Blogito Ergo Sum

Today I am going to blog about blogging. Why? Diaryland where I post Wise Madness is down. I didn’t try to post till last night anyway as I was out yesterday morning.

I started blogging back in 2000. Here’s my very first entry, Introducing Horvendile King of the Batnoses . Notice I started off briefly. Now if I write less than a thousand words I feel like a slacker.

So why do I do this? Why am I driven to write this? As I’ve said many times I started to make Carey happy. She wanted me to blog. Making Carey happen is important. But that’s not why I do it now. I’ve blogged when I was pretty sure she wasn’t reading this. No it fills some inner needs. The plural is needed.

One goes back to what I was writing the other day about feeling connected. I want people to know how my mind works. I want others to see the pinball bouncing of the bumpers of my brain. I want others to know how I’m feeling. Like everyone I hide so many of my feelings. For a long time I have not been happy for the most part. But I don’t want to bring the world down. And people don’t want to be around someone who is always negative and that would make me more unhappy. So here I can let you know,. Of course even here I write more of my positive emotions. Nobody wants to read a sad sack either. And the thing is connecting with you, My Gentle Readers, makes me happier.

I want to change the world. To do that you have to change the way people think and that’s a lot of what I do. I try to inform and give you facts but even more I want you to think things through. So often that’s what’s missing. Sometimes I want to change people’s political behavior. I try to change your minds or get people to agree with me to do something. Sometimes I just want you to talk about it with other people, to spread the good word, the gospel. And yes that’s purely metaphoric. God knows I don’t believe in god.

Sometime blogging is a vehicle for me to express my creative side. Actually it always is. Everything else is perhaps just an elaboration on that theme. But sometimes that’s all it is. My favorite entries are often just humor pieces designed to make you laugh. I don’t try to be funny every entry but I think I am funny in most of them. It’s part of who I am.

Writing every day gives structure to my life. It’s the one thing I do every single day. Well OK I also eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. And you know what I write about all those things. Structure is important. Without our structures our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof. I hope everyone got that.

To get shallower, I blog because I’m good at it. It brings me praise. Yes that’s shallow. It isn’t what I like to think about. I prefer to dismiss it but that’s not honest. It isn’t the main thing but it’s part of it. But more important because I know that I’m good at it, I get my own praise. I get a feeling of accomplishment that I don’t get from many things. Every day I give birth to something that wouldn’t exist without me. So many of my friends are creative people. You must feel the same thing. If not you should.

I have a friend who is a musician, not a good one but a great one. She told me her doubts about what she is doing with her life. She felt that she should be using her organizational skills for humanitarian causes. Now I’m all for humanitarian causes. Hell I advocate them here all the time. That’s often the action that I try to push you to do. But lots of people can do that. Not many people have genius. If you can make great music and don’t you’re wasting a rare resource that nobody else can mine. Nobody can create the same art as you. I’ve always valued creativity above all other human attributes. My heroes have not always been cowboys. My heroes have always been scientists and artists. Those of the people that I have always wanted to be. Einstein spent a lot of his time on political causes, peace, human rights, and Zionism. But he always knew that the science was what mattered the most. The politics was for today, the science for eternity. It isn’t just the Einsteins. It’s the Terry Pratchetts. It’s all of those wonderful musicians I listen to. You don’t have to be Beethoven, you can be someone playing the the Budgiedome. I wouldn’t book you if I didn’t think you were special.

When I write I get a sliver of that. I put it online and it stays there. And even if it didn’t if you read it, it will stay at least partially in you. And that’s important,. It can’t just be within me. That’s why I write a blog and not a private journal. There’s something I wrote in yesterday’s entry that I’m now going to delete because it’s too private. I let one other person read it. I’ll save it the way it is then delete that part for publication.

OK now to figure out where I am going to post this. The irony I that today I’m good and I finished writing before 11. Of course I’m supposed to be finished by ten.

The Amazing Amazing Maurice

Diaryland is down and I couldn’t post this yesterday. I’m posting it here. Sadly this won’t show up on my sitemeter so I won’t know how many people are reading this.

Welcome to a rare evening edition of Wise Madness. I really should be out seeing the wonderful Tomoko Omura; tonight is the release show for her new album Roots. It is no fun being poor.

I wrote some brilliant things in my head but now that I’m writing they are having trouble coming out. Part of the problem is that I seem to have developed arthritis in my knuckles. Typing is a bit difficult. But you know I’ll make any sacrifice for My Gentle Readers.

Last night I was back at Heather’s as I forgot to pick up her broken MacBook last time I was there. I am taking it with me to LORi and Steve’s so Steve can take the hard drive out and recover files on in that Heather needs.

Today I had my weekly meeting with Carolann. We got some things accomplished. She’s good at getting me to do things I find difficult to do. One of those was breathing. Good thing I was sitting down,. I had one of the attacks I used to have frequently where my heart doesn’t race but slows down so I don’t enough oxygen anyplace. I got lightheaded. There are times where it isn’t fun being me.

I then got my mail and then headed to my office for the first time since I stopped teaching. I found out that all my stuff was put in boxes. I went there to print something out for payroll. I found out that they accessed my account and changed the password! They better not have read my emails. Good thing I changed a lot of them, like my Gmail or they could have read those as I had the passwords on the computer.

The most frustrating thing was finding that a colleague who has trouble doing problems in remedial math is still teaching.

I’m almost finished with I am almost finished with The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Discworld #28) by Terry Pratchett. It’s either a children’s or young adult book. The thing is with Pratchett is that it’s hard to tell. He doesn’t talk down to kids at all. He hardly pulls his punches. It isn’t that he excludes the adult audience, he just makes them especially inviting for children. Like the Tiffany Aching stories they are exactly what I’d want my child to read. They don’t tell lies. They tell about people telling lies. The protagonists aren’t people with special powers. They are people that are smart, resourceful, smart and brave. Sometimes the people aren’t human beings. It The Amazing Maurice … it’s a cat and rats. Now they have been magically transformed into intelligent thinking beings but they are still a cat and rats and their human friends. The humans are far from being the focal point.

In every Pratchett story there’s a character I love. In this on it is not Maurice, the cat. It’s the small, albino, pretty much blind rat Dangerous Beans. The rats got their names for cans of food and signs they saw when the were first transformed and found they could read. They didn’t know what things meant. They picked names that sounded good.

So why do I love Dangerous Beans? Because he’s magnificent. The rats just found themselves suddently intelligent. There was no previous culture to help them understand the world. DB with the help of nothing more than a children’s book they found Mr. Bunnsy Has an Adventure works out a theory of moral philosophy. He’s the one that teaches the Changelings to be more than rats. Deep down inside they are still rats, but it’s what’s above that that matters. Now that’s a lesson we can all learn. Deep down humans are apes reft of a tail but we can be so much more. DB is the rat Socrates and did so without the benefit of the Seven Wise Men of ancient Greece. He did it all on his own. And the other rats learned. And they became pretty magnificent too. As for Maurice, he’s a cat and the one thing you can count on a cat for is being a cat. But by the end the Amazing Maurice turns out to be well, amazing. Nobody is bounded by artificial limitations. But they are bounded by reality. Keith is their human friend, usually referred to as the stupid looking kid. But he’ not stupid. He’s a musician. When the evil rat catcher breaks Keith’s only cherished possession, his flute, Maurice expected him to launch himself with superhuman strength at the rat catcher. But there’s no magic, he launches himself with ordinary human strength and gets clobbered. That’s why more realistic than you’ll find it most books, let alone kid’s books, that take place in the real world.

The rats and a human town council have negotiations that ring true. They are filled with arguing and distrust, and confusion but make progress. Hell if the Israelis and Palestinians understood the concept of compromise as well as the rats there would be peace. And it shows the messy details of the negotiations. And this is for kids! No magic, “everyone lived together in peace.” I wish I knew what the reading level required to read the book was. There are some kids I know that I’d love to read it.

I planned on writing another section here, more personal. But I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s something I always want to write about. I actually wrote it all out. I just deleted it.