21 January 1957
How does one determine what goes on? What is the “outer world” all about? How do you anchor it, like paint on a sheet of paper? The answers to these questions as they kept flooding into my mind like water beginning to flow more and more smoothly as the rocks damming up the water were one by one thrown aside.
How simple! You recognize people by what they said, how they said it, the sound of their voice, the look about their face, their actions, their sitting down position, whether they were hurried or calm, where they live, how they lived, what their houses look like, how neatly or sloppily they took care of their personal possessions, who they associated with, the subjects of their conversation. When it wasn’t tribally confined to the weather. Even talk about the weather determines many things: real interest about it as the weather makes the person respond. 21 it is a “lousy day”. But he’s full of problems. To another “rainy, but very pleasant!” It still the same whether. But one of them is looking forward to seeing his girl for lunch. She’d been stalling him with excuses about a church bazaar. The suspicion was, where she still interested? He called her last night expecting the usual excuses. But no! The bazaar work was over, and she’d love to meet him. It was raining but the day was “very pleasant”.
How very simple it all is to anchor words on paper. All you have to do is compare people’s “inner world” with their “outer world”. Cause and effect. Effect and cause. Action and reaction. People against the background of land, sea, sheets, weather, air – against the created world; self-made, man-made, and “God” made.
Current Scene: Outer World.
Most of people’s troubles today, maybe at any time, is they tie the wrong causes and effects together. Now take that play we saw on TV yesterday about the gambler. His old man was a go to church on Sunday tightfisted miser who beat his kids on Monday. The “hero” decides church standards of ethics are no good. (In the outer world church standards are merely symbolic today, too often, of a decent way of life and the rock bed moralities, even though that isn’t what comes out of churches, with their damn gambling wheels etc.)
So – o o o! He decides to make a lot of money – not by respectable standards – his father was a god damn hypocrite – so: he won’t accept every day toil as a way of life – he knows of big money in horserace bookies or cards. This he sees as his “lots of money” for his family. When he doesn’t have enough to lavish upon his wife and kids, give them what they didn’t have, he turns to his “magic piano” – cards and bookies. (Wrong causes to get desired effects.) The Greek tragedy form develops. Hero starts the downward descent. Loses respective wife, even steals for money (his father would have killed him for stealing from him.”) Hero ends, a bum, furious at the suggestion his “cause-and-effect” logic is off kilter. He ends up burning his hands thrusting stolen money into a trance fire. “Money” Is the root of his degraded misery. It becomes symbolic of his destruction to him. Play ends with a whimpering infinite infant like hero – utterly defeated and prone, at last, to begging for the sake get trick help to the understanding of his disease.
“Cause” and “effect” gone astray compounded by a parent who never heard of this abstract concept.
So, successful and dramatic TV plays are formed.
Was talking with Blanche this morning. This is the result which surged to the surface as writing material. We were talking about Robbie Silvers article on sex addiction in this a.m.’s PD – (my inner interpretation): what confuses much of our social world as we look at the lady’s dress (social customs) and say: there is no respect for elders. Blanche keeps harping on respect to “elders”. I told her in polite fashion “outer world” conversation, pure “social” customs of dutiful respect were an anachronism. The world has changed from respecting “elders” to respecting “individuals” quote even though they were children. If we bring them up on the social Emily Post concepts of yesteryear (the authoritarian parent) would bring up children unprepared for the rough-and-tumble of a very different kind of world we find ourselves in today. With all the spoiled brats around, Emily Post would be shoved down and trampled. Respect we need – inner world respect, the outside pope apparel – whether a flapper’s dress or raccoon coat in the 20s has nothing to do with the vogue of letting children express their beastly ourselves which has gripped our society like a cancer, now that the fashion is past its peak. Social standards of the day affect family standards, social customs have to be understood to be coped with. Still, this doesn’t mean that courtesy, kindness, love and understanding is out of vogue forever. It always warms the human brain heart in young and old, no matter what outward social practice is raging currently.
With many of our changes, social, and interchanges, too often things have to get worse before they get better. Occasionally some shooting star comes along, however, that brings off a light in the heavens, without having to complete the circle around the wheel. A shooting star is a new, penetrating accidental which lights the world – sometimes in the field of science – Copernicus, Einstein, Roger Bacon. Nobody hears of them particularly, then all of a sudden like a century plant in Bloom, the earth flowers with a new flash of glory. The star fades, but the streak remains for a while in the heavens, lighting the darkness.
The shooting star, a century plant, as I call it – can be a great scientist, a great painter, a great humanitarian, a great writer, a great philosopher. The trueness of its light depends on how brightly it illuminates the darkness of man.
The symbol of the world for almost 3 centuries has been the crucifixion. Now just what is the symbol we have been living by lo these many hundreds of years. What does it signify? In essence, the symbol has meant that if we dare to go about our life’s work, trying to grow straight and tall, enfolding his beautiful creations as individuals, we are going to run smack into the status quo and will be defeated, bloodied and helpless, nailed to a cross. And Christianity is a “positive” religion. Militant, “yes”, but positive “no!” It symbolizes that there is an ascension into heaven after we are nailed to the cross. There is a power and glory, and a better way of life, but this heaven is a very nebulous one. The crucifixion is real and frightening. People all over the world have been crucified daily in one way or another. It’s the “power over”, the “authoritarian” way of life.
Translating this whole symbolism into an everyday way of life consists of a partnership, and mutual cooperation with the creator, not a fearful God the Greeks blood and thunder (the authoritarian image) when he is disobeyed. That is the significance of the resurrection, as the ascension into “heaven.” Not dog-eat-dog and “to hell with you”, if I don’t have my way. (Because, if we insist upon others’ acceptance of our personal status quo analysis of cause, effect and result, a lot of “Hell” can be created.) But, rather, the concept of “bring out the best in me and let me help you bring out the best in you.”
If such a notion took hold of the world, it would become transformed into that symbolic “heaven” Christians have been agonizing over these many, many years.
If I can discover a few inner truths, the world can have its outer fictions, because then I won’t have to go like a frightened sheep with the crowd. I can walk my own way, not fearing the devil, or hell, or parent, or social taboo. Not fighting them – just not fearing them.
Those who understand “outer” worlds, cannot put much emphasis on “inner” worlds.
People who are interested in “inner” worlds can’t understand the “outer world” unless crash takes place and vice versa.
Fear and hate – cause-and-effect.
No fear and love – cause-and-effect.
Respect and respect – cause-and-effect
Love and love – cause-and-effect
Pull and tug – cause-and-effect.
Good and evil, balance and balance, – cause-and-effect.
That’s the way the wheel turns, and the axis of the “gods” grind slowly.
Sometimes opposites attract. – That’s nature trying to equalize itself. Marjorie Morningstar [and] Noel Airman.
Asthma could be a form of self-punishment. You try to strangle yourself to death for some reason. Selfish motives so intense [that] even you want to strangle yourself – that is the victim of the disease.
Hay fever could be an expression of irritation due to wanting to do the right thing, but being exposed to contrary influences that cause serious disturbance to your inner desires for orderliness and good motives; [a] truly deeply desired wish to “do the right thing”. Sneezing and tears are the result. Sneezing to clear nostrils of the irritation, tears of helplessness. Desire not to kid oneself about the accuracy of one’s “good intentions”.
“All comes to him awaits – and lives long enough.” J. Z.
“Selecting the right thing to wait for is what makes life so difficult.” J. Z.
To put it differently – “All things come to him awaits.
That is if he lives long enough and selects the right things to wait for.”
Wonder if Reader’s Digest could use something like that.
It’s Easy to Raise a Juvenile Delinquent.
All you have to do is:
Resent your child.
Feel he is a burden and a nuisance.
Take no interest in his comings and goings. Pay no attention to the company he keeps or where he is. Give him a lot of money or toys or clothes or car cars so he doesn’t bother you.
Feel the world owes you something. Be more interested in “keeping up with the Joneses” than [in] “keeping up with your child.”
Be sure what is important to you is more important than what is important to your child.
Don’t bring him up – “drag him along.” Scold him when he is bad – never mind the reason for his behavior. Argue with his teachers when they call you in for consultations. Decide the teachers are stupid and don’t understand children. For good measure smack your child when he brings home poor grades. Tell him he’s a good for nothing, a low-down good for nothing.
Never change your own mind about how to bring up a child. What’s good enough for you is good enough for the rest of the world. Nobody’s going to tell you anything about this fancy child psychology stuff.
If that doesn’t turn your children into a juvenile delinquent you might try fighting with your husband, your neighbor or your mother-in-law.
Turn down the Community Fund social agencies volunteer worker’s plea for a contribution. They’re always after money.
Leave your kids home with the TV set so you can hang over a bar with the “fellas’. If you’re another be sure to go bowling.
If you’re father go over to a bar with the “fellas”. If your mother be sure to go out bowling with the girls. The kids will be all right at home watching television.
If you’re father, be sure to spend plenty of time at boozing it up at football and baseball games with the “fellas” from the shop. If you’re mother have your bowling nights with the “girls”. A woman needs some recreation too, and the kids are all right at home watching TV
If it is a writer I am to be, everything I need will be added, unless I get off the track and get off balance between my “inner” and “outer” worlds.
Comic Plots: character studies.
Experts in one field – greenhorns in another. Housewives don’t need to be envious of career women – they have their ignorance is, too.
Combination of Blanche and Mary Anderson.
Blanche’s “invitation to dinner”. The night Kurt and I had dinner at her house – formal introduction and all – cooked by her own career girl hands.
A description of the waffles (the simplest mix to make), the creaky old waffle iron – the musty formal atmosphere while Blanche calmly serves waffles, wieners, and a few slices of packaged cheese, some imported guava jelly and her favorite hard candy and salted nuts for dessert. Give a description of Blanche – in apron very much in control of the situation sitting down to making waffles. Using powdered milk and water (the economy efficiency) and waffle mix to concoct the dough. Sitting at the table making burnt, underdone, and pasty waffles, occasionally dropping one, in the unconcern over her error, into the wastepaper basket beside her.
Then Kurt’s urgent pleas: He loves Blanche for her expertness in the field of law, exporting, what have you, but please, don’t accept any more invitations from her for dinner!
You could build a regular plot out of it. The wife’s good cooking – the picking us of her unappreciated husband – or you could approach it from the career girl is the “expert” and the know it all in every respect. Wife here could be complaining about having to work and any dummy can do that, [but] she really longs for a career, brilliant and sparkling.
The Mary version could center around the woman lawyer, but capable and brilliant – probate court specialist and teacher of men, women, and children on morals. The regular paradigm of “law is perfection” but who secretly is playing. She’s been wired to straight-laced morality and believes it like the Bible but doesn’t have to go into Wolf’s restaurant alone.
If she were really tempted to step alone out of her majestic castle of security, she’d be as naïve as a babe in arms. She needs moral support to go into a strange restaurant, to eat alone – some he Wolf might cross her path and she wouldn’t know what to do with him!!!
Be Glad you’re a Wife (Mother)
May be hardest job to be a mother but most useful – raising real people.
Be Glad You’re a Homemaker:
plan your own schedule – stay out of the wet and cold as the world trudges about.
“We make all our mistakes with our first baby.”
For Sale – A High Standard of Living
Young people want “everything” tsk tsk! But if they didn’t have it their parents would consider the boy “too young” to marry – or the girls marriage quote not as well as she could have done.” If young people don’t have to start out marriage what it took their parents 25 or 30 years to accumulate.
It’s not a question of markets to sell and get money out of for my writing. That is important – it is what magazine or writing outlet is most widely read by the people I am trying to reach?
If I do a good job writing for an audience and reach them – money is just evidence of the “medium of exchange”. It’s the toll you pay when a writer crosses from one road to another. The writer gets paid for his creative effort; the outlet gets paid for its judgment and expense; and the reader pays the price of the printed word to get another view on life, if he wants to learn something; or to pass his time away being entertained because he hasn’t anything better to do with his time.