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A text, a story, some hockey, the street, Freddie, a book, a letter

Monday 3/15/21

* I just want to put something rosier here.


* I texted my sister today and told her I loved her.


* Was talking to someone else over text and I taught them how to use an em dash. They've used dashes incorrectly for years and it makes for some miscommunications. I gave them an example of a sentence with an em dash used properly. Then I looked at the sentence and I thought, "You know what? You could write a story from this." As a challenge to myself. I did. It was 1000 words long. Called, "A Boy Who Loved Apples."


* The Bruins' season may hang in the balance with today and tomorrow's games, both against Pittsburgh. Rask remains out, and they'll likely be starting in AHL goaltender in one of them. If they lose both, things start to get tricky, fast.


* I really like Freddie Hubbard. I like how he stares into the maelstrom of Ascension and says, "right, I can handle this." Does anyone play better than he does on that record?


* I did watch some of the BC/UNH game. The last eighteen minutes. It was weird hearing piped in crowd noise at an empty hockey rink. Hockey has great sounds. Just let that be the sonic side of the presentation for right now.


* Criterion is releasing a Blu-ray of Martin Bell's Streetwise (1984) in June. I'd like to write about it if I had a venue. It's one of the most powerful films I've ever seen. When I think about the best viewing experiences I've had in a movie theater, that's one of them. Also Jean Vigo's complete works. This was all at the Brattle.


* I'm intrigued by the idea of putting a volume 1 at the end of Longer on the Inside: Very Short Fictions of Infinitely Human Lives.



* This is a letter to a group of people:


"A couple things. This morning I was teaching someone, over text, how to use an em dash. And I gave them an example. Then I looked at the example and thought, "You can write a story from that." Also to challenge myself, you know? So I wrote a story from the example, which is attached here.


"You might have read in the blog about yesterday's plagiarism incident with my Sports Illustrated Canada Cup/Bobby Orr piece.


"What happened when I confronted this person is exactly what I expected to happen. I mention this because it's how most people are. And it's certainly how everyone in publishing is.


"When you catch someone doing something wrong, deceitful, evil, vile, what they will do is take that out on you. They will blame you. They will, in publishing, hate you, lock you out, tell others to hate you. That's a big part of the blackballing. It's not even me calling out the behavior, necessarily--it's that they know I know.


"Anyway, the man who plagiarized me attacked me when confronted with this. He blamed me. He said he didn't do anything. It's really the same as Chad. What does Chad say? "I didn't do nothing," when it's so obvious he's done something really wrong. That's how most people are now. They may hate you, they may tell others to hate you, they may label you as a "troll" or a "pushy prick" or whatever in their minds, but there is also no escaping the knowledge of what they did--they'll at least feel it on some level that will not leave them alone--and the resulting guilt.


"You--me--pay the price for that guilt. They don't publish an obvious masterpiece for all time and our time in "Fitty"--they won't even look at it. Doesn't matter if millions would love it--their bad feelings for you cancel out everything else. They make it impossible for you to be in the magazine when you are more qualified and a better writer and more knowledgeable and have a better track record than every last person they have. They will make you pay for your goodness.


"So this guy has at me. Then he says, "What do you want, I'm sixty?" which has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It's a man who could live for another forty years. You're sixty? So? Then he sniffs, "Fine, if it means that much to you, I'll give you credit." Give me credit for my own piece. Gee, thanks. Also, I looked at some of the man's other posts. In them, he railed against narcissists, saying nothing was worse than a narcissist or a megalomaniac (which is actually the word he used--a bunch). He also had his assorted Woke causes. It's often exactly like this. Like some parody of self-awareness.


"Here's the thing--if this guy had been an admin of this group, he'd have banned me from the group, because he could, and no one would know about it--or next to no one (meaning, only other admins, perhaps, who are like the other editors). Not the public, certainly. Like an editor bans me from a magazine. Because I am aware of what they have done, what they've stolen, how they've not paid me, how they traded their latest favor, how I do more in a weekend than they do in twenty-five years, etc.


"But this guy was confronted out in the open, and other people saw it, so he couldn't get away with it. It's a bit like the blog, that way. And the thing about the blog is that these people have usually done so little in their lives and careers, that when I expose them for what they are--and it's all factual; there's no insult-lobbing or conjecture--that goes to the top of the Google search of their name. I never want it to get to that point, but I also don't want to have to write some random guy about having passed off my words as his own. But I will.


"But you always get the same reaction. No one soul searches. Even a simple mea culpa is impossible. No one changes. No one grows. No one apologizes. No one makes amends. No one says, "You're right, that was bad, let me make it up to you, let's start again, what do you have for me, and I can show this to so and so, and that to so and so, let's move forward if you're willing." No one says, "I was in a dark place, I did some bad things, I'm sorry." Rare is the person who has that in them. And almost everyone, when fronted with something horrible that they've done, will cry victim. Doesn't matter their age, their gender, their background--they will cry victim. It's almost automatic I've found.


"Anyway. This is a good story. It'll move you."