* Here's a new piece in The Smart Set on pianist Freddie Redd's 1961 album, Shades of Redd. Said piece is in The Root of the Chord: Writings on Jazz's Essential Power and Artistry.
* Will be turning my attention to making a first book of my rock and roll criticism. Won't have any Beatles-related work in it--I'll keep that separate for other books.
* I'm going to write an essay about "Creep," because I think it's one of the greatest songs ever written, despite Radiohead having mostly disavowed it. Or wanted to disavow it, which are different things. Those ghost notes.
* Planning a Christmas piece. Yes, already. I am always writing my future works. It will be about Thoreau's writings at Christmas from the journals, which never explicitly mention Christmas, and I may extend this out to be a work about unlikely works of Christmas literature, ranging from the Thoreau, to a Victorian children's ghost story about the devil and a crow, and A.M. Burrage's "Smee," a ghost story about hide-and-seek.
* I saw a comment on Twitter from someone claiming that everyone who covers a Sam Cooke song ends up sounding like Sam Cooke, to which everyone then agreed, because that's what you do when you follow someone who doesn't know, which is most everyone, and that's how it is for everyone with a large following--a matter of maximum ass voice. It's how it works. This statement about Cooke is patently wrong. No one who has ever covered a Sam Cooke song has sounded remotely like him. I can't think of anyone whose interpreters sound less like that person. I don't see how you could sound like Sam Cooke. He has such a distinctive vocal timbre, for starters. Go ahead, try and do a Sam Cooke imitation--you can't. You can do an Elvis one though, right? Then there is his phrasing. Again, we have yet another example of the ass voice. People just talk from the ass. And so long as you talk from the ass, everyone else will just go along with what you say. It's when you actually know that you have problems, because people don't like that. The world is completely backwards. Bad is good, not funny is funny, insane masquerades as the new sanity, etc.
* This is surprising: In 1986--so the year after the Patriots went to the Super Bowl and were destroyed by the Bears--Tony Eason finished higher in MVP voting than Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, and Lawrence Taylor.
* Was reading some more items about Gretzky today. Do you know what proves Gretzky's dominance more than anything? This is a different approach. It's not the points. It's the points he didn't get. In other words, the chances he created, and the volume of chances per game, including those that didn't result in goals. There's no stat for this. But when I watch a Wayne Gretzky game, this is what I always think--so much of his greatness never got to the score sheet. He creates fifteen, twenty, high-level scoring chances per game. I've never seen anything like this from any other athlete.
* Only ran 1000 stairs today. It was quite early, and gale-like, but that is still a poor excuse.
* Yesterday marked 2023 days, or 289 weeks, without a drink of alcohol.
* Listened to the four piano rolls of his own music that Mahler made in 1905, and the recently issued Coltrane in Seattle set with the performance of A Love Supreme (while stair-running the last two days).
* Twitter always has teases like, "People assess blah blah" or "People discuss blah blah." Right. They assess. They discuss. Then you see these mentally enfeebled gutter slugs, in all of their stupidity and sub-literate language you can't decipher, just throwing their verbal fecal matter around. Assess. Discuss. I'll go all day without seeing a single line or sentence that is not a grammatical abomination. And people who are like this will always defend themselves against such a charge--in truth, they'd rather die than have to admit anything true about themselves, or just work a teeny tiny bit on anything--and you, the person who notices this, and makes the sane point, has to become the bad person. Then they will whine that people got the point anyway, this is how we talk now, or some other form of nonsense. But you know what? None of these cretins can understand each other either. But that's not the point. The point is spouting off. No one is trying to understand what anyone else is saying. No one cares. People just want to speak from the ass. Their ass. They don't actually care about what comes out of the ass of anyone else. Such a stupid, low class, daily devolving society. Then adults go out and watch a super hero movie or stare at something from Disney because that is all they will ever watch, because they're dead and lobotomized and just walking around, like a human on life support without the machines, but a vegetable never using their brains for anything. And come the morrow, they're stupider again. Which they then rally to justify. "Let people like what they like." Or maybe you should try sucking less as a waste of space and a brain. Maybe make some more out of your time here. Maybe get off your ass and experience some of the great things that humans have done. Maybe that will make you less stupid, entertain you more to boot, and a better person, and a better fucking friend, and a better spouse, and a better parent. Maybe you'll get more out of nature, be more fucking useful to people with their problems, have a deeper appreciation for what it means to be actually alive. Time to assess and discuss. How could you not be stupid in this world right now, unless you made a drastic, concerted effort not to be? To do what no one else was doing, and expose yourself to things that made you think, and to think critically, which, what, 200 people in the world do right now? Thirty people? How many people? It's not three million.
* Tommy John was a better pitcher than Jim Kaat, and it's pretty obvious. Better peak, better career, same kind of career duration. Why is Kaat going into the Hall of Fame but not John? I'd say neither of them belong, but John is more deserving than Kaat. Look at the numbers--John beats Kaat in wins, ERA, WAR. Beats him in WAR by a decent amount--10 points. Then there is the surgery component, if you like that. And the fame component, if you like that, too, on account of the surgery component. The baseball Hall of Fame is messed up.
* Many times each day, I will encounter headlines online that read something like, "Tom Brady posts hilarious hype video" or "Tom Brady's hilarious Instagram post." Never, not a single time, has any of these things been funny. Close to funny. Mildly amusing. Anything but super fucking annoying, childish, and as funny as a blood blister. Then I think, what kind of moron do you have to be to think, "Oh, shit, that's hilarious!" Who is this for? And if you are that stupid, you need to work on becoming less so. Because you are dragging down the whole race. You and your lot. You're devolving us. You're helping to put culture at its lowest point it has ever been, and I'm including the cave people years, because I think there was more of value and intelligence going on during those times. They could at least grunt out some tales around the fire, once they figured out how to make it, and I bet some of those stories were pretty original and compelling, and there is nothing original and compelling now.
* I hate our world right now. And it's the same exact shit over and over and over and over again. And so much mental illness, which is then encouraged and deemed as super duper awesome, nothing to see here, "sorry that happened to you" and "you're my shero." Holy fuck. And laziness. Defensiveness. No growth. No richness. No connection. No accountability. No meritocracy. How the fuck do these people not get bored out of their minds with the same endless, predictable, four things non-stop? Everyone thinks the same reductionist way. No one has any curiosity. No one acts on curiosity. We are so fat, lazy, and then the same shit is shoveled in front of our fat faces. It has to be fucking shoveled, because if it's not shoveled, we don't care, we will never see it because hell no, we would never put forth any fucking effort, not a fucking crumb, to actually go out and find something. And we don't really give a toss anyway. We just want attention, and to be a victim, and to do as little as possible and be provided for without being good at anything, earning anything. I hate this world right now, this culture, or absence of a culture, the lack of intelligence in anything, how that's rewarded. I'm sick of people pretending to be this or that or outraged over this or that just so they can get their undercarriage massaged in some pathetic, vain way, via a fucking like or a follower. You know what? I don't think most humans have souls anymore. I believe in souls. The soul as a thing, the soul as that transcendent component of one's utmost, innermost humanity. And I don't think souls hardly exist anymore. I go years and years without once thinking, "That's surprising," or "that's a fresh perspective," or "wow, what a great piece of writing," or "she's a compelling thinker." Everyone is the fucking same. Talks the same, and talks poorly. I don't know a single person with a passion for anything.
* I definitely did not do a good job today on the productivity front. Cannot be giving days away right now.