Shakespeare and “Spirituality”

Diary 6/3 to 6/5/22: Ninja Fit; gut and brain link; Truthout articles; Karl Popper; my lame fiction; more wasted food; Johnstone quote; Jesse Ventura; Poor Peoples Campaign; a dream; Aussie movie; pushy Pablo.

Photo by Tom Fisk on

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{6/3/22} Continued.

Abandoned Agnes Grey; I read half of it, but have let it sit too long and my interest has cooled.

Today as I was making a smoothie (orange juice, a whole apricot, half a tomato, and ¼ cup of rolled oats), I recognized that the Ninja Fit blender has been trouble-free and efficient; with its “small footprint,” it’s almost a perfect blender for me.  The only real drawback is that it’s oppressively loud.  The apricot smoothie was a slight disappointment because I couldn’t separate the apricot taste from the rest, that is, “I couldn’t taste the apricot”; it’s a taste I usually think of as very strong, but I like it.

A report by Neuroscience News:  “Patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease are 9 times more likely to develop depression than those without IBD. Those with depression are twice as likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease, a new study reports.”

I was thinking that because I have often suffered a mild depression, and also have more or less chronic constipation, perhaps this might explain both.  But the report continues, “Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic condition involving inflammation of the digestive tract, affecting some 1.6 million Americans. Depression affects more than 16 million Americans.”  This suggests that the disease is pretty uncommon and likely more serious than mild constipation.  I have yet to check the facts.

However, the connection between gut and brain is closer than most of us are aware.  When thinking about how moods affect me, I generally think of mood as “the influence of the body on the brain”; in other words, they’re not “just psychological.”  It was thinking like this that led me to “bleakspeak“; most importantly, it means that when using the word “I,” I am really talking about “this body right now.”  I believe that we are bodies more than we are minds.  This is an important part of my worldview.

My selection of “articles of interest” from

  • 85 Percent of Voters Want Congress to Pass the Equal Rights Amendment
  • The House GOP Has a “Climate” Plan. It’s a Giveaway to the Fossil Fuel Industry.
  • An interview:  [Noam] Chomsky: We Must Insist That Nuclear Warfare Is an Unthinkable Policy
Karl Popper (1902-1994)

I haven’t read these and probably won’t (except for the Chomsky, which I browsed and printed out); today I’m more interested in pursuing my bleak philosophy, so I printed out the “Karl Popper” articles from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Wikipedia.  I’ll be focusing on those for a while; together it amounts to almost 50 pages.  I have no money to buy more books (I currently have nothing by Popper), and the library doesn’t have anything by Popper! I’ve more or less decided not to pursue Gabriel Marcel.  Actually, I’ve already read quite a bit of Popper, at least more than one book (Conjectures and Refutations).

So many books, so little time for reading.

Of course, I also watched Family Guy for two hours today, mostly episodes I’ve already seen.  I blame my gut, because this behavior suggests depression, or something like it.  Other words come to mind:  fecklessness, laziness, confusion of goals.

Actually, since I’ve seen that my recent fiction writing is lame and “hardly worth pursuing,” some depression-like mental state seems rather probable just on that basis.

I haven’t eaten yogurt in more than a month, so all my little yogurts are now expired. The one I looked at today expired in April. I’ll cart them out to leave by the dumpster for the local homeless to pick up. Everything I put out there disappears fairly quickly. The cheese I have should probably go also, since I’m not using it, though a grilled cheese might be a good alternative to a peanut butter sandwich. [The food was not picked up; I put it in the dumpster.]

From Caitlin Johnstone on 6/1:  “If you’ve publicly challenged the official narratives of the western political/media class about any major issue, you’ve probably noticed that people can get pretty upset about it.”  Yeah, Pablo reacts badly to this.  Nog tends to agree [with me], but then, he’s not argumentative about anything much.


Jesse “The Body” Ventura

“What would you rather have [as a news and opinion source], an honest wrestler or a polished sellout?”  This rhetorical question is posed by Matt Taibbi regarding the career and banning of Jesse “The Body” Ventura. I had seen Ventura on RT Today, also known as “Russian TV,” and also as author of a book about “documents the government doesn’t want you to see.” I knew that Ventura had been elected governor of a state in the Midwest, and I had seen him in the movie Predator, etc. Ventura has begun publishing through a Substack account. I’ve always been dubious about him, but I had not known of his three-year contract with MSNBC, which resulted in his being paid for three years but broadcasting little or nothing on the channel. This fact increases his credibility, in my opinion. In fact, I have more “credible” sources than I have time to read them, and the same article from Taibbi reminded me that I’ve been neglecting Ralph Nader.  Taibbi’s article is titled, “The Incredible Political and Media Journey of Jesse and Tyrel Ventura”—here’s the link.

Just watched Rev. Dr. William Barbour on the Mobilization Tour, March on Memphis of the Poor Peoples Campaign—I don’t know how the official titles go.  Barbour always impresses and moves me, and he did here also.  The show is going on now, so it’s not going to be available on YouTube for a while, but here’s a link to a the recent event in New York City.  To find out about the campaign, check out or text “MORAL” to 38542.

Here’s my final thought for the morning: Call it “spiritual” and you can get away with anything.

For me, masturbation is spiritual.


Had a dream. All that I can remember is bending four pieces of aluminum, very shiny, into simple bookends.

Watched Samson & Delilah (2009) day before yesterday, a misleadingly titled movie starring two Australian aborigines (apologies if the term is offensive). I found it by turns absorbing, sad, shocking, astonishing, boring, brutal, and finally both somewhat heartwarming and somewhat disappointing. Samson is interested in two things: Delilah and inhaling gasoline fumes, and he’s a disappointment throughout. Delilah is attractive but overwhelmed. The story is told without dialogue between the two main characters; rather, they throw rocks at each other. The ending is too easy, but otherwise satisfying. Overall I recommend it, at least as much for the picture of “modern aborigine life” as for the story. Rotten Tomatoes scores it 94% and 76% (critics and audiences, respectively).

The Hemlock Club meeting yesterday was good primarily because all the usual members were present. Otherwise, it was unmemorable (intentional pun). Pablo was entirely too pushy about getting a ride home, which he wanted because his alcoholic love had called him. He seems thoroughly absorbed by her, and this relationship seems to obsess TC.

Yesterday evening I was thoroughly bored, spent much of the time watching Family Guy and working sudoku—in other words, killing time. I could not find a movie to watch, and the books I’m reading did not appeal at all. Finally I settled on Marjorie Garber: Shakespeare After All and read about Troilus and Cressida. I remembered the play well enough to follow her essay, so I pulled the book out with the intention of rereading. The odds of my doing so are less than 50-50.

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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