Diary, 10/7 to 10/19/19, biggest post ever

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...

Diary, 9/23 to 9/29/19

... 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...

Diary, 9/9 to 9/17/19

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...

Diary, 6/12 to 6/14/19

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...

Diary, 1/8 to 1/9/19

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

Diary, 1/3 to 1/7/19

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).

Diary, 12/30/18 to 1/1/19 & Free Book Offer

Reading Janet Malcolm: The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1994, hc. This is a book that I had taken to Dagny’s as a donation, never having read it (though I might have started it), then, on a later day, I retrieved it. It’s peculiar, as much about the writing of the book as it is about Plath & Hughes. Correction: about the researching, nothing about writing. Now, halfway through, I quite like it, and last night I even read three of Plath’s poems, the first three of Ariel. Her poems are like tea leaves...

Prison Diary: Books and More Books

“The Danes in particular have made sloth a policy. Blithely unaware that Indians are working 35 hours a day [sic], the Danes average 22 hours a week. partly that’s the result of the ‘laziness’ written into law: employers must provide a minimum of 5 weeks paid vacation. The official week is 37 hours, but non-vacation weeks average 28. Worse, there’s paid maternity leave! The Danish minimum wage is $10 and health care is free…. Danes earned an average $26 an hour in 2001, a solid 61% more than Americans.”