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
-Bertrand Russell

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

April 28, 2013 - 1:46 p.m.

I'll Get You A Botanic Mechanic

I had a brilliant entry planned last night. Who took it? Oh wait, it's coming back. Now that might sound good but it is fraught with danger. Usually when I say I had a brilliant idea I don't tell it to you so you can't judge it. Now when you read it you'll never again believe me when I say I have a brilliant idea. I might have to switch to saying, "I have a cunning plan."

Yesterday I went to the Brooklyn Botanic (not Botanical) Gardens for the Sakura Matsuri, the Cherry Blossom Festival. I have never been to the Garden before. I've been to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, and I was a regular at the one in Queens. I figured I'd be a regular at the one here in Brooklyn so I became a member. It saved me waiting on line and I even got two passes for friends. So is everyone going to fight to be my best friend now? I hope so, that's the idea.

The festival doesn't just celebrate cherry blossoms but Japanese Culture. That includes anime and manga, That lead to it looking a lot like a Comicon audience.

The last is my favorite and the only one I asked to pose for me. Raise your hand if you can identify not only what it's from but what episode. It's Sarah Jane Smith with K-9 in her last episode, "the Hand of Fear." In the episode she is described as being dressed as Andy Pandy.

I had some reservations about going on a special events day. The point of Gardens is to relax in a bucolic setting not to deal with crowds. I wanted to go with a friend but she couldn't make it but it is the kind of thing I usually do by myself. Part of the experience is being alone with nature and crowds sort of defeat that purpose. But I wanted to see the Cherry Blossoms at peak and figured I'd watch some of the special events, I can go and enjoy the rest of the gardens midweek when I'll have the place more to myself. I saw there was a Japanese marching band and I couldn't resist that. I made sure to tag my friends in Mucca Pazza the circus punk marching band in the pic I posted in Facebook.

There was also a Samurai show.

And of course there were the Cherry Blossoms.

This is my favorite picture. I couldn't actually see the display on my phone but I framed this pretty much the way I wanted.

Here's a slideshow of all the pics.

My legs have been bothering me quite a bit but they did well yesterday till I sat on the ground in the pavilion to watch the marching band and Samurai show. It was very cramped and I ended up in a lot of pain and had to get up and leave, The Samurai show had more bad comedy than sword fighting so it wasn't a big loss. The problem was that I was still in pain after I got up. I had to take it easy the rest of the day. I would go back today but my legs need the rest. I'm keeping them elevated all day till I go out tonight.

When I got home I did something I have only started doing recently, watching things on my computer. First I watched an episode of Fraggle Rock. There was a free download of five episodes in honor of the 30th anniversary and I took advantage of it, I love Fraggles.

Then I watched Captain America. The Avenger Movies seem to be the best free movies on Amazon Prime. I think it was the least popular but it is the one I liked the best, That's really odd as he was my least favorite Avenger, What I liked is that he wasn't annoying or neurotic. He was heroic,. A heroic hero should not be the exception.

The other day I heard two women talking about the Boston bombing, One said, "What's wrong those people? Why cant everyone just get along." I resisted saying, "Part of the problem is people calling them, 'those people.'" That isn't frivolous. That is a symptom of exactly the cause. People do things like that because they feel alienated like they aren't part of the same world. They don't identify with the victims. They see the world as us and them and the victims are them. For many there is no us, just me and them. The unibombers and Oklahoma City bombers and the Boston bombers were not members of terrorists groups. They were troubled people who fixated on something as the cause of their alienation and attacked it.

I was thinking about this when I was in the depths of my despair and alienation. I felt hopeless and I still feel that way now and then. I would never turn to violence I'd much rather dance my cares away but I think the chasm is not as wide as it appears.

In the end the reason we can't all just get along is that we aren't Fraggles. We arent hobbits valuing food and song above gold. We're people

But here's the thing, what is so often forgotten, is that people aren't killers and for the most part we do all get along with each other. 316,000,000 Americans didn't set off bombs at the Boston Marathon. 316,000,000 Americans didn't kill anyone. The reason the bombing is news is that it is unusual, I haven't killed anyone. As far as I know no one I know has killed anyone except perhaps some of the war veterans I've met. Yes there is a lot of war and suffering in the world and when resources are scarce it gets more common but most of us still live in peace. And despite what people feel the odds of dying by violence keep going down. The world is getting more peaceful not less. We just have better communications now so we hear about it in distant places.

People aren't hobbits or Fraggles or Captain America but people created those them out of what is inside us. It is what we aspire to be. People want to be good and that's the first step to being good, I DO value food and song above gold and I know that many, perhaps most, of My Gentle Readers do too. Two brothers set off bombs but thousands of people went into the Brooklyn Botanic Garden yesterday to enjoy nature and art and food and song. They went to celebrate the culture of a nation that my parents generation went to war with, that attacked Pearl Harbor, that we dropped nuclear weapons on and nobody thought twice about it.. They made beautiful gardens and music and anime and clothes. They weren't "those people." They were part of us.

People don't come with instruction manuals. People tell us why we are here but they don't know really know. James Branch Cabell said that people were better than gods. We have no idea who we are or why we are here but we carry on and live our lives anyway. Of course the world would be better if at the end of every day's adventure we did this.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

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Horvendile April 28, 2013
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