless explorer, him like some kind of fucking ADD-stricken barbarian who’d rape and pillage his way through Animal Crossing if it’d let him, but that’s me digressing. (Seriously, I’m already having future nightmares of playing Borderlands 2 co-op.)
But unlike me, Eugene chose a path in college and stuck with it. From business undergrad degree to law school enrollment where he sacrificed a lot of his time and money to prepare for a field he had a passion for, Eugene took a path to get inside the system and change it. Too much (or maybe just enough) West Wing gave Eugene (I refuse to call him Euge b/c I’m a contrarian) an optimistic desire to work with the brightest in the country as a force for positive change.
I got a degree in Information Technology because I figured I could go to work and play on computers all day.
Cut forward to Eugene becoming pessimistic about his job and his role. If you’ve listened to his music, you should know about his worldview. He quit and decided to make music, and, even though I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say it directly, he felt he could make the best use of his life making music for people.
But he chose to do it about nerdy stuff. Because he knows what it’s like to grow up feeling like an outsider due to your interests and the t-shirts you wear and the kind of conversations you want to have. They say to write what you know, and he knows what it’s like trying to figure out your place in the world, something everyone struggles with, not just us nerds. So, to see him try to embrace a more broad audience with this new single isn’t any kind of selling out to me, it’s about coming to the realization that everybody on the planet is an outsider in their own way, whether it’s obvious to them or not.
Nerdcore is great because it’s music for people like us. People who know the serial number of the garbage disposal in Star Wars, who know Superman’s social security number, who can fully recite the script to Army of Darkness. But, think about it. Knowing that kind of shit isn’t any different than a guy who can tell you a baseball pitcher’s entire career stat line, or someone who can list every enzyme or tell you the entire succession of Prussian Kings. Don’t put yourself in a box or you’ll suffocate.
Shit, this really got away from me. I was trying to say that Eugene is a threat to me because of his potential success and it turned into me yelling at YouTube commenters who’ll inevitably say “I liked his stuff better when he just rapped about nerdy things.” So, I’ll wrap it up.
I want Eugene to fail because if he succeeds at this, I’ve got no more excuses about what to do with my life.