Clearly, I just haven’t been trying hard enough. I can be more unlikable with a little effort.
The world doesn’t make any sense, does it? I’m more of a random act of kindness and senseless beauty kind of person. That only goes over well in smaller communities, apparently. The first school election I ever ran in was for secretary of the English department graduate committee the last year of my MFA progrm, a position for which I was nominated in absentia and ran unopposed. It was basically a forced appointment because no one else would do the job.
Obviously, anyone who practices as much random kindness and senseless beauty can never run for public office.
You just have to visualize the parts that don’t fit on the page.
There’s this phenomenon I’ve noticed around my comics, which is that, typically, if I’m really pleased with one and certain that it’s funny, and happy that I managed to draw exactly what I wanted to draw, and satisfied that I’ve really produced something worth my time, it will get 12 hits and someone on Reddit will say something rude about it. On the other hand, if I’m uncertain about whether it makes any sense and I feel like the art is confusing or lazy and it’s far from my best work, that’s the comic that gets 112 upvotes and 50 Facebook shares and reposted on the Cheezburger Network.
Last week I drew 3 comics, and 2 of them bombed utterly and I know they were funny. The one that got a lot of likes was one of those comics where I could sort of visualize the punchline but didn’t have the exact phrasing for it until the last second, and was never really happy about the impact of that last line, but time was up and I had to stand with what I had so far.
Sometimes I tinker with the idea of only writing stuff that I don’t like, because obviously, it would perform better. That’s how it was when I was writing for money, too. If I threw my heart into something and tried to make it really special and well-written, the client would hate it and want a million changes until it sucked, and then they’d be happy. If I phoned it in, scrawling some shit on a napkin at the last second and didn’t bother to try to make it good in any way, the client would be ecstatically pleased and tell me what a great writer I was and how they wished they could afford to pay me more.
I can only conclude that people have no taste. Or else I don’t.