Fair warning, ffolkes…. Today’s effort could conceivably break me, and, in the current state of my mind, that event will (not COULD, but WILL…) produce an explosion roughly equivalent to the one dropped on Nagasaki in 1945…. Not the largest device ever used, but, close enough, and more than enough to level a city of about half a million people, killing at least half of them, reducing the city to a massive pile of rubble and bodies, for the most part, and creating the world’s largest conclave of radiation casualties outside Hiroshima…. If that isn’t enough of a ugly, scary image to start the day with, I can do another…. No? Okay….
I’m in a strange mood, (originally, I said “sort of a strange mood”, but, decided there’s no “sort of” about it; it’s strange….), half-glad, half-sad, and all pissed off, all due, for the most part, to the ongoing display of childishness and stupidity being played out on the national political scene, which, if it isn’t already clear, serves to offer complete and utter proof that NONE of those elected to any of the offices in this government have enough common sense to come in out of the rain, much less enough of that precious quality to be anything but disasters as leaders of a nation…. I’ve stated previously that I believe that ALL of the elected officials at that level are insane, clinically, and demonstrably, and the scenario being played out in Congress right now certainly goes a long way toward providing incontrovertible proof of that assertion….
A small group of disgruntled, (random query: what does a “gruntled” person look like?….) conservative, Tea Party fanatics, goaded on by even more fanatical supporters, who have more money than IQ points, has accomplished the complete shutdown of the US government, in a belated but ongoing protest of a law passed three years ago, without a single thought in their tiny little minds of a) how little what they’re doing will help ANYONE other than themselves, b) how stupid they appear, and c) how much damage to their own agenda they are causing, by their intransigence and stubborn desire to maintain a status that is no longer quo….
I mean, it’s ridiculous to me to see how hard these conservative fundamentalists struggle to deny the reality of the demographics of this country, which, no matter how they feel about it, no longer exists as a white, Christian majority, but, has evolved into a much more diverse collection of ethnic cultures from all over the world, with skin colors to rival the rainbow in their complexity. Caucasians are NOT the majority in America any more, and I say, it’s about damn time!….
The whole problem with these white assholes is they’ve become accustomed to having everything their way, because they have, previously, always had the voting power, and the law, on their side; no historian today will deny the facts of the matter, which clearly show how the last two hundred years in this country have exhibited a definite prejudicial bent, favoring the white, Christian subgroup in this country…. In turn, this ingrained prejudice has led us to some of the problems our society now faces, as that demographic, formerly a certainty, has become less definite, and the voting power has shifted away from its conservative roots, into a more diverse, and liberal outlook, that has evolved along with the mixing of the races….
This mixing, in spite of what the fundies would like to believe, has already happened, ON THE STREETS, although, not in the seats of power; this discrepancy is what is now causing many of the issues that continue to arise over time. As the power base shifts to reflect the more diverse population we now enjoy in this nation, the old forces, used to their entitlements, are throwing tantrums, and trying to maintain a status quo that is no longer feasible, not if reality is to match what we believe it to be…. and, regardless of how much they WANT it to be otherwise, that much social momentum cannot be stopped…
There are just too many powerful social forces at work, changing the face of the American demography, and trying to have everything stay the same only causes pain for those who try to keep from acknowledging the changes. Plus, it should be noted that attempting to deny reality, and fighting against it, are sure signs of insanity in humans, more proof of my assertion regarding political animals, and those who are determined to support them in their insanity….
To my mind, the issue of the sanity of those who seek public office was settled a long time ago; it is obviously quite crazy to believe that ANYONE at all has the ability to successfully handle the issues that go along with a nation of this size and complexity. It is simply too big a job, as are the other positions we elect people to fill, and only someone who has an unreasonable opinion of their own abilities would think they were capable of doing so…. If you believe there is anyone alive who is smart enough, or honest enough, or even cares enough, to be able to deal with all the details and responsibilities that go along with being President, or Senator, or any of the other positions we allow people to assume, then I am sorry to say that you have learned to deny reality as well as they do….
It isn’t a matter of whether what they believe is true or not; it is their BELIEF that they can that is the issue, because, quite simply, and quite demonstrably, they can’t….. But, they won’t admit it; to do so would mean admitting they were wrong all along…. and that is the whole problem, because they believe they can, and, sadly, they are able to convince others that they are right…. This kind of logic is what is called an eternal loop, a closed circle of false ideas that support each other by their denial of reality; in the field of psychiatry, we called it clinical INSANITY!….
Well, I see that once again, I’ve crossed over into ranting, without the slightest hesitation, and without realizing how early I was falling into venting mode…. I can only plead exigency, and a bit of emotional pressure…. All the above has obviously been in there, percolating, and had to come out in order to clear the decks for anything remotely creative to find its way into the light of day. Sort of like clearing the throat before singing, I guess… Oh well, that means that I don’t HAVE to rant in sections one or three, unless I want to, or see something that compels me to enter into ranting mode…. which is probably a good thing for y’all, in the final analysis….
Shall we Pearl?…. Though it’s repeating myself, it’s about damn time….
“‘If everybody minded their own business,’ the Duchess said, in a hoarse growl, ‘the world would go round a deal faster than it does.’” — Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
I see by the above that my ranting needs a bit of work…. I’m falling into the mode too easily, and resorting too often to general indictments, without much solid evidence to back it up…. Not that much is needed, or that it isn’t available; the news web sites, and papers, are full of plenty of stuff to support the points I’ve made in my rants…. I have been trying to supply links to such articles, that provide such evidence, when I can….
Howsomever, I don’t want to fall into the less than perfectly moral methods used by the opposition, which can and does regularly include flat out lying, and/or complete fabrication of the truth…. I mean, it is almost impossible for me to go through a single day of reading the news without finding another lie told by a politician, or if nothing else, a piece of truth that somehow got left out of whatever they said….
I also see that I am falling right back into rant mode, and I was trying NOT to do that, even though the current state of affairs out in the BBR (Big Blue Room…. that place outside the room where my computer lives….) is in dire need of being ranted over…. Things are so damn far off the track that we may as well just start building new tracks in the direction we’re going…. That may get us to our extinction faster, but, it couldn’t hurt any to be a bit more comfortable on the way to Hell, could it?….
Any who, I’m going to go with an old-school pearl here, if I can ever break free of this urge to take shot after shot at the politicos today…. Bloody assholes… I’ll try to sublimate by giving Smart Bee some strict parameters for selections today…. These will all point at elected officials, or appointed ones, as they are generally appointed by someone who was elected; taking my best shots, so to speak, in one way or another….
A moral, sensible, and well-bred man
Will not affront me,–and no other can.
– William Cowper (1731-1800) — Conversation, Line 193
“Modern diplomats approach every problem with an open mouth.” — Arthur J. Goldberg
“Prejudice is when you don’t hate an individual, but you hate what they stand for, when without knowing them personally, you decide they are worthy of your derision.” — Callan Williams
(Oops… I guess that makes me prejudiced against people who act stupid in public, doesn’t it?…. Oh, well….)
“Since when is “public safety” the root password to the Constitution?” — C. D. Tavares
“You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time,. And that’s sufficient.” — Rose King
(Ms. King was obviously the teacher of many, many politicians in her time…. and she taught her lesson well….)
“Can’t refute the message? Attack the messenger!” — Conservative Rule #9
If you want to get the plain truth,
Be not concerned with right and wrong.
The conflict between right and wrong
Is the sickness of the mind.
Wow…. it took a while, but, I think it was worth the time spent looking for that final pearl…. which, to my mind, is damn near perfect….
Seamus Heaney was an Irish poet-laureate while he lived; I only heard of him after he died, earlier this year, but, since first reading his work, have come to realize how little that phrase says about his poems, or the way they affect me. It seems he felt many of the same sort of feelings as I do, feelings he was able to set into verse with much more panache and style than I have ever achieved, at least to my mind…. Any who, this poem seems to fit in with my mood today, so, I hope you enjoy it….
It is December in Wicklow:
Alders dripping, birches
Inheriting the last light,
The ash tree cold to look at.
A comet that was lost
Should be visible at sunset,
Those million tons of light
Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips,
And I sometimes see a falling star.
If I could come on meteorite!
Instead I walk through damp leaves,
Husks, the spent flukes of autumn,
Imagining a hero
On some muddy compound,
His gift like a slingstone
Whirled for the desperate.
How did I end up like this?
I often think of my friends’
Beautiful prismatic counselling
And the anvil brains of some who hate me
As I sit weighing and weighing
My responsible tristia.
For what? For the ear? For the people?
For what is said behind-backs?
Rain comes down through the alders,
Its low conductive voices
Mutter about let-downs and erosions
And yet each drop recalls
The diamond absolutes.
I am neither internee nor informer;
An inner йmigrй, grown long-haired
And thoughtful; a wood-kerne
Escaped from the massacre,
Taking protective colouring
From bole and bark, feeling
Every wind that blows;
Who, blowing up these sparks
For their meagre heat, have missed
The once-in-a-lifetime portent,
The comet’s pulsing rose.
~~ Seamus Heaney ~~
“The goal of all life is death.” — Sigmund Freud
Like the finest pearls, sometimes the smallest ones shine the brightest…. I’ve been thinking about death a lot recently; it’s not morbidity, merely the natural curiosity of all humans as we more closely approach our own end time on this old ball of mud. I don’t exactly fear death, though it’s not a comforting subject to consider…. but, I think that discomfort arises from a somewhat different source than is common for most folks…. You see, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever about what happens after we die…. I also have no clue as to what that might be, but, whatever happens to us after we die, our consciousness will NOT flicker out, like a candle in the wind….
This belief is not based on some ridiculous notion of supernatural intervention that will determine my “necrodestination”, as Frank Zappa called it…. Rather, it is based on a more rational idea, that, though logical in nature, is nonetheless good, solid reasoning…. My idea is that it doesn’t make any sense for us to assume that, when we die, we no longer exist as a conscious being, because that would be a waste of energy, most simply put, and the Universe doesn’t work that way, so far as all we know about it….
“There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know. So why fret about it?” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert Heinlein
One of the laws of the physical universe in which we live is the Law of Conservation of Energy. This law has been known to science for many hundreds of years, and has been the subject of innumerable experiments, ALL of which proved it to be factual. Simply put, it states, “Energy cannot be destroyed, only altered in form.” In other words, any part of this physical universe that can be defined as a form of energy is immortal, in the sense that it never goes away, it only alters its type…. Electric to kinetic, kinetic to electric, nuclear to atomic, magnetic to electric , and vice versa, etc, ad lib, ad nauseam….. It never goes away, it only changes form….
To my way of thinking, consciousness is a form of energy. It is one we don’t completely understand, along the lines of both magnetic, and gravitational energies, both of which, so far, have eluded our full knowledge, and remain mysterious in many ways… Consciousness is in a similar situation; we can perceive it, and define it. There are even some instruments that seem to register its presence, peripherally, if not precisely. We can observe its effect on reality, and we can understand, to a degree, how it behaves….
But, we don’t know anywhere nearly all about it, nor can we do anything other than observe it in action, and only from within its boundaries! We cannot observe consciousness in ourselves, only in others, and then only by perceiving their actions, not a direct perception of the energy that makes it act, or makes it real…
To a certain extent, this is a handicap, but, fortunately for us, the power of our imagination can assist us to understand its more complex characteristics, eventually…. So far, though, it is not a form of energy that we have under our complete control, and, at this point in our mental development, cannot perceive where it goes, or what form it takes, after we reach the end of our biological lives here on Earth….
“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Lazarus Long, again
All my life, my sense of curiosity, my knowledge of science and philosophy, and a healthy sense of doubt, has kept me from ever falling under the influence of any of the major religions of the world, and I generally tend to take Lazarus’ view of the matter as being the most reasonable one can assume. If people wish to believe in that stuff, well and good, as long as they don’t try to force it down anyone else’s throat, we won’t have any issues….
My own take on the whole matter of life after death is this: it seems to me, whatever happens after we die, it must be more interesting, and more complex than what we are doing here, as it seems to take much longer to be dead than it does to be alive… which makes dying just another adventure, for an inquiring mind….
“After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” — J.K. Rowling, The Man with Two Faces, — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1997, — spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore
Getting all worked up about who has the biggest, most powerful imaginary friend in this world, and who will go to the most attractive place when we die, all based on a delusional system of rewards and punishments for desired, or undesired, behaviors, isn’t the way I intend to spend my time here on Earth…. There’s too much really cool stuff going on in other areas of human existence to make that very attractive as a way to spend time. Instead, I’ll learn as much as I can of what is real, and what is important, and maybe, when I die, someone will be helped in some way by whatever I’ve found out, and left behind as a legacy….
“We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine.” — H. L. Mencken
Blessed Be, ffolkes…. You may as well enjoy life; as the Scots are fond of saying….”Be glad of living, for you’re a long time dead.”….
Today’s Pearl is the result of a short night’s sleep, and a long morning’s meandering through the fertile, if confusing, fields of my imagination and will…. It promises to be an epic struggle to proof, so I’ll get right on that…. while I still have the wherewithal to do so….
“Epic” was certainly the correct word choice for this Pearl. I know I write a lot, and I know it’s a lot to take in at one sitting; keep in mind it takes me a number of sittings each morning to produce these missives, so don’t feel bad if it’s hard to finish it all at once. But, I think this one is well worth it, as I got a lot of stuff out that has been percolating, and feel like I’ve tidied up a lot of space in my head that needed it….
If nothing else, I feel as if I’ve gotten in a sufficient number of direct hits on the BRC, so, I’m happy, for the nonce…. At least, until one of them goes and does something stupid, again, right out there for all of us to see… Be sure, I’ll point it out for y’all, and do my best to help y’all see some of the humor, and stupidity, that runs rampant in our society….
There, I even got in a little mini-rant in the closing section…. how’s that for going overboard, eh?…. 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,
I just sits.