Pixar’s Cars, but like, really meta and stuff

“Takes rejection poorly” is not the hallmark of a successful writer. Not to say that I am, somehow, good, but I think it’s important to differentiate: it may not be the hallmark of a bad one. Successful and good are not necessarily correlating variables.

I think what happened is that I had something I let myself be excited about the prospects for go over like a lead balloon. Then that part of my brain that says “no, that sucks, don’t do that again” kicked into high gear. It protected me from further letdown and disappointment. Can I blame my lack of success as a writer to my shitty upbringing as well? That’d be convenient for me. The fractal of my consciousness that wants to protect by discouraging and disparaging is particularly bulky. He’s a motherfucker of a brute. A burly, muscle-bound bouncer that stands at the gates and says “nah, not you. That might fuck up the vibe.” It’s not his fault, really. He just had a lot of opportunities to train and get stronger.

I need to reconcile with that guy. I’ve decided that his name is Tammy. I need to tell Tammy “Look. It’s okay; I understand what you’re doing. I understand that you’re protecting me from being even more depressed. Stepping in when I’m depressed to begin with, though, is fucking me up.” I want to pat Tammy on the shoulder and tell him to take the night off. Like that club bounce from the first John Wick. The one that gets spared just before John kills half the population of Detroit. Or New York. Or Europe. Who fucking knows with that movie.

I’ve been entertaining the thought of writing songs. With my relative lack of ability to write music. Or play instruments beyond a high school level of aptitude. They would all end up being overwrought Josh Tillman ripoffs anyway. But songwriting is a compelling format to get ideas across. They’re minimalist vehicles by design. Even odyssey songs like Pure Comedy are stripped-down essays disparaging the modern zeitgeist of celebrity culture, the role of religion in civilized society, and what it’s like to be an outsider looking in on that sociological landscape. A UCLA student has probably already taken the core principles of Pure Comedy and made a thesis out of it. They forgot to write it, and only had 6 hours to get a passing grade. Coming to Netflix this fall.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is pretty tight. The narrative is a take on the adage of “take compelling characters and place them into the most mundane setting and you’ll still have a viable story.” The 1890s wild west is far from mundane, but the core of the story comes from the interchange of beats between each member of a Brady Bunch of outlaw killers. Great stuff. Movement is a bit slow, but you get used to it after the first ten hours. It really bothered me at first. I’m blind to it at this point. The only worrying thing is that it’s a 200 hour platinum trophy. It’s not necessarily a 200 hour game, but apparently people have been 30 hours in and only 1/3rd finished with the central plot. As if I didn’t have enough distractions. To take away from my important work. That I’m totally chipping away at each day. Maybe I should start a novel. Or a collection of short stories.

I had a long conversation with my hairdresser today. It was about art, and the relationship between successful artists and innovative ones. And the effect of clout on a genre. How one well-renowned artist could do the same thing as Mary Sue and be called a genius, while Mary Sue is struggling to make a partial payment on her phone bill. Can we make it illegal to ask “have you gotten paid for your artwork?” Federal crime. Placed on a registry exclusively for depressed artists to avoid.

I have had two compelling ideas for stories: one where I write about my day in a nutshell, except I deliberately mix metaphors for cooking and writing. Paint a picture of an artist with a troubled relationship with his art by couching the art itself in the act of doing something else. For me, it would be cooking.

The other idea I had would be to personify the concept of being in your car and how that changes your interaction with the world. Sort of based off of this study I read (a reddit comment referencing) that talks about how drivers get worse depending on how much they take road maneuvers personally by seeing their car as an extension of themself. But the car navigating a system of highways and byways could tell the story of human interaction. How some people always look at people next to them at the stoplight. Some stay rigid-focused on the road, either for diligence as a good driver or zombified conveyance. Some blast music with their windows rolled down. Nobody actually thinks they’re a bad driver; it’s always everybody else that they don’t trust.

When the bridge is up, or I’m at a train crossing, I open the sunroof and sit on the roof of my car. What does that say about me?


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