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 14, 2018 - 11:45 a.m.
I told you yesterday that I made Jane breakfast for Mothers' Day. When I went down to make dinner I discovered that she had nothing for dinner, so I made Bernie and her dinner. We are talking fancy, hot dogs. Not just hot dogs but Nathan's hot dogs. The side was gnocchi which led to a discussion on how to pronounce it. The consensus of Jane's friends was nyoh-kee. After doing some more research I found that it depends on which part of Italy you are in. It's like to-may-to or to-mah-to. Here are various Italians pronouncing it.
I get my gnocchi at Trader Joe's; you find it in the pasta aisle. I guess I should explain what it is. It's a small potato dumpling that functions as a pasta. Many things can be substituted for the potato, which is a relatively recent addition. Gnocchi was popular in the Roman Empire and potatoes are a New World Food.
I saw the film Dunkirk last night; it was sensational. Does everyone know the story of Dunkirk? Early in WWII the Germans cornered the British and Allies at the beach of Dunkirk (Dunkerque) by the French/Belgian border. They were trapped, no place to run. The British sent the Mosquito Fleet, small civilian vessels, fishing boats and pleasure yachts, manned by civilians to evacuate them to England. More than 300,000 troops were saved. The film has very little dialogue, people did not have time for long conversations in the heat of the battle, but whatever was spoken told volumes. It was some of the finest depictions of the horrors of war I've seen, focusing on the experience of individuals. One of the most horrific was man caught in the waters of the English Channel when his ship was sunk. That left an oil slick that caught fire. He dived under water and was caught between drowning and burning.
The attitude was not post-modern. The film was not shy of showing true heroism and nobility and managed to do it without glorifying war. It ends with a soldier reading Churchill's famous speech to the survivors without affect, he was beyond that.
Why did nobody tell me that I could watch the TV adaptations of Discworld Books on Amazon Prime? Does nobody love me? I watched part 1 of The Color of Magic. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but I must watch it. Nice cult cast, Sean Astin, Tim Curry, and Christopher Lee are in it.
Give me a moment while I climb up on my soapbox. I'm on it, now gather round while I explain what's wrong with the world. I've been reading and listening to people from all over the world and from all backgrounds. The consensus opinion is that all our problems are caused by Them. There is some disagreement about who Them is. Some common suggestions are the Communists, the Capitalists, the Jews, the Muslims, the Catholics, the banks, corporations, unions, the rabble, immigrants, blacks, men, women, etc. What everyone agrees is that They are evil. It's not a matter of people with different interests; We are good and righteous; They are evil and selfish. We want what we deserve; They want everything.
Everything bad that happens is somebody's fault, and we know who that somebody is, Them. There is no chance, people never make honest mistakes; if someone is wrong it's because they are bad people and never to be trusted. When it looks like we did something wrong it didn't happen or was a false flag operation, or They are somehow responsible.
If we could only all agree who They was we could do something about this. We could stop Them. All of Us know who They are but They refuse to admit it; that's proof that they are dishonest.
Looks like there is no solution; at least not one that lets us keep our self-righteousness. We're screwed, unless of course that whole Us and Them thing is wrong.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Brooklyn for Puerto Rico - May 20, 2018
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