Look, Amelia, it’s a flock of abusive platitudes….

Ffolkes,

Hardly a day goes by I don’t think about that old man…. I don’t know, exactly, why it still bothers me; I didn’t even know him. But, ever since that day we first saw him, standing there on the corner by the market downtown, waving around that silly old broken pistol, threatening to start shooting if people didn’t listen to him…. Of course, nobody ever did, and he never started shooting; he was just another crazy old coot with a decrepit war souvenir and too many memories…. Who wants to listen to some old guy rambling on about honor and duty and stuff, anyway?

I was only six the first we saw him there, outside the neighborhood store on 114th & Linden, when we came out from the weekly shopping…. I recall him standing up on that old wooden box, shouting and yelling at whoever walked by….. I remember, even then, in the middle of a New York winter, he didn’t have a coat….

I think that’s what bothered me about it for a long time…. At six, I still worried about people, and how they lived, so it bothered me to see this old man out in the cold with no coat…. I asked my mother why he didn’t have one, and she told me he refused to wear one, that he was too broken in his mind to understand it could hurt him; at six, this idea made him an irresistible bone for my mind to chew on….

REALITY BREAK: This is a message from normal space/time…. Well, make that, as normal as ever, I suppose…. I’m bored with that opening…. Okay, that’s a lie; I’m not bored, but I don’t like it, and it’s expedient to use boredom as an excuse …..Sometimes I forget, like everyone, that one MUST BE an example of what one preaches in re: honor and truth…. or, it’s just another bunch of BS…. Mama don’t allow no BS around here, so, the truth it must be, for this boyo….

I do get tired of being accused of being a miserable sinner, but, hey, all those hard-ass tightwads (or is that tightass hardwads?…) need to have somebody to pick on, and they don’t bother me much, so let ‘em talk…. Now, where was I, before I so rudely interrupted myself?….

Ah, here we are…. Me apologia, but, I’m cutting this off here because I don’t like it much, and none of the faux introductions are biting at me to get turned into a full story, though, it may happen some day…. You’ll have to be patient, because it will be a while before I do get any of them completed…. It’s just not high on my list of stuff to get done right now…. Currently, I’m not sure what IS on the list, but, I know I’ve got one around here somewhere…. Maybe it’s in…. nope…. Ah well, I’ll look for that later…. I’m thinking right now I should either throw out another distraction, start over, or just get on with today’s dive for pearls….

As you might guess, I’m leaning toward the latter, as it’s the only one that fits in with the plan I have going…. a plan you didn’t even know was there, did you?…. C’mon, now, ‘fess up…. I managed to keep you from seeing this coming, didn’t I?…. Yep, I know I did, so there’s no point in denying….

Well, if you’re going to be THAT way about it, I suppose I’ll just have to assume control of the ship again, and take us out of here, before I lose track of how much fuel we have…. There’s probably enough, but, we don’t want to have to bail out on the way back because we ran out, now, do we? No, I didn’t think that would go over too well….

Ah, the hell with it…. Screw the Mr. Nice Guy routine…. Fuck it, ffolkes…. hang on, we’re goin’ for a dive!…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It is great good health to believe, as the Hindus do, that there are 33 million gods and goddesses in the world.  It is great good health to want to understand one’s dreams.  It is great good health to desire the ambiguous and paradoxical.  It is sickness of the profoundest kind to believe that there is one reality.  There is sickness in any piece of work or any piece of art seriously attempting to suggest that the idea that there is more than one reality is somehow redundant.” — Clive Barker
_____________________________

“…when all government… in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1821

Before we begin, please read the article attached to the link below; it contains information that will be necessary to a full appreciation/understanding of the discussion to follow…..

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/FDIC-sues-16-big-banks-that-set-key-rate-5318301.php

After reading this article all the way through, I came perilously close to puking, only resisting the urge, strong as it was, because I wasn’t in a place where it would have been convenient….. However, I WAS able to determine, immediately upon completion of the article, that I would definitely be ranting on this one, for sure and for certain…. This CRIES out to discussed, and, who am I to destroy the wishes of such a plaintive, compelling cry for social justice?

Did you catch the key points in the report on these asshole bankers and their naked avarice? To me, one of the key points in the article, which shows just how ridiculous the whole thing becomes when examined in ANY light, is the sentence imposed on the banks for admitting their guilt…. Essentially, the decision says this: a) the banks were guilty of defrauding their customers (again)…. they admitted it without a qualm; b) they only have to pay back PART of what they stole by doing so, and c) they don’t have to go to jail, they get to stay in business, and keep ALL of the profits they made by this theft.

You know, it makes me wonder…. I’d wager serious money (if I could cover the bet…. I’m not a bank, and I bet with honor….)….. very serious money, that the banks, when they planned out their campaign of theft in this instance, included in their plans a certain amount of money to be set aside to pay the legal fees involved in defending themselves, once they were found out, and sued for the fraud….

I BET they knew before they started that, eventually, the SEC and their counterparts (i.e., government thieves….) in the BRC would catch them in their thievery, and take them to court, so they set aside a percentage of the profits to be made to cover that, and proceeded with the plan to steal from their customers, (i.e. US, you and me, and all the other little investors whose money they steal on a regular basis….), knowing ahead of time that they’d never do any time in jail, and could count on a certain amount of profit on the deal…

I don’t think anyone would take that bet, unless they’re stupider than they look….. Ffolkes, how much more proof is necessary? How many times do we have to let these assholes fuck everyone else in the world, and let them get away with it, before we do something about stopping it?

Personally, I’ve about had it up to here (makes motion at neck…) with their sheer gall, to carry out a scheme like this, in full view of the public, knowing they’ll be able to not only get away with it without ever spending any time in jail for their crimes, but will make a decent profit by doing so…. a profit they, of course, feel is their RIGHT to make, just because they want it…..

It’s not the money…. though, of course, it would help a lot of people if it wasn’t stolen…. No, it’s the sheer effrontery, the gall, the entitlement that gives these assholes the idea they can do this with impunity that bothers me the most…. It’s the kind of thing calculated to piss me off thoroughly enough to take action in a very real sense, even if that action isn’t necessarily the one that will help the most….

No, I’m tempted, almost beyond control, to go buy a gun, and a LOT of bullets that go with the gun, so I could start picking off the greedy bankers, inept and/or dishonest politicians, corrupt judges, aggressive, entitled, police bullies officers, pedophiliac, smarmy, manipulative priests & preachers, and all the other assholes who dump their loads of BS all over everyone else in the pursuit of their own agendas, never caring at all how many others they harm in the process…

Yep, ffolkes, the time is drawing nigh when my patience will be at an end, and I’ll actually DO something that will, if nothing else, make me feel as if I’d helped in a small way to put a stop to the bullshit going on all around us…. It may not change society, but I’ll damn sure feel a lot better, you betcha….

Bah, humbug! Writing about this has gotten me as worked up as reading the article did originally; I’m sitting here vibrating with anger at the corporate assholes who are constantly degrading life for the rest of us, and wishing there were some way to speed up the time until I can afford to buy a decent weapon (by “decent” I mean, of course, that it will do all I want it to do….)…. I have a feeling it won’t be terribly long now until that day actually arrives…. and I can’t wait, to tell the truth….

I’m too worked up to rant further about this, though I can feel a lot more inside me that needs to be released…. So, I’ll finish off with a little five-star pearl, using as a parameter the same subject upon which we’ve been gnawing…. Hey, it’s a quick, legitimate way to bring this to a dignified, if choppy, ending….. Enjoy….

– How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb? Four, one to change it and the other three to deny it. — Smart Bee

“Dealing with the government is like kicking a 300-pound sponge.” — Finagle’s Law of Government Contracting

“We are hypnotized into believing that two TV sets will make us twice as happy as one TV set.” — Laura Huxley (wife of Aldous)

“The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities.” — John E.E. Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834-1902), — “The History of Freedom in Antiquity”

“I don’t want the cheese, I just want to get out of the trap.” — Spanish Proverb
_____________________________

Yesterday’s poem reminded me why I love Emily Dickinson’s work….. and….. since I’m already in a mood from writing the above, I’m going back to the same well for more sustenance….

It was not death, for I stood up,
And all the dead lie down;
It was not night, for all the bells
Put out their tongues, for noon.

It was not frost, for on my flesh
I felt siroccos crawl,–
Nor fire, for just my marble feet
Could keep a chancel cool.

And yet it tasted like them all;
The figures I have seen
Set orderly, for burial,
Reminded me of mine,

As if my life were shaven
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key;
And ‘t was like midnight, some,

When everything that ticked has stopped,
And space stares, all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns,
Repeal the beating ground.

But most like chaos,–stopless, cool,–
Without a chance or spar,–
Or even a report of land
To justify despair.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


Well, I feel better….. and that’s enough. I hope you enjoyed it as well (except for Shawna…. she doesn’t have to, if she doesn’t want to….That is, if she’s still out there, reading this….) (If she is, it would be nice to know…. hint, hint…)
_____________________________

You know as well as I do what is coming now, so don’t tell me you weren’t expecting it….. Since we’re assuming prior knowledge here, I’m going to also assume y’all know how this works, so I’ll merely say this…. When picking these pearls, I had only one thought in mind, to use as a guide about what should, or shouldn’t, be included…. It’s really too bad the thought I had was so strange, so very odd, almost to the point of perversion, I had to throw it out, and find another one…. Unfortunately, on such short notice, I have no frigging clue as to what that one might be, so we’ll just have to deal with whatever shows itself, ‘kay?….. ‘Kay!….

BRAHMA, n.  He who created the Hindoos, who are preserved by Vishnu and destroyed by Siva — a rather neater division of labor than is found among the deities of some other nations.  The Abracadabranese, for example, are created by Sin, maintained by Theft and destroyed by Folly. The priests of Brahma, like those of Abracadabranese, are holy and learned men who are never naughty.

O Brahma, thou rare old Divinity,
First Person of the Hindoo Trinity,
You sit there so calm and securely,
With feet folded up so demurely –
You’re the First Person Singular, surely.
Polydore Smith

– Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“I’m not sure I want popular opinion on my side — I’ve noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts.” — Bethania McKenstry

“Forget about World Peace…Visualize using your turn signal.” — Bumper Sticker

(Irresistible side comment: I’d like to see this tattooed on the forehead of every police officer in America…. gigoid….)

But Memory blushes at the sneer,
And Honor turns with frown defiant,
And Freedom, leaning on her spear,
Laughs louder than the laughing giant.

– Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) — A Good Time going

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” — J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

“Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“YOW!!  I’m in a very clever and adorable INSANE ASYLUM!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Okay, so it’s a strange one, even for around here…. deal, ffolkes, deal…. anything that starts with Ambrose Bierce, and ends with Zippy, is guaranteed to make some kind of logical, and/or illogical, sense…. It’s mathematically impossible for it to NOT make sense, so, believe me, it’s in there…. It may take a broken pencil or two, and possibly a month’s supply of erasers, but, it’s there…. Trust me…. It’s okay, I’m not a politician, so it’s really alright to do that….
_____________________________

Whatever I had in mind when I sat down today to begin, this isn’t it. What it is, is, though, and, as we all know, Popeye is never wrong about stuff like this…. So, this means we’ll all just have to deal with that…. To reinforce that concept, and, I suppose, to enforce it as well, I’ll now go post this, entrusting the gods of email with the task of delivering these random musings to the Pearl Drops group, and, having faith the gods of html:protocol will enable their presence on the World Wide Web, even if hidden in my domain…. See you tomorrow, ffolkes….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

Don’t forget to pack a sewage pump….

Ffolkes,

Powerful visions often pass through my mind, generally on their way somewhere else, thus making them merely an annoyance, rather than a joy. Such is life in reality, where we seldom get a proper chance to do just as we would like, even though we adjust and flex both our efforts, and our desires, in the quest to achieve whatever it is we are seeking to accomplish. This is because reality is like an amoeba, always changing shape and character, right before us, with nothing we possess that can affect it one way or another before it changes. All we have is the ability to change our minds, which, to those of us who study reality, is our most valuable tool….

This ability is the one saving grace we have in the face of reality, so it is a good idea to train it well. If not used, and guided, this ability, to be flexible in our thoughts, becomes weak, and can disappear altogether if neglected. The people to whom this has happened are doomed, to a life of misery and ignorance, because there is nothing new to learn for them, once they have abrogated the control of their own mind.

These poor folks are unable to adjust to the rapidity of modern society, and constantly yearn for “the good old days”, which in their minds are golden, but in reality are just gone. It’s sad, but true, that the greater majority of this particular country has done just that, and now allows the pundits on TV to determine for them just what they will think….. It’s much easier than making up their own minds, and easy is what they are all about…

Whoops! I didn’t mean to start ranting, but, it’s just so easy sometimes, when I start thinking…. That right there is the whole problem…. I start thinking, and things just get all intense, and I start taking shots at the parts of society that seem to thrive on stealing from the others with whom they live….. It’s all such a waste, in my mind, to see the potential talent and abilities that even the most average person possesses subverted, and/or deliberately perverted into either disuse, or misuse, all for the sake of keeping the BRC in their positions of power over everyone else.

Those who wish to be in charge of others, who want the power over others that goes along with being an elected official in this country, are, in my mind, clinically insane, and I wish sometimes I was more of a curmudgeon than I am, and that I owned a gun…. But, then, if I did, I’d feel compelled to use it, and my targets would be mostly found in one particular environment, a large city on the East Coast where those who are crazy enough to want that power gather to perform their arcane rituals of theft, misdirection, and aggrandizement.

It might take me a few weeks, and a couple boxes of ammo, but, I could make a serious dent in their numbers, given the time and space…. Too bad I’m disabled now, and can’t work up that much angst…. it might be fun….

Of course, then I’d be falling into the same frame of mind they cultivate in themselves, where they believe they are smart enough to actually make decisions for others….. It has always amazed me to see how much these men and women can delude themselves into thinking this kind of crap; it’s like they have a complete blind spot for other people, and what they might think or feel, and believe that what they want has the right to be paramount over what everyone else wants, or needs….. SIGH….. To make it all not just worse, but stupidly worse, they not only believe this nonsense, they are all-too-successful at getting everyone else to buy into it as well, and will use any persuasion they can think of, no matter how immoral, illegal, or just plain untrue it is, to assert control over the rest of society….

As the perfect example, I give you the attacks of 9/11/01, which the BRC used to perfection. to create fear, and even paranoia, in the public, thereby freeing them to mount their assault on the Bill of Rights. Without even considering the source of the money that paid for the attacks, or who might have had a part in planning it, let us note how the politicos ALL jumped on the security bandwagon, shouting for more restrictive laws to keep the terrorists at bay. They do this, while simultaneously pocketing all the extra money that now pours into the Homeland Security monstrosity of a bureaucracy, where it disappears down the black hole that such behemoths always create, sending piles of money into places where the pundits can more easily transfer it to their pockets…..

Well, I see that I’ve completely lost my way, and fell into a full-fledged rant, before even seeing any headlines, and before consuming sufficient coffee to prevent it….. I’d better take a short time out….

Okay, well, that didn’t help much; I’m still in rant mode, but, now I don’t have the physical acumen remaining to get any more of it out; it’s going to be one of those days, I think, and I might just go back to bed to avoid the worst of it…. Let’s see if I can get a Pearl done first. It should be fairly quick and easy…. I’ve already ranted, so I can go old-school for sections one and two, and I’ll find a good poem for section two…. as long as it all goes smoothly, I should be done, and back in bed within a couple hours…. Yay….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I only touch base with reality on an as-needed basis!” — Royal Floyd Mengot (Klaus)
_____________________________

As noted above, this will be an old-school pearl. I’ve just about given up on giving Smart Bee a set of parameters to use in choosing the pearls for these groups; it seems to work out better when I let it go random, allowing fate, as it were, to determine the best pearls to include. Besides, that way, I can’t be fully to blame for what happens, and my insurance guys are all over that, so…. here is another set of harlequin pearls for your edification and delectation, hopefully….

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini

“Don’t claim that you know everything- besides not being true, it’s very irritating to those of us who do.” — Smart Bee

“People are the nucleus of great idea that hasn’t come to be yet.” — Richard Pryor, American Comedian

“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.” — Albert Einstein

“If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.” — Dorothy Parker

“Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love for power.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

“We all carry it within us; supreme strength, the fullness of wisdom, unquenchable joy. It is never thwarted and cannot be destroyed. But it is hidden deep, which is what makes life a problem.” — Huston Smith

Though quite nice, this doesn’t quite make the point it is shooting for, so, I’ll look for one more to include that will bring it all home, I hope….

“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.” — Buddha

Perfect….
_____________________________

Well, it’s one of those days, alright…. I can’t make up my mind between two poems, so, you get saddled with them both… They’re both mine, and both kind of fit with how I’m feeling today, so, bear with me, ffolkes, it will be over soon enough…

Future Shocked:

Weeping, I wake;
waking, I weep, I weep.
I weep for the ages to be lost,
for the children never to be born.

Time comes calling, strident and spare,
nudging us toward the future with bony hands.
No pausing, no waiting, always away,
Frantic hearts unseen, unheard.

Spirits are dark, afraid.
And the Beast hunts, hungry and cruel,
seeking out the weak, and the foolish.

We all weep now…..

~~ gigoid ~~

Funny Bones

Dreaming the way home, lost, unseen,
from the dance, where
he felt so free, and clean.
Sorrow couldn’t find him there.

Waiting, filling up the hours, hoping,
some connection can be found
keeping busy as bees, coping.
Love creeps in, without a sound.

Fat days, skinny nights, passionate
visions of semi-conscious entities,
cannot seem to fully illuminate
or hide our innermost frailties.

Resolute, find the perfect sense, codify
simple rules with every breath
never waiting, anxious to modify.
fear nothing in life, not even Death.

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

Today’s effort is going quickly, and fairly smoothly, for which I’m grateful, as I really don’t feel all too well, and need to do SOMETHING to make that change…. I only wish I knew what the proper SOMETHING might be… Ah well, I can put together an old-school pearl in my sleep, and often have, so, here is another one, with no parameters to get in the way of something really sharp and unusual…. I can hope, can’t I?….

“To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than a thousand head-bowings in prayer.” — Saddi

“A worm, with very few exceptions, is not a human being.” — from Young Frankenstein

“Once you’ve tried to change the world you find it’s a whole bunch easier to change your mind.” — Smart Bee

“Corruptissima republica plurimae leges.” [The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.] — Cornelius Tacitus, 56-120 A.D., Annals III 27

“A man who carries a cat by the tail is getting experience that will always be helpful.  He isn’t likely to grow dim or doubtful.  Chances are, he isn’t likely to carry the cat that way again, either.  But if he wants to, I say let him!” — Mark Twain

“Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger” –  from Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Ever eating, never cloying,
All-devouring, all-destroying,
Never finding full repast,
Till I eat the world at last.

– Swift (1667-1745)

All’s well that ends well, yes?….
_____________________________

Life has just entered a flux zone, and the future has become clouded in my vision; foreboding fills me, and I am afraid. But, I am my father’s son, and there is no question of giving in, so, I’m going to take today to try to figure out how to feel better. I’m tired of not….. Let’s see how this truncated version of a real Pearl came out….

Well, somehow, it all came together adequately, so I’m going to take the money and run…. See ya….

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

dozer3

Just stuff another paradox in there; it’ll burn….

Ffolkes,

A few days ago, I received a notification from WordPress that I had reached my second anniversary of publishing this blog. At the time, I had posted 792 times, about 30 of which were re-blogs. I find myself uncertain of how I feel about it, beyond the initial sense of accomplishment at having completed that many posts, regardless of their worth as literature. As therapy, it wasn’t the most elegant or intensive I’ve ever performed, but, it worked, having kept me from turning into a blithering idiot, sitting on the floor, dirty, rocking and chanting to myself while I pick at my skin….

Now, I’ll admit, it is not a foregone conclusion that I wouldn’t have made it through my period of isolation and poverty without going mad, though some would say that destination isn’t a very long journey for me, considering where I am starting from…. but, I know myself, and though I’ve never given in to the world’s intense pressure before, I am not sure I was strong enough, physically, or emotionally, to make it as well as I did, by using my writing as a way to keep from making that journey. Since I did make it through without succumbing to my pain and fear, it becomes a moot point, and isn’t something I particularly wish to dwell upon; in contrast to what I wrote much of the time, I didn’t much enjoy that time, not after Noah passed on, and I became truly alone…..

Today, I am past that time, and the issues that caused that state of mind are no longer present. This has changed my inner state, as might be expected, making me much stronger, as I’m not so often beset and overcome by any of my fears, because the means to deal with those fears is now part of my bag of resources. It’s hard to understand just how powerful it can affect one’s entire existence to be free of fear…. It has a way of freeing the mind, removing all the distracting emotional content from certain patterns of thought, content that can slow down the mind, or affect its ability to adapt and deal with the issues that arise in our lives…. Without fear to slow us down, we are much better able to enjoy life, as it doesn’t cause us the same emotional distress as when we allow the fear to hold sway….

In truth, this is a lesson I learned long ago, when I was first involved in the martial arts, and knowing it allowed me to work in a field that encompassed a lot of violence, without ever getting injured physically…. mentally is another story, but, this is just the intro section, and we’re already off track by quite a distance, so we’ll not get into that just now…. However, suffice it to say, fear, of the unknown, of violence, or based on lack of self-confidence, is a very powerful force in our lives, and it is critical for us to understand it in ourselves, and learn how to keep it from affecting how we deal with the world. When we try to deal with the universe under the influence of our fears, we fail, every time…. When we learn to let our fear pass over, and through us, without letting it alter our behavior, then we learn to succeed in the world….

Simply put, fear can either make our life a living hell, or we can remove its influence, refusing to allow it to affect how we will live, and, as a result, learn to enjoy the inner peace that comes with that knowledge…. It’s really that simple, ffolkes, and not all that hard, once one gives up the attachment to their fears that has developed over time…. People are often afraid to give them up, as they are more afraid of what is out there to replace them…. Like most folks, they are happier with the devil they know…. So be it, it is only themselves that will suffer for that…. Well, until they get elected, then, their fear and ignorance has a tendency to spill over…. Any who….

Shall we Pearl?….

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I have to go.

– Theodore Roethke
_____________________________

The above introduction may have clued y’all in to where my head is today, to wit: your guess is as good as mine….. No, I’m distracted today, by thoughts of moving at the end of the month (week), fragments of a poem that has been percolating, stuff to do today out in the BBR, and, of course, the background muttering that is always there, my personal running commentary on what I perceive, and what my inner self is thinking about it…. What, y’all don’t do that? Hmm…. well, I have always had this little voice running in the back of my mind, sort of like an inner sportscaster/color commentator, looking at the world through my eyes, and commenting on what they see, and what I feel about it…..

“Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one’s head.” — Mark Twain

Does this make me strange? Probably…. I don’t much care, as whoever it is in there doing the commentary is a frigging funny guy, constantly  cracking me up with the reactions they give to what I see or hear….. But, I digress, as usual….

This will be an old-school pearl, because that is what I want to do now, and that’s the way it is, so, that’s the way it will be…. I guess I’m getting cranky, what with all the blather I’ve had to put out so far, just to get to this point…. I’m not used to so much typing right off the bat…. Carpal tunnel’s starting to complain, so, we’d best go on to the next stage…. I don’t know, or can’t say, just what the search parameters for this one will be, as I haven’t decided, and it is time to begin, so, tread carefully…. the path could get a bit dodgy to see, and you don’t  want to get off the path….

“Share everything.  Don’t take things that aren’t yours.  Put things back where you found them.” — Robert Fulghum, “Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten…”

“Be polite to all, but intimate with few.” — Thomas Jefferson

“A child is a person who can’t understand why someone would give away a perfectly good kitten.” — Doug Larson

“My father was a God-fearing man, but he never missed a copy of the New York Times, either.” — E. B. White

“It is not a fish until it is on the bank.” — Irish Proverb

“Don’t try to have the last word. You might get it.” — Lazarus Long

“I feel better about world problems now!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Well, that came out better than I’d hoped…. a bit loose around the edges, but still fairly obscure… I like it, so it stays…. No more argument, now, I’ve decided, and that’s it…. Never mind…. We’ll just go on now, and forget it ever happened…
_____________________________

The last couplet of this poem is a somewhat famous quote, used to illustrate many points of discussion….. I just like the poem itself….

A Vision of Poets

There Shakespeare, on whose forehead climb
The crowns o’ the world; oh, eyes sublime
With tears and laughter for all time!
And Chaucer, with his infantine
Familiar clasp of things divine.
And Marlowe, Webster, Fletcher, Ben,
Whose fire-hearts sowed our furrows when
The world was worthy of such men.
Knowledge by suffering entereth,
And life is perfected by death.

~~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~~

_____________________________

I am indeed feeling “differently” today…. so much so that my mind has created a new kind of pearl…. Below are three quotes/statements of position/ideas…. Together, they form a pretty good scale of life, in terms of how it needs to be lived…. These describe the high end of the scale, the low end, and, a middle point, which will show the way…. Enjoy this new kind of puzzle for the mind, ffolkes, and be prepared to use your anti-motion sickness pills, as there are some rather sharp turns along the way to the end of this particular ride…..

Deteriorata

Go placidly amid the noise and waste and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof. Avoid quiet and passive persons   unless you are in need of sleep. Rotate your tires. Speak glowingly of those greater than yourself and heed well their advice, even though they be turkeys; know what to kiss and when. Consider that two wrongs never make a right but that three do. Wherever possible, put people on hold. Be comforted that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment and despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance … Be assured that a walk through the ocean of most souls would scarcely get your feet wet. Fall not in love therefore; it will stick to your face … Reflect that whatever misfortune may be your lot, it could only be worse in Milwaukee. You are a fluke of the universe; you have no right to be here, and whether you can hear it or not, the universe is laughing behind your back. Therefore make peace with your God whatever you conceive him to be–Hairy Thunderer or Cosmic Muffin. With all its hopes, dreams, promises, and urban renewal, the world continues to deteriorate. Give up. — Tony Hendra


“Not all who wander are lost.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

“We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should govern their spiritual horizon, nor Moslems that Lord Buddha is at the center of their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major prophet, nor Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual concerns, to say nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get Christians to agree among themselves about their relationship to God. But all will agree on a proposition that they possess profound spiritual resources.  If, in addition, we can get them to accept the further proposition that whatever form the Deity may have in their own theology, the Deity is not only external, but internal and acts through them, and they themselves give proof or disproof of the Deity in what they do and think; if this further proposition can be accepted, then we come that much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.” — Norman Cousins, from his book “Human Options”
_____________________________

I am, as usual, unsure whether or not what I’ve done today is what can be called literature, but, it is definitely done, so, it will have to do for the time being…. I’ve got too much to do today to start over, even if I go to the archives, and I’m not going there today…. Any who, let’s see just what happened here this morning….

Okay, well, that’s different; what happened is completely outside my experience, and well beyond my ability to analyze, or describe in any meaningful way… Nothing new there, right? Since it’s done, and I have so much to do, I pronounce it finished, and will now take my leave, post haste… Until tomorrow….

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.

gigoid

dozer3

That particular radiologist has a toggle switch…..

Ffolkes,
Forget the rest…. blessed are the coffee drinkers, for they shall see the day clearly….. before they bite anybody. It’s always a bonus when you can start the day without biting anyone…. Then, of course, there are the days when I WANT to bite somebody, even after coffee. I guess, if I slowed down long enough to look at it, those would be the days when I end up ranting on something or other, to sublimate the urge to bite. But, I never slow down that much, so we’ll never know….

Not that it would make any difference in how this intro got done. I think I’ll just start using up my emergency stash of intro tricks; if nothing else, that will force me to replenish those supplies, which always puts me in a better mood. It must be the part when I stick it to Murphy, the best I can, in order to get them put away where he can’t find them…. Well, actually, it’s a matter of distracting him, and hiding them while he’s busy, thus, he never knows I have them at all. It could be called cheating, but when it comes to Murphy, all bets are off; plus, in my opinion there is no such thing as cheating, not with him. He has no compunctions against cheating on me, so why shouldn’t I return that favor?

So, I guess we’ll use an emergency opening today….. Hmm… let’s see, which one of these won’t leave a mess? Maybe this one…..

Morning, ffolkes! It’s gigoid the exuberant, coming to you from the wilds of Northern California, where the girls are pretty, and the boys are strange. We’ll be spinning a lot of great music for ya today, so settle back in those easy chairs, tighten up them earphones, and let’s spin some licorice pizza for breakfast….. Here’s a little number from Paul Revere and the Raiders, coming at ya from gigoid-land…..

What do you think? Will it float? Will it get me through to another day’s dive? Is there anyone out there? Hello!!!!!…. Hmm. This is worse than I thought…. Well, I guess I’ll just have to go on to the morning dive, and hope that someone shows up along the way….. As usual, this nonsense got me far enough along so that I can legally call it an introduction, so we’ll take it and run with it, at least as far as the corner store…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” — Vince Lombardi

I have spoken previously on this subject, of human will, and will no doubt do so again, as I believe it to be one of the key elements of finding the Truth in Life. It takes practice to be able to use it to full potential, practice that many people never take time for, to their regret. Without it, Life can be extremely difficult, as it will toss us about just like a small boat in a big storm at sea. But, when it is honed to a sharp edge, and tempered to a great strength, it can become one of our most powerful tools. It can help to bring peace and serenity into our lives, if used with intelligence, guided by strong ethical intent. I mention the latter because it is equally important to the proper use of the will; it is an unfortunate truth that the will can also be used to pursue results that are NOT beneficial for everyone, but only for the one who uses it without ethical direction, i.e. to benefit themselves, only.

“One sits down first, one thinks afterwards.” — Smart Bee

A long time ago, I found out something about society, and those who are ostensibly in charge of running it, that has had a distinct influence on my thinking. I discovered that what I heard in school, from books, did not match what I observed in society, and that the people who were in the positions of authority were, for the most part, not telling the whole truth, or, often, telling bare-faced lies. This had a profound effect on me, because I had always been inspired by the idea of a democracy, a system, and a place, where the people decided among themselves what was best for all; their collective will was to be carried out by the individuals elected to office…. At least, I’m pretty certain that is what our founding fathers envisioned when they cut loose from the monarchical rule of England….

Unfortunately, soon after beginning this experimental Utopia, the bankers started their campaign to pervert the system, buying control of key officials to make laws that favored them. At the same time, the preachers started their campaign to make sure the government was composed of men and/or women who were under their control, ethically and morally, using the time-honored tools of divine entitlement and guilt so that their interests could be monitored and controlled.

Today, well over 90% of all elected officials in this country are of one major religion, and the lobbyists who represent the money-lenders are more influential in making laws than the electorates who elect those officials. The campaigns to control the government have been quite effective, especially since nobody even notices most of the time, or says anything about it….

“To see the light at the end of the tunnel, you first have to be in a tunnel, then the correct tunnel and last, facing in the right direction…. What the heck are we doing in a tunnel anyway?” — Larry G. Smith

This is a pretty good description of modern society, I think. What the heck are we doing here, on the brink of extinction? The BRC, the 1%, whatever you choose to call them, have brought us to this dead-end tunnel, with no light at the end, because it is our own end we see. They, those in control, don’t choose to believe in the damage they have wrought to the environment, nor in the terminal nature of that damage, so, nothing is being done to counteract the suicidal policies our species continues to follow. And it’s all because of the people who have turned their will to the selfish pursuit of their own desires, with no thought to either the effect on others, or the potential danger of doing so. They don’t care, and the rest of us, because of our own lack of will, are going to pay the price right along with them, unless we wake up to the danger, now….

I could rant about this all day, and have seemingly done so in the past…. but, I’ve made my point for today, and rather than bore you to death with more logical, but time-consuming evidence or argument, I’ll leave it at that…. Well, almost….. We are all in danger of species extinction, this is a FACT, not a supposition. We have the means to save ourselves, IF we can find it within ourselves to rise up and throw out the people who are causing the problem. They are NOT going to stop themselves; if we want to live, we, the people, will have to MAKE them do it, or we will all die. It’s that simple, and that urgent…. If it doesn’t happen in this next decade, it will be far too late, because the ice is already melting, ffolkes, and it isn’t going to stop or slow down… It will only get faster with time….

gigoid has spoken…..

“If you view your problem closely enough you will recognize yourself as part of the problem.” — Ducharm’s Axiom
__________________________________

Today’s haiku was prompted by the mild, yet, important rant in section one of today’s Pearl. I don’t have a poem ready to come out, again, so I’ll use an old one, and take the consequences, whatever they may be….. I guess I’m not a real poet, just a hobbyist…. Oh well, c’est la vie….. As every day this month, these are being included as part of the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here:  http://www.napowrimo.net/    I hope you enjoy them…..

Haiku XVII

Time will tell the tale,
of Man’s fast rise, and long fall.
Soon, just memory.

A Seasonal Approach

Absolute stillness grips a frozen field,
anticipating dawn with such patient yield
morning burgeoning in dark winter’s hold
brings promise of tales yet to be told.

Lengthening days of pale sun unto night
slowly tell of time’s subversive flight
bringing such original songs of natural fire
with melodies complex in casual attire.

The months are certain they will always win
it is just the way it has always been.
None may argue, nor yet slow life down
Nor dim the eternal beauty of nature’s gown.

Winter evolves from fall into spring,
sending flocks and hearts ever awing.
Summer follows suit, t’other way ’round
Spring into fall, often without a sound.

Life is meant to be lived, beginning to end
choices abound, and change can be a friend.
Yielding with grace to reality’s compelling ploy
fills our plain existence with clean, honest joy.

~~ gigoid

__________________________________

Time now for a return to the days of yore, or fore, whichever comes first in Smart Bee. Having ranted above, if only mildly, I shan’t attempt to keep your interest with yet another foray into critical essay. Besides, it’s time to lighten up a little, so let’s have some fun…. That will be my directing thought today, in picking out today’s old-school group of pearls for your perusal and delectation. I intend to have fun, and so must you…. You simply MUST, or I’ll die…. Well, no I won’t die, but, I’ll be disappointed, and who wants that? Not me….. Enjoy!….

Birth, n.: The first and direst of all disasters. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Don’t worry about your heart. It will last you as long as you live.” — W. C. Fields

“Faith in immortality, like belief in Satan, leaves unanswered the ancient question: is God unable to prevent suffering and thus not omnipotent? or is he able but not willing to prevent it and thus not merciful? And is he just?” — Smart Bee

An it harm none,
Do what ye will.

– The basis of Wiccan philosophy

(1) You can’t win.
(2) You can’t break even.
(3) You can’t even quit the game.

– Ginsberg’s Theorem

Every major philosophy that attempts to make life seem meaningful is based on the negation of one part of Ginsberg’s Theorem. To wit:

(1) Capitalism is based on the assumption that you can win.
(2) Socialism is based on the assumption that you can break even.
(3) Mysticism is based on the assumption that you can quit the game.

– Freeman’s Commentary on Ginsberg’s theorem

“Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

“He was the nearest thing I’d seen to a human being without actually being one.” — Spike Milligan
(A number of recent Presidents come to mind….)

Hmm…. a very eclectic group; no so much funny ha-ha, as funny strange…. They all have something good to say, though, so, it’s kind of like oatmeal…. not always the most thrilling breakfast item to find on your table, but it sure makes ya feel better all day….
__________________________________

I’m not sure what to think of this one; I’ll have to reserve judgment until I proof it….. I have to say, I think I do better when I’m not paying close attention, like today. My head doesn’t feel as coherent as most of this seems to be… As it is, I have to say, well done, young paduan…. Or, maybe just, not bad, bozo…. Either way, I’m outta here….  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.

gigoid

dozer3

He exudes substantial melancholy leakage….

Ffolkes,
Having left home so many years ago, he…. No, that’s not right….try again…

Never before had there been such a storm in Beulahland…. no that’s no better….again.

The shadow reached out to tap the shoulder of the man to whom it was attached….. hmm, better, but not there yet…..

Maria screamed, as the deafening blast shook the windows in their frames. Dust flew everywhere, obscuring the nightmarish scene before her eyes. Across the room, her father lay dead, eyes staring at the ceiling as if the answers were all there……

I don’t like any of them…. not even the last one, that showed a bit of promise. Ah well, it’s just as well. I’m starting way late again, having once again slept late. It’s no doubt due to having put in about 6 or 7 miles yesterday, walking to look at apartments. I can see I need a different method, as trying to walk to all these places is going to wear me out before I ever find anything. I’ve never spent a long time without a car, so this is a new experience for me, and I’m not sure I like it much…..

I’m not going to indulge in a display of whining today, though the universe is giving me plenty of reason to do so. Actually, I think that, after putting this Pearl together, I’m going to take the rest of the day off…. catch up on some sleep with a nap, listen to the Giants get beat by St. Louis again (hey, I don’t like it, but the last two games haven’t been encouraging….), maybe even cook a real meal, like on the stove and everything. Yeah, that’s the ticket….. in the meantime, shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

“The evidence of the emotions, save in cases where it has strong objective support, is really no evidence at all, for every recognizable emotion has its opposite, and if one points one way then another points the other way. Thus the familiar argument that there is an instinctive desire for immortality, and that this desire proves it to be a fact, becomes puerile when it is recalled that there is also a powerful and widespread fear of annihilation, and that this fear, on the same principle proves that there is nothing beyond the grave. Such childish proofs are typically theological, and they remain theological even when they are adduced by men who like to flatter themselves by believing that they are scientific gents…” — H. L. Mencken

“One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed it–they also believed the world was flat.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910)

“Convincing yourself doesn’t win an argument.” — Robert Half

Here is an old school Pearl, in a manner of speaking…. These three quotations all say pretty much the same thing, with varying types of expression. Each, to me, seems to express that same idea more succinctly than the one before, leaving out more and more words until the final statement gives the bottom line… which is one that is heavily argued by those to whom it most applies….

It’s funny (ironic funny) to me to hear some of the arguments proposed by the priestly hierarchies in support of their beliefs. Some are couched in formal robes, all dressed up so they appear as reasoned logic, rather than the unwarranted assumptions that they really are. Mr. Mencken’s expression above would be the most effective in engaging these wordy individuals, as it would appeal to the side of them that pretends to being a scientist. They might reject the arguments, since their own arguments are, in the final analysis, subjectively formulated, not based on observations but on induction, just as the platform of their entire argument is all based on an imaginary entity’s theoretical wishes…..

“Jesus loves  me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”…. Such an innocent sounding piece of doggerel…. one would scarcely believe it is one of the most insidious examples of blatant propaganda in existence. The proponents of the “Old man in the sky” group start drumming this into the minds of children as soon as they are able to talk, and, as they well know, before they learn to doubt what their elders tell them. Children naturally accept what their parents tell them, almost exclusively for the first few years of life.

This home-schooling form of brainwashing continues once they are of an age to start looking outside their family for knowledge of the world, with teachers, preachers, and kindly old aunts who continue to inundate the young minds with stories of Bible heroes and villains, drilling into the malleable minds the sense of entitlement and elitism that will provide them with the impetus for bigotry later in life.

In addition, this period strengthens the brainwashing given earlier, teaching the kids that they should only trust certain people to tell them the truth, and that all the other religions in the world are not only not saved, but are not eligible for saving, due to their own beliefs, which are characterized as villainous, and as enemies, to be reviled and persecuted because they are different….

“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” — Oscar Wilde

This entire process, this systematic, deliberate mental conditioning, is, to my mind, pretty despicable. It denies its victims any possible way of examining the information that other systems may possess, by convincing them that all other forms of knowledge are not only wrong, but blasphemous in nature, and should be cast aside whenever encountered, without ever examining the information for its relevance, or its accuracy.

Education is learning that you did not even know what you did not even know you did not even know. — Smart Bee

The whole system is designed to continue the delusional system into the future, while keeping the congregation in the dark of ignorance. It has no other purpose…. it is not in place to help or sustain the members of the congregation, but rather to control that population’s thoughts and behavior, ensuring the power and influence of the priests, pastors, preachers, or whatever name they choose to call themselves…..

I can only count myself as fortunate, to have been raised without the brainwashing on a regular basis. We attended a Presbyterian church, probably an offshoot of the old Church of England, where the adage about “cake, or death?” was originated…. The net result of this was that I was able to include other systems in my education, and found the entire construct to be a house of invisible cards, easily knocked down with a single bite of the Apple….

“How come you never see a politician (or a preacher) laugh? Because they know what they’re getting away with, and if they started laughing, they’d never stop.” — Smart Bee

And you know what else?…. I always thought Satan got a pretty raw deal, all for exercising the free will he was given…. and so did Adam and Eve…. Even as a child of five, I always wondered why God had set them up to fail like that…. it’s like, “Here’s the apple…. don’t taste it….” and then making sure we, as humans, had a sense of wonder and curiosity strong enough to disregard the admonition…. Even then, it looked like a set-up, and I could never reconcile the image in my head of a God, supposedly with infinite knowledge, setting up his own creation like that…. it just didn’t seem very God-like, or even fair…. and I still don’t get it, even today…..

With a subject such as this, it’s hard to know when to stop…. the issue has been one that has held Mankind back for two millennia now, preventing us from achieving our real potential as a species. All the progress we, as a species, have made in the last 3,000 years or so has been in spite of the efforts of the priestly hierarchies to keep us as ignorant as possible; at every turn of the wheel of science, the powers that be have thrown sand in the works, to try to slow down the acquisition of knowledge.

“Neither do the ignorant seek after wisdom.  For herein is the evil of ignorance, that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself; he has no desire for that of which he feels no want.” — Plato (428-348? B.C.)

They know that an educated populace, capable of reasoning beyond the limitations placed on the human mind by religious dogma, is the greatest threat to their continued existence as the leaders of Mankind. They know that once people are exposed to knowledge (the flesh of the Apple, remember?), the less they will submit to the brainwashing that is the lot of the common man…. and it scares them to death…..

Doubt. Question authority. Ask the next, deeper question. And never, ever, give up the right to make up your own mind…. In the final analysis, that power is the only one we all have, and the only one that cannot be taken away from us without our consent…. Viva la raza!…..

Oh, and won’t it be nice when you don’t have to give tithes anymore?…..

Though old the thought and oft exprest,
‘T is his at last who says it best.
– James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) — For an Autograph
___________________________________

The Rose

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you its only seed.

It’s the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin’
That never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose.

~~ Amanda McBroom ~~

I first heard this song as sung by Bette Midler, back in the 70′s or 80′s, whenever it came out. I thought then, and still believe, that it really couldn’t have been done better, and is one of the loveliest poems put to music I’ve ever heard…..

Now, I’ve given clues before that show that I am a closet romantic, but my feelings for this song prove it without doubt. As I sit and read the verses, I can hear Bette’s voice, flying up on the high notes, and tears just come into my eyes without any warning…. The last verse, particularly, is very moving, and never fails to bring with it a lot of emotion and, oddly enough, hope….  hope for me, for the world, it’s all the same at this point in my life….. It gives me strength to think of spring, when the world is renewed and the seeds of hope that have germinated in silence all winter bloom in all their glory, driving out all thoughts of the cold, and the dark….

I miss having someone to love…. I am perfectly content with my own company, as I learned long ago how to laugh at my own folly, thus ensuring I never get bitter about being alone. But, it is lonely….. I’m glad my friend Carol posted this poem, for it is a reminder that the future has yet to be written, and that somewhere out there is a woman whom I will meet someday, and never again have to be alone, unless I choose to be so….. SIGH….. I just wish time would get a move on, as it seems to me that two plus years of solitude should be sufficient for me to appreciate…. I could use a change of direction, and some company…..   :-)    Ah, me, time will tell…..

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
Of Meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
With morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see,
For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
In every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
And people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times that were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.

– J.R.R. Tolkien
___________________________________

“To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist–the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one’s vinegar.” — Oscar Wilde

To those of us in society who are seekers of truth, Oscar Wilde is a frequent flier, in terms of how often one of his quotes will show up. He had a way with words second to none, and in his time, touched on almost every subject dear to the hearts and minds of those who actually use both extensively. It goes without saying that this quotation is true; it is an expression often turning up in discussions of how people learn, and communicate what they’ve learned to others. “A spoonful of sugar, makes the medicine go down” is one of these expressions, one that supplies the very same dosage of truth as does the above from Oscar…..

This technique is one that everyone who wishes to share their knowledge MUST learn; it is immediately obvious when what we have to say is NOT going to be believed, as people will simply stop listening, or even react negatively to what they are hearing, because it is opposite to what they feel they know to be true. Often, one will need to duck quickly, or take to their heels, should the reaction to what is said be taken amiss…. people get testy about their deeply-held beliefs, especially if those beliefs are faith-based, rather than based on reason….. Sad, but true….

So, it becomes an important skill to be able to impart information to someone who doesn’t have it in such a way that the person can digest it, or process it in their mind without stirring those strong feelings that crop up when the message is not couched in the proper terminology. Even the non-verbal techniques used when teaching are important to learn; what one says can be negated entirely by using a facial expression that isn’t complementary to what is being said out loud…. Tone of voice, facial expression, volume, all play a part in whether or not the message given will be received, and the person who ignores this is destined to experience a lot of pain and anguish at not being able to get their message across to the ones who need it most….

So, remember Oscar’s little reminder, and use the proper amount of oil to go with your vinegar…. For a good, tasty vinaigrette with the proper emulsified consistency, you need to learn the technique of pouring the oil into the vinegar slowly, whisking briskly while adding the oil, until the proper thickness and emulsification takes place….. Only then can the person you are serving enjoy the salad fully, and take in the beneficial qualities that otherwise would be lost if the message fails….  In the kitchen, the rough estimated proportions are four parts oil to one part vinegar…. but that can change, depending on the oil, the vinegar, and the cook, so flexibility must be maintained….

When successful, it makes a great salad, all but guaranteeing that it will be consumed until the plate is empty….. the goal of anyone serving others, whether in food, or in education…..
___________________________________

Although arising late, this turned out fairly well…. at least it feels like it from this end….. So be it; it will have to do, as I’m not going back and starting over…. 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!

Methodical methods for modified slavish sycophants….

Ffolkes,
Today, I am a man. I was a man yesterday, too. Tomorrow, I’m turning in my papers, and will be out of the door, and well on my way to a better existence, as a cat.

Yep. A cat. I’m tired of this mankind nonsense…. this species has none of the characteristics with which I would prefer to live my life, spending it instead in mad paroxysms of idiotic warfare, abuse of women and children, and self-hatred disguised as racism and bigotry. Cats don’t do any of that stuff, and after long negotiations with the gods of reincarnation (they’re pretty nice once you get to know them), I have secured an appointment to change species…..

Day after tomorrow, my biggest decisions will involve when and where to nap, whether to annoy a human or comfort one, or whether to eat now, or later….. I won’t have to worry about Mitt the Twitt threatening to destroy all the progress our society has made in the last 100 years. I won’t have to worry about taxes. I won’t have to worry that some asshole banker wants more of my money, or that some politician is spreading more lies. None of that will have any more bearing on what I’m doing, and boy, am I looking forward to it…. After all, ignorance is bliss, right? Just ask any conservative American church-goer….. you can find a passel of them hanging around at the Westboro Baptist Church….

Today, however, I am tasked with once more heading into the breech, taking up the challenge, and producing a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom (affectionately known as “Pearls”…). Since that is a task that promises to be quite a challenge today, I’d best be about it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

“Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

What we think is less than what we know:
What we know is less than what we love:
What we love is so much less than what there is:
and to this precise extent, We are much less than what we are.
– R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience

Psychobabble, by any other name, could not be any stupider than this. And that is a period at the end of that sentence, which means  no more that needs to be said about it. Since that goes against all the rules here, I’ll have to say this…. R.D. Laing was first caught spouting the above nonsense just about the time I was in Psych. Tech. school at Cuesta College/Atascadero State Hospital, and was one of the psychotherapists we studied in that school. At the time, he had a lot of followers, though not many in our class; our exposure to the individuals who received treatment at ASH made his techniques rather useless. But, it is another example of the power of human stupidity, and how it permeates every level of society….

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 15

Any fool can read a book or two, then write one that makes fun of those books. Then, they start spouting nonsensical, meaningless aphorisms such as the one above in public, on radio and TV talk shows, and go on a whirlwind tour of bookstores to encourage more people to buy the book, and spread their nonsense out over the whole of society. This is proof of Mssr. Pope’s first line, “A little learning is a dangerous thing,”, as the little bit of learning the author has engaged in becomes his/her tower of information, their bastion of expertise,  unassailable by either logical or intuitive reasoning, until their brand of ignorance joins the top-ten list of humanity’s follies, right up there with religion, and politics…..

“How many people eat, drink, and get married; buy, sell and build; make contracts and attend to their fortune; have friends and enemies, pleasures and pains, are born, grow up, live and die – but asleep!” — Joseph Joubert

Our culture is dying, if not already dead. When it reaches the point where 20 million people, or more, will choose a man like the Twitt over the incumbent president, just because his skin isn’t white, (yes, racists, all of them. They just use the healthcare, birther, and other issues they jump on to sublimate their fear of the “darkie” in the Oval Office….), then culture is dead. If not now, it certainly will go down in flames should that fool be elected, as he tries to guide society back to the Stone Age. Should he enter that office, I shudder to think of how our image to the rest of the world will suffer, as Mitt the Twitt knows NOTHING about other countries, other than how their tax laws may favor him in his goal to become a modern Croesus….

Face it, ffolkes, this election isn’t about healthcare, or jobs, or women’s rights, or immigration. It is about race, and the time has come for those of us who are aware of this to speak out, to shout out, and point out the ignorance and lies that are being bandied about like candy at Halloween. The forces of Evil are at large, and have taken control of the fanatic zealots on the conservative right. In addition they have recruited all those in our culture who are closet racists, supplying sublimation issues for the real reason they fight so hard against this president. It is the responsibility of those who are on the side of Reason to fight back, as best we may without resorting to the methods used by the other side, which would put us in the same hypocritical boat.

Stay alert, ffolkes, the time is coming when hard decisions will need to be made…. be ready, or we will all be going down the road to Hell in the same handbasket….. and remember….

“It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
___________________________________

A clock stopped — not the mantel’s
Geneva’s farthest skill
Can’t put the puppet bowing
That just now dangled still.

An awe came on the trinket!
The figures hunched with pain,
Then quivered out of decimals
Into degreeless noon.

It will not stir for doctors,
This pendulum of snow;
The shopman importunes it,
While cool, concernless No

Nods from the gilded pointers,
Nods from seconds slim,
Decades of arrogance between
The dial life and him.

– Emily Dickinson

I was in need of a bit of esoterica, to bring some balance after ranting, and this little piece of Emily does the trick just fine…. enjoy!
___________________________________

Fetch the holy hand grenade …. — Smart Bee

I am perplexed. Perhaps you can help?….. This tagline popped up in front of me twice in a three-second period this morning while searching for pearls, so I figure Smart Bee wants me to use it pretty badly. Unfortunately, I can’t, as I’m uncertain as to its exact meaning.

Does the fact that it is holy come from being blessed by some earthly representative of a holy figure? Or was it created from nothing, a virgin-birth sort of thing, by God Himself? Or is it a holy hand grenade because it blows up holy stuff, or maybe because it leaves places all holy (full of holes…)? These are important things to know before I can commit to using it as basis for a rant. Ranting is a delicate undertaking, and it could be potentially embarrassing to rant for a while, then discover my subject is completely 180 degrees removed from what I thought it was; I blush easily, and don’t enjoy making such mistakes…

Ah well, it doesn’t matter in the long run, I suppose. Whether it is one, or the other, really shouldn’t matter to me; as a writer, I should be able to use it either way. But, I’m a stubborn old cuss, if nothing else, and I insist on knowing beforehand exactly who it is I am defiling, or exactly what weapon I’m using to cut through the bullshit to the core of meaning. It’s just a Ned-thing, you wouldn’t understand….

Four paragraphs of prattle isn’t too bad, especially on such short notice, so I guess we can call this a pearl, if just barely. I’m getting very close to 400 posts here on WP, and over a thousand pages of material have been created to fill those posts, so, as might be suspected, I am getting very short on material upon which  I haven’t previously expounded. Hence, fill-in material such as this, where I can waste a good three or four hundred words just fooling around, without ever approaching anything remotely important or relevant to our purpose. It’s a gift…..  :-)

Now, if you would please, sit down, remain silent, and no one will get hurt…. I don’t wish to harm anyone, but I will not be thwarted in my quest to finish this pearl on a dignified note. Just where that dignity is supposed to come from, I haven’t the foggiest notion, but, having done all I could possibly do to find some, I find myself stuck for an ending line.

Please, stop me! This damn pearl won’t let me finish. It keeps wandering from one non-concept to another, and dragging me along like a stupid dog. I guess I will have to resort to a hard re-boot. Here goes…..    Eureka! I have found it!  And I’m not giving it back….
___________________________________

Well, that was interesting….. a new method of wasting time and energy. As if I needed any more…. Ah well, c’est la vie! 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!

Many times many is few enough….

Ffolkes,
I know I’m weird. Strange. Abnormal. Off the beaten path by a few yards…. but, does that mean that Murphy should pay closer attention to what I’m doing? Not in my book, but apparently in his….. It is less than 36 hours from the good sleep and physical well-being that defined the day yesterday, and I am on a completely different schedule. Yesterday, up at 4 AM, three hours to make a Pearl, and we’re on our way into the day. Today, it is after 8 AM and I’m just now getting rebooted and on the keyboard….. just couldn’t get up at 5 like I planned.

And pain? Well…. let’s just say it is being a bit more obvious today, and let it go at that…. I’ll be using a couple extra pain pills today, for sure…. and the process of making a Pearl promises to take a Herculean effort. But, hey, I’ve got nothing better to do, so, I may as well quit complaining and get on with it…. shall we Pearl? I think we’d better….
___________________________________

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” — Albert Einstein

Albert was a smart guy, but here, I think, he was hedging his bets. I think it more likely that, if there is a World War III, then there won’t be anyone around who is interested in fighting another World War afterward. Nuclear power used as a weapon won’t leave enough people alive for them to have the time to worry about another country; there will be no “winner” in such a war. If, and that is a very large if, there are any people still alive after a nuclear war, they’ll be far more interested in finding someplace to grow food that won’t further irradiate them than they are in continuing hostilities with other folks….

Even Albert was subject to underestimating the power of human stupidity, and if people ever get so stupid as to use nuclear weapons, it will prove that our stupidity is both beyond belief, and beyond all doubt….. What frightens me the most is that the people who have the power to start any such war are the same people who have already proved their stupidity and lack of common feeling, merely by seeking office, and I don’t think I trust them very far to make the best decisions….

It’s something that not even I can think about for long, as it can only cause stress and fear; there is no real solution, other than to hope that the people who’ve been chosen to lead our countries have enough sense to avoid that particular road…. It’s a faint hope, but the only one we have….

“Better contraceptives will control population only if people will use them. A nuclear holocaust can be prevented only if the conditions under which nations make war can be changed. The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned. We need to make vast changes in human behavior.” — B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
________________________________

“You would think living alone would free me from all the normal burdens of responsibility that people complain or worry about, but all living alone does is increase your psychological weight, as if your soul were living on Jupiter. It tends to make you more important to yourself and exaggerate your problems to the point that they’re insurmountable afflictions.” — from a fictional novel, supposedly spoken by T. Ruzak, in “The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs”, a book by Richard Yancy

As part of my make-up reading, the above novel is the first I’ve picked up. It’s pretty entertaining so far…. the hero is a man who lives in a mental state much like my own, full of questions about reality, and self in relation to that reality. This is a particularly insightful piece of writing, and echoes my own thoughts on this matter surprisingly closely.

“This world may be only illusion–but it’s the only illusion we’ve got.” — Edward Abbey

When one lives alone, there isn’t anyone to bounce ideas off of, or to check out some interpretation of reality that seems questionable. No corroboration, so to speak, of the crime. Other folks, and indeed, real society, seem far away and unimportant, since the only time it intrudes is when I make the effort to go out into it, or put forth some effort to contact some part of it. 

In effect, the only time I have company is when it is volitional on my part; only my few life long friends, and my kids, call me with any regularity. (Of course, this doesn’t count telemarketers and wannabe creditors, who are no doubt calling; I wouldn’t know as I hang up on any number I don’t recognize, as a precautionary measure to keep from losing my temper more than once a day….)

Living alone, as I’ve stated before, also has a lot of benefits, such as deciding who to see and when to see them (the other side of the coin also has value, as with most coins of this nature….). I’ve learned, since being so peremptorily sent off to retirement, to appreciate those benefits, as I haven’t had the opportunity to live alone for many years, since before I got married & had kids.

But, what Mr. Yancy related above remains a danger, as it is very tempting to fall into the trap of over-reflection on what is real and of importance, and fall into depression from too much negative emotional turmoil. I suppose one could say that maintaining a sane balance is still the most important thing to remember; both solitude and relationship have their advantages, and their disadvantages, and the key to successful living lies in balancing the two….

“The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly deceived.” — Oscar Wilde
___________________________________

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring.
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

~ John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

No comments here, just a poetry break….

“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” ~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti
___________________________________

“Our words must seem to be inevitable.” ~ William Butler Yeats

Yesterday, I managed to get to a couple of sites I’d been missing before I was unable to sit any longer. On my friend Carol Welsh’s site, at  Flowers, Trees, and Other Such Gifts of Nature, I found the above quote. She often posts quotes from authors I know, and others I’ve never heard of, and all of them are of equal quality as this one by Yeats. In fact, she has so many that she has graciously offered to let me browse them to find those what may be useful as pearls…. Yay! And thanks…. a whole new database to plunder!…..

Any who…. when I read the above, another person had commented that it made them think about finding exceptions, for some reason. I responded to that by saying that, if considered as being applicable to writing only, it is a very good goal, and one we all could take to heart in our writing. It is certainly a quality that I seek when I write. To put together just the right set of words, to turn a phrase from mundane to beautiful, to make the words seem inevitable, that is indeed a worthy undertaking…. and one which all of who write should at least consider as a tool of value, if not completely adopt as a feature…..

With that in mind, I think it is inevitable at this point to let this stand as it exists, as I don’t see how I can improve it much with a lot more verbiage…. So, onward…. but keep in mind that the above statement is a goal of this blog, and feel free to comment if and when it ever occurs….
___________________________________

Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

– William Butler Yeats, “He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”

I wasn’t looking for a poem, but there it was, so here it is…. Please tread softly here, for you tread on my dreams…..
___________________________________

I was right…. this has been quite an ordeal. Thanks again to Carol Welsh for her contributions to this morning’s effort. I found, and used, at least two quotes from her files, and saved several more for later use; doing so saved me a lot of time and frustration on a morning that really needed it. I’m not sure how this turned out; I guess the proof will be in the pudding, er, posting…. Any who, 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!

Curiously lacking inflation collars….

Ffolkes,
As a general rule around here, titles and/or subject lines don’t have any connection to material. Today’s title came within a hair’s breadth of breaking that unwritten rule, until it morphed into final form, which was well out of the range of possible inclusion (I don’t keep any inflation collars on hand, so….). But, it didn’t look good there for a while, when I couldn’t seem to find the proper non sequitor phrase… A close call, but all is well now….

As well as is possible at this point, anyway…. What with the interruption of almost making sense, combined with a certain lack of spirited energy, this morning’s turn at the keyboard is turning into more of an effort than I had imagined. I already took an extra hour in bed, and it looks as if I won’t be making that up anytime soon, the way things are progressing. I think it would be best if I get started, before any further interruptions can occur…. let’s go Pearl, shall we?…..
___________________________________

I don’t have an attitude problem–it’s supposed to be like this. — Smart Bee

I like this. It’s what I’ve said to any number of folks who have challenged me regarding my intransigence in the face of ignorant behavior. I am always tempted to add, “I am an American citizen, and it is not only my right, but my duty to challenge authority,”  mainly because I believe it to be absolutely true, thought not an attitude currently favored by most of society, more’s the pity…. We’d be a lot better off if more folks took their duties as citizens more seriously….

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” — Thomas Paine

All of our founding fathers were convinced that only an educated populace had a chance of maintaining the freedoms they secured for us. They knew firsthand how unscrupulous churches and governments, working hand in hand, had oppressed and subjugated the people for centuries, and they were determined that it should NOT happen here. So they engineered a system whereby each citizen has the opportunity, and the right, to a complete grounding in basic knowledge, in order that they could make informed decisions regarding the laws with which they would be living….

The Church hates a thinker like a criminal hates the police. — Smart Bee (So do politicians…)

For over 200 years now, the beloved ruling class and their hidden supporters, the prelates of the churches and synagogues, have been repeatedly and subtly attempting to undermine the purpose behind educating people, trying to limit the amount spent on education, or luring people into believing the nonsensical alternatives that religion offers in lieu of independence of thought, thus minimizing the effects of the education received outside their influence.

They (the politicians and priests/preachers….) continuously bombard the public with lie after lie, until the lies are accepted as truth, just because there is nothing else offered. They then use those lies to further confuse the public as to what is really happening, and go about their business of stealing and grabbing power wherever they find the opportunity….

“I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State.   My idea  is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.” — George Carlin

So, my attitude is not the problem…. the problem is that not enough of us have this attitude, and the PTB have virtually no competition in their fight for our attention; there is nobody allowed on the political stage who is singing a different song than the one approved for public consumption by those who control such matters…. Hell, we’ll know we’re making progress if even one such person ever gets the chance to even speak…. In the meantime, all we can do is for those of us who know our duty to keep plugging away, calling them out for their lies, and making as much noise as we can, to try to draw some attention to those places where it isn’t appreciated, but needs it the most…..

“Every sensible man, every honest man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. But what shall we substitute in its place? you say. What? A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of my relatives. I tell you to rid yourselves of this beast and you ask me what you shall put in its place?” — Voltaire
___________________________________

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
Of Meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
With morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see,
For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
In every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
And people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times that were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

There was a lot of pretty good poetry in Tolkien’s work, a fact sometimes overlooked in critical essays. Some of it isn’t very good, of course, but many of the verses, such as this one, are very good efforts, and not only fill in the story background, enriching it, but would very easily stand alone, and still deserve reading out of context. I’m not going to say any more, as this one just makes me feel good….
___________________________________

O Proserpina,
For the flowers now, that frighted thou let’st fall
From Dis’s waggon! daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
But sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes
Or Cytherea’s breath; pale primroses,
That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phoebus in his strength,–a malady
Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and
The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,
The flower-de-luce being one.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), The Winter’s Tale — Act iv, Sc. 4

Delivers in such apt and gracious words
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Love’s Labour ‘s Lost — Act ii, Sc. 1

Farewell! a long farewell, to all my greatness!
This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopes; to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him;
The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.
Vain pomp and glory of this world, I hate ye:
I feel my heart new opened. O, how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on princes’ favours!
There is betwixt that smile we would aspire to,
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs and fears than wars or women have:
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer,
Never to hope again.
– William Shakespeare, King Henry VIII — Act iii, Sc. 2

Kirk: “Spock, comment.”
Spock: “Very bad poetry.”
– “Catspaw”, Stardate 3018.2.
___________________________________

A young man came to Socrates, asking to be admitted to his school, that he might learn from the master himself. Socrates grabbed the young man, dragged him into a pool of water, and ducked him under until he was gasping and clawing for air. Finally he released the young man, and waded back to dry land. Then Socrates questioned the man. `What did you most want just now?’ The young man replied, `Air.’ `When you want knowledge as much as you just wanted air, you shall have it.’

When I was a mere lad, around 11 or 12, I first heard this story; when I heard the last line, I had an epiphany, and the search for truth became my primary goal in life from that point on, lasting to this very day. I had not seen this story in print for many years, so it was just like finding an old friend, and I am filled with good memories. I remember with fondness the breathless feeling I still get when I have learned something new, or seen a new poem, or witnessed a new sunset…. and how the process of learning has always been the same to me as breathing, an essential part of life, one that I will never forswear….
___________________________________

“Anarchism is the only philosophy which brings to man the consciousness of himself; which maintains that God, the State, and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man’s subordination. Anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man.” — Emma Goldman “Anarchism: What It Really Stands For”

This probably looks a bit intimidating…. I know I was when I first looked at it. It is probably also much too deep a subject to take up as the last pearl of the day…. so I won’t.

I will go so far as to say that while I can agree with much of what Ms. Goldman says here, I cannot fully embrace Anarchy as a viable form of government for mankind. For such a system to work, every member of society MUST be educated and aware of their own place, and their own duty to BE their own government, their own moral guide.

Unfortunately, though I have to applaud the idea, it is far beyond what the average person is capable of either understanding, or of practicing. Hell, look at the world as it is… and then, when you stop laughing, you can just nod your head in agreement that humanity at large is not ready for Anarchy, as attractive as it may sound to those of us who might be willing to try….
___________________________________

Whew! That was a struggle, to be sure…. I hope it turns out as well as it could be hoped; I’m not doing it over, so once again, it will have to fly on the wings it has…. It’s a big relief, though, just getting it done, so I’ll take that and run…. 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!

Once titillated, thrice shy….

Ffolkes,
Bilious clouds of smoke, greenish-yellow in the light of the street lamps, poured from the windows, while screams echoed off the walls across the way. As I stood in a shadowed doorway, I spied a figure in a window of the burning building’s second story, hooded, carrying a small bundle. As I watched the panicky movements, the figure suddenly tossed the bundle out of the window, where it fell softly down, almost seeming to float.

Without a thought, my legs moved, propelling me across the street to a point below the window, just in time to catch the bundle, which plopped into my arms lightly, without harm. As light from a nearby street lamp fell upon the bundle, I moved the covering blanket, to reveal the face of a small female child, with somber dark eyes that looked directly at mine, seemingly reading my innermost thoughts, and finding them to be distasteful….. as I looked back into those ancient eyes in a girl’s face, she spoke, “Well, are you just going to stand there, or will you flee now, assassin?…..

Hmm…. seems our assassin friend has found himself in a bit of an unusual situation, doesn’t it? Too bad we’re going to leave him to figure it all out himself… I’m okay with it, but it doesn’t really strike me just right, so I doubt if I’ll ever use those precise opening paragraphs for anything…. Always good practice though, and a good way to loosen up both fingers and brain cells….. works for me, anyway…..

That said, we should probably get right to the Pearl….. yesterday was an exhausting one for me. Nothing to do with WP, other than the 200 emails I’m now getting every day to deal with….. I had some errands that took me all over town on buses, a slow way to get around, and tiring for a old fart such as I’m turning into these days…. it’s a slow, insidious process, but the effects of age are nonetheless relentless in their advances.

Oh well, no complaints, just tired today…. fortunately, none of my physical degradations have affected my mind as yet, so let’s go give that a work-out, shall we?….. A-Pearling we will go……
___________________________________

“Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.” — Robert Lindner

A few days ago, another blogger here on WP, odie mama, (http://eyesofodysseus.wordpress.com)  asked me a question. Well, it was more of an observation with a question mark behind it, but, …. it intrigued me. She said that even though I write about serious subjects with a cynical approach, a feeling of hope seemed to infuse the tenor of what is written, and asked me to comment on that….. It has taken me a couple of days for the idea to percolate, and this morning I found the pearl that helps to explain it, to me, and to her…..

I believe that the hope she is perceiving lies in the truth of the above quotation. The most powerful weapon of reason we have as humans is Doubt. Some may question that assertion, but to my mind, it is clearly the case. Nothing is more valuable in our search for the truth among all the lies we find strewn in our path; examining any claim with doubtful eyes is our best defense against the manipulations perpetrated upon us by other unscrupulous people. And those people whom I like to call our beloved ruling class know this…..

They know that when the people are informed, when education is free and universal, and the press is free, the task of manipulating the common man becomes much more difficult. This  annoys them no end, so much so that they spend a lot of effort trying to remove or restrict anything in society that will promote doubt among the general populace. Cut educational funding, promote religious agendas that thrive on ignorance, dress up their lies in fancy clothes to look like truth; anything that will make folks refrain from thinking is good, in their eyes.

And that is the hope that is so apparent here….. though I speak of serious subjects, and lament their prevalence, and effects on people, Doubt is ever-present. I tend to challenge ANYTHING said by a talking head, especially if they are a politician, a priest, a pastor, or an imam. Whatever…. they are all just trying to foster and maintain their own version of slavery, so, as far as I am concerned, they deserve none of my respect, nor any of my mercy…. and they will find none of it here….. That is the hope that I spread….. Doubt….. a powerful ally on the Scholar Warrior’s Path….. and one hated and feared by all those in power, or who seek power over others…..

The good want power, but to weep barren tears.
The powerful goodness want : worse need for them.
The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom.
– P.B. Shelley, “Prometheus Unbound”

– How many assholes does it take to change a light bulb?  None, assholes never see the light anyway. — Smart Bee
___________________________________

“A shelf of classics for our young adults: Tolkien, Hesse, Casteneda, Kerouac, Salinger, Tom Robbins, and “The Last Whole Earth Catalog”. — Edward Abbey

Gosh! I didn’t realize I was so well-grounded in the classics! Not only have I read at least one book by each of these authors, but, I’ve read more than one by all but one of them, and…. I read the entire book printed on the margins of the pages of the “Catalog”, narrated charmingly, and so effectively, by the vintage, loyal, stalwart, inadvertently abused, but well-loved VW bus, Urge, who detailed the times and travels of the people chiefly responsible for the creation of the Catalog itself……

“How can they say my life isn’t a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?” — Cindy Adams
___________________________________

“The wise man can pick up a grain of sand and envision a whole universe.  But the stupid man will just lie down on some seaweed and roll around until he’s completely draped in it.  Then he’ll stand up and go, “Hey, I’m Vine Man.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

Now, that’s deep!   :-)   Deep enough that I hope you were wearing high tops…. but I do like the metaphor of the wise man and the grain of sand; hadn’t heard that in a while…. Cute, and lots of whimsy points… but not quite right….

“Whenever anybody says he’s struggling to become a human being I have to laugh because the apes beat him to it by about a million years. Struggle to become a parrot or something.” — Jack Handey, “Deep Thoughts”

More approximate wisdom from Jack….   :-)   Admit it, you smiled…. Struggle to be a parrot, indeed!…. clever. Not quite what I’m looking for yet, though…. Onward…..

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. — Confucius

Not verified as truly the words of Master C,, but reasonable; it sounds like him. And that’s more like it, I think; we keep getting closer to a real pearl…. one more shot at the big money, ffolkes, then we’ll move on….

“A man’s gotta know his limitations.” — Dirty Harry [Clint Eastwood] in “Magnum Force”

Hmm…. I guess it just goes to show, you never know where you may find something unexpectedly valuable…. like a pearl heretofore hidden in the persona of a macho, maladjusted cop with PTSD, and a penchant for blowing his problems to bits with a big gun…. probably very stress relieving. It would be for me, for sure…. And… I think that the journey to get here, if you will look back over it, can be considered the true lesson, as is always the case when considering journeys, and destinations……
___________________________________

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate now knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” — Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude

I am blessed with at least seven people in my life who fit into this mold, not including my children, who would also fit the given parameters. I’d also like to believe that my brothers and sisters, all four of them, would be there if needed; I know I would for them, and will be if necessary. We’ve all never been terribly close since moving apart, but also have always felt and shown loyalty, and love for each other.

So, that makes me a pretty lucky man, all in all, and I know it…. it humbles me, constantly, when I consider it, and it is a thought that carries me through some rough mental battles with myself, and with reality. Even if I don’t call for help, I know it would be there if I asked, and that can be enough…..

“The road to a friend’s house is never long.” — Danish proverb
___________________________________

“Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books. For to you Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned by the flicking of a finger.” — Chinese proverb

This proverb is one that has ruled my existence, from the moment I first came across it in my early teens. In one aspect, it is a concept that supports and verifies what I wrote above about Doubt, and to my mind serves as solid evidence as to the truth of what I said there. This statement has also served me well as a social tool in my work, in every field I’ve embraced, if you can believe it. On a number of occasions, in mental hospitals, restaurants, and computer rooms, I have printed this onto a chalkboard, or an easel being used for a presentation at a meeting, just as a random act of intellectual subversion, and each time, the results have far surpassed whatever I had envisioned.

The sight of this quote displayed wherever I put it never failed to produce a response from all who read it, and those responses often painted a clearer picture of that person’s personality than anything else they ever said or did. Some would read it, and assume a puzzled frown, trying to assimilate its meaning. Depending on their success or failure, they would then smile and go on with whatever they were doing with a sense of calm and serenity… Or, others would frown in thought, then say something akin to “Pshaw!” and shake their heads as if to clean off their shiny coats of mud. Still others would widen their eyes, and look around for a pen, furiously scribble it down, and rush off to show it to someone else…. A very few would read it, and say something such as, “Oh, what a nice reminder….”  These folks were generally the ones who were my friends….

To my mind, this approach to life, that of a scholar as opposed to a warrior, is the only choice I could make to be happy, and true to my nature. I acknowledge within myself that violence is a part of my nature, as it is for all of us naked apes; it is not something that is wise to overlook. But that part of my nature has ever been dominated by the part of me that HAS to have thoughts to ponder, the part that needs to read and absorb the perceptions of other minds, the part of me that would literally die if I did not embrace it as my purpose, my raison d’etre. I can no more stop reading and thinking than I can stop breathing, or eating, or any other essential life function…. it’s the way I’m made, and it has always been a joy to me to know this, and to give free rein to my intellect, refusing to limit its consumption to any single viewpoint or system of beliefs….

And so, I walk the Scholar Warrior’s Path; I walk that path with my books close at hand, pausing often to read, and consider…. the path is much clearer ahead of me that way, and I walk it with joy…. seeking Truth, and Beauty, and Love.  I’ve found all three, and life is good, no matter what is happening around me, or to me…. So Be It…..
___________________________________

“My Teacher said that that that that that man used is incorrect.” — Smart Bee

I love the English language!  You have to say it out loud, but if you do, you can see that the above sentence is absolutely correct usage….. brilliant!  Not worth a whole pearl, which is why it is here at the end. But, it had to be included…. just because….

I think that went well…. no major foul-ups I’m aware of…. of course, proofing is yet to come, but, it all looks good to go for the time being. With a start like this, the day promises to be fairly productive and agreeably pleasant. Who knows?  Maybe the woman I am to fall in love with, for the last time in my life, will walk into my life today…. not bloody likely, given current indicators, but, hey, worth a moment or two of anticipation before putting it back into the “I’m Patiently Awaiting” file, where it doesn’t distract me from the matters at hand….

On that note, I will put this to bed, in the vernacular of journalism….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse  Be With You…. (say it out loud, it sounds better…. it’s a hard “s”….)     :-)


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Strike the tent! We’ve been pacified!

Ffolkes,
Possessing a passionate nature is not always a blessing. There are many times that my passion is so great that I feel as if I will burst if I cannot do something that will fulfill it somehow; to soothe it, or calm it so that I don’t feel as if I am trying to hold the leash of a rhinoceros who really, really wants to walk, NOW! The hard part of that is that taking the walk, or even slipping the leash off and letting it run, does not necessarily soothe the beast, or release the pent up energy. But, if it’s the only thing to do, or that CAN be done, well, we just have to try it, and hope for the best.

The other hard part of having unresolved passionate feelings is knowing that the event or issue that prompted the feelings is often something for which we have no solution, at least not in the short term. The reasons  behind that failure of solution are not important, other than to point out that reality can often not be changed to suit our desires. But the fact of the matter is that our, or my, passion is thus being controlled by factors in the world over which I have little or no control, and that is a hard pill to swallow, especially for someone who feels responsibility for their own feelings and action. I HATE knowing that there are things going on in the world over which I have no control, and that those things are evil.

This line of thought was prompted by a couple of comments made by a reader who had been taking in some of the articles on human trafficking, sexual abuse, and sex trade practices that I have re-blogged,  articles written by survivors, who know first-hand the evil of which I spoke above. The comment was a plaintive lament, expressing sorrow and astonishment at the extent and Medusa-nature of the trade in modern society, referencing a recent shut-down of a sex trade operation nearby, with the subsequent appearance of three new operations in the same area.

Her lament, naturally, struck a deep chord in me, for it echoes the hollow feelings of my passion over this issue, feelings so deep I weep, even now, as I think of the pain and degradation of my sisters who are trapped by those WOS assholes (I know, pretty lame insult for such evil; I’m still searching for words powerful enough to really show the level of hatred and disdain that I feel) (I don’t engage in hatred very much, it is generally an unproductive emotion. But, in the case of these people, a term I use in lieu of anything more accurate, I am making a deliberate exception to that policy, allowing myself to hate them without reservation…. damn straight I am…..)  who engage in the sex trade.

Sometimes, the only way I can stop myself from crying is to envision myself walking into a place like the Mustang Ranch, or some other brothel in any random city, and methodically assassinating any male figure that stepped into my sight, customer or staff, preferably with some sort of hollowpoint ammunition that would make a real mess when I shoot them in the head. That vision will usually make me feel better, if only for a moment or two.

For now, though, all I can do is try to help these women, who have survived and moved on, but have the compassion in them to want to share their strength with the other women, and children, still enslaved, to tell their story to the world, painful as that is for them. And all I can do to help, until I can get more ammunition anyway, is to help them to spread that story, to engage as many people in society as possible, who may then be pushed to add their voices, and their energies, to stopping this plague, this blight on society.

Since this issue has been present in society for many thousands of years, the eradication of it in its entirety will be a nasty, time-consuming job, not unlike getting rid of an insect infestation in a house or community. But it is a job that is long overdue for completion, so I’ll be doing whatever I can to help, for as long as I am well enough to type, and move a mouse around. (Or pull a trigger, but that is another story, yet to be written…. rest assured, before I die, I will personally take a significant number of assholes down….. one bullet for each asshole, one asshole for each sister I find there…..)

Well, that was a pleasant start to the day, wasn’t it? To be honest, I was torn up pretty well by the emotional storm this created within me…. but those last couple of lines had the beneficial effect of lifting my spirits quite nicely. I’m not sure what that says about me, getting my serenity from thinking about killing assholes, but, hey, too bad, so sad…. I refuse to feel any guilt over my intended future acts. The only guilt I intend to suffer over any of them will be if I miss with my first shot, and have to waste another round to put them down like the dirty, evil dogs they are…… karma be damned, in this case… I’ll take the risk.

“I must do something” will always solve more problems than, “Something must be done.” — Anonymous

There, that said, we can now go on to something a bit less dark and dreary…. well, we can if I can find an appropriate pearl to stimulate said lightness. Let’s go see what we can see, shall we?….. After you……
___________________________________

“The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.” — Eugene V. Debs, US labor leader.

(Note: Debs received one million votes in 1920 as candidate for US President, while serving a 10-year jail sentence for having said in June 1918: “Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder…the master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.” Since we were at war, or just done with one, the beloved ruling class was able to label him a traitor for his words, thus hoodwinking the public, again….)

This pearl is another that doesn’t really need embellishment or long discussion, as I placed it here merely as a warning. Society today is no less tolerant of those who question those in power than it was just after WW I when Mr. Debs was cast down for dissing the beloved ruling class while they were in the middle of their victory dance. Though it is encouraging to note the number of intellectuals that were alert and active in 1920 at the polling booths, it must also be noted that, by virtue of force (i.e., shutting Debs up by locking him away on some trumped up charge) all million of those votes were effectively nullified, and made useless, except as a statement.

I think that all of us today who consider ourselves to be intellectuals, with responsibility to stay alert and speak out against the madness, would be well-advised to keep the example of Eugene Debs in mind, and be ready to repel any attempts to shut us up, by force, or by stealth, or by lying and cheating, all of which have been tried and true methods used by those in power…… Be alert, folks, the world needs more lerts, and that is NOT a joke, but a warning…..
___________________________________

Just jiggle it a little, it’ll open. — Smart Bee  Wisdom for the ages…. known only to those with the soul of a true engineer…

As a rule, I didn’t, and don’t, write about men/women relationships in a serious vein, a practice most likely left over from my years as a thoroughly married man, one who was, of course, subject to the rules and unwritten laws that go with any such social contract (and, if you are paying attention today, you’ll see I’m not about to start now….). Talking about the relationship seriously is DANGEROUS TERRITORY for a man alone, as such things are more in the purview of women, at least in my experience. I mean, regardless of how honestly, or sincerely, or logically, or reasonably I have approached discussions of a serious nature with a women in relationship, what I said had absolutely no impact at all on the outcome. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Not a damn thing.

What I discovered in my years of experiencing the phenomenon is that the outcome of all such conversations is a foregone conclusion; whatever reason the woman had for initiating the conversation was irrelevant, as were any thoughts on the matter I might entertain. What was key was to learn to understand that they didn’t need or want any input from me, because their mind, and feelings, were already set in stone; the discussion was merely some kind of ritual formality, necessary to show that they were trying to discuss things with you, or in this case, me….. and my thoughts and feelings on the matter were not merely irrelevant, but counter-productive in their eyes. (Echoes of past cliches are resounding in my mind, but I’m far too polite to include them….   :-)    …… )

One of the less emotional, but still potentially volatile, subjects that might prompt such discussion in a marriage involves chores, or tasks that come up in any household. For example, “Honey, the car is making a funny noise. Would you fix it, please?”  Questions such as this are pretty common, from woman to man, wouldn’t you say? Common enough at my house for the fact to have surfaced that hey, I’m not a mechanic! The one class in school that I ever got less than a B was auto shop, and she KNOWS this. I’m not an ignoramus in the engineering field, but it is NOT my field of expertise by any stretch of the imagination.

Yet my wife would continually assign tasks to me for completion that a man who had worked for 30 years on cars would scratch his head at (not an exaggeration. I took a cars to my VW guru more than once, asking him to track down whatever it was she heard, and he would frequently give it back with no charge, because he couldn’t find anything wrong with it…. not once, not twice, but…. more than that….. at least four times I can remember…. not hard to remember as it was really embarrassing, every time….)

But it didn’t matter to her; she wanted it fixed, and that was my job, regardless of whether or not I had an engineering degree or not, and that was all she wanted to hear on the subject….. SIGH, it was tough living up to those kind of delusions, er, standards, when she obviously believed the following to be a natural law, and expected me to be able, or even willing, to obey it…..

“Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough.” — Wyszkowski’s Second Law

By God, for a moment there, it all made sense…
___________________________________

“It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions. I believe it was Magellan who said, “The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the Church.” On the prow of his ship were disobedience, defiance, scorn, and success.” — Robert G. Ingersoll, quoted in _The Great Quotations_

And, on that note, we offer the following…..

1. Politics without principle
2. Wealth without work
3. Commerce without morality
4. Pleasure without conscience
5. Education without character
6. Science without humanity
7. Worship without sacrifice
– Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins

Of these principles, I can fully support 6 of 7, which is the best percentage of belief I’ve admitted to for ANY system of philosophy, so, good for Mahatma…. These two short statements don’t really need my comments, so I’m not going to give any, other than to say that both are very good meditation focus tools, with just a bit of practical editing to put them in the right form, as mindful questions to answer during our meditations…… enjoy!….
___________________________________

Ingredients: vodka, tomato juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, A-1 steak sauce, ice, salt, pepper, celery.
Fill a large tumbler with vodka.
Throw all the other ingredients away.

– The Real Man’s Bloody Mary

Having been a bartender for a time, I rather enjoyed making Bloody Mary’s for the club members. As a chef, too, I played with recipe a bit, and came up with a pretty good set of proportions that made the list of classical ingredients able to be brought together into a “perfect” Bloody Mary, by the reports of the members. So, knowing those ingredients, upon reading the above, I was able, and happy, to burst into guffaws of laughter at the last line. Funny, funny, funny shit!  My recipe, which, classically, contains no A-1 sauce (an abomination!), and does contain both celery salt and fresh, strong horseradish, (along with my secret, a half teaspoon of chopped garlic) was popular with a number of the early golfers. But there WAS one member, who came in to play 18 holes just about every day, who would come in and ask for his personal Bloody Mary, (which he told his wife was what he drank while playing each morning).

This gentleman’s (he was no duffer, for sure….) version of the classic drink called for a 32 ounce opaque white cold cup, ice to 2/3 filled, then filled to the top of the cup with straight vodka from the well, a decent, but cheap plonk (it worked out to about 8 or 9 shots of vodka per drink). He’d slap a lid on it, take a huge swallow, grin, ask me to replace the swallow, and hit the course, both of us fully aware that regardless of his score on the front nine, he would be picking up an identical refill on the turn. 

Now, that was a drinking man! Can’t say I admired him, particularly, as a man, because he had a son and daughter, and no doubt spent too much time wasted to be of much use as a father.  But I did stand in amazement at how well he could play golf in that condition (he maintained an honestly earned handicap of 4; he was very, very good, according to his partners, all damn good golfers themselves…..), and at his liver, which hadn’t killed him by the time I left…..
___________________________________

“It has been said that trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment rooted in the ground. But they never seem so to me. I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!” — John Muir, American Naturalist (1838-1914)

John Muir probably did as much, and more, to ensure the preservation of much of the American wilds as any man who ever lived; his lifelong love affair with Mother Nature was not a front. His passion and sheer joy at being out of doors, almost anywhere, but especially in his beloved Yosemite, was obvious in every one of the thousands and thousands of words he wrote, trying to describe what he saw and felt when he was connected to Nature (always capitalized in his mind). He was a good writer, with excellent observational skills, and an engaging style. But, when waxing poetic about the wonders of his love for Nature, he tended to well, gush….. and since he had a very extensive, powerful vocabulary, his is not just gushing, but major gushing….. it can get everywhere if it spills…..   :-)

It’s okay, that is not a complaint, or intended to disparage. It’s just a personal opinion, from a curmudgeon in training, who gets a bit weary after a while of all the hyperbole Mr. Muir uses in his descriptions …. but THIS quote is perfect, to me, and I like it a lot. The image of Man and Tree walking the earth together, side by side as we ride our planetary roller coaster through space, is a lovely one, bringing a smile to my face upon first reading it. I was reminded of the scenes in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy where the hobbits, Pippin and Merry, are introduced to, and learn to appreciate, Greybeard, the Ent, the last and oldest tree in Middle Earth, the remaining guardian of all the less-sentient trees…. a truly wonderful vision of the inter-connecting lines of life force that are common to all the creatures and plants who inhabit Earth….. and not a gush to be seen….. lovely.
___________________________________

Wow. 0711 and I’m done. Not bad, even if I did start before 0500 by a good half hour….. I’ll take it. Maybe today, I can actually get a jump on the day’s email, before it has a chance to bury me again. Yesterday evening, I found myself still going through emails I had not gotten to yet, from 4/3/12, three days ago last night.

It is getting discouraging; I had it down to only 20 unread, and about 85 read but not yet site-visited, for those posts I wanted to acknowledge, or read more fully. Now this morning when I finish this, I flip over to email and find…… yup, as I suspected, 45 new emails to read….. SIGH… the price of fame, or in my case, an equal amount of folly, I suppose.

No es importa, es una problema personal, verdad? Si….  Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!