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

February 18, 2014 - 11:32 a.m.

Lto Me: Lie to Myself: Lie to Yourself

Hey I'm starting to write at 9:19 this morning. That's not bad. Too bad I have no idea what I'm going to write about. I once again didn't do anything interesting. I did manage to do laundry before the snow came again. Not only that but I didn't lose a sock! I always lose at least once sock when I do laundry.

I didn't leave the neighborhood and went food shopping at the local produce store. I planned on making soup needed to find my potato substitute. I sometimes use potato, sometimes plantain, and sometimes I experiment with a Caribbean tuber. This is what I bought yesterday.

Does anyone know what it is? Do I have one reader that can identify it? It's a yampi, a staple on Jamaica. It is quite good. I couldn't find much about how to cook it so I just cubed it and cooked it in my soup just like I do a potato. It worked. The soup was great. I make a variant of this every week but every time I do I'm amazed at how good it is. It makes me feel like I'm really cooking and gives me so much satisfaction.

Not only that but I had an honest to god conversation with my landlady. We talked about cooking and food and the other people that live here. I often think of myself as difficult to live with but to her I'm a pleasure. That's good to know.

Now what to write about. I have a political theme and I have a religious theme but I'm not sure anyone would be interested. Maybe I'll start with something personal without getting into any specifics.

I had to confront that I've been fooling myself. I almost wrote about this weeks ago but then it was "I'm afraid I've been fooling myself." Oh great that's all I feel comfortable saying. Well I can at least make a Buffy Reference. In Lie To Me Buffy encounters her childhood friend Ford who tries to betray her to Spike. Why? He has a terminal brain tumor and wants to become a vampire so he can live. To do that he's ready to kill Buffy and a group of innocent people. He said he had no choice. Buffy says "You always have choices. They may not be good choices, but you have a choice." That's Pretty profound for a show about a high school student killing vampires. At the end when Ford gets killed by Spike and she has to face her part in it and how she still likes and misses Ford she has to confront the truth that sometimes none of her choices are good. She wants Giles to say something to make her feel better. I can't find a clip but this is their exchange.

Buffy: Does it ever get easy?

Ford suddenly rises from his grave, a vampire just like he wanted, and
attacks Buffy. She plunges a stake into his heart with no more effort
than swatting a fly. He steps back and looks at the stake protruding
from his chest. He looks back up and bursts into ashes.

Giles: You mean life?

Buffy: Yeah. Does it get easy?

Giles: What do you want me to say?

Buffy: (looks up at him) Lie to me.

Giles: (considers a moment) Yes, it's terribly simple.

They start walking out of the cemetery.

Giles: The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are
easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we
always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody
lives happily ever after.

Buffy: Liar.

That seems right on point except that I was doing it all by myself. Well everybody always said I was Giles. Early Buffy was amazing. It could deal with things like that and still be funny and realize it was about vampires in high school. I still want to argue when I think of someone saying that the later seasons were better because they dealt with important things. What she meant was trendy social causes that she cared about. I care about them too but thought the show became overly earnest and heavy handed. This is something important and handled to perfection. And writing about that totally distracted me from what I lied to myself about.

OK I finally figured out what to write about, the internet as a stupidity magnifier. When something goes viral I find that I don't want to click on it. I have natural immunity. Yes sometimes they can be good but usually they aren't. Most of the time it's something silly and there are a zillion things just as interesting. Is the world a better place because millions of people watched Gangnam Style? But that's not what I'm getting at. It's the news stories and fake news stories that spread. Everyone knows that you can't believe everything you read on the internet but they they'll spread things that they didn't check out at all. So many are false. Even more are true but blown out of all proportion. That some idiot local sheriff said something bigoted doesn't say anything about the state of the world. But I can read about it over and over again.

Even when things are real we let what goes viral set out public agenda instead of what's important. It's why I always try and post news stories that aren't getting attention. So how about you get your news from a newspaper. Give it a try. And when you read something on Facebook check out the source and go past the headline. Try out music because somebody's whose opinion you respect likes it not because everybody is talking about it. Remember that everything isn't the end of the world just because you see it on everyone's timeline. And as I've been pointing out there are huge tragedies affecting millions of people in the world. Syria is being torn apart by civil war. The Central African Republic is in danger of genocide. They deserve more of your attention than the hot story of the moment.

And now my attention is going to breakfast. I think it's an omelet day. They got Taylor hame back at Pathmark and I have to celebrate and eat some.

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 February 18, 2014
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