Structures defined by obligatory strictures….

Ffolkes,

“Eurybiades lifting up his staff as if he were going to strike, Themistocles said, “Strike, if you will; but hear.”

~~ Plutarch ~~

(46-120 AD) — Life of Themistocles

tulips in Oregon

    I’d be willing to bang a few folks over the head, if only they would listen…. Sadly, ’tis not to be, and I am consigned to forever give my warnings, important to all as they are, to only a few diehard readers plucky enough to take my curmudgeonly style. It isn’t as if I’m saying much of anything that hasn’t been pointed out before; that is the whole problem, in a nutshell… The knowledge needed to save ourselves has been within the grasp of our hands all along, but, as the stupid, grasping, self-centered creatures most of us are, it mostly gets ignored, in favor of chasing after the latest fantasy held out by the corporate shills, which is guaranteed to make them happy….

It is as another blogger pointed out so accurately yesterday, people tend to put aside those things that aren’t palatable, or that don’t fit into their preconceived notion of how things must be, as not being real…. They believe completely in the foolishness they espouse, and will not usually even examine any evidence to the contrary; to do so they must first admit they were wrong in the first place, which is not going to happen…. ever. So, they continue to travel through their lives with blinders on, never realizing how little in their life they actually control, or that they are slaves, only living according to rules set up for them by others….

For some reason, I still love the idiots…. People are dumb, mostly, and blunder through life without much of a clue; it’s painful to watch, when I know they would have an easier time if only they would use their brain….. even just a little bit would help them make life better…. but, mostly, people ignore me, too, and go about the foolishness they’ve been accepting as truth all their lives, thus cementing further the hold the asininnies have over society, and ensuring we all will go down together, when our bill for services is presented, oh, day after tomorrow, or so….

Ah well, doing this helps a couple ways, if no others…. First, it makes me feel better… I stay saner, and that means fewer people per day are in danger…. always a good thing, right? Second, it does throw out there a lot of evidence, which, if they ever forgot, and looked at, well, it COULD do some good, if it happened to catch them in a weak moment, of which they have plenty…. I could get lucky, and one or more of them could have an epiphany, break the chains of mental bondage, and join the actual fight for survival going on out in the real world….

But, all that, no doubt, is a picture of me, fantasizing how it could, or should be, an occupation always fraught with danger, of believing any of it…. In truth, I’m fairly resigned to spouting off mostly to myself…. I have a couple of ffolkes with whom I can talk about this stuff…. Plus, there is a certain satisfaction, small though it may be, in preaching to the choir, who, at least, appreciate one’s thoughts, and for the most part, agrees…. It would be better, all around, for everyone, if the fools and idiots out there not paying attention to what is happening right in front of them would begin to pay some attention, and take some responsibility….. but, if I were you, I wouldn’t hold my breath….

Enough whining for one day; maybe there is a Gentle Reader out there waiting for today’s music, to which I can say, well, why wait? Today’s is a long concert, so, go turn it on, & listen while you read…. The rest of us can listen, as well, while I take us through some rather esoteric places today…. I also can say this….. LOOK! It’s a plane! It’s a bird! No, it’s just a pearl, waiting for us to pick it up….. It looks like a really good one, too, all about the depths of folly explored by Mankind….

Shall we Pearl?…..

IMPALE, v.t.  In popular usage to pierce with any weapon which remains fixed in the wound.  This, however, is inaccurate; to impale is, properly, to put to death by thrusting an upright sharp stake into the body, the victim being left in a sitting position.  This was a common mode of punishment among many of the nations of antiquity, and is still in high favor in China and other parts of Asia.  Down to the beginning of the fifteenth century it was widely employed in “churching” heretics and schismatics.  Wolecraft calls it the “stoole of repentynge,” and among the common people it was jocularly known as “riding the one legged horse.”  Ludwig Salzmann informs us that in Tibet impalement is considered the most appropriate punishment for crimes against religion; and although in China it is sometimes awarded for secular offences, it is most frequently adjudged in cases of sacrilege.  To the person in actual experience of impalement it must be a matter of minor importance by what kind of civil or religious dissent he was made acquainted with its discomforts; but doubtless he would feel a certain satisfaction if able to contemplate himself in the character of a weather-cock on the spire of the True Church. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

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From 12/20/2013:

“One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most charming form of government ever devised by man.  The reason is not far to seek.  It is based on propositions that are palpably not true — and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.” — H. L. Mencken

With this statement, Mr. Mencken has put his finger on the pulse of America, that is for certain. It goes a long way toward explaining why so many people in this country are so willing to believe the outright, egregious lies that are told to them every single day by the officials they elect every year at the polls that characterize our alleged republic…. They do lie, you know, with almost every statement that comes out of their mouths…. They begin with the most important lie they tell, from which all the others spring, and that is the lie they tell when they tell you that they want to be elected so they can work for YOU! Each and every politician learns early in their career, if they are at all to be successful, they MUST portray themselves as a public-spirited, honest, and tireless worker whose only purpose is to make life better for their constituents….

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth…. NONE of them are at all concerned with any of that nonsense; they are there to carry out their own agenda, which has very little to do with what is good for the general run of mankind…. No, they are there to serve the interests of the men and women who pay them, those lobbyists and special interest representatives who run the businesses of the corporate masters. The people on the street cannot provide them with the perks, or the cash, that the clandestine rulers are able to come up with, other than peripherally, by electing them in the first place…. Once elected, their true colors come out into the light of day, and it can be easily seen how their actions are never congruent with what they have promised to the people who elected them….

It’s all about power and money to these folks, not service. In my entire life of observing politics around the world, I have yet to see a single elected official who could be shown to be honest, not at the national level. The one who came the closest was Jimmy Carter, and his presidency was marked by how little got done, because he was so honest that the true politicians in Congress blocked every reform he tried to institute during his time in office. His actions during that time showed him to be the exception to the usual rule for politicians, which is why, I believe, he was so ineffective as a legislator….

“Invest in America — Buy Japan!”– Smart Bee

Other than Carter, I have seen concrete proof that EVERY President of this country has lied to the American people, not just once or twice, but continuously, about nearly everything. Time and time again, public outcries are heard or seen in the news about some new revelation regarding something some politician lied about, just like it is breaking news or something, when it is actually the normal state of affairs….

I don’t know why it is, but if a man on a TV set, wearing a suit and tie, makes a statement to the public, the general public will believe it, sometimes fanatically, without ever examining it for whether or not it is true…. Then, when it turns out they were lied to, they get all upset and vocalize their displeasure, never once admitting it was their own cupidity that allowed the lie to occur in the first place…. It makes me wonder what happened to people in this country, to make them go soft in the head….

“Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.” — Anton Chekhov

Did you ever notice how many politicians were lawyers, first? Most of them, as it turns out, for the simple reason that learning to be a lawyer gives a politician two advantageous types of training…. One advantage is that law school teaches the student how to lie in every imaginable way, in order to ascertain which kinds of lies are legal…. The other advantage is their primary motivation….

If asked, a very large percentage of lawyers will tell you their reason for becoming a barrister in the first place is that it is a good way to get rich, (without mentioning, of course, that this is true only as long as one doesn’t give a shit about other people, and what that might do to them).  In other words, they make their money by taking advantage of people’s misery, holding them as hostages against their own destiny, in order to gain resources, i.e. money, and its sidekick, power….

Then the lawyers realize that their training is perfect for politics…. The ability to lie with facility comes in very handy to anyone who wants to be in the public eye, as that is how one gets elected in the first place…. Tell people what they want to hear, and they will vote for you, every time, coming back to the same trough to eat, even though they get screwed, time after time…. Having the facility to ignore what happens to others, due to their own actions, is the other skill so important to the political set, and the training one receives as a lawyer fits right into that category….

“Watching the democratic party in a presidential contest is like watching a washing machine with a defective bearing:  It starts up smoothly enough, but soon, it begins to wobble and shake, jumping violently from place to place, until it tears itself to pieces, spewing dirty laundry all over the room.” – Smart Bee

Some people will say that there ARE some good lawyers out there, and I won’t argue that…. but, they’re still lawyers, not politicians, aren’t they? They’re doing what they can to help ffolkes find their way through the morass of our legal system to get what they need, even occasionally finding some justice…. But, they aren’t going further, and going into public service, are they? They’re still in place, where they can help, but, they are so few and far between, they are hard to find, and so are very busy, seldom having the time or resources to work against their less honest colleagues. Plus, they really are very few in number, as altruists seldom become lawyers in the first place….

I can see that this has evolved into a full scale rant, and we’ve just begun the day, so I’ll call a halt here. I often feel as if I’m preaching to the choir, anyway, when I go through this stuff again…. It’s all familiar material around here, so it isn’t as if I’m presenting new ideas for your examination…. No, this is all old stuff, and, sadly, doesn’t seem to ever create the outrage that I feel in very many other ffolkes…. which is too bad….  I forget who said that “if you keep on doing things the same ways as you always have, things will always be the way they’ve always been….”, but, they were absolutely correct…. We are on a path to our own destruction, clearly, but, nobody seems to care.

Nobody, that is, who seems able to DO anything about it, and they are the ones who will need to make the changes…. The people in authority over the rest of us are wearing blinders in this respect…. The idea that what they are doing is wrong, and will eventually kill us all, doesn’t fit into their world-view, so they won’t believe it, and will continue to refuse to make any of the changes needed to re-direct our steps onto a path less dangerous.

It is up to the rest of us to get it done, and that may entail overthrowing the current crop of rulers, either by the vote, or by the less agreeable option of using the necessary force, while making sure the new crop will act in OUR best interests, rather than their own…. If it does happen, it will be the first time in history, which is fine with me…. just as long as it is not the LAST time in history….

“… democracy is not something you believe in, or a place you hang your hat, but it’s something you do.  You participate.  If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles and falls apart.” — Abby Hoffman

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Welcome to the second day of music on ECR…. Today’s video is an EXCELLENT recording of Cream, Live at the Royal Albert Hall, their first concert in 36 years, since the band broke up in 1968…. This video, over an hour long, comprises the first half of the concert…. the second half will be aired on tomorrow’s blog, right here at Exploring Consensual Reality….

I know, it’s a lot to ask of y’all… to have to listen to three of the best rock musicians to ever play, both individually, as solo instrumentalists, but, also, as a group acknowledged one of the best ever, able to blend their talents seamlessly…. In this video, they play for well over an hour of live, brilliant, improvisational music from our past…. but, somebody has to do it, so, you’ll just have to do the best you can with it, okay?….

Enjoy!…..

Cream Live at Albert Hall Part 1:

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It’s one of those days I should probably use my own poetry, so nobody else suffers by association…. Since, of late, I’ve been beset by misery for much of each day, here is one I wrote back in 2012, about that very subject…. It usually helps, if I can focus on the last lines….

Raging at Aging

As old as you feel, we are told, is old as you are,
custom assures such vision will carry us far.
Reality begs to differ, may it be so bold
it is really quite painful, and very, very cold.

The power and strength felt in our halcyon youth
desert us with age, yet another unwelcome truth.
Irony rules our time here on this bountiful earth
as we reflect the changes over time since our birth.

As physical powers fade from this fragile shell,
we learn our mind can serve us quite as well.
The strength that once filled our bones and hearts
is now applied by our will, to more arcane arts.

Life’s greatest gift is our freedom of choice
no matter how often we forget, we still get a voice.
Energy, or apathy, by our will we may choose,
failing to do so, our only way to lose.

Each of us lives in the grip of time and space,
always seeking our balance, our own chosen place.
One must accept reality, for it is true at the core,
all we can do, is all we can do, and nothing more.

~~ gigoid ~~


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Here is a fresh, random pearl, plucked from the current bed of oysters in SB’s newest version…. Enjoy!…..

“But my dear man, reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know.” — Alan Watts

“One of the most important parts of being smart is the ability to let go of what you thought you knew so you can understand the way things are in a new way.”
— Esther Dyson

“Morals today are corrupted by our worship of riches.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

“It’s wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.” — Elrond

“By a tranquil mind I mean nothing else than a mind well ordered.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 3

“How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself?  If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse.There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.” — Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams

“The Osmonds!  You are all Osmonds!!  Throwing up on a freeway at dawn!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Why Zippy seems to be our finishing pearl so often is a mystery to me, but, it probably shouldn’t be…. he is, after all, the work of one of the twentieth century’s finest social critics…. go figure…..

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Some mornings this process goes more smoothly than others… such is the case today. It’s long, but, it’s done, and I can get on with fighting my daily battle with my bones, and, now, my inner ear…. I’ll be back tomorrow, ffolkes…. this is the only thing keeping me going just now…..

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.

gigoid, the dubious

“The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.”

Kowabunga!

À bientôt, mon cherí.


 

Another day in Paradox….

Ffolkes,

Shot to hell, it is…. bowed, bloody, completely in tatters…. Fortunately, we’re referring to my routine, and, perhaps, my mind, not my corpus; typing would be even more difficult, if that were the case. It’s complicated, and challenging enough already, what with the revolt being carried out by the physical side of my persona; it has taken me well over an hour, and more than a single cup of coffee, just to be able to get this simple paragraph onto the screen.

Without going into details that might curdle the milk you just poured over your oatmeal, let’s just say that getting this done will be an act of monumental courage and perseverance, to push through the haze veiling my mind, and put some clarity into what goes onto the page. Brilliance, or even moderate style may be out of the question; we’ll have to wait and see what happens. I could conceivably loosen up a bit, and find a pocket of energy, and/or sanity, (either will do….) that will carry me through to the end of this, but, I can’t count on it, and it’s not too likely at this point, anyway…. I’ll be lucky to get dressed all the way, much less display any real creativity in my prose….

I had no idea at the start of this blog how hard it is to write something fresh and creative every day; it gives me a bit more respect for those columnists who manage to do that for many years, maintaining a witty, accessible, and fun atmosphere in their work over periods of time far greater than what I’ve done here for the last three or so years….. Herb Caen, Walter Winchell, Grantland Rice, Jon Carroll, and a number of other daily columnists now have my complete admiration, as well as my burning curiosity, wondering how the hell they managed it for all that time…

But, long discussions of old time heroes won’t get me any further toward finishing this; it’s barely given me a start. I suppose it’s some sort of solution to the lack of freshly minted material, which, combined with my fuzzy head and overall schmeckiness, (a fine old word, that I just made up…. It sure SOUNDS like I feel…. Schmecky….), but, I don’t think it will do in the long run, except as filler, which has already shown itself to be an acceptable pathway for taking such side trips into tangential subject matter…. It may be fun, and take up time & space, but, it won’t last for more than a few paragraphs before becoming detrimental to the larger picture….

Nonesuch…. what a great word. I’m not entirely sure why it floated up to the surface of my mind, unless it’s trying to give me a hint, that it’s time to try to regain our foothold on sanity, or, at minimum, make the attempt to return to reality, before we get so far lost we can’t even find a GPS, much less our own behinds…. In fact, I’d say that y’all might do well to find your own way back to your seats, because I’m about to bail out of here, and fight my way back overland….. It’s hard to fly when weighted down by depression, as we all know, and I’m not going to sit here any longer, pretending I’m okay….

On that cryptic turn, we’ll head out into the wilds of the pearl beds, where I may be able to locate my sanity…. If not, well, I’ve been there before, so, it shouldn’t take too long to fight my way out…. In the meantime, since I’ve got nothing better to do this morning….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“He should not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.’ — Elrond

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Panting and wheezing, I clamber to the next level, only to find another sheer rock face, the only way to proceed…. Having climbed this far, I’m not willing to go back down, and besides, I get vertigo thinking about it…. I’ll just have to go on…. I know, I’ll make an old school pearl, and that will bring me right back to earth, if I do it right….. Let’s see what we can do…

“Each man reaps on his own farm.” — Plautus (254-184 BC) — Mostellaria, Act iii, Sc. 2, 112, (799.)

“A Puritan is someone who is deathly afraid that someone, somewhere, is having fun.” — H. L. Mencken

“To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.” — Benjamin Disraeli (Earl Beaconsfield) (1805-1881) — Sybil, Book i, Chap. v

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” — Gerald R. Ford

“A clown is a clown and will always be a clown.” — Babbaluche the cobbler

“I’m not a god, I was misquoted.” — Lister, Red Dwarf

“I only wish I may see your head stroked down with a slipper.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Act v, Sc. 7, 4, (1028.)

Well…. I have to say this…. That’s the oddest pearl I think I’ve ever put together…. It is a bit esoteric, to be sure, but, I think the last quote, from Terence, just makes it all okay…. If you have any clues as to what he might have been referring to, or talking about, I’d love to hear them, because I don’t have one, at all….. But, I am not required to have one, legally, so, onward….

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Here is a poem I wrote to try to describe this process, of creating Pearls…. It’s not bad, and will hopefully expiate some of the potential ire that may be engendered by today’s apparent, no, today’s all-too-real fragility, of both purpose, and intelligence…. The poem describes what I go through each day pretty well, which is, after all, WHY I wrote it to begin with…. Better out than in, I always say….

How It Works….

Retreat, retreat, he cries in vain
we cannot stand such pain!
Another battle, another day’s fight
Eternally at war, both day and night.

Storms within, crashing and thrashing about,
filling each moment with fear and doubt.
Cries of anguish, hopes for a swift end
Denied with wounds that will not mend.

The crisis approaches, time will not wait.
It marches on, driven madly by fate.
We have no recourse, no other road to walk,
No great power to whom we may talk.

Morning arrives, seemingly mild and free
Until one considers all that must be
An intro, some pearls, a photo or two
Today’s magnificent Pearl, created just for you…..

 ~~gigoid ~~

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Due to the lack of any sort of intelligent activity going on in my mind, and the time constraints involved in my being so late getting to this, here is a religirant from the archives, with some closing comments to freshen it up a bit…..

From 5/09/2012:

“It is ridiculous to suppose that the great head of things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs.” — Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) — Natural History, Book ii, Sect. 20

This has always been an issue in my mind, from the very earliest times I was exposed to religious instruction, in some Presbyterian Sunday School when I was a young lad. Even at the age of five or six, I had a hard time understanding two things about God, if what they were telling me about Him was true. First, I couldn’t believe that a God, supposedly able to create an entire universe, would take the time and/or energy to care whether or not I was paying attention to His rules (I also questioned why He would make rules in the first place….)

Secondly, the whole idea of worship made me uneasy…. it seemed a bit, hmm, needy, or vulnerable, to me. I knew that the admiration of others made me feel weird; uneasy and uncomfortable with their fawning (baby sisters & brothers, little kids, and others who show such feelings for their older, more accomplished siblings….). Even the admiration I held for my older siblings, and my heroes, made me a bit uncomfortable. So, I could never understand why an all-powerful being would want any part of such a thing.

So, even then, before I had any real defenses, I suppose my ability to reason made it hard for me to accept a lot of what I was told. It never made sense to me that the pictures I saw of God made him look just like some human patriarch (hmm… no Freudian comments?); I mean, if he was so far above us, how did we know what He looked like? I didn’t remember seeing any photos of Him, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, (another questionable entity to the mind of a five-year old….) playing in the Dead Sea surf, nor did I recall any such word from God Himself. There were a lot of folks saying that the Bible is the Word of God, but the only ones saying so were people, not Gods.

So, maybe I was a bit different than the average young bear cub, but much of what they tried to foist upon my unsuspecting mind never took hold, as I found it completely unbelievable. It just didn’t make any sense, even by the rules they claimed to be those by which reality operated.  If I, a little kid, didn’t like to be worshiped, why would an omnipotent being have anything to do with it?  Give me a reasonable, rational answer, and I will consider the concept. But, I think you’d best bring a new and different set of arguments, because the ones that have been in play for several thousand years just don’t cut it in my book….

“Everybody has the right to be stupid, but they’re abusing the privilege.” — Smart Bee
________________________

From the vantage point of two-plus years in the future, I’m compelled to expand upon what I wrote then…. which, advantageously, makes this a fresh rant, rather than one lazily pulled from the archives, and left to stand alone…. I can be nice, and diligent, when I want to be…. Of course, doing so only adds to my curmudgeonry when discussing the whole divinity scam, otherwise known as The Dogma Game….

In the above rant, in my attempts to make fun of the lack of logical structure which comprises, (or perhaps the word, infests, is better), the whole of the Christian credo, while not bad, fall short of hilarious…. I’m also aware that this current manifesto has assumed my pedantic, pontificating style, which is liable to put even me to sleep, should I insist on carrying it through to the arguments to follow…. or, that will presumably follow, once I get done deciding how to approach such a daunting task….

There, was that stiff and awkward enough for you? It was for me….. But, that’s okay, God won’t mind; from what I can tell, IF there is a God, even one remotely similar to the one the Christians, Muslims, et al envision in their holy writings, no matter what He/She/It wants to be called, I would guess His/Her/Its sense of humor would extend to include something like this essay will become, if it ever begins…. It (a divine sense of humor….), I would assume, by definition, would be infinite in scope, so, I’m pretty sure I’m covered….. If not, I should be….

Rather than bore y’all any further with all this, why don’t I find just the right pearl to close this off…. I’ll just leave you with this thought…. IF there is a GOD, and He is responsible for making us the way we are, then He MUST have a good sense of humor…. I mean, just LOOK at us! Ridiculously weak, physically fragile, and easily duped by our more aggressive, more unscrupulous peers; what was He thinking? Plus, we have noses, which grow red and make funny noises when squeezed…. If that isn’t funny, I’m a fire hydrant…. Not a funny fire hydrant, but, hey, what do you want from an inanimate object so early in the morning?….

And in your dreams you can see yourself
As a prophet saving the world
The words from your lips
I just can’t believe you are such
A fool.

 — Frank Zappa, “Oh No”.


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Y’all are now fully aware of how strange it can get around here, so it won’t surprise you to hear that the Wise Old Pine Cone is still busy with his student, but has agreed to a photo session today…. It’s a good thing, too, as I’m starting to get a lot of fan mail on him; I’ve even received several proposals for him, from a number of traffic and ice cream cones…. Tomorrow, I promise, we’ll have more pix of him, and his handsome young paduan learner…. Who knows? Maybe I’ll devote an entire Pearl to the Old Cone’s world; we’ll see how today’s shoot comes off….

But, for now, I’m done, and a damn good thing, too, as I’m about to scream, and you don’t want to know why….. Suffice it to say, I’ll be back tomorrow, if I’m still able, and the internet doesn’t crash…. See y’all then…..

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.

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

These brass monkeys were stolen!….

Ffolkes,
A shooting star flashed across the night sky, carving its bright path, until fading out near the horizon. Heartened by this hopeful sign, four silent figures moved quietly down the hillside, mere shadows moving through the night. With hours yet to first light, the forest through which they padded slept, unaware of the passage of the silent, nearly invisible group. No night birds sang their warning, only deep silence accompanied the group as they moved between the trees. As they reached the edge of the vast savanna which lay east of the forest, the group split, two finding cover on the ground, and two climbing swiftly up two trees overlooking the path leading back into the forest from the plain. They settled down to wait…..

Hmm… I kind of wonder what they are waiting for, or who they intend to ambush. But my curiosity is not so strong as to get me any further into the story, so we’ll just leave the group there, waiting, and go on to more dignified, if not more lucrative, pastimes…. whatever those may be…..

All things considered, it was a close call, but I’ve made it to the end of the month, alive, and that is definitely worth celebrating, given the effort it took to do so without committing mayhem, or biting someone, hard….. I think I’ll treat myself to breakfast, once I’ve tortured the language enough to put together a Pearl… It may or may not turn out well, only time will tell, and yes I rhymed on purpose…. I can’t help it, I’m a sick man….

Shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

“It’s wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.” — Elrond

For those who don’t know, Elrond is the leader of the Elves of Rivendell, friend to Gandalf and hobbits, father of the elven beauty who becomes wife and queen of Aragon, King of Middle Earth. His age is unknown, but he remembers clearly the last time the Evil One, Sauron, made his bid for supremacy, thousands of years ago. How then, even if he is so wise, did he know how to best describe the state of American politics today?….. What he says above is what goes through my mind whenever I consider the possibility of Mitt the Twitt somehow being elected to the Presidency, as I make sure my rifle is clean and loaded, and my preparations complete for the upcoming target practice….

It’s kind of amusing actually. I have this image in my head, of how some true Americans might react if he is actually elected….. For example, when the Chief Justice tells the Twitt to put his hand on the Bible on Inauguration Day, 50 gunshots ring out, as the Marine color guards all open fire on the podium, with the first 50 rounds exploding Mitt’s head…. Then, when the confusion really starts, I’ll provide cover fire so the Marines can take off and get to their hiding spots, picked days before…..

I like either that scenario, or the other one, where, after the Marines put him down, the gathered crowd all surround the Marines, and pat them on the back, telling them , “good job.”  Whereupon the Sergeant in charge of the squad salutes and says, “No problem, ma’am, we are sworn to protect the country from all enemies, foreign or domestic”….. The crown applauds, they break up, and the country gets back to the business of reform…. Hey, we all have our fantasies, yes?….

It is unfortunate that these kinds of fantasies are necessary these days, to keep my blood pressure under control. It tends to spike whenever I think about the disastrous results should the Twitt get into the White House…. Of course, he’d probably live in one of his own houses…. the White House would be a a bit of a come-down for him, rich as he is…. No car elevator, or room for a dancing horse…. I suppose the Conservatory could be converted to a stable, and the rose garden could be taken out and turned into pasture….

You know, of course, how they teach those horses to do that dancing they do, right? They smack the horse on their forelegs to teach them to lift them up, then progress to both legs in sequence, producing the dancing motion…. which is actually a reaction to the pain of having a metal bat strike the shin, causing a short shot of agony…. I might pick my foot up, too, right before I planted it forcefully on the trainer’s nose… Nice folks, these Romneys….

Now, in most election years, I might not worry so much about an idiot in the White House. But, two factors have prompted me to keep plugging away at this subject…. One, Mitt Romney has clearly shown that should he be President, the United States would be in serious trouble. Every one of his stated goals is contrary to what I believe is needed, not just for stability in our country, but contrary to what is needed to keep us in the 21st century. Second, there are more racist, ignorant, frightened people in this country, who have been hoodwinked by this man’s lies and manipulations into giving him their support, and on election day, their votes, than I would have thought possible. Millions of them. It’s hard to swallow, I know, but it is true, nonetheless.

This is all a pretty long winded way to remind y’all to register and vote this November. You can bet that Romney’s supporters will be; they need to be notified, in no uncertain terms, that they are a minority in this country, and the rest of us will not sit by and watch this fool destroy all the progress we’ve made in the last twenty-five years…. Hell, for that matter, the last hundred and fifty years, because if he has his way, we all will be following the rules of his religion, in which the rights of women are completely ignored…. Believe it!
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A Bronze Head

HERE at right of the entrance this bronze head,
Human, superhuman, a bird’s round eye,
Everything else withered and mummy-dead.
What great tomb-haunter sweeps the distant sky
(Something may linger there though all else die;)
And finds there nothing to make its terror less
{Hysterica passio} of its own emptiness?

No dark tomb-haunter once; her form all full
As though with magnanimity of light,
Yet a most gentle woman; who can tell
Which of her forms has shown her substance right?
Or maybe substance can be composite,
profound McTaggart thought so, and in a breath
A mouthful held the extreme of life and death.

But even at the starting-post, all sleek and new,
I saw the wildness in her and I thought
A vision of terror that it must live through
Had shattered her soul. Propinquity had brought
Imagination to that pitch where it casts out
All that is not itself: I had grown wild
And wandered murmuring everywhere, ‘My child, my
child! ‘

Or else I thought her supernatural;
As though a sterner eye looked through her eye
On this foul world in its decline and fall;
On gangling stocks grown great, great stocks run dry,
Ancestral pearls all pitched into a sty,
Heroic reverie mocked by clown and knave,
And wondered what was left for massacre to save.

William Butler Yeats

After writing the mini-rant above, I was in need of some poetry to smooth my ruffled feathers. What I got was this, which is not soothing, particularly, but is nonetheless perfectly and surprisingly apt…. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did just now….
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“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people…”  To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” — Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1791

I had intended to write here a sober, reasoned discussion of the above from my second favorite Founding Father (okay, George Mason is my fave….), but decided first to search a bit more to see if I could find something to accompany this, to lighten it up a bit…. this is what I found…..

“History records no more gallant struggle than that of humanity against the truth.” — Smart Bee

Now, while I might suggest that the word “epic” is more apt, ‘gallant” still gives it an adequate emotional index rating. With either word, it rather goes beyond the statement by T. J., into the deeper issue of basic truth. Personally, I don’t understand the issue that most of humanity seems to have regarding the truth…. I’m not afraid of it, even though it is painful more often than not. Unfortunately, much of the rest of mankind seems to not have that sort of reaction to the pain it often brings, and will go to incredible lengths to avoid having to experience that pain, even if it means putting up with another, lesser pain in the process….

You can see, of course, the immediate similarity between those folks who avoid pain, and those folks who vote conservative, or are supporting the accomplished liar, Mitt the Twitt….. Sometimes, many times, in fact, the stuff that is coming out of the mouths of Romney and his supporters is a dead giveaway, one that shows their stark, malignant fear, fear that is rooted in their racism and bigotry. Their worst nightmare came true in 2008, and a BLACK MAN (gasp!) was elected President….

Without ever considering, or even looking at, his record while in office, these ignorant throwbacks will go to ANY lengths to elect ANYONE else, even if that person is actively trying to harm them, as is the case with Romney…. They don’t care, he’s white, so they’ll be more comfortable with him in office…. or so they think…. Should it happen, it will be a rude awakening when he starts his campaign to get the rest of any money they have left, and cheerfully squashes any hope of a better life that they might have retained…..

In reality, this discussion does relate back to Tom’s statement re: the rights of the people vs. the rights of the government. We, the people, have not tried hard enough to maintain the rights we were given, and those rights continue to be eroded. More and more, government is seizing control of various aspects of our lives that formerly were our own issues to deal with. The rights in the Bill of Rights are now amended, and every amendment is another nail in the coffin of freedom….

So, here is the truth, and painful or not, it would be wise to pay attention…. like Jerry Garcia said, “Choosing between two evils is still choosing evil.”  There are no heroes on the ballot. No matter which party is in office, they will continue their assault on the freedoms that Tom says are ours, not theirs. Go with what your reason tells you to do, and don’t be distracted by the lies. Put aside the fear, and the bigotry, and the cowardice. Only one of the two choices is making any effort toward transparency, and you don’t need me to point out which one. Nor would I be so rude as to suggest which you might choose; I just lay out the truth, and you pick….

The truth is Obama lies at times, for expediency, just like any politician. But, he also is genuinely invested in making reforms that will actually help the middle class, and as far as I can tell, has not overly abused his powers (there are anomalous blips on that radar screen, but another time for that….).

Romney lies all the time; time after time after time, it has been documented that he lies just about every time he opens his mouth in the public arena. In addition, he is unapologetic about the lies, and indifferent to any claims of his doing so; he lies again by denying his lies, even when they are laid out in front of him. He has made it abundantly clear that has no interest in making things better for anyone but his own core group of friends, the rich and powerful who occupy Wall Street offices, seats in Congress, and the religious right. The fact is, he is so out there, his own party is starting to get nervous….

These statements are truth. They can all be proven, if necessary, using documentation that is available to anyone in public archives. What you decide to do with that truth is up to you, as it always is…. What will you do with it?…..
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Hmm…. I guess I had some political angst built up in there, & needed to get it out. “Better out than in”, for sure…. Remember, ffolkes, the above is my stuff, and is not intended to mess with anybody else’s stuff…. Remember also what Albert said….

“I never thought that others would take them so much more seriously than I did.” — Albert Einstein, about his theories

I guess that will serve as an adequate disclaimer….. good enough for government work, anyway…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Spats and Zoot Suits…..

Ffolkes,
Well, here we are again. This could get ugly today; my head is using every trick it knows to keep from functioning this morning, and that can have a deleterious effect on the Pearls. Then again, just as often, what comes out can also show signs of actual rational thought, with a occasional witty turn of phrase…..either way, we’d best get started….
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“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” — James Thurber

This one is pretty straight forward, and is a sentiment that I share completely. I don’t think I’ve ever met a dog that didn’t meet the criteria to get into heaven; the only time a dog behaves badly is when they have learned ill-manners from their human.  And really, not much more can be said on this topic. It is for sure and for certain that it would take a lot of saintly activity in the human arena before I will have much respect for people; most folks don’t think much at all, which leaves them wide open to being manipulated by others. And the ones that do think at all very seldom think about anything beyond their own desires. A dog’s whole purpose in life is centered on the humans they live with, and learning how to please their alleged masters is their primary desire. People can learn a lot from dogs regarding ethical behavior; I sometimes wonder which one is really the dominant species….. or, at least the most honorable……
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“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who is now sovereign can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal World! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor – one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
A mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what should I be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence;
Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”
— John Milton, “Paradise Lost”

This passage is probably the best known part of Milton’s Paradise Lost; just about everyone has heard the last line. It’s here merely because it is so beautifully written; it has been commented on enough in the last couple hundred years since it was penned, so I’m sure my take isn’t necessary. Balancing precariously and bravely on the edge between poetry and prose, one is given the impression of power, ambition gone mad, and unbearable sadness. I had intended to include a different piece of genius here, but the only copy I could find was written in invisible ink…..so this will have to suffice….
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“He should not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.” — Elrond

I was going to write more about this; it’s pretty deep in some respects. But it is also merely a fancier way to say, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.” So we’ll pick something new to go in this slot. Hang on, be right back…..

I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night

I often feel this way, especially when I start thinking about the course of human society in today’s world. I just don’t see how we can survive without some major changes taking place, and nobody of any significance to the rest of the world is singing that tune. It seems to me that 99% of humanity is wandering around, focused on completing their life’s agenda, which includes such thrilling goals as “he who dies with the most toys, wins…” or “how many people can I screw over today?”, while concurrently pursuing those goals through policies and procedures that are killing the planet.  It’s enough to drive a man to drink……or buy a gun…..
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The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life,  Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression. — Gary Larson

This is the caption from a Gary Larson cartoon; he creates the widely syndicated “Far Side”. This particular line was in the SF Chronicle sometime in early 1988. At that time, I was attending the California Culinary Academy, raising two kids, dealing with an emotionally volatile wife, commuting 120+ miles/day to go to school, juggling close-to-the-edge finances; in school, I was acting as the assistant to the Maitre d’Hotel, and working eight hour shifts after school to bring in some cash. The day this cartoon appeared, I had gone to an interview for a waiter’s job at the Fairmont Hotel, and had my car towed away by the SFPD during the interview. I was NOT a happy camper.

But, it all got better when one of the administrative assistants brought this cartoon to my attention while I was directing a class of student waiters in setting up the dining room for dinner. She came up to me, said, “Ned, I think you should see this,” and handed me the paper, folded to show the cartoon. I looked at the picture, of some dumpy guy sitting on a bed in a run-down room, and a chicken in the window. The above caption was so perfect, so personal, I literally fell to the floor with laughter, where I stayed for a full minute, giggling uncontrollably. It was such a wonderful relief to get all that angst and frustration out, and to enjoy being able to laugh again at myself; it’s a moment that will always be with me, always ready to make me smile, and help me to remember that things could always be worse…..
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“I’m totally DESPONDENT over the LIBYAN situation and the price of CHICKEN..” — Zippy the Pinhead

Me too!….. :-) That’s all ffolkes…..I’m all out of creativity for the nonce (love that word). I could write a paragraph or two, using this as a springboard, but I’m tired, and my brain wants to stop. Far be it from me to ever argue with myself….what a waste of time! I always know who’s going to win……
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Okay, I made this up last night. It’s going to be my new, first choice insult/curse. We all need one of these now and again, right? Feel free to borrow it, should you happen to encounter someone in your daily routine who makes you want to bite them. This is much classier, and won’t get you arrested…..”May Beelzebub’s personal imp use your toothbrush to clean his nails without telling you, until AFTER you brush your teeth…….”    Eeuuww! I think it works, how ’bout y’all? Meantime, y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!