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
September 22, 2016 - 2:53 p.m.
It's often hard for me to write on Thursday because on Wednesday I have therapy and I can't say much about what goes on there. That's sort of the point of therapy. I can't say what I talked about but I can say it was things I haven't discussed with this therapist yet but spent a lot of time talking about with my old one. I'm handling these things better. Very often she asks me things that I have already asked myself and I know she's going to ask me and don't have a good answer for. That's the thing about being self-aware and introspective. One thing I said was I did X 100 times and Y never happened and … at which point she asks, then why did you do X? I am Charlie Brown and the football and I know it. At least I like when I talk around things like that with My Gentle Readers. That is very much how my mind works; I care about the relationships things have to each other independent of what the things are. That's the essence of math.
My new thing is stopping at Stop & Shop in New Rochelle on the way home from therapy. It's a lot better supermarket than anything around here. I can start making some of my favorite dishes. I can also be stupid. I bought corn again and had it with dinner. This time I steamed it. That is the best way after grilled. I am back in the swing of things making it perfect. I like the corn firm. I didn't make them but I bought chicken wings and Frank's hot sauce so I can make Buffalo chicken. That will make me happy.
I have been sitting here an hour trying to figure out how to go about discussing something. You might not even see the different approaches as on the same topic but they are; it's that relationships that matters mind set. The angle attack I chose is hyperbole. Hyperbole is the gravest threat to humanity since nuclear warfare. That was irony. You probably guessed that but hyperbole is a problem that's driving other problems. We live in an age for emotional inflation. It's not enough to say that you are peeved or even mad; no you have to say that you are outraged. Things are not bad, or terrible, they are disastrous. People aren't nervous or scared they are terrified. People feel the need to compete in the depth of their emotions. It happens with positive emotions too, saying you like or love sound tepid, you have to adore.
The problem is that it leaves no room for shading. Want to know how Trump gets away with saying what he says? It's because he speaks the language of hyperbole, the language of talk radio and social media. Most politicians try to sound reasonable, he doesn't, and as that's what people hear every day, that's what they take as authentic. Just look at your news feed. You'll see it all over the place, even on your own posts.
Months ago a fellow Hillary supporter was "furious" that Bernie went into the House Chamber during the sit-in, spoke of his support for it and had his picture taken. I couldn’t even get what she was angry about. She felt he was using it for publicity. Wow a politician trying to get a photo-op; that's the end of civilization. I thought what he did was perfectly fine, if you think he's being opportunistic you can be peeved. But furious? If you get furious at that how do you feel about Trump calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers?
I gave an example of someone whose politics I agree with because it's not about the politics. It's about the approach. I see people say they are terrified by lower level court decisions. Terrified? As in feeling terror? Is the person's heart racing? I can find a ruling terrible, but not terrifying. It wasn't like anyone is saying that slavery is legal.
If people keep shouting that the sky is falling they shouldn't be surprised that other people will look to a savior outside of political correctness. Desperate times call for desperate measures. One of Obama's great strengths is that he doesn't indulge in hyperbole. He doesn't think that everything is the end of the world. Then people get upset at his lack of passion.
So no, that political cause you just lost is not going to mark the end of civilization. Hysteria favors the strongmen. It makes people irrational. Don't try and make other people irrational. Don't let yourself get irrational. Keep your head while those around you lose theirs; that's leadership, and the only thing you have control of. That's one of my themes if you haven't noticed; that you can only depend on changing yourself not others. Of course right now I'm trying to change you and to get you to change other people. But if I don’t' succeed it won't be the end of the world.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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