June 19th, 2003

Semiformalishmaybe

I fed a bird (and other short stories)

Today, for lunch, I got my usual from Srees. I ate it outside, sittingon the grass near the Cut. As I ate, two small birds came over to me.I tossed them some carrots, but they didn't seem interested. I then noticedthat one of them was eating some rice that had blown out of my plate. Iscooped some onto my fork, and held it out. The little guy actually ate itright off my fork. I grabbed some more, and fed him three times before heflew off.

CNN had a story about changes to the "Head Start" program, which, IIRC, isa program to put poor kids through free preschool. Apparently, BushJr is tryingto push through some changes that would both increase state control, andlegalize the refusal to hire people of religions which might interfere withthe 'goal of the program'. Both of these are, from my point of view, badthings. In general, I think that increased state powers are a bad thing --too often, as is illustrated by Texas, it acts as a way for states toallow local stupidity to reign, free of the somewhat greater sensibility ofthe nation. Should states still exist? I don't know -- I don't see much usefor them. If any of you out there want to send me passionate (or otherwise)arguments for the existence of states, feel free. Maybe it's a shortage ofimagination, but I just can't see anyone but people trying to live in thepast having 'good' arguments for states rights. I'm especially pissed atBushJr (pretzels be unto him) for being so successful at pushing religionfurther into government.

Sharon's dismantling settlements. Cool. I don't know why he's doing it --maybe the dangling carrot, maybe an actual desire for resolution.. People canhave a change of heart, over time. Maybe that's what we're seeing.If he and Abbas can manage to build a successful agreement, I'd be surprised,but pleasantly so, and I'm beginning to think that I might someday respectthe man, despite his bloody past.

BushJr (pretzels be unto him) continues to screw up on Iran, while he andBlair do their best to prevent investigations into their handling ofinformation (or lack thereof) about weapons programmes in Iraq. He's alsorewriting EPA reports to remove talk of global warming and climate damage.

On Tuesday, Philosophy group had a discussion on materialism and bioethics.On Wednesday, Zets (all 5 of us that showed up) talked a bit about politics,and a bit about everything else, for hours. As a bonus, because the meetingwas on Darlington Road, where there's some construction going on, we got tosee cars driving the wrong way down a one way road (about 3/4 of them turnedaround pretty fast, the others kept going). It was quite amusing. I went withNicole to grab some food, and got some tasty spring rolls. I also foundthat Vice happens to have musical tastes and knowledge of groups/songs that,on first glance, appears to be very similar to mine.

Last night, I delivered the things I needed to get back to Debb to herdoorstep, or as close as I could get considering I no longer have keys toher building. I was nervous as I approached, and light in my step whenreturning. I don't know if that means anything. It probably didn't helpthat I thought I saw her car driving around where mine was parked onDarlington a few times earlier that night, but maybe it didn't hurt. Ialso noticed recently that one of the two people I'm interested in has avoice and style of speaking that's similar to what I remember of Martha's.Yup, yet another oddity that I just don't know what to think of. Oh, yes,two songs I've been listening to recently... Oingo Boingo's"It Only Makes Me Laugh" and Toad the Wet Sprocket's "Walk On the Ocean".

I notice, visiting Toad's site, that they appear to be a dead group. I feela bit odd about that, like visiting a grave a bit too late. They would'vestill been dead if I had listened to them all this time, but in that one-wayfashion that's always there in consumerism, they would've been part of mylife, and I wouldn't be coming back to find them now, like a dead flowerin a forgotten garden. It reminds me a bit of, two visits to home ago,when I stopped by the Tanager Trail house I lived in back then. Thingschange, and it makes the heart ache when things that are important to onechange without one. It is a very Buddhist pain, impermanence, or at leasta pain they recognize well, and say it must be overcome. Yet, somehow Ithink this thing, whether it's a flaw or not being something I've decided,is irresistable, and the pain it brings is one I cannot deny withoutgiving up who I am.

And then the mind, free to take the forms it wanted without maintaining themin a space, split into subpersonalities. There were about 15 of them,initially all close variants of him, with different clothing and expressionson their faces, and then a few began to take the shape and manner of peoplewho, in his mind, represented those personalities to him. The whole lookedupon the selves, the pantheon of his mind, and nodded. Their argumentsmirrored, or perhaps decided, maybe there's no distinction, the path thewhole takes, the dissenting voices being the doubts. How interesting,to close one's eyes, on a whim, and open them as someone anew. A shadow,or a representation, is not the real thing, but it's its own thing, andthere's no shame in a strong resemblance. Icons, Masks, and Campbell.

Closing my eyes.

Semiformalishmaybe

The eyes open

The corpus colossum is restored, and Improv and Pat shake hands.In one blink, a twisted landscape, in the next, normalcy.

I'm back online at home. It'll be a little while until I fullycatch up on my email, and pull everything together, but at leastnow it won't be long. My apologies to everyone who I haven't respondedto in email yet. It'll be soon.

I also twisted my configuration a bit today. I got tired enough ofthe crappy sound quality on holly's new motherboard that I movedthe speakers to forrester, and did lots of tweaking to get rid ofthe squeal that forrester normally continuously has when it uses itssoundcard. I also fixed the odd shifting effect on the shared monitorthat happened when holly was using it by using a shorter, more stronglyshielded cable between the KVM and holly (forrester seems to do fine withthe longer cable, despite it using it in higher res. Maybe it's the refreshrate that makes the difference).

The Senate is working on undoing some of the media control rules thatthe BushJr (pretzels be unto him) administrations have been undoing.In yet another step in my slow liberalization, I approve of thoseregulations, and see it as a good thing that the Senate is moving torollback the changes. Libertarianism doesn't mesh well with Democracyin many of its stances. I have mixed feelings on each -- the massesare collectively very stupid, but Democracy both placates them and providesa way for them to stop the greatest abuses, a way that's hard to come by inother systems. Libertarianism has a purity I like, and doesn't intervene, andI do think most meddling is crap. However, in that same breath, I think thereare some causes and areas where meddling is great, and neither the marketnor notions of individual liberty are things that I think should be sacrosanct.Oh well. It's bedtime.

Music for now is Blues Traveler -- Hook