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
November 21, 2017 - 11:31 a.m.
I finally got to my PO box yesterday. I got a notification that I had mail while I was at NERFA. I figured I'd have a full box. Instead I had two pieces, both asking me for donations. One wanted me to include the organization in my will. They are going to be sorely disappointed. That was a total waste, yet I headed straight home. I could have stopped at Trader Joe's, but I'll do that today. I'm going to Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn to see Abbie Gardner. I'm leaving for my annual Thanksgiving visit to Joe & Emily tomorrow, but I need eggs for my return. When I'm there I have eggs from their chickens.
My Mediterranean decadence is getting out of hand. For dinner I had hot dogs. I turned the rolls into garlic rolls with cheese. Pretty soon peanut butter sandwiches will be the only bread that I eat that isn't garlic toast. Nobody is kissing me anyway so why not?
I made more progress ripping CDs yesterday. I still have a bunch and then I have download cards. I'm picking what to listen to pretty much at random. I have such a backlog. The albums I picked so far today are acts I already know I love, Banjo Nickaru and Shawna Caspi. I'm not discovering anything except how they are getting even better.
I had another adventure in reading email. Once again, the email I was afraid to read said exactly the opposite of what I feared. Sometimes emails from people I love are the hardest to read; I often expect them to say, "stop bothering me, you are such a pest." Do you like hearing what I tell my shrink? Are you saying, "I'm going to stop reading Wise Madness, he is so annoying?" I suspect I'm not the only one that believes many contradictory things about how others feel about them.
I'm going to discuss the kind of thing that gets me furious that I don't often write about. There was an op-ed in yesterday's New York Times, Attica: It's Worse Than We Thought. It's not about current conditions but those at the time of the riot in the early 70s. I marched to protest the way it was put down when the convicts were on trial. It was the first time I saw William Kunstler in person. I deplored the conditions at Attica that led to the riot. I still deplore them, but that's not what got me furious. It was the writer of the op-ed, Heather Ann Thompson and the New York Times for publishing it. She accuses the prison of Mengele like experiments giving the prisoners leprosy. Before I did any research, I knew she didn't know what she is talking about. She called leprosy, "highly contagious;" it isn't. It's one of the least infectious diseases and we've known that for my entire life. She's getting her notions from pre-scientific fears. She could have checked that in minutes if she had any concern for the truth. This is what the CDC has to say about it, Hansen's Disease (Leprosy). Then I read the comments and knowledgeable people tore the piece to shreds. The doctor that she wrote about died and she treated that as if that meant we could never learn the truth. He had co-authors. All she had to do was read the paper they wrote to find that he didn't give the patients leprosy. She wanted to smear the prison and didn't want the facts to get in the way. There were so many legitimate problems; it's why I protested. Why make something up? This is post-truth journalism. This being acceptable is a big part of how Trump got elected.
I'm going to climb down off my high horse now; my eyes were starting to glow. Please read the op-ed and then the comments and learn.
Now for breakfast. I think I'm going to try something new, poached eggs ala Horvendile on a waffle. I will resist making it a garlic waffle, this time. I know it's coming.
I'm m Not Throwing Away My Shot - November 27, 2017
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