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Saturday 6/10/23

This entry serves to wipe the chalkboard clean and get started in a new week and work harder than ever.

Yesterday I began something for my baseball book, which is about the game's history and timeless life lessons that can be gleaned from aspects of that history.

I also worked more on a new story that was created last week--one of two--which will be in Become Your Own Superhero: Intrepid Exceptions to Modern Fiction. It's difficult when I read something back, again and again and again, and I see something obviously better than any other thing being written in the world right now, or ever, and I know that for now it will simply sit here with me. And all of the millions of people who'd love it can't see it. They don't even know it exists, can't know that it exists right now, given that you have an industry that wants to make sure they don't.

That's a feeling that eats me up inside. What I then have to do is get back to work, which only creates more masterpieces about which all of this can be said. And they are all happening at once. But the way out will be created or present itself. I must believe this. When I struggle to believe it, or even when I can't, I must create and continue as though I do. For this is faith, and nothing engenders faith like the power of these works I am making every day.

This story is hilarious and true and it's exactly what the world needs. The conversation and debate it would instigate. Controversy, too, yes. The relish people would have for so many of its lines. It's like music--you can play those lines in your head, the way a tune sticks in the brain. And there's just never been anything ever written that's like it. And here it's just another thing that's done as other things are also other things that are done at the same time and the same days.

I don't know how anyone is ever going to believe that Become Your Own Superhero and The Solution to the World's Problems were written at the same time. Among other books. They'll have to believe it, because there they will be, and the background for the creation of both will be available and documented, and there will be this record with the events depicted--lived--in real time. But still, it will be hard to believe, because it goes against the grain of everything a human person has known or what they think is possible. And those were just the two books I mentioned right now on this Friday.

Then it was later than I usually go out to run stairs, but I figured I'd go anyway. Put on the workout clothes. It was raining, and I just thought, you know, you'll start all the harder tomorrow, so I just did my push-ups instead.

The Panthers won Thursday night. That was neat. I went to bed with maybe half of the third left, so they were down by 1 just then. Those are the everything minutes, when you trail in the second half of the third in a series when you're down two games to none. You either get back in it, or you're finished, pretty much.

Found, downloaded, and converted a number of key unreleased sets. One of them contains several hours of BBC tracks from the Animals, with some TV broadcasts, too. Another was what almost was the Who's first album. Then there was a set of Who BBC recordings, which has an off-air rendition (meaning someone held up a tape recorder to the radio speaker at home) of "Baby Don't You Do It" from 1965. They'd do it on tour in 1971, and one of those versions became an excellent B-side--among the finest B-sides, really--but this was a true rarity.

Spent last night "working" on a Stone Roses tape. Last year, a tape began to circulate of the Roses playing Sheffield on February 20, 1989. This performance contained the only known pre-reunion version of "Bye Bye Badman," but the tape ran too fast. Someone corrected it, but they reversed the order of two songs. I tried in the fall to edit the tape so that it would run at the right speed, but as I learned last night, I completely failed with that. I'm not good at this kind of thing, and it's one of the many things I need to get better at. I know so little about certain practical things. How to work iTunes well, how those wireless earbuds work. I want to be in my houses someday spending whole days listening to and studying music, so I need to be up to speed. I have no idea how you watch something from an app or the computer on a TV, or how speakers connect to a computer, or how a computer connects to a stereo. These are all things I'm going to want and need.

I didn't know how much this tape was sped up, but I did sample the speed-corrected version that someone else had done, and that sounded right to me. I found a program that would allow you to take an mp3 file and change the speed. The original tape ran at 41.01 and the speed-corrected one ran at 44.06. So, I divided the former by the latter, multiplied that by 100, got about 93%, entered that into the program for the speed adjustment, and produced a version of the tape that ran for only one second longer than the speed-corrected version I had heard. That's going to be the same. Could be that this is the only corrected version of this historical tape out there. I'm sure most people into this kind of thing have no problem making due with that other corrected version with those two songs in the wrong order, but I don't like things like that. I want it to be right.

I'm watching Hill Street Blues. Better Call Saul was recommended to me. I had already seen it, save for the last few episodes. Didn't think much of the show. One-note, predictable, not well written, repetitive, tiresome, knew the shot compositions before they happened. Also a regurgitation of another show. Slick, yes, but that's not an endorsement to me.

Plus, I didn't believe any of it.

What do I mean by belief? I can believe Dracula, I can believe The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I can believe Alice in Wonderland. I buy into those worlds as those worlds are shown to me. The same as I can buy into works of social realism or whatever term we are using. The term doesn't matter to me--the believability of the world and its inhabitants--the characters--does, for it is from that believability that resonance comes, and true connection, and ultimately value. The value I care about.

That value then debouches into all of these other areas. And it keeps doing that for your whole life. I'm not talking about the "value" in killing a few hours with a "marathon." I never believed that anyone in Better Call Saul was out there, nor did I experience human dimensionality. I don't mean that they actually exist. That's not some prerequisite. But that they could be out there and are real in their world. And our world. Which has all of these different forms of worlds within it, including those mentioned above.

I thought I was seeing heavily masticated artifice like some congealed lump on a plate but as displayed with a certain kind of lighting that is supposed to make me think this is impressive. I think a work also fails when it is possible to know every single choice its protagonist will make before they make it. For the entire damn thing. No growth, no surprises, and someone I'd also describe as just annoying and juvenile.

I don't feel that way with Hill Street Blues. I'm not saying it's some masterpiece, because it isn't, but it succeeds where I think something like Better Call Saul doesn't. I've seen most if not all of the episodes over the years, but I am making a thorough survey. I prefer there not to be any gaps in the things I wish to know.

The shot after the third cut in the title sequence has to be the bleakest shot for a title sequence in all of television. I find it haunting each time I see it with every episode. Look at that place. It's like the Inferno has come above ground and what was before an epicenter of blasting heat is this radial, existential, gray bereft of even the possibility of warmth. Call it the hope of warmth. This makes the cut to Tavanti all the more jarring. Your insides have been mixed up before we start.


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