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 28, 2016 - 12:51 p.m.
I'm sleepy but I want to get my day going and not take a nap. I could make coffee and breakfast first. Hey Emily is the coffee ready? Maybe I can teleport back to Southborough for breakfast and then come back and write. I could do that but not without a boost from coffee; it's a catch 22. Making my way off the couch let alone making the coffee will be difficult without coffee. OK, wish me luck. I'm going to try and make breakfast before writing. If you don't hear back from me send out a search party. I'll be sleeping someplace.
I'm back, I had two and a half cups of coffee! I had sausageeggandcheese on a mini-sub roll. I must finish this before the caffeine wears off. I had catching up with Jane to do so I did not race up here after breakfast. I still feel it coursing through my veins. I'm pretty sure I can fly and move things with my mind now. Let's see if I can write.
Yesterday I wrote on the bus ride home. It was an epic journey. I left Van Merc Hill at 11:45 AM; Joe drove me to South Station. I got there about 40 minutes before the bus was scheduled to leave. I had an A ticket which gets to board first so I figured I'd sit comfortably for a while before I got on the line to board. On the way down, there were only about 5 other A tickets. When I got to the gate I found a long line for A tickets. I still got a window seat towards the front so there was no harm done.
I have driven from Boston to New York on Thanksgiving Sunday before. It's usually an ordeal. When we left, Google Maps thought it wasn't going to be bad, 4½ hours. That didn't last. I started getting alerts on my phone about accidents. I have OK Google so it does that whether or not I plot the trip on Google Maps. It knows where I am and that the information might be useful. Some people find that creepy; I love it. I don't love the traffic. It started to crawl. I thought it would be 6 hours but forgot that the bus can't go on the Henry Hudson Parkway so the fastest route is to cross the George Washington Bridge into Jersey then cross back across the Lincoln Tunnel which leaves us right near where the bus drops us off. That cost another 20 minutes. Then once I got off the bus I had to take the to the to the to the very last stop. I lucked out in one thing. Jane was out and offered to pick me up in her car so I didn't have to wait for the bus back to City Island. I finally walked in the door at 9:05, nine hours and twenty minutes after I left. I could have come from Europe on that time. If I had a car it would have taken me about five and a half hours as Southborough is closer than Boston and City Island is closer to Southborough than Manhattan. It would still have been a long trip and I'd have been busy driving the entire trip instead of blogging, reading the Times, and napping while listening to music. More importantly the benefits I had from the trip were well worth the traveling time.
Now for something completely different a man with a tape player up his nose. I wish. No, in the wake of his death I'm going to talk about the Castro effect; Castro makes people stupid. He's dead but the effect lives on. Castro makes people stupid across the political spectrum. He personally lowered the IQ of American foreign policy by 20 points. He was the leader of a small Caribbean nation and we treated him like an existential threat. Americans could go to Haiti through the horrors of the Duvalier regimes, Papa Doc and Baby Doc. They could invest in the country. Haitians could use American banks. Even Soviets could do that during the height of the Cold War but we had laws to stop all these things happening with Cuba. Hell, we tried to kill Castro with exploding cigars. Castro's name was mentioned and the best and brightest minds became the Three Stooges. The great irony is that everything we did strengthened Castro's hand. He could claim the mantle of bulwark against American imperialism. We magnified his threat and that magnified his importance. It let him blame all of Cuba's ills on the American embargo. It's no coincidence that he was the longest ruling head of government in the world. Queen Elizabeth is the only one that beat him in time as head of state.
Then many on the left reacting to the idiocy of not even the right, but American government under all administrations, came to revere Castro; totally ignoring his atrocities. People forget that the US turned against him not when he announced he was a Communist. That was his reaction to the American rejection. Americans were horrified by his summary execution of 500 people when he took power. The stated object of the revolution was restoring democracy, instead he just changed the dictator from Batista to himself. He was a better dictator than Batista. He did do great things in terms of education and health care. But the price was the stifling of all dissent and stifling of the economy. He persecuted and imprisoned gays. That does not sound like someone for the left to love. Yet the Castro effect made people stupid and they ignored all the bad things, just as it caused the American government to ignore all the good things
I've seen more intelligence shows after his death with far more nuanced evaluations of him than while he was alive but I'm still seeing the rejecting of reason and facts by so many on the left and right.
Now Donald Trump is having the same effect. Republicans are defending him for doing that they'd crucify any Democrat for doing, things that they'd crucify most people for doing. They thought Hillary should go to jail for influence peddling from the Clinton Foundation which didn't enrich her at all but accept the President Elect already personally profiting from his election. Foreign governments are doing personal business with him to curry favor. Without evidence, he said that he won the popular vote and the official results show otherwise because millions of people illegally voted. They are willing to ignore these things.
Meanwhile back on the left I see people reacting to his election by demonstrating a Trumpian rejection of reality. With a similar disregard for the truth they think they can stop him from being president. It's not going to happen. Accept the things you cannot change. Save your energy for fighting his political agenda and his using the government for his personal profit. That should keep us busy for the next four years.
Today's idiot story. I had trouble planning my day. I thought I was seeing Front Country and Michael Daves tonight at 9 PM which pretty much meant going into the City for bagels, PO box, and shopping, coming home, then turning around not that long afterward and heading back into the city. But the music is tomorrow. I knew the date and put it wrong in my calendar. I caught it because Michael Daves is always on Tuesday. I'm seeing him next week with Critter and Brittany Haas so I might not stay for him anyway. I don't want to miss the last bus to City Island. No way I can miss the three of them playing together. That should pretty much be awesome, 16 strings of virtuosity.
The coffee is wearing off; that's my signal to wrap this up. Vaya con Monstruo Volador Espaguetis mis amigos.
Best Albums of 2016 - December 04, 2016
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