Saturday, June 26, 2010

The problem of the others

Last night, waiting for the sleeping pill and the relaxing supplements to kick in, I was reading excerpts from the Journal I was keeping in 1979. I was surprised to see the uselessness of nearly all I was doing, surprised to wonder what I saw in it. Here and there a scene, a paragraph, a single line that was worth the trouble of typing it on a piece of paper. The way we worked before the Internet. I typed in full paragraphs from newspaper and magazine articles to comment on them. What did I have in mind?

This morning there was work on designing the Elie Wiesel page, work on Face Book which Hernandez is taking care of but which is work anyhow, work on the Founder’s Page getting Break His Bones uploaded in its entirety, chapter by chapter, with new formatting and so on. Work on the new template for the online edition of Smith’s Report, which is taking much longer than any of us expected. And so on. I did finally get issue 173 of Smith’s Report to the printer. We found some serious formatting errors, a number of typos and proofing issues to take care of. By the end of the hour there, I was exhausted.

Reading a brief history of Chinese philosophy by Fung Yu-Lan, it occurred to me that my life is more interesting when I am alone than when I live with others. This sense of things was emphasized last night when I read chapter seven in Bones. I was checking the formatting of the page for uploading, started reading, and there it was. When I have been alone I have been aware of the world. Sometimes. When I live with others I am aware of trying to earn an income to take care of all of us. Being the genius I am, I chose to make a living arguing that we should be able to question the orthodox Holocaust story, an argument for which there is no market. Never has been. Being unwilling to live alone, I have passed my life working to make a living. Too late now.

But now I realize that when I wrote Chapter Seven of Break His Bones, I was living with others in the little canyon in the Hollywood Hills behind Grauman's Chinese Theater. It's not the others then. I do not suppose it oftentimes is.


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