Saturday, September 22, 2007

You can't polish a turd

My favourite stand up comedian in the whole wide world at right now is Dublin based David O Doherty, whose fusion of regular stand up routines and hilarious piano based songs create the perfect show. The other night he was playing a gig in the student centre in UCD and near the end of his routine came out with a story that had a surprising amount of wisdom to it.

As a child David had always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father and become a professional pianist. One day, after a long session of practicing hard in the family sitting room David’s father asked to have a chat with him in the kitchen, his father sat him down and calmly told him “son… you can’t polish a turd” meaning that as much as he practised he would not ever be good enough to be a professional piano player because he just didn’t have the talent.

Here in Ireland and most of the English speaking world we live under the influence of the Americanised mantra of “you can do anything you put your mind to” a sentiment heavily related to the “American dream”, and as long as you work long and hard you can achieve ANYTHING (although equally unhelpful is the Irish “you wont be able to do that so don’t even try” mantra). In reality this is not true, most people are bad at most things, a fact that may seem harsh, but is very true.

The video below is a section from the US TV show “American Inventor” (think Dragons Den but tackier) This fine gentleman has sold all his worldly possessions including his wife's wedding ring, except for his Volvo station wagon… WHICH HE NOW LIVES IN.
Why? because he has decided to devote all his life and money to the promotion of Bulletball, “a high calibre table game designed for the 21st century lifestyle” which he KNOWS is going to make it big and make him rich, because it is his DESTINY, somebody needs to remind him that his invention and possibly himself is the turd that cannot be polished.


Hugo said...

ah my uncle jim, he doesn't beat around the bush...

jedimasterbooboo said...

I think about this stuff alot. I've figured out that the saying, shoot for the moon and it's ok if you just hit the stars is pretty true. Sometimes I hate all our American idealism, and sometimes I realize how much it's changed the world. But yeah, it's risky and dangerous.

ed said...

WEll shooting for the moon and settling for hitting the stars is ok, however you need to realise when settling for the stars is required, for instance the guy in that video, 26 yrs later is still trying to build his rocket... from sandwiches and bits of paper.

You cant get to the moon in a 1989 Honda Civic

Alex W G-Murray said...

dude is that bulletballl guy serious? cause what did the investment go to, that table is like 20$ and those balls too.... wtf.