Monday, September 25, 2023

Live or Die

I think I was much smarter when I didn't know anything.  Not sure if that will make sense to you, but thinking was easier.  I was probably much happier, too.  By and large, the happiest people I know are conservatives with more than enough money.  By my estimate, they don't know much about "things."  They don't trust education or science.  They think climate change is either a hoax or it is a natural occurrence.  All my more "intellectual" liberal friends are pretty depressed and angry.  Take the trans thing.  My liberal friends ache over the "injustice" that people have to face.  My conservative friends just see them as "queer."  I know people with advanced degrees who don't keep up with the news, local, state, national, nor world.  They seem surprised by the things that concern me.  Maybe I'll try it.  Maybe I will quit troubling my pretty little head over it all.  

I keep wondering about long covid.  That is more and more a thing--in the papers, anyway.  I'm having trouble sleeping.  That can be a symptom of long covid.  I get tired.  Long covid.  It attacks the brain and the lungs and the heart.  I think I have a lot of trouble with my brains and heart.  They are both hyperactive.  

What I need to do is quit writing about my goofy life.  I thought yesterday that I would.  I was comparing myself to someone I don't know and came up way short.  I was asked by a friend with two published books and a series of articles why I wasn't writing for publication.  

"Are you shitting me?  Have you seen the crap I write?"


Maybe that helped send me to the dark place, too.  But maybe I have become this coyote persona I portray.  Too much the (holy) goof.  

Never mind.  

I watched a documentary on Evelyn Nesbit last night.  She was the most photographed girl of her time starting in 1900 when she was sixteen-ish (the records on her birth have disappeared).  She became known as "The Gibson Girl."  She was recognized as being the most beautiful woman of her time.  She became the concubine of Stanford White, the famous architect.  Later she married the wealthy railroad scion, Henry Thaw.  Thaw murdered White over the affair, and it is known as the most famous trial of the century.  At least until O.J., Casey Anthony, and Depp/Heard.  

Early on, Nesbitt posed for artists and photographers, sometimes nude.  She became a chorus girl in the theater and was courted by the not yet famous actor John Barrymore, but he was rejected as he hadn't any money.  Later, she acted in films, but after she divorced the convicted Thaw, her life spiraled downward.  In her fifties, she was working as a burlesque dancer in striptease joints in Panama.  

I was as fascinated by the story as any member of the hoi-polloi.  

This morning, I was kibitzing with my good conservative friend about something.  His kids went to Princeton and Yale, and he sends me news from there often.  I sent him back a story that tickled me for its desire to be shocking (link).  Then I remembered the Great Ivy League Nude Posture Photo Scandal (link).  This has ALWAYS fascinated me, or at least from the moment I learned of it.  Every incoming freshman to Ivy League and its sister schools were photographed naked, front, back and side.  All of them, including George Bush and Hillary Clinton.  They were walked into a room by white coated "scientists" and told to strip.  It wasn't until mid-century that anyone began to question the practice.  When I sent the Times article on it, he merely said, "All that is fit to print."  

All the wealthy scions of society. . . . 

Selavy.  Many of the files were burned, and the rest have been sealed in the basement of the Smithsonian.  Such a thing.  

"Why don't you take your photos to some galleries?"

"Many of them have been burned.  The rest are sealed and locked away in a basement."  

This person I don't know. . . I can't compete.  Some people have an aristocratic confidence that is difficult to shake.  People like to say, "Money won't make you happy."  I think that is the most hideous lie.  Certainly the reverse of that is true.  Poverty can make you crazy.  

I exist somewhere between.  I suffer the sorriest curse of having "a small but adequate income" and a considerable crisis of confidence.  

Today's song reflects my mood.  Live or die.  Simply existing is hell.  

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