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
March 09, 2012 - 9:37 a.m.
My normal goal is to start writing this by 9 AM. It is now 7:46! I'm ahead of the game. Yes a big part of that is because I haven't been sleeping well and that's led to my being unproductive but now I have more time to be unproductive. Maybe I'll be able to finish grading the test this morning. I got a nice bit done after class yesterday. I got into the swing of things. When I tried grading on Wednesday I could get over the soul crushing. That's how I feel when I get too much into their heads. It makes my ears bleed. Good thing I'm not telepathic. I don't want to experience how other people think or whatever it is they are doing instead of thinking.
I had my usual frustrating day in class and then hit on something that worked. Students were talking when I tried to teach. That reminded me to tell them that other students have been complaining about it. I'm not the only one it bothers. As soon as I finished saying that someone felt the need to talk. See why I don't want to know what other people are thinking? I commented on how clueless that is. That's it's basically saying, "I don't care about you are anyone else." I pointed out how stupid it is to alienate the person giving them their grades. I then go to start writing on the board and the second my back was turned guess what happened, yes more talking. After pointing out that they must have missed the day in Kindergarten where they were taught that people can hear even when they aren't facing the person I gave the class an ultimatum. I told them that if I hear another word I'm going to write the homework assignment on the board, walk out of the class, and then give a test the next class on what they were supposed to learn. They'd have to learn it all on their own. That worked! The rest of the class was such a pleasant contrast. I taught. They did problems. They asked questions on the actual material.
After school I eschewed going to Trader Joe's. I can't go every day. I had to stay in the City because there was a meeting of the Christopher Street Coffee House advisory board. I love being on the board, I'm in a club with friends! They are such fun people. I just found out that Mark, the church's pastor was a theater person and directed a site specific production of Macbeth in the streets of Edinburgh! How cool is that? Some of my favorite productions of Shakespeare that I've seen are the Guerilla Rep's similar productions outdoors in New York.
I actually ate dinner in a restaurant, Shake and Burger or whatever it is called by the David Letterman's Theater. They are cheap and good and I still shouldn't have done it. I should have either brought something and heated it in the church's microwave or waited till I got home.
Oh and we actually got some things done at the meeting. I have things to do today and this weekend for the Coffee House. I can't procrastinate on those things.
After the meeting the timing was perfect to run over to the Cornilia Street Café to see Jean Rohe. I decided to be good and go home and grade instead. Then I found I was too tired to grade. That was not good.
I started looking at my Baseball Prospectus 2012. I buy it for my Fantasy League Team but the first thing I always turn to is the chapter on the Mets. It was so odd this year. The article was all positive saying how great the Mets GM did. They you look at the players and see that the Mets have hardly any players that have any future. That isn't rebuilding. Having players in the top 100 prospects isn't impressive. That's what an average team has and none of the Mets is in the top 20. They don't have good players on the team or good prospects. So why am I supposed to be optimistic again? The only good news is that they seem to be interesting in building the team through the draft. In their entire history they've only done that a few times. They were always loath to spend money on drafted players which explains why they've produced so few good players and not one hall of famer since Tom Seaver.
Yesterday I wrote about abortion. Today I'm going to write about gays. Is Rick Santorum setting my agenda? What actually inspired me was this column by Frank Bruni in the NY Times ABC's Gay Wednesdays. Then by total coincidence the same idea came up at the meeting last night. A great sign of progress in the treatment of gays is simply not focusing on them being gay. Gays are people that means they are smart, stupid, nice, mean, annoying, delightful, charming, and obnoxious. Acknowledging that there is no such thing as "how gays act" is a good thing. It's the antithesis of prejudice. At the meeting someone pointed out how nobody in the neighborhood wants to be around after the Gay Pride Parade because you have to deal with the drunken louts. I'm not happy about the drunken louts but not having to whisper that there are drunken louts is great. Of course there are drunken louts and it isn't like St. Patricks Day and the Irish where that's feeding the popular prejudice.
The only reason there's gay culture at all is because of the rejection of gays from the dominant culture. It isn't like ethnic groups where a culture was created by generations of living separately. I know this will not make some people happy but as things get better they'll be less gay culture, they'll just be general culture where the people happen to be gay. It's how I feel about Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I love that beyond love but it's great because the writing and characters are great. The fact that Hedwig is gay does not makes the play gay any more than Hamlet is Scandinavian because the characters are Danish.
I actually didn't realize that Bruni was gay till I had been reading him for a while. He wrote on gay issues but so have I. I love his voice when dealing with it. He's totally not over earnest. More importantly he writes about other things. The Times doesn't feel that the fact that he's gay means he can only write about gay issues. That's how it should be. That's real progress. That reduces prejudice which lets people less self conscious about sexual orientation which makes people show other sides of themselves which reduces prejudice ... . It's a virtuous cycle.
OK now I have to virtuous and see if I can get some work done before I leave for school.
I almost forgot and left you hanging. Bacon and eggs are on the menu for today.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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