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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Waxman-Geschwind and the Mad Genius

       Estase was reading An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver W. Sacks, which is about neurological problems.  Chapter Five of the book deals with Waxman-Geschwind syndrome.  Also known as temporal lobe epilepsy, Waxman-Geshwind syndrome causes obsessional thinking about matters of morality, and gives its sufferers a sense that they are on a mission.  Co-discoverer Norman Geschwind believed that Crime and Punishment author Dostoevsky had the condition.  Author Eve LaPlante suspects author Walker Percy has it.  Whether Estase also suffers this is anyone's guess.
         The next thought is whether being obsessed with morality is a bad thing.  Is Waxman-Geschwind syndrome normal, and everyone else is abnormal?  Were the Old Testament prophets Waxman-Geschwind sufferers?  Lastly, is it a problem when artists have a condition that inspires their greatest work?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pity for a Dime

An artificial season covered by suffering
Losing all my reason because there's nothing left to blame
Shadows paint the sidewalk, a living picture in a frame
See the sea of people, all their faces look the same
So I sat down for a while in a state of self-denial forcing a smile

Refrain:  Sell my pity for a dime, just for a dime
               Praying thought to be the easy way
               Signs I'm losing my faith
                Praying thought to be the easy way
                Signs I'm losing my faith
                In a state of self-denial, isn't it wild
                Sell my pity for a dime, just for a dime

So I sat down for a while in a state of self denial forcing a smile isn't it wild?
Sellin' my pity for a dime, just for a dime
Sellin' my pity for a dime and a Dollar will take my soul
                                                            Written by Scott Stapp
                                                             Performed by Creed

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sci-Fi Bruce Rauner

       The person who won the primary for Illinois Republican candidate for governor is making me think science fiction.  No, Bruce Rauner isn't 85% android, he can't see through brick walls, and he doesn't have a jet pack.  He just reminds Estase of movies like "Return of the Body Snatchers" and "Village of the Damned."  You see, Mr. Rauner is a recent convert to Republicanism, having spent years supporting candidates like Disturbin' Dick Durbin and being personal friends with Rahm "The Borg" Emmanuel.  Estase admits that before finding out the previous facts, the fact that endorsed Bruce Rauner, even he was tempted to think the blond boy with glowing eyes was fathered by humans.  All I need to hear is that he can read my mind for me to think I really am in the 60s sci-fi classic.
       Is it really a problem that a self-described "social liberal" beat out real conservatives Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady?  One is tempted to think that Illinois Democrats are so politically invincible that the only way to beat Pat Quinn is with one of the children of the damned.  But we will know we are in trouble if Rauner is elected and, as in the classic Twilight Zone episode, we find out "I want to serve Illinois" means he intends to serve us for dinner.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Salus Populi

     Here is a selection from Cato's Letters, #13.

       "In truth, every private subject has a right to watch the steps of those who would betray their country;  nor is he to take their word about the motives of their designs, but to judge of their designs by the event.
         This is the principle of a Whig, this the doctrine of liberty;  and 'tis as much knavery to deny this doctrine, as it is folly to ridicule it.  Some will tell us, that this is setting up the mob for statesmen, and for the censurers of states.  The word mob does not at all move me, on this occasion, nor weaken the grounds which I go upon.  It is certain, that the whole people, who are the publick, are the best judges, whether things go ill or well with the publick.  It is true, that they cannot all of them see distant dangers, nor watch the motions, and guess the designs, of neighbouring states:  But every cobbler can judge, as well as a statesman, whether he can fit peaceably in his stall;  whether he is paid for his work;  whether the market, where he buys his victuals, be well provided;  and whether a dragoon, or a parish-officer, comes to him for his taxes, if he pay any.
       Every man too, even the meanest, can see, in a publick and sudden transition from plenty to poverty, from happiness to distress, whether the calamity comes from war, and famine, and the hand of God;  or from oppression, and mismanagement, and the villainies of men.  In short, the people often judge better than their superiors, and have not so many biases to judge wrong;  and politicians often rail at the people, chiefly because they have given the people occasion to rail:  Those ministers who cannot make the people their friends, it is to be shrewdly suspected, do not deserve their friendship;  it is certain, that much honesty, and small management, rarely miss to gain it.  As temporal felicity is the whole end of government;  so people will always be pleased or provoked, as that increases or abates.  This rule will always hold.  You may judge of their affection, or disaffection, by the burdens which they bear, and the advantages which they enjoy.  Here then is a sure standard for the government to judge of the people, and for the people to judge of the government."