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
June 08, 2015 - 11:31 a.m.
WHETHER I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, this blog must show. Yes I am devoid of shame and have sunk to plagiarism as a mechanism to get this started. What's worse is that it worked.
Yesterday I went to Coco and Bruce's house for a party. My plan was to walk there, it's only 3.84 miles. I can do that in an hour and a quarter easy. Too bad I wasn't read an hour and a quarter before the party. I was too busy writing Wise Madness, an entry I was particularly proud of that not many people read. Know what you can do? Go read it now, It's The End of the World ... And I Feel Fine. It's about seeing Jean Rohe and the End of the World Show so you really do need to read it. You would if you could see the disappointed look on my face if you don't. I really am shameless.
I didn't even leave myself time to get there by subway, at least according to Google Maps. While Google Maps is great for some reason it does not know how to get to Coco's. It forgets the Franklin Ave Shuttle. It also forgets that I'm compulsively on time and reality changes to makes sure that I'm not late. I got the Utica Ave and slipped on the seconds before the door closed. More like 1 second. I waited maybe two minutes for the . The doors to the were closing before I got there but someone was in the door. It opened to let that person in and I got my arm in before it closed and it opened to let me in. I was actually set to get there early. Then unannounced the train bypassed the station. As it zoomed by I had to figure out what to do. I could go one stop pass and walk back or wait for the next train back. I was brilliant; I used my phone app to see how long I had to wait for the next train. It was four minutes so I waited. The party started at 2:00 which is when I arrived. Yes I was rushing for the theoretical start time of a party and of course was the first one there. But that gave me time to run a fun errand for Coco. I went to the store to pick up the balloons. I got to walk through the streets carrying something like 25 helium balloons. Have you ever see the The Red Balloon? I was very disappointed that I wasn't carried off into the air. It wasn't even enough force to life my hand. See movies are better than life.
The party was in honor of Coco and Bruce's daughter's birthday. I forgot to ask if I can mention her name. I am somewhat reluctant to mention children by name. I have at times but I shouldn't.
It was a party so the important thing is the food. Bruce grilled. I had my favorite meal, hot dogs and hamburgers. I will never outgrow loving that. Never. Do not even think of it. It's not happening. More amazingly I had a beer! It was a Brooklyn Blast IPA. I pointed out to Coco that she has probably never seen me drink. She thought it might just be a prop and I wouldn't finish it. But I did! Hours later, but I finished it. I also had ice cream. Now I'm wondering if a beer ice cream float would be good. What do you think?
Even though to my surprise none of my musician friends were there; there was still music. I sang. What do a bunch of young people, I am thinking in their twenties, sing? Why the Beatles of course. So I knew the songs. They sang other things too. They didn't know that the working title of Yesterday was Scrambled Eggs. We geezers had to tell them that.
I didn't stay too late as I wanted to walk home. The weather was still perfect. I charted the course on Google Maps and recorded it on Map My Walk. I didn't do this deliberately but I walked right past Carolann and Mark's apartment and the medical school where Fred teaches. I knew I'd pass Carolann's I did not know where the school was exactly and was somewhat surprised when I saw it. I haven’t been there since I visited Aubrey when he was in medical school. It's so funny he was all worried then about the neighborhood I had to drive through. Now I just walk through it. To be fair there is a lot less crime now. Still I wasn't afraid then.
I was going to write more. I used to always switch to politics or philosophy after giving the events of the day now I usually don't. I'm not happy that I don't. It's about not wanting to do the work of writing coherently about something controversial. You know what my writing that did? Convinced me to write it. I am not promising coherence and I'm not going to research the central news article that inspired it.
Last week I saw people on Facebook posting a link to something Bernie Sanders said. Now I love Bernie but this really disturbed me. It was something to the effect that everything would be great except that a small group of rich powerful people are against the policies that everyone else is for. That's wrong on two levels, at least. The first is that people aren't for progressive policies. I was just reading how people are overwhelmingly against raising the minimum age to $15/hr. though they are for raising it to $10.10. And who is against it? The people making just about $15/hr. People are ill or misinformed. People don't think things true.
The second problem is that it's scapegoating. Saying everything would be great if it weren't for those people is wrong no matter if those people are Jews, blacks, immigrants, or the rich. They are all people. Some are good. Some are not so good. Most are a mixture. Not many are sociopaths without a conscience. Just because someone's interests are opposed to yours doesn't make them evil.
The real issue is not that the rich and corporations are evil. It's that they have outsized influence. Some of that influence is through enriching politicians but not most. When they contribute to a campaign the politician isn't grateful because he's making money for him to spend. It's because it gives him money to sell himself to voters. Voters get swayed to vote against their own interests. Why? Because they are ill and misinformed. But there are limits on it. They couldn't make people want to privatize social security. They can get people to be against Obamacare, just not against the benefits of Obamacare which means it's here to stay if the Supreme Court doesn't destroy it.
I want to make it clear that I love Bernie Sanders but that doesn't mean he's always right. Pretty sure he agrees with that sentiment. I'd like to think that he does know better and was trying to energize the base. That's not an excuse, it doesn't make it right, but it does mean I don't think he'd be a bad president. If he was in office he'd do what's right.
OK now for food. Food can always anchor Wise Madness. There's no ambiguity in breakfast.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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