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
October 02, 2014 - 9:15 a.m.
I'm up ridiculously early today which is good as I have to get out of here early. I'll just be tired all day. I'm used to that.
Yesterday was a bad mental health day I spent most of it having anxiety. I gave myself a break from it by calling LORi I was hoping that would unfreeze me and get me to do things I needed to do. It didn't. But it did make me feel better.
Dan and I met for dinner first. I never know where to eat around there. I did a search on Google and found a Diner on Fifth Ave. After I made the plans with Dan I realized that I'd eaten there already but always thought of it as a different neighborhood. I never realized it was so close. It's one stop further on the at 9th Street. It's where I get off for Bell House and Barbès. But it's only 7 block from Two Moon. Just as we finished dinner we were joined by Dan's girlfriend Erin and we walked to Two Moon.
This is a home game. It was at one of my haunts, went with friends, and saw Mya a close friend. I know Graydon and Laura from NERFA. Shawn Caspi, my Canadian Connection, recommended them. Oh and I had a really good hot chocolate. Friends, music, and chocolate. That will keep me happy.
When I see Mya perform I think of what DVN used to ask about Bernie, "How many people are in there with you?" Many of you know her playing mandolin with just about everybody. You might know her as sensitive folkie, another chick with a guitar. But that just scratches the surface. My favorite incarnation is as a rocker with her band. She does what rockers do, radiates power, energy, and just a hint of chaos. Even without the band she can bring that to a show with just an acoustic guitar. I think it' because it has one electric guitar string. That is a nice metaphor for what she did. It was most obvious when she did blues. It was raw and gutsy.
I only saw Graydon and Laura at 2 AM at NERFA after two nights with very little sleep. What do I remember? That they weren't boring, That is not faint praise. I'd say only 10% of the musicians at NERFA are distinctive and not in a bad way. They were on my list to see again.. Thus I went to see them again. Yes this had Mya as a draw but I'd have gone anyway.
As soon as they started I thought "I should have remembered more." Before I heard enough to judge the music I loved the way their voices blended.. Of course at 2 AM at NERFA after they haven't been sleeping their voices might have not as blended as well. It might have been more of a weak confederation. But I think it was me. I've had this happen before. Sometimes all I can tell when sleep deprived is that there's a there there that warrants closer inspection. Now that I inspected I know that they can write songs. That they can play, that they have toys, a glockenspiel and melodica. Oh and that I loved talking to them too. In fact I'm seeing them again today. We and Mya are all going to the Museum of Natural History. That's why I have to get out of here early. I might go see them at Rockwood Music Hall tonight but I might have to get some work done.
The reason I am up so early and might be finished writing this well before I'm usually starting is that I woke up from a nightmare and couldn't relax enough to get back to sleep. That doesn't happen often. I read Reaper Man to get rid of the angst but that didn't make me sleepy. Terry Pratchett always does my psyche good. It's nice to read of a proper world that sits on the back of four elephants that stand on the back of the Great A'Tuin. It hard to take a world that isn't resting on four elephants standing on a world turtle seriously.
I've been following the protests in Hong Kong. There's much that makes me optimistic. I don't think they will succeed but the fact that they are going on at all is important. Ordinary people are out on the streets to fight for their right to choose their own leaders. So many of them are young, high school students. One leader, Joshua Wong, looks like Harry Potter. But he's real and fighting a real all-powerful force. Go read about him, At 17, Setting Off Protests That Roil Hong Kong. You have to have hope for a place that can produce someone like that.
There are many people protesting but not enough for what might actually work. There are all these Jewish holidays about they tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat, but you hardly hear about what I think should be the proudest moment of Jewish defiance of foreign occupation. The Romans didn't see religion the way we do. To them it was a tool of state, of generating national unity. It was more akin to singing the national anthem. One thing they made the provinces do is make them worship the emperor as a god. It was just burning incense to a statue of him. Caligula as you might know was nuts and thought he really was a god. He ordered that his statue be put in the Temple in Jerusalem and that he be worshiped there. This was the ultimate taboo for the monotheistic Jews. Their response was not a rebellion, It wasn't protests. It was a general strike and a hunger strike. They just refused to do anything including eat. The entire country shut down. The Romans relented and removed the offending idol. Imagine if Hong Kong did that. if they shut down all the businesses. If the trade just stopped dead. How long could China take that. If they went in armed it wouldn't let he city an economic engine again. It would drive out all the foreign companies that would see it as unstable There's a good chance it would work. But they don't have the unity. The business community cares about their business, not democracy. They still get their say in how things are run. They are the ones that get to choose the candidates to run in the elections. It's essentially an oligarchy and they are the oligarchs And most people care about having food on the table and a nice place to live. They won't risk that for democracy. But still, what Joshua and his like are doing is one small step in the right direction. Even though they won't win now they get things a little closer to democracy.
OK now breakfast. I liked yesterday and said I was having an omelet. I didn't. I had poached eggs. I want a fast breakfast today so I'll go with a breakfast sandwich.
I finished writing before the WfUV Question of the Day! I actually managed to not procrastinate.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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