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Saturday 8/3/19

Worked more on "Staycation."


It will take a few more times yet. Different stories have different natures, can be different things. Doesn't make one better than another. Some can just more readily assume additional forms. Or, a story could lend itself to becoming a novel; that is, it can be expanded into one, and that could also be a film, but the story itself could not have been; or another story might not be able to be expanded into a novel at all, but it can be a film.


For instance, "Post-Fletcher" is less readily adaptable to a screenplay than "Fitty" or "Pillow Drift." (Then again...as I think about other ways to handle it...) Out of my last several years of fiction, those are the two stories that I am confident will be films, with screenplays by me. I intend, somewhere in the future--doesn't have to be with those two--to direct. (What's one more reason that I've been up to my ass in cinema since I was fifteen? What do you think I was preparing for? Just trying to become the world's leading film expert? Nope. There has always been more method to my madness.) If not with those two, then later, when the chance presents itself. Or maybe it will be with those two after something else is the breakthrough work that grants the chance. I could make each into a screenplay in a month. Or two weeks. "Dunedin," continuing along with this theme, is a story that will grow into a novel; but right now, as a story, there's not a screenplay to write from it. Different beasts, different natures.


"Fitty" you would expand in the screenplay, focus more on her upbringing, the family situations, aspects of her relationship with Carlene; it's innocent, in most ways, but it is also pseudo-sexual in some other ways. With "Pillow Drift," you'd be cutting more, the screenplay's structure would be more sectional, with more moving about to different points in time, with the base of operations, if you will, being those two people, in that road, trapped in their car, snowed in, ostensibly battling the snow itself, with seems to have supernatural agency. You cut from that. Into his past, with the abuse, to the clinic, to their past as a couple, to the drama happening in the car and outside of the car. I know exactly how to do each.


But I have to do the things I have to do right now, and those screenplays won't get me anywhere until I've gotten myself to the place, position, platform, where I can do my reaping. I figure when that day comes, I will probably no longer be able to sleep more than two or three hours every night, but I'm looking forward to it. Publication of one or both of those stories in the right venue would immediately bring in the movie possibility. I have to keep going right now. Meatheads Say the Realest Things I think will be an animated series. Meatheads is the funniest book in American letters. It is tailor made for you, and your motives, even if your motives directly contradict the motives of some other group who loves the book, if you are a woman who wants to take men down a few pegs and lampoon them, if you are a jock, if you are in eighth grader, if you are a professor writing on new modes of literature, if you are regular suburban man or woman, and everyone else. There is no genius too smart for it, no moron too stupid for it. But in publishing, they're often looking for the works that might as well be written in code, the self-consciously arty stuff. That's the go-to. The million seller can hide in plain view. This will be that in future. Sooner would be better.


Other than that, not too much today. Walked three miles. Climbed the Bunker Hill Monument five times. Had planned to do ten climbs, but that August air just levels you. Listened to Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch!, Cecil Taylor's Jazz Advance, Coltrane's Blue Train, the Beach Boys' Friends, Art Tatum's Piano Starts Here, Jackie McLean's Destination...Out! Did errands. Got lemons, oranges, strawberries, low sugar energy/granola-type bars. Red Sox have imploded. Wasn't hard to see coming. Chris Sale should be shut down or sent to the minors. I don't care for him. I didn't like him last year. I think he's as overrated as you get, and I think he's a glory hog. They won despite him last year. He was putridity in the playoffs. Then he comes in at the end, for the final three outs, glory hog, like a pile-jumper in football, that guy who jumps on top of the ball carrier after two other players have already brought him down so he can try and pad his tackle stats. I think Chris Sale is a fake tough guy and fake tough competitor. But the Red Sox were not ready to play this season, they still are not ready to compete, and their undoing has been their arrogance, from the manager on down. Exactly two guys are having years worth a damn. Shame that they are wasting the best year of the shortstop's career.


Now, Bill Lee is kind of crazy, and very into Bill Lee and thinks he's a lot smarter than he is, but he was right the other day when he said that Sale is a thrower and not a pitcher. Sale doesn't know how to pitch. He knew how to throw hard and he had that slider. It didn't matter where it went in the zone. He can't pitch to spots, he can't pitch strategically, and this is what he is when he can't overpower; he's useless. I did find it hilarious that Lee said that all Sale needs to do is develop a screwball--a freaking screwball!--like Carl Hubbell--Carl Freaking Hubbell!--and he'll win 300 games. What is Sale, in his early thirties? Has he ever won more than 17 games? Nobody throws a screwball. Do they? I can't think of anyone who does. Not anymore. (If you don't know what a screwball is, it's essentially a curve ball in reverse. When you throw a curve, you are snapping your wrist towards the other side of your body. So, with a screwball, you're snapping your wrist outwardly, if you can imagine that. Not exactly natural, right? The hardest pitch, by far, to throw.) Carl Hubbell was the dude who struck out five straight Hall of Famers in the All-Star Game in...1934. I have some weird baseball trivia for you. On Downtown, I had mentioned that Luis Aparicio, in a career spanning 1956 to 1973, never played a single fraction of a game at any position other than shortstop. His longtime double play partner was Nellie Fox. Also made the Hall of Fame. Well, Fox never played a single portion of any MLB at any position other than second base. But! Mike Schmidt and Mickey Mantle--ready for this--played a shocking amount of shortstop! Over multiple years. I find that mind blowing. Especially Mantle.


I'd like to have what I call ultimate week this coming week. Where I work every single second of every single day until I can't stand up or stay awake. I'd like to see what one single week like that looks like. I hold back often because what am I going to do, have another twenty-three masterpieces sitting here with me? To do what? Sit here and hang with me in this sty? So I just compose like five. And that is depressing enough, because of what is going to happen to them. But it'd be more depressing with twenty-three. And I already have tons more than anyone, especially the no-talent "writers" who dribble out one bad thing every eighteen months. I always worry that I have too many masterpieces. What if the Beatles had 622 albums at the level of Revolver? Would that be good? Or would it be bad? I hate that I think that with me it's bad, but it has been bad to date, and it makes what I am harder for someone to grasp, accept, believe, despite the proof in front of their face, and it takes more mental energy on their part to begin to understand what I am, because what that is is so far out of their normal, tightly circumscribed point of view. It's like, you can be this between here:


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But what if someone was between here:


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But everyone is just used to the rule--it's all but a rule--that everyone out there has to be between those first two parameters? How do you even see what the person in scenario #2 is? And especially in an industry--a dying industry--where there is no vision, no imagination, and everything that is done is based upon trying to do another version of lots of bad things already done? Let me put it this way: something can be original, and it can be completely accessible, ready to be loved and purchased by millions of people. Something else can be completely inscrutable, like it is written in code, and not ready to be purchased by anyone, or even understood, but because the latter example replicates tropes--they can just be tropes of gibberish--that industry types have seen before, that will be what is put forward--to die--while the original work that could be loved by millions, having no antecedents, will scare and confuse these people, who will turn away from it, citing some nonsense that no one really believes. Or sometimes it's just that they're that dead to knowing what something actually is, and instead just look for repeated tropes. Think of it like learning a language phonetically. You don't know how to say the words or what they mean, but you can kind of say them. That's how they grope for what they put out. They can't tell anything. They just look for repetitions, they look for something they might group with what they've seen. They're not thinking or processing. They're not projecting. They're not imagining. They've not conceiving. They're not even reading. I don't speak Russian. But if you give me a Russian word, and tell me to circle it when I see it in a Russian book, I can do that. That's how works and books are put out now. Circling the Russian word. You might say.


You have to open your eyes way, way, way wide to begin to see even certain parts of me, let alone my totality. Of course, fame takes care of a lot of that, words being spilled and spoken constantly about you, having your own voice to supply parts of the story and PR angles and the "official, accepted version." But, until then, we keep fighting. Something will give. Might be the very last thing I expect that it ever could be. Might be the first.


Is my life that empty and lonely that I will now watch Brian Johnson start for the Red Sox in game two of this doubleheader in the Bronx as they season goes belly-up? Yes, my life is indeed that empty and lonely.