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
January 20, 2015 - 11:28 a.m.
I had therapy yesterday. I told her I'm grading my mental health on a curve. My right arm is in severe pain, my eyesight is rapidly deteriorating, I'm having huge financial difficulties, I have no love life, and the issues that take so much of my therapy time that I won't talk about here. Any time I can smile I'm ahead of the game.
After therapy I bought bagels. Then I totally forgot to freeze them when I got home. Writing that reminded me. I just did it. I'm an idiot. Have I mentioned that before? Then I went to Trader Joe's. I did remember to put what I bought there in the freezer and fridge. Writing a letter to payroll about my back pay caused me a lot of anxiety As part of my strategy to deal with it I bought a babka. Yes I use chocolate therapy. I couldn't eat the babka till after I did what I needed to do. So after dinner, I wrote the letter I played mind games within my mind games. I told myself I was going to write it out but not send it to school but to Carolann and have her check out what I wrote. That's what I could get myself to do. But once I wrote it I knew it was good. I didn't need someone to tell me it's good so I sent it. Then I ate babka. Lots of babka. Way too much babka. I don't care.
I hate that I have to play these games with myself. I love the babka. I watched two episode or Red Dwarf Season Five. How did I miss so many episodes of that season. I only saw two of the six. I watched that show religiously. I started to watch a third episode and fell asleep. No idea how that happened. It was early. Then I had trouble sleeping late. That was largely because my shoulder hurt. I listened to the Brandenburg Concerti to help me get through it. They did.
OK now to go from my mental disabilities to those of Fox News and more importantly it's viewers. The "Fair and Balanced" network invited an "expert on terrorism", they just invite the scare quotes, who said that large swathes of England and France were under Sharia Law and closed to non-Muslims. This included the entire city of Birmingham. Now anyone with any intelligence or knowledge of the world would know this isn't true, yet the people at Fox not only didn't question this "expert" on it but they quoted this nonsense on other shows. Fox has been made into a laughingstock and after their initial defense of their actions have apologized. But did they fire anyone? Clearly everyone from the people who invited the "expert" to the on-air staff that quoted him are incompetent. Fox announced no changes. They think it's fine to have the news reported by people who show no understanding of reality. And worse people still watch. I bet I have Gentle Readers that watch. And I just can't understand it. It is of course in total consonance with the right's denial of human caused global warming and evolution. Aren't intelligent and educated people dismayed by this? How can they trust these people? Fox is the dominant news source of the right, there is no equivalent on the left, and it's totally bogus. I try to figure out how intelligent people can go along with this nonsense. I have theories and I was going to discuss them but I won't. Why because they aren't theories, they are hypotheses. Unlike evolution they are not well worked out systems based on fact. They are just guesses. Conservative consistently misunderstand what a theory is.
The big question for me is how to write about these things. I am not going to convince anyone by calling them an idiot, or a racist, or a selfish bsstard. And know what? I know people who believe in these things and they aren't idiots, and though prejudicedI they don't wear clan robes, and are in general no more selfish than the rest of us. Some are quite intelligent and very generous. But when it come to these issues act idiotic and selfish and racist. There's a big difference. Notice how often I act like an idiot and I'm pretty damn smart. Hell I might be acting like an idiot right now. I'm not sure.
Some things, like that story on Fox deserve ridicule. But deserving it does not mean that' the most effective response. Sometimes it is. It keeps those on the fence from drinking the Kool-Aid. It shoves it totally out of the Overton Window of acceptability But otherwise what's to do? What's frustrating is that studies have shown that the more educated liberals are the more the amenable they are to changing their mind because of facts. For conservatives it's the opposite. You essentially can't reason with educated conservatives you have to sway them emotionally. I can't relate to that. I use reason.
I write about this dilemma often because I encounter it often. I don't want to preach ot the choir. I want to change minds.
So I pretty much concluded that I'm on a fools errand that I can't win. Well I named thi blog from Don Quixote so that makes sense. .
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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