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Thursday 9/24/20

I read a news item today about a construction worker who ate a bag and a half--which seems like a strangely precise and arbitrary amount, but okay--of black licorice over the space of several weeks, and then his heart failed and now he is dead. Because of the black licorice. Which lowers your potassium levels, in turning upping your heart rate and your blood pressure. What does this mean for me? Means I'm never going to eat black licorice again, I can tell you that, and I'm also going to pick up some bananas and some potassium pills at the CVS today. Fuck that. I have enough problems, I'm not being taken out by black licorice. I guess the effects are like hemlock in the time of Socrates. I may already be on the path to the 21st century version of that fate, but I won't help it along with rubbery candy.

Man knocks on my door this morning as I'm composing. I don't like people knocking on my door, because I don't know anyone or have any friends, so it has to be some official thing, which makes me nervous, and I wouldn't allow anyone in this apartment, because they'd call the department of health and it is also humiliating to live like this. Turns out it was a guy for the census. I step out into the hall--he wanted information on the place across the way. If you don't fill out the form they send you, they do actually turn up at some point. Which is the only reason I fill out the form. He says to me, "You're very well read. I can tell." I just talk like I talk. Turns out he likes Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. So we spoke a bit

I watched the first two episodes of Schitt's Creek, having seen that it won all of these awards. Really? There is nothing funny here. There's nothing witty, there's nothing amusing. It's no more sophisticated than The Benny Hill Show. What do people like about this? I always want to know.

Like with Skip Bayless. An absolute idiot and deplorable person. Not smart, funny, insightful. But he makes millions of dollars, has millions of Twitter followers. I want to ask someone who follows him why they follow him. What does he bring to your life? What does he do for you? Do you really believe he knows anything about sports? Does he say anything to you about sports that your uncle, your plumber, your barber, the dude at the deli, your drunken cousin, your meathead neighbor, can and don't say? Should they get millions of dollars to say those exact same things in as artless and cliched and Neanderthal-ish a way? What do you like about him? I don't think anyone would really have an answer to give me. It's just what they do. 'Cause. No other reason. 'Cause. That was my sense with Schitt's Creek. I think a large part of this is that there's nothing else out there. There's no better alternative that is hyped. There are better alternatives, but people will only check out that which they are told to check out, that large groups of people are checking out. They won't go looking.

You can't overstate how lazy people are. On a dating site, you'll see women in their forties trying to find that lasting life partner. Time marches on, you want to get it right, you've obviously not had it go right to date, but they won't even read a profile. They'll ask me a question that I covered in a smart, witty, highly engaging way that is just so me. I'm not going to answer you. (I have little romantic interest of woman in their forties, but that's a different discussion for a different time.) I think, "damn, what lazy cows humans are." People will not take twenty seconds to read something. When it is literally in front of their face. (The fact that people do not read, and are borderline incapable of reading, and also borderline incapable of understanding what they do read if they read something, is why you have members of the "intelligentsia"--which is really a non-existent body in America--posting on Twitter from behind their blue check marks that racist, murdering, Black-hunting cops hunted down a sleeping Black woman and shot her in her bed at home, which is not remotely what happened. But they just slap it out there, because they want it to be that way, and a first grader is better at reading, and more apt to read, than someone like this. You can just lie your fucking face off, just make up whatever you damn well please, and it's not challenged, because everyone else is doing the same thing and they don't read anything--won't even peruse a list of straight-up facts--and now we have a culture where sick, internally diseased people speak out of their ass, and that's how we communicate. I don't see how you can fail to understand why this country is such a cesspool. It's so not political. It's because of this. It would be the exact same thing no matter what was going on politically. Because this is the stage we have devolved to.)

That's too much work for them. You can really offer an audience absolute shit right now, and that shit can be terrible, provide them with nothing, but they will tune in. I watched all three seasons of Norsemen. There's just nothing there. How many times are we going to make that "asicle" joke? They can't do anything with those characters. The whole series is this idea that there's raping and pillaging and it's these dark ages but sometimes a character says a current phrase or uses the word "perineum." Which is mildly amusing. Once. Twice. Maybe thrice. But that's all they got. Why did I watch it? I learn. I see what is out there, what the competition is, not that this is a competition because nothing right now, save sports, is about your talent pitted against someone else's talent. Nothing in our society outside of sports happens for merit-based reasons right now; absolutely nothing. We are the complete antithesis of a meritocracy. We are a mediocrity, if you will--we have canonized the quality of being mediocre at best. Our sociological god is mediocrity. We want things and people who offer no insight, no intelligence, no entertainment, no humor, no reason to think or feel. We want to look at those things and people and think it and they are similar to us and what we are about. We want zero stakes, consequence, or meaning. And of course we want zero truth.

Turn "Fitty" into a Netflix film, you'd be doing something. Adapt Dark March into a series, you'd have something. Make a cartoon out of Meatheads Say the Realest Things, you'd have something.

I don't begrudge anyone for anything they like, if they actually make an attempt, as an individual, to find things, to explore, to broaden horizons, to look for cool stuff, to be less of a lazy, dithering, helpless cow. But these are not amazing shows. They're not even any good. They're just simple and indicative of how low the bar is. If this is now "quality," imagine what actual quality is?

I need to get back to work. But I will just conclude with this. If you see a word of more than two syllables--pretty rare--on a dating site, that word is most often "compliment." It will be a woman saying, "I'm looking for someone to compliment me," because apparently less than fifty people on planet earth understand that there is also the word "complement" and it means something different. Although, at the same time, people are absurdly narcissistic, and they are often only looking for someone to compliment them. I've learned that most humans want no real connection. They want to stick their head out of their caves, though, from time to time, collect a compliment or two, tell themselves that they still belong to the human race, and then they go back into the darkness, alone as when they popped out for a bit, with no real intentions of not being alone. I'm totally alone. But the ways in which I am totally alone--logistically in my life right now, and in terms of my genius--are completely antithetical to the ways in which these people are alone. Which is one reason why I can be so open about my situation, and why they have to lie at all costs--and the price to the self--to the world about "living my best" life and all of that nonsense.


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