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
December 13, 2017 - 11:13 a.m.
Let's see how much you pay attention; Yesterday was the second Tuesday of the month; What did I do?" That's right, I went to John Platt's On Your Radar; John's guests were Heathcote Hill, Pete Mancini, and Mary Scholtz (pronounced Schultz). I was feeling lethargic yesterday and kept shortening my plans. Originally, I was going to pick up my mail, go to Trader Joe's, then go to OYR. Then I dropped picking up the mail. Then I left too late to go to Trader Joe's. Then I missed my bus, so I didn't even get to Rockwood Music Hall until after doors had opened. Good thing my table is reserved, as usual I sat with Fred and next to John's table. John was joined by Dan & Phyllis. Richard and Viki had the table on John's other side. There was a good crowd but light on the regulars. It might have to do with the holidays. Two of the acts, Heathcote Hill and Pete Mancini are local and they brought their fans in.
Because it wasn't the usual crowd I spent less time at Rockwood than usual. I not only arrived late, but I didn't hang and schmooze after the show. When it was over I went to get 99¢ pizza at my usual place on Second Ave just north of 4th Street. There is no food bang for the buck; I love it.
On the subway ride home, I tried to get the results of the Alabama special election but There was nothing online yet. I amused myself other ways. I should have checked again when the 6-train emerged from underground, but I didn't until I heard the woman next to me talking on the phone. Her boyfriend was giving her a hard time and not telling her the results. I could tell from her reaction this was good-natured teasing; as was her threats to kill him. It was just the kind of conversation I have with friends. It did remind me to check the results; the New York Times had just called the election two minutes before. Doug Jones won! I showed it to the woman on the phone. She thanked me. We bonded on the subway with the only words exchanged being "Thank you" and "You're welcome." She thanked me again when we reached our stop.
Her reaction made me feel good as did the results. A Democrat winning in Alabama takes an enormous confluence of events. It's a bigger deal than a Republican winning in Massachusetts. Jones isn't even a Blue Dog Democrat. I doubt he'll be re-elected but he's in the senate for now. We don't have to live in a country where Roy Moore is in the Senate. The election was extremely close; Jones won by 1.5%. That is not as discouraging as it sounds as Trump won the state by 29%. Alabama is not just red, it's deep crimson. That a Democrat won at all is enough.
The question, how could almost half the voters vote for a child molester is easy to answer. Almost all the people that voted for him didn't believe the charges. I know they should have, there's abundant evidence, but don't be too smug. Motivated reasoning is something most people do including many people that I know and many people you do. We know each other. It's hard to be confident you don't do it yourself.
What disturbs me more is that people can vote for someone that said that the last time the country was great was during slavery, Muslims should not be allowed to hold public office, and homosexuality should be illegal. For many these were the reasons they voted for him. For others it was not enough to disqualify him. Tax cuts and being against abortion was enough reason to elect a bigot.
Let's not dwell on that. Let's celebrate the Chanukah/Festivus miracle; Doug Jones' victory. Not only is he a progressive Democrat but despite not losing his rookie status till he was 30 he was a five-time all-star relief pitcher. What? That's a different Doug Jones? Fine, we'll just celebrate that the heart of the confederacy sent a Democrat to the Senate and I bonded with a stranger over it.
When I got home I celebrated with my first hot chocolate of the year. I had the world's best, No Chewing Allowed, a present from Trish and Phil. I like the way Phil put it; "For some reason Trish likes you." I didn't have a chocolate truffle to put in it but even without that it's exquisite. The first time I had it I called it a cup of orgasm. You can have a cup and by the mix at the Holiday Markets in New York. I need to get to one of those soon.
I have an ambitious plan for the day, not going out. I chose a good day for it. It's 22°F. I had trouble staying awake when I started writing but now I'm wide awake; writing is good for my mental health. Whenever I'm tempted to not write I remind myself of that. I'm going to treat myself to another hot chocolate today; that's also good for my mental health.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
The Power of the Doctor - December 19, 2017
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