It's a bad world. I went online to see if anything had come out regarding a cause of death for Jimmy Hayes, and instead I encountered dozens, if not hundreds, of posts about how getting the vaccine will cause you to have a heart attack and that killed him.
I've known, of course, lots of evil people. I've known people who have hated me because I achieved something they didn't, because I have abilities they don't. They'd mount attacks as a result in the most cowardly, petty, anonymous fashion, and what has always struck me about these people--same as with the "you'll have a heart attack if you get the vaccine" people--is the logistics of living with themselves.
I get down on myself when I've only created two works of art for the ages in a given week, or only ran 3000 stairs that day (which is what I did yesterday, but it is thirty-two days in a row with at least 3000 stairs ran). But if I was going around, living my life as a hate-laced troll with no discernible ability, no value for humanity, no value for anyone, not even myself, I don't know how I'd get through a single day. How I could manage. Some people--a lot--can exist as these holes of blackness, of nothingness, emptiness. The weight of that, and the failure of what I was, would crush me. I couldn't put my brain in a position where reality was in effect shut off, or in a manner that I could avoid the truth.
The vaccine and whether or not to get it is a boring topic to me. I did get it. Mostly for one reason--so I could go to museums and the Brattle if they required proof of vaccination for entry (and I scrape enough money together to afford my memberships again). I know you're supposed to think that COVID is awful, etc., but I don't think this world has a COVID problem so much as it has an obesity problem. And, larger than that, an indolence problem. We are lazy in every way. If you're lazy in one area, you're apt to be lazy in all others. And it's far easier to be intellectually, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually lazy than it is to be physically lazy. That makes you susceptible to a lot. I was not worried about COVID, personally, and have not been. I believe in mental, intellectual, and physical fitness. I also had no misgivings about a vaccine, knowing what I know about the history of vaccines. So if someone wants to get it, I say great; and if they don't, because they tend to their health, and believe that's a personal choice--just as not doing so is a personal choice--I also say great. Which is different than conspiracy theories.
Having said that, if you are the quarterback of an NFL team, such as Cam Newton, you have to get the vaccine, or you can randomly miss time, which hurts you team, hurts the business of that franchise, etc. If I had an employer who said, "You're getting this, it's the rule if you want to work here," I'd say, "Sure, no bother to me." Newton is a dumb guy, that he can't figure out how to handle the protocols so that he can be active. He had his COVID issue last year and it was blamed--wrongly--for why he sucked so much when he came back, and yet Belichick is still carrying this guy and it's year two of this nonsense with a guy who also can't play the position. It's baffling to me. The most baffling thing I've ever seen Belichick do. You have every right not to get the vaccine. But your employer has every right to cut you loose if you don't, if you're potentially undermining the product. Newton can retire, he can go play in some other league. I hope Mac Jones takes advantage of his opportunity and grabs that job.
I wrote an op-ed yesterday on Charlie Watts that I couldn't sell. I put it up on here. Most places didn't even respond because of the blackballing, of course. Obviously it's better than what is out there, which is just cliched bullshit. How many millions of times can people say, RIP, what a loss, great guy? Say something new and consequential.
I am convinced that apart from the blackballing, virtually no one in publishing or media is capable of knowing what is any good. They can't tell. It's swimming in shit all day long, year in year out, and so in more shit goes. Put simply, I don't think they can tell. Also, I don't think any of them care about quality. I don't think it ever enters the mind of any of them that something is better than something else. I think they look at people and say, "You have this many followers, that's great," "you're known for this, that's great," "you're this skin color, that's great," "you're my crony, that's great," but I don't think any of them ever say, "Holy shit, this person is far better at what they do, this is amazing, this improves the product immeasurably, get me more." I don't think that ever happens. Not a single time. Actually, I know it doesn't. I've done this for far too long to know otherwise. And they wouldn't be able to tell even if they gave a fuck, and they don't.
I wrote the op-ed in four minutes.
It is strange and misguided to me when a person wishing to express regret that an athlete has died does so by qualifying who they root for. “And I’m a so and so fan,” for example. I shudder that people really think this way. "And this is coming from a Bruins fan."
Do adults need parents? I mean new parents. Should that be a job or a role? Where someone who is smarter, wiser, has a clue, says to them, "Now, Bob, you shouldn't say on Twitter that you're sorry someone died tragically young and also add that this is coming from a fan of that dead athlete's rival sports team. Because this is human life. It's not actually about whether they played for the Yankees or Red Sox. It doesn't make you a better person because you're a Red Sox fan and you're saying that even you are sorry this ex-Yankee died. And Bob, even though you're forty-eight, you really should realize this isn't the McCoys and Hatfields, it's men who just happen to play a child's game wearing the uniform of a given team. There's no real allegiance, it's not about moral causes. It's just a game, you dumb, simple pigfucker and trashy human. How the hell did you get like this? You must have been smarter when you were in second grade. What the fuck happened? Now let's go out for snow cones."
I find it hard to write "love" on cards when I do not mean it. I do it, but I am conscious of what I am doing as I do it. I have a hard time writing anything that I do not believe. But it's just what you have to do, I guess.