I have a little thought experiment that I ask my friends: what if Kanye went apple picking? This is an actual question and I need to explain it further.

Kanye West is a very famous person. I'm going to assume you have heard of him. Kanye is usually very careful at managing his image, and he is right to do this, because everyone wants something from Kanye. Putting a finer point on it: Kanye's friendships are intertwined with his business dealings to such a degree that it is impossible to have a friendship with Kanye without business getting involved in some way (although it might be possible to have it the other way around). There is no way you can approach Kanye West in real life and befriend him solely for friendship's sake. He is going to suspect you want something from him, because pretty much everybody does, and it is not unreasonable to think you are any different, even if you might be hiding your intentions.

Kanye seems to be happy with this situation, so I want to put a neutral light on it. Lots of successful people get caught up in the dealings of their work. Doesn't matter if they are pop stars or followed by paparazzi or whatever. What matters is that none of them go apple picking, ever.

Apple picking is an activity that you do with friends for the sole sake of leisure. You likely have to drive an hour each direction to go apple picking; there is no such thing as apple picking in Chicagoland proper, at least, you have to go way far out to do it. So you have to block an entire weekend afternoon to go apple picking. You also need to provide undivided attention to apple picking: have you ever in your life seen someone go apple picking with a smartphone in their other hand? No, because you would block that unholy image out of your memory, and also because you do not stay busy while apple picking.

The only things that you get out of apple picking are camaraderie and some apples. If you try to enact a business deal in an apple orchard, you are violating some major unspoken rules of apple picking. There is no synergy in apple picking; no contracts; no leveraging of talent. There are apples. That's it. Please do not try and shoehorn your business deals into apple picking.

The thought of Kanye West going apple picking is so flawlessly preposterous that it throws a lot of his relationships into light. Kanye West going apple picking is like a Zen koan of conceptual self-negation.

And while fictional, Krusty the Clown has never gone apple picking, either. Krusty the Clown actually kind of epitomizes this thing I want to hit on here: there is an image that fancy folks outwardly project, and their private lives are 1) kept private, as best they can; 2) incongruous from the public image they project; and 3) usually miserable.

The inability to pick apples could happen to anyone, and it's usually something you volitionally bring onto yourself because life is short and you want to do anything but pick apples, because you believe you have better things to do. And that, just to be entirely clear, is fine, as we're all unique snowflakes and you can basically do whatever you want.

That said, I personally think it's important for me to remain in a situation where I can text a few friends in September and we can drive to Wisconsin, go apple picking, head home, and celebrate with beers on our porch. No drama, no undue schedule finagling, and no ulterior motives. Every part of life has trade-offs, and the trade-off for a certain measure of fame and success is that you cannot go apple picking anymore.

(Oh, one more thing: Revise Express slots are open for July. While that doesn't have to do with hanging out on my porch, you still might care about it.)

Thanks for reading,
Nick Disabato
nickd@nickd.org


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