I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
-H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me—that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter—except to show how very dull we are,”
-James Branch Cabell
March 11, 2014 - 5:06 p.m.
I had to work through my break and couldn't update. So here' a late afternoon edition of Wise Madness
Who knows what I do on Mondays? If you loved me you'd know. I go to therapy. If the therapy was more effective I wouldn't say things like "If you loved me you'd know."
I got there early so I could shop at the farmer's market. I picked up a variety of potatoes, bread, and fresh apple cider. The cider rocks. Some of the potatoes are blue. Do you really need to know more about the potatoes? Then I walked down to therapy I had plenty of time. Or I would have if I hadn't started to mentally blog. I explored the idea that all human behavior can be viewed as economics. It' all about the allocation of resources and doing cost/benefit analyses. Economics does not have to be about money. What we try to optimize is not income though that's part of it, a huge part for some people, but some abstract quantity that I has no name I can think of. I was going to say happiness but many people would sacrifice happiness for money or power or the happiness or fame. It was quite insightful of the creator of the game careers that each player set her goals with a balance of money, fame, and happiness that they choose themselves. My strategy was to go big o fame. There were ways of earning huge chunks of it. In real life I don't value fame much.
I went into more of it in my head but it's not what I want to write about. I did get some affirmation from my shrink who thought it was a valid point. Maybe that's why it was a better session than most. I came out of it with less anxiety than when I went in.
Something totally inconsequential came up but it seems that most people don't think about this so I want to ask if you do. If I stand or walk with a woman with our arms around each other I slightly prefer her on m right. That's impractical as I'm right-handed and it only leaves my left hand free but it feels better. But that's only a slight preference. My strong preference is about holding hands. When I hold hands with someone next to me I want my palms facing forward. I remember back in kindergarten when we lined up and had to hold hands this was often a point of contention with the girl whose hand I had to hold. Other pairs had issues too. So my question is do you have a strong preference and do you remember it causing friction in kindergarten? Maturing involved not fighting if I had to hold hands the "wrong way." But I still know it's the wrong way.
I did something I never do, I went home straight from therapy. I didn't stop for therapy food! That's a plus it means I am adjusting to being in my room even though I don't like it.
My plan was to have my leftover soup but I didn't leave enough over on "Sunday night so I supplemented it with Trader Joe's Pastry Pups. Even setting the oven too high they were delicious. They are essentially pigs in a blanket in a fluffy pastry with parmesan cheese. I had that great apple cider to drink.
I decided to watch a movie last night. I chose it by going to IMBD and having it suggest films to me till I found one that I haven't seen, want to see, and was available for free on Amazon Prime. And the winner was …. Breakfast at Tiffany's. I did see it as a kid and didn't appreciate it. I can see why. It was a bit hard for an 8-year-old to follow. All I remembered was finding out that Tiffany's was not a restaurant and the scene where they have the crackerjack ring inscribed. That is such a great scene. John McGiver as the salesman was so charming. If the sales people were like that I might shop at Tiffany's.
The first thing that struck me is how incredibly racist Mickey Rooney's portrayal of Mr. Yonioshi was. It goes way beyond a Caucasian playing an Asian. That I can say was just the times. But if an Asian had played him that way it was be just as offensive. They put in prosthetics to make him bucked tooth and beady eyed with thick glasses. It was like the caricatures in a wartime cartoon. I had to wince every time he was on screen.
Actually that was the second thing I noticed. The first was that George Peppard was a big enough start to have his name above the title right after Audrey Hepburn.
The rest of the film was marvelous. Is it possible not be in love with Audrey Hepburn in any role? I loved her as a kid and still do. I had such good taste. She's as beautiful as it's possible to be. But it goes beyond that. She just radiates charm. I'm using the present tense because in the film it is eternally 1961. You see Holly Golightly's flaws and lover her not even despite them but because of them.
So who knows Capote well enough to answer this question? It's hard to describe Holly without using the word mercurial. Her initials are the chemical symbol for mercury, HG. I that a coincidence?
Holly has her own word for anxiety attacks, she calls them the mean reds. She goes to Tiffany's when she has them. I eat chocolate.
Another point where I hope that times have changed; Buddy Ebsen plays Doc Golightly who married her when she was a desperate 14-year-old and he's portrayed as a sympathetic character. I couldn't help but think of him as a predator.
I'm not a kept man, more's the shame, but Paul Varjak, Peppard's character is a lot like me. The difference is that Audrey Hepburn never comes running after me in the rain, more's the pity.
I really am a rank sentimentalist. I's funny I've watched two classic films on Amazon Prime, the other was The Apartment They are both from almost the same time, 1960 and 1961 and both are very dark romantic comedies showing people overcoming the dark underside of humanity. They both struck a chord with me. I'll take Audrey over Shirley any day even if Shirley is a redhead. But I wouldn't turn Shirley down.
I filed the form reporting my student for cheating today and then I had to tell her. I was not happy about that. I don't want to get a student in trouble but I feel I have to. I can't just fail her as that's what would have happened if she hadn't cheated. There was an interesting spread in the grades. Seven students got a 90 or better. One got an 86, and the next highest grade after that was a 70. The median grade was a 50. About half the class failed. I'm very proud that all the students that had me for the prerequisite class and passed got over a 90. They were prepared. Most of the others weren't. They lacked but the knowledge and work habits. It's good to know that I can teach.
Breakfast Without Bacon - March 11, 2014