It's not often I get new shoes or sneakers here in this hell below hell that is the current iteration/geography of my life/quest, but when I do, I feel like I'm wearing platform shoes and am a member of KISS, the hottest rock and roll band in the land.
I've written so much so far this weekend. A confession and a technique: When I am exhausted, and I must have energy, I find that I exclaim, almost unawares, "Qui qui ri ri qui!" as though I am a Spanish rooster, and that seems to keep me going. Little tactics help win big wars.
I feel like it would be useful if Sagging Meniscus would do this book of my jazz writings and the book on To Walk the Night/the current state of writing/publishing, along with Franklin, and put all three out there at more or less the same time. Mine is obviously a historically unique situation. The situation will change. In the meanwhile, take advantage of it if you have the chance. I am a ceiling-less artist. And you will always have the association.
Really feeling like I want There is No Doubt: Stories Humanness to go and go soon and go with someone with some dollars in their pockets. Dollars to get behind the book. This is the book that starts with "Fitty." This is as good as prose art gets. I'm doing my stuff, and what I'm doing is nuts and it's constant. And that's with an industry against me. It's time for something like this to happen. For a book to have more of a chance than I've had in the past. You'd think Bloomsbury would want to do it. Here we are, doing this nice thing with Sam Cooke. And it's looking now like there will be another music book with them, or there should be. Let's do this work of art that is as strong as anything I've ever created.
Here is a new piece in JazzTimes on Miles Davis's ten best live albums.
Yesterday and today I ran 3000 stairs. Just walked a quick three miles as well. Today marks 1911 days, or 273 weeks, since I last had a drink of alcohol.
Grafting a phony soundtrack on 1931's Dracula makes for a horrible viewing experience. The film's power stems from its crudity, and the creepiness inherent in its elongated pockets of silence. That silence conscripts the viewer's imagination and makes it an ally in the horror. Also: why does Svengooli, who has been a horror host for over forty years, mispronounce Bela Lugosi's name most of the time, and get it right some of the time? Bay-La, not Bell-ah.
Listening to take 8 of the Beatles’ “Get Back.” Johnny Moondog could play some lead guitar when he wanted to. Dig that tone. If not a pony.
There are no less than ten versions of “Satisfaction” on Otis Redding’s Live at the Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings. One could easily write a book about them.
An editor of mine opined on Facebook that he didn't recall blue and yellow ever being the colors of the Boston Marathon, when he lived in the city. I like this guy a lot. Smart guy. Normal. He was talking about those uniforms the Red Sox have been wearing this weekend, which they first wore on Patriots' Day. Every now and again I'll chime in on Facebook. It's pretty rare. But this is what I had to say on this matter:
Not very recent. The finish line itself has been those colors for a long time. I'm a regular walker in Boston, and I don't really recall when the line wasn't those colors. They're also the colors of the Boston Athletic Association, that being the body responsible for the Marathon. I know this in part because the BAA asked me to write the introduction for the Marathon program the year after the bombings, on behalf of the city. Which I took as a great, great honor, as a Bostonian, and a civic duty that meant a lot to me.
That was an awesome piece. It was called "The Forever Beyond." That will have to go into a book at some point. There can be a book on my various social and civic writings over the years, a catch-all of the op-eds, the ones that came out, the ones that didn't, what the world was looking like through the eyes of this artist, with works that also transcend the news cycle from which they were germinated.
When writing is done at its highest level, it is far more like music and painting than it is like writing. But it is also more like music and painting than music and painting are like music and painting. It is also its own thing, when writing is at its highest level.
I wrote the first three of these Sam Cooke guest posts for the 33 1/3 blog. I'll be "taking over" for a week on there. I had a birthday the other day. I keep it off social media, because I am so feared, hated, envied, that no one will even wish me a happy birthday. I've experienced that enough. I know people are scared of me. I know people want me to die. I know people behave towards me differently than they would anyone else. I get it. I live it. I don't need to subject myself to it any more right now. Eventually--and maybe soon--people will pile on, when they see that other people are piling on, and they'll kiss my ass and want in. And that will sicken me equally as much, and I will have nothing to do with anyone. I'm not really here to have anything to do with anyone. I care less and less. I know there is not some remarkable person for me to be with, for instance. There's not going to be someone good enough. That's just reality. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but again, I don't really care. Here's what I care about: reaching people. That's it. Reach huge, huge, huge amounts of people. The same people, often, who would treat me differently than they'd treat anyone else, and the same people who would pile on later. They're who I want to reach. I want to reach them with what it is I have. Millions of them. Because that is what will change this world. Which is what I care about, for no other reason than to make it better. And because I believe that my work can do more of that than anything ever has.
I wrote a story called "Carpet Dragons," which was excellent. Then I wrote another--and I've touched on this--called "The Trellis Wave." Also excellent. Both masterpieces. I did that Guggenheim application, and that, of course, has been touched on as well.
Will be discussing a number of things on the radio on Tuesday, one of them being the first half hour episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar with Bob Bailey. This is after the run of five-parters, which is what he started with on the show. Masterful radio, at times. The half hour episodes--and I've discussed some--are not at that level. But they're good entertainment, without the depth--usually--of characterization. This first one, "The Big Scoop Matter," appeals to me even in its unevenness. Regarding the latter: Dollar's buddy dies, and then he's turning a hokey pun at the end. Doesn't quite add up. Then there's the bad guy, who poses as this person who likes visiting inns in the off-season. I like off-season inn visits. Or I would. I'd like to do that someday. Be a guy who goes to New England and coastal inns in like November. Not July. But the bad guy shoots Dollar's friend in the head, and rather than leave the rural town, he hangs out. Grabs some vacay. There's totally no need, it makes no sense in the plot, but I like it. Because whatever he's up to, he sounds like he really enjoys an inn in the off-season. Here's the episode:
It’s so repulsive to me when someone—as happened today, and occurs usually at least once a a week—tells me I don’t look like I’d be a writer or artist, and even implies my photos are not of myself. Just disgusting. It’s always the same kind of person who says it, too. A fraud-failure who has to mention Yale. This one said that my appearance was "at odds" with my words. And with someone who has a career in the arts. Which is all it says. My first name is there, and it's pretty easy with only my first name to hit the Google motherlode. The above lines actually come from Twitter, which produced a comment and a joke from someone about Exeter that made me chuckle. Because these toxic, pretentious half-wits so often went to Exeter or a place like Exeter. Which drew this response from me:
"It was more standard bigotry. I’m athletic-looking. People in academia and publishing often prefer you to look like a socially awkward, bespectacled, corpulent turtle. It bothers them that I don’t. They don’t want the athletic person to also be smarter than they are."
It's so true. Can you imagine saying that to someone? The first thing you say is a comment about how you think they should look based upon how they talk? These people do it all the time. Subculture of broken freaks.
Here is a woman who is clearly a delight. Most people are some form of crazy. This is just one of those forms. The hyphen somehow makes it even more racist.
"Otherwise healthy men are not surviving that shot." Surviving. Very dramatic. And, of course, totally fucking insane and racist. Which is her actual culture.