Was at the desk at six, worked non-stop to just after noon. A lot of the work was on "The Ghost and the Flame." Very slight change to the title, but makes a lot of difference. Still not done. I'll let it be finished when it's finished. The story will go into The Ghost Grew Legs: Stories of the Dead for the More or Less Living, which is the most radical work in the history of ghost and horror writing. Completely reinvents the possibilities of both.
I defy anyone to show me something as good as this story. By Tolstoy, Proust, Joyce. Anyone. Ever. Period. Bring it.
As with any of these excerpts, I can put one like this by me, next to this garbage called "The Chiropractor" by Marcus Onh Kah Ho, from the bigots at American Short Fiction. How bad is that American Short Fiction story, like every American Short Fiction story that has been linked to in these pages?
There is no one alive who doesn't know the difference in quality when presented with the two examples. It's impossible to even begin to claim that that garbage belongs in the same discussion as anything I write.
What else do you want to do the comparison thing with? How about this tripe called "Love, Leda," by Mark Hyatt, from the bigots at Granta? What is more basic and worthless than this shit? How could you write something more basic and worthless? If we had a basic and worthless writing competition, how could you compete with this crap?
How about "My Wonderful Description of Flowers" by Danielle Dutton, from the bigots at The New Yorker? How bad is that? Look, a Rilke reference in the first sentence. Shocking. Didn't see that coming at all.
No comparison. And you know what? These bigots like David Remnick, Deborah Treisman, David Wallace, Adeena Reitberger, Rebecca Markovits, Sigrid Rausing, and Luke Neima don't think there is either.
Imagine if you got them on TV. If you got a million people looking at them, sitting on the stage in chairs. Can you imagine what would happen if they were asked to step to the microphone and explain how, exactly, those stories were better than the Fleming ones? Seriously? What would occur? What could you possibly say?
You could run. Flee. You could piss yourself. Do a piss/run combo. Stand there and admit in all of your shame that you're a giant bigot and break down sobbing, but primarily because you pitied yourself so much. What else could you do? There's no legit answer you could begin to give. You wouldn't even be able to come up with three opening words.
I know this. They know this. They know I know this.
Something like "The Ghost and the Flame" is the work that these people don't want you to see, don't want the world to see, because they hate that there is someone out there who can do it. Who is doing all of the other things at the same time. Each at a level they can't conceive of with anything in their own lives and work.
There's a term here, as I mentioned, for that kind of writing--writing at the level of "The Ghost and the Flame." And that is, game over writing, as in, game over, everyone else can go home. How are you going to compete? "Ferocious grace."
After that I went to Government Center and ran 3000 stairs and did 300 push-ups. I came up with an op-ed idea for December 16. A ways off, obviously, but that doesn't mean much to me. It goes into the mind. It is worked on. I may formally write it now. I'll formally write it when I write it. I'm going to want it later, so what's it matter when I do it, exactly?
I know what I'm going to discuss for the whole of the half hour radio segment on February 7. It will be all about the recording session for the Beatles' first album, and go deep into the outtakes. The day of that 585-minute session--February 11, 1963--fascinates me just about as much as any in music history. The Beatles had a knack for making things happen on February 11.
We'll see how it plays out, but I think the Patriots are going to be road smear tomorrow. I see them getting annihilated. That place is going to be as amped up as it has ever been. They are going to get a video message, it will get more amped up, and then there comes licorice-armed Mac Jones to throw some pop-ups and run the plays from the Matt Patricia playbook. Sports are weird. You never know. But I don't envision this going well.
Then what? Under .500, season over (though they can still get in at an inglorious 8-9). You bring the coach back? The quarterback? The offensive coordinator will be new. Kraft will give Belichick the order on that front. I think Kraft is embarrassed. The thinking will be to blame Patricia, which means that they'll waste another year with Jones before they realize he can't play and that's out in the open now. Or maybe they'll win tomorrow. Have to wait with sports.
The Bills have something to play for. I don't mean pride or their teammate, but the teammate thing became this melodrama like he was some WWII hero who just sacrificed his life so that everyone else and their families could live. These are simple people. They all look at it that way and then they get to feel like they're good and caring without ever having to be either in real life. The players and the fans. So there's that. The frenzied arena, the opponent that's already a lot better ready to rip heads off. But the Bills have actual football things to play for, too. I think it could be more of a beatdown than last year's playoff contest between the two teams.
I'll always want the Patriots to win. But this is one of the most boring Patriots teams of my lifetime. They are so blah. There's no one on this team that you don't want to miss. They are such a blah 8-9 team if I ever saw one. With an entitled rich kid quarterback who can't throw, is dirty, and acts like a whiny bitch.
Listen to a Mac Jones press conference some time. He says the word "obviously" in nearly every sentence. That's something that entitled people do. They think you know all about them because you should and they're great, they've always been told they're great. So everything pertaining to them is "obviously." Don't believe me? Pay attention some time. Language tells us everything we need to know about someone if we know how to process language, take the indications, take the meaning. They are telling us even when they're not trying to tell us.
I got two big boxes of blueberries, two bunches of bananas, ten red peppers, three packages of blackberries, a stalk of celery.
Listened to the Vines' first album and the Typewriter Tapes, which is Janis Joplin and Jorma Kaukonen in 1964.
I've had Primal Scream's "Higher Than the Sun" in my head all day. The 1992 version off of the Screamadelica box. Seems apt. "What I got in my head you can't buy, steal, or borrow." This is the single version.