★★ The fog was enough to leave the view faded but not erased; the damp chill was not quite so damp as to threaten rain. Hardly anyone needed to be threatened by this point. Maybe the one man on the downtown platform in bare ankles and white sneakers, or the other in slate-blue suede shoes. The fog lightened still more, to a spectral unclearness on the air. The sky went from gray to white, and people intermittently cast shapeless shadows on the gum-flecked pavement. Then, with the day all but used up, the sky went on over to blue, if not clear blue.
I want all of the perks of being rich, without having any money. I want all of the benefits of exercise, without lifting a knee. I deserve a gift registry, even though I am not getting married. I should be allowed to take time off, despite the fact that I am neither ill nor bereaved. I should be treated fairly, even though no one else is. I want to make my boyfriend three hundred sandwiches and I don’t want anyone to judge me for it. I want to be both old and young at the same time. I should be able to drive on driveways and park on parkways. I want to get away to a remote tropical location but also always know what everyone is saying about me and each other online. I want to get a tan but I never want wrinkles or skin cancer. I want to eat my cake, and then eat another slice, and then eat the whole rest of the cake without any of it hitting my caloric bottom line. I want the New York Post to stop pandering to the outrage machine but I also want to be entertained. I want to write about how takes are bad but without it being a take. I just want everyone to love me. Is that too much to ask?
If you have not yet come across Fluxblog’s survey of the 1980s I highly recommend that you check it out. It’s currently down to 1983, and as an Actual Old Person who was There At The Time I can personally guarantee that it was almost exactly like this, only more poignant because of the very real threat of nuclear annihilation that haunted our every waking moment.#
“[W]hen they rest they come close to death: on frigid nights, or when they are starving, they retreat into torpor, their metabolic rate slowing to a fifteenth of their normal sleep rate, their hearts sludging nearly to a halt, barely beating, and if they are not soon warmed, if they do not soon find that which is sweet, their hearts grow cold, and they cease to be.”
Maybe people become enraged during air travel because rent-seeking and the exploitation of labor results in insecurity, instability, and inequality while inculcating conformism, commodity fetishism and a tragic acceptance of our powerlessness against the system’s inevitable destruction of free will. Also those assholes who lean their seats all the way back.#
What if I told you the greatest baseball game in History happened seventy years ago this year? What if I told you that the score was ninety-six to ninety-five? And that it ended with a controversial play on the top of a skyscraper? And that the Statue of Liberty even took a side?
Baseball may be our national pastime, but it can be laborious. And boring. And interminable. It’s one of my favorite sports, because you can take a nap in the middle and by the time you’ve woken up you really haven’t missed much. Soccer is the best at this. Go to sleep at 0-0. Wake up at 0-0. They’ve started to make rules in baseball to try to make the game go a little quicker. But most National League games still last about three hours and most American League games still last four. So when the Tea Totalers took on the Gashouse Gorillas at a packed Polo Grounds in 1946, how come the game only took seven minutes? What made this game so fun?
The Gashouse Gorillas were a visiting team, but one New York could love. Nine identical, thug-looking ruffians literally doing a line-dance around the bases. With tank-like physiques that would be impressive today even in our era of PED-dominated hardball, their mugs identified them for what they were: bullies. And no one likes to cheer for bullies. Except New York. No one cares about the little guy in New York. There’s four million Cinderellas and another four million Ragged Dicks. Nothing will ever come of them and they certainly will never play baseball here. We want giants, juggernauts, bombers. There’s no pity when lovable underdogs come to town. It’s our birthright to crush them. This is New York. We’re loud, we’re obnoxious, we’re bullies. If you had the choice to be a bully or an underdog, no one would chose the underdog. In the real world, underdogs lose. And baseball forgets losers.
“There’s always space to do whatever you want. You won’t get as much attention, but fuck attention. Fight for integrity. Now everyone has a TinyLetter instead of a blog. As soon as the first writer got a book deal for a TinyLetter, everyone’s TinyLetter just became book-deal bait, written the same way. This weird conformity just takes over as soon as the possibility of money or access or respectability comes up. That’s disappointing.”
—This is what I’ve chosen to pull out of Boris Kachka’s interview with Jessa Crispin, who is shutting down her antediluvian web log Bookslut, but I could really have pulled out almost anything, because the entire interview is so blunt and pointed that it makes you cringe, cheer and feel ashamed of yourself all at the same time. Read if you dare.#