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
October 13, 2015 - 12:18 p.m.
It's a bad vision day so this is difficult to write. Not knowing what I'm going to write makes it even more difficult. The mind is the key, Euler could write great mathematical works when he was blind and Beethoven could write the glorious Ninth Symphony while he was deaf. Oh and I'm also sleepy. I’m powering through this and will finish it with brute force if I have to.
Yesterday I did very little. I went to therapy then came almost straight home. I did stop for bagels. Bagels still make me happy. It was not the most productive therapy session. I was tempted to sit there and say nothing. I didn't want to think about things. I still don't which makes it difficult to write. I want to close my eyes and … . Wow I closed my eyes there and didn’t quite fall asleep but I hit the hypnagogia. I give up. I'm making coffee. I am now drinking the magical elixir. Let's see if that helps.
So the good things about yesterday involve food. First I actually cut the bagels and put them in the freezer last night. Sadly for me that's an accomplishment. I made my favorite dinner, sweet garlic chicken and a shai hulud potato. What's noteworthy is that both came out the best they ever did. I did one thing different, perhaps that's the reason. The chicken should be cooked at 425° F and the potato at 450° F. What I usually do is cook them both at 437° F. The potato cooks for a lot longer so this time cooked it at 450° till I put the chicken in and only then lowered it to 437°. I also cooked them in the same glass dish. Not sure if that makes a difference but it should. I have usually made them in disposable foil pans. The glass retains a lot of heat. The chicken starts sizzling when I put it in the dish while I pour on the sweet garlic sauce. I have a question. I said glass but more specifically it's a pyrex, it looks like this.
How do you clean that? I soak it and even then have to scrub it with steel wool. That's a lot of work. Is there an easier way? There has to be. I love the way it cooks and I love not using something disposable but I hate the cleanup.
Ooo the coffee is working, The cobwebs are clearing. The cobwebs are clearing is the name of my Ungoliant cover band. No there's' no band Ungoliant, at least that I know of, but there should be. I'm tossing that out there to my musician friends. And of course there is a real band, here's their bandcamp:
Yesterday was Columbus day and as ever I have to give some balance to the discussion. I recently talked to someone, I forgot who, who didn't know what all the problems people had with Columbus were about. So I explained how he was brutal and cruel even by the low standards of the Spanish at the time. He treated the indigenous people atrociously, enslaving them. I do object to calling it genocide, he wanted them alive to be slaves. I've always wondered why in school it was never explained why the indigenous peoples were unsuitable for slavery and they ended up going through the trouble and expense of importing slaves from Africa. It's because the New Worlders had no resistance to Old World diseases. They weren't "less hardy" an expression used in one of my text books. The indigenous Americans were not so much murdered as exposed to diseases which killed them.
But that’s not the point I wanted to make. Columbus was morally despicable, he was not a good man, but he was a Great Man. There are quite a few of those in history. Even though he never realized he didn't reach Asia he was a remarkable navigator and leader of men. What he accomplished was not "discovering America" but discovering a way to cross the Atlantic so that the Old World could be connected to the New. What he did was map the winds and currents so that others could make the trip easier than he did that first crossing. That profoundly and permanently changed the world. Leif Erikson might have done it first but that had no permanent effect. Why didn't the Viking's bring the diseases that Columbus did? Why weren't New Worlders immune by the time of Columbus? I never read an explanation of that.
Notice I used terms like "indigenous Americans" and New Worlders; I'm not happy with any of the other terms we use. I grew up with Indians and when talking about the tribes in what is now the US I will still use that. Sure it's wrong but everybody knows they have nothing to do with India and it's what's been use through most of history and is not derogatory. I hate the term "Native Americans." That means someone born in America. I'm a native American just like I'm a native New Yorker. That's how the word is used in other circumstances. Indigenous is used to mean exactly what we are trying to say. "Aboriginal Americans" would work just as well.
I am not beating myself up because I can't remember the term the Greeks used for the pre-Dorian invasion Greeks. The Greek speaking people that were in Greece before the Dorians. The Athenians considered themselves that but they were wrong. I am thinking pelagic which means having to do with the sea which makes some sense as the Dorians had no word for it as they came from inland. But it's not right. Ahhh, I found it, "Pelasgian" You see why I thought "pelagic" I also see that nobody knows if there was a Dorian invasion. My ancient Greek history professor never taught us that was in doubt. Are you surprised that I took ancient Greek history? To me that was one of the great things about college that I could really study things like that, not just get it from popular culture. I am not a classicist that thinks that everyone should have to read Herodotus and Thucydides but I do think that I had to read them.
Instead of going into other fun courses I took in college I'm going to make brunch. Food always wins when I blog. Bacon and eggs it is.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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