Diary, 4/12 to 4/13/19

Psycho II

Copyright 2019 by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{4/12/19}  Weight 220.6.  Depressingly stable.

A dream this morning:  A prison inmate opens his mouth, revealing a large snake coming forward.  The snake’s head looked like a rattlesnake’s.  The thought comes in the dream, “He was ever afterward known as the Crunky Snake guy.”  I thought of changing “guy” to “inmate.”  Whenever I start considering alternatives in a dream, that seems to lead to immediate awakening.  The only other things remaining are:  we were on a bus, and one guy smelled like juniper.

I woke at 5:02 and tried to get back to sleep, giving up the struggle at 5:33.  I didn’t want to get up, but I have “always” had a rule, if I can’t get back to sleep within twenty minutes, I should give up the effort and do something more productive, such as reading.  Since I wanted to record “the Crunky Snake guy dream,” I decided to type.  After the dream, the phrase kept echoing in my mind as I tried to sleep, tangled up with emergency room thoughts.  The phallic symbolism perhaps is not coincidental.

Now, while I was trying to get to sleep, I had a hypnagogic perception of the sound of a text message coming in on my phone—though the sound was a bit off, a two-note tinkle like the call of a cuckoo.  Now it seems to me that you get hypnagogic perceptions when you’re about half asleep, so maybe I should have kept trying.  Except:  since I have no commitments today, whether I sleep at night or during the daytime doesn’t really matter.

As it happens, I woke with a substantial erection, and wondered if it had been persisting for more than four hours.  But in fact, it subsided normally.  I had visions of trying to get to an emergency room.  Used the last “V” pill last night.  ‘Nuff said.

Last night I watched part of a Chris Hedges lecture which I had seen within the past two weeks, and I was struck with the realization that seemingly all memory of the previous viewing had gone completely, except for the visuals.  In bed later, after reading in Postwar about the Maastricht agreement, in trying to remember what I’d read, the word “Maatrecht” surfaced, which I was doubtful about—as it happens, it was an incorrect spelling.  The agreement established some norms for countries that wanted to join the European Union.  As I came across the word in the text, I looked it up in the index to find out what it meant (the word didn’t occur as part of the phrase, “Maastricht agreement” where I was reading at the time); undoubtedly this incident helped me remember the approximate spelling.  I can remember also that the joining of about ten eastern European countries to the EU was called “the big bang.”  Also, the regulations for the EU, at least in part, cover 90,000 pages.  One can imagine little committees or associations coming up with regulations for hops growers and Crunky Snake industries, say.

Why doesn’t the Middle East do what Europe has done?  War, tyranny, and U.S. interference (war again, but not only that).

Noam Chomsky on Democracy Now! this morning.

Talked to Pablo about having him type my Prison Diary for $$.  He was very enthusiastic.  This makes so much sense that I’m pessimistically guessing that he’ll end up not doing the work.  Fortunately, if I photocopy the pages that I give him, as I intend, it doesn’t really matter if he doesn’t do it.  I believe that professional typists charge like $10 a page.  I wouldn’t pay that, but he found my suggested $2 acceptable.  The thing is, I probably give him $50 a month anyway, so presumably that will drop a bit.

Story on Stephanie Miller this morning about a woman discovered to have four living sweat bees in her eye, living on her tears.  <shudder of horror> followed by much hilarity.

As recent entries here make apparent, I am watching a lot of movies.  I am not doing a lot of work on Kick Me.  Thus I screw things up because I lack discipline and am self-indulgent (same thing).

After a visit to the bathroom (ahem) at 7:58 my weight is now 219.2, or 1.2 pounds less.

The search is on for a technological solution to carbon sequestering.  But we already have a solution, do we not?  Trees.  It’s hard to imagine a better answer.

I’ve almost completely given up watching Rachel Maddow for news.  The “news” on Free Speech TV is generally piecemeal, so during the day I often switch over to MS NBC at the top of the hour to catch their headlines; but I can’t stay there, it’s nauseating.  Between Trump tweets and the Democratic horse race, there’s little room for anything important.

Of course, much of FSTV consists of an endless “Game” (per Eric Berne) of “Ain’t it awful?”  Yes, it is unbelievably awful and we need to be constantly reminded that our democracy, such as it is, is on life support and our Unpresident keeps pulling the plug (with the help of sycophants).

In searching just now, I see that I didn’t say anything about The Innkeepers, a low-budget “indie” film, which I watched a few days ago.  It has two very interesting characters, ably played by the actors (Sara Paxton and Pat Healy) who work very well together.  I have nothing but admiration for the first half of the film, with the exception of a couple of unnecessary “jump” scares (I think that’s the term).  But then, as the supernatural effects get stronger, the pacing seems to slow unmercifully, and the final payoff is a serious letdown.  So, overall, it must count as a what-might-have-been.  Produced/directed/written by Ti West.

Finished reading van Vogt’s Future Glitter.  I was enjoying it perhaps more than it’s worth; it’s about Earth being ruled by an immortal, murderous dictator, seen through the eyes of a rebellious twenty-year-old man with to-be-discovered talents.  While a lot of it is quite interesting, and comparisons with Trump constantly arise, the windup is confusing, disappointing, and finally preposterous, a real deus-ex-machina.  The vision of far-future technology is pretty disappointing also.  So, overall, I’d give it a 2 out of 5 (rating the best of van Vogt at a 5, i.e., not in comparison to other novels, or even other science fiction—a comparison for which I have no stomach, given that I’m a fan).

 

{4/13/19}  Weight 220.2.

The inability or unwillingness of many people to critically examine their beliefs may be the most important failing of humanity because it can cause the end of humanity.  This unpleasant and perhaps extreme speculation—or conclusion—is “justified” thus:

I’ve heard it claimed that “the Rapture” does not appear in the bobble.  If this is so, then people get the belief from somewhere else, somewhere that presumably would not stand up to critical examination.

I’ve heard it claimed that some people, such as Mike Pence, desire to bring about “Armageddon,” that is, the end of the world such as by nuclear war, so as to bring about “the Rapture,” and thus their own presumable “Salvation.”  The Vice President could someday become President, and thus be in a position to start a nuclear war.

If these premises are true, then the lack of critical examination could cause the end of humanity.

In other news, I’ve got insomnia and it’s now 4:25 am.

I watched Psycho II last night.  It was moderately amusing the first time I saw it, and it was moderately but less amusing last night.  There is one shockingly memorable scene, the last.  Meg Tilly is cute.  But on the whole I found it more tedious and annoying than amusing or shocking.  Certainly, for fans of Norman Bates, it’s more or less required viewing, but that’s about it.  What I recall of Psycho III is not especially encouraging, but I’ll likely watch it in a day or two.

Caught the last half or more of Justice League, again.  Marvel’s fantastic success has spoiled me for these lesser products; which does not, of course, keep me from watching them over and over again, for the good things in them.  JL has good things in the cast, sfx, music, characters, and so on, but the premise of “mother boxes” (and other things) just looks ridiculous compared to Marvel’s “infinity stones” and other things—which, in themselves, look pretty silly.  Unfortunately (I suppose) the arrival of Superman at the battle with the villain (whose name escapes me at the moment) makes that villain a pathetic joke, he is so outmatched—he ends up an ax-wielding Chucky.

One forces oneself to suspend disbelief so that one may enjoy, without smirking, the many good things.  The upcoming Joker will not, I’m afraid, make anyone forget the Heath Ledger version, but again looks like it has some good things in it.  As for a severe shortage of good things, if a paradigm is needed, I recall Shazam!

Marvel blows my mind; DC tries my patience.

Unfortunately for my bon mot, there are Marvel’s exceptions of Ant-man and Venom, but we’ll ignore those.

I read the first chapter of van Vogt’s The Anarchistic Colossus last night before turning to Postwar.  I guess I’m on a vV “kick” for a while.  His tired old novels have displaced People Get Ready from my, um, place of honor, which I have almost stopped reading.  Thus ends my “new commitment” to The Common Good?  Not exactly.  But the sense of urgency toward TCG has certainly lost its edge.  Which is Not Good, perhaps.  And perhaps it doesn’t matter at all at 5:05 on a Saturday morning.

If TCG has been in the place of honor, what shall I say about Kick Me?  That commitment remains: I will go to Dagny’s this morning.  But I fear that I am less of a serious human being than I had hoped I was.

 

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