Maybe it’s too soon for another Hell World but I’ve got to travel to New York on Monday to do my book reading (come on out buddy!) and then I have to travel back on Tuesday and who knows what capacity for thought I will have at that point. Going to New York for one night takes one year off of my life and at least $1,000 out of my bank account somehow. Some of you have asked me to come to other cities and I want to but I don’t know how to make it happen and also it costs a lot of money so we’ll see I guess.
Here’s a nice write-up about the event:
In his newsletter and in his book, O’Neil treats current events as a sort of literary post-apocalypse. Sample essay titles include “I would want to drink their blood” (about the deaths of children in Iraq) and “Give us the money or we’ll kill your son” (an interview with a young man who from El Salvador who fled MS-13). Despite the brutal rhetorical approach, O’Neil’s writing is both humane and full of humans — real people whose lives are torn apart by bad policy. And ultimately his words help us see the grim realities around us a little more clearly.
I have this terrible habit of reading sentences from the news as if they were the pitch for a speculative fiction novel or film. I read something like “Fresh clues have emerged about the final journey of a European glacier mummy shot dead by an arrow before his body was preserved in ice for thousands of years” and I go fuck yeah that sounds like a cool premise then I read something like “Warming temperatures are opening up shipping lanes and uncovering the Arctic's abundant natural resources. And now, several nations are engaging in a military buildup of the polar region” and I go fuck yeah that sounds like a cool premise but it’s not it’s actually a prologue to the end of the world.
I’ve been awake since 5 am this morning like nature’s own clown and it was so dark when I woke up I thought to myself the night is a bowel that digests us and spits us out the other side just kidding imagine if I thought shit like that when I woke up. What I really thought was ah goddamnit.
Sometimes when I wake up too early I reach over to the bed stand where I keep the bottle of water I love to knock over and a few pills that I have one of which is called tizanidine and it’s a muscle relaxer and under the right circumstances it can help me get back to sleep when I wake up too early but under other circumstances it just relaxes all of my muscles besides my brain.
“Do not use tizanidine at a time when you need muscle tone for safe balance and movement during certain activities,” the warning says but needing muscle tone is what got me into this pain problem in the first place. Wanting it rather.
The point is daylight savings is a scam but on the other hand my reticence to reset the clock on the coffeemaker back in March is about to pay off handsomely. My failure as of yet take the AC out of the window is proving somewhat less fortuitous.
John DeRosier a District Attorney in Calcasieu Parish in Louisiana “has allowed and encouraged thousands of people accused of crimes to buy their way out of community service by purchasing gift cards and money orders,” according to the Washington Post. So instead of doing eighty hours of community service after a drug charge for example you could instead pay $8-10 per hour owed and donate it back to DeRosier who would then turn around and use it for gifts to hand out to voters and for campaigning and to give to friends.
This is “possibly illegal” the story says.
“A registered Democrat, DeRosier has positioned himself as one of the toughest prosecutors in one of the most carceral states in the country. He has opposed moves to end life without parole for juveniles, and has been openly critical of the historic criminal-justice reform the state’s governor signed into law in 2017.”
Pretty cool shit. Another thing he set up there is he made a deal with the state police that he and some other DAs will pay their over time and if they give someone a driving ticket they can offer the driver the chance to make a donation to the DA’s office instead of the normal fine.
Traffic tickets are used to fund the Public Defender’s office in the state but they don’t get any money under this scenario it all goes to the lawyers trying to put people in jail not the ones trying to keep them out.
I saw someone share a poem by Tony Hoagland on Twitter this morning and I read it and when I was done I said well fuck and if you gathered up every poet who has ever existed and polled them on what it was they wanted people to say after they read their work 95% of them would say yeah that is exactly the reaction they were going for. And then it would say at the bottom there is a +/- 3% margin of error and you wouldn’t know what that means.
Here is the poem in question.
Reasons to Survive November
November like a train wreck—
as if a locomotive made of cold
had hurtled out of Canada
and crashed into a million trees,
flaming the leaves, setting the woods on fire.
The sky is a thick, cold gauze—
but there's a soup special at the Waffle House downtown,
and the Jack Parsons show is up at the museum,
full of luminous red barns.
—Or maybe I'll visit beautiful Donna,
the kickboxing queen from Santa Fe,
and roll around in her foldout bed.
I know there are some people out there
who think I am supposed to end up
in a room by myself
with a gun and a bottle full of hate,
a locked door and my slack mouth open
like a disconnected phone.
But I hate those people back
from the core of my donkey soul
and the hatred makes me strong
and my survival is their failure,
and my happiness would kill them
so I shove joy like a knife
into my own heart over and over
and I force myself toward pleasure,
and I love this November life
where I run like a train
deeper and deeper
into the land of my enemies.
My slack mouth open like a disconnected phone jesus christ man.
I don’t personally think about the concept of having enemies too often and I am not particularly motivated by proving the doubters and haters wrong or anything like that which I suppose is why I am not especially successful. Every time you see some king of the universe talk about their accomplishments they say no one believed in me and I guess that sort of thing works for them but no one believes in me or you either and look at us.
I certainly despise most of the people that I write about in here like the Louisiana DA above but what if I found out just now that he got fucked over and was going to jail? I would probably think ah that’s nice fuck him then every single thing about my life would remain the same. I would of course be happy for the people he didn’t get to fuck with in the future sure but someone else would come around to pick up the slack soon enough.
I like to joke about how when Trump finally gets his large pants pulled down — and we’ll find out one year from today if he’s going to president for another four years — that we’ll all run outside marching in drum lines playing tubas poorly but joyfully and spiking volleyballs at each other like in a beer commercial and 69ing each other in the streets but I’ll still wake up in the morning and say ah goddamnit.
I don’t particularly like that one website Barstool Sports but I just don’t have it in me to hate them or consider them my enemies despite the fact that they and others in the Boston sports media world try from time to time to make me into a villain I guess because there is a general shortage of people in Massachusetts of any moderate renown who are leftists and also know who the long snapper on the Patriots is?
I don’t think this was all that viral of a post and I almost want to apologize when it doesn’t work like I’m sorry you tried something here and it didn’t really take off but unfortunately for both of us no one really knows or cares who I am.
One of the worst parts of having whatever meager level of notoriety I have is that people at large just do not give much of a shit but that’s also one of the best parts.
One correction I want to make here is that I was not fired from my column at the Globe I quit because I felt my bosses there were cowards and Barstool getting that wrong is important because the concept of a worker taking agency for themselves is alien to people like them which is the point I was trying to make in my Deadspin thread in the first place.
In any case some guy wrote a tweet isn’t exactly a compelling news peg and that’s why when you see posts like this they always have to put “Boston Globe writer” or “NYU professor” or whatever in the headline because who would give a fuck otherwise?
Another way of thinking about the pleasures of schadenfreude I guess is that it would be very funny and enjoyable if say Jeff Bezos were to lose everything he has and was forced to take a job in a fulfillment center but if that didn’t also coincide with all of the other billionaires getting gig economy jobs then it’s sort of a hollow temporary victory.
Remember not long ago when Roger Ailes and Antonin Scalia went to drink shit soup in Hell for eternity and we were all like lol later bitches. That feeling didn’t last very long did it. I don’t know maybe it did. I don’t know anything.
On the other hand the median Amazon employee salary is $28,000 and Bezos makes more than that in less than ten seconds so maybe disregard everything I said above.
From CNN Money last year:
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos’ net worth on Jan. 1 was $99 billion. On May 1, it was $132 billion, meaning it rose $33 billion. If you divide that difference by the 120 days in that period, you find that he made $275 million a day. Divide that by 24 hours in a day to get about $11.5 million per hour, the equivalent of roughly $191,000 per minute or — the clincher — $3,182 every second.
(That’s enough to buy 26 Prime subscriptions or 379 paperback copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, Amazon’s best-selling book of all time. Every second.)
I had no idea Fifty Shades of Grey was Amazon’s best-selling book of all time did you man people are wild horny out here.
I decided I wanted to read more Hoagland poems this morning and I remembered the title of one or thought I did and so I began typing it into Google: “the kind… of shadows… that called… out to fate” and Google didn’t autocomplete it for me like it does with everything else and it was as if Google too hadn’t read enough poetry to complete the thought that I was grasping for without more information. Then I added some other words and it brought me what I wanted which was this: