Who is a worse person, Jussie Smollett or Michael Avenatti?
Is there white privilege?
There is wealth privilege. There is victim privilege. There is mob privilege.
It's remarkable that Smollett and Avenatti are not in prison. And also that the latter is retained by people, and it's not really questioned. It's a given. That says something: almost anyone will completely void morals or values when money is at play. I wonder what the percentage of people is who would stand upon principles now. Is it one out of a million? Ten million? Money changes all.
What are people doing with this money? If you have a nice home, and you don't want, why do you want more money? To buy more cars? I could understand if you were building epic libraries of books, music, films, art, that you wished to surround yourself with, as there is so much of it out there, and your life is rammed with so many passions, like mine is, but what are other people buying? People usually don't even have interests. They want money for their collections of early baseball cards? Civil War militaria? They collect art? First editions? Vintage movie posters? Most people have empty minds and empty lives. A trip to Cancun? As many trips to random places as you want? What's that going to do for you? You probably don't even know anything about the place where you do live.
Smollett is a sick individual and a racist who understands that if you are the right color at the moment, you can cry racism and use it to your advantage. It's a business model. Gets you fame, gets you support, gets you paid. But Avenatti is worse. Some people like to blame Trump for everything. You should see the number of women on dating apps who further limit the people they might connect with by saying that if you voted for Trump, never ever swipe on them. There isn't an intelligent person, with morals, who could have voted for Trump? That's not possible? They couldn't be a progressive thinker, they couldn't be a progressive artist, they couldn't be deeply, uniquely cultured? Not possible, eh? They couldn't have loyal and loving relationships with women, and people from all backgrounds? Just not possible?
It seems to me that it's pretty easily possible. But what I noticed when Avenatti was talking about running for president that there was no outcry of how terrifying this was. Trump is John the Baptist compared to this man. He's out of control with issues. If Satan was a lawyer he'd be like this guy. I'm insulting Satan. He's highly articulate in Paradise Lost. Avenatti is a bully, a cross between a tyrant and a thug, he's a crook. Is he short? He reminds me of those short guys who lose their hair early who are super angry no matter what.
The great artists of all time would not be liberals right now. I am not saying they'd be conservatives. They'd have to pick and choose, taking a little here, a little there. But no great artist would be okay with warnings on books, PC culture, mob mentalities, the illusion of free speech, safe spaces. Those things are inimical to creating art that matters. And to have that art put out there. To do what great art does. You could be Tolstoy, you could be Orson Welles, you could be Mozart--you wouldn't be a liberal right now. You wouldn't be a conservative either. You'd be a humanist. Which is the only way to go. That also involves thinking for yourself, using your mind and your values and your common sense and common decency, and caring less about Facebook likes and Twitter reshares and upvote culture.
There is a big difference between a pack and a group. A pack is comprised of living creatures who seek to blend into numbers, without having to think for themselves, without having to risk being alone as an individual. A group is comprised of living creatures who are individuals who work towards matters of common good, despite being different from each other, because they recognize, to their varying abilities, the difference between right and wrong, between what is easiest and what is better, and also between existing and living. You want to be a part of a group. Not a part of a pack. Which are you a part of? Can you honestly answer yourself? Are you mad at someone for having asked? Being an individual, it can feel like you don't have a group and you'll be alone. But when we allow for the development of who we are as individuals and encourage others to do the same--as I try to encourage others--we find that teeming groups can be quickly formed. And then things can happen fast. That's what I am choosing to believe right now as I stand up for essentiality of groups, even if I have to start one. Maybe I have started one, and I just don't know it yet.
Walked three miles yesterday and climbed three times, and then did the same today. A couple Monument anecdotes, which I'll build into "You're Up, You're Down, You're Up."
Today I passed a couple and as I went around the next corner of stairs, I heard the woman say to the man, with some asperity, "show off." I'm pretty inconspicuous in the Monument. I don't bleat out a "suck it, losers!" as I go past you. I take up little space, because I know the dimensions of every nook perfectly. It's like a part-time home. But people tend to take it personally when you move with purpose in the Monument. They find it threatening, as if it's some comment on their struggles and you're making fun of them. For instance, when I get to the top, I hit that last step, and then, boom, I'm on my way back down. People find this disrespectful, as if I'm making a mockery of how hard it is to get to the top, and also, literally, turning my back on history. So, today, a little bit after the "show off" comment, I was passing this same couple, who were still ascending, as I went back down. Caught a little gruff when he says to me, "What did you even see up there?" See what I mean? Like I'm some wiseacre making a point that I don't care about the nice view, I'm throwing a tantrum that someone made me go all the way up and this is the form my tantrum takes. I responded, "Same thing I see every time." Ha. That was pretty good.
Last week, there was a hot woman behind me, climbing with her meathead schlub of a boyfriend. I have noticed more and more that hot women are in relationships with fat meatheads. Believe me, I am hyper-observant with these things. This is a real trend. Is it because they feel more comfortable with someone stupider than they are who never challenges them and just wants someone hot as their girlfriend so it's a power thing but a sad power thing? This is definitely a post-#MeToo trend. But, simple, out-of-shape guys who can barely speak are doing well in the love department of late, no doubt about it. Anyway, she says to him, "Last time I was here, there was this guy, you wouldn't believe it, he was running up and down these stairs for his workout. It was insane." Meta. That's the first time I've heard myself referenced in a story within the Monument. You might say, "Fie! How do you know it was you?" Because I've done this for years now and only once in all of that time have I seen anyone else do more than one climb, and I am there most days of my life. It was obviously me. I was a foot away from her. The meathead said something like, "ha ha ha ha no one could do that ha ha ha ha" and she said, "Yes, it's true, he kept going up and down." He refused to accept this--of course, he was wheezing like an asthmatic pig at this point--and I resisted the temptation to turn around and say, "It is I, the man himself, and it was true, very true, and honestly, what are you with this idiot for, kick him down the stairs--a gentle push will do it--and let us love!" More realistically, I try to limit interactions that will probably upset me at this point, so I said nothing.
Maybe I'm becoming an urban legend.