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
July 27, 2016 - 10:38 a.m.
I made it all the way to the Snug and Lickity Splits last night. That's almost two blocks away. The Snug is a restaurant that has half-priced burgers on Tuesday and Lickity Splits is an ice cream parlor. I also stopped on the grocery store in between them. This is not going to be a tale of commuting. I did not get on public transit. Sadly, I did take the elevator. I have been very good walking up the stairs. The duplex is on the third floor and my room is on the top floor and there are 20 foot ceilings so these are big flights of stairs I read that climbing just six flights of stairs a day causes a large decrease in the odds of getting a stroke. If I walk up I do that every day as I walk the flight in the apartment many times a day. I didn't walk up yesterday because I was carrying groceries while eating an ice cream cone. There was a danger of making a mess, especially as the bottom of the cone was leaking.
I saw someone post on Facebook about watching the roll call and a little while I broke down and put on the Democratic National Convention to watch history being made. I hadn't watched the night before with all the great speeches. I did catch up on watch Michelle Obama's on YouTube. I turned on the DNC just too late to watch Hillary go over the top but watched the rest of it. I forgot how much I enjoy the stupid things the delegations say to promote their states. It's so incredibly corny yet a form of art.
I have wanted Hillary to be president for over 20 years and I've wanted some woman to be president even longer. It was exciting. It's like watching the Mets win the pennant. Of course the World Series is still to come against someone even more evil than the Yankees.
For the rest of the evening I switched between the Mets and the Convention. I watched all of Bill Clinton's speech. He has the gift of gab but it's more than that. He just comes across as so genuine. I'm not saying that he is genuine. I'm not saying he's not. This is an oratory gift.
For the most part the reactions on Facebook were positive. Other people were excited too. Yes, there were a few that felt the need to attack Hillary. The most bizarre was, "How come there are no American Flags at the DNC?" Wow, if that's the biggest complaint you have you must think Hillary is the greatest candidate ever. I didn't respond but what I was thinking was; "It's because she doesn't have to hide her hatred for half of the country behind the flag."
We are in the political season and I care very much about politics I want to be an effective advocate but the question is how to do that? I always post interesting articles and columns on my Facebook timeline. I decided some time ago that I was doing that too much. When it's a constant flood people turn it off. Of late my posting rate has gone up. I'm getting excited. I caught myself and I'm trying to slow it down again. I'm only posting things that I think are special, that add significantly to the debate.
It's a lot more than volume though. One theory I have is that confrontation is counterproductive. All it does is put people on the defensive. I will correct errors in fact but that's about it. More often I will make my own post arguing my point of view. Or I will write it here where I can be expansive. Comments are the worst place for rational discourse. Reason is my preferred way of arguing. I know emotional arguments can be effective but I distrust them as they can be made for things that are unreasonable. That's the MO of the Trump campaign. I prefer to not go down that path often. I will spice the reasoning with emotions.
I'm naturally sarcastic, I have to hold that back. Demeaning the person you're trying to convince totally counterproductive.
I am rarely happy with the results. People who agree with me might cheer but that's not the point. Now I know I'm never going to convince the person who is upset about the lack of American flags. I'm not going to make a conservative a liberal. But this election there are people who are usually my political allies who disagree with me strongly about Hillary. How do I hope to convince them? I don't like the "She's better than Trump," tack. You don't inspire people by telling them to hold their nose when they vote. I love Hillary, she's not perfect but nobody is. I'm not settling for Hillary I'm excited about her being president and I want to convey that excitement. It is exactly the same as when I'm writing about music except that the stakes are so much higher.
Setting the positive tone is important. I'm letting people see that someone they like loves Hillary. You do like me right? Get down anxieties; I'm not writing about you today. You get enough press. So you like me, you know my heart's in the right place. Maybe you'll at least consider that Hillary is better than you thought.
When I started this it wasn't about Hillary. It was about general means of persuasion but while I was writing I was listening to Hillary's speech announcing her candidacy. It kept reminding me why I love her. So you know what? I'll let her try and convince you. For those of you who think she's not progressive enough just listen to this. This is so close to the great liberal speech I have always dreamed of a candidate making. Its central message is equality. We need economic equality. We need gender equality. We need sexual orientation equality. All I ask is to just listen to this with an open mind. You'll find that you want what she wants.
Now back to me for bit. The cats discovered that I'm the one feeding them. They come to me and ask to be fed. For the first time Billy, who is named for Bill Clinton, came upstairs and said, "where's breakfast?" I better give it to him. He also asked to watch the Cat Channel on TV. That I'm not giving into.
Annoying People - September 03, 2016
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