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 24, 2016 - 6:18 p.m.
What mindless blather will I start today's entry with? Oh, that will do.
Sorry I didn't write yesterday and I won't be able to write tomorrow either. But it does mean I'll have things to write about.
Last night I went to a listening party for Deni Bonet's upcoming album, Bright Shiny Objects. It was at the Cell Theater on 23rd street west of Eighth Avenue. I got there early so guess what I did? If you know the area, you might have correctly guessed that I went to the High Line. I started on 23rd street. It only goes up to 34th street. How long could it take? The thing is that I forgot that like the TARDIS, the High Line is dimensionally transcendental; it's longer on the inside than the outside. Like the speed of light you can approach the end but never reach it. I finally gave up and turned around. I still got to the party 10 minutes later than I wanted to.
On the walk I double checked the time on the Facebook event and saw that it said if you want to go you should RSVP through email or FB message. I hadn't done that, I just clicked I was going on the event. I texted Deni to make sure I could go. She said I was already on the list. She knows me well enough to know that if I wouldn't miss it if I said I was going.
This was my second listening party this year, I went to one for Neil Young too. This was way better, both the album and the party. We got pizza! Sorry pizza excites me. So did the music. It's a departure for Deni, all instrumentals. It's hard to classify as to genre, rock inspired classical? Classical inspired pop? It isn't fiddling. It isn't bluegrass. There's some jazz. It's lively and melodic. It's great but great is not a genre. It's like pornography, I can't define it but I know it when I hear it. It's music that can bypass your brain and go straight to your emotions or that you can listen to carefully and pick out the complexity. That's a rare trick.
The album has not been released yet; there is some big announcement that's pending. Deni is being coy and not hinting at what it is. I'm pretty sure it's that Hillary is going to name Deni as her running mate.
It takes me forever to get back from the City so I didn't say long after to talk and headed home. I actually made good time. I didn't have a long wait for the E then almost no wait for the 6 and saw by my phone app that if I switched at 59th I'd have a very short wait for the 4. All that went as planned. The switch back to the 6 was not bad either. I was making great time … till I got off the subway. Then I had to wait 23 minutes for the bus. That's the killer. When I lived in Fort Greene the entire trip would have been 23 minutes including the wait for the train.
I have not been writing about Brexit partially because I didn't think my readers cared about it. I have been reading about it every day in the NY Times and my economics blogs. I'm not going to make an economic analysis of it because if you want that you can find it from people a lot more competent than me. I could write about the obvious parallels to between the Leave voters and Trump supporters. But I'm going to write about a guy that was on the subway today. He's the explanation of why the UK voted to leave the EU. In the late afternoon all the 6 trains that go to Pelham Bay Park run express. As we approached Hunts Point there was an announcement that all 6 trains would be running local. That means something was wrong, either signal problems or a stalled train. As I feared this led to further delays as now all the trains were running on the same tracks and there was some other problem. We came to a complete stop between station. This one guy a few seats from me starting saying it was because the subway workers were stupid and lazy and didn't care. In his mind they we were stopped because they were doing things slowly. The thought of mechanical failure didn't enter his head. He ranted for about five minutes. He needed someone to blame. It didn't matter if it were justified or not. Something was wrong, he didn't understand it, therefore it was somebody's fault and he'd blame whoever he thought was in control. That's why Britain left the Europe. It's why people support Trump. It's the driving force behind populist movements. Something is wrong and someone must be blamed and the choice of target need not be made rationally.
Tomorrow I'm off to the Caramoor Roots of American Music Festival all day. I won't be writing but will report back to you on Sunday.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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