A Hot Needle & Burnt Thread
Social Media is everyone’s imaginary friend until after a while, the lines start to blur and it’s not clear who is your friend or enemy. Social Media is in fact, your frenemy.
Social media gives people this false sense of moral superiority, the bloody “Internet Scolds,” who love to stew in a cauldron of self-righteousness. It makes them feel sanctimonious to signal one’s virtue to others, and it is exhausting.
I am reminded of the book “Crowds & Power” and how algorithms love latching onto drama and then suddenly it’s Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” in real time on Twitter.
We as a society need to collectively break the addiction of dopamine Likes, Retweets, and Follows on Social Media. We are being manipulated by algorithms that have been created by not-very-nice people.
A quote by the author Ottessa Moshfegh in Bookforum:
“I wish that future novelist would reject the pressure to write for the betterment of society. Art is not media. A novel is not an “afternoon special” or fodder for the Twittersphere or material for journalists to make meat generalizations about culture. A novel is not BuzzFeed or NPR or Instagram or even Hollywood. Let’s get clear about that. A novel is a literary work of art meant to expand consciousness. We need novels that live in an amoral universe, past the political agenda described on social media. We have imaginations for a reason. Novels like American Psycho and Lolita did not poison culture. Murderous corporations and exploitive industries did. We need characters in novels to be free to range into the dark and wrong. How else will we understand ourselves?” - OTTESSA MOSHFEGH
Another good Moshfegh quote: “My writing let’s people scrape up against their own depravity, but at the same time it’s very refined - it’s like seeing Kate Moss take a shit.” And, “Everybody’s so obsessed with being liked.” What I love about Ottessa Moshfegh is her resistance to expectations.
The area between good art and bad art has so much potential. When I read a book, listen to music or look at art, I do not want to be preached at or patronized, which tends to be the norm these days. But the absolute worst is the pandering.
I hit a plateau but finally broke through last night, an area that required math. Lots of math between dates. I had to track down calendars from 1865 to 1901 so I could count days between certain dates.
I only have 22 documents to wrap up, the epilogue and end of the book stuff and the bibliography. During the middle of it, I honestly didn’t think I would ever see the end but the end is finally in sight, but holy shit I need to go through and cut a ton. Better to have too much instead of obvious padding. I keep thinking about Barbara Tuchman and how it took her ten years to write A Distant Mirror and how she must have felt at the end of her book.
I talked to my printer, who prints up my posters and he will be printing up warning bands that will be wrapped around each book because judging from what I see from Twitter and Goodreads, I am going to guess a lot of people are going to take offense. Which makes me kind of gleeful.
Music: Araras by Entheogenic