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
February 10, 2018 - 10:55 a.m.
I wimped out last night and stayed home. There were four bands in two venues I wanted to see, Quarter Horse, Cole Quest and the City Pickers, Wooing, and Watershed moment but as my schedule is so full going forward I decided to stay home. Part of me feels guilty which is ridiculous. I'm pretty sure that my friends in the bands are not going to be upset I wasn't there.
I did go to see my therapist and psychiatrist. I was in a great mood yesterday which made the appointments a bit strange. Do your mental health professionals take notes on food and cultural recommendations? Mine do. My psychiatrist thanked for introducing her to Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner's Two-Thousand-Year-Old Man. Both wrote down the names of my restaurant recommendations, Revenge BBQ and Katz's Deli. I think they should be paying me I'm entertaining and informative.
One advantage of staying home was that I got a home cooked meal. I made Buffalo wings. I bought a 4-lbs bag of frozen wings covered in ice glaze. I've done that before and always defrosted them first. As it's such a common thing to sell I reasoned that you can cook them frozen. I checked online and found you can, all you have to do is rinse them in the sing to remove the ice. That makes them and much more attractive choice, I don't have to remember to take them out and defrost them first.
Now to get serious and political. The topic of today's sermon is:
What does this have to do with politics? The desire to get angry and release the Hulk drives much if it. What was the war in Iraq but getting angry about 9/11 and releasing unfocused rage. You might argue that there was nefarious or realpolitik considerations, but the war was wildly popular at first, that was driven by Bruce Banner's alter ego.
It's not just or even most commonly about war. It is about ambient anger at the way things are. What was the rise of Trump but the desire of millions to smash the system They didn't want to tinker with it, they didn't even want to fix it. They wanted to smash it and worry about what to replace it with later. That's why Trump can change his positions, abandon his populist rhetoric, and still maintain the loyalty of his base. It was never about the programs, it was about the anger. Infrastructure and health care are not important; all that matters is punishing them, immigrants, blacks, women, intellectuals, perceived to be holding back "real Americans."
This is not exclusive to the right. Remember Obama's anger translator? People were upset with Obama for not acting angry enough. He was planning and working towards detailed long-term solutions even if it didn't mean hurting "them," a totally different them than the Trump supporters were angry at, but they shared the most important quality of the Trump them, they aren't us. We are facing complex problems that require complex detailed solutions but those are not emotionally satisfying. It's so much easier to inflict pain in the hopes of relieving our own.
Responding with anger gets poor results for individuals and it's even less effective for society. That means doing things that don't feel as good as lashing out. Like Bruce banner we have to do whatever it takes to maintain our inner peace. When I was reading the news yesterday I was raging against Trump and the GOP. I could write about that every day, but what good would it do? What I'd like to do is get them to get past the warm glow of rage and see the terrible things they are supporting.
Most of My Gentle Readers are not Trump supporters. I don't want them to become the mirror image filled with rage, just at different people. Much better to be Captain America and Tony Stark working on strategies than the Hulk lashing out in all directions.
You read through this and now you get your reward, releasing your rage vicariously though everyone's favor not jolly green giant.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Valentine's Day at the House of Love - February 15, 2018
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