At first, when I received the congratulatory call, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I thought maybe it was a joke. And if it wasn’t a joke, should I be insulted?
“Congratulations! The Low Standards Society has selected you as its 2016 Man of the Year!”
But once I understood the unique, humanitarian mission of the Low Standards Society, I realized that this was indeed a unique honor. I would play and integral role in helping carry out the that mission, which is simply “to make all young people feel better about themselves.” Who can argue with that?
And the Low Standards Society strives to accomplish this lofty goal by “working tirelessly and diligently to lower the standards by which human society defines achievement. We seek to inspire youth, our greatest natural resource, to work to realize their full potential by making achievement more achievable.”
I know exactly what they mean. The writers that have always most inspired me are not the great writers but the ones that really suck. Like suppose I go see a play that’s really great. Afterward, I’ll say to myself, “Jesus, I’ll never be able to write as well as that guy. I’m might as well give the fuck up!” And I go home feeling all daunted and intimidated and shit. But if the play sucks big time, I say to myself, “Jesus, I could write something better than that piece of crap with one hand tied behind my back. So could a chimp on barbiturates.” And I go home feeling all inspired to write. Maybe getting a play produced is much easier than I thought.
So, when viewed through that lens, it makes perfect sense that the Low Standards Society would choose me as its Man of the Year. According to the selection committee, I was chosen because I am a “symbol of courage” who “finds the inner strength to tackle the challenges of each new day.” I’m not sure what they mean by that. The challenges I tackle most days are pretty much stuff like eating, talking on the phone, writing silly shit on my laptop and taking a dump. But when you’re crippled, I guess that’s good enough to make you a courageous overachiever.
So youth from all over the world will see me and feel motivated and inspired. They’ll say to themselves, “Well hell, if that guy’s courageous, I must be Superman. If that’s all it takes to win, deal me in!”
It will be my job as the reigning Low Standards Man of the Year to conduct myself in a manner that lowers the standards by which we measure courage and achievement even lower. I’m sure I’ll be up for the task.