Clearly, I am experiencing an empty spot in my thought processes. I cannot think of anything interesting to write about. Nothing seems especially intriguing. No topic, no current event, no idea seems particularly inviting. So, I write blather. But that’s not new, either. How could I not write blather when I write Every. Damn. Day. Almost. Eventually, it was inevitable that I would run out of anything of merit to say. And it happened. About six weeks ago. And it continues to this day. Every day, I just let letters spill from my fingers, hoping they will form legitimate words that gather into coherent sentences that, in the aggregate, turn into paragraphs. But that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, my writing simply reveals an emptiness that cannot be hidden with words. Sometimes, my writing clearly illustrates the hypocrisy of language and the insanity of what we call communication, if we’re charitable. Enough of this. Let’s see what other nonsense I can spill.


We think of mental illness as a malady affecting only individuals, but I think it can migrate to collections of people—the populations of towns, cities, states, regions, nations, continents. Eventually, it can infect every person on Earth. The two world wars humankind has experienced thus far illustrate that reality. “Insanity” spread to whole populations, transforming “normal” behaviors into pathological hatred. Enormous numbers of people who otherwise believed in the dignity and value of all humans decided their opponents in the battle for world dominance should be killed or imprisoned.

Madness need not be what we commonly consider evil; in hindsight, world wars might have been the only logical response to the events of the eras. Self-defense can arguably justify battles. Whether it can justify outright global war and nuclear assaults is not so clear. But in the minds of people driven crazy by both the fear and reality of collective pain, the insanity of military attacks is honorable.

But good or not, world wars showed how the insanity of war can spread like a plague. Today, the contagion of collective insanity—in the form of  pandemic denial—seems to exist in tandem with the contagion of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those of us not infected with the mental illness do not exhibit its primary symptoms: pandemic denial and bizarre beliefs that veterinary drugs or mouthwash can cure viral diseases. We sometimes deem the symptoms of mental illness as simple evidence of ingrained stupidity. That position, to my knowledge, has not been tested.


We’ve been watching Tales of the City on Netflix. With each episode, I’m growing more intrigued by it. However, I have discovered that scenes of neither homosexual nor heterosexual sex contributes even slightly to the story; instead, they seem oddly disturbing and obligatory, as if the series would not have been accepted for airing without meaningless scenes meant to upset the prudes in the audience. That notwithstanding, the story is interesting and the characters quickly appealed to me. We’ll see how it goes.


I am ravenously hungry. In an ideal world, I would hear a knock on the door and, when I open it, an Indian chef would hand me a large sack full of steaming hot Indian breakfast delights. Dosas, samosas, sambar, chutney, parathas, kadala curries, and more. Or anything Indian. I’m just in the mood for it. But if not that, perhaps corned beef hash with eggs and slathered with Tabasco sauce. Hell, I could go for pancakes, too. Or a waffle. No, I really want something spicy; something with a bite. We’ll see about that, too.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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