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
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….
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.
– 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,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious