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D. Claude Katz
11 April 2009 @ 09:08 pm
From Isobel Wren's Twitter stream:
Had a dream that I stabbed someone to death w a paintbrush and the bloodspatter turned into mural paintings of wild rose vines.

After the murder I was astonished by how beautiful it was. They moved slowly on the walls and ceiling as though they were alive in there.
D. Claude Katz
08 February 2009 @ 09:56 pm
I work at home, and I work for a company 200 miles away. I go there for major meetings (the ones that we can't do over the phone), or when clients or potential clients want to meet me, or for major company events like the Christmas party. Usually, unless I've already had my hair cut recently, I cut my hair before going down, so I can look all professional and respectable and shit.

But this year they've avoided having meetings, because they can't afford to fly people in from far away. (My train ride isn't that expensive, but some people need to fly in from the other side of the country.) And there haven't been many new potential clients. And the old clients are preoccupied with other things. And they canceled the Christmas party to save money.

So I haven't had a haircut in like six months. Ideally, I like my hair off my ears and off my collar. Right now it's about an inch below my ear lobes and a good two thirds of the way down my neck. Damn, I hope the stimulus plan works!
D. Claude Katz
03 February 2009 @ 10:18 pm
He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

– I Corinthians 7:32-33

It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that love – in the sense of an exclusive caring relationship between two individuals – is morally wrong. As to explaining why I think so, I’m not sure I can improve on what the Apostle has already said. But I’ll try putting the case in my own words.

It appears to be universally true, or nearly so, that people are willing to make much more severe moral compromises on behalf of loved ones than on behalf of themselves. So much so that love can make good people into evil people. If you take two good and generous people, who are concerned for the general good of mankind, and you put them in a loving relationship, you end up with a couple that, while still individually warm and giving, is, as a collective unit, extremely selfish. Two rights make a wrong.

And it seems to me that this is not just an odd observation about human nature but a problem inherent in the concept of love. If you’re not willing to make moral compromises for your loved one – compromises that you would never make for yourself alone – then you don’t really love that person. If you’re not willing to give up part of your soul to help your loved one in need, just as you might give up part of your dinner if that person were hungry, then you don’t really love them.

It’s a horrible fact of life but a fact nonetheless. And the inescapable implication is that, by entering into a loving relationship in the first place, you are committing yourself to becoming a less moral person than you would otherwise be. If you choose to be in a loving relationship, or if you fall in love unintentionally and choose not to run away, you are making a moral choice and choosing evil over good.

So here’s my dilemma: should I be for or against gay marriage? I don’t think that homosexuality is immoral – not in the least. But marriage – marriage is definitely immoral. Marriage is an institution that consecrates and encourages the type of loving relationship that turns saints into monsters. And seeing that marriage is evil, can one in good conscience support the expansion of it? The gay marriage issue gets to the heart of the matter, because, technically, homosexuals can get married: they just can’t get married to someone with whom they are in love. So here we are talking about marriage specifically as the consecration of a loving relationship and not about marriage as merely a formal institution.

Is it unfair that one segment of the population does not have the option of engaging in this immoral act, while the rest do? Was it unfair that people in the Northern US were not allowed to hold slaves, while Southerners (or, after the Emancipation Proclamation, only those in border states) were, before the 13th Amendment abolished slavery entirely? Can it possibly be the case that the expansion of an immoral institution, however “fair” that expansion might be, is a good thing?

D. Claude Katz
26 January 2009 @ 01:42 pm
It was minutes, perhaps seconds, before the life was to pass from her completely. She wasn’t dead yet, and we didn’t know she was dying. She had been weak, after losing nearly half her body mass through various infections that had wasted her and taken away her appetite. She had been getting weaker, and the previous day we had found a trail of urine which broke just before it reached her litter box.

For all her months of illness, through the dreadful emaciation, as an agile and lively carnivore was transformed into little more than a skeleton with fur, I had avoided becoming emotional. My wife had supplied all the necessary tears.

But it was that moment, when she suddenly became so weak that she couldn’t even sit up and could barely even move a muscle. It was that moment that I broke down. I couldn’t stand to see her that way, her last modicum of strength failing. I cried, and I cried, and I cried.

I didn’t know she was dying. I collected myself just enough to put her into her carrier as my wife called the 24-hour veterinary emergency center. The cat had been spending a lot of time in the security of her carrier lately, and it seemed to me she was trying to walk in but just couldn’t even get a muscle to move. I lifted her in, and it seemed to me that she lay down, but perhaps her body just collapsed. For all I know now, she may already have been dead.

We didn’t know she was dying. We rushed her to the clinic, and the nurse said she would take her in back to take a look. My wife had barely begun filling out the intake form when the nurse returned, “She’s gone.”

We don’t know what caused her death. From our description, the nurse thought it might have been her heart. I can imagine that months of weakening and weight loss and several courses of antibiotics hadn’t left her heart in very good condition. And I don’t imagine that the special food we fed her to help her gain weight – the high-calorie mixture that had made our bathroom walls smell of liver after months of force-feeding – helped matters in that regard. Anyhow, for whatever reason, she was no longer alive.

It’s Monday now. Ten years ago, when our last cat died, I took the next day off from work. That wasn’t an option this time, because I work at home now, and there are things that need to be done. But nothing will get done very efficiently. The edges of my nostrils are sore, the way they get when you’ve had a cold for several days. My nose has bled three times in the past four hours. I think that’s a record.
D. Claude Katz
19 December 2008 @ 04:38 pm
If you spend your life trying to create beauty using some kind of inanimate medium (or media), people call you deep, and they forgive you for being temperamental and self-important. If you spend your life trying to create beauty using your physical self as the medium, people call you shallow, and if you're temperamental and self-important, they call you a stuck-up bitch.
D. Claude Katz
In keeping with my new policy of putting my long-winded responses to Isobel Wren's videos on LiveJournal instead of YouTube, I'm responding here to the latest video, with reference to Samantha Grace's video from last week. I decided to use my own LiveJournal this time instead of the isobellezza community, but I'll link back from there.
Read more...Collapse )
D. Claude Katz
23 October 2008 @ 08:31 pm
Actually three separate topics (but don't they sound good together?) from my responses to Isobel Wren's video and text blogs.
D. Claude Katz
13 September 2008 @ 01:52 pm
My opinion -- shared by many, I think -- is that the recent Virginia Supreme Court Decision striking down Virginia's anti-spam law constitutes the affirmation of a Constitutional right to commit fraud in certain cases. My argument is here.
D. Claude Katz
09 September 2008 @ 09:42 am
Most people seem to think of “karma” as the idea that the good things and bad things you do eventually come back to you. I don’t think that’s right. Because who is this “you” that they eventually come back to? Buddhism teaches that there is no self. There is no “you.”

Here’s a thought experiment that should make clear the limitations of the concept of self. Read more...Collapse )
D. Claude Katz
26 August 2008 @ 10:05 am
T minus 6 days and counting:  destination is official.
Current Mood: sadsad