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
August 16, 2017 - 12:25 p.m.
I have lots to write about today; I just have to get my mind off of what I'm going to make for breakfast. I could eat before writing but that would disappoint Kathy. Now that sitemeter stopped working I have no idea how many people read Wise Madness. I still want to maximize my readership but with no feedback it becomes less of a factor. You could leave comments but it would sound desperate if I asked you to leave one. So, I won't ask, I'll just look at you with puppy dog eyes. In my delusional world, I have irresistible puppy dog eyes.
Yesterday I made the great journey across the mighty Hudson River to Jersey City. I went alone and unarmed into the wilderness, surviving with just my wits and my trusted Samsung Galaxy S III. For the first time I did it write, I found the passage from the Fulton Street Station to the Oculus at the World Trade Center where the PATH train station is. I somehow made the trip in 15 minutes less than Google said it would take, 1:45. It takes me 1:30 to get to most places in Manhattan so this is not bad. Thanks to the PATH it is very easy to get to JC from NYC.
I went to help prepare for the Hudson West Folk Festival. This is the brainchild of five of my friends; Katherine, Gidge, Kathryn, Angel, and Laura. I'm an advisor and in charge of selling artists' merch. Yesterday was the walk-through of the venue. It was my first time there. In addition to planning the layout, I did intellectual work, sweeping. The building is being renovated. It will sparkle by the day of the festival, September 9.
It's going to be a great festival with plenty of Wise Madness favorites. Here's the schedule.
Nine of the acts have performed at either Budgiedome or John Platt's On Your Radar. I am expecting to see you at the festival.
I enjoyed spit-balling and hanging out with my friends but I have a long trip home and I hadn't eaten dinner so I left after three hours. That proved lucky as there was a problem on the 6 train, the one I take home. I had to take the 5 and then a bus to get to the station where I catch the bus to City Island. This all happened because I just missed the PATH train. The doors closed right after I got to the platform. If the signs were better and I knew where I had to go I'd have made it. The next train went to Herald Square not the WTC. Even though that's closer to my house the trip takes more time. If I had made that first train I'd have been on the 6 train in front of the one that got stuck and was blocking the train I was on. There's a chance I would have been on the stuck train. That might have been worse. Somebody had pulled the emergency brake.
The tragedy in Charlottesville is still dominating the national conversation and my Facebook feed. I'm not going to write about how Nazis, Klansman, and white supremacists are evil; My Gentle Readers know that, Democrats know it, Most Republicans know it, Even Jeff Sessions, someone that was denied a federal judgeship because he's a racist, knows it. I'm pretty sure that President Trump does not read Wise Madness so I'm not going to try and persuade him. Instead I'm going to discuss how we should work to combat the hate and make things better and I'm going to make it personal.
I'm a child of the 60s, that's when my political attitudes were formed, from 1967 – 1973. My political heroes were the apostles of non-violent resistance, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, and Henry David Thoreau. I could never understand the Weather Underground and other violent opponents of the War. How could they not see that if the war was wrong then placing bombs in protest of the War is wrong? I was devastated when MLK was killed and disappointed and confused when people responded by rioting. Didn't they see that they were dishonoring King's ideals? The answer is they didn't. The Weathermen and rioters knew they were angry and that lashing out made them feel better. That's what it's about and why that desire has to be fought. When people respond with violence they make their opponents scared and angry and that will drive some of them to violence and the hate and anger perpetuates itself.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has been fighting hate since 1971. It was born in the same crucible as my political attitudes. I discovered them early on and when I started working gave them money. They are an extraordinary organization. Every employee from the CEO to the lawyers, to the janitors makes the same low salary. They are secular monks and nuns dedicating their life to fighting hate. They posted a guide, Ten Ways to Fight Hate. You want to do something effective, read this and learn from people with experience.
In the spirit of what they suggest I have some ideas of my own. We want to calm the waters not fan the flames and the thought of these makes me feel peaceful.
You cannot fight hate with hate. I have often said that if the Westboro Baptist Church protested my funeral I'd like my friends to bring them milk and cookies, hot chocolate if it's cold. We should act better than the haters. We need to act like Martin Luther King and like Gandhi and follow the advice of Thoreau.
Now I have to eat and do my social media duties, promoting On Your Radar and Hudson West. I got my mind off of breakfast, till now. I hope I don't starve to death before I decide what to eat.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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