I had a nightmare last night that I had returned to Chicago to pick up my late sister to take her to college. It was a college like mine, but not mine. The house in Chicago was also a different house but not a different house. We had a flight at two in the morning, and it was important to me in this dream to be in that house for less than a day. I kept asking her if she'd mind if I moved the flight up, which I managed to do, and then did again. For some reason, we brought a lot of appliances with us. There was a toaster. When we got East, she was going to spend the night at the house of some old family friends, and I was returning to this death trap, which she couldn't come into, because no one can come in here. She had to take an Uber, and I didn't know who'd pay for it. She'd never been in an Uber before, and I've only been in one once. At the school, many people were already on campus, but not incoming students. Kids who'd been there for some reason or other over the summer break. They looked comfortable in their surroundings and with each other. I bought my sister two packs of cigarettes that I knew were for her boyfriend. I knew she was dead the entire time.
The baseball op-ed thing yesterday was exceedingly frustrating. It was a great idea, and I pitched it to this person who will go a year without responding to me. But I'll see them on Twitter in someone's comments if they're the preferred color or gender, asking those people who have hardly published in their lives if they'll send this person an email, because they're looking for people to write for them. The last time I did a piece for this person, it was on the front page of Google as the most read thing in America. This also would have been. They ignore me. They see it, they're looking at it, and rather than say anything, or do their actual job, or have some competence and realize what is in front of them, they ignore it. Because that's power, and they get off on it. I follow-up. It was something that had to run online yesterday. Would have taken ten minutes to get it up. Short piece. Not even 600 words. I say, look, this will be good, I need twenty minutes, but I don't want to do it just for the sake of doing it, because I feel like you don't look at most of my work. Which is true. But when you say that to these people, who want to treat you like excrement in human form, and have you worship them for it (not that that will help you with them; it's just what they want), they can get angry. But I don't think this person is quite that way. So what happens? Well, it's me, so I write the thing anyway, and I send it. I say, okay, I did it after all, ugh, could you please look at it? I know what it is going to happen. This person is going to orgasm so hard over having this power, and being able to be this much of a dick, that they will shoot themselves across the room in the orgasmic recoil. They love this. At any point they could say, "I just don't have the room today, sorry," or "hey, this isn't working for me, sorry." Or the sane thing and say, "hey, that's awesome, yeah, really glad to have this." But no. This is what you're dealing with, and this is one of the best people I deal with in comparison to how most of them are. I put the piece up on here, which means I don't make a penny, and as anyone can see, it's an awesome piece, a unique piece, and clearly it would have done well saying this smart thing that no one else in America is saying, which is also a correct thing and could not have been said by anyone else.
No, I don't want to go out with you, woman whose dating profile name is HerderofCats. Is that mean? I don't want to be mean. I can't say what I encounter--all I encounter--is frustrating, because it's more than that. I just want to encounter a single normal, intelligent person. Anyone. A healthy person with something interesting to say in an interesting way.
I did not watch any of the All-Star game. I don't really watch anything. I have the TV on sometimes as I do other things. I can't watch TV because that would mean I have to be on the warped mattress because that is the only place to sit on here that is not the desk, and look out over a mountain of things that piled to the ceiling, and that depresses me even more. So I just work. But I would not have watched the game anyway, probably, if I was where I wanted to be in life and geographically (back in my house in Rockport) because I just don't care. I think it's silly. There are exhibition games, and then there are silly exhibition games. The All-Star game has always been the former, but for quite a while now I think it's been the latter. I used to get excited about it. Players wore their team's uniforms, you saw guys you didn't see that much or ever, they stayed in the game, it felt more like baseball. Sometimes I'd be at hockey camp and disappointed that I wouldn't be able to see the All-Star Game that year.
Yesterday I wrote on here about negativity and how people like it, which is different than telling the truth, which people hate. The response to Joe Buck is a good example of that negativity. I look at Facebook, I look at Twitter, I see thousands and thousands of comments about the play-by-play abilities of Joe Buck, and they're so hyperbolic. You'd think Buck went around to every viewer's home and attacked them and made off with their children. I mean, he's fine. He's not great, but he's pretty vanilla, able enough, and wouldn't really inspire any passion at all, one way or the other. But there everyone is, with their awful jokes and endless gripes, saying he's why they couldn't watch a second of the game, they'd sooner pour acid into their ears. And people love it. For this thing that is not a thing. That's the culture. If you are not onboard with it, it tries to leave you behind. What offends me with Buck is the nepotism. No one in this world gets anything--save in sports--because they possess more talent to do that thing than someone else. Or they work harder. Or both. Everything is given for the wrong reasons. Including this person's job. And yet, no one objects to that. They'd rather invent negativity, and then repeat those words and beat them into the ground every chance they get, despite what they've sworn off of.
I started the piece on Miles Davis's best live recordings, and wrote a 2300 word story called "The Echo Blow." I'm thinking about stories in the 2000 to 3000 word range, like "Find the Edges" from Harper's and "First Responder" from the VQR--major, major, major stories--and the stories of a similar length from the last few days--mere days--in "Coffee Streaks," "The Half Slip" (which is a little shorter), and now this one, which are every bit as good. It feels like sacrilege to say they're better, but...well, I've just never been writing better.
If you're out there, and you're not in this awful industry, do you understand now why something is chosen to go into a venue, and why something else is not? Are people seeing that now?
Last night's half hour Downtown interview was excellent, by the way. It was also hilarious. You should check it out.
I should go run some stairs. This is some of the music that features in the Miles Davis article, from the Cellar Door sessions in December 1970.