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May Day morning

Sunday 5/1/22

Why It Was Written: Pain-Free Explorations of Life-Changing Literature


Ran 5000 stairs yesterday. Today marks 2128 days, or 304 weeks, without a drink.


Listened to the expanded version of Joy Division's Still. The most emotionally intense band there has been--not particularly close.


Watched 1972's The Fishing Party, a TV film that was part of the BBC's Play for Today series. Excellent. Three miners/mates from Leeds go on a fishing trip. Everything about it was bang on. Funny, surprising, real, touching. One can only do one's self good watching this film.


A group of youths have been attacking people on the Common. You get beaten up by a gang of kids. Michelle Wu, who has to be the worst major in the history of Boston--and is easily the most deranged--put out a statement that the city will help these kids. The assailants. What is wrong with this crazy woman? Even if you wanted to help them, get them the support they need, that is what you lead with and speak to when there have been people who have been beaten and bloodied? People just walking to work, to meet someone, going about their lives?


Speaking of Wu and her ilk, here's a quote from an online discussion. It's well-written, and it should be read, because it's true:


“I'm starting to think that the Trump ascendancy is the most fascinating and consequential event of my lifetime. I'm not exactly an expert historian, but I really can't find any previous historical episode where an entire ruling class (also comprising a culture and intellectual class) had such a sustained and complete nervous breakdown, to the point where they repudiated every prior principle and belief and replaced it with a permanent nonstop juvenile tantrum. (I guess living in the age of Twitter makes a big difference.)


"Ever since that man came down that escalator, what used to be a liberal ruling class that supported free thought and free expression etc. has turned into a vindictive, authoritarian Red Guard (if the Red Guards were all emotionally brittle and psychologically unstable toddlers) that uses guilt, shame and bigotry accusations instead of bullets.


"The Left in America has locked itself inside an ideological hall of mirrors where no matter the idea or action (even sex ed for kindergarteners!) they are automatically the good, wise and benevolent custodians of a utopian future, and anyone who even slightly dissents becomes ipso facto the opposite, dangerous bigoted reactionaries who need to be gagged and cancelled.


"They have talked each other into a psychosis-level derangement and there just seems to be no penetrating their bubble of dogmatic certitude, ideological fanaticism, pious moralism, and self-flattering sanctimony.


"But sadly and unfortunately they still control the media, academia, publishing, Hollywood, more or less all of our art and culture. I don't see how this ends well...”


Can't be much more correct than that. I think there's an overvaluation of Trump in this argument, but maybe because I also believe that I have not had my opportunity yet, and so I don't want to call ballgame so soon on what the most important development in these times will be. I would say that the above paragraphs should be must reading. That person has summed up a significant part of what is happening. I would think it's obvious--or I would have, once--but I also know that nothing is obvious to people, no matter how obvious it is. Or very little. The sun hanging in the sky is not obvious to them.


Those dynamic Red Sox scored a run in the top of the first last night and then were shut down for the rest of the game by a juggernaut of an Orioles team. This Red Sox squad sucks. That's 1/6 of the season down. Bloom needs to go, and Cora looks sad and old. He looks defeated. The old man facial hair thing he's doing? His whole demeanor is off. Cora is a manager who can't be successful two years in a row, because his entire managerial approach is based on energy and buy-in. That fades. Guys get all into it for one year, it works, then they fall back, the rah-rah is not maintained. So he could maybe have success with them next year if he doesn't get fired and if they actually build a decent roster, which Bloom obviously is not invested in. They're also terrible at fielding. Same as last year.


Sent birthday presents to my two nieces, one of whom is two, the other who just turned six, along with an explanatory text to my sister. I got the former a Piglet stuffed animal and the other--who is super smart and has practically taught herself to read--a boxed set of the first ten Nancy Drew novels. "Piglet is for A, books for L. She will figure out how to read them soon enough and in the meanwhile you can read them to her and they can sit on her shelf in a big block to remind her that books can be special things we should treat and regard with care and the best ones are always there for us. Piglet is admirable and has qualities few of us do and all of us should, so teach A that."



Here's some more fun: