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
April 30, 2014 - 10:18 p.m.
OK, when is the last time I updated, Oh year, Tuesday afternoon. Not that long ago. So what have I done since then? Become a movie star of course.
Famed filmed director and European nobleman Noah Rauchwerk is making a documentary about, well me. He's a film student at NYU and somehow he thought I'd be a good subject. With Godzilla coming out soon monster movies are in. He filmed me at seeing Bobtown on Friday and teaching yesterday. My class didn't mind at all. I think they just want to put me in a good mood with finals around the corner. I was good and pretty much forgot he was there as I taught. Good thing I didn't do anything stupid because as you know I'm an idiot.
Today I was back at WfUV at 6 AM. I had my alarm set for 4:10. At 3:30 I awoke to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. At first I thought I had somehow made that my alarm. But no. It wasn't that. I was thinking about blogging about the symphony and needed to listen to it. I started to but realized I couldn't afford to stay up another half an hour and shut my laptop and went to bed. When I shut the laptop the video stops playing. So what happened? For reasons I don't get it started playing again even though the laptop was shut. Well that was it for my night's sleep. I went to the bathroom then couldn't fall back asleep. So I was up at 3:30.
Oh and my sleep was interrupted around 12:30 when I had dreamed I was having an anxiety attack. For the first few months after I was evicted I had a strange manifestation of anxiety that I haven't heard from anyone else. Others feel like they are having a heart attack. I felt like I was suffering congestive heart failure. I couldn't make it up even a few steps without getting winded. If I was carrying something it was almost impossible to climb. I couldn't run on level ground. My heart rate just wouldn't elevate as needed. In my dream which started off very nicely I was climbing onto a train. I couldn't make it up the stairs. I got that horrible feeling of heart failure. That woke me up. When I did I felt just like I did after the severe anxiety attacks I had back then and I didn't have the chocolate by my bed to help me through it. It took me a while to get back to where I could go to sleep.
On the bright side I made the earlier which gave me time to buy my ticket for the 5:40 MetroNorth train to Fordham. It was a busy day at the station. During the first shift, 6 to 10 Jim was the only other volunteer there, the rest were students. And Jim didn't get there till 8. But I held down the fort supervising.
In the second shift Beverly and Annaliese were added to the non-student contingent. Not that I mind working with the students. I like college students. That's part of why I like teaching.
I left at two to go to Noah's to do more videoing. This was the interview portion of the film. I won't say what the film's about but I will tell you that I'm an idiot. I got my favorite line of my favorite song wrong. I didn't misquote it, I quoted the wrong line. I said, "Red hair and black leather/my favorite color scheme." But the lines I wanted to quote were
Says James, in my opinion, there's nothing in this worldIt is sad I couldn't answer "What's your favorite line from a song?" Correctly? Yes, yes it is.
I stopped at Trader Joe's on the way home because I am out of a lot. The drive means I don't have time to go shopping. I didn't have time to go see Cricket Tell The Weather's CD release show last night. I felt terrible about that. But having to get up at 4:10 crimps my style.
When I got home today and went to make dinner I saw that my nemesis had stolen all my American Cheese, excuse me, cheese product. It isn't legal to call it cheese. But I had most of a pack, about 15 slices and it was gone from the fridge. I am sure he took it. Nobody else would. I was afraid he'd start doing things like that. He's a contractor and the landlady has lost patience with him and he's going to be out of here soon. He's giving her such a hard time.
So OK I have time I'm going to talk about Beethoven's Fifth as I listen to it. It was one of the first LPs I bought and it had one of my favorite liner notes. In summarizing the piece it said in the fourth movement after the ominous quoting of the Scherzo it ends with the triumph of C Major over C minor. That got me to hear the symphony, and other pieces of pure music as a story. And he story here is Cinderella. After going through travails, triumphs, and then travails good triumphs over evil and Cinderella lived happily ever after, C Major triumphed over C minor. And that's part of what makes Cinderella perhaps the most popular story schema and The Fifth one of the most popular symphonies. It's what we all want, salvation. We can face suffering now if we know in the future we'll be happy. Isn't that the basic allure of Christianity? James Branch Cabell said that the story of Christ is nothing but the ultimate Cinderella story. The little schnook who was abused and tortured doesn't just marry a prince, he turns out to be god. His lowest point is followed by literally his highest, the ascension. In the fifth there's no words but the music conveys the same thing and is there anything more divine that Beethoven's music? And of course it's what I want for myself. I'm in the Scherzo now. Perhaps all will go well in my finale.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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