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

January 09, 2018 - 11:14 a.m.

Return of the Jedi References

Yesterday was never get out of my pjs day. Tomorrow might be too, I have plans tonight and for Thursday through Monday. I'm tired just thinking about it. I might skip one day. I worry about eating; I don't want to eat out that often.

I did something stupid last night, I ate marshmallows and peanut butter before going to sleep. Why is that stupid? It makes me get up in the middle of the night and run to the bathroom. It tastes so damn good, but I must resist. When I was up at 3:30 in the morning when all is dark in the world I started sliding into depression vortex. This time the Jedi mind tricks steered me clear. I should tell my therapist that I call what she teaches me Jedi mind tricks. I'm not even a huge Star Wars fan but its become an excellent cultural frame of reference, exactly the way classical mythology used to serve.

I can make a Game of Thrones reference too. I told Honor that if I were to get a tattoo this is what it would be.

The key word is, "if," I am never going to get a tattoo. Instead that is going to be my coat of arms and those will be the words of my House. Much cooler than, "A Lannister always keeps his word."

I watched The Librarians last night. Most episodes have a magical object as the McGuffin. Last night's was The Needle of Koschei the Deathless. My nom de cyberspace is "Horvendile." He's the protagonist of James Branch Cabell's The Cream of the Jest and a minor character in his more well-known book, Jurgen. Another character in Jurgen is "Koschei the Deathless, who created all things as they are." The Librarians were not referencing that but the character from Russian folk tales, where Cabell got the name from. Still, it's another reason to love The Librarians. It's a superhero show where the superpower is being literally book smart.

What does Joss Whedon have against being book smart? In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow starts out as the nerdy genius who I book and computer smart. As the show evolved that all faded away and her role on the show became supernatural, her use of magic.

Now I watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a Joss Whedon production. Daisy, originally called Sky, started as a super computer hacker, just like Willow. Then she got magic powers and learned martial arts and now she's a fighter. The writers seem to have forgotten her computer skills. They also seem to think that a little training will turn anyone into a ninja, the two scientist characters, Fitz and Simmons, also became super fighters.

That expertise can be quickly acquired, often without training, is a common trope in action movies and TV shows. I hated in Avatar that the protagonist doesn't go through the year of training his brother did and just jumps into the Avatar and after one minor mishap is a pro. I wanted him to immediately die when he ignored the warnings and just tried it out. Remember the first time you drove a car? And you had seen people operate cars and knew the theory behind it.

Unfortunately, this prejudice against training, expertise, and experience, happens other places than fiction. There's the perpetual appeal of hiring a non-politician to run states, and now the country. The only one that worked out well was Bloomberg as mayor of New York. The worst of course is our current president. It's the same as Avatar. People don't know what's needed to run a city, state, or country, so they think it's easy. Now people want Oprah for president. They don't learn. If she wanted to run for congress, fine, a congressman or even a senator isn't in charge. If she spends years learning the job it doesn't hurt anyone. It's why most politicians start as legislators.

How did I end up talking about Oprah? I rejected my entire ideas bin because everything in there was politics. I wanted to write about fiction as a cultural frame of reference. Looking back, it does fit in. It's about people conflating myth with reality.

Now I have to prepare a graphic for the John Platt's On Your Radar's Instagram. You should follow it. You should come out tonight; the guests are Diamond Hotel, Meghan Cary, and Shawn Taylor.

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 January 09, 2018
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