Diary 6/25/22: Interesting articles from Nature, including Roe; Alan Watts poem; no doom and gloom; my bleak philosophy; poetry challenge; annoying flies; misery of heat; MLK quote and Christopher Phillips.
Blog post stats; Taoist Sage quote from Smullyan; how I spend my days; naps versus sleep; "Taoistic" quatrain from the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám; sensible behavior now.
Amateur haiku; a sample: Motorcycling: / Economical death trap. / Let’s dodge this bullet.
War; a poem; matter as empty space; disgust again; Fritz Perls on video; Hemlock Club mtg; Tao Te Ching; Thoreau; sick for days; In America & Nói DVDs; etc.
Lay in bed this morning half asleep, turning over in my mind several words: acicular, acuminate, corm, carom, and maybe some others. Oh, yeah, crom, which comes from Conan the Barbarian. I looked it up; under cromlech, I found that crom is Welsh for bent or crooked. On looking in the Scrabble dictionary, I found, to my surprise, many words beginning with bh…; the only one I’d seen before was bhakti. I think there’s a book by Joseph Campbell titled Bhakti and Baksheesh, about his time in India. I think I owned a copy for a while, started reading it, and gave it up...
... neuroses are essentially psychic bandages—how we unconsciously respond to hurt in order to prevent more hurt. But of course it is necessary eventually to get beyond that stage. This is a commonplace. Another valuable lesson is how to respond to verbal aggressions like criticism...
What has 152 gram fat (96 saturated), 128 grams of sugar, and 2240 calories? My dinner, a box of eight chocolate-covered donuts. Oh, let’s not forget, 1440 mg of sodium, too. My most egregious binge this year, surely. Well, it got me through Avengers: Infinity War.
Watched Rashomon and Throne of Blood yesterday evening. Toshiro Mifune, who stars in both, seemed to me a pretty terrible actor: he false-laughs his way through the former, and yells all through the latter. Granted, his facial expressions are remarkable. Rashomon is very effective and seldom drags, even though I’ve seen it three or four times previously; the actress was good, though her crying was no more convincing than...
I had a fantasy just now, an imagined conversation with he-who-shall-remain-nameless. I was telling him that I was worried about climate catastrophe, and he was denying. So I was thinking along these lines: “What, the oceans aren’t full of plastic? The species aren’t dying? The hurricanes are a hoax? The science is a conspiracy? What, the prayers of the Jews during the Holocaust were effective and they didn’t all die?” But...
I've been off the Internet for a month due to software problems. This is the first of two long posts to get me caught up to the present in my Diary posts.
I finished reading W. W. Bartley, III: The Retreat to Commitment. I don’t know why it is that the philosophy books that most impress and influence me get little or no attention from others. This one seems to me incredibly important, but The Oxford Companion to Philosophy has nothing to say about Bartley, “pancritical rationalism,” or even “critical rationalism.” Likewise, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [link] doesn’t mention Bartley or much of anything else that relates to my work
The Hemlock Club was good today, though a bit shorter than usual. Four attended. I ate too much at Dagny’s. We talked about Poe’s poem, “Alone,” which Pablo had prepared for us, I took some notes (hence these details), D sang (from his phone) “Silent Night,” a very creditable performance, I talked about how I was a lousy employee and got fired from virtually every job I ever held, Salomé worked on a watercolored bookmark which she presented to me, I asked Salomé to marry me (a joke), I talked about Norman Cousins: Anatomy of an Illness (but had the title completely wrong), D mentioned The Biology of Hope by Bruce Lipton (which sounds really interesting), and we all went for a walk around downtown Bakersfield (it was fun).
My most exciting reading right now is Edward T. Hall: Beyond Culture. I always learn something interesting from his books (I’ve read two previously). This one starts with a chapter that examines how various cultures structure time. He’s explained this in another book, but it’s worth the review. I picked this up last night after failing to get interested in Bill Moyers: A World of Ideas II and also rejecting Will Durant: The Renaissance, which has just too much detail for my poor brain. I’d like to use the Hall for more than my going-to-sleep reading, but I also have the Köhler and Bartley’s Retreat to Commitment which is anxiously awaiting my attention. It’s relatively unusual that I have three books that I’m eager to read, but of course I just bought the K&B.
I don’t claim to understand Shakespeare to any great depth; I just can quote and recognize quotes, as I can recognize quite a few bird songs. That’s all. Repetition will do that, if you don’t mind it.
"...extensive, excellent quotes from Stephen Dobyns on metaphor in poetry, with some great examples, a fine poem from Thomas Lux, and my thoughts on Henry James and The Turn of the Screw. Fans of James may wish to comment."
I'm no poet, and I prove that here with my most recent work, written while I was in prison. A belated revision.
I'm no poet, and I prove that here with my most recent work, written while I was in prison.
I'm no poet, and I prove that here with my oldest and worst efforts. Newer poems will follow.