I wrote a perfect work of fiction today called "Sound Holes." I have written thirty-eight short stories in 2020. That's the fiction. That's not the nonfiction pieces, the arts pieces, sports pieces, the op-eds, that's not this blog. Full works of short fiction, any one of which I believe is better than any ever written by anyone--underline it--else. It kills me to be doing this, to be the artists of artists, and be hidden in plain view, with the work suppressed by an industry that is tragically hidebound and, perhaps more tragically, entirely about the personal and invented grudges and envy, an industry in which you could have something that would completely alter the game, to the good, but if it has your name at the top--my name, that is--it's like they'd rather go out of business than give me a centimeter. I think some of them would actually choose death over having me have that short story that becomes a huge success, that reaches millions, becomes this famous short story, in their pages. That is not hyperbole. I believe that is how pathological the hate is. Yesterday on Downtown, I talked about various things, ranging from the Orson Welles (TLS) and McCoy Tyner (JazzTimes) pieces I just published, to an episode of The Rifleman called "The Grasshopper" which aired sixty years ago this month--and deals with a plague--and also funny Western tropes. (Do you understand how singular even this is? That one person is publishing on a play--via a film subject--in a venerated English publication, while also publishing a deeply learned jazz piece in the world's best jazz magazine, while writing the short story of this singular time in our history, and discussing all of that on the radio, and also television from sixty years ago--long before my birth. This is just "one" thing, in a random week, a random day. And that person who can do that, shouldn't be pushed out in front of the world? They should be buried? They shouldn't be awarded, rewarded, given what that level of talent merits, they should be loathed, denied, castigated. Ah. That's not totally insane at all.) It was a pretty good segment. I don't want to sound cantankerous or mean-spirited--though who could blame me at this point if I was nothing but seething, violent rage every second of every day--and it is true, I have no patience--I only have disgust--for the weak, attention whores of publishing who whine all day on Facebook and try to scare people so that these pathetic frauds can have some attention, because they certainly don't have any identities, talent, character, ethics, or souls--but I think my humor and command of language and poise and confidence pretty much allows me to say whatever if I say it how I say things. But you want to hear some pain? Listen at 17:20 when Rich brings up "Six Feet Away," the masterpiece of a short story I wrote about this pandemic, which would explode, would itself go viral, in the right venue. Listen to his voice, listen to how staggeringly powerful he obviously thought the story was, how important he thinks it is, what it would do if enough people see it, and then note my voice as I talk about its chances of even being seen all because these people hate me. Can you imagine what that is like? What this is like? You have work better than Sgt. Pepper, you are ready to crank it from the speakers of the world, and it would do so much good for the world, but these people hate me, and because they hate me, they won't let you see it. Even when it can massively boost their enterprise. Because it is hate--and manufactured hate, not because I did anything to them--that drives them.