Isn’t he just the bee’s knees?….

Ffolkes,
What we have here, is a failure…. to cogitate. A scary one, too, since I can’t seem to get a handle on how to fire up the ol’ neurons this morning…. Dendrite, schmendrite, send me your nerve impulses…. Nope, not working, and the mojo I found yesterday has rolled into a corner again…. Okay, hang on, I’ll see if one of the fuses went out….  Oh, yeah, I don’t have the upgrade installed yet; I’m still on the old tube and knob wiring, so, no fuses….

Damn! Now I’m going to have to resort to emergency procedure # 4, which I haven’t employed since setting it up…. Since at least three of the stages it passes through on the way to getting my brain functioning are only marginally legal, please stand back, and put on the blindfolds that are conveniently located in your seat’s pocket, on the left side there…. got them? Okay, let ‘er rip, Biff!…. Oooh! That’s impressive!…..

Good morning….. Emergency procedure # 4 was apparently successful, though I will have to rely on you all to supply me with any evidence of that…. From this side of the procedure, there is a degree of amnesia produced, that lasts a few days, then passes away, leaving no scars or memories of the less than pleasant process involved in using #4…. Rather handy, all in all, as it gets things moving, but doesn’t waste any time on congratulations or other extraneous activities, but allows me to get right to work…. Of course, it can take several weeks to get all my memory back, but, hey, I don’t use it all at once anyway…. Some sacrifices must be made to pursue one’s art, you know…

Now that I have once again provided y’all with ample proof of my insanity, or at least enough to make it worth wagering on, I should, no doubt, move on to the main portion of today’s virtual circus. It’s getting more and more chancy here in the intro section, what with the weird hours I’ve been keeping in the mornings…. Again, today, I was up at 0430;  it is now 0522, and all I’ve been able to come up with is this detritus, even WITH coffee on board….. Hence my use of the word ‘scary’ above….. The fertile fields of my mind are becoming a trifle depleted, methinks, which, given my output, shouldn’t be a surprise….

Well, no matter how scary it is, the rest of today’s effort calls to me, so I suppose I’d best start diving. In the interests of full disclosure, shut your eyes…. I had to use my old dive suit today, and the pattern has been known to cause seizures if one gazes at it too long…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just keep your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.” — Frank Zappa Playboy Interview, April 1993

Hmm…. Frank’s take on matters are such that I generally find myself in complete agreement with what he says. Here, he has again put his finger on one of the more obvious facets of Christianity, one that defies all logical explanation in lieu of subservient belief, to wit: faith vs. knowledge, and the Christian’s unfortunate tendency to embrace the former, without any appeal to the latter….. To my way of thinking, that is not only foolish, but cowardly….. but, perhaps, that’s just me….

The fruit of the tree of knowledge gives mankind the go-ahead, to use the brain with which we were furnished at birth; the preachers would have us abrogate that use, having us, instead, give over all our power of belief into the hands of the faithful, who, naturally, have only our best interests at heart….. Sure they do…. NOT….. I’m sorry, but, no matter how many times these folks say so, I am not going to accept that they know better than I what is best for me…. Nope, not even if there were twenty Bibles out there, all proclaiming how true they are…. Oh wait, there are twenty of them, aren’t there?…. Oh, well, you know what I meant….

Why do people fall for this? I cannot understand how people, who are normally reasonably intelligent, will, by conscious choice, bury their heads in the sand to buy into this, without ever taking even one moment to examine any of it for truth, or even logical assumption. Is there some kind of mind-control drug in that incense? Maybe in the sacramental wine…. Whatever it is, it turns normally competent, intelligent people into mindless slaves, and does so with their complete agreement and approval….. To my mind, it is one of history’s saddest, most incomprehensible features, when I look at just how easily people fall for such egregious, and so obviously self-serving propaganda, as most of the dogmatic proclamations of the major religions tend to offer up.

“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman

I am compelled to add, “Me, too!” to this sentiment…. In the recent past, I’ve been taking a lot of shots at religions, and need to make clear that I do not hate Christians, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or the followers of any religion. I think they are being silly, deliberately and evilly so, at worst, or at best, misguided, but I don’t hate, or fear them, as is the case on their part whenever they consider me, or my criticisms of their beliefs. I don’t hold that against them, either, as it is logically consistent for them to do so, given the limitations of their dogmatic position. Since, however, the fervor with which they will often defend their position can reach a rather fevered pitch, I tend to treat many of them like a stinging insect; I move, and speak, slowly and carefully, so as not to frighten them more than they already are….

Ethical and moral behavior is not confined to those who follow the precepts of one religion or another, despite what any of the proponents of those religions will try to tell you.  In fact, if you look closely, the number of folks who are believers have a much higher percentage of failure in that area than do the non-believers, which only makes sense…. The believers all have a sense of entitlement that gives them the idea that the rules of behavior don’t always apply to them, in terms of how they treat people who are not of the same faith, so, to those who are not of their own sect, they don’t bother being truthful, or honest, or ethical, as those people don’t count, in their eyes. People who make their own moral codes tend to follow them, and are much more tolerant of those who do not share their beliefs.

Basic human nature dictates these responses in people, so one can see how dangerous it is to remain ignorant, in the Biblical sense. Those who choose to buy into the myth of the Garden of Eden, giving up all their personal independence of mind for the comfort and safety of dogma, will fail to act according to their own morality much of the time, out of their sense of entitlement, and the belief that all of their sins will be forgiven, merely by the act of confessing them. Only those who consciously choose their moral code have the courage to act it out, it seems, except for those few people who actually try to live according to the morality that is espoused, but seldom embraced, by their less ethical peers.

Having the strength of mind to make one’s own moral code implies the courage to act it out…. This is why I choose to deny the dogma I’ve been exposed to all my life, as being illogical, and, ultimately, immoral…. It makes more sense to me to make my own decisions on such matters, and tell the busybodies who assume they know best for all to go jump in a lake…. Even better, just shut the hell up, and get out of the way, so the rest of us can get something relevant done, without having to put up with all the nonsense from that quarter….

“What is a church? Our honest sexton tells, ‘Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.” — Crabbe
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Sometimes, I just gotta go with a classic…. if only for the patina of age that gives it such a shine…. Even reflected beauty is better than none, yes?….

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

John Keats
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The following is a piece that I wrote just before the recent Presidential election, as section 1 of a Pearl I cannot find without more effort than I care to spend right now, even though it is still only 0633…. Tracking it down would mean scrolling through at least a month’s worth of old Pearls, from last year, and I’m not ready for that today…. However, I’ve re-read it, and consider it worth a second posting, as it covers a lot of things that remain relevant after the election, in spite of the fortunate outcome we saw…. Any who, without further ado, here is a pearl I entitled, “Considering the Etiquette of Ignorance”…….

SIGH…. the only reason I did not write this in 1988 is that I did not see it until today….. it is never a good policy to suffer a fool gladly, so my code of honor demands a response…. This begins the tale, but by no means ends it….. be warned, and be nervous, if not afraid…..

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they  be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” — George Bush in Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 1988

Actually, George, the Pledge of Allegiance has no legal standing, in relation to the Constitution of this country, or for that matter, in relation to what our forefathers were thinking when they founded the nation. In fact, what was said here by such an upstanding Constitutional scholarly type, is, in reality, completely contrary to everything that makes a true patriot, or an American citizen.

The part in the pledge, (which no one at all is legally required to take, or state…), that says “under God” was only added in the middle of the twentieth century, by the same Congressional idiots who perpetrated McCarthyism, and the Red Scare, on the American public. It has nothing to do with the Constitution, and in fact, could be construed as a Constitutionally illegal statement, considering the intended separation of church and state that is the backbone of what our forefathers wished us to have as our legacy…. True freedom, not Christian usurpation of freedom….. A person’s religious belief, or lack thereof, is protected by the Constitution, and a patriot is one who supports the Constitution, not a church, or a corporation…..

And if his name be George, I ‘ll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men’s names.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King John — Act i, Sc. 1

This kind of thinking from the Shrub, whichever one it was, Junior or Senior, is the same kind of narrow-minded fundamentalism that the colonists were escaping from in England back in the 16-1700′s when they came to the New World. The churches and corporations, both of which were singled out as dangerous to the republic by Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Adams, Hamilton, and many of the other founding fathers, have tried to usurp the Constitution ever since it was ratified. Their writings, to each other, and in public venues, were filled with precautionary admonitions about allowing corporations and preachers to have access to, or influence over, members of government.

Ultimately, their fears were justified, as we now are facing just the situations they predicted….. corporations are manipulating our “professional thieves”, otherwise known as politicians, to vote for laws that favor them (really, “corporations are people?”… I don’t think so…), and the ranks of our leaders are rife with fundamentalists and religious nuts of all varieties.

“Men tend to have the beliefs that suit their passions. Cruel men believe in a cruel God and use their belief to excuse their cruelty.  Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

It’s difficult sometimes to tell which ones are more dangerous, or more disgusting: the corporations who buy votes from those who fit the definition of “good politicians” (…. a good politician is one who stays bought…..), or the religious demagogues who want to oppress everyone who doesn’t believe the same set of dogmatic constraints as they do. Neither one is particularly hard to spot, but they are protected by their tame dogs in Congress, who will do and say anything to make sure the cash keeps flowing…. right into their pockets.

As may be extrapolated, if one is exceedingly clairvoyant, one may infer from the above that the 2012 Republican  Romney/Ryan ticket disturbs me; I have no problem ranting without end right off the top of my head about the lies and distortions of reality that continuously fall from their lips. As I mentioned in a separate post, a lot of people are catching on to this, as Ryan was roundly booed offstage at the AARP meeting he attended to try to sell their admitted intention to rape Social Security and Medicare (Smart? No. Arrogant? Completely.).

In retrospect, even this negative reception is disturbing to me, as it shows just how little they care, that they are showing themselves to be only interested in lining their own pockets, and the pockets of those who own them, without apparent shame or embarrassment. They aren’t even trying to hide their lies anymore; they just keep repeating them, even after having been shown to be false, believing that if they repeat the lies enough, people will buy them….

“Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book iii, Chap. xi

Unfortunately, they are right, to a large extent. Millions of people in this country, who have hung on to their prejudices and bigotry with desperation as the minorities have become majorities, are supporting these assholes, merely because they are white. They don’t realize, or seemingly care, that these are the same assholes who will be screwing them over completely as soon as they get sworn in, preferring to trust in the lies, because it soothes their fears of having a black President.

Beware of the half truth.  You may have gotten hold of the wrong half. — Smart Bee

This is why I have been repeatedly reiterating that this election is bringing this country to a crossroads. The outcome will show whether we intend, as a nation, to continue to fight all attempts to curtail the freedoms that were bought and paid for by our forefathers, with blood, sweat, and tears, or will become just another religious, corporate-controlled entity, in a nation consisting of slaves and their masters.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll be at the polls as soon as they open, and will urge everyone I know to do the same…. vote early, and vote often (just joking…), but vote. We need to send a message to these fools, that there are still patriots and citizens of this country who believe in the vision embraced and established by the men and women who began this noble experiment in self-government…..

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” — Aldous Huxley

As I said above, the election came out okay…. but, the rest of what is said here remains relevant, and always in need of being heard….
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Well…. Getting up early seems to be working for me, Pearl-wise….. Even though part of this was already written, it all holds together well, and will stand in the future as one of my most complete Pearls, if nothing else…. A bit of nonsense to begin, some pointed sticks thrown around at demagoguery, a bit of classicism in the center, for balance, and a long dissertation haranguing the BRC and PTB, as well as most of the religious institutions in the world…. I’m a happy camper, you betcha….

Not just that, but, it’s DONE!  Yay!….. I think…… Hmm… it’s now 0650…… Now what the hell am I going to do? Ah, perfect!…… I’m going back to bed now, ffolkes, & see if I can fall back asleep…. I’ll be back later to see how many people I’ve managed to offend, or better yet, how many found a good laugh….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

He has a real flair for semantics…..

Ffolkes,
Little spinning lights are dancing, dancing, far into the night. They have no partners, they dance alone, footsteps lightly tapping, tapping, echoes chase each other around. There is no music, no lilting melody, no booming bass, no triumphant horns, no weeping violins. There are only the spinning lights, dancing, dancing, far into the night….

Your guess is as good as mine…. I have no clue where that came from, or what it means. It may sound like a sham, but it’s true. I don’t know what any of it is supposed to mean. I just started typing, and that is what came out. It’s nowhere near as good as yesterday’s rude pixie, but it has a certain charm, stemming most likely from its very inscrutability.

When we read something like that, we tend to try to apply some kind of meaning to it, try to make it fit inside the rules of existence we acknowledge as our own reality. Well, good luck with that on this one…. it will be hard to ascribe meaning to something that deliberately has none….. but you’re welcome to try….

When you’ve finished playing around with the nonsense paragraph, maybe we could think about diving for some pearls. It is, after all, what we are here for, is it not? Why yes, yes it is….. okay, let’s go Pearl >>>>>>  Hmm, I kind of like those little arrowheads…. I think I’ll start using them more….. shall we Pearl?…..
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“The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just keep your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.” — Frank Zappa Playboy Interview, April 1993

Good ol’ Frankie Z….. one of the twentieth century’s most acerbic, and accurate, social critics. He was, like most good prophets and philosophers, not well known during his own lifetime, at least not by the mainstream culture. He makes a point here that I have mentioned in numerous essays here on this blog, to wit: Christianity is a religion based on deception and lies, and has as it’s primary purpose the goal of keeping mankind as ignorant as possible, so that they may be more easily manipulated. Now, that may not sound like the goals that the heads of the church will admit to pursuing, but, taken in the context of the story of Genesis and the Garden of Eden, it becomes patently obvious that it is the truth.

Why else would it be a sin to seek knowledge? What possible reason could there be for the events that reportedly took place, if not to establish the original lie as truth? That is the sole purpose of that story, to convince people that trying to think will only make things worse. In this way, the church establishes itself as the sole authority for mankind, and plants the idea that the only people who are speaking the truth are the priests…. at least, that’s what they want you to believe….

The truth, of course, is that seeking knowledge is no sin at all. As a matter of fact, it is the one thing that will provide us with the answers we will need to find in order to overcome the foolishness, and the mess, that over 2000 years of wrong thinking has created. The elitism that is fomented as a result of the Christian model is possibly the worst thing that could have happened, as it gave a sense of entitlement to people who have no concern for others, telling them “you are the Lords of Creation… go forth and multiply, until there are so many of you, civilization will collapse under its own weight.”

Well, maybe not the last part, but the first part, the assumption of the mantle of Lord of the Beasts, has been a part of Christian beliefs since the beginning, and that single concept is what is killing the planet, and our own species. People believe that whatever they want to do is okay, no matter how destructive to other life forms it may be.

To those who feel themselves to be part of the elite, it is okay to level tropical rain forest to make room for new strip malls, with another McDonald’s, a movie theater, and some nice boutiques…. Never mind that cutting down any more rain forest area will cause the level of oxygen in the atmosphere to drop. It doesn’t matter to a Lord of Creation, because God said it was okay….

Well, guess what, kids…. it’s not okay. Continuing to exhibit the same patterns of behavior we have shown for the last 5000 or so years is leading us straight into the depths of hell, by altering the environment in ways that will ultimately make it unlivable for us. The time is closer than people realize, when there won’t be enough oxygen in the atmosphere to give us what we need to breathe. By the year 2050, the wearing of oxygen masks will be necessary if one wishes to go out of doors, because the air won’t support our life form’s needed levels of gases. We will be living in air that is mostly carbon monoxide, and struggling just to stay alive….

But, hey, that’s okay, because God said so….. and it’s a sin to go against what God says, right?…..

Although a man may wear fine clothing, if he lives peacefully; and is good, self-possessed, has faith and is pure; and if he does not hurt any living being, he is a holy man… — The Dhammapada (c. B.C. 300)
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When I was a Senior Psychiatric Technician, I spent about three years working with a group of individuals who were elderly, non-ambulatory, physically fragile, and developmentally disabled. They required complete nursing care 24/7, including feeding, bathing, dressing, getting out of bed, and were provided with all types of psychosocial activities…

It’s hard work, but very rewarding in a lot of ways. When working with so many disabled people, it is easy to become callous, and to start to look at them as less than people…. until being reminded of their humanity, by something like this…. I found this posted on Facebook….

An old man in Australia died while living in a nursing care home. When the nurses were going through his things, they found the following poem, and started it on a journey that has taken it around the entire world…. it is a statement, and a plea, written by an old man who knew he was going to die…… I started weeping in empathy at line seven, and I think you will, too…….

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!  PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM (originally written by Dave Griffith)
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He’s got his own train of thought, and no one’s aboard. — Smart Bee

See, I was cruising through my quote database, looking for something to write about this morning, and this little piece kept popping up. The third time is showed itself, I thought to myself, “Self, that’s a sign!” , and copied it down for use. Now that it is here, on the screen, the only thing I can think of to write about is the one person in the public eye these days who most resembles this remark….. Can you guess who that might be?….

Yup, you’re right…. Mitt the Twitt. He is the perfect candidate for the Republicans…. he doesn’t flinch at lying his head off, he’s rich enough to afford the right clothes, and he doesn’t have an original thought in his entire head. He is the perfect mouthpiece for the rich, white, misogynistic bigots who are backing him, because he has already shown that he is a master of denial, and won’t hesitate to change his mind right in the middle of a thought. He has proven himself to be just their kind of guy….

I’m not going to turn this into a rant of any great length. I’ve already made clear my opinion of the Twitt and his cronies, and to do so further would no doubt bore us both to tears…. So, just consider this a fully developed rant, with the advantage of not having to take ten minutes to digest all the stuff I usually throw out there for consumption. I have denigrated him and his ilk sufficiently for one day, and would like to save anything else I have to use another day down the line…. just remember what Tommy Toilet says, ffolkes, “Always remember to wipe thoroughly; rectal itch is no picnic!” And, always remember to wash up after partaking of any political discussion; the parts that splash around can be toxic…..
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Strangely enough, I think this came out okay. I wasn’t sure there for awhile, but it kind of fell together there at the end….. All is well…. 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!

Always twinkle before lifting…..

Ffolkes,
As time goes by, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep myself from becoming homicidal. I’m sure it is a problem common to every man; it is, after all, a part of our nature as natural born killers. Denying that part of us is foolish and dangerous. Without the proper understanding, and therefore control, of this part of being a human male, it can jump up and bite one at the most inappropriate times. I know, because it has happened both to me, and in front of me, on numerous occasions…..

Now, happening in front of me is not particularly a problem for me, unless I am the object, or target, of the other person’s violent outburst. Being the target happened frequently when I worked in mental health, due to the nature of the mental conditions of the individuals with whom I worked. Typically, they had poor impulse control, and when they became angry, for whatever reason, it could often lead them to become violent toward others; it was part of my job to let that other be me most of the time. I learned to deal with these situations well, and do not suffer any particular fear or anxiety over facing them any longer, though it isn’t one of my favorite pastimes. Even when one is not afraid of violence, its presence is not any fun whatsoever, for anyone involved.

But, even worse than being involved in peripheral violence aimed at others, or just random outbreaks, is the violence that I am tempted to carry out myself on others, every time some political or religious pundit opens their mouths to spew out more lies to me and the American public. I am so tired of being lied to…..

I’m tired of that kind of condescension, that assumes that I don’t hear the lie, or that I won’t do anything about it. It pisses me off the most that they are right, at least for most people. Most folks don’t hear the lies, or if they do, they don’t do anything about it. Hell, I’ve seen seemingly intelligent people go out and vote for someone they KNOW just lied to them, mere moments before….. it is disgusting, and infuriating, to say the least……

The worst part is there is nothing to do…. I keep speaking up about it, and folks nod their heads in agreement, then go out and do the same damn thing they’ve always done, just because they don’t know, or don’t have the courage to do anything else….. it’s pathetic, and it makes me want to buy guns and go shoot them at people until they start to wake up…… Maybe it won’t do that, but I will certainly feel better, so, hey, it’s worth a shot, don’t you think?…..

Well, maybe not just now…. we’ll go Pearl instead….. shall we?….
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“Hurting other people unnecessarily is the only “sin”. All the others are made up nonsense. (Hurting one’s self isn’t a sin, it’s just stupid).” — Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Original sin…. who said it was? And why does anyone believe it? (That’s me asking…and not rhetorically, but literally…)

I saw Robert Heinlein’s quote, as related above, about sins the other day, and it got me to thinking about the concept upon which much of Christianity is based, to wit: Original Sin. Supposedly, as a metaphor, God made a snake, which talked Eve (whom God had refused to educate about snakes, merely saying “do as I say”) into talking Adam into taking a bite of the apple, which oddly enough (it’s hard to indicate a raised eyebrow in prose), was the metaphor for the knowledge of Good and Evil….. Then, when they had done so, this merciful god proceeded to punish them, with a most severe sentence for a first offense, for disobeying his decree (thereby blaming them for what he, being omnipotent, already knew would happen…. He set it up that way, in a lose-lose scenario, you can’t claim omnipotence and say he didn’t know it was likely…..). What a cruel, hateful set-up! It all sounds so….. human, doesn’t it?

This, to me, has always seemed like a very vicious thing for God to do…. very childish, in most ways that count.  And don’t give me all that crap about free will and choosing God’s love…. it’s not free if one is punished for using it, and God doesn’t love Man, not if he goes around setting him up to lose like that. You will note, that the knowledge that this merciful, loving God didn’t want us to have was the knowledge of Good and Evil… which, if we did not have it, we could not judge whether what God did to us was good, or evil, now could we?  Int other words, God did not want us to know that He was playing us for fools…. another scenario that, according to the creationists, was completely his idea….

I remember distinctly when I first heard the story of the Garden of Eden, when I was about four or so years old… and I remember thinking, at the end, why did God put the apple tree in Eden, if he didn’t want Adam or Eve to eat from it?  I didn’t know anything about the metaphorical nature of the story then… even I wasn’t that precocious, smart as I am. But I do remember thinking that it didn’t seem quite fair to put it there, and then tell them not to eat it. Even at age four, the question “Why?” was at the forefront of my thoughts when I heard the story, but nobody would ever answer me when I asked, other than to parrot the eternal, “God works in mysterious ways….”

Even a four year old knows a crock of crap when he hears it….. I didn’t fall for it then, and I still can’t seem to find anyone who can give me an answer that doesn’t make God look like a cranky five-year old who needs a nap….

“God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. It says so right here on the label. If you have the kind of mind that can believe all three of those things at once, then I have a wonderful deal in a bridge for you! Cash only, no checks….” — Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
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Conjure with ‘em,–
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Julius Caesar — Act i, Sc. 2

Not much to comment here, other than to say, “Puke!”….. All I can say is, teaching Shakespeare as classical literature seems to me to be practice for convincing voters that a politician is going to be working to help his constituents, not spending his time lining his pockets with gelt…. in other words, not bloody likely!…. ‘Nuff said…. Hell, it doesn’t even rhyme! Doesn’t even try!….

Like to the Pontic sea,
Whose icy current and compulsive course
Ne’er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont,
Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,
Shall ne’er look back, ne’er ebb to humble love,
Till that a capable and wide revenge
Swallow them up.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Othello — Act iii, Sc. 3

In a mathematical proof, one would say at this point, Q.E.D….. I’ll just add, “What? What did he say?”  Long-winded way to say “I’m pissed off…”, don’t you think?….  What is it about people that needs things to be complicated? I just don’t get it…..
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Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn’t any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I’m not at the bottom,
I’m not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.
– A.A. Milne

Lovely. That’s all….. just enjoy….
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politics, n:  From the Latin ‘poly’, meaning many, and ‘tic’, meaning little bloodsucking insects. — Smart Bee

Smart Bee was smarter than usual when it came up with this one… A perfect description of a modern talking head. It’s almost enough to send me off on a rant…. but, I’m tired this morning, from fighting pain for the last couple of days, and can’t seem to find enough outrage in me to get started… Oh, I’m sure it’s there; all I’d have to do is go read the news first…. but, not today. I’m going to slap on a Lidocaine patch to try to ease the lower back & hip grinding, take an extra pain pill, and try to get it to ease up a bit. My views on the current state of the circus we call election year are fairly well documented anyway…. just breeze back through just about  any random Pearl over the last few months, and you’ll find more than one rant that can best be summarized by the following statement from Mr. Jefferson, one that I believe implicitly….

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is its natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov.  13, 1787
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“[In the 60's] there was madness in any direction, at any hour …  You could strike sparks anywhere.  There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was `right’, that we were winning …

And that, I think, was the handle — the sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil.  Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that.  Our energy would simply `prevail’.  There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs.  We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave ….

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — the place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

When the 60′s began, I was a fifth-grader living with my family on an Army base in Washington, near Tacoma. One year later, I was in sixth grade in a small town (population: 686, counting my family), adjusting to being the new kid in school, again. By 1970, I was a student at UC Berkeley, marching with thousands of other hippies against the war in Vietnam…. In between I entered high school (and puberty), graduated as a three-year-and-sport letter athlete/valedictorian (sports and studying were less frightening than dating….), and left my tiny little home town, now with over 800 residents, for the University of California at Berkeley, where there were over 42,000 students, not counting the city of Berkeley, a significantly populous part of the megalopolis that the East Bay had already become.

Hunter Thompson was a more active participant than I in many of the activities in the early part of the decade, but I experienced enough of what was happening in society at the time to say that what he says here is quite accurate. A great deal of the power that kept those demonstrations of outrage against the system going was the exact energy he describes, a feeling of harmonious invincibility, a complete faith in the power of human love united in one purpose. There were no enemies to fight, other than apathy and indifference; those who opposed what we were engaged in manifesting would be enlightened by the very purity of our intent, and the rightness of our actions, and join us in marching on to Utopia.

It was a very heady wine, and the after-effects have not really disappeared altogether. That is some small comfort to me, as I myself get old enough to feel a lessening of my strength in a physical sense, if no other. Such forms of energy can fill up those empty fuel cells that age has emptied over time, with a different, but serviceable form of alternate energy. Maybe it won’t help me run fast any more, but I can think faster than ever, and that is a distinct advantage, to be sure…..
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Such as it is, it is…. I kinna do morrre…. I’d say it will glide fairly well, if not fly strongly, and that will suffice…. It must, because I’m done, finito, serioso, and outta here. Wow… I’m driving my spell checker crazy here…. kind of fun, actually. But, enough whimsy, it’s time to go do some actual productive stuff… even we procrastinators have last minute deadlines we have to observe….

Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!