Glory by Erica Dreisbach

Originally performed at The Hideout in Chicago, April 2015.

No guts, no glory. [sigh]

I believe that this idea is some social mind control bullshit, designed to encourage the workforce to defer pleasure until such time as the system has sucked the lifejuice from our very bones, and we're free to finally enjoy life at the very time when we're most fragile and infirm, and least physically capable of enjoying it. 

Allow me to explain. 

First: clarifying: if glory means slaughtering enemies and hearing the lamentations of their men and women, or even if it means being super wealthy and having a lot of bodyservants, participating in a cycle of oppression, then you can have whatever rules about how to get it, or have whatever rules about who deserves it. I'll take a double-helping of Neither. 

But if you're talking about glory like sitting in the warm sunshine, or finishing a marathon, or going on an awesome date: that glory. Ok. Let's talk.  

The word "guts" is like: "you don't have the ... " you know. 

It's like the word "reasonable," or "quarterly goals." Words that people use to remind you that you're not good enough. 

Guts are also ... they're something you talk about after the fact, when at the time you were acting out of raw fear, or an adrenaline fugue state. And later someone's like, "whoa dude, that took guts." And you're like, "oh. Yah, I was brave." 

I'll admit, "No Guts No Glory" is an appealing equation, a very gratifying notion of causality. Much like the Law of Attraction in "The Secret," which if you haven't read, is about how to Think Your Way Rich. So if you want something: you just have to think the right way, like a John Wayne character.

So what's the fear, here? 

One, it's that some people might skip guts, and just fall backwards into glory. Those cheaters! Look at those cheaters enjoying themselves! What a nightmare! Look: some people get lucky, and it's fine. Use your adult coping mechanisms. It's fine. 

Two, it's the fear that people might feel entitled to glory without ever risking anything. Which, yah, that happens. But usually it's with people who have overall bummer personalities. Where encouraging them to have some guts just victimizes them, and handing them glory just makes them upset because it wasn't the right kind of glory in the right way. So.

And three, there's the fear that without a swift kick in the guts, we'll become a society of meek sheeple. As if Just Living isn't hard enough.

Right now is a time when guts, and sticking your neck out for what's right, is a liability. It's not glorious. Whistleblowers, and the journalists who report the whistles, they go to jail. Or they go to Russia like Eddie Snowden. Russia: where if jail is full, they have Siberia. PARTS of the country are jail.

Ramsey Orta, that's the guy who filmed Eric Garner getting killed by police: he was in jail until Last Week! And his mother, his brother, his wife: they've also all been arrested since the video came out. Staten Island police will tell you it was all legit drugs and weapons charges, but we did just watch them strangle a man to death in the street. 

So right now their credibility is ... strained. 

So let's table guts, let's table fear. Let's talk about glory. Glory: the FUCK YES of life. 

When dolphins are podracing, and flipping around, we don't get on the dolphins' case. "You guys didn't EARN THAT joy!" Why do *dolphins* get to have pure glory, but we have to cut ours with suffering through a dayjob. Which, a dayjob might even be fine except you have this weird sense of renting your body, like a farm animal, and the cubicles are laid out like corrals, and many of us have to wear little badges clipped to our person to identify us, again, like a farm animal. 

And also, most bosses and managers are at best incompetent, and at worst, sociopaths. And your manager in particular is chatting very loudly today about his upcoming trip to New Orleans and how he's really excited to "get blind drunk" in the French Quarter, those words, "blind drunk," and also excited to maybe go on a plantation tour, and you're there barely not saying a lot of things that would be very *inconvenient* to say, but also you're afraid to say, like: "so you can see the big house where master lived?" 

That's not gonna result in him saying, "Jesus. I'm kindof shallow and fucked up!" It certainly would not result in glory. The glory comes when you tell this whole story to 100 people who laugh and cheer, which is  spineless on your part. So: no guts, glory. We have the science!

Imagine a world that's all glory, no guts. Everyone happy, chilling out, eating good food, enjoying television. Like the Denver metro area, yesterday. Or Colorado, every day. 


At the heart of it, this notion means: suffer now, pleasure later. Like pure pleasure is for pussies. When really, pussies, are for pure pleasure! We have that science! 


Or like: the only pleasure that counts comes from pain. Which is the same thinking that says there's no such thing as pure altruism, because if you enjoy doing it, then you're getting something out of it, which means it's not really 'altruism.' I guess REAL altruism would mean helping others even though they physically disgust you. Hugging people while trying not to barf on them. Marrying a woman you can't stand, having children you don't like, locking yourself in the garage to do "projects," when really you're smoking pot and listening to White Snake, maybe wearing a tshirt that says NO GUTS NO GLORY, and drinking vodka from a mug that says Best Dad in the Room. 

The 'guts and glory' people will use every opportunity to convince you to alienate yourself from your own pleasure, to alienate yourself from what you actually like. 

Let me state unambiguously: Fuck. That. Shit. If glory comes your way, it is your human right to enjoy it, whether it was predicated by guts, or sloth. 

If you wanna find me, I'm having a non-stop dance party next to a hundred foot neon sign glowing: FREEDOM. POWER. GLORY. FOREVER.