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Tuesday 4/16/19

Wrote a 1700 word piece on architecture for The Daily Beast. Excerpt:


Gothic architecture rose—and that is a key verb in this style—to prominence in the late Middle Ages. It was mankind’s upwards march upon the heavens, drama writ in spires, turrets, rib vaults, and flying buttresses. The structures looked to be frozen in acts of great bounding movement, like someone had hit the pause button as these limestone titans leaped in battle or journey, with great stakes at play.


Stone angels stood guard in suspended flight at strategic vantage points, lest some minion of Satan come flying around a corner gaining access to human vulnerability down on the ground below. This was architecture to inspire awe, and it reminded you, too, of your mortality, like the home offices of heaven just happened to be hanging over your head, so wise up. There was a darker element in the resolute grays, but at the same time, Gothic structures exuded warmth, perhaps because they could look like expansive candle sticks in mid-melt blown up to the size of towering buildings.


Discussed memorable hockey playoffs on Downtown, as well as architecture. Kimball pointed out on the Twitter that no one else could do this. Someone once greatly insulted me by calling me a generalist. Do you know what a generalist is? A generalist reports on a variety of things. They have no knowledge of those things. They're reporters. I am not a reporter. I am the expert on each and every thing I discuss and write about. That's not a generalist. There is not a category for that person. There's not a group. You know Sherlock Holmes? He didn't have a category or a group. He was a field of one. I am a field of one. And what Holmes did was much simpler and circumscribed. I can say this because the words, written and said, make this self-evident. They are there. They are what they are. If there is doubt, the doubt stems simply from the fact that someone can't accept that someone else could be that. When--if--this happens for me, it's going to be so easy to get on board and say out loud what is in such plain view right now. Da Vinci? Michelangelo? Maybe someone beyond those people is here right now in plain view. Huh.


Hey. Hi. What's up?


I need to go back into "Dunedin" and fix parts, add, subtract, thread. Were everything else in my life better, I would report here that this is the fun part. But there are no fun parts in my life at present. Just hell and torture. The perpetual consciousness of both. Until this ends, until the problems are solved. This isn't even a life. It's a life in terms of what is created, and a life in terms of I believe this is the furthest a human can extend themselves in terms of feeling, thought, and creation. But in terms of quality of life, this is no life. I haven't even been kissed in three years. It's just this. This hate, this blacklist, this apartment as death trap, this growth and development and subsequent greater loneliness, this discrimination, this devolution of the world and society as you try to make them go back in the other direction. Etc.


This is my updated thinking on another story collection that is coming together, which does me zero good at all right now to even have, which I can do nothing with, save assemble it because it is getting done while so many other things get done, and hope--trust--it will have a chance to have its day someday:


"Funny Lines TK," "Nacho Cheese," "Floor It A.C.," "Pillow Drift," "chickchick," "Dunedin," "Double Loaded Stupid," "Daws, Rooks, Crows," "First Eye," "Prayers that are Simple," "Drag Snap."


There are people in my life who would shame me for making a book like that. As if I sit here and do nothing but write short stories and that's my plan to get where I am going. I write everything. I write and do and say everything. I pound at the dam at every last portion of it. But I have noticed that when people want to get a further kick in at your head, they'll focus on one thing, as if you have tunnel vision and do nothing else, because it is convenient for them to attack you that way, and they also perhaps sense that the ignorance on which their attack is founded will further upset you as an intelligent person who sees so much stupidity in every direction. Another way to break your soul on the wheel. A very passive aggressive way. That's how we are now, though.


What I can say is if the God of the Future came down to me later tonight and said, "Well, it all worked out, exactly in the ways you hoped, and in others that even you didn't think in terms of. Want to guess what it was that spearheaded everything?" I wouldn't want to guess. It could be a film based on my work, something I said on TV, Meatheads Say the Realest Things, an op-ed that created controversy, the right short story in the right place, this journal. But I do know that my guess as to what it might have been will almost surely have been wrong. So, in the meanwhile, I have to do it all at once. If you were another writer, you wouldn't have to do it all at once. If you were another writer, you also weren't going to do anything, because you would be like other writers, and I ain't like nothing there has ever been.


I don't know if it's worth noting, but I will say that what I've done between 3/20/19 and 4/16/19 is unprecedented, even for me. If you snip away my life before that first date, and end it on the second date, I will put the body of work, in its range and totality, created during that time period, against any body of work over a lifetime. By anyone. There is plenty to make an entire legacy, a legacy to last, based upon what has been created in that month alone. You can't fake that. Cronies can't get it for you, the lickspittles and the apostates of the dilettante class can't pretend that it's there for you no matter how hard they're trying to lie. It has to be the reality. And that is the reality. What that will mean, if anything, I do not know.


Want to know something else? There are far more words in letters each week than there are words in this journal. It is almost funny how absurd this situation has gotten.


The Bruins lost last night. I don't know what to make of this series. I had an inkling before it began that it was the Leafs' time, but I still think the Bruins should be able to beat them. I only saw a few patches of play last night, but what I did notice was that the Bruins' top line--which is the best line in hockey--was not good at all. Out-of-synch. Being in-synch is one of their normal tenets. This line is so good that you may have three Hall of Famers on it. Or, let me put it this way: you have one certain Hall of Famer, and the two players who might not be Hall of Famers, are probably better than the Hall of Famer right now, and the Hall of Famer might have had his best season. Isn't that interesting? But I said before this series began that the Bruins won't win without Marchand, Bergeron, and Pastrnak playing at the top of their games. They are not right now. I didn't see how the Leafs scored, but I did see Rask make some nice saves, including one near the end on an odd-man break with the shooter shooting back against the grain and a moving screen, that I thought he was going to get beat on when the puck was released.


The Red Sox have DFA'ed catcher Blake Swihart. This is such a Red Sox move. In other words, they are scapegoating him for how bad the starters have been. Sandy Leon to the rescue from Pawtucket. Somebody needs to tell me what the Red Sox see in Christian Vazquez. He can't hit. His thing is defense. But out of the three catchers, I'd say he is the worst defensively. He loves those passed balls. So, lots of those, and the pitching staff doesn't like to work with him. Basically, your starting catcher is a minor league catcher. I know the days of Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter, Johnny Bench, Thurman Munson, Ted Simmons are gone, but seems like maybe a team like this should be able to develop a catcher? People are moaning that Swihart will be a star elsewhere. He's not going to be a star anywhere. But they did that guy no favors with how they handled the early part of his career.


Side note: Catcher may be the coolest position in all of sports.


Another side note: I like crusty old people who nonetheless have Twitter and who nonetheless, despite the current tiering format, talk about baseball in terms of first and second divisions, as in "Swihart is not a first division catcher," etc. Maybe not surprisingly, these people tend to be far better writers than almost anyone else you encounter. Also, hockey historian fans on hockey history forums write better--they are more natural writers--than anyone in publishing right now.


It's remarkable how much adults are like teenagers now. Actually, I would say that they are more like teenagers now than teenagers were ever like teenagers. They just slip into poses and attitudes. They only know postures. They don't even know the meaning of what it is they're posturing as. I would bet you that less than 3% of the people who use the word "intersectional" have the foggiest notion what it means. And of those people, very close to 0% knew the word existed five years ago.


Saw this today on a dating site:


"I am deeply committed to fighting social, racial, and economic injustice, toxic capitalism, neoliberal deregulation and privatization. My primary mission in life is to make a direct and broad impact on these problems."


No you're not. You're not deeply committed to anything. Platitudes and buzz words. The inevitable gender studies major. Always the same. What I am in is worse than hell. Give me hell, I say. I would prefer hell. But at least I'm actually alive. These zombie people. Husks. Robot zombie husks. They think an elected official is the problem. The problem of election is what these people decided to let themselves become.


Chris Sale is getting lit up again. This guy is not good. I didn't like his act last year. He wanted to be filmed doing his fake "let's go guys" rally speech in the dugout in the World Series, and he wanted to horn in on the event and get the last out of the series so he could have another magic moment on film when he contributed jack to that postseason and not much to the regular season. Glory whore. Who is now a bottom-of-the-rotation starter because he was always a thrower and not a pitcher and his fastball is gone. He can't dominate unless he's in the upper 90s.


Sandy Leon has a throwing error in his first game back. And tell me, Red Sox fans: anyone else sick of Jackie Bradley, Jr.? Does he need to suck for the first three months of every season, just so he can get "hot" and end up at .252 with 13 home runs and 57 RBI? And stop about his defense. He's not that good in the field. Minus player. Hits like a pitcher for a lot of the season.


And Red Sox play-by-play guy Dave O'Brien, here's a thought: Stop talking about last year for the love of God. It's over. He can't stop talking about 2018. Save it for your grand kids after you're retired, dude. It's embarrassing. It would be embarrassing if this team was good. But this team is not good. This is a team that is going to drop two games in New York, whose season is going to be over before May starts. One of the great embarrassments in Boston sports history is shaping up with this team. They were arrogant. They thought they could just show up, after training less, and focusing less, and sleepwalk their way to 100 wins and they're going to be lucky if this continues much longer to get to 81. Amazingly, as I type this, O'Brien just mentioned last year again. And again. And now again. He needs an intervention.


Now Erasmo Ramirez is on the mound for the Sox. Who is Erasmo Ramirez? They must have called him up today with Leon. He just gave up a double to his first batter. I've seen enough!


Tuned back in to see Ramirez give up a second deck shot. 7-0 Yankees.


The Lightning are about to be swept.


I walked three miles and climbed the Monument five more times today. As I climbed and walked, I came up with some nice parts for "Daws, Rooks, Crows" and "Double Loaded Stupid," and I also started to feel around with two new story ideas, for horror stories. It's like universes just keep opening up, and I can see exactly how they work, all is revealed to me. Is this good? Or is it torture because I cannot advance right now? What I do know is that I have come to a place that no one has come to before. Of that I am absolutely certain. That is what this spring has brought home to me more than anything.


Tonight I was supposed to take Emma to the Brattle. For weeks we had been planning to see Hitchcock's The Birds together. Emma is a huge horror film fan. (Not that I consider The Birds horror. I don't consider any Hitchcock films horror. He is his own thing.) Something not great is up with her. I think maybe I should say something to her mother. As I am pretty sure that Emma can be inscrutable when she wishes to me. Maybe she is not taking her medicine or something. She's sleeping an awful lot. Twelve, fourteen hours at a pop. I know she was excited to see this film. A friend invited her to Cape Cod yesterday, and Emma said she couldn't go, and when I asked why she said because of The Birds, and I said don't be silly, she should go to the Cape with her friend, and later we would find another cool film to go to. As it was, the friend's mom cancelled, and we were back on. She told me she was having a hard time and felt a general malaise, and on my way back from Charlestown I texted her to say that if she didn't want to go tonight that was cool, she wasn't going to let me down or anything, I just wanted her to feel better. She did cancel later, and I was pretty tired so while I normally would have gone to this--it was on 35 mm--after I did my Downtown interview--in my boxers before getting into the shower--I bailed. So neither of us went!


Also came up with some more good stuff for my personal essay about climbing the Monument called "You're Up, You're Down, You're Up," which stands at 4100 words. Maybe I will finish it tomorrow.


Mookie Betts has 9 hits on the season? Damn. That's dire. Also saw him fail to run out a ground ball that he thought was foul, which he would have been safe on if he actually tried/hustled. That's great. Do more of that, superstar.


Came up with an awesome Keats idea for a feature at Halloween. I really want to do this if it can be something that advances the cause and brings in good money. It's a great bloody idea. I'm not going to say it here. Someone will steal this one. Later, when I am where I wish to be, I'll blow your mind with the names of some people who have stolen my ideas.


And speaking of Hitchcock, this is an interesting interview with him talking about editing techniques. Baffles me that he thinks Shadow of a Doubt is his best film and it's not close. This is after the release of Psycho, so that means after almost all of his great films.



By the way: I saw some of that Lightning v. Blue Jackets game tonight. My takeaway: the Blue Jackets are the much better team. They owned the Lightning. It wasn't a goalie stealing anything. That was a superior team imposing will on an inferior team. If they play like that, I don't like the Leafs or the Bruins against them. But that's a long way out.


And lastly: why do sports announcers think "pace" means speed?