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It's like a march

Friday 1/21/22

Some word count stats from this AM.


Two things of great significance happened in June 2018. I started writing short stories at a clip that even I had not realized before, and I was someone who composed sixty of them between mid-March 2012 and the end of that year. I think it was sixty. It's out there in an article somewhere, and when I had the data in front of me, I'm sure I noted it in these pages a time or two.


But between June 2018 and now, I have composed 340 stories, and it's about to hit 350. About thirty others are underway, and 100 others are in various stages. I said that to a friend a week or so ago, and they remarked to me, "You don't have 340 stories. You have 340 masterpieces better than anything out there, that these people will not let the world see. Even if you just somehow typed up 340 stories that would be amazing. But we're not talking that here. We're talking 340 masterpieces."


I have to keep my anger in check, over what is the worst discrimination there has ever been, because if I give in to that anger, I will vitiate my purpose and focus. There's just too much to go around. One would be overwhelmed by it, so I don't even have the "luxury" right now of that anger, of having those real and human feelings. I must be the master of my feelings, because that is part of how I am going to beat these people.


That same month of June 2018, this journal was launched. The website itself premiered in the winter of 2018. I saw the other day on the News section that there are more than 400 news items in that time. I don't have people who tongue my balls. I don't have anyone who does anything on my behalf. It's the exact opposite. So these aren't blurbs and quotes of praise and puffery. These are only achievements. Things I did with my work. With all of this against me.


Go to someone else's site. What do you see in the news sections? It's just people like them lying about them. Blurbs and reviews with hollow words that no one means. And so many stars from here, and a Book of the Year piece of BS from here. None of it is real. What you will see, too, is how little these people write, and how little they actually achieve. As I said, this journal launched in that same June 2018 when the first of those 340 plus short stories was also composed. In that time, I've also written hundreds of pieces, op-eds, many books. But here's the stat: James Joyce's Ulysses is 265,000 words long. This journal, between this morning, and going back to only July 4, 2021, is 310,000 words. That's less than eight months.


This thing that is but one thing I do. This side thing. I said to someone else that even if I get past these people, and I overrun the world, I despair that someone could ever read my entire output. I am perhaps now, not halfway done with life. This is before we get into everything I had before all of this, and the millions and millions of letters that document my quest, quite apart from this journal. And they said people would. That there would be people who devoted their whole lives to studying this body of work. Right now, I am actuated by faith. There's nothing else. Faith in my ability, what that ability can mean to this world. Faith that I am here for something on a different level. I also know exactly what the work is.


In many ways, too, I have not even started. Anyway. I will pick up the cheapest edition of Macbeth (which is 17,000 words long) possible so I can tote it around as I work up this new project. I have a volume of Shakespeare's complete works, but it's a mammoth book and so not the kind of thing you tuck in your peacoat pocket as you head out to BC for a hockey game on a February night.



I went through the mail, after some weeks, separating out what to throw away and what to keep, the latter of which I'll open later. There was a card from Wickett, and also one from my four-year-old niece Lilah. Sometimes she sends me her art work. I have to order those Frog and Toad stuffed animals for my two-year-old niece Amelia, whose birthday is Sunday. Well, she'll be two on Sunday. Lilah is smart and artistic. She's shy. My sister sent me a video recently of Lilah skating for the first time, and with hockey skates, too. I keep her drawings and the things she colors. There's one of Rudolph on the toaster on a stack of biographies of Keats.


I'm watching 1978's Halloween again, and was impressed by the long tracking shot that starts the film. The thing with tracking shots is that they're easier to do when they use the subjective camera style. They're not true tracking shots, in a way. They're bound up with the film, rather than something to be executed that work with the film, that don't pull your attention away from the film, like Welles's opening to Touch of Evil.


I think if I do another Devil's Advocates book, it should be about 1931's Dracula or Welles's Macbeth. I've given thought to other films--Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the original), Curse of the Cat People. Those could also work. I don't know. That's just what I'm thinking right now. I think the Browning picture is one of the three, four, five most influential movies of all-time, a misunderstood film, and a film that doesn't fare as it should fare critically. It occupies the liminal space between silence and sound. I think that makes it more eldritch. We also see the old ways--of the world, of acting styles--abutting newer ones. I believe that it remains frightening, too, and it's weird. It's just a weird film in the best way. We've talked about weird before, and recently in connection with Powell and Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale, which I wrote about recently in a piece that will go into that first volume of my film criticism. The Wizard of Oz is weird. Sgt. Pepper is weird. Weird doesn't mean "cult" or anything like that. Nor should it suggest a limited audience. It just goes there. Do you know what I mean? It has no compunction or reticence in inventing and being itself. Anglerfish Comedy Troupe is weird. I think this Dracula is a misunderstood film, for quite a few reasons. And it changed so much, especially in the popular culture, for going on nearly 100 years now.


Saw this morning that Jamie T's Panic Prevention is getting a fifteenth anniversary reissue, with a live set from 2006 that was originally handed out on cassette. I think this is one of the best albums ever made, and it is one of my very favorites. It's a story album, a writing album, a sound-of-words album. "Alicia Quays," to me, is one of the finest things written in a long time, by anyone, in any medium. A work of existential essentiality.


It's going to be called @mac_bethhh by the way.