Went to bed last night with a window open, awoke naked and shivering on the warped mattress which I must replace in the nearish future because it's doing a number on my back as it was in the low-thirties. A cold C-Dawg. Listening to Beethoven's piano trios now, teeth chattering somewhat. My thoughts are on Rockport. Getting back there. Leaving this place, this filth, this poverty, greeting the day in a nice house, all clean, warm, excited to create art. Or fish at the pond a mile away. Or throw on a nice robe and make some coffee and listen to some Sam Cooke.
Wrote an op-ed yesterday on crime, punishment, Dostoevsky, Chauvin, and choice. Doubt I'll be able to sell it.
Wrote another story, one called "When I Write the Letters I Do Not Send." It's written in questions by a wife whose marriage is failing. I guess one could say it's kind of a poem, too. "When I write the letters I do not send, what do you think I am writing? Can they even be letters when we live in this same place? Does a letter have to travel? Must it go to a mailbox even if it does not start inside of one?" I have to revisit the story this morning. See what I have.
Walked six miles yesterday as well, ran ten hill sprints. Wasn't exactly an awesome performance. I haven't been doing enough physically lately.
I shouldn't look at social media at all. There's nothing positive about it. There's no intelligence. There's no decency. A mad, raving scavenger hunt for attention. I don't like seeing all of the people who offer nothing and possess no ability and wisdom, get ahead. I don't like seeing how having no talent is crucial, it seems, to success. In Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky says that a smart person is screwed in this world. They'll be alone, they'll only know pain and suffering, there will be no reward, no recognition. Life will always be hard. Thoreau says the same thing. He wrote that the public demands an average man. They do not want anyone of greatness. The more great, the less they want that person. He takes it all the way--there is no one the public will be less willing to embrace than the person of absolute greatness. "Absolute" is the qualifier he uses. I see agenda on social media. Keith Olbermann, for instance, is a very stupid person, and he's this madman with what he wants something to be and it would never enter his brain to look at what something actually is. He's obsessed with what he feels this compulsion to push. I see the girl who was shot in Ohio. Horrible. A horrible situation for her, I'd gather. Didn't live with her mother. Who was interviewed, and looks not perturbed at all. Does she want attention? Or is that how she deals with extreme grief? A girl raises a knife to stab another girl, a cop shoots her. The media is so reptilian. They make it sound like the cops planned to do this at the same time the Chauvin verdict was coming out.
When does agenda and obsession leave off and truth and reality infiltrate the vision field? I read the comments from people who want to dump on the cop. What are you supposed to do when someone is going to stab someone else? I remember these incidents in the Common a couple years back. I'm in the Common all the time. In the middle of this one day, two people were stabbed. One in the neck, and they died. Fast. That stuck with me. How fast you can go after being stabbed. I think about that when I walk now. When I see someone sketchy. The people on social media are like, "Why didn't he shoot her in the hand?" Depressing. That people think that way. That life is like what they see in a movie. Shoot her in the hand, shoot her in the leg. Use martial arts.
Remarkable how stupid people are. They watch a lot of bad movies, and they think the bad movies are like life. Shows how sheltered many Americans are as well. How devoid of life experiences. You get that almost without exception in publishing. People who might as well live inside of a home built of two silver spoons placed on top of each other. They know nothing of real life, and when they see life that is real inside of a story, a book, they freeze, and then they run. They can't handle it. So then the publish the safest material there is, the prose version of a warm tea cup of milk--but in a very expensive tea cup.
"The cop should have shot her in the hand." Cloud cuckoo land insanity. You know who we need? Lucas McCain. Hand-shooter. There's actually an episode of The Rifleman where this young kid want to kill Lucas in a duel. Lucas killed the young man's father in the Civil War. He doesn't want to take the boy's life, and he doesn't want his mother to lose this other person close to her. So when they have the duel, Lucas shoots his hand, making it so he can never fight again. See? Problem solved. You just need the Rifleman.
None of it's good. The non-solution isn't good, the solution isn't good, the results aren't good. Doing something isn't good. Doing nothing isn't good. People aren't good. The problems don't exist until people create them. We are the creators of all of our problems. On the societal scale. Others pay for that. The brilliant and good pay the most for it. But that's not many people. And no one is going to care about them unless they have to.
Then LeBron James says stupid things. Tough to be dumber than LeBron James. He's that kid who dominated a sport in high school or college, who was never in class, then shows up one day, hasn't read any of the books, has never read a book in his life, will never read a book, and just starts talking like everyone has paid money to hear how brilliant he is on the subject of the book he never read, because he's so hubristic, and so dumb, that he thinks he'll automatically be regarded like he is when he dominates a child's game that ultimately has no real importance in the world. I remember seeing James with a copy of Malcolm X's autobiography, and a a writer asked him about it. Clearly he hadn't read a word. Was never going to read a word. All for show. "Look at the book I have." Malcolm X, incidentally, would have despised LeBron James. As anyone who has read anything by Malcolm X would know.
If people were smart and decent, then no problems. Our nature is to not be good. And not be strong. And not be smart. And not try to remedy any of this. I ask myself how much effort anyone puts in--I mean honestly puts in, and not for show, not for points, not for likes, not for attention, not for a book deal--to becoming a better, smarter person. Who even tries at all? But if you do try, and you try a lot, you can, as Thoreau and Dostoevsky said, pay an awful price. You'll have no life, you'll be alone, and everything will be hard for you. This is existence? Then what is the point? And to reach people, do you just have to be dumb, base, coarse, and predictable? Say the same thing all day every day to people who expect you to say the same thing all day every day? Is it possible to be brilliant and have anything? To reach anyone?
The prevalence of pandering and grift in this world. Every form of success that I see, of platform, of reach, in some disingenuous hustle but without actual hustle in the "I am working so hard" sense. And it's all so predictable, and boring, and stupid, and childish, and ultimately meaningless to anyone's life.
And why does everyone need to be trash? Why does everyone need to speak like an idiot? Don't talk in double negatives--you sound like garbage. It's like people choose to be dumb. Try. Educate yourself. Look shit up. Read. Be less lazy. Have some moral standards. Get in touch with your conscience. Do the right thing. You know what the right thing is. You know when you're doing the wrong thing. Some sniveling, little passive aggressive asshole move. You know you're doing it. Don't do it. Get some standards. You hate someone smarter than you? Get smarter. Work harder. Don't think about them. Live your life. Don't obsess. Find what your strengths are. Contribute. Add. Help. Get off your ass. Get off your mental ass. Get off your moral ass. Being a total dick only makes a person's life shittier. It only makes them more miserable. Has anyone ever felt better about themselves by doing something petty, and stupid, and immature, and driven by anger, greed, envy, to hurt someone else? When has that ever been good for anyone? Get a purpose. Stop being scared of everything. Stop being scared to fail. Go for shit. Put yourself out there. Fall down. Get up. That is the entire point. And if you are not doing that, there is no point to your life. And why would anyone let that be the case? But people do. And then they have to detest others who don't, and flock to others just like them, who also have absolutely no point to their lives. And round and round and round and round they all twirl.
Among the most dangerous people in the world right now--especially because there are so many--is the person who has no clue. They don't have the story. They don't have the facts. They aren't going to read fuck all. They're not going to look anything up. It's like driving so bombed. No compunction, no conscience, no interest whatsoever in knowing what's going on, having anything right. And then...they just talk. They spout. They ejaculate. They go on and on as if their mouths have been filled with the words of eternal truth straight from wherever or whatever. Olympus. God. Their tone is of total certainty. The gospel tone. And they are talking straight out of their asses. And if someone actually knows something, they hate that person, because that person is a roadblock to this person being this way, which is exactly how they want to be. They want the loudest voice in the room, the voice that no one objects to and everyone thinks is correct. So many people want that, and then you get an entire society or a large segment of society talking out of their asses without ever having a clue. And that becomes the way everyone talks, and everyone is. Why do you think there are no experts? Why do you think people hate experts? I mean actual experts. Not pretend "I'm here to talk about the NFL Draft" experts? Everyone wants to have their ass voice. Their unchallenged ass voice. And then the ass voice spreads far, via social media. It's in the fucking water we drink, the air we breathe. The ass voice. And that person with the ass voice could not give a toss about what they're saying. They're just saying it. And five minutes later, they'll forget the gospel they were just spouting, and move on to something else. They won't even remember what they said yesterday in thirty-seven rants. The point was that they had that particular voice in the room. In their diseased, lazy ass brains. And that's all that counts.
This changes how we think. How we reason. How we talk. How we report. It changes how The Washington Post reports. The ass voice. Everything is to perpetuate one's ass voice for one's manufactured ass cause that is not really believed in other than it's what that person went with. For clout. For attention. For books deals. For a blue check mark on Twitter. For a Guggenheim. For a TV show. For a third home. For some followers. For some made up compliment from some other shitty person who was never your friend and they're only someone just like you doing exactly what you're doing and you're both totally alone in your ways, your real ways, no matter how many people you know, screw, text, get drinks with. For what functions as self-esteem because there is no real self-esteem nor any reason in the world for that person to have actual self-esteem given what they don't know, what they don't do, what they are not about.
The ass voice is all about need. It's all about jerking off in front of you because someone wants to. It's about doing what feels good. It's mainlining a kind of heroin. It has no thought whatsoever for any living person. Not truly. Not for their welfare. Their safety. Their quality of life. Their ability in turn to care about others. It's not about the quality of what anyone produces. The ass voice has a god and that god is agenda. The need of someone to feel a certain way about themselves, and get what they want, without having to be anything that engenders real feelings of quality about who one is, and the procuring of that which is desired--it can be revenge, it can be power, it can be the things I mentioned above--without having to earn it with talent, with brains, with balls, and without having to work for it. Hail the ass voice. The ass voice rules the world right now.
The ass voice deranges us. People change without knowing it. The person who is broken today, who cannot think today, who thinks they're thinking because they follow the right people, and have the right hashtags, all of the signage, might have been able to think in the past. It goes away. And you don't even know. It's not charted out in your brain in these conscious measurements. It goes. It goes via what you're exposed to. You become a lot of what you are around. You become your environment, your mental environment.
And no one cares, no one sees it, because most people are out doing what they do with their ass voices, chasing down what they need to throw into the void created by the almighty ass voice. No real problems are ever actually addressed. Agendas are tended to. They are underwritten by rhetoric. By rhetoric from the right kind of person, the right kind of "elite," the right kind of politician, the right kind of "leader," the right kind of platform, from the right kind of numbers. And then the rhetoric is parroted. The same talking points. The same descriptors. The same phrases. The same gifs. Memes. Lies. Excuses. Distractions. Obfuscations. Some get rich, some assuage the void inside, by throwing what's a kind of tarp over it. But the void remains. And the void does what a void does, and it sucks, and it consumes, and it pulls its owner into it. They get angrier, they up the intensity of their rhetoric, they become more locked into positions that were fucking stupid to begin with, they find a way to make themselves believe they believe what no sane, reasonable, or even vaguely stable human could honestly believe. Their need to find voices exactly like their own goes up. Blows ups. That's all they look for, all they want, all they can handle after a certain point. And that point comes early. And then what? What becomes of a life? What becomes of a culture? A society? A government? A nation? A world? Humanity? What happens then? This happens then. This. Right here. Right now. And what's the solution? Where does it stop? What happens if it just keeps going like this? Where the does that "this" end? Do we have to become un-human? And then what are we? Are we animals? What are we? What is the point of being human if that is what one does with one's humanity? And if that is what we do with humanity at large?
The ass voice feeds on its own echo. That is the sustenance of the ass voice. It's not rich and nourishing, so the possessor of the ass voice is weak. They have no personal experience with strength. Thus, strength is a threat to them. It represents that which is foreign. The owner of the ass voice decides that someone else is a friend, is to be supported, is to be followed, is to be awarded, is to be hired, is to be lionized, based upon their own ass voice, because all ass voices are related. This is how recognition is achieved. How popularity now works. It is the foundation of the publishing industry and it is all of the floors of the buildings in that particular city--a cultural necropolis--that no one really cares about. The ass voice. The possessor of the ass voice hates two things about all else. The first is legitimacy. It is what accounts for the damning contrast. Legitimacy is an indictment of the ass voice and its owner. The indictment at the level of who they are. Legitimacy negates the ass voice. It halts the enabling. Ends the ruse. Sees the fraud. Sees through the person who is barely there and understands what they are up to. That legitimacy can be denoted in what someone else says. What they write. What they actually achieve, often against great resistance from those with their ass voices. What that person is and what they represent. It can happen up close, it can happen from afar.
But here is where things really get ugly. They take their worst turn when the owner of the ass voice would like nothing more in this life, would do anything in this life--except work--to be that legitimate person they hate. For that person is hero of the owner of the ass voice, their god, only the ass voice person hates them even as they worship them by just how much they want to be them. Will even wish them dead so that they do not have to live knowing that this contrast exists. And what it says about them. So they will obsess. The legitimate person will always be in the head of the ass voice person. They know they can never be anything like that other human, and they will not be able to cope with that person succeeding, let alone playing any part in that success by treating them fairly, or without hate and actual discrimination. They'll want nothing to do with them, because it eats them from the inside out. At the same time, they can't let go, because this, ironically, is too big a part of their life. Their sickness. Which is a large part of their life anyway.
Moving on. Tried some blueberry juice. Was quite good. I don't know a lot about blueberry juice as of yet. I thought it might help with heart health, as blueberries themselves do. Maybe this weekend I can get out to Trader Joe's and stock up on fruits and juice. And vegetables. And nuts. And granola. Also, the low sodium salad dressing. There is an avocado kind I have with my kale.
Watched John Ford's How Green Was My Valley (1941). A beautiful film. Was Ford the finest American filmmaker of the last century? It's tough to conclude otherwise. Also: Am I not supposed to be in love with Maureen O'Hara? Because that is unrealistic. The scene when Walter Pidgeon makes his speech about hypocrisy in the chapel, how he wished to change the world with a message of truth and the power of truth, and realized how few he reached...it definitely rattled me. I don't want that to be my outcome. He walks right out of that scene. You don't expect him to exit like he does, but he does. That is a powerful film. The driver is memory. The driver is not overt, as it is in, say, The Searchers--to find Debbie.
The Red Sox played well a couple days ago last time I saw them, though all of their runs came in a single inning. I thought they were efficient. Player makes a diving stop on a ball up the middle, throws to first, first baseman digs the ball out of the dirt. That's what I mean. Winning ball on both sides of a play. The Bruins were also efficient, against Buffalo. Yes, they're the Sabres, but it's no "gimme" game over the past few weeks. I've seen the Sabres a bunch of late. They're competing. They can trip you up. I wonder if Halak will ever tend goal for the Bruins again? I could see Swayman being the back-up going forward. I would assume he's in net tomorrow.
Lastly: Quite the talent that Jemele Hill is. Not a racist, hack-troll at all.
Skilled with the prose? Nope. No writerly talent. Not a speck. Expert? Nope. Knowledge about anything? Nope. A simple-minded, vacuous, splenetic racist who, of course, is rewarded for being this, richly paid, etc., while howling about discrimination as this, the true racist, a true talentless racist, works the system she must have in place in order to succeed.
But that's where it stands right now, in the world of the ass voice.