It's telling how hard it is for an academic to understand that a person may know things. They may simply have unmatched stores of knowledge. The academic doesn't think in the terms of how much knowledge one might or might not have. The idea, and the possibility of the idea, does not enter their purview. The idea of actual knowledge is inconceivable to most academics.
People often cite my "research" to me. It's because they don't know much, and they can't conceive of a vat breadth of knowledge. I don't do researches. I know things. I have acquired that knowledge. I have developed that knowledge.
But that knowledge is so extreme and deep, that very few people if any can allow that it exists. They think that anything you learn--especially with certain subjects--means you targeted that learning and went to a library and sat there many times with a lot of books. You did research. The academic rarely knows anything in any workable, applicable, worldly way; they know what they just got out of some books that they can now recite or regurgitate until they forget it.
That's not knowledge. I remember how in eight grade I was struggling with photosynthesis. I wanted to know how it really worked. I wanted to understand it. I didn't want to memorize it and spit that back on a test. I wanted to have that knowledge that's akin to the knowledge where you reach into yourself for an answer when someone asks you a question like, "Do you remember one of your birthday parties when you were a kid?"
You have that knowledge in you. Here, it's also a memory, but the knowledge lives within. You access it by what is tantamount to a natural feeling. It's a movement. The knowledge is a part of me. It's alive.
This is the knowledge I have. You don't get that from "research." What people think when they read something I write on a given subject is that I researched that. I probably researched it recently. I wouldn't just know it. I wouldn't know it for years. Decades. All my life. There had to have been a specific reason why I went out and researched it. An assignment was made, then I got a bunch of books, learned what I could, and then I wrote some piece.
This is a dumb way of thinking, for anyone who reads my work, because the knowledge is deployed too naturally to think along these lines at all. But I breed incredulity. No one could know all of those things, all the time, at once. No one could know everything about all of those very different things. I am beyond the spectrum of what people will allow as possible this way, or what they can even entertain as possible. I am outside of their modes of thinking and perception. I am beyond their experiential bounds.
It's a very big problem because it's like being invisible. Very few can see it or get it. Those who do see and get it, tend to be the people with the most amount of envy and hatred as a result of that envy. You cannot get credit for things that people don't even know are there because they're so beyond what is knowable to them. It's like having the most beautiful piece of music, but it was at a frequency that the human ear can't hear. That music could be being played all the time, but no one would even know of its existence.
I've learned and developed my knowledge every second of my life. Within the portions of each second.
When people say things like what I've just mentioned, I don't want to know them. It's very alienating for me. It's frightening, too. It affects me in a bad way. Because I feel like I've gone beyond where people can go, and often beyond what people can see. I am unsure that people could ever even accept what I am. That someone could be that. It's so unlikely.
Put it this way. Imagine if there was a whole race of beings on earth and there were more of them than people. And they thought of themselves as the people. They're here, living their lives, and they're aware of us, but we're not aware of them. Because you don't know. We just take things a certain way. We don't allow for more than that. Maybe there are a million different species of these life forms living here with us now. Maybe their buildings are taller than ours by miles. We just can't see them.
Maybe it's so basic to them, just how things are. Like we have the way things are and that we're the people on earth and that's it. People measure everything in relation to themselves. What they've know, felt, thought, experienced, and what those things have taught them is possible. What their environment has taught them is possible. And the environment they share with everyone else. The world, being a person, to whatever degree they're a person. What they learned in school has taught them is possible. What history--which they don't know much about--has taught the is possible. What common chatter makes people think is possible.
They will stay within those walls. That's the totality. There is nothing else. Nothing else exists. Couldn't exist. And they are not suited to try and understand something else that does. People bring things back to themselves, which really means back to their own limitations. They filter everything through themselves and then view everything they view through themselves.
So someone is going to look at even just two very simple things I do--say it's a piece on jazz and a piece on hockey, as the foremost expert on both. They can't conceive that anyone could do even that. They don't allow for it, they won't grant that it was done, so it was like it wasn't, and you can't do that. Then you can't be recognized for what you are. And this is a very, very, very small portion of what I am--the portion of a half hour's worth of work. Then keep extrapolating: he does this too, and know all about this too, and writes this, and that kind of this, and this kind of that, and this kind of story and this kind of story, and stories about this, and that, and it's endless. So you can't even get credit for it. When you can't get credit, you can't get what you have coming to you, in terms of audience, opportunity, payment. Plus: whatever one sees first from me is going to put what they haven't even seen second yet behind the eight ball, so to speak. That is, someone reads this piece on baseball. Wow, it's amazing. Unique. Never experienced a piece like it. Then if you say to them, "He has this new short story," you are automatically going to think it can't be as good. Before you saw it. Do you see how this works? How could someone who did this one thing so well do this ostensibly unrelated thing as well? That's not very feasible. That's not how life works. How people work. But keep extrapolating. Because you can keep adding. Each time you add, that new thing will have more working against it before it's even seen. At some point, someone would have to say okay, fine, here is the mega-genius, is this person even human? And whatever that follows. I need not provide examples. Who the hell is going to say that about someone else when it's not being publicly said by a lot of people? What happens, then, is people become unsure of themselves, uncomfortable. And who wants that? So they shut that person out. They try not to think about them. They don't support them. They don't talk about them or spread the word. They might think, "I'll just wait to later when it's what people say." But when a bunch of people are doing just that, later doesn't happen. Or later gets pushed off later, and later, and later. Then eventually you--me--dies. And that was it.
You confuse people. They don't like to be confused. When a person is confused, they'll stop thinking about what has made them confused. They won't try to understand. They'll dismiss. Sometimes they'll send me some note showing that they don't understand the first thing about anything I do or am. One incorrect statement after another. At the most fundamental levels. So if they can't get the most basic stuff, which is highly incomplete stuff, how could they ever understand the full reality?
When you have someone who sucks at something, who knows nothing, and does what everyone else does, then it's very easy not to be confused and to see them for what they are. People are much more comfortable with this, too.
People will also say that they can't keep up with me and what I do. They don't even see almost one hundred percent of what I do. Because it has been suppressed. They see .0000000000000000000000000001% of what I do. If that. Do you know what I have here? Do you know what is inside this machine? (And backed up all sorts of places.) So what would happen if all of it could be seen? If they can't keep up now, how would anyone ever keep up then? This is my life, right now, as someone who is buried in a dungeon, in the earth, by the people who don't want him to be free to get what he deserves. This is me creating every day when I want to be dead, with nothing to live for. Absolutely nothing at all. Save if things ever changed. Today I am working on the best piece of fiction that's ever been written. I worked on it all weekend. No one is going to see it right now. No one is going to let that happen, and, further, there isn't a venue out there that could get this seen by the amount of people who should see it. The infrastructure isn't in place in publishing for what I am. It's like some broken down filling station that hasn't been used in decades, with tumbleweeds out front, and I have need for a massive factory that's the size of Rhode Island for the getting out there of masterpieces into the world. I phone the realtor, say what I need for my business, and the realtor shows me the ghost town gas station. "This is all we have," the realtor says.
That's fine for these people like Emma Straub and Laura van den Berg who are awful, predictable, unproductive writers with little product, no range, no value in their work, and are just doing their same old basic shit for people like them in a dead ass system, but not for me, and I'm the only person out there remotely like me. The hatred and the blackballing is a problem, but the infrastructure isn't in place right now anyway. Nor is the audience, because a possible audience--and it's a large audience--has been scattered to the winds by an industry that turned all of those people off to reading, reading again, or reading something new. But when you know that you're writing something that is as good as anything there has been in this world--I don't mean just writing--it's wholly different when you know it's going nowhere and when you know millions of people will see it. If I knew that the work would get to where it should get because of what it was, I'd be that much more productive than I am now. Which seems like it's impossible to believe. But I am creating at present in the worst, most painful, hopeless situation that anyone has been in. Do you know how hard that is? How do you do that? How do you get up and create a masterpiece or masterpieces every day, with that being true? That's what I do. And it only makes things worse. I only get the stupid comments, if any, and those comments tell me that the person making them doesn't have a clue. And they're the closest to someone actually being on my side. And that counts for absolutely fuck all, save that they don't want me dead like many do. Is that enough for anything? Should I feel better about that because they don't wish me harm? That's the standard?
I was talking to a friend today and I was saying that I don't want to deal with people sending me shit like this. I would rather just move on from them. I have enough stressors, and I don't need other things that add aggravation out of the blue when I'm dealing with evil people, envious people, childish people, and all of the forces I'm dealing with. And they said to just keep people like that around, try to pay them no mind, don't let it bother you, dismiss them out of hand but just pretend, don't interact, let them think you're close or friends or whatever, and let it be that.
This would be much easier to do if there were people I could stand and respect. People who didn't send me something with me knowing with near total certainty that I'm about to be dealing with something aggravating. But it's not just aggravating, as I've said. It speaks to the things that might doom me to a life that is only going to be endless suffering. Because these are the problems. I have gone so far beyond where anyone can go. Rather than being awarded for that, I'm paying the ultimate price of something worse than death right now. The upping of the daily hell. As I get better, and better, and better. The better I get, the worse it gets, and the less likely the chances of anyone understanding what this person is. I'm out of range of human frequency.
So then best case scenario, I get dumb comments about my lectures and my researches. Plus, no one is brave enough who hasn't known me for a long time to be open about what I am, even when they know it. The terms are so splashy and enormous, and it's hard for someone to talk to someone in what is this rhapsodic way. This extreme rhapsodic way. Especially when all of the praise they do give people is bullshit. They're just lying to people, going along to get along, because that's how we've become. We don't do sincerity. And it's so easy to say something praiseworthy that you don't mean. There are no stakes, you're self-conscious. It's effortless, because it's meaningless. They also doubt that their words could be good enough. They have no experience with this kind of thing. They don't know anyone else who talks about anyone else they way they'd have to talk to you. So they zip it. Or they scale it way, way back. When they scale it way back, you can get dumb, perfunctory comments that do harm. For instance, someone can think, "This guy knows everything about everything, I don't know how such a person can exist," and they can scale it back and in effect deliberately misrepresent themselves by sending me a note about my research, which isn't even what they think.
Virtually no one is straight with me about anything. It's too scary, intimidating, or they have no clue or no idea what to say. People are cowards. Or, if you don't want to put it that way, they're not brave. They see talking to me as an act of extreme bravery, because of my mind. For instance, even just to pick the Beatles: What are you going to say? And that's not "about" me. But we can't stand toe to toe and have the talk, right? The presumption there is more or less equal footing. How are we going to do that? What could we do it with? People don't like living in the shadow of their own knowledge that they could be crushed at any time. Why would you want that? Talk to someone on your level, and you remove the possibility. You remove the possibility of being seen as ignorant, or being embarrassed, or feel less-than. It's much, much more comfortable. People are going to take that thing every time. Not the thing that would cause them to learn, grow, rise up. They're going to take the comfort. Even if it offers them nothing else. And even if the comfort is actually depressing.
At the same time, no is going to put the superlatives out there, because no one else is, and people will not do a single damn thing on their own as an individual. It could be the thing they think and believe more than anything, and they won't do it. They need numbers. They need to add their voice to a mix, not to be someone singing a song by themselves, however much they believe that song to be true.
People also come back to themselves. If I post something stupid on Facebook--well, stupid for me, which is not actually stupid--and something less stupid, which one do you think the few people who hit that like button are going to hit that like button for? For instance, the other day I published an op-ed in one of the highest circulation magazines in the country. It was an excellent piece. Obviously, there is no one else in the world--there never has been--who is not on staff as an opinion writer who constantly publishes opinion pieces. It's never been done. Do you think a single person out of 5000 is going to hit the like button for that? No. Because it's frightening. That looks great. The piece is what it is, the achievement is what it is. It's unfamiliar. It's not how it is for those people. But if I take a photo of an old building and post that, do you see how that's more likely to pick up a few scattered likes? Whereas, the unique achievement indicative of the unique person has no chance.
The research thing is even more foolish when we see that here is someone who is writing 30,000 words or more every week. When we see their life in these pages. They just know what they know. They add to it, but they know. They know going in with whatever they do. They know what they know about all of these subjects and topics and ideas and truths the way that other people know their date of birth and their middle name and what kind of dog they have. Those people know those things automatically. That's how I know what I know. But it's just not about my middle name and when I was born.
People can't conceive of that, which means they often can't see it when it's right there to be seen. Then it's like you're dead. You're invisible. You are the most this and that and that, but it's the same as if you were nothing. If you were a ghost. Because it's not getting recognized.
So no, I don't like to get stupid notes like that and I don't want to know people who send me notes like that, and I don't want them to have access to me. Then I feel bad, like I'm being mean. I think about it a lot. I think, "Well, you could take the same action with everyone, just about, and then are you doing yourself any good to not know anyone hardly at all, even in this perfunctory way? How damaging is that? Is that just isolating? Turning one's back on the world?" Or what? Deal with this and this exclusively, because there's nothing else? Or there's little else right now? Kill yourself? Take your chances in their being another world because you surely don't belong in this one?
You know what I dream of? A world that exists somewhere else where people are the best they've ever been. Each person is among the best at what they do. And it's all merit. All of the writers are the best writers ever. And they compete. It's a fair competition. Best on best. And if you don't grow every second, you get crushed. You suffer. You get left behind. You struggle. And everyone is going as hard as they can go to improve and be the best. When you're asleep, this brilliant person is awake, creating, working. I'd love that. I'd find it so relaxing. I'd dominate. But in this world, you pay. You suffer. You have scary days where you are thinking about ending your life. I don't like feeling like I've hurt somebody, or that I'm not there to help them, or I've rejected them. I feel conflicted. But my life is just the receiving of soul-crushing blows, and nothing else, unless you count a kind of death by a trillion paper cuts in all of the fuckery, the petty, envious, passive aggressive, childish, mindless shit that enough people subject me to.
But it's always something and it's never good. Then I worry that I'm acting the wrong way in cutting out a person who didn't mean outright harm, but who does me harm. (At least with the people who are up to no good, I'm not conflicted at all. I have no problem never thinking about them at all if I wish. And I always know what someone is up to.) Then I'm terrified because then that could be everyone else, and I am reminded of how truly alone I am and that no one has ever been this alone. What can the outcome be for that person? How could it be anything that wasn't awful? And perhaps the worst form of awful ever.