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Turkanity

Tuesday 11/20/18


Today I saw that Sarah Michelle Gellar is in trouble because she posted something somewhere--Instagram, I think--saying we ought not to overeat on Thanksgiving. People are "triggered" by this as humanity races against itself to see if we're better at being weak, or better at devolving. I guess they ride together.


More than ever, people don't know what they don't know. If you are triggered by something like this, you have no idea what real hardship is. You would turn to atoms if you attempted to exist two days in my world. I think of how I have had to evolve over these last six and a half years, and how it has put me at even further remove from humanity than before, by exponential gaps, and how it is becoming almost impossible for me to draw sustenance from anyone else. Like attracts like, and if you are not in the meaty part of the curve right now, then look out. It's as if you must necessarily be alone, or break your spine trying to come down to a level that all of the forbearance in the world won't help you navigate, stay at, or even just pop in for intervals. Some of these people need to get ground up under the wheels of life's horse and carriage. You get perspective inside those wheels as the sound of hooves pound away like seas of blood in your ears. And you either succumb, or you get out from under, better able to see the world. I'd say that I wished everyone went through this, but there would probably only be a few dozen humans left.


This is pretty simple. Don't overeat. How is that a controversial thing to say now? How long until we can't say hello to each other? If you're fit, if you're fat, if you're average, if you're Captain Marvel, if you're Snuffleupagus, this is pretty good advice. And if you're fit, or fat, or average, or any of the points in between, you should have a jog, go for a walk, climb an obelisk. For mind and body.


Anyway. Walked three miles and climbed the Monument for the fiftieth straight day today. Three climbs. For most of that time, I had it to myself, which is rare. But it was raining and a little cold. You have to want it, I guess, to walk all the way out to Charlestown, over that bridge, on a day like this. I would estimate that over these fifty days I've probably averaged three climbs a day. There have been days I've climbed once, days I've climbed three times, five times, one day where I climbed ten times, so I'll say 150 all in all. I get to the top, and I'm not much different than I was on the ground. This is definitely the best cardiovascular shape I've been in since I was recruited to play college hockey.


It's funny: I'm dreadfully scared of heights (Dear future love of my life: I will not go on the roller coaster with you, nor will I even be able to watch you ride a roller coaster, and you'll have to scale the rock face alone, but I'll do my best to catch you, if worst should come to worst), but inside the Monument I'm like Batman (It is not uncommon for people to utter, "Behold, it is the Bat!" Ha! That has never happened; still, sometimes I imagine I am in a 1940s serial when inside the Monument) popping around, blowing past people, hauling ass weaving in and out of groups of climbers who often have no idea that it's the same as driving and you stick to the right. The rail, when you're going up, is on your left. You don't need the rail going up unless you're infirm or elderly. You can't fall going up. So you're kind of an inconsiderate dick if you walk up on that side, because it's not hard to fall coming down, especially when you're trying to squeeze past someone. But people don't care. So long as they are all squared away, they are not going to think about anyone else. The Monument will be closed Thursday, but I will not view this as halting my streak. It's like a baseball game being rained out. Lou Gehrig still got to keep on trucking with his streak when that happened. I have to go talk on the radio now.


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Wednesday 11/21/18


Suffice it to say, I did not talk on the radio yesterday. I sat in this hell-sty and waited for the phone to ring, but it did not, so I checked my email and saw that Kimball was sick and they were running a taped program. But I will tell you what I was going to talk about.


First, as it is Thanksgiving week, I was going to make some prefatory remarks saying that I've been on this show for over a year now, and I've discussed a lot of things, because I know a lot about a lot of things, and while one has to come into the world a certain way to be like that, it's also helpful to have people who encourage you to care about what you care about. My dad is not with us anymore, but he did that, and my mom did it my whole life, and it's also her birthday this week, so I wanted to say I was grateful for her doing that, and happy birthday, and I love you, mom.


Those were going to be my little opening remarks before we turned to business, which involved a discussion of my piece on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and how he is responsible for some of our erroneous understanding of history, but who also suffered a great deal and how that suffering created what we might think of as our national Thanksgiving poem. I wrote about this for The Daily Beast. Maybe it's up now. I don't know. I should check. No need to go into it more here.


Then we were going to talk about three notable Thanksgiving programs, the first being WKRP in Cincinnati's "Turkey's Away," which aired forty years ago (in October, interestingly enough). It's the one where they have the promo to drop turkeys out of a plane, and Les Nessman reports from the street as the birds hit the pavement like sacks of wet cement. The episode borrows from both the reporting of the Hindenburg disaster and Welles's "War of the Worlds" broadcast. Only, "oh the humanity" is more like "oh the turkanity." There's the famous line about not knowing turkeys couldn't fly. Actually, turkeys do fly--they sort of air-scoot, as I think of it. And the reason you never trip on a turkey when you're walking in the woods at night? They sleep on tree branches, nature's bunk beds for the animal set. WKRP is one of the few shows that probably influenced a lot of people's career choice. That they wanted to get into radio. Miami Vice is another one, I suppose, but that's such a spurious depiction of what it's like to be a cop. I doubt Barney Miller made people want to be cops.


Then we were going to discuss displaced people--ala Flannery O'Connor's long short story, "The Displaced Person"--with the Cheers episode "Thanksgiving Orphans" and the "Over the River and Through the Woods" episode of The Bob Newhart Show. The pie-covered Vera in the former is played by George Wendt's wife. I like the little touches. How each person moves the TV so they get a better view. That is so Thanksgiving. With "Woods" that idea of the person who says, "I love to laugh" always occurs to me. I can't associate with an "I love to laugh" person because I almost always end up saying, "No shit, do you love to cum, too?" And that's not tenable. Now, the person who says, "fuck laughter, that's not for me, no way" is the person you'd have to hang out with, because they're probably hilarious. In the world of Bob and Emily, this person is Mr. Carlin. And when he completes the Java Jive bit ("I'd love coffee, I'd love tea, I'd love the Java Jive, and it loves me") it's like he has finished a Zen koan, but with this filament of self-righteousness in the center.