05 May 2016

Listless thoughts

Dear diary,

If, after reading a few pages in a history book about Rome, you notice similarities to your own country, what should you do with this knowledge? Tell your next-door neighbor? Shout into a megaphone at the supermarket? Keep it to yourself? Write a blog post about it?

And how do you remember anything at all, when someone asks you a question? I myself get flustered and draw a blank. Just a moment ago, on television, I saw a mensch being grilled by a grim-looking anchorman; and the mensch did a marvelous job on fielding the questions. Conversation is unfortunately often like bloodsports.

Imagine a nation where it is customary, when interviewing for a job, to caress the hand and forearm of your potential employer. (I mean, with lovingkindness rather than sensual abandon.) I think this type of physical affection could go a long way toward improving…

I’ll end that last thought later, when I feel more “grounded,” more “inspired.” I got distracted from writing the sentence because my apartment’s window is open and I heard drums in the distance. Not war drums but the kind that you’d hear in a parade. (Yet maybe the rhythms of parades are actually echos, however faded, of onetime battles.) And someone is coughing wetly amid sporadic birdsong.

I have no weapons, so it would be easy for any armed person to govern me. They could force me to give up my gray 21-speed pedal-bike, by simply pointing their firearm in my face. Unless I proved myself willing to die for my property. (Which I am not.)

I wonder why so many people are angry about politics. Every single one of us is going to get our chance to experience death.


I didn’t mean for that end to sound so ominous. I was only thinking of an old outburst that I’ve quoted before from William Blake:

If Men were Wise, the Most arbitrary Princes could not hurt them. If they are not Wise, the Freest Government is compelld to be a Tyrrany. Princes appear to me to be Fools; Houses of Commons & Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools – they seem to me to be something Else besides Human Life.

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