First Saturday Report: May 2nd – The plague diary

Writing/Submitting
I’m in the process of writing the letters I promised to friends who asked. Part of my attempt to save the USPS by purchasing stamps. Sorry it’s taking me so long.

Began working on revisions to The Poisoned Moon after getting comments back from my beta readers. Lots of work to do.

Reading
Haven’t read much of anything during the lockdown. Slowly rereading In The Skin of A Lion. Still not finished. Feeling guilty about it all. My therapist and I actually ended up talking about it. I have been “should-ing” myself to death – on a lot of things. Time to change my thinking to “want to.”

Podcast
Since I’m struggling to find the drive or the passion to read, my plague plans to read some of the books I’ve been hoarding and talk to the authors has gone into stasis. Plans for live shows are on hold until we have a vaccine for COVID-19.

I have been talking to my friend Delia about doing another series similar to our Ulysses series. We’re looking at various classics that we haven’t read, but seem to have been read by every other writer we know.

Watching
This seems to be where I’m spending most of my time. Shutting down, getting away from my own brain. Watched all of Star Trek Discovery. Rewatching the X-Files for the first time since watching the series IRT back in the 1990s to 2000s. Watched season 4 of The Last Kingdom.

Listening
Another area I’m spending most of my time in when logging my hours for the day job. There are the usual podcast suspects: Your Are Not So Smart has been good. Team Human, WTF with Marc Maron, Myths and Legends, Hidden Brain, Futility Closet, Small Town Dicks, Modern Love, Savage Love, Sunday School Dropouts, You’re Saying it Wrong, Stuff you Missed in History Class. I try to roll through a few others, but those are the mainstays.

Since staying at home, i’ve been adding to my music collection. Picked up some Woody Guthrie, finished off my Rage Against the Machine collection, Living Colour, Joni Mitchell, the Indigo Girls, Elvis Costello.

Random Thoughts

We’re a long way from safe.

We are a needlessly cruel nation.

The first thing extraction capitalism extracts is your compassion, and then your humanity.

When exponential growth goes unchecked in nature it usually kills the host: cancer, viruses, bacteria. Capitalism.

Guns do not make you free.

Ayn Rand and Karl Marx were both Russian, and both were the same kind of naive. They both believed that if left alone by governments, kings, dictators, authoritarian rulers people would behave appropriately, that people would be good and ethical, creative and industrious. They seemed to forget that governments, kings, dictators, authoritarians are not a separate species. Ignorance, fear, greed, psychopathy, sociopathy, tribalism, venality, narcissism, delusions, deceit and violence are as ingrained in our humanity as solidarity, compassion, empathy, curiosity, faith, honesty, love.

If a country’s government constituted as a Democratic Republic is venal, cruel, inept, careless, selfish, violent, and unjust, then the people of that country are venal, cruel, inept, careless, selfish, violent, and unjust. Either by consciously selecting their representative, or by refusing to participate, they have chosen to be ruled by the venal, cruel, inept, careless, selfish, violent, and unjust people among them.

That is not the whole truth. The whole truth is made up of willful ignorance, gullibility to propaganda, learned helplessness, delusions. It is made up of all the worst parts of us.

The illness seems unstoppable. It’s growing exponentially. Will we arrest its growth, or will it kill us?

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