Diary, 6/23 to 6/27/19

Even as I think of saying, “The world doesn’t need more contenders,” etc., another voice pipes up: “So you’re content to waste your gifts.” No, I guess I’m not content, it’s probably accurate to say that I’ve never been content, with the possible exception of the time after I had decided that I wanted to be a novelist. I quickly discovered that what I really wanted was to have the perks without doing the work.

Diary, 6/19 to 6/22/19

So, am I going to commit to writing, or not? Turning Pro? I think that I must—I think I’m at a “make or break” point in my life, and must make something lest I break something. It seems most natural to start each day with diary writing, unless some day I wake with an urgent need to work on another project. Of course, it would be a mistake to allow myself to be distracted by the diary to the point that I never work on anything else.

Diary, 6/15 to 6/18/19

I read some of Georges Bataille: Visions of Excess last night. As I expected, it’s quite weird, but much of it was also dull and obscure. I most enjoyed the selection “Sacrificial Mutilation and the Severed Ear of Vincent Van Gogh.” It tells not only of the famous Van Gogh incident, but also of a man who chewed off his own index finger, persons who put out their own eyes, and of human and animal sacrifice generally. The stories...

Diary, 6/12 to 6/14/19

I had a fantasy just now, an imagined conversation with he-who-shall-remain-nameless. I was telling him that I was worried about climate catastrophe, and he was denying. So I was thinking along these lines: “What, the oceans aren’t full of plastic? The species aren’t dying? The hurricanes are a hoax? The science is a conspiracy? What, the prayers of the Jews during the Holocaust were effective and they didn’t all die?” But...

Diary, 6/9 to 6/11/19

A dream: it’s Final Jeopardy, but the middle contestant says that he doesn’t have a pen. Alex Trebek springs into action, going behind the contestant’s kiosk (lectern?) and pulls things out from underneath, including a ring about as large as a soccer ball. I think that he’s looking for a pen, but apparently not: he then rolls the kiosk away to allow another to be brought in, and I am surprised...

Diary: 6/5 to 6/8/19

Reading D Wallace-Wells: The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, after I ran out to buy Dahr Jamail: The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disaster, then told myself that I needed first to read “the one I already just bought.” W-W says that extinction of the human species is pretty unlikely. I think he means as a direct result of climate change. I am, I think, more concerned about nuclear war as an extinction event than about the direct effects of climate change, which I think we might be able to cope with to a degree. But the war doesn’t have to happen, surely. In any case, it seems likely that I’ll have died before I see it happen.

Diary, 5/30 to 6/3/19

Because Chris Hayes tonight is all about yet another mass shooting, I’m listening to a CD of selections from Liadov, Tcherepnin, and Rimsky-Korsakov (“Le Coq d’or” suite). Liadov is quite low-key, which I knew going in, from an LP many decades ago, but I still had hopes…. I passed on a Delius disk because “Dull, duller, Delius.” Actually, I like at least one of his, don’t recall which.