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
January 29, 2015 - 11:47 a.m.
I woke up melancholy. I was thinking about writing what's making me melancholy. I never do though. As much as I tell you there are things I hold back. If all I can do is whine I don't say it. I have to be brilliant.
Now the problem is that I have not left the house since I last wrote. Want to hear about me laying in bed I thought not. Dinner was great but nothing I haven't written about before. OH I know, HOT CHOCOLATE!. As I've mentioned Land O' Lakes is exceptional. I put it over the top by dropping a Trader Joe's chocolate truffle in it. You need to try that. I mean right now. Stop reading this, run to Trader Joe's and buy them in you are one of those foolish people that don’t always have them in your house, and drop it into high grade hot chocolate. You'll thank me. I'm waiting. Where are my thanks? Don't tell me you didn't listen to me. I told you what it takes to reach the highest high. Don't laugh and say "nothing's that simple."
See how well chocolate works as comfort food. I didn't even eat it now, I just wrote about it and I'm feeling better.
How's this for good luck. I posted on Facebook that I was listening to Richard Thompson and a friend who can't go offered me her ticket to see him tonight. It's a show with his whole family. I have only seen Teddy. This will be exciting.
I have been thinking about how my feelings about people mirror my feelings about music. In both there are so many different gradations of affection. It's too hard to talk about people but I'll attempt to talk about music. Then realize it's very similar. One caveat. I will use "she" as the singular pronoun no matter who I am talking about as I am not naming names.
There's a lot of music in genres that just don't connect with me. I can't begin to judge them. I'll skip right past them as I have nothing intelligent to say.
Some is objectively bad. I'll use the example of the unnamed duo that each sing in their own key and play in a third. Some of you will think I'm exaggerating; others will know exactly who I mean. Not much you can do about that. They clearly can't help it. Hey I can't do better. OH I think I'll demonstrate that before I finish today.
Some, like "The Act" my personal bugbear, have musical ears but no creativity. That actually bothers me more than the merely mediocre. Most musicians are by definition mediocre. The fat part of the curve is fat. Most bore me but something will click with me. Some will click with you. Some I think lack the creative spark. There's one songwriter whose lyrics I can't judge as I can't pay attention to two lines. She loses me on the first.
Now let's get to what matters. The music that I like. There are so many things that can make me like music. When I started listening I was a lyrics guy., I still love great lyrics but it's not a necessity. You can win me over with intricate music, or simple music done very well. Some music is high energy and connects right to my nervous system. Some is calming. When I had that bad stretch I spent days listening to nothing but Mozart. Some are great performers, singers or instrumentalists. The virtuosity carries the day.
I was going to say that some put it all together and that's what I like the best. But it isn't. Some can reach the pinnacle based just on lyrics. Others on just the musicianship. Others on personality and stage presence. But whatever it is there's a difference between those I like a lot and those that I love and those that I adore. I rarely put things in those terms but I hope you can figure it out from my writing.
I used to post a poem of the day. I think I'm going to start doing not quite that but if I think of a poem I love to post it. Laura Dunn wrote about her kindergarten student's appreciation and understanding of William Blake. so I'll post the poem she wrote about as it certainly make my adore list.
And now for the piece de resistance. Yesterday was National Kazoo Day and here's how I celebrated.
The Ridiculous to the Sublime - January 29, 2015