Today I quite randomly stared humming the theme song to The Smurfs, something I've never done, for which I asked myself, "Why are you doing that?" and to which I responded to myself, "Why not?"
Wrote two excellent op-eds. One is on Dickens' "The Haunted Man" and the value of remembered pain for Christmas, the other on After the Thin Man and energy for New Year's. They're really strong.
I pitched a big feature on ghost stories and the lack of imagination in our culture. For Christmas.
I was having a phone conversation today with someone about "Fitty." We were talking about how much better it is than everything out there, that there's no comparison, and what these people have done to me regarding it. I believe--I know--that it's impossible to write anything better than "Fitty." I know that it's impossible to write something more powerful and moving. We were talking about the scene near the end of this story that can change the world, which these people won't let the world see, when Fitty goes back to the school and everything has been changed around inside. All of the rooms are in different places. But she knows exactly where to go. Where to sit. And the person she has come there with knows not to go in with her. You had these two guys, and neither one of us could talk about it without breaking down. It's just too emotional to do so. And then when Fitty--grown-up now--repeats the lines of conversation from before, I absolutely lose it. And I wrote it. It is so fucked up and evil what these people are doing. None of them can think about the greater good. None of them can even think about making their magazine better or their press. None of them think about what readers want, what readers need, what would mean so much to readers. They can only be petty and spiteful. Nothing beyond that ever enters their minds. It's not how they think. It's contrary to their wiring.
I sent it to The Oxford American, now that the self-aggrandizing, bigoted Eliza Borne (a rich northerner--again, hilarious, given that this is supposed to be a magazine of the South--from Wellesley, MA; if you know the northeast, you know exactly what it means to be from Wellesley) is gone. But it won't matter. They won't even respond. The blackballing. All one of these people has to do is tell another person like them to blackball, and they will. No questions asked. Remarkable, really, that so many humans, theoretically possessing free will, who are supposed to be these intellectuals (ha) and creative thinkers (extra ha) could all act the same way. I'll give it some time, though this person I sent it to has never responded, which is why I have no compunction teasing this. Call it a back payment for past abuses. And if and when the usual happens, I'll put up on here what I know about this place, this person, and other people there. How it works. The experiences that have been shared with me. My own experiences. It's shameful as it is that they've never had me, of all people, in their annual music issue. That discredits the entire thing right there. It also says a lot when your "best ever" editor is someone who molested the interns. And then there's the crazy woman who was married to the molester, which also takes us back to Sy Safransky, who is some demented piece of work, at The Sun, who happily hired the molesting accomplice, and, again, who wants me dead. But all in due time.
Someone wrote me on here to say that they were including my Smart Set piece on the Archers and A Canterbury Tale in some newsletter of noteworthy pieces, for which they pick five. I guess that's good. It's a good piece. I like that one. These Smart Set pieces of mine seem to do okay.
Worked on one of the new stories again today, "Complete Set," which is now at 4000 words.
I've had to do the whole "Great, good luck" thing quite a bit lately. One might wonder if I mix it up, if there are variants; perhaps one with an exclamation point. But no, always the same: "Great, good luck."
Today on Twitter I saw someone who makes a lot of money talking about football in this market--a man with pillow feathers between his ears--write, "Bill Belichick and the Patriots are 8-4. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are 8-3. Turns out both guys are really, really good."
Wow. That's fantastic, man. Thanks, brother. That's some amazing insight. 10,000 people hit the like button for that. And again I ask: Why lick?
Just ran 3000 stairs. (Nice of you to finally get off your ass, he says to himself.)
Speaking of 3000: That is how many dollars someone owes me. This is out of my comfort zone. I must get this resolved.
If there was a drinking game requiring the participants to drink each time Matt Cassel said "at the end of the day," everyone would die of alcohol poisoning. And it would not take long.
The hot water of the shower has not worked since July, which means I must even be a Zulu warrior in the tub. I need to remedy this situation as well. I can't be issuing forth a battle cry each time I take the plunge under the water. My life is hard enough right now.
Someone who was quite upset with the whole Donald Brown Thanksgiving thing wrote me to say that he looks like the crazy old guy in Back to the Future. I can see that. But I'd say he looks more like that undertaker type of fellow in Phantasm. You know, the dude with that pet silver ball thing with the blades? Right?