Fear is both tool, and weapon; use them, or be used by them….

Ffolkes,

“He had that rare weird electricity about him — that extremely wild and heavy presence that you only see in a person who has abandoned all hope of ever behaving “normally.””

– Hunter S. Thompson (b. 1939), journalist — Fear and Loathing ’72

toiletman

    Look! It’s a plane! No! It’s a turd! Hooray! It’s Toilet Man!….. Enough! I can’t do it….  I am, as the theme above suggests, NOT normal. It’s okay, I never wanted to be, anyway, so, it’s not going to hurt my feelings to be accused of missing out on that particularly noisome state of mundanity. Me, I could never figure out why it was so attractive, or so important for people to feel they were either on their way to becoming normal, or were already considered to be one of the conformist crowd…. Sure, I like people, occasionally, but, I sure wouldn’t want to BE like any of them…. But, no matter how I feel about normal, I can’t take advantage of it that way….

That, of course, is just the curmudgeon in me talking, which I can’t seem to stop from happening, all too often. According to the training rules for us curmudgeons-to-be, we are supposed to USE our skills, but, we aren’t supposed to make other people feel bad thereby, necessarily, although it is acceptable under certain conditions, such as being accosted by one of the stupids, and needing to put them out of their misery. That’s okay, but, generally, we aren’t supposed to load our foul moods onto other ffolkes; only if they deserve it, for which there are strict requirements to fulfill, to ensure they are a deserving recipient of our ire….

At this point, I’d probably do well to mention that we are still quite a far piece from reality, so, you shouldn’t be taking any of this too seriously, or trying to figure out whether or not my tongue is in cheek, or somewhere less appropriate than that. This is also a good point to tell you, the picture is from SFGATE, from a photo feature a few days ago, highlighting signs around the world with funny or odd statements, such as the above, and the name of the photographer is on the picture (in VERY small letters…) …. I have actually seen a sign very similar to this, in Beijing, during a visit there in 2004. Such signs were a constant source of amusement, as many of the English translations in the advertisements on billboards were simply hilariously mashed up….

Of course, it’s important for me to remember…. this kind of opening, as fun as it may be, does have its own potential risks…. For example, here we are, a good three to four paragraphs down the pike, and we have yet to whine about being late, or how lazy I’m feeling (somewhat….), or any of my usual techniques to draw your attention away from the lack of any sort of elegance, not to mention the lack of any sort of visible evidence of intelligent life as we know it. The risk in this should be obvious, even to…. no, I won’t go there. I’m not going to be one of those bloggers who insults my readers, just to show I can, or some other misguided reason….

I am, however, going to have to call a halt to this, even though we’re just beginning to have some fun with it, and it’s starting to flow nicely…. Too bad I’m completely out of any more ideas as to what to put here…. In fact, my brain is emptying out so fast, I’m getting dizzy, and had best take a break…. You know what this means, so hang on….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It’s snowing still. And freezing. However, we haven’t had an earthquake lately.” — A.A. Milne’s Eyore

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In keeping with the theme which has thus far characterized today’s effort, let’s see what the headlines around the web have for us….

http://www.theonion.com/articles/exxonmobil-chevron-locked-in-bidding-war-to-acquir,36561/

Oh. My. Gosh….. Okay, well, so it doesn’t quite have the same impact, or cathartic release factor, as the usual blasphemy I could be expected to come out with in such cases, but, I think employing the use of such a mild epithet will, no doubt, save me some hate mail…. Of course. that would help, if I actually got any…. Nonetheless, expletive expressions notwithstanding, I was a bit surprised to see the above headline, which, since you can’t see it all, says, to wit:

“ExxonMobil, Chevron Locked In Bidding War To Acquire Lucrative Pennsylvania Senator”

Flabbergasted, flummoxed, flustered, and, just a little bit surprised, I was, when I first saw this….  Then, of course, I noticed where it was published, on The Onion, and, so realized it was only humor…. pointed, sharp humor that accurately skewers Reality in America, but, humor…. In this case, what needs to be noted is the source of the humorous nature of the piece, which is rooted in the fact that it is probably true, though not necessarily for the exact companies named here….. You may be certain, however, that the concept itself is NOT completely out of the realm of possibility in the US Senate…. not in THIS Reality…..

I’m almost certain my creative juices aren’t quite up to turning this into a rant; it’s just too ironic…. which, coming from me, is pretty ironic, as well…. True, though, so, I’m going to go with my instincts, and go with an old-school pearl, a collection of pointed sticks to jab in the eyes of all those in our Beloved Ruling Class who are so diligent in their efforts to screw the rest of us….. Enjoy!….

“Anyone who has had a bull by the tail knows five or six more things than someone who hasn’t.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than  a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

“I’m not against the police; I’m just afraid of them.” — Alfred Hitchcock

“A little truth helps the lie go down.” — A direct quote from the US Senate publication, “Communication Tips for New Senators”

“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” — Tom Robbins

“Not all the conservative are stupid, but all the stupid are conservative.” — Benjamin Disraeli

(The oddest part of this quote? Disraeli, by modern standards, would call himself a conservative…. To me, it just goes to show, ALL of them need help…. and, by that, I mean professional help….)

“This sickness doth infect
The very life-blood of our enterprise.”

– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King Henry IV — Act iv, Sc. 1

Well, there you have it, ffolkes…. I’m thinking I may have been a bit too eclectic; most of these wouldn’t be understood at all by any of the people it targets…. which rather eliminates part of the point, doesn’t it? Oh well, there’s always tomorrow; I don’t think they’re going to add on any IQ points overnight, so we’ll have another chance to make a dent in their intransigent stupidity….

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I repost this poem at least once a year, just because it is one of my favorites, it goes so well with much of the material I end up producing…. and usually ends up saying what I was trying to say, better than I said it…. Enjoy, please…..

À Bas Ben Adhem
                   
My fellow man I do not care for.
I often ask me, What’s he there for?
The only answer I can find
Is, Reproduction of his kind.
If I’m supposed to swallow that,
Winnetka is my habitat.
Isn’t it time to carve Hic Jacet
Above that Reproduction racket?

To make the matter more succinct:
Suppose my fellow man extinct.
Why, who would not approve the plan
Save possibly my fellow man?
Yet with a politician’s voice
He names himself as Nature’s choice.

The finest of the human race
Are bad in figure, worse in face.
Yet just because they have two legs
And come from storks instead of eggs
They count the spacious firmament
As something to be charged and sent.

Though man created cross-town traffic,
The Daily Mirror, News and Graphic,
The pastoral fight and fighting pastor,
And Queen Marie and Lady Astor,
He hails himself with drum and fife
And bullies lower forms of life.

Not that I think much depends
On how we treat our feathered friends,
Or hold the wrinkled elephant
A nobler creature than my aunt.
It’s simply that I’m sure I can
Get on without my fellow man.
     
~~ Ogden Nash ~~

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Y’all are getting the benefit of my laziness again today; a rant just doesn’t seem attractive right now…. I guess there’s only one thing to do, as I don’t have any goo Art to go with…. another old-school pearl, which will serve several purposes, at least three of which cannot be discussed in this venue without notifying certain officials, which we don’t wish to do…. so, those purposes shall remain secret, as long as y’all can keep quiet…. In fact, I insist…. Why don’t y’all have a seat right there, and listen up….

“Could you tell night from day?” “No, I regard all such distinctions as logically impossible.”  — Heraclitus

“Be ruled by time, the wisest counselor of all.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Pericles (B.C. 495-429)

“He who receives a good turn should never forget it; he who does one should never remember it.” — Charon

“The hardest part about gaining any new idea is sweeping out the false idea occupying that niche. As long as that niche is occupied, evidence and proof and logical demonstration get nowhere. But once the niche is emptied of the wrong idea that has been filling it – once you can honestly say, “I don’t know,” then it becomes possible to get at the truth.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“A free life cannot acquire many possessions, because this is not easy to do without servility to mobs or monarchs…” — Epicurus (341-270 B.C.)

“Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“If one studies too zealously, one easily loses his pants.” — Albert Einstein

Well…. This turned out quite well, thank you; balanced, sharp, and deep. Plus, a new quote from Albert that I’d never seen…. I’m happy there are still a few left in Smart Bee for me to find…. especially when they’re like this, and help to create a fine pearl…

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Wow… I got so jazzed about the potential to be finished, I forgot to close it out…. Now I haven’t a clue as to what to say here; two minutes ago I had it all planned out, but, after going back to edit, it went away, to whatever place in my mind where such ideas go to cry themselves to sleep…. Not a particularly rational image, but, poignant…. Any who, it’s done, such as it is, so, I’m outta here….. See y’all 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

Featured Image -- 2780

A burning desire for justice….

Ffolkes,

“Nadie tiene mas imaginacion que la realidad.” — Miguel de Unamuno, “El Espejo de la Muerte”, 1941

better out than in

“Nothing has more imagination than reality.” — Miguel de Unamuno, “The Mirror of Death”, 1941


This picture, which I got on the web, somewhere ( I know, it calls for more accuracy than that…. I found it in a photo feature on the London Daily Telegraph web site…..), perfectly illustrates how I feel almost every day when I am trying to create these Pearls…. Because of who I am, such a task, having been assumed as a duty, requires that I give each one my best shot, in terms of using my mind for what it was intended, to wit: …….

Okay, I’m busted, again…. That long, echoing silence you heard was me, repeating to myself all the different thoughts that were NOT running through my mind, in response to the above attempt at intellectual levity, first thing, even before the coffee has hit the blood stream…. It’s a complete wash…. I CAN’T think, at all, but, especially not of what we are supposed to be using our minds for….. Whatever it is, doing this will either help me find out, or will make it so I will never, ever have any such luck…. Luck is probably my best bet, anyway, because sheer grit isn’t going to do it, and, obviously, my vaunted intelligence isn’t completely up to the task, at least, not to the perfectionist degree for which I’m asking….

Just look at the picture, and you’ll get a better idea, anyway, of what it feels like to try to create a Pearl, and get it out to the Universe….which makes the picture all that much more appropriate, as it appears that my Pearls, and the light from this guy’s exploding consciousness, seem to be about equal, in relation to how much the Universe will pay attention…. In short, neither one of us is liable to ever become rich, famous, or notorious, or even ridiculous, very much at all… In fact, he may be at the North Pole, or thereabout, but, he’s probably got as many followers as me….

Pity party all done…. I’m just screwing around, anyway, passing time until something more coherent, or more hilarious, or even more tasteful should come along… Of course, we all know there’s a “fat chance” of any of those happening anytime soon, don’t we? Of course we do…. And we don’t go off to cry ourselves to sleep at night, either….  Just kidding again, I’m actually sleeping well… some days I just tend to go for the cheap jokes right away, or, in truth, when they present themselves. What can I say, it’s a weakness….

The normal course of events would, at this point, find me frantically trying to figure out how to extract myself from the intro section; as is patently clear, today is no exception, with the only difference to be noted in my relative feeling of calm…. I’m not overly amped, or even awake, for that matter, so, even though I AM kind of stuck here, I’m not fretting over it. That’s because I have a secret…. What is it? Well, now, if I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret any more, now would it? Nope…. So, I’ll just show you…. watch closely…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I’m in a rather strange frame of mind, even for me…. I couldn’t find any headlines that stimulated any anger, or angst, either, which is pretty new…. I’m also having trouble finding anything in my head that would potentially serve to create anything worthwhile for this section…. You know what that means, I’m sure…. Yep, a trip to the archives…. Here is a fairly short discussion, originally from November of 2012, which I think you might enjoy…. I hope so….

“He who dies a thousand deaths meets the final hour with the calmness of one who approaches a well remembered door.” — Heywood Brown

I almost passed this by when I first read it, then, after I thought a moment about it, it occurred to me that it sounds like a defense of cowardice, which is what we usually associate with the phrase “He who dies a thousand deaths”…. Upon further reflection, though, that phrase, though certainly appropriate for describing the state of uncontrolled fear that brings a human to react with cowardice, could also be used to describe some of my own experience in dealing with violence. To generalize that thought, it could be said that a person who faces situations where death is hovering nearby, always a threat to manifest its presence in reality, is also dying a death each time, because their imagination is always aware of the proximity of the possibility….

I once made the mistake of counting how many times I faced off with a person who wanted to rip my head off, and would have done so had I not acted to prevent that from becoming reality. Suffice it to say it was entirely too many times, though somewhat less than a thousand (not by much, but less….), those were enough to estimate a conclusive figure, showing how often my imagination was stimulated into conjuring visions of possible outcomes that included my own death…. which was each and every time.

Of course, the key to success in such situations is to be able to put aside, or ignore, those visions, in order to keep them from becoming real…. I learned very well to react very quickly in such situations, in a way that allowed me to control the outcome, rather than random chance or, worse, having the other party assume that control. Fortunately for all involved, I never lost…. at least, not in the sense of becoming physically injured, or dead. (Nobody else that I controlled was ever hurt or killed,  either, a fact I’m pretty proud of…. although, mental injuries are another story, entirely….)

The quote at the beginning of this entry is one I find to be a comfort to me as I get closer to the time when death will come to make my acquaintance in this lifetime. As a conscious being, I naturally have to believe that my mind, or soul, if you prefer, will not cease to exist; only a change that we do not understand will happen, one which no one has ever successfully explained with any degree of certainty. There is, of course, no evidence to support the belief that we do not merely stop existing, like the flame of a candle, when we die…. Nor any to support the idea that we will somehow “wake up” somewhere else, according to our particular set of preferences in such philosophies.

Nothing tangible can be produced, or has ever been produced, that makes such a belief a proven conclusion; contrarily, there is also no evidence available that it is not true. We each have a strong feeling that our soul is indestructible, like energy of any type, but no incontrovertible proof is available for either side of the issue. Thus, we can only hold on to our sense of spiritual connection to the universe, that part of us that knows that, like sunlight, or electricity, or heat, our conscious mind is a manifestation of energy, one which, like all the other kinds of energy we perceive, does not cease to exist, ever. It may change forms, or even types (as light can become electricity, or motion become heat….), but it does not leave the universe at all.

To me, and to certain philosophies, the qualities of water are a good example to use as a way of understanding this principle. Water cannot be destroyed. You can, by altering its temperature, cause it to change form, from ice, to water, to steam…. but it cannot be destroyed at all. Our minds, and thoughts, our spirits, if you will, can be thought of as water, ever flexible, ever changeable, yet never ceasing to exist in any way, and retaining within its being all the qualities that make it, and us, what we are…. another unique part of a beautifully complex and wonderful reality….

To me, that is, indeed, a comforting thought….

“If I am I because you are you, and if you are you because I am I, then I am not I, and you are not you” ~~ Hassidic rabbi

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Since I’ve gone off the rails with archived material, I thought I should put in a really good poem here…. Sadly, all I could find was one of my own…. sniffle, gasp, moan….

Dreaming, I wait….

In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.

Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.

Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.

Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.

Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.

When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.

Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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I’m cheating again…. I found this while cruising the archives, and it is one of the best of the Pearls from the year it was created…. Since my head is achingly, heartbreakingly empty, this will make a nice replacement for what might have otherwise gone here…. This is better, trust me….

From 11/16/2011:

Ffolkes,

Good morrow to you…. let us begin as we mean to go on….

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler

This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…. whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody….. Actually, bloody well-used-up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out, taking a a kidney with it. The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which. after all. requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush actually….

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley

This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.

What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in contains falls below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.

There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of ALL of this planet’s life forms.  Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.

You must remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday….

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein

I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, and do so out of their love of mankind. Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, and the ability to share their deep insights into life and the universe for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.

He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, and lived his life in a way that it stands as an example for the rest of us. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably….

“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau,  were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.

But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid even if incomplete. And it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness….

So much for another day…. Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory…. in the meantime, y’all take care out there….

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Today’s Pearl is one of the reasons I go with my instincts a lot…. I was going to write fresh today, but, every time I turned around, a better alternative presented itself…. So, I went with the flow, and can only say I’m glad I did…. This came out pretty well…. Now, if I can get more than five or six ffolkes to read it, or even a few more folks than normally drop by,  I’ll be happy as a clam at high tide…. See y’all 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

Featured Image -- 2780

Several times several is more than just a few….

Ffolkes,

“Man can believe the impossible, but can never believe the improbable.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

A spiral galaxy, also known as M106, about 23 million light years from Earth.

    This is a picture from NASA, of Galaxy NGC4258-M106 (translation: National Geographic Catalog #4258, Messier Catalog #106). The picture is a composite of several images, some of which were filtered to show other frequencies of radiation; this is why you seem to see six spiral arms, four of which are in the X-ray segment of the electromagnetic spectrogram…. The extra arms are an anomaly caused by the massive black hole in the galaxy’s center, which is somehow (as yet, the process is unclear…) heating the interstellar gases, then ejecting them to the outer reaches of the hole’s gravitational influence, thus pushing it completely out of the plane of the rest of the galaxy….

For me, as a lifelong amateur astronomer, it’s a rather compelling image, that demonstrates perfectly how our universe is so wondrously full of beauty we cannot see, without the aid of tools our imagination has created, to enhance our perception of all that surrounds us…. The phenomenon. as related,  is a theoretical process wherein the black hole seems to be sucking ALL of the interstellar gases up from between the stars, expelling it outside the confines of the galaxy’s shape; this will, in a mere 300 MILLION years or so, have a drastic effect on the galaxy, and how it will appear, as the material with which it WAS to make new stars is removed….

Thinking about astronomy, or astrophysics, can be rather intimidating; to think of the sheer vast reaches of space, and the size of the galaxies that fill it, tends to make us humans feel very small and insignificant….. which is why so many people avoid the hard sciences, such as astronomy, and astrophysics. This stuff isn’t easy for us to think about, nor is the math particularly simple for us to comprehend without some mental elbow grease…. Man, as a group, is pretty lazy, especially about using the mind, and, as a secondary obstacle, they are fearful of that which they don’t understand. The immensity of space can intimidate those who fear the unknown; combine that with lazy, and you see why so many people close their eyes, and minds, whenever such a subject is broached….

I wanted badly to be an astronomer, as I figured it was the best way to get to outer space; traveling to other planets and stars has been my lifelong dream. I fully intend, if given any chance at all, to die on another world, even if it is only the Moon…. That particular event is getting a bit close at hand now, so, I may not make my goal, but, there will soon be regular tourist trips to the Space Station, and there is talk, finally, of colonizing Mars by the middle of this century….

Or, if not so grand a task is possible at once, there has also been talk of setting up exploratory colonies in and on the Asteroids, the remains of the world that used to be, which now are so plentiful, sailing along in the orbit between Mars and Jupiter…. Such colonies would help determine the feasibility of such a quest, one that would demand the combined efforts of all humanity, as a species, to accomplish…. It also would give us the opportunity to test out the necessary technology, in an environment simply bursting with natural resources….

Ah well, such dreams are probably out of the realm of possibility for me, but, perhaps my grandson will walk the surface of Mars one day…. If we can manage to survive the current issues, of global warming, climate change, and our own tendency to kill each other with alarming regularity, we have a pretty good chance of it….. We’ve successfully landed three or four vehicles on other worlds now, and walked on the Moon. We have a robotic ambassador on Mars, taking pictures and trundling about the landscape, fulfilling the ultimate purpose of our innate simian curiosity, which makes the mobile science laboratory very aptly named…. For now, though, we should go on with today’s business, which brings me to this…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Terrorism: deadly violence against humans and other living things, usually conducted by government against its own people.” — Edward Abbey

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http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Government-said-to-suppress-evidence-in-Blackwater-5651089.php

Unclear, but, interesting saga of dogs trained to bite, then being punished for not wearing a muzzle, compounded by the overall high level of corruption and insanity that is ALWAYS exposed during just about any sort of war crime tribunal…. Somebody is always finding new evidence, others are disputing it, and nobody ever wants to admit the sheer futility of ALL OF IT….. According to what I read in the article, it seems that ALL the entities involved in the incident were suppressing evidence, or hiding evidence, or mouthing off with ridiculously vague statements having no value, and relation to the reality of what actually took place….

The whole issue is so stupid, it makes me crazy to think so much time and money is being spent chasing down the alleged truth in this matter, a “truth” that, when found, will have very little resemblance to anything you or I would recognize as such; nor will it have anything valid to tell us about who is to blame for what went on. Everyone involved is guilty, in my mind, so, it really is a moot issue, as far as I can tell from the available evidence…. I’ve never carried a gun…. not because I’m afraid of them, or disapprove of them, but, because I am smart enough to realize that by carrying one, I leave myself open to being shot at…..

That, to my mind, is NOT a healthy way to live…. I take the easy solution, right next to the high road, but, not so damn restrictively moral, by never carrying guns, only carry weapons that cannot be seen, along with maintaining a policy of avoiding violent situations, of any kind, as far as is humanly possible…. I spent a long time in a job where I had to BE violent every day…. or, at least, be prepared to deal with such violence at any moment. Hence, I’m not real happy when I have to experience those nasty feelings when not at work, or without overwhelmingly sufficient reason (“sufficient” being defined as “virtually impossible to justify”….), so, I do all I can to stay out of situations that can potentially lead to any sort of explosive outbreaks….

All that being said, none of what they are saying in the article, about EITHER side of the issue, is of any particular surprise to me, nor does it convince me to change my opinion of most (defined as virtually ALL….) politicians, or any other incarnation of talking head…. especially when speaking of a situation being acted out primarily by lawyers, who, as we all know, have a hard time with the truth…. Well, at least, with the truth as we all know it, anyway…. They’re pretty good at making up their own; it just doesn’t have much to do with reality in most respects….

That’s all, ffolkes. I’m being nice, and cutting off this rant, practically before I got going…. Y’all know how I feel about politicians, especially those with brainwashing, er, training as lawyers, so, there’s little need to reinforce that. Y’all also know how I feel about the truth, so, you will realize that any situation in the public venue that is concerned with a quest to find the truth is of concern to me, as I am well aware that none of the people involved in those quests have any real interest in finding it. That is especially true in a story like this one, where so many of the parties involved were, and are, engaged in criminal acts, yet, because they are supposed to have been government sanctioned, are trying to abrogate any responsibility for those criminal acts…

Almost got started again, so, we’ll go now, to put together a fine, old-school, five-star pearl, with all the points sharpened to a dangerous degree, ready to poke holes in the lies and distracting noises made by those we call “pundit”…..

“It was a saying of the ancients, “Truth lies in a well;” and to carry on this metaphor, we may justly say that logic does supply us with steps, whereby we may go down to reach the water.” — Dr. I. Watts

“By experts in poverty I do not mean sociologists, but poor men.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 3/25/11

“Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.” — Demosthenes

“The seal of truth is on thy gallant form, for none but cowards lie.” — Murphy

“Don’t overestimate the decency of the human race.” — H.L. Mencken

Smart Bee decided to make this difficult & obscure, only offering me such abstrusely eclectic aphorisms such as the above…. It works, and it’s appropriately nasty, in a strictly metaphorical sense…. I’m just thinking it could be clearer….. I like it when the quote acts like a sledgehammer to the forehead of one of the idiots I’m targeting; these act more like a stiletto, sliding between the ribs into the heart, almost without any notice, but, effectively killing any credibility they may have previously enjoyed…. So be it, gigoid has spoken…. a bit garbled, but, to completion, at least….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yep, you guessed it…. I’m lazy, so you get another of my old poems…. I will, however, compose a new haiku first, just because I can….

Old/New Glory

Political truth…
Oxymoronic, and trite.
Politics is crap.

~~ gigoid~~

This poem was written on 9/10/2012, one of the first I wrote that year, when I finally ended the 30+ year sabbatical I took, in regard to writing poetry…. As is apparent, the pain with which I so frequently live was, at least for that day, foremost in my mind, and in my concern….

Gauges of Pain

Consciousness devolves in pools of gripping fears
holding hostage any hope of serenity,
sharp stabbing motions and greedy tears
nary a moment passes without common calamity.

Always a surprise, nothing soothing ever found,
leaving only breathless clinging pain,
salvation seemingly absent, it muffles all sound,
bringing ever more sadness and rain.

Solitude is ever present to claim my time,
lonely hours and relentlessly long days,
no radio plays such music in secular rhyme
happy, vibrant voices belong to elder ways.

Life can be justified it seems to say,
by hopeful favored moments of pleasure,
seemingly friendly, pointing out the only way,
to bring back happiness in minimal measure.

Days of horror and embarrassing tears
serve ever to drive wretched hours to withhold
promising naught but sorrow in coming years,
black, bitter memories that never grow old.

Cold, cold the days fly by,
can it really be our only token?
Never to say, or know just why
the pain never stops, even when spoken…

~~ gigoid ~~

(Why, yes, yesterday was NOT a good day…. why do you ask?…..)

Griefe brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For, he tames it, that fetters it in verse.

 — John Donne ~~

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Today’s old-school pearl for this section is another self-directed grouping, put together partially from pearls found yesterday, with the final group collected during this morning’s efforts, while searching for other pearls with a specific parameter…. This self-direction brought us to a very old-style collection, with a theme best described as “Advice for the Living”, using a number of quotes, as usual, from ancient philosophers, who stated their axiomatic wisdom so eloquently, it has lasted for thousands of years, thus generously sharing their new/old wisdom with each succeeding generation of humans…. Oh, and there is something from Mark, and Alan, too…. more modern, but just as deeply insightful….

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu

“The wake does not drive the boat.” — Alan Watts

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” — Marcus Aurelius

“As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 1

“Education is the best provision for old age.” — Aristotle

“Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.” — Mark Twain

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” — Philo

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Today’s Pearl has been brought to you by the letter U, and the number six…. Don’t ask me why, because they never tell me. I can tell you, however, we’re done, so, whatever brought us to this point, it has served its purpose admirably…. We shall honor that service, by heeding the call for a quick, and dignified exit…. which will be a big surprise to all concerned, I’m sure…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, as long as the space-time continuum holds its shape that long….

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

Featured Image -- 2780

Maybe we should use another connotation of “stiff”…..

Ffolkes,

“The supreme irony of life is hardly anyone ever gets out of it alive.” — Robert Heinlein
portly puffin


Ffolkes, I don’t know about y’all, but, it’s my considered opinion that’s one damn silly looking puffin. Between the fat little body (which only appears that way; he’s actually about right for a seabird living in the cold Atlantic ocean…), the mouthful of dead fishies, (which goes to show it’s a pretty efficient fisher….), and that silly expression (do birds really HAVE expressions? If so, how do they do that without eyebrows?) Most importantly, why am I even THINKING about any of this, when I’ve got a Pearl to write?….

Oh well, such is life here at ECR…. I should probably tell you the picture came from the London Daily Telegraph, out of a weekly feature of theirs, called the Animal Pictures of the Week…. There are always some good shots in there, but, this one was irresistible…. If it wasn’t a wild creature, you’d want to take this little guy home with you, wouldn’t you? I know I would; he’s about as cute as can be….. Of course, no wild creature should ever be caged, in my opinion, nor made into a “pet”…

I do enjoy going to the zoo, but, in my heart, I grieve the entire time, for the loss of freedom for creatures who are made to live in the wild. I always end up sad, feeling their sadness, too, the sorrow felt by all those prisoners, of Mankind’s overbearing, completely misplaced sense of entitlement, SUPPOSEDLY given him by that first part in the Bible, that manual of idiocy spawned by a number of fanatical fear mongers over the course of centuries, wherein some asshole made the absolutely false statement that convinced everyone that we have “dominion” over the other creatures with whom we live…. It is especially hard for me to watch the large predators, such as bears, or the big cats, who, after a time, become neurotic and crazy from being confined their entire lives….

I know, it’s probably a little early to start a religirant, especially when it’s an attack on a book revered by such a large percentage of people. But, some days, my anger, at those bloody manipulative assholes, who make up the whole misogynistic structure of modern religious thinking, is just too huge for me to keep inside…. Jimmy Carter made what I consider one of the most cogent statements I’ve ever heard, about how men have perverted even religious dogma, one that SHOULD have been echoing back and forth across the world when it was made…. but, nobody paid any attention…. It went like this….

jimmy sez

    It is a small step from treating animals like property, to do with as we wish, to treating women, children, and anyone who will submit as if they are of no importance, as if the rights of one aggressive, confused person are more valid than the rights of a woman, a child, or an animal…. All it takes is the innate cowardice  that enables one to completely abjure any sort of true humanity, choosing instead the path taken by religious assholes for millennia, thus perpetuating the myths and false assumptions upon which the entire society has been built, and ensuring that women, children, and animals will suffer the perils of persecution and cruelty from men with no scruples….

Ah me…. There is no doubt that I’ve created a monster here; I kind of wish I had an explosive nuclear device with which to kill it, but, it’s rather amorphous, without shape or form one may grasp & hold, and may be hard to destroy…. I know, we can always laugh at it; that always seems to work on bullies, so it should work on these guys, for sure…. Of course, then we have to deal with the mess they always leave behind, but, that’s better than the alternative, for sure…. In fact, that’s such a grand idea, I’m going to make a unilateral decision here, by kicking us completely out of the intro, on into the next section….. I’ll do that, right about HERE….

Shall we Pearl?….

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free your very existence becomes an act of rebellion.” — Albert Camus

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I think I hurt myself, ranting like that before I was even awake…. Now, when I consider trying to work up the chutzpah to rant some more, I experience a sense of crushing fatigue, and extreme reluctance to get started….. In short, I’m feeling lazy…. To try to appease my sense of duty, we’ll put an old-school pearl in this section, then make another field decision later, when we get as far as section three…. It’s probably futile, but, it sounds like a plan to me, so, off we go, diving for dollars, or, more accurately, pearls of virtual wisdom….

“Men only learned to walk upright cause they put beer on the top shelf!” — Smart Bee

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty–power is ever stealing from the many to the few.” — Wendell Phillips

“The tragic lesson of guilty men walking free in this country has not been lost on the criminal community.” — Richard M. Nixon

“And we are told in the Scriptures that at the beginning of time the Lord  said, “Let there be light.” But I’ve checked this out with a number of eminent biblical scholars. The Lord’s complete statement was as follows:  “Let there be light. Well, maybe not all day.” — Steve Allen

“Sin is a dangerous toy in the hands of the virtuous. It should be left to the congenitally sinful, who know when to play with it and when to let it alone.” — H. L. Mencken

“A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights.” — Napoleon Bonaparte, “Maxims” 1804-1815

Okay, so here’s the deal….This last little part is the perfect lawyer’s joke, as it takes aim at them from a number of directions, each striking well at their pointy little heads…. It doesn’t really fit the usual image of a pearl, but, it just went so well with the rest, I couln’t resist…. Here then, I give you our very fine closing pearl for today….

A lawyer shows up at the pearly gates. St. Peter says, “Normally we don’t let you people in here but you’re in luck, we have a special this week. You
go to hell for the length of time you were alive, then you get to come back up here for eternity.”

The lawyer says, “I’ll take the deal.”

St. Peter says, “Good, I’ll put you down for 212 years in hell …”

The lawyer says, “What are you talking about? I’m 65 years old!”

St. Peter says, “Up here we go by billing hours.”

– Orson Bean

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First, here’s a haiku, fresh….

Complete

I am, at last, done.
Nothing more to say, not now.
I shall go away.

~~ gigoid ~~


Now, to give this joint a little class, here’s a classic…

Witch Burning

In the marketplace they are piling the dry sticks.
A thicket of shadows is a poor coat. I inhabit
The wax image of myself, a doll’s body.
Sickness begins here: I am the dartboard for witches.
Only the devil can eat the devil out.
In the month of red leaves I climb to a bed of fire.

It is easy to blame the dark: the mouth of a door,
The cellar’s belly. They’ve blown my sparkler out.
A black-sharded lady keeps me in parrot cage.
What large eyes the dead have!
I am intimate with a hairy spirit.
Smoke wheels from the beak of this empty jar.

If I am a little one, I can do no harm.
If I don’t move about, I’ll knock nothing over. So I said,
Sitting under a potlid, tiny and inert as a rice grain.
They are turning the burners up, ring after ring.
We are full of starch, my small white fellows. We grow.
It hurts at first. The red tongues will teach the truth.

Mother of beetles, only unclench your hand:
I’ll fly through the candle’s mouth like a singeless moth.
Give me back my shape. I am ready to construe the days
I coupled with dust in the shadow of a stone.
My ankles brighten. Brightness ascends my thighs.
I am lost, I am lost, in the robes of all this light.

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~

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My reluctance to get started on a rant has not merely continued, but grown since last we spoke on this, above in section one…. Rather than subject y’all to yet another obscure grouping of pearls, we’ll go with some artwork…. Here are some pictures I’ve collected from the Net in the last few days &/or weeks, some with animals, a gorgeous landscape, and one brilliant political meme…. The attribution for these pictures is either SFGATE, the London Daily Telegraph, or the UK Guardian, which are my primary sources for news and pictures on the web…. Enjoy!…..

mantis howdyfrogmouth owlSolent News & Photo AgencyPOTD_Golden_Gate_2968182kget the lens cap eddiebrilliant Perry memewhat is that chameleon doing
I would caution you to NOT anthropomorphize the last picture…. It would be very easy, but, completely WRONG, so don’t do it….

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Well, that was interesting…. and I mean that in ALL of its senses…. I’m not going to fuss with even thinking about how it turned out, as it sort of got away from me rather quickly today…. I’m trusting my instincts just to post this, knowing it could be the end of all my hopes and dreams…. Well, that’s probably a bit dramatic, and overblown as to risk, but, hey, hyperbole can be fun, when used with some care…. Since that isn’t going to happen around here, I’ll find my way to the exit, and we’ll all be happy….. Well, until tomorrow, when I get up, and do it all again….. See y’all later, 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

Featured Image -- 2780

Turn left at the garden gnome….

Ffolkes,

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy.  If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem.  But I arise in the morning torn
between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” — E. B. White

test shotss 006

    All I can say about today’s opening picture, which happens to be from my camera, is, there’s one in every crowd, isn’t there?…. But, then, the one that just HAD to be independent, sleeping apart, (though, you will note, still connected….) from the rest, DID end up in the ONLY little bit of sunlight to be found, didn’t he/she?….. I guess there is something to be said for the independent spirit, after all…. I always did like that George Carlin quote, about the word “team”,. the word “I”, and Mrs. Grundy, which, conveniently, you see just below……


george sez 

   Now, I know what you’re thinking, and it just isn’t so…. Of course, that could be a lie, but, I don’t generally start the day out by lying to my Gentle Readers…. in fact, given my feelings about lies, and the lying liars who tell them, I do try not to engage in it at all…. We all know it isn’t possible to keep from EVER lying; otherwise, there would be millions of dead husbands out there, who forgot themselves when their wife asked them “does this (dress/pants/blouse/expression) make me look fat?”…. Not all of us can remember the ONLY possible safe answer to that question, which is “does this face make me look stupid?”

Okay, now that I’ve done my part to keep the war between the sexes on full alert, and to further the incredibly sexist stereotypes that the war encourages us to hold, we can get on with whatever is going to take place today….. What that may be remains to be seen, though it could be rather new, fresh, and exciting…. We’ve already started off with more Art than normal, but, normalcy isn’t one of our goals, so that’s normal….. and confusing, I’m sure…. Don’t fret, it won’t leave any stains….

Of course, it could leave a few bruises, and/or scars, but, that’s just part of living, right? Now, at this point, I’m betting you are wondering just how I’m going to pull this off. Here we are, well into the intro, with some good Art, and a couple of not-too-shabby jokes, with nothing appropriate to go along with such apparently endless competence….. which is surely an unexpected visitor here at ECR…. Of course, at this point, I’m very aware that most of y’all are VERY, VERY confused, or, if not, VERY, VERY stoned, and don’t care…..

That’s okay, so am I…. stoned and confused, that is…. Well, actually, having only been up for a little less than an hour, I’m not stoned enough, but, that’s an issue with an easy fix…. An issue which, given that I am the owner of this domain, and, thus, do possess the powers of a Time Lord while operating this blog, has been duly fixed…. a roundabout way to say I’ve consumed sufficient cannabinoids to have reached an appropriate level of that tenuous, yet firm cross between silly and profound, which characterizes the state of a mind so enhanced….

In fact, I have been enhanced sufficiently for me to realize we’ve done it again….. The intro has, in its quest to achieve some sort of reasonably attractive format, grown to a point where, even if it should all of a sudden become brilliant and compelling, which, thus far has escaped us, it is of legal size, and shape, to fill the bill, or the william, if you prefer… In other words, we’re outta here!….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” — J. C. Watts

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I’m not in the mood to rant, though I do feel up to some rude comments…. So, we’ll go with the weird-style pearl, with some links to articles in the news that caught my eye, followed by an old-school pearl, to finish poking at the Asininnies we have unearthed, pursuing their insane personal agendas on the public stage….

http://blog.sfgate.com/crime/2014/07/25/surrounded-by-cops-15-year-old-was-detained-so-search-was-invalid-court-says/

Encouraging, at least minimally, to see a judge acknowledging the aggressive, confrontational tactics of the police in such matters, not to mention having the guts to rule against them, thus placing the onus of responsibility to control such attitudes squarely on their shoulders, where it belongs. The police in this country are very nearly out of control, and only the few cops with actual integrity and the character needed to do society’s third most thankless job, i.e. a character that is founded on the belief in service, protection, and honor…. Not the current attitude of most police officers, which is closer to displaying a pathological need to assert authority, and the need to feel entitled, that the laws do not apply to them….

The last characteristic is the one that bothers me the most, as so many officers I see on the streets are of this ilk…. They cruise around town in their “unit”, speeding, ignoring lane markers and signals, NEVER using a turn-signal, and so obviously profiling in their choices of whom to stop to investigate…. They dress like they are military, they cut their hair as short as they can, to maintain the camaraderie and discipline of the military lifestyle, and even use military insignia and rank designations in their internal command structure…. Not to mention how many police and sheriff’s departments around the country are outfitting and equipping themselves with old military hardware, such as modified tanks, personnel carriers, and automatic weaponry….

Any who, it’s nice to see them suffer a setback in their campaign to eliminate all of our civil rights…. just sayin’, they know their job will be easier, once all of our rights are gone, so, they’ll do all they can to see that happen, ffolkes…. Count on it….

“It is the natural order of things. Nothing can alter it. The strong take, the weak surrender.” — Sepp von Plum

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/San-Bruno-E-mails-show-cozy-ties-between-state-5647686.php?cmpid=hp-hc-bayarea

Not so encouraging, nor at all surprising to me, this article relates evidence of the corruption existing in the state government, as encouraged and exploited by the corporate lackeys who inhabit the megacorp energy Goliath, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., an amorphous corporate entity that has  been ripping off the public at an astonishing rate for over a century, in full lockstep with legislators, governors, and any other elected official with their hand out…. I’m not even going to bother with exploring too deeply into this issue; I have a feeling it would merely distract me from issues I am more inclined to follow…. which saves you some ranting, and me some angst, ultimately, so no complaining….

I will say this however….. from what the article says, the agency that is supposed to oversee, and regulate the public sector utility companies is CLEARLY under the influence of the corporation…. The tone of the emails from both ends are clear in their implications of collusion, and show exactly what the article says is the most dangerous outcome, to wit: the agency and the company are behaving as if they have the same agenda, all in favor of the company, and screw the public…. Now, I would say that this isn’t all that uncommon, nor unexpected…. What is both unexpected, and uncommon, in my view, is the incredibly naive attitudes of the regulators, to think that they are NOT being duped, or exhibiting massive levels of stupidity….

Corruption isn’t just a danger in our government, ffolkes, it’s a reality, and that’s the truth….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/26/former-cia-officials-access-senate-torture-report

“Torture is illegal under US law. CIA officials dispute that water boarding amounted to torture.”

The line directly above this one is an excerpt from the article to which the link provides a path. In my view, it makes a decent summary of the whole issue involved, and, at the same time, amounts to a good statement of WHY the issue is so important…. There are currently two, if not more, viewpoints on the subject of torture that are in conflict, both sides of which are in different segments of the very small group of people who are in control of our government….

To me, the whole issue, in every respect, and with every single controversial point that is raised, is merely evidence of how the people in our government have no connection at all to reality, (not the one I inhabit, anyway…..), nor to anything remotely important to the public over whom they have authority. The agendas that each and every one of the people mentioned in the article have nothing to do with making anything better for the populace; it is all about securing and maintaining their own power base, keeping the public unaware of the truth, and making them afraid of the enemy (whomever that might currently be….)

The issues related in this article are all just smoke, designed to distract the public from the real issue, which is, as Eric Snowden told us, the simple fact that our own government is spying on us, (and, everyone else in the entire world, even their FRIENDS….), lying to us about it, using water boarding and other methods of torture, to go along with the more cowardly methods of warfare (such as bombing the crap out of whomever we wish to subdue….), to pursue their own fearful, insane, illogical agenda of war, based on the fear they continuously try to engender and fan into flames, with their partial truths, hints of controversy, and outright lies, their stock in trade for controlling the emotions, and the minds, (such as they are) of the general public….

That’s probably more than enough for one day…. It’s sure taken long enough…. in fact, it’s long enough we won’t need an entire old-school pearl, but can settle for one good one to finish off the matter…. You can take this one as gospel, ffolkes, and apply it to this treatise, if you wish, to help prove its worth…. See, I’m  not making any money for any of this, so I can speak the truth without any fear of influence by anyone else…. which cannot be said of our entire ruling class, for they live by this….

“When money speaks, the truth is most often silent.” — Smart Bee

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I don’t know yet what poem will go here, but, I’m sure it’ll be good, so, please enjoy…. Ah, well, you get one of mine again, just because they’re already here, so I don’t have to search for them, just pick one…. I’ll try to pick one you haven’t seen in a while…. Okay, got it…. here is one from October of 2012, which may be the first one I wrote after my decades-long hiatus from writing any poetry at all….  It’s not bad, actually, and I hope you enjoy it…

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 ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now we can get back to normal, such as that is around here, with an old-school pearl…. I think I’ll let Smart Bee pick out the parameters today; it’s been a little sticky and edgy about giving me any really good pearls today, so maybe, if I let it have its head for a bit, it will cease hiding the best stuff… It’s worth a shot, anyway…. Let’s pearl, ffolkes….

“Never argue with a Scorpio–even if you win, you lose.” — Smart Bee, with some damn good advice

“To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne –

“When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), “Caesar and Cleopatra”, Act III

“I find that the further I go back, the better things were, whether they happened or not.” — Mark Twain

“A dead end street is a good place to turn around.” — Naomi Judd

“Reality is a hypothesis.” — Tugwell’s Basic Assumption

“That parrot is definitely deceased.” — Smart Bee

Hmm…. This is, without a doubt, one of the most eclectic, obscure pearls I’ve ever seen, even for Smart Bee. Most times, when a quote from SB brackets the pearl like this, it can be considered fairly solid, and is generally quite clear in its tone, if not its intended target…. This one makes us think right from the start, and then stretches our imagination to the limit with the last line, which is obviously an obscure literary reference to the short story, “Gaudy Night”, a parody of the Dorothy L. Sayers’ series of detective novels and stories involving Lord Peter Wimsey, and, in spite of its obscurity, quite a brilliant metaphorical finish to the pearl…. Really, trust me….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m not entirely sure of what happened here this morning…. I’ve been at this for nearly three hours, with breaks for pain-reduction activities, but, it doesn’t feel as if I’ve done much…. Then, when I go back to look, I see I’ve gone and gotten completely carried away, with what can be termed another epic Pearl, mostly fresh, with some Art, and the whole nine yards…. I’ll take it, and run, just because I can…. Well, plus, I don’t want to have to start over…. I’ll see y’all 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

Featured Image -- 2780

Let’s prime the pump with sad kittens….

Ffolkes,

“To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.” — Hippocrates
One Pan Grilled Seafood & Vegetable Paella

    Ah, hell…. with all of the incredible vastness of space and time… and I end up here…. Tell me, what good is it having the power of a Time Lord, and never being allowed to use it without factoring in entropy’s influence? Calculating temporal slippage with pencil and paper just isn’t working out, and nobody can find me a decent slide rule at a price I can live with; I keep ending up back here, when I’m trying to get back into the future…  Actually, I’m only here because I couldn’t find the Tardis at all this morning, having forgotten, again, where I parked it…. Or, maybe that was WHEN I parked it? Hmm… I’ll have to check that later….

Above, you see a picture of the signature dish made by the Balaguer family, at their small, but popular and busy restaurant in the Bay Area. The dish, called “One Pan Grilled Seafood & Vegetable Paella”,  is made according to the traditional family recipe, just as served in the family’s restaurants in Spain, where the dish was originally perfected, passed down to each succeeding generation .

I found the picture and recipe in an article in the food section at SFGATE on the web, so you can too, by searching at the site under the name of the dish… I love paella, and this version looks amazingly delicious, by visual evidence, (obviously…. ya gotta love that food photography….), and by my scan of the ingredients and procedure…. (I’ll bet y’all sometimes forget I’m a chef…. one look tells me all I need to know about what it will taste like….) It will be expensive, but, about a dozen people will be incredibly happy with their tummies when I try it out….

Paella has always been a favorite of mine, since first being exposed to it at a night out while in college. Then, later in life, I attended culinary school, in 1986-87; naturally, when it was my turn to cook lunch for the entire school (as the production chef for the daily employee and student lunch, one of our assigned tasks), I chose to make paella according to the traditional Spanish recipe common to all the regions, with shrimp, chicken, and Andouille sausage, along with the saffron rice that characterizes the dish…..

The hard part of that deal was the fact that I was making the dish for about 300-400 culinary students, including housekeeping, and office staff, as well as generally having about 30 or so restaurant & hotel business teachers/instructors, including the Wine Editor for the Wine Spectator, an industry magazine, who was teaching a class in wines that week. (Cooking as chef for a meal for the chefs who instructed us each day, at lunch and dinner, was another assignment, for last semester students….) By the time it was done (it’s a long process, and labor intensive for that many people), I was sick of tasting it, so couldn’t really tell if it was as good as I wanted…. but, nobody got sick, and I got a lot of kudos for a good meal from a lot of people I respected, so, I was happy with it….

Oh, gosh, look… I’ve blathered and nattered and piffled around, talking about the picture, and the old days so long, I’ve completed a full-sized intro, though it doesn’t really provide much of a lead in, to anything other than, possibly, brunch…. but, it’s still legal, and that’s all we care about here, even if we are delusional about being royal…. We’re not so delusional we believe it, though, which is our saving grace, as it were…

For now, let it be enough to know I’m not dangerous, or violent… not any more. I served my time, and have had therapy up the yin-yang…. Besides, they never found those deleted files, so, I’m clear of all that….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Some things don’t need the thought people give them.” — Calvin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m up late, after a long, HOT day yesterday, during which I did very little beyond pant in front of the fan, sleep, and complain about the heat…. Well, not the last part; I just wanted to…. I didn’t have the energy to go look for rantable material, so, y’all will have to make to with the following, which is more of a short discussion than a rant…. though it does have some rant-like qualities, as it takes some mild shots at our old friends, the talking heads of Washington, D.C…..

From 1/15/2013:

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”  — Udana Varga, c. 500 B. C.

This particular rephrasing of the Golden Rule from ancient India shows how long the concept has been around; in fact, it is a rephrasing of writings that are even older. This rule of behavior in society has been commonly held knowledge since the beginning of civilization, whenever one chooses to mark that date. Given that presence in the basket of things that are known by all, it brings to mind the question, “Why the fuck doesn’t anyone do this?”….. Well, that’s what came into MY mind, so deal with it…..

The Golden Rule is accepted by all societies on Earth as being the key to a peaceful existence, yet those who consistently ignore it, and break it with regularity, seem to always end up as the ones who are in charge of that self-same society. Everyone alive knows the rule, but many choose to not follow its advice and direction, instead making it their purpose in life to acquire power over others, giving them both the ability, and the right, to harm others at their whim. I say right, because we have only those rights we can defend, and we, the common folk, do not defend ourselves against the BRC…. most of the time, whatever the BRC says is passively accepted by society, sometimes with regret and resignation, but mostly with reluctant acquiescence.

Me, I’ve never really been able to grasp what it is in those people, that allows them to hurt others without suffering pangs of guilt. I know it is possible to suffer feelings such as that, and still ignore them, but it seems to me like those in power have learned to not even feel the guilt, having somehow come to be able to justify their desire for power as rational and right, rather than evil and cruel. It’s as if they come to decide they are destined to lord it over others, and thus feel only satisfaction at the suffering of others. It doesn’t make any sense to my world view, but, I understand that is how it works for them. Sick bastards….

Yes sick…. in my mind, any person who wants a public office in this country, one requiring election, is a sick person, riddled with all sorts of delusions and aggrandizement, and should be isolated from the rest of us, as it (greedy ambition, and the desire for power) can be a contagious condition. I don’t care how many logical sounding arguments or positions the person is able to spew out, they are mentally ill, and should be forced into treatment, for the safety of all society.

In fact, I think it would be a good thing if we started talking about some political control, rather than gun control. I think the political world needs regulation much more than do guns…. Guns are going to be used against people, it is what they were designed for, and people aren’t going to give them up, or stop doing crazy stuff with them, just because of a few regulations…. But, the politicians NEED to be regulated, much more than they are, and it really can’t wait…..

“Under every stone lurks a politician.” — Aristophanes

This particular subject is an easy rant for me, with all the major characteristics of a good subject right out there to see and write about. As such, I could probably go on all day without running out of stuff to poke at in this area of human nature. But, I’ve made my point, I think, so we’ll save some of the energy for later. Let it suffice to say, how someone feels about the Golden Rule is usually a good indicator of how they feel about politicians, et al.

A real politician will look you in the eye, tell you they support the Golden Rule wholeheartedly, then will turn right around and say the exact opposite to your enemy. to gain their support. And, they’ll never feel a moment’s guilt over doing so…. If they did, how could they ever consider trying to be elected in the first place? Just wanting that kind of power is a clear sign of mental illness, guaranteed….

“My CODE of ETHICS is vacationing at famed SCHROON LAKE in upstate New York!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

I was done with this, but fate intervened…. Just to show how our culture has developed under the influence of the delusions fostered by the lies of the BRC, consider this, which I found in the 13th Bathroom Reader….

One of our cultural myths says that the soldiers at Valley Forge under Washington during the Revolutionary War starved during winter because there was no food anywhere for them. The truth is, there was plenty of food, but the farmers in Valley Forge sold it all to the British Army, who were able to pay cash….

Kind of takes away from the grandeur of the alleged events, and puts the lie to any elements of implied nobility, doesn’t it? Conversely, it does rather support what I’ve outlined above, wouldn’t you say?…… Sick puppies, all of them, and always ready, and willing, to take advantage of human greed….

“If any man can convince me and bring home to me that I do not think or act aright, gladly will I change; for I search after truth, by which man never yet was harmed. But he is harmed who abideth on still in his deception and ignorance.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, vi, 21

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I realize that I am an odd duck; the large, red, noisy nose is a dead giveaway…. Like most of us who fit into this particular category, I don’t much care, nor do I spend any time worrying about trying to change that. Another of the probable methods to be able to successfully identify those such as myself is our eclectic taste in poetry…. and who, may I ask, is more eclectic than Emily?….. Nobody…. To my way of thinking, there’s nobody better, either…..

A Clock Stopped — Not The Mantel’s

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 ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Most likely, I don’t have to tell y’all what will come next; if you’ve been here before, you’ll recognize the signs and symptoms. If not, well, you’ll be okay; lots of lesser ffolkes have already lived through it, so, you will too…. No doubt, you’ve got some preconceived notions of what a pearl should be like, or, if not, some preferences… All I can suggest is for you to leave them at home, for they will NOT serve you here….

That being said, here is a random, harlequin pearl, with parameters known only to whatever gods may be in the vicinity…. I sure don’t have a clue…. I just write ‘em…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it promises to be a good one, after a fashion….

“All my life I have had an awareness of other times and places.” — The Star Rover, by Jack London, 1914

All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.

– William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) — Thanatopsis

“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)

“Consider the little mouse, how sagacious an animal it is which never entrusts its life to one hole only.” — Plautus (254-184 BC) – Truculentus, Act iv, Sc. 4, 15, (868.)

Power, like a desolating pestilence,
Pollutes whate’er it touches…

– Percy Bysshe Shelley

“If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” — Clint Eastwood

“Although our information is incorrect, we do not vouch for it.” — Satie

I was right, again….. and, no, it doesn’t get old….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, this has been an interesting morning, to say the least (something I have a hard time with, obviously….). Even the ending came up on me quickly, so I am unsure of just what to put here today…. I guess I’ll just say, I hope you enjoyed today’s effort, and I’ll see you tomorrow…. Anything else would be anticlimactic….. Y’all be cool, now, hear?…..

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

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Save the big pieces for recycling…..

Ffolkes,

Everything is in a state of metamorphosis. Thou thyself art in everlasting change and in corruption to correspond; so is the whole universe.

~~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus ~~

(121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 19

July 22 2014 016 (2)


Marcus Aurelius, one of the great minds from mankind’s relatively brief, but ‘interesting’ past, is a member of the large group of scholars, all of whom lived prior to the birth of Christ that defines the modern calendar, whose words have survived the intervening centuries to give us the boon of their wisdom.

The influence these men have had on me is obvious, not only in my writing here, but in my entire approach to living. As evidence, I refer you to Peruaosophy, the codification of all I have learned in my life, in eight axioms of belief I hold to be most critical to living well, with courage, and compassion. The most cursory view of what I created shows, in Axiom #2, exactly how the words above fit into my world-view, to wit:

“The nature of the Universe is Change. Unpredictable, innovative transformation of the Reality is the Norm; if you have a problem with this, you are in for a rough ride in Life.”

I admit, my attempt at bringing a bit of humor to the issue isn’t exactly up to the standards of, oh, say, Saturday Night Live’s material, but, I think it works pretty well for what it is. Moreover, using it for the intro section today has eliminated a lot of the usual amount of waffling I go through to get started…. this has been almost like an assignment, with the parameters of what I am to write set out beforehand….. Gosh, it’s almost like being a reporter, or a writer for a magazine, with deadlines, and everything!….

Of course, there is a big difference…. I’m not getting paid for this, nor is anyone going to pay to read it, as far as I know…. I don’t THINK WordPress is charging admission these days….. I wouldn’t get used to THAT, though, if the FCC goes through with their apparent acceptance of Comcast’s bribe….. There HAS to be one in there somewhere; they just haven’t found the bank yet….

How else could they make the decision to give away net neutrality, allowing the big communication corporations to hijack the internet for their profit margins, when so many MILLIONS of citizens have already voiced their opposition to it? The web site the FCC set up to take the public’s opinions went down more than once, inundated by Americans giving their opinions on the subject of net neutrality, with opposition to the proposed changes to current policy running nearly 99%…. that leaves only 1% in support of changing the laws to allow corporations to charge us all up the butt for our access…, or, actually, that 1% is probably less than that, as those votes in support are probably all from Verizon, Comcast, and the like….

Oops…. Once again, I’ve begun my ranting in the intro….. Just can’t seem to help myself; when I say something about what is happening around us in society, the rant just starts coming out, much as poetry leaks out when it’s ready….. One day, perhaps, I’ll have a better handle on the creative process, and it won’t affect me so strongly to write about powerful subjects; for now, though, I suppose it’s helpful to know I’ve always got enough angst in there to come up with even a mini-rant, should the opportunity present itself….

In addition to the added insight I’ve managed to gain this morning, I have also managed to get this intro done, again, without even halfway noticing what I was up to….. It’s getting almost too easy, even when I consider the disadvantages of such early composition, when the brain is still half-way mired in sleep. Not that I’m implying it’s easy…. nope, not going there…. But, for today, it’s done, so…. Oh, yeah…. the picture is mine, of a nice, pretty bush I noticed while walking….. The shot sort of composed itself, with the great contrast of the two sharp colors… Okay, NOW we’re done….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Purity engenders Wisdom, Passion avarice, and Ignorance folly, infatuation and darkness.” — Bhagavad Gita (c. B.C. 400)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.” — Edward Abbey

Now, this is a robust little statement, and worthy of a good politirant….. It’s really too bad the angst and inner turmoil I noted above has somehow disappeared into thin air….. (Why “thin” air? Do things disappear better in air that has less fat? Wouldn’t “fat” air do that better? And what’s with the obsession with being thin?….. These are the kinds of things that occur to me sometimes…. Answers may be submitted in the comments, should one strike you as appropriate for the venue….) I guess such flakiness isn’t all that unusual, just frustrating, when I had planned to dump some of this on y’all….. Now, it’s going to sit in there, and probably rot…..

I know, y’all don’t really care, do you? I figured not, so, I’ve already warmed up Smart Bee, and we’ll throw together an old-school pearl to fill in for the missing rant….. We will make it as pointedly critical of the corporate assholes and their political cronies as we can…. That’s me and SB today, not the royal “we”…. I’m trying to cut down on that, but, it’s hard…. I feel so royal much of the time, you know…. Any who, enjoy the pearls, and the pearl….

“If man evolved from the ape, how come there are still apes around?”

“Some of them were given choices.”

– Johnny Hart’s comic strip B.C.

“All bigots will be reincarnated as gay, homeless people of color!” — Smart Bee

“As to values, I was taught — and still believe — that a sense of honor is necessary to personal self-respect; that duty, recognizing an individual’s subordination to community welfare, is as important as rights; that loyalty, which is based on the trustworthiness of honorable men, is still a virtue; and that work and self-discipline are as essential to individual happiness as they are to a viable society. Indeed, I still believe in patriotism — not if it is limited to parades and flag-waving, but because worthy national goals and aspirations can be realized only through love of country and a desire to be a responsible citizen.” — Lewis F. Powell (Former Supreme Court Justice)

(The critical part of this quote’s inclusion is the simple FACT that this, nor anything remotely LIKE this, can NOT be attributed to ANY of the current batch of justices, save, possibly, one or two of them…. nor can I imagine ANY current politician coming remotely near such sentiments….. This is an example of the kind of men who USED to be produced in this country…. I don’t know of anyone who currently could be associated, even in one’s mind, with the nobility implied in these statements….)

“I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I speak the truth, and they never believe me.” — Conte Camillo Benso di Cavour

Virtue, dear friend, needs no defence,
The surest guard is innocence:
None knew, till guilt created fear,
What darts or poison’d arrows were.

– Horace (B.C. 65-8)

“And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the bible were used to beat plowshares into swords…” — Alan Watts

“If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.” — Noam Chomsky

I like the finishing line; it’s pretty accurate, once you realize he had to have said that before Jimmy Carter was in office…. Carter will be known as one of the least effective presidents, but, he will also be known as, by far, the most ethical man to hold the office…. ever….. I kid you not, that is how I believe the next century will view the whole issue, once some historical perspective is gained…. In the meantime, we still have, and will have, all those other assholes to deal with, so, I hope you enjoyed the target practice….

Ooh, ooh….. you’ve got to see this one…. I was done, but while searching for pearls for section three, this one came up, and fits so well with this critique of the political animal, I have to add it on as a bonus….. You’ll thank me, I know it, because this, ffolkes, is FUNNY…. and, oh so typically true, not just of Dan the Q., but, for many, many of those who exist in the political world….

“Well, it looks as if the top part fell on the bottom part.” — Vice President Dan Quayle referring to the collapsed section of the 880 freeway after the San Francisco earthquake of 1989. — [This may be a joke; the source is unclear. But it's still funny.] — Smart Bee

Actually, I remember this quote from that time: I lived in the Bay Area during that quake, and distinctly remember Quayle’s visit, as it provided a LOT of local writers and comedians with material for weeks…. I can also state, without a single doubt, my belief that he was trying to be sincere, and give the reporters a clear quote; in the process, the lack of any sort of intelligent noise in his head made itself abundantly obvious how clueless he was, and is… In short, he wasn’t TRYING to be funny, but, with his usual total lack of aplomb, managed to create yet another example of his close resemblance to Bozo, the Clown…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Y’all will have to endure my poetry once again, as I took WAY too long putting these pearls together; it’s getting late, and I want to get this posted…. Here is one I wrote, sort of along the lines of the loose theme for today….. I think…. whatever….. Actually, it seems my mind was being precognitive not long ago, when I wrote the following poem, almost EXACTLY according to the theme we’ve followed today…. I enjoyed writing this one; it’s one of the most recent to be bled out…..

A Few Words of Note

In place of ranting and raving about assholes every day
maybe I’ll try something more fun.
Rather than throwing words at all the assholes on public pay
I’ll switch to shooting at them, with a gun….

Should I actually hit one, purely by mistake,
maybe it would wake them up.
Maybe, if they had to think, or actually cut us a break,
we’d see a chance to win at life, to take a step up.

Our nation, such as it is today, was founded by men who told the truth;
that morality disappeared long ago.
Simple ethical strength so bright, so prevalent in our country’s youth
was soon corrupted, corporate interests now run the show.

Nothing would please me more than to fire off some rounds,
if only to gain their attention.
But, I can no longer run, I’ve gained too many pounds;
so, my keyboard and intellect must serve to fulfill my intention.

I won’t stop, of that you may be sure
I love my freedoms, and the philosophy from which it springs.
Tom, and Ben, and John, and Pat, those patriots pure
gave me their example, and the inner peace it brings.

If bullets won’t persuade our elected liars to toe the ethical line,
I’ll throw my most powerful words…..
If nothing else, it will make them wriggle to escape, or voice their pitiful whine,
thus exposing themselves for what they are…. plain and simple turds.

~~ gigoid ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Y’all win today; no rant at all, save for the mini-rant in the intro….. I just don’t feel like it. Hence, another old-school pearl, this one with very flexible parameters, to give the picture it will paint a large, nebulous, blank canvas upon which to place its visions….. Enjoy!….

“Virtue is a habit of the mind, consistent with nature and moderation and reason.” — Cicero (B.C. 106-43)

“In giving advice seek to help, not to please, your friend.” — Solon

“Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” — Demosthenes, Athenian orator and statesman

“By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.” — Albert Camus

“It is the besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law.This is the usual form in which the masses of men exhibit their tyranny.” — James Fenimore Cooper, _The American Democrat_ (1838)

“A fly bit the bare pate of a bald man, who in endeavoring to crush it gave himself a hard slap. Then said the fly jeeringly, “You wanted to revenge the sting of a tiny insect with death; what will you do to yourself, who have added insult to injury?”” — Phaedrus (c. 8 A.D.) — Book v, Fable 3, 1

Instead of being born again, why not just grow up?” — Smart Bee

Whew!….. It tried to turn on me, but, I managed to haul it back, and it came out fairly well…. The last line pulled it all together quite well, I think…. But, then, I did write it, so, my opinion only counts in re: litigation potential, and that, to me, says we’re done here, no matter what else may take place in our absence….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m not going to offer up any apologies for today’s effort; it turned out to be harder work than I’d hoped, or wanted…. Enough that I’m tired, already, and it’s barely 6 AM…. It must have been Smart Bee’s fault; it made me look at far too many unsuitable pearls today, seemingly without regard for my schedule, or my desire for efficiency in this area…. but, then, SB can be that way some days, and I do ask a lot of it…. Being the forgiving sort, we’ll just give it all a pass, and thank our lucky stars we’re already done for the day, and can just go back to bed if we want…. and there I go with the damn royal “we” again…. SIGH…. Oh, well, no point in worrying about it now…. See ya 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

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It’s just like a dead parrot….

Ffolkes,

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
~~ Buddha ~~
July 22 2014 020 (2)

    Or, if we are lucky, we can be what we imagine in our thoughts, no matter how fantastic they are….. Just sayin’…. Ultimately, though, it’s both egotistical and impertinent to believe that I could add anything particularly useful to something the Buddha said as part of sharing his wisdom…. Oh well, it’s true, so, it can’t hurt, and I’m sure the Buddha wouldn’t mind, as long as I am not being untruthful, or mean-spirited…. Mostly, I’m just being fanciful, to get the old grey cells moving along in a reasonably straight line, even if the line doesn’t get us much of anywhere important…

‘Important’ is just another personal judgment anyway, right? Right…. the universe treats us all alike, with complete, massive indifference to our wishes or our sensibilities…. It’s just the way it is, so, what becomes important is how we react to whatever we are presented with in our lives…. much of which is not under our direct control…. As always, the only thing we can really count on being able to control is ourselves; beyond that, all is up for dispute…. Nobody likes that part of karma, or existence, or whatever we choose to call life when we are speaking metaphorically; we don’t have to like it. All we have to do is deal with it, for there is no other choice…

That being said, we do have SOME choices; in fact, that is our saving grace, to my way of thinking. We have the choice to act, or not, always…. That is a powerful tool, though sadly misunderstood to be so critical…. But, then, it takes more than just two neurons bumping up against each other to have a chance of cluing into that fact, so, a lot of folks out there just don’t have the wherewithal…. This is what creates so much tension and difficulty in the world, because of their thrashing around, trying to control everything they don’t understand, using the only tool they know, which is aggression and violence….

There, how’s that for a three paragraph summary of world history, with a valid, pertinent appraisal of human nature, and a solid, short, rational description of the root causes of the mess we call current events in world-wide society, or, as we usually think of the issue, Life As We Know It? Not too shabby, I’d say, even if it is a little bit heavy on the assumption of guilt part…. Hey, stupid is as stupid does, as Mama Gump says, so, I’m not apologizing for any of it, not even to the Buddha…. I was only trying to help!….

Never mind, we’ll just go on…. Today’s picture is one of several I took yesterday on my walk, taken when I discovered the local colony of pine cones, in their original habitat…. Apparently there was some kind of formal gathering going on, so several of them agreed to pose in the formal attire, right there in the pine tree where they live…. It was interesting, and gave me a little better insight in the Wise Old Pine Cone, and the environment from which he was, shall we say, sent forth unto the world, to carry out the dictates of his Arts….

Now, now, calm down, no need for drama…. Remember, this is all fantasy, so, I can say all this, and it doesn’t mean a damn thing, unless….. wait for it…. hold on…. unless….. YOU MAKE UP THE MEANING!….. See how that works? I rest my case, and my arguments, and my tired grey cells…. Well, not tired, just confused, their normal, default state after such a bout of philosophy, combined with fantasy, and a dollop or two of humor, all in one sitting…. All prepared prior to even awakening, too; I’ll bet you didn’t even notice that part, did you? Nope, but, don’t feel bad….. There was no way you could know I was writing ahead, or, in my sleep….

Since I’ve discovered I have the powers of a Time Lord while writing here, it’s getting a little hard for even ME to keep track of when stuff gets done…. but, as long as I don’t cross the streams, we’ll be fine…. Well, that’s what Ray said…. and Luigi backed him up on it, so, I’m letting it fly….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Who needs astrology? The wise man gets by on fortune cookies.” — Edward Abbey

And, in the same vein….

“I drank WHAT???????” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.)

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On most occasions, the first section is comprised of either a rant, or an old-school pearl, or some combination thereof…. Or, it may start with links, to articles that stimulate my discussion/ranting, which often turns out to resemble my nose, i.e., large, round, & red, with a tendency to HONK when squeezed….. or, on rare but entertaining occasions, when looked at with the plain intent to squeeze…. Today, we, or, dropping the royal personage, I, am going a completely different direction…. sort of…..

The link you’ll see below is to an article from the sports page of SFGATE, the SF Bay Area news website run by the SF Chronicle, about the home team’s latest exploits, in this case, a Giants’ win, night-before-last in Philadelphia, a tough win in 14 innings on the road…. It’s an upbeat story, with a lot of good signs for Giants fans regarding the second half of the season…. Read it, even if you don’t know baseball, for the change of pace from the usual fare around here, which, I am aware, is generally rather intense in nature….

http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Posey-extends-game-in-9th-Crawford-lifts-Giants-5640059.php?cmpid=hp-hc-sports

The last line in the above article kept me smiling for a long time…. Don’t skip down to it, or it won’t make any sense…. You must read the entire article, or at least skim it down to the last couple of paragraphs, to get the sense of the game, and the fantastically humorous, ironic ending lines…. Brilliant!…..

Now what?….. Hmm, I guess we’ll wait until something occurs to me…. I know, let’s see if Smart Bee can come up with a five-star pearl that is “happy-making”, in a manner of speaking…. I’d try to explain, but, English is the wrong language for that…. Oh, hell, let’s just see what happens…

“Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment… They do everything but watch television.” — Lewis Thomas

“I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am most certain of the first time.” — Josh Billings

“By definition, when you are investigating the unknown, you do not know what you will find.” — The Ultimate Principle

” The difference between a politician and a snail is that a snail leaves its slime behind.” — Gerrold’s Pronouncement

“One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that the cat has only nine lives.” — Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson

Mad, adj.: Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence … — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“The forces of evil can marshal even more support than the forces of good, especially when pizza is served.” — unknown

Okay, so, I can’t count…. I’m happy, so it all balances out, right? Right…. Onward, before they have a chance to catch up….

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This poet needs no introduction in my world; he is indeed a master of the metaphor, and silly to boot. What’s not to like?…. Enjoy this one, ffolkes, it’s a dandy….

Children’s Party

May I join you in the doghouse, Rover?
I wish to retire till the party’s over.
Since three o’clock I’ve done my best
To entertain each tiny guest. My conscience now I’ve left behind me,
And if they want me, let them find me.
I blew their bubbles, I sailed their boats,
I kept them from each other’s throats. I told them tales of magic lands,
I took them out to wash their hands.
I sorted their rubbers and tied their laces,
I wiped their noses and dried their faces. Of similarities there’s lots
Twixt tiny tots and Hottentots.
I’ve earned repose to heal the ravages
Of these angelic-looking savages. Oh, progeny playing by itself
Is a lonely little elf,
But progeny in roistering batches
Would drive St. Francis from here to Natchez. Shunned are the games a parent proposes,
They prefer to squirt each other with hoses,
Their playmates are their natural foemen
And they like to poke each other’s abdomen. Their joy needs another woe’s to cushion it,
Say a puddle, and someone littler to push in it.
They observe with glee the ballistic results
Of ice cream with spoons for catapults, And inform the assembly with tears and glares
That everyone’s presents are better than theirs.
Oh, little women and little men,
Someday I hope to love you again, But not till after the party’s over,
So give me the key to the doghouse, Rover

~~ Ogden Nash ~~

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What we have below is a typical old-school, random pearl, picked out by myself and Smart Bee, acting in mind-meld-mode, where SB brings up quotes as suggested by whatever the meld is telling him I am looking for…. Well, it works something like that, anyway; maybe one of these days we’ll let the folks at Princeton test us for their ongoing studies into telepathy…. Or, maybe not…. I think this came out rather well, all things considered; in all honesty, I’m not entirely sure my mind has been in attendance, at all, while creating this Pearl today…. Hmph…. No matter, just enjoy….

“It behooves a prudent person to make trial of everything before arms.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Act iv, Sc. 7, 19, (789.)

“What is done with joy is always better done.” — H. L. Mencken

“After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” — Aldous Huxley

“I agree with the realistic Irishman who said he preferred to prophesy after the event.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 10/7/16

“Nobody does good to man with impunity.” — Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

“Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.” — Nietzsche, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”

“And furthermore, my bowling average is unimpeachable!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Also, ffolkes, you need to consider this….. If it wasn’t, would I tell y’all? Probably not….. and, what that has to do with any of the above remains as much a mystery to me, as it does to you….. I also suppose, if you stop to think about it, isn’t particularly unusual for this process….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, that was interesting…. It isn’t every day my brain takes a working vacation, while still putting a Pearl together; I can’t say what kind of effect it had, but, I suppose I’ll see when I go proof it….. SIGH, I guess I’ll do that now, while I’m still in my coveralls….. I’ll be back…..

Well…. Contrary to all the available evidence, I’m speechless. But, that is, by definition, and by its nature, a good place to bring this to a close. It’s logical, if only to a fault, never approaches any sort of politically correct terminology, and, bonus, it’s on sale….. How can you lose? Hell, I’m pretty sure we now take Bitcoins, so, it’s even more convenient….. If you act now, we’ll even throw in the chocolate sprinkles….. Or, not, your choice….. My choice, should I choose to accept it, is to make my way outta here, which, I will proceed to embrace, here, and now….. I must, for I’m out of both pomposity, and, more critically, chutzpah….. 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 the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Time to apply the marinade….

Ffolkes,

“But I be a cat, and no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer.” — JoJo
July 22 2014 001 (2)

    That, of course, is true of all cats, all the time….. However, you CAN trust a cat to be straight with you, if it is asking for something…. Cats are completely shameless about that; they will always ask for what they want, figuring it is always worth the effort, since, if one doesn’t ask, one never knows, do one?…. Nope, so, they ask, and don’t get upset at whatever the answer may be…. Of course, if they DON’T get what they want, they will keep asking, in a louder voice, until you break down and give it to them….

Just look at that face! Focused, alert, terminally cute…. all the proper attitudes for the penitent beggar….. And, you can see in the eyes, she’ll do literally ANYTHING, if you’ll just give her whatever it is she’s asking for….. Well, or they’re saying, “Give it to me NOW! Your will is my will.”…. She’s got that intense, Svengali-like look to the eyes, doesn’t she? And all she really wants is some pets…. you know, a little scritch around the ears, or, best, along the jawline…. Purrrrr….

The picture is Jojo, the small, formerly feral cat who lives here for the time being…. It took us a while to come to terms, but, having lived with cats all my life, along with dogs, it’s only a matter of time before my superior scratching skills win them over…. That, and being knowledgeable enough about cat psychology to know how to respect their boundaries…. It’s all a matter of respect with cats…. if you don’t respect their nature, there will be continual struggles based on that misunderstanding, and you’ll find yourself wondering who is actually in charge of the house…. They can be stubborn when they feel insulted….

Okay, that was nice…. A bit of morning cuteness, some casual conversation, and we’re pretty much good to go for today’s intro…. It’s a bit shorter than some, but, short is okay, short is good…. especially since, yesterday, I got a bit carried away, to the tune of over 3200 words… That’s what happens when I try to combine two rants into one…. but, I think I got in some good blows to the body of the asininnies, so, I’m happy with it…. I just promised myself to make today’s effort more in line with the norm, whatever that is….

Such being the case, I’m now going to bring this to a close, and get on with the rest of this…. It’s not as if we don’t do this every day, now, is it? It is? Oh, hell, I was hoping y’all wouldn’t notice…. I should have had y’all busy doing something, like fastening your seat belts, or shining up the brass work, or something…. Oh, well, we’ll manage, even if you don’t pay attention to the standard rules of engagement, as we use them around here…. But, then, nobody ever does, so, what the hell, let’s get on with the show….

And, oh, yes…. as for cats being from this planet, I don’t think ANY of them are…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Life is short, art long, occasion sudden; to make experiments dangerous; judgment difficult.  Neither is it sufficient that the physician do his office, unless the patient and his attendants do their duty, and that externals are likewise well ordered.” — Hippocrates (460-359 BC) — Aphorism i

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“Although it is tempting to resent disaster, there is not much use in doing so… Whether we remain ash or become the phoenix is up to us.” — Deng Ming-Dao

What you will find below was first posted as the entire Pearl of Virtual Wisdom on 10/28/2011, just a few months after I started on WordPress…. It’s a pretty good discussion, from a period when I had not yet firmed up either the format for Pearls, or my own style of writing…. I have gone through to edit, so it’s more user-friendly, bearing in mind what I’ve learned since then about how to put together a piece for posting…. I haven’t altered any of the ideas or concepts, just adjusted punctuation and grammar a bit…. I hope you enjoy it….

From 10/28/2011:

Our real self, the soul, is immortal. We may sleep for a little while in that change called death, but we can never be destroyed. We exist, and that existence is eternal. The wave comes to the shore, and then goes back to the sea; it is not lost.” — Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian sadhu, a holy man. He was a teacher of yoga and philosophy, beloved around the entire world. He wrote the book “Autobiography of a Yogi”, which is held to be responsible for bringing the practice of meditation to the Western world. Now, yesterday, or perhaps the one before, I included here a quote from one of the Indian holy books written before the advent of Christ, in approximately 300 B.C. If you were to hold the two quotes together, it would be very difficult to tell whether or not they came from the same piece, or at least the same school of thought. But there are over two thousand years between the appearance of the first, and the writing of the second.

To me, this is one of the major reasons I often prefer the approach of the older religions to the questions of Life that they try to answer. Compared to most Christian, or Muslim writings, the passages from the Bhagavad Gita, the Dhammapada, and the older Hindu tomes written first in Sanskrit, all show a much greater understanding of how the universe works, without having to resort to the creation of one deity, who is omniscient, omnipotent, and all-seeing (it says so right here on the label), who strangely enough, resembles most an old Jewish patriarch, and who, oddly enough, has the behavioral characteristics of a jealous and spiteful little boy.

That whole batch of stories in the Old Testament about the prophets like Job, and Lot, are like reading a soap opera script, complete with deus ex machinae. It’s the sort of story that first drove me away from Christian teachings, which proclaim to be merciful, but have been perverted to rationalize prejudice and racism, causing me to seek out more logical, evidence-based philosophies, that encourage diversity and reason.  I’ve never looked back, and, thus, have never risked becoming a pillar of salt…..

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is it’s natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov.  13, 1787

In the past few years, since the advent of Homeland Insecurity, I have watched the more conservative elements of our society pull back, just like a tortoise who sees danger, and retreats into his hopefully impervious shell. And at the creation of each new regulation to curtail one of our liberties, I have watched with somber regard, ashamed of my country. We were attacked on 9/11/01, yes. But why? Has anyone ever stopped to ask that question? Well yes, some did, and they were shouted down as being unpatriotic. Apparently, holding fast to the liberties provided for us by Mr. Jefferson, et al, has become an unpatriotic act.

It is unpatriotic for me to object to having my private information and home privacy invaded, as well as to complain when it has been curtailed. It is supposedly unpatriotic to object out loud to any of the measures taken; the pundits will scream their tiny little heads off, using every fear of the unknown that they can come up with to frighten and distract the public. I recently broached a radical idea, in one of my pieces, when I suggested we, as Americans, should consider the concept of another American Revolution. I pointed out that the men and women who fought against English rule in the late 1700’s did so because they wanted to govern themselves, to “pursue happiness” according to their own rules, rather than living with rules and taxes laid upon them by people who were only interested in profits and power.

Sound familiar? Today, we are living under the same sort of oppression; the people who are elected in this country run for the office not because they are public-spirited, but because it is the best way to achieve power over others. I cannot think of one single elected representative that did not lie to the public to obtain office, nor can I come up with a name of one who didn’t continue to lie once elected. It’s pathetic how stupid the general public has become, so focused on the details of living that they can’t spare the intellectual energy to question their beloved ruling class. I’m not sure anymore that there are any Americans left who believe in what Tom Jefferson said above; they’d all rather just kick back and watch hockey, whining like children when the beer’s too warm……..

“Freedom is just a hallucination created by a pathological lack of paranoia.” — Smart Bee (Scary, if true…..)

I think I’ve chosen poorly this morning, which isn’t surprising. I had a lot to say about this when I first picked it, but I can see that most of the subject was covered above. It might be amusing to try to go humorous with it, but I’m not in the mood today for that; too much sheer anger built up against the forces of Dark, aka Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, Bush I or II, or any of the other crop of folks who prefer to keep the public in a state of constant turmoil, in order to distract them from what they are actually doing. It is hard for me to accept the whole “water-boarding” controversy, because I had assumed that our leaders were people of integrity, not hypocrisy.

Torture, to my way of thinking, is an act of cowardice, only used by those who believe that the end justifies the means in all cases; it doesn’t fit with my image of how a free man functions. Cowards who live in constant fear that someone will really see what a coward they are, who will say or do anything to maintain their own little kingdom of influence. Sometimes the end CAN justify the means, but not most of the time. Most of the time, it merely serves as a way to comfort their innate insecurity, and keep them from assuming either guilt, or responsibility for their actions, which they KNOW to be immoral, unethical, and, most likely, illegal according to our Constitution.

This could go on forever; I have a lot of powerful emotion behind these ideas, and could sit here all day, taking shots at the talking heads. But, I do have other stuff to get done today, so I’ll leave it here. Feel free to comment, positively or otherwise; dialogue is always welcome here. In the meantime, y’all take care out there…..

“I think we should stop looking for issues to discuss.  I think we should shut up and get to work.” — Howard Chaykin

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On days like this, when I’ve sublimated a rant out of the archives, I like to go with this poet, one of the best of the twentieth century, a true poet of the people…. I give you, the inimitable Charles Bukowski….

Alone With Everybody

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else
fills.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

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I find myself in the throes of laziness, which, though nothing new, is nonetheless problematic, striking as it is mid-blog…. Such a conundrum might have sent me off into the archives again, to find another fill-in piece, but, I’m going to be a good boy, and put together a fresh pearl, if for no other reason than to take the sails out of the argument I’ll give myself later….

See, even in the midst of an internal debate, I can think ahead! Getting older DOES have certain advantages, with foresight being one of the more important ones, one that saves us old farts a lot of energy that would otherwise be spent foolishly on wasted effort…. and, yes, that could be called pandering to myself…. Enjoy it anyway, if you believe you should…. If not, well, there is little I can do to help you at this point; you’re what we would normally call toast, by any other name….

“Have you ever wondered why you always run out of breath when you throw up? Ah, but a man’s retch should exceed his gasp, else what’s a heaving for?” — Smart Bee

(Sorry, really, I couldn’t help it…. it’s just such a wonderful pun!…. Gotta love that Scottish wit….. I’ll do better, promise….)

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Yes, we’re all tired of dinosaurs.” — Mom’s Hint #130

“In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it’s a false promise predicated on the idea that the opposite of security in risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.” — Theodore Forstmann

“It is fatal to be right when the rest of the world is wrong.” — Brother Theodore

“There’s always a bigger fish.” — Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Episode I

“Three doctors were talking about their favorite patients.  The first  said that he preferred operating on Germans because their organs were lined up in exactly the right position.  The second preferred Japanese because not only were their organs in exactly the right position, but they were also color coded.  The third chimed in too.  “I’ll take lawyers any day.  Ever open one of those suckers up?  Only two working parts – the mouth and the anus, and they’re interchangeable.” — Smart Bee

I love it! This pearl, eclectic though it may be, is rock solid, ffolkes…. Bookended by Smart Bee, bolstered with wisdom from Mom, Qui-Gon, and Mark Twain, how could it be anything but amazing!…. If you read them with the right squint, and allow your mind to be guided, the mind-set where you end up will leave you breathless…. guaranteed…. I mean that in the best way, of course, not in the same sense as the first pearl in this section….

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Well! That was…. something. I think I’d better go take a look at it, now that it’s done…. I’ll be back shortly….

See, that never takes long, does it?…. It’s almost like being a Time Lord when I do that…. Now, how to describe the unthinkable…. You know what? I think I’d be better off not to try…. It could get explosive, and who knows what it might do to the space-time continuum, which is shaky enough these days?…. We’ll just close our eyes to any potential hazards, and wish y’all happy trails….. See y’all 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

Featured Image -- 2780

A plethora of positive paradigms….

Ffolkes,

How does it feel?
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown?

~~ Bob Dylan ~~

fishy cat

    The first time I heard Bob Dylan’s song, Like A Rolling Stone, I was half-asleep, riding in a car to go to work, very early on a summer morning in, I believe, 1963, or 1964….. Though not overly impressed by the voice that sang it, I was struck at once by the power of metaphor he employed so liberally throughout the piece…. It was the first time any of us had heard him; that was his first hit song, the one that catapulted him into fame, and the public eye…. Somehow, the plaintive tone of his voice, almost a whine, but, not quite, fit the words he spoke very well, and those words were, themselves, a new experience, as the poetry dug down into the subconscious to deliver subliminal messages, underneath the more obvious lyrical verses….

Ah well, those were the days…. Wait. Stop there….. Step back a few feet, ffolkes, let me get a better look at this….. Yep. I thought I heard some overt nostalgia in there….. Sorry, ffolkes…. We don’t often get attacks of mundane sobriety, with a strong overtone of nostalgia like that, but, we try to head them off quickly when we do come across one of them…. They can cause quite a bit of mental damage, if not caught early on; that sticky sweet reminiscence can be, not just fattening, but dangerously filling…. One small dose of it can layer a whole new coat of fat over the heart, increasing the risk of stroke by a factor of 3 or more…. not good….

So, we’ve developed a pretty efficient way of dealing with them when they come after us; we burn them, and get on with our business…. So, since this one has already been hauled off by our friendly stevedores, off to the incinerator, which will make short work of it, we can put it out of our minds, and move on to the next international incident, er, section of the post…. You’ll have to excuse me this morning, ffolkes, I’m still a bit groggy from sleep…. The picture above is what woke me…. Well, that’s not quite accurate…. hold on…. short break….

It would be more accurate to say the sight of the picture shocked me closer to the state of awareness needed to begin this missive; I’m now three or four paragraphs down the line, and still feel like my brain resembles a bowl of oatmeal more than anything fully alive…. And, see, I can’t even come up with anything remotely humorous to describe what is taking place! In a minute, I’m going to start whining again, so, it might be best to employ one of my emergency exit strategies, to take us out of here, on to where we need to go, wherever that might be…. Given this introduction, it could be just about anywhere at all….

Shall we Pearl?…..

And I’ll do you one better if you’ve got the nerve,
I’ll race you all the way to deadman’s curve.

~~ Jan & Dean ~~


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“Cato instigated the magistrates to punish all offenders, saying that they that did not prevent crimes when they might, encouraged them.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Roman Apophthegms, Cato the Elder

Below you will find an epic pearl, a rant of magnificent proportions, complete with at least two rants, both aimed in the same general direction, but coming at it from different starting points…. I spent a good portion of yesterday at the computer, having been given that boon by my massage the day before, putting my whole body in a better space…. This led me to catch up on some news sites I hadn’t been to in a while, particularly the Guardian, the UK news site that broke the Snowden Papers story to the world….

(Of course, when I say a long time at the comp, it means an hour or three, not six or eight, so, I could only read the news, not visit all the blogs I want to catch up on… If I start that, I never can get caught up, or get away before I start to regret it physically…. SIGH…. Hard decisions… Any who….)

I still find many of the more egregious activities that the US government is up to on the Guardian, rather than any US sites…. The US media seems to censor much of what the Guardian is writing about, sometimes not covering stories at all that the Guardian has unearthed. Whether this tendency is from jealousy, or fear of reprisal from the government, I can’t say, but, the stories just aren’t there as often, or, if covered, don’t get as deep into the issue as the European site does…. It isn’t just the US who gets their custom, either…. They focus their attention on their own government just as tightly, nor are the rest of the world’s leaders spared their often intensive questions about conditions in other countries….

Nonetheless, the US media has its own axes to grind, and they LOVE any story that puts the police in the spotlight, so, the first part of today’s epic rant concerns that issue, to wit: police brutality and the military bent that the police have been assuming for some time now…. Let’s see what got me going, because, otherwise, it won’t ever get done…. Enjoy, and for goodness sake, pay attention, and pass the information on to those who need it, i.e. every citizen of this country, and of the world, who are being affected by what those assholes at the top of the heap are up to these days…..

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/21/government-agents-directly-involved-us-terror-plots-report

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/24/nsa-surveillance-world-leaders-calls

The latter article is from October of 2013, but, may not be known to some Gentle Readers…. When considered in conjunction with the other article’s information, the earlier report serves as prior proof of what I’ve been saying for quite a long time now, regarding how the government looks at the public as their tool, not as their boss…. If anyone at all has any evidence to the contrary, please, come forward, and we can discuss the matter…. I don’t think there are many who will come forward, because it’s all truth; they ARE spying on YOU, ME, and EACH OTHER…. The tail has begun to wag the dog, and the leaders of the world are completely insane, taking the old saw about “knowledge is power” to new extremes of meaning….

We saw above how the FBI particularly has been abusing their newly-acquired powers to create terrorist plots, involving people in them, then using the completely unconstitutional terrorist court system created after 9/11/01 to convict otherwise innocent people, to justify their own existence and continued clandestine operations…. The FBI is the top level of the police forces of society, forces that are supposed to provide protection and support for the citizens of this country; they help set the tone for the other forces, on the state and local levels, who also are supposed to, as they are fond of saying, “protect and serve”….

Instead we have, on a daily basis, though not all of them receive this much coverage, incidents such as the following, which provide examples of how, in today’s society, the police view the public as enemies, to be unworthy of possessing even the most basic rights, such as free speech, or privacy, an enemy requiring intimidation to assert authority, and threats of violence to maintain control, while the public views the police as violent, aggressive, filled with entitlement, unethical, unfair, not to be trusted, and, worst of all, continuously demonstrating their belief they are not subject to the laws they enforce….

(Note: it took SFGATE three articles to give the same information three times, without ever getting very deep into the issue… they had lots of nice photos, though, of Rev. Al and his religious cronies, taking advantage of the publicity to get photographed with the victim’s widow…..)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Rallies-planned-after-in-custody-death-of-NYC-man-5632335.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/More-studies-needed-in-apparent-chokehold-death-5635142.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/NY-preacher-appeals-for-justice-in-chokehold-death-5634035.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

“…..as four officers bring him down to the sidewalk, Garner, who was asthmatic, gasps, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” The video shows one officer using his hands to push Garner’s face into the sidewalk……” “The second video, which appears to have been shot shortly after Garner was handcuffed, shows him lying on the sidewalk, apparently unresponsive. More than three minutes in, medics arrive and one checks his pulse. Garner is lifted onto a gurney and transported to a waiting ambulance about two minutes later.”….  “A bystander asks why no one is performing CPR and one officer responds, “because he’s breathing.”” — excerpted from the last article listed, describing the events as seen in the videos shot at the scene by bystanders….

In addition to the other issues presented by the incident, I find it a telling point that no mention of any police videos of the incident have been noted by the media, nor by the police…. I don’t know if the NYPD is in step with most of the other police forces in this country, but, I’m pretty sure, by now, the majority of officers and police cars on the streets of New York have video recorders somewhere about their person or vehicle, fully capable of recording all they do, and all they encounter in “pursuing their duties”…..

If not, well, I’m thinking they wish they did have them in place; if they do, why haven’t they been used to either corroborate, or deny, the accusations of wrongdoing? Any speculative reasons as to why such evidence is not available are, naturally, going to be negatively perceived, and will not help their already tarnished image….

The NYPD, along with just about every police force in the entire world, has become what many of our forefathers warned us against, i.e., professional soldiers and/or para-military wannabe soldiers, with a sense of entitlement, and a barely restrained tendency to use violence as their measure of authority…. which, being the neurotic personalities that all-too-many of them are, they must seek out to feel any self-worth…. Only by asserting that authority can these sick, violent bigots feel in control, thus proving their “manhood”.

I’m not being hyperbolic, either…. I’m going by my own observations, and my own experiences in observing the interactions between the police, in this town, and everywhere I’ve ever lived, as well as in my more than simply copious reading of the local, national, and international news, to the tune of two news site a day, minimum…. That’s now; it used to be two news papers….

All of which is in addition to the book a day I have read since I was 10 years old, in addition to all I read in the news…. That reading, and my perceptions of this issue, have enabled me to see the police go from being one of the most admired and respected professions in the world, when I was young, to one of the most feared and mistrusted segments of government, and society….. all in the course of my 55 years or so of perception and reasoning about the world at large….

When I was a lad, in the 50’s, my own parents always made sure we kids knew that, if lost or in trouble, an MP (military policeman) would always help (we were Army brats….)….and that included civilian policemen…. However, by the time I was in college, in 1968, police ranks had swelled to unprecedented numbers, while the hiring standards remained set on old, outdated concepts of societal needs.

The societal disharmony that had been building up, along with the widening of the income gap, for many years, since the Depression, and before, all came to a head, erupting in the early 60’s, when society exploded against the restraints on their freedoms….The Free Speech movement, Civil Rights, Vietnam, the invasion of Cambodia, as well the beginning of the women’s rights, and LGBT rights movements, society-wide struggles that continue today, as society moves forward into a new millennium. These new, (for the time) large demonstrations by students and citizens with issues were a new phenomenon to the police forces that existed, and the conflict started to demonstrate how out of touch they were becoming with the rest of society…..

That same separation of perception has continued to widen ever since, until now, police everywhere, no matter how good or bad they are, will be painted with the brush of corruption, psychopathy, bigotry, and para-military rigidity of thinking…. and for good reason, as there are EASILY as many, or more, bad cops these days, as there are good cops….

Actually, though, it occurs to me, the whole issue is merely one facet of the overriding problem facing society at large, which is the ever-widening gap between the super-rich and the rest of humanity….

And don’t fool yourselves, ffolkes…. it’s way smaller a number than 1% that is behind the entire set of problems that face mankind, as a result of their selfishness and lack of humanity…. My guess, without actually researching, but, going by the “sincerely best-guess” methodology, is that the number of people in the world, who actually have the control over 99% of the money and resources, either directly, or by proxy, is about 5000 people, or fewer…. This small number of super-wealthy, inhumane assholes, believe they have the right to decide for all of us exactly how reality should be run, which just so happens to coincide with their vision of absolute power….

The sad part is, they have been able to do exactly that for many centuries now, ever since the major proportion of the world became dependent on the whole concept of money, compounded by the gullibility that allows them to be fooled so easily by those without any morals or ethics to restrain them…. They buy governments, without anyone ever knowing their names…. They buy churches, who spread the delusional belief in a supernatural afterlife where all life’s pain will be taken away, and they will be rewarded for being sheep all their lives, allowing those in power to tell them how to think, and how to live…. And, in the process, they are killing themselves, and us right along with them…..

Isn’t that sweet?

“Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Don’t worry, ffolkes…. I’m not done ranting about these people…. This one, however, has gone on long enough, and is starting to get a bit nebulous…. I prefer a more substantial target for my barbs, so, we’ll come back to this another time, when I’ve put together a bit more ammunition to use on them, and, perhaps, even identifying one or two of them for y’all ….. For now, I’ll leave you with this: Keep your head in the game, and always be ready to doubt what you hear from anyone who thinks they are in charge….. because, whether they are or not, they believe that shit, which makes them annoying, and potentially dangerous to your well-being….

Stay on your toes, ffolkes, (metaphorically speaking, of course), & don’t believe any of their lies…. How do you know when they’re lying? Their mouth is open, and words are coming out; if that’s so, it’s a damn good bet…. The tricky part is knowing exactly who they are…. they don’t come out into the light much….. You know how those evil demons of the dark are…. Besides, they have their talking heads, the pundits & politicians, to stay in the public eye, where they want to be, and are most easily manipulated…. The bottom line for those in power is to prevent, at any cost, any change in the status quo, thus ensuring their continued existence at the controls of society..

“The purpose and function of government is not to preside over change but to prevent change. By political methods when unavoidable, by violence when convenient.” — Edward Abbey

SIGH…. It’s a pretty ugly picture, and it isn’t getting any prettier…. More later, ffolkes….

“It’s getting harder and harder to act weird.” — Zippy the Pinhead

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m not such an egotist that I think I’m a great poet; I’ve written some good ones, but, nothing to compare with someone such as Sylvia Plath, or Poe, or Whitman, or any of a hundred others from the past who have written many works far better than mine…. But, by using my own, nobody else has to take the blame for all the stuff surrounding it, which may or may not be of note to the Gentle Reader…. I AM enough of an egotist to keep writing it, though, and putting it here for y’all to either laugh, cry, or otherwise react in some way to let me know I’m a writer of bozoid degree…. I hope you enjoy whichever one I choose for your perusal….

Stray Cats

The veils that billow and fold
between dreams and reality
 may sometimes part,
showing the visions of one to the other,
blending, bleeding as one,
only to bring us up short,
closely jammed against immovable fate.

Still, we keep our watch,
seeking to find the vision
 that brings with it the mark of reality’s regard,
a humble mind, and a compassionate heart.

Events of broad impact draw us away again,
distracting with shiny glitter and tinny music,
leaving our feelings raw and bruised,
the victim of universal disregard.

Now, in the twilight of years, the music is fading,
and the glitter has all gone….
yet the memory of visions remains sharp and clear,
melancholy reminders of reality’s promises,
unkept…..

~~gigoid~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I see from the above, I got a little carried away…. To save myself from any further potential claims of abuse by overuse, I’ll throw together an old-school pearl, with simple parameters to find good advice…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it’ll be quick and easy…. Well, compared to the rest, anyway….

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.  We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.  We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle

“To tell a falsehood is like the cut of a saber; for though the wound may heal, the scar of it will remain.” — Saadi (1184-1291)

“To know much is often the cause of doubting more.” — Michael de Montaigne

“How did the great rivers and seas gain dominion over the hundred lesser streams?  By being lower than they.” — Lao Tzu

“Laws do not persuade just because they threaten.” — Seneca, 65 AD

“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come  into contact with reality at any point.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“How pleasant then to be insane.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I should know better than to say anything would be quick and easy….. Not that you care, but, finding that last pearl was an incredible ordeal, as Smart Bee went into “let’s fuck with gigoid” mode, and started throwing up all sorts of really stupid, asinine quotes for me to wade through…. I finally found that last one by F. Scott, and said, “YES!”…. I cut, copied, pasted, and am outta here, having done all the damage possible for one morning….. See y’all tomorrow, if I recover in time…..

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

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