Maybe once a week somebody will tell me that my work was way better a few years ago. And then I think back a few years, when somebody else was telling me that my work was better a few years ago. That leaves me with three possible explanations.
First: I’m getting progressively worse, but my initial work was so amazing that, even after years of denigration, it’s still drawing in new fans who think this watered down crap is the best thing they’ve ever seen. The first column I ever wrote was about how science hates your penis. I don’t think this is the correct answer.
Second: Evolution and growth can sometimes be alienating. People’s tastes slowly change, and what appealed to them once will not appeal to them forever. It’s why you don’t still play with your Cowboys of Moo Mesa action figures. Plus, all creators will (hopefully) develop over time. What they do next year may not appeal to last year’s fans. If it was otherwise, they would just be endlessly repeating themselves. And what’s the point of that?
It’s one of the sadder aspects of reality, but you may not always love the things you love now. When that time comes, you shouldn’t flip the table and scream yourself bloody, accusing everything around you of turning into bullshit. You don’t need to smash all your toys with a hammer when you outgrow them. You can just gracefully move on to what does make you happy, and try to remember all the value that thing once gave you. You can get into music, or cars, or girls, and forget all about those childish things that used to mean the world to you. Maybe one day, when you’re older, you’ll be up in a dusty attic somewhere and you’ll open a box. And you’ll say with a smile: “There you are Marshal Moo Montana – I wondered what happened to you.”
Third: You’re an asshole.