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
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
January 18, 2018 - 12:22 p.m.
I love blogging. I love having blogged. I hate starting to blog. That's why Wise Madness frequently starts with something weird like this. That, and I love meta. I hate starting things in general; it's related to my anxiety. It took me a few days to rip the CDs I got at APAP. I still have a backlog of videos and photos to edit. Time to go back to discussing that in therapy; I've been working on the depression.
I take two buses to get to Aldi where I do much of my grocery shopping. I suspect that's not common. That was yesterday's expedition. I stopped at CVS, at the transfer point, to straighten out my prescriptions. They keep filling a prescription that I told them to stop. The pharmacist told me that she can't do anything about it; that's done from a central location, not in the individual stores and the system has glitches. I can't fill the subscription I need until tomorrow. If Jane can't give me a ride to the train station tomorrow I have to switch buses again, so I can pick it up then.
I just realized that I have not made plans for the Women's March on Saturday. I know I'm going but I don't know when or where it starts or with whom I'm going. I just wrote two marching buddies to see if they wanted to march together. I finished writing that and another friend messaged me asking if I wanted to march with him. Now I know the time. I might be able to stop at the CVS on the way down there. If it were early I couldn't.
I decided it was wisest to not write what I was planning. I almost wrote it anyway because there was one sentence I wanted use. I'm going to give it devoid of all context. Like Orpheus and Lot's wife, it's dangerous of me to look back. I could write about that. Does everyone associate the two stories? The context is different, but the ban is the same and the consequences dire. The old testament god does business like the Greek god of the underworld. Thank you, Jonathan Byrd, for reminding me to write that. He just mentioned Lot's wife in a song on the album Mother Tongue that I'm listening to.
I just remember two things I wanted to write about, now it's three. I was about to give up and not write at all. Good thing I persisted.
I was doing some online research yesterday into one of the topics I'm not writing about. In the course of it I read a comment on the on-air staff of a radio station. This is very much not WFUV; it was a station on the west coast. The commenter singled out one woman and said she was shrill and couldn't listen to her even though he agreed with her more than a man on the station that he did listen to. Wow, I just checked and saw that I was wrong. He called her a shill, not shrill. Like many a great idea this was sparked by a mistake by an idiot.
My response to the misreading was that the writer was a misogynist whether he knew it or not. No one ever calls a man shrill, it's a female-specific insult. I have tried to avoid the use of gender-specific insults and I inwardly cringe when others make them. On further thought I realized that misogyny was not the right word as I've heard women, feminist women, use terms like shrill and bitch. It's prejudice and it's deep seated but that doesn't mean it involves hatred as misogyny does. There's the classic story of the young black girl what was asked which doll was better, the black or the white one. She was then asked which doll she most resembled and with tears in her eyes she said the black one. This was one of the arguments used to end segregation. The prejudices are seated deeply in our minds and in society. That hypothetical commenter is not necessarily a misogynist any more than the little girl was a racist.
The fact that it's unconscious and absorbed from those around us does not make it less harmful. Even worse we can't assume that we are free of it. I make an effort to avoid the terms, I don't always succeed. I don't beat myself up when I fail but I notice and try to do better next time. If we all did that it would not pervade society and find it's way into children's minds.
As part of that we should not make gender or racial or ethnic specific insults about anyone, including whites, men, and Christians. If it is wrong for them to castigate a group for the actions of an individual and visa versa it's wrong for us to do it. When people use expressions such as mansplaining it reinforces the perception that we can judge people by gender. It's part of the pervasive prejudice that enters are minds.
Let's all try and get through this day without saying bitch or witch or words that I don't like using. Don't call women shrill or over-emotional. If you catch yourself apologize. If someone else uses the terms don't on them. That makes things worse. You might want to gently explain why it is harmful. Don't say "wrong." Don't let the other person think you are saying he or she is bad. You can say nothing but lead by example.
OK now I have to make brunch and do something that I've had trouble starting for weeks. Today I'm going to do it, or my therapist will start cutting my fingers off. She was joking. She knew that I would know that she's joking. It's her job to know me. She is not a bitch. Whoops. I'm sorry, I should not have said that.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
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