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
June 29, 2016 - 11:09 a.m.
Why did it all of a sudden get hot and sticky in here? It's only 72° outside. This apartment does the strangest things with temperature. I don't think it has anything to do with what's outside, it's attached to a random weather generator.
Is that all I really have to write about? I went to Trader Joe's yesterday. They are pretty much giving eggs away; they are half the price they were six months ago. Anyone know why that happened? Not that I'm complaining as I eat a lot of eggs. I also bought shredded cheese. I'm going to make an omelet. I need to get back to varying my breakfasts. It turns out it isn't the most important meal but it is my favorite.
I watched the Mets last night till the rain delay. They lost. It isn't fair. I get to watch baseball for the first time in years and they are not doing well. How does every pitcher get bone spurs? I blame Trump.
Here's my dilemma. I want to see Bev Grant, Carolann Solebello, and Katherine Etzel at the Way Station tonight. The problem is that it's two hours away from here. I might just call an audible and decide at the last minute.
Here's my big blogging problem today. I have a rant that I can't write about. A friend and I talked about it privately but it's not for public consumption. Let's just say that there ain't no justice.
Instead I'm going to do an anti-rant or is it a rant against ranting? Once again I can't talk about what actually happened but I came up with a good analogy. I'm translating the situation to baseball and I'm going to even make the person who I'm complaining about a Met fan. Nothing I'm about to say actually happened, it's just a very good analogy.
Met fans and Yankee fans are natural enemies. If a Met fan posts something on Facebook some Yankee fan is likely to talk trash in the comments. So Met fans got together to talk in private and cheer the Mets and mock the Yanks and Yankee fans. It's for the most part good natured, the kind of things I say. You know I don't really hate Yankee fans. Some are serious and legitimate complaints. There was an NL event honoring Jackie Robinson and the Yankees sent over a few players to give support posted a picture of them on their website. One person in the Mets group was "outraged at this?" That' all he said. I couldn't get it. It sounds like they did a good thing. So I asked why. The response was that the Yankees were late to integrate and now they are using this for publicity. Even if that were true, this is something to be outraged about? You can make a snide comment on how they were late to the party but outrage? If they hadn't sent someone he'd have been outraged at that. And that's what bothers me; it's the escalation of animosity. It isn't enough to be critical, you have to be outraged. That's what happened to so much of our politics.
There is so much to be legitimately outraged about, there is no need to search for further things to be outraged about. I'm on the left and most of my friends are too and we could all see this happening on the right through Fox News and talk radio. There were organized campaigns to get people to not just be against but to hate the Clintons. Every little action they made was a major crime and then they were accused of actual crimes that there was no evidence for. When Obama was elected it got even worse. He became a symbol of all that was evil. They wildly distorted his politics. They questioned his very citizenship. They accused him of being a dictator. Now the GOP has a candidate that made that the core of his campaign. It's all about demonization.
Unfortunately, some on the left have responded by taking the same mindset and applying it to not just to the right but their political opponents on the left. Small things are being exaggerated. My basic test is, if you'd be upset if the situation was reversed then don't do it. You know, the Golden Rule. I'm not saying we should be all puppy dogs and rainbows. But we should know the difference between Hitler and well anyone that isn't Hitler. We should know that Trump is worse than Kasich. We should not confuse Bernie or Hillary with the Devil.
Part of the problem is that when you are in an insular group those that are the most vitriolic get the most approval from the audience. That's what Trump does. When he goes to extremes people take that sincerity. He really believes. And we all have seen this in our own lives. If people are against someone the one that comes up with the most stinging line is lauded. I have a confession to make of something I did as a kid that bothers me to this day. There was a Greek kid in my second grade class. Kids started making fun of Greeks. I came up with the best insults and got everyone's praise. I had nothing against Greeks. Hell the girl I liked was Greek, but I couldn't resist playing to the crowd. I hope I've outgrown that.
Like everything there's a fine line. I will call the Yankees pure evil because I know that nobody is going to take that seriously. I will use hyperbole when talking about some musicians I think are bad. I don't really want to rip my head off when I head "The Act." But I'm not going to call a peccadillo morally reprehensible. I'm not going to find the one of the crazy people and use him as an example of all the people I disagree with.
Of course it does no good to actually rant to the demonizers. It just perpetuates it. I try to be gentle and reasonable. It hardly ever works in the short run but I hope it eventually sinks in. We can all try to be better.
OK enough preaching, there's an omelet waiting for me.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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