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

May 29, 2014 - 12:12 p.m.

Expectations Should Be Great

Wow I did not do much exciting yesterday. I did not do much of anything. I did manage to do my laundry, that's important. I now have clean clothes and won't touch my teaching outfits till September. I shouldn't be wearing sock too often from now on either.

I decided that I didn't want to keep all the kitchen utensils in my room to keep them from the thief stealing them. I was hoping that he adjusted to using the ones that the landlady gave him so he wouldn't have to use the ones for everybody. I put the knife block back in the kitchen. the first day he stole the last remaining steak knife. He now has all six. That is so frustrating. The landlady says she can't kick him out for complex reasons.

I had a nice talk with LORi yesterday. Our first in a while I would say that I'm working at reconnecting with people but they are connecting with me. In the last week I've talked to Roy, Katrina, and LORi.

I finished watching Cadfael so last night I started watching Highlander I watched the first episode. It's not a great show but there was something about it that I loved. Maybe it was a great show. "In the end there can be only one." It worked for me.

As part of my continuing music therapy I'm listening to Edith Piaf on Spotify. La Vie En Rose breaks my heart every time I have very little idea what it means but it's exactly how I feel

I was going to write about a meme going around facebook that disturbs me but I realized that it's mainly one person repeating it many times. So it's not the problem I thought it was. I know that person has exactly those issues. I was fooling myself into thinking this was pervasive but trying to write about it made things clear. Yet another benefit of blogging. Writing makes you focus your thoughts.

So I better focus my thoughts. This grew out of my thoughts on feminism in Tolkien that I wrote yesterday but as I focus my thoughts my topic expanded. It's on prejudice in all its forms not just sexism. There are many forms of discrimination and people naturally notice the most blatant and vicious forms. But in modern America where institutional discrimination is illegal and socially unacceptable implicit discrimination does as much if not more harm. Blacks are no longer slaves. They are no longer banned from public accommodations. Donald Sterling is being forced to sell the Clippers because of a racist remark he made. Women can vote. Woman can hold just about any job. The majority of new doctors are women. There are more women in congress than ever before. But anyone that doesn't thing there is still bigotry is fooling themselves. Part of the reason it is so hard to stamp out is that it doesn't involve lynching blacks or banning women from occupations. It is about expectations. It's about prejudice in the literal sense, pre judging.

I was talking to a woman the other day who wanted to be an astronomer when she was young. She abandoned that dream in middle school. She said it wasn't that she was discouraged by her parents or teachers but perhaps it was jus societal attitudes. And that I see all the time. And I see it women as well as men. And it lets people fool themselves. the teacher won't see the girl or the black boy as one of the special ones that should be shepherded into the sciences. The grad school professors won't see them as ones with the spark they are looking for. So much cannot be quantified and tested so we rely on intuition but that is influenced by prejudice.

We all suffer when people are not encouraged or even discouraged from fulfilling their potential. It means that we aren't getting the best people to do important things. And that's how we have to see it. When we help blacks, women, gays, we help everyone.

And it's a matter of personal happiness. We should be free to do what we want, not what is expected of us. And we cannot demand that for ourselves and deny it to others. And that means going out of our way to see things from the point of view of others. This started by thinking about women and I'm going to return there. There's a lot of appeal to the notion that children are better off with a stay-at-home mom. And children of single parents are disadvantaged relative to those with two. But remember half those children are girls. So is it better for them if they grow up pressured into being stay-at-home mothers? We need to rethink things. Society has been built around the notion that a family is a man that goes out and works and a woman that stays home and takes care of the kids. That model if followed less and less often but we haven't restructured society. Instead of making people live in the conventional model we can make it easier for those that don't. We can provide childcare. We can provide maternity leave. We can provide for paternity leave. We can not look askance at a man that becomes a stay-at-home dad. We can stop insisting that individuals change to fit society's expectations and expect society to sometimes change to fit the individual's needs.

OK. Now I have to look after a need of my own. I have to pay for the insurance I got from the ACA. You know how hard it is for me to do things like that. the deadline is tomorrow. I was going to do it yesterday but couldnt find my bills. Now I found them and will go online and pay them. That sounds easy, and it is to most people. It isn't for me. I feel the anxiety rising just writing about it. But I can do it. I know that I have people on my side.

NOOOOO! I wanted to end with a quote from LOTR and I can't find it. It's about having allies you don't know you have. I guess it's time to reread it. It's also time for me to get insurance and then eat lunch. It feels like a breakfast sandwich on a bagel day.

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 May 29, 2014
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