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
May 31, 2017 - 10:26 a.m.
It is 8:46 and I'm writing! That should be the entire entry. There was a time this is when I would most often write but those days are along since past. Today I woke up at 7:20, 70 minutes earlier than usual, and I wasted less time than I often do. I'm falling asleep as I write this as I went to sleep after 2 AM but I'll stay awake long enough to finish this without even having to drink a cup of covfefe. That one word will give future linguists the exact date that I wrote this. The rest of you will say, "oh yeah, I sorta remember that." My goal is that I get lots of hits from Google from people searching for "covfefe." My readership numbers have crashed and I have no shame. Don't judge me. It's all covfefe.
I got a late start yesterday and never made it into the City to pick up my mail. I did get to Aldi and loaded up on meat. It's where I buy the bulk of my food now. I wish it were a bit more convenient to get to. It's only about 5 miles away but it takes me almost 40 minutes by bus.
I have a new show to binge watch, Marvel's Agents of Shield. Why did nobody tell me that it was a Joss Whedon show? Clearly none of you love me. It's far from his best work but it still has his touch. I'm happy it doesn't have the anti-science bias of Firefly and especially Doll House. I love Joss but would not be shocked if he were an anti-vaxxer. When is he going to write a Broadway or Hollywood musical? I'm looking through my old diary ideas. I have no idea what this one means; "Standing Rock meme, lead poisoning, and Joseph Kony." Those topics usually associated with each other. I guess it would help if I remembered what the meme was. I might have meant checking into Standing Rock on Facebook to foil the authorities. I did that then discovered it was nonsense. The Kony meme got huge after he stopped being a major threat so there is some similarity there. But lead poisoning? Was there ineffective activism associated with lead poisoning that was memified? Maybe. Let's act as if there were; that gives me something to write about.
The Beatles said, "We all want to change the world," and they were right. What we don't all want to do is put in the time and effort to change the world. The Kony story is an example of one way that people are lazy, they don't do the research. Kony was a horror but by the time he was plastered all over Facebook his horrors had been contained. There were many worse humanitarian disasters, led by people as evil as he, killing more people. It was terrible prioritizing. We want to change the world but we should put our efforts where they can do the most good. We are not going to solve all the world's problems.
Focusing on lesser problems and ignoring greater ones is almost the norm when it comes to the environment; climate change is the one exception. That is a slow motion worldwide disaster that is getting attention. The message is not getting through to many people but that's not from want of trying but because we haven't found the best method of communicating it yet. More often people focus on something that pull on our heartstrings even if the effect on the world is small. Remember that lion that was killed? I'm glad I forgot his name. It was a sad story but not a crisis and not worth so much attention. The biggest threat to wild animals is habitat destruction. When was the last time you saw a meme about the destruction of forests to make room for ranching and farming? People will focus on a local story that affects sympathetic people or animals and not the regional and global stories that are far more serious.
People will also do what I did with Standing Rock, do something totally ineffective whose only benefit is making the person that does it feel good. It's the illusion of activism, not activism. This is where I don't live up to my own standards. I am well-informed and know what's important but I then don't do enough about it. Sure, I've marched but I have not organized. I am not part of the grass roots. I'm not lobbying congress, the state, and municipal legislatures. What I do is sit here and write. It is something but not enough. The only credit that I give myself is for knowing that it's not enough. I have a few friends that know that posting Facebook memes is not how create change. They are actively working on making the world better. I admire them. If you are one of them be proud of yourself. You're not going to change the world yourself. There is a very good chance that you won't see the results of your good work. That doesn't mean there are no results. Global warming is caused by billions of people getting their energy from the burning of fossil fuels. No one person contributes that much, but it adds up to disaster. One activist doesn't contribute much but they can collectively avoid disaster.
I'm great at running other people's lives and not so good at my own. I finished this before 10:30. I'm going to eat breakfast. You go back to whatever it is that you were doing. But after breakfast and after you finish what you are doing let's try and change the world.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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