Avoiding those odd “Elvis” moments….

Ffolkes,

It is not without a certain degree of trepidation that I come to this decision; no one at all could ever consider taking such a step without thinking about what might happen, if things do not go as planned. If things don’t work out as hoped, the carnage will be extensive, and the world, as we know it, will never be the same…. Contrarily, if what I am contemplating works as it should, no one will ever know they were mere seconds from annihilation, destined to exit this plane of existence, not with a bang, but with the poet’s whimper….

On the other hand, I could quit fooling around, and tell you that all of the above is just another silly collection of words, put together in such a way as to draw your attention, and engage your mind in some sort of fictional scenario, with no real connection to reality…. How’d I do? I don’t know about y’all, but I was completely fooled….. and I was the one writing it! Now, THAT’S some powerful writing!….. Just kidding, ffolkes….. I’m fully aware of how my pomposity, my arrogance, my regular and harsh criticism of religion and its icons, and my so-far-left-I’m-right political positions, have a tendency, no doubt, to make people uncomfortable, or, at the very least, leave them with feelings of guilt, which nobody cares for at all….

The guilt, if I’ve done my job correctly, comes from knowing that we, the American people at large, are responsible for the mess we are in, due to our long-term habit of putting our head in the sand every four years, and voting for yet another batch of lying, cheating, immoral assholes, establishing them in their elected positions, where they will proceed, like every other politician in the last 100 years, to fuck things up beyond all belief….. Sometimes, I think that what they studied in college was not law, but bozoid technology….. how to make best use of those tools we all employ at one time or another to make fools of ourselves…..

What is THIS all about? Good question…. Over the last couple of days, I’ve been looking back at all I’ve written in the last couple of years, since beginning this blog, and I realized that I’ve been beating a horse so dead, it’s petrified, and has been erected as a statue in the local park…. I’ve ranted and railed against the machine, belittling the churches and their deliberately delusional perpetrators, and accused ALL politicians of psychopathic greed, not to mention congenital prevarication….

I’ve pointed out the lies that the politicians tell us, either by omission, or by commission, and bemoaned the entitlement and arrogance of the para-military police forces that most of our towns and cities have espoused…. All to little purpose, and littler effect, as it turns out, as the same people keep on screwing us over in the same old ways…. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m getting a bit tired of putting out so much effort to such small effect; I’m accustomed to my work having some kind of positive outcome, but, it’s hard to call the response I’ve had as being overwhelmingly so….

While it’s true that most of the ffolkes who do comment here tend to agree with my take on matters, it is also true that, even given the 315 followers I reportedly have, the number of people who SEE it isn’t exactly what can be called a huge audience…. Now, that’s okay, in one respect, which is, I don’t care about the numbers, very much…. I write to get this stuff out of my head before it rots, not for the usual purpose of stimulating action in the public; it’s always been more about saving my sanity than it has about saving society….

BUT…. and it’s a big BUT…. saving society wouldn’t be such a bad thing, now, would it? It would be nice if I could tell myself that what I say here has some positive effect in that direction, even if I wasn’t telling the entire truth…. SIGH…. As a curmudgeon, though, and as a self-made, self-taught, self-reliant philosopher, no matter how much better it would make me feel, I can’t do that, because it just isn’t true….. If we don’t stick to the truth, it’s all just an exercise in futility, and we may as well just go lay down in our graves now….

So, anyway, I see now that this has turned into not merely a rant in the intro, but has become what seems to be a series of personal revelations about the relevance of what I’m doing here…. Though I don’t really care about how many ffolkes read this, as it is written for another purpose altogether, there is another part of me that would like to have the world pay attention to what I’m saying, for their own benefit…. It’s a bit frustrating, and that frustration may prompt some radical changes around here, in how I approach the entire subject of ranting….

If I can make it more effective, I’d be willing to put more effort into publicizing it, to get more ffolkes to read and spread it around…. I’d even be willing to take more meds, so I could spend more time reading and commenting on other blogs (which I would LOVE to be able to do, but for the pain it causes me physically…), so that my readership would continue to grow, to a level that had some real power of distribution….. Ah well, it’s all just speculation, at this point, so, we’ll just have to see how it goes…. but, expect SOME changes, for sure…. I’m just not certain what form they’ll take, or how it may affect the rest of what I write, but, I HAVE to do SOMETHING, or I’ll drive myself crazy…. which, I admit, is not a long drive…

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Don’t take the bull by the horns, take him by the tail; then you can let go when you want to.” — Josh Billings

(Trivia note: This statement is a more effective method of animal husbandry than is first apparent, which only strengthens its metaphorical nature…. As any farm boy knows, you can’t persuade a large animal to go anywhere by putting a  rope around its neck, and yanking on it, especially large animals such as cattle, or mules, or donkeys, of either gender; they’re all quite stubborn, and stupid, to boot. However, any and all of these animals will go wherever you wish them to go, if you will merely grab them by the tail, with a good strong grip, and give it a firm twist…. Guaranteed, the animal will move IMMEDIATELY, and briskly, in whatever direction they were pointed at the time the tail was twisted….   :-)    )
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“Ignorance is temporary. Stupidity lasts forever!!!” — Smart Bee

A few days ago, in the news, one of the Republican Senators, John McCain, took some heavy shots at a freshman Republican Senator, some guy named Cruz, a desperately confused young Latino, for his useless, and even harmful, use of a filibuster-like speech to delay a vote that was going to happen anyway…. It was actually kind of cute, the way they bickered over the issue, and provides a perfect example of how, even amongst themselves, these psychopathic idiots cannot figure out how removed they are from real life, or how little all their contortions have any positive effect on the public… They all just look like little kids, running around getting mad over trivial stuff, and never getting anything done that would benefit anyone other than themselves….

“He probably just wants to take over my CELLS and then EXPLODE  inside me like a BARREL of runny CHOPPED LIVER!  Or maybe he’d like to PSYCHOLOGICALLY TERRORIZE ME until I have no objection to a RIGHT-WING MILITARY TAKEOVER of my apartment!!  I guess I should call AL PACINO!” — Zippy the Pinhead

I don’t think even Al could help in today’s political world…. Any who, what McCain objected to in Cruz’s speech were some comments he made comparing certain people with a certain view to Nazis… I’m not sure to whom he referred, but, it definitely offended McCain, and he made some comments of his own…. over which I had to laugh, heartily, as I could think of nothing other than “the pot calling the kettle black”….. If there is ANY political group that has shown characteristics shared by the Nazi Party in the last 50 years, it is the Republican Party, which can barely figure out how to phrase the planks of their platform without resorting to racist epithets….

Not only the Republicans, but the entire government machine, by its very bureaucratic nature, at times will naturally fall into postures which remind one of the fascists who once ran Germany, but are now confined mostly to chat rooms, and a few conclaves in Minneapolis (I hope…)…. As a perfect example of what I’m saying here, I offer the following article, from yesterday’s SF Chronicle, which describes the latest events in the housing market in SF, wherein nobody cares when the elderly and the disabled are abused, all in the name of BUSINESS….

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Tech-boom-forcing-longtime-S-F-family-out-of-home-4843955.php

“Our eviction-assistance team has been there several times and left notice for the family to contact us, but the family has chosen not to do so,” said Fahey. “We certainly don’t want anybody going without a place to live, but we have our orders.”

“I feel bad for the old people being evicted, and I can see why there is so much controversy,” said Allie Crocco, 25, who works in finance and moved into an apartment a few blocks away this summer. “But on the other hand, there’s a lot of money to be made in these buildings.”

There you have it, ffolkes…. Rampant Nazi-like behavior, with quotes…. The first of the two highlighted phrases, both of which came from the above article, was uttered by one of the people responsible for evicting people, under the law that was specifically passed for that purpose, to make it easier for businesses to get around the existing laws that protect the tenants…. Please note how it echoes the statements of more than one Nazi prison guard convicted during the Nuremberg Trials after WWII…. The other quote is from a person who lives nearby the house where the old couple is being evicted, and clearly demonstrates the lack of empathy in those who are not involved in the issue…. To the average joe in our society, if there is money to be made, it justifies ANYTHING, no matter how egregiously immoral it may be….

IMHO, no further rant is needed to make my point, so, I’ll trust in the intelligence of my Gentle Readers to fill in the rest of what might have been said, and, mercifully, was not….

“Coming up: our definitive answer to the JFK assassination, the Iran contra coverup, the cure for the common cold, and our hidden videotape of Madonna’s torrid affair…” — Anchorman, “Zombies in PJs”, Eerie Indiana
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I’m hopeful for the quality of today’s Pearl, so the poem needs to be just right…. Let’s see what I can find….. Ah, this will do nicely….

Personal Helicon

for Michael Longley

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

~~ Seamus Heaney ~~

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“It is quite untrue that British people don’t appreciate music. They may not understand it but they absolutely love the noise it makes.”–Sir Thomas Beecham

“Hateful to me as are the gates of hell, is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, Utters another.” — Homer (c. 700 B.C.)

As you can see, for this final section, Smart Bee has presented me with two directions to go… The two don’t stretch, in any way I can think of, to work together to make a point, at least, not one I’d care to make, so I’ll have to either make a decision, or trust to fate, an uncertain proposition at any time…. I’m feeling lucky, though, so let’s see what happens if I just dive in, like this… Oooh!, that’s cold!…. Okay, take a deep breath, and follow me…. Don’t worry, any sharks you see are just metaphors….

“Don’t take life too serious. It ain’t no ways permanent.” — Pogo, by Walt Kelly

“Here, let me show you.” — Famous Last Words

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Every society needs someone whose job it is to tell the Emperor he’s naked.” — Smart Bee
(Me! Me! Pick me! I’ll do it for free!…. Oh, wait, I already do that…. okay, well…. to continue…)

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” — Albert Einstein

“At any price that I can pay, let me own myself. And the price is worth  paying if you keep what you have bought… A man may apply his independence to what is called worldly advantage, and discover too late that he  laboriously has made himself dependent on a mass of external conditions for the maintenance of which he has sacrificed himself. So he may be  festooned with the whole haberdashery of success, and go to his grave a castaway. Some men hold that the risk is worth taking. Others do not. It is to those that I have spoken.” — Rudyard Kipling, speech at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, 1923, — quoted in _Kipling’s Science Fiction_ edited by John Brunner

“Small change can often be found under seat cushions.” — Lazarus Long
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“Within the oyster’s shell uncouth
The purest pearl may hide,
Trust me you’ll find a heart of truth
Within that rough inside.”

– Mrs. Osgood

And aren’t we all glad that is so!… Well, I’m glad…. You’ll have to make your own decision as to how you feel about it…. What I’ve done here today, well, it’s the same, but different, sort of…. which is exactly what I need to think about…. See y’all tomorrow, perhaps with a new gestalt….. No new physique, no altered proportions, of anatomy or build, perhaps, but, just maybe, a bit of a change in the silhouette, some contrast to the shadows that haunt the edges of my perception….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

In defense of inconvenient innuendo….

10/20/12, aka 10/21/12 ~~ Time, or the labeling of same, is mine to dictate, so, today is tomorrow…. the missing day is banished from memory. So Be It….

Ffolkes,
It seems my unconscious mind has taken a hand in directing my conscious life as well…. but, in this case, it seems to work fairly well, all in all, so I’m going to leave it alone for the time being. I know that sound mysterious, but saying this precisely this way is merely withholding details that would be unenlightening, and at the same time, counter-productive to discussion. Suffice it to say that I am here now, sitting down to write, with more than average clarity, and a degree of unusual comfort…. Thank goodness for coffee, eh?……

I know, I know, that was a less than illuminating paragraph, but, believe me, you really don’t want any more details, so let’s just get on with our regular business, shall we? Suffice it to say that this is a case where you need to trust me, you don’t want to know any more than you do now…. So, you may as well give it up, because I ain’t talking…. Well, I wouldn’t be, but this IS the intro section, and I have to say SOMETHING….

I could point out that, here at Exploring Consensual Reality, you do get more respect…. I could have skipped the above two paragraphs entirely, and not even mentioned the new schedule changes, thus avoiding inadvertently letting out TMI, but figured that my readers are too smart, and might notice something…. so, I figure it’s better to just mention it in passing, rather than try to fool you all into a false sense of complacency. Such a condition is anathema to me, and I refuse to create it in others, if at all possible…. I’d rather create a small bit of confusion, than a great deal of it….

With all that being said, and so cheerfully, we should probably get on with the search for pearls; it promises to be somewhat of a hard line search, as I am starting off with zero to work with (as might have been surmised by this intro, and it’s obvious stretching of ingredients…). This will be posted from the library again, as it is that time of the month when my available cash is scarce…. Until we can get to that point, though, we need to find some pearls…. so, shall we Pearl?…..

“It’s OKAY — I’m an INTELLECTUAL, too.” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Okay, so there I was, cruising through Smart Bee, and these little gems popped up. Each one tempted me to begin a rant, or a discussion, but, none of them completely grabbed my attention enough to do the trick. They are all much too valuable to throw out, so I had this idea to include them as a “new-school” pearl….. Y’all can take the ideas herein described, and formulate them into your own pearl of virtual wisdom…. there is plenty here to work with; I’ve used many similar pearls myself to create unforgettable rants, or brilliantly funny forays into nonsense. (Sure I have….. trust me….)

“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“In certain trying circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity furnishes a relief denied even to prayer.” — Mark Twain

“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence

“I figure that if God actually does exist, He’s big enough to understand an honest difference of opinion.”  – Isaac Asimov

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but there  ain’t no way to make the cat enjoy it.” — Jed Clampett

“Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xii, Apology for Raimond Sebond

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

So, you should find it reasonably simple to do the same yourselves (creating a pearl, that is, not wearing plaid…) …. and if not, well, they are all fairly strong stand-alone dribbles of good advice/good observations, so you aren’t completely without recourse…. No refunds, though, we’re not completely without shame…. Remember, you get what you pay for in this world, right? TANSTAAFL….. (for the uninitiated, that is, There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch….)
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Choosing a Theme

Powerful words playing hide and seek in my mind,
teasing with subtle cruelty, pretending to be kind.
Grand visions and flowery verses of beauty and truth
evaded my inner eye all through the days of my youth.

Affable interludes interspersed with allegorical wit
softened the crimes, against all reason, to finally acquit.
Time became at once an enemy, and an ally
Never once compelled to provide an answer why.

Giving gifts of simple kindness are their own pay,
spreading ripples of compassion are felt far and away.
Love given freely is precious, we are ever told,
increasing love received, more than a hundred fold.

Living long and with passion has centered my soul,
allowing me room, and time, to choose my own goal.
Now that I’ve gone past any need to pretend
I love everything in life, even knowing it will end.

~~ gigoid
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I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

– Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) — Just So Stories (1902) “The Elephant’s Child”

I first read the phrase “feeding the Elephant’s Child” in a Robert Heinlein novel, many years ago, and enjoyed it as a metaphor for reading/learning, before I knew from whence it originally came. Once I did know (a moment of illumination whose exact placement in time is hazy….), I liked it even more, from an aesthetic standpoint. The above little ditty is brilliant doggerel, astute observation, and deep insight, all presented in a simple, straightforward style, with a powerful, basic lesson for any would-be philosopher, or any one who wishes to encompass reason as their modus operandi, so to speak. Besides which, I find that another piece of Bob’s advice fits well with this one, to wit: “Life tastes better in big bites….”

“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P. J. O’Rourke

I like this, a lot. It summarizes perhaps one of the most elemental rules of getting along in the Universe, in essence saying, “You can learn a lot by watching what happens around you…” It is the perfect companion to the concept of learning as presented above, as it contrives to speak to both sides of Reality, i.e., how you approach reality (the clothing you choose to show to the cat….) and how reality will change to react to your approach (the cat’s opinion of your clothing….) It also gives one a subtle warning about how the wrong clothing can produce unwanted consequences, and we all know how an offended cat is likely to respond…. as Mark Twain once remarked…. “A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning valuable things. He will never again be dim or doubtful. Chances are he’ll not carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!”  You can’t say fairer than that….

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” — Buddha

One can always trust the Buddha to state the most profound thoughts in the simplest way…. I often wonder how he came to such a complete understanding of Murphy, whose presence is acknowledged in all of what the Buddha stated, but whose ministrations seem to have passed by the Buddha’s existence…. either that, or Murphy shows him a lot more respect than he does anyone else alive. At times, it seems that what the Buddha states, such as in this statement, is, in at least one respect, an answer to a question that is raised when Murphy intervenes in our lives…. in simpler words, he explains why Murphy is able to affect us as he does, by cutting through the bullshite we perceive to the truth of what is real….. SIGH…. one of these days, enlightenment will slap me upside the head, and I’ll be able to see Murphy coming…. I hope…

There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan

Often I feel as if not only is life a joke, but it is our duty and purpose on this plane of existence to codify that joke, to put it down on paper, or on screen/disc, to free ourselves from the prison of sobriety, achieving an understanding that everything in this silly universe is here for our amusement, and we have been taking it, and ourselves, seriously for entirely too long….. So seriously, we have begun to offend those parts of the universe that just want us to relax and enjoy ourselves, and the time is growing nearer when we will have to admit that the joke is on us, for not being able to change our inner selves enough to be able to handle the humor of our situation…. See, the universe thinks death is funny…. not because it is cruel, but because death is just another part of life, and it doesn’t care about one more than the other…. See, now, isn’t it funny how you never noticed that?…..

I once read a science fiction novel, whose title and author escape me completely; in all it was very poorly written, with prose that did not live up to the good ideas contained in the plot line. However, it was a great plot line, in all….Specifically, there was one chapter I liked, which had a super-genius taking on the task of finding the solution to a mathematical treatise, an equation so complex and advanced that no civilization in the galaxy had ever been able to completely solve it.

The genius/hero of the book shut himself up in his room for three weeks, working on the problem. At the end, he was thinking so hard he entered a trance-like state, computing while nearly dead…. after a week of this, he suddenly opened his eyes, gave a look of astonishment, and burst into uncontrollable laughter for approximately 25 minutes. When he could finally control himself, he simply said, “It’s a joke….” and would never discuss it again….

In a pearl such as this one has grown to be, there comes a time when I have to decide whether to continue on, to try to reach the conclusion that was nebulously hovering somewhere in my mind as I began, or to admit that I have once again wandered into uncharted territory, and might find it a bit tricky to find my way back to clarity. This is that time…. and I’m leaving it up to Smart Bee, as always…. If I don’t find a proper pearl to carry on the tenuous chain of thought I’ve created, then we’ll take the first one that will appropriately wrap it up as a lost cause….. all within a specified number of attempts…. so, here we go… You’ll know in a moment what will happen….

“In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap xi

There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached that point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….  :-)
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Well, there you have it…. Yesterday, or recently, I said, in a poem, “All you can do, is all you can do… and nothing more.” I’ve done all I can do today…. A couple thousand words, mostly all original, an old-school pearl, a new-school pearl, a poem…. it’s going to take me some time to close all the veins I’ve had to open up this morning…. but, it was worth it. It kept me from considering Reality for quite some time, other than as an objective subject for thought, so, that is a good thing…. and, it has the added positive characteristic of being DONE…. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing this one…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Riding forth with the myrmidons….

Ffolkes,
Wow…. I didn’t realize one could actually fall asleep at the keyboard. It was just like falling asleep at the wheel of a car, but instead of almost crashing, what I found on the screen was zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  You get the picture, I’m sure….. I could go back and delete all of it, but who knows? It may just be a new style of prose writing, called minimalist, or some such…. I’ve seen worse….

“Will this never-ending series of PLEASURABLE EVENTS never cease?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Yes, life is just one big party here at Ned’s house. I managed to stay up until 9 PM last night, which means I’m up today at 5 AM, almost awake. It’s a toss-up as to whether I keep typing or go back to bed….. and I can hear my pillow softly calling my name…. Okay, I’ll be back in a while….

I’m back… it is now almost three hours later. I guess I got up too early the first try. And now that I have no doubt bored you all to tears with my morning play by play, I think we should Pearl… shall we?…..

Be on your guard against a silent dog and still water. — Latin proverb (Good advice…)
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The Men That Fought At Minden

A Song of Instruction

The men that fought at Minden, they was rookies in their time –
So was them that fought at Waterloo!
All the ‘ole command, yuss, from Minden to Maiwand,
They was once dam’ sweeps like you!

Then do not be discouraged, ‘Eaven is your ‘elper,
We’ll learn you not to forget;
An’ you mustn’t swear an’ curse, or you’ll only catch it worse,
For we’ll make you soldiers yet!

The men that fought at Minden, they ‘ad stocks beneath their chins,
Six inch ‘igh an’ more;
But fatigue it was their pride, and they ~would~ not be denied
To clean the cook-’ouse floor.

The men that fought at Minden, they had anarchistic bombs
Served to ‘em by name of ‘and-grenades;
But they got it in the eye (same as you will by-an’-by)
When they clubbed their field-parades.

The men that fought at Minden, they ‘ad buttons up an’ down,
Two-an’-twenty dozen of ‘em told;
But they didn’t grouse an’ shirk at an hour’s extry work,
They kept ‘em bright as gold.

The men that fought at Minden, they was armed with musketoons,
Also, they was drilled by ‘alberdiers;
I don’t know what they were, but the sergeants took good care
They washed be’ind their ears.

The men that fought at Minden, they ‘ad ever cash in ‘and
Which they did not bank nor save,
But spent it gay an’ free on their betters — such as me –
For the good advice I gave.

The men that fought at Minden, they was civil — yuss, they was –
Never didn’t talk o’ rights an’ wrongs,
But they got it with the toe (same as you will get it — so!) –
For interrupting songs.

The men that fought at Minden, they was several other things
Which I don’t remember clear;
But ~that’s~ the reason why, now the six-year men are dry,
The rooks will stand the beer!

Then do not be discouraged, ‘Eaven is your ‘elper,
We’ll learn you not to forget;
An’ you mustn’t swear an’ curse, or you’ll only catch it worse,
For we’ll make you soldiers yet!

Soldiers yet, if you’ve got it in you –
All for the sake of the Core;
Soldiers yet, if we ‘ave to skin you –
Run an’ get the beer, Johnny Raw — Johnny Raw!
Ho! run an’ get the beer, Johnny Raw!

Rudyard Kipling

I can imagine a platoon of English army soldiers, sitting in a dark, smoke-filled, crowded tavern, somewhere in India, singing this song at the top of their lungs, as they slosh more ale down their throats from the tankards they wave about in time to the song. Gig Young, or Errol Flynn plays the part of the officer of the troop, with all those wonderful British character actors playing the soldiers. They all die in the end, of course…. that’s the common lot for British soldiers in India at that time…. Any who, I like the poem a lot, it made me think of the word “rollicking” and is worth reading just for that….  :-)
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“I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” — Sir Winston Churchill

“…for DEATH awaits you all, with nasty sharp  pointy teeth!” — Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Death. The great equalizer. Nobody gets away from it. As a matter of fact, it has been proven, beyond a shadow of doubt, that everyone who breathes air, dies. So, air must not be good for us, right? That’s logic….. Of course it’s logical. It is also, however, not true, and serves as an example of the fact that logic doesn’t always lead to the correct answer to any particular question….. sometimes you gotta just go by what is real…..

I like the first quote, by Winnie…. should the Christian viewpoint turn out to have been true, I would prefer to meet my maker with this same attitude. To my way of thinking, if it (Christianity) IS true, then God has a lot to answer for. I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe in any deity who would allow his creation to show such perversions as this species has shown. Whenever I bring this point up to a priest, or theologian of any sort, all I get is “God works in mysterious ways….”

Yeah? Is that right? You say there is some hidden purpose to those actions we don’t understand? Well, fuck God then, because he’s acting like an asshole. I don’t care a whit if there is some hidden purpose; there is NO ACCEPTABLE REASON to suppose that a merciful God would condone child molesters, or rapists, or torture, (even during war). I don’t believe it; it is neither logical, nor rational….

Claiming that God is beyond our understanding, and therefore we cannot understand his reasons for allowing such actions, is pure bullshit. If he is that far above us, why are his morals so perverted? I don’t care what you say, I won’t accept the rape of a child as being justifiable from ANY standpoint. None. And if God does have some justification, well, I ain’t buying it. No matter what it is, it isn’t right….. And going along with it, believing the lie, is just another cowardly way of avoiding responsibility…..

Men are responsible for these actions, not God. Men kill, and rape, and pillage, and manipulate and coerce their fellows into performing acts of heinous nature. At times in history, this killing has taken place in the name of God, as the fanatical zealots so common to Christianity throughout its bloody history carried their own particular brand of oppression to new lands, forcing the natives to swallow their version of reality, regardless of how they felt about it.

This zealotry continues today, with the current Republican candidate all set to bring the US right back into the Stone Age, should he. through some cruel quirk of fate, be elected as POTUS. If that happens, I’m pretty sure Armageddon will be close behind, as I don’t think the rest of the world is going to sit still for him to cram his own faith down their throats.

Hell, right here at home, should he be elected, I’d be surprised if there isn’t a revolutionary upheaval within a few months of the election. I know I would certainly be considering assassination as a viable political tool…. It is now legal for us to use torture as a resource, why should we balk at assassination?

Ah me…. I guess I got too much sleep. It seems to have awakened my old hippie instincts; I haven’t talked revolution in oh, six or eight months now…. I suppose I’ll just have to wait until November, to see which way to jump…. let’s hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. That’s always the best policy….. for survival, anyway….and that may become our primary goal, if things keep on keepin’ on…..
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How admirable,
he who thinks not,
Life is fleeting,
When he sees the lightning!
– Basho

Future Shocked:

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

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

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

We all weep now…..

gigoid
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Well, that turned a little dark on me, didn’t it? I guess that is all one can expect when speaking of Death; things often turn a little dark in his/her presence….. But, a little dark only serves to contrast with the light, making us more aware of both…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

On the trail of corrupted plankton….

Ffolkes,

How It Works…..

Retreat, retreat, he cries in vain
we cannot stand such pain!
Another battle, another day’s fight
Eternally at war, both day and night.

Storms within, crashing and thrashing about,
filling each moment with fear and doubt.
Cries of anguish, hopes for a swift end
Denied with wounds that will not mend.

The crisis approaches, time will not wait.
It marches on, driven madly by fate.
We have no recourse, no other road to walk,
No great power to whom we may talk.

Morning arrives, seemingly mild and free
Until one considers all that must be
An intro, some pearls, a photo or two
Today’s magnificent Pearl, created just for you…..

–gigoid

Well, I don’t often try my hand at poetry, but this came out pretty well, I think. It’s certainly a change of pace for this blog, and if nothing else, I didn’t have to come up with another interesting introductory section.

Well, I did, but with a new technique…. enjoy it, ffolkes, you won’t see it often. I believe this is the first poem I’ve written in a great many years, and it will most likely be another few years before another one works its way out into the light of day….

I’m kinda proud of this one…. it actually rhymes, and has cadence and everything! Not sure how that happened, but, I’ll take it…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind.  Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.  And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of a bitter and bloody persecution.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

See! They warned us, and we still didn’t listen! Almost every one of the men who were involved in the writing of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights, at one time or another in the ensuing years, wrote a letter or essay discussing this very idea. They had just fought a long, hard battle to set up the safeguards for the freedoms we now supposedly enjoy, and were nervous that what they had accomplished would be lost in the future, due to the machinations of those among the human herd who make it their habit to prey on the rest of the group.

Corporations, and the politicians who take their money in return for legislation favoring those corporations, were considered just as dangerous to liberty as were religions; Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, Mason, Adams, and a host of others all wrote their own version of warnings to their ancestors, naming rapacious corporate entities among the most dangerous enemies against which to guard. These men, who had already risked everything to create the nation we live in, had no desire to see that nation fall to internal enemies, and were careful to make sure that we would know…

But, nobody listened, and now we are reaping what we have sown. Corporations control Congress. If you believe otherwise, you are delusional, quite simply. It is only necessary to go down the list of those who have been elected, and tally up how their votes go on issues that concern the control of corporate activities. It becomes perfectly clear that NO legislation that seriously hinders what corporations are allowed to do in their pursuit of profit will ever be enacted.

If something that appears to be beneficial to the public does get voted in, you can bet there are codicils and amendments to the bill that essentially emasculate any attempts to curtail profit. Congress hasn’t enacted any laws beneficial to the public in over 75 years, that I can see, and I invite anyone to show me one bill that did so. Just one…. then we can discuss how long it took to find it…. and what THAT little item of information means….

Back in the mid-nineteenth century in America, a corrupt Federal judge was paid by corporate interests to make a ruling that, in essence, gave corporations “person-hood”, making them legal entities entitled to all the protection of the laws that govern individuals. Essentially, this gave these businesses the “right” to a profit, and allows them to charge their customers for any expenses they wish, no matter how egregious or outlandish, and their right to that is protected by law.

Every legal decision challenging that person-hood has been defeated in the intervening years, on those few occasions when anyone has tried to throw off the chains the law has placed on us all. The amount of money spent on lobbying, to control the laws that get made, far exceeds what is spent on education, healthcare, or almost any other publicly beneficial programs, (not war, you’ll note; war is good business…) and in the eyes of the 1%, it is money well-spent…..

Now, PAC’s for both the Democratic corporations, and the Republican corporations (yes, they are…. there is no real difference between the corporations and the pundits they have paid for; they’re speaking the same language, and have the same goals….) are all set to spend BILLIONS of dollars, dollars originally ripped out of YOUR pockets for stuff you don’t really want or need, to spread lies, misinformation, accusations, and prestidigitation around the public airways until we are all sick of it…..

Well, until some of us are…. I’m sick of it already, and they haven’t really ramped it up yet….. I think I’m going to go buy some aspirin to go along with my other pain medications; I can feel a headache coming on, and I don’t think it will let up until December….

“I speak truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little the more as I grow older.” — Michael de Montaigne
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FAIRY, n.  A creature, variously fashioned and endowed, that formerly inhabited the meadows and forests.  It was nocturnal in its habits, and somewhat addicted to dancing and the theft of children.  The fairies are now believed by naturalist to be extinct, though a clergyman of the Church of England saw three near Colchester as lately as 1855, while passing through a park after dining with the lord of the manor.  The sight greatly staggered him, and he was so affected that his account of it was incoherent.  In the year 1807 a troop of fairies visited a wood near Aix and carried off the daughter of a peasant, who had been seen to enter it with a bundle of clothing.  The son of a wealthy _bourgeois_ disappeared about the same time, but afterward returned.  He had seen the abduction been in pursuit of the fairies.  Justinian Gaux, a writer of the fourteenth century, avers that so great is the fairies’ power of transformation that he saw one change itself into two opposing armies and fight a battle with great slaughter, and that the next day, after it had resumed its original shape and gone away, there were seven hundred bodies of the slain which the villagers had to bury.  He does not say if any of the  wounded recovered.  In the time of Henry III, of England, a law was made which prescribed the death penalty for “Kyllynge, wowndynge, or mamynge” a fairy, and it was universally respected. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Life just wouldn’t be worth living without esoterica…. I love finding stuff like this. From a purely rational standpoint, it is a waste of intellectual energy to spend even the amount of time it takes to read in reflection of fantasy. But being human means that rationality is not only NOT mandatory, it is easily disregarded in favor of such charming nonsense.

When I read this, I like to think that it is strictly true, that the references quoted actually exist in some English or Irish library, that the peasants still walk around “fairy hills” to show respect, that the law protecting fairies is still actively enforced by the English people. Even if it isn’t true, it feels good to consider, and to me, that makes it worthwhile…. Anything that stimulates the imagination is okay with me…..
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A Code of Morals

Now Jones had left his new-wed bride to keep his house in order,
And hied away to the Hurrum Hills above the Afghan border,
To sit on a rock with a heliograph; but ere he left he taught
His wife the working of the Code that sets the miles at naught.

And Love had made him very sage, as Nature made her fair;
So Cupid and Apollo linked , per heliograph, the pair.
At dawn, across the Hurrum Hills, he flashed her counsel wise –
At e’en, the dying sunset bore her busband’s homilies.

He warned her ‘gainst seductive youths in scarlet clad and gold,
As much as ‘gainst the blandishments paternal of the old;
But kept his gravest warnings for (hereby the ditty hangs)
That snowy-haired Lothario, Lieutenant-General Bangs.

‘Twas General Bangs, with Aide and Staff, who tittupped on the way,
When they beheld a heliograph tempestuously at play.
They thought of Border risings, and of stations sacked and burnt –
So stopped to take the message down — and this is whay they learnt –

“Dash dot dot, dot, dot dash, dot dash dot” twice. The General swore.
“Was ever General Officer addressed as ‘dear’ before?
“‘My Love,’ i’ faith! ‘My Duck,’ Gadzooks! ‘My darling popsy-wop!’
“Spirit of great Lord Wolseley, who is on that mountaintop?”

The artless Aide-de-camp was mute; the gilded Staff were still,
As, dumb with pent-up mirth, they booked that message from the hill;
For clear as summer lightning-flare, the husband’s warning ran: –
“Don’t dance or ride with General Bangs — a most immoral man.”

[At dawn, across the Hurrum Hills, he flashed her counsel wise --
But, howsoever Love be blind, the world at large hath eyes.]
With damnatory dot and dash he heliographed his wife
Some interesting details of the General’s private life.

The artless Aide-de-camp was mute, the shining Staff were still,
And red and ever redder grew the General’s shaven gill.
And this is what he said at last (his feelings matter not): –
“I think we’ve tapped a private line. Hi! Threes about there! Trot!”

All honour unto Bangs, for ne’er did Jones thereafter know
By word or act official who read off that helio.
But the tale is on the Frontier, and from Michni to Mooltan
They know the worthy General as “that most immoral man.”

Rudyard Kipling

Ah yes, the eternal curse of writing…. once the words are gone, they can never be called back…. This is kind of spooky in a way, as it could easily be seen as a prediction of the future…. Just imagine the idea of texting in the poem, instead of the heliograph, and it could have been written yesterday… or even tomorrow…. History is full of little ironies, isn’t it?
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Well, there you have it. I don’t think I can do any better than this, so it will have to do. It is certainly unique, for the poem by gigoid, if for nothing else. As for the rest, well, you’ll have to make your own decision as to that…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!