Waiting for Recognition



All my life I’ve pretended to be a genius, and treated myself as if I were one, expecting others to climb on board as soon as the truth is generally known. Now that I’m approaching my 69th birthday, it occurs to me that maybe I have been presumptuous. Mistaken. Maybe I’m just a moderately talented person, bright and quick in certain areas, but not in others. The reason I’m not better known is because I’ve been lazy and unfocused for most of my adult life.

The irritation I felt with the world for not recognizing and honoring my prowess has been very real, and constant. I’ve been waiting for that call from the MacArthur Foundation for some time now. The knock on the door announcing a telegram from the Nobel Prize Committee. I get many more emails from Nigerian princes who want to share their wealth with me than I do announcements of legitimate awards.

As I write this I’m listening to a YouTube video of Yo-Yo Ma playing a Bach cello concerto. Bach wrote more music than almost anyone else, besides maybe Handel. Bach had twenty children and Handel was probably gay. Born within a few miles of each other in Germany, only a few years apart, they both enjoyed illustrious careers that involved plenty of hard work and diligence. Yo-Yo Ma didn’t get as good as he is on the cello without putting in plenty of practice hours.

I whip out four or five YouTube videos a day. Nobody much responds to them. They’re just floating in an electromagnetic sea with a few billion other videos, all hoping for someone to notice and “like” them.

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