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
June 19, 2015 - 11:21 a.m.
I started writing before and deleted what I wrote. I had been thinking about writing about race before the Charleston massacre. I started writing about that and thought better of it. I meant well but don't think it would make the world a better place and that's what I was going for. I might write it another time. The thing is even when I'm unemployed I'm a teacher. The way I can make the world a better place is to teach. Part of me always wants to correct. I want to get people out of their fixed notions. OK there's an idea. Let me write about that. Don't worry today's edition of Wise Madness is going to short and gentle.
When I was at WFUV I told somebody a story about freeing my mind from a cage I didn't know I was in. It's not about something momentous. It was about assigning point values to questions on test. I used to struggle to make the points add up to 100. I would say, OK I'll make all these questions worth 5 points but this one 6, just so it adds up right. Then finally it hit me. The points don't have to add to 100, they can add to anything. Then I can then make the grade whatever the percentage they get of the total. That allowed fine gradations. If question is worth only four points someone loses a quarter of the credit for the smallest mistake. That's not fair. Yes I don't want to have to deal with fractions of a point. And there was no need to once I started to do things as percentages. I generally make each question worth 10 points. And that's not my point. My point is that all of a sudden I saw the problem differently. It wasn't about making things add up to 100 anymore and that made things better. Those mental shifts are what change the world. To switch to something of social impact. Till recently most people didn't even consider the possibility of two people of the same sex getting married. When the idea was first seriously proposed opinion was overwhelmingly against it. But fairly quickly people realized that marriage was not about one man and one woman, that was just what they were used to. Just like I was used to tests adding up to 100. But things can be normalized and that's what happened in both cases. Want to make the world a better place, change people's perceptions.
So just going to go with two quotes I've used here before that I found myself confusing. They say almost the same thing yet I don't think I ever gave them together. In The Once and Future King T.H. White has Merlin tell young Arthur;
Happiness is a virtue. No one wicked is every truly happy; triumphant perhaps, but not happy.I don't know what this is from, I can't find the source anyplace but I'm thinking it's "Unpopular Essays." Bertrand Russell said;
The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good.So you want to be a force for good? Make people happy. I hope I make you happy. I try. So did Dave Carter.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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