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Wednesday 12/15/21

Ben Affleck is fundamentally uninteresting. He's not good at anything. And yet, he's often in the news and being discussed. Why? Simply because of mediocrity? It is, as I well know, mediocrity that makes this world go 'round, which leads to profit, to followings. You can be a very bad person, too, and that won't cut into the business model of your mediocrity. I saw this morning--because you can't help it, if you log on to Twitter--that Affleck blames his ex-wife for his massive drinking issues that he will clearly never solve. He'll never solve them because he is a child-man incapable of taking responsibility.

I had a drinking problem. The problem was mine. Certain things in a hellish life did not help it, but life always gets worse for me by the day, and I still don't drink now. I required no meetings, no expensive rehab that I would not have been able to afford anyway. I took responsibility and I stopped. I had no friends, no help, no family, no money, and was despised by an entire industry that wanted--and wants even more now--to stamp me out. And apparently after their separation, this woman drove this child-man to his latest rehab stint. You never know who someone is on the outside. A truism of life: if you think someone is a good person, get to know them better. I'd say that statement cuts two ways, but the way in which I most intend it here is that you'll discover they're rubbish. You just don't know them well enough yet--you see the surface, the veneer, the poses. And this can be the case with someone one knows for two decades. A family member. Few people are their intimate, real selves with any of us. You have to know them sans fetters in their emotional and moral nakedness. Or, they'd have to compose a journal millions of words long sharing their innermost self (hello).

But this woman seems kind. And she's the reason you drank? And you're talking about it now, years later? So, all of that time to reflect, and yet, it is her fault. I was married to the worst human there has ever been, minus murdering, but someone to make Judas Iscariot look like a straight shooter you'd want in your corner, and Iago a bosom companion who'd be the last person on earth to mount any kind of a plot. A demon who must be so self-haunted at this point with the knowledge of her own preternatural turpitude that she can barely exist. A demon who, a decade later, was in cahoots with Chris Beha and company at Harper's, impacting my career.

But I didn't drink because of her or because of what she did to me. None of that helped, as I said. You have to think you're better than anyone who would torment or abuse you. Anyone who would discriminate against you. Try to hurt you. Try to destroy you. You have to know that you're better than they are. And if you are, then you have to take responsibility for your own conduct, choices, failings. You don't cede them over to an evil person. They don't make you. They don't govern you. They're not the dictators of what strengths and virtues you will have and be about.

They might hate you more than they can hate anyone else because of your virtues and abilities given that they have none--that's Chris Beha at Harper's (what a vengeful, sackless, petty, scheming, green-eyed little tick you have to be to behave in the manner of someone like this; and I was even more blatantly lied to than I let on in that earlier post, because Beha stored emails from me--in case he ever needed them to cover his ass and explain away his behavior--that went back years, which he never even bothered to open)--but you never stop in the cultivation and development of those virtues and abilities. You never stop trying to redress your failings.

My drinking was entirely on me. I am a strong person, and I am no one's bitch. So, the contrast stood out to me. Someone lionized for no good reason, with no real abilities, and a bad person--a weak man, in all areas--to boot. What is weakness in this case? Weakness is a failure to take responsibility. It's not having a problem. Weakness isn't even not being able to get out of bed because one is in so much pain, or sufficiently scared, anxious. That's not weakness. Weakness is pretending otherwise. When one pretends otherwise, strength never has a chance to get started. To be put to use. To be discovered. Rediscovered. Whatever it may be.

I have to write a film feature now. Off I go.


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