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Values and valuelessness

Thursday 1/6/22

* Finished a story, wrote a story, worked on a story. Heard from someone who read the finished story who said it was the most powerful art they had ever seen and it causes them a rage unlike any they've known that this industry is putting forward the garbage it is putting forward while discriminating against the best work. Same person also told me they can envision no bigger joke than the MacArthur Genius Grant--that there is an award for geniuses; hilarious; geniuses my royal Boston ass--and that I don't have one. Went on to say that in itself, that might be the greatest irony of all here.

* Was going to do an all jazz segment on the radio on Tuesday, but think I'll do blues songs instead: the first and second takes of Little Walter's "Juke," Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Black Snake Moan," Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster," Sonny Boy Williamson's "Fattening Frogs for Snakes," Bessie Smith's "Send Me to the 'Lectric Chair," Mississippi John Hurt's "Nobody's Dirty Business," and Blind Willie Johnson's "Let Your Light Shine On Me."

* Ran 3000 stairs. Brings the total for seven days to 25,000 stairs. It's not great, but it's consistent.

* Got that Get Well card for my friend's daughter.

* Pitched the porn idea--pertains to 1972's Behind the Green Door--and also one on Bessie Smith.

* Is there any worse music writing out there than what you find in Pitchfork? It's almost all awful, but wow is that place bad. And you better be in their little clannish circle for inclusion. Straight-up toxicity, all-out wankery. All of these places are simply clubs for the untalented and the connected.

* The person who made the MacArthur remark went on to comment about the names. You will not see the name of an Anglo-Saxon male. Yes, of course. They have the wrong skin color and gender. That's everything now. Also, having no actual ability.

* I have seen this push to include more Native American writers, who are picked for no other reason--in the works I have read--other than there was Tommy Orange, and editors and publishers are looking for writers with last names like Proudfoot. They want to see last names that are an adjective and noun. Tin House is run by bigots, and I saw that they had a story collection of this sort, though they don't do story collections otherwise, and wouldn't do one with stories by a white male, even if they were the best stories ever written. Of course, it's blurbed by Tommy Orange. Question: when they do your book--and there's also a story that is mind-boggling bad in The Paris Review that was taken for this same reason alone; again, Bigot Central/the toxic Country Club--do you think it's because of how you write? Because I've seen the writing, and it's terrible. Do you delude yourself? How does it work? You're just there because you're being racially profiled. That's okay with you? Then again, most people are broken, and can try and get themselves to believe anything, and almost all writers have a need to, because they are not actually working with anything. But Tin House, The Paris Review--gender profiling, race profiling. More on both soon. These people publish garbage. And they never let up in the publishing of the garbage. And they publish it for all the wrong reasons, not that there is ever a reason to publish garbage. I don't know how any of these people live with themselves. And intellectually they are such frauds. David Remnick taught Emily Stokes well. Valueless people with valueless minds, and a complete absence of values.

Sometimes I feel like I am imagining what I'm seeing in some nightmare world, and that I am not conscious, because it's not possible that someone could write so poorly and be tongue-bathed by an entire industry. That's why I like to show you what I see. So you can witness it and verify it. For instance, this is Lydia Davis in The Paris Review with a "story"--I'm not being a dick by using the quotes--called "Improving My German." Everything she writes is like this. And discriminatory clowns like Chris Beha of Harper's, Luke Neima of Granta, and many, many others, pretend--flat out lie--that not only is this good, but this isn't the most pointless writing ever created. And if it's not, it's tied for that spot. This woman has no ability. She just has people who tongue-bathe and lie for her. The great thing about publishing for the people in publishing, ironically, is that no one reads anymore, and they have made it that way and blamed it on the world, and people they think are "beneath" them, when in reality, no one is beneath these people. So these bigoted clowns can do anything they want and get away with it, until people actually have a reason to care, which publishing denies them. Can you imagine writing a "story" like this, and sending it to The Paris Review, thinking it was awesome, and others would think it was awesome, and you'd be celebrated, and awarded, and worshiped? How sick does an industry and culture have to be for that to be the case? How insane? How broken? There is no one who has ever lived, who will ever live, who honestly thinks this is not awful. And yet, publishing people go along with the obvious lie. The entire system is built on lies and lies only. The last thing it is built on or cares about is good writing. Further, it hates it.

A word: do you think I want to be on here talking about bigoted clowns? You think I ever want to talk about people who represent the ass-end of culture and thinking like a Chris Beha? Of course not. I simply want my work to be treated fairly. I want a level playing field. But none of them want that, because they know I absolutely destroy their false gods. And the wrong kind of person is the best at writing here, and the wrong kind of person is the smartest person here. Someone who is not from their pathetic little sinecures, someone who reveals them as the frauds they are. I just want to be treated fairly. I have to make time that I don't have--because all I do is create great works, constantly, all day long--so that I can hold them accountable because I am not going to give in to their bigotry and their system and die in poverty and anonymity. And yes, that's the whole thing, that Lydia Davis piece. That's what she does.

* Watched the first episode of Doctor Who. That must have been so exciting in England in November 1963. I hadn't seen it in a while, and I'm going back through the entire series. Or I plan to, at least. That was well done. The sound effects and music add a lot, of course. I found it gripping.


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