“Success is for creeps.” —Bobcat Goldthwait
We all know what “success” is, or at least we have our own definitions of it. (For me, it’s closing the gap between what your days look like and what you want your days to look like.)
So what’s “suckcess”? Suckcess is success on somebody else’s terms, or undeserved success, when something that sucks becomes successful, or when success starts to suck.
It’s what Jean Cocteau was referring to when he said, “There is a kind of success worse than failure.”
It’s what Pink Floyd sings about in “Wish You Were Here”:
Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts
Hot ashes for trees
Hot air for a cool breeze
Cold comfort for change
Did you exchange
A walk-on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?
Or The White Stripes, in “Little Room”:
Well you’re in your little room
And you’re working on something good
But if it’s really good
You’re gonna need a bigger roomAnd when you’re in the bigger room
You might not know what to do
You might have to think of
How you got started sitting in your little room
Don’t scorn any success, or you’ll turn into Ignatious J. Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces: “I imagine that you’d like to become a success or something equally vile.”
Just be sure you’re not chasing suckcess, and if you get it, get rid of it as soon as you can.