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 — 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

December 08, 2015 - 12:56 p.m.

Theory of Mind

I’m going to have to move again and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I love my landlady but she has some strange beliefs, like that the refrigerator and electric lights make her son sick. Not from germs but radiation. Same with the Wi-Fi and microwaves. The infrared radiation from the radiators and the ambient radio waves from TV and radio stations and everyone’s cell phones, and the sun, don’t seem to concern her. You can’t rationally argue with irrational ideas. So she wants me out so she can get rid of the refrigerator, Wi-Fi, lights, etc.

OK I started off with the 600-pound gorilla in the room now I can be my usual self. When I’m at therapy often plan when to drop the bombshells. I often sneak up to them. I often do that here. I started this way here because I just finished talking to her so it’s at the top of my brain and I usually start with that. That’s why I often start with the mechanics of blogging.
Yesterday was Monday so I went to therapy. The session went well. I can see how she tries to do different things different days. She plays both sides of good cop/bad cop. I’m a hard nut to crack. I like the nut metaphor, very fitting for a psychologist.

After therapy I did some therapy shopping, I bought the world’s best hot chocolate mix from No Chewing. I used to buy their wonderful truffles which are amazing but too expensive when I can get truffles that are half as good for a quarter the price from Trader Joe’s. I can’t justify that luxury now. But once a year I can buy the hot chocolate which I described the first time I tried it as a cup of orgasm. I told that to someone thinking of buying it. That closed the deal. I really should get paid to shill for them.

After going to my PO Box I had two musical options for the night, The Mike + Ruthy band and Tara O’Grady. If money were not a question it would be Mike + Ruthy as I can see Tara just about every week and they put out one of my favorite albums of the year. I always loved them but they have taken it up a notch. But there was the money issue and they were late, 9:00. So know which I chose? Neither. I found myself falling asleep on my feet. I went straight home and fell asleep very quickly. I needed that nap. Part of me will always feel guilty about missing the music.

I caught up on The Librarian on TNT, I forgot to watch last week. They have moved the show in the direction of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and away from their format of returning magic objects. Still it works and I have a crush on Lindy Booth. Her character is a beautiful supergenius redheaded mathematician librarian, what’s sexier than that?

I really need to prepare my best of 2015 album list. That will give me something to write about. It’s going to be a good list; a lot of great music came out this year. Keep bugging me till I do it. I have to get back to ripping my NERFA CDS. I have to rerip a lot of them, they are on my computer that needs to be fixed. I have to prepare a song play list for my next radio gig. Hell that’s in a week. Should I do a best of 2015 show in January? I think I will, nobody says it has to be in December. They don’t hand out the Oscars in December do they? These will be the prestigious Wise Madness Awards. Folk Alley is playing Rhiannon Giddens’s Waterboy which is on Tomorrow is My Turn. Think that will make my list? I’ll give you a hint. Yes, it will.

All sorts of political things I could write about, Donald Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the country keeps rushing to the front of my brain and I keep pushing it back. Why? I doubt very much I have many Gentle Readers who don’t already think Donald Trump would make a terrible president. What would it accomplish? I do have some ideas on why those that support him do and I’ve been seriously considering writing about it but still not today. I do have one insult I want to use so I’ll just give it. Donald Trump is Archie Bunker with a better wardrobe and a worse toupee. Feel free to use that even without attribution.

But instead I’m going to discuss something I think everyone of all political stripes should do, seriously consider how the people you disagree with are thinking and try to put yourself in their shoes. Then when you talk or write consider how someone who disagrees will react to it? Will you change their minds or harden their opinions? People will criticize others for lack of empathy while making no attempt at empathy themselves. So here’s what I’m suggesting, take an opinion you think is totally wrong and try and think like the people who believe it do. Don’t make a caricature of them, but a real human being who in the end is not that different than you are.

So here’s an example, those that think the answer to mass shootings is that we need to make it easier for people to carry guns. I totally disagree with that opinion but I know people who are gun rights advocate who might very well think that way and they aren’t bad people. So what might be running through their heads?

We can’t stop the terrorists and crazies from getting guns. We can’t stop people from getting drugs can we? France has tough gun laws and they killed all those people in Paris.

If I had my gun and somebody started shooting, I’d shoot at him. If a bunch of us had guns we’d shoot the terrorists or crazies down in no time. Then they’d learn they can’t get away with it.

They would think about that last scenario; it’s empowering. It will make them feel good. There are few forces more powerful than things that make you feel good. Now of course if as me I thought about the situation I’d see most people just running and others shooting and they’d be shooting the guys with the guns so they’d be shooting each other. I’d see more people having guns meaning more nuts and terrorists will have guns. It will be the guy having a gun at the moment he’s really mad at somebody and shooting without thinking. I’d see the guy getting in a heated argument get afraid that the other guy is pulling his gun and so pulling his first. So the trick is to get the person to rid themselves of the pleasant fantasy for the chilling reality. That’s not an emotional switch people will readily make.

You can do that exercise with everything and it’s worth a try. So that’s what I’ll leave you with today. Now I’m off to make breakfast. I think I’ll make an omelet. I haven’t done that in a long time.

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 December 08, 2015
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