I don't tend to dwell on the old adage that money doesn't make you happy. Mainly because I'm pretty sure that the only real issues I have in my life could indeed be solved if I paid off my mortgage and cleared up a bunch of long-standing debts.
Beyond that, I'd probably get a larger house - because we're cramped in here like voles in an old lunchbox - give a chunk to my sisters and parents, a bigger chunk to my kids, get married, support a cause, take the family on a holiday to Disney World, float around in Zero-G on the Vomit Comet, buy a Dalek, and grant myself the freedom to do a whole bunch of creative things. Just for starters anyway.
I guess, though, if you're unhappy - like, unhappy deep inside, or you suffer from depression or anxiety - no amount of money is really going to fix that, no matter how many Daleks you own. So, in that respect I'm pretty blessed. Still... as I've said, I've a pretty solid idea of what I'd blow it on if I did win the lottery. I doubt I'd remove myself entirely from social media, but I'd hope that I'd be too busy living a remarkable life to spend too much of my time engaging in silly arguments on the Internet.
As the creator of Minecraft, Markus "Notch" Persson is a very wealthy man. A billionaire, according to Notch himself. He's also a prolific Twitter-er.
With that money he could fly to the edge of space, explore the world, travel down to the wreck of the Titanic, have a picnic at the North Pole, cruise the globe, and give generously to charity. Maybe he does do some of that, but he clearly also enjoys provoking a reaction from people online.
I guess... I'm just fascinated as to why.
Last week, Notch posted on Twitter that "It's ok to be white.". Which it is, of course, albeit with a few caveats. And Notch would argue that it's okay to be black too - and he did. I guess I don't think it needs stating. Especially not out of the blue, unless you were trying to draw some attention to yourself.
You see, coming from a white guy with a history of supporting 4chan, a track-record of making inflammatory statements and shock-tweets, and then engaging with those who call him out, there's no way to view this unprovoked statement as anything other than a yet another of Notch's attempts to provoke. I guess that's the sort of activity which money can't buy - though to get the most out of it you do at least need a million or so Twitter followers.
However, what I really don't get about Notch is that he's rich enough to pretty much live his life as he wants. Yes, within the law admittedly, but he seems to have the same chip on his shoulder as a certain army of right-leaning types. He's clearly irrititated by the way white males - as he sees it - are marginalised or persecuted. I'm not getting into that here, but I remain fascinated that it's a topic Notch even feels applies to him, and that he'd want to fire off tweets which are calculated to stoke people up.
No amount of lefty, SJW, outrage is ever going to take his life away from him. He'll be independently wealthy for the rest of his privileged life, and political correctness is no threat to a man with his status. Indeed, he can be as politically incorrect as he wants outside of social media, yet he continues to engage with it, and make his feelings public. He continues to confront people who are appalled by the statements he makes - when he could so easily walk away and do something more meaningful, more useful, more fulfilling, with his life.
And yet... he doesn't. He continues to make snide little dog whistle-y remarks, which seem designed to provoke sniggers among his fans, and prompt furious responses from others.
What precisely is that about? Forget about the content; why, when he's got billions in the bank, would he bother? Heck - he's got a mansion in Beverley Hills with 15 bathrooms, and the guy is even a member of MENSA, for pity's sake. I mean, I've got one bathroom, and the blind is all mouldy and the hot tap doesn't work, and I'm a right idiot, and I still don't spurt my invective all over social media.
Though if I did, it would - admittedly - be more about, I dunno... having a mouldy blind, than any feeling that my gender and race are under attack.
So... what is it about?!
Well, it could be any number of things, frankly. Trying to assess somebody's emotional or mental condition simply via their tweets isn't going to get any of us anywhere. Admittedly, they're going to be reflective of something - every thing every one of us does is in some way reflective of who we are - but what that something is in Notch's case is anybody's guess.
Being smart, being rich, is no guarantee of happiness. And being rich and powerful - as we've seen all too often recently - isn't going to stop anybody punching down. Heck, sometimes those things could potentially turn you into more of a dick than you were before. Again, as we've seen all too often in recent times. Power, and the perception that they're untouchable, seems to bring out the worst in certain people. It sometimes means they feel they don't need to abide by social niceties. Throw the empathy-blocker that is Internet discourse into that and it's a veritable powder keg.
Furthermore, there's a degree of freedom that comes with being rich and powerful that means you don't necessarily need to self-censor. Notch isn't looking for work, isn't going to lose a job because he's said something vile, and isn't ever going to struggle to pay his bills.
And yet at the same time I think, I know, I hope, that - in the stratospherically unlikely event I ever become a millionaire - I wouldn't somehow have my personality twisted and warped into something that brings misery to others. In fact, knowing me I'd probably feel so guilty about it that I'd end up giving most of the money away.
Clearly, Notch is unburdened with any similar insecurities, and doesn't appear to be overburdened with an excess of morality. It's entirely likely that the guy really does have a strength of righteous indignation behind his comments and actions - at least, from his point of view - and feels he's standing up for the little (white) man, and his perceived persecution. Maybe he sees his platform as an obligation to do that.
I guess I can't relate to that, and so I see it as nothing more than a massive waste of money. And, frankly, a massive waste of a life.
Also: what's with the stupid hat?
T-shirts! Hoodies! Order now in time for Christmas, and use the code welcome-100221015 to get 15% off! Loads of designs; Mr T, Snakes, Goujon John, The Man, Wozniak, Xenoxxx etc! Sexy sexy!