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

December 30, 2013 - 11:45 a.m.

Trad is Not Always Rad

I did not go further than the kitchen yesterday or ever get dressed. So this should be interesting. As that implies I made dinner. It was a sausage/potato soup. I made it with chicken broth and jalapeo chicken sausage. I also used jalapeo jack cheese, red pepper, and Cajun seasoning. I like things hot. I made it just about perfect. I had a problem with my program of pampering myself as I had no dessert or sweets of any kind in the house so I made a hot chocolate with whipped cream.

I watched Red Dwarf on Amazon Prime and discovered that they have many MST 3K episodes. I'm halfway through Eegah!. I of course will only watch Joel episodes. If you like Mike better go watch the Curly Joe episodes of the Three Stooges and don't talk to me. Too bad Robot Monster isn't one available for free streaming. They did reference it in Eegah!.

Oh and I listened to Beethoven's Ninth! It's the greatest work of art in any medium.

The most positive thing I did was started to write a novel. Let's see if I can keep that up at all. I mean I write 1400 words here every day, you'd think I'd be able to write a book You'd think that but not me. I know my internal issues. Especially as this isn't the book I've been thinking about for ages but one that just came to me and that I just have an idea for. It won't be written as the same style as here and that makes it tougher too. Of course it's still written in a style that's me. No way I'd want to sit and write standard issue prose for hours at a stretch.

I just deleted the rest of this entry and I'm going to write about something totally different. But there's one part that I liked so I'll including it with no context.

Like almost everything of importance judging the difference between accepting the things we cannot change and changing the things we can is difficult. The boundary isn't a line, it's a fractal.

When I'm stuck on what to write about I check my document called "Diary Ideas" and see if there's anything I have saved up for a rainy day. There is.

The first thing it says is that I should play Tradition for you from Fiddler on the Roof.

Sorry that's it's just the soundtrack but as much as I love the film, Zero Mostel IS Tevye and this is the definitive version.

If you're anything like me you hear this and feel good. It's not just beautiful music peppered with humor. It generates the feeling that all is right in the world. The genius of the song is that if you listen to the lyrics carefully you'll hear the seeds of issues that the story deals with and that everything is not right in the world.

Who, day and night, must scramble for a living,
Feed a wife and children, say his daily prayers?
And who has the right, as master of the house,
To have the final word at home?

The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.
The Papa, the Papa! Tradition.

[GOLDE & MAMAS]
Who must know the way to make a proper home,
A quiet home, a kosher home?
Who must raise the family and run the home,
So Papa's free to read the holy books?

The Mama, the Mama! Tradition!
The Mama, the Mama! Tradition!

[SONS]
At three, I started Hebrew school. At ten, I learned a trade.
I hear they've picked a bride for me. I hope she's pretty.

The son, the son! Tradition!
The son, the son! Tradition!

[DAUGHTERS]
And who does Mama teach to mend and tend and fix,
Preparing me to marry whoever Papa picks?

The daughter, the daughter! Tradition!
The daughter, the daughter! Tradition!


It's the recipe for a patriarchy with everyone's life prescribed. The women's place is subservient to the men. They are a device for making the husband's lives easier. The children are subservient to their parents. Their lives training for the adult life preordained for them. Even a man's life is controlled. He is the master of the house of not of the way he lives.

This isn't something that only went on in 19th century Ukraine. It does on today. What are social conservatives but defenders of tradition? This is an important way of understanding them. I said that the song makes you feel good. The traditions make them feel good and they are fighting to preserve that feeling of everyone knowing who he is and what God expects him to do. It's something solid to hold onto in a tumultuous world.

I love Tevye, he tries so hard to both stay true to tradition while being true to his daughters. With the first two he is flexible. He doesn't just allow but supports their marrying for love and having him arrange the marriages. With the third he fails. She marries a gentile and that he found impossible to accept. That always hurt me as I love Tevye but what he did was so wrong. Traditions can be a source of emotional support but they can also make doing wrong feel like doing right. I think for many that's what the suppression of the rights of women, gays, and ethnic groups are about. It's what attacking evolution is about. It isn't on any sort of rational level. People feel that making changes, even good changes, are attacks on themselves.

We have to remember this if we want to change people's minds. Attacking people that feel under attack, no matter its lack of foundation in reality, just reinforces the emotions. They will react by hardening their position.

Even more importantly we have to remember that we are people too and subject to the same feelings. Traditions are well and good. I love my traditions. But the second they take precedence over a person they are doing harm. Traditions are things that make you feel good and that's how they should be viewed, not laws on how to live our lives.

OK now for breakfast. What's on the menu today? I think it's bacon and eggs with an English muffin.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile December 30, 2013
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