Wrote a story the other morning called "Coolah." It's about construction workers having lunch, and it should not be possible for it to contain entire worlds, but it does. A note to the circle:
"This is excellent. 750 words. Also for Longer on the Inside. I went down to Anthony's to get a coffee this AM, and a man walked past me holding a smaller cooler. And as soon as I saw him, I thought, 'right, got it.' From seeing him, to getting the coffee, to composing this, took a half hour. (While also speaking to a hot girl who seems not crazy and actually smart, but I am of course not sanguine. But it was nice to meet someone who didn't say "live, laugh, love" or "best life" or that they're a Scorpio or dating God first and spelling every other word incorrectly, having no clue how then and than work, or even a and an. Almost everyone in this country thinks "outgoing" is out going, which means something else entirely. And it's like a miracle if you encounter someone who doesn't describe themselves as a simple person looking for a simple person. Why not just say you're a total fucking idiot? Why not just announce it? People actually brag about how simple they are. I don't see how I belong in this world in any way.)"
Wrote a piece on Judy Garland's first ever live performance of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," from a radio broadcast on December 17, 1944.
Done with that particular person. I need more. Nothing there for me intellectually. And the usual fear and insecurity. For someone to be with me--to be anything at all with me--they must always and fully be themselves. Anything else will backfire spectacularly. You can't hoodwink me. You can't play it safe, play not to lose. You can't attempt to hide anything. You can't "play it cool." I will always know. People will not say something is what something is because they don't want to appear fawning, they are playing a part, trying to make it seem that maybe we are not always on levels millions of galaxies apart, but we are. That's just how it is. That's not my fault. And then you wonder if they're that dumb, or that terrified, or stage-managing something. And I don't have the time or energy for such a person. I need someone great. Flat out great. Not in that Rainbow Brite pipe dream BS style of "we're all super duper great in our unique way!" because we're not.
Wrote an another entry in this other book. It's getting confusing. This one was on the Quiet, Please episode, "The Thing on the Fourble Board."
Wrote another entry in this book. On Leo McCarey's film, Make Way for Tomorrow, this time.
The book is now 1/10th of the way done.
I wrote nine works in two days. Twelve for the week. Fiction and nonfiction. Not counting this journal. And the Cooke book. Another reason why they hate so much. These people are not just terrible at writing--they can't hardly ever bring themselves to write. Their culture is orientated around their inability to produce anything of quality or much of anything at all, and then cheering for each other and bulwarking their fortified class system. They'll want you to die if you are the opposite of everything they are. They will hate you more than if you were a rapist, a murderer, a child molester. It is not possible for them to hate anyone more.
I get so many notes from women saying, "You're too smart for me." (The "too" is rarely "too.") Someone else wrote, "It's a lot of pressure because you expect someone to be smart." Shouldn't you expect you to be smart? And if you're not, shouldn't you work at being smarter? I am convinced that very few people enter this world with any mental acuity. I think most people are given more or less the same amount of intelligence. Geniuses have something else. You then decide how smart or stupid you will be. You can control, to some degree, what you know, how well the wheels of your mind turn. If you stay at it, seek to grow, always try to acquire knowledge. The mind is a muscle. You have to use it, challenge it, put it through workout after workout. Or else you will be a moron. But if you are a moron, you will have plenty of other morons to be your friend, to pick from romantically, and you're all set, because ultimately, the world provides for absolute morons. So what then? You're better off being an absolute moron? Being a lazy idiot? That's the point, eh? The point of all of this? So often it seems to me--right now--like it is. And I did every last thing the worst way you could do it.
Someone else writes me and says, "u use big words. do u lik to use big words. i luv a wordsmith." (A graduate student, by the way.) I mean, really. I'm a dick for thinking this person, who is so much like so many other people, is just a vapid, simple, fool? What does that even mean? Big words? How are we measuring? By the amount of letters? Words are free to be used by all. We all have the exact same amount of access. It's like there's this huge field. And most people find a tiny portion of that field in which that they can barely turn around. And they defecate there, and screw there, and eat there, and that's their whole world. And I'm out using all of the field, finding other parts of the field that you don't know are there are first and then using them, too. And it's like one of these people who is shitting on their own feet as they pick up a nearby English muffin to stuff into their face says, "u use a big field. do u like to use a big field. i love a big field user." It's just moron after moron. What the fuck are you supposed to do if you are not one of these people? And then most of the people who read or don't write "u," are broken academic freaks, and you want even less to do with them. Are there just any normal, smart people, who don't sound like they're eleven? Who can talk about ideas, who read good books? Who want to grow? Because I'm all done if I don't do a hell of a lot of converting and get people reading again, thinking differently, and also finding that group I just described and bringing in other groups. Because this--the people in the tiny field corner, and the broken academics who posture and often hate men and certainly hate genius and are riddled with crippling self-doubt--for good reasons--aren't going to be buying up scores of my books. Not as this stands right now. The academics are fake enough that they will later. But right now, I have nowhere to turn. These are the two groups, for the most part. I have a better chance with the "u" and "lol" and emoji people. (And it's one thing to have no idea how commas work--you have a greater likelihood of seeing Noah's Ark go floating by in the sky at high noon, it seems, than a properly used comma--they think they are these things that float randomly, with centimeters on each side, in the middle of sentences that, of course, are never sentences.) Someone else wrote me to theorize that I'm a Harvard professor. No. Don't insult me.
And yes, I know that many people are fine and wonderful, and you are probably fine and wonderful, but the parade of what I see, the kind of person I see, and deal with, and have to try and deal with, is just so voluminous and unrelenting, that it becomes very frustrating and hard to imagine much of anything else. This is a bad time right now for me. And I'm also taking my work around to these underlings who have never done anything, never will, who reach out to solicit work from writers who suck, who have published six inconsequential MFA-glazed stories in their entire career, and they'll take anything from these writers, whose asses they tongue, and along I come, and it's just so tempting to have some power in this one moment, this one time, over this person who has done exponentially more than they ever will, is not a system person, their buddy, someone who goes on Facebook and writes, "Sweet, treasured friends, I birthed another microfiction today, my first in the long stretch of three years, and for this I am sublimely grateful to all of you and my soul kisses your soul" and has infinitely more ability. And it's me and that twenty-six-year-old grad student who posts nineteen times a day on FB about patriarchy. And I should never, ever, have to have anything to do with such a person at this point, or a point of about fifteen years ago. But here it is. Then they see more of what you do, and the hate grows, and they tell others to hate you, as they do this little tiny thing they do that is just a favor trade to be on someone's website for free. There has never been a more fucked up system than what this is.
I wrote an op-ed yesterday on Lennon and how "Imagine" is naif, insincere, jejune, and does Lennon a disservice, whereas this other number--blah blah--is the one we should look to in our world. It was a great piece. Couldn't sell it, but can rewrite it for December and perhaps can sell it then. "Imagine" is a nice melody and a terrible song. He was lazy and shooting for proto-Woke points while also being a petty, childish dick around the same time ("How Do You Sleep").
This is a typical profile, by the way. I'll render it word for word. But 98% will write something like this. It will be the entirety of what they have to say.
"I am in up going person that loves to have fun have a good laugh. I like to dance and be outdoors."
That's awesome. How can you not swoon?
It is somewhat ironic that I wrote a novel about a total meathead idiot who maybe couldn't even manage the above "sentences." Like the guy version of that, but perhaps more basic in one way. And I take the readers inside this person, and show that maybe he's not that basic at all, or that different from all of us, who also are not that basic, where it counts the most and in what we share--the concerns we have, feelings, fears, needs. But I guess that's one reason it's a special book. Had I met Chad in real life, we wouldn't have anything to do with each other. If we were at the same cookout--not that I have a life or friends or get invited anywhere, but let's pretend--it'd be a tough afternoon to get through. I'd need to dose a few times with Advil. But in that book, the way it is rendered, and he is, that going inside, I think he's one of my very favorite characters I've ever created. He and Fitty. And they're very far apart.
There is this chapter in the Meatheads when Chad has to take this young girl in his building to her art fair night at school. She's a little Fitty-esque--younger by a year or two--but precocious, and while she doesn't have Fitty's outward confidence, maybe--Fitty is a bit of a trash talker--she has a wisdom to her. She kind of gets Chad. And they have this special little connection, despite the fact that he's this meathead yob and she's really much more grown-up than he is, but also with a kid's needs. So the art fair is really out of his element, but she has no one else to take her, and she's counting on him. They go to the school, and he's wearing like his best Patriots sweatshirt or whatever, and he sees the gym and wishes they were going in there. The girl is kind of this star student, and a bevy of parents are discussing her painting in a classroom. And an art teacher is talking about representative art and non-representative art, and the teacher says that this painting represents the latter, which Chad thinks is an insult, because he views life in terms of how he represents, and his idiot buddies represent, so even though he feels so awkward, and he's so out of place, and all of these eyeballs are on him, of people more comfortable in this situation, and dressed right, he makes this impassioned defense, and ends up saying the smartest thing of his life, which is actually legitimately profound.
They ride home together in this glowing, beatific silence, and it's just the sweetest thing, the best night for both of them, and the exchange they have back in the building, when they say goodnight, is simply one of the most beautiful, real, human things I've ever created or read. And he's this total idiot.
So total doesn't really mean total. And I'm sure the people I'm dealing with on the social front are the same. But that's not how I know them. Or how they are presented. And I don't go inside of them, because that's not for us to do, it's not how we're going to be. We're not going to be anything. Because you have to move through things and have things in place to do that going inside of. And we won't. But I'm aware of this other stuff. It's why I wrote this book.