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Thursday, May 30, 2024 | Back issues
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Bad Dreams

"Dreams can come true."

Or something like that. I was at the gym the other day catching my breath between feats of strength (aka feats of weakness) and looking at a TV above me. The sound was turned off but I'm pretty sure the young woman on screen was saying that to an interviewer.

What had her dream been?

Well, she'd just won a three-point basketball shooting contest, so her dream was either winning that contest or being on TV so she could say something unoriginal.

That was her dream?

Her goal in life?

I found myself hoping the poor woman (who apparently had just been graduated from high school) had a lot of other dreams too. Otherwise her life was pretty much over.

This is the sort of oddity that gets me to thinking (and you know how dangerous that is). Why is there so much encouragement for following dreams?

Consider where the advice comes from.

Have you ever been to a seminar with a panel made up of failures?

No, career advice comes almost exclusively from books and speeches and discussions featuring wildly successful human beings.

What do they know about reality?

If the winner of "American Idol" tells you never to give up on your dream, should you keep on warbling off-key?

Of course not.

We media types should be ashamed. When was the last time you read a heartcooling tale of a remarkable failure in a magazine or newspaper?

It's always the star athlete or the obscure hit movie screenwriter who never gave up whose story gets told. The millions of others who didn't quite make it may as well not exist.

Fortunately, I'm here to set you dreamers straight.

Dreams don't come true for most people.

Take me, for instance. My childhood dream was to grow up and become a bus driver. It looked fairly easy and since you had to use the same route every day, it would be hard to get lost. (I didn't have a whole lot of self-confidence.)

It seemed a reasonable dream and yet it never came true. I had overestimated my capacity for tedium.

I just wasn't cut out for the job.

So what should be done about rampant dreaming?

Before I answer that, I should point out that crushing dreams is important. Consider the hordes of law graduates who can't find clients. Consider the college football and basketball players who spend years honing their useless skill only to be unable to find anyone willing to pay them for playing.

Consider lottery players.

Dreams are the cause of despair.

If there are any wealthy philanthropists out there reading this, I'm begging you to create and finance the Crush a Wish Foundation.

This is a much-needed charity designed to create a bonding and educational experience for healthy youths with big dreams by allowing them to spend time with role models in bankruptcy courts and alcoholism counseling sessions.

Turning dreams into nightmares will save countless lives.

And provide useful work for failures.

By the way, to my surprise, Dreamscometrue.com is not a porn site. I challenge you to guess what it is before checking it out.

Computer Danger: There's more than just Heartbleed and an epidemic of identity theft and frustrating websites that don't work to worry about.

I ran across this unexpected sentence in a lawsuit against Hewlett Packard last week: "On April 16, 2012, plaintiff was using the laptop computer described above when it unexpectedly exploded ..."

Computers are out to get us.

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