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Beatles, high school, practice squad

Wednesday 8/30/23

At the point where just accounting for/documenting what I've been writing of late is going to be like writing a piece.

Finished a Beatles feature today. Rolled right into the next one.

No stairs. Migraine. Just push-ups.

I've been thinking lately how modern life is so much like high school in some ways. More like high school than life has been in a long time, if ever. In high school I was a sports star--a dominant hockey player. But my bigger focus was writing and art. I've talked about how after school I'd stick around to read Shakespeare and discuss literature with a teacher, work on my writing, and then I'd go to practice, playing like the Blues Magoos or the Yardbirds on the ride. This was the 1990s.

A problem was always my intelligence. My teammates, for instance, were often very simple. Juvenile. Quite a few dicks. But because they were athletes they were popular. A big part of that was being sophomoric, crude, immature. Some could be kind of funny, in a high school way. A few were thoughtful.

Sometimes I take a peek online at these guys who are older than I am, and they're the same as they were back then. They have the same level of humor and sophistication, and now they've gone to flab, physically.

I couldn't stand high school. The stupidity of it. The cliques. That intelligence was a negative. I was a rare case. People still say things to me now like when they see me with a book. They say that I don't look like the type to be a reader. People will casually say that to me. Imagine if they knew me? What I do? What I'm all about?

The people who were popular were juvenile and dumb. That was an integral part to their popularity. I was the top hockey player. There was a drawer of recruitment letters. But more than that, I was viewed as the smartest person, to a greater degree. That was a negative. I went to class and I wanted to learn. I wanted to get better. No one wanted that. (This was fun: I had a guidance counselor intervene once and tell me to learn less.) No one wanted someone who had the answers. Who did the work. Who did more than the work. I didn't have a group because there was no one like me. You had people who were called nerds at the time, and that wasn't me. And you had jocks, and that wasn't me. You had teachers who were asking me about literature. I was better read. I was sixteen, seventeen-years-old. I could write better than they could. Yes, we were children, but it sucked the life out of me how childish kids were. I thought, well, this will change. You go into the adult world.

But now I see an adult world where it's high school again. The people who are followed and tongued are boobs. They're utter morons. Childish morons. They're not entertaining. I don't mean to me. I mean in reality. To anyone. But it becomes that popularity thing again, though without any basis for the popularity save being a boob and having numbers, and then others want to follow on account of those numbers. It's sad, pathetic, stultifying. And it's so goddamn boring. When do you ever see anyone say anything original? Has anyone said something original this year that you know of? Anyone you know? Anyone you read about? Anyone you follow? How about in the last two years? Five years? When was the last time anyone else said anything interesting?

I believe few people would have an answer beyond, "I don't remember." I don't think they could cite a specific time and then repeat what that was. I think they might call something to mind, but if you were standing in front of them, having posed that question, they'd then vet what that remark was in their head, and then they wouldn't say it because of embarrassment and given that they'd know, in the cold light of conversation, person to person, that what they remembered wasn't interesting at all. It wouldn't pass what would be that test in the context of that exchange. What would they do? Repeat something Joe Biden said? Dave Portnoy? Elon Musk? Stephen A. Smith? Joe Rogan? You'd just sound dumb. You'd feel like you'd be on the receiving end of a look that is part pity and part disgust. I mean saying that in all seriousness to anyone. Sound off, in a quiet room, a real conversation. I don't mean to me with what someone thinks my standards are. We now have a world where we can follow people. No matter how little they offer. No matter if they really offer nothing. But we can't look up to people. That is a huge thing.

Zappe and Cunningham went unclaimed--not surprising--and were signed to the practice squad.

I've heard a lot of talk about how hard the Patriots' schedule is. Looked it over yesterday. I don't think it's that hard. You don't have to be that good to win a bunch of those games. Even the start of the season which I've heard so much about isn't that hard. Philly to open for that Tom Brady game. Anything can happen then. Miami at home. The hardest game of the season is the Chiefs, and that's in Foxborough. I think the schedule is more the Patriots' ally than adversary, though I also understand no one else feels this way.


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