* Trying to save money on food--things are precarious right now--so took an old Dunkin' Donuts gift card I found from many Christmases ago and went and got some food there for the week.
* More texts coming in from someone else about how the new stories they just read--"Spearminty," "Jesus Changes Everything," and "Die Graduatio--are the best things they've ever read or could imagine. This person pours over The New Yorker and has for years. They get really upset. Tell me that there is no comparison. Realizing that I know this also. But they are upset. I listen to them. I can hear how much it hurts them what is happening, and then they go on to have this moment where they catch themselves--I can hear it in their voice--as it hits them again what this must be doing to me.
* Different grim.
* The person from above phoned me about the stories. Sometimes I feel like I am consoling someone else for what is my pain. They went on about how different the stories are, as always, from each other in every way. Tonally, the subject matter, the style, the voices, and so forth. As if, as they put it, 500 completely different geniuses each wrote the best story of their lives. What happens when people write, because they suck at writing, is they write the same shitty thing each time they write. So, if you were at a magazine, you could rightly say, "You don't do the kind of thing we're looking for." You can't say that to me. I write every kind of story, and invent kinds that have never been written before. If you were Agatha Christie, and you had a mystery tale, it wouldn't be a fit for the Modernist magazine that published James Joyce. She could come back 100 times, but she'd still have that Christie-style potboiling mystery. Not a good fit. You can't say this to me. You can't say I'm not good enough. You can't say in ten stories, twenty stories, 300 stories, whatever you wish, I didn't deliver the ultimate story for your venue. I've given you your poster story. The most representative story of what you do or could hope to do. But I can say you are a bigot. Because that is all that remains. Because the issue is not what I'm offering.
* Wrote an op-ed today on how I don't believe in travel. Not in how people mean travel. And that there are all kinds of travel in the world. It's awesome. Perfect for this summer, post-COVID. Sent it to The Atlantic and The New York Times. Nothing will come of that. Soon I will have to do what I have to do regarding the former with the first Scott Stossel blog post on here, and I will go from there and not stop until I have justice.
* Fell asleep last night when the Bruins were down 3-1. Saw they lost in OT. I can't stay up that late most nights.
* Robert Ryan looks like Ted Williams. Chuck Connors looks like Chet Baker.
* Kyrie Irving is a very disturbed man. He's a vile human, but also a sick one. And stupid. And a racial opportunist. Which is different than a racist. Or can be.
* The Maple Leafs are awful at playoff hockey.
* I think Doug Gilmour was the best hockey player in the world circa 1993-94.
* I have to go talk on the radio now.
* I'm back.
* People who say, "I hate to bring politics into it..." always want to bring politics into it.
* People think politics is just something that people naturally disagree on. Or disagree on more easily. That's not it. What happens is everyone says something, and usually with no clue. People are not readers. They are not learners. You can watch the news three times a day. You'll learn nothing. What is presented on the news and how it is presented is not about truth. To find truth, you have to work. You have to search. You have to read widely. You have to go beyond a 1984-ish media. You have to learn to read between lines. You have to piece together. Assemble. Read tones. Understand intentions. A very small amount of people do this. That person then runs up against someone using what we have delineated on these pages as the "ass voice." You can't respect someone like that if you are someone who learns, searches, reads. Puts the time in. Has brains and recall and critical thinking skills. A deep knowledge of history and issues. This other person wants their "take" and "opinion" to count as much as yours, but that's a cop out and a passive aggressive one. The ass talker's prerogative, which is more permissible with politics than, say, the novels of Proust. They'll defer to you there. Usually be fleeing so that they won't be exposed as totally ignorant. But politics is considered free game. An ass talker's delight, one of the few areas in which they think they have every bit the standing as anyone else. That's where your real resentment comes from. Because you can't argue with stupid, lazy, angry, defensive, and entitled. Or talk to it. It's not "political differences." Or not primarily. And now you have to. Or say nothing. I choose to say nothing outside of my writing life.