Wrote an op-ed for September on Roger Maris's 61 home runs in 1961 being the all-time greatest sports record. Started an op-ed for Halloween on 1931's Dracula being the best American horror film--or the perfect Halloween horror film--because it compels viewers to use the best horror instrument of all: their imaginations. Started an essay on Powell and Pressburger's 1944 film, A Canterbury Tale. Last night I figured out a lot of the new story, which is called "Elvis Is Admirable." I sent this letter--which I meant--to various people at Bloomsbury:
Dear friends at Bloomsbury,
I wanted to thank everyone who helped me on my Sam Cooke book. I greatly appreciate your skill, professionalism, talent, effort, time, energy, input, catches, and patience.
The book means a lot to me, and I'm so appreciative for everything every one of you did on the book's behalf.
I'm sorry for when I was a little pokey. There is just always so much to write and try and get through these days it seems, and I hope I didn't put anyone out or make anyone's life more difficult.
I'm really looking forward to the book's journey out into the world, and doing anything I can to facilitate that journey so the book can reach as many readers as possible, but I wouldn't feel as strongly as I do about the book and what the book ultimately became, without all of you.
Thank you, truly. It means a lot to me.
It's funny, in a depressing way that has made my life an unlivable existence--people in this industry think I am the biggest asshole who has ever lived. But were you to ask any of them why, they'd have no real, based-in-reality reason. They couldn't truthfully say, "he did this to me, he impregnated like six of my colleagues, he stole from me, etc." All they could say is "I hate him because he's everything I am not and could never be." Sure, they'd put it a different way. They'd even get themselves to think a different way, because people can tell themselves anything and frog-march themselves into believing it. Many people are sick. Publishing people, more so. That's a big reason why they are here and have made this community of theirs what it is.
Someone who robs me and doesn't pay me the money they owe me, for instance, can tell someone else I am the biggest, pushiest pain in the ass ever, always harassing them, because, in reality, I wrote them half a dozen times in two years trying to get them to stop stealing from me because I need the money for food. Someone else can say I flood their inbox and put huge demands upon them, because after seventeen years of them never writing back, hooking up their spouse, or their agent's new client, or the manufactured flavor-of-the-month whose work sucks, and who has "achieved" three things that were all arranged by a publicist, I will still send a masterpiece which is better than anything they have ever published, or will ever publish, when I know why they are publishing someone--because that person is their crony, is the right color, has the right agent, the right pronouns, went to their school, summers in the Hamptons with them, etc.
But the above is typical. That is how I carry myself. It's usually even how I carry myself with blatant bigots until I have to put them up on here because it's never going to change otherwise, and it makes no sense to take their bigotry a single day longer. And, of course, the big reason for many of them with the raging hate would be their own guilt. They know what they're doing. They know it's discrimination and they can't justify anything by saying it's the work, or the knowledge, or the track record. They know I destroy the people with no talent and no expertise and a few chintzy, fake ass things that were handed to them that they favor. They know there's absolutely no way to justify why they gave what they gave to someone else while locking me out. And they know I know it, and that it's also the most obvious thing ever, and they're caught. They know I could do in five minutes what they can't do in a million years. But what? They're going to call it that? Face that? Fix it? Make amends? Have those be their naked thoughts in their broken brains? They're going to try and call it something else. And then they're going to try and get others to go along with it. And because these people have no spines, let alone souls, they're going to do just that. They're not going to think for themselves. They never have, not a single damn time in their entire lives. That's not who they are. It's the last thing they are. There is no weakness like the weakness of your typical publishing person. You'd be better off taking an earthworm into battle.
Add it all up, throw in some other things, and you have this situation that is my present day hell with greatest artist there has ever been, with mountains of work rarin' to go for millions of people, working twenty hours ever day, creating masterpiece upon masterpiece, always trying, to get out of the hell and past these people and their evil subculture of broken, pretentious, insecure, talentless freaks.
And now that I've worked on no less than three pieces this Saturday morning after writing 7000 words of a Beatles chapter this past week, composing two short stories, finishing another that doubled in length, writing 2500 words of yet another and then figuring out the rest of it, starting a jazz feature, talking on the radio as an expert on half a dozen things, writing all of these entries on here, and sending out hundreds of emails offering books, short stories, essays, culture pieces, ideas, I am going for a long walk in the rain and to run stairs to keep my heart strong to deal with what these people are doing to me, because like I said, I am not losing to these people who are just now getting up in their nice homes, and I will do every last thing to make sure I eventually prevail.