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
January 05, 2018 - 11:12 a.m.
I never found my overshoes yesterday, it looks like I'll be wearing my boots today. I probably would have anyway; they are warmer. I am not looking forward to waiting for the bus today. I am looking forward to hot chocolate when I get home.
I stayed in yesterday, a good response to the snowstorm. I didn't do any of the things I need to do here. I can't tell you about the best thing I did. I am trying to help plan something, if it comes to fruition I'll tell you. If it does my contribution might be over. I'll see.
I watched Logan yesterday; No! not the Boston airport, the Wolverine movie. I can't believe you people. I told you I didn't go out. It was one of the best X-Men films, Marvel noir.
I made Cajun chicken for dinner. I used to make that all the time. I've moved away from it. I shouldn't have. I bought mini-sub rolls, I had it on one of them with cheese. I haven't made mashed potatoes in ages, I made them too. Why haven't I made these things in so long? I don't know but it has to do with my anxiety. Like so many things I feel internal resistance when I decide to do it and pull off. It's the same thing that stopped me from calling a friend yesterday. There are friends that I haven't spoken to in ages that I want to talk to. The longer I put it off the more anxiety there is when I try. Via email I made plans to make plans with another friend. This was initiated by her which makes it easier for me. When I initiate it I always fear the other person doesn't want to see me. I fear that when the other person initiates too but not as much.
I just won a battle with anxiety and I'm going to write about something that I've been putting off for months because I'm afraid of how people will react. I have therapy today; it's something positive that I can bring to the session.
Back in 2003 I was arrested, handcuffed and everything. It was for driving with a suspended license, you can read about it here: I Fought the Law and the Law Won. The cops had a choice of putting me in the cage at the police station or taking me to central booking. If they took me to central booking the odds are it would take all night. I went back to the station. I immediately thought that if I were black, especially a young black man, it would have gone otherwise. This is where people will say, "white privilege." They are wrong. I was not treated better than I deserved. Where the cops had discretion, I was treated just as I should have been. If I had been black and sent to central booking it would not be because of the lack of a privilege but an injustice. Calling it white privilege does harm in two ways. First it puts the focus on the wrong thing. If it were a matter of privilege, the way to correct it would be to treat whites as harshly as blacks. That isn't what we want; we want blacks to be treated as well as whites. The second reason it's wrong is that it fosters not weakens racial animus. Imagine that you're a poor, uneducated, white person. How would you feel if someone called you privileged? You'd resent it. This is a big part of what goes on with the core Trump supporters. Their reaction is to think of blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, and gays, as the privileged ones. I have deliberately no unfriended my Trump supporter friends and I see what they say. This is exactly the lines they think along.
The real problem is that accepts the prejudiced viewpoints that our differences, black/white, gay/straight, female/male, non-Christian/Christian, etc. have a moral dimension. They don't. I'm an Jewish atheist and I was outraged when I heard a non-believer attack Christianity because of the actions of some Christians. Isn't that what all bigotry is about? Blaming the group for the actions of individuals?
The way I had this in my ideas bin was "mansplaining." I knew that would be enough to remind me of all of this. I not that long ago had a woman mansplain sometime to me. What made it especially annoying is that she was wrong. I've had women mansplain mansplaining to me. Both men and women do it. Maybe men do it more often. It's still wrong to tag it on men. How is it different that saying, "Jewing someone down?" It isn't.
The situations aren't the same, the prejudices of those in power do more harm than those out of power. That's a function of the power, not the people. Most revolutions go awry because after years of A persecuting B, when B takes power they persecute A. Nelson Mandela was aware of this and worked at not letting that happen in South Africa. More often it becomes like Iraq where too many Shia saw the fall of Saddam Hussein as an opportunity to get back at the Sunni and the government too often felt the same way.
It's difficult to leave behind well-earned resentments. It takes an active effort. All I'm asking is that we all make that effort. We won't always succeed, we're human, but it's better than giving into our prejudices.
Now I get to reward myself for writing this by eating breakfast. I'll keep it simple today; bacon and eggs.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Microwave Detecting and Ranging - January 10, 2018
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