The Sick Soul – Anhedonia

Conceive yourself, if possible, suddenly stripped of all the emotion with which your world now inspires you, and try to imagine it as it exists, purely by itself, without your favorable or unfavorable, hopeful or apprehensive comment. It will be almost impossible for you to realize such a condition of negativity and deadness. No one portion of the universe would then have importance beyond another; and the whole collection of its things and series of its events would be without significance, character, expression, or perspective.

In Tolstoy’s case the sense that life had any meaning whatever was for a time wholly withdrawn. The result was a transformation in the whole expression of reality. When we come to study the phenomenon of conversion or religious regeneration, we shall see that a not infrequent consequence of the change operated in the subject is a transfiguration of the face of nature in his eyes. A new heaven seems to shine upon a new earth. In melancholiacs there is usually a similar change, only it is in the reverse direction. The world now looks remote, strange, sinister, uncanny. Its color is gone, its breath is cold, there is no speculation in the eyes it glares with. “It is as if I lived in another century,” says one asylum patient.—”I see everything through a cloud,” says another, “things are not as they were, and I am changed.”—”I see,” says a third, “I touch, but the things do not come near me, a thick veil alters the hue and look of everything.”—”Persons move like shadows, and sounds seem to come from a distant world.”—”There is no longer any past for me; people appear so strange; it is as if I could not see any reality, as if I were in a theatre; as if people were actors, and everything were scenery; I can no longer find myself; I walk, but why? Everything floats before my eyes, but leaves no impression.”—”I weep false tears, I have unreal hands: the things I see are not real things.”—Such are expressions that naturally rise to the lips of melancholy subjects describing their changed state.

The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James, via wikisource 

1994

wikipedia

April 7 – This day in history

April 7Cheti Chand in various parts of India (2019); National Beer Day in the United States

Juvénal Habyarimana in 1980

Juvénal Habyarimana

via wikipedia

Essential Heresies : Manicheanism

Now, Manicheans are not exactly a heresy, but they appear in the Confessions, and they’re very important. So since we’re doing doctrinal ideas, Manicheanism is a teaching about good and evil that can be applied to other religions besides Christianity. Manicheanism basically says that good and evil have a real existence. There is a war in the universe between a good god and an evil one. And this may be applied outside of Christianity or within Christianity.

And within Christianity, the evil god is the devil, or according to the Manicheans of this period that Augustine for a while joined, the god of the Old Testament. Jehovah is the evil god, and the god of the New Testament, the Christian god, is the good one. Jehovah is the one who smites a lot of people. Jehovah is the creator god, because the Manicheans believed that matter is evil and is the source of evil. Spirit is good. The Christian god created spirit. Human beings are imprisoned in the body, and they have to figure out a way to liberate themselves from the dominion of the evil god. Vegetarianism, for a start, avoiding flesh.

But salvation means casting off the flesh. How is this different from Christianity? And doesn’t this sound to you like regular old Christianity, mistrust of the flesh? The devil is identified with sexual desire or physicality, generally. Manicheanism is very useful as an explanation of evil. And this may not be something that keeps you up at night, but it will at some point, intermittently.

Yale Open U – The Early Middle Ages, 284–1000, HIST 210 – Lecture 4 – The Christian Roman Empire, Paul Freedman

Why does Kotter return in Welcome Back Kotter?

I haven’t seen Welcome Back, Kotter in years, but the theme song popped into my head a few days ago. I know that his dreams were his ticket out of there but that they have turned him around, but do we know why Kotter returned to James Buchanan High School?

Gabe Kaplan was a remedial High School student in Brooklyn. He fashioned his sitcom on the concept of a student from his background, returning as a teacher to teach the next generation of remedial students.

So, to answer the question, Kotter was supposedly a founding member of the Sweathogs, and he was returning to the high school he graduated from to teach the next generation of Sweathogs, who he knew he could relate to and therefore unlock their potential.

“Who’da thought they’d meet ya
back there where they’d need ya?”

They needed a teacher who could get through to the kids. But, in reality, they expected to only get (at best) a babysitter to hold class until the sweathogs dropped out. Of course, since Kotter could relate to them, he was able to actually get them to learn.

stackexchange

Faith

Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is still theoretically possible; and as the test of belief is the willingness to act, one may say that faith is the readiness to act in a cause the prosperous issue of which is not certified to us in advance. It is in fact the same moral quality which we call courage in practical affairs…
The Sentiment of Rationality, William James

Well I guess it would be nice
If I could touch your body
I know not everybody
Has got a body like you, uhh
Faith, George Michael

 

Der Kommisar, Falco

GERMAN ORIGINAL LYRICS
Two, three, four
Eins, zwei drei
Na, es is nix dabei
Na, wenn ich euch erzähl’ die G’schicht’
Nichts desto trotz,
Ich bin es schon gewohnt
Im TV-Funk da läuft es nicht. –
Jah, sie war jung,
Das Herz so rein und weiß
Und jede Nacht hat ihren Preis,
Sie sagt: “Sugar Sweet,
Jah’ got me rapp’in to the heat!”
Ich verstehe, sie ist heiß,
Sie sagt:”Baby, look,
I miss my funky friends,”
Sie meint Jack und Joe und Jill.
Mein Funkverständnis,
Ja, das reicht zur Not,
Ich überreiss’, was sie jetzt will. –
Ich überleg’ bei mir,
Ihr’ Nas’n spricht dafür,
Währenddessen ich noch rauch’,
Die Special Places sind ihr wohlbekannt,
Ich mein’, sie führt ja U-Bahn auch.
Dort singen’s:
“Drah’ Di net um, oh oh oh
Schau, schau, der Kommissar geht um! oh oh oh
Er wird Dich anschau’n
Und du weißt warum.
Die Lebenslust bringt Di um.”
Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?

Hey man, wanna buy some stuff, man?
Did you ever rap that thing Jack?
So rap it to the beat!
Wir treffen Jill and Joe
Und dessen Bruder hip
Und auch den Rest der coolen Gang
Sie rappen hin, sie rappen her
Dazwischen Kratzen’s ab die Wänd’. –
Dieser Fall ist klar,
Lieber Herr Kommissar,
Auch wenn Sie and’rer Meinung sind:
Den Schnee auf dem wir alle
Talwärts fahr’n,
Kennt heute jedes Kind.

Jetzt das Kinderlied:
“Drah Di net um, oh oh oh
Schau, schau, der Kommissar geht um! oh oh oh
Er hat die Kraft und wir sind klein und dumm
Dieser Frust macht uns stumm.”

“Drah Di net um, oh oh oh
schau, schau, der Kommissar geht um! oh oh oh
Wenn er Dich anspricht
Und du weißt warum,
Sag eahm
Dein Leb’n bringt Di um.”

ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Two, three, four
One, two, three
Well, it doesn’t matter
Well, when I tell you the story
None the less,
I’m quite used to it
It won’t be running in TV-Funk (magazine). –
Yes, she was young,
Her heart so pure and white
And every night has its price.
She says: “Sugar Sweet,
ya got me rappin’ to the heat!”
I understand, she’s hot,
She says: “Baby, you know,
I miss my funky friends,”
She means Jack and Joe and Jill.
My understanding of funk,
yeah, it’ll do in a crunch,
I understand what she wants now. –
I think it over,
Her nose does the talking,
While I continue to smoke,
She knows the ‘Special Places’ very well;
I think she takes the metro, too.
There they’re singing:
“Don’t turn around, look, look,
the Kommissar is out and about!
He’ll keep his eye on you
and you know why.
Your zest for life will kill you.”
All right, Mr. Commissioner?

Hey man, wanna buy some stuff, man?
Did you ever rap that thing Jack?
So rap it to the beat!
We meet Jill and Joe
And his bother hip
And also the rest of the cool Gang
They rap to, they rap fro
In between they scrape it off the walls. –
This case is clear,
Dear Mr. Commissioner,
Even if you have a different opinion:
The snow on which we all
ski downhill,
every child knows.

Now the nursery rhyme:
“Don’t turn around, look, look,
the Kommissar is out and about!
He has the power and we’re little and dumb;
this frustration makes us mum.”

“Don’t turn around, look, look,
the Kommissar is out and about!
When he talks to you
and you know why,
tell him:
‘Your life is killing you.'”

translated from German to English via azlyrics

Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?

Working conditions of movie theater janitors

The major chains — AMC, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark — no longer rely on teenage ushers to keep the floors from getting sticky. Instead, they have turned to a vast immigrant workforce, often hired through layers of subcontractors. That arrangement makes it almost impossible for janitors to make a living wage.

Alvarez got hurt on the job, and a doctor recommended a lighter workload. When she made that request in April 2015, she was fired. The following year, she filed a California Labor Commission claim for unpaid wages, including overtime. The hearing officer awarded her $80,000 in back pay and penalties. But Alvarez could not collect. She did not work directly for AMC or its janitorial contractor, ACS Enterprises, which shielded them from liability. Instead, she worked for a couple — Alfredo Dominguez and Caritina Diaz — who had not even shown up to the hearing.

Even Dominguez and Diaz didn’t consider her an actual employee. In their minds, she was a contractor of a contractor of a contractor of AMC Theatres. AMC and ACS did send an attorney to fight her wage claim. In the end, the companies agreed to pay her $3,500 to go away.

Over the last eight months, Variety has investigated wage complaints from movie theater janitors across the country, reviewing class-action lawsuits, state labor commission records and investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor. A clear pattern emerged: AMC and other theater chains keep their costs down by relying on janitorial contractors that use subcontracted labor. Those janitors typically have no wage or job protections, toiling on one of the lowest rungs of the U.S. labor market.

After Rob Winters was barred from California, ACS took over many of his accounts, including the Regal theater at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles. Working conditions remained much the same, says Georgina Hernandez, who was a janitor there. She worked seven days a week, sometimes 10-11 hours a day, and was paid $400 a week. She quit after two years and took a job cleaning offices.

How America’s Biggest Theater Chains Are Exploiting Their Janitors, Variety, GENE MADDAUS

What is a useful app if I am visiting San Francisco?

munimobile2

The official mobile ticketing app from San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency! The MuniMobile app lets you purchase and use fares and passes instantly on your phone—anywhere, anytime. Just download the free app, register your debit/credit card in our secure system, and you’re ready to go.

I downloaded it and bought a day pass. Rode the SF light rail from one end of the town to the other. Easy.

Google Play

What is the point of drama?

The point of writing about the extremes of human behaviour is not to discourage wickedness by pointing out the inevitability of it’s comeuppance: “Don’t do this at home'” is as misleading a description of what writing counsels “Go thou and do likewise.” The awful truth is that the response most great writing about wickedness provokes in us is neither “Yes please” nor “No thanks”, but “You too?” Richard III celebrates, nay, glorifies activities – brother-drowning, nephew-smothering, tyranny imposing – that have no redeeming social value at all. True, he gets his just deserts. But what the first half of the play does is to confront us with the fact that this appalling man is the most vivid, thrilling and inspiring person onstage. Eric Bentley points out that while tragedy does not reflect the audience’s actions (they have not committed murder),  it “reflects their souls, and in their souls they have committed murder.” By enabling us to imagine what it is like to see the world through other eyes (including through the eyes of the violent and the murderous), drama develops capacities without which we cannot live together in societies at all.

How Plays Work, David Edgar