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Squid #469
(published January 14, 2010)
Ask the Giant Squid: Embracing that at Which You Excel
Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid?
Dear Giant Squid,

I am a hacker. I've hacked into a lot of peoples' accounts, people that I know of and people that I don't. I'm a very curious person—that's why I did it—I needed to know if people were talking about me and what they were saying. I've lost friends over this. It's an addiction. I'm at my wits end. I don't know how to stop. That's all I do all day long. I don't know how to stop. It's an addiction. Please how do I stop once and for all cause I don't know how. Every day I cry for hours and hours. I don't know what's wrong with me, and why I keep doing this. Please help. It's destroying me.


Dear Weeping Hacker,

Cease your weeping and rise from the floor. Your tears bring you shame. Would Captain Crunch weep as he blew upon his whistle and received bounties of free telephone calls? Would the Kevin of Mitnick weep as it plundered the secrets of the Armed Military Forces? Would Zero Cool and Acid Burn weep as they hacked the Gibson?

No, Weeping Hacker, they would not.

I once knew a man—not a great man, just a man-of-slightly-less-than-average-size—who slaved all day in the mines of Wisconsin. He woke before dawn and drew boots upon his extremities. He walked uphill three miles to the mines and then rode a rickety elevator down through three miles of accreted dirt. It was not to the seas where this man, this not-great man, descended. He found no mothering hug of pressure in her currents. No. This miner man carved air pockets in the earth with his hands and his tool. He drove his tool with great force into Father Earth and tore forth ore and gems for his masters, while he walked away with a pittance and clothes covered in the very afterbirth of the ground.

Unlike the dwarves of old, he did not whistle while he worked the earth. He wept. He wept like you do, Weepy Hacker. He wept like wives who send their husbands off to war, or husbands sending their wives off to market. He wept like a child in bed at night who has just learnt that afternoon of the existence of sharks. He wept like a teenaged girl doing the weepy teenaged girl things teenaged girls do. And do you know why he wept?

The miner wept because he had never wanted to be a miner. He had skill with his tool and with his arms. He could work the earth longer and harder than any other man alive, despite his slightly below average girth. But he hated his job. This man, this not-great man, wanted more than anything to work in pornographic films. As he drove that pick, that shovel, into the hard wall, he imagined he was performing a biological maneuver common to your pornography. As he pressed the jack-hammering tip of a carbon-steel drill into the pliant rock he heard, as it were, the orgasmic moans of taut-fleshed starlets quaking before him. Perhaps it was his unique ability to transfer his lustful urges into the science of ore removal that made him such an avid worker? Perhaps not. Perhaps no matter what this man did—whether it was mining, dentistry, or frying the foodstuffs via submergence in boiling pig oils—perhaps he would have always worked his hardest and thought of the porns.

For years this continued; the weeping, the drilling, until all of Wisconsin had been riddled with his tear-stained holes and her ore used up, barren as a bleached atoll in the Pacific sun. The people of Wisconsin were no more happy with this arrangement than the miner was. Sinkholes devoured their homes. Mysterious gases leaked from where the miners delved too deeply, too greedily, and the gases did cause hallucinations and vomiting. Giant sloths moved from trees into the burrows and fought with the bulettes and purple worms for supremacy in the Underdark of Wisconsin. It was a hell of man's making, as are all hells.

This man, this miner, he one day threw down his pick and left the mines and he went to the California Valley and became, for one shining moment, a star of porn. But the porn star who shines twice as bright shines half as long. And the miner shone so bright. He was the cousin (through marriage) of my lab assistant Rob. The family never speaks of him (not that Rob has let me meet of his family, despite my pleas): he was shunned, his funeral left unattended, his shiva not sat, his annual yartzeit left unobserved. But the man found his dream and lived his life to the fullest. If he had pursued his dream earlier perhaps so many wouldn't have been swallowed by ground sloths, driven mad by the Deep Fumes, or had their tidy midwestern mansions fall into crevasses.

Rob's cousin followed his dream and died gloriously surrounded by valley nymphs, like a hero of Greece. There is a lesson to all of us in this. Several lessons. Primarily the lesson is that taking more than the recommended dosage of erection-enhancing pharmaceuticals—especially outside of the purview of a trained medical professional—can cause heart palpitations that can lead to tachycardia and arrest. Secondarily, one can learn that there is more glory in a life well-lived than a life spent grubbing amongst the ground.

You have a gift, Weepy Hacker, but you lack purpose. Turn your hacking skills to a purpose. Perhaps the NSA or CIA could use you in the coming cyberwar against China or the Russians? Or perhaps vice-versa?

I Remain, As Always,
The Giant Squid

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see other pieces by this author | Who is Poor Mojo's Giant Squid? Read his blog posts and enjoy his anthem (and the post-ironic mid-1990s Japanese cover of same)

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The Next Squid piece (from Issue #470):

Ask the Giant Squid: Pus in Boot, Poda in Boots

The Last few Squid pieces (from Issues #468 thru #464):

Ask the Giant Squid: Grasping The Far-Flung Passions With All Your Mighty Hands

Ask the Giant Squid: Resolving How to Choose

Ask the Giant Squid: The Thoughts, and That for Which They Count

Ask the Giant Squid: The Long Reach of My Law

Ask the Giant Squid: Your Cat Is Watching

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