Monday, April 28, 2014

Diary: April 22 to April 28, 2014

  • This week's question: What are questions that would make you squirm if you were forced to answer them?
  • It was a dull week. I consumed a lot of media.

Tuesday [April 22]
[Home Laptop]
  • Rain today. Rain yesterday. I feel the blahs.
  • Yesterday, I watched the third and fourth episodes of Cosmos and the first episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. The cartoons that Cosmos uses to depict events from the past are annoying. They look ugly and close to comic book caricatures about the events they seek to depict.
  • I am trying to determine what question to ask myself this week. Should I ask myself a softball question? That is, I talk about things I like in some certain category. Should I ask myself difficult question? That is, questions that I would squirm to answer.
  • Anyway. I have thought of a question.
  • What are some questions that would make you squirm if you were forced to answer them? What was your life like in middle school and high school?
  • I won't answer these questions because they are painful to answer. Next week, I will ask myself a softball question.
  • Tuesday morning can be the most pleasant time of the week. I can relax a bit before I head off for a shift at school. I can spend time on the computer and update things to that need to be updated. I can read books on the Ipad. I can think out what I am going to do with my day.
  • I have listened to the following podcasts this morning: Coffee and Markets, Three Martini Lunch, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and Radio Free Delingpole.
  • Cosmos depicts the Universe like it is the Internet. So much to see that it becomes overwhelming after a while.
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 13:00 to 21:00. I have an English Corner at 14:00 and three classes in the evening.
  • This morning, I finished watching the second episode of fourth season of Game of Thrones. It has a lovely ending.

Wednesday [April 23]
[Home Laptop]
  • Questions that make you squirm? What are your religious beliefs? Are they consistent with your actions?
  • Sunny this morning.
  • Tony insisted that I hold him in my arms as we waited for the car that was to take him to school.
  • Leftists like to fight caricatures.
  • I finished watching the third episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones last night. I am all caught up with it. I have never been up to date with a television series before.
  • I am listening to The Need to Know podcast.
  • Yesterday, I kept my mouth shut.
  • I have been following the Stanley Cup playoffs. I will cheer for Habs who, as I type this, have a 3-0 lead in their series with Tampa Bay. I don't know the name of any players on the Canadiens.
  • I can see why Hockey may not appeal to many. The players all seem the same. Goals are scored too fast.
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • The bus broke down on the way to work this morning. The passengers had to wait for the next bus on the route to come pick them up.
  • I noticed that someone had tried to put a sticker, with a phone number on it, on a public bicycle.
  • I finished reading the Johnny Carson book by Henry Bushkin. Beforehand, I had the impression that it was a biography but it turned out to be a memoir of Bushkin's time with Carson. Carson was no angel, and Bushkin said that when Carson died, he died alone. My father, for his faults, was able to have his family at his side when he died. Something to be said for my father...

Thursday [April 24]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 21:00.
  • I am watching the 2013 film Nebraska, starring Bruce Dern as the old old father. The film has touched home with me in many ways. My father drank too much, like the Bruce Dern character. My father lived in a small town, the same milieu depicted in Nebraska. The son character hasn't achieved much.
  • Eight people were scheduled to be in my 20:00 class last night. Only three showed up.
  • A thirty-seven year old student told me he wasn't married.
  • Another student looked at me and was surprised to hear that my son Tony was six years old. Looking at me and judging my age, the student was expecting my son to be much older.
  • I have decided to read this novel entitled Under the Skin. It opens with this woman driving around Scotland looking for male hitchhikers to kill for some nefarious purposes.
  • McDonald's gave us free breakfast this morning. Us being school staff. A female manager, English name of Lemon, impressed the foreigners with her perkiness.

Friday [April 25]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 11:00 to 21:00. I go to the City Hall to do a lunchtime English Corner.
  • Walking to the bus stop this morning, I saw the 602drive past as I was heading to the bus stop. I was too far from the bus stop to try to run and catch the bus; and so I was left with the deflating prospect of having to wait twenty minutes for the next one. So, I instead caught a 25 bus where I got a seat but had a old woman sit on a ledge next to my seat. (I was sitting on a seat over the rear wheel well. That seat being placed on the roof of the wheel well.) The woman's back was so close to me that my elbow couldn't help but stab her in the back.
  • On the bus, I caught a glimpse of a traffic cop and a male pedestrian having an an animated discussion about something. The pedestrian was glaring with a look of disbelief on his face. The cop was pushing the pedestrian, looking, to me, to be showing the pedestrian where to stand when waiting at a red light.
  • You forgot to answer the question yesterday. So, what are two questions that will make your squirm? 1) Can you tell me about your past romantic life? 2) Tell me about your employment history? I will provide another one since it is on my mind. 3) Tell me why you spent so much time in University?
  • Sitting is the new smoking. Does that mean that in the future sitting will be banned in public placesDoes that mean the people who persist in sitting will be forced to do so in the alleyways behind their places of employment?
  • I phone my Mom last night. She is 76 years old and living by herself. I am feeling guilty but I don't know what the heck I would do if I went back to Canada.

Saturday [April 26]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 18:00. I have only three classes, but this is because a hiking activity that was scheduled today was just recently postponed because of a forecast for today, which was correct, of rain.
  • Tony very much wanted to go to sleep last night. He even didn't want to use the Ipad when I put it on my night table.
  • I finished watching the film Nebraska last night. It was not bad. It was nice to see a film where the major characters were old people. It was nice to a film set in the small town mid-west of the United States. Bruce Dern's performance was good. His depiction of an old man was very accurate at times. The film hit home with me on many fronts. The area depicted in the film reminded me of Manitoba. The relationship between the Dern character and the Dern character's wife reminded my of my parents. Dern did things that reminded me of my Dad in his old age. It was a good decision to film the movie in black and white (so it kind of reminded me of the Paul Newman film Hud). However, the film could have done without the sexual crudity of some of the old characters. As well, the reaction of the people to the news of the Dern character becoming a millionaire didn't seem right.
  • What are some questions that would make you squirm if you were forced to answer them? What was your life like in British Columbia? Did you have any girlfriends? Did you have any friends growing up? Why did you smash the window with your head that one night? Would you have accomplished anything if you really were give an opportunity?
  • Sitting is the new smoking. 1)Would you mind not sitting? I am trying to eat. 2) Would you prefer sitting or non-sitting. 3) Sitting is not allowed on company premises.
  • Over-talking is the new flatulence. That would be a better idea to circulate.

Sunday [April 22]
[Home Laptop]
  • No shifts today.
  • Yesterday after school, I took the bus to the Wanda Plaza where I was to meet Jenny and some friends of hers for dinner. As soon as I got to the Plaza, a foul mood came over me. The Plaza was very crowded and Jenny wasn't at the restaurant where I hoped she would be. Instead, she was at some new children's store with Tony who wasn't behaving at all well. He wouldn't sit still at the table and insisted on playing with the toy gun that he just gotten. Crowds, Children and Tony behaving badly don't make my disposition sunny.
  • There were foreigners modeling at the department store. Two males and two females. I didn't stop to take a close look at them other then to notice that the girls were blonde and the males were tall and slim. I hope they weren't Russian.
  • Jenny's friends gave us a ride home. However, there was a traffic jam on the streets surrounding the Plaza and it took us ten minutes to get out of the mall parking garage. Jenny's friend then merged her car into the traffic like it was a gold fish joining a school. Not having a car, I get a secret pleasure out of traffic jams.
  • What are some questions that would make you squirm if you were forced to answer them? What are some things that you have done in your life that you can look upon with justifiable pride?
  • I finished reading the novel Under the Skin. It is about a female alien, living in Scotland, who cruises the highways hunting for male human or vodsel hitchhikers who can be processed into meat to be eaten by her species. The hitchhikers who she judges appropriate are drugged by means of needles in the seat and then driven to a processing plant. There the vodsels immediately have their tongues cut out and are castrated. After a few months of being processed to become alien meat, they are slaughtered. The novel is called Under the Skin because we are presented with the intimate thoughts of the female alien. She thinks of the vodsels as lower species while all the while dealing with her own personal angst.
  • Today, the K family took it easy until the afternoon when they went to the Starbucks at the Wanda Plaza. Dad alternately read a book about guns and a book about mathematics. Life was okay Dad thought, but he couldn't shake a feeling of lack of accomplishment.
  • I started watching Mother, Jugs and Speed. Mother is Bing Crosby. Jugs is Raquel Welch.
  • I watched just a little more of Lawrence Olivier's Hamlet.
  • So media to watch; so little time.
  • Ah! When Jenny talks on the phone. She sounds like she is arguing. I just asked her when she got off the phone if anything was wrong and she said that she was just talking to a friend.
  • I don't like criticizing Chairman Mao in class and try to be neutral about him. But the students aren't. Doing a salon class about adventure, I talked about Mao's Long March as being a sort of adventure, and I was admonished by the students. “We don't think much of Chairman Mao these days!” they told me.

Monday [April 28]
[School Laptop]

  • No shifts today.
  • I have downloaded and processed the fourth episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. I will watch it, but Jenny won't. She thinks that watching one episode at a time isn't enough; and so she will wait to episode five is available and watch two episodes at a time.
  • Some things are so predictable that even I, not the most perceptive type, can see them coming. Two weeks, a new gate, for letting cars in and out, was installed at our apartment complex entrance. Now I say it is a gate, but really it is a contraption. In the down position, the gate forms a sign by lining up a bunch of metal slats. In the upper position when letting cars through, the gate and the slats retract. This gate looked to me to a contraption that would require constant maintenance. It was made of cheap and flimsy materials, and its functioning seemed to be a little too complicated for constant use in all sorts of Wuxi weather. Lo and behold, the gate's slats buckled up like sections of a blind tangled in string. I had the satisfaction of telling myself that it was bound to happen.
  • I took Tony to the Wanda Plaza this evening. Before we went, he packed an Ultraman toy and an Ultraman Monster toy in my bag. Jenny & I told him to take one of the toys out. It was a strange thing for him to do but he knew what he was doing. At the Wanda Plaza, he went to this real estate model table, full of miniature buildings, and he told me to give him the Ultraman toy. His plan had been to reenact Ultraman battles at the table. Ingenious actually and if I had known, I would have let him bring along the Ultraman monster toy.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Diary: April 15 to April 21, 2014

  • This week's question: What is it that you believe that Leftists and Progressives believe?
  • I worked an extra shift on Sunday. My shifts on Friday and Saturday were not so busy.
  • My literary sidekick or nemesis Lector made a reappearance in this week's blog entry. [I came up with the idea of Lector from Hillaire Belloc's The Path to Rome.]
  • I was able to take a photo of the Wuxi Metro Train on the Hui Shan Metro Bridge

Tuesday [April 15]
[Home Laptop]
  • My shift today will be 13:00 to 21:00.
  • This morning, I publish last week's diary entry.
  • Yesterday evening, I took Tony, who brought along his push bike, to the Hui Shan People's Square and the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza.
  • There were lots of people dancing at the Square. I counted about four groups, each of which was dancing to its own music. You would think there were would be spots on the square where you had to listen to two different songs. Two of the groups were ballroom dancing. The other groups were dancing as a team. One group of women seemed to be practicing for a show. They began their dance by standing very close together. They would then fan out in unison. I wanted to watch them but Tony decided he wanted to go home. I convinced him to instead go to the Wanda Plaza where I hoped to take Tony and his push bike on a circuit of the mall, but he dragged me inside to the arcade – 15 rmb was what it cost me to convince Tony to go the mall.
  • What is it that you believe that Leftists and Progressives believe? They believe that Conservatism is the ideology of White Racists. Any policy that Conservatives advocate is meant to disadvantage minorities. Everything Conservatives say is a Racist Dog Whistle. [I am not one of them because I know that this belief is irrational. (This is one of the many things I know that cause me to not be one of them or one with them.)]
  • As I type this, I report that I am thinking of taking the 25 bus in order to hopefully get a photo of the Wuxi Metro train on the Hui Shan Metro Bridge.
[School Laptop]
  • I took the 25 bus to school. The train wasn't on the bridge – it was to have crossed it two minutes later. “Miss it by that much!” as Maxwell Smart would have said.
  • I will maintain a Trappist-like silence.

Wednesday [April 16]
[Home Laptop]
  • I finished reading Mary H Kingsley's Travels in West Africa last night. I then read chapters one and two of a Johnny Carson bio.
  • Kingsley, a woman, traveled in highly malarial West Africa and had the same attitudes towards the blacks of her male counterparts at that time. In fact, the book could easily have been written by a man or rather have been changed to look like it was written by a man with just a few changes.
  • It rained last night, and I think I am going to have to pull out my umbrella when I go to school.
[School Laptop]
  • The shift today: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • I saw the metro train on the bridge! Only problem was that I was on the 602and thus too far away to take a good photo.
  • I just had a coffee and two pies from McDonalds.
  • What is it that you believe that Leftists and Progressives believe? They believe that America is bad, and that Americans are evil except if when they are members of the Democrat party or are America-loathing Americans.
  • Twenty Five Years ago, students gathered at a square in Beijing.

Thursday [April 17]
[School Laptop]
  • My shift today: 10:00 to 21:00.
  • Heavy rain this morning as I took Tony to be picked up. Heavy rain as I walked to the bus stop to go to school. But at least I had good timing as far as catching buses. The 602arrived at the California Villa bus stop the same time as I did. Downtown, the 81 bus came as I got off the 602支。
  • What is it that you believe that Leftists and Progressives believe? They believe that they themselves are thoroughly decent people, and that anyone who disagrees with them is evil. They don't believe in right and wrong. They believe themselves to be always right. They believe that all the problems of the world can be solved by government.

Friday [April 18]
[School Laptop]
  • My shift today: 11:00 to 21:00. Nothing to do till 18:00. I have no daytime classes. So I have plenty of time to finish off my next piece for my Wuxi China Expatdom Blog.
  • Tony, what day it is?” He told me it was Friday. He knows that Friday is regarded as a good day.
  • Friday isn't regarded as a good day by me. To my way of thinking, Friday is actually Thursday.
  • Last evening, I did a salon class about Social Networks. As these classes go for me, I thought it was interesting. The students gave some interesting answers to my questions. One student told me that her friends were her friends because they were the same height as she was. She had a theory about this that I found interesting.
  • So, I asked the other students about this and they said that they had friends who were shorter than them or taller than them. Still, I thought there was something to what the student said; and as I am wont to do, I tried to apply the theory to myself.
  • I first have to admit that I don't have any close, close friends – none that I talk to everyday or have a beer with. On my days off, I see only Tony and Jenny; I never meet any other people. The last thing I ever want to do is have lunch with the people I am acquainted with in Wuxi. The only person I talk to on my mobile phone is Jenny. I have deleted most of the phone numbers I do have on my mobile phone so that I have about four names on my contact list. I don't bother anymore getting the phone numbers of the others who work at school.
  • Why have I adopted this curmudgeonly and misanthropic habits? It goes back to what that student said about having friends who were the same height as her. No one in Wuxi, in my estimation is the proper height. They could in fact be higher and taller and mightier than me. Heck, a few could even be lower than me. And nightmares of my nightmares, some could in fact be the same height as me. But no one I have meet in Wuxi has the height or stature, in a moral and metaphysical sense, for me to even to begin to want, or even have regrets on not being able, to befriend. I am spinning my wheels for lack of people I could befriend in Wuxi.
  • LECTOR: Do you think that perhaps you are asking for too much? ANDIS: Hey Lector! Long time no see! I don't discount that possibility. (He he ha, I typed that cliché on purpose.) But on many levels, there is no common ground with these people. I will have to suppress myself when interacting with them, and it is not worth the bother. Better to pine for someone who I can get along with and argue with. LECTOR: What don't you try to be a happy warrior? ANDIS: Good question. Why don't I? I am shunned either way.
  • I have downloaded the first two episodes of Season Four of Game of Thrones. Jenny is keen to watch the show with me. It is the one TV series that we are both keen to watch.
  • What is it that you believe that Leftists and Progressives believe? They believe Conservatives and Republicans are Nazis. They believe private citizens shouldn't have guns for self-defense purposes. They believe that calling people names hurts people. They believe that it is bad to judge others. They believe the Catholic Church should adopt all the mores of the modern world. They believe that abortion, the killing of fetuses, is okay, and is a woman's right. They believe that smoking is immoral. They believe that eating fatty food is immoral. They believe that children have better morals than parents. They believe that old white people have bad ideas. They believe that young people and young single woman have good ideas.
  • I just read the latest piece by John Derbyshire at Taki's Magazine. Sitting is the new smoking. Sitting all day at a desk is bad for one's health. I had been thinking, only yesterday, that being able to sit at a desk for four hours concentrating on something was a sign that one had some self-discipline.
  • As I made my way to school and the laptop, I was passing one of the many construction sites currently in Wuxi and I saw three men, two of whom were wearing construction helmets, squatting in the Asian manner so that their butts were near the ground and their knees were bent so that that they pointed toward the sky. Something about the sight of them made me take a photo and immediately make a point of mentioning them in this blog. The squatting seemed remarkable to me for at least two reasons. One was their location: they stood outside the construction practically on the road. The other was their slight and diminutive statures: if they stood up, they would have been maybe a head taller than Tony. If it wasn't for their faces which showed their age, they would have looked like nine years dressed as workers.

Saturday [April 20]
[School Laptop]
  • I took the 25 bus this morning to get to school. On a Saturday, it is not something I normally do; and this morning I intended to take the 602支,but the a 25 bus came with available seats and I thought of taking that hoped-for photo of the Wuxi Metro on the Hui Shan Metro Bridge.
  • And I am happy to say that the train was on its bridge as the 25 bus was on its, and so I got the much sought photos. However, they were not as nice as I hoped. The photo, which I have already published to the AKIC wordpress blog, shows the bridge, a boat in a foreground, and the entire train on the bridge, but the train is hard to see on the Ipod with which I took the photo. It seems small, like taking a photo of a worm from across a room. Perhaps the train shows up better when you look at the photo on my blog.
  • Last night, my wife watched the first episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones on my Ipad. Earlier, I had finished watching an old Astaire – Rogers flick Roberta.
  • I published a six page long piece to my Wuxi China Expatdom blog. I will use the spare time I have this morning to write another with the headline Wuxi Expat Pub to serve Caesar Salads with Gun-Shaped Croutons.
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 18:00. I arrived at school at 8:50 and learned that my two morning classes were canceled. So, I don't have much teaching to do till 14:00. I do have ways to keep myself busy, but that does mean that I can say I have things to do? [Lector: You do have things to do, but the things you will do are not the things you should be doing. You have to think of your wife and child.]
  • What is it that you believe that Leftists and Progressives believe? Some large amount of government action is required to combat climate change. Government action is required to force people to interact with each other. Government should regulate the media and the Internet. Regulation is good.
  • A former teacher at this school has returned to his home country. He couldn't find a job in China because he was too old.

Sunday [April 20]
[School Laptop]
  • Easter. I listen to Father Z podcasts all morning. I can't tell if the church, next door to our school, is busier than normal. It definitely isn't as busy as it has been at Christmas when security barriers are placed around the church.
  • I am doing and overtime shift today: 10:00 to 17:00.
  • Traffic put me in an I-think-the-Chinese-are-a-bunch-of-inconsiderate-pricks mood. I was really annoyed that car drivers were not slowing down as they approached a pedestrian crossing. I wanted so much to make them stop and let pedestrians cross but they were driving too fast.
  • The K family had Korean food at the Hui Shan Wanda Plaza.
  • At home, Jenny watched the second episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones on the Apple TV. The video file that she was watching was on the Laptop.
  • I published two articles to the Wuxi China Expatdom blog. My partner-in-crime on the WCE blog, HM, published some brilliant Sarah Palin pieces.
  • This morning at McDonalds, a man from Arizona asked me about the Gonzaga sweatshirt that I was wearing. I had to tell him that I didn't have it because I attended Gonzaga and that I had in fact bought the sweatshirt in Wuxi. Anyway, it was an ice-breaker. I learned that he was teaching English on the Jiangnan University campus.

Monday [April 21]
[Home Laptop]

  • No shifts today. It is raining. I stay at home.
  • After school yesterday, I meet Tony & Jenny at Baoli where we did some grocery shopping at Carrefour. We then took the bus to Casa Kaulins where we were to have sandwiches and potato salad for supper. I was excited at the prospect of this dinner because we had bought a lot of cold cuts, not easy to find in Hui Shan, at the Carrefour. But fifteen minutes after we arrived home, Jenny told me that we had forgotten to retrieve the bread that we had put in a Baoli locker. I immediately took a bus downtown to get it. Ninety minutes lost.
  • What is it that you believe that Leftists and Progressives believe? They believe they are tolerant. They believe people who aren't like them are intolerant. They believe White people are intolerant and that religious people are intolerant. They believe that people who are from victim classes are understandably aggrieved. They believe that all groups of people share the same capabilities. They believe that a room containing ten white men, no women, and no black people is proof of racism.
  • The thought does cross my mind that I am a rat bastard. For I keep to my haughty self and act rude by ignoring many people around me, and I make a point of it to never bother greeting them. I am being passively aggressive. And yet, people do things that I would never do, and if I am a rat bastard, I am a small one on the scale of things. I am not openly self-righteous, I am not licentious, I try to not talk about others behind their backs, I keep my loathings to myself, I rarely say things to make others feel uncomfortable, and I am capable of feeling shame.
  • But I do face a quandary. Do I keep to myself, should I be polite and fake fellowship, or should I tell people what I really think of them? I have chosen to be passive.
  • [Later] Thinking about what I have just written, I can recall things I have done that show me to not be pure of soul. Reading the Johnny Carson bio, which is really a memoir of his lawyer, is what made me think of the words rat bastard.
  • Last night, Tony had a sore throat, cough, and a raspy voice. He went to school this morning but came home in the afternoon. Now, he sleeps.
  • I have just downloaded the third episode of the fourth season of Game of Thrones.
  • [Even Later] The things that I am really ashamed for having done, I don't do anymore and wouldn't dare do anymore.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Diary: April 8 to April 14, 2014

  • Another week of coasting.
  • This week's question to ask myself: What do you believe?
  • Also I will continue answering this question: How can you improve yourself?

Tuesday [April 8]
[Home Laptop]
  • I didn't sleep well last night. But then neither did Tony & Jenny. Lying awake, I got to thinking about my future. I am going to have to dedicate my remaining years of life to Tony & Jenny, I thought. I shuddered when I wondered about what I would be leaving them.
  • My shift today: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • The weather: it rained last night. I will wear a long sleeved shirt and a sweat jacket when I go to work.
  • What do you believe? John Derbyshire asked himself this question recently and so I will ask myself as well. The next question that is raised from this question is do you believe in God? I answer yes. Why? It is a feeling, I know. But I believe in the spirit. Poetry and music can be explained by biology and neurology I would suppose, but there are things that are sacred, there just are. [A lame answer I know.]
  • How can you improve yourself? David Warren's latest blog entry entitled Passiontide provided an answer. We must look on our fellows and do some Good. This might begin with looking into their faces, and acknowledging when they look into ours. It does not matter in the least if they are Christian, they are on the same road. We have been solemnly instructed to avoid harming our neighbour, whatever the temptation might be. We should take that instruction at face value. But we have also been solemnly instructed to love, and we must learn to love. Or we will arrive — knee, waist, shoulder, head — covered with the sins of omission.

Wednesday [April 9]
[Home Laptop]
  • I didn't make an entry to this journal while I was at work yesterday. I just never got around to it.
  • What do you believe? Socialism is bad. It makes the problems it attempts to solve worse.
  • Yesterday was a day of Trappist silence for me. Not in class, mind you. That is when the students go Trappist.
  • My shift today: 13:00 to 21:00.
  • Tony goes to the Wuxi Zoo today on a school field trip.
  • No internet at home this morning. The signal stopped last night about 11:00. No idea why. [Jenny had to call in Techs to fix the problem. A broken wire somewhere away from the apartment caused our Wifi to stop.]
[School Laptop]
  • I took the 25 bus to work. I saw the Metro train on the Hui Shan Metro Bridge but I wasn't at the right vantage point to take a photo. The bus was still riding towards the Hui Shan traffic bridge when the Metro was on its bridge.
  • What do you believe? Men and Women are different and can never be equal in the manner that Feminism wants them to be. When women try to be like men, it is an ugly sight.
  • What do you believe? Oswald acting alone shot JFK.
  • What do you believe? The less the centralized state gets involved in the lives of its citizens, the better. I believe in the Catholic idea of Subsidiary.
  • I got a new citizen card yesterday. The old card worked on the Wuxi bus. The new card will work on the Wuxi buses, the Suzhou subway, and the Shanghai subway.
  • Unfortunately, it can't be used for the public bicycles. Jenny was told that the social insurance card has to be used for that. I can see the logic of that. There is a better chance of knowing who is using the bike or who had the bike if it got lost.
  • The Burger King in Parkson's appears to have been shut down. I have just wasted ten minutes of my life walking there to find this out.

Thursday [April 10]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 21:00.
  • There were a lot of people on the 602bus this morning when it pulled into the jiazhouyangfang bus stop, that is the stop near Casa K. It was the first time taking that bus that there was a chance that I would board the bus and not get a seat.
  • I did get a seat but it wasn't at the very back corner of the bus – my chosen place on Chinese public transportation.
  • I wear a short sleeve shirt to work for the first time this year.
  • What do you believe? Liberals aren't lacking in cleverness but they are fools who use their cleverness to rationalize their foolishness. The foolishness of Liberals is a foolishness of will.
  • One of my students that I had in class just now was pregnant. The baby is due in a month!

Friday [April 11]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 11:00 to 21:00. I go to the City Hall to a lunch time English corner.
  • I finished watching the first episode of the documentary series the Search for the Trojan War. I watched the eighth episode of Kenneth Clark's Civilisation series which was entitled the Light of Experience. I watched most of the second episode of the new Cosmos series. I will probably finished watching it later today. I have been listening to a podcast of audio from Ben Stein's ID movie.
  • In the Civilisation episode I watched, Clark discussed the relationship between science and poetry, raising the question of whether the scientific worldview made for worse poetry. Clark made his observations before the introduction of the personal computer. Living in the age of high tech, I will have say that it is an age that hasn't produced little if any good poetry. If there has been good poetry written, it certainly has played a major role in the culture. So, it can be said with certainty that we do live in an unpoetical age.
  • The second episode of Cosmos is all about evolution and Darwinism. Cosmos e2 does make a strong case for natural selection and artificial selection. You would feel like a simpleton if you weren't convinced of evolution and these two types of selection playing a part in how we are today. But Cosmos e2 does nothing to explain the why of existence. “This is the way it happened and it was random!” is a depressing thought for those who are religious and believe in a creator. It is also a thought that doesn't ultimate explain existence. The host of the series dealt with these objections by stating that it was an idea that was elevating for the spirit nonetheless, after seeming to imply that there wasn't a spirit having a hand in our existence.
  • It is unfortunate that Darwinists are such fanatical atheists. Listening to some of them on Stein's documentary, they sound like displaced anti-Semites, circa 1930s in Germany.
  • What do you believe? I don't believe that there is a conflict between religion and science. I take it on faith that evolution is true, as are the descriptions I have heard from scientists about the size of our universe and the history of Earth. American Liberals and Progressives are delusional when they say that they are on the side of science while conservatives are not – there are places that science goes that that Liberals don't want to go, particularly with regards to differences between the sexes, the life of a fetus in a woman's womb, the detrimental effects of abortion on woman's health, and the abilities of different races.
  • The big breakfast at McDonalds is not 24.5 rmb. In a year, it could well go up to 30. I can remember when it was 18 rmb.
  • [Later] I have gone to the City Hall. The government handler who accompanied me on my ride to the city hall told me that he had been working for the government for two days. He had been working for a company run by the government, when he was told that he was now working for a department in the government. He hadn't been asked if he had wanted to do this.

Saturday [April 12]
[School Laptop]
  • Today's shift: 10:00 to 18:00.
  • It rained last night, and it seems it rained heavily because while I was taking the bus to school this morning, I saw deep, deep puddles, the kind that are a result of drainage systems being overwhelmed.
  • I listened to the latest John Derbyshire podcast this morning as I normally do on a Saturday morning when and if I can get the file downloaded. He mentioned this 89 year old English woman, healthy for her age, who went to Switzerland to be euthanized. She chose to be so not because she was in great physical pain or was handicapped. She chose to be so because she hated the world of e-mail and people staring at screens. She couldn't have conversations anymore she complained and the world was becoming inhuman.
  • There is something to be said for her complaints. The world isn't a place for old people anymore. The world isn't a place for people to talk.
  • At McDonald's, I sat next to a particularly egregious example of a person staring at a screen. A chubby male teenage was hunched over his mobile device, which was on the table, so that it was six inches from his face, and he was sucking on a straw which was bent, it seemed, so that he could be as close to the screen as possible. It would have made for a very telling photo. If I was his parent or if that was Tony, I would have kicked his ass. The sight made me think of that 89 year old English woman. I suppose it would be better in the cosmic scale of justice, if that young man was euthanized and the old woman could have kept on living.
  • I make the above points while acknowledging what Chesterton had to say about suicide. (He said it was a great evil. A not killing of one person, but a killing of the world.) The old woman did have the honesty to say she was killing the world. If only someone her complaints, which I think were legitimate, could have been heeded without her having to resort to such drastic means.

[Home Laptop]
  • Jenny & Tony meet me at school at the end of my shift. We decided to go to Pizza Hut for dinner. While there, I saw a chubby little kid, shorter than Tony and yet more mature in his movements. This chubby kid looked like a little emperor or a fat Chinese warlord. He sat, his legs crossed with his shoes off, like he was sitting on a plush carpet in his palace, haughtily holding court.
  • What do you believe? I believe in one God,the Father, the Almighty, Maker of all that is, seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,the only Son of God,eternally begotten of the Father,God from God, Light from Light,true God from true God,begotten, not made, consubstantial of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made for us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures;he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead,and the life of the world to come.
  • What can you do to improve yourself? Act like I really believe what I say I believe.
  • What do you believe? In forgiveness and not vendettas. In loving enemies but not in not having them. Cars like mobile devices make the world inhuman.
  • Pizza Hut serves breakfast and the prices are comparable to McDonald's. I will have to check it out next week.

Sunday [April 13]
[Home Laptop]
  • No shifts today.
  • This morning, I went for a walk through two nearby places, the public square and then the adjacent Times Century Plaza, where the surroundings gave me a feeling of forlornness. I couldn't help but notice the shoddiness of the construction. In the square, tiles were bulging and bent up from the original flatness of the surface upon which they had been laid. In the Time Century Plaza, store fronts were closed or seemed on the verge of closing. The opening of the nearby Wanda Plaza had obviously taken business away. And yet, amidst the ghost town feeling of the shopping area, there was more construction taking place.
  • I took Tony and a buddy of his for a walk. I took some good photos of them which have been published in TKIC blogspot and TKIC Wordpress.
  • I thought today was Easter. On Thursday, I had received a subscription email with a nice photo of Christ crucified which caused me to assume that Easter was today. It was an assumption which caused me to misread the calendar which I was checking to see if my assumption was correct! So I didn't realize my error until after I had posted the photo to We Chat!
  • What do you believe? I believe I am very insignificant. I believe the world is going to pot. I believe that men are fallen creatures. I believe that Feminism is nonsense. I believe that abortion is murder. I believe that the wildcard in Major League Baseball was an unpardonable mistake. I believe that the best place to be is here. I believe that scientists are men. I believe that the world needs poetry. I believe that the world needs beauty. I believe that time spent listening to modern pop music is time wasted. I believe that we can't help but waste time. I believe that the only way to not make enemies is to not have been born. I believe that children should be seen and not heard. I believe that we stand on the shoulders on giants.

Monday [April 14]
[Home Laptop]
  • No shifts today.
  • Up early this morning, I went to the Hui Shan Central Park which is near the Hui Shan White House and the end (or the beginning) of Wuxi Metro Line #1. In the park, I was treated to the sight of women walking backwards down the park's central walkway. There were two parties of women. The one nearest to me was walking backwards toward me; the other party, which was farthest from me, was facing me but walking away from me. It was a sight of which I should have taken a video, but alas the camera on my Ipod wouldn't have shown the woman in the distance.
  • When the locals do exercise, their movements, like this walking backwards, seem strange, gangly, and anti-graceful to this laowei's eyes.
  • I had lunch at the Hui Shan Wanda Starbucks. I had a Venti Cafe Americano and a Chicken Sandwich while reading a chapter and then some of Mary H. Kingsley's Travel in West Africa. I had opportunity to notice the customers who came in, and I can say that if you like to look at Chinese women, you can't go wrong sitting in a Starbucks in a Wanda shopping mall.
  • Jenny took Tony to government offices downtown to get his Visa renewed, but was told that the government had changed its policy, again, on children of Tony's status and so Tony is considered to be Chinese even though he has a Canadian passport. So, he doesn't need a Visa but instead will be given a Chinese identification card. If he spends a year and a half in Canada, he will not be considered Chinese anymore. If he leaves China, he needs an exit Visa like he did the first time we went to Canada. While this doesn't cost Jenny any money now, it does raise the question of how Tony would get back into China if he went away. Does he have to get a visa to get back in China?
  • I finished reading the Outer Limits of Reason by Noson S Yafonsky yesterday. A very mathematical book that has put me up to date on the latest developments in physics and math. I won't say that I understood the book completely. I did understand the conclusions that the author presented, but not so much the proofs.
  • As soon as I finish Travels in West Africa, I will start to read a biography of Johnny Carson and another book. I have so many choices, I can't even list them though the amount of choices isn't infinite, whether that be countable infinite or uncountable infinite.
  • Last night, I started watching the War Wagon, a western starring Kirk Douglas and John Wayne.
  • What do you believe? I believe that while the world is going to pot, it always has been and it always will be going to pot. I believe that I have a one in one hundred shot at redeeming myself for the life I have lead so far.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dispatches from Akicistan #8

Gratitude:  I am thankful for the Internet. I am thankful that I am aware of the goodness of silence. I am thankful that I am not given to boasting.

Acknowledgement: I haven't published a Dispatches from Akicistan for a long while because of sloth on my part. What else can I confess to? I don't reach out much to others. I don't boast because I don't much to boast about.
Request(s): To those of you who overuse the hole 'neath your nose: shut up!

What is Akicistan? It isn't a place. It is a state of mind that places cutting-edge state-of-the-art sticks in mud. The word Akicistan is formed from the initials AKIC and the root stan.

If Akicistan was an empire, it would comprise China, Canada, the Red States of the USA, Latvia, and the parts of the world that comprise Modern Christendom as well as ancient Christendom.

Akicistan news in brief: If someone, that is someone I cared about, asked me how I was doing these days, I would have to say I am coasting. [People never ask me how I am doing these days, but then I don't go asking people how they are doing. I don't want to know because I may not like what I hear and I may think even less of these people than I already do.]
Important Akicistan Links:

In Akicistan:

Some of us can speak Chinese! 每天在工作,我学中文。

We sometimes pay attention to China. But not that much. What's to sayIt is more polluted than ever and the Commies are still in power.

We are fond of Canada! But every time, I listen to a podcast from CJOB, I have less and less desire to go back. Winters are horrible. Hockey, at a minor level, can be barbaric, revealing the dark underside of the Canadian character.
We are fond of Latvia! Seeing what has happened to the Ukraine, we fear for Latvia because it has a sizable Russian population.

The Politics are Conservative and Reactionary! Obama bad. The EU bad. The UN bad. Bureaucracy bad. Homosexualism bad. Atheism bad. Libertine atheism bad. Scientism bad. Science good. Republicans mediocre. Middle of the Roaders dummies. Catholicism good. Liberal Catholics bad.

English is taught! How often do I have correct this mistake: I have ever done that. It is understandable how the error can come about. Ever is the opposite of never and so it would make sense that I have ever is the opposite of I have never. But ever means all the time. You haven't done something all the time of your life like been to Beijing.
Citizens aren't freaks! But then again, Akicistanians might be. To hold things that should be sacred sacred is a freakish thing, perhaps a miracle in this day and age.
Reading is the #1 Pastime! Here is what I had been working my way through the past month or so:
Don Colacho's (Nicolas Gomez Davilla) Aphorisms.  There are 2,988 of them in this book that I compiled for myself.  I try to read at least one aphorism a day.  I cut and paste the better ones -- they are all profound actually -- and I put them in the AKIC Weekly. (See below)
The Niomachean Ethics of Aristotle. Finished! Now it is time to read some Aquinas! The Niomachean Ethics is a very good book. I hope to read it once more before I die.

The Summa by Thomas Aquinas. This is a hard book to read. I have had to re-read every section in the book so far.

Ulysses by James Joyce.  I am following along with Frank Delaney as he slowly guides podcast listeners through Joyce's hard-to-read novel.  Delaney figures he will have the whole novel covered in about 22 years.  Delaney completed episode #195 recently and is working his way through the chapter that introduces Leopold Bloom. I am getting ahead of Delaney as far as reading the book.  I will be finished my reading of it, I figure, in a year. I read the novel despite its many blasphemies. It is best to be aware of this stuff because the world is full of it, and the world will always find a way of slapping you in the face with it

The Holy Bible (RSV-C2E version, aka the Ignatius Bible, and Douay-Rheims version).  I will read the two versions in conjunction. Last week, I finished reading the Book of Genesis. I am not in the Book of Exodus. In the New Testament, I am reading the Gospel According to Matthew.

The Man Who Loved China by Simon Winchester (Audio Book). Finished. Joseph Needham was certainly a clever scholar, but he was a unabashed Communist. He lived his life like he was a member of the politburo. The author of this book about sympathizes with him. I can't. The book was interesting for some of its detail about China, but that is about it.

All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare. Finished.

Antony and Cleopatra. On the birth certificate, Tony is actually Anthony. I have an “h” in the name.

Other Limits of Reason: Nolson S. Yanofsky. Very good book. Some chapters required re-reading on my part before I understood them. Yanofsky explores the limits of reason via mathematics and physics. I wish I could have read this book when I was studying math in university. I would have appreciated the subject more. As it was, I thought it was a chore.

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson. [Finished] A novel set in North Korea. I read the book on John Derbyshire's recommendation.

Travels in West Africa by Mary H Kingsley. A travel book written in the 1890s. I believe I am reading it on the recommendation of Theodore Dalrymple. This book is politically incorrect and yet it is written by a woman. Feminists and Leftists would have to be forced to say that she wasn't a woman.

Memorable quotes are presented and discussed!
Nicholas Gomez Davilla:
815 We frequently discover, after many years, that deliberate solutions end up being more intolerable than problems
818 The leftist intellectual does not attack anything with fearlessness and arrogance except ideas he believes to be dead.
819 Obviously, in many cases we come up with our ideas, but we are not the first, nor the only ones, to come up with them.
820 Anybody has the right to be stupid, but not to demand that we revere his stupidity. [On first thought, I thought that what Davilla said in this aphorism was a truism or was trite. But on quick reflection of some people, I have seen, who talk of how crazy and idiotic they are, I can see they are doing what Davilla says, asking us to revere their stupidity or their coolness brought about as a result of their shortcomings.]
821 Modern drudgery does make it more difficult to believe in God, but it does make it impossible to feel Him. [As a drudge, I know exactly what he means. The rat race, I am involved in, does leave me time to look after my soul. However, my attempts to look after it are the attempts of an egoist trying to improve himself. My attempts to feel him are those who try to be strong by going to the gym for ten minutes a day.]
822 Intelligence is strengthened by the eternal commonplaces. And it is weakened by those of its time and place. [Nothing makes a person more stupid than following the fashions of the day and accepting current commonplaces.]
823 It does not help the mediocre man at all to emigrate to where great men reside. We all carry our mediocrity wherever we go. [The stark truth. I am stuck with myself.]
827 As the waters of this century rise, delicate and noble sentiments, sensuous and fine tastes, discreet profound ideas take refuge in a few solitary souls, like the survivors of the flood on some silent mountains. [I love to be one of those solitary souls, but I don't think there is much of a chance of that happening.]
828 We spend a life trying to understand what a stranger understands at a glance; that we are just as insignificant as the rest. [True.]
831 Those whose gratitude for receiving a benefit is transformed into devotion to the person who grants it, instead of degenerating into the usual hatred aroused by all benefactors, are aristocrats. Even if they walk around in rags. [I am no aristocrat if this definition is correct.]
832 The fervor of the homage which the democrat renders to humanity is comparable only to the coldness with which he disrespects the individual. [True.] The reactionary disdains man without meeting an individual he scorns. [Damn! I am not a true reactionary!]
835 To be civilized is to be able to criticize what we believe in without ceasing to believe in it.[I am sure that someone, possibly Chesterton, said something about the true lover being a reformer of the object of its love. You love something not for what it is, but for what you think it is capable of. And I know that in my case, and even in my advanced age, I would certainly want that to be so.]
836 Families are often purulent cells of stupidity and unhappiness because an ironic necessity demands that the government of such elemental structures require as much intelligence, astuteness, and diplomacy as does the government of a state. [If you deem it foolish to live in a family, how can you be qualified to express any opinions on the government of states?]
838 Whoever looks without admiration or hatred has not seen. [Those who try to look at world objectively are usually looking at the world through the cloud of their perceived objectivity.]
842 There is no individual who, upon evaluating himself without previous preparation, does not find that he is inferior to many, superior to few, equal to none. [The inferior- to-many thought has been a frequent source of depression for me.]
845 With the object of preventing dangerous concentrations of economic power in the hands of a few anonymous associations, socialism proposes that the totality of economic power be entrusted in a lone anonymous association called the state.
847 It would be easier to resolve modern problems, if, for example, it were possible to sustain the Utopian fancy that what causes the multiplication of plastic objects is only the manufacturer's commercial greed, and not the idiotic admiration of the presumed buyers.
854 The technical man believes he is a superior being, because he knows what, by definition, anybody can know. [I love this.]
856 Dialogue perverts its participants. Either they are obstinate out of a desire to fight, or they give in out of laziness. [Anyone who says he wants a dialogue is just a monologist who wants a rapt listener. Anyway, it is a good reason to not speak unless you are getting paid to.]
859 Every straight path leads directly to a Hell. [You have to a genius to think these things. And yet this is an expression that once known, seems to be so commonsensical that anyone could have thought of it.]
863 It is not easy to discern whether contemporary journalism is a cynical way to get rich by corrupting man or a “cultural” apostolate carried out by hopelessly uncivilized minds. [I think it is the latter. Journalists, for the most part, are a very ignorant bunch.]
865 Many people believe that a laconic statement is dogmatic and judge the generosity of an intelligence by the verbosity of its prose. [That is how many are fooled into thinking Obama has something to say when he hasn't said anything at all.]
867 The Modern World bitterly censures those who “turn their back on life.” As if it were possible to know with certainty that turning one's back on life is not turning one's face toward the light. [I suppose that those who “turn their back on life” can also be called retrograde or some much worse epitaph.]
872 Our misery proceeds less from our problems than from the solutions which are appropriate to them.[Oh! Do I have to work hard?!?]

Theodore Dalrymple
[Joseph] Conrad was attracted to England precisely because he saw the English national character as lacking in moral grandiosity and metaphysical flamboyance. The English people did their duty without the apparent need, or desire, to found it on any philosophical first principles. [Joseph Needham wasn't like that.]

the world is so infinite in its variety that our brief time on it cannot, or at least should not be able, to exhaust our interest. I used to tell my patients that it was vastly more important, from the point of view of reaching contentment, that they should lose themselves than that they should find themselves; and that, in losing they would find themselves and most of their problems would disappear, at least for the time they remained lost. If they made finding themselves the precondition of losing themselves, they were, in effect, lost. [link]

The greatest cause of boredom in the modern world is entertainment.[link]

the blogosphere gives the impression that the world is filled with bitter, angry, resentful people who spit venom at the slightest pretext and think that abuse is an argument—indeed, the only argument.[link]

David Warren
Call it a mood: one which can be maintained by the true Stoic over decades. I can easily understand it, especially at this moment, having been in a mood like that this past week or two, with nothing whatever to say to my own tiny shrinking public, or to the world at large, beyond, “Go to hell.” But of course this won’t do. If one is a writer one must never agree to shut up; not so long as there is one more reader. Force the smug, “enlightened” bastards to silence you. [Except in one aspect, this passage doesn't apply to me, but I envy its pluck. I have told the world, I could reside in, to go to Hell but not so much by my writing. I don't have a readership that has been large enough to dwindle.]

His column in the Hindustan Times, entitled, “With Malice Towards One and All,” will be missed up here in the High Doganate. [What a name for a column or a blog. I must steal it!]

Do you consider yourself to be in exile, imposed or self-imposed? I mean in temporal affairs, not the exile from the divine that is this life.” [In my diary, I have been dealing with this question that was posed to David Warren, as it applies to myself.]
The glib answer, supported by a Russian proverb (“A man can do most good where he was born”), is no, I cannot be an exile because I live in the same city wherein I was born. (It is also where one can do the most damage.) True, I was whisked away by my gypsy parents at a tender age, and several times having returned later I went off again, vowing never to come back, but here I am once again in the Greater Parkdale Area, enduring the general decline.[Alas, I couldn't do any good in Germany where I was born. The Russian proverb doesn't apply to me.]

I expect politicians to lie. That is their trade, after all, and many have devoted decades to the mastery of this art of “circumlocution,” which contains many little techniques of deceit, and is in turn part of the larger art of mass suckering, or “democracy.” The master of this art can tell a very big lie, that is aggregated from small, factually checkable statements, or uncheckable statements that will pass glibly.

We must look on our fellows and do some Good. This might begin with looking into their faces, and acknowledging when they look into ours. It does not matter in the least if they are Christian, they are on the same road. We have been solemnly instructed to avoid harming our neighbour, whatever the temptation might be. We should take that instruction at face value. But we have also been solemnly instructed to love, and we must learn to love. Or we will arrive — knee, waist, shoulder, head — covered with the sins of omission.

Robert Easy (A commentator on David Warren's Blog):
All that Christ asks of us is to be consistent. When we condemn sin in others, then we must condemn it in ourselves. When we treat others with contempt and indifference, then we are agreeing to be so treated ourselves by both God and man. Everything comes back to us and rests with us. [Those words contempt and indifference ring out directly, it would seem, at me. I am so guilty of doing these things to other people.]

from “Travels in West Africa” by Mary H. Kingsley
...I often wonder what are the things other people are really most proud of; it would be a quaint and repaying subject for investigation. [What am I most proud of? I am of course proud of my son. But what is the thing that I have done that I am most proud of? I can't really say. I wonder if anything I have done has meant a lick of good for anybody.]

By Paul Krugman, bolded below: 
Just to be clear, there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist, and his dog-whistle may not even have been deliberate. But it doesn’t matter.  He said what he said because that’s the kind of thing conservatives say to each other all the time. And why do they say such things? Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. [Krugman and all those who think like him are idiots, as this passage shows. Their belief in the dog whistle is akin to the belief in witches that Krugman and his ilk say all Conservatives believe in. As long as Liberals spout the quoted nonsense, how is it possible to have a debate with them?]

Carlos Caso-Rosendi
Scripture read in quiet solitude (my preference is to read by the window accompanied by a rather long cup of tea) with grateful reverence is perhaps one of the greatest experiences a human soul can enjoy.

Pope Benedict XVI
Let us ask, then:  What does it mean to become a Christian?  How does this take place?...  If individuals are to become Christians they need the strength to overcome;  they need the power to stand fast against the natural tendency to let themselves be carried along.
Life in the most inclusive sense has been defined as "resistance to the pull of gravity."  Only where such effort is expended is there life;  where the effort ceases life too ceases.  If this is true in the biological sphere, it is all the more true in the spiritual.
The human person is the being which does not become itself automatically.  Nor does it do so simply by letting itself be carried along and surrendering to the natural gravitational pull of a kind of vegetative life.  It becomes itself always and only by struggling against the tendency simply to vegetate and by dint of a discipline that is able to rise above the pressures of routine and to liberate the self from the compulsions of utilitarian goals and instincts.
Our world is so full of what immediately impinges on our senses that we are in danger of seeing only details and losing sight of the whole.  It takes effort to see beyond what is right in front of us and to free ourselves from the tyranny of what directly presses upon us.

A Scottish Proverb (from David Warren's Blog)
He has a hole aneath his nose.    [That is brilliant on so many levels. I know a few people to whom I would like to cite this proverb.]

Malcolm de Chazal (posted by a reader on David Warren's Blog)
We speak with our lips to explain, with our throats to convince.”
Women make us poets, children make us philosophers.”
The Bible: a book that either reads us or is useless.”
Laughter is regional; a smile extends over the whole face.”

Rob Long (from a review of a book about Johnny Carson)
Johnny appeared on television every weeknight. He was playing himself—or, rather, an idealized version of himself: jovial, chummy, witty, warm. The strain of that kind of acting must have been monumental. It’s no wonder that real movie stars—Jimmy Stewart, Michael Caine, a whole bushel of A-listers—respected him so much. In one of the best stories in a book filled with great stories, when Johnny arrives late to a very exclusive industry event filled with movie stars, he lights up the room. He wasn’t just the king of late night television. He was the king of managing not to appear like the rat bastard he clearly was. [I have this sneaking suspicion that I am a rat bastard or a person who likes to act like he is a rat bastard.]

A Buddhist Psalm:
Difficult is it for men to find a wise Teacher; so is it also for them to be instructed and to hear the Holy Law. More difficult still is it to receive the True Faith. [Lots of wise guys, I see. I haven't yet met any wise man.]
Anthony Esolen
It is never easy to rouse a sensualist, not just to heroism, but to the self-sacrifice of an ordinary life of virtue. [Sensualists do like to strike heroic poses, so they do like to be roused to a heroism of a sort, but damned if they every want to do ordinary and decent things – they find ways to rationalize themselves out of having to do them.]

Lists are made: Books and Authors that I want the world to know that I have read.
  • The Holy Bible
  • The Road to Serfdom by FA Hayek
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
  • TS Eliot
  • Charles Dickens
  • Shakespeare
  • Dostoevsky
  • F.A. Hayek
  • WH Mallock
  • Don Colacho
[This list could be a lot longer but I want to get this entry published.]

Thoughts are thought

  • It seems pointless for me to get emotional about the news I get fed by the media. The news has nothing to do with me. My opinions on the events of the day won't change anything.
  • Silence is a wonderful weapon.
  • I don't know who I am mad at.