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
January 31, 2013 - 1:33 p.m.
This happens every day. I have a three hour break and yet I find myself rushing to write this and eat. Part of the problem is that it takes me a hour to blog now. I used to do it in 20 minutes. Let's see if I can do this faster. Class starts in 1 hour and 25 minutes.
People think "what is the sound of one hand clapping?" or "if a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear it does it make a noise?" as unanswerable questions. Those are simple. A hard one is "When is (name of my department admin) coming in?" Nobody knows that including the admin. I made the mistake of not getting up and closing the door when the last person left in the department office went out. So I had to deal with people asking when he was going to be here. Then I closed the door. So what happened, a slew of my colleagues came in. What did they proceed to do? Bother me while I was writing this and listening to Ariana Gillis, to see if I could do the admin's job. I couldn't.
Back from my rant. I'm not sure but I think things are annoying me since I've been homeless. No matter what is going on I have that stress running in the background and that lowers my tolerance. Things that I know shouldn't bother me do. I have to force myself and think, "who is it hurting" to stop myself from saying things I shouldn't. Someone is making what I think of as pointless FB posts. They are the equivalent of someone feeling the need to give a synopses of hit movies and books whenever he mentions them, as if everyone didn't know them already. So what? I don't have to read them even when they are comments on something I posted. Yet it bothers me and I have to resist saying something.
At least I'm aware that it's going on which helps me fight it.
I didn't fight it this morning on the subway. I had to change trains to one sitting across the platform. Lots of people did. I didn't want to miss it like I did the day before. When the doors to my train opened a teen went and ran to the middle of the packed train's door and tried to walk in before anyone could walk out. I was the first one out the door and he came straight at me. I pushed him out of the way and said, "Let the people off first." I might not have pushed if I were in a more secure state of mind. I would have said something. This was so blatantly anti-social.
Last night I went to see Karen Dahlstrom, of Bobtown fame give a solo performance at the LIC Bar. That's in Long Island City as you might guess. Even though it meant going through Manhattan it was pretty easy for me to get to. It took about the same time as it takes me to get to school. Karen's bandmate Katherine was going too and I met her there. We got there early to see the first act, Allison Guinn. She was quite good despite playing the autoharp. It isn't that there is something wrong with the autoharp but it is deceptively easy to play, but not play well, so people without talent play it. I always think of the women Carey and I simply call "the autoharp lady."
Allison comes from the Broadway world. This is a change of pace. She does traditional folk and bluegrass, some unusual covers, and some originals by herself and her friends who sometimes played with her. She whistled which earns major points with me. She had a nice stage presence. She didn't blow me away but she was good.
I'm now going to resist the urge to let her have it for being annoying and say it nicely. Maybe she'll do an egosearch, find this and learn something. She and her friends spoke loudly throughout Karen's set. She should know better. She's a performer. If she and her friends wanted to sit around a table talking loudly they could go to a place without live music and do so to their hearts content. I often go out with friends after a gig at the Living Room so we can talk,. I'd never think of sitting there ignoring the music and ruining it for everyone else.
Good thing I could make out most of what Karen sang. She rocked the Casbah. It's rare that I have to ask if a song was an original or traditional but I did on her first song. I figured Katherine would know. I was right. I'm so smart. Most of her songs were original and felt different than Bobtown songs, far more folkie. The thing is I'm sure they could be rearranged for the band. That's always the question when someone is in a band and also plays solo; which songs belong to the band and which to the solo career?
My original plan was to leave after Karen's set since I had to teach today but we were having so much we stayed for Jim Wilson's Ticket. They sounded like a different band on every song. That's not a bad thing. They were Irish Rock, punk, and I forgot what else I was comparing them too.
Even after he finished we didn't make a quick getaway. We finally got under way. I could go back the way I came or take the and ride with Katherine most of the trip then walk further. The subway is a lot more pleasant with company os that's what I did.
I didn't count the steps walking home. Instead I wrote a blog about the history of the Jews in my head. I have to see if I can remember to write that some time. The history of the British Isles worked its way into it too.
But now I have to eat so I'm going to declare victory and post this.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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