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 27, 2017 - 11:29 a.m.
I'm listening to Susan Werner while I write, probably not the wisest choice. The last song just started. I'll put on something less distracting next. The album is New Non-Fiction; I know somebody would ask.
I left the house yesterday; I walked all the way to the IGA. We're talking blocks away. I wanted to be able to have sausage for breakfast today. I should have just waited and gone to Stop & Shop today. This is what comes of putting gaps between my buying unlimited Metrocards. I live such an exciting life.
I had the leftover boneless ribs last night. My new plan is to get a large crock pot and every week cook 4 lbs of ribs and eat it every meal. I'm sure there are people that do things like that. There are so many people that it's a safe bet that if there is something that a person might do there is a person that does it.
It took me only about 50 years but I started doing something I always knew I should do, read the opinion pieces by people I disagree with. It's more important than ever to fight my way outside the bubble. I don't think the conservatives are going to convince me something but it will help me see their side. There is also the know your enemy aspect of it. Now when I read the Times I won't skip over. Ross Douthat, David Brooks, and the new guy Matt Labash. The objections over hiring Labash is what led to the change. I objected to the objections. If I'm going to defend the necessities for all sides being heard then I should make an attempt to hear all sides. It doesn't mean I'll read everything they write. I don't read everything by the writers I do agree with; sometimes they write about things I'm not interested in. Sometimes they aren't making arguments, they are just making things up. But it is useful to at least sometimes read the unreasoned pieces. I want to try and understand how their minds work.
One of the pieces I read and disagreed with was by a left wing op-ed contributor, What 'Snowflakes' Get Right About Free Speech. It defends the censorship of Murray and others by the old trick of denying it is censorship and even claims that it is enhancing free speech; "The recent student demonstrations at Auburn against Spencer’s visit — as well as protests on other campuses against Charles Murray, Milo Yiannopoulos and others — should be understood as an attempt to ensure the conditions of free speech for a greater group of people, rather than censorship."
He then tries to justify it with; "Free-speech protections — not only but especially in universities, which aim to educate students in how to belong to various communities — should not mean that someone’s humanity, or their right to participate in political speech as political agents, can be freely attacked, demeaned or questioned." He doesn't think through, who decides what is an attack, what questions are not allowed to even be asked? He seems oblivious to the fact that this is exactly how Christian Conservatives feel. It's easy to say, "but they are wrong." I think they are wrong but I don't want them making those decisions about me so I can't expect them to accept those decisions from me.
What did I gain by reading the piece? I thought through my arguments. I also get to feel superior but that's not a good thing. It makes me suspicious of my reasoning. My reasons for reading Baer's piece is the reason he's wrong. It's best to hear what the other side is saying. I find it difficult; I'm the guy that wants to throw things at the TV when TV shows don't make sense. But I'll try. I should have been doing this my entire newspaper reading life. Mea culpa.
Hey. I finished writing at 11:15. Sure I want to be finished by 10 but this is an improvement over finishing in the afternoon.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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