Pitiful….. just plain pitiful. Maybe, pathetic would fit better? I suppose both, or either, will do…. Hmm? Oh, sorry, forgot y’all were due in now…. Oh, nothing much, just trying to come up with the right adjective to describe my social life…. I do have a lady friend, with whom I have been spending some pleasant hours, but it’s a slow process, carrying out a campaign of courtship with virtually no funds that can be assigned to recreational purposes. Other than the small number of hours I spend with her, I’m pretty much limited to my trips to the library for my social interactions….. Not exactly party central around here, is it?…..
S’okay…. I never was a big partier, anyway…. I always preferred just a few folks sitting around shooting the breeze and imbibing adult beverages, or other recreational pastimes that shall remain unnamed, due to the statute of limitations, which has NOT expired…. Let’s just say I wasn’t what might be called mainstream, not that I ever have been…. But, clubs and big crowds were never on the list of stuff I enjoyed a lot…. Thankfully. I never saw much sense in the group scenes that were prevalent in my youth; it all seemed to me to be the same impulse as getting excited over celebrities, and I just wasn’t going there….
What does all this boring shit have to do with a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom? Well, not much, really, other than the physical facts, i.e., here it is, sitting here at the front of this post, taking up space that could have been filled with biting sarcasm, or thrilling inspiration, or even a compelling poem. Instead, all you’re getting this morning is a chatty, boring discussion of my social history…. whoopee….
I know, I know, now you’re wondering what I intend to do from this point on…. which, if you will stop to think about it, is a rather silly question, considering of whom it is being asked….. Do you think you’ll get a straight answer to that query? If you do, you haven’t been paying very close attention…. and you will deserve whatever happens. Those of you familiar with my style will know by now that all of this is just a smoke screen, covering my retreat from reality, until I can consume enough coffee to ensure that I won’t kill anybody in the first hour after arising….. It’s not a guaranteed outcome, but, it’s better than the alternative, which involves a lot of screaming, and more blood than is convenient….
And, there, see?…. Here we are, five dumb paragraphs in, and it’s enough to call an intro! Well, we can call it that, as it is big enough; whether or not it meets ANY of the other parameters for such is questionable, to say the least. But, given the issues I’ve been encountering in getting these intro sections done, I’m not going to be overly picky. Especially on a morning like this, when I’m not even sure if I WANT to be awake at all…..
Thus, we will gird our grid, hitch up our belt, gather up our rosebuds, and get on with the show…. I’m sure we’ll all be better for it, and who knows? We might even find something worthwhile in our search for pearls…. If not, we can always drop back ten yards, and punt….. Shall we Pearl?…..
“Though I have said above that all men by nature are equal, I cannot be supposed to understand all sorts of equality. Age or virtue may give man a just precedence. Excellency of parts and merit may place others above the common level … And yet all this consists with the equality which all men are in, in respect of jurisdiction or dominion, one over another.” — John Locke
Whew! As an explanation of the opening of the Declaration of Independence, this hits the top of the pomposity scale, but, all in all, is quite clear, and correct in its conclusions. It’s merely a long-winded way of saying that all men are not created with equal abilities or resources, but, they all are created with equal rights under the law…. hopefully. (That last qualifier is my contribution to the idea, prompted by my opinion of most of those involved in the justice system as, shall we say, less than completely honest, and less than completely impartial?) (I mean, really, ffolkes…. we choose our judges from the ranks of LAWYERS!…. How many honest, impartial candidates are we liable to find?…. Not many, I assure you…. it just doesn’t go with the territory….)
“Once I belonged to a group that really had THE WORD. I fought like hell for them. But another group came along and exposed the word of my group as shallow and degenerate. They had a better word. So I quit the first group and lost all the friends I had made and I joined up with this new group. I fought like hell for them. But another group came around. They exposed the word of my group as false and materialistic. Their word was very much better. So I quit the second group and lost all the friends I had made. And I joined up with this new group. I fought like hell for them. Till this one guy came along and proved that there wasn’t any word at all. That I should go off as an individual and grow! So I quit the last group and lost all the friends I had made. And now I sit home alone all day and all I do is grow. It would be nice to join up with some others who feel the way I do.” — J. Feiffer
One of the reasons we humans have such a hard time with the concept of equality lies in our own level of ignorance regarding ourselves. There is a delicate balance between what a person thinks of themselves, and what the world knows about them to be true…. If the two are not at least within shouting distance of each other, that person’s life will be filled with pain and controversy, as his own self-image is repeatedly destroyed by reality…. And, our self-image can be a very difficult thing to maintain because, as humans, we need the company and approval of other humans. The paragraph above by Mssr. Feiffer describes very well the philosophical journey that many take while learning to assess their own place in the world…. it’s kind of pathetic, in a way, but typical for all that….
“In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.” — Jane Haddam
This lack of understanding of self is what allows most humans to be controlled by others. The others, by whom I mean the BRC, the priestly hierarchies, and all those with no compunctions about how they go about achieving their own ends, find those who have no self-knowledge quite easy to fool, to convince, and to control. They merely tell them what they wish to hear, no matter how outrageously false it may be, and the blindness of the ignorant will supply all the belief required, because it is what they WANT to hear…..
A man, or a woman, who knows themselves cannot be fooled into that kind of acceptance of anything without compelling evidence; their self-image allows them the confidence to make their own decisions, rather than relying on someone else to do it for them. Because they are honest themselves, they are able to differentiate truth from fiction, and thus cannot be fooled into accepting what they know to be false.
Their own self-honesty acts as a protection of sorts against that sort of manipulation, while at the same time giving them the freedom to exercise the right to make their own choices. Those who do not believe they are strong, are not….. This is why people are not equal, not in abilities; it is also why it is important that the law ensures that they at least are granted equal rights with everyone else… This at least makes an attempt at leveling the playing field, while acknowledging that a great many of the players are going to cheat…..
“For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.” — Ivan Panin
Whenever I look at humanity as a whole, I am often filled with a sadness that comes from my own knowledge of science, sociology, psychology, and extensive experience in Reality. The sadness is because I know how much promise humanity holds, such promise as to make the gods weep in envy of the beauty we are able to create with our imagination…. and I know that our own foolishness is very close to shutting off that promise forever, or at least, for this period of the history of the universe…. I suspect we will have another opportunity to interact with reality, though it may not be this particular version of it….
But, there are just too many of the selfish, unfeeling, manipulative, power-hungry assholes mixed in with all of us relatively nice ffolkes, intent on grabbing all the power and money, which they equate with happiness, that they can during their short stay here. They are, unknowingly, rushing us all to an early death, seemingly, without caring, as they do not believe they are vulnerable to the same dangers as the rest of us…. Ignorance is firmly tied to belief, and even strong evidence does not convince those who will not see it…. All I can say is, it’s a damn shame…..
“The improver of knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” — Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)
Luckily, there are still a few of us out there who don’t buy into the BS that most of society goes along with…. and a great many of us are blogging…. It gives me a bit of hope, though not much; there is a LOT of historical momentum to overcome for anything to change, and I am not aware of it happening, try as I might to see it. But, every time I read more blogs, I see more ffolkes who have a clue, so, I guess I’ll go so far as to cling to that one little hopeful sign, and keep on preaching to the choir…. It’s about all I can do these days to try to help the situation, and little as it may be, I’ll keep on truckin’ down that lonesome road…..
“The disappointment of manhood succeeds to the delusion of youth: let us hope that the heritage of old age is not despair.” — Benjamin Disraeli (Earl Beaconsfield) (1805-1881) — Vivian Grey, Book viii, Chap. iv
It’s been awhile, and I feel like some Emily…. here’s a three-fer…. Please enjoy! (Shawna, you may skip down to the last section, if you wish…. )
I stepped from plank to plank
So slow and cautiously;
The stars about my head I felt,
About my feet the sea.
I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch,–
This gave me that precarious gait
Some call experience.
~~ Emily Dickinson
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d advertise — you know!
How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
~~ Emily Dickinson
I went to heaven,–
‘T was a small town,
Lit with a ruby,
Lathed with down.
Stiller than the fields
At the full dew,
Beautiful as pictures
No man drew.
People like the moth,
Of mechlin, frames,
Duties of gossamer,
And eider names.
I could be
‘Mong such unique
~~ Emily Dickinson
Not being inclined to fuss with something that isn’t broken, here for your delectation is a harlequin pearl, fresh from Smart Bee to you, with only the bare minimum of rational thought involved in the selection process…. I find that irrational works better in these cases…. enjoy! Oh, yes, if there does end up being a point, you get a bonus prize for voicing it…. The nature of that prize will remain my secret,
until launch hour, er, until such time as I find a winner…. It won’t be on the test, though, so that’s something….
“Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.” — Voltaire
“I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)
“If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us.” — Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.
“Humor is, I think, the subtlest and chanciest of literary forms. It is surely not accidental that there are a thousand novelists, essayists, poets or journalists for each humorist. It is a long, long time between James Thurbers.” — Leo Rosten
“Every day, people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” — Lenny Bruce
“I searched into myself.” — Heraclitus
The cup goes round:
And who so artful as to put it by!
‘T is long since Death had the majority.
– Robert Blair (1699-1747) — The Grave, Part ii, Line 449
Is it possible to be mindful and detached at once? Well, I guess that’s rhetorical, because it must be; that’s how I feel right now. Let’s see if the Pearl reflects that at all…. Hmm…. not too shabby at all…. I’ll take it. Such being the case, I’m going to break tradition, and leave it at that…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.