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
January 04, 2017 - 6:33 p.m.
I might not have time to finish this. I have an hour before I leave but I also should shower. That has higher priority than writing so I should shower first. I'm off to therapy. I do my best thinking in the shower so perhaps I'll come out with something to write about. Remind me to shave too. If I leave without shaving, it's your fault.
I'm back and I shaved so you are off the hook. When you haven't shaved for a few days then shave with a sharp razor it feels good. It still feels good and I got dressed since I shaved. Taking a shower feels good afterward too. Why is that? Don't say, "you feel clean." Clean is not a feeling. What you are saying is that you feel the way you do after a shower. It's a tautology. What is causing the sensation? Welcome to how my mind works. That is the purpose of this blog.
I just got out of the shower so I should remember what I was thinking about in there. One thread was political/social. I distilled part of that into how you should train yourself to think. When you communicate, consider your goal. If you are trying to convince people to act in a certain way stay focused on that. Even if the way they are acting now upsets you attacking them makes them less likely to change not more. I have a Facebook friend that says racially insensitive things. People will comment that he's a racist. That doesn't make him stop. It makes him double down on what he said. He rationalizes it. Nobody wants to think of themselves as something bad. When you place them in a "bad" group you've lost them. It's what gets me upset at so many atheists. They attack religion and religious people as if that will somehow make be atheists or improve how atheists are treated. It does just the opposite. If you are trying to convince people venting to make yourself feel better does harm, not good.
I also thought about music. I often think about music. Shower thinking is never linear it goes in several directions at once. This is an oversimplification. So was the political discussion.
I cautioned against venting before but venting has its place. It does feel good. What feels very good is when someone else shares your dislike for a musician. Sharing love of a musician is wonderful but we all know and openly admit it. It's why there are fan groups and always have been. Sharing dislike is different. Not liking people that your crowd like can have a social cost. It's often done in hushed tones and in code. It is very much following the model that gays were forced to use, and in many places, are still forced to use to find each other. Then when you find someone you share something taboo. Not that taboo as I'll talk about some of it openly here and in other places. Take Dawes, please. I love finding other people that hate them too. Hate is too strong a word. Dawes isn't worth hating. What I hate is that people don't see that they are not worth having strong emotions about.
Some I can't mention here, like "The Act." We know these people or know people that know them. It becomes personal. I never want anyone to feel bad. I'd be mortified if my criticism made someone unhappy, unless it was constructive criticism. Even then I'm very careful. That being said, I got great joy twice in the last two months when I described an act that I don't like, without naming them, and the person I was talking to immediately recognized who I meant. I got validation. This wasn't all in my head. That's great in all contexts, not just criticism. When I saw Ben Cosgrove the other day I said to Sandy, sitting next to me, "Doesn't he look like he could be Sam Reider's brother? She saw it and so did her husband Richard. Yay! I'm not delusional.
I'm back. I know I didn't tell you I was leaving. I had to rush off to therapy. I'm back. I've been back for an hour and a half. I forgot that I hadn't finished or posted this. I also forgot what I meant to write next. I'll just write what comes to me now.
On the ride home from therapy, I remembered something I mean to write about the last few days but forgot. I knew I had some encounter with an annoying person on the subway but couldn't remember what it was. Now I do. On my way down to Coco's on New Year's Day I got on the ; the car reeked of marijuana. I looked around and nobody was smoking. I still knew where it came from. The girls across from me were stoned out of their gourds. My guess is that they were on their way home from New Year's Eve partying. One of them just kept quiet and still. The other one was belligerent. She verbally abused other people on the train. Then she'd pass out for a bit. When she woke up the abuse started up again. I don't know if they had been smoking on the train before I got on or if their clothes had absorbed so much pot that you could smell it from across the car.
The reason I'm musing about things instead of writing about my day is that I didn't leave the house yesterday. The biggest excitement was making dinner. I found some chicken thighs in the freezer. I thought I had finished them. I made jerk chicken and roasted potatoes. I had a treat for the bread. I bought half-baked rolls from Trader Joe's. you pop them in the oven for 10 minutes to finish them. Then you can eat them hot out of the oven. That's how bread should always be eaten. It's so good. I had another one this morning with my omelet. I wonder if they will work with poached eggs.
Usually I have breakfast after I write this, today it will be dinner. I'm having hot dogs, I have to decide how to make the potatoes. I haven't made mashed in ages. I don't have half & half but I can make due with milk. What am I going to write about tomorrow? I'll cross that tunnel when I come to it.
Presenters, this is whom you should present - January 09, 2017
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