December 3, 2013

ZHA: The Game

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By DAVID ZHA

We all have to play, and no one really wins in the end. There are guidelines, but no real rules. You can play as a team, or go at it alone.

You can play for many reasons, but to win it all you’ll need is two things. First, you must win the money game. Second, the status game.

The money game always comes first. True winners are wealthy. Everyone knows that, right? Ryan Seacrest won’t be celebrating the drunken, mournful hymns of Hairy Hank the Homeless on this week’s Top 40. You see, in this world, money is the dividing line between “Poor People” and “Real People.” The only Top 40 list Hairy Hank might see is Top 40 Pests To Be Removed by Animal Control.

There are plenty of ways to get rich. The human mind is a locus of infinite potential energy, capable of conjuring immersive fantasy worlds to planning Ponzi schemes to marketing the same shit you sold for six years so that loyal peons buy a seventh version. From what I hear from the rich, luck is not a true factor. If you’re plans for affluence aren’t succeeding, you’re either not innovative or not working hard enough. This comforts me. I used to detest the rich assholes I met, but now realize all of their merits must have come from creativity and diligence, not birth or chance.

To win the money game, one should ideally be wealthy enough to look from a lofty vantage point upon the rest of mere humanity. Unfortunately, there is little room in this world for so many esteemed positions, so for those of you who are more pragmatic than ambitious, don’t worry. Just make sure you have enough for the important things. Like the annual family outing to your Martha’s Vineyard beach house and having someone else to make your iPhones. The middle class needs filling too, you know!

Once you’ve accrued enough money, then the real fun begins – the status game. Your success in the money game will dictate how you play the status game. If you have placed into the richest circles, it is time to put that hard-earned capital to use. What good is money if it’s just sitting around and not making you look cooler? A mansion or two would be a good start. Throw in a fleet of expensive cars. Definitely a yacht. Become a sugar daddy or a cougar. Drink only scotch aged over 40 years, bought from the various auctions you frequent. If you’re smart, you’ll even start a charity or two. Doesn’t matter for what cause, just make sure you write your name legibly. Impress your like-minded friends with your vast knowledge and collection of Renaissance paintings. Immerse yourself in the beauty of your private polo and golf courses. Remember to define yourself primarily by what made you rich.

Science teaches us to back our hypotheses with hard evidence. To win the status game, make your money the hypothesis and support it with concrete proof.

If you do not rank highly in the money game ladder, all is not lost. You too can play the status game with your surrounding peers! Just double check that you’re on track to being a “Somebody.” True winners are Somebodies. This doesn’t have to mean fame. Just make sure you always have a buzzword on hand that will sum you up.

Lawyer. Banker. Editor. Doctor. Manager. Senator. Consultant. These are some examples of the best buzzwords.

Artist. Actor. Engineer. Accountant. Writer. Musician. Teacher. These are not as good, but can be justified as Somebodies if you qualify them.

Janitor. Garbageman. Plumber. Cashier. Try to avoid these. They do not indicate significant income, making them poor buzzwords. It will be hard to convince strangers you are a Somebody.

But the best part of the game is that it never ends! There are always more rewards around the corner. Don’t get cynical or jaded with the game if you’re losing, just change your play style! Anyone can win if they set their mind to it. You just have to want it harder. And in the rare chance you are a social freak who only likes to watch, remember no matter how far you run, the game will find you and it will force you to play. Kinda like Jumanji.

And to those individuals tempted by the red pill, I ask that you remember one thing: The more you play, the more you earn. The more you earn, the more you win. The more you win, the happier you’ll be.

Right?

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