Seven months of nearly daily blogging

So here we are!

I punked out on Monday. I’ve been having a bit of trouble getting the posts written in the past few weeks. Seem part of a general malaise. I hope it picks up a bit.

But still! That’s a lotta posts!

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The Proper Way to Celebrate the 4th of July

The only thing that makes sense is to read Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”:

But, such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. — The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mineYou may rejoice, I must mourn.

It seems especially apt this year. This passage rang very loud for me:

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, it is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, and denounce less, would you persuade more, and rebuke less, your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light?  Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man?

When civility trolls go on about the need to discuss, to hear opposing viewpoints, to tolerate lies, ignorance, and bigotry because they come from fellow citizens some of whom, while privileged in some ways, are burdened in others, they ask us to do the analog of proving that a slave is a man. It’s wrong when asked of anyone, but unspeakable when asked of the slave or former slave.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

It should be required reading every year.

You can hear James Earl Jones read an excerpt!

Suicide Eitology

Bourdain and Spade killed themselves recently. Celebrity suicide engender a lot of unfortunate reactions. Two key families of unfortunate reactions are the “but they had such enviable lives!” and the “they are selfish!” families.

One thing to remember is that suicide in Western countries is correlated with a lot of factors and esp with a set of mental and physical illnesses:

Now some of the substance cases might’ve correlative rather than causal ie heavy cannabis might be more likely to be self medicating eg cancer pain.

If you look at risk factors, negative life events (death of a family member, divorce, financial ruin) are big risk factors and those tend to stand out in our minds. But a lot of chronic conditions such as major depression have acute phase which result in suicide. Treating this isn’t trivial and living with such conditions isn’t easy.

I suspect, overall, it’s healthier for survivors to take a medicalising rather than a moralising perspective but who knows.

Whiny Post

Well, I have a hand surgery date. It is, of course, while Zoe is away. So either she moves her travel, I move my date, or a kind friend drives me home from Wigan. Woo.

My corneal crap has been acting up (can barely see the screen) and I’ve been perpetually exhausted. I just want to sleep all the time.

Bodies are such rubbish!

5 months of nearly daily blogging

My average is still a bit more than one post a day, but I had a few missed or sort of missed days. (One was missed because of travel to Florida…subjectively, I posted “on the day”.)

Rather more last second posts and I’ve not had a backlog in a while. One thing that put me off the backlog was the way dates seem to be embedded in URLs on saved posts. It’s a small thing, but it gets in the way.

I hesitate to post things that I would be happy to post on Facebook. Small posts and quick hits or brief observations feel more natural over there. Who knows?!

Still, I think I’ve put up some reasonable writing. But some of the more in depth posts are still languishing in drafts.

Compostable Dinnerware

I may be a travel mug and tea/coffee set addict. I have two stainless steel, vacuum travel mugs (one is in semi retirement). But my current daily weapon of choice is a pink eCoffee cup which is supposed to be mostly compostable and recyclable. It is a tad small, the heat sleeve doesn’t really work, and I’ve had trouble surge the lid. But it biodegrades! That led. E to find a whole line which is similarly biodegradable and beautiful. Bowls, plates, cups…the works. We may be upgrading in the near future.

I suspect I’m going to get a Stojo too because, I mean, it collapses!

Update: And, of course, this morning I discover I’ve lost the silicone lid to my eCoffee cup. I guess I have to get a Stojo to replace it!