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
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me โ€” 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 โ€” except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

October 08, 2013 - 11:30 a.m.

My Baby Loves a Bunch of Authors

Wow another day where I didn't do anything so have to think of things to write about. Be careful of what you wish for, you might get it. I'm having an anxiety attack I can write about that, but I won't. That just gets redundant.

When I checked my PO Box yesterday I found not one but two packages! Unbeknownst to me till a few weeks ago Stuart had videoed the last Red Molly set with Carolann at the Budgiedome. It ends with me singing the last line of "Long Island Cowboy!" Yes I sang with Red Molly and it was recorded. I'm terrified to listen to it but so happy to have it.

The other package was a book I ordered from Amazon, Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett. Look at the picture, have you ever seen a novel with that aspect ratio? It looks like a guide. Why do they make guides, restaurant and field guides, with that shape and not other books, well except for this edition of the Discworld series?

Discworld always makes me happy. I got introduced to it when Frances sent me books 1,2, and 4 of the series because she correctly knew that I had to read them. Thank you Frances, that changed my life. Pratchett is my favorite living author and in the short list of MY authors. Yes I will have to actually make that list. Maybe later in this entry.

Frances is English so I got the English editions, thus The Colour of Magic. I lent them to my nephew. Max do you still have them? I hope so. I don't really care that they have the English spellings but there was a time that I affected them. That's OK for HP Lovecraft and Canadians but not for me. And what are Canadians but Americans that affect being from another country? Putting an extra letter in does not make the writing any better. the odd thing is that I am pretty sure that the Brits are the ones that changed. The American spelling is he original and the English added the "u" after the revolution. OK, how is this for an ad campaign for perhaps an paint company or even better the United Colors of Bennington. "We put the "U" in COLOUR."

But back to Pratchett. I think I write better when reading him. It's because I think better when reading him. I become happier when reading him. He gets me to see the world the way it is, not the way people think it is. How? by writing about Discworld which as he puts it in Equal Rites: "It is Great A'Tuin one of the rare astrochelonians from a universe where things are less as they are and more like people expect them to be … " So you notice that I started with books 1,2, and 4? Equal Rites is book 3, Frances couldn't find it when she sent me the package.

As you might guess from the title and cover art, Equal Rites is a feminist book, it's about the first female wizard. His approach is along the lines I was saying, that it's not that women can't do things it's that people expect women to not be able to do things. The book has the first appearance of Granny Weatherwax and she is not fully formed. Granny, the greatest witch in Discworld, shares the prejudice. In later books she's see things clearer.

Pratchett is the rare male writer that creates memorable female characters, including my favorite, Tiffany Aching. Tiffany is inherently feminist by virtue of simply being better than anyone else. She might be my favorite fictional character. I'm pretty sure I'm going to love Eskarina, the female wizard. I just started the book and she's only 7, but she's Tiffany 0.0.

The reason I bought the book is that I have not been reading at all. That's not right. I'm not myself when I am not reading. I have just found it too difficult since I became itinerant. Pratchett is the easiest author for me to read so he's a good one to prime the pump.

This was much better when I was writing in on the subway. What's the problem? I haven't read the book since I got off the subway. Last night I watched a movie, Iron Man 2. The night before I watched The Dark Knight. Yes I'm catching up on my super heroes and seeing movies just like a regular person. I thought of seeing Gravity but the timing didn't work. I will. So I'm back to reading and seeing movies. Maybe someday I'll become a real boy.

So I might as well attempt to list MY authors. What makes them mine? I think about them quite a bit, they affected my world view, and I appreciate them more than most people. I read a lot by them. Most importantly I feel a connection with them. It's hard to figure out what to do with the classics. I just have to remind myself that there are no consequences so I won't worry about it. Should I alphabetize the list or give them in the order they come to me? I think I'll do that. It shows my thought process. It starts in the order I discovered them. There is going to be a lot of science fiction and fantasy.

  • H.G. Wells
  • Isaac Asimov
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • James Branch Cabell
  • Charles Dickens
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Mark Twain
  • Jane Austen
  • Douglas Adams
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Stephen J. Gould
  • Martin Gardner
  • Paul Krugman

That's it. I am going for the short list. Other authors that I've read a ton of but aren't "MY authors are:

  • Larry Niven
  • Jules Verne
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Agatha Christie
  • L. Sprague de Camp
  • Fritz Leiber
  • A.E. Van Vogt
  • Robert Heinlein
  • Rafael Sabatini
  • Carl Sagan
  • Fred Hoyle
  • Frederick Pohl
  • Lord Dunsany

I should make a list of the books that influenced me the most.

Now to eat. It's a musical double header tonight. First On Your Radar and then Blind Boy Paxton.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile October 08, 2013
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