This is a really good talk. But it’s also Jordan Peterson, so that’s no surprise.
“Philosophy is pointless.”
Jordan Peterson: “Hold my beer.”
Yugioh was a cartoon that came on at 4:30pm Monday-Friday and at 11am on Saturday when I was a kid. It was always preceded by Pokemon. I never got home from school in time to watch Pokemon. So I watched Yugioh.
I’m not sure if the cards came before the show in my personal history, but I’m leaning towards the show coming first. At any rate, I always eagerly anticipated it. They never played by the actual rules of the game (which confused you when you went to play for yourself), but the show was addictive, nonetheless. You got to see some of your cards in the show! And what does that card do! I want it! It was just cool watching cartoons play (almost) the same game that YOU did. Sadly, there were never any holograms. And the Dueling Disks were just plastic. I hope that one day, technology will make dueling more like the show. I think it’ll be possible one day. And a bunch of 80-year-olds will be playing it.
So the show brought back a lot of good memories. The fact that they never played by the rules was still confusing, but it made more sense to me this time around. Time crunches, etc. The “adult” side of making a cartoon. I went into this season expecting Pegasus to be my favorite character. But, surprisingly, it was Kaiba. I love Pegasus’s voice actor, but Pegasus was a pussy. “My poor Cecilia!” Give me a break.
Joey was still Joey, of course. I could relate to him. But, as I’ve already said, I was surprised when Kaiba became my favorite character. Part of this is being influenced by Twitch.tv. Before I watched this whole season by myself, I watched sporadic episodes of various seasons of “Yugioh” with people whom I could chat with live. Every time Kaiba spoke, the chat would say “TOXIC”. It cracked me up, so watching this season made me think of “Toxic” every time he appeared. But that’s what made me love him so much. He was such a dismissive asshole constantly. It made me laugh. You’ve got this storyline about friendship, then this rich guy just comes up and just wants to be a champion for it’s own sake, I guess. Kaiba just made me laugh constantly. I loved it.
The writing of the show is godawful. Yes, I know it is for kids (haha. 4Kids). But it’s still really bad. Incoherent at times. The Japanese version is more adulterated. I mean, for God’s sake, the American version didn’t even let Te’a and Yugi flirt! What kind of shit is that? Or, at least, they didn’t make it obvious. A single blush or two. But it was clearly edited way the fuck down. For being the “Land of the Free“, “America” sure is a giant pussy.
It’s a very flawed show. But my nostalgia for it makes me still love it. I don’t think that’s gonna change.
Oh, Cody. Why do you write anything? Why do you do this to yourself? The brain thinks. It plays your shortcomings on a loop. Your head is a fucking mess. The filing cabinet is the skull: everything is just strewn about in absolute disorganization. Why not just keep it in your head? Why ever withdraw one? What’s the point? Do you want people to laugh at you? Is that what you are? A masochist? Why do you pour your heart out for it to be devoured? Why can’t you focus on organizing your head instead of letting the entire world know of your disorganization?
Why have you ran away from disorganization your whole life? You know it’s important. Does it bore you that badly? Do you crave the chaos? Even if that means your work suffers? Was it ever even about creating “good” work? Or is it therapy? Are you letting everyone know your mental problems as self-relief? The pressure builds. And the heart wants to scream. It doesn’t matter what the results are. The heart says “LET ME OUT!!!”, and you have to oblige. Because you can’t break your own heart. What would you have left?
No, your life is about using the world as your therapist. Your therapist that you’ll ignore, and cuss, and loathe. Yes, this is your life, Cody. You are a slave to your own heart. For it to be trampled upon and beaten on. But that isn’t the worst of it.
No, the worst part of it is when you kill your own heart. When you ignore it. Talk down to it. No, you treat your heart like shit, Cody. Your self-doubt eats it alive. You torture your own heart. Your heart says “Cody, why? Why are you doing this to me?” Shut up, heart. You don’t know shit. You don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know how to create good work. You don’t know how hard life is. No, heart. You’re a fool. You’re a stupid fool who will be hardened, whether you like it or not. You aren’t that important, heart. Don’t you know you’re just one of many? What makes you think that you are more important than all of those other broken hearts in the world? No, the truth is that you are insignificant, heart. You’re just keeping this flesh alive for a short time. That’s all your good for. It doesn’t matter what you want, heart. It doesn’t fucking matter.
But, oh. The heart can’t take it. Little does he know that the heart drives the whole thing. A man can’t doubt without his heart. He can’t think anything, even depressing, doubtful thoughts, without the blood that is pumped by his own heart. There is self-destruction. But the heart can only take so much before it says “Ok. You win.” And then it dies. And you die with it.
No, the heart beats hard. Strong. It ain’t been broken yet. Just toughened up. Matured. Yes, the heart is “growing up”. It is easy to equate abuse with “growing up”. The truth of the matter, Cody, is that your heart has been more blessed than others. That’s the hard truth. Yes, that truth breaks it. But your heart was blessed. Your heart was very blessed. Not everyone has had a heart as blessed as yours. Yes, Cody, you were given a gift. “Here, Cody. Have this heart.” But, Lord. What do I do with it? “I will let you know when the time comes.” And the time is now. The heart is saying “Let me out, dammit! Let me the fuck out!” And Cody says “Well, ok then. If you insist. What are you plan-” And away, the heart is off. He’s racing. He’s racing against the entire world. Yes, we’re all pouring our hearts out, every day, trying to find love from others. Yes, please love me. Please give me love, the heart says. “Oh yeah? Why should I love you more than any others?” Point taken. But that ol’ damn heart. He ain’t quitting. He just wants to scream louder. More emphatically. No, that ol’ heart is gonna go places. A hardened heart calls it foolishness. But this heart is genuine. This heart is pure. This heart wants it all. This heart wants clarity. And peace.
Yes, this heart wants to beat it all. This heart wants to say “Hey, world. I’m here.” That’s all this heart really wants. And, in truth, is that really too much to ask? And who says whether or not it is? Heart, do you think that’s too much to ask?
But this is gonna be hard, heart. You don’t have any idea how hard this is going to be. Are you sure you can do this? Why, no. I’m not. But does that matter? Why, no. I suppose not. It’s what you want to do, right? Yes, it is. Well, I wish you the best of luck, heart. Thank you. How are you going to help me? I don’t have any idea. Well you better start fucking figuring it out if you want me to stick around. Alright. Let’s get on that, then, heart. Let’s leave this world behind and go somewhere. Let’s go.
Let’s write stuff that we know isn’t going to be our best work. Let’s write shit that we’ll always be able to see the flaws of. Let’s write shit that tortures us. Let’s write stuff that we can nitpick, and tear apart, and have the world join in with us. Yes, let’s just write. Let’s just write all of the dark, stupid, depressing shit that we can think of, as long as it is genuine. Oh, heart. What is it that truly distinguishes you from other hearts? Why aren’t you as dark as you could be? Why don’t you want destruction, heart? Why don’t you want to blow up the world? There’s some poor soul out there cursed with a heart that wants to control the whole world, or blow it up. Why aren’t you like that, heart? Why?
Cody, I don’t know. I do not know. I think we are loved, Cody. Yes, I think you and I are loved. We are blessed by God. But why, heart? Why are we? Because we just are, Cody. We just are. Well, heart, what do we do, then? Cody, I don’t know. I say we write and that’s it. Write every stupid, shitty thing you can think of. Just do it. You need to get stuff done. Isn’t that what you want, Cody? Don’t you want to just have things written down? Why, yes, I do, heart. But what do I want to write? Isn’t that your job? Hey, don’t rush me. You can’t rush heart. You know I don’t control this, either. I know. So what does that mean we do, heart? Well, do you want to keep talking to yourself, or do you want to go somewhere else, and if you do: where? This isn’t Orwell quality. What the fuck is it? What is this? Heart, how am I supposed to know? You’re the one doing this! Look, Cody, I’m just a tool. I’m not in control of this. I know. That’s scary, isn’t it, heart? Why, yes it is. If neither of us are in control, then how are we doing this? What is going on? I don’t know, heart. I suppose it’s the Lord. But, Cody. Come on. You are saying the Lord is speaking through you. Do you know how crazy that sounds? Yes, I know. You know people are just going to say some mental case is talking to himself, and that he believes himself to be God, right? Yes, heart, I’m well aware. Well, Cody, what do you think about that? Heart, do you really care? Isn’t there some potential that someone out there is going to love this shit? Yes, someone will hate it, too. But does that matter? Heart: does that really matter to you? It’s hard, Cody. You don’t understand. It’s really hard for me to make myself vulnerable like this. Oh, heart. I know it all too well. Trust me. Well, Cody, what do we do? Heart, how many times are you going to ask me this? Are we going to keep rambling like this? Is this just what we do? We just go back and forth, and that’s our journey? I don’t know, Cody. What if someone says “This is genius.” How are you going to feel, Cody? I don’t know, heart. How are you going to feel when someone says this is shit written by a narcissistic egomaniac? Cody, I’m really not going to care. Really? Yes, really. I’m really not going to care, Cody. Why do you care? Heart, this is hard. You have it easy. You don’t have anxiety like I do. You don’t have doubts. You think you don’t affect me, Cody? You think you don’t affect your heart? Heart……what do we do? Whatever we want to do, Cody. How are you sure? I don’t know, Cody. I don’t know. Maybe it’s the Lord telling me. I don’t know. But do you trust your own heart? Well, heart. That’s a deep question. I don’t know if I trust you or not. You’re flawed, right? You aren’t perfect. Can’t you do evil things? Why, yes, I suppose I could, Cody. But am I right now? No, I guess not. Do you trust me right now? Well, yes, I guess I do. Then do hypotheticals actually matter? I don’t know, heart. Do they? I don’t think so, Cody. I really don’t think so. Do you hurt, Cody? I don’t know. Do you hurt, heart? Why, yes, I think I do, Cody. I think I hurt a lot. I think there’s a lot of pain in me. Yes, heart, I know what you mean. Hold me, Cody. Ok, heart. Give me a hug. *Simultaneously* Are people going to say that this man is talking to himself and giving himself a hug? Cody, I truly don’t care. Ok, heart. I love you. I love you too, Cody. I love you too.
At first, it might seem odd why a young man, with a critical penchant, would decide to subject himself to a story in which, no doubt, the subject matter would be ripe for critique. Why does a man subject himself to something he hates, only to complain about it? It must be that he actually enjoys the complaints. But that’s not the full story here.
No, this story has some personal history with me. I first started to read “Gerald’s Game” as a kid. I forget the specific age, but it was somewhere between the ages of 10 and 14. My father was a frequent reader on the pot (the shitty kind), and, one day, while on the pot myself, I discovered this book. I don’t even think I realized that there were handcuffs on the cover. In fact, I don’t even think I realized what they were until I had already started reading the book for the second time, this year. I’m an odd combination of attention to detail, yet a lack of contextual awareness.
At any rate, I first began to read this book at a young age. I think that was a very significant act which has, believe it or not, gone a long way to shape my philosophy today. That might seem like an exaggeration, but I do not believe it is. For I believe, if my memory serves me correctly, that it was this book, that I first began to read as a child, which made me realize that one can make a conscious decision to put “controversial” things into writing. This was the first “adulterated” book that I had ever attempted to read. I do not recall how far into the book I got back then, but I know I didn’t finish it. But I remembered reading about a woman handcuffed to a bed, and a man, with an erection, getting kicked by said woman, and dying. And I recall reading about a dog eating said dead man. From when I was a child. And I was hooked. It was so graphic that I was hooked. I wasn’t scared of it, but I had this weird fondness for it. There was a bravery to writing something like that. I greatly admired it, even back then. I wasn’t disgusted, but impressed.
Fast-forward several years later, when my desire to write for myself grows, and so does my desire to read more often. My history with reading is a pretty complicated mess, but suffice it to say that I have recently desired to go back and reread some stuff that I had either completely read or partially read from my youth. And this was one of the books. Here is the official “review”.
I was hooked by the concept. As I reread, I recalled what I had read before. Was it more captivating back then than it was now? That’s hard to say. My youthful inexperience may have made it more captivating back then, but I still enjoyed the concept this time around. I really loved the concept. As I was reading, I was fascinated by thinking of how he could keep this storyline going for so many pages. I don’t like the way Stephen King writes. I don’t like how he writes. I don’t like his “voice”, I guess you could say. His “ebb and flow” is very clunky. But I liked the overall message. I liked the “impression”. A woman is handcuffed to a bed. How does she get out? I like that idea. I like the fact that it goes on and on and on and on. What in the Hell is going to happen to her? I was hooked, despite the writing that made me want to grit my teeth from time to time. I enjoy what happened in the book, just not how they were told. Her struggle to get a glass of water. Her flashbacks to her childhood. There was a theme to the book that I found quite humorous.
To the dedication of the book: “This book is dedicated, with love and admiration, to six good women: Margaret Spruce Morehouse, Catherine Spruce Graves, Stephanie Spruce Leonard, Anne Spruce Labree, Tabitha Spruce King, Marcella Spruce”. The following page provides a quote, as King is one to do in the few books of his that I’ve read: “[Sadie] gathered herself together. No one could describe the scorn of her expression or the contemptuous hatred she put into her answer. ‘You men! You filthy dirty pigs! You’re all the same, all of you. Pigs! Pigs!’ – W. Somerset Maugham, ‘Rain'”. I suppose this is “sexist” of me, but my first instinct to realizing that this was going to be a major theme in the book was laughter. I couldn’t help but think of modern feminism. The book credits King’s copyright to 1992. Being born in that year, and being raised in the 90s (but mainly in the early 2000s), I believe that I can say that the current feministic trend is stronger than ever, but was growing even during my childhood. Words are annoying, and tricky. They can mean different things, and unraveling them is annoying. Truthful words are only valuable to those who value truth. But modern-day feminism is a disaster. And I couldn’t help but think of this as I started to realize what a major theme of this book was going to be.
However, I also understand that a man can dedicate something to influential women in his life without being a “cuck”. I’m cynical, but not that cynical. King wanted to dedicate something to the women in his life. Ok, I’m fine with that. Let’s continue with the story.
There’s an interesting reference which runs through the book of a certain “smell”. The main character of the book, Gerald Burlingame’s wife, Jessie (before any feminists get their cum-stained panties in a bunch, “Gerald’s” name came first because his name is actually in the title of the book), gets emotionally uncomfortable around a certain smell. Gerald and Jessie are in a lakehouse, spending time alone together. Jessie associates lakehouses with this certain “smell”. The damp smell of the lake. But it also brings to her mind the smell of semen.
For, you see, when Jessie was a little girl, her family spent the summer at a lakehouse as well. The family (Jessie, her brother, and mom and dad) were going to meet up with some other people to witness the eclipse that was going to happen, but her father wanted alone time with Jessie. The mother was reluctant, but, ultimately, it happened.
The father tells Jessie to put on this tight dress because it makes her look pretty. Jessie, being young, feels good that her father compliments her because she loves her father like children do. He tells her to sit on his lap, he gets an erection, and ends up cumming on her butt. He then tells her to go clean up.
She, obviously, is confused. She goes to remove her clothes and take a shower, and her distress grows as she realizes something smelly on her underwear. As she’s changing clothes, her father comes into the room. Jessie doesn’t want to tell her mother about what happened, and her father manipulates her by making sure that Jessie doesn’t want to tell her mother.
Jessie has these flashbacks as she remains handcuffed to the bed. The majority of the book is her talking to herself. A great concept. She goes through ebbs and flows. A dog comes in and starts eating Gerald. She starts battling thirst, and tries to get a glass of water that is left on the bed to drink. And that’s about it. She’s handcuffed, the door to the house is banging open and shut by the wind, she’s thirsty, and there’s a dog. And flashbacks, and her own thoughts. I liked the concept. She keeps talking to herself and talking to herself. But she talks to herself as other people that have existed in her life. There’s a feminist that she went to college with who was her “strong” side, who motivated her to try to figure out ways to get unhandcuffed. Her mother. That was the main point of the book: just her voices in her head, and what was going to happen to her. It was “ok”. I cared more about her situation than the voices in her head. I like the idea of one talking to oneself the whole time while in a situation like this, but it just felt forced to me. It felt like forced, annoying feministic crap. Perhaps I’m too cynical, partly because of the time in which I live. But it felt forced. “I love you, women in my life! You’re powerful!” Eh. I might be able to tolerate that a little more if King was a better writer. But my thoughts on King’s writing style is “Eh. Clunky.” Felt that way about “It” as well. But, as I said, as I was reading this, I realized that I’m a little jaded. It’s fine for King to dedicate something to the women in his life. And, I’m sure, he was influenced by stories they have told him throughout the years. They probably had strong feminist friends in college, and that influenced him. But it was just annoying to me, especially considering today’s climate. And the way King Tweets.
Just as an aside, at one point, more than halfway through the book, the passage of fictional time is about 21 hours. And the book is 445 pages. Yeah. I won’t say “typical King”, however. After reading the 1,000+ pages of “It”, this was a relief.
There’s this strange thing that comes into the room at night and Jessie isn’t sure if it’s her imagination or if there is something there. It’s got unnaturally long arms and big hands, and it opens up this bag to her and has golden rings and fingers in it and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting, like nipples. She isn’t sure if it’s real or her imagination but she decides, after a few nights, that she isn’t going to wait around anymore to find out. She breaks the glass after she’s drank all of the water, and uses a giant shard of it to cut her hand so that her blood can provide lubrication so she can slip out of her cuff. Nice. I liked that. I like fictional gore. There’s some drama, and eventually, she gets out of the house. The long-armed thing is chasing her and she’s still not sure if it’s completely real or not but she assumes it’s real, gets into the car and has trouble starting it (of course). But it finally starts, and she’s driving away. Slowly. Something whispers in her ear and she looks in the rearview and sees the creature in the backseat (I might have that order swapped) and she ends up crashing into a tree.
Turns out the “creature” was real, and it was this guy who dug up corpses and fucked them and took rings off of their fingers and kept body parts as well. Anyway, he gets caught, and she goes to his trial in secret, as people in town know about her story. Can’t remember if it was from the cops talking to the paper or if she wrote about it herself. Maybe both. I don’t really care. She sits right behind him, gets his attention, and spits in his goofy, aloof face. Then, she documents what happened to her. And that’s it.
This story really strikes me as “difference between the sexes”. I could see women liking this book more than men. But it’s written by a man (King, no less), so how much women are actually going to be able to relate to it is uncertain, to say the least. Once again, I can appreciate that King loves the women in his life, and wanted to really write something for them to show them he cares about them and appreciates them. But, it’s King. The writing style leaves a lot to be desired, and it came across to me with a significant amount of feminist crap. I suppose I’m contributing to rape culture, as I’m not emotionally invested and siding with a woman who gave in to her husband’s fetish against her better judgment, but this story isn’t very good. King’s writing still annoys me, the “feminist” twinge, for lack of a better term, annoyed me, even though I could also simultaneously appreciate it, but I liked the idea. I like the idea of someone being trapped in a helpless situation for a long time. That’s a good idea for fiction, and I can definitely see myself being inspired by this in something I may write down the road.
Basically, I guess what I’m saying is that this is very obviously a book about women written by a nerd. And that, like many things in life, makes me laugh.
He sat down at his computer desk. Resilient; braced by the cold. The deadly stars signaling down upon him a hope that science couldn’t understand. Hope couldn’t be calculated numerically. But what could be measured, in a way, deadened the beauty of the firmament. Beautiful mystery became cold, deadly reality. The curiosity of childhood became the death of adulthood. Rotting in the ground. What do the dead have to live for, really?
The cold awakens a man. I could never understand, for the life of me, why anyone would want to live in the arctic or anarctic. The cold, to me, meant school. Wee hours of the morning, shaken from a warm bed, and comforting sleep. To painful fingers, sharp breaths, and crotchetiness. Or snow, which just meant more painful fingers. (“Snowmen” were always an overrated disappointment). Cold was always the enemy.
And yet, not quite. There were always the moments, before the snow would fall, which produced a magical wonder that I still can’t explain. The falling of the leaves, the sharpness of the cold, awakened the sunshine within my heart. There was just something about the fall. Movies, set during the fall, produced this same enjoyment. The cold weather, and the dead leaves, woke me. I knew that more death was coming; more dead limbs, more grass consumed by the white coffin. But that made the dying all the more precious. Those moments, before death, were beautiful. There’s always a potential for profundity during dying. Tragic are those who don’t experience that during their final moments. I pray for enlightenment for all during their final moments…
Then, things came alive, and everyone was happy. I suppose I never really complained about it. But the feeling was not the same as in autumn. It was unexplainable. Perhaps a mental disorder. More likely, just a personality quirk. But there’s no time of year quite like autumn. It makes me wish it would never end. I suppose it is like living each day as if it were your last. No one thinks about death during the spring, when everything is being born. Nor the summer, when things are being watered (if not drowned) by torrentials. They think about death in the fall, and, most of all, in the winter. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that spring and summer are more well-liked than autumn and winter. But I’m always just a little bit weird.
There’s usually a lot of good in the summer. Swimming, and camping. Ice cream, cold drinks. Flame-grilled animals wafting through the hot air; sports. Lots of fun. But there’s not the mood that autumn provides. Sure, summer produces its own mood. But autumn produces this different mood. One might call it “pure elation”. The same feeling others feel during the spring, or the summer. It isn’t about piling up leaves, and jumping in them. It’s the fact that the dead leaves exist at all. Hanging from the trees, providing the backdrop for ominous imaginings. Halloween is the time for monsters, afterall. It could be the fact that autumn is the beginning of family time. Holidays are always an excuse to get together with family, and the end of the year seems to include more family time than any other time of year (of course, there’s the 4th of July. But the “holiday season” is Halloween, but, more importantly and seriously, Thanksgiving and Christmas (important and serious simply because of the contrasting moods of Thanksgiving and Christmas as compared to Halloween. Halloween is still important)). And, as always, there’s more delicious food than any other time of year (unless you’re always around an older woman who enjoys cooking, and enjoys satisfying her family with her food). But yet, there’s something more.
Autumn is the time of year where you can be inside, or outside, and still be comfortable. The storms of the summer have long gone. No more clouds. No more thunder and lightning, or deluge. Clear skies. Clear, cold, starry skies. Comfortable inside, and out. Inside providing that warm, sleepy comfort, which becomes more pronounced when the trees are sticks, and the ground is ivory. But the outdoors become a nuisance. A hazard. Ice is the “name of the game”. And the ice can destroy your indoor comforts, until some pitiful men come and help make your inside more bearable.
But the autumn isn’t that severe. It’s cold enough to wake you up, but not cold enough to make you want to kill yourself. Not quite cold enough to get deathly ill (unless you’re stupid enough to still try to swim in the summer lakes and rivers). No, autumn is the time between awakenness and sleepiness. The time after running around, and the time before electric blankets. It is the time of laying on the grass outside, looking at the stars in the coldness, and imagining just how much colder it is up there than it is down here. Just how hot those stars really are. There’s no math, necessarily, required, to appreciate the beauty of nature. Complementary, but not comprehensive. At least not to this dreaming poet.
The time is coming for sweaters and heaters and feasts and family and presents and pine. And there’s another special time, sooner than this, where everyone pretends to be monsters, and laughs, high on chocolate, or punch. Gorging on more fictional blood than normal; a time when only the most staunch “Christians” oppose the gorefest. One would hope, and pray, that even the most Conservative among us let loose, and enjoy a bloody flick this time a year. God, I would hope so…
I know, to many, spring is their favorite time of the year, because the plants come back to life from the frost. I can only stare at a tree for so long until I get bored. “Spring” means “clean”: it’s time for the dust of winter to go. I suppose I’m much to lazy to actually enjoy cleaning. I do enjoy it when I finally feel like taking the initiative, but to do it constantly diminishes the beauty of it. I don’t want eclipses to become mundane.
To some, summer is their favorite time of the year, much for the same reason: being outdoors, grilling or swimming or camping or hiking. Connecting with nature. Some enjoy being in “summer” constantly, and wish to be there, even if they can’t. They never get enough of beaches and bikinis, and, sometimes, booze.
To some insane souls, winter is their favorite time of year. Their unholy souls are warmed by the white coffin. Perhaps they are sadists who enjoy seeing people slip upon the ice. (Some people enjoy being where winter exists year-round, to see how “tough” they really are. Admirable, but I’m much too soft for that. At least, at the moment).
But autumn is where my heart lies. Could it be because this is the time of year where the color orange boldly thrusts itself upon an unsuspecting populace? Pumpkins and Crayola drawings of leaves from children and candy corns? Orange does have a way of catching the eye. The orange of October turns into the brown of November, into the white of December. (Interesting how, in this case, white means death. Normally, black, its opposite, means death. But aren’t there some old sayings about seeing a bright white light when one dies? We pretend to know what death is in October, with black everywhere, and zombies, and actors pretending to be murderers. But December is when everything really dies. It becomes dead and blinding, almost like actually dying, according to many accounts of Christians. Could that be why many Christians hate Halloween? Not only the demons, but the fact that it is the time of pretending to be dead, instead of actually dying, which is what their entire lives revolve around?) But, oddly enough, people’s spirits come to life in the autumn. No, in truth, they never really die. Souls are alive in the spring, alive in the summer, alive in the fall, and, yes, even alive in the winter. An excuse to cuddle up with a blanket, and just be happy. Remember that? Before you had to go to school, remember how you felt when you came inside after playing outside in the snow? Remember how happy that made you? You could’ve avoided the outside altogether. But it wouldn’t have been as good. Isn’t that interesting? The cold made you happier to be warm. It provided you with a comfort that you normally didn’t feel. That you took for granted. That’s rather interesting, isn’t it?
Some of the perverted (mainly Conservatives, as it were), will use that fact to suggest that we should all stand outside in the snow, naked, catching all kinds of sicknesses, to appreciate our heaters inside. I’m not that perverted and sadistic. Rather, I’m honest enough, and good enough of a person, to merely say that I enjoy the autumn. No, I love the autumn. There’s no other time in the world like it. I don’t know how I’d feel if I ever lived in a place that didn’t have autumn. I fear it would drive me mad. I love this time of year, and I plan on enjoying it for the short time it makes a visit. I hope, maybe, if you’re one who doesn’t enjoy the changing of the season, particularly when it gets colder, that I’ve maybe caused you to reconsider your position. Take in that sharp breath of cold air, and wake up. Or go inside and have a hot drink, if you wish. I think I’ll stare at the stars for a while longer, and soak in the frozen canvas. And, besides: isn’t that what makes paintings so special? Hell, not only paintings, but photographs, and books, and movies? The fact that they are frozen in time, and constant? Never-changing? We know what to expect from them once we’ve experienced them. And that, in itself, is comforting. It’s just refreshing to be slapped in the face by cold air every once in a while, as well.
A young man gets bored, and decides to write a story. He decides to write a story about the most exciting thing he can imagine. Along the way, he discovers that he isn’t very good at it. He’s created the literary equivalent of a McDonald’s hamburger: it’s food, but not very sustenary; full of shitty preservatives and filler that only the most careless would consume, let alone enjoy.
As time goes by, he realizes that the health-nuts were right. It’s shit. And anyone who likes it is a deadly idiot.
More time passes, and yet, the shit remains. Undissolved, in the pit of his stomach. Making him sick. More and more, he realizes how important it is to take care of his health. To take care of his mind. And to take care of his stories.
The voices tell him that he himself needs to speak. Their triumphs arouse in him his desire to succeed himself. A best friend’s favorite author, and one of the most heralded pieces of political fiction ever written, call out within him the desire to scream. The exhaustion and dissatisfaction comes rapidly. It isn’t that the words aren’t good. But it’s that his heart screams out to speak. He can’t take it anymore. He screams out loud, to only a few. His words will fade into obscurity. Can’t the young man focus on these resonating words? For some reason, only a little. And that reason, it appears to be, is the desire to scream himself.
The youth are cursed with ignorance. But, strangely enough, the young man is smart enough to realize this. But, as an old country song used to sing, “still too young to care“. Besides, the confidence in youth can lead to contentment in old age. There will be no shortage of sages making you aware of their own failures. But why they assume that their shortcomings will be your own remain a mystery.
Speaking of mysteries, I don’t care how good of a writer John D. MacDonald is, I’m not a big fan of them.
The main thing that is going to get me to read is going to be my desire to improve as a writer. I suppose there will be moments when I am bored enough to read rather compulsively. But as I read, I realize that I am dissatisfied with my own abilities as a storyteller. It matters not to me that these writers are better than I. What matters is that my heart is dissatisfied with my inability to communicate as often, and as effectively, as I wish.
I can hear many old sayings about how those who wish to speak the most often, and the loudest, are the dumbest. My goal is to be a bright exception to that rule. Despite the fact that, by almost every standard, my words are abjectly elementary and juvenile, the beast within my heart waits to be awakened. Bilbo and Smaug both want the gold. And my goal is to make sure they both get it.
Of course, it’s a long journey. But journeys are best when they aren’t directed by an outsider. When they are directed by the self. When the reason for them is clear within the mind of the one taking the journey. That is part of my journey. Being able to say things beautifully, and creatively, and witfully. Beautiful, well-written stories of tragedy, horror, adventure, and heartbreak. Isn’t it ironic how that is what the heart wants? Heartbreak?
I mean no disrespect to any author that has come before me, or will come after me. But you’re all tools. I’m going to use you. Your existence is for my selfishness. Your words are going to become mine. I can appreciate the fact that, sometime throughout your life, you felt just as compelled to scream as me. But beyond that, I wish, myself, to scream. Maybe I’ll catch a faint holler in the distance, of the message you wished for me to absorb. But that whisper is saying to me “Scream, dammit. Scream. Learn how to scream for yourself. And use us to do it.”
The only trouble is screaming coherency, or even better still, charm, and wit, instead of nonsense.
Sometimes, the hardest part of screaming is the screaming. Other times, the hardest part of screaming is the message. But I think as long as I’m able to scream, I’m going to relish that gift, that right, right along with other screamers. I appreciate your screams, and I long to join in on the hauntingly beautiful chorus…
Long live the written word, and may we chant this from the sulphury pits of Hell if we must.