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
July 12, 2015 - 11:19 a.m.
Hey I started writing before 10 AM. There was a time I wanted to start before 9 but I'll take this. What matters is that I didn't look for things to do instead of writing. Well I did but not for too long.
Wow I just made myself sad thinking about something. Of all the words of tongue and pen the saddest are these, what might have been. That's actually what often make me put off writing. I have something sad on my mind that I don't want to write about. I went out yesterday but this might end up being an introspective edition of Wise Madness. That is why I keep fighting the urge to look for things to do online instead of writing.
I had a bad mental health day. If you couldn't pick that up from the first two paragraphs you are having a bad reading day. I didn't leave here till 8 PM yet I couldn't get myself to make dinner. That's one of the worst signs. I tried watching a move on my computer, the The Hulk I just got to the first time he hulked out. And turned it off. I don't think that's my mental health's fault. I blame that on the movie. For the most part I like the Marvel films. I enjoy almost all of them. So it's not that it's not my kind of film.
When I got myself moving it was to see Jason Trachtenburg's band The Pendulum Swings in Bushwick. Know what's great about a show in Bushwick. I can walk there. It was about 2.5 miles. The Bushwick part of the walk was a bit sketchy. It was getting dark but the street lights weren’t on. There was nobody else on the streets which were not residential or commercial but industrial. It looked like a lot of warehouses. It was at the Basement Bar which was hard to find. I got there, saw the sign, and it pointed at a locked gate to an alley. There was a women waiting in front of it. A little digression, I felt friendly to the woman because she gave me memory flashes of Ruthy Unger Merenda and Mira Stanley. That's two good people to remind me of if you want me to like you. But the key point was it was 9 PM, the start time and we couldn't get in. Somebody else waiting decided to try the hostel next door. Then someone came out the gate and we went in. We met the people who went into the hostel. That's how you are supposed to enter even though nothing indicated that. As you might guess the bar is in the basement.
I didn't try and get there early as I suspected the show wouldn't start at 9:00, Jason didn't get there till after I did. The music started at 9:37; there were two acts before The Pendulum Swings. The first clearly wanted to be young folk Bob Dylan. The second was a young French woman with a lot of electronics. There were times where she was just dancing to things she had looped. Not my style. Lots of the people in the crowed loved it.
Pendulum Swings, I'm not sure if there is a "the" at the start, is a Jazz Big Band. Last night's incarnations had a trumpet, trombone, two alto saxes, electric guitar, electric bass, drums, and Jason on vocals. The style is Neurojazz. They might be the only practitioners. As the name implies it's Jazz Neuromusic fusion. The essence of neuromusic is that it creates its own esthetic as it goes along. When you do that and it doesn't work it's called pure crap. When it works it's neuromusic. I know I'm being inconsistent with capitalization. That seems appropriate for neuro anything. If you prefer neuromusic is like pornography, it's fun. No that's not the quote. I can't define it but I know it when I see it. But it is fun; Neuromusic that is.
They started with a cover because Jason's daughter Rachel said that's a good idea. I should remember what it was. I know it was not played straight. I should have taken notes. Jason went on some brilliant tangents. They did some songs from the musical Jason wrote, Doctor Glassheart. I saw that in Bushwick. I walked there. I also see his daughter Rachel though I have not seen her current band, The Prettiots which is receiving a lot of attention. I run into his wife Tina frequently in Union Square. You've seen her too, she's the pigeon lady. She sells model pigeons that she makes. They were all in the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, neuromusic archetypes.
They finished their set around midnight and I headed home. I wasn't going to walk that late. I walked over to Broadway and had perfect timing catching the B46. That's the bus I used to take to Heather's so I know it well. I got back around 12:40, I finally made dinner then. Maybe I'm a vampire.
A good thing about walking is that it stimulates thinking. It had one of those aha moments. I found a way of talking about something I can't talk directly about here. I often feel like Linus before Halloween. He wants to talk about the Great Pumpkin but nobody wants to hear it. It makes him feel alone. But still he sits in what he knows is the most sincere pumpkin patch in the world, the one The Great Pumpkin will arise in.
There's something that I others dismiss as soon as I bring up. So no I will not bring it up here. It isn't a myth or pseudoscience of course. And I don't even think it's true. This blog as you might recognize gets its name from Don Quixote; "Better wise madness than foolish sanity." I confess that might actually be from The Man of La Mancha. Don Quixote also inspired the film They Might Be Giants which of course inspired the band's name. In that film George C. Scott's character, Justin Playfair, responds to someone saying that he's like Don Quixote with this:
Well, he had a point. 'Course he carried it a bit too far. He thought that every windmill was a giant. That's insane. But, thinking that they might be, well... All the best minds used to think the world was flat. But what if it isn't? It might be round. And bread mold might be medicine. If we never looked at things and thought of what might be, why we'd all still be out there in the tall grass with the apes.I don't believe in the Great Pumpkin but I consider the possibility that he exists and I have good reason to believe I have the most sincere pumpkin patch.
I'm not sure how many layers of metaphor and reference I'm using there. I don't view that as a negative. I'm going to give myself a treat and make pancakes for breakfast.
I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.
Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
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