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
October 21, 2014 - 11:41 a.m.
Let's see where today's blog goes. I actually talked about it in therapy. When I mentioned one possibility she said "Won't that be painful." I said that "not writing about it is painful." The pressure builds up when I don't write about thing that weigh heavily on me. Sometimes I can't. Sometimes it's just unwise. Sometimes writing will make a bad situation worse. But when that happens I pay an emotional cost. I am happiest writing about everything. All that being said I think I won't write about what I was discussing with her today.
I tried something new for breakfast yesterday; I used jerk seasoning on my ham and cheese omelet, It works. Most culinary experiments seem to work. What other weird things can I put on an omelet? Bacon and peanut butter is still the best.
Ah this is going to be a food edition of Wise Madness. OK yes they are all food editions. As I once told Carey, "All my fantasies revolve around food; food likes me."
After therapy I did what I do every other week, I bought a dozen bagels, they are half priced on Mondays after 4 PM. then I went to the Union Square market for blue potatoes. Do blue potatoes actually taste better than white ones? I don't know but they are blue. I can't resist them.
I've been in a funk so I needed major therapy food so I went up to Big Daddy's for a shake. They are half-priced before 5 PM. If I buy bagels and potatoes as I often do I get there just in time. I walked in and asked if they still had the deal. She said yes but I'd have to order immediately. So I did, a chocolate malt. It was 4:55. It was a malt, the place wasn't busy. I should have gotten it a few minutes. After 15 minutes I stopped a bus boy and told him I hadn't gotten my malt. He seemed to think there was nothing amiss with that. Then the manager came by and asked, "Did you just seat yourself or were you seated?" I told him that I had already ordered but hadn't gotten my malt and that was 18 minutes ago. When it finally came he said, "You got it." and I said, "Yes but after waiting 20 minutes." He said, "It's on the house." That's how to do business. I could have walked out unhappy and panning the place. Now I feel this was a glitch. The waitress apologized. It was nice being able to just get up and leave and not even have to wait for the check.
Then I went to Trader Joe's. On the way there I saw Carey in a coffee shop. Carey lives in Chicago.. But there she was.
I took a pic of her and sent it to her via text. Yes that wasn't really Carey but her doppelganger. I'm a bit proud of myself for finding the exact right angle to make it look most like her. I even used the pic where her hand is up because that's totally Carey's hand. Being good at finding pics that make people look alike is a strange talent to be proud of. I'm strange. But I did a good enough job at it that Carey posted about it and her friends all agree it looks like her.
After shopping I had a heavy bag so of course the was super packed. I waited a long time for it and I should have not have gotten on it. I know that if you wait and a train is packed there is another train right behind it They back up behind the delayed train. The next train was a that was also packed but it's a different train so it doesn't count. The next can right after that and as I knew it would, it had plenty of room. Waiting 4 minutes made my ride much more pleasant.
When I got home I was still in the funk. I considered just having cereal for dinner and was going to but realized that would make the fun worse. That I needed a hot meal and that blue potatoes would make me less blue. I think I was right. I get satisfaction out of cooking.
Oh great, I just ate a banana and I'm having an allergic reaction. I stopped eating them for a while because of that. I'll have to start again. There's so few fruits that I like that I can eat. I don't want yet another restriction. But there' goes my throat tingling.. I might have to pop a prednisone. If my throat closes and I go into anaphylactic shock I'll make sure to write all about it and post it before I pass out. I don't want you to miss out reading about that. See how I love My Gentle Readers.
Wow I have written 844 words on the appetizer to this edition of Wise Madness. Now on to the main course.
A few weeks, maybe a month ago I went to Books of Wonder, a children's bookstore with Betsy and she was aghast that I had never read A Wrinkle in Time. She was adamant that I read it. I loved that. Carey said that was one of my defining features, when I love something I want everyone else to share it with everyone. I like people with passions.
Now back in 4th grade it seemed like my entire class read the book and I went against the crowd and didn't. I'm not sure why. I might have just been contrary. Someone might have said something that made me think I wouldn't like it. I might have been a science fiction snob. I am not sure if I had discovered Jules Verne then, It was about the right time. He was my entry drug to science fiction. Whatever it was I didn't read it. I also didn't buy it at Books of Wonder as I knew I could get it cheaper at the Stand. So that's where I bought it. I just checked on Goodreads and I finished reading it on October 9.
I thought it was a classic when everyone in my class read it but it was a relatively new book then, I was published in 1962 and I was in fourth grade in 1965-66. I might have even been in second grade the year before. I skipped third. When I entered it in Goodreads I put it on my fantasy not science fiction shelf. I somehow had heard enough to realize that's where it belongs even though it's billed as SF. Maybe it was from hearing about it as a kid.
I was prepared to love the book, like I loved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a book of similar vintage, when I read it as an adult. I'm afraid to say I didn't. My childhood impression that it would be too corny were born out. Now no don't get me wrong. I didn't hate it and I'll talk about some of its strengths but corn it was.
The first thing to bother me was the pseudo-science. She make a big deal of the tesseract but gets the definition wrong. She called it a five dimensional cube equivalent of a cube but it's the four dimensional analogue and it in no way would help you move through space. There's this explanation of it but then the method is described in terms of the titular wrinkle which has nothing to do with a tesseract. It's all double talk. Oh and the wrinkle is in space not time.
Then comes the real corn. Hold on I have to get out of bed and find the book. I'll be right back. Yes I should have done that before I started. Got it and found what I was looking for. The children were just shown The Dark Thing and told that there were earth people that were great fighters against it. Calvin asks who.
Mrs Who's spectacles shone out at them triumphantly, "And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not."Just what this Jewish atheist wants to read. I'd have been even more bothered as a kid. I got mad at C.S. Lewis when I caught on the that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was a retelling of the crucifixion but I still reread it. It wasn't corny but philosophical. And of course Lewis was a heretic. No kidding her technically was and he knew it. I always like the subversives.
But even cornier was when Meg defeats It by telling her brother that she loves him. Ugh, like nobody ever loved anyone on the planet. And it could have been so much better .There are brilliant things in the book The description of when they first arrive on Camazotz. It's a nightmare version of a subway with not just every house being identical but every person acting identically. The children bounce their balls in exact synchronization. That was great writing. What IT does is make everything and everyone uniform. You don't defeat something like that with love but with Wonderland logic. What was needed was inspired chaos, the Marx Brothers.. I couldn't help but imagine how Daniel Pinkwater would have handled it. The Dada Ducks would have ripped IT to sheds IT wouldn't have lasted two seconds faced with Alan Mendelsohn. He'd out silly IT.
The book begged for that approach. Like so many children's books Meg and Charles Wallace are outcasts for being different.. Calvin isn't an outcast because he can fake being ordinary. Harry Potter is the same thing as was Wart in the Once and Future King. Same for Ender and the kid in Slan.. I haven't read it but I know Anne of Green Gables feels that she can never be happy as she's a redhead So what is it? Does everyone feel like an outcast? Do we all identify with the kid rejected by everyone. Am I actually the same as everyone else in feeling different? Are we all square pegs in round holes? It seems impossible but what else explains the universality of the theme?
One size does not fit all.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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