Wil Wheaton

HowNotToBeADick

Why is July 29th different from all other days?

In the Before Time, gamers and geeks were a vicious, predatory lot, venting the pain and frustration of their lives in the material world by savagely attacking each other in the digital world. Their virtual homeland knew no kindness nor civility, for whence would they have learned such things? But that was before the young actor Wil Wheaton, at the margin of the marginalized for portraying Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, stood before a gaming convention, and delivered unto them Wheaton’s Law. “Don’t be a dick,” said Wheaton, and the geeks rejoiced. Tears streamed down their faces, they collapsed into throes of ecstasy, and women and ponytailed men washed his feet with their hair. For the lessons of prophets and saints, of parents and teachers, had never reached the ears of the geeks. Until Wil Wheaton, they had not known self-restraint; it never occurred to them that there was another way to conduct themselves. He had lifted the veil from their eyes and shown them the path with a handy flowchart. The Internet was not the homeland they were promised, but now it could be. And the geeks loved him. And as a gift to them, Wheaton declared his birthday would be a world-wide “Don’t Be A Dick” Day, lest they ever forget.

Kanye West

Yeezus

On Kanye West’s third birthday, before his parents parted ways, a seer revealed that should the child grow up witnessing human suffering before the age of twelve, he would become the world’s greatest civil rights activist, and millions would travel great distances to sit at his feet and hear his wisdom. But if he grew up innocent of the suffering of others, he would become the world’s greatest rap star, beget a child on a Kardashian, and declare to the millions who listened, “I am a god.” — from The Book of Yeezus

Work In Progress

Every morning at 7am he was outside, sawing planks, hammering joints, and drilling holes in the vacant lot. It went on for months, and into years. When initially well-meaning (but eventually annoyed) neighbors asked how it was coming, he would answer, in a voice unaccustomed to use, “It’s a work in progress.” Through the rain and the snow he hammered and sawed, drilled and painted, until eventually nobody spoke with or even acknowledged him. He became a fixture in people’s minds, like an automaton or strange natural phenomenon. Not a person at all. The walls and roof went up with a progress perceivable only in the fullness of weeks or months, and as they began to take on the appearance of an actual house, he began looking thinner and more gnarled, as though he was feeding his humanity into the thing he built.

One day, the racket of his construction fell silent, and the neighbors came to investigate, jarred by the sudden silence. The house was complete, pristine and empty. But the man was never seen again. In time, the neighborhood grew used to the quiet once more, with only the sound of the birds, the wind in the branches, and the laughter of children, as it had been when the lot was vacant.