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Station East

Monday 7/13/20

Trying to do my taxes. It's not going especially well. Actually am doing a lot at once. Attempting to have a late morning regrouping now. Pressure from all sides is immense. The News tab is now up to date on this website. Also, the On air section. Most of everything else is incomplete to the point of patchy. There is just so much to get up. And I don't have the time. I pitched something on the Negro Leagues and the team I think is the best baseball club of all-time. The third of the five Beatles Month episodes of the Songs of Note podcast released, so here's that one, which is on "This Boy." I think the episode is pretty good. In case one was wondering what the remaining two will be about, the next one will be on "Soldier of Love," the cover of the Arthur Alexander song the band did on the BBC in July 1963, and we'll wrap up with "Hey Jude." I think when people think about "Hey Jude," their focus turns to the singing--McCartney's vocal, and the famous coda. But what I don't believe a lot of people reflect on is what might be the finest passage of singing on any piece of Beatles music. Do you know what I'm referring to? Rhetorical question. You're going to have to listen to find out!

As I was writing a letter to some people today, sending them a new work, I realized, or realized again, just one more disturbing aspect of what is happening here. There are various forms of disturbing. One form of disturbing is having a work of art that is uniquely powerful, that an industry won't let the world see, because of who did it. And because, too, it's uniquely powerful art. That's a pretty awful feeling. But what is also awful is when you casually mention to some people you like that here's the new story you wrote, which you did in like ninety minutes, on a Saturday morning, before you walked twenty miles and ran thousands of stairs. Another drop in your bucket. And it was a 2500 word story. Do you know how long it takes someone to write a bad 2500 word story? It takes them many months, even years. I had that story what for someone else would have been early Saturday, and it was called "Second Boy." I didn't look at it yesterday, but I turned to it today, I added almost 400 words, changed parts, fixed parts, and it ended up at 2870, and I almost don't want these people to read it, because it's as strong as anything I've ever composed, and people will be like, "Holy shit, dude." I have never done anything better. It is staggering and stunning the number of levels it works on, and the sheer power. It's an overwhelming work. In its beauty, in its emotion, in its language, in the story it tells, in its humanness. I know, in all likelihood, what will be the fate of the story right now, given the blackballing and the hate. You give these people a ticket to something amazing, to do something amazing, to move so much forward, including themselves, and their venue, their reputation, their business, and they refuse, because of that enmity, to get out of their own way. And you are giving it right to them. Or you're trying to.

I finished watching Station West, a 1948 Western noir, with Dick Powell, who I previously hadn't though that much of, and Jane Greer, who I think a lot of. This was an excellent picture--sharp script. Jane Greer has this thing she does in this film, and in Out of the Past, where she looks like she's orgasming--as if the Hitachi was pressed up against her--when men fight in front of her. I wonder if the directors said to go for this effect, or she did it because she thought it was best. I certainly haven't seen anyone else do it. She overcame a lot, Jane Greer. Various physical things.

And I will conclude with this, which is an observation, not a criticism. Someone sent me a letter about the Twilight Zone piece I did for The American Interest. And they liked it and all of that. But what I've learned--and it's depressing and worrisome to me--is that many people assume, when they read something, no matter how bottomless the expertise evinced in the piece is, that you lately just came to that subject. That I lately just came to the subject. (Or maybe you researched it for three months--but that was the sole thing you did.) As though some editor asked me to write about something that was new to me. Someone will tell me to check out another episode of a series like this one, as though there's no way I've seen it. I don't mean that they're sharing thoughts on an episode they like or think well of, I mean they're talking like I would not know it. People are sometimes more likely to think this when they come to the site, and they see how many different things are covered. No one could possibly be an expert on a fraction of those things, the visitor will think, or more than one or two of them, let alone all of them, and let alone the leading expert on each and every one of those subjects.

We don't think that's possible, we don't even entertain that that could be true.

But what if it were? What if there was someone like that? What if there was one person in the world like that? Because there is. There is one person, this is he, and yes, it's real. Should I feel like I need to apologize for that? Because it seems to me, that we should be making a lot of money off of that.

It's something that people are just going to have to accept. My concern is how do you expand the ken of what we think is possible, so that enough people, a lot of people, millions of people, can accept that you are that thing? I've proven it. The work proves it. The volume of the work, in each area, on each thing, proves it. This isn't me talking out of my ass, hoping something is true, with no proof. There is nothing here but proof. What there is not, is acceptance. But I've proven exactly what I am.


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