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
-Bertrand Russell

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 04, 2013 - 3:08 p.m.

The Schnozz

I'm still having anxiety issues over something I shouldnt' be having them about. Of course it is usually about something I shouldn't be having anxiety issues about. That's part of what makes it a pathology.

I am very much not in the "It is the way I am so don't say there is something wrong with it" camp. I'm not differently abled, I'm disabled. I have many good qualities. I'm euabled in many ways. But the anxiety is a disability and there is no shame attached to that. I'm also lousy at playing an instrument, singing, and fielding in baseball. I'm bad at other things too but I care about those. If I practiced I could be adequate at a keyboard.

I gave a test today. Here are the instructions. I supply two-sided graph paper with the axes and scale put it.

Graph the following lines on the same set of axes, one by the method of intercepts and the other by the slope intercept method. Do all work on the graph paper.

I has this exchange with a student.
Student: Do we draw them both on the same graph?
Me; What does the question say.
Student: Graph the following lines on the same set of axes
Me: So what do you think the answer is?
Student: I don't know, there are two graphs.
Me: One is in case you make a mistake and can do it over.
Student: Do we draw them on the same graph?

There is now a hole in the wall from where I banged my head. Well a metaphorical hole in a metaphorical wall

Yesterday I was very good and came to school to finish writing the test. Then I printed it out which is not as simple as it sounds as the copying machine has been jamming and other people don't bother to fix it. So first I clear the jam then wait for their job to finish then replenish the paper then print mine out. Then I went the extra mile and wrote at the answer key neatly so I can copy it and hand it out to the class. That is very difficult for me and takes a lot of time. My handwriting is terrible and I have to go very slow to make it look presentable.

I did all that and finished in time to go to the opera! Damon took me. We met in front of the Met at 7:30. That meant leaving my office at 7:25. I love that. We saw The Nose by Dmitri Shostakovich. This is not my usual opera fare. Most of the operas I have been to have been by Mozart or Wagner. I'm not a big fan of 20th Century music but I know that Shostakovich is someone I can enjoy and it was a chance to experience something new so I jumped at the chance to see it when Damon offered it. Oh and make sure to read the synopsis that I linked to.

A little after I got there we ran into Kay. She paints for the Met and was a huge part of this show. It is as much visual as aural. Much of it was animated. In fact the entire opera reminded me of a 1950s early 1960s UA cartoon with some "The Dot and The Line" era Chuck Jones thrown in. It's a the story of a man who wakes up to find that his nose has left his face. He has nothing but a flat spot where it was. The nose in the mean times assumes the identity of a government official and people believe it. This was done in Stalinist Russia? How was Shostakovich not purged?

Much of it is laugh out loud comedy. Think of Woody Allen's Sleeper with the leader's nose made into an opera. It's beyond absurd.

I found it a bit too long and the early part the best but it was not to be missed, if you are into neuro. I could totally understand hating it. These clips form it will give you a better feel than I ever could.

Scenes from The Nose

No I'm at that awkward time. I have class in 15 minutes. If I could run out the door this instant it's enough time to grab lunch but not if I spend the time to post this. And of course that's what I'm going to do.

Damon and I often discuss modernist art, I'm usually a skeptic, The Nose is an exception" and he is a defender. We talked about my all-time favorite artistic scam, John Cage's 4' 33". I like the metaphor I came up with; It is the pet rock of music. The art is getting people to accept something with no artistic content as art. That's why Douglas Hofstadter had so much fun with it in Gdel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. My college RA was in charge of showing the movies at a small liberal arts college, I think it was Swarthmore. One week he was told there was a glitch and the movie wouldn't be delivered. What he did was write a fake movie announced for Andy Warhol's Dark Screen. He then described it exactly as you'd expect, 1:47 minutes of a dark screen along with some nonsense about why you are supposed to appreciate that as art. The kicker was faculty showed up after getting babysitters and he had to tell them there was no show. I thought he should have just charged them and given them exactly what he promised, 1:47 of a dark movie theater.

But here's my new genius. A special showing of Dark Screen with a live performance of 4'33" as the sound track! In IMAX 3-D! If that isn't worth $50 it isn't worth a penny. I am going to be a zillionaire. Carey said that the time might be right for the Sexy Sexy Pope TV series. I'm going to be a double zillionaire. Better be nice to me now while I'm still talking to paupers. How cute you call your 50 foot boat a yacht.

I had to finish this after the test. Now to star grading





Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017



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Horvendile October 04, 2013
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