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
October 30, 2015 - 12:25 p.m.
Staying home every day because of my leg is starting to put pressure on my blogging. Here's the bad news, my leg is worse today. Do I have to go back on antibiotics? They are expensive, that's the part I'm worried about. I had going to IONA SCOTTISH SESSION RECORD LAUNCH - CLOG AND CEILIDH NIGHT, dancing and live traditional music from SCOTIA, APPALACHIA AND HIBERNIA on my calendar for tonight but my leg is not up to dancing. Of course I could stay home and watch the World Series. I'll see. I want to watch baseball but I want to hear live music too. I have other options for tonight too, Richard Julian is playing in Brooklyn and Carte Blanche is playing in the City. I'll see how I feel.
Last night I stayed home and in the fourth quarter realized that I could watch the Knick game as they were on TNT and I can watch that on my computer. This was my first basketball in ages. Now the Knicks suck but they have some young players, Poryzingis and Grant that have promise. Zinger (what a great nickname) has superstar potential and doesn't look like he's going to be a bust. He'll probably be in between but he gives me a reason to hope.
I've been writing quite a bit about sports lately; it's that time of year and I've been stuck at home. I have all sorts of very personal things I could write about but as open as I am here there are still topics I avoid, most things about me and other people. Well here's one thing that touches upon what I talked about in the film that Noah made about me, the one that will be shown at Gordonpalooza You are all going to that right? It's on Novembrer 7 at Prospect Range. You'll get to see the movie and hear music by The Lords of Liechtenstein and Kat Quinn. That's two acts that I love enough to earn macros to insert a link to their website.
Now to what I was thinking about. A friend suggested that I date a woman we both know. She's attractive and fun-loving and I like her. I had to explain why I wouldn't. The way I put it was that she is not intellectually stimulating. That doesn't sound romantic does it and I am romantic. Perhaps I shouldn't say that she doesn't set my brain on fire. That sounds more exciting, right? It's how it feels. Some people talk to me and my mind starts racing and I can see that I set their minds racing too. Romantically I want someone that changes the way I see the world. That's a sine qua non for my love.
I think about religion often and yesterday was one of those days. Now I don't think new things all the time. I have well-worn grooves. Yesterday's fun thought was how ridiculous the morality of Exodus is. Pharaoh wants to let the Israelites go but god hardens his heart. Then he punished the Egyptians with plagues including killing all the first born children for something he made Pharaoh do. The explanation that I was given in Hebrew School is that God wanted them to be punished severely and made them act so they deserved it. That makes absolutely no sense. First off he's God, he can do what he wants. Secondly how does forcing someone to do something make them deserve punishment? And it was Pharaoh not all the innocent firstborns who did it. I talk to religious adults and they have elaborate explanations on how the bible doesn't say what it says. I just can't see how people get themselves to jump through those mental hoops.
Oh wait! Now I remember what I was really thinking about! It's still religion but that was a side trip. I've often read that people go to religion because they are afraid of death, religion offers hope that death is not the end of them. And I'm sure there's some truth to that. But there's more. People want there to be reasons for things. And by reasons not physical reasons but purpose. People even feel better that things are the result of maliciousness than randomness. That's where conspiracy theories get their support from. It's more reassuring that there was some elaborate plot that caused AIDS than that some virus mutated and jumped to human beings. Everything is being orchestrated by the New World Order is more comforting than bad things coming at random and independently. Autism seems to be rising, let's blame vaccines? How much more alluring is it to believe that no all these bad things aren't really bad but part of a vast plan by someone benevolent? Isn't this what saying "Everything happens for a purpose" is about? If you want me to bang my head against a wall say that. What makes you think that? So much seems without a purpose. The fact that if it had a purpose would make you feel better doesn't make it true. Personally it doesn't make me feel better. Getting back to Exodus would it make you feel better that Hebrews suffered slavery and oppression longer than they needed to and the Egyptians suffered plagues because God had a plan to punish the Egyptians?
There was another direction my mind went in. In the ancient world there are a lot of stories about gods and absolute rulers having to follow legalisms even when it led to disaster. If a Greek god swore by the Styx he had to follow the oath. Zeus swears to Semele that he'd do anything she asks. When she asks him to appear to her as he does to Hera he has to comply even though he knows it will kill her, a mortal can't see a god in his unveiled glory and live. And of course it does kill her. In the story of Purim King Ahasuerus issues a decree that all the Jews should be killed. When Esther convinces him this is wrong he can't simply cancel the decree. There was a law that you can't rescind a decree. The heart of Christian theology is of that kind. God couldn’t just forgive mankind for the sin of Adam, he had to sacrifice his son to buy mankind's redemption? Who made that rule if not God? If it was God why not just change his mind? And that's believed in modern times so perhaps I shouldn't have said it was just ancients. But I don't think people would create that myth now. People will accept it now because people accept what everybody knows in the face of just about anything.
Now I have to face that I didn't take anything out for dinner. I know what I want too, sweet garlic chicken. Hold on I'll take out a breast now and hope it defrosts in time. I did it. I'll leave it outside the fridge till I finish with brunch. Maybe that will give it time to defrost. Last night I had another favorite dinner Buffalo chicken wings. I have to buy more wings now. I hope they are on sale. So does that mean I go to Stop & Shop today? Maybe. Damn I wish my leg didn't hurt. I think I need more antibiotics.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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