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Yes, yes

Tuesday 8/3/21

I saw where someone who calls themselves DaBaby made stupid comments about HIV, and then doubled down on social media in, what? Was it English? What language was this? Why would you express yourself this way? Then, DaBaby was dropped from various festivals where he was to be appearing, and assorted musicians who had remixed his material pulled that material from streaming services.

All of this is so predictable. Goes the same way every time. What then followed were statements on the same social media platforms of DaBaby clearly written by someone else, in the safest, by-the-book, cliched legalese, with nonsense about gratitude and growth and the LGBT community, and the healing power of knowledge.

I laugh. Who is supposed to buy this? Who are you tricking? Is there anyone dumb enough to be tricked, even if people didn't love vengeance like they do? (Then again, they also like making excuses for the right person.) It's simple. If you want to be an actual person, especially in this world, you have one choice: speak intelligently and sincerely. If anything blows up, speak intelligently and sincerely again. Don't talk in the first place like some drooling slime creature of the sewer. Don't talk in the second place in ham-fisted, awkward, clinical phrases sewn into your mouth by a lawyer or a PR person. Speak intelligently, speak sincerely.

When something awful happens to someone, their enemies say, “karma.” This is not a good way to think, and it’s a worse way to be. Karma isn’t the same as comeuppance. Humanness is better spent on accountability, rather than vindictiveness, which are also two different things. Accountability includes holding others accountable. That does not mean to your standards, necessarily--it means accountable to the immutable standards of right and wrong.

Hoping to have the phone issue resolved today. This phone has not worked properly in years. It shuts down quickly, there's no voicemail, the apps don't work, I can't listen to music on it, now I can barely hear a caller as I found out last week on Downtown, the charger falls out of it, and over the weekend the power bar fell off.

I ran 3000 stairs yesterday and also today.

I saw a clip of that woman from the US soccer team that nobody likes with the sound off, and one of her teammates was running suicides in the background. It was after they lost. Someone commented on the suicides, and then hundreds of people went off about how this term is wrong, it's insensitive, it's triggering. I don't know how you could be much closer to death by your own hand than I am--there are a few days every week where it takes everything I have not to give in--and it's like, please, stop, where the hell does this end, the fake outrage? Life is now like sucking on rocks to try and pull attention out of them. What is it with attention? Why do people who suck, who have no ability, who do the wrong thing, who don't work hard, who have so little purpose, need people staring at them so badly? When you're like that, and people say their platitudinous compliments to you, and their "I'm so sorry that happened to you" lines, they don't even mean any of it. They don't mean anything less. They don't care about anything less. They're not treating you like a person. They don't respect you. It's pathetic. You're being objectified. It's a kind of pity that isn't even smart enough to know the level of token pity that it is. You're what an English person would call a sad-o. You're a loser. And you're electing to be. Don't elect to be a loser.

You can be a winner and find your way to being a winner in small ways that add up. Someone I know was recently inspired to start running stairs. They are putting the time in, the dedication. It's changing how they feel about themselves. If they stay with it, will probably prolong their life. Their perspectives are changing somewhat. From the activity, from being with their thoughts in new ways. Read a book. A great book. Pick one. Experience it. Make a conscious effort to do things of that nature. Research the Civil War. Bone up. Learn. Put a half hour every day to something you didn't previously. You'll get the bug. The growth bug. That will change how you parent your children. How you respond to your spouse. The attention you subsequently desire will only be the attention of someone truthfully saying to you words they mean. And those are the words, too, that you will speak to others. Don't play grab-ass on social media. Be a person of sincerity. No, I don't mean a person of "brutal honesty." The people who say that to you are trying, in advance, to clear the runway to be a complete asshole, but in the name of a virtue. Brutality is not a virtue. Never seek to be brutal. Now, someone might say, "But ah, Fleming, you intend to destroy the lives and careers of these people in this industry of yours," and you are correct, but I would not phrase it that way. Accountability is different. Holding someone accountable pulls rank on just about everything else there is. That's duty. And it's a moral duty. A duty of principle, character, and a duty of a better way forward. And for others as well. Others who will follow.

This mantra-ish, muscle-flexing form of patriotism that some people do baffles me. Well, I guess it doesn't. The flexing is hollow and soulless. Reminds me of crazies on social media saying how much they hate the rivals of their favorite sports teams. As if the Red Sox were compromised of plucky Bostonians who drank deeply of Hawthorne and had Yankee purpose running in the blood, these principled, indefatigable men of the granitic and sea-lashed northeast. When the guys on any team could be any guys on any team. And are. This isn't even looking at a surface, let alone anything deeper. It's delusional. I think you can respect what brave people did in service to a nation--like with the Greatest Generation--without being someone who is a patriot. I am not. I have no allegiance to a flag. I have no resentment of it either. I think there is an actual racist as a president who talks about Black people in a condescending way and as if they were his pets, and if you listen, he changes the inflection in his voice when he speaks to Black people or about them--the way one does when speaking to a child. I find that pretty disgusting. Just as I find hiring based upon color disgusting. But it's also separate to me. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has a lyric that goes, "I won't waste my love on a nation." I feel the same way. Love is for humans. It's for yourself, and why you need to work on understanding who that self is, how the self can be grown, which is itself an act of love--both to one's self, and the people one loves and may love. Because that puts the best version of you, for them, forward. For the greater good of their growth, not just your own. Love is for ideas, for art, for purpose. The ideas and purpose in art, the revealed truths of the human mystery. That is my country. I sail the seas I sail on behalf of that nation. That is what I pledge my allegiance to. My flag? It is the art I create, and the soul I develop. It is the good I try to do for people. I will not do "rah rah," but I will do "yes, yes"--they are also two quite different things.


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