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 19, 2016 - 11:21 a.m.
The WFUV pledge drive is over and it's time to catch up with my life. I screwed up yesterday, the drive started at 7 AM and I thought it was 7:30. I really should read the emails instead of relying on my memory. Not that it was very busy at the hour. I just feel bad as I can't say that I stayed all day. I was there till 8 PM. I have to be there at 8 AM for A Thousand Welcomes Kathleen Biggins' Irish music show and I have to be there from 5 PM to 8 PM for John Platt's Sunday Supper and I can't go home in between because from Noon till 4 PM is Ceol na nGael the Irish music program hosted by students, Shannon Spillane and Megan Townsend and from 4 PM to 5 PM is Bob Sherman's Woody's Children. That is all my favorite shows on the stations. I was supposed to get there at 7 AM because the Celtic syndicated show, Thistle and Shamrock is on then. I forgot all about that as it's on too early for me to ever hear. When I started listening to the station back in 1989 this was what was played all week, with less emphasis on the Irish. It's my love of this music that has be driving myself so hard during the pledge drives. It's also my love of the people that work there.
They had trouble getting people to volunteer, it was mainly students and first-timers until Bob Sherman's show. That meant that I had a lot of supervising to do while still answering phones. For the last shift, I was joined by Gary, Laurie, and Laurie. The Laurae sat next to each other. They are both lefties. While we were talking to John Platt we expanded the description to "two lefty liberal lovable Lauras. We didn't use the proper plural Laurae.
This drive had the best food of any drive in the last 24 years. Yesterday's breakfast had two courses. The first was scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and ham. I made a sandwich. The second course was pancakes. I called it dessert.
The lunch had lots of great food that I don’t like, including salmon so I had peanut butter. I'm not complaining. I love peanut butter.
For dinner, there was perfectly made steak and roasted purple potatoes. I ate enough to last me days. There was also tiramisu, angel food chocolate mousse cake, and another kind of chocolate cake. My life is not great but I appreciate good food, good music, and good people.
In addition to the Laurae there were the Megani, an Irish/Welsh tribe. There was the aforementioned Megan Townsend, Megan Scully, a former Ceol na nGael who was on with Kathleen, and Meghan, a student that works at the station, producing the Morning show on weekdays and who answered the phones in the morning. She's in the Welsh branch of the tribe.
I didn't have volunteer friends till the last shift but I know everyone who works there and hung out with Jeremy, Linda, Cara, Danielle, and Una. Or is that Oona? I am betting on Una.
There were two calls from friends; Dan and Phyllis called and told the volunteer who answered to tell me they called. Katherine called and asked to speak to me. I took her pledge. I love doing that. If you call during John Platt's show I'll always be there. I supervise so you can ask for me.
I got a ride partway home with Gary, he took me to the Pelham Bay subway station where I could catch the BX 29 bus back to City Island. I was lucky and only had to wait a few minutes for it. it was cold by then.
Now to change the subject and the tenor of the entry. I often write about politics and try to change the way people think about issues. I have a dilemma. I am afraid that any arguments I make will instead of changing people's positions will harden them. Today's the electoral college vote and I see people posting things that I object to strongly but if I make the objections they ignore my logic and just vent their feelings. It's "I don't care! I want X!" If that's going to be the reaction, why should I write? I know the answer, it isn't everyone. I can perhaps convince a few people, or at least get people to consider my viewpoint and that moves the Overton Window. I can't see the effect but if enough people do it the conversation changes. I know that intellectually but it's not how I'm feeling. For today at least, I'll let it go. When people are calmer, when people are more united, I can bring things up then. What I want to write about won't change what people do just what they say and perhaps how they feel. The dangers these attitudes engender are not going to happen. There are dangers that we will face that I can address. Just not today.
Tonight, I'm going to do one of the best things in the universe; I'm going to go Christmas Caroling with Terre Roche. You can too. We meet under the arch at Washington Square Park at 6 PM. Terre and friends bring lyric sheets and lead us. Everyone sings. Singing beautiful songs of love and joy together makes the world a better place. I'll have friends there but can always use more. It will change your life for the better. You'll be reminded that a world that has Caroling with Terre under the Arch cannot be nearly as bad as it might seem at this moment. There is beauty that endures. There is so much good in people. Don't let anyone take that from you. Come join us.
Ramble On - December 25, 2016
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