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 22, 2016 - 7:56 p.m.
I have been sitting here for an hour trying to figure out what to write. I have been thinking about it all day. That's not uncommon. Wise Madness is a reflection on my reflections. The thing is when I think of something worth writing about I have to make a point of remembering it. I thought a lot about Game of Thrones. Are my speculations worth writing about? I see yesterday I wanted to write about how often unlikely things happen. I have discussed that before. How many little events happen in a day? It depends on how you define event. Let's say a thousand. If that's true, then every three years you're likely to see a one in a million event. I forgot what triggered these thoughts. I saw someone do something odd. It was probably something annoying. It was certainly not something I have seen before. What I realized is that whatever caused it was probably something very unlikely and the person might have acted reasonably. Or it could be that the person is the rare person who would have that unlikely reaction to something common. Nope, that didn't go anywhere.
Oh hell, I'm going to get political.
You say you want a revolutionBut how do we change it? That's the problem people don't get. It requires doing something very difficult, getting people to change the way they think. When people talk about the influence of money in politics their concerns are justified but they misunderstand what the money does. It isn't that the give a politician money and he puts it in his bank account in the Caiman Islands. It's not primarily about personal enrichment, though that does go on. The money is spent on campaigning. What's campaigning about? Changing the way people think. Look what happened when Bill Clinton rolled out Healthcare Proposal. The special interests spent a fortune in advertising to get people to fear it. They succeeded. It doesn't always succeed, they couldn't get people to go along with Bush when he wanted to privatize social security, but it works often enough.
What makes it so hard is that it's not about electing the right person and he or she will get things done. It's about getting people to want to elect the right person. Yes, a persuasive leader can change the way people think. I hated him but Ronald Reagan was the best at that in my lifetime. He got people seeing the government as the enemy. What we need to do is get people to see it as an agent of positive change. It sounds contradictory but being "revolutionary" against the government, plays into the conservative agenda. Supporting government promotes the progressive cause.
The country turned to the right in the 70s and 80s following the turbulent and progressive 60s. Two things happened that that led to a distrust of government that still lingers, Vietnam and Watergate. People felt betrayed by Johnson and Nixon. If you can't trust a president how can you trust him run a health care or education or welfare. It became easier to believe Reagan's lies of welfare queens driving Cadillacs. Now there are so many people that think that common sense gun control is just a cover to take away all guns. If everyone distrusts the government how can you trust it to do anything? And of course if the government can't do anything powerful individuals and corporations have no check on their power.
So much of what I do here is trying to change the way people think. I'm doing it right now. To a man with a hammer everything looks like a nail. I'm a teacher and a writer and I think it's all about educating people. That's not right, I don't think it's all about that but I think it's important and neglected. We all live in our bubbles surrounded by similar thinking people so we don't see how many people disagree with us. Or perhaps more importantly agree with us but don't have the same priorities. So many politicians know that supporting gun control will get people to vote for their opponents and know that being against it won't be as politically costly.
I'm going to get off my soap box now and watch the Sarah Jane Adventures. She knows how to solve the world's problems. It usually involves stopping aliens with the help of three teenagers and a computer.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Follow on Feedly