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Letter fragments

Sunday 1/23/22

The Spector entry you see on the blog was an op-ed I wrote yesterday. Of course, no one would publish it, because I'm blackballed. I'm not banned at [ ], but I am dealing with someone there who gets off on sending me these boilerplate emails nearly every time like the one that you see below. I wrote two op-eds yesterday and sent them to this individual. For nonfiction, I write thirty pieces for every one that is published. For fiction, I write hundreds of pieces, not one of which is published. Look at the piece. It's obviously better than everything else that was written on Ronnie Spector. I've attached the other op-ed I wrote. There's nothing to touch that one either.


***


Comb through my Twitter. It's all brilliant. There is zero reaction. I will see a mediocre, indistinguishable freelancer who has published next to nothing, who is a total a-hole--Jenn Pelly, for instance--who has 20k followers. My friends will follow someone like this. She's dumb. She's mean. She's immature. She is violent, nasty, childish in the way she speaks to people on Twitter. It's ironic: you see what straight-up arrogant, entitled, a-holes so many of these people are on social media, with no clue--or interest in--how to behave, how to be nice, agreeable, talk to anyone, with their endless hubris and self-promotion, and I'm the bad guy. Imagine if I talked like these people do?


You should see the letters I continue to get about that first Raluca Albu blog. People are shocked that someone could behave that way, conduct themselves like that, speak to me in that manner. That's reassuring, these notes. Not that I need reassuring. There's no gray area as to what people like her are. And third party people are horrified. These are bad, unstable people in this industry. In every way, every exchange. My parents never would have let me conduct myself that way when I was growing up. These are flat out dicks, and, worse, dicks without a scrap of talent and no actual achievements. Their tone, too, is always one of "you are here to serve me." But that's fine to them. That doesn't make you a monster in their world.


What does make you a monster is being legit. Being smarter than they are. Proving this in what you do. Producing. Constantly. With ease. Producing genius and more than genius work with ease. Daily. I saw this woman tonight on Facebook who is woeful at writing. She has an agent. I watch her. She can't function. She's working with nothing. None of them are; you see how that's comforting to them? The Nothing Monsters seek out other Nothing Monsters. And she goes to a therapist who cheers her on and tries to help her with her constant writer's block rather than telling her the truth. She's never been able to write. She's not any good. And so now she posts her word count that she manages to drip out on some days. And it's at most 600 words. Of crap. That's five minutes of production here. And they're almost all like that. So, yeah, I'm the devil then. Proving it in everything you do, and proving it that way all the time. That is what makes you a bad person on the writer sides of things in publishing, which really just leaves me. You can do everything else though, and be a nasty, ugly little piece of work, and that's fine, so long as you're not better at anything, and they never are. There's no career there with that Twitter person I cited. So little work. No body of work. I have 200 followers. With my career, mind, and work. My kindness and decency. Why? The smarter you are, the more you are shunned. I am shunned the most of anyone in society. It's what is happening.


***


Also, the film editor at The New York Times has now been poisoned against me. So now I have to confront her about that, which I don't want to do and then go through all of it on the blog, which of course I don't want to do either. She gives me the same boilerplate now as soon as she sees an email from me. She does that because of the blog. They try this tactic. Like they're taking me seriously, because they don't want to go up on there. I'm not going away. I am never going away. You're the one who is going to be going away in the end, and maybe that end isn't that far off. So how long do we play this game? Because I know what you're up to and I am not going to roll over and let myself be a victim of your discrimination, which is what you want. I will take it to the point that the rubber melts on the road, and I not the rubber in this analogy. I always give a couple ideas to other writers, too, to send as pitches in their emails, and what do you know, my ideas are assigned then, and it's like, "wow, this is a great idea, your best one yet," when a person like this thinks it came from someone else, no matter if that person has published five things in their career. I run the test. I know what is happening, and I make sure I know several ways over before I take it to the blog. You know how you avoid going up on the blog? Do your job like a professional. Have it be about the work. Don't be a bigot. All while getting to make your magazine, paper, press better. What a concept.


***


I feel further away to having any solution to anything. I've run no stairs this week. I haven't even showered. I barely function. I have no hope. It is what it is right now.

***


But there is no such thing as a review now anyway. Very few people in this industry are brave enough--and smart enough--to review anything as what it is. And certainly hardly anyone is equipped or prepared--or that much of an individual in their thinking--to review a work of genius as what it is and say what it is. Or I should say no one trusts themselves enough, has that kind of confidence. A new kind of work. Reviews are pre-written. They are all agenda. And every review could be about any other book. They are canned. It's just stock adjectives of fake praise, when the mind has been made up ahead of time to praise something, because of who wrote it. What they represent. Who they are represented by. Where they went to school, got their MFA. Are they the right skin color? Are they "hot" in the industry? That's what almost every single review in every single magazine, newspaper, website, blog is. Stock. Cliched. Hollow. Lying. Pouring in the meaningless, un-meant words.


And along comes something wholly new? Meatheads? Brackets? Sam? There is no way these people, on their own, can say, "Oh, yeah, Fleming is doing things with language that have never been done." All of them--or enough so that it was the word on the street, the consensus, the critical status quo--would have to say it before that person I'm talking about--that kind of person--could say it themselves. Then they'll say it. And many of them will probably see it, too. (Many do right now. That is also, amazingly, part of the problem. My situation doesn't happen--this situation that is unique in history--if these people also don't have a reasonable understanding of what I am as a writer and artist. This doesn't happen if you're mediocre, if you're just kind of good, or even if you're amazingly great. It only happens if you're something more in what you do, and something there has not been. To threaten the whole of an industry this much that they take this stance against you when you've done nothing to anyone in it? That's because they have a pretty good idea of the level you're operating on.) It's like turning a key to start the engine of a car. Anyone can drive the car once it has been gotten going. Understand it's a car, how it works, how fast and far it can go. But you can say anything you want about terrible writers like Laura van den Berg, and all of that is written, essentially, before the latest piece of s--- is seen. It's a mindset. The mindset of licking. It's not engaging with the text. And the work is so empty, so meaningless, that you can throw any stock adjectives at it. And it's not like anyone actually cares at all. So there are no checks and balances.

Something truly great will mostly only be pooh-poohed by these people when they are out there on their own, because it would frighten them, and they wouldn't know how to talk about it. It makes them uncomfortable. And even when the work itself doesn't make them uncomfortable, they are still uncomfortable. Look, man: if these people went back in time, and they went to the premiere of a Beethoven symphony by themselves, and no one was talking about Beethoven, they wouldn't come out of the concert hall and do a review saying the Ninth was genius and so brilliant and this and that. Of course they wouldn't. So then, "best case scenario," they try and lukewarm it now, as I think of it, and say half-measures. "Not all of it works, but there's a real intellect at work here." BS. Cop out. And then you have the people who want to be you, even though they hate you (which is more about how you make them hate themselves even more than they already do, which is a lot for starters). Do you know how many people want to be me, even as they rip me, trash me to other people? These embittered, talentless academics, for instance, at a literary journal. These pretend writers, which is most people who call themselves writers and spend their lives licking other pretend writers in these cliques. A David Remnick. You know that Remnick spent like seven hours of his life reading that email from me? He wasn't doing that because I was in the wrong. He knew every word of it was true. And again, that only happens if someone knows what you are, what they are not, and that you have them bang to rights as guilty. And they know it, you know it, and they know you know it. Who do people praise? People who threaten them not at all. A Laura van den Berg, whose work is the writing version of a sock puppet, but not even one done up with a proper face.

***


So this is what my life is. All day. Every day. Totally alone. Do you know I've not so much as been on a date in six years? I haven't even held someone's hand. It's just this hell.


***


I was paid the full rate for the Sam, after changing where the piece would run, which I thought might cut the rate by more than half (I begged twice for this not to be happen), as I am desperate for money.


***


It's so obvious to me what all of the issues are. I am blackballed. You see me publish more than anyone, but that simply speaks to how hard I work, how I know everything, can write anything on anything, write so much, try everything, and can pull the occasional drop of water from a pile of stones, which ends up being more than all of the free water these other people are given. The only people who read--pretend read--are these people in this industry. The rest of the world does not. The rest of the world is actually my bigger problem. People hate greatness. They simply do. The greater someone is, the more they dislike them. That's just reality. The rest of the world doesn't read, has no interest in reading, and cannot read. People in the world couldn't read and comprehend the simplest page of anything. Reading is a skill. It's a muscle. On top of that, I'm a good-looking white male from Boston. That is enough to end you in publishing before everything else. The better I get, the worse it has gotten. I have no solutions for any of this. There are people who tell me not to get discouraged, that I will break through, I am here for far, far bigger things, and I will change this world, will help people read, get people reading, that the stage is all set for someone to do something we've never seen anyone do before. But I can't see how. I can't see a path or anything I can do.


***

I have to regather my strength.