Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Force | Lefsetz Letter

It was a throwaway line, in a story about Jimmy Iovine.

And then my inbox blew up.

We’re led to believe that hype equals success, if the story’s in the news, all over the internet, then you’ve made it, but frequently that is not true, not only are so many of today’s stars turntable hits, those truly driving the culture, who mean so much to their fans, go unsung.

Like Don Winslow.

“He knows what he’s done. So does everybody that matters.”

Which is why I don’t self-promote. Sunday there was a big article about me in the L.A. “Times,” it contained little new information, I could be like the rest of the wankers, tweet it, multiple times, tell you about it, go for the victory lap, but it does not matter.

That’s what aging tells you. It’s all irrelevant. Have a good time on the ride because it’s gonna end, and no one’s gonna remember you except your friends and your kin, and when you’re gone, POOF! There won’t even be any pictures. Do you really think the jpegs of today will be readable tomorrow? Some of the best stuff I’ve written sits on Zip disks in my closet, slowly disappearing, and I’m still alive.

But I won’t be forever.

And how do I want to spend my time?

I just spent hours finishing “The Force.”

And for a long time I’d tell you “The Power of the Dog” was better. Start there, and then read the sequel, “The Cartel.” I don’t read genre fiction, I don’t read mysteries, and then Steve Martin, the agent, not the comedian, bought me “The Power of the Dog,” didn’t even insist I read it, just that I own it, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink, but when I was recovering from an operation I cracked it.

And I got hooked.

I am not the only one.

Now Don Winslow did not publish his first book until 1991. When he was 48 years old. Before that he had a series of non-fast track jobs. You think it’s about the wet behind the ears singers, the fresh faces, but you’re wrong, life is all about experience and he or she with the most wins. Have an adventure. Which is why so many of the educated fail. They can’t help but follow in the footsteps, do what’s expected of them, whereas those who are willing to color outside the lines always win, if you don’t see the world as your oyster, you won’t.

And if you’re complaining about the winners, you’ve lost the plot.

There is an alternative, just living your life.

Or, as Winslow writes:

“A man wants to breathe as long as he can. A king, he wants to stay on the throne.”

Make your choice, be happy. But don’t complain you didn’t get to the destination at the end of a road you never traveled. Be happy you’ve got a family, and can watch Netflix and read “The Force.”

I didn’t love it at first. I couldn’t catch all the code. It was like bring dropped in a world you did not grow up in without a decoder ring. Hell, that’s what’s wrong with too much genre writing, they EXPLAIN IT TO YOU! Movies too. Life is about being caught off guard.

And right at the start Malone is in jail. And you think…

Oh, I’m not gonna tell you.

But I will tell you I looked forward to reading “The Force.” Life is not high school, no one forces you do to do anything, You don’t have to read Shakespeare anymore, but when you find something you’re interested in, there’s unlimited time.

And reading is personal, it’s not a group event.

And when done right there’s more than plot. And too much exalted fiction has too little plot. But “The Force” has that and morals too.

And it quotes rap lyrics, Denny is a fan. This is a twist the baby boomers can’t understand, from nonsense words, from “Moon/June” to phrases that you comb over that stick in your brain. Because rap, when done right, is the story of the streets.

And Denny Malone inhabits those streets.

You think you want to be President, Chairman of the bank, but Malone loves his job. I hope you love yours too.

But he works where the rubber meets the road, facing the public, while those in the glass towers…

“The man in the penthouse always gets the last word.”

Ain’t it the truth. And they’re never gonna let you in the penthouse so your best option is popular culture, the news, to read, it’s all about reading. Sure, a picture is worth a thousand words, a video, even in “The Force,” but words tell a much bigger story, much more in-depth.

And are cops as corrupt as they are in “The Force”? I DON’T KNOW!

But the world is.

Which is why I found “The Force” so satisfying.

Nobody knows anything. Nobody knows what’s going on. It’s a constant struggle. And if you feel safe, you’re not.

It’s all in “The Force.”


The Force


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