On Saturday, I did what I do every Saturday and every day. I got up hours before dawn, and immediately began work. Seconds after opening my eyes, I'm at the desk and at it. I worked all day--including as I ran thousands of stairs later on in the cold, so that I am fit enough to keep going. As night approached, I was at Starbucks working, and had been for twelve or so hours straight. I thought maybe I'd get the T out to Chestnut Hill and go to the BC hockey game. Alone, of course, because I'm always alone. Such is how my life is as I'm in this war with the most corrupt system we have in our world, that being the publishing system.
The publishing system is allowed to be the most corrupt system in the world for one reason above all: no one cares about publishing. No one reads. Publishing exists not to give anyone anything worth reading, but to provide the corrupt people of publishing with a place to have power--or what they think is power, in the pettiest ways--and keep them in funds.
In order to do that, there must be no interference from the outside. How to assure there's no interference? Make it so that no one cares. No one investigates. No one is aware. There is no one to expose any of it. The way to do that is to kill off reading and any interest in reading. You know what's happening now? They're starting--as of this past November, and I'll explore this more soon on here--to be replaced by AI. Publishing people are self-obsoleting themselves. Because now you can use technology to replace them.
What they write is lifeless. Meaningless. The same every time. There is no human quality. There is no thought. There is never any originality. You can get the same--only better--from an app. That they don't see this, and that they have brought it on, says so much. I'm a lot of things. You know what else I am? I'm the last real writer in the world, and I'm the only writer who is going to stand between human writing and AI taking over completely. I can see this starting to play out. One more thread of the battle. It's also why I am working harder than ever so far in this new year--because the stage keeps getting set, kitted out, for what needs to happen, and for me to do what I am here to do. That's how it's possible that the time is worse than ever for me--which is true--but the time is coming. My time.
I had my backpack jammed with work. I was texting someone. I said that I could work at the game. There wouldn't hardly be anyone there. A mostly empty rink. Riding the T--it's about an hour each way--would force me to keep working, because it's not like there's anything else to do on the T. Whereas, if I went home, I might just get in a ball, weep--these are true things--and try to fall asleep so I could get up even earlier and do it all again the next day. That's how this is right now. And has been for a long time.
But I didn't go. I had too much fear. I need work. I need money. So I went home to this unlivable apartment and I sat at the desk on a Saturday night and I pitched. I pitched bigots. I pitched incompetent people. I pitched people who only hook up their friends. I hoped, as I pitched, that there were some people who might care about--or even have the lowest level of ability at their job to recognize an amazing idea and a writer for what that writer clearly is--quality. Who might not be fully infected by how all of this almost always works. Knowing full well that it was almost all certainly for naught.
Every now and again, there is that person, or that person as they are at a random point on a random day. Maybe something else fell through and they need something. Maybe it's a holiday and they have to fill the space. But it's almost never recognition, competence, clarity, professionalism, "this is awesome, we need this."
If you read magazines, newspapers, and websites--any of the content from those places--you know how similar everything is. Everything is written the same way, right? Everything is boring, yes? Predictable. Bland. You don't learn anything. You don't feel anything. The language doesn't stir you. You don't get excited. You don't laugh.
If, for example, you read a Beatles piece by anyone who is not me, what's it like? There's nothing there, correct? It's basic. There's no originality. No freshness. Anyone could do it.
But that is what these people look to publish. They don't think in terms--they never do--of, "This would be so much better." They don't see in those colors, if that makes sense. It doesn't enter the equation. It's like if you had some scanning device, and you set it to "high quality" and you scanned the sensor over mountains of material, you'd never hear any beeping if you were one of these people, because they don't set the scanner that way. The quality has nothing to do with anything, save that it can make them hate the person responsible for that quality.
I really can't put that more strongly. I can't overstate that. It's not how these people are wired. It's almost always completely irrelevant. If there are ten apples in front of them, and nine are rotten, covered in maggots, and one is this apple that belongs in legend and fairytales, glowing like the sun, they won't see that apple as any different than the ones infested with the rot. They can't. They are not made that way.
They're not made that way for many reasons. The reliance for the whole of their lives on cronyism and nepotism will help make you that way. But they're also devoid of a sense of wonder. Their jobs, as such, are extended processing forays.
When you deal in plain, bad, basic work all day, every day, it becomes who you are. It deadens you. Kills your perception, your nerves, your brain. You don't ever think in the terms of possibility that there could be that different apple. It's irrelevant. Even though when you show those ten apples to anyone else--for instance, anyone who would read these pages--it's so obvious how one apple stands apart. That's what I'm trying to get people to see. Because this is so backwards, right?
A reader here looks at something, then they compare it to everything else. What was that commercial whose tag line was "the biggest no-brainer in the history of earth?" when comparing the product they were selling to others in the market and just how self-evident it was that theirs was better? It's like that. What then happens is that that person thinks it would have to be that obvious to people in publishing, who deal in the same old, same old. After all, this is their job. That's why I have to really work hard to spell out how this is, because it seems so improbable.
But that is what's happening, and that's in the near "best" case scenarios, when it's not all about discrimination and bigotry, as it is more than ninety-nine percent of the time. Right now, I subsist because I find that .005 percent. All that I publish? It comes from that .005 percent. At the moment. This stage of the war.
What does this look like when I get 31% because hands are forced? What does it look like when I get 100% because these people have no choice by then? Things can get pretty big, can't they? What I am, what I do: this hasn't even started yet. This is all about getting to the starting line. On the playing field that I made level. See how I put that? That I made level.
Can you imagine how difficult it is to do anything twenty hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year? Can you imagine how difficult it is to be entirely alone for a decade? Can you imagine how difficult it is to know, while you are doing that, that you are so much better at all of it than anyone has ever been at any of it, and that everyone else also knows this, and that's why you're in this situation?
If that is not hell, what is hell? Can you imagine just sitting there on a Saturday night, sending out pitch after pitch like the one I'm about to paste in here? Knowing how it will almost certainly go. But doing it all the same. How long would you last with that being your life? A day? A week? As you are hated. Because you do what you do at the level you do it at.
Now, I used that example of the ten apples, to address the wiring of these people. At the same time, all of them know what I am. How could you not? That's why there's no pushback, anywhere. No one has ever said, "He's not that good!" Not really. Because it is that apparent, no matter everything else that's in place, in terms of blinders.
You don't think these people would sell their children to be able to say that about me with any credibility? Of course they would. But I'm too good. And that burns their asses like nothing else does or could. Which is also part of the problem. All of the problems stem from greatness. That is the problem to be solved. I live it. Thoreau recognized it. The last thing you want to be, he said, is a person of absolute greatness. I need to prove him wrong, in essence, by reversing that, at least this one time, with my own life.
But this is why I take the time to spell out everything on here as clearly as I can. To explain the situation. The mindset. To delve into the paradoxes, too. One being, "We don't recognize or care about quality, but yeah, this guy is so far beyond everything else out there in terms of quality."
That evinces itself many ways in these people. Sometimes it's a feeling. You know how you have a feeling that blankets you? You may not spell out its contents in words, but it subsumes you. If it's a bad feeling, you try and shake free of it. But you are completely cognizant of the feeling; it's so powerful that you don't want to examine it closely. You want to make it go away. That can be me with these people. I blanket them with those feelings.
So here is an example of a pitch. I took the person's name out. I'm doing that now. I will play it out some more, going forward, with other ideas. We will see how that goes. Nothing is done in a reactionary fashion with me. I give every single last inch of rope. Until we get to the point that the evidence makes for a mountain, and then it's time to put it up on here, naming the name, showing how it all works. But I don't move with haste or out of emotion. The quality of the idea is evident.
Again: does assigning this piece from this person not seem like the biggest no-brainer in the history of earth, to use that bit from the commercial? Wouldn't you love to read this? Sounds amazing, doesn't it? Who could possibly be close to this qualified to write it? Does it sound like any Beatles piece you've ever read by anyone else? The pitch itself is written at an exceedingly high level. Do you think anyone else is going to have anything like this? Do you think anyone has ever thought what the person who wrote this pitch thought? Do you think anyone has ever talked about "There's a Place" in this manner? Do you think anyone has ever linked "There's a Place" to Strawberry Fields Forever"? Do you think any pitch that ever comes in, in decades, looks like this one does? Stands out like this one does? Do you think this is typical of what comes into the inbox of this or any editor?
We all know the answers to those questions. Those are really easy questions to answer correctly. That's why I ask the questions, because that's how obvious this is. And later, if I have to do things I always try to ever avoid having to do, I can link back to this post as evidence of what was typical of what I offered. It's a case. It's like a legal case. An airtight, legal case. That is what I am making against you, if you are discriminating against me. And all will eventually be revealed. And it will be impossible for you to deny any of it.
One last thing: Notice the tone? That is how I always conduct myself with these people. The friendliness, the professionalism. Until, that is, it's blog-time. Then you're on your own--you're screwed. This is the man who is hated by an entire industry. This is the person he is, this is how he sounds, these are his qualifications, this is the level he writes at, this is the quality of his ideas. I could show you two dozen pitches like this, on different subjects, for every day of my life right now. That is who is Satan to these people. I am simply showing one example--as I occasionally do--of what is typical from me. Sometimes--often--this goes on for twenty, fifteen, ten, five, whatever it is--years with the person in question. But anyone who reads the Everything wrong with publishing posts knows that. That's how deep the rancidness of this system goes.
How have you been? I wrote for you a hundred million years ago. Or a long time ago, anyway. Had an idea for a cool piece, circa February 11. That day marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Beatles' 585-minute recording session that resulted in their first album. I have a large follow for my Beatles-related work. Some examples of that work here:
Anyway: said session produced "There's a Place," the most overlooked of all Beatles songs, and what I'd posit as the first mature, grown-up song in rock and roll history. It possessed--and still does--a stunning nakedness and candor, and one of the greatest lyrics I know, the four-syllable rendering of the word "I."
Pop songs were moons in Junes and holding hands with your girl and getting up to what you got up to in cinema balconies, but here was a confessional, a song of intense interiority. It's a retreat from the outer world so as to return to it better-suited for its challenges and for growth. John Lennon had a horrible cold that day, and his audible sore throat evinces even more vulnerability in the performance.
A shocking song, really, a number that is never discussed as a classic--a grievous error--and one that paved some of the eventual road to the likes of "Strawberry Fields Forever." No one will have anything like this.
Hope you've been well and the new year is off to an excellent start for you.