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
November 08, 2016 - 11:23 a.m.
This is not what I planned on writing today. I had planned on writing a thoughtful piece on how change is accomplished. I will still right that someday; but not today. I woke up this momentous election not filled with fear, or dread, or even anxiety. Instead I'm filled with hope and patriotism and energy.
Today is Election Day. Today I get to walk 0.4 miles to P.S. 175 and get to help choose the President of the United States, A United States Senator, a member of the House of Representatives, a New York State Senator, a member of the New York State Assembly, and various judges. Do you have any idea how unusual that is? How lucky that is? What a small percentage of the people that ever lived ever got to do such a thing? Especially in choosing the president it's not that simple, we have that Rube Goldberg devise, the Electoral College. It's far from perfect but James Madison and company did the best they could, dealing with so many competing interests. Constitutions like revolutions come into this world like bastard children, half improvised and half compromised. That's getting close to what I originally planned on writing.
I never did this before but I'm going to dress for the occasion. I'm going to appreciate every minute of it. I'm confident about how this election will turn out. I know that Five Thirty-Eight and the Upshot just say that Hillary has between two thirds and three quarter chance of winning and I always believe the objective over the subjective, but on this one occasion I'm going to go with my belief that we are better than that. If I'm wrong, I'll rant tomorrow but I'm planning on celebrating. I'm less sanguine about the Senate and even less about the House but will hope for the best. The Mets were one strike away from defeat when Mookie Wilson leapt in the air avoiding a pitch that went to the backstop and sent the tying run home. Then he hit a ball between Bill Buckner's legs and all was right in the world. The improbable can happen. I am simply focusing on the probable in the presidential race and the possible in the others. Hey I just checked; the Democrats are now favored to win the Senate Things are getting better all the time. And Hillary's chances are up to 71% on Five Thirty-Eight.
I decided to not go out tonight. I probably won't even watch the returns. I'll just keep checking them. What I do then won't affect the outcome. I should be making calls but somehow my anxiety is not letting me do that this year. I should have worked so hard on this election but didn't. I've done it before. Even though I was working at the time and had less time to spare I worked like hell for Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 and I didn't support him as much as I do Hillary. I'm not going to beat myself over this. I am what I am. I can fix myself in a day.
I will look at small victories. I made pumpkin spice scones with maple icing last night and shared them with Jane and Bernie. That's good. I was able to do some paid online work last night helping a friend setting up Facebook events. If you need any help like that I'm very good at it. Last time I tried to do some work for a friend I couldn't so that's an improvement. The big things I got myself to do were make my hotel reservation for NERFA and buy my bus ticket to Boston for Thanksgiving. No wonder I'm feeling good. I'm going to be seeing so many of my favorite people in the next few weeks. As Hedwig with a mouth full of gummy bear said, "I feel so optimistic."
Now it's time to make breakfast, Taylorhameggandcheese on a bagel. Then I'll get dressed and vote. I have to get someone to take a picture of me. Then I'm going to go into the City to Trader Joe's and to get some bagels. I asked a friend to join me for dinner. If that doesn't work out I come back here and make something special. Now let's go out and not just break that glass ceiling but disintegrate it.
I'll let Abe Lincoln close this out for me.
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
On Your Reflected Microwaves - November 16, 2016
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