You’d like some background at this point. “Who is this guy?”, you may be saying, or perhaps, “Who does this guy think he is?” Two very different questions, if you think about it — but I digress.

Like most people, I was born. I’m sure that it was vastly traumatic to be evicted from the amniotic peace of the womb into the light and turmoil of the phenomenal world, but I can’t say that I have any particular memory of it.

At first, I was a child. This was difficult at times because I was smaller than other people and ignorant of many things. But on the whole, it wasn’t bad. I don’t remember too much of it, to be honest with you. I think I watched a lot of TV.

I recall somewhat more of my teenage years, during which I discovered sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll, though not in that order. My favorite album was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie; my favorite drug was marijuana; my favorite kind of sex was with girls, although this was much harder to come by than the kind you do by yourself.

It seems to me that I was pretty smart in those days, smarter than I am now. Or at least I was surer about what I knew. I did well in school, where they forced into my head an immense number of facts, almost all of which have long since dissolved and been secreted in some form or other.

I went to college, where I spent four years in an agreeable haze of literal, intellectual, and sexual intoxication. When it was over, I was awarded a diploma that I never bothered to pick up.

After school, I drifted around for awhile (cut to mental image of Dustin Hoffmann floating in a swimming pool). Eventually, economic realities dictated that I should get a job. I was none too happy about it, and undermined my early attempts to gain employment with sloppy resumes, incoherent interviews, and general apathy. But as time wore on and debts mounted, desperation led me to actually land a job with an advertising agency.

This was a colossal mistake, but that was not apparent at first. I was good at the job; it was fun, even. Advertising is the ultimate medium for pure creativity unmoored from moral and ethical considerations. All that matters is whether it sells; everything else is secondary, or indeed tertiary.

As long as you don’t think past the job at hand to its context and implications, everything’s cool. And I managed it for quite some time. Keeping busy helps. Between working, going to concerts, eating expensive meals, drinking and smoking, chasing girls, and all the driving in between, if I had any nagging doubts, there wasn’t much time to dwell on them.