Conundrums be damned! Fire away!….

Heart pounding, he typed faster and faster, as words poured out onto the screen. No simple story this time, no bleeding hearts. No fantasy lovers, no warriors brave. Simple dialogue, with real people speaking real words, straight from Life, naked and proud. To hide now would be disaster, only the truth will help save what there is to save. Only sacrifice will bring back…. the dry cleaning….

Sorry, I couldn’t think of anything else that would fit, and I’m still having trouble sitting for long. I don’t suppose this one will get into the hall of fame, will it? I thought not…. I didn’t want to settle for that, but the deadline was approaching quickly, and nothing else came bubbling up. It could be worse, right? I could have said…. the Devil, or some other force of evil, which would have created some anticipatory twinges amongst the readers, but didn’t go with the mood I was shooting for…. I wanted something different today, not the usual sense of controlled panic that generally comes during the intro…. and I think I hit it just right with dry cleaning….

But then, I’m the one who wrote it, so it is de rigeur for me to praise it, even if only to damn it with faint praise. It’s all part of the morning routine now, which seems to have added a bit of diligent searching for adequate introductory paragraphs as part of the program. Of course, the intro has always been a part of the routine, but I have always had some idea of what to do with it, or where it came from. Now, those ideas are seemingly drying up, so I’m resorting more often to chat mode, like today, in order to produce enough material to pass as an introduction. It’s stopgap, but it works….

If it doesn’t work, I’m going to, first, panic….. I’ll run around like a headless chicken for a bit, then slowly bleed out until an idea forms. Then, if there still isn’t any usable material, I’ll go outside, find some unsuspecting pedestrian, and knock them out so I can check their pockets for ideas….. Don’t worry, I’ll be careful not to hit them too hard; just enough to go through their clothing, and I’ll make sure they are out of the road so they don’t get run over…. This process, however, can be slow; there aren’t a lot of folks out and about so early in this neighborhood….

Or, maybe I’ll just continue in the vein I’ve opened today, and fake it for five paragraphs….. I am encouraged, somewhat…. I must be improving my writing skills, if I can now put out such grandiose, self-indulgent, yet oddly compelling, compound sentences, produced on demand, in enough quantity to make a moderately long introduction. Since I cannot speak to its quality, the quantity will have to do….

“What we imagine is order is merely the prevailing form of chaos.” — Kerry Thornley, Principia Discordia, 5th edition

It’s always nice to have the right quote on hand…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can – and must – be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function.  As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible.  Attempts to formulate a “perfect society” on any other foundation other than “Women and children first!” is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal.  Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly- and no doubt will keep on trying.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

Lazarus, speaking for Robert again, relates this truism in a straightforward way, with no ups and no extras. Normally, I would use this to begin a rant, once again railing against the beloved ruling class and the priestly hierarchies. Today, I’m letting it stand alone, and will instead just ask you to think about it, in depth. To my way of thinking, the only way that our species can survive is if enough men and women become convinced that our current path does not conform to “Women and children first!”, and as such is counterproductive to our survival. Only then will people take the necessary steps to stop the madness….

We are all being dragged along this mad path to self-destruction by folks who have no interest in anything but their own aggrandizement, and will most certainly die off as a species if they are not prevented from carrying on as they have been….. I know I keep harping on this, but the problem is not going to go away by ignoring it; in fact it will kill us all the faster if we do. It has to change, ffolkes, we all know this…. let’s try to get the fuckheads in charge to get on board, so we can have the future we otherwise won’t see….

“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.” — Don Marquis

This is a lesson that I didn’t learn until I was almost out of high school, even though I had ample opportunity to do so. I guess I was less skeptical of human nature then, having had less direct experience at dealing with all its idiosyncrasies….. but, learn it I did, to both my everlasting regret, and my endless gratitude, for a gift that has lasted a lifetime. Being able to tell the difference between the two states, to wit: thinking, and thinking they are thinking, has been invaluable in preventing trouble, as well as remedying it when it occurs. Which is alladamtime, in the vernacular of the streets of Rome….

“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.” — George Bernard Shaw

I was a very good student in high school, and though I didn’t carry that tradition into college, during those teen years of the early 1960′s, I was considered a reference source by most of my classmates, and ended up tutoring them fairly often in the course of joint studying, assuming a teaching role. (Being such a reference source can also be a potential problem, but that’s another story….) This was my first real exposure in how human nature affects learning, and in how what works with some people to get them to comprehend what they are trying to learn won’t work for others, who are not as invested in the process of using their mind for anything other than counting change for a dollar…..

“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on. “I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least – at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know.” “Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter.  “Why, you might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!” “You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!” “You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talking in its sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!” “It IS the same thing with you, ” said the Hatter. — Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

This conversation from the other side of the looking glass creates in me a very strong sense of deja vu…. Many of the conversations I’ve had while acting as a tutor to my peers sounded just like this, only we were discussing mathematics, which makes it that much scarier…. But, it also highlights the problem for those of us who act as tutors to our peers, relating back to the original quote…. When teaching others, you must find the right mode of speech, the right way to approach the student in a way that they can comprehend the lesson…. A good friend sent me a poem yesterday which states the difficulty perfectly (Thanks to Shawna Alexander, who also forgot to send the author’s name…)…..

Which is better?

A genius knows when to dumb it down
A smart man knows when to know nothing
And an idiot can be all three
Well what does that mean?

You’re only as smart as others allow
So if you’re too smart to be understood,
To others your intelligence level goes down
So to truly be a genius you must know when dumbing it down is good

To know nothing isn’t unintelligence
It’s best for different situations
Though very different from a genius,
A smart man recognizes when on his knowledge to put limitations

An idiot is in the best position,
Because it’s second nature for them to put it in layman’s terms
An idiot has the best potential for genius if it’s his intention
And being an idiot is how others feel their intelligence is confirmed

Thus we can see that in order to successfully teach, one must be flexible enough in their own persona to be able to assume the characteristics that will ensure a successful lesson, by speaking to the student at their level of understanding, and by fooling them into using their mind to think with, rather than just using it to find their way home every night….

After a hundred years
Nobody knows the place,–
Agony, that enacted there,
Motionless as peace.

Weeds triumphant ranged,
Strangers strolled and spelled
At the lone orthography
Of the elder dead.

Winds of summer fields
Recollect the way,–
Instinct picking up the key
Dropped by memory.

Emily Dickinson

After a hard morning of diving for pearls, I need a break, and Emily is always just right for that….. Enjoy!… Except for you, Shawna… you can ignore it, if you like….  :-)

It’s been a Mounds morning, all in all, and my teeth hurt…. guess I’ll go brush them…. What that has to do with all this is unknown… but, it must be important, because, hey, I typed it, right?  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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




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