~~ Sophocles ~~
— Phaedra, Frag. 854 –
Okay…. the quote? It’s a good one, but, hey, duh! As for the picture, you may have seen it; I’ve seen it two places on the web, just in the three days since it was released; this copy came from Space.com… It is a picture of an artist’s rendering of a massive black hole, found by astronomers in a dwarf galaxy near another larger galaxy it orbits, or, more accurately, is part of in a eons long dance of exchanging materials….. Just a little reminder of how small we actually are, in relation to the Universe…. Of course, when one speaks of the Universe, and the stars, one must also think of the music of the spheres, so real, yet invisible to any as-yet-known instrument, our Home rings with music, pouring out of everything that exists, with most only as silent witness…
Music….. It’s a huge part of me, which, for too long, I haven’t allowed to be as much a part of my life as I’d prefer, for a number of reasons… or, if I have let it in, it hasn’t been to the degree I’ve recently come to realize is important to my health, in more than merely a physical sense. How much it CAN be has yet to be determined, but, I’m going to give it more of a chance to fulfill the need in me, to listen to it, to play, to sing, to dance, even if only in a chair. It has always been around, it seems, but, not always at the times I, perhaps, needed it most…. which is a bit mysterious, as music is pretty readily available anytime, anywhere…. Fortunately for all of us, it will have to remain a mystery, as I don’t have time to go into long, sad stories, especially to start the day….
Ever since I managed to stumble onto the method for posting music videos here on the blog, I’ve been listening to some of the stuff that first got me involved in playing my own music, through the simplest expedient at the time, learning to play a guitar, singing the lyrics, and, quite simply, freeing my spirit…. which had not even realized there was a sky, much less that it could fly in it…. Since that time, making it, along with listening to it, has almost always been a part of my life; always, but for the last few years, at least, not to a degree I would like it to have been…. But, my passion for it remains, dormant for now, until the urge to play hits…. “Then I’ll pick up my guitar & play…” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera to paraphrase Pete, and Yul….
In addition to its power to affect each of us individually, music can be a powerful teacher, to all those who hear it…. Ideas (freedom, liberty), attitudes (patriotism, loyalty, community spirit), language (slogans, songs, poems), all are susceptible to modification under the magic auspices of music, affecting people on a society-wide basis, merely by a popular song, or a series of articles, or movies starring heroic actors….
Witness the US government movies prior to, and during WWII, and the Korean ‘conflict’…. (Do fewer people die in a conflict than in a war?…. Just wondering….) Many Hollywood musicians, singers, dancers, actors, and all the supporting people in the studios worked diligently to pass on the government’s key ideas and attitudes that would support the war efforts…. Very strong stuff, some of it, hidden in most excellent swing band style, complete with singing sisters…
See how easily I can fall into a rant…. Ah well, I am in too good a mood to worry about all that right now…. besides, I’m sure there is plenty of THAT going on down below…. For now, just know that I love music, and, most likely, so do you…. so, I’ll give you a tip, that may help you, or not…. Most of the videos I’ll be adding in the new second section, inserted after the intro (where I’ve decided the video pearls will live here on ECR….), if you let them run to the end, no matter how long, will offer you choices of similar videos, by the same, and other artists…. So, merely by stopping by to read, you can, if you wish, have the entire day’s play list right at your fingertips…. as long as there are more music choices you enjoy…. after each of which, more choices show up…. Cool, eh, what?….
We’re all about public service here at ECR, as y’all well know…. so, I’ll also take this moment to mention the Walk the Walk for Climate Change that is happening right NOW in NYC, and in cities all over the world, to tell the leaders there at a summit on that subject, that the people want to see real changes made, and no BS….. I’d be there if I could, but, since I can’t, I’m sending all my curmudgeonly outrage into the airwaves to them, and letting y’all know you can do the same…. Give the asininnies and the BRC a loud THPPT!, and tell them to get off their duffs, and get to work saving our asses before it’s too late….
I for one am probably too old to make it to the first Mars or asteroid colony, or even the second, if it works…. but, if that looks like our only hope, well, I’ll be pounding on the air lock door before they take off; hell, I’ll ride on the outside, if I have to…. Just give me a space-suit, a rope, and a strong magnet or two, and I’ll get there if I have to tie myself to the radio disc….
Probably enough fantasy for one morning, wouldn’t you say?…. Well, too bad; I would. No, just joking, fantasy is always in order, almost anywhere but on a space ship, where mathematics works better…. It did get us this far, though, which will do for our purposes…. In fact, we can just turn right here, and….
Shall we Pearl?….
“It may be true that my desk here is really “nothing but” a transient eddy of electrons in the flux of universal process. Nevertheless, I find that it continues to support my feet, my revolver, and my cigars all day long. What happens when my back is turned I don’t know. Or much care. That’s no concern of mine.” — Edward Abbey
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.
~~ Marcus Tullius Cicero ~~
I had originally thought to put an older rant here, and shall do so, forthwith…. The above link is to a current article, from a day or so ago, talking about the most recent corruption shown by PG&E and the Public Utilities Commission, which is, ostensibly, a public entity charged with overseeing the utility company…. As the article shows, the relationship they’ve developed has gone beyond that, into a symbiotic state, showing quite well how businesses work to corrupt government agencies….
But, rather than rant on that today, I’ll give you an older rant, that deals with the same issue, to wit, lies, lies, and more damn lies from the people who are allegedly working for us, the people, but, who, in fact, have been looting the treasury, giving most of our money to the bankers and shadowy corporate interests (most significantly, the arms dealers who make such a profit on all the wars the governing assholes engage in….), who give not the slightest shit for anyone but themselves, for almost the entire history of this country….
Below, you will find a small temporal anomaly, but, as long as you don’t try to keep up with where in time you may be at any particular point in the piece, you’ll be fine… In other words, suspend your normal hold on reality, and just go with the flow…. believe me, you DON’T want to actually try to know when you are; it could cause problems in the space-time continuum that might get out of hand, potentially resulting in an explosion to rival the FIRST Big Bang…. It would be better, all around, if you just didn’t even bother to try….
I have a lot to do today, and need to get started early to get it all done,,, so, I’m cheating here, but in a good way. This is a Pearl from November of 2011… Much of it is apparently written around the same subject as discussed in section one of today’s effort, so I’m including it here, to save myself some time, and give y’all a bit of contrasting text to compare…. You can check for me to see if what I wrote then is consistent with what was done today, or if it was better, or worse…. Whatever it was, it’s a bit long, so, here it is, so you can get started….
Good morrow to you…. let us begin as we mean to go on….
“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler
This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…. whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody. Bloody well used up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out. The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which after all requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush, actually….
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley
This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.
What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in it is decreased below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.
There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of all of this planet’s life forms. Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.
Remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday….
“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein
I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, and do so out of their love of mankind. Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, and the ability to share their deep insights into life and the universe for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.
He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, and lived his life in a way that it stands as an example for the rest of us. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably….
“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau, were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.
But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid even if incomplete. And it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness….
So much for another day…. Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory…. in the meantime, y’all take care out there….
Today’s music video will be classical, because I like it, and I’m feeling the need for something uplifting, to go with the change of pace….
Today, I feel like one of the classical romanticists…. Ah, here’s a good one….
HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
~~ William Butler Yeats ~~
This section normally holds an old-school pearl, and, it shall… but, first, a bit of artwork that will drench your eyes in beauty….. The web site at Space.com held an astronomical photography, posting the winning photos here: http://www.space.com/27197-astronomy-photo-contest-winners.html?cmpid=558274 The photo you see is the overall winner; I’ve included the link so you can go see the rest of them…. some are incredible, like this one….
Gorgeous, yes? Now, here is the pearl that was originally to go here…. This one is DEFINITELY random….
“The most important thing in acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” — George Burns
“If a person offend you and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures. Simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick.” — Mark Twain, Advice to Youth Speech, 1882
“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
“Give me a place to sit, and I’ll watch.” — friend of Archimedes
“You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world.” — (Beatles) Revolution
“Now is the time for all good men to come to.” — Walt Kelly
“Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.” — George Bernard Shaw
It’s a bit of an epic, but, it’s done, and I’m not going to second-guess myself at this point….. In fact, I’ll be unusually brief, and merely say, see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….
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
“The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.”
À bientôt, mon cherí.