Brain on my Parade

I did not receive one of the MacArthur Foundation fellowships — colloquially known as a “genius grant” — in either 2015 or 2017; in those two years I felt I’d shown extraordinary originality in my creative pursuits along with a marked capacity for self-direction. Coincidentally, that’s exactly the language the Foundation uses in their marketing materials. I can’t believe such a prestigious institution would rip me off like that.

(In case you’re wondering what happened in 2016, 2018 or 2019 — while I felt I’d continually shown extraordinary originality in my creative pursuits, I was likely disqualified in those years due to a marked capacity for self-delusion.)

Anyway – they named the 2020 recipients the other day and I, once again, am not among them. Well, that really sucks the big one. If anything, I drove myself to go beyond the mere “extraordinary” in my originality. Through the incorporation of techniques including visualization, mindfulness, and elimination of gluten from my diet, I achieved a level of originality that can only be described as “homicidal” since I really killed it this past year.

As far as my marked capacity for self-direction: I went to hell in a handbasket, all on my own, so I deserve a gold star in that category.

The fellowship comes with a $625,000 stipend, paid out over five years. Honestly, I’d prefer if the Foundation would pay it out all at once, since I’d like to be able to focus immediately on my creativity without the yoke of concern that weighs heavily upon me generated by my lust for caviar my gambling addiction ransom demanded to squelch a sexting scandal fervent desire to care for my family.

What, you may be asking, was the nature of the creative endeavor for which I felt entitled self-effacingly deserving of such recognition? While it’s a little tricky to explain, let me see if I can dumb it down for you: I have been dedicating all of my spare time, of which I have a great deal, to developing a sociological approach to counseling the less fortunate among us regarding their various annoying pressing problems, as I remain firmly ensconced on the couch while offering my unwelcome insightful guidance. I plan to roll out this program under the name Divan InterventionTM. Such a sizeable award would go a long way toward establishing the framework to take this concept national, right after I have a new settee delivered.

Speaking of dumbing things down… I’m surprised Donald Trump hasn’t been tweeting on the heels of this announcement regarding his pique at being excluded from an award based on “genius.” Here’s a poem I just wrote about that:

I’m a genius (self-proclaimed);
those MacArthur grants are LAME.
Put that stipend on the table
(I’ll pay taxes when I’m able).
Seems I’m one they should select,
due to my great intellect.
Here’s a thought you might find zany:
no one more than me is brainy.

Well, absent yet another MacArthur grant there’s always next year’s Pulitzer Prize to look forward to. I’m very excited about my chances since I plan to compete for the Biography award by submitting my lightly-researched profile of Jared Kushner, entitled The Son-in-Law Also Advises. Any day now I expect to receive Ivanka’s restraining order blurb for the book jacket, and once… what’s that? The deadline for submissions was last week?

Oh, crap… I guess I’ll just scrounge together a few shekels from my meager savings and purchase a bigger handbasket.

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