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 10, 2013 - 11:41 a.m.

Kristin, Michaela, and Octarine

I had one of those scary insights into my students' minds yesterday. We were doing word problems solved by solving a system of simultaneous equations. The first was about a combination of dimes and nickels that is worth 95. We have done money problems before and I pointed out how that this one was already in cents so we don't have to convert it to avoid the decimals. Then a few questions later there was one that involves prices, a mixture of organic and conventional peanuts cost $3.60/lbs. I said that as always to avoid decimals we'll call it 360. A student's hand shot up, "Then why didn't you write 95 cents as .95 dollars on the other question?" Can you get your head around what's going on in his head? Didn't I just explain that we did something to avoid using decimals? But apparently none of that registered on him at all. To him it was "If' it is dollars we change it to cents so if it is in cents we should change it to dollars?" He doesn't see that you do things for a reason. I see that every semester. I cannot put myself into those people's place.

I'm obsessing over something stupid at the moment and have to force myself to get past it. It is in a similar vein but not from school. It isn't that Chris Christie is way ahead in the polls but that is annoying me too.

I did something I rarely do yesterday. I came home after school then went back into the City. I went to a 10:O'Clock show and was exhausted so I figured I'd come home and nap. Of course I couldn't once I was in my bed. All I did was eat all my time so I couldn't get dinner.

The show was Kristin Andreassen and Michaela Anne at Rockwood Music Hall. As they said, "You can tell we are not a band, we are two friends that like singing together.


Michaela Anne

I first saw Michaela Anne follow a friend performing someplace and I bet it was Kristin or Sometymes Why. Michaela and I got on speaking terms at a Sometymes Why show where she knew she knew me from someplace and I felt the same way. It was one of the situations where we were awkwardly staring at each other. We figured out that we met at NERFA.

They did a lot of new material and Kristin's didn't sound like her older material. It had more of a traditional and less of a clever singer songwritery feel. That's the world I'm seeing her in now so it makes sense. It's still brilliant. Their styles fit well together as do their voices. I love the song they wrote together. Do not ask me about it. You know I can't remember anything. But I know at the time it held my interest from beginning to end and that's what matters.

This was supposed to be a duo show but Kristin forgot her harmonica so they were joined by someone on a electric guitar.

I totally forgot his name. It's a cartoon villain name like Crusher. He has a real name too. I'm pretty sure he does. But again you can't expect me to remember these things.

After the show I saw that Kevin was there squeezed against the door. The place was packed but I was lucky enough to get a seat. Well OK not lucky, I got there early so I could.

The place was so packed that I didn't stay to socialize I just got hugs and handshakes and headed out.

OK I have some time and room to write so I might as well get to something I was thinking about. What is it like to be an intelligent unbigoted Republican. Yes they exist. But the fact that your first thought was "No such thing" is my point. They have to know that a supermajority of Republicans don't believe in evolution. that most believe Obama is Muslim or not born in the US or both. They have to know that the majority of bigots that vote, vote Republicans. That's no accident of course. After the 1968 election the Republicans went after the George Wallace vote and got it. The Reagan landslide was built on the Archie Bunkers of the country. Then they added the homophobes. Yes all Republicans aren't like that but the majority of those that do that vote, vote Republican.

You might think you'd start questioning your own judgment when it coincides with those people but that's not what happens. Actually it did and those that felt that way became Democrats and Independents. But to those that remain it has to be hard to think about and my guess is that they dont'. It's a painful line of thought and people avoid painful lines of thought. Hey that's what my anxiety is all about. .

That isn't what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about Octarine! I'm getting further into Equal Rites and loving it even more. Octarine is the color of magic, the eighth color of the Discworld Rainbow. It played a big part in the early Discworld Books but not the latter and I haven't thought about it in a while. If you search Wise Madness for the word you'll see that I have used it quite a bit in the past but not recently. NO!!!!! the inspiration is gone. I had it perfectly on the subway last night as I planned this. I need to write right after reading the book when my brain is turbocharged. That's what Pratchett does. He gets my mind racing. Last night it was all so clear how all that is magical in the world is inter-related, OK let me quote one passage. That will help. Granny Weatherwax is the greatest witch in Discworld and Esk is a young girl, her student. Granny had just put her hand into a beehive and induced the queen into walking on to her hand. Esk how how she did it.

"Do you think I used magic?"
Esk looked down at the queen bee. She looked up a the witch.
"No," she said, "I think you know a lot about bees."
Granny Grinned.
"Exactly correct. That's one form of magic, of course. "
"What just knowing things?"
"Knowing things that other people don't know.

That's real magic the kind that can exist in worlds that aren't carried on the back of giant elephants that stand on the back of an even larger turtle. And that's octarine. Everything magic emits it and you just have to learn to see it. It's the unifying principle of all I hold dear, quantum mechanics, baseball, music, the people I love. It's as clear as day though as invisible to most people as the reason we convert things to cents is to my student.

And here is why I differ from prophets, self help gurus, and other snake oil salesman. I know this is my metaphor, that it a metaphor and that it's personal. I know it's a statement about me, not about the world. I would love if you related to it so it was a statement about you too but I'd never try to convince you of it.

OK as usual I've wasted too much time. I have to meet Katherine in an hour and a half and I haven't eaten yet and I have to measure a window. No I'm not telling you why.

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 10, 2013
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