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 24, 2017 - 12:12 p.m.
I'm feeling guilty now. I should have left five minutes ago, to a protest at the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand. The target is Trump's cabinet picks. My guess is that they will oppose the in any event but it helps nationally to show the strength of the opposition. I let the rain talk me out of it. What's worse is that I will be going out later, but that won't involve standing outside. Remember that I wimped out on Sunday and didn't travel two hours to Brooklyn to see Justin Poindexter, Sam Reider, and Eddie Barbash do a tribute to Django Reinhardt and that I couldn't afford to see the show last night? Tonight, they are going to be giving a free lecture on it that will include performing the songs at Jazz at Lincoln Center which is at Columbus Circle. I'm going. I'm going through live music withdrawal.
It took me most of the day but I managed to once again read all my emails and then most importantly, make the Facebook Event for the special John Platt's On Your Radar in Port Washington featuring Birds of Chicago and Cole, Nakoa, and Treacher. I should do a little more work on it today. The sad part is that I'm missing this show if I don't find a way of splitting myself into three people before February 4th. In addition to this show Joe Crookston is doing a special show at Irvington Town Hall. There's going to be spoken word and multi-media. Honor Finnegan is on the bill storytelling. I got a personal request to go to the show. Carter is the presenter. It's a lot easier to get to than Port Washington. That's where I'll be. So why do I have to be split into three parts? The Lords of Liechtenstein are having their CD release show at Pianos. I know I complained about this before but this is traumatic. Yesterday was Dan's birthday and my gift was not being mean to him all day. I've already been mean today but I'll make it official and be nice to him in my blog. Now it's recorded for as long as the Internet exists.
Back to politics. I wrote about taking part in the women's march. Why did I do it? last time I checked I was a man. Part of it is deep in my personal philosophy and was expressed in the Hillary quote I used as the title, "Women's Rights are Human Rights." If you can deny rights to one group, you can deny it to any group. Other groups can use it as a justification for taking away your group's rights. Denying the rights of women, blacks, Muslims, atheists, etc. is morally wrong and hurts us all.
There is more to it than that though. Women experience the world differently than men and we all suffer when their voice is not heard. Women aren't wiser than men but their different experience gives them a different perspective and no one perspective has a monopoly on the truth. We need to hear from all perspectives. I had one unpleasant experience at the march. I met a man who instead of doing the chants and cheers of the rest of us, was deriding the crowd. He thought it was terrible that they wouldn't be marching if Hillary won even though she was no different than Trump. I did something stupid, confronted him. I asked him if Hillary would have made those horrible cabinet appointments, would she be denying women the right to choose, would she be diverting resources away from fighting discrimination against women, blacks, gays, and immigrants. I asked him, straight up if he thinks that women, blacks, gays, and immigrants would suffer as much with Hillary as a president. He said that they would have it "slightly better." The women's issues at the center of the march were simply not important to him. He's an extreme case but less extreme cases are common. I've had white male friends that think that social issues are not as important as others. They consider themselves feminists. They support equal pay, they support the right to choose, they support fighting sexual assault, but they'll take care of those things after the issues they think are important.
Priorities are strongly shaped by our experience. I look around and see the women fighting for women's rights, the gays fighting for gay rights, the Jews fighting anti-Semitism, and the atheist fighting the intrusion of religion in the public sphere. Plenty of people support other groups. I do. But most people don't fight as hard for others as they do themselves. It's not for lack of caring, it's for lack of understanding the depths of problems they don't experience.
I marched on Sunday because women's voices are not heard loudly enough. I might sometimes disagree, but I still want to hear what they have to say, to understand how they see the world. The world will be better off for it.
Then there is something personal for me. They often break down opinion polls by gender. The majority of the time I agree with the woman more than the men. If women have more power the government will act more in accordance with my wishes. The Trump cabinet is the whitest and malest cabinet since Reagan. The voices of women and minorities are not being heard in the center of power. In congress women are woefully under-represented. Electing women is not just important as a symbol or so they can be role models for girls. It's because it will make our government do a better job.
The demonstration I was going to go to started seven minutes ago, and the rain is coming down the hardest it has all day. Good call staying home. Now for brunch and coffee.
Saving the World One Song at a Time - January 30, 2017
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