DAVE: you say there was a lot to admire DAVE: like what DIRK: Well... DIRK: He was pretty famous. DIRK: Made some successful movies. DIRK: At least under a somewhat expansive definition of "success". DIRK: And an even more expansive definition of "movie". DIRK: His work accumulated a lot of subversive political influence, which got him in trouble later. DIRK: He made like a million bullshit Statues of Liberty, scummed them up with jpeg artifacts, and littered them all over the planet. DAVE: holy shit DIRK: He was also a pretty badass swordsman, and an active member of the resistance movement. DIRK: He slaughtered the clown presidents on the roof of the White House, and flew away on a shitty skateboard. DIRK: Then it seems he gave the Batterwitch a pretty good run for her money. DIRK: It wasn't enough, but at least he went down fighting. DAVE: that DAVE: yeah DAVE: ima need to hear more details on this some time DIRK: Sure. DIRK: But as you can tell, clearly there was a lot to look up to. DIRK: I thought about the examples you set constantly. The creative ideals, the advanced theories on irony and humor, the tales of courage and martial prowess. DIRK: Really, I modeled everything about myself after you. Or at least everything good that I was trying to become. DIRK: And I probably spent an embarrassing amount of time imagining what it would be like to live during his time, and to be able to have something resembling a sibling relationship, or be in some sort of master-apprentice situation. DIRK: When I finally learned you existed, and started to understand who he really was in relation to me, that put a lot into context. DIRK: I realized he was a version of you who got a chance to live up to his full potential. DIRK: And when I understood there was a young version of you, in a situation sorta like mine, whose time on Earth got cut short when you were thrown into all this, DIRK: I was at least happy to think there was some reality where you got the chance to do everything you wanted to do, be successful, and fight for all the right things. DIRK: Even if ultimately it didn't lead to a great outcome for humanity, you had an opportunity to live a full life and show what you were made of. DIRK: While I guess I had... the same opportunity on your world, somewhat less fortunately. DAVE: yeah DAVE: but then for all my bitching i guess i still never grasped your full reality DAVE: just like you probably didnt grasp mine, but just reading into the mindset of a historical figure as best you could DAVE: what if i wasnt as heroic as it seemed? DAVE: what if adult me was kinda douchey too in a way you couldnt observe DIRK: Perhaps. DIRK: But beyond a certain point, I think accomplishments speak for themselves. DIRK: I dunno if you can just completely shred every person who ever did great things because they had some flaws. DIRK: All I can say is, it was important to me to see him the way I did. DIRK: As a good person who inspired me, and set the standard for what I wanted to be. DIRK: It kept me going. DIRK: That said, I'm also glad there's this version of you who got to go through all the things you've been through. DIRK: Like, yeah, you didn't get to be the cool celebrity who cuts down juggalos on badly defaced government property. DIRK: And the idea of a "normal life" was rudely taken from you, and it's something you'll never get to experience. DIRK: But this is so much more challenging, and uncertain. DIRK: You get to apply all that potential you showed in one reality to something much bigger and more existentially critical. DIRK: Whatever strength you showed in trying to save a dying planet, the fact is, I think we need that more here. DIRK: And the trials inherent in being a part of something like this, I think they bring more out of you than a relatively pedestrian life on Earth would. Make you face more things about yourself. At least, that's been true for me. DIRK: But it sounds like it's been true for you too. DIRK: It sounds to me like the experiences you've had changed you a lot, for the better. DIRK: You mentioned the experiences with him that were designed to make you stronger have actually made you weaker, but really, I doubt that's true. DIRK: I bet you've become stronger than you realize, not because of anything he did, but because of what you've done, and the ways you've changed yourself through your own effort. DIRK: I hope it doesn't come off as overly sentimental garbage, but it seems to me like you turned out to be a really good dude. DIRK: Like, really, a better sort of dude I ever imagined talking to when I pictured meeting the legendary guy I idolized. DIRK: I pictured him as probably being "too cool" to be the type of guy you are. DIRK: But you know what, fuck being too cool for that.