Can we charge Congress and the POTUS with treason?….


Here at Exploring Consensual Reality, the blog, titles are always fictional, whereas the main body of the blog is not…. or, not always. The titles are composed prior to beginning to write, and almost never have anything to do with WHAT I’ve chosen to write. Today’s title is the exception, as it asks a question that has been running through my mind for some time now, even prior to the most current reason the idiot BRC supplied to give me cause to feel this way. The shutdown of the government, is, to my way of thinking, all in all, a good thing, since, when they’re NOT working, at least they’re not making things worse, which is pretty much always the scenario when they ARE working….

Now, some may feel that accusing them of treason is a bit harsh, but, not me, not even a little bit…. Perhaps we’re not technically at war, but, then, for the last 60+ years, since the Vietnam “conflict”, Congress has not seen fit, or had the honesty, or courage, to declare war on anything but the American public, with their wars on drugs, on poverty, on diseases, or whatever other problem they have no idea of what to do about. (Of course, none of these “wars” on crime or whatever, ever look at the root causes of the issues… they just throw money at them….)

Despite having never declared actual war, since 1940 or 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, our military forces have been fighting in other countries without respite since 1954, when Eisenhower sent the first “training observers” to Vietnam, without even telling the public he was going to do so…. That doesn’t count the “Korean conflict”, which was ostensibly authorized by our United Nations involvement…

Ever since that time, every President of this country has involved us in a “conflict” of one type or another, using different justifications, (read: different lies…) each time to try to rationalize our involvement in issues that were, essentially, not our business…. Well, other than the fact that our business moguls had money invested there, and we needed to “protect our investments”…. Not because we were attacked, or were about to be overwhelmed with an invasion, but, to protect our business interests…. Sounds a bit fishy to me, but, hey, the public keeps falling for it, and no President has been indicted for waging war without Congressional declaration, even though that is a direct violation of the intent, and the wording, of the US Constitution…..  Above, I spoke about Vietnam; remember this one?….

“If we fail to draw the line in Vietnam we may find ourselves compelled to draw a defense line as far back as Seattle and Alaska, with Hawaii as a  solitary outpost in mid-Pacific.” — Senator Thomas J. Dodd, February 23, 1965

I therefore accuse the POTUS’s, ALL of them, of treason, for deliberately abusing their power as the Chief of Armed Forces to circumvent the Constitution, to pursue the ends of their corporate masters. I also accuse all of Congress, both House and Senate, of the same treason, for NOT doing their job in the face of this violation, and failing to remove the President from office. One may as well add in the Federal Court system, but their treason goes back further, to the mid-nineteenth century, when they gave those corporate masters the legal rights they required to maintain their stranglehold on government, and on the American people….. The courts aren’t as involved in the current issues as are Congress and the POTUS, but, they’re also not objecting very hard, are they?….

So, there you have my main rant for today…. I accuse the American government, in all three branches, of high treason, for acts of war directed against the American people in direct violation of the US Constitution…. Hell, I may even start a petition, to see how many others are out there like me, who are sick and tired of watching this country, and the world, go to hell because of the antics of the supposed leaders, who are not merely abrogating the duties of their offices, but are actively screwing the rest of us, with apparent glee…. Of course, if I do that, it will be giving them a convenient listing of those who are opposed to what they’re doing, but, it would be nice to see if there are as many of us as I believe there are….

I’m tired of being lied to…. I’m tired of paying outrageous taxes for nothing much… I’m tired of the politicians trying to take away my Social Security, which is NOT A FUCKING ENTITLEMENT!!! I paid money into SS for 49 years before being disabled so far as to not be able to work anymore; that money is MINE, not theirs…. I’m tired of watching the American people get screwed over by their own elected officials, partly because of their own ignorance, but mostly because those politicians are lying to the public at every turn…. It’s difficult to make an informed decision, when the data one is given to use is severely suspect….

The constant attempts by conservatives, AND liberals, to raid SS for money is a big part of the problem…. Politicians think that the money that is raised by the government is THEIRS, for them to do with is as they please, no matter how badly that screws the public…. and it isn’t just conservatives that do so…. In my mind, everyone who gets elected these days to a federal position (Congress, or POTUS… ), or to a State position (Assembly, Senate, Governor, etc….) is not going into public service because of any altruistic motives… Oh, they’ll SAY they are, but, when was the last time a politician told you anything but what they thought you wanted to hear?  Never, that’s when…

Okay, that’s enough for now… The NSA certainly has enough to chew on for now, and I think I’d best cool my jets a bit, or they’ll come take me away before I get to go on this last cruise next Saturday…. I hope not, because I really don’t want to have to pull my covers, or leave any comatose special agents on my back trail… But, if they do, you will now know why…. I’m done with wearing gloves, ffolkes… I’m going to say exactly what I think, and the hell with the fallout…. On that note….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.” — Oscar Wilde, “Oscariana”

Gosh! I hardly know what to do with myself, now that I’ve already put out close to a thousand-word-rant, right there in the intro section… It doesn’t leave me much room for that in this one, so, naturally, I’ll go old-school, and put together a five- or seven-star pearl for your edification and illumination…. I hope… I’ll look for pearls that support the above rant, but, one never knows what will happen with Smart Bee, do one?…..

(Side note: I use the term “old-school” to indicate a pearl of virtual wisdom that is of the same format as my original Pearls, first sent out to my email readers in the year 2000, or so, when I first got an email address….. That address was, in case you wondered…. I first chose that user name, gigoid, when I went to a computer school in 1998, or so….Those first Pearls consisted of a short intro, then a pearl, or a short group of pearls, with a short, pithy point… so, now, when I do that, it’s “old-school”…. See?…. Okay, on with the program….)

– Bother! said Pooh, as he launched the nuclear warheads.

“Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value.” — Bertrand Russell

ISMISM : Belief in any distinctive doctrine, theory or practice. Ismism was started up in the mid-1980s by a splinter group from “Atheists For Christ”. Ismism meetings gained quick popularity, and Ismism leader Ralph Snider traveled the world promoting his paper “Why I Argue A Lot”. The followers of Ismism are generally agreed to be very confused people.” — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Every one wishes to have truth on his side, but it is not every one that sincerely wishes to be on the side of truth.’ — Whately

“All revolutions have failed? Perhaps. But rebellion for good cause is self- justifying–a good in itself. Rebellion transforms slaves into human beings, if only for an hour.” — Edward Abbey

“Antagoras the poet was boiling a conger, and Antigonus, coming behind him as he was stirring his skillet, said, “Do you think, Antagoras, that Homer boiled congers when he wrote the deeds of Agamemnon?” Antagoras replied, “Do you think, O king, that Agamemnon, when he did such exploits, was a peeping in his army to see who boiled congers?”  — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Antigonus I

“The people always have some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness…. This and no other is the root from which tyranny springs.” — Plato (428-348? B.C.), “The Republic”

I love the internet!…. I just googled a site to find political poetry, and found a great one, with all sorts of new poems to use, all free of charge, or anything other than correct attribution…. Serendipity strikes again!…. I hope you enjoy this little poetic restatement of my rant from above….

Lest there be lingering doubt, let me assure you

Lest there be lingering doubt, let me assure you,
I don’t believe the half of what I say.
The point, after all, is winning, so I tell you
What you want to hear from me today.
Oh, yes, I have a point of view, and visions
To push for once in office, if and when.
But if I lose, then all my vain ambitions
And dreams will go the way of mice and men.
So I promise this and promise that
I’ll spend and cut your taxes and the debt,
And pay for it by cutting just the fat.
You’ll have your cake and eat it, too, I’ll bet.
And yet and yet and yet and yet and yet …
This is how the world is, isn’t it?

~~ Nicholas Gordon ~~


I’m getting a little suspicious of how easily today’s Pearl is coming together…. I managed to get back on my usual time schedule, arising at 0500 to begin, but, it’s going much faster than usual…. I guess having the rant in the intro flow out as it did, practically full-formed, seems to have influenced the process enough to keep it moving along swiftly… Nothing wrong with that, I say, so, let’s get on with our final pearl for today…. Here is my favorite kind, a random harlequin pearl, with no parameters used to choose, other than whimsy, a condition in which I dearly love to indulge….

“Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.” — Andre Gide, Le traite du Narcisse (1891)

“There is a case for telling the truth; there is a case for avoiding the scandal; but there is no possible defense for the man who tells the scandal, but does not tell the truth.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 7/18/08

“It matters not how long you live, but how well.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 829

“I am going to seek a great perhaps.” — Francois Rabelais (1494-1553)

“It’s not that we don’t have enough scoundrels to curse; it’s that we don’t have enough good men to curse them.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 3/14/08

“We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

“Good generally conquers evil. Unless, of course, good is stupid.” — Smart Bee

I should have known better than to comment on how quickly this was going; SB immediately went into “coy” mode, and made me go through about a thousand or more quotes to find the right ones…. SIGH. I am SUCH a Bozo, sometimes…. Let’s go see how it came out…. Well, it’s per usual, that is to say, it’s done… I leave you today with this beautiful short piece from Mssr. E.A. Poe, to give just the proper tone to our ending…. See ya….

Take this kiss upon the brow! And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow–
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

– Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream Within A Dream

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,
and sometimes
I just sits.



Charged with gluttonous stockpiling of salient rationalizations….


Oh, yay…. I’m home from the wars…. well, okay, from Texas…. and slept like a baby in my own bed, once the travel-buzz wore off long enough to sleep. Now, here I am, only a few hours later, up, and burning to write…. Okay, so I’m not burning up with literary fervor, either; I AM up, though, and at 5:30 AM there isn’t a whole lot else to do but write, so…. Now, don’t take that as putting y’all second-best, or that I’m settling for this; it’s just that my whole reason for being up at all is to write; otherwise, I’d gladly still be sawing logs in dreamland….

A word here about the day…. I always have a good day on Friday the 13th; something about being a triple Scorpio, or something, not that I put a lot of faith in astrology….. But, astrologers, as good con men and women always have to be, are good observers of human nature, and over the centuries have incorporated their observations into their “science” so that some of what they say, especially about how humans behave, is true…. or, at least, sounds true…. Otherwise, they couldn’t convince people that ALL of it is true, which is just ridiculous….. I mean, the basic law of conservation of energy puts the lie to astrology, which claims that the motions of the stars and planets determine the events of our lives, and our personality traits, which determine how we approach life…..

Even if one considers that to be true (a pretty fair stretch of the imagination, logic-wise….), it doesn’t account for the fact that in our Universe, physical law is such that, if it IS true, the opposite concept must also be true, to wit: the events of our lives, and our personalities, affect the motion of the planets and stars, equally as much as they affect us. The Universe exists in duality; symmetry must be maintained, in reality, though not in the human imagination…This is basic physical law in our space-time continuum, and not to be discounted, but, they don’t want to see that part of it, so they just ignore it…. Hmm…. sounds like a politician, doesn’t it?….

Sorry, it’s a bit early for shots at the BRC, especially when we’re still in the intro…. I know I’ve been ranting here a lot lately, but, that really is no excuse for rudeness…. Ah, what the hell, let’s go for it…. It’s not as if they’re not used to it, is it? Nope, and anyone with a thin skin should never go into politics anyway; there’s just too much name-calling and oneupmanship going on to allow anyone without a good, thick, rhinoceros-style epidermis to last for long….  Plus, it isn’t as if they listen much to what the peons say, anyway….

Okay, that’s enough for now…. I’m too glad to be home to be very nasty today, so I may skip a rant altogether…. We’ll see when I look at the news this morning, to see if there is anything new to report on the “spying on their own people” front, or the “let’s all get worked up over some asshole’s newest outrage, and start World War III” front…. both of which have dominated the news of late. I’m glad to see the danger of world-wide conflagration has receded a bit, thanks to some last-minute contortions, and a touch of common sense that somehow got worked into the whole issue, out of nowhere…. It was getting a bit scary there for a bit…. even the POTUS was, and is, leaning toward an idiotic response that goes against everything the public wants him to do….

SIGH…. sorry, I said I wasn’t going to rant, and there I went, straight into the same old story…. We’d best dive in soon, and start the search for some suitable pearls for today; I have a feeling I was getting lost there, and wouldn’t have found my way back any time soon, so, good thing I caught myself…. Hell, this is already getting out of hand, and, once again, we’re still only in the first section…. Well, I know the solution for THAT, anyway….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“C is for cookie, it’s good enough for me; oh cookie cookie cookie starts with C.” — Cookie Monster

Thankfully, I was right, for the moment…. I checked the headlines, and little of note is happening just now on the world’s stage, beyond some stupid remarks made by our Secretary of State (nothing unusual there….); that’s encouraging in that they are at least talking, and not bombing yet…. To relieve a bit of the heavy-handedness that has been seen, here and everywhere, of late, here is an old-school pearl, with the parameters left up to Smart Bee…. I just told it to look for stuff to make fun of stuffed shirts and closet bozos…..

“Before you have sex you have to be elected to a high government position.” — Zippy

“It’s better the world wonder why you *AREN’T* President.” — Smart Bee

“I think the mistake a lot of us make is thinking the state-appointed psychiatrist is our “friend.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

“Truth exists. Only lies have to be invented.” — Georges Braque

“A drill is a tool. A hole is a solution.” — Smart Bee

“The United States has got some of the dumbest people in the world.  I want you to know that we know that.” — Ted Turner, media mogul, author, actor, and baseball team owner, — addressing international journalists, 1996

“When in doubt, think.” — Smart Bee

Damn! I love it when a plan comes together…. Hell, I like it when it only breathes hard by itself….    :lol:     No, really, though, thanks to Smart Bee, this turned out to be one of the best pearls in quite a while…. Well, I  think so….

I find myself lately wondering about motivation when I’m picking poems for this section, mostly because I don’t seem to know just what it is that makes me pick some poems…. Sometimes it is for the power of it, the breadth and width and height, and presence it creates; other times it is because it strikes a chord of beauty in my soul/spirit…. But, often, I just don’t know, and, moreover, don’t care…. This is one of those times, so, just enjoy the genius of this woman’s unique view….


The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans
Atop the broken universal clock:
The hour is crowed in lunatic thirteens.
Out painted stages fall apart by scenes
While all the actors halt in mortal shock:
The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans.

Streets crack through in havoc-split ravines
As the doomstruck city crumbles block by block:
The hour is crowed in lunatic thirteens.

Fractured glass flies down in smithereens;
Our lucky relics have been put in hock:
The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans.

The monkey’s wrench has blasted all machines;
We never thought to hear the holy cock:
The hour is crowed in lunatic thirteens.

Too late to ask if end was worth the means,
Too late to calculate the toppling stock:
The idiot bird leaps out and drunken leans,
The hour is crowed in lunatic thirteens.

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~


“A promise must never be broken.” — Alexander Hamilton

It’s interesting to me that this statement is made by one of our country’s first politicians…. It was possible for him to utter such a thought, I suppose because, in a very real sense, they were unique politicians, unlike what we know as such today…. You see, most folks forget that most of the founding fathers didn’t start out as politicians…. They only became labeled as such because they took the responsibility for their fate, and went forth to change history….. Today, politicians are more closely defined and described by the Smart Bee quote I often use, from either Daniel Bowen’s Toxic Custarpedia, or Ambrose Bierce’s, “The Devil’s Dictionary”,  (I forget which, and am too lazy to go look…. but, it’s one of the two, for sure….) to wit:

Politics: from the Greek, “poly”, meaning “many”, and “tics”, meaning “blood-sucking insects”…. a most apt definition, if I do say so….

There is a corollary statement to this assertion by Mssr. Hamilton: I would say it is an obvious evolution of the concept of the inviolability of such moral laws. It says, simply, “If you can’t keep a promise, don’t make it.” In light of that, I can only say, not only do today’s version of politicians NOT display any knowledge of the above moral rule, they DO firmly believe in making promises they have no intention of keeping…. If anyone out there has an opposing view of this, please, please, say something that actually has evidence to back it up; it is common knowledge, among the people I know, that politicians will say anything to get people to vote for them, then have absolutely no memory of any such statements, once they are safely ensconced in office….

I’m not going to bore y’all with a long rant today, and I don’t think it will improve your day, or mine, for me to list a huge number of examples that DO provide evidence of the lies told by politicians in this country, or any other….. besides, all you have to do is go read a newspaper to get that list, anyway. Instead, I’m going to go old-school again, this time having Smart Bee look for humorous ways to drive this point home, or at least to a luxurious motel…. Or, in other words, I shall explain this by waving my hands about in an appropriate manner….

“And now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King Henry IV– Act i, Sc. 2
(However, I am nothing, if not an honest man…. unlike SOME people I could name….)

“Anacharsis said a man’s felicity consists not in the outward and visible favours and blessings of Fortune, but in the inward and unseen perfections and riches of the mind.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — The Banquet of the Seven Wise Men, 11

“Bush?  OK, he’s experienced, but he’s never going to be a GREAT liar. He can hardly bamboozle Dan Rather.  How’s he going to do up against a bloodthirsty, power-mad dictator, like Margaret  Thatcher?” — A. Whitney Brown

“There is no sin but ignorance.” — Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)

“If I could find a way to get [Saddam Hussein] out of there, even putting a contract out on him, if the CIA still did that sort of a thing, assuming it ever did, I would be for it.” — Richard M. Nixon

“Civil liberties are always safe as long as their exercise doesn’t bother anyone.” — New York Times editorial, 1-3-41

“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) –

I think this is still a bit unclear, so, we’ll add one more, that will bring it all into perspective….

“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.” — H.L. Mencken

While searching for the pearls for the above section, the following pearls kept popping up to distract me…. Each of these is a real gem, of highest quality, but, they aren’t necessarily connected, other than by that same universal sameness of being absolutely true, and/or humorously logical…. or even logically humorous…. In short, they’re all perfect, in their own way…. I’m adding them in here today because I can….. It isn’t meant as torture, you know, but as a bonus round…. Regardless of all that, I hope you enjoy them, and pay heed to the wisdom herein….

“May the Forces of Evil become confused on the way to your house.” — George Carlin

“Experience has proved that some people indeed know everything.” — Russell Baker

How To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity:  4. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it “in”.

I am the mother of all things, and all things should wear a sweater.

“Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

The ruins of himself! now worn away
With age, yet still majestic in decay.

– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xxiv, Line 271

” Again, Again! Again, again, even if we know the countryside of love, and the tiny churchyard with its names mourning, and the chasm, more and more silent, terrifying, into which the others dropped:  we walk out together anyway beneath the ancient trees, we lie down again, again, among the flowers, and face the sky.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

This is what happens when I lose my routine…. I get all blocked up; once it has an outlet, it pours out all over the place. I do hope none of it splashed on any of your good clothing…. There’s a lot here, I know, so let’s see if it’s worth the effort…. I’d say it will pass, though it IS somewhat lengthy…. (I do love understatement, don’t you?….) It’s certainly enough, and he who has enough is rich indeed…. To prevent any more damage to my mind, your mind, or the space-time continuum we share, or, indeed, any danger of same, I’ll stop now….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole…
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,
and sometimes
I just sits.



Remnants of hauntingly bad melodies….


I believe I’m suffering a universal page fault in my brain…. I’m not entirely sure exactly what that is, but, I know when I see it on my computer screen, it’s a bad thing, and that’s what we have here, for sure and for certain….. a bad thing. Not unusual, not surprising, but bad…. Still, my heart beats in my chest, and my breath continues to go in and out of my lungs, so, I suppose I’d best get on with this….

I’m burnt…. baked, fried, sautéed, grilled, whichever method you choose, I’m way overdone….. I know it. The symptoms have been obvious for days now, but, I’ve been unwilling to admit it, or them, because I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t write…. Talk about diffuse anxiety! This is more of a specific anxiety, actually, one that strikes every time I suffer one of these burn-out periods…. Not only is my brain having a hard time deciding what to write about (which, if you stop to think about it, is nothing new….), but, actively resists making the choice, knowing that it will have to try to fulfill whatever it is I’ve come up with, one way or another… Of late, it seems to have been more another, than it has been one way…

Whatever THAT means…. I guess my vaulting ambition, to write more and better, has finally reached an end point, and my creativity, such as it is, is in active rebellion, at having to come up with yet another set of outstanding verses and/or phrases, to whet your appetite for more…. I am having a hard time finding the angst and outrage I need to rant, and my sleep patterns are getting so regular, my brain is getting fuzzy from sleeping so much (which really is NOT a complaint, just an observation…. better to sleep too much than too little, for sure….) In the past nearly three years, I’ve written so much that I may have inadvertently emptied out my bucket of creative ideas, before it has had a chance to refill from the well…..

This blankness in my head obviously doesn’t stop me from writing about nothing much; that seems to have been a skill I’ve perfected, or at least, gotten adept at using…. observe, if you will, these three-plus paragraphs of meandering blather, which has just poured out, once the subject, or, in this case, the lack thereof, was decided upon. I don’t seem to have a problem writing, once I know what I’m writing about…. it’s the figuring out part that is getting harder all the time. I’ve used, and re-used, and used again, every subject known to man, and a few he’d rather forget. My ranting seems to be getting to the point where everything I write sounds familiar, with good reason, as I’ve said it all before….

This is why you’ve seen more old-school pearls lately…. Old-school pearls, by the nature of their construction process, are always relatively fresh. The subjects chosen are often self-directed, in that I have no plan ahead of time about which quotes I will choose, only a vague idea of an area of study to head for, in a general way. The software program I use, Smart Bee, is random enough that every time is different, and the only difficult part is not repeating oneself in terms of those quotes that are chosen, which is fairly simple for someone with a good memory, such as myself…. In essence, pearls of virtual wisdom are easy money, for a writer; the process resembles walking down the beach and picking out the prettiest sea shells to take home….

Ah well, another intro spent wandering around the back corridors of my mind, looking at the artwork and wondering at the massive spaces filled with nothing much…. much like these paragraphs…. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about my burn-out, but, it is all moot, because my internet service company has gone belly up, thanks to one of the telecom giants hogging resources (long story), and I’ll be losing my internet service at home for a time…. I’m not sure if I will keep posting daily, or not…. we’ll have to see. But, if you don’t see a post for several days, hang in there, I will return eventually… It may not be until after my upcoming move to another house, but, I will be back, hopefully with new resolve, and new material….

Shall we Pearl, while we can?…..

Random, old-school, harlequin pearl…. the best kind….

“The day is the same length as anything that is the same length as it.” — Lewis Carroll

And taste
The melancholy joy of evils past:
For he who much has suffer’d, much will know.

– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xv, Line 434

“We find it hard to believe that other people’s thoughts are as silly as our own.” — James Harvey Robinson

HUMAN — The human being either evolved from the biologically very similar ape, or was created along with the rest of the world in a six-day creative spurt by an anonymous god. The human body is a wonderful thing. Well, most of them are. Humans have one mouth and a limited number of genitals, which is probably just as well. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Intelligence has much less practical application than you’d think.” — Scott Adams, Dilbert.

“Nothing can be created from nothing.” Lucretius (55 BC)

“A man that should call everything by its right name would hardly pass the streets without being knocked down as a Common Enemy.” — Lord Halifax

As advertised, the best kind…. It took a bit longer than I planned on, but, this came out very well, and, to my way of looking at things, it even came out less obscure than is commonly true… Well, it’s clear to me, anyway, and hopefully, if you let it percolate, it will become clear to you as well…. If not, well, hmm… too bad?…..

“Universe: All-purpose poem.” — Ray Hand

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

~~ John Keats ~~


I figure, since I’m being somewhat obfuscatory today, I’d cheat a little, and go with an old school pearl from the archives…. this one is from the old days, when I was still employed by the State of California, and sent these morning pearls out to about 300 or so of my peers, for their daily, morning dose of reality, right there in their inbox each day…. This one is apparently from somewhere around 2008….

Out of the East…


“Interesting” is only the beginning. As humans, we tend to get bored when not stimulated by a challenge of some sort. If the world does not provide one, we are perfectly okay with making it up. Something about the perversity of human nature, I suppose, though it seems a bit dramatic to me. Ah well, our’s is not to reason why, etc., except it is, or should be, do and die, not do or die. Cuz that’s what is at the end of the road for all of us. Kinda puts us on the same playing field, eh? Here…. I’m feeling less than Occidental this morning……

Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” — J. C. Watts

Always we hope
Someone else has the answer
Some other place will be better
Some other time it will all work out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer
No other place will be better
And it has already turned out.
At the center of your being
 You have the answer;
You know who you are and what you want.
There is no need to turn outside
For better seeing.
Rather abide at the center of your being
For the more you leave it
The less you learn.
Search your own heart and see
 the way to do is to be.
– Lao Tzu

Y’all take care out there…..

Considering the relative rush job this Pearl constitutes, I’m impressed. It’s a bit choppy, but hangs together pretty well, for something I cobbled together in about 90 minutes time. What I related regarding my internet connection was truth, so this may be my last post, until I figure out what I’ll do about service, since I’ll be moving in about 31 days… oh, joy…. Any who, for now, this will do, even if not Pulitzer material….  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,
and sometimes
I just sits.



Have the mango smoothies been certified yet?….

Dark, out-of-focus images of lava filled volcanoes, steaming rivers flowing down their sides, against a backdrop of a smoky sunset of unimaginable color and beauty, float around in my mind’s eye, with no concomitant tales of interest attached, making me wonder yet again just what it is that makes me want to do this again. Each morning, I stare at the blank page before me, and let my mind assume a trance-like state, while it searches through the inner realm for yet another fresh way to begin, only to find mere remnants of ideas once fully formed, or abandoned phrases that have no connection to anything real.

Somewhere inside me is a lake of material, waiting to be written; I can feel it, and often catch glimpses out of the corner of my eye, before it flashes off into the vast, unknown reaches of my mind, where I never willingly go, knowing it will be safe there until ready to flow out onto a page…. A lot of what I write is spontaneous, at least in the sense that I don’t decide beforehand what subject is to be explored. Instead, I let Smart Bee, or some random thought, dictate the choice of material, having found long ago that I am more likely to come up with something interesting that way. When I decide beforehand, I feel like I’m back in school, writing a paper on a given subject, with the length and style pretty well fixed, and not amenable to alteration. It’s probably not a particularly efficient method, but it works for me, most of the time….

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” — The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, 1951

But, it does make it hard each day to come up with an intro, (especially when J.D. has already written the ultimate version of this kind of opening, one that denies normalcy)…. and it just occurred to me that y’all are probably getting tired of hearing that. I wish I didn’t whine about it so often…. a statement that occurs to me to be just about as dumb as anything I’ve ever come up with…. If I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t have to whine about it… If I didn’t whine about it, I probably wouldn’t do it as often… Any way one looks at it, whining about it just exacerbates the issue, and makes it into something significant, instead of the minor issue it ought to be…..

Hmm…. it also occurs to me that I am approaching this in a manner that guarantees the issue won’t die, an event which is anathema to me…. Why am I doing this to myself? I am forced to admit, I believe my sub-, or un-, conscious mind seems to have set up a situation here where I am continually set up to fail, at least in my own eyes, and THAT is unacceptable! The world, and the assholes who have set themselves up as the BRC, fuck me in the ass on a daily basis, just like they do everyone, and doing it to myself is NOT what I’d call intelligent…. So, it stops here….

No more whining about intros… no more angst about blank pages…. no more bullshit cop-outs relating how hard it is to come up with ideas on a daily basis, and make them interesting, to boot. It’s the same issue every day, and all this repetitive fooferaw is getting on my nerves, so, I’m done with it…. I know it doesn’t help this particular Pearl, but, in the future, you can look forward to an intro section that doesn’t complain, that doesn’t serve cheese, with or without whine, one that doesn’t drag on forever before getting on with the show…. In deference to that glorious future…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“The character of human life, like the character of the human condition, like the character of all life, is “ambiguity”: the inseparable mixture of good and evil, the true and false, the creative and destructive forces — both individual and social.” — Paul Tillich

Having discovered within myself exactly how much such ambiguity can affect our lives, I feel compelled to add that one must learn to use that ambiguity, to balance its overall effect on us, with competence, confidence, and steadfast aplomb, else it will use us, instead….

“Truth needs no flowers of speech.” — Alexander Pope

What immediately comes to mind when I look at this, is an image of a politician, mouth open, spewing out lie after lie, couched in flowery terms designed to draw in the listener with sweet, colorful little statements of intent, that have no relation at all to what is real, or what they will actually do. The more flowery a speech one hears from one of these pundits, the more you can be assured that all of it is lies. It is a time tested method of fooling the public…. tell them what they WANT to hear, and they will fall right into line…. Tell them what they don’t wish to hear, and they will mill around in confusion, and go through immense contortions to keep from using their minds, or making their own decisions, and, most importantly to them, it will make them uncomfortable, and fractious…..

My mind is almost automatically inclined to rant when I see a line such as this, and I’m always willing to take a few shots at the BRC, politicians, AND/OR any of their myrmidons and/or supporters, comprised of the mass of humanity that prefers to NOT use their brains for anything other than figuring out how to use the remote control, or sitting on. But, I slept a bit late today, and I’m feeling a bit lazy, at the moment, anyway, so I’m going to depend on SB to come up with an old-school pearl that will poke a stick or two into the eyes of the assholes who most deserve it….. SB is usually pretty good at that, so, let’s see what’s what….

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!” — Albert Einstein

“History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten. …What is interesting is brought forward as if it had been central and efficacious in the march of events, and harmonies are turned into causes. Kings and generals are endowed with motives appropriate to what the historian values in their actions; plans are imputed to them prophetic of their actual achievements, while the thoughts that really preoccupied them remain buried in absolute oblivion.” — George Santayana, The Life of Reason:  Reason in Science, 1918

BIBLE  A bible is a book which one or more religions consider to be holy, and to be something that they should follow. It is of course generally rather impractical to follow books, not just because they don’t often go anywhere, but also because they are not very good at public speaking, decision making, problem solving, or any of the other qualities recognized as being an advantage for leadership. A religion based around the teachings of any compilation of Toxic Custard would be very strange indeed. To subscribe to this new cult following, send $15 now. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“A tough lesson in life that one has to learn is that not everybody wishes you well.” — Dan Rather

“Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?” — James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance

“And unextinguish’d laughter shakes the skies.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Iliad of Homer, Book i, Line 771

Ffolkes, I just can’t make it any plainer than that…..

This is a reprint of a poem I used some time ago…. It’s being reused because, a) it’s bloody brilliant, and b) it kind of fits in with the mood for today…. and those are all I need to justify it to myself, as I know the poetry buffs out there will enjoy it, for the genius it is….

Witch Burning

In the marketplace they are piling the dry sticks.
A thicket of shadows is a poor coat. I inhabit
The wax image of myself, a doll’s body.
Sickness begins here: I am the dartboard for witches.
Only the devil can eat the devil out.
In the month of red leaves I climb to a bed of fire.

It is easy to blame the dark: the mouth of a door,
The cellar’s belly. They’ve blown my sparkler out.
A black-sharded lady keeps me in parrot cage.
What large eyes the dead have!
I am intimate with a hairy spirit.
Smoke wheels from the beak of this empty jar.

If I am a little one, I can do no harm.
If I don’t move about, I’ll knock nothing over. So I said,
Sitting under a potlid, tiny and inert as a rice grain.
They are turning the burners up, ring after ring.
We are full of starch, my small white fellows. We grow.
It hurts at first. The red tongues will teach the truth.

Mother of beetles, only unclench your hand:
I’ll fly through the candle’s mouth like a singeless moth.
Give me back my shape. I am ready to construe the days
I coupled with dust in the shadow of a stone.
My ankles brighten. Brightness ascends my thighs.
I am lost, I am lost, in the robes of all this light.

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~


In keeping with today’s themes, which are, respectively, Truth, and Madness…. (what else?), I submit the following, an excerpt from the archives, from early 2012, comprised of two short pearls, one a short indictment re: the spread of religious dogma, and one short but telling list of woes currently present in Reality…. If nothing else, they’re in color…. Oh, right, that’s only if you have the correct software… never mind, just read on, you’ll understand….

“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

Now, if that isn’t a scary thought, I know nothing of fear; I assure you, however, fear is an old friend, with whom I am quite familiar, in all its guises. Now, to give credit where it is due, I suppose it must be noted that, from the standpoint of someone of Mr. Graham’s ilk, this is a very powerful statement of belief; it has all the proper elements for that particular delusional thought process (if one may stretch the definition of ‘thought process’ just a bit).

It is based purely on assumption, with no hint of anything resembling direct evidence. It implies omnipotence, displays deified arrogance, identifies a source for guilt, and encourages a fear of death. It vagueness allows the moral ambiguity necessary for the complete abrogation of personal responsibility for one’s actions. And, like all such proclamations of this nature, its very words indicate a complete and utter dislike for humans, both individually, and as a species.

My immediate and forceful response to this was “Then you, and God, need to get a Life! If y’all have nothing better to do in your copious free time than to try to shove this kind of crap into people’s minds, then you need to find a new activities director for the imaginary cruise you are on…. or find some better drugs.”  But, that’s just me…..

(Oops…. I think I just heresied on several important religions…..)

Conscious is when you are aware of something and conscience is when you wish you weren’t. — Smart Bee (Anonymous, by any other name, smells as sweet…)

Insane politicians (is there another kind?). Human trafficking. Racism. Bigotry. Child abuse. Spousal abuse. Slavery. Crack cocaine, heroin, morphine, or other drug abuse. War on crime. War on women. Televangelists. Fundamentalist zealots. National Security Agency. FBI. CIA. Untold trillions of dollars of national debt.  Genetically modified food. Military Industrial Complex. The 1%/99% Society. Taxes. Global warming. Air pollution. The oceans are dying. Terrorism. Nuclear accidents. Massive global weather changes. Ozone depletion. Overpopulation. AIDS. Mutating viruses. The Bohemian Club. Reaganomics. Nationalism. Elitism. Illuminati Conspiracy. Women’s reproductive rights. Bill of Rights (or rather, loss of same). War on the US Constitution.  Rampant ignorance. Lawyers. Priests. Rabbis. Imams.  Puppy mills. Wall Street. Corporate personhood. The IRS. Insane politicians. (Did I say that already? Well, it deserves mentioning twice….)  Rising incidence of halitosis.

Except for the last, which is more of a personal foible, I’d say that’s a fairly extensive, and mostly complete, list of stuff I am aware of that I wish I weren’t; and it all came right off the top of my head, no research.  It certainly keeps my sense of outrage in good shape….. which is why we all need to practice the following sentiment at every opportunity…. otherwise, we are all going to be up Shit Creek without a paddle, proverbial or otherwise…..

“Speak out. You’ve got to speak out against the madness.” — Steven Stills

Well there you go…. This is what happens when I’m allowed to dress myself, I guess…. Let’s see how it looks in the mirror….  Wow… it’s like a vampire, nothing shows at all…. I suppose that’s my usual morning alteration of consciousness kicking in, but, just in case it isn’t, try to ignore any parts that are showing signs of infection, okay…. And that’s all I’m required to say, according to public health regulations, so I’d best draw this to a rapid close, and catch that last train out of town, before the authorities show up for a late breakfast interrogation….  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,
and sometimes
I just sits.



Phlebotomists do it with their fingers…..

Artfully, he dodged the bullet, turning to watch it plow into the wall by his head. Slapping one palm to his forehead, he gave out a great shout, “ki aieeeeeee!”, striking to the left with his other hand, shattering the small bird statue on the pedestal. The bird screamed, and dropped the tiny silver gun….. As entropy increased, gravity grew weak, then strong, tossing the players about the room like ten-pins in a row. Finally, a loud gong sounded, whereupon everyone dutifully trooped into the great hall to hear the daily proclamation from the beloved Leader in Mystery. Headache gone, thanks to the bird’s scream, he joined the parade, knowing he would find what he sought in the great hall…. His quest neared the end, and he could almost taste the cold dish of revenge, demanded by the blood of his murdered master…. Not for nothing was he called, “Pujin, the Merciless, Nearly-Master Killer of the Temple of the Divine Duck…..

Okay, so it fell apart at the end…. I couldn’t keep my tongue planted any longer in my cheek, and had to let it show its nose…. Hmm, that doesn’t quite sound right, does it? Never mind, we’ll pretend none of it happened, and just go on with today’s Pearl, or what passes for the creative process around her on mornings, like this, when I can feel Murphy staring a hole in my back, waiting for me to approach something with paint, or cold water, or poop of some kind, to try to get me to fuck up, so he can hit me with whatever he has in mind….. the asshole…..

You would think that after all this time, he would find someone new and simpler to fool, as I’m getting pretty wise to his games…. He’s a master, of course, at making us think we have him beat, so I don’t fool myself into thinking like that for long, but, a newbie surely ought to be more fun than an old curmudgeon like me who doesn’t even have the wherewithal to get overly upset any more at his shenanigans….. But, then, nobody ever said Murphy was smart, whereas he is often described as an asshole… the asshole….

I note a bit of symmetry in those last two paragraphs, at least at the end…. Too bad we had to subject ourselves to the tender ministrations of a force of nature to achieve that, eh? I’m not complaining about Murphy, as that has been shown to be a futile pastime…. No, I’m just blathering again, trying to fill up space for the intro section, which asked me yesterday to avoid anything fancy or involved today, as it has a mind to take a day off from the strain of coming up with a new way to open up these Pearls each day….. Which is to say, of course, that my own mind is wanting the day off today… I only wish I could indulge that request, but, we’ve got stuff to do….

Well, no, we don’t, that was a lie…. I was just trying to…. well, never mind, a lie is a lie, and there’s no excuse, so I won’t offer any….. I’ll just ignore it, and go on to the daily dive, which, given the crap I’ve created here, could conceivably get a bit dangerous for the uninitiated…. Please watch your step, I have a feeling it may get a bit tricky to navigate today….. Shall we Pearl?…..

ISMISM:  Belief in any distinctive doctrine, theory or practice. Ismism was   started up in the mid-1980s by a splinter group from “Atheists For Christ”. Ismism meetings gained quick popularity, and Ismism leader Ralph Snider travelled the world promoting his paper “Why I Argue A Lot”. The followers of Ismism are generally agreed to be very confused people. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

Strangely enough, I believe a Church of ISISM was founded, as well, though not by Mr. Snider, to my knowledge….. What I do know is that the Board of Directors of the Amtrak system are probably charter members of both the church and the movement itself; this much is made plain by the obviously fucktarded business practices as carried out by their employees. The people who run the national train system here in the US are obviously those guys who got the C’s, D’s and F’s in business school, because their employees don’t seem to give much of a shit whether they do their work or not….. Allow me to describe my own experience with the results of their asinine inability to run a viable business….

The train station in Martinez, CA is rather nice, having been built within the last 20 years or so, so it’s still fairly clean, and most everything seems to work, except, of course the vending machines, which are programmed to steal money rather than give snacks. Oh, and there was the snack bar itself, which was closed during the period prior to the train’s arrival, choosing to ignore the 50 or 60 potential customers waiting to board the train… No sense in trying to make TOO much money, now, is there? Seems to be their attitude, because I’ve never seen the place open, no matter what time I’ve come there to meet trains….. They just like to have the open counter there, so people can look at all the stuff they can’t buy….

I’d booked a coach seat for my trip, but was not looking forward to a 14 hour train ride sitting up, so, when I saw that the trains were advertising on-board Wifi, I decided to pay the OUTRAGEOUS amount (more than THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS more than the coach seat, already more than a hundred….. for what is essentially a big bus….) they wanted for a sleeper compartment, the smallest they have, called a “roomette”. It’s almost big enough for a normal sized child to sit in comfortably, but for me, a Boeing 747 wide body, it was somewhat cramped, if I tried to stand up. That was okay, as there was no attendant assigned to my car, as I found out after having to haul my suitcase up a stairway designed to accommodate hobbits, or short, skinny elves, and I needed to sit down to recover from getting on board….

An attendant from the car behind mine showed up after about 20 minutes, when I was informed that she wouldn’t be able to turn down my bed, as she was still working on the car behind her, and wouldn’t be done for a while…. So, if I wanted to lie down to sleep, I had to drop down the upper bunk, get the mattress waiting there, then figure out how to make the two facing chairs turn into a bed to put it on… Well, this was too much for my back to accomplish, so I just tried to crawl up on the bunk to sleep, after the ordeal of trying to remove clothing in a space not big enough to turn around or bend over, once the bunk was down… all without hurting my back…. ‘Twas indeed a small miracle…..Climbing up was another ordeal, whereupon I found the only light control was down below, so rather than try to go down to find it, I tried to sleep a while with the light shining in my face….

Between the light in my eyes, the rocking and noise of the train, and my old bladder, my sleep lasted about 30 minutes…. Getting up, throwing on pants, using the head, and coming back to my tiny little space was so exhausting I decided to just sit up rather than try to get back in the bunk… so, I settled down to sleep in the chair, which I could have done much better in one of the big coach seats, as it turns out….. Sleeping fitfully from about 2 AM until about 6:30, I saw nobody, train staff, or passengers, stirring about…. I sat up, painfully finishing the Pearl I’d worked on for that morning…. painfully, because the alleged table was about the size of a postage stamp, with nowhere to use the mouse, but in the air next to the table…. not terribly useful.

About 0700, I took the computer and walked back to the Parlor Lounge, where the WiFi was supposed to be available, when the car was scheduled to open, at 0700, according to the literature with my ticket. The attendant there was still working on getting the car ready, so I asked him when I might have the service I paid for…. He informed me that it was hooked up, but only worked when the train was in Klamath Falls at the station…. the rest of the trip, the mountains and terrain blocked the signal from the network…. “Brilliant,” I thought, “Not only can I not get my Pearl posted, I have nothing at all to do for the next five and a half hours….”, having not brought a book, thinking the computer, and internet, would entertain me….. SIGH…. I was beginning to believe I had somehow died without noticing, and was now on  the TRAIN TO HELL…..

I went back to my “roomette”… On the way, I saw the young lady ostensibly covering the service in my room, and asked her if I could get the breakfast service in my room, as advertised. She said she would be there “in a few minutes”…. 30 minutes later, she shows up, takes my order, acting as if she was doing me a favor, and disappears, with no word as to when it might be expected…. After about 45 minutes, the train pulled into Klamath Falls, where it sat for about 25 minutes to let off and take on passengers and luggage, allowing passengers to step off the train to have a smoke, if so desired (no smoking allowed anywhere on the train….). As I stepped off to do just that, I noted the attendant performing the same act of vice-maintenance; I said nothing, just finished my smoke and went back to my room, so I wouldn’t miss the food’s arrival…. I needn’t have hurried, as she didn’t come in behind me, as far as I could tell…. I checked, because, as I said, I was starving…..

The train resumed the journey, but, still no breakfast…. After another 45 minutes, and over two hours after I asked to have the food, telling the server I was starving (my exact words….), it still hadn’t arrived…. I got up, pretty steamed, and started toward the dining car, intending to find some food… As I rounded the turn in the car behind me, I saw the young woman approaching with a large paper bag in her hand…. I said, “Aha!”, spun on my heel, and started back to my room, not even looking at her after turning…

As I walked through the door between cars, I growled low in my throat, and hit my walking stick hard on the metal floor to catch my balance, (the floor moves….). and express a bit of frustration… At my room, I stowed the stick, sat, and waited for the food… She arrived and literally dumped the bag on the table, without a word, set down the coffee I’d asked for (two hours before), then, continued down the hall, and down the stairs to the conductor’s office below, where she apparently complained about my hitting the stick on the floor….

As I was trying to get my food out of the bag and fit on the tiny little table, the conductor appeared, and said I had been “threatening” to the attendant…. Well, at this point, I had had enough, so I proceeded to let my PTSD have its way, and treated the conductor to a full blown, tears flowing, crying rant, detailing my miserable night, the worse morning, and my intent to sue the rail system for everything they had….

I told him I had paid less money to stay at a Five Star Hotel, (the truth), that I was disabled, and had to carry my own luggage on board, spent a miserable night without a bed, that I had received NONE of the services for which I had paid over three hundred dollars, and I was now going to try to eat my COLD sausage and eggs with my COLD coffee, and he should just leave me alone before I totally lost control…. Having ranted in full out crying mode for about five full minutes at that point, I sat back, looked out the window, and ignored him until he went away…..

Well, I think I got the message across, to him, at least, as  a bit later, he came back, apologized for my troubles, and tried to make nice for the company…. He couldn’t do anything about the ticket price, of course, (note the eyebrows wiggling up and down…..) but he suggested I complain and request a refund, because the management needed to hear about this kind of thing…. He stated he would be talking with the supervisor of the attendant for her lack of sensitivity and laziness, and offered to help me get my bag downstairs when we arrived in an hour or so…. His attitude, correct as it was, only served to point up the contrast with the service I should have received, and didn’t, in any respect…..

Fortunately for all, my friend was there to meet me, and whisk me away before I could devise a way to torment the office staff at the Eugene station, or blow somebody up like I’d been blown for the last 14 hours…. Instead, we went and had lunch, and I was able to decompress enough to enjoy the rest of my visit with my buddy and his partner, Cyn….  The wine helped, for sure…..

This rant has helped a bit, as well…. though, I have to say, in looking back over it, I was nicer than I should have been, and much nicer to them than they were to me…. This is also going to help, because I intend to include a link to this Pearl in the letter I send to them, eventually, with the expressed hope that the tale goes viral on the Net, and my intent to publish it as widely as I can, to start a whispering, word-of-mouth campaign as a message to them to either clean up their act, or get out of business…. I’m not going to settle for anything less…. They’ve already lost my business for the rest of my life, and I had intended to travel by train a lot…. Now, that is NOT going to happen, not without some kind of assurance that stuff like this doesn’t happen again, to anyone…..

“The only thing wrong with doing nothing is that you never know when you’re done.” — The Stovall’s Law of negative inaction

Composing the above mild rant tired me out, not unsurprisingly…. Before I started writing so much on a daily basis, I hadn’t realized that PTSD, as one  of its characteristics that comes down on the negative side, can make it tiring to think about old stuff that was of a traumatic nature, due to the tendency for the emotional content to recreate itself, strongly, generally causing an overflow of tears and embarrassment (I know, it’s okay to cry, but doing it in public places is somewhat of a facer, what?….. Not exactly the image I’m trying to create on the streets…..). Any who, I’m fagged, though having only been up about two hours….

A fresh poem isn’t ready, so I’m going back to the archives, but will add a fresh haiku, written this morning, before pasting in the older poem…..  As every day this month, this is for the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here: (I still don’t know if I’m doing this right, but, oh well….)


Bright sun rises up,
glory against a blue sky.
Joy is now, today.

~~ gigoid


A Failure to Germinate

Marking the days in elements of sad disarray
only holds me thrall, as I laugh while I may.
With cold, hard hands so impatient and cruel
pulling me to this vale of tears, a pathetic old fool.

Feelings sit silent, cast in shadows and light
breaking forth to implicate such vengeful might.
Just below the surface they patiently hide
to sally forth bravely, colors bright as they ride.

Tears and pain transform valued assets in hand
while comfort and serenity retreat to a far land.
Bold, bright patterns of hope garnish my ruinous state
until reality enters, full of disdainful portions of hate.

I sort out the illustrious measures of vision gone mild
only to find them transformed, now vicious and wild.
In my deepest desires I find myself calloused and cold
with faithless advocates whose souls have been sold.

My search finds little to support any hope of relief
far too much time has passed to bolster such belief.
The sad becomes real, and real becomes unfounded
until flights of such fancy are all dead, and grounded.

Nature has informed me of the newly hatched crime
that reality has boasted of proudly, time after time.
The last answer we think of is always the best
as we come to terms with fate, our hope at rest.

~~ gigoid


In re: freshness, since the poem section is only half and half, I’ll put together an old-school pearl for this last section today…. It’s a bit shorter, and takes less time than another rant…. Here is one with a very obscure, but valid, point…. which, of course, is left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader….. (that’s you…..) ….. Enjoy!

But Faith, fanatic Faith, once wedded fast
To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last.

– Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Lalla Rookh, The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan

‘Tis not the fairest form that holds The mildest, purest soul within;
‘Tis not the richest plant that holds The sweetest fragrance in.

– Dawes

“Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece.” — Vladimir Nabokov

“In God We Trust.” I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true.” — Mark Twain

“Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.” — Jules de Gaultier

“It is human nature to think wisely & act foolishly.” — Anatole France

He ne’er is crown’d
With immortality, who fears to follow
Where airy voices lead.

– John Keats (1795-1821) — Endymion, Book ii

Okay, why don’t y’all sit back and cogitate a moment while I go back and punch this up….. Not too shabby, I think…. I may hit out at Amtrak again some day soon; I don’t think I quite got all of my anger at them resolved. No worries, everything comes in the fullness of time, so I’ve heard….  ;-)

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,
and sometimes
I just sits.



Several of the anchovies have objected….

Damn it! I knew this would happen! If I had listened to my own advice, I would have put it away somewhere safe…. But, nooooo….. I had to carry it around in my pocket like a book of matches or something, and now, it’s gone. Poof! Disappeared from my front left pocket, sometime between the time I put the pants on in the morning, to when I wanted to use it later that afternoon. My Dad always told me, if you want it safe, put it in your pocket; he forgot about holes, obviously, because that’s what happened here. Or, that’s what I assume, anyway, as it certainly wouldn’t have jumped out of the pocket, and there happens to be a medium sized hole, right at the bottom. Well, the size wouldn’t matter anyway, since it can assume almost any shape, and adjust its size as needed…..

Okay, you tell me….. what did I lose? I tried to write the above without a clue as to what it might be, and it looks as if I’ve succeeded at that quite well, thank you….. It’s all quite true, and there is actually an object, or rather a thing (yes, such a flexible noun is necessary….), that I seem to have lost…. well, that is, if one may assume that it was ever truly mine…. I’ll not keep you in suspense any longer, as I see there really isn’t any way to guess, unless you’re able to read my mind….. Have yet to find anyone who can do so, not with any success…. Besides, I know for a fact that anyone reading my mind would quickly go mad, from trying to decipher, or keep up with what is going on in there at any random moment….

Sang-froid…. that’s what I lost…. Since it’s rather an uncommon word as used in English, and is in French to boot, I’ll tell you that it means, essentially, composure under duress, a sort of unflappable calm that one carries with them as a defense against the massively emotional, chaotic happenings that take place regularly in Reality. These days, people would say I had lost my “cool”, or my “chill”….. and they would be accurate, mostly. It is a quality common to those who are true leaders, or to any competent philosopher; one that is not common to anyone who allows Reality to determine their feelings for them, as reactions to stress or trouble.

As a personal quality, it is extremely useful, as it provides one with a state of mind that is impervious to the depredations of Reality upon our senses, allowing one the mental space to think clearly, and to avoid the indignity of being forced to react in a manner controlled by the events we encounter. It inspires others who witness its presence to emulate its serenity, thereby being as useful to others as to ourselves. In my own case, I have not yet reached a point in my personal voyage where I can wear the cloak of invulnerability it supplies at all times; it isn’t yet that large or stable…. so, I’ve kept it in my pocket, and put it on when I can, to try to stretch it out into a larger garment that I can wear always…..

Well, there you go…. four reasonably concise paragraphs on one subject, and no sign of a pearl. I suppose the little meander we just took through that corridor in my mind was interesting enough…. if you’re a psychologist of sorts, or someone interested in self-improvement as a way of life. Otherwise, I’m hopeful it didn’t put anyone to sleep….. No matter, it filled up another intro section, and this time it’s not necessarily nonsense, as it it real, and all of what I’ve written is, in my mind, gospel…. or, what I hold in that regard…..

Now that it’s out of the way, it would be well to keep it moving, so you don’t have time to stop and think about what I’m doing…. (pay no attention to the man behind the curtain….). In hopes of maintaining the illusion of sanity I’ve created thus far today, we’ll go on now, to the area where Smart Bee is waiting for me to start today’s dive…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“As a draft-animal is yoked in a wagon, even so the spirit is yoked in this body.” — Upanishads (c. B.C. 800)

Each of us is faced at times with the consciousness of our own approaching encounter with Death, the moment in time when our yoke is removed, and our spirit is freed, to once more join the rest of the conscious minds in the universe in roaming through realms of Reality we cannot see in this form. This Reality we cannot see is much larger, in one sense, than the one we can now perceive; it has to be, to be able to accommodate all the souls that have gone before, and all that are now present on Earth, that will someday join the rest of them, when they die…..

Every human being alive must face their own Death (I am capitalizing the word to give it the proper respect as one of the most important concepts we have as humans….); this is a truism no one can deny, or refute. Many people have banded together, to assume the belief that our universe was created this way by a supernatural being, who, for some unknown, and unknowable (self-explanatory, I think….) reason, decided that we are “special”, and gave us, and only us, the knowledge we have, and our very lives. This, of course, is rather hard to believe, as it doesn’t really account for much of what is observable truth in Reality, being, as it is, complete speculation, devoid of any concrete evidence to support it…..

“There is no conclusive evidence that there is life after death. There is also no real evidence to the contrary. Soon enough, you will know. So, why fret about it?” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert A. Heinlein

I first read this aphorism when I was in my early teens; it codified, and made succinct, what I had already concluded about the major religions of the world, i.e., they’re a collection of unwarranted, and unproven, assumptions. What’s more, they are all highly unlikely, given the observable parameters of the real world. It became obvious to me, as it is to many, that what the religious folks were trying to get me to believe was intended merely to soften my mind, making it more amenable to suggestion, of which they have an endless supply. Preachers, priests, imams, nuns, all are quite willing to give other people advice and suggestions on how they should live, in exhaustive detail, for as long as they are allowed to do so….

Since I had very little desire to have other people decide for me how I should think, or live my life, I rejected the dogma they tried to force into my head, turning instead to other sources of thought about Life, Death, and Reality. I found an endless supply of folks who had thought long and deeply about all of these ideas, and gladly did I read all I could of everything I could find on the subject. In addition, I read science fiction, during the years when its popularity had just begun to climb to the heights it now occupies; sci-fi has always been literature that explored, and continues to explore, the very limits of thought, both in the real world, and the world of the mind.

As is seen by the first pearl above, these thoughts and ideas are not new with me; mankind has been thinking about these concepts since we first sat around the campfires, wondering at the beauty of the heavens we saw above our heads, and all around us. In all that time, no conclusions have been reached that seem to cover ALL of the questions we have about the universe. We still don’t have a clue as to “what is the mind”, or “what is thought”…. and if we cannot understand ourselves, what chance do we have of unraveling the secrets of the universe around us? Not much, would be my guess…

That, fortunately, does not mean it is impossible to know the truth, nor does it mean we are condemned to die in ignorance and fear…. I know this because I have learned in my time that our fear is a direct outgrowth of our ignorance; we fear what we do not understand. Now, if I were a God, why would I make people that way, unless for some ulterior motive, having to do with motivations that are human, not divine? No, it just doesn’t make sense to me to assume that we were put here with a deliberate handicap, just to see how we dealt with it; that seems more like an evil scientist at work than a compassionate deity.

“One must marry one’s feelings to one’s beliefs and ideas.  That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one’s life.” — Etty Hilsum

Since I believe firmly in the Law of Conservation of Energy (proven true in this universe, to all our knowledge), and, I believe that our minds/souls are a form of energy we currently don’t fully understand, and cannot perceive directly, then the concept of Death is nothing to fear, as it merely means that my current state of energy will be replaced with another state, one I don’t currently have the ability to perceive. What that state may be like may be unknown, but that doesn’t mean it is something of which I should be afraid…. I prefer to look at it as the next great adventure….

So, when my father died, I asked him to leave me some trail-sign, to let me know how to find him in the next reality; he smiled at me, and said he would do that… and I was much comforted by that, knowing that our connection as family can never be severed, and that, someday, I would once more have the pleasure, and comfort, of his presence…. Now that’s something to look forward to, don’t you think?…. Much better than worrying that what I do now is going to determine what happens to me after I die, a silly proposition, at best……

“Do not think that man is but flesh, skin, bones and veins; far from it! What really makes man is his soul; and the things we call skin, flesh, bones and veins are but a garment, a cloak; they do not constitute man. When man departs this earth, he divests himself of all the veils that conceal him.” — Zohar

The last week or so has been rather a struggle, pain-wise; one of my hips is annoyed at the chair I use, and is showing its displeasure in the most obvious way. This, while understandable, given my age and degree of arthritic decline, is not particularly comfortable. (As you can see, I’m trying not to whine…. not very successfully, I’m afraid….) Any who, to cut a long story down to size, and to alleviate some of my pain by sitting for less time, I’m including here a poem I wrote, from last October, that touches on the subject of pain….. actually, it’s more of a solid punch than a mere touch….

Denial of Comfort

Baleful chairs become the enemy, heralded in red
seemingly welcome softness beckons with a smile,
waiting, content with slaughter, they are finally led
screaming in agony, deluged in venom all the while.

Desperate distraction becomes such a friendless fire
for all the patterns of autumn’s pale dismay,
leaving sincerely latent trails in spirals of twisted wire,
while memory insists, again, upon failure, palpably evil, and fey.

Fat, jaded tears would have fallen in good time,
if only the suitable suitor had scaled the garden’s wall.
Credence for discounted prices luckily in their prime
bring only fascinated eyes into such a hallowed hall.

Searching for answers is ever a clever portrayal
with studious accouterments to fulfill each common rule.
Arguably patient pictures of science and honest betrayal
shall evermore languish, in light of passion so elegantly cruel.

~~ gigoid

Once again, Smart Bee has usurped my prerogatives, herding me to the place where I can do naught but allow him/her/it to pick out a group of pearls for this section. I guess what I wrote above could be considered a religirant, so a seven-star pearl is quite appropriate for our purposes today. This, upon looking at its final shape, is what I’d call a harlequin pearl, addressing several different categories of reality, each with its own importance to itself, and to the whole…. and if you think I know what that means, you haven’t been paying close attention…. Any who, here are seven pearls for your perusal, and edification…. Enjoy!….

“Truth is as impossible to be soiled by any outward touch as the sunbeam.” — John Milton (1608-1674)

“An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.” — Samuel Johnson

“In regards to Oral Roberts’ claim that God told him that he would die unless he received $20 million by March, God’s lawyers have stated that their client has not spoken with Roberts for several years. Off the record, God has stated that “If I had wanted to ice the little toad, I would have done it a long time ago.” — Dennis Miller, SNL News
(…  :-)  …)

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” — James Madison

“* I’d say it’s an element of any post-allegorical discussive climax of the positionist stance. Either that or a load of bollocks.” — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Rule a kingdom as though you were cooking a small fish.” — Lao Tzu

“I’ve got to get back to Reality.  Where IS that silly Blue Dragon?” — Smart Bee

Thus, we see, as time majestically passes by, ignoring our pleas to slow, how easy it is to be insane…. It’s fun, too!  Before anyone can take it upon themselves to call for the men in white suits, I’m going to escape back into my own little head, and let stuff percolate until tomorrow, when once more, I will take up the standards of Truth, and smite mightily the foes of Reason…. or, maybe not. Sounds good, though, doesn’t it?….. I’ll stop torturing y’all now….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.



Curmudgeons are people, too….

In a break from routine, today’s title actually fits in with today’s material. Or with the author’s mood, if nothing else…. I awoke, again very late, for me, and my first thought was stimulated by the dream that had just finished. It was, “Well, shit, here we go again….” Perfect….

The dream was some nonsensical series of unlikely events that I won’t try to explain, as my dreaming mind is MUCH weirder than anything I’ve written here. One of the dream’s other participants in these events was my older brother, Tim…. for a long time, I held a lot of anger inside me re: my brother. In my humble opinion, for most of the 17 years I spent with him in the house, he was one of the world’s biggest assholes…. he was totally self-centered, and seemed to have never gotten over being 14, the most obnoxious age for males.

I was still pissed at him when I was 40, and he was 43, as I discovered one day, when he tripped the switch on the anger I had been holding in for all those years. He did something very selfish, which was his habit, left over from his teen years, and caused my little boy a good dose of disappointment, for no reason other than his own sheer narcissism. So I took the lid off, and blew him away with about 40 years of built up anger at his antics. He was totally flabbergasted, and has since made some effort to change that part of him, with some moderate success…. he’s still an asshole, but he is nicer than he used to be…. that’s just not saying much….

Any who, I woke up this morning having just dealt with those feelings again, and it made my first view of the day somewhat cranky… and it still is…. only now I’m cranky about real stuff that is picking at me today in reality….. My only hope, I think, for a day that doesn’t end up with me alienating someone or other, is to put this crank into some pearls…. There are certainly enough targets out there in reality, giving me a veritable buffet of choices to target with my vitriol….. That part will be fun, and will hopefully get it all out, for once again, the situation calls for using the adage, “better out than in”….. or it will eat me up from the inside out…. Shall we Pearl?…..

Yesterday, while searching for pearls, more of Will Shakespeare’s crap kept popping up, getting in the way & wasting my time with BS couplets that have no meaning in modern times, and thus are truly inscrutable, even more so than in his own time….. Now, this morning, when I am NOT in the mood for him or his nonsense, this was the third pearl to surface, so I figured, “Hey, there is a suitable, and convenient, target for all this angst I’ve built up….” So, here are the quotes from Will that got in the way today, as further proof of how much he deserves all the crankiness I can dump on him….

“How still the evening is as hush’d on purpose to grace harmony!” — William Shakespeare

(Huh? Mama nature is throwing up in the bushes over this one…..)

“Palsied eld.”  — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Measure for Measure — Act iii, Sc. 1

(I reiterate, huh?…..)

“I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), As You Like It — Act v, Sc. 1

(For him, this is so good, I think he must have plagiarized it from somewhere…..)

“You two are book-men.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Love’s Labour ‘s Lost — Act iv, Sc. 2

(This is just about the weakest insult I think I’ve ever seen…..whomever he said it to must be either quaking in their boots, mockingly, or choking because they’re laughing so hard….)

“Damnable, both sides rogue.” — William Shakespeare

(Once more, with feeling…. Huh?….)

“And let me wring your heart; for so I shall, if it be made of penetrable stuff.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act iii, Sc. 4

Okay, I’ll show some mercy, and make this the last for today…. I hadn’t really intended to take shots at Will today, but his crap kept getting all over my boots…. so…. To comment on the last one, from Hamlet…. I wonder how long it took him to come up with the word “stuff” to use in that particular place…. I hope not a long time, because it stinks, quite simply. A heart made of “penetrable stuff”?  Pathetic, pitiful, and any other demeaning word of your choice…. there are so many that would be appropriate, I can’t decide which to use…..

All Is Vanity, Saieth the Preacher

Fame, wisdom, love, and power were mine,
And health and youth possess’d me;
My goblets blush’d from every vine,
And lovely forms caress’d me;
I sunn’d my heart in beauty’s eyes,
And felt my soul grow tender:
All earth can give, or mortal prize,
Was mine of regal splendour.

I strive to number o’er what days
Remembrance can discover,
Which all that life or earth displays
Would lure me to live over.
There rose no day, there roll’d no hour
Of pleasure unembitter’d;
And not a trapping deck’d my power
That gall’d not while it glitter’d.

The serpent of the field, by art
And spells, is won from harming;
But that which coils around the heart,
Oh! who hath power of charming?
It will not list to wisdom’s lore,
Nor music’s voice can lure it;
But there it stings for evermore
The soul that must endure it.

George Gordon Lord Byron

In keeping with today’s theme of political and literary relevance and chicanery (you may combine the two nouns with the two descriptive adjectives as you choose…), I offer this from Lord Byron…. it seems to fit rather well with the rant below…. Enjoy!

TUESDAY’S WEATHER – FOR HELL:  Hell will be hot during tonight, boiling over to boiling early Tuesday morning. Towards the middle of the day it will be sweltering, with a heat-wave later in the day.  Wednesday: Hot  Thursday: Hot   Friday: Hot  Saturday (the day that peace is predicted to be declared in the Middle East, the national economy will recover, pigs will fly, and a brain scan on Dan Quayle Mitt the Twitt will be positive): Cold, with snow and ice, possible blizzards. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA.

You could add to the list of impossible things to happen on Saturday “Mitt the Twitt will quote something that is absolutely true…” I have been reading about his latest gaffes over the last few days, since he has been back from his disastrous trip to Europe. He has managed, on two consecutive days, to pull one lie after another out of his commodious hat regarding his opponent, inadvertently strengthening the President’s position and weakening his own even more, if that is possible. The man is his own worst enemy.

He continues to refuse to show his tax returns, even though he is now aware that each time he refuses, he loses more and more support. Eventually, unless he shows them, he will have no remaining supporters, and the Republicans will have to concede the election before it even gets to the polls…. I read an interesting take yesterday on why he won’t release them…. the author of this particular piece made the observation that Mitt has calculated just how much his refusal is costing him in support, and weighed that cost against what is in the returns. He obviously feels that whatever is in there will be worse than not releasing them, no matter how bad it gets. That implies that there are some pretty damning facts in there, that he cannot afford to release into the public eye, knowing that it would ring the death knell for his campaign….

“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleges, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives. ” — Tolstoy

Actually, I think that if he were forced to drop out of the race, it would produce a situation that is very reflective of current American society. We would have a sitting President who is liberal, with a liberal Senate, and a conservative House of Representatives, just like now. But, we would also have a Republican party in complete chaos, having to come to terms with the fact that they are so out of touch with the MAJORITY of Americans that there is no one at all they can put in the field who would serve as competition for the President.

No one. None. All the other would-be candidates have already proven they cannot engender the needed public support to successfully challenge the incumbent, so it seems to me that they will either have to pick someone they don’t like themselves, but who is liberal enough to pose a threat to the other side, or they will have to admit that they no longer represent a significant portion of the public, and split into about five pieces, ranging from moderate, middle-of-the-road to the skinheads on the far right. All of those splinter parties would be pretty much guaranteed to fail, as their support bases will be in the minority….

I have yet to check out the news from yesterday, but I know for certain there will be more instances of Mitt’s puerile inability to tell the truth…. he can’t help himself; it is congenital, a maladaptive behavior that has been reinforced throughout much of his adult life. He simply can’t seem to open his mouth without saying something that isn’t true; this is so obvious, I can’t understand how seemingly bright, intelligent people continue to support these lies, and the liar who tells them. It seems to me that a lot of his supporters are losing some of the strength of their commitment to him…. they still speak up in his defense, but fall silent quickly when the proof of his untruths are made clear (The man has no sense at all! He lies about stuff that is documented, or on video, like he forgot he said it, or something….. it’s pathetic!).

I guess that will be enough of picking on the Twitt for one day. I’m still a bit cranky, but this certainly helped. It’s always good when I can rip someone like him to shreds by using his own words against him; less guilt involved that way, since he proves with every other breath just how much he deserves the jabs and pokes the media gives him. I’m just one of the crowd when it comes to cataloging his lies….. May he continue down the path to self-destruction upon which he now treads, and may he reach the end quickly…… :-)

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself….. I’m going to take my chances, and let it go as is; I kinna do no more! Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.




Coping skills for bald penguins…..

Nature will always tell us, in her inimitable style, when we are getting too weird. I’ve had this proven to me on numerous occasions, as I have a tendency toward weird, a genetic gift from my grandfather, who made his living as “a performance artiste” around the turn of the 20th century. She (Nature, of course…) generally lets us know we have strayed beyond the boundaries of propriety in some grand, publicly embarrassing fashion, such as slyly convincing us that, “Yes! Everyone at the soirée really WANTS to see me dancing on a table with a lamp shade on my head!” Of course, she lied, but that doesn’t come out until later, when one is already in the doghouse……

What, you might ask, does this have to do with the morning Pearl? Not a damn thing that I know of…. when I sat down to type, this is what came out….. Oh, it’s all true, though I believe it might have been a colander rather than a lamp shade…. I’m pretty sure I remember thinking (if what I do when deeply influenced by the Beast can be called such….) that the colander had a cool, spaceman look to it, which is why I wore it. But there is nothing from that night (a night whose memory, blurred as it is, I keep in the category of ~I-hoped-it-had-been-forgotten~….) that has anything to do with getting this Pearl finished. Or, rather, started….

I suppose it’s just another of the odd little mind-games I play with myself during this introductory section. Though it doesn’t have anything to do with creating a Pearl, one could say that it helped in the process, by giving me something to do for a beginning, even though it has absolutely no relation to anything remotely interesting. Of course, if you are the kind of reader who enjoys thinking of the author in embarrassing situations, well, then, I guess this is right up your alley…. Boy, and they call ME weird!

Regardless of why, or how, or even if, this intro section evolved into its present state, here it is, four paragraphs later, still trying to find the doorway into the diving area, so we can go find some pearls. Oh, wait, I see it now!…. Okay, we can now stop discussing this abysmal foray into weirdness, and get on with the day’s business…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent,  hard-working, honest Americans.  It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity.  But then–we elected them.” — Lily Tomlin

During the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, the true financial picture of humanity was drawn, with the ratio being 99% to 1%. It seems that Lily had noted this phenomenon somewhat earlier in time, using slightly different, but no less valid, figures of 98% to 2%. I think it would be safe to say that these two statements are equal, and pretty much describe accurately how society is structured, financially, and, as it turns out, morally….

That simple fact is what makes it so hard for me to accept what takes place in the public arena, without having to resort to ranting. Not that I mind ranting, far from it….. but it’s hard to accept the truth of the situation, because that truth is that people have actually CHOSEN to put themselves in the situation we have today. Actually, it is more accurate to say, it is due to the inaction of those who disagree with the politicians and corporate pirates; they get disgusted and don’t vote, so all the idiots who fall for the BS being flung around end up voting the thieves back into office, every time……

I mean, it’s not as if the truth isn’t out there to be found. Every day, people like me, and Jueseppi B., and 3hickspolitico, and a lot of other web sites, write the truth about what is being said in the public arena. We rant, and show, by way of incontrovertible recorded audio and video proof, that the talking heads are lying their butts off, and people just nod their heads and ignore it, preferring to bury their heads in the sand rather than accept the truth.

“If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Anatole France

It is disheartening to say the least, when so many folks choose ignorance over truth; it is almost enough for me to wash my hands of it, and let them enjoy the fruits of their ignorant choices. Unfortunately, that means that I, too, must put up with the thieves who suck from the public tit, and that is not acceptable to me. I’m tired of having to look away, or ignore the latest outrage from that quarter, just to stay sane. SIGH….

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
– Thomas Gray (1716-1771) — Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 19

But, so be it. Hating it, and complaining about it won’t make it go away…. all I can do is this. I write, time and time again, warning people of the crap they are putting up with, and show them how they are being used and abused by the beloved ruling classes. It’s probably just shouting into the wind, but since it is all I can do, I’ll keep doing it. After all, all you can do is all you can do….

“A police state is great, so long as you’re the police.” — Smart Bee

Okay, here is another “old-school” Pearl…. and yes, it makes a specific point. Read all of them, in order, and the message will be crystal clear…..

“The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent- slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings.” — H. L. Mencken

BIBLE : A bible is a book which one or more religions consider to be holy, and to be something that they should follow. It is of course generally rather impractical to follow books, not just because they  don’t often go anywhere, but also because they are not very good at public speaking, decision making, problem solving, or any of the other qualities recognized as being an advantage for leadership. A religion based around the teachings of any compilation of Toxic Custard would be very strange indeed. To subscribe to this new cult following, send $15 now. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Angels, I read, belong to nine different orders. Seraphs are the highest; they are aflame with love for God; cherubs, who are second, possess perfect knowledge of him. So love is greater than knowledge; how could I have forgotten? The seraphs are born of a stream of fire issuing from under God’s throne… Moving perpetually toward God, they perpetually praise him, crying Holy, Holy, Holy… But, they can sing only the first ‘Holy’ before the intensity of their love ignites them again and dissolves them again, perpetually into flames. ‘Abandon everything,’ Dionysius the Areopagite told his disciple. ‘God despises ideas.’ — Annie Dillard, “Holy the Firm”

“Man has a single basic choice:  to think or not, and that is the measure of his virtue.  Moral perfection is an unbreached rationality — not the degree of your intelligence, but the full and relentless use of your mind, not the extent of your knowledge, but the acceptance of reason as an absolute.” — John Galt

“Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.” — H. L. Mencken

“The sagacious reader who is capable of reading between these lines what does not stand written in them, but is nevertheless implied, will be able to form some conception.” — Goethe (1749-1832)  — Autobiography, Book xviii, Truth and Beauty

There you go…. I can’t make it any plainer than that…..

A Party Of Lovers

Pensive they sit, and roll their languid eyes,
Nibble their toast, and cool their tea with sighs,
Or else forget the purpose of the night,
Forget their tea — forget their appetite.
See with cross’d arms they sit — ah! happy crew,
The fire is going out and no one rings
For coals, and therefore no coals Betty brings.
A fly is in the milk-pot — must he die
By a humane society?
No, no; there Mr. Werter takes his spoon,
Inserts it, dips the handle, and lo! soon
The little straggler, sav’d from perils dark,
Across the teaboard draws a long wet mark.
Arise! take snuffers by the handle,
There’s a large cauliflower in each candle.
A winding-sheet, ah me! I must away
To No. 7, just beyond the circus gay.
‘Alas, my friend! your coat sits very well;
Where may your tailor live?’ ‘I may not tell.
O pardon me — I’m absent now and then.
Where might my tailor live? I say again
I cannot tell, let me no more be teaz’d –
He lives in Wapping, might live where he pleas’d.’

John Keats

Hmm…. it seems that young Mr. Keats also had issues with society…. but he sure could make it sound important! I like the ending especially, with its tongue firmly entrenched in his cheek….. Enjoy!

Often, reaching the end of a day’s work is a surprise, at least from a time-centered view. Nonetheless, I have done so again, and feel it would be best not to fuss with it any further. Knowing when to walk away is the most important skill we have, in a lot of ways…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.




Plastic flowers never grow….

Great…. I’ve just discovered that there is a species of spider small enough to live in a laptop computer. As I sat here, gazing at the screen with my usual (for this time in the morning) vacuous stare, a tiny spider-shadow began to lower itself down in front of the screen. I followed its progress, and, lo, it disappeared! The only place for it to have gone is inside the computer…. so now, I have an entirely new universe of things to worry about…..

Like how many of them are in there? Or, are they poisonous to humans? Or, just what are they finding in there to eat? And that thought itself brought in a whole new set of visions, of tiny hordes of livestock infesting my computer, dodging the keys as they get pressed, but otherwise enjoying free reign to wander around in there…. Yikes!

Actually, when I look at the images that my mind provides when I consider this scenario, it reminds me of some of the animated movies that have come out recently. Take some weird, micro-sized, cute, witty, cheerful creatures, put them in some magnificently odd and beautiful landscapes; throw in a good screenwriter, and you’ve got a summer hit on your hands. The Adventures of Laptop Louise you could call it…. or not. But, it’s just odd enough to make some money for somebody….

Also interesting it is to note that once again, Life adapts to reality. I’ve always liked and admired spiders; any creature that reduces the number of flies in the world is my kind of creature…. also, having cut my literary teeth on Spider Man and his ilk, I know there is a lot about them to admire, from a physical standpoint.

Fast, strong, often poisonous, and with the ability to make web, a thoroughly competent hunter, with the tools to capture and subdue any prey within its size parameters. Once humans are gone from this plane of existence, I would vote for them as one of the most logical replacements at the top of the food chain….. they have the added bonus of not having too large a brain for their own good…. which has obviously been our problem all along….

Ah well, this kind of meandering will never get me to the end of this Pearl, interesting though it may be. That’s the trouble with being a polymath… it is ALL so damned interesting, I can’t keep from going for it…. So be it. Shall we Pearl?….

Today we will begin with an old school pearl…. here are a series of pearls, each with its own point. Together, they make a statement of belief, or at least of agreement. That belief is left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader…..

Government is the only known enemy of intelligent life. — Smart Bee

“The only way to combat criminals is by not voting for them.”– Dayton Allen

“To preserve liberty, it is necessary that the whole body of the people possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” — Richard Henry Lee
    Okay, so it isn’t completely old school… the old school wouldn’t have had art…. but the message is the same. I’m going to be indulgent, and just state it for you, so you can give it away as needed….. There is NOBODY in the government you can trust. Nobody. They are all just clones of Herr Goerring, though most are not as arrogantly honest about it.

It would behoove all of us to keep a close eye on them, and keep our powder dry….. because, no matter how many times, or how eloquently they tell you, they are NOT interested at all in serving YOUR best interests. The only interests they have are their own, and nothing will change that, no matter how many times they say it…. so fuck ‘em, and keep your weapons handy…. unless, of course, you enjoy your slavery…..

OPERA:  For centuries now, Opera has been the foremost method of humiliation available to the security forces. It began in the late 1600s, when peasant rebels were made to dress up as ridiculously fat people and get up on wooden planks in front of hundreds of their peers and shout the same things over and over and over, to a musical accompaniment.  By the time the French Revolution came rolling along, it was the aristocrats who were forced to the stage to sing, gesticulate wildly and loudly perform plays devised to spread Revolutionary propaganda. Nowadays, Opera has been driven underground, but is still carried out by the perverse, the deviant, and those with very big tits (both men and women), their audiences made up almost exclusively of establishment figures. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

To my way of looking at stuff, opera falls into the same category as William Shakespeare, i.e., that of the world’s most over-rated entities. Many, many people will gush and spew in praise of opera, proclaiming its beauty, its relevance, its influence on Art, and all sorts of nonsensical claims, none of which are either apparent to me, or believable by any means.

Why should I buy into a centuries old delusion? I don’t care who you are, you can sit there all damn day and night, and tell me that an operatic solo is an expression of beauty and power, and it will still sound as if someone has stepped on a cat’s tail. My ear has near-perfect pitch, and I’ve never heard an opera singer, other than maybe Pavarotti, who could hold a note well. (Pavarotti, it must be noted, does not limit himself to strictly operatic performances….)

The whole idea of it makes me uncomfortable, as the ones who claim to enjoy it seem to accept entire rooms full of people spontaneously bursting into song. In fucking Italian, no less, or German! What is the damn point of that? To make it less understandable? It most certainly does that part well…..

I’ve been to several operas; I try not to formulate opinions without at least checking out that about which I opine. Seeing them in person did nothing to alleviate the sense of ridiculousness I felt, or the pity I felt for those poor singers, in those ridiculous period clothing outfits, prancing around the stage hitting those notes that will shatter crystal. It must be extremely humiliating for them, and some of them actually have pretty good voices. They’d do a lot better to grab a guitar, a microphone, and hit the road….

I guess it all comes back to that sense of elitism that people seem to be so invested in….. People like to think that certain things show class, or culture; opera, symphony, golf, yacht racing, polo, all are activities that are, in the minds of the public, associated with wealth, privilege, and culture. Shakespeare, and a few other literary figures, get added to that list, as the tides of fashion change regularly, influencing what is in vogue. But none of the importance that people place in any of these things is inherent. None of it is really true at all; mankind loves his delusions, and if those delusions are involved with self-image, then the less it approaches reality, the better they like it.

You see, I think they all suspect that if they ever really stopped to look closely at all the things they hold as important, they would find themselves with a fist full of sand, or smoke, which  disappears the moment one opens the fingers wide. They know in their hearts that all of what they are so proud of about themselves is false, so this makes them cling even more strongly to the delusion they are not fools. Unfortunately for them, the universe knows already….

Shakespeare isn’t all that good; I find most of his work to be heavy, obscure, and just not very much fun to watch or read. Opera is worse, as once one has sat down to listen, it is impolite to get up and leave, which has been my impulse in the first few minutes of each one I’ve attended. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m just not impressed at how loud, or how high a singer can sing. There has to be something to connect to for the average Joe, something to which they can relate, and the opera I’ve heard seldom comes close….. So, next time somebody tells you how much they enjoyed the opera, take a close look at their level of sanity, because they are definitely delusional…..

Couplets on Wit
But our Great Turks in wit must reign alone
And ill can bear a Brother on the Throne.

Wit is like faith by such warm Fools profest
Who to be saved by one, must damn the rest.

Some who grow dull religious strait commence
And gain in morals what they lose in sence.

Wits starve as useless to a Common weal
While Fools have places purely for their Zea.

Now wits gain praise by copying other wits
As one Hog lives on what another sh—.

Wou’d you your writings to some Palates fit
Purged all you verses from the sin of wit
For authors now are so conceited grown
They praise no works but what are like their own.

Alexander Pope

Not your average classical poet, was he?….. No comments, just enjoy….

I can’t consider it cheating when it takes this much out of me. I have a multitude of stuff to do today in the Big Blue Room, so I’d best be getting to it. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.




Layered in pugnacious pyjamas….

I’m beginning to think that my habit of writing an average of 1500 words every morning is depleting my store of inspiration; if not, it is at least getting weary, and hiding from me more often. I can’t really blame it, as I’ve asked it to perform miracles almost every day, turning pearls, and what is in my head, into something worth putting down on paper (note: that phrase is rapidly losing all meaning, as computers become more ubiquitous….). That’s a lot of miracles in just about 300 days.

“This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.” — Winnie the Pooh

But, having set myself the goal of posting a Pearl every day (set long ago, and too late now to worry about changing…), I feel duty-bound to make the best effort I can to meet that goal. So, I carry on, in spite of the increasing difficulty. I suppose it has to do with how writing is not for the weak-minded, or for those with no staying power to their will. Since I’m now not a chef, or a psych tech, or an executive assistant, writing is what I do, so I’ve left myself with very little choice but to keep on keepin’ on, as Jerry and the boys would have said….

I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things -
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold -
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!
– William Butler Yeats, “Fergus and the Druid”

What does that mean for this process? Well, nothing really…. but it got me two more paragraphs of semi-literate, if relatively meaningless discussion of a personal problem, and a great pearl from Yeats, and that ain’t nothing…. so, we’ll just use that as a very, very loose segue into today’s dive for pearls…. shall we Pearl, then?…..

“I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round.” — John Lennon

Men are afraid of women… hence all the jokes about them taking over, over slyly ruling us without us knowing it. Men’s fears of just that thing are what cause him to hate women, because they do not understand them, and fear arises out of lack of understanding. Here are a few examples of such lies, the lies that perpetuate the war between the sexes…..

“My notion of a wife at 40 is that a man should be able to change her, like a bank note, for two twenties.” — Warren Beatty

A lady is one who only shows her underwear intentionally. — Smart Bee

– Yo momma……so fat she has to buy two airline tickets. — Smart Bee

“A beautiful woman is paradise for the eyes, hell for the soul, and purgatory for the purse.” — Smart Bee

“Passionate kiss like spider web, lead to undoing of fly.” — Confucius say (No, he didn’t, but liars don’t care….)

Really, really sexist, misogynistic, and paranoid, yes? Yes….

The mere existence of these jokes, and others like them, indicates clearly what men are afraid of in women, and that is their sexuality. We… well, men, not necessarily we men, because not all of us hate them… No I don’t understand them, but that doesn’t make them any less fascinating or wonderfully different. I am aware of my own self, and my own powers, and they have naught to do with what women can do; I feel no need to compare the two, or to assume one is stronger or better. They are just different, and what is different about women is not to be feared, even if not understood. It is just to be learned, and appreciated, that’s all….and the learning is a totally awesome trip, I assure you….

But, back to the sexuality that men fear. Their fear exists because these men have never learned to understand themselves, or their place in the scheme of things; that makes them unable to understand women, and turns their ignorance to fear, and from thence to hatred and abuse against them.

Men cannot stand the thought that a woman might be more important than him, and that is a certain sign of lack of confidence, and of ignorance.  Men who know their place in life, and who are confident of their own ability to cope with that place and its demands, have no need or desire to be more important than anyone; they are complete within themselves….

Too many men in this world don’t come anywhere close to this kind of self-knowledge; most go through life without exercising more than two neurons at once, and those tend to lose function whenever the blood goes elsewhere than the brain (such as during an erection). Most men are so afraid of women that they spend half their life telling jokes like the above, and spreading the nonsensical lies that perpetuate this atrocity.

Yes, atrocity, because it is this fear and loathing, of both themselves and women, that leads to issues such as domestic abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, and abuse of children. The only women who are actively engaged in these activities are those who have been brainwashed to believe the crap they’ve heard all their lives, and who have given up their own humanity; they are very few in number. Otherwise, it is men who perpetrate these vile actions on women…. all because of their own fear and ignorance…. I say, shame on them, for they are not men, in my world…. They are vicious, irredeemable beasts, and should be put down like the dangerous creatures they are…..

“In the dark colony of night, when I consider man’s magnificent capacity for malice, madness, folly, envy, rage, and destructiveness, and I wonder whether we shall not end up as breakfast for newts and polyps, I seem to hear the muffled cries of all the words in all the books with covers closed.” — Leo Rosten

“The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.” — Howard Zinn

I would like to take a moment here to acknowledge a very honorable, and brave, act by the President of this country, Barack Obama. Yesterday, in a press conference, the President put the power of his office behind the defense of human rights, by stating that his administration was fully convinced that legislation that denied marriage to gay couples, or to anyone else, was directly in opposition to the Constitution by which we live. He made this a national announcement, and set the stage for what is sure to be a fire-storm of protest from the political and religious factions that have made this issue their rallying cry.

The idea that marriage between people who are not male and female is acceptable is one whose time has obviously arrived. Current polls nationwide have borne out the fact that a large majority of the population agrees with that assessment. But it doesn’t detract from the bravery required to mount that horse at this time, for it had to be known that it would be a decision that would create a lot of noise from those who feel differently.

So, I am, for once, proud of what a President has done; it is something I cannot recall ever happening in the past, at all. Most of the time I am forced to shake my head and hide my face in shame, agreeing fully with the Dixie Chicks when they apologized for Bush to the rest of the world.

Let us all take this time to appreciate how this President has taken the reins of leadership firmly in hand, to direct our country toward a future where human rights are more important than living in fear and ignorance…. Yay, Barry!…. Good Job!

“A commitment to diversity is not a commitment to blacks or gays or any other group. A commitment to diversity is a commitment to respect and value each individual employee (person) for who they are, a commitment to help them become the best they can be by honoring their nature.” — Callan Williams

For centuries now, Opera has been the foremost method of humiliation available to the security forces. It began in the late 1600s, when peasant rebels were made to dress up as ridiculously fat people and get up on wooden planks in front of hundreds of their peers and shout the same things over and over and over, to a musical accompaniment. By the time the French Revolution came rolling along, it was the aristocrats who were forced to the stage to sing, gesticulate wildly and loudly perform plays devised to spread Revolutionary propaganda.  Nowadays, Opera has been driven underground, but is still carried out by the perverse, the deviant, and those with very big tits (both men and women), their audiences made up almost exclusively of establishment figures. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

That’s what I’m talking about! Opera, to me, seems like a perfect example of how a lot of folks get all worked up over something that everyone else says is cool, but really has nothing to justify that opinion. Sure, there is some good music that came out of opera, and a few cool songs (far fewer than any opera buff would have us believe…), but for the most part it is just a bunch of hype that normally smart folks seem to fall for on a regular basis, just because a consensus says they should. It seems to me that anything that anyone does because they ‘should’ gets exactly what they deserve, i.e., twaddle… and a good portion of it.

So, don’t fall for this nonsense folks. Remember, friends don’t let friends go to an opera… unless they’re mad at them….

Underneath this sable hearse
Lies the subject of all verse,–
Sidney’s sister, Pembroke’s mother.
Death, ere thou hast slain another,
Learn’d and fair and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.
– Ben Jonson (1573-1637) — Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke

And as she looked around, she saw how Death the consoler,
Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it forever.
– Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Evangeline, Part ii

“For good men but see death, the wicked taste it.” — Johnson

“Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead.” — Scottish Proverb

Mankind has always had a fascination with Death, which, I suppose, is natural, considering it is one of the few things in this universe that all of us will experience at the same time in our lives. It is the Great Equalizer, in its finest sense; no one escapes. There are probably more books and treatises on Death, or involving some manifestation of Death, than of any other subject, save perhaps Love, another subject that deeply affects us all.

My writing about it probably enters the realm of superfluousness, but I found these great pearls, so I couldn’t resist…. Besides which, as I move ever closer to my own time to have a face to face with the Reaper, I find myself turning my thoughts to the subject, somewhat morbidly I’m sure….

How each of us faces that particular moment is about as personal as things can be, for we are all ourselves, little as we may understand that phrase, and the things we have learned in our lives are what will determine whether we are able to greet Death with dignity, or pitch a fit of major proportions….

I’m not going to go any further into this at this time, as I’m not so close to my time as all that. But, I will say that I hope that I can approach my own demise with some aplomb; I really hate to make a scene. It’s so embarrassing to wash one’s dirty linen in public, and I hope I have more panache than that…. I guess we’ll see, won’t we…. like we had a choice in the matter….  :-)

“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.” — H.L. Mencken

Mr. Mencken has put his finger firmly on what I see as wrong in our culture today, to wit: the average person in this country has assumed the “slave” mentality, and has adopted security as their preferred state over that of being free. Far too many of my countrymen, and women, have given up the right to think for themselves, opting instead to let the beloved ruling class decide for them what they may think, and what they may do.

They have given up this right for the illusion of security; I say illusion for the word ‘security’ has no meaning in Reality. One can never be completely secure; it just isn’t possible in a world where there are so many people devoted to taking advantage of one another.

Most folks who allow this degradation of their own liberty don’t realize that they have chosen an illusion. They believe that the people who have promised them security can not only give it to them, but are doing so because they care about what happens to their constituents. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth, for not only are they NOT doing it for their constituents, they are deliberately lying to them to get them to believe it.

The actual danger of being taken advantage of does not come from outside our country, but from those very folks who tell us we need to be secure, rather than free.  The very people who they think are helping them are the ones who are ripping them off with both hands….

“Any body of men who believe in hell will persecute whenever they have the power.” — Joseph M. McCabe (1867-1957)

It’s enough to make a man want to drink… a lot…. At least when I’m stone cold drunk I don’t feel so bad about it. Of course, in that state I don’t feel bad about anything, so it’s obviously not a solution, but it does offer some temporary relief from having to watch it happen. Ah well, so much for the American Dream, eh?…..

Well, I must say, this has been one of the most interesting, and chaotic Pearls that I’ve ever composed. It seemed to go all over the map as I was writing, taking me from subject to subject willy-nilly, and having a grand time about it. On looking back over it all, it seems to have held together fairly well, so I’m going to go with it once again without trying to make any sense out of why…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.