Sunday, September 1, 2013

I'm Selling by Selling I'm

A twitter discussion last night between Richard and me on humans, their organizational drive and lack of organizational skills, the wonder we don't kill each other and the sad acknowledgment that this has been, is, and will be as good as humans get at any moment in our species' existence led to a discussion of our date a week from Tuesday in DC to see Pere Ubu. Earthgirl and Mr Alarum and Hamster are going too! Richard lives in Bawlmer Merlyn, asked if there was an opening act, starting to think about logistics, then discovered there is:




I'm curious. I can't wait. Who's the closing act?


  1. the sad acknowledgment that this has been, is, and will be as good as humans get at any moment in our species' existence

    as they say on tv shows about trials, 'assumes facts not in evidence'

    a contrasting opinion:

    Jacob Needleman, in Money and the Meaning of Life, says, "A Freudian psychoanalyst once summed up to me his vision of the human condition by saying that man is not as bad as he thinks he is, nor can he become as good as he dreams of becoming. The assumption of this book is precisely the opposite of the psychoanalytic view: man is in far worse condition than he believes, but he can become far greater than he imagines."

  2. a few more quotes on the human condition

    Rabbi Jack Moline wrote:

    Rabbi Simcha Bunam used to say, "Every person should have two pockets. In one, [there should be a note that says] bishvili nivra ha'olam, 'for my sake was the world created.' In the second, [there should be a note that says] anokhi afar va'efer, 'I am dust and ashes.' One must know how to use them, each one in its proper place and right time. For many make the mistake of using them in their opposite applications."

    That is to say, too often, when we should be acknowledging our arrogance, we are defending it. And when we should be overcoming our self-denigration, we are confirming it.

    Jeffrey M. Schwartz, in A Return to Innocence: Philosophical guidance in an age of cynicism:

    "We often hear the phrase 'Knowledge is power' -- but nowhere is it truer than when it comes to knowledge of ourselves."

    mistah charley, ph.d.:

    1)I gave Schwartz's book to one of my nieces on her thirteenth birthday, in the paperback edition, which fortunately has a more teen-reader-friendly title, Dear Patrick: Life is Tough - Here's Some Good Advice.

    2)last week i went to visit my stepmother at the retirement home where she has lived for over eleven years, and where my father lived for over seven years until he died nearly four years ago - it's a forty minute drive from my house and i've been there literally hundreds of times over the past decade

    at one point in our conversation, she asked me if i'd been to [name of residence] before

    but to show how just much of her previous life is no longer available to her - the topic of pet cats came up, and i spoke of my cat dinah, and reminded her of her own cat rameau*, that she'd had in florida for fourteen years, until the year before she moved to the retirement home - she said she didn't remember him

    *my stepmother is from france, and she named her cat** after Jean-Philippe Rameau, 1683-1764

    Wikipedia: Rameau's 1722 Treatise on Harmony initiated a revolution in music theory. Rameau posited the discovery of the "fundamental law" or what he referred to as the "fundamental bass" of all Western music. Rameau's methodology incorporated mathematics, commentary, analysis and a didacticism that was specifically intended to illuminate, scientifically, the structure and principles of music. He attempted to derive universal harmonic principles from natural causes. Previous treatises on harmony had been purely practical; Rameau added a philosophical dimension, and the composer quickly rose to prominence in France as the "Isaac Newton of Music." His fame subsequently spread throughout all Europe, and his Treatise became the definitive authority on music theory, forming the foundation for instruction in western music that persists to this day.

    **i named my cat after alice's cat in the lewis carroll books

  3. The parable of the faithful husband and the absent-minded wife

    An elderly man who visited his wife daily at her assisted living facility was asked why he bothered, since it had been five years since she recognized him.

    "She may not know who I am, but I know who she is," he replied.