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 30, 2016 - 11:02 a.m.
Another day without doing anything interesting so what do I write about? The Mets losing yet again? I don't want to be depressing. The Nashional Batnoses are in first place with their biggest lead of the season but I'm pretty sure nobody cares about my fantasy baseball team but me and the other people in my league who are not happy about this. It is worth writing that it does make me happy and the league standings are the first thing I check each morning. I don't have that many positives in my life now so those I do have are more precious.
I can report on the omelet I made. It was yummy. I am going to marry the nonstick pan I made it in. It's one of those with the green coating and works better than any pan I ever used. Oh you are going to tell me that they law doesn't allow a man marry a nonstick pan. That will change. What matters is that we love each other. Sigh, I know I'm being delusional; my love, as always, is unrequited. The pan does not love me.
I feel bad that I missed Bev Grant, Carolann Solebello, and Kathrine Etzel at the Way Station last night. This should have been such a home game. Fred was there too. It's not just the great music I missed but the great people, my people. City Island is beautiful and I love Jane and Bernie but Brooklyn feels like home.
So much of politics is identity politics. Many people's identity is closely tied to the group or groups they belong to. Think of your friends, how many have their conversations and particularly their social media posts dominated by their religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, location, and the like? I don't feel the allure of group identity strongly. Sure I talk about "my people" all the time but it's not a group. It's people from many groups who I feel strongly about. Yeah I'm culturally Jewish and throw Yiddishisms into my conversation and kvell over Jewish foods but it isn't a big part of my life. I'm a Democrat and politics is important to me but the party is just a means to an end. I don't get involved in party business. If I had to pick just one group identity it would be Folky. That does have a huge impact on my life reaching far beyond the music. Is it the same thing? Maybe it is.
That last paragraph reminded me of another little thing I wanted to talk about, open primaries. I have never understood the rationale for them. The entire point of registering for a party is getting to influence who they nominate. I never got registering as in independent. You can always vote for whom you want. I know people in Republican dominated areas that register Republican because the GOP primaries are where the local races are decided. They don't vote Republican in the general elections. They choose the lesser evil in the primaries. Open primaries allow for strategic voting. People can vote for the candidate of the opposition party they think will be weakest. It would be like allowing Yankee fans a say in how the Mets were run or letting atheists vote for the Pope. Closed primaries don't disenfranchise anyone as anyone can register with a party.
What can be done though is making the process easier and more transparent. The New York rules were absurd, people had to register so far in advance of the primaries it wasn't clear who would be running and the date was not publicized. I certainly didn't know about the cutoff. That did disenfranchise people who had no idea they had to register so early.
OK now for some bacon, eggs, and coffee, the breakfast of champions.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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