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 10, 2017 - 10:53 a.m.
The Crohn's attack is passing. In the middle of the night I woke up and I could hear and feel the obstruction clear. I won't say it passed as I'm still a bit queasy and I'm not ravenous. I'm also sleepy despite sleeping something like 18 hours yesterday. I'm going to stay in one more day except for a run to the store to buy eggs. I'm talking the store that's a block away not an expedition to Trader Joe's.
I'm going to write something short and political today. Is this objective or personal? I don't know. I'm writing it because I think it might resonate with others.
When a mechanical/electrical device doesn't work an old strategy is to bang it and see if that helps. Before everything became controlled by microchips this was very popular with TV sets. Sometimes it actually would help. Banging makes a random change and though unlikely that random change is sometimes helpful; more often it's not. Sometimes it turns something repairable to something totaled. I'd used it if the alternative was replacing the item.
Voters across Europe and the US are trying it in politics. They are voted for Trump, Brexit, and Le Pen. The improved showing for Labour in Britain just months after their approval was dismal is part of the same process. Labour is the only one I'd have voted for but for different reasons. There is a sector of the electorate that wants to bang the system. The specifics off policy aren't what matter, they just want the disruption.
Trump's approval ratings are falling but his core backers aren't phased at all by his outrageous behavior. The more "the elites" are incensed the more they are for it. Years ago, but still as an adult, I would regularly play monopoly and risk with a group of friends. One of the us said, "I don't care if I win, as long as you lose." A large section of the electorate has adopted that attitude.
You can't combat this mindset by pointing out how bad Trump is. If you say that something Trump does is outrageous that makes them like him more. The outrage is the source of his appeal. What do we do? Part of it is changing the perception that conditions now are unbearable. People are acting like we are in the midst of a 1930s-style depression or an era of civil unrest instead of the unemployment rate of 4.3% and a low crime rate. I'm not going to bang the machine as I think it's repairable and don't want to break it beyond fixing. We should stop demonizing anyone that disagrees with us on anything. The people that are less involved in politics don't pick up the subtleties, all they hear is that everyone in politics is terrible. I'm not saying be a Pollyanna; I'm saying keep the levels of vitriol down especially against those whose agenda is not that different than yours.
Europe and North America is having an anxiety attack. We need to breathe deep and meditate. I'm not sure how we get everyone to do that.
Now I have to decide if I'm going to eat or sleep. I just sneezed from my allergies. It made my intestines hurt. You know why? I shook them up. My body is a metaphor.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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