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

September 27, 2014 - 12:12 p.m.

Gods and Tables

I know I had some sort of religious rant planned for today. I wonder if I'll write it. I know it comes out of a quote from Terry Pratchett so we'll see how I feel when I get to it. Bur as usual I'll start with the facts. Know why? That's easy to write about. That's how you blog almost every day for 14 years.

Yesterday Heather asked me to do a favor; pick up a prescription she needed at her doctor. The thing is the doctor is over on Avenue D so he's not easy to get to. But as she couldn't do it and he couldn't call it in and I'm a saint I went. Now I could have gotten there with one train and one bus but I'm pretty sure it's faster going the way I did, the to the to the to the M14D bus. Getting to Heather's was easier and faster, the M9 bus to the . Yes I got lots of commuting in there. I know nobody else cares but it amuses me

When I got to Heather's I was a saint again. I help her hang some art that she's too short to do. But I still needed to use a ladder and I'm a bit phobic about ladders. I can always overcome that phobia but I always feel it. This has been since childhood. I know when I'm on a ladder my heart will race and I'll get that feeling in the pit of my stomach. Why don't I get a Nobel Peace Prize? As another way of putting it is that I'm the best boyfriend ever why don't I get a girlfriend? I think I'd prefer the latter. But not the ladder of course.

But after all that I got my reward. Not the dinner though the andouille sausage was great. I got to watch Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars on her TV. Well OK it's my TV but her cable. It is on Free Disney HD on Demand. P & F is the TV I miss the most and I wanted to see this special since I first heard about it. I hate that Disney owns everything but this is a benefit. They get to combine P & F and Star Wars. I thought wouldn't like the first P & F movie, Across the 2nd Dimension but I loved it. So this time I had faith. I was rewarded. This was not a retelling of the Star Wars Saga with the show's characters in the lead parts. It was like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead there story goes on parallel to the movie and occasionally intersects it. The actual Star Wars characters were drawn in a totally different, realistic style. It was filled with tiny gags. You find out that the Death Star was a scaling up of one of Dr. Dooenshmirtz's inators. I loved it. Phineas and Ferb is not the best cartoon or kid's show it's the best show on TV.

I finally finished rereading The Lord of the Rings That means I finished reading the appendices. Yes I'm a nerd, I read it all. Outside of science and math stuff fantasy is the heart of my nerdocity. I have not just read the Hobbit, LOTR and The Silmarillion. I've read the complete 12 part History of Middle Earth, books on the Elven languages, all of Tolkien's unrelated fantasies, and various books about Tolkien's works. If you have a Tolkien question ask me.

I started Terry Pratchett's Reaper Man: A Novel of Discworld. It's the earliest book in the series that I have missed. It's about DEATH getting fired and that means that DEATH is going to die. That raises some interesting questions. Here's the quote I wanted to show you.

Wizards don't believe in gods in the same way that most people don't find it necessary to believe in, say, tables. They know they're there, they know they're there for a purpose, they'd probably agree that they have a place in a well-organized universe, but they wouldn't see the point of believing, of going around saying, "O great table, without whom we are naught." Anyway either the gods are there whether you believe or not or rexist only as a function of the belief, so either way you might as well ignore the whole business and as it were, eat off your knees.

Nevertheless there is a small chapel off the University's great Hall Because while wizards don't believe in gods they know for a fact that gods believe in gods

That's great writing, it gets you to think about things you don't see because it is all around you, the way you don't think about why you don't fall through the floor. Why does the floor stop you from going through it? That's a good science question you should think about. But that's not my point for now. Everyone knows you worship gods or nowadays in America at least, God. But why? If god exists why worship him? What's the point of all the prayers of praise and all the rituals? Do people think that god is some narcissist that will punish you if you don't go through all these rituals and follow his proscriptions in his honor? Judaism, Islam, and Catholicism have tons of ritual. Evangelical Protestantism doesnt but it requires you to accept Jesus as your personal savior or you get eternally punished in hell. Most people don't think about these things because it's the way it's always been. Some come up with complex explanations to show that's not what is really going on. Now that's not everyone. C.S. Lewis felt that if you were a good person you got saved but his brand of theology is considered a heresy. And even Lewis went to church and followed rituals. Would a god that wasn't a narcissist want that even if he doesn't demand it? I'd think it would get bloody annoying after a while. A well adjusted table is happy letting allowing us to not eat off our knees with perhaps an occasional polishing appreciated.

Perhaps you totally disagree with my take on it. That's fine. Getting you to think about it is what matters, not just accepting things because "that's the way things are." And that's why Pratchett's writing is more than light entertainment. It's filled with jokes and silliness but it makes you think. I'd like to think somebody feels that way about Wise Madness. But please don't make a habit of saying so. An occasional polishing I all I want.

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 September 27, 2014
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