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

October 14, 2013 - 12:37 p.m.


No more wasting time. I'm going to write, right now. I needed the play on words to motivate me to start.

I was tired yesterday. I did not get enough sleep. I could have very happily stayed in bed all day after taking Lena to her bus but I didn't. I had a good reason to go out. In fact I had two good reasons, either of which would have got me moving.

The first was a rare show by Allison Scola's band, Villa Palagonia. Allison is one of the chicks with dip. She plays folk music but the folk are Sicilians. Why do I always have trouble spelling Sicily and variants? I always want to write Scicily or Siscily. I'm caught between Scylla and Charybdis. This is where I need an editor. I know good writing demands that I don't get sidetracked like that but I can't resist on my own. Resistance is futile.

OK back to the point, the calculator. No. Allison and Villa Palagonia. I just love the music and I have to confess I'd listen to Allison reading the phonebook in Italian. It struck me last night that I also love listening to Seamus Blake speak Irish Gaelic,. I don't know what either one of is saying but the sound of the language is mesmerizing. But it is more than that. I love the music. I love the performance. I think her tamorella looks like a giant candy.

I always liked Allison's music but the Sicilian material particularly resonates with me because it particularly resonates with Allison. It makes her shows unlike anything else I see or hear. It takes me out of the my usual world to someplace exotic at the crossroads of the classical world. Sicily has been ruled by Italians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Vikings. She should do a song about my two favorite Sicilians because nobody thinks of them as Sicilians, Frederich Barbarossa and Archimedes. I love that the German national hero's native language was Italian. Archimedes is one of my heroes of heroes. Pretty much on the short list of greatest geniuses ever.

I love that I think about these things when I see Villa Palagonia. I also think that more people need to see know them. That means you.

As you can see the show was at The Living Room. It is finally closing in a few weeks. That is sad as it's one of the best places to listen to music in the City. The audience is there to listen. I knew I'd have friends at the show, I sat with Meg and David.

I couldn't stay and socialize because I had to run to Rockwood Music Hall to see Anthony da Costa playing with New Country Rehab. That isn't Anthony's band, he's the electric guitar player. He shreds.

The band is hard to characterize. With fiddle, stand up bass, electric guitar, and drums, what would you think they are? On some songs they are a string band, they even do fiddle tunes. On one they reminded me of Blue Oyster Cult. They pretty much cover all the material in between. You have to love a band that doesnt believe in boundaries. What kind of music do they make? Good music. They are international, the front man and fiddler is from Ottawa. Anthony is practically from Canada, Westchester north of 287. I don't know about the rest. I just know I am a fan now.

I went to my usual alone at Rockwood 2 spot, the Statler and Waldorf Seats in the mezzanine. I didn't think I'd know anyone at the show and if I'm alone I want to be comfortable. I should know that I'm rarely alone at shows. I was nice and comfy and intent on the show when I heard a voice behind me. It was Craig. He came by to check them out before he had a gig at the Bowery. Saying Craig has a gig is sort of like saying I'm breathing. A few minutes later I heard my name called again. This time it was Chris. What is it with me and bass players? He was doing the next show at Rockwood. Too bad I was too tired to stay for it. Then when I went downstairs I saw Scott, Well Scott pretty much stalks me. Its the days that I don't run into him that are noteworthy. He had been at Allison's show too but I didn't see him. Good thing I like him or I'd have to get a restraining order against him. OK good thing he likes me.

I've been reading more of Equal Rites and want to write something quite appropriate to the title. This is about Esk, the first female wizard, or least she has the staff and the magic. The question is can she go to Unseen University and get the training. She's all of nine years old.

The first quote is by Treacle a wizard speaking of women.

"There is that yes." The wizard conceded generously. "But they can be a little unsettling at times. A little too excitable. High magic requires great clarity of though, you see, and women's alents do not lie in that direction. Their brains tend to overheat."
A few pages later is Eks's reaction to Treacle's and Granny's preconceived notions of what women can do,.
Why was it that when she heard Granny ramble on about witchcraft she longed for the cutting magic of wizardry, but whenever she heard Treacle speask in his high-pitched voice she would fight to the death for witchcraft? She'd be both, or none at all. And the more they intended to stop her, the more she wanted it.

She'd be a witch and a wizard too. And she would show them.

I can't help but cheer Esk on. She doesn't let anyone else put limits on her. Pratchett gets it. You are limited by your abilities, not people's notions of what your abilities should be. I've always hated the idea of role models that fit your demographics. It doesn't take someone that looks like you to be a role model. If people can do something you can do something as long as you have the talent. I am not a feminist, I'm a peopleist. It's about rejecting these irrelevant subsets of humanity not glorifying them. If you are a gay black blind dwarf woman there is no reason you can't be a wizard or theoretical physicist. I'd think the blind might be an obstacle but it is one that can be overcome. Leonard Euler was one of the greatest mathematicians and when he went blind he didn't slow down at all. He just had to have someone transcribe his ideas. Being deaf didn't stop Beethoven. Genius doesn't come from any part of your body but that three pounds lump of gray flesh in your skull. The rest is just its support systems.

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 14, 2013
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