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

December 18, 2013 - 12:36 p.m.

A League of Their Own

I did not get as much grading as I wanted yesterday. I'm only a little more than halfway done on the final and technically it is due today. I know that is only technically. The problem is that the students are doing terribly and that's always hard on me. I get into their brains and that's a scary place. One part that scares me is the paranoia. I assured them that on simultaneous equations that answers would be small integers, from -5 to 5. Students get fractions and large numbers and dont' even check their arithmetic. I once asked a student about that and he said, "Teachers tell you that just to make you get questions wrong."

Thank me I just deleted a paragraph of ranting about students.

Yesterday was my fantasy baseball league's annual Polar Beer Party. That's the party the winner hosts. It was at a restaurant across the street from Grand Central Station. That's just about the easiest place for me to get to in the City. One of the few places that is one train away. The is a pain because it goes way downtown where there are four stops very close together. But it makes up for it when it goes express from 14th street to 42nd. If I'm going to Union Square on 14th, I'll transfer to the since it's only two stops from Atlantic instead of seven.

OK enough of my obsession with commuting. We met at Tequilaville for one of our triannual rituals of male bonding. Only half the league showed up and that's sad. We used to all attend and people would bring their families. I miss that.

This is where I confuse myself. I am not a party person. I somehow learned how to stop being a wall flower and now do well in these situations but I prefer going out with one friend or perhaps two to any other social milieu. But I guess three times a year it's nice to have a difference and I'm a sucker for tradition. My conversation with these guys is not like it is with anybody else. At one point I told Angelo. I'm going to start singing a song, I'm not going to tell you what it is but you will join in. He did. How many of you could. If you aren't male and about my age you won't have a prayer.

There's a prehistoric monster
That came from outer space
Created by the Martians
To destroy the human race.

The FBI is helpless,
It's twenty stories tall.
What can we do? Who can we call?

Call Tobor, the Eighth Man.
Call Tobor, the Eighth Man.
Faster than a rocket.
Quicker than a jet.
He's the mighty robot.
He's the one to get.
Call Tobor, the Eighth Man.
Quick, call Tobor, the mightiest robot of them all!

Angelo chimed in at "Created by the Martians." It's the theme from 8th Man. The show ran in the US in 1965. That's it. One season. But it clearly made an impression on us. We almost had a knife fight as others in the league preferred the greatly inferior Gigantor. To put it in terms more of my Gentle Readers would get this is like preferring Hunger Games to The Lord of the Rings. It isn't a reason for commitment to an asylum but democracy would work better if those people didn't vote.

Speaking of democracy, politics is the one area I avoid discussing and when we strayed there I had to request we drop it. We can be on exactly the same page with 60s kids show (well except for the Gigantor thing) but the politics is straight out of Fox News.

But here's the thing. It's good to socialize with people totally at odds with your world view. I like these guys. They are good people. It's good to know that people that can hold views I find abhorrent can be good people. And it's good for them to know that people that disagree with them can be good people. I know I'm good people because Rod Picott wrote it on two CDs he signed for me. Oh and Carey has a nice smile. Rod I bet you were wondering where'd you'd fit into this. Where people differ is in their perceptions. They differ on which people they think of when they think of "the people." For the most part it isn't a matter of good and evil.

It reminds me very much of what a friend tells me of her experiences when she goes home, out of New York, where people see the world very differently. People that can be racists and still be loving caring people. How can that be? It's all about which people you identify with. I get upset at some of my progressive friends who paint all rich people as bad. They aren't. I know rich people as progressive as they are and it isn't a matter of them being the exception.

Make an effort to get out of the echo chamber. Just be careful to not argue politics as that will just harden the differences.

And it's nice talking to people who know that Blake's 7 is better than Firefly. I like arguing over who belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Bonds in! Rose out! That's stuff is fun to disagree about. We did lots of stupid trivia. I discovered that Toto is not a Scotch Terrier. I had no problem discussing the morality of hunting. It's something I would never do but I won't criticize anyone else for doing it. It's as clear as day that the morality isnt clear.

Oh I didn't tell you what I ate. That's important of course. I had a stuffed baked potato skin. I have been avoiding potato skins for years but decided to risk it. I'm fine and it was delicious. My main course was perfectly made Monterey chicken. I'm always nervous that chicken will be overcooked and dry.

Back to the people. I discovered that they didn't know my travails. Did I not tell them? I went to the draft two years ago days after being evicted. I think I did keep it hush hush then so as to not become the center of attention. And maybe I never told them. Or at least not the full extents. I assume that people that I see know but of course they won't if I don't tell them and they don't have the good sense to be among My Gentle Readers.

I'm doing a pretty good job now of maintaining the good attitude I got from writing Monday's Wise Madness, There's Nothing Fair About a Fairytale. There's a battle going on between the Third Prince and the existential angst but for now the Prince is winning. My current project is convincing myself that I'm adorable.

Wow it's late. I can muse on other things but I better make breakfast and get back to grading.

I have been ending with music this week and I'll do it again. As I brought him up I'll post Rod Picott's new video. It even brings up hunting.

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 December 18, 2013
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