Riding forth with the myrmidons….

Ffolkes,
Wow…. I didn’t realize one could actually fall asleep at the keyboard. It was just like falling asleep at the wheel of a car, but instead of almost crashing, what I found on the screen was zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  You get the picture, I’m sure….. I could go back and delete all of it, but who knows? It may just be a new style of prose writing, called minimalist, or some such…. I’ve seen worse….

“Will this never-ending series of PLEASURABLE EVENTS never cease?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Yes, life is just one big party here at Ned’s house. I managed to stay up until 9 PM last night, which means I’m up today at 5 AM, almost awake. It’s a toss-up as to whether I keep typing or go back to bed….. and I can hear my pillow softly calling my name…. Okay, I’ll be back in a while….

I’m back… it is now almost three hours later. I guess I got up too early the first try. And now that I have no doubt bored you all to tears with my morning play by play, I think we should Pearl… shall we?…..

Be on your guard against a silent dog and still water. — Latin proverb (Good advice…)
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The Men That Fought At Minden

A Song of Instruction

The men that fought at Minden, they was rookies in their time –
So was them that fought at Waterloo!
All the ‘ole command, yuss, from Minden to Maiwand,
They was once dam’ sweeps like you!

Then do not be discouraged, ‘Eaven is your ‘elper,
We’ll learn you not to forget;
An’ you mustn’t swear an’ curse, or you’ll only catch it worse,
For we’ll make you soldiers yet!

The men that fought at Minden, they ‘ad stocks beneath their chins,
Six inch ‘igh an’ more;
But fatigue it was their pride, and they ~would~ not be denied
To clean the cook-‘ouse floor.

The men that fought at Minden, they had anarchistic bombs
Served to ‘em by name of ‘and-grenades;
But they got it in the eye (same as you will by-an’-by)
When they clubbed their field-parades.

The men that fought at Minden, they ‘ad buttons up an’ down,
Two-an’-twenty dozen of ‘em told;
But they didn’t grouse an’ shirk at an hour’s extry work,
They kept ‘em bright as gold.

The men that fought at Minden, they was armed with musketoons,
Also, they was drilled by ‘alberdiers;
I don’t know what they were, but the sergeants took good care
They washed be’ind their ears.

The men that fought at Minden, they ‘ad ever cash in ‘and
Which they did not bank nor save,
But spent it gay an’ free on their betters — such as me –
For the good advice I gave.

The men that fought at Minden, they was civil — yuss, they was –
Never didn’t talk o’ rights an’ wrongs,
But they got it with the toe (same as you will get it — so!) –
For interrupting songs.

The men that fought at Minden, they was several other things
Which I don’t remember clear;
But ~that’s~ the reason why, now the six-year men are dry,
The rooks will stand the beer!

Then do not be discouraged, ‘Eaven is your ‘elper,
We’ll learn you not to forget;
An’ you mustn’t swear an’ curse, or you’ll only catch it worse,
For we’ll make you soldiers yet!

Soldiers yet, if you’ve got it in you –
All for the sake of the Core;
Soldiers yet, if we ‘ave to skin you –
Run an’ get the beer, Johnny Raw — Johnny Raw!
Ho! run an’ get the beer, Johnny Raw!

Rudyard Kipling

I can imagine a platoon of English army soldiers, sitting in a dark, smoke-filled, crowded tavern, somewhere in India, singing this song at the top of their lungs, as they slosh more ale down their throats from the tankards they wave about in time to the song. Gig Young, or Errol Flynn plays the part of the officer of the troop, with all those wonderful British character actors playing the soldiers. They all die in the end, of course…. that’s the common lot for British soldiers in India at that time…. Any who, I like the poem a lot, it made me think of the word “rollicking” and is worth reading just for that….  :-)
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“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” — Sir Winston Churchill

“…for DEATH awaits you all, with nasty sharp  pointy teeth!” — Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Death. The great equalizer. Nobody gets away from it. As a matter of fact, it has been proven, beyond a shadow of doubt, that everyone who breathes air, dies. So, air must not be good for us, right? That’s logic….. Of course it’s logical. It is also, however, not true, and serves as an example of the fact that logic doesn’t always lead to the correct answer to any particular question….. sometimes you gotta just go by what is real…..

I like the first quote, by Winnie…. should the Christian viewpoint turn out to have been true, I would prefer to meet my maker with this same attitude. To my way of thinking, if it (Christianity) IS true, then God has a lot to answer for. I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe in any deity who would allow his creation to show such perversions as this species has shown. Whenever I bring this point up to a priest, or theologian of any sort, all I get is “God works in mysterious ways….”

Yeah? Is that right? You say there is some hidden purpose to those actions we don’t understand? Well, fuck God then, because he’s acting like an asshole. I don’t care a whit if there is some hidden purpose; there is NO ACCEPTABLE REASON to suppose that a merciful God would condone child molesters, or rapists, or torture, (even during war). I don’t believe it; it is neither logical, nor rational….

Claiming that God is beyond our understanding, and therefore we cannot understand his reasons for allowing such actions, is pure bullshit. If he is that far above us, why are his morals so perverted? I don’t care what you say, I won’t accept the rape of a child as being justifiable from ANY standpoint. None. And if God does have some justification, well, I ain’t buying it. No matter what it is, it isn’t right….. And going along with it, believing the lie, is just another cowardly way of avoiding responsibility…..

Men are responsible for these actions, not God. Men kill, and rape, and pillage, and manipulate and coerce their fellows into performing acts of heinous nature. At times in history, this killing has taken place in the name of God, as the fanatical zealots so common to Christianity throughout its bloody history carried their own particular brand of oppression to new lands, forcing the natives to swallow their version of reality, regardless of how they felt about it.

This zealotry continues today, with the current Republican candidate all set to bring the US right back into the Stone Age, should he. through some cruel quirk of fate, be elected as POTUS. If that happens, I’m pretty sure Armageddon will be close behind, as I don’t think the rest of the world is going to sit still for him to cram his own faith down their throats.

Hell, right here at home, should he be elected, I’d be surprised if there isn’t a revolutionary upheaval within a few months of the election. I know I would certainly be considering assassination as a viable political tool…. It is now legal for us to use torture as a resource, why should we balk at assassination?

Ah me…. I guess I got too much sleep. It seems to have awakened my old hippie instincts; I haven’t talked revolution in oh, six or eight months now…. I suppose I’ll just have to wait until November, to see which way to jump…. let’s hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. That’s always the best policy….. for survival, anyway….and that may become our primary goal, if things keep on keepin’ on…..
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How admirable,
he who thinks not,
Life is fleeting,
When he sees the lightning!
— Basho

Future Shocked:

Weeping, I wake;
waking, I weep, I weep.
I weep for the ages to be lost,
for children never born.

Time comes calling, strident and spare,
nudging us toward the future with bony hands.
No pausing, no waiting, always away,
Frantic hearts unseen, unheard.

Spirits are dark, afraid.
And the Beast hunts, hungry and cruel,
seeking out the weak, and the foolish.

We all weep now…..

gigoid
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Well, that turned a little dark on me, didn’t it? I guess that is all one can expect when speaking of Death; things often turn a little dark in his/her presence….. But, a little dark only serves to contrast with the light, making us more aware of both…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Our best quality yak butter is on sale….

Ffolkes,
Apple Brown Betty. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s one of my favorite desserts. What it has to do with creating a morning Pearl is somewhat unclear to me just now. When I typed it a moment ago, I had a reason, a lead-in for this missive, but, it is now gone wherever those fleeting thoughts go, and I’m left holding the empty bag, again. If I weren’t already confused, this would have done it, and did……

It must be the Beast. Or, the aftermath of the Beast, to be more accurate. Last night, to celebrate making it through another month, I took myself out to dinner, and, in the process, consumed an adult beverage, or three. It has been such a long time since I went out, I believe my capacity for hard liquor went south, because I’m feeling more than just a little foggy this morning. One might think I’d never had a hangover before, if one didn’t know better…. and this one is old enough to know better…

“Drinking makes such fools of people, and people are such fools to begin with, that it’s compounding a felony.” — Robert Benchley

Hung over or no, I still am here to Pearl, not to complain, so I think we’ll just get to the meat of the matter, before I sink into the miasma…. great word, eh? Miasma…. it just trips so smoothly off the lips….. never mind. Sorry, distracted for a moment…. so, shall we Pearl?……..
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A Hymn To God The Father

Wilt thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallow’d in, a score?
When thou hast done, thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore;
But swear by thyself, that at my death thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore;
And, having done that, thou hast done;
I fear no more.

John Donne

One of the characteristics of an honorable man is the ability to accept ideas that he doesn’t agree with, without becoming emotionally engaged in challenging the idea’s verity. I consider myself to be honorable in that sense, so it isn’t difficult for me to accept the idea that Christianity, while having had an extremely deleterious effect on society at large, still provided, and provides, the impetus for many an artist to display their talent in praise of the Christian ethos. A large number of exquisitely beautiful cathedrals exist, all over the world, as visible proof of this idea. This poem is another perfect example of how faith can produce beautiful expressions of art, even though the faith it celebrates is, to my mind, an illusory belief. That illusion doesn’t detract from the beauty of these words…..
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Everybody knows Winnie the Pooh. He is, without a doubt, one of modern society’s Uncarved Blocks. There have been complete books written, just to explore the depth of Zen philosophy Pooh demonstrates with his little aphorisms. But most folks don’t know that Pooh has a dark side, as well…. and it is very dark indeed! I have listed below some of the aphorisms collected to show just how scary this little Bear of Little Brain can be….

– Bother! said Pooh, as he sold Eeyore to the glue factory.

– Bother! said Pooh, as Tenebrae fed him to Cthulhu.

– Bother! said Pooh, as he flooded the computer room with nerve gas.

– Bother! said Pooh, as Q destroyed the universe.

– Bother! said Pooh, as the Monitor blew up in his face.

– Bother! said Pooh, as he hid Piglet’s corpse with Roo’s.

– Bother! said Pooh, as he was arrested for indecent exposure.

– Bother! said Pooh, and lit another joint.

– Bother! said Pooh, as the Romulan Warbird uncloaked.

– Bother! said Pooh, as he sold crack in the school yard.

– Bother! said Pooh, as he destroyed the human race.

– Bother! said Pooh, as he misquoted the druidic Spell of Making.

I guess it’s just one more piece of proof that things are not always what they seem…..  ;-)
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    I found this on Facebook, and found after reading the list, that all of them were a part of my earliest training from my father. He was an old-fashioned gentleman, even though he wasn’t an officer. But then, he declined the promotion to captain, preferring to remain a  Master-Sergeant. More proof of the old saw about the sergeants running the army…. Every one of these items is good advice, and together comprise an excellent approach to living with honor….
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If I traveled to the end of the rainbow
As Dame Fortune did intend,
Murphy would be there to tell me
The pot’s at the other end.
— Bert Whitney

I found this poem just as I was finishing up today’s Pearl, and thought it would make an excellent closing thought. One of these days, I’m going to catch Murphy in the act, and there will be a come-uppance, for one of us. He may be a force of Nature, but he’s been messing with me for a very long time, and force or no force, he WILL pay….. In the meantime, y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Peaches and cream for lunch…..

Ffolkes,
Twilight razors, filled with ample screams of delighted salmon fillets, turned backward flips in the parlor, while the Doge Imperius strolled through the garden. Abby didn’t want hers, so I put her squiggly first course of lamprey eel down the bodice of the queen. But, that was only the first time. Afterwards, we all went into the big blue room to play charades. It was a good party…..

Sorry ’bout that. Before I sat down to begin, I was reading the Bathroom Reader, about the Bullwer-Lytton Writing Contest. That’s the one held each year to pick the best (worst) opening paragraph of the world’s worst novel, as patterned after the opening of the book “Paul Clifford” by Edward Bullwer-Lytton, which began, “It was a dark and stormy night…..”.  What I wrote above is certainly bad enough, but I think it’s actually TOO bad, even for that contest. Too much surrealism, and more than one run-on sentence….

Surreal isn’t unknown in this venue; I actually depend on it a lot, for contrast. Exploring reality can be somewhat stultifying to the mind, if one isn’t careful, so I take a dose of surreal before I try to deal with it directly. Kind of a prophylactic, eh? I suppose one could call it a literary condom…. that is, if one were so inclined. Me, I’m too classy for that….

Now that we have entered Fantasy Land, I think it would be best to start our morning task. In fact, I think that if we don’t, we could conceivably get stuck here for a long time…. shall we Pearl?…..
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“We live in a time when man would rather be envied than esteemed.” — G. Trudeau

One of the characteristics of the English language that I appreciate is adroitly demonstrated here by Mssr. Trudeau (Doonesbury’s creator…). That characteristic is the precision of meaning that can be found by using just the right words. This statement, because of that very precision, becomes extremely insightful, accurately putting its finger on the nature of society, and on the nature of the people who make up that society. This desire to be envied, to be looked up to, to be the object of jealousy, was very aptly labeled by my uncle, Russell Smith, back in the early 1960’s, when he dubbed this state “Me-Firsterism”.  (The title should be delivered with a slightly smug sneer….)

“Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.” — Frank Leahy

Personally, I think the word “selfish” describes the issue just fine.  “Entitlement” is another word that comes to mind, especially if paired with a descriptive adjective that implies that the entitlement is completely undeserved. The word “delusional” comes to mind in that respect….. These people see no conflict in claiming they love America, while also making it clear that they cannot stand Americans.

They love being able to hop down to the market to pick up fresh veggies any time, but would faint if they were asked to go out into the fields to harvest those veggies. At the same time, they want to send all the illegal immigrants home…. these are the same immigrants who harvest the fields for the veggies, at half the rate any American would demand.

“Character is a victory, not a gift.” — Smart Bee

These are the same people who will shout out at the top of their lungs how proud they are of being an American. Whenever I hear that, I am tempted to ask them, “Oh? You’re proud you are American? Tell me, what exactly did you do, to become one? What is it you did that should make you proud of yourself? Oh, your parents were living here when you were born? So, you didn’t do anything to become an American….”  I’ve done this in reality a couple of times, and it’s amazing how angry these folks get when confronted. It’s rather entertaining, actually, to see them turn all those different colors….

This is rigorous.  Well, it’s rigorous in the sense that … All right, it’s not rigorous. — Smart Bee

No, this isn’t a rigorous argument. This issue doesn’t require a rigorous argument; it’s too obvious. Our society is bursting at the seams with people who are both ignorant and arrogant, filled with a sense of entitlement and eliteness that is completely unconnected to anything in reality; there is no real basis for their pride, or for their belief in their own supremacy. But, since they believe they are the “Lords of Creation”, they carry on with their ignorant, destructive patterns of behavior, and, in the process, pull the rest of humanity along with them on their trip to the deeper regions of Hades….

Maybe I can’t stop them. Maybe I can’t turn the tide of historical events toward a safer shore. Maybe I’m shouting into the wind; it seems that way a lot of the time. None of these maybes are enough to keep me from trying, or to keep me from ranting about it. Maybe one of my rants will fall upon the right ears, and inspire someone to act. If not, well, at least I have the opportunity to sling a few darts in the direction of the pundits and the preachers. Or mud…. slinging mud is always fun…. and it’s not like getting muddy would be something with which they are unfamiliar….

“He probably just wants to take over my CELLS and then EXPLODE  inside me like a BARREL of runny CHOPPED LIVER!  Or maybe he’d  like to PSYCHOLOGICALLY TERRORIZE ME until I have no objection to a RIGHT-WING MILITARY TAKEOVER of my apartment!!  I guess I should call AL PACINO!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Clenched Soul

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.

Pablo Neruda

The images this brings to my inner eye are compelling, if a bit ambiguous. I found it to be a refreshing read, though I really have no clue as to its true meaning; it seemed very personal, like I’d feel embarrassed for the poet if I actually knew what he meant. So, it’s okay that I don’t. If you do follow what he’s saying, or think I’m missing something, please feel free to comment….
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Old school Pearl alert: Below are six quotations, all on the same topic. No adornment is possible, or desirable, other than to say that each one makes sense to me, and all are accurate reflections of reality…..

Blasphemy:  When a religious person dares to think. — Smart Bee

“All great truths begin as blasphemies.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), “Annajanska”

‘God says in the Bible’ carries as much moral imperative to me as  saying ‘Dr. Seuss says in Green Eggs and Ham.’  Both are interesting books  with some good messages, nothing more. — Smart Bee (I almost claimed this one as my own; it states my view perfectly. Integrity won, but it was a hard fight….)

“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.” — Aldous Huxley

“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.” — George Bernard Shaw

Editorial note: To be fair, one may place the name of any other religion in the spots where it says “Christianity”. None of the quotation’s meaning will be changed at all…..
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Time drags on, day by day, bringing me closer to…. now. While typing that phrase, it occurred to me that Now is all we really have, and I’m no closer to tomorrow at this moment than I was before, or will be after. All I’ll be is more confused about the implied paradoxes….. Hmm… be careful, please. Don’t think about that last part too long; I think it could turn into an infinite loop, and who knows what might happen…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

We’ll tantalize them with caramelized onions….

Ffolkes,
La tabula rasa. The blank slate. Such is my mind today, as I gaze with hopeless longing at the empty screen. I’ve stared, and stared. I’ve torn at my hair. I’ve jumped up, spun around, and rattled the bones. I’ve cast the sticks, and I’ve sacrificed a chicken. I opened up two different veins. I’ve even broken down and prayed. And nothing….. there isn’t anything in there. Not a joke, or a story, not a poem or haiku. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I feel like a bloody Republican, (or a Democrat…equal opportunity bashing here….), you know “head’s all empty, and I don’t care”…..

Okay, so that last one was cruel. You’re probably right, I shouldn’t pick on them. Even though they deserve it, it is probably bad for MY karmic burden, which is, no doubt, already weighted heavily on the wrong side. But, what’s a guy to do? I can’t find any inspiration anywhere, and there are people out there panting for their morning Pearl….. Well, perhaps not. I have to keep telling myself that, or I’d give up. After all, it’s not as if I’m doing this because the money is so good,  is it? No, it’s not….

Now that I have established myself in your minds as completely nuts, I think it might be a good thing if we just went and started pearling. If I stick around this intro much longer, I’m going to start pulling out what little hair I have left. Good grief, the way I feel this morning, this could conceivably turn into a MUSICAL, and we’ll all burst into song! To avoid that, we will now dive in & start our search for material…. shall we Pearl?…..
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“My face is new, my license is expired, and I’m under a doctor’s care!!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Sometimes Zippy just hits the nail right on the head! This is EXACTLY how I feel today, though I couldn’t say why this is so. My sleeping schedule has gotten really messed up, for some reason probably known only to my subconscious mind. The last two days, I’ve laid down to nap for a couple hours, and ended up sleeping for five hours, waking up just in time to go back to bed. So, I’ve ended up staying up late, which makes me get up later, etc.  Add in my normal degree of insanity, some hunger pangs, and tobacco withdrawal symptoms, and what you end up with is one seriously funky attitude….

Now, funky is a question begging term, but in this case it happens to be precisely the right word to describe my mental state. I’m reminded of an old Tower of Power song, “I’m funky, but I’m clean!”. Of course, I’m not clean yet…. I shower after the morning Pearl, so I guess that makes me 100% funky. Yay…..

I know this is cheating. I know I’m just stalling, trying to fill up column inches with prattle and nonsense. I suppose I’ll have to justify all this by actually creating something….. SIGH…. okay, I’ll try that…..

Morning Pearls

Such mornings as these
chase away my dreams of light.
I won’t cry again.

gigoid

That will have to do, for the nonce…..
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“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1972)

There are many folks out there who, when reading my material for the first time, might get the impression that I am an atheist, and an anarchist. The stuff I write would tend to give that impression, I have no doubt. But, it really isn’t the case, and just goes to show that not everything is always as it seems…..

I’m not an atheist, at least not in a classical sense. I would more accurately be described as agnostic, as I believe strongly in a spiritual component in the universe. But, the very concept of omnipotence, and omniscience, implies that one cannot define God, or whatever entity one considers to be the ultimate authority. A finite mind cannot comprehend an infinite mind; anything we can imagine cannot, by definition, be accurate or complete, as our minds are not infinite in scope.

It could be said that our imagination IS infinite. We can, at the very least, comprehend the concept of infinity, even if we cannot touch it, or see it, or count that high. But, to actually think that what we imagine about God is the same as reality is not only arrogant, it is foolish. Yet a large percentage of the human race not only believes they know what God looks like (ironically, God always looks like the folks who are claiming Him as their deity….), but that they know what He wants. To my way of thinking, this is sheer self-aggrandizement, and unjustifiably arrogant….

I suppose it helps them in dealing with the everyday stresses of life to think that they are special. To think they are beloved of God, and what they do is important to Him. This sense of belonging is important to a lot of folks, due I think, to their own fears about their ability to deal with reality as it exists. It gives them a sense of entitlement, and justifies their actions, no matter how immoral or unethical they may be. It allows them to act upon their impulses without restraint, to lie, to cheat, to steal, all in the name of the Lord. And, if they should happen to feel a tiny shred of guilt about what they are doing to other folks, why, they just confess their sins to Jesus, and all is forgiven!….

Sorry, folks, but I could never buy into the whole scenario, from my earliest days. All of my experience, and all of my reasoning have led me to a different view of reality than what is described by any religion. I have observed the behavior of most people of a religious bent to be, as a rule, hypocritical, cruel, bigoted, racist, and, for the most part, unrelated to any moral or ethical system of any depth. The most religious in society go so far as to threaten violence toward anyone who disagrees with their beliefs, justified by their own self-proclaimed right to spew their hatred on anyone who differs.

I believe in compassion and kindness. I believe in love. I believe in protecting the vulnerable, and helping the less fortunate. I believe in beauty. And, I believe in reality, whatever that may be; it’s purely subjective for the most part. I DON’T believe in the divinity of Jesus, or Buddha, or Lao Tzu, or Mohammad, or any other religious prophet. I don’t believe there is some white haired, bearded old guy sitting on a throne of gold up in the sky somewhere, looking down and getting his pants in a bunch because I didn’t salute his graven image first thing after I got up.

That whole graven image thing, and the idea that God wants, or needs, our worship has always been a thorn in my side. I mean, can’t these zealots understand the irony of worshiping an image of Christ on the cross? Don’t they know that the cross is a graven image? And why would an omnipotent being need MY worship? It makes no sense. None. I cannot imagine of ANY reason for a God to care at all about such petty bullshit; I don’t care to be worshiped, why should He? Having someone act that way toward me makes me uncomfortable, so I can’t see why a God would even want to go there. What purpose does it serve?

Well, one of my computer alarms just went off, and made me realize I was ranting, which I had not started out to do. I think y’all can get the gist of my arguments by this time, and those who are in disagreement with what I’ve written aren’t going to be persuaded away from their long-held delusions by my words, so further soliloquy would be futile.

I’ll just finish by saying this….. until Mankind grows up enough to be able to put aside the crutch of religion, and learns to stand up to reality as it exists, without the delusional imaginary friend to intercede on their behalf with the universe, then our path to extinction will remain clear…. It’s too bad really, because our species shows a lot of promise…. it’s too bad we will never be allowed to explore our limits as an adult species, because we will have killed ourselves off before we ever got out of childhood….
___________________________________

The cricket sang,
And set the sun,
And workmen finished, one by one,
Their seam the day upon.

The low grass loaded with the dew,
The twilight stood as strangers do
With hat in hand, polite and new,
To stay as if, or go.

A vastness, as a neighbor, came,–
A wisdom without face or name,
A peace, as hemispheres at home,–
And so the night became.

Emily Dickinson

No comments required…. just enjoy!….
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So, some folks might say it was cheating, but I don’t think so, and I’m the only one here, so…. thus we get through another fine morning, hopefully with some panache. If not, well, there’s always tomorrow…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

A Tale of Three Hamlets….

Ffolkes,
The sun poked a bleary eye over the eastern horizon, peering down over the hills to gaze upon the rooftops of the town with its pale, diffused light. A solitary, silent walker strode with purpose down one of those cobbled streets between the houses, looking neither left nor right. The pale light from the morning sun cast a weak shadow on the walls as he passed, disappearing in the gaps between. Dreadful silence covered the streets as he walked; even the noise of his footsteps were muffled, almost inaudible. He turned into an alley between two buildings, coming to a stop before a grimy door set into the wall. As he raised a hand to knock, the door opened…..

Hmm….. not a bad first paragraph, eh? Just had an urge to practice a bit of descriptive prose, and figured , “why not?” The introductory sections of late have been a bit off the beaten track, which isn’t surprising, given the dearth of material I’ve been able to scare up in the mornings. When I first started to blog seriously, about a year and a half ago, I had no idea how hard it was going to be to find ample material for this section. The pearls seem to take care of themselves, but figuring out a good beginning hook every day is much more difficult than it looks before one tries it. A real test of creativity, to be sure….

Having taken, and passed, the test this morning, we can now get on with the real purpose…. Given the state of my mind today, it should prove to be an interesting journey….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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A Whirl-Blast from Behind The Hill

A Whirl-Blast from behind the hill
Rushed o’er the wood with startling sound;
Then–all at once the air was still,
And showers of hailstones pattered round.
Where leafless oaks towered high above,
I sat within an undergrove
Of tallest hollies, tall and green;
A fairer bower was never seen.
From year to year the spacious floor
With withered leaves is covered o’er,
And all the year the bower is green.
But see! where’er the hailstones drop
The withered leaves all skip and hop;
There’s not a breeze–no breath of air–
Yet here, and there, and everywhere
Along the floor, beneath the shade
By those embowering hollies made,
The leaves in myriads jump and spring,
As if with pipes and music rare
Some Robin Good-fellow were there,
And all those leaves, in festive glee,
Were dancing to the minstrelsy.

William Wordsworth

I’m always amazed at the power of some poetry. When I read this, just reading, not dissecting for meaning, I get the same feeling as when I was a kid, and would see a “Whirl-Blast”, whirling leaves and sparkling dust into the air to make it dance. The magic of Mother Nature’s show is a constant delight of changing seasons, passionate colors, and intriguing sounds, a veritable carnival of natural events that are there to be seen, all around us, every day.

Poetry such as this brings us into contact with that carnival, wherever and whenever one reads it. To my way of thinking, just reading a good poem improves one’s state of being, bringing us closer to our center, and connecting us with the rest of the universe in all its diverse glory…

Sir I admit your general rule
That every Poet is a Fool
But you yourself may serve to show it
That every Fool is not a Poet
— rendered from the French by Pope
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If 4 out of 5 people suffer from diarrhea, does the other one enjoy it? — Smart Bee

Sorry, couldn’t resist…. I’ll do an extra pearl to make it up to you….
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    This ought to make up for the previous pearl…. All of these are excellent aphorisms; short, succinct, and pregnant with meaning. My personal favorites are #4 and #14, but each and every one is a worthy exercise in rational thought and right action…..
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IDIOT, n.  A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.  The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.”  He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable.  He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

When I picked out this pearl, I had intended to write a piece exploring human intelligence. However, my brain had a different plan, and all of the thoughts that I had marshaled to use went into the wind, poof, gone….. Since I’m feeling a bit lazy today, I’m keeping the pearl, and writing something about it anyway, so there….

Ranting about human stupidity is an endless challenge; there is so much of it to pick from that the choosing becomes harder than the actual writing. Every day’s news brings more examples of how dumb folks can be, and finding one that is acceptable is merely a matter of deciding which is the better choice from a humorous view, or a serious view, or whatever viewpoint from which we will write. I’ve yet to see a single day when there weren’t at least four or five instances of stories that illustrate how talented people are at finding new ways to show how stupid they really are…..

“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” — Lazarus Long

We’ve all seen this one, I think; if not this one by Robert Heinlein, then one from another author or philosopher. It’s a pretty common theme, after all. Often, examples can be found on the front pages, especially during election years. But the back pages also carry numerous examples, taken from real life…. such as this one….

Back when I was attending the University of Utah, The Daily Utah Chronicle ran a joke ad for a debate between Phil Donahue and Whiskers the Lamb. Over 30 people showed up.  (what they were expecting, God only knows.) — Smart Bee

In order to further prove my point, here is an example taken from today’s news….

http://www.fark.com/comments/7182500   This link leads to an article from Yahoo news, and is a perfect example of how the world is going mad, step by step….. I’m not even going to comment on the article, as it’s already too hard to think about it without laughing at the absurdity of the whole issue…..

Okay, I think my point is proved. The human race is pretty stupid, and getting stupider all the time. Sure, we’ve got men in space, we’ve raised the average age to 72 with medical advances, we’ve been to the moon. But we also are still making war on each other. We still abuse animals, and women, and children, and any thing else that will stand still. We are still killing ourselves, and denying that it is even happening. My only hope at this point is for something to happen to change human nature, to turn us away from this path we’ve chosen to walk. I hope it will happen, but I’m afraid the power of stupidity may just be greater than the power of hope….
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Like I said at the beginning, it was an interesting journey, to say the least. I am unable to make a judgment as to quality, but hopefully, it will do…. if not, well, there’s always tomorrow….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

No touching the platypus, ma’am….

Ffolkes,
Now that I am up and ready to write, all the great stuff that was floating around in my mind as I lay in bed has disappeared. This is not unusual, in my experience. I think it’s a human thing….

Human or not, it’s a bummer, as the stuff I thought of was pretty cool. Now I don’t know for sure what I’m going to do, as I didn’t make a backup plan, trusting, poorly, as it turns out, that I would have plenty of stuff to write about when I started today. I suppose I’ll have to just fake it again…. It’s not like this hasn’t happened before, is it?…..

Even short paragraphs will do for the introductory section, and we have almost blundered our way through enough of them to make this worthwhile. Hmm…. maybe if I apologize ahead of time for this, it will go over better…. Nah! No way I’m apologizing for this; it isn’t my fault. It’s that bloody fool Murphy at work again, I know it…. I know, I know, paranoid…. but it’s not paranoia if they are really out to get you, and I have documented evidence…. so there….

Having thus completed the minimum number of paragraphs (3) allowed by law in an intro, (the law says nothing about whether the paragraphs have to be good, or actually contain any real content…) we will now return to our regular program, which promises to be an interesting trip today. Shall we Pearl? We shall…..
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“The non permanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of summer and winter seasons. “– Bhagavad Gita

I don’t know about you, but I think if someone were to sit down and write a one sentence summary of Ecclesiastes, this would be what they came up with. Coming as it does from the Bhagavad Gita, written prior to Ecclesiastes by several centuries, I doubt the author(s) had that in mind as a goal. It’s funny to me (ironic-funny) how often that is the case. I’ve read the religious books from several different religions, and they seem to have all been written by the same guy….

This idea led me to more research, so I spent some years trying to track down the authors responsible for all the books, and what I found is amazing…. The religious books of ALL religions on Earth WERE written by the SAME GUY. I don’t know his name, but his writing style, and the content of what was written, are the same in all of the tomes I searched. This datum is somewhat disconcerting, as it implies a conspiracy…. logic says that if all were written by the same guy, there is a reason. That reason is probably NOT in the best interests of the average person; it more likely has to do with whatever the author’s goals are….

Now, I have previously written here on religions, and how they attempt to control the populace, and make them amenable to more control by their political counterparts. It seems now that this concept is even more sinister than I had imagined.

The beloved ruling class, and the priestly hierarchies, don’t want us to know that they are controlling us. Their purpose is simple; they want us to be their slaves. They want the average man to work all his life, and never realize that they are working for someone else’s benefit.

The pattern is clear enough that examples are not necessary at this time, but rest assured, our beloved ruling class, with the support of the religions, is manipulating events for THEIR advantage, not ours, and has been doing so for thousands of years…..

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Let me make something clear. There are people on this planet who are not selfish. There are people who don’t wish to control others, or to manipulate others for their own benefit. There are folks who are just plain good; their spirits are free, and clean. (A lot of them apparently end up on WordPress….)

The problem is, they are few, and far between, and not a single one of them cares a whit about controlling others. Thus, though they are likely not as affected by the manipulations of the ruling class, they are not going to be roused to action without just cause, which the ruling class will not allow to occur, if they can help it.

The number of people who are part of the beloved ruling class is very small, compared to the mass of mankind. From what I can see, that number is probably about the same as the number of people who really understand what is going on, and object to it. Let’s say that number is about 5% (probably lower, but we’ll just use this for now….)

So, that makes 5% beloved ruling class, manipulating society for their own benefit, 5% ffolkes who actually see the manipulations, and 90% clueless sheep. Well, not sheep I guess, because some of them can be pretty violent. But, clueless, for sure…. This breakdown, while not exact, represents society’s makeup since the dawn of civilization….

If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t there more happy people? — Smart Bee

So, to bring this back around to where we started, the 5% of mankind that are actually running things have no investment in changing; they want things just the way they are, as they have been for 10,000 years. The other 5% aren’t enough to make the changes happen without the cooperation of the 90%, which the beloved ruling class will work to deny with all their resources.

With all that in mind, I have a new tactic which could help. See, we gotta find that guy…… What guy? Please, pay attention…. the guy who wrote all the books for the religions.

Once we find that guy, we either brainwash him, or recruit him through reason, into a re-write. The re-write could be artificially aged, and then found in some cave in the Himalayas, or in the fertile crescent. The altered text would be designed to negate, or nullify, all of the lies that the other books have perpetrated on society. Once the 90% is enlightened, I think the resulting anger at the beloved rulers and preachers will set matters aright in no time.

What do you think?…. Hey, it could work!….
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A Gleam of Sunshine

This is the place. Stand still, my steed,
Let me review the scene,
And summon from the shadowy Past
The forms that once have been.

The Past and Present here unite
Beneath Time’s flowing tide,
Like footprints hidden by a brook,
But seen on either side.

Here runs the highway to the town;
There the green lane descends,
Through which I walked to church with thee,
O gentlest of my friends!

The shadow of the linden-trees
Lay moving on the grass;
Between them and the moving boughs,
A shadow, thou didst pass.

Thy dress was like the lilies,
And thy heart as pure as they:
One of God’s holy messengers
Did walk with me that day.

I saw the branches of the trees
Bend down thy touch to meet,
The clover-blossoms in the grass
Rise up to kiss thy feet,

“Sleep, sleep to-day, tormenting cares,
Of earth and folly born!”
Solemnly sang the village choir
On that sweet Sabbath morn.

Through the closed blinds the golden sun
Poured in a dusty beam,
Like the celestial ladder seen
By Jacob in his dream.

And ever and anon, the wind,
Sweet-scented with the hay,
Turned o’er the hymn-book’s fluttering leaves
That on the window lay.

Long was the good man’s sermon,
Yet it seemed not so to me;
For he spake of Ruth the beautiful,
And still I thought of thee.

Long was the prayer he uttered,
Yet it seemed not so to me;
For in my heart I prayed with him,
And still I thought of thee.

But now, alas! the place seems changed;
Thou art no longer here:
Part of the sunshine of the scene
With thee did disappear.

Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,
Like pine-trees dark and high,
Subdue the light of noon, and breathe
A low and ceaseless sigh;

This memory brightens o’er the past,
As when the sun, concealed
Behind some cloud that near us hangs
Shines on a distant field.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I realize this is fairly long, but some pearls just shine more brightly than others…..
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“My other computer keeps calling me Dave.” — Smart Bee

Scary, scary, scary, for anyone who gets the reference…. To anyone else it will be meaningless, and pretty silly…. Even those who know the reference may not fully understand the level of fear that this statement can bring to anyone who KNOWS computers, and understands their infinite possibilities. The movie was so excellently done that it gave a lot of the feeling, but without that knowledge, the actual fear level Dave was experiencing could not be fully fathomed.

However, the computer in “2001”, HAL by name, was programmed according to the programming languages that had been developed at the time the movie was made. I think, if they had used the following language, things might not have turned out so badly…. I give you, VALGOL…..

From its modest beginnings in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley, VALGOL is enjoying a dramatic surge of popularity across the computer industry. Here is a sample program:

LIKE, Y*KNOW(I MEAN)START
IF PIZZA = LIKE BITCHEN AND GUY = LIKE TUBULAR AND
VALLEY GIRL = LIKE GRODY**MAX(FERSURE)**2 THEN
FOR I = LIKE 1 TO OH*MAYBE 100
DO*WAH – (DITTY**2)
BARF(I)=TOTALLY GROSS(OUT)
SURE
LIKE BAG THIS PROGRAM
REALLY
LIKE TOTALLY (Y*KNOW)
IM*SURE
GOTO THE MALL

When the user makes a syntax error, the interpreter displays the message:

GAG ME WITH A SPOON!!

– THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES #5: VALGOL  — Smart Bee

Okay, so it’s not my best effort. It will be funnier to those who are computer geeks than to those who are not. I don’t like to limit the potential audience like that, but sometimes ya gotta go with the gut…. Any who, it filled up some column inches….  :-)
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Writing for the few
with words of power and grace
often brings such pain.

gigoid

Well, in looking back, I must say, it’s definitely one of my more unique Pearls, in spite of, or perhaps because of the somewhat dubious quality of the subject matter. Ah well, another one bites the dust…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Hordes of unqualified gowns….

Ffolkes,
Yesterday morning’s fiasco, although handled adroitly, apparently has had repercussions. I’ve received notice from some lawyer that my Inspiration is suing me for abduction, kidnapping, cruel and unusual abuse, and calumny, whatever that is…. The little shit decided to call a lawyer on me! What nerve!

First, he fails to live up to the agreement we made when we first started working together, as he spent more time at the local bars than giving me ideas. When he did work with me, he was surly, uncommunicative, and generally a pain in the ass. Then, just because I needed him to work yesterday, and wouldn’t let him leave, the little asshole sues me…. typical, I’d say. He must have been listening to Murphy….I’ve seen them huddled together several times, pointing at me and laughing….

Ah well, I think I’m going to fire him anyway; he just wasn’t very good at his job. Now I can do it without any guilt… I’m not worried about the law suit; I had him on contract, and it’s all documented. Still, I hate to fail at anything…. but, he never would invest anything into his work, and motivation for Inspiration isn’t my expertise, or my job, once they’ve agreed to sign the contract.

So, I’m not worried; more disappointed. He wasn’t a bad person, and occasionally gave me some good stuff, but I can’t deal with deliberate laziness. I’d rather beat my head against a wall (my usual form of finding inspiration…) than try to get a lazy person to work.

So, having made that decision, we can now move on to the business at hand, that being the composition of pearls of virtual wisdom (remember, VIRTUAL wisdom; don’t try this at home, kids…)  Shall we Pearl?…..
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Life! we ‘ve been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
‘T is hard to part when friends are dear,–
Perhaps ‘t will cost a sigh, a tear;
Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time;
Say not “Good night,” but in some brighter clime
Bid me “Good morning.”

– Mrs. Barbauld (1743-1825) — Life

I’m not sure why I put this here, except that I like it. I’m not sure, either, why I like it. It’s simple, and with a nice cadence, but the content is merely average. I guess I just like the sentiment, which is, to my eye, pretty positive in its outlook. Being cynical and rather curmudgeonly by nature, I admire those who can maintain a positive outlook on Life, and for some reason, this poem gives that to me. You can’t ask more of a poem….
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We continue today with an old school pearl…. here are six quotes, all on the same general subject. They lead one on a short, meandering path to a very valuable lesson. That lesson is left, for the nonce, as an exercise for the Gentle Reader…..

“There is nothing which cannot be answered by means of my doctrine,” said a monk, coming into a teahouse where Nasrudin sat.  “And yet just a short time ago, I was challenged by a scholar with an unanswerable question,” said Nasrudin. “I could have answered it if I had been there.” “Very well.  He asked, ‘Why are you breaking into my house in the middle of the night?’ — Smart Bee

It would be nice to be sure of anything the way some people are of everything. — Smart Bee

“The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is that the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance.” — Eric Hoffer

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness — II Timothy 3:16

If the Bible proves that God exists then comic books prove the existence of Superman. — Smart Bee

“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors.” — Thomas Jefferson

There you go….. I think the lesson here is a valuable one, so I’m hoping that everyone picked up on it. It may just help the status of society at large; the more people who know this concept, and actually live it, the better of we will be, and the longer we can put off our imminent extinction….
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The Suicide’s Argument

Ere the birth of my life, if I wished it or no
No question was asked me–it could not be so !
If the life was the question, a thing sent to try
And to live on be YES; what can NO be ? to die.

NATURE’S ANSWER

Is’t returned, as ’twas sent ? Is’t no worse for the wear ?
Think first, what you ARE ! Call to mind what you WERE !
I gave you innocence, I gave you hope,
Gave health, and genius, and an ample scope,
Return you me guilt, lethargy, despair ?
Make out the invent’ry ; inspect, compare !
Then die–if die you dare !

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Suicide among teens in this country has reached pandemic proportions in the first decade of this century. It seems to be connected to the apparent rise in “bullying” in schools, and online; many of the teens who kill themselves reported having been abused and bullied, usually for being gay, or obese, or just for being different in some way.

I can acknowledge from my own teenage years that the kids who get the best grades are often bullied and/or discriminated against by the other kids for just that reason (I wore glasses, too, and can’t count how many times somebody called me “egghead”…). I was fortunate, in having a strong ego that could stand up to the bullying, and push back, and by also being a good athlete, which gave me an acceptable ticket into the society of my peers. Many people don’t have those advantages, and they must internalize their pain and anguish, which eventually leads to their demise.

It is a very difficult problem to address, as the root cause lies in human nature. People acting in groups are not as predictable, or as reasonable, as a single person. And they often turn to action based upon the lowest common denominator of the group, which generally is fear…. fear of the unknown, which a person who is different represents in their eyes.

It’s sad, it’s pathetic, and it’s all too true; humans in groups tend to pick on those who are viewed as a threat to the group, whether the threat is real or not (usually not). And all too often it is the young gay person, or the artist, or the one with weight problems who is viewed as a threat, even though there is no rational basis for believing that.

I don’t know the exact answer. I know that being able to stand up to a bully will usually get them to stop, but not everyone has that kind of strength; their uniqueness may be in another aspect of human nature. I think most likely, the change, if it is to come, will have to start the same place that society needs to start to change, to wit: human nature, or at the very least, human morality. When parents teach their children to appreciate the diversity of life, instead of fearing all that is not the same as them, then this type of behavior will become irrelevant. It won’t be an issue, because the bullying won’t happen in the first place….

All of us know about the experiment with the rats, and how, when placed in conditions of extreme over-population, the rats behavior deteriorated, and became counter-productive in a survival sense. They began to be irritable, even violent with each other, and eventually got to a point where they were killing and eating one another.

Guess what folks? We are rats, we are in a cage, and we have begun showing the symptoms of severe over-population. And it isn’t going to change, unless we can find a way to change our inner lives, and begin to look at the world as something we are a part of, not its master….. and in essence, if we don’t change, we will end up dead, having committed suicide, because of our own nature’s predilection for irrational behaviors in the face of fear of the unknown…..
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In retrospect, this didn’t turn out too badly. What with the situation with my Inspiration, and the amount of pain I woke up with today, I was a bit concerned I might not be able to write well enough to satisfy my inner critic. But, it’s good enough…. it’s way better than government work, for sure….. Y’all take care out there, and may the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Breaking fast with Nimrods….

Ffolkes,
When I awoke this morning, little did I know that destiny had plans for me, and they weren’t the kind of plans that would send me into ecstatic paroxysms of joy….. As I stepped into my slippers, I could hear the front door opening. Curious, I walked out of the bedroom, only to see my Inspiration look up, start in panic, and shoot out the door at a dead run.

Without thinking, I broke out after him, hoping I could catch him before I ran out of juice. Fortunately, I was able to catch him by the hood of his sweatshirt near the front gate, and hauled him back to the house, cursing and spitting at me. I threw him into the corner & told him to pipe down; only then was I able to pour a cup of coffee, and try to catch my breath….

Once the coffee hit, I asked my Inspiration what the morning race was all about, but he was just sulking, staring at the wall. Since it was obvious that he won’t be worth anything today, I sat down to just start this in a modified Joyce voice, using events as they occurred to create today’s intro.

It’s sort of cheating, but not really, as it does stretch my skills to try to make it at least slightly interesting, and it saves the time and energy it would take to talk my Inspiration out of his snit. So, we will just get on with it, and dive into the primary activity of this blog…. shall we Pearl?…..
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A wise man once said …”I don’t know.” — (Very) Smart Bee

Three little words. Three very powerful little words. “I don’t know.” Many people seem to believe that there is something inherently wrong about using this phrase. They can’t seem to bring themselves to admit that they don’t have all the answers, and will spout all sorts of nonsense in trying to avoid using these three words. I’m not certain just why they are like that, I only know that it is true, as it happens all the time.

Apparently these folks believe that admitting to ignorance of a subject makes them stupid, by association, I guess. So, they will lie, or deny, or distract, or make something up, to cover up the fact that they don’t know something, rather than take the time to learn what they need to know. It’s a very childish reaction, but seems to be one that most adults aren’t willing to give up….

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” — Dalai Lama

In reality, “I don’t know” doesn’t mean one is stupid; it only means you don’t know, and admitting you don’t know is the necessary first step in learning ANYTHING. Our society places a high value on people who know the answers, and conversely, stigmatize ignorance, making it difficult for anyone to admit to it.

It’s one of those Catch-22 issues of which people are so fond; if you already know, then you are lionized, if you don’t, you are reviled. So, people, not wanting to be reviled, refuse to admit their lack of knowledge, opting to either ignore or deny the need for it, or devalue the questions, thus devaluing the answers.

Ignorance can be cured.  Stupid is forever. — Smart Bee

In order to get past the stigma, one must, quite simply, grow up. It isn’t a mature reaction to allow ignorance to flourish in order to avoid stigma; an adult learns to ignore such criticism as being irrelevant to the need to learn. Of course, as a rule, most folks in society aren’t mature, as they have been indoctrinated from an early age to cultivate immaturity, to surrender their will and thoughts to the beloved ruling class, who prefer a constituency that is as ignorant as possible, the better to maintain control. They don’t WANT a mature society, they want one that is easily manipulable, and the ignorant are far easier to manipulate than the educated…..

So, don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”; it’s okay to say, as long as you use the lack of knowledge as a motivation to learn what is needed. Besides, for all those married men out there, “I don’t know” is indubitably the best response you can give to ANY question from your wife; it’s the only response with which no fault may be found or placed. Any other response is liable to be ill-received, and we all know what happens then….  Take it from me, in those cases, pleading ignorance is the BEST answer you can give….
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“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” — T. S. Eliot

Am was

am was. are leaves few this. is these a or
scratchily over which of earth dragged once
-ful leaf. & were who skies clutch an of poor
how colding hereless. air theres what immense
live without every dancing. singless on-
ly a child’s eyes float silently down
more than two those that and that noing our
gone snow gone
yours mine.
We’re
alive and shall be:cities may overflow(am
was) assassinating whole grassblades, five
ideas can swallow a man; three words im
-prison a woman for all her now: but we’ve
such freedom such intense digestion so
much greenness only dying makes us grow

E. E. Cummings

A perfect example by Cummings of what Eliot was expressing…. enjoy!

Poets go from bard to verse. — Smart Bee (Sorry, really, it won’t happen again….)
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    I’m not adding anything to this, as it states its message perfectly well all by itself. It also acts as a nice little finish to the discussion above…. Viva la raza!…..
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Now, some might say that using two pieces of art is cheating, but I must disagree, as they both are adequate pearls on their own merit. As part of a larger Pearl, they fit quite well, so, as with any criticism with which I disagree, it will be cheerfully ignored…. Both pictures were found on Facebook….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

The Sacred Word for today is “Nosh”…..

Ffolkes,
Yesterday, having so readily turned into a clusterf__k, leads steadily to today, which promises to be better, if only because it can’t be worse. Without getting into a huge rant or whiny outburst, let’s just say that I’m not looking forward with any great anticipation to the next six months of limbo, a word that oh so accurately describes my current state of existence. In fact, I’m dreading it, but there is, as usual, not a damn thing I can do about it, except learn how to wait, even more than I have already learned….. It is said that all things come to he who knows how to wait…. well, it would be nice to see a little proof of that. I’ve done, and continue to do, the waiting part of the deal….. so, where is the “all things” that are supposed to come?…..

Ah well, it’s bad enough believing in Murphy, and his power over me. It’s probably a good thing in this instance that I don’t believe the traditional dogma on God, as it would just be a pisser to think that God had anything to do with this…. By all reports, though, He is pretty vindictive and jealous, and putting me through this kind of trial probably wouldn’t be unheard of…. Look at what He is supposed to have done to Job, that poor idiot…. I guess having to spend some months scrambling for food isn’t much, compared to plagues, crop failures, losing sons and daughters, and generally getting shat upon by God…..

With that relatively morbid, but encouraging thought in mind, I guess we should go Pearl…..
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“Of the two smartest creatures on the earth, man and the dolphin, each thought they were smarter then the other. Man thought he was smarter because he built many things and did much work, when the dolphins just played all day. The dolphins thought they were smarter for the same reason.” — Smart Bee

Perspective is everything, eh? I still think the dolphins got the better deal…. Actually, this just goes a long way toward showing the inappropriateness of the sense of entitlement that most humans feel. Having been granted “dominion” over the rest of the world’s creatures, said dominion, of course, self-granted, we hunt, and kill, every other animal on the planet, often just for the sake of killing, to see if we can….

I never understood the concept of “hunting” animals while using a high-powered rifle, unless those doing the hunting issued rifles to the game. I always thought that if one wished to hunt and kill a wild animal, then they should be limited to the same weapons the animal has… e.g. deer have antlers, which cannot be thrown, so the human gets one knife, which must be used without throwing.  Bears have teeth, claws, strength and speed, so let’s make it even, & give the hunter a nice, sharp spear, AND a knife. Even bows & arrows aren’t fair play, to my mind, as they allow the human all the advantage of being able to injure or disable from a distance.

“I’m pretty good with people on an individual basis, but in groups, I really can’t stand the bastards!” — George Carlin

If hunters were limited to that sort of rules, designed to make it more fair, then perhaps I could feel more okay with it. But, the whole idea of killing for sport seems to me to be a bad habit to foster at all, from a wider ethical viewpoint. Killing, while natural to us, is not our most attractive feature, and our tendency to use it on each other is part of why we are so close to extinction. Killing, whether it is killing of animals or humans, also kills the spirit of the one doing the killing. Every time one takes the life of another creature, a little piece of their soul is damaged, and deadened. If carried on, the spirit becomes completely callous, immune to the pain of empathy for the creatures they kill. They become….. politicians…..

Ronald Wilson Reagan is an anagram for Insane Anglo Warlord. — Smart Bee

Now that might seem like a stretch of the imagination, but I challenge anyone to disprove my contention. Politicians don’t care about anyone but themselves; their spirits are dedicated to lying, stealing, and taking advantage of their fellow man. What kind of soul does it take to carry out those activities? One that is dead to empathy, that cannot feel the pain that others feel…. and that is a politician, by any other name….

“They [preachers] dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live.” — Thomas Jefferson

Okay, so that connection is a little dubious. But, it’s not really all that far off the mark; one could add preachers to the list of those who wear and/or display the hunter’s mask, as they are the ones who started the whole entitlement nonsense in the first place. Boy, if that wasn’t one of history’s greatest con jobs!

Getting folks to buy into that Garden of Eden story, straight out of somebody’s feverish imagination, was one of the best snow-jobs ever, for sure…. Of course, it does feed right in to that human desire to be special, but still, it took a lot of chutzpah to pull it off, and to continue to run the “long con” by establishing churches and priestly hierarchies. Nasty as it is, ethically and morally, I still have to admire the way they pulled it off….

“God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.” — H.L. Mencken

I guess what this means in the large picture is that the human evolutionary change that Mankind needs the most is a change to our morals. When given a choice, most of Mankind opts to choose the easy path, the path of least resistance, and gives up the power of choice to others, in order to also give up responsibility. This is what needs to change. Mankind must learn to grow up, to take responsibility for the damage we have caused, and stop giving in to our baser nature. We need to cultivate the ethically higher parts of our nature… our reason, our empathy, our compassion. All of these need to become our motivation, rather than mere gratification of our base desires.

“Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

Ah well, one can hope, even in the face of probable disaster, and I’ll keep on hoping…. foolish, I know, but what else can one do?….
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ICONOCLAST, n.  A breaker of idols, the worshipers whereof are imperfectly gratified by the performance, and most strenuously protest that he unbuildeth but doth not reedify, that he pulleth down but pileth not up.  For the poor things would have other idols in place of those he thwacketh upon the mazzard and dispelleth.  But the iconoclast saith:  “Ye shall have none at all, for ye need them not; and if the rebuilder fooleth round hereabout, behold I will depress the head of him and sit thereon till he squawk it.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Ah, at long last…. Finally, a complete definition of what I attempt here on “gigoid– Exploring Consensual Reality”…. I can’t think of a better way to put it than this…..

A common criticism that is used to try to negate the effect of a writer, or a protester, or an iconoclast, by any other name, is that all of what they say is so negative, that they propose no solutions to the problems they lament. This is usually shouted, or at least delivered with a sneer, intended to convey dismissal of what has been said, as if it is of no importance, by supporters (worshipers) of the icon under discussion, or often, by the icon themselves. Those delusional figures of self-proclaimed importance always greet such attacks, no matter how true, or how justified, as if they are of no import; it is part of their sociopathy to dismiss all that does not fit into their rigid set of standards….

“Have integrity. Make your deeds follow your words. Keep your commitments to self and others, speak the truth.” — Smart Bee

Which is why I enjoy using the Truth to puncture their balloons; irrefutable evidence produces the most amazing faces on those who don’t want to believe it. But, even icons cannot deny what is staring them in the face, so they attempt to deny its relevance, or distract from its presence by a counter-accusation, or best of all, claim there is an attack from outside.

(I don’t know about the rest of the world, but the timing of the attack on 9/11/01 was fairly suspicious, considering how close the Bush administration was to being exposed for having manipulated the election results in 2000.  Shortly after articles appeared stating there was solid physical evidence of chicanery, in the form of vote tampering in the results from three pivotal states that got Bush elected, the attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 took place, completely drawing the public’s attention from the possibility of a reversal of the election, by the sudden, shocking attack from the outside. I was suspicious of it then, and I remain suspicious now…. the timing was just too damn convenient for the Shrubs…..)

So, any who, the most obvious iconoclastic target for me at this point is Mitt the Twitt. He’s not a particularly challenging target, as he pretty much furnishes his own BS, and stumbles over his own words, and trips over his own ego, and generally craps in his own shoes. It’s almost too easy…. but fun, to be sure, as he really can make an ass of himself, without half trying, and that is pure fun to watch and report. I don’t really trust the Democrats either, but I do have respect for the office of the President, and so for the man in the office I show the respect of saying nothing, even though I could….

Of course, should the Twitt, through some unthinkable mistake, get into that office, I won’t be showing that respect, as it won’t have been earned. The only chance he has of winning the election is to use the same tactics as the Bushes, and cheat…. Funny how certain voting machines break down right at election time, isn’t it? And only in certain districts? Hmm…. Well, you can be sure, if he does, my respect for the office will not only be gone, but it may just turn the tide, and light the fuse under the ass of the American people to rise up and kick their sorry asses right off the planet, so we can get some serious work done on solving the problems we already have…. Again, all I can do is retreat into hope……
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Summer Sun

Great is the sun, and wide he goes
Through empty heaven with repose;
And in the blue and glowing days
More thick than rain he showers his rays.

Though closer still the blinds we pull
To keep the shady parlour cool,
Yet he will find a chink or two
To slip his golden fingers through.

The dusty attic spider-clad
He, through the keyhole, maketh glad;
And through the broken edge of tiles
Into the laddered hay-loft smiles.

Meantime his golden face around
He bares to all the garden ground,
And sheds a warm and glittering look
Among the ivy’s inmost nook.

Above the hills, along the blue,
Round the bright air with footing true,
To please the child, to paint the rose,
The gardener of the World, he goes.

Robert Louis Stevenson

I’m often unsure how to take Stevenson’s work. He was a complex man, living during an historically volatile era, yet his work is very romantic and simple, at least in appearance. But, that’s okay, too…. there is room for everyone at the Inn of the Inner Eye….
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I’m not sure what to think of today’s effort….. I’m going to take a moment or two to do just that; excuse me, I’ll be right back…..

I must say….. whew! That’s quite a wild ride! I knew I was all over the place, but didn’t realize the extent of the issue until I went back over all of it at once…. Okay, here’s the thing, I could give a warning, to be cautious today, and take breaks while digesting all of this. But, we’re all the way back here at the ending, so you wouldn’t see it in time…. hmm, another conundrum. What to do, what to do….

Ah, there we go…. I’ll end this here, remind you to go wash up, in case any of it got on your clothes, and take an aspirin for the headache it caused before you lie down….. okay? Okay!

Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

The cashews don’t usually complain….

Ffolkes,
So, the weather here is showing signs of the effects of global warming, by altering the normal pattern for this time of year. Yesterday was sweltering, relative to the past few weeks… not too hot, only around 90 or so, but it felt like descending to the upper levels of hell after all the mild weather of late. I still had the fan on when I went to bed last night. This morning, I had to get up & shut the windows, and turn on the heat for a bit to warm it up, as it was freezing inside and out. I looked outside and found a completely overcast sky, & chilly temperatures.

Now, that in itself is not unusual for Northern California’s SF Bay Area;  nightly fog acts as a sort of air conditioner most days, lasting until about 1100 before burning off for a normally warm summer day. But, prior to global warming, the switch from spring weather to summer generally took more than one day…..

“I’ve developed a new philosophy… I only dread one day at a time.” — Charlie Brown

Ah well, the intro is too early to rant about global warming, or anything else. I’m kind of getting a bit discouraged anyway; my ranting, while cathartic for me, and possibly enjoyable for those few who read it, isn’t having much of an effect.

It would be nice to wake up one day, and see that things have changed….. the government issued emission control guidelines strict enough to work, or a Republican came out for gay marriage, or General Motors announces it is converting to all electric vehicles running on solar power. You know, just some small token, to let me know that my rants are not just shouting into the wind.

“Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

Alas, I’m afraid that will never happen, unless by some fantastic turn of chance my blog goes viral, and the ranting I carry on reaches the ears of a significant number of people, a number large enough to be able to have a real effect on reality. I’m still waiting…..

Ah well, since that probably is out of the question as well, I suppose I’ll just get on with today’s effort…. shall we Pearl?…..
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“Control of the dissemination of information (or misinformation) is one of the principal sources of political power. Political power is what the discussion of the Internet is really about, not home-made bombs or pornography.” — Michael Goldsby — Letter to Communications of the ACM, Nov 95

Mr. Goldsby has hit upon a very significant piece of information here, one that is completely accurate, and is sure to be the target of the beloved ruling class, as something to deny, and/or distract away from the attention of the public. The people who seek to hold political power have a lot of practice at hiding what they are doing from the public, and the Internet, because of its currently unregulated nature, is a distinct threat to that policy.

Numerous political talking heads have been introducing legislation to Congress in attempts to curtail the free flow of information on the Internet, seeking to prohibit all sorts of exchanges of files and information between people over which they have no control. They do, of course, hide their true intentions behind some other reason for wanting to control that flow….

The bills they will introduce will say that they want to protect intellectual property rights, they want to protect the rights of corporations to make a profit, they want to keep kids from having access to pornography, they want to protect National Security…. all these are the reasons they will give for the legislation, but the true purpose remains there, behind all the distracting BS…. They want to control ALL the information that is sent out; only then can they be sure that the public will only see what they want us to see….

Silence is the language of complicity. — Smart Bee

They won’t stop trying to establish their own controls on the flow of information; it is against their nature to allow the “sheep” to determine where they will go to pasture. If we are to continue to enjoy the Internet as it is, with no restrictions to the flow of information, we will need to be alert to the attempts by the beloved ruling class to take it away.

Recent attempts have been defeated, partly due to the power of the Internet itself, as millions of users emailed their legislators, or signed online petitions, urging them to vote against the legislated attempt at shackling the Net…. and it worked! The response was so strong that even the legislators who supported the bill were forced to vote against it, or face the wrath of their constituency….. It was a beautiful example of how the public can fight back….

The Internet is now the best tool the public has to maintain awareness of those threats to our liberty that are being carried out on a daily basis by those who would have us believe they are acting in our interests. It is also the best tool we have to make sure that those same narcissistic power-mongers can’t hide from us; when the information is flowing freely, there is no place for them to hide. They know this, and that is why they are working so hard to neutralize the Internet, to pull its fangs, so they will be free to continue their program of lying, cheating, and stealing from the public….. and I say FUCK ‘EM!…….
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“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who is now sovereign can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal World! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor – one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
A mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what should I be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence;
Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”
— John Milton, “Paradise Lost”

Ironic, is it not? This is merely a piece of the epic poem by Milton, with its most famous line. The entire poem is one of the most revered pieces of literature in all of Mankind’s history, and the last line is indubitably one of the most well-known, and most often repeated, lines of all.

The irony, to me, is to note that, almost any priest/preacher would find the last line to be extreme heresy, yet it remains the favorite of all man’s works to date. This indicates to me that the inner spirit of most people knows crap when it hears it, and the dogma that most religions embrace most certainly falls into that category. Our innermost selves can see this, in spite of all the indoctrination into the dogma it may have endured, and can only agree with the sentiment, “Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven…..

SIGH…. I know that pieces such as this one tend to disappoint certain members of my family, on those rare occasions they actually read this many words at once; many of them are firmly ensnared in the dogmatic trap of born-again cultism. (I always have to wonder what was wrong with the first time they were born?….. I mean, it’s kind of disrespectful of our Mom to regret one’s birth…..)   But, that’s okay, they never understood me very well anyway, but they are family, so they make an attempt to love me, heretic that I am….they have to, they’re family…. But they don’t have to like it, and they don’t…. Así es la vida loca, si?
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All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan wrote much of his poetry about, and during, the time when he, and I, lived in Berkeley, in the Sixties. (I know, but I’m atypical…. I was there, and I remember all of it, even though I partook of EVERY activity that characterized the time…..) He was a few years older, but what he wrote destroyed any differences that might have existed between our spirits; I recognized him at first read.

The title line of this poem produces an image in my mind that offers me a lot of solace, for it is an image that could only become real if Mankind manages to keep from devolving into extinction, as we seem hell-bent on doing. A lot of his poems are the same, with a very strong, real connection to the current world, to reality, colored by the mind of a genius….
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Well, that was satisfying…. I remembered Richard at the last moment, just when I was getting discouraged at the lack of pearls to be found…. Serendipity strikes again….. I’m hoping the fog burns off this morning, as that will ensure a nice, comfortable afternoon; I’ve been trying to get a walk in each day in the afternoon, in hopes of conditioning myself well enough to stand up to the traveling I want to do…. Having to take a nap each day like a four-year old is fun, and feels good, but, as the Scots say, it’s time to be living, for I’ll be a long time dead…. I’ll have plenty of time then for naps…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!