Pixies were pulling at my hair, but my head was pounding like a hammer on an anvil, and I didn’t want to sit up. I opened my eyes, to be greeted by the sight of the ugliest little person I’d ever seen. He (that’s right, he….apparently, there are male pixies, too) wasn’t real happy, if his expression was any indication. Hovering about two feet away, ragged old-grey wings flapping, with a mop of fly-away hair and an ill fitting tunic, chewing on the stub of a nasty smelling cigar, he looked like a miniature punk leprechaun with a bad attitude, and sounded like a manic frog…..
“You great lout! Get your bloody arse off my front door, you bleeding idjit!” I looked around, and saw that I had ended my previous night’s drunken stroll through the Irish countryside at the foot of a great old oak, inadvertently blocking the entrance to the angry imp’s house in the base of the tree. My befuddled brain finally kicked in, and I realized I was in a very unstable position, and had best be careful…. Pixies are not known for the sweetness of their disposition, and can be vengeful when crossed. I tried out a tentative smile, and clearing my throat, rumbled out, “Top o’the morning to you, kind sir!” The pixie folded his arms, tapped his foot, and just glared at me….. I got the feeling he wasn’t in a particularly friendly mood…. a feeling that was justified, as he proceeded to turn me into a donkey…..
Enough of that…. he deserves whatever happens to him, the bozo, for getting so drunk he didn’t watch what he was up to. Never a good policy in pixie country…… but it got me through the initial stages of today’s Pearl, so that is a good thing. Theoretically, anyway….. Now that the nonsense has had its moment, we can get on with our scheduled dive….. shall we Pearl?…..
There is always a second right answer. Look beyond the obvious. — Smart Bee
I am glad that I found this quote this morning. I was looking for something to go with a discussion around the events that took place in Colorado yesterday, wherein a young man shot and killed 12 people, and injured many others, before being subdued and arrested. I have not engaged in reading any of the stories about it, as they all follow the same pattern, and repeat the same cliches trying to describe the horror of the scenario, and to describe the terror felt by the victims. The news coverage of events of this nature vary little from one to the next; the only difference lies in the number of victims, and the place it occurred.
I don’t watch the stories, but the headlines always give enough information to satisfy my level of curiosity. The part of these events that interests me is always the amount of outrage and dismay that is expressed by those who are not even involved. People from all over the world will write articles condemning guns, or lamenting the victims, or expressing sorrow, or otherwise giving their reaction to the story. One of the reactions that is common after an event such as this is from the people who would like to see ALL guns taken off the streets, and make it illegal for citizens to even own a gun.
This to me is the reaction of a scared child. Yes, terrible things happen, and sometimes those terrible things are perpetrated by some idiot who has managed to get his hands on guns. But, it is folly to blame the guns themselves for the deaths of those people. The person is responsible, not the guns. But, to these frightened children, the very idea of guns is too scary to deal with, and they would like to see reality changed to suit their fears. It’s kind of like saying that “oh my, cars cause over a million deaths a year. Let’s get them off the streets!” It is an over-reaction, common to those who typically refuse to stand up for their own rights, preferring to allow the government to tell them what to think.
I agree that it is tragic that events like this should happen, and I feel bad for the victims. I also feel bad for the idiot, because only a soul that is in extreme distress could ever consider such actions. If it were to happen in front of me, I would not hesitate take him down, and put him down, like a sick dog, but I would do so in sorrow, knowing that he is a broken man. This event will mark a moment in time that none of the victims will ever forget, and it will change their lives in some way, for certain. But, to let these events cause us to make poor decisions about guns is an error in thinking, and can lead to the loss of more rights than we have already lost to the fear-mongers.
Living involves risk. This is a truism, and is not subject to debate. One may prepare for that risk by making themselves strong and educated regarding the extent of the risks, and dealing with those risks in an adult fashion. Or, one can retreat to their childhood, and give over the handling of risk to the authority figures in our lives, and feel snug and safe in their little delusional bubble.
What these people fail to understand is this: prohibiting guns, or making them illegal, is NOT going to make guns go away. It will just drive them underground, and make it harder to keep track of them. The risk will be even greater, because NOW there is nothing to stop criminals from victimizing others, other than the police, and we can see already how little effectiveness the police have in stopping events like this.
This shit is going to happen, whether guns are legal or not. I am personally unwilling to trust the government of this country, or of any other, to protect me and my interests. If they have guns, I want mine, because otherwise there will be no reason at all for them to keep from taking from me whatever they want. Police in this country are NOT to be trusted; most of the time they have a poor opinion of the public, and a sense of entitlement that puts them above the law. The same goes for politicians; I’m not going to trust them any further than I am the police. Probably even less, as they have shown time after time that they are not to be trusted. If they can’t be trusted with my money, I’m certainly not going to trust them with my guns….
Attitudes adjusted, while you wait. — L.A. Police Car Bumper Sticker
I’m not overly concerned whether or not anyone agrees with me on this; everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Some will say that I am calloused and indifferent to the pain those people felt. Well, they are free to say whatever they like…. The simple truth is that I feel very sorry for all the victims, and their families, knowing full well that they are now looking at years of therapy and healing before they will ever be comfortable again. But it is also the simple truth that I am not going to get all worked up over something that happens all the time, and will continue to happen as long as the world remains so overpopulated that we are like rats in a cage, fighting and biting each other over the limited resources.
“Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” — Oscar Wilde
If one wants to get outraged over needless deaths, then let’s begin a dialog about the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who continue to die for no good reason. We were told that the wars in those two countries were started to “get Osama bin Laden” and put an end to terrorism. Ten years and trillions of dollars later, bin Laden is dead, and terrorism is NOT ended. Probably, more than 12 soldiers are killed every day in both countries, but there is no outrage that I see….
So, let us not engage in the orgy of feelings, and outpouring of outrage, over an event that, while not normal or desirable, should nonetheless not be a surprise. And, let us not thrash about in fear, and center our anger on the wrong target. Guns are not the problem; people who are broken are the problem, whether they are shooting people in a theater in the mountains, or passing laws in a building in Washington D.C. The answer is not to get rid of guns; that is never going to happen. The answer is to fix the broken people…. and you can take that to the bank….
“Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an ‘inconvenience.’ We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy. We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and then wonder how all those assholes got in there.” — Frank Zappa
A Drunken Man’s Praise Of Sobriety
Come swish around, my pretty punk,
And keep me dancing still
That I may stay a sober man
Although I drink my fill.
Sobriety is a jewel
That I do much adore;
And therefore keep me dancing
Though drunkards lie and snore.
O mind your feet, O mind your feet,
Keep dancing like a wave,
And under every dancer
A dead man in his grave.
No ups and downs, my pretty,
A mermaid, not a punk;
A drunkard is a dead man,
And all dead men are drunk.
William Butler Yeats
The sober nature of what I’ve written so far today demands a bit of relief…. who better for that than Yeats?….. Enjoy!
“All through human history, tyrannies have tried to enforce obedience by prohibiting disrespect for the symbols of their power. The swastika is only one example of many in recent history.” — American Bar Association task force on flag burning
Where did we get lost? When did my country lose the not just the feeling, but the meaning of freedom? The above statement is an indication of how far we have come from the basic ideas that the founding fathers originally fought for in the late 1700’s. The very fact that we must even consider the issue shows how many people have come to believe differently. In today’s society, it is becoming politically incorrect to speak of these subjects, to question the motivations of those who seek to gain office, or to question those in office. If one speaks out to question anyone in a position of authority, one is labeled as “un-American” or “Communist”, or “Socialist”. Or, even worse, “un-Christian”….
The separation of church and state was one of the bottom line reasons for the American Revolutionary War. I’m not an idiot, so I realize that money motivates as much, or more, than does idealism, and the OTHER bottom line reason was just that, the bottom line. Taxes, of course…. Our founding fathers, as tired of losing money as they were of being told to worship only one way, decided that it was enough reason to set up a system of government that kept them separate. They realized that the churches and the banks were the greatest threats to a free society, so they made an effort to keep them from influencing government…..
“In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.” — Thomas Jefferson
But, 200 years of chipping away at laws and social mores, and we now see that many of those freedoms are threatened, by the forces of Evil, otherwise known as ‘corporate bidness’ and ‘da priesthood’….. Now, set up in opposition to the current President, who has shown his commitment to change, we have a candidate who combines the worst (or best, depending on your view….) of those two groups, Mitt the Twitt, the richest, sneakiest Mormon mouthpiece you will ever see. This man has already, before even becoming the official candidate of his party, shown himself to be in favor of big business, racism and bigotry, and completely against any sort of reforms that would benefit the average joe…. yet there are millions of “average joes” who blindly follow what he says with open mouth, closed mind, and bated breath, just because he isn’t black….
The election of 2012 may go down in history as a pivotal moment in the history of this nation. This election will clearly indicate the state of mind of this country, as the two ostensible candidates represent extreme poles of opposite beliefs, only one of which remains true to the principles upon which this country was founded. We now will see what direction we will take in the next years…. either onward to a brighter future, or downward toward extinction…. Each of us will need to make a decision about which one we are willing to fight for…. because a fight will surely be coming…. and the sides will be hard to tell apart, as both will call themselves Americans…. Only one side will be right….
“After a time, you may find that ‘having’ is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as ‘wanting.’ It is not logical, but it is often true.” — Spock, “Amok Time,” stardate 3372.7.
As a chef, I know that sometimes the best stuff comes when you just throw stuff in as you go, never knowing what you’ll end up with, but knowing it will be delicious. Today’s Pearl may, or may not, reach that level, to be worthy of the definition of “good stuff”. Time will tell, as somebody said recently…. :-) Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.