Wee hours.

I just remembered a book I started reading in fall of 2017, by Rupi Kaur, titled The Sun and Her Flowers. I only bought it because it was a top bestseller on Amazon and I was curious to know about current trends in thought. The main thing I observed was how the poet cut herself off from men altogether. But it doesn’t stop there. I also read Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich and found a similar attitude of isolation and radical privacy in the female protagonist. And just a few days ago I scanned some writing by Le Guin and saw how she blamed testosterone for war.

On my receipts from the veterinary hospital, the description of my dog no longer says “male neuter;” it says “castrated.”

Now, considering all the above, and the fact that I’m a guy, it puts me in a very strange position.

If you were a rational and fair minded woman, what would you say in response to these observations?




And so Memorial Day winds down to a close. I never left the house all day today except to take out the trash and to pick up a package delivered today to my doorstep. It’s an incredible book of Salvador Dali’s art complete with critical text. I don’t know much about art but I take the liberty to dabble in it here and there. Most people can recognize quality in something like art and music. There’s something psychological running through it all, and if you know your psychology then you can feel at home with the greatest of artists, composers, or writers. It’s only if your soul is a wilderness to yourself that you may feel alienated from creative people and their works.

Also today I plugged in my Kiloton Bass and noodled around with it a while, thinking on how rock and roll seemed to be dying. In fact, I see everything spiritual in decline lately, so I wonder if it’s a good thing or bad. Perhaps someday the religious people will feel persecuted and denied their freedom of belief, like the story of The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. We’ll see how it shakes down, I guess. No one likes to lose their freedom of self expression, whichever side they take on theology or simply their spiritual release. It’s a human thing.

I feel kind of sad and low as I write this tonight, again like the emptiness and aching feeling described in the song by Simon & Garfunkel back in the Sixties. America still goes through growing pains, though I don’t think racism is ever the answer to anything. Some groups are anti everything. It’s a sad state of affairs when people rally around hate and use this as a source of unity and common purpose. There’s something very Antichrist about that; you only need to review WW2 for proof.

I just hang on from day to day, writing my stupid notes like some future historian… 

Full Throttle


I was reflecting on my workaday life 15 years in the past, with a supervisor I really didn’t care for although I stayed there 4.5 years because I thought I had to. What impresses me now is how innocent I was when I first started the job, and how corrupted by the time I left. After that, I had an alcohol addiction that grew much worse for the next nine years, while my brother discouraged me from trying to recover. My supervisor also had been an alcoholic.

At the bookstore once I saw a title in the philosophy section by a British author, a book on the phenomenon of evil. I understand that one of its concerns was alcoholism, not as a disease, but as something purely wicked. But I haven’t read the book and I can’t say anything more about it, though it sounds interesting. I do know that other writers might disagree with that opinion; for example, Iris Murdoch was a moral philosopher writing fiction, and her books are full of alcohol abuse as a matter of course. The norms change in only a short period of time, and the author of On Evil probably never read Murdoch. 

Personally I don’t think some of these newer publications are worth my time or my money. I made the mistake of buying a new book in the fantasy genre that just sits there unread: people are not versed the way they ought to be anymore, so their writing isn’t very good. People want their information fast and easy and they don’t take the time to really let a book digest— if anyone reads entire books at all. And those who aspire to erudition are usually just dilettantes and dabblers. The world doesn’t have time for the things that matter the most. We pluck a quote here and there and hurry off to work. Someday it’ll catch up to us, sometime after I’m probably dead. 

“Long Train Runnin’”


Aesop my dog was having a sleepless night so finally I got up, as it was useless to try resting longer.

I had another thought when I was half awake. I said, All economic matters aside, what is the most beneficial thing that can be done for myself? I imagined my old psychiatrist scratching his head. It’s like saying, with The Doobies, “Without love, where would you be right now?”

I haven’t heard that song in ages yet I hear it plainly in my head. 

To the Garden

The day began clear and sunny, then later the clouds rolled in and by now it’s raining. The new Maupassant book arrived yesterday. I haven’t really examined it yet aside from the back cover blurb. It’s very nice of course… The rain is coming down with some force just now. Yesterday I had some interesting thoughts about idealism and a perfect world, and what struck me was being unable to really feel this. The world of Platonic Forms, the ladder of Jacob’s dream, the expectation of Jerusalem and so on just seemed impossible to me. People live with imperfection in this world and we can’t hope for anything better. There’s no such thing as perfect. And I think the words perfect and ideal mean the same thing. Or perhaps it’s just a sign of the times when we abandon our notions of a utopia, whether here on earth or somewhere beyond our immediate world. Life has gotten very hard, and it’s also quite difficult to tell good from evil nowadays. Hamlet said, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” The world has been thrown into confusion— even like in Macbeth with equivocation and the lies like truth. Again it seems that we need to get ourselves back to the Garden. I only wonder if the touchstone for a better life really is the Bible…

I’ve never lived through a Democratic rule without alcohol before. It’s a very strange experience, and looking around me I see much that I missed the last time. It kind of raises the issue of how important religion is. And is there any way to bring it to life again?



I really like the few pages I’ve just read of Ellison’s Invisible Man. It’s a narrative voice I can jive with, so I think it’ll be a novel I want to complete.

Most days feel strange to me, but Tuesday seemed a bit better after I took a few ibuprofen and solved the issue of my mailbox. I went across the street to petition my neighbor for help. He’s very handy with practical stuff and makes difficult things look simple. He came up with a fix that could be temporary but also indefinite with some maintenance. I appreciated his help, and afterwards my mind rested easier. I knew that the post office wouldn’t get on my case and have an excuse to be rude to me. I think it’s very odd how people grow more callous and impersonal towards each other, as if road rage had spread from everyday traffic to all interpersonal relations. Roger, the same guy, said he’d never spoken with the neighbor in the house next to mine. We watched James drive up to his house in a new car, but Roger didn’t know his name.

While we talked in the street about human indifference, the clouds and sun stared down blindly on our little community, a word that has mostly lost its meaning.


Another thing I observe is how much like AI my iPad is becoming, judging from updates to auto prompts when I’m writing. I’m liking this less and less, and feeling more like a subordinate to machinery.
It’s turning into a world that D.H. Lawrence warned us about a hundred years ago. His writing was not just about sex. He wrote a great deal about industrialization and how this would do us much damage, since we’re supposed to be organic beings. Critics label him an irrationalist, but at the same time, 35 years ago his work was very influential where I went to school. Specifically, he described the situation of the coal pits where his father had been a miner. Also, he wrote of the regimentation of the school system, how the children were treated like robots. And of course he eyed mechanical inventions with suspicion.
I said he was influential, but apparently not influential enough to slow the progress of computers and every kind of technology. The machine dependent age by now is so well established that it seems we’re quite doomed to realize his fears.
Irrational or not, Lawrence had a prophetic vision and a warning that people should have heeded before getting this far. Though misguided, he’s been acknowledged as a genius by literary critics. I remember seeing an interview with Dennis Hopper on tv where he talked about sleeping on Lawrence’s grave in New Mexico, saying what a genius he was. But that was about ten years before the millennium. Everything after the year 2000, as far as I’m concerned, has been out of control. My parents died and life went to hell in a hand basket. I really feel that way.

Meeting in Sleep

Quarter of eleven.

It was a beautiful day of sunshine and partial cloudiness, though I felt very tired from the day before and had to rest.

Sometimes I think wouldn’t it be nice if people could see the naked truth of each other without political disguises; if we could meet each other in our sleep and dream a common dream. What would be the disadvantage of this? Why can’t we ditch all shallow protocol and love each other like some of the other primates do? But we call each other degenerate for even thinking this. We think it’s enough to put it in poetry and leave it there. Meanwhile we socialize with our machines and let our souls rot. People really want to be generous and kind, the deeper you go into the oversoul.

Do we define humanity in terms of reason or feeling? It’s the endless historical tug of war.


Quarter after seven.

This morning is cold and wet but I still plan to go volunteer at the church food pantry today. I think the timing for it is really good, since people on food stamps no longer get the emergency boost from Covid relief, which means a serious cut in benefits and a lot of stress and worry about survival. I see rain mixed with snow from a dark gray sky out of my windows. Usually, snow is pretty to look at, but this stuff comes down fast like sleet, more water than ice, so it’s just a nuisance. A lot of things today are a pain in the rear, and to top it off, we’ll have a hunger problem here at home.

A friend once opined that there’s nothing like a good war to mobilize the economy. I wonder if he still thinks that. And is there such a thing as a good war? I’m sure he was just parroting his dad’s opinions. Funny how opinions can be quite baseless when put to the test.


Eleven thirty five.

Again I see that we get it backwards, maximizing pain and minimizing pleasure for ourselves and each other. If this is the task we’ve set for ourselves, then we execute it very well. But why isn’t it obvious that taking delight in the suffering of others is the essence of wickedness?

I get another image from Grimm’s: the Golden Goose. Everyone who touches the train of followers becomes stuck, and they all follow the leader with the goose, not knowing whither or what for.

I dunno. Either I’ve changed or the world has changed. Years ago my life made good sense to me, but today it’s incoherent and no fun anymore. A banker said to me that sometimes people suck, but it seems to me now that it happens all the time.

It makes me want to withdraw into my shell and forget the world. Give me a good reason not to.