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queens and kings

Saturday 3/9/19

The amount of sexism I see paraded as morality sickens me. If one cannot substitute the name of another group or gender into whatever mindless construct they've trotted out on social media for attention to fill the sucking wound so many people now desperately call a life, then one is being actually racist and sexist.

Scanning Facebook last night, I saw where a woman (a writer, who hates men, and refuses to publish men unless they are dinosaur publishing types who have had their taints licked for decades, or else a man pushed forward as the mindless flavor of the week because publishing has decided, "we are simply going to make it happen for this person; line up the blogs, call in their own freaking editors to write reviews for them in magazines, reach out to the people we have planted at newspapers, poxy review sites like Kirkus on the take, sham award committees where we have contacts," etc. and who fits one of the insisted-upon industry demographics of the age--milksop trust fund Brooklyn hipster with the right agent, for instance, who looks fey and nebbish, and networks as a Literary Citizen with other members of his mold and lit biz types who believe this is the only form of acceptable male) referenced a holy moment for her, riding home in a Lift.

The Lift driver was a woman. And the Lift driver said--for they had occasion to discuss the deep meanings of life and how men are awful--that as a woman, she, riding writer (and editor), deserved to be treated as a queen. This produced, after the inevitable Facebook share, a litany of hosannas from other women, various lackeys, people the riding writer publishes who in turn publish the riding writer, emotional hangers-on, those without a single stabilizing point of human contact in the world, aforesaid male trust fund types looking to score points with the pretend gods and goddesses of their fake world. I would wager that not one of these people was not profoundly depressed, broken, unwell. It's fine to be those things. Life happens. What it is not fine to do, consequently, is embrace those things, trying to change up reality by imposing your brokenness--and antipathy, envy, and the fear that produces one of our most disturbing forms of hate--on others so that you find a way to remain broken, depressed, and unwell by inverting reality and instigating your new and mendacious dogma of perpetual flailing, with which you now seek to subject the truly put upon minority of our age--those who still try and fight and evolve--and instead term these not-good-at-all things as good things--like being woke, part of a community, ingratiated in life because you have 247 Facebook likes.

When we are these life things, it falls to us to become unbroken, to become whole, to never submit, to fight, to battle to become seamless and alive and fueled by a furnace of purpose on the inside. And hopefully our outer lives, what we wish to have in the external world, catches up, and there is accordance between the internal furnace, and what life cooks up externally. Because when your furnace works, you are ready for the best that life can serve to you. Hopefully somewhat commensurate servings come your way. Be healthier, live longer, be spry and young in your heart, and agile, penetrative, alert in your thoughts, and you provide more of what I think of as a surface of exposure for things to stick to. Life is a numbers game; and numbers for you can come up in a good way, eventually. I believe it is only then that one can experience happiness. Inside togetherness, meets the right external opportunity, and it is go-time. It doesn't come from the sickening, slight, faux-lambent--for nothing is truly illumined this way--glow of your screen.

But as for the above rhetorical model: if you cannot substitute in another race or gender, you are being sexist and racist. Like if I said, "I deserve to be treated like a king." You wouldn't like that, would you? I'd be in trouble, wouldn't I? Trouble. Like I care a jot at this point about that kind of trouble. Bring it, I say. But bring your perfect report card game, let alone your A game, because I am going to bring it right back harder than you knew hard could be. Except, I'm going to have the truth on my side. But leaving that aside: You don't deserve to be treated like a queen. You don't deserve to be treated like a king. Queens and kings don't deserve to be treated like queens and kings. Why? Because they came out of a certain someone's dick and from a certain someone's else's womb? Here's what you deserve. You deserve to be treated like you would treat yourself if you had a doppleganger and you were a good person and you met you. You deserve nothing more. That's it. Which is nothing small--though, right now, in this world, it is something frighteningly rare.

This is from Jamie T's Kings and Queens. He's a good writer. This is funny: Remember when I described Monica de la Torre, the BOMB editor who said I would never be published there if I said I did not like the work--Christ I hate using that word there--Lydia Davis? After that encounter, I was in a Brooklyn bookstore across the street. By myself. And I'm up at the counter, and two of the staff were having a conversation, coincidentally, about Lydia Davis's latest, because of course they were. And they couldn't remember what it was called. So I piped up to one of the women and said, Sheep and Cattle. And, as if one cue, she said to her co-worker, "That's right. Sandra, it's Sheep and Cattle."


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