Why Do I Push Myself So Hard?


Every Thursday afternoon and every Sunday afternoon I find myself thinking, “Why?” But this is no mere existential query. No, I specifically regularly find myself thinking, “Why do I force myself to do so much work when I could conceivably get away with doing so much less?” 

For example, to prepare for the episode of Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast that I am recording tomorrow, I am spending this Sunday looking after my three year old son and spending time with my wife but also reading the last hundred pages of the fake-novelization Stinker Lets Loose, watching an abysmal-looking 1986 monkey movie/Dom Deluise/Jimmie Walker vehicle called Goin’ Bananas and watching the 1978 Clint Eastwood smash Every Which Way But Loose. And that’s on top of the podcast I had to listen to and write about for tomorrow’s installment of Pod-Canon, one of five non-Happy Place columns I write. 

On a purely literal level, I know exactly why I’m doing all this work. The author, humorist and master interviewer Mike Sacks is going to the guest on the podcast, and I want to make the most of his appearance by talking to him not just about his wonderfully ridiculous latest project but also about some of its inspirations and monkey movies in general. 


Beyond that, I want there to be a full and exciting slate for each episode of Nathan Rabin’s Happy Cast, and that generally involves doing an insane amount of work, and, due to the nature of the website and the podcast, a lot of that work involves deliberately subjecting myself to stuff that I know will be terrible. 

But when I was conceptualizing the podcast part of the point was to make it time and labor-efficient by focussing on stuff I would be covering for the website already. This is important because it’s not just my time that I need to worry about. I also have to think about my cohost Clint Worthington’s time as well. He’s a podcasting beast. He doesn’t just co-host my podcast. He also does Alcohollywood and the new TV podcast TV Party. That’s not to mention the many Alt-Right podcasts he hosts under pseudonyms, like “Alt-Right, Alt-Right, Alt-Right—A Red Pill Guide to the Romantic Comedies of Matthew McConaughey”, which despite its deplorable politics, is a really good podcast that makes some excellent points about cucks, betas and the movie Failure to Launch. 


It’s one thing for me to force myself to see garbage. That’s my life’s work. That was what I was put on earth for. But I do feel a little guilty knowing that Clint wouldn’t have to watch, say, Safe Haven and Going Bananas if he hadn’t gotten involved with me. I wonder if that’s ultimately too much monkey business to ask a co-host to get involved in. 

I suspect I also find myself doing way more work than I really need to do because that’s who I am. I’m a dude who works. I’m a dude who loves to work. I pride myself on working hard and taking pride in my work, even if what I’m writing about is fucking Death Wish or Going Bananas. 

I do so much more work than is necessary because that’s who I am as a writer and a human being: a dude who loves to work. A dude who feels most comfortable working. A dude whose idea of fun and relaxation and pleasure oftentimes involves doing a lot of work. 


I make myself do an insane amount of work because I want the podcast to be as good and deep and substantive and entertaining as possible, as well as the website, but in the months and years ahead it would behoove me to try to figure out a way to maintain the quality, integrity, and consistency of my two professional babies in a manner that doesn’t drive me insane or burn me out. I want to keep writing this website until the day that I die, and possibly afterwards, so I may need to pace myself a little in the future. 

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