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 06, 2012 - 10:42 a.m.
Enough procrastination, it's time for me to write. I didn't write yesterday! I couldn't post what I wrote the day before because of problems on Diaryland so I just posted what I had written then when I could. The problem is not many people read it. Not only did I write about Deni Bonet I wrote about my place in the folk community I amused myself with my joke. I want to amuse you too. So go read it now, Deni and the Social Sets.
Yesterday I didn't have class but I went to school anyway. Why? I had forgotten to email myself the practice test that I'm basing the real test on so I had to go to the office to work on it. Of course I wasted most of the day till I got there in the late afternoon. Then a miracle happened. Two of my favorite students showed up looking for me. I wasn't supposed to be there at all yet they arrived shortly after I did. I love having students that want help and I worked with them for quite some time.
Too bad I had company of other teachers in what passes for my office. I miss my privacy. So I ended up getting sucked into a conversation on politics and abortion and I know that's a totally waste of time. I was arguing with someone who is not only ignorant of the basic facts he won't believe them when he hears them. If it doesn't fit his narrative it can't be true. That includes the most basic things like how many abortions are performed. No matter what the source he won't accept them because he knows. He also knows that the only reason anyone is for abortion is to lower the number of minority babies born. Yes that's why I'm pro choice. It's why you are pro choice. It's the entire purpose of Planned Parenthood. He knows because he read it once. Why did I not just keep my earbuds in? This is not a meaningful discussion as he won't of even listening to reason.
I ended up spending hours in school, far more than I planned. I did manage to get the test looking pretty good. The admin was supposed to help me with some graphics, he can edit pdfs and I can't, but he left so I had to struggle with scanning graphs drawn by hand and then editing the tif files. They didn't turn out great but it's acceptable.
After I prepared the test I went to Fairway and Trader Joe's. This was my first time in this Fairway. I had briefly checked one out once but this was the first time I came prepared to shop. I had heard such good things but I was disappointed. Anything any good was very expensive. Items that I could get at my Stop & Shop cost way more. I ended up getting cashew butter and that was an indulgence. Some of the sausages looked interesting and maybe now and then I'd get that or some spices but it isn't going to be a regular part of my shopping.
When I went to Trader Joe's I discovered that their andouille sausage is cheaper than the sale price at other supermarkets. I have a lot of it in the house now but I'll never buy it anyplace else again.
I came prepared to buy meat and frozen things, I brought my large cooler and frozen packs. The problem is that if I want to get ice cream home unmelted I can't leave much empty space in the cooler. I managed to do it by adding frozen chocolate croissants and two packages of Irish butter. The butter was way cheaper than at Fairway for exactly the same thing.
I ended up not getting home till ten at night when I first made dinner. Good thing I had a quick dinner planned. I had leftover potato-bacon soup and a kielbasa. The soup still gives me a rush. I love loving my cooking.
Today is my father's birthday. I'm not getting sentimental or choked up. I was debating saying that. Will people judge me for that? If they do they do. I know I love my father and feeling mournful today wouldn't make prove that love him any more. I learned from my parents is that life is for the living.
So what do I write about today? I'm going to catch up on something, once again I'll wade into the waters of religion.
We've all read about the violent reaction to the Koran burning in Afghanistan. Now that there has been time for investigation it appears to have simply been an accident. It wasn't done out of antipathy or even insensitivity. The people burning the Korans didn't know they amongst the huge number of books that were being destroyed because of the fear that they were being used to pass messages among prisoners there were Korans and the people burning didn't recognize them. Would you recognize books written in not just a foreign language but a foreign alphabet? That has not made any difference in Afghanistan. Part of it is not believing that's what happened but part of it is just outrage at the burning regardless of the circumstance.
Some of this is the result of poverty, and ignorance, and more than anything a feeling of powerlessness. That's the perfect breeding ground for violence.
It is also a result of a basic problem with religion, the foundation of morality. Morality should be about how people treat other people. You can't beat the golden rule. Yes I know that many formulations of it come from religion, but many don't. It isn't what separates religion from other sources of morality. What makes religious morality different is that in addition to the way people treat each other it adds adherence to religious precepts to the morality equation. It legitimizes ways of being moral or immoral that are based on dogma, not making people's lives better. In the Koran burning it encourages people to equate violating a religious rule with doing violence to a person. It in fact justifies the use of violence just was we would justify violence to prevent violence against the innocent.
People will argue that it's a misuse or misunderstanding or religion. Well it's one that is misused or misunderstood often and by many people. It's akin to saying "guns don't kill people; people kill people." You make guns plentiful and its inevitable they'll be used to kill. You have enough believers and it's inevitable that a significant number of people will believe like that and act on it.
It isn't unique to Muslims. It happens in Israel. In the Settlers Movement there are those that feel giving up any land is against god's law and violence is justified in preventing it.
It happens here in the US. It allows Santorum to view birth control as a gross immorality. It allows Rush Limbaugh to vilify a young woman for speaking out for birth control. It makes something which does not cause harm to people and equate it with being a bad person. It is used to justify bigotry against gays. If they violate god's law they are doing bad things and have to live with the consequences. To them punishing gays is no different than punishing people that do violence. They are both being immoral.
At the top of this page there's a quote by Steven Weinberg. This is what he's talking about, moral outrage at things that shouldn't generate moral outrage.
Now it's time to eat. I'm going to try my poached eggs on cibatta bread that I bought at Trader Joe's yesterday. Tonight I'm going to see if it works as garlic bread.
Woohoo I got my Seder invite. I know I'll get it but I don't know which night it will be. Here I am ranting about religion while getting happy and excited thinking about the Seder.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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