The reason the beach is so nice is there’s no outlets, and there’s sand everywhere, not to mention the water of course, in short it’s no place to bring a computer. Even a cell phone is risky.
I have a lot of writing to do and while I’m here there’s no good reason not to be doing it. But once you’re on the beach, you have to just be like, fuck it, I’m on the beach. Might as well go play in the waves like a five-year-old. There aren’t a lot of spots left where work cannot find you. Where life cannot find you. Maybe the beach, the shower, and I guess a swimming pool if you’re into that sort of thing. I know people escape in their showers. I had an idea a while back for what I called the Shower Paws, a quick-valve on the shower spigot which could stop the water mid-shower without changing the temperature-controlling valves. The button you’d hit would be shaped like a cat’s paw, because I may as well have invented the internet, given my affinity for cats and puns. It was for people in water-scarce environments, I was thinking California of course but also Texas which was drought-plagued when first I got there. But people need their shower time, man. If you turn off the water, yeah it’d save soap and water and shampoo and all that, but then people would just be standing there, with nothing happening to them for upwards of three seconds, and that three-second tolerance for boredom is about all we have left, and this is when work would find us.
I’m here now because I’m editing the novel and editing is still interesting but it’s much less fun than writing, because you’re there to second guess everything, every last sentence and word and punctuation mark, and that kind of relentless questioning of merit puts a pretty heavy existential strain on the brain, like what makes anything worth anything, so I have to take more breaks when I’m editing, I need to come here to write for a while because there are no rules I can’t break here if I want to, like I don’t particularly want to avoid adverbs assiduously right now, nor do I want to use a period, or reread any of these sentences to see if I made a tepo, and I just don’t want to like cut out my stupid just like overused words and everything, let the unnecessary words have their day! after all lots of places pay by the word, they don’t distinguish, they don’t prefer pusillanimous over timid or timid over pusillanimous, so but just like I mean why should I even care, you know?
I refuse to edit any of the preceding paragraph. No. Nope, I will not. Because this is freedomland, baby, I’m on a roll.
I had a realization the other night when thinking about the great divide in this country that it just doesn’t make sense for the poor and powerless to vote in a dictator. That’s not the realization, that’s never made sense to me, but I’ve been trying to figure it out, why in the hell would so many people do this to themselves, even if it wasn’t the majority, still, it was a lot and it remains a lot. Couple this with the war on science, why is there a war on science, that too is about as nonsensical a plot line as any I could ever come up with. And maybe I’m overstating it with the war rhetoric when it could be the damage to science as a field is only incidental to the corruption in government, like maybe these anti-science jackasses simply have control of the megaphone and are skewing the demographics (for profit). Maybe everybody else in the country is wise to their game too, and they don’t believe the rhetoric any more than the morons spouting it, but since they voted for them for another reason they bought the whole car, dents and all.
Still, though, it’s not a deal breaker for nearly enough people when a representative of theirs tries to convince the world that facts aren’t facts or knowledge isn’t important so we should stop looking for it. I wouldn’t put up with that from my kids, why would I from my politicians? Oh you didn’t put the gum in your sister’s hair? You know I can see you in this fancy invention called a mirror, I watched— yes I can! I can see you! Because that’s how light works! I don’t have to be looking directly at you to know what I saw! It’s the same light showing you doing the same thing whether it’s bouncing off a mirror or not! No I will not debate this with you, we’re already late to meet your aunt at Denny’s and now we have to stop off at a grocery store or somewhere for peanut butter. Facts are facts, mirrors don’t reflect an alternate reality, and you’re grounded when we get home.
In fact, some people gloat about their complete lack of evidence behind their beliefs. I want to believe it, so I do. Like some misspelled motivational slogan tattoo, they have decided to enjoy defending the indefensible. Yeah I’m wrong but that’s my decision and that makes it right and I don’t care. Aka Twitter.
This isn’t a war on science, it’s a war on intelligence. I don’t know for sure, but I think most people can tell when they meet someone smarter than they are. I know I can. It’s not a great feeling. Aside from physical attractiveness, smarts are the go-to compliment for children everywhere. Our self-esteem is trained to grow when we solve problems and get high marks. At least until we get to be adults, where smart is more often used in the derogatory sense. Aren’t you smart. Oh, smart guy, huh?
This was the Trump advantage. People call him a populist. I’m starting to think this is code for he appeals to dumb people, which is a real smart way of putting it, jerkwads, if that’s what you mean just say it. I’m not trying to call almost fifty percent of the voters dumb. But I am saying it is impossible to hear this man speak even once and feel intimidated by his intelligence. If the American experience of politics during Obama’s term shifted just slightly towards a resentment in the manner of that for adults talking over the heads of children in the same room, well, now at least that makes some sense. Hillary didn’t have a chance. That’s the only way she knows how to talk.
I had another job interview today. I applied to be a busboy at the restaurant opening up like next door to me. Most people who meet me consider me intelligent, though, but intelligent doesn’t have to mean proud or arrogant. I think what people are reacting to is feigned intelligence. I am actually a populist, for the most part, I put a lot of stock into what the average citizen is going through and what their resulting opinion is. I value the busboy as much as the waiter as much as the manager. So if the work pays well enough, if it helps keep me moving to maybe work off this little tummy I’ve been growing, then yeah, why wouldn’t I do it? Because I have a master’s or two?Last I checked my degrees weren’t putting any food on the table, and apparently I’m all about food lately…
In other thoughts, because I don’t know if I’ll get around to turning these into full entries:
I find it absurd how little we value trees, considering how immediate our need is for oxygen. I was taking deep breaths last night, trying to calm myself into sleep, and I wound up holding my breath. Made it maybe thirty seconds. Suffocation is horrifying. I need to ask Bill Nye how long we would last if every plant on the planet stopped producing oxygen all at once.
Also from last night: I wonder if fish feel water currents the way we feel air currents. Like I wonder if fish scientists describe humans as having a special organ that helps them detect the direction and speed of the air around them, or what they call “wind.”
…That’s about it for now.