Brilliant people down through the centuries
have had a strong tendency to be unsound of
personality. They become a little bonkers. It is almost inevitable I think. I am not talking about run-of-the-mill Mensa members here. Those I speak of are really quite alone, surrounded by "normals" who live almost totally as they are conditioned by their social jungle.
These isolated wretches truly do see things that others do not see. And these things are not always hallucinations, although sometimes, in an attempt to make sense out of nonsense, some desparate wishful thinking will actually result in becoming a little delusional.
I could give countless examples throughout the centuries. And I could give countless examples just relating to me alone. It is frustrating to be alone. No, frustrating is not near strong enough a term. I don't know if there is a strong enough term. It is an aloneness that cannot be assuaged, only endured. I was attracted to this place because I got a sense that there was just a scintilla more sense in the comments than could be found in general in the blogosphere.
Mr. Bellows and his cadre are to be complimented on several counts.
First, the general quality and the effort and workmanship that has gone into the essays.
Second, the absolute patience with which they except the utter drivel that characterizes, unfortunately, the majority of the comments. But I can tell that they too are having some morale problems that are hard to overcome.
I can tell this because they regurgitate with the frequency of a bulemic. Something is telling them that they are not really taken seriously at all. That they are casting the best pearls they are able to produce, before mostly swine, metaphorically speaking.
They can tell, I am quite sure, that most of the readership are nothing more than jabbering dillitantes, amateurs, dabblers, in no sense connecting the thoughts and information they have so conveniently been provided, and with those thoughts, generating new and valuable ideas. I exclude a half dozen or so of you from these caustic remarks. I honor you and your efforts.
To the trolls among you, in spite of occasional vestiges of ability, you are quite unredeemable.
When I started my blog a few years ago, I envisioned a thinktank to attract really serious seminal thinkers who really wanted to address the most pressing problems for the species, and all life on the planet. A pretty tall order. And an abysmal failure.
I experimented. I put a lovely Siren in the foyer to attract intellects, because all the intellects I have met in my life, all ten of them that I have stumbled across and who made themselves visible to me, in almost seven decades, have been, down deep, pretty sexy, and lovers of beauty for the sake of beauty alone.
I no longer care that the blog is a failure. That it is now just a storage room, a filing cabinet for regurgitations of posts elsewhere which I have transferred, posts which I thought that perhaps a few of my grandchildren might enjoy, should they by luck or other chance event, turn out not to be aliens.
I do not wish to sound pessimistic here. It is my guess that at least half of them have an even chance, much above the chances for most. I cling to that and thank my very lucky stars that of the children and grandchildren I know of, I am at about that fifty-fifty rate or better. A blessing upon me, and my blessings upon them.
My Honey and I have many cats, and too many dogs as well. Uncritical children who will not grow up. We cannot afford them and cannot afford to part with them. My dogs are mostly brilliant, as dogs go. Our cats range from witless to incredibly sophisticated. These animals have provided us with what old people in general have least. Regular daily affection, touching, caring, dependence and need. We are useful to them when the rest of society has relegated us to the trash heap as obsolete.
My other pets are in my Dojo, where I teach chess. I do not do so to make strong chess players. It is just a vehicle to help young people become better people. I spend perhaps half my time talking about other subjects, and about life in general.
On Monday, after about four years of training, one of my most advanced students, who went to Russia and several other countries to test his new chess skills, clearly one of the strogest two or three players ever to have evolved out of my tutelage, was dishonorably discharged from my Dojo, failed in the course, and discharged from my life. I hold no hope that he is any more redeemable than was Bobby Fischer. An evil little twerp, with greatness in him which never saw the light of day. A stunted freak of a man, whose monumental talent ultimately did injury to the world of chess. There was in him, no honor. I will list no other Grandmaster whores and failures. But let me honor the greats for a moment. Spassky! Benko! Tal! Botvinnik! Korchnoi! Reshevsky! Larsen! And Waitzkin! What a well rounded young fellow. I have had the pleasure of watching all these greats in action except Botvinnik, whose games too were true art.
These men make me truly sorry I played no tournament chess until I was in my forties, and that I had been teaching all comers for a quarter century by then, and continued to do so even while competing. The kiss of death. But I wouldn't trade any of it. No take backs. No regrets. No blunders, without a new lesson learned. No if only's.
Chess. My refuge, my solace, my food, my dream. Thank you.