We people are a funny lot, aren’t we? Funny, strange, that is, not funny, ha ha…. Okay, perhaps “odd” is a more accurate assessment, for the purposes of labeling, a practice which, now that I think of it, is not particularly productive when applied to humans, since we, as a species, tend to make the application of labels of little use….. This is mostly due to our inner nature, which reflects the principle of Peruaosophy’s axiom #2, to wit: “The nature of the Universe is Change. Unpredictable, innovative transformation of Reality is the Norm. If you have a hard time with this, you are in for a rough ride in Life. “
My ride through Life has lived up to this principle, a factor which, arguably, contributed to its formation, as well as providing living proof of its veracity, and relevance….. It’s not that I have a hard time with Change; no, indeed, far from it. I’ve cultivated the acceptance of Change since I learned the importance of doing so, way back in my early teen years…..
It just seems as if Change, at least much of what I’ve encountered in that respect, has come at me more quickly, and with more innovation (Is that the right word?…. Yes, yes, I think it must be…. It’s close enough to what actually happens, and no other candidates have stepped up….) than I seem able to cope with, at least at the same pace it arrives…. I always end up getting to the right place, in my mind, and in Reality, but, it’s often more of a struggle, and takes longer, than it seems like it should….
You may be asking yourself, at this point, exactly how does this apply to this morning’s Pearl?…. Well, it applies, sort of, and then, again, it doesn’t…. You see, I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, at least, not in terms of having a real, actual event over which I’ve been agonizing, waiting for it to change into something else perhaps less intimidating, or less complex….. Everything in my life, currently, is proceeding smoothly, with few bumps, and no really fast changes of direction…. So, nothing pressing is on my plate, nor am I particularly stressed over any other potential changes taking place….
Well, I THINK everything is okay…. I’ve been stoned a lot of late, augmenting my pain meds with some attitudinal adjustment, so I might have missed a few events that otherwise may have provided some challenge, but, I don’t believe I’ve missed out on anything significant, or important in a moral, or ethical sense…. If I did, it wasn’t important enough to have left me a note, or a summons, so, I think all is well in that respect….
No, I was just sitting there when I started today, staring again at a blank screen, and thought about how all of the above applied to me, and everyone else who lives on this old ball of mud….. whereupon, I had to laugh, because, otherwise, I’d cry…. I also experienced a small feeling of poignancy, and an appreciation for the strangeness of the human psyche, that can thrive on what seems to be chaos, and can learn to surf the wide ocean of Reality, riding on the edge of the changes that are constantly taking place, whether we notice them, or not….
I’m not really sure where this is taking us, which is NOT a good thing, given the fact we are still in the intro section, trapped here because, once more, I’ve written myself into a corner, and can’t find a dignified way out…. But, then, when has dignity entered into this equation, eh? Never, I say, nor will it…. While I DO try to maintain a relative degree of sobriety, or, a degree of relative sobriety, and at least a modicum of respect for others, dignity has never been one of the key characteristics I’ve cultivated…. It’s just too hard when I’m so damn silly most of the time…..
It’s also just a bit too hard to maintain ANY sort of dignified mien, when a large, glowing, red bulb is growing out of the middle of one’s face, a feature which tends to give off a loud, abrasive, “HONK!!!”, at the slightest provocation…. For us bozos, dignity isn’t part of the picture, nor will it ever be, especially given my own predilection for bozoid tendencies….
That’s okay, though…. Y’all may, or may not, have noticed that I’ve once again managed to get enough written to call this a legal introductory section…. I know, I cheated, but, I do that a lot here, anyway, in the quest to get this done each day, so, we’re going to act as if it never happened….. Call me “funny” if you wish….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“He’s a real Nowhere Man, sitting in his Nowhere Land, making all his Nowhere plans for nobody. Doesn’t have a point of view, knows not where he’s going to, isn’t he a bit like you and me?” — The Beatles, ‘Nowhere Man’
I wrote the following politirant in February of 2013, which, though it is not so long ago, being still in this year, nevertheless, seems like a very long time in the past…. At the time, I still had some time before the end of my ordeal of obtaining Social Security, and, thus, living in a state of near poverty, not quite enough to become desperate, but challenging and humbling, to say the least…. a state which had been my lot for two-plus-a-little-bit-years, which found me living, as they would say in an English drawing room comedy, “in reduced conditions…”, Fortunately, I was not without more resources and support than many folks, and/or ffolkes, might have had; I did have medical insurance, which many do without….
It was definitely one of the most challenging periods of my life, and without my friends, I wouldn’t have made it as well as I did….. Now, nine months later, I’ve spent soon-to-be more than a month on board three, soon-to-be four, cruise ships; I’ve visited, or, traveled to and/or through four states, six countries, and the independent island of Guernsey, which is a bit confused as to their precise allegiance, other than to their cows, I guess… Any who, I’ve been busy, having also moved, with my love Patricia, from two apartments where we lived separately, into a house, of sorts…. not a long move, physically, but, still, a momentous event….
Nevertheless, what I wrote here remains as valid as the day I wrote it…. It’s good enough to use again, and this subject can’t be overdone, to my way of thinking. It is one I am passionate about, even though I have never owned a gun, after giving up the last air rifle of my youth, when I was still a pre-teen.
As a life-long scientist, a life-long warrior, and a boy growing up in America, I knew of guns, of course, and how to use them, (I DID grow up on Army bases, and had been taught basic gun safety by my father, as every child should be, by the time I was five years old….). However, my MIND has always been my weapon of choice, followed closely by my own hands and feet…. If an intelligent man has failed to think ahead far enough to avoid any situation requiring the use of a weapon, and only then to defend a life, then that intelligence has failed him….
(This also applies to women, of course, but, I happen to be a man, so, to avoid confusion, at least in my own mind, I’ll just use whatever pronoun comes to hand, okay?…. Where was I?… Oh, yeah, okay….)
For a warrior, when weapons MUST be used, the weapon must be suited to the purpose, and the battle; when used for other purposes, they are merely dangerous toys, and not worthy of consideration, beyond the necessary preparations for dealing with the problem of defense against them…. In the final analysis, any interaction where a gun, or any weapon, is brought into play, the issue remains merely another test, a contest of will, between two minds…. The faster, more trained, more experienced mind will prevail in any such contest, whether that mind’s body is holding a gun, or not…. The gun is only the vehicle that manifests the will of the bearer; the will must be applied for a weapon to function at all….
As a warrior, I’m no fool, and if I’m faced with guns, then, I’ll get one, and use it…. More significantly, I’ll know to bring one, if needed, provided I use my mind correctly, ahead of any danger, to not be caught unprepared…. Heretofore, I’ve been both fortunate, and accomplished at foresight, as I’ve always been able to deal with whatever I’ve encountered, able to use my martial arts training to control the violence with my hands….
There have been only two occasions in sixty-three years where I found it necessary to employ a weapon, (NOT guns…. once a knife, and once a stick….). Both times, the weapon was only needed as a threat…. I figure, considering those two incidents are part of a statistical universe containing over 750 occasions of having to deal with violence, usually directed against me by a mentally ill person, I’m doing pretty well at not having to resort to using a weapon….
HOWEVER…. In spite of my own lack of need for guns, I recognize that they are an important tool for anyone who wishes to retain ANY level of freedom, in a world where there are a large number of people who have no morals, or restraint, who tend to attempt to use their own guns to force THEIR will upon those who will not, or cannot defend themselves….
This statement of human interaction is not a guess…. It is not an opinion…. It is not a question, or a suggestion…. It is a fact of life, and a quality of human nature; not admitting the presence and capabilities of such corrupted humans is not only foolish, but, in the long run, as well as the short, a very dangerous failure of intelligence….
Perhaps not so much, I suppose, if one is careful in their choice of parents, (hah!), but, there are times when Fate, in the guise of Entitlement, or Insanity, or Desperation, or some other iconic force of emotion that can drive a human to pick up a gun, and use it indiscriminately on innocent people…. well, Fate will act in spite of all our caution….
Believing that schoolyard shootings, or mall attacks on shoppers, or shootings in work-places, or churches, will cease to happen, if we only banned guns, is the dream of a child, with no understanding of reality…. It isn’t that simple, and giving up the right to defend yourself, for the promise of being protected, is naive, and, well, sorry, but, it’s stupid…. Any who, here is what I noted about the issue earlier this year, before I got so busy with living….
“The media are now the tool of tyrants and despots. Tyrants and despots encourage fear, because fearful people will accept extreme political solutions, will demand extreme political solutions.” — Jon Carroll, S. F. Chronicle, January 8, 1997
Jon Carroll, on the political scale, would be considered to be just a bit left of the center, maybe a foot or two, as he tends to side with liberal ideas more than conservative. Over the years, I’ve found his take on life and society to be, most of all, even-handed, and reasonable. He avoids the trap of becoming overly critical of conservative ideas, while at the same time showing absolute fearlessness in addressing difficult questions and issues. As a media member, for him to make this statement was most likely painful, in that he had to admit his own culpability to do so. He does that, quite well, without becoming overly pedantic or shrill about it, while still nailing the controversial point at which he is taking aim….
The recent hullabaloo over gun control is a perfect example of the process he describes, in action. Whenever a madman grabs a gun and starts shooting people randomly, or even targeting one group or another, the media immediately descends in hordes on the location of the shooting, giving out endless bulletins with the latest news on the events, interviewing police, victims, bystanders, and pundits to provide “balanced coverage” of events the public “has the right to know”…. regardless of how degrading, or painful, or ignorant, or insane, or stupid it may sound, or how much pain it may cause the victims. No stone is left unturned to examine and evaluate every emotional nuance for the viewing public, without any regard for morality, or justice, and definitely without any regard for compassion, or empathy.
After the event has ended, the media then turns to the “discussion” of the meaning of the events, which means it gives the Beloved Ruling Class a free source of advertisement for its agenda, which, allow me to reassure you, has nothing to do with what may be good for YOU. All the talk you hear from politicians after these shootings is aimed at increasing the fear of the public, to make them believe they are powerless in the face of a madman with a gun; it is in their interests if y’all believe that, if only the people would allow ONLY the police and government to have guns, why, everything would be fine, and there would never be any more shootings at public schools.
I’m sorry, but, I’m afraid I can’t buy that…. There are over seven billion people on this planet, and there is simply no chance at all that banning guns is going to prevent some of them from going crazy, getting a gun, (or knife, or poison, or grenade, or dynamite, or…..) and using it on other folks. Believing such nonsense is, I’m sorry, just stupid….. It won’t stop, and there is nothing that will stop it, unless we figure out a way to change human nature…. a quest that, so far, has been completely unsuccessful, and isn’t likely to ever be otherwise…. People have violence in their nature, and thinking that the government, or any other entity, can change that is, well, not too bright….
But, fear is strong in most of society, and those folks have no clue, in general, that they are so easily manipulated. They tend to allow anyone who promises them to stop the fear to tell them what to do, just so they don’t have to think about it, or face it themselves. Governments have known this for centuries, as the quote below, from Hermann Goering, the Nazi general under Hitler, indicates clearly…. It’s a practice by no means uncommon among governments throughout history, up to and including the present day version….
“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.” –Goering at the Nuremberg Trials
Yep, ffolkes, that is indeed what it means…. most people are cowards. Combine that with their deliberate stupidity, and they are easily manipulable, plain and simple…. When it comes to their own fears, they won’t do much of anything in the way of conquering those fears themselves….
They would much rather let the politicians promise them to keep the streets safe, if only they will give up the right to defend themselves, or allow a preacher to tell them to submit to earthly authority in order to receive eternal life…… Or, in other words, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today….” — Wimpy, Popeye’s friend, and metaphorical common man….. The media, whether out of ignorance, or out of deliberate dispassion, will continue to give them a public platform from which to perform their manipulations, and never blink an eye in guilt….
Me? I’ll pass on the hamburger, thanks, and make sure my powder is dry….
“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.” — Ronald W. Reagan
(Back in November now….. My powder, had I any need of it, would still be dry…. I know for sure that my knives are sharp and numerous, as are the other not so obvious weapons that I tend to keep near at hand, where they can be easily procured,
when… er, ah, IF they’re ever needed….. ;-) …..)
Today’s Pearl is being constructed in an unusual fashion….. Not a bad thing, all in all, but, different, to be sure…. In such cases, when uncertainty is the order of the day, and entropy rules the process of making any decision, it’s always safest to retreat into that which we know best, or, more importantly, that which we trust to be exactly what we expect it to be, which is, as always, unpredictable…. It’s the only way to cope with what is happening, without giving in, to run screaming into the day, having lost all grip on reality….. A bit of Emily’s magic will always save the day, for me….
Death sets a thing significant
The eye had hurried by,
Except a perished creature
Entreat us tenderly
To ponder little workmanships
In crayon or in wool,
With “This was last her fingers did,”
The thimble weighed too heavy,
The stitches stopped themselves,
And then ‘t was put among the dust
Upon the closet shelves.
A book I have, a friend gave,
Whose pencil, here and there,
Had notched the place that pleased him,–
At rest his fingers are.
Now, when I read, I read not,
For interrupting tears
Obliterate the etchings
Too costly for repairs.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
Fortune, they say, favors the brave…. or, was that the foolish? No matter, either one works for me… Therefore, I’ll stand up to fate’s demands for compliance, even if I have to defy that demand…. What that means, here and now, is another old-school pearl…. I’ve ranted more than enough above, and don’t really have much more in me to say…. So, I’ll give Smart Bee its head, and see what comes up…. Generally, when I do that, the pearls seem to come out better than might be expected…. Let’s hope that’s the case today…..
“Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self respect springs. ” — Joan Didion
“Never to have changed – what a pitiable thing of which to boast!” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“We have art that we do not die of the truth.” — Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
“Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.” — G. K. Chesterton, Autobiography, 1937
“Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)
“Nothing is good in moderation. You cannot know good in anything until you have torn the heart out of it by excess.” — Oscar Wilde (to Andre Gide)
“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” — Kahlil Gibran, Sand and Foam, 1926
Not bad, not bad at all….
I imagine, since I’ve been at this for a couple of hours, minus the necessary breaks to go off somewhere, to moan and stretch, there isn’t much more significant harm I can do…. I’ll be right back, after I collect enough data for a report to the damage control center….
Fortunately for all concerned, the data that was collected was immediately classified as top secret, so only the NSA will have access to it… and they’re welcome to it, such as it is…. Having thus thumbed a nose at them, as I am committed to doing at least once a day (and, believe me, when one is a Bozo, nose and all, thumbing is more of an ordeal than otherwise might be thought….), I’ll take my leave, sans dignity, but with much aplomb…. 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.