May 11th, 2004

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If I knew better I'd climb up on my eagle like a child

I've been told that I have some pretty severe mood swings, highly noticeable to those who are around me when they happen. I'm not bipolar, it's something different, something weird with my chemistry. On occasions I vascilate between depression and laughter so fast that people think I'm on drugs.

All this is a way of saying that I feel better but I really don't know why.

I wish that I knew the reason behind my various moods, but while I can explain them all in the moment I also know that there's no true rationale for why they switch while they do. The human mind and body are capricious in the extreme, with behavior that it only sometimes reasonable. I can explain why I got an erection watching the nude model scene in Cleo 5 to 7. Attractive young woman, bare butt and profile of breasts, perfectly reasonable. I cannot explain why I just got an erection checking my exam schedule online. History, wednesday 1:10-4:00, courier 12 point font, powder blue page border...nope that really doesn't add up to 'hard as a rock.' It's probably a morning bloodflow or friction thing, but it's not reasonable in the same way that the Cleo one was.

Neurons and the endocrine system work on cycles too. They aren't cycles that I really understand, not predictable or circadian. Cicadas stay underground for up to 17 years, rising up at the right time of year without benefit of alarm clock or wakeup call. I have no clue how I will feel on Saturday at 8:30 AM although I can predict that I will be suffering through school anticlimax mini-depression.

Speaking of Cicadas, if I get upstate during this brood I am considering eating a few of them. I always wanted to try insect meat, since it's something that people have eaten since time immemorial and Americans only disdain out of prejudice (biologically the meat of a cicada and a lobster are not that different) Cicadas are insects that I've always been fond of, and I feel I could enjoy eating a few of them. Probably far less disgusting than mushrooms, and when you think about it insect eating is much much more humane than the consumption of mammels. Pigs and cows are not that far from us on the evolutionary chain, Cicadas are a good deal further away.

In Vermont, fish shooting season has begun. This is why cultural relativism makes sense. You can argue that democracy and freedom are universal goods that should be shared by everybody, but how can you argue that it's progess when the human race moves from eating bugs to shooting fish. The second ammendment was designed to keep the heads of Americans off the pikes of British soldiers, not to knock the heads off pikes in brooks near Burlington.

Meanwhile the conservatives are celebrating the anniversay of Brown vs Board of Education in the polite kind of way one applauds a Tennis or Golf match. Yes they accept that it was probably a good thing, or at least it's so popular that to call it bad would be as suicidal as getting between a Vermonter and a succulent salmon, but their heart's not really in it. There are various reasons why, for one it was those damned activist judges again, and they recognize the parallels between the declarations of Brown and the declarations of Roe (though Brown is clearly more firmly rooted in the explicit text of the constitution) and for another they recognize that the very progessive values they hate are represented by the decision.

The fact of the matter is, like it or not, a whole lot of the conservative base in the South is shot through with white racism. That's why there's conflict over what to be done with the White League statue in New Orleans. This is a statue that commemorates a terrorist organization, akin to the Klu Klux Klan. Some people want to return it to its place of honor. Some want to send it off to a museum or some other place where it would be put in context as the shameful mark upon our nation's history that it is. I can't imagine why anyone would want to keep it around EXCEPT for racist or historical reasons (and by historical I don't mean to honor the history of our past but rather to remember the dishonor of it.) I mean if there were an Al Qaeda commemoration statue somewhere I doubt there'd be much discussion about whether it should stay or go. But since the terrorists were whites killing blacks, well that's a different story.

You know, come to think of it maybe my mood cycles aren't so strange in the scheme of things. No weirder than fish shooting and certainly less deletirious to the world than the rampant racism that still exists within our society.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to head over to www.mlb.com to get rid of this damned erection.

P.S.

Someone was arguing with me earlier that the Stanford Prison Experiment had nothing to do with Abu Ghraib and that Phillip Zimbardo himself would see it the same way.

http://users.crocker.com/~afsc/statements/APPLES.HTM

'Fraid not.

That is one of the reasons I tend to argue on the internet only in cycles. Because there's a lot of people out there who just aren't as bright as I am and absolutely refuse to change their opinions even in the face of overwhelming evidence. I forget that from time to time. That's why I start to argue again.

It may be arrogant as fuck to say that, it may even be offensive. There's a reason this journal used to be called Arrogance Incorporated. That doesn't make it false. I'm not always right, and I do sometimes learn stuff from arguing, but it's still frustrating to be right and contend with unchanging ignorance.
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Anywhere is okay

Random thoughts:

I saw an arbor day commercial for oaks on TV recently. Oaks are the national tree. Someone actually bought air time to share this fact. There was no suggestion as to what one might do in response to this startling information except maybe go learn more about oaks.

Why do oaks need advertisement? What the hell was this? I understand arbor day advertising in general, it promotes conservation and planting of trees. I can dig it. I'm all about conserving trees. But just advertising them? I once said that it wouldn't be long until we saw advertisements for the law of conservation of energy, or something else that NO RATIONAL HUMAN BEING would think needs to be advertised. I thought I was joking. Maybe not.

Immediately after that was one of those horribly cheesy anti-drug rap ads that used to run during the 80's. Protip: If you're a middle aged white person who wants to combat the pernicious influence of fast-talking negroes with their hippidy dippity rapping and ryhming, you might want to hire someone cool to get your message across. Asking a slightly younger white man in a tweed jacket with a pocket protector and tape on his glasses to emulate the stylings of the hip hop artists is probably not the most effective route. Filming the results on grainy videotape so it looks like a washed out old episode of Blossum, also not the greatest idea. Not the route I'd go.

It's time to face the fact that the democrats are more fiscally responsible than the Republicans. The Republicans now have a 25 or so year record of complete fiscal irresponsibility and waiting around for the Democrats to clean up their messes. They tax less but spend more. That's not really the way to go. I will agree that those who claim that tax cuts are the same as spending are being kind of silly, since that view kind of assumes that all money naturally belongs to the government. On the other hand, trying to cut taxes when you're also hemoraging billions so that West Virginia hicks can go overseas and torture arab men, well that's just not responsible. If you want to achieve the admirable goal of sending moonshine swilling results of centuries of cousin on cousin sex overseas to represent America you're going to have to pay for it.

The Republicans are now officially the party of liars and repressers. That's not to say there aren't some decent Repubs out there, I think John McCain is about 200 times better than Robert "I burn black people" Byrd, but there are various cans of tunafish that would make better senators than the grand Wizard.

I didn't do enough reading today. It's too depressing to read about the civil war under current conditions. Seriously, torture and death are in the news enough, I don't need to know more. I'll do some more reading tomorrow morning before the test but this class was just depressing on so many levels. I'll be glad when it's done.

I think the Nets are probably going to get to the Eastern Conference playoffs. I won't guarantee it but at this point it seems quite likely.

I'm eating way too much this weak. It's not only unhealthy but it's making me uncomfortable. Ugh.

Can't wait for the semester to be done done done. My grades won't be good, and I MEAN it this time, but that's okay. They're the last things on my mind at this point.

I'm damned lucky that I don't faint when I see blood.
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