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 06, 2017 - 11:52 a.m.
Obsession by Horvendile
I didn't do anything interesting yesterday. I could talk about my dinner, I made a cheeseburger. It was worth writing about. I seasoned it with Butcher's Rub that Jane brought back from Portland and served it on garlic cheese bread. It didn't even need ketchup.
I got a call at 7:20 this morning from my therapist's office; she's home sick and had to cancel. As my appointment was at 2:45 that's too early to call. I will talk about it with my therapist next week. Sleep is important for your mental health, they should be extra considerate.
I just remembered two anxiety inducing things I should do today. Therapy would help but not having therapy gives me more time to do them. They are both asking favor from people I don't know well. Good practice for more important things that I have even more difficulty with. I can feel the anxiety growing in me now. I see meditation in my future. For now, I'll just blog then eat.
As I don't want to write about politics or common cognitive mistakes, that's on my ideas list, I'll pick the easy thing on the list, it's just a list. It's a list of books/authors, TV shows, plays, musicians, and movies I've obsessed on. Some of these are well-known, some are cult, some are obscure. This list is by no means complete. Obsessing is not the same as loving something. If it's a book it means I read it many times, same with movies. For musicians I have to have made an attempt to get all the albums and never miss a show. Richard Thompson is my favorite musician but not an obsession. Moxy Früvous, who I traveled to see and went to conventions is an obsession. To count as an obsession, I have to do more than devour the art, I have to do things beyond that.
Twilight Zone: I've seen every episode multiple times. I've sat through marathons. I've bought books. I've rated all the episodes.
Star Trek Original Series: Same as for TZ plus multiple conventions. I've met all the important cast members. I bought god knows how many Star Trek Calendars.
Doctor Who: I watched episodes on fuzzy UHF stations from Jersey. I videoed every episode of the original series. I was a charter member or the Doctor Who Appreciation Society of America. I went to a convention that hardly anyone went to and met John Pertwee and Elizabeth Sladen. I bought an all zone DVD player so I could watch the new series before it was shown in the US. I bought episode guides and rated every episode. On Frühead Dot Com I was DrWhoFru I bought a sonic screwdriver. When my friends kid was young I bought Doctor Who birthday cards for ages 2-10. I got them all at once as I couldn't be assured they'd always be available. Of course, I bought calendars.
Blakes 7: I recorded all the episodes, bought the episode guide, and rated the episodes. I planned out how the series could continue
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Did the book and rating thing. I bought action figures as gifts. I was Giles@Buffymail.com. I wrote and hosted Buffy the Vampire Slayer Jeopardy at DragonCon. I wrote Buffy Poetry and posted it on the Bronze, and online fan gathering place. I got fan mail for it.
Books and Authors
The Hobbit/LOTR/Silmarillion: This has been my greatest lifetime obsession. I didn't just read those books. I read book about the books. I bought two books on Elven languages. I bought Tolkien's illustrations, many calendars. I read the books J.R.R.'s son, Christopher wrote based on Tolkien's notes. The 12-Volume History of Middle Earth and every other ancillary book he wrote. The only book within reach now is Beren and Lúthien I felt it necessary to include the accent on the u. I didn't just see the hugely successful LOTR films but the earlier animated Bakshi version and a third the way through the second Hobbit film refused to watch the rest as they are an insult to the original. I have a Quenya name, Fëanolé, spirit of wisdom or lore. I took a class in Quenya grammar. I've read pretty much everything that Tolkien wrote. Oh, I've read the Hobbit and LOTR about 50 times. The only reason I've read the Silmarillion fewer times is that it came out later. One book about LOTR I read was Lin Carter's Tolkien: A Look Behind The Lord of the Rings; that mentioned other books that I became obsessed with.
Dune: I didn't do much around it but I read the original a dozen times, the first sequel, Dune Messiah, about half a dozen times, and read something like the next six sequels even though I never thought them that good. The films never looked good enough to watch.
Isaac Asimov: Asimov is without question the author I've read the most books by, all his novels and collections of science fiction short stories except for kid's books and some of the mysteries. I read all his collections of essays from The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, most if not all from other sources, and books he edited. I have met him many times.
Arthur C. Clarke: I have a little trouble justifying him as I didn't do anything but read his books but I've read so many of them and he's part of my psyche. If he lived in New York like Asimov I'm sure I'd have met him many times.
H.P. Lovecraft: One of the authors I learned about from Lin Carter. First I bought all the paperbacks. Then I started hunting through used book stores for older editions. I read Carter's book on Lovecraft which led me to other authors. I bought a "Cthulhu for President" bumper sticker. I saw all the films based on his books I could, the best are by Stuart Gordon. Lovecraft was a huge influence on Buffy the Vampire Slayer which led to that obsession.
James Branch Cabell: I discovered him through Carter too. Cabell became my greatest collecting obsession. I started with the Ballantine paperback series that came out just as I discovered him but soon moved on. I haunted used bookstores, especially The Strand. For a while I would buy out every copy of Jurgen they had and gave them as gifts. I tried to get copies of every edition of every book I could find. My favorites were the leather bound Modern Library as they were as convenient as paperbacks but so much more beautiful and more durable. Horvendile, my nom did internet is from Cabell. Arthur C. Clarke and Larry Niven have both referenced Cabell in their books.
Terry Pratchett especially but not only Discworld: I have read every book of the Series. I've given them as gifts. I have even written Pratchett. I wrote him about Cabell. Yes, he read Cabell.
This is enough for now. I'll do a part two and some point with the other categories. This is not what I planned. I wanted to just do a list but found myself justifying each item. I'll try and not do that on part two.