Oh frabjous day!
It is Friday the 13th. My luck on such days, if I believed in such things as luck, has always been a cut above normal. I wish I had extra bucks for a lottery ticket.
I refuse to fritter away a Friday the 13th in a grim or glum mood. I have the day off, too, today and tomorrow.
I still don't know what's going on with the Obama Administration in that regard, other than, well, what I wrote about, and there have been no discernable changes in course that would reassure me or make me think a better picture is plausible... but today I should note that I am happy to find that three Senators have responded by re-introducing a bill intended to fix this sort of mess, the State Secrets Protection Act. Damned nice juncture to hear from you fellows. *grins*
There is also the flip side, about having Obama as President: I would not have recommended calling and emailing the Bush White House. I can't imagine doing so. Because they absolutely were not going to listen. This is, at the very least, as yet unproven about the Obama White House.
I don't know if my intensity on the last entry surprised anyone or put them off or what have you. It doesn't betoken a general shift toward humorlessness. Just - I care about a lot of things, some passionately, but with most of them I just want to have some things understood, or to have my reasons for saying them understood. Those are the constructive baby steps that would lead to good things. But... I am a child of Geneva and of Nuremberg. The geography of evil that was elaborated through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in some respects despite great odds, drawing lines between good and evil that were relevant even under naturally evil circumstances, and that were drawn especially for them. There are some few great lines that a citizen who knows about them does not cross, and does not treat as technicalities talked about by other people.
(And defends. I like a note I wrote cinderly where I talked about them as being not (or not just) progressive but "conservative", or bedrock: "Geneva and Nuremberg are established pilings in the surf that allow solidly and effectively opposing and preventing those things, pilings that those who oppose such things must defend. Which is not fighting for change, it's fighting for stability, for established things. In this sense, to be a good progressive is to be a conservative, really - even to be a reactionary, should it become necessary. The flag-wordgame falls apart at this point, and should.")
There is also a dream in my head of America, yes, that America, that stood and stands for those things and other things. (And that historically surprised captive enemies and made friends of them and later of their countries by not torturing them and treating them well. While getting more and better intelligence that way, too.) I love that America, that strong-colored and beautiful and partially true America. There are a lot of things that I disagree with and would say aren't consistent with the America in my head, or would say are not that America at all, and I would never say that we shouldn't be calling and writing letters about those issues, but lots of those are like distinguishing between my America and various other countries - on this side of the Iron Curtain. There is not a need to cross that great line. And reading will only add to one's awareness of how dark and terrible that line is.
I'm still in a good mood today. Strange to strongly recommend reading The Gulag Archipelago, by Alexsander Solzhenitsyn, in such a good mood.
Maybe because today I am thinking of America. Bravely free, and sure of itself in being bravely free, and seeking beauty and happiness in brave freedom. Ozark trails and Bourbon Street, Harvard and Fort Lauderdale and Burning Man and the town library, and Billie Holliday and Scott Joplin and John Philip Souza and Jimi Hendrix doing the national anthem and a silent Quaker meeting hall and the quiet desert and Laurie Anderson and the Handsome Family and Leonard Cohen, Norman Rockwell and Edward Hopper and Duane Bryers, Nina Hartley and Pearl Fryar, Richard Feynman and Huston Smith and George Carlin and Clarence Darrow and Dr. Seuss and Rod Serling and Ray Bradbury. With angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.
Now and then something really works. :o) My friend Scot called the other day and thanked me for sending him this Flash game. "How the hell did you find that?!?" (I saw this article.)
Becalmed insomniac at three in the morning, he had discovered the same thing I had: that there is something strongly weirdly fullfilling about working as a psychiatrist at a mental hospital and trying to reach and successfully treat traumatized abused stuffed animals.
(It's that moment when they finally walk out into the sunlight that makes all those years of medical school and residency worthwhile...)
You can evidently buy the toys for real too if you want. :o) To play, just click "Ignore flashdetection and load movie", and then click the British flag on the next screen for the English language version.
Thoughts involving the fighting over the stimulus - entry title probably something like "the snowstorm effect and paranoid conclusions" - but not while I'm so up.
Yesterday I went to the plasma center and it was time for the periodic physical. I had brought some paperbacks with me - I've learned that the waits at the center can be remarkable - but it was the evening and actually slow and there was almost no wait, I'm sure the doctor had mostly been cooling his heels, and when I went into the little room with the doctor he looked at one of the books, and exclaimed over one of them. "Oh, man, you're just reading that for the first time? It's great! And the series goes on for like twelve volumes."
So we actually spent most of the time we were in that room with the door closed racking our brains and scribbling on little yellow slips of paper, thinking of great fantasy/sci-fi to recommend to each other! I put him onto the Otherland series and Steel Beach and Mythago Wood, man.
ALL OF LIFE SHOULD BE LIKE THAT. As I handed him my slip I said, "It's good to get something productive done," and I wasn't joking at all.
We agreed that the purpose of life on planet Earth is not life on planet Earth - it's to allow us the chance to live on as many planets as possible.
I'll have to check back with him to see if Mythago Wood gave him at least one amazing dream. :o)