I just want to be on record as saying that I believe, contrary to consensus opinion, Brussels sprouts are not little green balls of Evil. There are occasions, I will admit, when they’ve been used to foster Evil’s ends; infrequently, but, always fearfully, they are forced upon unwilling, terrified children as a form of hideous torture, in plain view at family meals, but, in my view, they are not inherently bad, merely easily manipulated…. That being said, we can get on with the day’s business, even though the ambiance regulator has already been set on weird…. S’okay, anything to do with Brussels sprouts can be considered weird, so, we’re good to go, conceptually….
And, then, I woke up…. dazed and confused doesn’t begin to describe the state of my no-mind…. which I don’t mean in a Zen sense, no sirree bob…. It does, however, mean I’m awake, after a fashion…. That is, if that word can legally be used to describe what I am just now…. I’m not sure of anything other than the fact that, since I’m writing this the night before, it is only an approximation, based on prior experiences, and may, or may not, be completely congruent with reality as it exists then…. or, now…. or, whenever it may, or may not be….. Now, I’m not sure what day it is anymore, and I think I’ll go back to bed…. try to start over….
The above paragraphs seem to have been left for me this morning, though I don’t recall having written them…. It must be a touch of early onset Alzheimer’s, or something….
No, actually, I’ll be honest…. I did write them last night, and all in all, I think they’re not bad, if a bit odd. I was going to try to pass them off as forgotten, or as fresh, but, my honesty bone wouldn’t allow it, so I’m admitting them to be a plant….. No harm, no foul, right? If nothing else, it got me this far down the line into the intro, and not having to struggle for that is a bonus, for sure…. I’ve given up on finding the right template for this section, and now just let it flow as it occurs….
It has worked out fairly well that way, though it still causes me some worry, when I stare at the screen each morning, praying hypocritically for inspiration…. I’m flexible, and if there is a God, and He wants to help out, fine…. I don’t think so, but, I’ve been known to be wrong a couple of times in the past, and it can happen to anyone, so I like to leave some room for changing my mind, if necessary….
Like any real writer, I’d sell my mother’s soul for a good line or two…. I’d feel guilty for a few minutes, but, I’d do it, especially if promised a complete poem…. Since, by my way of thinking, there isn’t a God, and, thus, no Devil, either, I’m pretty sure I’m safe in that respect…. Knowing this doesn’t stop the worry, but, it does keep me sane…. well, I think so, but, who am I to contradict the professionals?….
Shall we Pearl?…
The article to which the link below points, was written by a man with my dream job, had I any remaining interest at all in working for a living…. His name is Mark Morford, and he is a columnist for the SF Chronicle, writing a very long column once or twice a week, each of which shows an incredible command of the English written word, as well as, possibly, the largest vocabulary I have ever seen in actual use…
He doesn’t just use the language, he USES it, with great style, power, and facility, fueled by a sharply observant mind, and a cynical, doubting eye… Is it any wonder I like his stuff?…. Any who, he wrote a piece that I want to share with y’all, about a subject I rant on frequently, i.e., the lies we are told every day, by people at all levels of society, who don’t care to observe any sort of honesty in their lifestyles, to wit: practically everyone in positions of authority, for that matter, in any position at all…. I think you’ll enjoy it, and it will save me the time, which I can use to find more pearls for your delectation….
I couldn’t have said it better myself, and have done so in the past (you figure out the context in that sentence, if you wish, I couldn’t….), no humor intended, though it’s probably hilarious, taken correctly….. Any who, I thought it was a very clear, very convincing argument regarding the constant barrage of lies we receive every day from those who choose the news….
The corporations set the agendas, the beloved ruling class keeps the populace distracted, the judges protect them, the police bully the populace into following the corporate rules, and the preachers preach obedience to temporal authority, and pocket their kickbacks…. It’s been this way since the first cavemen got together to barter, way back before Jesus kicked the sticks out of his crib, and, still today, not enough ffolkes are aware of it all to make a difference in the outcome…..
SIGH…. It makes me wonder how humans can consider themselves as the most intelligent animal on this planet, because they sure don’t display much of it…. Since Mr. Morford was so illuminating with his article, I’ll merely try to get you to smile in acknowledgment, while promoting the same message with my pearls….
“Well, there were sixty-eight people there, and sixty-two of them had no more desire to throw a stone than you had, Satan!”
“Oh, it’s true. I know your race. It is made up of sheep. It is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong; but no matter, the crowd follows it. The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind- hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don’t dare to assert themselves. Think of it! One kind-hearted creature spies upon another, and sees to it that he loyally helps in iniquities which revolt both of them. Speaking as an expert, I know that ninety-nine out of a hundred of your race were strongly against the killing of witches when that foolishness was first agitated by a handful of pious lunatics in the long ago. And I know that even to-day, after ages of transmitted prejudice and silly teaching, only one person in twenty puts any real heart into the harrying of a witch. And yet apparently everybody hates witches and wants them killed. Some day a handful will rise up on the other side and make the most noise — perhaps even a single daring man with a big voice and a determined front will do it — and in a week all the sheep will wheel and follow him, and witch-hunting will come to a sudden end.” — Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger
“The news is the one thing the networks can point to with pride. Everything else they do is crap – and they know it.” — Fred Friendly, 1980
“State legislators are merely politicians whose darkest secret prohibits them from running for higher office.” — Dennis Miller
“The trouble with Congress is every time they make a law, it’s a joke, and every time they make a joke, it’s a law!” — Will Rogers
“When politicians rush to fix things, it’s a sure sign that either the intended patient is dead or fully healed.” — Tony Snow (News Commentator, 2002)
“The problem of civil society is twofold: how to identify and select wise rulers, and how to assure that their wisdom will be used for the benefit of the ruled- or of the common good as distinct from their private good.” — Harry V. Jaffa
“To see what’s in front of one’s nose requires a constant struggle.” — George Orwell
I love poetry, as is probably apparent by my daily inclusion of one or more of them in these Pearls…. One of the reasons is that the power of words seems to increase when used well in a poem; the meaning of each seems to be larger, and amenable to greater flexibility of that meaning, allowing the poet to address more than one issue with the same words…. The following poem from one of my favorite poets is a perfect example of this, as so elegantly demonstrated in the final line…. Looked at with a certain viewpoint, this poem is a perfect complement to the rants above, in section one, both mine, and the one from Mr. Morford, as well…. Enjoy!…..
I am his Highness’ dog at Kew;
Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?
~~ Alexander Pope ~~
I’m tired already, but not in either a physical or mental sense…. I’m just old, and feeling it. Regardless of the ‘why’, I need to get this last section filled in with something appropriate, so, I’m going to show exactly how lazy I’m able to be, and go with another old school pearl…. I have no excuse, nor do I feel I need one, as this pearl’s entire purpose is entertainment, not elucidation, or education, or even edification…. I know it can be a difficult task, but try to enjoy this, okay? It’s all in fun….
Axiom #2: “Ability to type on a computer terminal is no guarantee of sanity, intelligence, or common sense.”
Corollary #3: “An infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of keyboards could produce something like Usenet.”
Corollary #4: “They could do a better job of it.”
– Gene Spafford, USENET Axiom #2
(Now you know more about the process of creating these Pearls than I ever intended anyone to know….)
“Real suffering has a face and a smell. It lasts in its most intense form no matter what you drape over it. And it knows your name.” — Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club
(Scary thought, eh? All too true, though, in almost everyone’s life….)
(I thought we were being funny? Oh, right, we are…. sorry, got distracted….)
(Okay, I’ll stop commenting now….)
“Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams.” — Mary Ellen Kelly
“When choosing between two evils I always like to take the one I’ve never tried before.” — Mae West, in “Klondike Annie” 1936
“At 50 everyone has the face he deserves.” — George Orwell (1903-1950), “Journals”, 1949
“Never meddle in the affairs of dragons, for, to them, you are crunchy, and tasty with ketchup.” — Anonymous
“The evidence of the emotions, save in cases where it has strong objective support, is really no evidence at all, for every recognizable emotion has its opposite, and if one points one way then another points the other way. Thus the familiar argument that there is an instinctive desire for immortality, and that this desire proves it to be a fact, becomes puerile when it is recalled that there is also a powerful and widespread fear of annihilation, and that this fear, on the same principle proves that there is nothing beyond the grave. Such childish proofs are typically theological, and they remain theological even when they are adduced by men who like to flatter themselves by believing that they are scientific gents…” — H. L. Mencken
I understand that more than a few of you may have become confused by the tone of the last quote, and may possibly have harmed innocent brain cells in the process of bringing your mind around in a 180 degree turn like that, especially if you kept looking for the punch line….
All I can say is, sorry about that…. I saw the quote, and it was just so clearly reasoned, and so logically presented, and gave such a strong message of the power of reason and doubt, I couldn’t help myself…. Plus, its inclusion here could be considered a joke, so….. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little trip into the less than perfectly sane areas of my head…..
Whew! That was an epic Pearl, to be sure…. I’m almost afraid to go proof it, but, being the dutiful lad I am…. Epic, I think, is quite accurate. Since I am so uncertain as to how the entire picture of this Pearl looks (it’s too big today to get a good grasp….), I’m going to trust my luck, and the fact that nobody really cares, and go ahead and post it…. I like it, and that is enough for me…. (Is this where I say nyah, nyah, nyah…. and make a rude gesture with my hands?…. No? Oh right, we don’t do that any more….)
I’m going to go now, before the voices get any louder, and start slipping in parenthetical thoughts on me…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.