I believe the key to happiness is the ability to say “Fuck You” to anyone, anywhere, anytime, and mean it.
I recently watched the new Mark Wahlberg flick, “The Gambler”, and was delighted to see that the premise of the flick (it’s a remake, I don’t know if the premise is the same or if it’s a remake in name only because I’ve never seen the original) is exactly that. The importance of the main character getting to that very special place in his life where he’s able to look anyone in the eye, rich, poor, family, employer, lover and say “Fuck You”.
This is exactly how I live my life.
At one point in the film, there’s a great exchange between Wahlberg’s character and John Goodman wherein John’s character tell him that if he ever gets up to 2 million dollars in profit while gambling, he’s got “Fuck You” money and he should quit. It’s “Fuck You” money because he’ll be able to buy a nice house in cash, a tank of a car in cash, he’ll be able to put enough money in stocks and bank accounts to pay his property taxes with the interest and he can live the rest of his life knowing that no matter what happens, he’ll have enough money to say “Fuck You” to anybody.
Spoiler alert. Mark proves to John by the end of the movie that there’s another way to say “Fuck You”. You say it by owing nothing to nobody, baby. And that’s just exactly the way I like it.
You might look at my life, I’m very public about it, and say, “Kevin Strange? That dude? He’s a schmuck who lives in the ghetto. He doesn’t have shit.” Exactly. I don’t have shit. You have shit, but do you really? Or does your bank own your car and your house? Even if it’s paid off, do you really own it or will your wife take it from you the second the kids graduate college and she can finally be done with your bullshit?
How’s your job security? Got health insurance, 401K, sick leave, vacation time? Or do you live paycheck to paycheck paying for all of that shit that can be taken from you in an instant when your cocksucker manager you’ve hated for fifteen years asks you to come talk to him in the office for a second?
Look, I’m not telling you to live my life. I’m not saying I’m right. What I’m saying is that I don’t owe any money to anyone. My car is mine. I rent so I don’t have to go into debt to a bank and wear a suit and tie, shave my beard, cover my tattoos to go beg them to let me have a second mortgage so I can pay off the credit cards I used to buy the boat I haven’t been able to use in three years because I’ve been working overtime at the office to pay for my teenage daughter’s new kid.
What I’m saying is, I can tell my boss to go fuck himself anytime I feel like it. Literally. I can take a beautiful woman to the Bahamas for a couple of days and show her a great time not because I’m made of money but because if you wait till the last minute, you can usually book a cruise for about 600 bucks per person and I’ve got a monthly nut I have to get over of less than 500. I live small as fuck. I barely own anything so I can spend my time making crazy fucking movies and writing crazy fucking books and it doesn’t matter if I decide to appear in a scene wearing an adult diaper pretending to eat my own shit because “Fuck You” that’s why. I can write an entire novel about insects fucking because “Fuck You” that’s why.
I answer to no one.
I don’t worry myself into an anxiety ridden sleep over how I’m going to make the next mortgage payment or if a lump on the back of my neck is cancer. I don’t keep quiet about my wife cheating on me because I can’t afford a divorce and know she’ll take the kids and house because I don’t have a wife or kids or a house specifically so that if and when shit goes south in a relationship it’s “Fuck You”.
Your stuff and your family means the world to you. It’s what makes your life fulfilling and a lot of you right now are saying, “Yeah? Go fuck yourself! I LIKE my mortgage and I LIKE my marriage and I can’t WAIT to send my kids to college!” And that’s admirable. I’m glad you’re kicking ass and I’m glad you’re fulfilled, but one thing you can’t do is say “Fuck You” to anybody because all that shit rests solely on your back and your back alone. And you’ll work the rest of your life to make sure that all of those people are secure and happy and healthy and that’s great. It really truly is.
But me? I can fly to New York to hang out with my buddies Danger and Bradley on a random Saturday night because “Fuck You”. I can write and direct seven feature films exactly the way I want to because “Fuck You”. I can write a dozen books anyway I want because “Fuck You”. I can surprise a pretty lady by taking her to a casino and dropping five hundred bucks in her lap to blow any way she wants because “Fuck You”.
Am I bragging? Maybe. But is it really any different than your 2015 Dodge Charger or the heated pool behind your two story house? Your things and your family make your life worthwhile. My experiences make mine. My ability to be spontaneous makes mine. My art makes mine. My ability to up and go on tour across the country selling all that art makes mine. The fact that I answer to absolutely no one makes mine.
And if you can’t respect that?