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Slaughter career

Thursday 4/2/20

I just worked for ten straight hours and it's like where the hell did that time go? I am not getting nearly enough done. I'm not getting a sliver of what I need to get done done. I need to start doing a lot better, I need to do exponentially better with my various books and where they stand, I need to face more things--or anything--and I need to get more money coming in all at the same time. I pitched this COVID-19/Facebook op-ed idea I need to check on, because I think Facebook will really screw up your mental health right now, even more than usual, and by a lot. It is flat-out diseased on there right now. Those people are not helping each other out, though they're all acting in the guise of being helpful, but it's about attention at all costs, which in this case means playing with some dangerous stuff. It's not good, man.


I add this for future readers who will study these pages--or future readers who come to these pages and try to get caught up later--but I should say that when I put up excerpts, sometimes they're not completely copy-edited, cleaned up, what have you. I don't sweat that on here--sometimes, too, there are interesting variations between the excerpts and what is published after I changed whatever I change, and I like having it all viewable. I went through the Renan essay one last time, caught a lot of stuff, but I didn't reopen the entry on here--the last entry--to correct whatever. Not a productive use of time or energy, the latter perhaps being more valuable--sometimes, anyway--than the former.


I went to the Golden Goose, got some cucumbers and celery. I watched 1939's Blind Alley, which is noir-ish, vaguely. I also listened to a conversation between Howard Hawks and Peter Bogdanovich about Only Angels Have Wings. I found some of the dialogue in that film clunky, forced. Bogdanovich loves this one maudlin line about a character who just died that goes something like, "He just took off," because, you know, he's a pilot, took off for the next world, all of that. Says the line has a Hemingway-esque quality. I don't think that's a good thing. Hemingway is a pretty ridiculous writer to me. Limited, one-trick technique, and I hate that coarse, grating, rah-rah machismo stuff. Macho Boomers who don't read say they like Hemingway as a form of name-checking. But either way, the line is lachrymose. What works best about the film is the setting and the lightning, the stuff with the lookout, the stuff with the birds.


If you're out there reading this--and I say a line like this as Thoreau might make such a comment in his paper journals, talking to an imaginary person or maybe a real person later--I should add that you can partake of all of this, too. You don't have to sit on Facebook all day. It's chipping away your mental health. These things are better for you. That doesn't mean you turn your back on the world or your hardships, but staring at what people post all day is going to make your hardships greater. I also listened to this 1939 production of an Arch Oboler radio play called "Bathysphere," which just landed on that Library of Congress historical registry list. I'd like to write about it, but I need the venue. Saw Susan in the hallway. I don't really say much to her after the Thanksgiving thing. Just "what's up," and pretty much leave it there. That wasn't right. What do you do after something like that?


Look at the heading on this poster: "Mere bullets can't blast his career of slaughter." What the hell does that mean? Talk about your mixed metaphors.