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
September 06, 2012 - 1:26 p.m.
I've been having a very hard time getting going every day. I pretty much have not been able to get out of the house till the evening. That isn't good. I have my first day teaching tomorrow and I want to get to school today to do some preparation. I hope I can get that done. I have a few other things to do once I'm in the City. Then tonight I'm going to see Iris Dement at the Living Room. It's a WFUV marquis member concert. I'm not a marquis member but I'm going to be Jim's date. I hope he doesn't expect me to put out. I never get tired of that joke.
If I want to get that stuff done I better finish this fast. It would be easier if I knew what I was going to write about. Once again I didn't do anything yesterday. I also didn't watch the Democratic Convention. As political as I am I hardly ever watch political speeches. Even when I agree with the speaker I find them a self serving waste of time. I heard such good things about Clinton's speech though that I'm listening to it on YouTube while I write this. It is good but if I missed it I wouldn't feel a hole in my life. The best part was stating the simple fact that twice as many jobs were produced when Democrats were president than Republicans. I always felt that simply stating the economic history should be the centerpiece of every Democratic campaign. The economy has consistently done better under Democrats than Republicans.
Of course in the face of these facts the political hipsters will come up with quibbles because it's just so uncool to think there is a difference between the parties or to accept any fact as a fact.
I read a "fact checker's" take on Warren's speech and takes her to task for saying about Romney's tax plan.
"He wants to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires," she said. "But for middle-class families who are hanging on by their fingernails? His plans will hammer them with a new tax hike of up to $2,000."
What's the gripe? This is based on the assumption that Romney is lying about keeping the relative tax burdens of economic classes the same and he might be lying about the balancing the budget or not touching the capital gains tax. So it's calling a Democrat a liar for not taking into account that we aren't sure which promise Romney will break though we know he has to break at least one of them. Raise your hand if you think there is a possibility that Romney will choose to raise the capital gains tax? I didn't think so. Balancing the budget is the central thrust of Romney's economic plan so he'll either do that or he's a total scoundrel who is running on something he won't even try and do. So that leaves raising the taxes on the middle class. I have to admit I don't think that's what he'd do. I think he's a total scoundrel who cares about reducing taxes on the rich and making sure the government doesn't spend any money helping poor people balancing the budget is nothing but a weapon he uses to attack the spending so he doesn't come out sounding like Scrooge.
Oh that reminds me. I love quotes. You see I always have some at the top of the page. Yesterday I came up with an aphorism I really liked so I'm going to repeat it here.
That is Reagan's lasting accomplishment, to turn the miserly Scrooge into a hero and Bob Cratchett into a villain. They try very hard to not think about Tiny Tim. He's an inconvenient truth.
If you'd like to use that feel free. You can even clean up the syntax.
Enough of politics; I'm going to write a bit about myself and my anxiety. As you might have gathered it's getting bad again. It's why I'm staying home so much. It's why I've been taking so long to write every day.
It's so hard for even me to understand. I don't do things that I know I'll be better off if I do. I might even enjoy doing them. I hurt people that I care about because don't do them. So why don't I? It's because I can't. I can no more will myself to do them that I can will myself to run a marathon. I could get myself to the starting line and start running but I'd soon have to stop. I wouldn't be able to take another step. The furthest I've run is three miles and I was in a lot better shape in those days.
The subjective feelings of anxiety are similar. I get short of breath, my heart pounds, I feel if I try and take another step I'll collapse. I haven't actually collapsed but I have sat without moving for an hour.
I'm much better off now than when I was homeless because I don't have that rational reason to feel anxious. I'd doubt the mental health of anyone that wasn't anxious under the circumstances. But I'm still a long way from being better. I'm considering changing therapists. It's odd because I'm relating better to her now and I like the approach she's taking. She's trying to be get me to take practical steps to deal with things. The problem is that talking about those steps makes me anxious and I know that I can distract her and get her talking about something else. That's the problem with being smart but not in control of myself. I can use my own intelligence against me. I need a jujitsu therapist that can turn my avoidance strategies back on me and make me deal with things. I do try and do that myself but it's very difficult. Perhaps not running a marathon but running three miles, the limits of my ability. Too often it's just beyond my ability.
Now I really do have to get moving. I have places to go and people to see.
I have to put in an addendum. I didn't post this right away. I started wasting time. Why? I had anxiety about what I wrote and anxiety about what to write in the blurb. It was only the lure of writing about the recursive nature of the anxiety that got me back to posting this.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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