There are shades of culpability at play….

Ffolkes,

“How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.” — Spanish proverb

There are moments when I feel that this whole process of creating the Daily Pearls of Virtual Wisdom is well defined by this little aphorism…. This isn’t to say that I consider what I’ve done to be ‘nothing’, but, the end result is the same, is it not? Whether what I write is brilliant and compelling, or just plain silly (that seems to cover the gamut of material I see here….  Joke….), nothing in the realm of reality is changed, for better or for worse…. Nothing I can see, that is, other than in the minds of a few die-hards who show up regularly, and, apparently, like what I’ve written, but, I don’t know exactly what they think, other than they keep showing up (for which I am eternally grateful….)…. I’m glad that what I write appeals to someone out there, even though that isn’t the expressed, or actual, purpose behind my literary efforts….

Saving my sanity was the original purpose, but, it has grown beyond that initial motivation, to include more elements of egotism; it would be foolish to deny that it requires a certain amount of ego to continue to post the kind of material I do. But, that has never been an issue for me, as my ego is plenty strong, and plenty big enough to not give a rat’s beauteous butt if people disagree with my opinions; as well, I’m always willing to enter into dialogue over my thoughts, and give folks a chance to shoot down my logic and/or reasoning, and to consider other, new information in relation to the subject at hand. My ego is even strong enough to admit it when I’m wrong, if the proof thereof is compelling and clear….

I think what has happened is that writing has become necessary for me to feel complete; when I don’t get a Pearl done in good time, I find myself experiencing a sense of diffuse anxiety, that nibbles at the edge of my consciousness, keeping me on edge, until I get it done, or make a final decision to abort for the day (that usually only happens when technical issues are present….). Once it is done, though, I feel like the above proverb, rested, and ready to face the day’s tasks with a clear head. In retrospect, looking at what I’ve just come to realize, it is a routine, a set of habitual behaviors, that I have developed, one that is very closely entwined with my persona in such a way as to affect all the other stuff I do and feel…..

In other words, I’m addicted to this, and HAVE to make a Pearl each morning, or I start exhibiting, and feeling, symptoms of withdrawal, complete with dyskinesia, unspecified malaise, and inability to concentrate. Between this process, and coffee, I am a slave to my inner needs, just like the rest of humanity, I would guess…. I just talk about it more, and admit that I’m an addict more readily…. Or, maybe, that’s just ego talking, and all of this is just another exercise in futility, disguised as an intelligent opening section of today’s Pearl…. Since the evidence is weighty in both directions, I think we get to choose, so I pick the futility…..

In other words, I’ve done nothing, once again, and now I’ll go rest….. Shall we Pearl?…..
_____________________________

“There are people so addicted to exaggeration that they can’t tell the truth without lying.” — Josh Billings

In the past few weeks, I’ve mentioned how the BRC (Beloved Ruling Class) has a nasty habit of lying to the public. When I do this, I am deliberately singling them out, in spite of the simple fact that this behavior, lying, is one that all of us, to some degree, are subject to displaying, in scientific terms, alla damn time! (That’s an Italian measurement, “alla damn”, taken from the Latin “compos mentos” — “he is insane”…..)  It’s true, we all lie (and if that isn’t a strange and beautiful sentence, I am hallucinating again…. not….)  Let me say it again, just so you get it…. It’s true, we all lie…..

Of course, those of us with an evolved sense of integrity and/or honor try to confine our lies to what we tell ourselves, to maintain our illusions about our own worth, and our own ability to cope… without which all of us are much less capable…. (Hmm… what does THAT say about our nature? Not sure I want to know….). But, in reality, many people don’t limit their lies to themselves, but use them freely to attain their own ends. I’m not sure how they rationalize this behavior to themselves, or if they even bother, but, it is clear that they do lie, and they do it without any compunction, or reservations about its relative morality….

Any who, I didn’t intend to rant here, so much as provide an explanation for the following pearl… It isn’t comprised of quotes that will inspire or stimulate cogitation, but, actual headlines, once again ripped from the real news, as listed on SFGATE, an outlet of the SF Chronicle, which used to be just a newspaper…. If you look at each of these, you will note a theme in them that otherwise may have been missed…. Look at each with this in mind; in this situation as described, how many lies have been told? Lies to protect a reputation, or prevent a lawsuit. Lies to the public. Lies about the public. Lies from the administration. Lies from corporate spokes bots, and from union fat cats. Lies from criminals taking advantage of the ignorant. Lies about sex, lies about money…. It’s all there, in seven little headlines, a simple part of our Reality, ffolkes…

SF Fire Chief bans helmet cams in wake of crash

Britain detains partner of reporter tied to NSA leaks

Scammers prey on confusion about health care overhaul

AC Transit union rejects contract offer

San Diego mayor set to return amid recall drive

BART managers, like unions, among best compensated

Markets drift as investors await Fed details

Ain’t Life © (copyright pending) grand?! Makes you want to just go out and start a petition, or something, eh?…. Yeah, I know, me, too….
_____________________________

Last night, during a tangential search for something or other, I went through some old Pearls from the site archives, and stepped in a large pile of serendipity, which I didn’t mind getting all over my shoes, at all…. I found three poems that I wrote last August, that I had completely forgotten about, all three of which are pretty damn good, if I do say so…. It was very strange, actually, as I must have literally opened a vein to create these; my conscious mind has no recollection whatsoever of any of them, or of writing them…. But, there they were, big as life, and obviously mine, staring me in the face… So, I saved them, and will submit them for your perusal over the next few days…. Some of y’all may remember them, as I saw some of the regular site-goers had been there…. Here is the first…

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 ~~

_____________________________

Like it or not, I have to hurry now, to get this done…. I’ve a lot to do this week, in preparation for another move…. packing boxes, changing addresses with banks and agencies, renewing passport with new information, etc., just piddly stuff that all needs done so I can stop thinking about it. Hence, the following old-school, random harlequin pearl, subject as yet unknown…. Let’s see what SB can do for me on such short notice….

Here the heart
May give a useful lesson to the head,
And Learning wiser grow without his books.

– William Cowper (1731-1800) — The Task, Book vi, Winter Walk at Noon, Line 85

“Every body continues in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, except insofar as it doesn’t.” — Sir Arthur Eddington

“Instead of trying to build newer and bigger weapons of destruction, mankind should be thinking about getting more use out of the weapons we already have.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

ASS, n.  A public singer with a good voice but no ear.  In Virginia City, Nevada, he is called the Washoe Canary, in Dakota, the Senator, and everywhere the Donkey.  The animal is widely and variously celebrated in the literature, art and religion of every age and country; no other so engages and fires the human imagination as this noble vertebrate.  Indeed, it is doubted by some (Ramasilus, _lib. II., De Clem._, and C. Stantatus, _De Temperamente_) if it is not a god; and as such we know it was worshiped by the Etruscans, and, if we may believe Macrobious, by the Cupasians also.  Of the only two animals admitted into the Mahometan Paradise along with the souls of men, the ass that carried Balaam is one, the dog of the Seven Sleepers the other.  This is no small distinction.  From what has been written about this beast might be compiled a library of great splendor and magnitude, rivalling that of the Shakespearean cult, and that which clusters about the Bible.  It may be said, generally, that all literature is more or less Asinine.

“Hail, holy Ass!” the quiring angels sing;
“Priest of Unreason, and of Discords King!”
Great co-Creator, let Thy glory shine:
God made all else, the Mule, the Mule is thine!”
G.J.
— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Take naps and stretch before rising.” — Things We Can Learn From Dogs

Sorry, can’t blame this one on me; it was all Smart Bee…. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it….
_____________________________

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

– William Butler Yeats, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”

I’m in a weird mood today; let’s hope it doesn’t translate into the real world in a way that I will come to regret….. Ah well, I’ve been weird before, and shall be again, so… that should do it for one day….. Like it or not, I guess I’m done, save the shouting, and the lawsuits….

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

It only performs when titillated…..

Ffolkes,

In the interests of public safety, and by local statute, I am required to make the following announcement: Caution! Operator carries no caffeine! Do not put your hands in the cage. Do not speak to the operator while writing. Do not look at the operator while writing. In fact, just go away….

Okay, so the last one isn’t really in there, and, you don’t have to go away…. But, the rest is true, and good advice at this point, if a bit frantic, due to a late afternoon attack by one of Murphy’s minions yesterday, one with results much more far reaching than his usual shenanigans….. It was a real pisser, and I’m lucky I didn’t bite myself, it was so infuriating….

After a day of agonizing pain in my neck, which kept me down and out most of the day, I was dutifully, and, manfully, considering the still-present pita (pain in the neck, see? pita…. c’mon, keep up!….) cleaning up the kitchen, when I opened the coffee maker to prepare my coffee for this morning (the coffee maker is one that can be programmed to start at a set time…. heavenly!….). The machine’s getting a bit old, and Murphy decided the moment was the perfect time to have it break, in such a way as it is not repairable….. the bloody arsehole…

The plastic neck that delivers the hot water to the brew basket, to drip, cracked clean through; if used in this state, the hot water would proceed to cover the entire sink and counter where the coffee machine lives…. I’m actually lucky I noticed it break; if I hadn’t, the disaster would have been of major proportion, as it would have actually kept me from getting ANY coffee, and would no doubt have sent me into a towering rage, and subsequent riot, wherein the coffee maker would have most likely gotten tossed through the nearest window, thus requiring embarrassing explanations to the neighbors….

Though I’m pretty sure y’all don’t much give a shit about my hassles to obtain coffee, society knows better, and requires the above disclaimer if I am deprived of the necessary dose of it within a few moments of arising. It’s the law, which was enacted the last time it happened, in 1989…. you might have seen the news reports, though my lawyer tried to have them played down, and did manage to not have the law bear my name, like it does when some sex offender gets a law passed because of their actions, or named after a victim of some kind…

In my own case, there were no deaths, and only minor injuries, mostly to me, and my property…. But, it required a strong police and fire department presence to control the resultant events, and a number of officers got frightened so badly, they’re still in therapy…. The upshot is, I am required to have my first cup of very strong coffee, complete with accouterments, defined as sugar and cream, within two minutes of arising, and I am not allowed to associate with anything more complex than a toilet until that is accomplished. It’s better that way for everyone, so I don’t really have a problem with it, until stuff like this happens….

Murphy KNOWS that coffee is a legal requirement around here, and he delights in making it harder for me to stay on the right side of that legal line in the sand…. Hence, I now have to make a trip to a store today, to get a new machine, just for starters….. This morning, just to add insult to injury, it was necessary for me to heat up water on the stove, in a pan, and pour it through the coffee basket, with the machine off, in order to get any coffee at all, which, as you may guess, did NOT make me a happy camper…. I swear, if that Irish assbite ever manifests himself in front of me in such a way as to allow me to lay hands on him, he will not forget the pain for a very long time….

Now that the morning paean to coffee, and the habitual, almost required discussion complaint about Murphy’s latest version of humorous rudeness, has been composed, we can go on to other stuff…. I would say, given what I’ve seen so far, that is probably a good thing…. Quite frankly, this intro sucks big time….. but, like a wart, there it sits, so what are we to do? Well, I know what I’m gonna do….

Shall we Pearl….
_____________________________

This is the coolest thing! If you are a fan of Doctor Who, you will appreciate this, and may already know about it…. In my short stint of surfing yesterday (pain kept me off the computer a LOT yesterday….), I found the link below…. Following it will bring you to a Google map, which is of Earl Road, in London, England….

The map soon dissolves to show a picture of the street, with a blue Police telephone box in the center of the picture. If one clicks on the two white arrows that appear in the street in front of the box, the scene switches to a virtual view of the inside of the box, which happens to be the TARDIS, the Doctor’s sentient space-time travel machine….

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=51.492159,-0.19092&spn=0.005291,0.013937&sll=51.492140,-0.193028&layer=c&cid=12502927659667388442&panoid=c9UMhWP_MWm9U0L48xEjYw&cbp=13,291.8,,0,18.86&gl=US&t=m&cbll=51.492132,-0.192862&z=17

The scene shown inside the box is a virtual tour of the entire TARDIS interior, and the user can scroll around to view all the parts, though there is no Doctor present to guide the tour….. Regardless, it’s a great little easter egg from Google, and fun to play with for a while…. And, it serves as a way to keep me from subjecting y’all to a rant here in the first section…. Instead, I offer this little bit of fun, and hope you enjoy the time spent checking it out.

“I taught I taw a puddy tat.” — Tweety
_____________________________

It may not be clear from what has gone before, but, my head today is in a very, very strange place. I’m not sure why, or what has brought it on, but, strange it is…. It’s one of those days when I am unsure of just how I will react to any stimulus from others, so, I generally try to stay to myself on such days…. It also gives me a strange, if not altogether weird, impulse toward complex poetry, to match the feeling in my head (which, I understand, is a contradiction in terms…. feelings belong elsewhere than in the head….)…. For this, I almost always turn to this poet to furnish an appropriate verse or two….

Magi

The abstracts hover like dull angels:
Nothing so vulgar as a nose or an eye
Bossing the ethereal blanks of their face-ovals.

Their whiteness bears no relation to laundry,
Snow, chalk or suchlike. They’re
The real thing, all right: the Good, the True . . .

Salutary and pure as boiled water,
Loveless as the multiplication table.
While the child smiles into thin air.

Six months in the world, and she is able
To rock on all fours like a padded hammock.
For her, the heavy notion of Evil

Attending her cost less than a bellyache,
And Love the mother of milk, no theory.
They mistake their star, these papery godfolk.

They want the crib of some lamp-headed Plato.
Let them astound his heart with their merit.
What girl ever flourished in such company?

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~

_____________________________

Subjects suitable for a rant have presented themselves to my attention several times in the last few days….

The BRC continues its thrashing around in the throes of embarrassment, trying to repair the damage to their credibility that the clandestine spying they’ve been up to has caused in the public, as well as the exposure threatened to all the other attempts to distract us from what they are doing behind the scenes…..

The Catholic bishops are scurrying around trying to figure out “What were we thinking, when we elected this idiot as Pope?!”, while the new Pope himself is busily meeting with the people on the streets, telling them, if only by example, he is going to clean out the corrupt bishops who elected him… Well, he hasn’t actually SAID that, but, his actions thus far seem to indicate that he isn’t going to go along with the agenda they had prepared for him, and may actually be trying to bring the church into the new millennium…. Not that it makes any great difference to me, but, a LOT of people regard his words as their own guide to reality, so what he says and does can directly affect society at large….

There have been other, just as juicy articles that spelled out some new outrageous government policy, or some new outrage on the public by a police officer, or some new instance of prosecution of an elected official for stealing money from the public coffers…. Stuff like this happens every day, and, in truth, has gotten to the point where it is hard to decide which one to address….

Now, me, I’m lazy, that’s been demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt in the past…. Therefore, even the process of decision making gets streamlined in terms of effort by my brain, which is extremely adroit at figuring out the path of least resistance (long practice helps there….). Hence, this random, harlequin, old-school pearl, with only the most meager of constraints placed on Smart Bee in regards choosing appropriate pearls… As long as fun is being poked, I’m good with it, and so should you be….

“I already know I’m paranoid.  The question is, am I paranoid enough?” — Smart Bee

“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“I like a bit of a mongrel myself, whether it’s a man or a dog; they’re the best for every day.” — George Bernard Shaw  1856-1950, Misalliance [1910], episode I

“The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper” — Thomas Jefferson

IDIOT, n.  A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.  The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.”  He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable.  He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.  — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hopes for the human condition is a fool.” — Albert Camus

“I realize that I’m generalizing here, but as is often the case when I  generalize, I don’t care.” — Dave Barry

Well, that came out better than I had hoped, or imagined…. well done, SB…. or, should that be, well, done, SB…. ?….. Either way, it seems…..
_____________________________

Given the handicaps under which I’ve struggled in order to complete this morning’s effort, I consider it a job well done, no matter how it came out… How did it come out? Let’s see…..

Okay, well, that’s way better than I’d hoped, or expected; I can easily attribute it to serendipity, which, in my life, is generally accompanied by a gleeful expression of joyful feeling, such as “Look what I found!”, or “Whoopee, I struck gold!”, or other such heartfelt exposition. Consider it said, and we’ll call it square, okay?….

I know it’s good, or at least, okay, because there weren’t any typos I could find…. at least, not in the first pass; however, it still has to cross Murphy’s desk, and the WP new-post editor, either of which could make their own, unapproved and unwanted, changes, usually without my knowledge…. Just remember, when it left my desk, it was pristine…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

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

That’s one cantankerous clown….

Ffolkes,

As I sit down today to begin, the expected blankness that fills my mind is broken only by the few pathetic words and letters piled in the corner, laying there in a jumbled pile, dusty, and unwanted. I swept them all up, put them in a bag, and am now utilizing the poor, sad, little things to write this, hoping that by doing so, inspiration will strike, without drawing blood, I trust. The auspices for a good day are enhanced thereby, though certainly not guaranteed to bring anything worthwhile…. While we’re sitting here, waiting to see what will happen, would anyone else like some coffee? No? I make it strong, so it’s pretty good, I think; it will certainly wake you up, even if you’re mostly dead….

When I was a breakfast cook, many years ago, I would always make a pot of coffee for myself, before any of the waitrons came in, and before any patrons were served. I made it to suit myself, and, normally, the waitrons would either finish it themselves, or toss it out before opening, as it was (literally) twice as strong as their normal brew, and not acceptable for serving to the customers of the resort…. One morning, they forgot to toss it, and it got served to about 6 or 8 senior citizens who came in right before their tour bus left to go home to Fresno…. Two days later, the driver of their bus, on a return trip, asked the waitrons what had happened, because, on the trip to Fresno, these 8 seniors were the life of the party, laughing, singing, and traipsing back and forth to the toilet for most of the three hour bus ride….. It was the most life he’d seen in one of those groups in his twenty years of driving for them…..

Okay, well, I suppose an anecdote from the past is an acceptable way to open up this kind of blog, especially on a Sunday….. Not that Sundays are much different than any other day in my life, but, the rest of the world pays a lot of attention to that kind of thing, so I must at least acknowledge it. Not doing so probably wouldn’t cause a lot of problems, like losing money or anything, but, it has been known to cause angst, in others, when I forget to pay homage to the (delusional) connotations of this day of the week, in a congregational sense…. A lot of Americans ignore the imperative to be in church today, or to, at least, confine one’s activities to church-approved events or tasks, like gardening, or working around the house….. A whole bunch of them engage in sporting activities, generally while seated in a chair with their beer of choice, observing others play the sport on the babble-box…..

Me, I’m retired, don’t suffer from delusions, and I don’t have a TV, so none of that affects me, other than to remember that everyone else is paying their homage to their programmed tapes, the set of instructions instilled in them from the time they were small, and defenseless…. It makes me sad for them, but, at this stage of history there is very little I can do, other than encourage them to try new things, to think new thoughts, and throw off the dark, stifling, delusional beliefs that have held them in thrall for their entire existence…. and that’s mostly as effective as pissing into the wind & expecting to keep your pants dry….

Hmph…. sorry, didn’t mean to go all graphic, but, you get the idea…. Any who, look! We’ve gotten five paragraphs in to this error of judgment, which is legally an intro, so, I’m going to take advantage of that little loophole in the law, and get on with the rest of today’s nonsense, or sense, depending on what I find to chew on, and spit back out…. Maybe I’ll go look for a headline to discuss…. yeah, that’s the ticket… Okay, that’s enough of this….

Shall we Pearl?….
_____________________________

You know, normally, when looking through the headlines in the morning, I suppose, like everyone, I tend to skip over stuff that doesn’t seem to catch my attention. Today, I examined those teasing first lines for stuff to demonstrate a point, to wit: society is plain crazy, and the end is near…. Well, maybe not today, but, it’s getting closer all the time…. Any who, when I did so today, I found that things are, perhaps, both worse, and a little better, than I had thought…. In lieu of a pearl, here, then, are some of today’s actual headlines for news from around the US, the Bay Area, and the world at large….. I don’t think I need to point out just how crazy it all is, but, this stuff is pretty crazy…. for a purportedly normal Sunday…..

BART strike bad for all sides.

1 dead,11 hurt in rammings.

210 arrested at Chevron refinery protest.

Man shoots duo that abducted him, his wife.

KGO-TV news team robbed in Oakland.

SF protesters condemn Russia’s anti-gay laws.

OpenTable gobbles up Urbanspoon’s RezBook.

Twitter tries to curb abuse of female users.

Column title: Who is the Knucklehead of the week.

All of these were pulled fresh from the news on 8/4/2013, and were all found on the SFGATE web site, an outlet connected to the SF Chronicle. Do I need to point out the implications of each? Or, should I point out the points that connect all of them, and, together, point out the path we have taken toward the future? No, I didn’t think so…. It’s pretty obviously crazy, all of it….

“America!!  I saw it all!!  Vomiting!  Waving!  JERRY FALWELLING into your void tube of UHF oblivion!!  SAFEWAY of the mind –” — Zippy the Pinhead
_____________________________

Since I didn’t rant, I’m too lazy to go find a poem, and I don’t have one ready to write, y’all will just have to deal with one of mine from the archives…. I did try to pick one that fits in with today’s themes, sort of…. Enjoy!

Geezer to Congress, with Love

Politicos don’t care much ’bout seniors and their ilk,
except for their money, I thinks;
Though they talk as if they’d cozen them in silk,
what they actually do, it stinks.

“The banks are failing, we can’t allow that!”,
steal from the aged, that’s their plan.
“Their life’s ending, that’s plainly where they’re at,”
lie shamelessly, because they can.

Maybe just once, if we all act together,
it couldn’t miss.
Right on their shoes, no matter the weather,
we take careful aim, and piss.

Why the hell not?
It’s worth a shot!

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

There I was, cruising through Smart Bee, looking for one type of pearl, so, of course, SB has to start throwing all sorts of useful stuff at me, without coming close to what I was looking for…. Naturally, I went with the flow, because otherwise it just gets worse. I stuck the random quotes in other, future pearl sections, to be used at a later date, and collected the ones that came up that seemed to hang together. Once more, serendipity has stepped in, and delivered a strong seven-star pearl, aimed directly at a common subject of ours here at ECR, to wit: government, and those sociopaths who engage in it….

“Success and failure are equally disastrous.” — Tennessee Williams

“You can always get the truth from an American statesman after he has turned  seventy, or given up all hope of the presidency.” — Wendell Phillips

“Appearances often are deceiving.” — Aesop (620-560 B.C.)

“The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants.” — Adam Walinsky

“The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.” — William Hazlitt

What Congress means by ethics is best explained by the tailor’s story: “Suppose I sell a suit to a young man for $200.  He tells me that his family is footing the bill and that if I give him a receipt for $400 to give to his parents, he will pay me $100 on the side. The question of ethics is: Do I keep the extra $100 myself, or do I tell my partner and split it with him?” — Smart Bee

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” — Rom 3:10
_____________________________

“Being a pain in the ass is a prerogative of the creative mind.” — Smart Bee

Alright, you don’t have to shout; I’m right here….. I know, the last line is a bit egotistical, isn’t it? I can’t say I’ve ever had a problem with mine, but, if you say so, well, I’ll accept that. I won’t do anything about it, but, I accept it….. That being said, let’s see how all this came out….. All things considered, not bad at all…. If nothing else, it is NOT normal, so, it will do…. and, since I can’t think of any further damage I can do without getting fully dressed, I’ll bid thee adieu….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

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

Priceless moments of shared arrogance…..

Ffolkes,
That was close…. I almost began today’s missive with a song…. Not just any song, mind you, but a particularly bright, bouncy, tuneful one from a particularly perky musical that shall remain nameless, lest I get sued for intellectual theft, or chastised by my readers for excessive tackiness, either of which is unacceptable to me, especially before I’ve finished my first cuppa….. It also saves you from having to go wash out your ears so early in the day…..

Since my morning routine has returned to some semblance of its former normalcy, or mendacity, depending on your relative point of observation, it seems my initial comments are turning on me as well. Not sure what to think about that, or what I should do, if anything….. It’s not as if what I do here in the intro section is written in stone; in fact, nothing like consistency has ever come into the equation at all. It has been both a stimulant, to be more creative, and a hassle, because I’m not always in a creative frame of mind first thing in the morning. I do prefer to write then, as I seem to have more energy than later in the day, but that preference isn’t based on how creative I can be, just how awake I am, and how long I can sit.

None of this is getting me any closer to an introductory section that will do what I wish it to do, which is pull the reader into what is written, like the siren call of the muses…. Oh, well, it’s probably a good thing I can’t seem to find a template for this; if I did the same thing every day, I’d go stark, raving sane, and lose all my sense of humor, most likely, turning this into merely another mass of poorly written garbage, in spite of how pompous and extensive my vocabulary gets, or how accurate my observations…. A conundrum is what it is, and I don’t like it….

Sadly, or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint, my likes and dislikes have absolutely no effect whatsoever on reality, so I’m going to have to just suck it up, and get on with the business of the day, just as if I knew what I was doing, or where I was going. I suppose that could be seen as another metaphor for life in general, but, I’m not in the mood right now for logical, or practical, metaphors, no matter how close to the truth they may be. I’m currently busy feeling curmudgeonly, grumpy because I can’t have my own way, and things aren’t being amenable to my manipulation today, especially my own attitude…. I can see I need to adjust it, so, pardon me if I spilled any of it on you….

I’m going to bring this section to a rapid close now, before I get into anything that could be construed as illegal, or even immoral, which is more of how I judge things in my life…. Not that I’m such that I could be held up as an example of anything other than how to grow old gracelessly, but, I do try to make my decisions based on morals, and/or ethics, rather than laws…. Always have, always will…. Regardless, I have to go now, or “bad things” could happen….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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Oooh! Did you see that? Oh, no, I guess not, since you’re not here in the room with me…. I just created a new pearl format, completely by accident, courtesy of Smart Bee, and the principle of serendipity….. The following pearl, composed of four parts poetry and three parts prose, is just about as perfect as it can be, in terms of being a clever and useful concept, artfully brought to light by the way the given quotes direct the mind’s eye, to the correct vision implied by the tenor of the presented metaphorical signs…. All a short, confusing way to say, look, look, it’s a plane, it’s a bird, it’s not any of that! It’s virtual wisdom at its best…..

Curse away!
And let me tell thee, Beausant, a wise proverb
The Arabs have,–“Curses are like young chickens,
And still come home to roost.”

– Edward Bulwer Lytton (1805-1873) — The Lady of Lyons, Act v, Sc. 2

“By the streets of “by and by”, one arrives at the house of “never”.” — Cervantes

The charge is prepar’d, the lawyers are met,
The judges all ranged,–a terrible show!

– John Gay (1688-1732) — The Beggar’s Opera, Act iii, Sc. 2

“The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray ‘s
In deepest consequence.

– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Macbeth — Act i, Sc. 3

“Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.” — Bertrand Russell, “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish”

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.

– John Donne (1572-1631), “Death, be not proud”

Sniff…. I couldn’t be prouder, and I’d like to thank the Academy, and my director, and my mum and dad, and…..
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I’m in the mood for obscure genius, so…..

Two Lovers And A Beachcomber By The Real Sea

Cold and final, the imagination
Shuts down its fabled summer house;
Blue views are boarded up; our sweet vacation
Dwindles in the hour-glass.

Thoughts that found a maze of mermaid hair
Tangling in the tide’s green fall
Now fold their wings like bats and disappear
Into the attic of the skull.

We are not what we might be; what we are
Outlaws all extrapolation
Beyond the interval of now and here:
White whales are gone with the white ocean.

A lone beachcomber squats among the wrack
Of kaleidoscope shells
Probing fractured Venus with a stick
Under a tent of taunting gulls.

No sea-change decks the sunken shank of bone
That chucks in backtrack of the wave;
Though the mind like an oyster labors on and on,
A grain of sand is all we have.

Water will run by; the actual sun
Will scrupulously rise and set;
No little man lives in the exacting moon
And that is that, is that, is that.

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~

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I am running late, a bit, since I got up at a completely reasonable hour, and have been dawdling over getting this done, letting my mind wake up at its own pace…. and now, I don’t have the time, or the energy, to rant, not effectively…. Once again, though, the archives will come to the rescue…. Here is a politirant I wrote on 7/14/2012, a little less than a year ago, during the run-up to the Presidential election in November of that year….

I remember the piece quite well, and consider it one of my better rants, especially as it continued through two sections, of what, then, were the longer, five section pearls of the old format…. At that length, it’s a bit long, but it’s all quite accurate, and still pretty relevant, given that the political scenery hasn’t altered significantly since it was written… But, then, political scenery never does really change anything but the faces of the people at the top, does it?….. Enjoy, ffolkes, this one is pretty good, and on the mark…. “And that is that, is that, is that.”……
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“Ignore the man behind the screen.” — The All Seeing, All Powerful, Wonderful Wizard of Oz

As the time passes and we draw ever nearer to the election this year, this becomes increasingly relevant. It is important to remember that ALL the political candidates are guilty of using the art of prestidigitation in their communications with the public. Of course, Mitt the Twitt and the GOP are showing particularly egregious new heights to which they are willing to take the art; they have paraded a series of lies before the public that are not even hidden, or palmed like cards; they’re just out there, proven as lies, but ignored. They don’t seem to care; they just deny, ignore, and issue their next false accusation or made up statistics….

‘Shit Happens’ according to… Denialism:      What shit? — Smart Bee

The Democrats aren’t completely free of this syndrome, either; if you believe they are, then you have entered the Twilight Zone, and may have trouble finding your way back to the real world. I admire Obama, much the same way I did Carter; they are both basically decent men trying to do an impossible job, while constantly having to contend with an entire segment of those who are supposed to support him who, instead, are attempting to thwart his every reform, simply for the sake of divisiveness. In their fight to get ANYTHING done, they have had to resort to chicanery of their own. I figure they, at least, feel a bit of guilt about it, whereas I can see no such reaction from Mitt or any of the GOP spokesbozos…. They just deny and ignore any such suggestions of wrong-doing….

Let’s consider Mitt the Twitt for a moment. Here is a man who admits to being rich as Croesus, yet finds it necessary to hide at least half of his real worth, as if it would tarnish his image of someone who can relate to the common man. I think the common man, to Mitt, is someone who only has $50,000 worth of investments, to go along with the house they own, their three cars, and the vacation home in Maine. In contrast to EVERY OTHER candidates policy of publishing their taxes, he continues to refuse to release any returns beyond the last one; there are inconsistencies and red flag items of interest to the public in that one, too, but he refuses to discuss any of it…

This is the same man who tied his dog to a kennel on the roof of a car, and went off on vacation, without ever thinking of how terrified the dog might be, barreling along at 80 mph, with the wind blowing straight through the kennel. He laughs about it, and turns questions about it to other subjects, refusing to even comment on it. This is the same man who, when asked about a serious incident of bullying and gay bashing during his last year in high school, shrugged it off as “youthful pranks and high spirits”…..

This is the same man who…. well, never mind. I could go on most of the day, and not get to all the little incidents from just the last few months that indicate the Twitt’s complete disregard for the majority of Americans, and show clearly how entrenched he is in the 1%, and how committed he is to solidifying the stranglehold that the banks and corporations have on the rest of American society. His total focus is on the agenda of the rich, to the detriment of the poor, and I am totally astounded at just how many IDIOTS are our there in this country supporting him, in the mistaken belief that he gives a shit about them….

No politician is acting in the best interests of the people they govern. None of them. But people continue to act as if they do, and it is driving me crazy! Normal, intelligent people are backing this asshole, thinking that he isn’t going to screw them over. It is incomprehensible to me how people can blind themselves to the obvious so completely that they would fall for this shit….  I will say it one more time, and I hope they can understand it….

And then shall many be offended,… — Matthew 24:10

You are being lied to, by every politician who is currently seeking office, and by every one currently in office. If you don’t see that, if you don’t believe that, then you are deliberately fucking yourself in the place it will most hurt, and apparently, enjoying it…. The man, the party, and 99% of everyone you see on TV is LYING TO YOU!!!!! They are doing so every day, every hour, every minute, and you are accepting it like you are a starving sheep and what they are saying is manna from heaven.

WAKE UP!…..  I’m stopping here, my blood pressure is spiking. That’s how worked up I get when I think of how deliberately stupid people can be…. I don’t so much mind the stupid part, but the fact that they have to CHOOSE to not see what is right in front of their face just sets me off…. and so much indignation, righteous or not, is giving me indigestion….. stay alert, ffolkes, the politicians are coming, and they’re dangerous when unregulated….
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Certain passages in several laws have always defied interpretation, and the most inexplicable must be a matter of opinion. A judge of the Court of Session of Scotland has sent the editors of this book his candidate which reads, “In the Nuts (unground), (other than ground nuts) Order, the expression nuts shall have reference to such nuts, other than ground nuts, as would but for this amending Order not qualify as nuts (unground)(other than ground nuts) by reason of their being nuts (unground).” — from the Guinness Book of World Records, 1973

I’m almost speechless. (I know, you’ll believe it when you see it…. I did say ‘almost’…. that’s something…) It’s absolutely beautiful! Perfectly priceless absolute nonsense, dressed only in legal briefs…. It is so impenetrable, I can’t tell if it is the law itself, or the judges written opinion on the law, or a passage from Nightmare on Elm Street! Which I’ve never seen, by the way….

How’s that for tangential? Any who, this was included today as a finishing touch to my Twitt-rant above. This goes to show just how the political hacks we are burdened with today work their verbal magic, to distract us from looking at things they don’t want us to see. Bureaucratese is what I’ve heard it called, a language and skill set that society has had practiced on them since the days of ancient Greece. When a document such as the one above reaches a certain level of impenetrability, the majority of people alive will either fall asleep halfway through reading it, or totally ignore it after reading the first 11 words or so. It’s a classic piece of distraction, and is probably used in courses for political science majors in college, and in law schools, as an example of how to carry off the trick.

To me, what this law indicates is that one, or more, of the people involved in writing the law have a monetary interest in being able to obfuscate the definition of “Nuts”, in order for them to achieve some financial reward owing to the indicated distinctions in that definition. In other words, a loophole or three is created, so the “Nut” vendors can make more money, charging more for each kind of Nut than could be accomplished without the legislation. It’s similar to the law in this country that was pushed through the Federal Courts back in the mid-1800’s, when a corrupt Federal judge awarded “personhood” to corporations, after being paid handsomely by those corporations for his verdict…. Same, same, alla same…. Evil is loose in the world….

– Bother! said Pooh, as he had another plate of Piglet sausage. — Smart Bee (Remember Mitt the Twitt at the NAACP?…..)

I suppose all I’m trying to say here is, once again….. Wake up ffolkes…. the beloved ruling class, the priestly hierarchies, and the corporate “persons” in the shape of banks and multi-national corporations, are continuing their campaign to hide from all of us the actual business they are pursuing, which has everything to do with benefiting them, and everything to do with screwing everyone else as much as they will allow…. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m about done with allowing ANY of it….

“I’m not tense, just terribly alert.” — Smart Bee

So, please…. DON’T ignore the man behind the screen…. he’s the one who is killing us all….
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Ollie would be proud, I think… and just in time, too. The store is now open, and I’m done with this, so, all is right with the world, such as it is today. I’m not any more certain than you are what that may mean, or even whether it SHOULD mean anything, but, obscurity is what we’re always shooting for around here, and sometimes, it’s just easier than other times….. Especially when my fingers take over the keyboard like this, and just type away as fast as they can, without any idea of what will come out….. I’d better put a stop to it, before I hurt myself, or y’all….   Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Breaking news: Cop bitten by doughnut….

Ffolkes,
And then, I woke up….. at that magical hour of the day, when it reads as a perfectly balanced trio of primes, at 3:33….. or, as the Martians would say, a three, filled. It truly is a magical time, when nobody else is stirring, and I have the thought waves pretty much all to myself. I can direct the flow of them, or let them carry me off to a place where nothing is too fantastic to consider, and nothing is forbidden to think, or to say….. It’s a place in my mind I go to a lot, especially when I’m feeling stressed, or blue, because it’s impossible to feel bad there, where total freedom, of thought, of action, of life is not merely encouraged, but demanded…..

Then, of course, I come back to reality, reluctantly, but always in a better frame of mind with which to approach whatever is happening out there in the BBR, or as we sometimes call it, the scary bad place outside the door….. Sometimes, it’s scarier than what can go on in my head, which is going a good ways, but, after a visit to my “happy place”, I can deal with the fear much more easily. Deal with it I will, for fear is one thing that will never rule my life, no sir…. I’ll have none of that, thank you very much. I see far too many of my planetary peers letting fear determine their attitudes and how they deal with reality, and it is no way to live at all, not for anyone who treasures the power of mind….

How did we get so serious? I just started babbling, and all of a sudden, it’s a mini-rant against fear, which, though a common enough subject, and enemy enough to rant about, I’m barely awake, and have only had one sip of that life-giving nectar of the gods, coffee, so a rant would soon fall down into incoherence, unless I got all pissed off or something, and who needs that at this hour of the day? Not me, certainly, though it IS a way to wake up thoroughly…. just not the most pleasant way, which is more what I’m in the mood for today. Easy is good, I’m thinking…..

Good enough to have provided almost four paragraphs, of not entirely useless material, and at least given me an opportunity to get going with some slight dignity, if not panache. Hell, I’m just happy I’m awake enough to be able to access words like “panache” without blushing, it being so early and all…. and what are all the computer noises about, eh? It keeps making this “doh, don’t” kind of noise, almost like the Law and Order noise when a scene changes…. but we’re not changing scenes….. Makes me wonder what’s going on in the background that it isn’t telling me about…..

“Life is like quotations. Sometimes, it makes you laugh. Sometimes, it makes you cry. Most of the time, you don’t get it. — Smart Bee

If THAT  doesn’t give you an idea of how today is going, I don’t know what will….. Shall we Pearl?
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“To know that one has enough is to be rich.” ~~ Lao Tzu

Though it may sound like it, this is not an endorsement, of either poverty, or affluence. In fact, it is the exact middle ground between the two, that is the meaning herein, the part that contains importance for us as humans, in a society that challenges everyone to become one, or the other, not being content with merely being content with what one possesses. As usual, I’ve probably obscured the basic idea, when I meant to clarify….. SIGH. Sometimes it’s hard being me, what with my natural tendency toward pomposity of speech…. Comes from reading too much alone, and getting comfortable with too many writing styles to remember which one I’m currently using myself….. or, maybe I’m getting old….

Regardless of any of that, I have recently been struck by how apt this aphorism has been in my recent life. I think I’ve done pretty well at dealing with the sudden, exhilarating experience of having more money than I need on a very basic level. Most of my impulsive buying has been prompted by two desires, both of which I’ve managed to fulfill without going completely insane, and blowing it all. One desire is to see those places I’ve always wanted to see; the other is to be able to provide assistance, of a financial nature, to my kids, and grandson, both while I am alive, and after I pass on to the next adventure in the ongoing saga of gigoid, wherever it may lead.

In addition, I find it a very pleasant experience to give in to the urge to buy gifts for the people I love, without having to stop to consider the long-term effect, or worry that it will cause me a strain to do so. Not that I can buy everyone a car, or anything, but it’s really nice to buy flowers now and again, and be able to enjoy doing it…. Even if it doesn’t make me so, it makes me feel rich, to know that I have enough, enough to be able to live, and be able to help whomever I wish to help….

“Kids, the seven basic food groups are GUM, PUFF PASTRY, PIZZA, PESTICIDES, ANTIBIOTICS, NUTRA-SWEET and MILK DUDS!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

As I perused the above, while looking through SB for an appropriate quote for this discussion, I realized this was a perfect choice, because, I can always count on Zippy to provide the proper perspective to any discussion that threatens to become mundane, which the above was certainly doing…. (I wonder if I have enough teeth to eat Milk Duds anymore?) Besides, he forgot coffee, unless that is counted as a pesticide, or an antibiotic…. Nevertheless, what I’ve discussed above is all true, and I must say, not only is it a good feeling to be flush for a change, if not exactly rich, it is a good thing to be able to appreciate my good fortune, and the culmination of a long period of hard work, defined as “waiting patiently for the feds to turn lead into gold”, so to speak…

So, if you are fortunate enough in your life, to have enough, maybe you will join me in appreciating what we have, and thinking how we can help others by sharing our good fortune…. It’s a darn sight better than hoarding it, or worrying about spending the fruits of our life-long efforts foolishly, and a lot more satisfying in the long run…. I guarantee…..

“I have more than enough of almost everything.” — Smart Bee

“No man is free who is not master of himself.” — Epictetus
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Striking Gold

Madness comes and goes, it’s true,
whenever it chooses to do so.
Living’s much like wearing a shoe,
when all you are is a toe.

~~ gigoid ~~


In perfect demonstration of this, I offer the above….. such as it is, it is deeper than it may appear, and quite relevant to my internal life, where I spend probably far too much of my time…. As a balancing act, I offer the following, which is the first one that caught my eye today…..

It’s All I have to bring to-day,
   This, and my heart beside,
This, and my heart, and all the fields,
   And all the meadows wide.
Be sure you count, should I forget, –
   Some one the sum could tell, –
This, and my heart, and all the bees
  Which in the clover dwell.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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The above first section is possibly one of the weakest, yet still reasonably valid pieces I’ve done in a long while. I knew what I wanted to say, but it came out all weird, and rather than try to bring it back, I just let it fly wherever it chose, which turned out to be a bit odd…. Not to say that “odd” is anything new here, but, that wasn’t how it started out….. Oh well, I guess I’ll just go cruising through SB to see what throws itself at me, and sticks…. Hopefully, it will make a bit of sense, but, if not, well, it will fit right in with a lot of what I do around here in the early mornings……

Scimus te prae litteras fatuum esse. (We know that you are mad with much learning.) — Petronius (d. c.66 A.D)

“Back when I was attending the University of Utah, The Daily Utah Chronicle ran a joke ad for a debate between Phil Donahue and Whiskers the Lamb. Over 30 people showed up.  (what they were expecting, God only knows.) — unknown, but not Smart Bee, because SB is a program, and this is obviously the memory of a real person; I just don’t know who, and neither does Google… It is listed as an unattributed joke on some IT website called anvari.com, but, other than that, the only reference on the web was a post of my own, from a couple years ago, when I used it in another Pearl…. Whew!

“A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.” — Oscar Wilde

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it,
Time in hours, days, years,
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.

– Henry Vaughan — The World

“I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else.” — Winston Churchill

Well…. Sometimes, serendipity just astonishes me. It may seem a bit elusive, but, I consider the above to be one of the best five-star pearls that Smart Bee has ever come up with…. The important part of that is that I don’t really know why, it just is…. balanced, whimsical, and ultimately, perfectly real, with some self-deprecation and hope thrown in just for good measure….. So be it, gigoid has spoken, and it is good….
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Okay, I have to see if it is as weird to read as it was to write…. Hmm, well, better than I’d hoped, so, off it goes…. It’s been real, AND fun, so, I’m already in the plus column for the day, and it’s just barely dawn… Time for a nap….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Word is, WordPress rocks!….

Ffolkes,
As may have been noted, I love serendipity, in all its guises and forms. Nothing is more delightful in life than realizing the plain brown rock one is holding is really a diamond in the rough, or that the person we just met is the long-lost brother for whom we’ve searched, or whatever surprising shape it may take for our delectation. It is one of the truest joys in life, for it is always unexpected to receive anything nice from the Universe; generally the things we are allowed to experience are designed by the Murphy Team, and are somewhat less than delightful in their nature…..

This morning’s events led me to meander along these lines…. This time, the impetus for my thoughts is alive, and has taken the form of a vocal, affectionate, attention-mongering young cat by the name of Sadie….

She is a beautiful cat, with markings and colors that tell me part of her ancestry includes a pixiebob, a recently recognized breed of cat bred to look like a miniature lynx, without the funny ears, and a touch of calico. They have tiger-like stripes, in black, against a coat of three shades of brown, with just enough white to add contrast. Pixiebobs are dog-like in their actions, liking to hang out with their humans, following them around the house and lying nearby when quiet, and are quite trainable. They are also very affectionate, and like a lot of attention….

Another part of Sadie’s ancestry was obviously Siamese…. She has the identifiable small kink in the tip of her tail, when she holds it up straight, and her voice clinches the resemblance, as it has that Siamese tone, regal and demanding, that will cut right through a door, or three, and she uses it to express EVERYTHING…. Talk, talk, talk, just like a…. well, I’d better not say that, a good number of my readers would kick my ass…. but, she won’t shut up until I figure out whatever it is she wants from me, or decides to take a cat nap…. I’ve known a lot of Siamese, and she fits the personality type to a T, once the affectionate pixiebob characteristics are factored in….

Sadie is destined to go live with my daughter, who picked her out, but cannot take her for a week, so I agreed to let her stay with me; Sadie needed to leave where she was, in an uncomfortable (for her) home, whose human loves her dearly, but whose cat population just exploded by a factor of 5 (kittens)…. Sadie was not amused by the kittens, so she came to live with me until my daughter can take her home. As I love cats, it is no hardship, kind of like babysitting the grandkid for me, since I get to eventually send her home….

This morning was our first morning together, and it has been a wonderful way to start the day, having someone to talk to, (well, mostly listen to more than talk with….), and provide me with some affectionate company. As I sit now to write, she is lying on the floor next to the chair, purring loudly, and occasionally looking up to see if I’m looking at her; if I am, she says something, then accepts a pat on the head with a grateful blink and preen. Lovely!

If I didn’t already have plans to travel, my daughter might have to find another cat, as Sadie would be welcome to stay as long as she likes…. She slept politely all night at the foot of the bed, and didn’t knock anything over in her nocturnal explorations…. very lady-like behavior in a new place, so all is good….

There, how’s that for a low-key, happy introduction to a Pearl? Not too shabby, I’d say, and a good way to start off a day devoted to family style events…. (see section one….) I think it’s now time to get on with the rest of today’s effort, so I’ll leave this now, and get to the easy part…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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wordpressfamilyaward
One of my oldest friends on WordPress…. Wait, let me qualify that, because I have no idea how old she is, and wouldn’t assume, or say, anyway…. Let’s start over…. A blogger friend of mine, known as Willowdot21, ( her site is at:  http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/about/ ), who has been coming to my site (and I to hers….) since I started a couple of years ago, AND who has been one of my best blogging friends, nominated me for a new award, the WordPress Family Award. It was created by the blogger at this site:  http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com  , who nominated Willow for the original, initial award. This one is a simple award, giving us a chance to acknowledge how great the WordPress family of bloggers are, in their support and encouragement of everyone who writes for the site….. Those rules are as follows:

Rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.    I hope it worked….

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.   Right here:   http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/about/

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.   The hardest part of this for me was limiting the number to only 10…. as I rolled through my blogroll, I found at least that many more that should go on the list, but, to save time, I’ll follow the rules…. I’ve picked those sites who assumed family status soon after our meeting each other online….

Dolly  http://allaboutlemon.com/
Europaicewolf   http://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/
Carol Welsh   http://carolwelsh.wordpress.com/
Carolyn at ABC of Spirit Talk   http://abcofspiritalk.wordpress.com/
Linda Vernon   http://lindavernon.wordpress.com/
Ginger Snaap   http://ohmygawdjustdowhatisay.wordpress.com/
Lizzie Cracked   http://runningnakedwithscissors.com/2013/04/06/a-z-challenge-f-mm/
Eric Alagan  http://ericalagan.net/2013/04/07/samuels-counsel-fallen-grace-15/
Jerry Doby   http://theurbanlink.net/
Lou   http://talesfromthelou.wordpress.com/

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them…. I’ll do that today…. or, more simply, I’m on it….

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as  a friend, and spread the love

So, there you have it…. I’m part of the WordPress Family, and now, so are you…..  One of the best parts of this award is that there isn’t any real pressure to accept, or to send it on by nominating others…. which is why I ended up taking the time to do so, because, hey, it’s family…..
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National Poetry Month Icon Pic
I was feeling some whimsy last night, and this is what leaked out, such as it is…. It may grow, I think, but, for now, it’s not bad, just strange…. As every day this month, this is for the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here:  http://www.napowrimo.net/

Relative Cynicism, with Caramel Sauce

Absolute stillness follows violent movement,
  it can happen during a downhill race,
as an immovable piece of asphalt pavement
  meets the once handsome racer’s face.

Yuk, yuk, yuk said that asshole Moe,
 after poking both of Larry’s eyes,
bashing face, head, & crotch of Curly Joe
  and only ever got hit with pies.

Lonely moments never really come along
  when Murphy’s got us in his sights.
Not for money, love, or siren’s song
  will he abrogate his natural rights.

All we can do is sigh, or laugh in pain,
  as Life portions out our ration of shit.
Silver linings melt in the slightest rain,
  so we may as well learn to live with it.

~~ gigoid

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“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” — H.L. Mencken

I can feel it building…. the anger, the angst, the frustration at the members of the Beloved Ruling Class, and the priestly hierarchies, who prey on their brethren, fully knowing the evil they do. It is also building up against those idiots who allow themselves to believe what these egregious assholes tell them, no matter how outrageous, or how badly it mangles the Truth. I really, really want to rant, and I think when this one comes out, it will be a big one, and I’ll have to coin a new word just to describe it…. but, no worries, I already did that part…. I’m going to write a politireligirant of major proportion, to go along with the upcoming epic take-down of the American Rail System, as personified by Amtrak…. They (Amtrak) forgot that there are SOME American citizens who not only know HOW to write in English, but are capable of doing so, to their soon-to-be-detriment and ultimate chagrin…..

Right now, though, I don’t have the proper frame of mind for ranting; Sadie’s morning activities have bemused and amused me too much, and I can’t quite get my outrage collected enough to spill over. So, I’m going to refer you to a fairly new (to me) blog site, where the blogger rants on what seems to be a daily basis, mostly on the political scene in this country, with side trips into how politics and culture may clash…. The writer’s name is John, and he is a die-hard liberal, politically, with a lot of good sense, and a fine grasp of the reality of the issues, as far as I can tell. His arguments and statements are clearly expressed, as well as well thought out, and he does his research, with attribution, too….. :lol:

The site is located here:  http://americanliberaltimes.com/  This address link will take you to one of his posts, from today, I think, where you can peruse his archives for quite a few good takes on society, politics, and common sense…. which, as we all know, is not as common as believed by most. When I feel the urge for dialogue, I go over to his site, and can always find a post that will prompt a comment, usually several paragraphs long, and we’ve had some good conversations (which, to me, is a big part of what this blogging stiff is all about….).

Sorry if I’ve disappointed anyone by not having a rant ready, but, Sadie just wouldn’t let me get upset enough to get pissed, so you’ll have to blame her…. If you feel a NEED to hear a rant, try one of John’s well-mannered, but pointed, pieces to sublimate for today, because I just don’t have any outrage to vent….. Oh well, who’s to say who’s luckier, eh?…. On that note, I’ll leave you with this final thought from an old friend….

“Give them RADAR-GUIDED SKEE-BALL LANES and VELVEETA BURRITOS!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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It’s a wrap, if it passes the proofing stage…. let’s go see…. Oh, hey, that isn’t bad at all…. I’ll take it, and not look a gift frog in the gums…. In fact, I’m going to escape now… TTFN, as my kids would text….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Chance encounters with entropy, unlimited supply….

Ffolkes,
In direct contrast to my state of apparent poverty, I consider myself to be a lucky man, all in all. My physical assets, in terms of liquidity of funding, are, shall we say, less than prolific, and my amount of acquired property isn’t what might be termed a fortune. In fact, more accurately, the two combined amounts may be described as a pittance, if you’re feeling generous. My clothes are getting old and somewhat worn, and I’m about to walk out of my shoes. I’m struggling each month to get enough food for the entire month, and have only enough left over to pay for a phone and internet service, which I consider essential in today’s culture.

However, I also have friends, and two children, all of whom taken together make me the richest man alive. I feel very fortunate indeed to have all of them in my life, as they are all the kind of people, and friends, one knows will always be there when needed, as I have tried to be for them for the last 50 years (the average time I’ve known most of them….). And my children, well, my pride in them knows no bounds. Both of them have become fine, generous, loving human beings, and I couldn’t be happier with them….

So, since I have such great support, and know I am loved, I sometimes wonder why am I so depressed? Then I remember….. my gift….. I’ve decided to look at my PTSD as a gift, though some may think that it is strange to consider a mental disorder in a positive light. Those people, who think it is strange, don’t have to live with it, do they?….. See, it is always surprising me, with outbursts of emotion that bring tears, or just waves of anguish; my eyes and head fill up with fluid, my heart pounds, and my mind veers off into memories of terror and pain. These little episodes of severe angst pop up at the weirdest times, and it gets to be a bit embarrassing, nay, humiliating, when it happens in front of others…..

Hell, as I typed that last paragraph, tears of self-pity were, and still are, rolling down my cheeks…. As you can imagine, this becomes problematic in keeping them off the keys, which could short out the whole shebang. Wouldn’t THAT be a treat? Having my entire stash of writing erased by my own tears would be just too ironic for me; I’d have to either shoot myself, or somebody else….. Fortunately, all the Pearls from last year are backed up on a thumb drive, so I’m safe there, but it would still be a royal pain to lose what I’ve got on here, so I try not to drip too close to the desk when I get hit by one of these emotional storms…..

Ah well, they always pass off, eventually, leaving me a bit exhausted and blue, whereupon I try to put all of what I felt into the next pearl….. which finally brings us to the point we’ve been trying to get to for five paragraphs now….. I think, rather than dwell any further on my ‘gift’, I’ll just dive into the ocean of knowledge and quotes that is Smart Bee and the Internet, and see what we can come up with for a morning rant, or poem, or other form of self-indulgence….  Shall we Pearl?…..
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“By letting go, it all gets done.” — Tao Teh Ching

If it weren’t for serendipity, a lot of the fun in life would disappear, I think. Finding just the right pearl is a perfect example of this phenomenon, and this is no exception…..

For some reason, mostly to do with our inner nature, and its unfortunate flaws when it comes to dealing with reality, we humans have a tendency to hang on to things that are not helpful to us. Hurt feelings, anger, mistrust, suspicion, and most often, fear, all are reactions we have to the stuff that happens to us, whether we want them or not. Once they are present in our awareness, however, it is unnecessary to keep them; in fact, holding on to them only prolongs the associated pain. But, we hold on to them anyway, going over the incidents again and again in our minds, and reinforcing the negative reaction each time. This, as is plain to see, is rather counter-productive, in terms of getting on with our lives without carrying extra burdens around with us….

Letting go, as the Tao Teh Ching suggests, can get us past this road block, allowing us to remove the weight of the anger, or fear, or other negative emotion from our minds, and freeing us to engage the universe on a more positive level. What remains a mystery, to me, and to anyone who has used this idea to help themselves in life, is why so many people refuse to acknowledge its value, and use it. A great many people in the world seem to prefer the experience of feeling angry, or sad, or afraid, to feeling competent, and comfortable in their skin. It’s almost as if they LIKE to feel those negative feelings, and are actually afraid to be successful at dealing with life…. amazing, and sort of ironic, to my way of thinking…..

Of course, I do tend to forget that this little piece of wisdom is not as easy to do as it is to say. It does take some mental effort, to assume the control of one’s feelings enough to move them to a different spot on the scale; “letting go” isn’t as easy as it may sound. This sort of mental effort, inner directed as it is, is foreign to most people raised in Western culture, as the habit of using one’s mind is not encouraged, for the most part, in most American homes. Conformity of thought, and obedience to custom are much more commonly held as the safe way to live, and learning to think is discouraged, as it may lead to discomfort, more effort than they wish make, and certainly more than they intend to tolerate.

I often wish I could persuade people to live with ideas like this to guide them, but, in order for anyone to try a new way of living, they must first be convinced that the old way isn’t working. This isn’t going to happen, even if compelling evidence of their need to change is presented to them. It would mean admitting that the way they have been living is wrong, and regardless of whether or not it is wrong, or right, they are not willing to “let go” of their investment in the old methods of looking at life. It’s just too much for them to contemplate; it’s unknown, therefore, they fear the change, effectively blocking themselves from even seeing it as an alternative.

So, I just ramble along, singing my little song, and pointing out little gems like what Lao Tzu wrote above in the Tao Teh Ching. People aren’t going to make changes just because I tell them to; they have to make the decisions themselves. But, I can hopefully provide some sign posts for them, to give them an idea of a place where they may find a more peaceful, fulfilling existence than the one they currently are living. Maybe I can’t change the world, but I can at least point the way to where the changes are made….

“Well, O.K.  I’ll compromise with my principles because of EXISTENTIAL DESPAIR!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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I feel like a bit of the classics today…. how about y’all?…. Keats will do nicely, I think….

Lines on The Mermaid Tavern

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
Have ye tippled drink more fine
Than mine host’s Canary wine?
Or are fruits of Paradise
Sweeter than those dainty pies
Of venison? O generous food!
Drest as though bold Robin Hood
Would, with his maid Marian,
Sup and bowse from horn and can.

I have heard that on a day
Mine host’s sign-board flew away,
Nobody knew whither, till
An astrologer’s old quill
To a sheepskin gave the story,
Said he saw you in your glory,
Underneath a new old sign
Sipping beverage divine,
And pledging with contented smack
The Mermaid in the Zodiac.

Souls of Poets dead and gone,
What Elysium have ye known,
Happy field or mossy cavern,
Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?

John Keats
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What we have here is what I term a “Seven Star Pearl”  The name has a certain significance, and extra points are available, should you choose to address the reasons why I call it this. I’ll give this clue… The choice of quotes was entirely random; I had no particular point in mind when collecting them. I let my impulsive nature pick those it considered suitable, without asking it to explain why…. these are the result. The point(s) it brings out for our examination turned out to be quite appropriate, given much of what I’ve written earlier this week, and today, but, I don’t need to tell YOU that, do I? Of course not….   :-)     Any who, not to worry, none of this one will be on the Quiz, significant though it is; I’m lazy today, as you might have guessed from the old school format of this one…. Enjoy!

“More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing nothing, than by believing too much.” — Phineas Taylor Barnum

“The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.” — Albert Einstein

“Belief gets in the way of learning.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“That proves you are unusual,” returned the Scarecrow “, and I am convinced the  only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones.  For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”” — L. Frank Baum, “The Land of Oz”

A poet is someone who is astonished by everything. — Smart Bee

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” — Victor Hugo

“People are strange.” — The Doors
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Two hours, twenty minutes, flat. Not too bad, for a Friday morning, in dead of winter, I’d say. Now, let’s see how it proofs….  Decent… three or four little wipes with the polishing rag, and it will do nicely. It isn’t blinding, but it’s shiny…. I declare this dive completed…. 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!

Moments of regrettable histrionics…..

Ffolkes,
Morning again brings itself to the forefront of consciousness, as it tends to do about this time every day. Not that I have a problem with that, but I wasn’t quite done sawing logs when the phone rang, and reality came rushing back in…. Hence, I am now up, staring once again at the keyboard, with an empty head…. I should most likely sit and let the coffee work its magic for a bit……

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.” — from “Manual of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan

I can testify that delicacy is hard when one’s blood sugar is out of balance; my own reaction to being bothered before having consumed sufficient quantities of caffeine and sugar is to bite, or at least bark loudly, at whomever has the audacity to approach before I’m fully charged. Even though I know it isn’t their fault, they pay the price, if only to allow them to learn the correct lesson. Survival of the fittest, right? Right…..

“I don’t think you’re ready for what I think.” — Fox Mulder

Maybe that’s why I live alone now…. though I try to make an effort to accommodate anyone I live with to a degree, it probably gets old after a while; I know I certainly did. Get old, that is…. I can feel it now, as I sit here, struggling to remain fairly straight upright, as typing is tough when one has to lean on one elbow. Someday, I’d really like to speak to the person responsible for printing and distributing the manual we are issued at birth. You know, our Life Manual, that tells us how to do stuff with our bodies, and gives maintenance directions for upkeep. Most folks lose theirs, before they ever get to an age where they would pay attention, but I can say for sure that there isn’t a word in it that gives any warning about how to deal with the aging process, and all of the challenges that getting old provides…. if it did, folks might even keep track of it better….

“Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ah well, pain is life, for some of us, and our days are measured by how much we can keep it from getting to the point of needing to whine about it. Suffering is supposed to teach character, and strength in the face of adversity; somehow, one who suffers is supposed to be noble…. but, I say, piss on it, I’m in pain, so stand back, while I try to drug myself insensible…. I take enough medication to knock most folks right out, and still manage to keep my head in the game, so, I figure I’m doing okay…. If nothing else, it keeps me off the streets….  after a fashion…..

Ah, the hell with it…. let’s go dive in and look around a while, eh? Shall we Pearl?…..
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It is popularly supposed that between those who use the word “God” and those who do not there is some great gulf.  But the gulf lies elsewhere.  It lies between those who dogmatize, either positively or negatively, and those who recognize in great humility that something within them bears witness to realities which may be momentous in our lives, but which lie beyond the grasping net of our categories of thought. — Smart Bee

Yet more proof of Murphy’s presence in Life…. or, in my life, anyway….. Yesterday I wrote about this subject, expounding as I am wont to do, with no little enthusiasm, trying to bring some clarity to a naturally murky subject (it’s hard to pin down anything solidly when the subject under discussion is a matter of conjecture, not physically present to be examined….). Then, later in the day, I come across this one short paragraph, that summarizes my 3-400 words succinctly in three lines, and very clearly, for all its brevity. SIGH….. So much for originality, eh? Though I don’t know who said it, I salute them….

“In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.” — Edward P. Tryon

Once more, I have to agree with the author, especially as it gives a sort of pat on the shoulder to the paragraph above, as if sharing an obvious point. Serendipity, I say, and well met….

“When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to discover they are not it.” — Bernard Bailey

This one, when viewed in light of the previous two quotes, made me smile, big….. now, why is that? Because when he says a lot, he means, A LOT OF PEOPLE!…..

“And don’t tell me God works in mysterious ways, Yossarian continued There’s nothing mysterious about it, He’s not working at all. He’s playing. Or else He’s forgotten all about us. That’s the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?” — Joseph Heller, Catch 22

Funny how people under stress always get so close to the truth; it makes the one who hears it more nervous and upset than he who said it…. or it that just me? Of course it is…. Why shouldn’t it be me? What’s the matter with me? Don’t you like me?….. Sorry…. any who, let’s see what else the magic can find….

“Every sensible man, every honest man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. But what shall we substitute in its place? you say. What? A ferocious animal has sucked the blood of my relatives. I tell you to rid yourselves of this beast and you ask me what you shall put in its place?” — Voltaire

Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

– T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

I’m not sure why, but this excerpt from T.S. Eliot seems to be the perfect finishing line for the above meandering treatise…. and it is as close to a verifiable point as we’re going to get today, I can tell…. so, best leave it be for now, and go on to something else…. Or, in this case, to something the same….
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Portrait of a Lady

Among the smoke and fog of a December afternoon
You have the scene arrange itself–as it will seem to do–
With “I have saved this afternoon for you”;
And four wax candles in the darkened room,
Four rings of light upon the ceiling overhead,
An atmosphere of Juliet’s tomb
Prepared for all the things to be said, or left unsaid.
We have been, let us say, to hear the latest Pole
Transmit the Preludes, though his hair and fingertips.
“So intimate, this Chopin, that I think his soul
Should be resurrected only among friends
Some two or three, who will not touch the bloom
That is rubbed and questioned in the concert room.”
–And so the conversation slips
Among velleities and carefully caught regrets
Through attenuated tones of violins
Mingled with remote cornets
And begins.
“You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends,
And how, how rare and strange it is, to find
In a life composed so much, so much of odds and ends,
[For indeed I do not love it . . . you knew? you are not blind!
How keen you are!]
To find a friend who has these qualities,
Who has, and gives
Those qualities upon which friendship lives.
How much it means that I say this to you–
Without these friendships–life, what cauchemar!”

Among the windings of the violins
And the ariettes
Of cracked cornets
Inside my brain a dull tom-tom begins
Absurdly hammering a prelude of its own,
Capricious monotone
That is at least one definite “false note.”
–Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance,
Admire the monuments,
Discuss the late events,
Correct our watches by the public clocks.
Then sit for half and hour and drink our bocks.

T. S. Eliot

I don’t care what anyone says…. this is some good stuff….. a worthy goal to shoot for, wouldn’t you agree?…… Not in hope of exceeding, but merely to equal the power of this man’s work is worthy of any effort…..
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A candidate is a person who gets money from the rich and votes from the poor to protect them from each other. — Smart Bee

I guess the political scene is taking a short break, gathering its momentum for the big two-month push to the election… Both parties have officially branded their candidates, and the Party Platforms have been printed up and sent out…. It is significant to me that, of the two major parties, one’s platform talks of reform, and rebuilding, and celebrating diversity, whereas the other talks about defensiveness, and divisiveness, about negatives, and the return to old values that have already proven themselves as destructive. I don’t even have to say which is which, and you will know; that is how clearly divided the two are this time….

I don’t fully trust any of them, but at least the Dems are trying to help out the little man, rather than aggrandizing the rich. Every Republican platform plank serves to secure the strangle-hold the rich have over the poor; it amazes me how many poor folks are following him, just because he promises to bring Whiteness back to government, even though it means stepping all over the weak and vulnerable. As long as the scary Black man isn’t elected, they think they’ll be happy, not realizing that the scary Black man has already improved their lot, and will make it even better if allowed to actually pass some legislation designed to aid the middle class instead of the 1%.

These closet racists are so incensed that they have to listen to, and even admire, a black family in the Presidency, they are willing to cut off their own noses to get a white man back in the White House. They grab onto the most egregious lies, and repeat them endlessly, as if the repetition will make it true. When they are corrected, with irrefutable proof of the lies, they switch to attack mode, and call the fact-checkers communists, or socialists, or bring up the tired old “birther” conspiracy. One Republican actually said, after being corrected about a lie told during the Republican convention, “We aren’t going to let ‘fact checkers’ dictate our candidacy!” Honest, it’s on video….

“The fantasy which serves as a support for the figure of the Stalinist Communist (sub: Republican Party Platform for 2012….) is therefore exactly the same as the fantasy which is at work in the Tom and Jerry cartoons.” — Slavoj Zizek

At this point, I actually am feeling somewhat lucky not to have a TV, since that will prevent me from having to watch all the loaded political ads, from both sides of the election process. I won’t have to experience the repeated disgust at the nasty, underhanded tactics being used by the conservatives, or worry about over-dosing on sugar from the ads from the Dems. I still get to see the public’s reaction to the ads, by reading about them online; if I really WANT to see one (for some unknown, and unfathomable reason….) I can check it out on You Tube, where everything ends up anyway…. it’s the best way I’ve found yet to get through an election without all the emotional drama that plays out over the mainstream TV airways….

The internet is also playing a new part in this election, one that has so far been under-reported, or just ignored… The stories one reads on the Net are a good way to measure the reaction of the public to the various claims by both sides of the contest; in addition, it serves as a dispassionate fact-checking service, as many, many sites now publish the truth or lies that each side is stating, usually within minutes of the first report. This has turned out to be a thorn in the side of the Republicans, as they are relying almost totally on lies and made up statements for their rhetoric. They don’t really have anything they can show as being an improvement in the way things are going; only their wild claims of, ‘feed the rich’ and wait for the money and jobs to trickle down from heaven, like manna….

Very few folks are buying that, as the economic policies they espouse have been refuted repeatedly by independent researchers and experts, and the results of eight years of that sort of policy are painfully obvious. I imagine that by the time the election actually takes place, there will be very few actual voters left who haven’t been driven away by one of their lies and/or fables….. and a landslide election will be the result…. I certainly hope so, as then maybe we can actually make some headway at dealing with the issues that are important to people, instead of focusing on the conservative right’s need to soothe their racism…. instead of having to deal with their unfounded, and cowardly, fears…..

The sage manages affairs without action
And spreads doctrines without words.
All things arise, and he does not turn away from them.
He produces them, but does not take possession of them.
He acts, but does not rely on his own ability.
He accomplishes his task, but does not claim credit for it.
It is precisely because he does not claim credit, that his accomplishment remains with him.
— Lao-Tzu
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All things considered, this hasn’t gone too badly…. a bit of old/new school meandering, some mild ranting, and a good poem. What better way to start one’s day? I’ll take it…. please wrap it to go, and I’ll be on my way….. 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!

We’ll gate crash the Vatican….

Ffolkes,
Once again, the WordPress community stepped up, and came through to help when someone asked…. My mild whining yesterday morning, regarding site statistics, prompted my regular readers to respond with a veritable avalanche of support and intelligent, compassionate advice. Virtually all of the regulars, minus a couple, commented on yesterday’s post, and all of them were positive, and encouraging. This is, I think, the third or fourth time I’ve had this happen, when I’ve asked a question in the intro,  or commented on a difficulty I was experiencing with my blog, or my life…. each time, the ffolkes who read here often, took the time to comment, with answers and emotional support… it’s actually a very humbling experience.

So, I want to take a moment here to say a big, huge thank you to the ffolkes who wrote in yesterday…. Coming to blog at WordPress has been not only beneficial for that part of me that has to write, and the part that has to read, but also for my heart and soul, simply because of the people like you all who also participate in the WP community. It is people like you who will end up saving this sad old world, if it can be done, with your intelligence, your compassion, and your willingness to spend the effort to help your fellow man, without any thought of reward or gain, merely out of the passion in your heart. I am humbled, often, at your giving natures, and consider it a huge honor to call all of you Friend….

With that said, I should probably start diving for pearls, before I start blubbering like a baby…. my PTSD will do that sometimes, embarrassing me to death by making me burst into tears in the middle of a conversation….. quite degrading to the soul…. rather than have that happen, we will go now to the WWW to start our search… which could take a while, as I don’t have anything saved up, other than some Shakespeare…. hmm, maybe a bit of flaying his hide will serve….. Shall we Pearl?…..

Asking for aid here
always brings hope and advice.
Empowering friends.

gigoid

“Is that you reading me, or is that me being written?” — Smart Bee
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“We are inclined to confuse freedom and democracy, which we regard as moral principles, with the way in which these are practiced in America — with capitalism, federalism and the two-party system, which are not moral principles, but simply the accepted practices of the American people.” — Sen. James J. William Fulbright

I remember this Fulbright guy…. he was still spouting off when I was a teenager. I don’t recall any particularly strong feelings of approval at what I heard then from him, other than the normal disdain with which I greeted almost all politics back then. But, what he says here appeals to my current self much more than what I remember from back then. This is a very accurate description of reality in American politics, and the condition of the world in which we now find ourselves can be attributed in large part to this observation’s veracity….

The beloved ruling class has been pounding the minds of the public with manipulative lies for a very long time, and it can be a difficult task to separate the truth and the lies they put out at such an alarming rate. In addition, even doing so is made more difficult by the derisive attacks they make on anyone who dares to question their lies. It’s typical for them to call anyone who questions them a Communist, or a Socialist, or some other -ist, which they think is evil whenever their lies are exposed. Or, like dear Mitt the Twitt said the other day, the people who want to see his taxes are “small minded”… the names they use don’t matter, as they are only calculated to draw attention away from the lies that are being exposed to the light of day….

“The liberal of any species is always more dangerous — because he always seems so much more rational.” — Solomon Short

This statement from Mr. Short is also perceptive, describing accurately the danger of listening to ANY politician…. even the most liberal pundit, by the act of seeking office, gives away their true purpose, not to help the downtrodden, but to gain power and influence for themselves…. They are more dangerous because their lies are designed to make the public believe that they are acting in their interests, looking out for the little guy, when in reality, they are just picking the little guy’s pocket…..

Reduce taxes on rich = trickle down prosperity. — Conservative idea #4

Never cooperate with conservatives. — Liberal Rule #34

Taken together, these two little aphorisms show why, or rather, how, it can be a confusing task to sort the truth from the lies that are served up on a daily basis. Both of these are true, in at least one sense, yet both are also outright lies, made up to demean the opposing party’s position and reputation. It’s kind of funny actually, because not only are these lies, but they are lies that can be fitted to either side like a tailor-made suit. To my way of thinking, both liberals and conservatives are wrong, so it’s easier for me to tell when they are lying…. quite easy, in fact…. if their mouth is open, they’re lying, count on it…..

“Humankind cannot stand very much reality.” — T.S. Eliot

This, from our old friend T.S., can be considered to be a fact, even a natural law, and for proof, just go back and read any historical treatise from any century. It has always been clear, especially to the beloved ruling class, that most folks have no real desire to deal with reality as it is…. they would much rather have it behave as they would like it to do. This tendency toward mental sloth is well-known to our rulers, and they exploit it mercilessly….

The political pundits are constantly telling the public what they want to hear, even though that has nothing to do with what will really take place when they are elected. The weird, sad part for me is that the public falls for it all so easily, and the rapacious and the greedy are constantly rewarded with new terms in Washington D.C., or London, or Sydney, or wherever in the world the election may take place…. If it weren’t so damn depressing, it might be entertaining….

“George Washington said to his father, “If I never tell a lie, how can I get to be President?” — Red Buttons

In any culture, one can ascertain the true state of the society by listening to the comedians…. Red Buttons wasn’t known particularly for his political humor, but with this one he struck closer to home than he knew. Right from the very start of this country, the bankers and the rich have conspired to control the government, and have been singularly effective in that quest. Even the stated fears of the founding fathers were not sufficient to keep them from insinuating themselves into the political process at every level, manipulating the laws, and the courts, to establish themselves as the true rulers of this country. Nobody gets elected who isn’t supposed to be, for they won’t willingly give away any of the control they have gained over time, and the surest way to guarantee that control is to control the elections….

“There cannot be a nation of millionaires, and there never has been a nation of Utopian comrades; but there have been any number of nations of tolerably contented peasants.” — G. K. Chesterton, Outline of Sanity CW. V. 192

SIGH…. I don’t know…. it’s all so tacky! G.K. has probably got it right, but I don’t think I want to settle for tolerable contentment. I can stand a bit more excitement than that, I hope. I’m just so tired of having to watch, as society dumbs itself down further and further with every election, sending the worst possible candidates into the spotlight, and making all of us who want more from life nervous at having to spend another four to eight years keeping our heads down and our defensive strategies up-to-date… I know I am, and I don’t even care much about politics (you wouldn’t know it, by how much I write about it….). Ah well, at least we’ve got cable TV, and the Internet…..

“Politics is poopadoodle!” — Fred the Bird, from Odds Bodkins
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A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

John Keats

“….. is a joy for ever.”  Truer words were never written, and now I know the origin of the phrase…. true serendipity….  :-)    Enjoy!
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“A can of ASPARAGUS, 73 pigeons, some LIVE ammo, and a FROZEN DAQUIRI!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

At last…. I may have been looking for this all my life. Or not. Either way, it has just jumped into my head, and established itself as the proper combination of plot ingredients for my new book of fiction. What a delightful set of possibilities are opened up by these four little metaphors-to-be! It’s enough to make a grown man sniffle in joy…. Here, watch this….

“It was hot. Damn hot, and the frozen daiquiri looked as cool and refreshing as the smile of the girl who served it. I watched appreciatively as she bent to set it down, giving in to the tempting invitation to gaze at her….. face.   :-)   Just as I was about to ask her where I could get some live ammo, I was distracted by a huge rushing sound, as if an entire flock of pigeons had begun to circle my head; it sounded like at least 73 of them…. I couldn’t be sure. It might have been only 71; it was a very loud bar. Bending my head to read the menu, I had gotten no further than, “We proudly serve canned asparagus” when my cell phone rang….”

There, now isn’t that riveting? And that was just one outline…. using another outline, putting the metaphors in different order, will give me at least 12 other plot lines, no sweat. I love it when a plan comes together, especially when there was no plan. It just dropped right into my lap….. Uh oh…. I just realized something….. Dropped into my lap…. by whom? Shit. I was so damn pleased at finding such a brilliant stimulus package, I forgot to examine it for traces of Murphy…. Hang on a moment while I run this through the wonk-o-meter….. It will only take a minute; it warms up fast….

I should have known….. This has Murphy’s mark all over it. Damn! Now if I use it, it will end up causing me no end of controversy and embarrassment…. SFPCCC!  (They’re swear words… you don’t want to know…..)  Just when I thought I was done…. True to his habit, and his nature, Murphy has waited for just the right moment to slip this into my head, right when I was primed to not look at it too closely….. Whew! I dodged a big bullet that time! I’m glad I caught it before it went any further… my keyboard would probably have exploded the next time I wrote something that used it as a basis for a plot. Ah well, it was enough to count as the pearl for this section, so I guess all’s well that ends well…..

Though I am young, I scorn to flit
On the wings of borrowed wit.
— George Wither (1588-1667) — The Shepherd’s Hunting
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Well, this is another one…. it’s not like the other one. Much…..I hope….. 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!

A predictable failure to perpetuate…..

Ffolkes,
The hardest part is over, so I can now relax….. I suppose I could apply that statement to my life at large, as well as to my current situation, wherein I have to find a new dwelling… the hardest part is over….. Wow, what a nice feeling that carries with it! I hadn’t really stopped and looked at things exactly like this; it’s a nice little change. Now I can relax….

In so many ways, I am a lucky man…. I was lucky enough to be born in this country, where, regardless of how rigged the game is, there is still ample opportunity for people to make their way, and to succeed in building themselves a comfortable existence…. If it isn’t always easy, well, that is to be expected….

Now, after working for a large portion of my life, I have the opportunity to kick back and enjoy the fruits of my labors, in a manner of speaking. The effort I put in at my jobs, from age 14 to age 60, will, when fully in place, will allow me to support myself without strain… I won’t be affluent, by any stretch of the imagination…. but I’ll have enough to live on, with enough left over to do some of the traveling I’ve always wanted to do…. and you can’t beat that with a stick….

The last two years of living with much less than is called for has taught me, or re-taught me, some valuable lessons on how to live cheaply. One learns fairly quickly which expenses are necessary, and which are not, and, at the same time, one learns to get by without those things we thought we needed, but found we didn’t…. and these lessons will come in handy after my full retirement kicks in, allowing me to live comfortably, while still allowing me to save up to travel. So put away the stick, we won’t be needing it….

It’s good now and again to look on one’s life and reflect upon its events; it keeps life fresh, and like today, one may find that things are much better than they look at first…. It makes that old saw about stopping to smell the roses more attractive, as in those times when you find a huge red one, just bursting with beauty and the smell of springtime….. On that note, shall we Pearl?……
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“It is not the possessions but the desires of mankind which require to be equalized.” — Aristotle

Life is tough, but not as tough as it used to be. It’s been a long time since we humans had to actually go out and be responsible for our own survival, a pastime that, up until about 2500-3000 years ago, was pretty much a full time occupation for the majority of people. Very few folks back then could be spared to sit around doing nothing, using up resources that were acquired by the others of the group; everybody had to pull their own weight, or they starved…..

But once the species figured out farming, and how to produce food more efficiently than having to go out to find it, life got a lot easier, at least from a physical standpoint. Farming kept folks from needing to move around so much to look for food, so cities began to form, and civilization began to organize into its various strata….. beloved ruling class, priestly hierarchy class, warrior class, and, of course, the patsy class, also known as the worker bees, or peons, depending on one’s particular degree of sliminess….

To look at what Aristotle says above, one might think it speaks to the upper classes, suggesting that, perhaps, if they wanted less than they have, which is more than they need, then there might not be as many folks who want only enough to survive, but can’t find even that. It isn’t as if they don’t have enough…..However, thanks to the priestly hierarchies, who act as the protector of the ruling class, the less fortunate are lied to, and are told that THEY are being tested, and not to want more…. The priests have them all convinced that all they should want is just enough, in reward for which they will be compensated IN THE NEXT LIFE!  It’s one of the most egregious scams that has ever been perpetrated on the masses, and continues today….

“Most of the dogmatic religions have exhibited a perverse talent for taking the wrong side on the most important concepts in the material universe, from the structure of the solar system to the origin of man.” — George Gaylord Simpson

The problem now is that it has gotten to the point that almost all the available resources of the planet are used up… only by reducing the total number of people drastically can the species continue to survive…. and we all know who is going to get the short end of THAT stick, don’t we?

Once people realize that the available resources needed for the species to survive are being hoarded and manipulated by the powers that be, all to favor themselves, the unwashed masses are going to be, shall we say, less than happy with the beloved ruling class, and even less happy with the priestly hierarchies who prop them up. It will be Mother Nature’s way of saying “you wouldn’t play nicely with others, and now you’ll have to pay the price for that failure….”  Of course, she would, and will, probably make it sound less pompous than I do….

Being able to control one’s desires is a very valuable skill, and one worth learning, for certain. But when the desire is the simple desire to survive, it is not one that either can, or should, be eliminated…. For many centuries, the beloved ruling class and the priestly hierarchies who are in league with them have been lying to the general populace for their own benefit; history, even when written by the winners, makes that very clear.

“History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.” — Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Soon, they will have to come to terms with that treachery, as the planet’s resources, and its ability to support our form of life, are reduced to where we can no longer grow enough food, or breathe the air due to the addition of far too much carbon monoxide…. When the general public realizes that the PTB are the assholes who have put us in this position, I don’t think they are going to be very happy about it…. and my only hope is that they don’t take so long to come to that conclusion that it is too late to make the needed changes…. which is a distinct possibility…. Small hopes are better than none…..

Jesus is coming, everyone look busy. — Bumper Sticker
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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

Serendipity, by definition, is always a surprise, and usually a good one… in this case it was a great surprise…. The poem I posted a couple of days ago by Mr. Nash reminded me that he is one of my all-time favorite poets, because of his masterful use of the language, if nothing else…. But this one seems to have been written while reading my mind, as it complements the previous section perfectly, giving a poetic statement very similar in intent, and content, to the prose above. See, Fate CAN be our friend!…. Enjoy!….
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“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.


But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please — this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time — and squawk for more!


So learn to say No – and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you. (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.) “

~~ Lazarus Long, “Time Enough for Love” by Robert A. Heinlein

Once or twice a year, I like to pull this out of my old posts and run it again. It is as perfect a description of Duty as I have ever seen, and matches up exactly, point by point, with what I was taught as a young boy by my father…. It is well worth reading, and even more well worth adopting into one’s personal philosophy….
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Finding the last Pearl took, seemingly, forever…. well over an hour. But, perseverance paid off, as always…. 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!