I don't like putting up the news that I have a new book on Twitter or my Facebook author page, which I did today, because then I just see more proof of how much I am hated. (And also my complete absence of friends and/or family who care or give any support, even at the most token level of a "like.")
All of two people will hit the like button. I don't want to see it. Do you know how painful that is?
Someone said to me today that with so many books coming out in the next twelve months, there will be many more new Colin Fleming readers. They meant well. Giving me a pep talk. But the reality is, there will not be a single review for any of those books in the world. (The Sam Cooke book is the only one that has a chance, on account of the subject matter.) Because I am blackballed by an entire industry. People like Greg Cowles at The New York Times have a policy that my work will never be reviewed at their venue. There will literally not be a single review of something like Meatheads. It's a book millions could love. I am not exaggerating. There honestly won't be a review in any magazine or newspaper in the world. That's what I'm dealing with. And it's only part of what I'm dealing with. It's real. This is that bloody real. This isn't something in my head. A person can do the Google search themselves, if they don't believe me. You're not going to find so much as one review. There won't be awards, it's all "Let's bury this man." This is truly how it is. How do you keep going? Today I picked up work writing on Ella Fitzgerald for JazzTimes, and I wrote an entire new short story, "The Jackdaw," and two entries for this book of overlooked masterpieces, one on Steve Reich's 1966 electronic piece, "Come Out," and the other on the 1947 George Pal film, Tubby the Tuba.
This was an op-ed pitch I sent out. The "not on my watch" thing happens over and over and over again.
"Been reading through this Katie Hill movie news today, and blows my mind that her saga--which involved inappropriate sexual relations with staffers--has led to a movie deal with Elisabeth Moss playing her. I read Hill's self-aggrandizing tweet, where she says, "Looks like I can now add movie producer to my resume," galled by her tin-ear that apparently makes her oblivious to how she sounds. Some people are arguing that she did everything wrong and was rewarded (true)--and what about her victims?--with others countering that a white male could become president on the back of this (also true).
"But here is what is always lost now in these things: There is nothing less you wish to be at the moment than a straight, white male who is not connected and solely dependent upon talent, hard work, and productivity. You will pay the price for white males who got things that they didn't deserve because of connections, power, etc., and your progress will be halted in a "not on my watch," kind of way, by the people who celebrate a Katie Hill.
"This is a huge part of one myth, at least, of straight white male privilege. I live it day in, day out in publishing."
* Edit: It's later now. Wrote the fourth piece of the day--four full pieces, which the Genius Grant crowd won't write in five years--on Robert Freeman's cover for With the Beatles this time.
* Edit again: Scratch that. It's later once more. I wrote another piece--on John Clare's "I Am." Four nonfiction works--one on an album cover, another on a poem, another on an animated film, another on a tape loop--and wrote a short story, in just another regular fucking day here. Real normal. Nothing to see. Hate that guy. Seriously, why even have the Genius Grant thing where you pay people $600K? I saw the awards given out the other day. I saw the boring work of the people who won, and I saw that they checked the right color and gender boxes. But why have it? What is more obvious that here is the one real genius, not the unctuous hashtag genius, not the well-connected trumped up, pretend genius? Honesty--what is more obvious than this? And if you're on that committee, and you don't know me, what are you doing? You see my work everywhere, even though I'm blackballed, if you're at all paying attention and not completely lazy and incompetent. And this is supposed to be given to a genius who could really benefit from the money? Who can use the money to do more work? But you just give it to talentless frauds who already have mints of money. Yeah, Fleming, clearly not a genius. Come on. That term doesn't even do it. It's not even a bare minimum term. It's so inadequate as to be completely lacking in describing what I am. And I can say that because any half-hearted, vaguely good-faith perusal of my work and what it is and the range of it and the amount and the knowledge and the insight and the variety more than proves that.