Hello there… When I lay down last night to sleep, at 8:00 PM, or thereabouts, I had little idea I’d be up now, at 2:00 AM, asking myself why I ever thought I liked cats, or where I put the damn squirt bottle, so I could soak its evil little ass with sulfuric acid… or, with just the water in the bottle. The acid will have to wait until I catch it, preferably by the throat….
At approximately 1:45 AM, I was awakened by some hard-to-identify, weird scratching noises, coming from somewhere in the bedroom…. Investigation found the cat, underneath the laundry basket, digging at the carpet, just for fun, I guess…. I chased her out of the room, & decided to just get up, as I was now fully awake, thanks to the middle of the night search routine…..
This is fucking early, ffolkes, even for me…. I’ve been sitting here staring at this mostly empty screen now for a good twenty-five minutes, with nothing but static running through my mind….. Great….
Now I’m stuck awake, without the boon of being able to write, or even thinking about writing, to help pass the time until the rest of the hemisphere gets going…. I’m smart enough to remember that the ffolkes on the other side of the world are already up…. as well as, obviously, too stupid to outwit a four-pound feline with a brain the size of a walnut….
I swear, though, this IS the cat from Hell you hear about so often….. She seems to have a direct line to Murphy’s office, where she gets advice on timing her acts of instigation to perfection…. I’ve never seen one better, as she seems to get us when we are least expecting it, every time….
She has her morning wake up routine down to a science, knowing she can get me up anytime at all, as long as it is AFTER my lady has gone to bed, so it will wake her up, too…. For some reason, the cat likes BOTH of us to be awake whenever she is, even if it is the middle of the night…. Neurotic little asshole…
Ah well, at least she’s stopped her old trick, of “accidentally” clawing one’s toes at night while stretching….. I declare, I really don’t miss that particular habit she used to display…. Waking up from sleep to excruciating pain in one’s toe is not what I’d call conducive to a restful night, and she used to get one or the other of us a couple times a week, before apparently giving it up….
I guess she must have gotten tired of flying out of the bedroom, as opposed to walking out under her own power…. I can be a bit irritable when awakened like that, and show a strong tendency to throw whatever comes to hand….. hard…. I know its cruel, but, hey, at that time of night, whatever comes to hand is gone before my mind registers what it might be…. living or inanimate, doesn’t matter at that point…. it’s going to fly….
Well, since there doesn’t seem to be much else to do at this time of the day, and, I’ve apparently blathered about nothing much for long enough to fulfill the local requirements for such documented insanity (too bad I can’t get a discount for how early I had to start….), I may as well get a head start on the dive for the day…. Of course, I won’t be diving right off, as today’s first section is set aside for a new-format pearl, but, I’ll get wet a bit later, for section three’s old-school pearl…. Whatever, right?….
Shall we Pearl?….
“Yow! We’re going to a new disco!” — Zippy the Pinhead
So, today, we’re going to use the newest format for a pearl of virtual wisdom…. This is the one where I show you a link, to an article that, to me, demonstrates one (or more) facets of how bad, weird, strange, and/or screwed up the world has become, (or, as in one case today, how good things CAN be, if well-written), followed by a comment or two from yours truly, to highlight whatever point has been dug from the article’s subject matter for discussion…. Easy, right?….. Well, I like it, so let’s give it a whirl, okay?…..
Our first article is a discussion that shows, once again, just how low the butt heads in the cyber-security sector of our government will stoop to protect their asses from prosecution…. and just how far they’ll go to spy on whomever they can…. regardless of WHO it might be…
I’m encouraged by this decision; it’s one of the first that indicates there might just be hope of putting a stop to their machinations, at least in this particular arena…. It’s getting harder for them to hide what they’re up to, thanks to our über-patriot, Eric Snowden, may he be forever blessed for his sacrifice…. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m just a little pissed off at the administration and the PTB** for their harassment of this man, and hope he is able to find some peace…. I also hope that, someday, he will be able to return home, to the hero’s welcome he deserves….
** To be clear, the “administration and the PTB”, along with their myrmidons, the NSA and other cyber-security agencies that steal data, or acquire and use the data gathered…. are the “their”, and the “they” of whom I speak above, (“their machinations” “to hide what they’re up to”), who are illegally spying, or manipulating data, or making false statements to attempt to deny or cover up their guilt….
When I saw this, my first, immediate reaction to hearing these assholes say they don’t want to have to ‘fess up to what they’ve done was, “Oh, those POOR babies! They’re being SO persecuted…. and all they did was a) commit felonious activities while in a position of authority, for the purposes of political punishment, and b) act like the guiltiest bloody assholes they could when caught, attempting to cover up the incident, instead of just admitting to their foolishness…” As might be surmised, I’m not terribly sympathetic to their pain, as they are getting exactly what they deserve….
I can only hope that the shit they flung around in their mad attempts to hide their guilt gets all over that major asshole, Chris Christie’s, shoes and coattails, and is dirty enough that he will be forced to drop the insane idea that he is an appropriate candidate for a major office…. I don’t think the rest of this country is quite ready for a New Jerseyite in the White House…. That particular state has always had its own strange methods of political action, which is, quite simply, too frigging crazy for the mainstream….
Think about it…. it would be like “Goodfellas” in lock step with a Tea Party Congress…. Brrr…. the very thought makes me shudder….
As usual, Jon Carroll applies his particularly acute vision and his very personal, companionable writing style to say a lot of the same stuff I’ve been ranting about over the last few months…. and says it more engagingly, and much more clearly than I…. I’m not ashamed to say he’s better at this than I am; I’m a realist, and I’ve always appreciated his intelligence, and his very balanced outlook on reality….. A good piece, well worth a read….
I’m not sure how to take this article…. Dianne the Gargantuan has been one of the most vocal supporters of this administration’s policies on the subject of illegal surveillance, even going so far as to throw her support behind the potUS, making a number of supportive statements as part of the program (pogrom?) of persecution against Mr. Snowden….
Now, however, it seems the table has been turned, and she, along with her oh-so-powerful committee members on the Combined House and Senate Intelligence Committee have been the targets of the outrageous spying being done, this time by the CIA, in conjunction with the NSA, the FBI, and all the other federal agencies who have a hand in the “War on Terrorism”…. They’ve been messing around with trying to hide documents that prove their complicity in torture during numerous interrogations, which occurred, naturally, under the Shrubs….
Now that this sacrosanct committee has suffered at the hands of these out-of-control dogs-off-their-leash, who aren’t afraid to steal from, and manipulate, whomever they see as an enemy, she’s all a-flutter, and very angry that this agency, an arm of our own government, has been spying on, and manipulating data at the expense of their own governing members!! Me, I wonder why she is so surprised, even if I understand why she is so mad…. Welcome to the club, Di-Fi…..
I really don’t think I need to comment much on this…. It’s pretty clear that this is just one more example of how the police forces in this country attract the most aggressive, angry individuals, with the accompanying sense of undeserved entitlement, to work for them, refusing to consider that their recruiting tactics, and their own lack of ethical discipline, are the very reasons they continue to have these kinds of incidents take place….
It is my firm opinion that the job of police officer, military officer, fireman, or any other type of public service job that has people put into positions of authority over the public, should ONLY be filled by people who have passed certain psychological tests, to weed out those people who will, if given a chance, take advantage of their position….
I believe this should be the case now, and should have been the case for a at least 50 years, since our knowledge of psychology advanced to the point of being able to test for these attributes in people….. If we tested applicants for these kinds of public service jobs for the possibility of aggressive patterns of behavior, it might just prevent some of the problems that NOT testing has created, to the point now where over half the police on the ground are what I would term as, if not insane, neurotic as hell, with issues of low self-esteem, aggressiveness as their first response to crisis, and a lack of ethical discipline….. As a point of evidence, I would submit this question…. When was the last time you saw a police car use a turn signal correctly?…. Think about that for a minute, and you’ll begin to understand whereof I speak….
I found myself having to stop gathering more articles, as I could have kept collecting them all day…. Then, we’d NEVER get out of this section…. As it is, I’ve taken it upon myself to end this here, with just the following as a closing thought for today….
“Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.” — George Carlin
I decided I wanted to put in a poem of my own today, one from further in the past than most of what you’ve seen lately…. I found these two, from a couple of years ago, and couldn’t make up my mind…. so, being the egotistical fool I am, you get them both…. I hope you enjoy them….
In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.
Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.
Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.
Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.
Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.
When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.
Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art….
~~ gigoid ~~
Random Visions/Coloring Between the Lines of Grief
Everywhere is dark, and shining,
with points in dissonant pain.
Sharp, senses dull past divining,
tears burn, a torrential rain.
Escape! Flee within to cower,
find an unconscious cave.
Call on Morpheus’ power
deny reality’s beckoning wave.
Light breaks, drawing the inner eye,
leading to the slippery slope.
Risk is critical, we may only sigh,
yet welcome, for bringing hope.
Sanity seems far out of reach
Insanity’s a stronger friend.
Decisions made will merely teach
our way toward Death to wend.
Lost, while still on familiar ground,
the future yet undesigned.
Making way on paths unfound,
to Now, as yet undefined.
~~ gigoid ~~
Now comes the fun part, for me…. I’ve written rant-like material, and poemed, so now it’s time for an old-school pearl, to loosen up the old mental muscles, for those among us who enjoy keeping those muscles in the same kind of condition that any world-class athlete enjoys…. To keep any muscle conditioned it takes regular, consistently challenging exercise, that pushes the muscle to its limits before slacking off, preferably for just a bit longer each time, to increase stamina… The mind, though not composed of the same kind of tissue, nevertheless responds to the same sort of challenges; they are simply of a different nature than those that work the muscles attached to our skeletons….
I only wish I could still use those other muscles, the big ones on my body, to stay in the physical shape I was in until my mid-forties, when my injuries began the progressive decline I’ve seen, in my strength, and stamina. Now, sadly, my mind is in much better shape than the rest of me, though I’m still pretty tough…. I just have no stamina, and trying to use my strength and/or skills as if I were younger, stronger, and still limber is more expensive than it is worth, in terms of the pain that comes after such use. As I’m fond of saying, I can still do anything I used to do, but now I pay a much higher price to do so…. So, mostly, I don’t do so…. Now, I’m more likely to say, “I spend my time avoiding pain…”….
I’m uncertain as to how this devolved into a short intimate discussion of my frailties, but, since it did, we’ll just have to ignore it the best we can, and go on to bigger and better things, if that is still possible…. I think if I can just shut myself up for a minute, I can jump in the water before any further incidents of sharing TMI can occur….. Like, right now… Just for the record, no known parameters were used in the collection or inclusion of any of the following pearls…. They’re all fresh from the oyster, just as Mother Nature intended them to be…
“Too many have dispensed with generosity in order to practice charity.” — Albert Camus (1913-1960)
“Cato requested old men not to add the disgrace of wickedness to old age, which was accompanied with many other evils.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Roman Apophthegms, Cato the Elder
“He is the best of men who dislikes power.” — Mohammed
And wine can of their wits the wise beguile,
Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile.
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xiv, Line 520
“These are the days when men of all social disciplines and all political faiths seek the comfortable and the accepted; when the man of controversy is looked upon as a disturbing influence; when originality is taken to be a mark of instability; and when, in minor modification of the scriptural parable, the bland lead the bland.” — John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – )
“The art of government consist in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens and giving it to another.” — Voltaire
“We have only two things to worry about: That things will never get back to normal, and that they already have.” — Smart Bee
Well, in today’s case, parameters might have been a good idea…. But, since this one is done, and it’s fairly decent, all in all, I think we’ll let it fly…. I mean, they can’t all be immediately obvious, or for that matter, indelibly relevant…. All they have to do is make you think, and NOT make you feel bad about anything that doesn’t deserve it…. Which, I suppose is what Life is all about, yes?…. Hey, I’ll take whatever metaphor that presents itself, and turn it right into an assertion of consensual reality…. it’s what we do here….
Okay…. I’ve stretched this process until it screamed…. I’ve taken breaks… (in fact, I’m taking one now…. I’ll bet you didn’t even notice…)…. I’ve perused the news, I’ve searched SB for the best pearls I could find. I’ve pre-edited & pre-proofed, which means there will be, without doubt numerous errors in syntax and/or typos which will drive me batty when I find them after I’ve posted this… I’ve racked my brain to find something new, and funny, or compelling to write, which was obviously unsuccessful in the extreme…. I’ve subjected myself to reading a number of my own poems, along with several of Emily’s, and Keats’, before settling on subjecting y’all to a two-fer of my own…
All of that, and it is now 5:09 AM…. The wind here in Northern California is currently blowing at a good semi-typhoon speed, swinging our plant and wind-chime all over where they hang on the porch…. The cat continues to seek out whatever mischief she can find, and I am desperately wishing I could fall back asleep…. Alas, that isn’t to be, at least, not for a while yet…. I may as well post this, and get a bite to eat…. Then, having completed all the tasks involved in my day, I can begin another, while everyone else is up, too…. SIGH…. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
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.
gigoid the dubious