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
March 08, 2018 - 12:38 p.m.
I'm having a bad vision morning. I was not going to write but it seems to have cleared up a bit, so I'll try. I'm listening to Bach's Complete Works for Harpsichord; that's 15 hours of music. I pick a spot at random and start listening from there. I just realized that I haven't been listening to enough opera. There is so much music to listen to. I have an unripped CD by Letitia VanSant sitting right next to me. Oddly, ripping CDs gives me anxiety. I have a large backlog. I might be weird but at least I know when I'm being weird.
Yesterday we had the second nor'easter in five days. I wisely did not leave the house. I'm back to being able to enjoy days like that. For a long time, I needed to keep busy to fight off the depression. I'm not satisfied with my life but I've adjusting to it. Sometimes that's the best we can hope for.
It's International Women's Day and I think I should write about that. On this date in 1884 Susan B. Anthony argued before the House of Representatives for an amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. Think about that for a moment. In the land founded on the proposition that all men are created equal it was a radical notion that that should include women. It wasn't until 1919 that the 19th Amendment was passed granting woman suffrage.
It wasn't like slavery which was a subject of debate going back to independence. Women's rights weren't even considered. It was considered the natural order of things. People didn't take sides, they didn't even realize there were sides. This didn't end with being granted the vote. There were always things that "women were not just suited for." The point of International Women's Day is that the attitude never ended. There have been advancements, things are getting better, but there's a long way to go. Rachel Morrison was nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar this year. She didn't win. It's momentous because she was the first women ever nominated. Almost as many women as men study cinematography in film school. There is obviously no reason a woman can't shoot a movie as well as a man. Yet women are not even given the opportunity. That scenario is played out every day in countless walks of life.
Much of it is unconscious prejudice. People have in their minds an image of what someone successful in their field is like. They don't think of the criteria they are using any more than you or I do. We just know when someone strikes us as talented or intelligent. We base it on people that are accomplished. As most of those people are men, men are going to seem more similar. Even women will think like that. It's a mind set that must be actively fought. We must accept that our gut is prejudiced and using invalid criteria to judge.
We must take positive actions to encourage women. It must be made clear that biology is not destiny. Affirmative action is not about letting less qualified women and minorities advance. It's about accepting that our view of who is and is not qualified is skewed. One thought that I've had for ages is that it's likely that the smartest person who ever lived was a peasant woman, probably in China or India, that was never given the opportunity to accomplish anything. It's not just about helping women, it's about helping everyone. We all suffer when talent is not allowed to flourish. People often discuss the efficient use of resources; the most important resource is human resource.
I made a short playlist for International Women's Day. Give it a listen.
Now it's time to eat then go shopping.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Hunt, Gather, and Read Reider - March 14, 2018
Follow on Feedly