Another nice evening at the ballyard, with Older Daughter this time. Rooting for the home team is rough these days, but we’re patient fans. At least we got tee-shirts and a souvenir cup featuring former Cy Young winner Barry Zito, patiently working his way back to the bigs.

It’s the birthday of Democracy in America author Alexis de Tocqueville, the early 19th century French aristocrat who found America’s middle class possessed of sufficient “practical intelligence” to offset their vulgarity and ignorance and allow them to govern the new nation. WA

We tend to identify the middle class in terms of relative wealth and income, but if vulgarity and ignorance are the key markers there’s never been a larger middle class competing for political office in America than is represented by the current crop of presidential candidates. The vulgar and ignorant billionaire who makes the other “jackasses” (Lindsey Graham’s word) look good is, by this criterion, the most middle of them all. What would de Tocqueville say now? I imagine he’d be impatient with this bunch.

It’s also the birthday of the patient centenarian poet who said “it is out of the dailiness of life that one is driven into the deepest recesses of the self,” Stanley Kunitz. There’s a statement for our Hume group to ponder, given the skeptic’s dual commitment to dailiness and to metaphysical selflessness.

Dailiness, the everyday repetition of routine, the return to work, the renewal of purpose: my daily walk is a model and metaphor of that. Deep recesses? I might not choose those words to describe the experience derived from dailiness, and the word “self” might even be negotiable; but I know that without the scaffolding provided by repetition and routine, there would be no structural support for reflections on selfhood or anything else. That’s why I try to plug patiently away, day after day.

7 am/5:53, 75/93

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