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 22, 2016 - 2:47 p.m.
Today's blog was supposed to be a photo essay but the demise of Picasa has made that so much more difficult. It would take me all day; so instead I'm going to show you an animated GIF with all the pictures in it and link to the album.
Yesterday's plan was simple, go to my PO Box, then get bagels, then go to Trader Joe's. I only accomplished one of those things. First, I left later than I wanted to. Then the bus was late, then the train was delayed so it was too late to get to the post office. I went straight to Union Square to get my bagels. Then I decided that didn't really need anything from Trader Joe's as I'm going away from tomorrow till Sunday. I essentially spent three hours, round trip, to just get half-priced bagels. I felt the need to justify the trip but I also wanted to get home and make dinner and more importantly make pumpkin spice maple frosted scones. I headed back to the subway. Then the entire trip became worthwhile. You might have seen pictures of New York's Democracy Wall. Following the election people started putting notes, mainly on post-its, on the walls of the Union Square Station. I hadn't walked past that section when I got there. I did on the way home. It was like a trip to a very busy art museum. All the pictures I've seen were just of the wall from a distance, you couldn't see the individual notes. I went through it examining the individual notes. I realized that was today's Wise Madness so I took pictures of sections of the wall where you can read what people wrote. I always planned on letting them speak for themselves and not captioning them so perhaps just linking to the album will work. It will if you follow the link and go through the pictures one at a time, preferably at full screen so you can read everything. You'll find all sorts of messages, some anti-Trump, others pro-unity, and some pro-Trump. There's a plea from a homeless person. George Soros's name appears quite a bit. He is the current incarnation of the International Jewish Conspiracy.
Here's the animated Gif.
Now you see you'll need more time to look at the pictures and see them larger. Follow this link and you can see them at your own pace. Democracy Wall Album
What I see on Facebook and hear in person are people lamenting the state of America and the American people. "How could we elect Trump, an unprincipled racist, xenophobe, and misogynist?" I'll address that at some later date. That's not my point today. My point is that's only one view of America. He received less than half the votes. Yes, there are racists, xenophobes, and misogynists but there are also the people that posted on this wall. Read them, for the most part the messages are positive. All these people cared enough to post something. In much of the world the entire wall would not be allowed to exist. This was not authorized. The MTA could have legally and justifiably taken them all down as they try to eliminate all graffiti. But they didn't. They let people express themselves for all to see. This is so New York. It is so America. One of the notes thanks New York City. It was probably from a tourist.
New York, America, humanity, is made up of individual people There is good and bad in all of us. The state of New York, America, and humanity is determined but what parts of each person are expressed, just as elections so often are determined by turnout. It is also based on what we choose to focus on. There are evils that need to be fought and that we will fight. There is also so much good that must be appreciated and nurtured.
I wonder how much longer the wall will last? It's made of ephemeral notes but those can be replaced as they fall off or wear out. Eventually they are going to have to wash the walls. Will they let people start it over again? Will people want to do that? I like the idea of it becoming a permanent feature.
One more thing, a video I took of a walkthrough of the wall. One important thing this includes is the people, some walking through, some looking at the wall, and others like me documenting it.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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