Siege Diaries 11/27/2020


Today’s Daily Stoic writing prompt:  What sources of unrest can I tune out?

This really isn’t about tuning out sources of unrest so completely that you remain ignorant of them.  It’s more about refusing to be provoked into useless emotions such as enduring anger.  For me, that means acknowledging the source of unrest, acknowledging the feeling, and then understanding what I can actually do about it–what’s in my control.  If the answer to that question is “nothing,” then I move on.  This is one of the reasons why sometimes I just have to turn off the news.  

Great example this morning:  the arrest of a man who is refusing to follow provincial health mandates and was trying to keep his restaurant open in a lockdown zone.  He has, of course, become a rallying point for anti-maskers and others who see these measures as “tyranny.”   I could choose to constantly seethe in anger at these people and their lack of concern for others.  Or I could direct my ire at a provincial government that has issued sometimes-contradictory guidelines about what can stay open and has not provided much in the way of support for small businesses trying to stay afloat.  I can’t do anything personally about anti-maskers and other deniers other than avoiding them, supporting those who have to deal with them, and continuing to lead by example.  I can, however, voice my concerns to government–but I need to transform that anger into a more productive emotion.  And I also know that the only person I can really control is myself.  

Another outstanding episode of The Mandalorian. The Child has a name.  Ahsoka Tano showed up with two badass lightsabres.  Interesting things happened.  Mando got a beskar spear.  There was also some really outstanding, industrial grittiness to this episode, and Michael Biehn.   You definitely got the spaghetti western-meets-Seven Samurai vibe, which is really a lot of what’s going on in Star Wars–at least the original story.

I finally got a chance to watch Cherry Town (Cheryomushki) tonight.  Besides reveling in Soviet midcentury modern cheese and enjoying the absolutely fun score by Shostakovich, one of the other interesting side effects is that with the subtitles, I’m getting a better sense of Russian diction and pronunciation.  Suffice it to say it’s starting to knock down my sense of how individual Russian words are pronounced.  And I’m starting to recognize words and phrases.  I’m starting to now think combining my “book learning” with something like Duolingo might not be super helpful, because I’m very definitely a sound-it-out kind of person when it comes to languages–as I’m realizing.

The DVD also left a wee bit of catnip behind–a scene from the filmed version of Katerina Izmailova, with Galina Vishnevskaya in the title role.  Which means I had to go find it and order it. had it, but wouldn’t ship it to Canada; had it for around $150.  Nope, don’t want it that badly (it’s on YouTube, after all).  Ebay came though for me, and I’m paying around $50.  A little pricey, but for something that’s out of print, I’ll take it.  

I decided earlier in the week that I needed at least one more version of Shostakovich’s 15th Symphony.  It arrived today, and features Kyrill Kondrashin with the Moscow Philharmonic.  I was once again reminded why it is I bother buying multiple versions of the Shostakovich symphonies–because this one had some nuance to it that my other recording lacks, and I liked it very much indeed. The shirt I ordered from House of Foxy also arrived in record time (I ordered it just nine days ago).  Unfortunately, they sent me the blue striped version, not the white one, so I’ve dropped them an email.  Kinda hoping they just let me keep it and send me the right one, but they’re a small company, so I’ll certainly understand if they don’t.  I also braved a trip into the fabric store, and am now set with everything I’ll need for both the embroidered vest and the 1936 suit I am planning–just need the pattern for the latter!   

Tomorrow, the tree goes up.   Hopefully I will get Christmas cards prepped.  Terraforming Mars in the evening. Roleplaying on Sunday.  Helps keep the mind focused on tuning out those sources of unrest–not ignoring them, mind you, because willful ignorance is the devil–just finding small morsels of happiness.

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