Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
<Previous Next>
Mon Apr 19 19:53:53 2004
Crescent Call

The eye sags, unaccustomed to the visual assault. The mind turns, the skin bristles. Painful stimuli, a feeling of horror, and guilt. Yes, other parts of the mind, somewhat less ingrained, with less a raw tie to reactions to physicality, and more of a tie to reflectivity, we might call them 'higher' parts, but this is romaticizing it -- they chastize us, tell us we're a bad person for having those gut reactions. We listen -- we're so accustomed to thinking of ourselves as a whole, and defining away parts of us our consensus does not include at the moment... "I didn't really mean that", "I'm addicted, it's wasn't me", all the time we work under a delusion, the delusion of a monolithic entity of the self, and we wonder sometimes why things don't always make sense. The best way to understand ourselves is taboo -- we learn too much nonsense to ever see the truth. We have many parts of ourselves we don't approve, some are horrific, some are disgusting, and some .. just don't fit into who we are. We're expected to make promises and keep them, to be consistant, to talk about who we are, but we're so wrapped in lies, and our expectations for sanity so high that we could never meet them. We need more than we ever could really be. We strive for simple absolutes, an infinite zero, but instead we're a matrix of irrational numbers.

I've continued to think about Islam, in particular the role of women in it. I may have written on this before in my BLOG, and if so, please forgive -- I probably repeat myself often enough that you should be used to it by now. In particular, there's a kind of cynic realism in Islam, contrasting to the western idealism. Let me explain -- Conservative Islam keeps women in their own, cloistered society, away from men, greatly limiting contact with the opposite sex (for that matter, Conservative Islam isn't the only religion that does this -- I'm not meaning to single out any religion in particular). Men are to escort women through public places, while limiting their visibility -- these are to be the husband or another family member. The goal of this is, likely, to protect against jealousy and trust issues that can be issues in a relationship. It is, of course, gender-biased -- women have no such guarantees that their male s.o. is not practicing infidelity. These are real emotions, ranging in strength by the individuals and the dynamics of the relationship. The emotions run real in schoolyard insults, where it's quite possible to induce a boy to rage (not sure about girls) by suggesting sexual things about their mother or sisters. It's possible to understand why Islam and other societies that have this kind of idea (some forms of Orthodox Judaism have a weaker variant), and why there's some resistance to the 'alternate' common arrangement of having the genders mix. The mixed arrangement does, more or less, work smoothly, although it is, na klar, a tradeoff, and one which, depending on comfort with the inherent degrading sexism and the relative values of protecting against the social problems jealousy and the like cause versus the constraints placed on the victims of the system and the loss of roughly half of the greats of humanity to non-intellectual work, one can imagine going either way.

Ahh, I'm at Coffee Tree, enjoying the outdoors, playing on the internet, and reading. All that and a bit of Hausafgabe. Anyhow, I had another conversation with a stranger -- a mid-aged guy in a nascar outfit. Apparently, he works for a company that sells things at sporting events, and so is almost always away from home, travelling all over the country. It was, for the most part, an interesting conversation -- he told me a bit about his life, his philosophy, and his thoughts on politics -- he's liberal, hates Bush, and thinks it's disappointing how little intellect he sees at most of the events he sells things. He thinks it's little wonder why America is becoming a backwater, and considers his job mostly work. He offered me some advice on what I should do, were I not already on a career path -- either move to DC and get a job there, where there are a number of high paying jobs, or go to the University of North Texas, get a masters in nursing home administration (the only place in the country that offers that), get a Doctorate at someplace on the west coast on elderly care, and then he says that I basically could pick where I'd want to work. Interesting. It's always surprising to talk with people -- they're a lot more varied than you might expect.

I'm trying to catch a quick movie of one of the crazy pittsburgh busses I love so much. From what I understand, they used to have advertisements on them like a lot of busses in other cities, but when the market dried up, they decided to go silly, and so to my recollection, they have a solid light blue colour with one of the following things repeated all over them: UP DOWN UP DOWN AROUND ABOUT AROUND ABOUT RIDE RIDE RIDE RIDE GO GO GO GO (something in cyrillic) (something in chinese script) BIENVENIDOS

I'm sure there are other busses I haven't seen yet, and they're one of the little things I love about this town. I'm going to call them tomorrow to see if they sell T-shirts. :) While googling for their contact info, I stumbled on this -- an effort by the Port Authority (which runs the busses) to put a MagLev between the airport and Greensburg (possibly later expanded to Wheeling, WV). That's pretty cool -- good public transportation is a really good thing. I recall a conversation I had with someone recently about it -- if public transport is so great, why don't I use it more? The problem with public transit is that often really disgusting people use it, with nasty body odors, strong cigarette smells, and the like. If they'd keep those people off the bus, we'd probably both ride it more often. Heh. Personally, I'm patient enough for bus schedules -- with the right books on me, I'm very easy to amuse..

Finally, a few pointers: Is this what singapore is like? Does this come in dual-CPU too? Cool photos!