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
August 12, 2017 - 3:44 p.m.
I don't know who is writing this. It clearly is not me as no matter how much I suggest I write a second entry, I never do. This must be some sort of Wise Madness Bot. I hope it does a good job as it has my password and will post it on my blog. These pronouns are difficult, the language was not developed to handle AI imitating a human being. By the way as it's imitating me AI stands for Artificial Idiot.
Now it's time to go back a week to Saturday at Falcon Ridge. I'm sticking here to technical definitions as I'm going to start by covering the most dramatic episode of the festival that I somehow forgot to write about. What do I mean "somehow?" We know how, I'm an idiot. Damn this bot is good.
At around 3AM on Friday night/Saturday morning, The End of America was gracing the Budgiedome with their mellifluous harmonies. They were interrupted by angry shouts approaching the dome soon followed by the gentleman doing the angry shouting. I will not attempt to duplicate what he said, it was filled with obscenities and orc talk. His tent was directly across the road from us and the music was keeping him awake. Remember this is not loud rock music, at least not after the Gaslight Tinkers who were on far earlier. This was Miles & Mafale, followed by Ryanhood, then The End of America. No matter, he was furious. He said he had no warning that there would be music late into the night. We explained that this was not quiet camping and that the program clearly marks where that is. He said he has been coming for four years and never had this problem and we explained that we have been doing this for 18 years and been in the same spot since the festival moved to Dodd's Farm. He kept ranting and roaring. Without previous discussion, Paul and I took the same tack, we did not escalate. We did not even respond in time. We stayed calm and quiet and let him vent. A few other people tried to help. It does not help to say, "I hear you." That comes off as patronizing and when you are screaming at the top of your lungs you know that you are being heard. Eventually we simply outlasted him. As he wasn't getting anything back from us he ran out of gas. I have to give kudos to Trevor, Brendon, and James, for quietly staying on stage and gently strumming the entire time. When our belligerent neighbor left the calmed the waters with Crosby Still & Nash's Helplessly Hoping; that was perfect. They are now official Heroes of the Budgiedome. That's going to be a series on the CW next season. The Belligerent Neighbor made a peace offering through Camp Steeple. There was no repeat the next night so we'll blame this on sleep deprivation and a band night.
I'd like you to contrast our reaction to the Belligerent Neighbor which led to a peaceful resolution to President Trump's reaction to South Korea's Belligerent Neighbor to the North. Somewhere it got drilled into me to treat angry people with respect if you want them to treat you with respect. Notice that I was careful to call POTUS, "President Trump." I have not always done that. I never called him anything insulting or even 45, but I often left off the honorific, "President." I did the same with Obama and Clinton, but you need to be more careful with those you are in conflict with.
The same is true for those in Charlottesville. Those that attacked the white supremacists with pepper spray made things worse. Better to be the wall that the racists beat their heads against than a cudgel to hit them. They want to get a reaction and nothing dulls their energy more than calm. What would Gandhi do?
Now to move on to Saturday proper. I had seven things circled on my program taking place over four stages starting before 3PM on Saturday. I made it to none of them. In fact, I had to run down the hill to make Joe Crookston's set on the Main Stage at 3:15. I thought it started at 4:00. It's that being an idiot thing again. I did make it. If it were up to me Joe would have been the headliner of the Festival, he was clearly the best one there. There are not many events that Joe's at where's he's not at least arguably the best one there. This was extra special as he was joined by his 13-year-old daughter, Josie, on electric guitar. I watched the entire set from the photographer's area in front of the stage. I needed to not only get pictures but be up close and personal. I first saw Joe ten years earlier when he was an Emergo and played the Budgiedome Open Micless. It was our anniversary. Joe did not disappoint. This was special.
Josie is a chip off the old block. People are going to start asking Joe if he's Josie's father instead of the other way around.
I listened to The Adam Ezra Group from the lounge. I heard very good things about them but they didn't do it for me. That does not mean they are bad, this is about personal connection.
I didn't stay for their entire set as I had to make my way to the workshop stage to see Bandemonium with Upstate Rubdown and The Slambovian Circus of Dreams. I am not a Slamboviaphile but their regular guitarist Sharkey couldn't be there and his place was taken by Pete and Maura Kennedy. I am a Jangle Poet. It was just worth it watching Pete and Maura, especially Maura, loving being Slambovians.
Pete and Maura flanking Joziah in traditional Slambovian attire
That was it for me on the stages on Saturday. I never went down at night. I wanted to see Brother Sun but they were given the terrible post dinner-break time slot when I was still eating. I did hear them and what followed from the top of the hill.
The festival booked someone unusual for what was the traditional headliner slot, the penultimate act on Saturday night, Sawyer Fredericks. He's an 18-year-old that won on The Voice two years ago. We sat in the Budgiedome listening and it felt like he had one sad song that he sang over and over. He was the king of the drone. I found him a bit painful.
I wanted to go down and see the Slambovians on Main Stage but I was held prisoner by my friends in the Budgiedome. Yeah, that's it. It's not that I couldn't get myself moving or that I was having too much fun with my friends. No, they tied me to a chair while they entertained me with delightful conversation.
I'll leave the Budgiedome session to my next entry. I might leave that for the bot too. I'm not going out tonight. Maybe I'll finally get around to watching The Incredible Hulk. I started the other night but only got about 15 minutes into it. Some people try to see the complete plays of William Shakespeare, I go for all the Marvel movies. Don't judge me. I'm just a bot.
No, You Can't Do What They Can - August 17, 2017
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