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

August 21, 2014 - 11:52 a.m.

There's a Better World a Comin' Tell You Why Why Why

Yesterday was not a good mental health day. The only time I left the house was to buy a plantain. I spent a lot of time talking to Katrina last night so I wasn't isolated, that's good. Know what did a lot of good? Dinner especially dessert. In addition to the plantains I made chicken Italian sausages on hot dog rolls with American cheese That has no right to taste as good as it does. But the dessert was the key. For the first time this summer I had ice creamed coffee, chocolate ice cream in cold brew coffee. Why is this not standard fare? It is the best summer drink, refreshing and delicious.

I have nothing planned for a while so I am going to have to start writing about ideas. How do I have so little music on my schedule? Oh I am going to celebrate having glasses by going to the movies. I have to figure out what to see.

But now for one of those ideas. A friend was getting down from reading the news, Ferguson, Syria, Ukraine, Ebola, . It can feel like the apocalypse is coming. But that's distorted view. Here's some perspective. Seven billion people did not kill anybody or kill anybody. Seven billion people don't have Ebola. 318 million Americans are living in places without rioting.

The news is man bites dog not dog bites man. We aren't going to read; "Family goes to the beach and has fun." They've done surveys, most people in the world are happy. It isn't news that thousands of people went to a folk festival in Hillsdale NY and spent a long weekend of bliss.

And things are getting better. People think it's going to hell but people think lots of things. There's a remarkable book that I have been meaning to read since it came out, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker. Go read the NY Times review of it. Things were much worst in the past. The idealized noble savages killed each other at far higher rates than modern people. Fifteen percent of prehistoric humans died from violence. Think about that, almost one in seven. No one I know well has been killed. " One game in feudal Europe involved men competing to head-butt to death a cat that had been nailed alive to a post." We dont do that anymore. Kristoff wrote great piece on the book too, Are We Getting Nicer?.

People always think the world is declining but the opposite is true. It isn't news but there's so much good and so much beauty I the world. Every day you encounter people being kind. People offer me a seat on the train all the time and I'm not old and infirm, usually just carrying things or trying to read. There's the blue sky and the green grass; the sun the moon and the stars. There's dogs and cats and children and videos of all of them. OK the cat videos are not a good thing. There's music, art, and literature. We live in a world with Beethoven's Ninth. There are friends and family. We have a black president and gays can get married. Who would have imagined that 30 years ago? We can connect to so more information than all the books in a library with a device we keep in our pocket. We make huge machines to smash particles together to find out nothing practical but simply to understand the universe better. We've been to the moon for god's sake, the very symbol of the impossible. Look around and you'll see people in love, getting married, and having children they love. These are not rare events. these happen every day.

My life sucks now but even on my personal level there's so much good. I get Acoustic Live presents its nominee for The Undisputed All-Time Heavyweight Champion of Folk Music Support written about me. I get to go wear a white suit to both my nephew's wedding and Falcon Ridge and still have people like me. I get to see my friend's kids run on stage unprodded and sing with the Kennedys. I had folk festival headlined by Bobtown on my birthday. And don't forget that ice creamed coffee.

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 August 21, 2014
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