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Bring on the aliens

Saturday 3/6/21

I don't understand the now-widespread idea in sports about it being verboten to hit a player in a defenseless position or a vulnerable position, which is the language you hear all of the time. Or why it's so wrong to try and injure a player. Take one simple example. A player is skating up the ice in hockey in possession of the puck with his head down. Is he not defenseless? Is he not vulnerable? So you're supposed to let him make his merry way to the goal? Should you clap as he goes by? Shout hearty words of encouragement? Or should you absolutely lay him out, and hit him as hard as you can, which is to say, as though you have absolutely no problem injuring him as much as possible? That is basic, no? Vulnerable player, hit as hard as one can hit that player, because that is the game. Or, a player gets a "buddy pass" from his teammate. A buddy pass is sardonic term that all hockey players know, when a pass is behind you, causing you to look back to retrieve it. You collect the puck, turn to face forward again, with minimal time to get in a position that would protect you from a hit, and someone hits you as hard as they can, as you are vulnerable. What are they supposed to do? Say, "Oh, this pass has put you in a compromising position. It's cool. I will wait until you are ready. I wouldn't want you to be vulnerable, I wouldn't want to hurt you." Again, not how the sport works.


That's a good op-ed idea. The fallacy of protecting the so-called vulnerable player and all of the internet tears that people who know nothing about sports--but plenty about virtue signaling--shed as if their overwhelmingly moved by the depth of their own moral purity. I'll notice that sometimes one of these people will have a go at me on Twitter. They'll always do it the same way--by plagiarizing someone else's Tweet. Last night, during the Bruins game, an obviously unstable person--because I check--referenced Dale Hunter. They obviously knew nothing about hockey, had never seen Dale Hunter play, and didn't know who Dale Hunter was fifteen minutes prior. I don't forget language. I'd excel at catching kids plagiarizing their papers. And I can always trace what someone has written back to where they've stolen it. If you're like that, why would you come at me? What would be the point? How could you win? What would be gained in the attempt? You'd have to know that you're completely out of your league. Then again, you'd also think you'd know--and it seems like they never do--that if someone else went to your page, they'd see within five seconds how unstable you are. Simply put, crazy. Angry, alone, insecure, unhinged, violent in language, but a coward in reality. It's a strange thing to me, stealing what someone else says and calling it your own, and doing that all day. Academics do this a lot. And grad school students and people with advanced degrees.


I sent the Joy Division proposal to Da Capo. I am supposed to get them a chapter of Same Band You've Never Known: An Alternative Musical History of the Beatles. I want my next books to be Longer on the Inside, The Sounds on Dust: Coming Alive to Joy Division, Cheer Pack: Stories, Same Band, Glue God: Essays for Repairing a Broken Self, There Is No Doubt: Storied Humanness, and hopefully this The Office project. That's what I want the next wave or two waves to be.


Obviously, that is a flux thing. I left out Billie Holiday. For all I know, that could be next. But if I had to say what is most important to me right now as an artist, I would say that's Longer on the Inside: Very Short Fictions of Infinitely Human Lives. It's become a project that has produced three full volumes. You start with one. Act as if it's the only one. But I invented an entirely new kind of literature. And doing so taught me a lot about what I can do, who I am and have been becoming as an artist. Taught me about myself, and helped me understand what I do that no one else can do, and why that particular service is so valuable to the world right now. Or would be if I wasn't hated and blackballed and had a chance. Or could be. However one wishes to classify it. That book is for all time, it's avant-garde, populist, timeless, and ideal if someone wants to do the whole "people have such short attention spans now" game. I would say I've outdone myself with that book and project. I didn't know I had that in me, and I didn't know I could do that. Same Band is the other big priority. It's the Beatles, it's me, a lot of people know my Beatles work, no one writes on them as I do, and it's about time I had my first Beatles book. The Joy Division book I have become increasingly passionate about.


My man Howard hooked me up with Sonny Rollins' complete Prestige recordings. I'm downloading so much music--I'll type out the list of some of it later--which is really a Rockport thing. Not a now thing. I can't listen to it now, I'm accumulating for when I have time and space and my house back. It's another way of working towards my future. I want that house, and the Cape Cod house, to be the ultimate museum of music. And all of it organized, and accessible. There when I want to listen to anything. A random Jimi Hendrix studio session from 1968. A Miles Davis unreleased concert recording from 1966. A given edition of Beethoven's complete string quartets.


If I get my house back, and am able to get that second house, I will have to take off like six months at some point, to organize and get everything as I want it to be. As I'm mostly helpless with even hanging a picture on the wall, I'll have to hire someone, and it will be a lot of work. But that would be the the only time that I am not writing constantly. And there is a chance I would be anyway. But I think that would be best--six months, or three months, to do nothing but get my life and living situations in order. Precise, immaculate order. I'm downloading Pink Floyd's The Complete Rainbow Tapes--their shows from London in 1972 when they workshopped Dark Side of the Moon across four days--as I write this.


There is a good book there--a study of Dark Side of the Moon, including, and largely focusing on, everything that led up to it. Because that record was not created as many records are. Rock bands did not, and do not, do what Floyd did at the Rainbow, for instance, and that's just part of the story. Sometimes I feel like saying--because people take no initiative on their own--hey, if you want to put out one of these books, because it sounds awesome to you and you read these pages and know what I do, reach out, make me a reasonable offer, and I'll probably do it with you, and I'll do it fast, or send it to you fast, if it's already written, ala Cheer Pack and all of its stories from the fancy places. A little vision, a little risk, a little breaking from the mold, goes a long way--it can go an even longer way with me.


I just read an obituary of a young man who died aged only twenty, in his D.C. college residence. His mother put it up on Facebook. Seemed like a very nice kid, with a lot going for him. I don't know what happened, but this was a boy who was born this century. His parents are young. That's an age when you still have your grandparents. I was also looking through some social media posts last night from the Jimmy Fund, and the kids being treated for cancer, what their lives are like. It's a good reminder to fight, and to try to be healthy and strong, to remind myself that there is still a lot of game left to be played, and this is by no means over. It's a good thing that I can fight. I have that.


I read Melville's "I and My Chimney." A good story to read in Rockport later on. I watched Bob Clark's Dead of Night, which came out shortly before Black Christmas in 1974. Along with William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives, it's perhaps the best film I've seen about men returning home from war. It's also a zombie picture. Bob Clark was an interesting filmmaker. Also directed A Christmas Story. And Porky's, oddly enough.


This is the absolute best you will see on a dating site:


"I have a well organized, simple life. I am a simple person. Looking to compliment it with someone in a similar situation."


There is no intelligence. You can spend two years on one of these sites and not encounter a single clause that thirty million other people in the world could not write. You will not see anything clever, funny, any expressed interest that is different, let alone specific to that person, a witty turn of phrase, an interesting observation. Actual years. You can look at 50,000 profiles, and not once will you see anything with the vaguest spark of intelligence. And when these people try to say that they want someone to "complement" them, it's always "compliment," because they have no idea the former word exists and there is a difference. They can be a doctor, a lawyer, they won't know. And I'd say that a good eighty-five percent of them tell you they are simple. That's the number one quality that people also say they are looking for: they want you to be simple. Unintelligent cowards who have never lived a real day of life in their lives. It comes awfully close to impossible to meet someone who is smart and mostly not crazy, let alone brilliant, dynamic, complex, strong, stable. But I have to look at something like the above, and think, "Jesus Christ, do I write this one? I mean, she's the only one this week who didn't spell a quarter of the words wrong at least. And she did use that comma, which hardly any of them do." And that was the entirety of her profile. That's all that human could think to say. That's the best that you're working with.


Another op-ed idea: Hyperbole and social media. We lack for language skills. We cannot even be clear, let alone render our words such that they delineate degrees. But we all wish to be heard. We wish for our words to stand out. We know so little of language, and are working with so few words. It's like everyone has the same thirty-six words at their disposal. We are like basic monkeys. What we then do is strain, buckle, to differentiate ourselves, and what you get is hyperbole. What follows is everyone speaking in hyperbole. This impacts how we think. How we see--or don't see--the world. Because what tells in the world is detail. Nuance. Degrees. We speak in hyperbole, we read hyperbole--via social media--and then we only see in hyperbole, in effect. The way we talk has changed how we see the world, not because the manner in which we speak provides insight. Rather, the opposite. There is no understanding. There's no processing of what anything actually is. When we have no understanding, we can have no common ground. We can't even disagree properly or with basis, because to disagree, when disagreements are best, is based upon an understanding of that which is being discussed. We don't have that anymore. Precise language and precise thinking is required to process a precise world and precise ideas and precise concepts. Reality is precise. It's massive and encompasses much, but it's always precise.


Downloaded a bootleg recording of John Coltrane and his quartet at a Philadelphia club called Pep's, on September 18, 1964, which contains the second movement of A Love Supreme. Remarkable document.


Have to figure out what to talk about on Downtown on Tuesday. And soon I have to start the massive project of downloading all of the Downtown segments I've done. I want mp3 files of all of it. Think I will discuss the vulnerable player idea above, the hyperbole and social media idea above. The idea that is about to come, regarding intellectual discussions.


Anyone who says they want someone with whom they can have an intellectual discussion has never had an intelligent discussion in their life. An intelligent person would never think, "okay, this is an intellectual discussion, let's have that now," because that implies a pose. Pretend time. Dress up time. Time to don the smart hat. What people who write such things mean is, "I've had some wine, and now it's time to BS and pretend to be deep." There will be cliches, metaphors that go nowhere, and mixed metaphors. Ass-sourced talk. Then it will come to an end, that person will return to their regular statements using their standard thirty-six words, and they will tell themselves that they can be serious, too, and like intellectual conversations. This is one of the ways they will pat themselves on the back for something that does not exist in their lives or in who they are and who they have allowed themselves to be and whom they have stopped themselves from being.


I will eventually write a science fiction novel about an alien race that holds humans to certain standards. Or else face extirpation. Standards of intelligence, growth, learning. Almost like a hard ass coach, enforcing bare minimums. More standards of effort, rather than prerequisites of being born a certain way. And society has more value, more depth, and people connect in deeper ways, but what is the cost, beyond said extirpation for those who dawdle?


I don't really have anything with which to illustrate this entry, so as we were talking of sci-fi, here's an original TV listing which mentions the first airing of The Twilight Zone episode, "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street." You could have watched This Gun for Hire at quarter past ten and James Whale's The Invisible Man at one in the morning.