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Breathing tube performance

Tuesday 6/6/23

The other day on Facebook, I clicked on someone's story, which I rarely do. Why do I rarely do this? Because no one is interesting. They very rarely have anything interesting to say or share, so why would I have any interest? Just because? Or because this is how everything is now and I'm making sure to do my part in playing along with the lack of substance and value in just about everything by clicking on things for no practical reason at all? That seems silly, doesn't it?

This was a woman in her twenties, I think. Late twenties. Fit-looking normally. Healthy seeming. But in the photo for her story, she looked ill and perhaps even in the hospital, as she had one of those oxygen tubes coming out of her nose.

My first reaction when I see something like this is if there's anything I can do to help. Sometimes that's with words, but my words are never slight, they're never stock, they're not platitudinous, nor do I repeat what everyone else is usually just repeating. I have something for you. Or else I wouldn't say anything. A person is of course free to ignore or dismiss. They have things going on. I seek nothing. My intention is simply to try to help someone. Many people out there could testify to that. I've reached out to all sorts of people.

So I clicked on this woman's story, and it wasn't what she set it up to be. She wasn't sick at all. She was performing. She had made herself look ill, and had used the oxygen tubes as a prop, for she had a big speech to make, and this was part of the performance.

The speech came down to this: if you're gay and a gay writer, it is hard to breathe in our society. Woe is the gay writer. Woe is the person of color. Woe is the person of this sexual identification. And so forth.

She went on to talk about people who a fortunate enough to have cis privilege. Because of course she did. As the most discriminated against person in the world at present, I would have laughed over this notion of my cis privilege, but anyone who knows my work, knows me, and knows this journal, knows exactly how it works and why. That meat need not be chewed again in this entry. I also probably don't need to go into the details of how every last thing she had ever published was an easily documented favor trade with someone with purple or green hair, just as I don't need to go into how it went for me or would go for me if I sent a masterpiece for the ages to that person with purple or green hair.

But I want to say is this, because it's true. And I'm not speaking to any special deductive powers that I might have. I'm speaking to an abundantly plain reality that you can also see and experience for yourself just as easily as I do.

I can look at a photo of anyone and tell you exactly what they write. All that they've written before, and all that they ever will write.

If it's a Black person, it's Black things. If it's a gay person, it's gay things. If it's an Asian, it's Asian things. If it's an old person, it's old person things. If it's a Native American, it's Native American things. If it's a trans person, it's trans things. If it's a woman, it's women. If it's a white person, it's simply them. If it's a nebbish academic, it's nebbish academics. If it's a Brooklyn hipster freak, it's Brooklyn hipster freaks.

Think about that. I can look at a photo of you--any photo--and know what you're entirely about as a writer. Think of the state of affairs for that to be true.

There isn't a single other writer out there with any imagination. There isn't anyone else who invents anything. There isn't a single other writer who creates something that you don't see coming. There is no one who writes with any imagination.

Isn't that supposed to a be lot of the whole thing? A big part of the whole point? Imagination? The entire foundation?

But how lacking in imagination do you need to be for me to be able to look at a Facebook photo of yours and know what your entire output--scant though it's likely to be, because these so-called writers write very little--is about?

With no variation. Each piece, each topic, each story, each book.

Go ahead. If you're in this vile, incestuous writing community, think of people you know. People you know of. This is totally true, isn't it?

There's one exception. And that person just happens to be an athletic-looking white male. Just happens to be. I could look like anything, and I would write what I write. Because it's all beyond my body, and my color, and my gender, and my sexual orientation. It is of my imagination, and my imagination has no boundaries. My imagination is truly free. My imagination embraces all and everything. And everyone.

These people should try their version of that with anything for the first time in their lives. You want to know what privilege really is? Having no ability, no character, no imagination, nothing of actual created value, and being carried through life, or a career, or an industry. That's privilege.


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