Log: Submission

Worm Date: 9.10774.1

On Buddha’s birthday, South Korea recorded its first day with zero new domestic cases. Social distancing remains active but we’ll receive new guidelines this weekend. It looks like libraries and museums will be re-opening but under strict rules. The libraries may not be able to lend books. You’ll have to keep the dinosaur bones out of your holes.

The main thing, right now, is getting through this week. Buddha’s birthday is a big holiday and it fell on a Thursday and this is followed by another big holiday, Children’s Day, on Tuesday. Anyone who has ever massaged their schedule can see what that means — possible six day weekend. Because no one can really leave the country, a lot of domestic travel is expected — particularly as people try to make up for The Lost Spring.

We’ll see how it goes. The good news is, the data is now in, and we saw no spike after the elections. So, although the fragility of the situation is being emphasized and people are being asked to keep doing their part, it does seem like the crisis is being managed. This developing country with over fifty million people, who got its first wave during the lunar new year –the biggest human migration on Earth– and looked on track to go like Italy, has, to date, managed to avoid a lock-down and suffered 248 deaths. 248 is, of course, 248 too many. But compared with other places? It could be a lot worse. A lot worse.

Watching what’s happening in the US and Canada is a little demoralizing. A lot of what pulled me through the early days of this, when it looked like there was no way we were ever going to get on top of this, was the idea that even if what we were doing didn’t and couldn’t help us, it would, at least buy America and Canada time. We were fighting for ourselves but also fighting for our homelands. That time was just totally squandered. And now, at the time of writing this, Canada, which only has around thirty eight million people has suffered 3,462 deaths and seen its economy shattered. The US has seen more American deaths in a few months than it has during the entirety of the Vietnam war. A fucking catastrophe.

Part of me knew it was going to be this way, but one needed to have hope about something. The idea that every day we slowed the disease mattered for everyone on Earth seemed like a decent place to put that hope. And maybe those days mattered. But what a waste.

This needs and still needs to be a global effort. Where we should be now is, the richest countries on Earth should have their shit together. They should be in a position to lend aid to other countries. What I’d hoped to see by this time was, basically, in this game of whack-a-mole, some countries would be managing, others would not, and the countries who were managing would help the countries who could not, until they, in turn, required their help. As this went on, I figured we’d keep learning and get better at managing. The outbreaks would be shorter, better managed, and, slowly, we would wrestle this motherfucker to the ground.

Instead . . .

It looks like we’re going into May with neither America or Canada having their testing or tracing where it needs to be, and both places talking about re-opening. Re-opening is a good thing but it’s not a thing one just does. Otherwise, you’re fucked. You’ll just have more outbreaks, these will be worse, and you’ll just have to close again. But a lock-down without the effort being put into tracing, testing, and treating? That’s just asking the people to sacrifice while the governments and businesses fall down on their jobs. It takes everyone.

We need to work together.

Instead . . .

Like, working together or ‘we’re in this together’, aren’t just slogans. They’re not just some feel-good bullshit. Working together is the only way through this thing. And on a project like this, that co-operation needs to be local, global, and international. Places like the US need to co-operate with and help places like Iran and Cuba. It’s the only way through.

Instead . . .

That orange bag of piss is pulling money out of the WHO. The US isn’t just cutting itself off from the world and undermining international organizations, its balkanizing. The bosses and their reactionary lackeys are staging armed uprisings to protect their God-given right to work you to death. Your life has been valued. Your family’s life has been values. It’s worth less than delaying a haircut. Grandma has to die because someone can’t figure out clippers.

Of course, even that is a bit misguided. These people don’t really give a damn about haircuts. Fact is, these motherfuckers know what it takes to get through this thing. They understand that the solutions threaten their power and tax their wealth. It’s not really about a haircut at all. It’s about owning you. Making you into prey cattle. Milk you for money and depopulate you when you run dry. They’ve run the numbers. Those numbers say murder is cheaper. And that’s all it is. They don’t think you’re worth the cost to keep you alive.

We’re nowhere near where we should be on this thing. We seem determined to make things worse. The shit is all fucked up. And, the whole time it’s fucked up, the solution remains the same. Trace, test, treat, yeah, but also transparency and togetherness. We need to work together, You can’t just throw people under the bus with this. That bus keeps coming.

Anyway, that’s the news, I guess.

As far as things go with me, they go well. Been busy with school. Keeping to the instructions and avoiding crowds best I can but I’ve been going on the odd walk.

Yesterday I bought some oranges off the back off a truck. Part of our new instructions is to support local agriculture and fisheries — not that I need to be instructed to do either — I will pretty much will buy anything off the back of a truck if that option is available. Backs of trucks are kinda my thing. Back of truck business is my favorite sort of business.

I also got bored enough to submit a novel to a publisher. It’s called “Worm Pepper” and it’s a thing I wrote in, I don’t even know, 2014-2015, something like that? It’s a bit of an odd duck and, as per usual, I expect it to be rejected. That’s usually my best case. I tend to write for the drawer and the books I tend to like tend to be written for the drawer too.

It was the same with Technicolor Ultra Mall. I wrote that around 2003, I think, and it didn’t sell until 2010. (I got the acceptance letter on my birthday of all fucking days.) It wasn’t published until 2011. I never thought that book would sell. I thought it deserved to see publication but I never thought it would ever get published. And when it did sell, I kind of wish it had of sold sooner. And not only because the wait for replies, as it worked its way up the food-chain, was draining and painful. Also because, I think, when you consider when it was written as opposed to when it was published, that book was a little more ahead of shit than people think. Like, it was a pretty odd case in 2011. In 2003? Much more so. The years it took to sell it dulled a lot of its strange. I kinda felt like the delay hurt it. I know it hurt me.

Like, just from a sales or personal perspective, at age 32 it’s hard to get behind anything you did at age 25. You get older, you can get a little more forgiving of yourself. I hope.

But, couple days ago, working on something else, I bumped into this other thing and re-read it. I’d totally forgotten about this damn book. I have drawers full of this bullshit. But this means that I’d also forgotten what happened in it. Forgetting gives fresh eyes. It’s like reading something you can relate to instead of something you wrote. I re-read it and I liked it. That’s really pretty unusual. Always a nice surprise. I kinda liked the thing.

I thought I owed the book some effort. I think it deserves better than to just have me reject it. I think other people should reject it too! I feel like it deserves to be read. And that’s about the best I can ever say and I sure don’t say it all of the time. I never know if a thing is good or not, just that it might be honest and maybe deserves to read. Or, at least, it deserves to be read as much as a lot of stuff out there does. Which isn’t really saying all that much, imo.

I even briefly looked into self-publishing but, man . . . I fucking hate and resent the business side of writing. Last thing I ever want to be doing is spending my time in book sales and self-publishing not only requires marketing, it requires being a publisher. I’m just like the worst sort of prima donna about this shit. I just want to write. The less of the rest of it, the better. And these days, people pretty much only want the rest of it. They fucking demand it.

Anyway, it should be rejected by the end of July. If not – God help me – why am I even doing this to myself? What am I thinking?

Until then, I guess I can look forward to stressing out about the whole thing then getting miserable when I finally receive my form-letter rejection.

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