Until Bob returns, no cha-cha, & no rhumba….

Ffolkes,
As I sit here, laughing at myself, I have to admit, my Bozoid tendencies are in full swing this morning…. I’ve been steadily plugging along, filling in the blanks as I go through the morning routine, for about 35 minutes now. Got a lot done too, on starting a Pearl. I even had the intro section completely done, and was dutifully searching for pearls, when I was confronted by my own silliness and failure to be a Lert….. or, if you insist, alert…..

I started to paste a poem below, and realized I was posting it into tomorrow’s Pearl template. This is also where I had already composed and written an intro section leading into the Pearl….. see my problem?  Complete time distortion ensues…. Now I’m dazed again, much like the first 5 minutes of being up, before the first sip of coffee kicks in enough to raise the eyelids a fraction, and will need to take a minute here to regroup…… I’ll be back in a few, when I have caught up to reality again….. mumble, grumble, phtt….

I have re-established contact with reality, and we can now move on to bigger and better things…. if that particular phrase can be considered to apply to this process…. as the old Dead song says, “head’s all empty, and I don’t care….”   No worries, we’ll just go now and find something with which we can fill it up…. shall we Pearl?……
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C:\> erase c:\reality.sys; copy a:\pern\*.* c:

This pearl is a bit of a test…. What I’ve written here is, of course, a DOS command line. (I wrote ‘of course’ before I fully realized that it is ‘of course’ only to those who are familiar with DOS, which may not include the more modern users among us. For those ffolkes, just think of it as double clicking on a program you want to use…..) The test is to tell me, in the comment section, if you know what the command tells the computer to do….

It’s quite a simple command, though the .exe installation file it points to is VERY complex…. and that is your only clue….  Let’s see who’s paying attention, as well as who is well grounded in both computers and literature….. luck won’t be needed, and wouldn’t help in any case, but, good luck!  If no one figures it out before tomorrow morning’s Pearl gets written, I’ll reveal the answer then….
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The only point in the following entry is to preserve my sanity. In looking over the last few Pearls, I found a disturbing lack of poetry. Oh, there was some there, but not enough to suit my needs…. if I don’t get enough of the grace and beauty that good poetry provides, I get testy, to say the least. That probably accounts for the 800-1000 word rants in the last couple of posts. That has actually worked out well; I was able to publish two of those rants to another site as solitary articles. But, in the process, I’ve built up a need for the serenity that a good poem gives me…. so, here are three of them, all capable of filling my need, and, hopefully, yours….. enjoy!

Weep no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time that ‘s gone;
Violets plucked, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh nor grow again.
— John Fletcher (1576-1625)  — The Queen of Corinth, Act iii, Sc. 2

How fading are the joys we dote upon!
Like apparitions seen and gone.
But those which soonest take their flight
Are the most exquisite and strong,–
Like angels’ visits, short and bright;
Mortality ‘s too weak to bear them long.
— John Norris (1657-1711) — The Parting

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Don Juan, Canto iii, Stanza 88

I don’t know about you, but I feel better…..

Oft in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone
Now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night

I know, I know, I said three… but this one popped up in front of me, glommed onto my leg before I could dodge, and insisted that I include it with the others. Then I looked at it, and was sunk…. It’s not like I jabbed you in the eye with a stick, now, is it?…… Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you to have another; they’re calorie free……
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“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha — which is to demean oneself.” — Robert Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

I like this. I liked it when I first read the book, more years ago than I care to think about, and it still clicks with my way of looking at things, as if Buddha himself was talking directly to me…. I admire it so much, that’s all I’m going to say on the subject. This can speak for itself……
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“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Bertrand Russell

We are now experiencing first hand the beginning effects of the proof of this proposition. Our world-wide society has succumbed to the truth in this statement, and are actively, and obliviously, pursuing foolishness en masse. One need only look through the daily news to see this demonstrated; article after article explores concepts and events that illustrate the full and complete absence of critical thought that is rampant in our culture. No matter how outrageous the statement, no matter how silly the proposal, no matter how egregious the lie, if a talking head on TV says it, fifty million people will jump right up and cheer its arguable (to any minds but theirs…) merit, and give it their unquestioning belief.

Do I really need to point out examples? Oh, right, evidence is good…. Okay. Easy money. How about….. Mitt Romney?  Here is a man who has spent the last 10 months or so running around the US to various political electoral farces, er, functions, and has repeatedly lied, or pandered to special interests in the face of another, or alienated entire segments of the voting public (such as women, and the poor), or changed a position one day after claiming it as his own, so many times there are a number of web sites that are devoted just to keeping track of his contradictory and/or fictional statements, of what he has the temerity to call facts.  I’m not picking on him; it’s all out there in black and white for anyone to see.

Yet this man is the apparent next candidate for the Presidency of this country as the Republican choice. If we are to believe it, he has the support not only of numerous officials and “important public figures” in his party, but of millions upon millions of folks who seem unable or unwilling to examine any of his public statements for truth or accuracy. It’s almost as if he were a talking fundamentalist Bible…. He said it, they believe it, and that’s that…… possessing, as they apparently do, steel traps instead of minds. Anything that gets in, isn’t getting out alive, that’s for sure and for certain… As a bonus prize in the foolishness category, the folks who generally fall for this kind of chicanery have the following attitude as well…

“When you are sure you’re right, you have a moral duty to impose your will upon anyone who disagrees with you.” — Robert W. Mayer

And people wonder why I’m cynical…… here is a short verse that laments the absence of the kind of men I wish were running this country…. and I am saddened by the fact that I can think of no man, or woman, in office or out, who fits this mold…..

Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere,
In action faithful, and in honour clear;
Who broke no promise, serv’d no private end,
Who gain’d no title, and who lost no friend.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Moral Essays, Epistle to Mr. Addison
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But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!
Did ye not hear it?–No! ‘t was but the wind,
Or the car rattling o’er the stony street.
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto iii, Stanza 22

So, I needed another hit of exquisite….. so sue me… I’ll add an extra pearl, okay?….
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Wedding March:  19th Century, England

“The traditional church wedding features two bridal marches, by two different classical composers. The bride walks down the aisle to the majestic, moderately paced music of the “Bridal Chorus” from Richard Wagner’s 1848 opera “Lohengrin”.  The newlyweds exit to the more jubilant, upbeat strains of the “Wedding March” from Felix Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The custom dates back to the royal marriage, in 1858, of Victoria, princess of Great Britain, and Empress of Germany, to Prince Frederick William of Prussia.  Victoria, eldest daughter of Britain’s Queen Victoria, selected the music herself.  A patron of the arts, she valued the works of Mendelssohn and practically venerated those of Wagner. Given the British penchant for copying the monarchy, soon brides throughout the Isles, nobility and commoners alike, were marching to Victoria’s drummer, establishing a Western wedding tradition.”

It seems at first glance that this entry has little significance in relation to what usually passes here for subject matter. Admittedly, it is less of an issue than my usual pick of stuff upon which to rant. Calm yourselves, I’m not going to rant about this…. I have included it for one reason only, and that is to demonstrate that the power of celebrity has its roots further back in our cultural history than might at first be apparent. This short historical note on weddings clearly shows how the famous in society influence the culture as a whole, and have done so since well before the advent of radio, news delivery over international distances, TV, and the internet.

The actions of one woman, the most visible public figure of her time, were sufficiently of interest to the rest of society as to institute a new custom, which persists to this day, and not just in the British Isles. Public opinion can thus be seen to be manipulable by the simplest of means, to wit: if the public likes it, they’ll buy it…. simple, yet effective, and obviously well-known to those who manipulate others as a rule of policy….. funny, sometimes where one can find evidence of humanity’s vulnerabilities, isn’t it?…..

“It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.” — Goethe
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As another morning’s musings draw to a close, I find myself a trifle melancholy. I’m sure it is temporary, and merely the result of finishing what has been fun to create. Since I’m happy with it as it is, we’ll get on with the rest of the procedure, and speed this on its way to cyberspace, and your perusal….. enjoy!  Y’all take care out there…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Kowabunga!