self portrait

In the movie Serendipity , Jeremy Piven plays an obituary writer for the New York Times, who is charged with having to say something about friend John Cusack on the occasion of his wedding. Inevitably, Piven’s character frames the bio as an obit, making the point that there is probably no better format to tell about one’s life in a few words. So herewith, my obituary, c.2100, self-constructed. No morbidness intended.

Dave Pollard was born in 1951 in Leicester, England, of a Canadian father and a Welsh mother. He grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, a shy, slow learner who suddenly developed some social graces and language skills at the age of 17, and in the process evolved from an incoherent and withdrawn C student to a scholar with an overblown ego. He was then, and remained throughout his life, defined by words that start with the letter “I”: immature, insensitive, inarticulate, idealistic and insane.

His immaturity caused him to be socially awkward, impatient, unfocused, inattentive and sometimes too intense, but also made him irreverent, open to new ideas, and imaginative. His insensitivity made him a poor listener, left him with an unreliable memory, and caused him to misunderstand most of what others said to him, thought about him, and wanted from him, to his lifelong impoverishment. His inarticulateness prevented him, usually, from gaining the recognition and achieving the results he would otherwise have attained. His idealism made him impractical and ultimately unhappy, but also gave him vision, ambition and courage. He rationalized his sometimes debilitating insanity on the basis that our human culture is so warped that one must be insane to survive undamaged.

He was interested in and modestly knowledgeable about a vast array of subjects, and that breadth combined with an unusual self-taught creativity enabled him to see how ideas and innovations in one discipline could be applied in interesting and sometimes exciting ways in a completely different discipline, a skill that was intermittently valued in both social and business circles. He did a reasonably competent if somewhat disengaged job at providing for his family and surfacing some useful and innovative ideas in his career as Chief Knowledge Officer for a major professional services company. His collected stories, poetry, essays and other written works can be found in his on-line journal How to Save the World .

Always a progressive in his political leanings and his writings, in his later life just outside Toronto, Canada, he attempted to become an activist in more than thoughts and words, and lobbied business and political leaders to advance and fund responsible family planning (the Maybe One program), ecological taxation (shifting taxes from employment and income to pollution and resource depletion), inter-species communication (on the basis that by talking with other species, humans would learn to respect them and give them the same rights they gave humans), community self-sufficiency, biodiversity and habitat preservation.

In 2010 he established the Collaborative Enterprise Movement, which launched many of the Alternative Economy businesses of the 2020s, businesses that gave birth to our late 21st century Post-Capitalist Neo-Tribal society. He died in 2030 at the hands of a deranged neoconservative, and was survived by his wife Anita, his two step-children Chris and Tiffany, and his two grand-daughters Romana and Cassandra, who carried on his work with the Movement.

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