01 December 2016

A partly cloudy thought & other haze

Dear diary,

I have never understood the word “moral.” I cannot distinguish a moral squirrel from an immoral squirrel. (All I do all day is watch squirrels, so…) But I always pretend to know what people mean when they say that something aligns with their morality.

Am I myself moral? If I must answer as a politician to a multitude of supporters, I say YES. I’ve never broken any of the commandments of any of the world’s religions, ever in my lifetimes.

I wonder how many modern moral dilemmas I can opine on. Surely the problems of my era will be rendered unimportant once they are solved by that future civilization, whose city will be of pure gold, like unto clear glass (Rev. 21:18) – today, however, they are hot topics, liable to steam up a holiday festival and get the family arguing, which is always desirable.

(I glanced at a newspaper article just now, and some of its contents captured my attention – I’m not sure whether they’d be considered moral issues exactly; but I’ll give my two cents anyway… or rather one cent.)

Private vs. public schools? I’m all for public schools. I’ve heard the case made for vouchers and for charter schools and privatization of education; I don’t agree with that stance. If public schools are bad, I wish we would try to make them better; if they are middling, we should try to make them excellent; and even if they reach a first-rate state, we should help them surpass perfection. Onward and outward.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll make the general point again (remember, I’m always right; and the words that I say are correct): I choose public X over private X because I favor what is transparent and changeable—that way, even if things go wrong, we can detect the flaws and fix them easily; whereas privatization is the opposite of transparent and changeable—even if things are currently OK, we’re all forced to endure whatever upcoming decisions will be concocted by the secret owners.

I’m already tired of reacting to contemporary political quandaries, but I’ll try to think of one or two more brief subjects.

I can’t think of any more subjects.

God it feels good to give up! That’s why I sometimes begin by talking about something that I know I abhor; because I can sense that it’ll end in a glorious failure. “Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won,” as Whitman says; “Vivas to those who have fail’d!”

It’s easier to relax after quitting. You take the thick book that you were trying to concentrate on, and toss it nonchalantly across your living room. It hits the television and cracks the screen. Now you have to purchase a newer model. To do this, you will have to search for a job. Begin by looking in the…

No, do not undertake a job search. It is inhuman. And stop fingering through the Yellow Pages – telephones are obsolete, remember. You are allotted a number of living breaths in this world, and then you get changed. Don’t waste your body laboring for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics…

There’s a grade school down the block from our apartment complex which has a giant sign outside of it: “S.T.E.M.” That’s where I found those four words that end the above paragraph.

Why do they not teach poetry at the S.T.E.M. institute? (I almost swapped “satanic mill” for that acronym.) Because poetry can’t be taught. That’s what attracts you to it: it’s like a lizard or a turtle that you find on the shoreline: you love it at first sight, and you spend your days wondering what it’s thinking.

Ten years is a long time. But if you divide it up into chunks of two or four years, like college degrees do… I don’t know: then I guess you make friends, because your classmates are warm and your professor is jovial and her adjunct shows mercy. Whereas if you avoid school, you inherit either cold friends or no friends at all; because workers on the lower rungs of the ladder of success are…

Why should homelessness remain a communicable idea? We should not have a word for homelessness, because we cannot understand what that state is. (We solved that problem long ago.) And no one should call a gloomy shelter “home,” or a rat-infested apartment.

I’ve always yearned to live in the city: a big city, like the Big Apple: New York, New York (a place so nice they had to name it twice)… but I never dared move there because I feared that it would eat me alive. Imagine getting eaten alive by a locale that was nicknamed after a fruit.

And then there’s Los Angeles in California; or L.A. Cali, for short. It seems like a nice place, because of the sun. Are the clichés true? Is New York grimy and dirty and grayish dull grubby and besmirched, whereas L.A. is paradise? I bet the inhabitants of those places harbor oversimplified notions about Minnesota, where I myself live. I bet they assume it’s humdrum and snowy for most of the year, and then in the summer it’s scorching dog-breath humid. Well, if they think that, I suppose they’re right.


All this fun-talk made me want to check the weather forecast – and what do ya know! it matches my age exactly: From morn to night it goes from 35 to 28.

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