Dead ducks found on subway–fowl play suspected…

Ffolkes,

I apologize most heartily for the title today; I couldn’t resist the pun, or the fun…. Since I don’t recall hearing it before, (This is probably a lie, but, we’ll let it lay, or lie…. Oh, hell, we’ll let it alone…), to me,  it’s a new pun, which justifies any and all attempts to share it…. or, as some states call such self-indulgent behavior, a misdemeanor hate crime….

It isn’t that I don’t understand those states’ objection to punning, but, I think a minimum sentence of five years at hard labor is a bit harsh, don’t you?….. I suppose I should feel lucky I live in a state where it is still considered a social faux pas, without entering the realm of criminality….

Now that the fantasy portion of our program (pogrom?) is completed, or, at least, neglected due to disinterest, we can go on to bigger and hopefully better things…. I’m up, in theory, at a time I’m having a hard time believing, given my habits of late…. It’s almost 5 AM, and I just finished sleeping for a solid eight hours…. so long, I had time to pass through the point where the body is rested, to the point where it is becoming MORE stiff and sore from laying down too long…. I got up to a bit of stiffness, but, thanks to my new magic cream, it won’t last long….

I found a new product at the medical cannabis store I’ve been going to; it’s a topical pain relieving cream that gets spread on the skin over any part of the body that is hurting, such as shoulder joints, lower back, hips, etc…. It is extremely effective for almost all the different pains I’ve tested it on….

It relieves pain and stiffness in the back muscles… it makes the hips stop singing…. and it works wonders on sore joints like the wrist or thumb, at those times when arthritic pain strikes…. It acts almost instantly; I have milady apply it to my entire back, and within a moment or two, it feels as normal as it ever gets, giving a feeling of release you would not believe….

As I said, it’s pretty magical stuff, especially for those of us who know the accuracy of the old adage that says,  “True freedom is release from pain.” The release I feel when my back stops hurting is phenomenal, almost to the point of giddiness, and makes me understand why the pharmaceutical companies are so worried about these products hitting the market….

This cream alone could completely destroy the market for products such as Ben-Gay and Tiger Balm, as well as threatening the entire line of pain killers like Aleve or Tylenol, that are designed for arthritis pain…. They’re all unnecessary in the extreme if one possesses this magic cream, which the Big Pharm companies don’t have in their formularies…. In other words, it would eat into their bottom line profits, thus making them nervous to know the products are out there, not under their control or influence… They’re asininnies, they can’t help being assholes….

So, now that we’ve explored further into the details of my life more than is either necessary, warranted, or even desired, we can at least go on to bigger and better things, as I’ve again managed to go completely overboard with this sharing of TMI, or TMOI (Too Much Obscure Information)…. At any rate, we’re done here, so we can go for a nice, quiet dive for pearls, to soothe the savage breast…. Oh wait, that’s music… Hmm, okay, well, just put on your earphones, plug in the jack, and you’ll have music…. even if it IS just public radio, and it’s time for their Gardening Hour….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Change is the essential process of all existence.” — Spock, “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” stardate 5730.2.

(FYI, today, the stardate is, officially: [-27} 00060.0  The -27 means it is now twenty seven years prior to mankind’s first foray into interstellar space, using the Cochran ftl (faster-than-light) engine, as noted in the History of the Galaxy, Star Trek universe…..)
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As noted, I’ve started a bit late, and want to get done in jig time today…. This means some cheating, if only by making this first section the old-school pearl for today, rather than ranting right away…. which is another cheat that will come later…. In the interval, let’s enjoy a random, harlequin pearl, followed by one of my favorite poets, and one of my favorite of his poems…. Abondanza!….

“As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose.” — Bhagavad Gita

“A lot of what I say comes off as political satire. In that, I have a lot in common with Congress.” — Solomon Short

“It is better to have a little than nothing.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 484

“Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.” — Voltaire

“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” — James Thurber

“Everybody thinks himself so well supplied with common sense that even those most difficult to please. . . never desire more of it than they already have.” — Rene Descartes

“Ah, tell them they are men!” — Thomas Gray (1716-1771) — On a Distant Prospect of Eton College, Stanza 6

Damn!…. Sometimes, this process just amazes me, at how it can produce such depth of meaning when none is sought after during the search…. This, ffolkes, is one DEEP pearl…. I hope you enjoy it, and find the point to which I refer…. If not, no worries, as this one, due to its not being listed on the curriculum listings, will NOT be on the Quiz….
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As noted above, a classic poem from an acknowledged Master….

A Draught Of Sunshine

Hence Burgundy, Claret, and Port,
Away with old Hock and madeira,
Too earthly ye are for my sport;
There’s a beverage brighter and clearer.
Instead of a pitiful rummer,
My wine overbrims a whole summer;
My bowl is the sky,
And I drink at my eye,
Till I feel in the brain
A Delphian pain –
Then follow, my Caius! then follow:
On the green of the hill
We will drink our fill
Of golden sunshine,
Till our brains intertwine
With the glory and grace of Apollo!
God of the Meridian,
And of the East and West,
To thee my soul is flown,
And my body is earthward press’d. –
It is an awful mission,
A terrible division;
And leaves a gulph austere
To be fill’d with worldly fear.
Aye, when the soul is fled
To high above our head,
Affrighted do we gaze
After its airy maze,
As doth a mother wild,
When her young infant child
Is in an eagle’s claws –
And is not this the cause
Of madness? – God of Song,
Thou bearest me along
Through sights I scarce can bear:
O let me, let me share
With the hot lyre and thee,
The staid Philosophy.
Temper my lonely hours,
And let me see thy bowers
More unalarm’d!

~~ John Keats ~~

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The last three or six Pearls have all been either over 3000 words, or very close to breaking over that limit; one of them came in at a whopping 3900+….. It hasn’t been deliberate, in the sense I don’t start with a number of words in mind… I just like to keep writing until done…. But, that’s a lot, so, I’ll try to keep this a bit shorter today, to keep from driving too many ffolkes away, chased there because they’re tired out from fighting the fatigue factor that is often found when reading my blog…. Occupational hazard, I suppose.

I only say this because I COULD rant further about this subject today; I’ve got plenty of angst biding its time inside me, especially for the corporate members of the Asininnies, the ones I consider to be the absolute WORST of those who prey on mankind…. Well, okay, but, wait…. I only put them there on those days I DON’T put the men, and, sadly women, who enable, and profit from, the abuse of women in the sex trafficking trade into that primary position on my list, the list of those the world would be better off doing without….

Both of these groups, as far as I’m concerned, are only worthy of becoming the target of any right thinking person with a gun in their hands, no trial needed…. I think, in those two cases, I wouldn’t mind playing God, making up my own mind as to who is guilty…. Nope, no trouble at all, not when the crimes are as egregiously inhuman as those perpetrated by these two groups….

As you can see, it wouldn’t take much to get me going, so, I’ll leave it there, and let you enjoy this piece, from a couple years ago, addressing a subject near and dear to my heart…. or, at least, to my head….

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From 12/4/2012:

“Free enterprise ended in the United States a good many years ago. Big oil, big steel, big agriculture avoid the open marketplace. Big corporations fix prices among themselves and drive out the small entrepreneur. In their conglomerate forms, the huge corporations have begun to challenge the legitimacy of the state.” — Gore Vidal

In his book, “Friday”, Robert Heinlein details a society, in humanity’s possible future, one in which corporations have continued to grow beyond the boundaries of mere countries, until their interests become paramount even over that of the state, as observed by Mr. Vidal. We, of the society here on Earth in the early 21st century are witnessing that growth, as I write, and as you read…..

The small enterprise markets still exist, but only on the fringes of the economy, the major portion of which is busy manipulating the population into serving the economic trends that the corporations control, in the essential markets that cover everyone… In other words, the corporations monopolize most of the economy, allowing the fringe markets to exist to provide exotic, alternative toys and entertainments for the working classes, as a way to keep them fat, happy, and contentedly stupid.

Mr. Heinlein’s character, is a young woman with designer genes, & a genius IQ, giving her almost superhuman powers, as well as a strong portion of Heinlein’s innate sardonicism, as part of an assignment from her boss, is required to perform a research and analysis of how the major corporations in the world affected the political and economic scenes of their society, obliquely referring, of course, to the one we have now.

It’s a very interesting part of a very good book, and well worth a read, not only for its perspicacity in explaining the piracy we are seeing today, but because Heinlein was a master storyteller, who created fascinating characters in  fantastic situations, making it all seem perfectly normal and real.

“The phenomenality of organic, conscious existence should, could have made impossible the sadism, the unending hurt of our ways. The impotent fury, the guilt that master and surpass my identity carry with them the working hypothesis, the ‘working metaphor’, if you will, of ‘original sin’. To this expression, I am unable to attach any reasoned, let alone historical substance. On the pragmatic-narratological plane, stories of some initial crime and inherited culpability are universal fables  — uncannily profound and lasting. Nothing more. Yet in the presence of the beaten, raped child, of the horse or mule flogged across its eyes, I am possessed, as by a midnight clarity, by the intuition of the Fall.” — Rudolf Steiner, Errata: An examined life, Phoenix — (a division of Orion Books), London, 1998, p. 169

At first, this quote may not seem to be related to the first. However, it is this “original sin” of which he speaks that is the root cause of the problems with corporations in society. Those humans who reject commonality with the rest of humanity are the villains in this play that passes for modern culture, for they do not accept their debt to the rest of the species, and have determined that they will use whatever means they need to become ascendant over the rest of us. Greed is only the most obvious of the ills that this group has subjected our culture to, with cruelty, dishonesty, and lack of compassion as side attractions. Through the actions of their corporate entities, they work to maintain their power and control of others, all for the sake of their own aggrandizement….

These are the men who run the trade in human trafficking, abducting and abusing children and women, for sex and slavery. These are the men who run the brothels, and the underground casinos, and the money-lending, and the protection rackets, and the drug dealing rings. What many folks don’t realize is that they are also the men who run for political office, or become preachers/priests, and the bankers, and the CEO’s,  and other corporate officers, who make their decisions based on self-interest, never on altruism. They seem, and act like, they are the leaders of society, when, in fact, they, in my mind, the scum of our race, and are the very reason our society is headed for extinction….

Unfortunately, these men (and they are almost ALL men….) will not give up their power and control without a fight. They will not respond to reason, giving up all their wealth and perceived power, to benefit the rest of mankind. They will not suddenly see the light, and give it all back. They will have to be rooted out like weeds, tough, hardy weeds; ultimately, they MUST be destroyed, if we are to have any chance of survival….

It is unfortunate, but no other method will work, and it brings with it the danger of falling into the same kind of behavior by which they have always achieved their own ends. But, I can see no other way to solve the issue, since they will not cooperate with the rest of us for the benefit of all….

1. If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.

2. What you settle for is what you end up with.

3. If you think that worrying about a problem is the same thing as solving it, then you must live in some other universe where different laws pertain.

–Smart Bee
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I made it…. When I started, I had some doubts, but, all went well, and it’s done…. I think…. They don’t call me “the dubious” for nothing, you know…. Any who, I say it’s done, and, since I’m the final arbiter of all such questionable issues, it’s done…. Nyah, nyah, nyah…. Okay, I’m now done being three years old, and I’m outta here, before I get any sillier (That probably isn’t possible, from a reality-based viewpoint; nevertheless, it had to be said, for form’s sake….)…. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

Fighting dogma is EVERYBODY’S responsibility…. Only YOU can fight the forest fires of ignorance, with the cool water of Reason!….

Ffolkes,

Hidden from sight by a looming, ominous hedge, mellifluous sounds of Mozart, played expertly on a well-tuned piano, escaped into the quickening night air, tossed away in the gentle breeze blowing from the woods beyond the hedge. Soft sounds of talk and laughter joined the music, filling in the picture of genteel life in the country.

As the silent man, dressed all in black, turned around the hedge, the party came into view; women in floating, soft-colored dresses and large floppy hats, men in leisure suits, with pale pink shirts, and the occasional short sleeve. White jacketed servers, unobtrusive, wound their way  between the formally clad attendees, offering hors d’oeuvre, or champagne in elegant flutes….

The sound of the Uzi’s safety release, followed instantly by the unmistakeable sound of the weapon being cocked, cut sharply across the conversation and music, stunning all into silence, until the man’s voice rang out, clear as a bell, ” Okay, everyone, strip!”…..

Damn! I am SO GLAD that is over! I started to write it, and it started to change on me, turning into the most boring piece of crap I’ve ever had the temerity to put on paper (metaphorically, of course….) I suppose it’s alright, from a technical standpoint…. that was the problem….. I wrote it, then went through it, cleaning it up, polishing it, making it flow….. until I realized what a pile of shit it really was….

By then, of course, my anal-obsessive nature had hold of me, and I had to finish it…. But, it’s over now, and I can go on to something perhaps less classy, but way more comfortable…. What a cock-up! And I hope I’m getting the meaning right there…. it SOUNDS right for the occasion, but, if any of my British or Euro friends have any idea of correct usage, I’d appreciate a head’s-up on that…. Thanks in advance for that….

This is, so far, a unique Pearl…. in one way only, so far, but, it remains to be seen as to whether that changes, or not. It’s unique because of the time it’s being created, which is well past any stretch of normalcy for me; it’s after 8 AM, almost 8:30, and I slept until 0749, meaning I got another nine hours of sleep last night, again….. This is such a new event, I’m not even going to try to analyze it at all, I’m just going with the flow, even if it is a very strange flow thus far…. I have lots of energy, in a relative sense, but, still little to do with it other than put it into this…. a good thing, for the most part, but, a bit limiting in other ways. I like to be active, and this getting old, in the sense of it limiting my ability to get around easily, is keeping me down more often than I’d like. I’m dithering aren’t I?

I can feel it…. I’m starting to dither, flipping from one subject to another, in my head, so fast that I can’t keep up, and neither can reality…. It gets a little confusing at times, but, sometimes, some of my best stuff gets done when this happens…. It’s a matter of balancing the creative flow of ideas that are thundering down, like a waterfall over the edge of my mind, with some intense, yet subtle, mind-control techniques, hidden, but effective,  that allow me to surf along the edge of the water, letting it take me wherever it wishes to go…. Since I’ve blathered again for long enough to suit the authorities who give a shit about that sort of thing, we can get on with today’s dive, late as it may be in getting started…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds”

– e.e. cummings
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“Late, I’m late, for a very important date…” — The White Rabbit

This could very well become the iconic statement for today’s post, were we at all interested in appointing one…. Since we are not, I’ll just explain that starting this now has given me the heebie jeebies, and it could affect what comes after…. just so’s you know, okay?…. I’m going to go right into another pearl now, as I think it would be in all of our best interests to keep moving, and hope we can get out of here without any serious injury…. This way, ffolkes, and for heaven’s sake, stay together!…. Whatever you do, stay on the path!….

“Vivid words hook misquotes in the mind.” — Keyes’ Rules of Misquotation, Axiom 1, Corollary 1A

Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.

– Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) — The Character of a Happy Life

“Time and trouble will contain an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force.” — Dorothy Sayers

“Gentleman: A man who knows how to play bagpipes — and refrains.” — Fred Tart

“Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.” — Albert Einstein

“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.” — William Saroyan

“How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life wouldn’t you say?” — James T. Kirk, “The Wrath of Khan,”  stardate 8130.3.

Sorry about using J.T. in the ending…. if you wish, attribute the line to the screenwriter who wrote it for the movie, which, as we all know, is a cult classic for the competition between Kirk and Khan to see which could sustain the stiffest acting pose throughout the movie…. “Khan! Khan!….” It’s really kind of cool, with both of them vying to be the more convincing Macbeth, while playing characters in a science fiction space opera….

The line, nonetheless, is the perfect ending to what turned into a fairly decent pearl…. What, you weren’t paying attention? Ah…. Well, your loss…. though there is no charge for going back to read them again, should you so choose… Just don’t let the one by Ms. Sayers throw you off…. it fits, if you’re flexible enough…. If not, well, just try to keep up, we’re running late, as might be expected today….
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Yep….. ’tis, indeed….

Shoes

when you’re young
a pair of
female
high-heeled shoes
just sitting
alone
in the closet
can fire your
bones;
when you’re old
it’s just
a pair of shoes
without
anybody
in them
and
just as
well.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

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I don’t care what the contract says, it’s my blog, and I can change things around if I want….. Anyone who doesn’t like that, well, they can walk back to the main office, and welcome… I’m going old-school again for this section, for two reasons…. One, I want to….. any questions, or problems with that? Good…. Second, it will end the agony sooner….

Whoa, wait a minute, no need to knock me over in your enthusiasm…. I get the picture now…. the sooner, the better, eh? Well, if that’s the way you feel about it, I guess I have no alternative but to carry on with what consensual reality demands, which is a speedy end to this, yes?….. Besides, I don’t feel up to ranting, and the BRC has been suspiciously quiet in the last few days…. I guess the cold weather is slowing everyone down right now…. but, not Smart Bee, thankfully…..

“Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.” — Robert A. Heinlein

On a huge hill,
Cragged & steep, Truth stands,
and hee that will Reach her,
about must, and about must goe;
And what the hill’s suddenness resists, winne so.

– John Donne

“We judge individual man and women as we do nations and races–by the character of their achievement and by their achievement of character.” — Edward Abbey

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.

– William Butler Yeats

“It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Just how normal are we? Just who are the people we nod our hellos to as we pass on the street?  A rather good question to ask–particularly in the Twilight Zone.” — Rod Serling

“Always store beer in a dark place.” — Lazarus Long

“The way to keep you from becoming foolish is to never think you are clever.” — Smart Bee

Well, I tried, and that’s the important thing, isn’t it? I keep hoping so…. Besides, no animals were hurt, or used for testing without their permission, during the filming of this commercial…. unless, of course, Eddie’s been losing at the track again…. but, that hasn’t happened for a long time, and he’s on vacation, anyway….
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It’s probably best if, at this point, I DON’T make any moral or ethical judgments; I’ll just read it, and weep….. I think I’m going to pass on the weeping, because, it ain’t too bad…. It’s good enough to suit MY standards, for sure and for certain, so, we all know what that means…. Which also means, bye bye, then…. until tomorrow….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Will cut hair for food…..

Ffolkes,
Oh. My. Gosh……  Hmm…. somehow, that fails to quite reach the degree of passionate expression for which I was hoping. I guess it really isn’t a curse unless one uses blasphemy; using a replacement word for God just doesn’t carry the same power, or panache, as OMG does when God is used…. I guess that is why ‘God damn it’ is so much more of a release than just ‘Damn it’…. either of which is bound to come out, given the correct stimulus, such as a rapidly moving hammer to the thumbnail. Any old way you look at it, I needed to curse, as the sight of an entirely blank screen scared the crap out of me….. again.

Oh, I’ve got plenty in my head to write about; the issue is still the intro section, where I continually struggle with a good way to start these missives. I need something to pull ffolkes in to read, something to grab the attention, and leave the reader wanting to read more….. I almost started into one of the fictional beginnings I like to use, but, the one that came to the forefront was too graphic for the early morning…. I didn’t want to put anyone off their breakfast, or cause them to lose it….. So far, I’ve been unable to come up with what I need, and as a result, y’all are subjected to these idiotic ramblings every day, as I wend my way toward the pearls….. SIGH….

Oh well, such is life, and we can’t have everything…. though SOMETHING would be nice….. Maybe I could…… no, that wouldn’t work; it’s illegal, as well as immoral. Hmm, how about…. Nah, too simple, too easy….. well, what about…. stop already, we’ve discussed  all this before, and none of that crap will do….. Sorry about the internal dialogue there, but, you can see what I’m up against, as I fight with my own head over different styles of openings. I don’t know exactly how it comes up with some of these ideas, but, none of them are practical, from a realistic point of view. Radical, yes, practical, no….. Sometimes I’m not sure it’s MY head at all, what with all the strange stuff it comes up with….

If it wasn’t my head, maybe it would be a bit easier to come up with stuff…. Of course, if it wasn’t my head, then I’d be in a world of hurt, metaphysically speaking, as I would have to ask myself, “Well, whose head is it?”   Not that the answer would make a lot of difference in how I deal with it….. I’d still abuse it horribly, just as I do my own…. It deserves it, believe me…. If it weren’t my own head, I’d have traded it in long ago for a new model, one without all of the extras, but loaded with better software…..  Maybe we could find a real intro template then….

Oh well, I may as well just go with what I’ve got…. I always end up there anyway. And, look! We’ve done it again….. Four plus paragraphs, full of practically nothing but fluff, but, in place, and ready to rumble. Once again, I’m giving in to the temptation, and going with it the way it is, as I’m too lazy to go back and do it over. I guess I’ll try again tomorrow to come up with something new. In the meantime, I suppose I’d best get on with the dive for today…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” — Plato

Uh oh….. I suppose, because this is Plato, one must accept the veracity of the concept; besides, it’s just plain true, and obviously so. It does, however, bring up a point that may not be the most comfortable for me, or for any blogger, to wit: Am I writing because I have something to say, or am I one of Plato’s fools? It’s a question that I think we, or more specifically, I, need to consider every day, when I go about putting these Pearls together….. It is very easy to fall into the latter category, and I think all of us can truthfully say that there are times when we all are fools, at least for a short time…

I write because, if I didn’t, all of the stuff that goes on inside my head has nowhere to go, to release all of the power behind it, which, given the degree of my emotional instability, can be considerable, not to mention nasty smelling. In short, I write because I must, to maintain my own sanity. Does that mean that I am a fool, because I HAVE to say something? Or, does the fact that what I end up saying is, fairly often. something worth hearing, save me from becoming just another bozo on the bus? I suppose that I must make those judgments myself, though I’d prefer to have someone else do it. But, I suppose, only the one who is writing can decide which side of the coin they fall on, as they are the only ones who know the motivation for what is written, no matter what the subject matter includes.

“I was once walking through the forest alone. A tree fell right in front of me – and I didn’t hear it.” — Smart Bee

Also, I know the answer to another old philosophical inquiry, i.e., “If a man speaks, and there is no woman nearby to hear, is he still wrong?” The answer, of course, is “yes”; just ask any woman….  :-)   Okay, sorry, didn’t mean to get silly on you…. here, let me wipe that off before it causes a stain….
There, that’s better…. Okay, where was I? Oh, yeah, fools vs. wise men…. So, what I’m getting at here is this….. only the author may judge whether or not something is necessary, as whatever it is originates in their mind. Others may also judge, but their judgment is lacking in personal knowledge of the thought, or feeling, behind the statement, and thus, is invalid for the purpose of deciding its relevance. We have to be our own Pilate in this business; otherwise we’ll get crucified on the cross of public sentiment (or lack thereof….).

“Be what you is,’cause if you is what you ain’t, then you ain’t what you is.” — Satchel Paige

Wise words, indeed, from a great modern social philosopher…. I love Satchel’s take on life, and not just because it is funky and cool; it is also quite insightful, and correct, which is a distinct advantage for a philosophy. (Thanks to G. Santayana….) In this case, the words he says are exactly what are needed to become an authentic writer, to wit: a personal style…. If you try to write as good as Hemingway, or anyone else, then you are destined to fail. You must only write to become yourself, or you will never succeed at either writing, or life, for that matter,  as the two tend to overlap in this particular instance. Only by finding and using our own voice will we be able to say what we wish to say, and not just say anything, because we feel we have to…. Believe me, the reading public will thank you for knowing the difference, and faithfully observing it as a standard…..

“The art of being yourself at your best is the art of unfolding your personality into the person you want to be… . Be gentle with yourself, learn to love yourself, to forgive yourself, for only as we have the right attitude toward ourselves can we have the right attitude toward others.” — Wilfred Peterson, This Week (Oct. 1, 1961)

“And that’s the truth…. thppppt!” — Ruth Anne (Lily Tomlin)
__________________________________

I’ve written a haiku for today, but, once more, no fresh poem is ready to leak out, so I have to pull again from the archives…. I’m sure glad I had that period of creativity last year, and wrote enough poems to get through this month…. Any who, I think it’s a decent poem, and I hope you do, too….. As every day in April, these are being included as part of the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here:  http://www.napowrimo.net/    I hope you enjoy them…..

Haiku XV

Eleven days here,
and off to Europe I go.
I can barely wait.

~~ gigoid ~~

Beyond Agapé

Passion burns and shines like iridescent paint
yet solitude stands mocking such mundane complaint.
Schemes and dreams promise to tempt attraction
never ending effort spends wit in perverse reaction.

Hale and hearty reports of honor and love
draft recruits to collect manna from above,
while searching each soul for that which will serve
to bring pure sensation to each expectant nerve.

How simple to fall into complete helpless hope
of two hearts bound in tradition, with cultural rope,
living a simple life, shared, in joy and in grief
promises consummated, in consensual belief.

Reality dictates our degree of control over its state
insisting on changing whether or not we can wait.
Love will be present when we are completely at peace,
 allowing ourselves, to give of ourselves, effortless surcease.

~~ gigoid

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The first section is as close to a rant as I’ll get today,  I think, so we’ll go old-school for this last section. Here is a random harlequin pearl, either five-, or seven-star variety, for your delectation….. Abondanza!….

“What do you despise? By this are you truly known.” — Frank Herbert, Dune, Manual of MuadDib by Princess Irulan

“It’s not what I think or you think about me that counts, it’s what I think you think about me.” — Smart Bee

“When people tell you who they are, believe them the first time.” — Maya Angelou

“The broad mass of a nation… will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.” — Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), “Mein Kampf”

“If change is — inevitable — predictable — beneficial — doesn’t logic demand that you be a part of it?” “One man cannot summon the future.” “But one man can change the present!” — Kirk and the Alternate Spock, “Mirror, Mirror,” stardate unknown

“I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle.” — Arthur, in Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I had not realized, on beginning this pearl, just how odd it could end up, given it’s randomness, and that obviously was a mistake, but, in a good way…. The point to the above six quotes may not be immediately apparent, but, it’s there, believe me. And, if that isn’t enough, here is the final pearl for this section, which should give some idea of where the exit door sits….

“This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.” — Winnie the Pooh
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Well, this has been….. interesting. I’m not sure just what to think about it, so let’s see how it holds up as a whole pie….  Okay, well, that works for me…. You will have to judge whether or not it works for you…. of course. I had fun today, and so did you…. I hope.    :-D    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

Milling around the foyer in fabulous shoes….

Ffolkes,
Morning insinuated itself into my awareness slyly today, sliding past the pillars of sleep’s palace, to poke me in the proverbial ribs. Even before getting out of bed, there were signs that might have given me a clue about how things would be, such as when the lamp went flying away from my grasp as if I were trying to tickle it, not switch it on, taking itself and most of the nearby chess pieces to the floor. Spoons jumping out of cups, toilet seats taking a vicious swipe at exposed flesh, shirts that try to strangle one to get them on….. It seems the inanimate world had a conference last night, and decided to declare war on me, starting today at sunrise.

I can deal with it….. This isn’t a new battle in this house; I’m constantly negotiating compromises and truces with the kitchen appliances, or spending the day fixing or repairing old junk, just to stay on the microwave’s good side. Every one of my appliances, knick knacks, and decorative posters has, at one time or another, been the subject of a pitched conflict over whether or not I have the right to use them as I deem fit.

I admit there are times when I’ve lost my cool, and done harm to innocent spoons. I’ve been unconsciously cruel to various pieces of clothing in the past, it’s true, though it wasn’t intentional, merely unconsciously inconsiderate. And the floor is always complaining that I never sweep or mop…. hey, what does it want? I’m a bachelor!….. The world is lucky if I shower often enough to keep from curling the paint….

Ah well, such is life in the hours before dawn…. one can never predict exactly what will happen on the cusp of the day. Possibility is everywhere, and the choices we make can make or break the entire day, depending on how well we approach the task of waking up.

Me, I’m an old hand at getting it done, no matter what it takes. Why, I’ve been known to spew out five or six paragraphs of absolute bilge water at the slightest provocation, just to get a Pearl started….. Oh, right, that’s what I just did, isn’t it? Oops….. I’d better salvage what I can, while I can…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“..  I think I’d better go back to my DESK and toy with a few common MISAPPREHENSIONS…” — Zippy the Pinhead
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I found the Heinlein quote below, an old one, with great potential for a rant. Some time in the last day or so, however, my outrage seems to have boarded a train, or a bus, and gone on vacation. No note, no phone call, just gone…. What a pisser! Any who, I decided to just let the old sub-conscious mind have its head, and pick some other pearls to go along with it. I can’t say it is the most obvious, or the most powerful, pearl ever put together, but, it has its points….. Those points, of course, are left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader, with no promise of recompense, but assurances of value…. enjoy!….

“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.” — Robert A Heinlein, “If this goes on –”

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” — Thomas Paine

“Still one more thing, fellow citizens:  a wise and frugal government, which shall refrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.  This is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), inaugural address, 1801

“Yes, evil comes in many forms, whether it be a man-eating cow or Joseph Stalin, but you can’t let the package hide the pudding! Evil is just plain bad! You don’t cotton to it. You gotta smack it in the nose with the rolled-up newspaper of goodness! Bad dog. Bad dog.” — The Tick

(Oops, how did this slip in here?…. Ah well, it kind of fits in, so, we’ll show a little literary compassion, and let it stay….) (Just think of how satisfying, and entertaining, it would be to use that rolled up paper on a Congressman…. Republican, or Democrat, it would be hilarious, as well as potentially lucrative….)

“Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an ‘inconvenience.’   We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy.  We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and  then wonder how all those assholes got in there.” — Frank Zappa

“And that’s the Truth! THPPPPT!” — Edith Ann (Lily Tomlin)
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After that, I’m feeling a bit serious…. hence, Dylan Thomas, a serious poet, and a serious subject….

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas
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“Nothing unreal exists.” — Kiri-Kin-Tha’s Law of Metaphysics

For the uninitiated, this is from Star Trek, a line from the fourth movie, The Voyage Home. It is the answer, and question, posed to Spock by the computer, near the beginning of the movie, just before it asks him, “How do you feel?” Though the quote, and its author, are part of a fictional story, and do not, as far as I know, exist in real life, the idea is nonetheless a potent philosophical assertion, and deserving of some meditation upon its implications, and ramifications. I like it, as it creates a series of doorways, one after another opening for welcome, inviting me to come in and examine its furnishings for their value…. A bit fanciful, perhaps, but then, it IS from Star Trek….

“Trekkies” have always taken the concept behind the show and movies much more seriously than most of us, and have created an entire panorama of alternate universe stories, legends, and characters as an adjunct to the original tales. I am certain that some fan, somewhere in the world, has put together a book that lays out Kiri-Kin-Tha’s philosophy for study, complete with Laws, Axioms, and Arguments. They probably even included material from other fictional works from the ST venue, weaving them into a coherent treatise, all of which is completely fabricated….. People can be pretty amazing when they are obsessed, indeed…..

“Nothing unreal exists.”….. fascinating, as Spock would say. It is reminiscent, in a backwards fashion, of the question posed by the door to Ravenclaw Tower, in the final Harry Potter book, The Deathly Hallows, when Professor McGonagall is queried, “Where do Vanished objects go?” by the door, in order to gain entrance to the Ravenclaw common room. “Into nonbeing, which is to say, everything.”, she answers immediately. “Nicely phrased”, replied the door….. I say backwards only because the ST movie came first in real time, by about 25 years or so…. As can be seen, however, the concepts involved in the two similar episodes are more than mere ideological throw-aways, but have some valid basis for their existence…

This is the power of Imagination at its finest, in my mind. People will take a good idea, and run with it into landscapes where it has never before been conceived, turning it into passionate variations on the original theme whose quality rivals that of it progenitor. At the height of the frenzy over the Harry Potter movies, a few years ago, I visited a site called MuggleNet.com, curious as to what the fans of the movie and stories were doing.

I was completely astounded by the prolific writings by fans, who wrote entire novels, short stories, and alternative plots by the dozens, all populated by the characters from the books by J.K. Rowling. Romances between the various characters abounded in the imagination of the fans, as well as the creation of new characters, and inventive new kinds of magical spells, objects, and creatures. The variety and depth of talent displayed is incredible, and goes to show how powerful is the influence of obsession on our imagination.

And hence one master-passion in the breast,
Like Aaron’s serpent, swallows up the rest.

– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 131

Of course, obsession has the unfortunate tendency to go beyond the bounds of reasonable action in pursuit of its object of attention. It can easily consume all of the mind’s available store of common sense, submerging it in the raging river of passionate belief in whatever idea has emerged as the passion of choice. Pope was speaking no more than simple truth when he wrote these lines, which point again to the same fatal flaw that exists in other areas of human nature, the weakness of will that makes us choose paths that are self-destructive in their intensity, or in their ultimate logical end. Too many of us tend to make our choices in life without using even the most basic of mental tools we have, including imagination; the use of those tools can be hard, in the sense that it is harder to think than it is to allow others to think for you…..

Thus, we come to another point where the subject under discussion can be expanded, and further explored. Or, we can leave it here, with the ideas already discussed as a springboard for private consideration. I have a feeling it could get a bit esoteric from this juncture, and I’d lose a lot of ffolkes to the fatigue factor. I am feeling that a bit meself, having now been sparring with this Pearl for a bit over three hours. I should have eaten some philosophical oatmeal, to increase the fiber content of my output, I guess….

Rather than go any further down that road, we’ll bring this pearl to a close….. Perhaps you can take a bit of what we discussed with you, and chew on it later…. it doesn’t seem to get any less crunchy over time, so it can’t hurt…. Fewer calories than jerky, and it won’t require flossing afterward…..

“You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant (‘ceptin’ Alice).” — Arlo Guthrie
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Okay, I’ve gone over this not-so-little effort, and can only be glad it took a long time, because it certainly did. Nearly four hours this morning, long enough to bring on some stiffness from sitting too long. I’ll have to go out & spend a bit of quality time with my body out in the Big Blue Room today, I guess, or I’ll start to calcify into one of those petrified old statues you see in public parks everywhere…. “Old Fart with Stick”….. that’s me all over. Ah well, enough incoherent rambling for one day……  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

Simply, frugally, and arguably fecund…..

Ffolkes,
Yesterday, for the first time in almost 400 days, I did not publish my blog on WordPress. Not only did I not post, I didn’t write a thing. Nada. Zero. Zip. Zilch….. All in all, it feels strange, like all those 400 days were a dream, even though I have over 900 pages of material to show for it. Getting back into writing mode now feels pretty good….. I guess I got used to being able to get all the stuff in my head out onto the screen…..

This Pearl will be…… well, I don’t know what it will be, I guess. I want it to be perfect, though….. for some reason, that seems important. I confess to a bit of confusion, which is not altogether unknown to me, and will have to be used as a tool, rather than as an obstruction, if I can figure out how to do that. I’m also a bit behind the times, in terms of the news, having had no exposure to any news outlets online, on TV, or on the radio. All I know is the Giants are still in first, and won last night over Arizona; I haven’t seen or heard a thing about the elections, or anything else, so finding rantable material may be problematic. No way to tell, until I jump in…..

With all that said, I hope there is someone out there to read this…. fame can be fickle, and who knows? One day of no post, and I might have lost a bunch of readers…. again, no way to tell until it is posted. So, it must mean it’s time to go diving…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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Here is an old-school pearl, using quotes from some fairly famous people….. and some not so famous outside SF fandom. All of the quotes, when co-mingled and mixed up like a smoothie, will give you a really good philosophy of life, and lots of good advice for living with a serene mind….. good luck!….

“He who knows does not speak, He who speaks does not know.” — Lao Tzu

Water wears the rock — Smart Bee

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” — Buddha

“Human beings do not survive on bread alone … but on the nourishments of liberty.  For what indeed is a man without freedom … naught but a mechanism, trapped in the cogwheels of eternity.” — Harry Mudd, “I, Mudd,” stardate 4513.3.

“Virtue is the golden mean between two vices, the one of excess and the other of deficiency.” — Aristotle (B.C. 384-322)

“Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.” — Joseph Conrad

“Yeah, but you’re taking the universe out of context.” — Smart Bee

There, see how painless that was? You’ll never even know you’ve been enlightened, until you wake up in the middle of the night, mumbling something about “he who speaks….”….. Onward into the fray!….
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Visible life

Forty-two days of pressure and internal rain,
leave marks of salvation, often in pain.
Such sharp reminders of yesterday’s remorse
fight heavily to keep a straight course.
Rash moments, bright, and routinely immense
Give us pleasure, bereft of common sense.

Still the night comes soft and eternally dear
to bring out wishful dreams so vitally clear.
Life’s myrmidons give freely in protest
lifting with skill, soul pieces first to infest,
Loudly brash, with no such voices to remain
Sealed in infamy, branded ugliness all too plain.

Now come brave signs of chapter and verse
Shielded by ignorance, irritable and terse.
Gravid portions of in-between retaliation
leave only pale marks of initial gestation
With hope even pallid warriors grow brave
Leading all humanity, to a warm, stale grave.

Hope never falters, nor leaves any trace
Yet lingers forever in a welcoming space.
Cheerful faces yet shine out of time
for tricking and fumbling sweet melody sublime.
Fill in the spaces with a long, strong retort
life is ever visible, if only as last resort.

~~ gigoid
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“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

See? There, now, I’ve been saying this for years, and here’s old Marcus Aurelius, that Roman cogitator extraordinaire, putting it straight out there way back around the time of J.C.’s failed attempt at societal reform. A very cogent, yet poignant description of human nature and the preponderance of Ego that drives most of humanity to act out of their own ignorance, rather than consider the veracity or usefulness of someone else’s ideas. This format for stating this answer to one of the great questions is one that all the best philosophers choose when creating aphorisms; clear, simple language and brutally honest self-examination, which provides us with true wisdom, like it or not……

What particularly gets me about people at large is the high percentage of folks who fall into the trap that Ego sets; for some reason, people seem to prefer the cozy blindness with which ignorance can cover them to the cold, harsh light of self-knowledge. The very ego that sets them apart from the rest of the animals who inhabit this planet becomes also the greatest threat to survival, when it is allowed to dictate how one views reality.

The state of society in today’s world rests on the brink of total collapse; any number of issues currently in play in the world can lead us to upheaval unseen since the last Ice Age. Pollution, created by mankind, is pumping tons of carbon monoxide into the air every minute, and all those precipitates are eventually bound to cause changes to climate that we will have no power to stop, or reverse.

The economy of the world is constantly on the verge of collapse in these times, due mostly to the unacknowledged crimes of the 1% of mankind who controls 99% of the money and resources. These crimes arise, again, out of Ego, as the elite of the world believe that they are “different” from the rest of humanity, and deserve to make all the decisions, which oddly enough, are only beneficial to themselves….. again, the power of Ego trumps virtue…..

I’m a smart guy, pretty much, but this is a problem for which even I cannot find a solution, other than the age-old, time-worn, and always ineffective war between the classes. That solution has been tried innumerable times throughout history, and each time the same structure of society re-settles into the same old shape, with a few people at the top, making all the important decisions for the rest of humanity. All because we, as individuals, and as a species, cannot learn to control our ego, to persuade it to act for the benefit of all, rather than just looking out for itself….. I figure that whatever happens will be what we deserve, and I can’t say that I think it will be very pretty, for the species….. or for a lot of individuals…..

Maybe there is a solution…. as a matter of fact, there is one that has been around for as long as mankind has been writing stuff down…. and it’s always the same little piece of advice, a little idea that can change one’s entire life and world-view….. but only if it is accepted, and believed, and applied to reality…… Everybody knows this, but, how many actually live it?…..

“Do unto all as you would wish to have done unto you, and reject for others what you would reject for yourself.” — Mohammed

That’s right, the Golden Rule…. a basic tenet of EVERY philosophy that Mankind has ever formulated; even most religions will acknowledge the wisdom of this, though it doesn’t serve their interests as well as they would wish. But, throughout history, we have always known what is the right way to act…. we’ve just always chosen not to apply the principle in interacting with others…. Instead, we allow our ego to dictate how we behave, thus bringing us to the current world, with all of its problems and dangers…..

SIGH….. It’s really quite easy, and it’s the only answer that will work, in the long run. It really is too bad that most of humanity isn’t buying into it, isn’t it?……
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Well, that wasn’t so bad…. only about a two hour Pearl to get it right…… Felt pretty good, too….. But, reality bites, and I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to get posted in the next two or three weeks…. I’m shooting for every day, but that will depend on how well my back holds up to going somewhere each day to get it posted…. Eventually, I’ll get an ISP at home, but meanwhile, I’m mobile….. and I’d best be off to get that done…. 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!

Tomato rice soup again?

Ffolkes,
I took yesterday off. After writing the morning Pearl, and answering comments made overnight, I went to the library. When I got home, I read an entire book, and watched two Harry Potter movies (#2 & #4, if you’re curious…). That constituted my entire day. Not terribly exciting, but it kept my head busy, not thinking about choosing targets among the many from which I could pick. It may not have been productive, in at least two senses, but it was certainly safer than following impulse.

With that said, we come to today. I am once again in the mood to go hunting, and I don’t mean to hunt Horcruxes. But once again I will sublimate all my anger and angst into this morning’s Pearl, and those who have engendered my ire can walk around for another day or two before I figure out how to go about fulfilling my impulses rather than blocking them…. It’s not a complex strategy to formulate, but there are a lot of details that need to be addressed, if I am to succeed without unwanted attention….. the latter point is the most delicate, of course, as it is always a hard decision to decide whether witnesses should be avoided, kept away, encouraged, intimidated, or eliminated. SIGH, it’s always something!

Ah well, that will wait…. for now, I want to get this done, and catch up a bit to WordPress, which I neglected all day yesterday, in favor of burying my head in books and movies. T’was fun, but not as productive as I am used to, so I need to make it up somewhat today. In that spirit, let’s be off, shall we?  Kowabunga!…..
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“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality the cost becomes prohibitive.” — William F. Buckley

Will Buckley imagined himself to be the poster boy for the conservative right in Amerika (I only spell it this way when I am referring to someone whose ideology most closely resembles that of 1939 Germany), and had the vocabulary to prove it. As a matter of fact, he was so impressed with himself and his intelligence, he was alleged in his own mind.  :-) 

I don’t listen much to his tripe anymore, but in my youth I found him to be an amusing way to spend some time, first to decipher his overblown language to find his intended context (the words he employs tend to obscure his meaning a LOT of the time; it is just TOO erudite for its own good….), then in chuckling over his use of logic to take his preposterous assumptions to their logically absurd conclusions….

Even in talking about him, other literary sources would become more convoluted in their word usage. When I Googled Bill’s name to research a bit (it’s been a long time since I paid him any attention) I found, as I remembered, that he had passed on in 2008. In the New York Times, the initial line reads: “Mr. Buckley marshaled a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse.”  They couldn’t have just said, “Mr. Buckley was an educated man, and a vocal proponent of conservatism in this country.” Either is arguably true, but the second is a more accurate in a realistic sense, and still gets the same information across, but much less condescendingly.

Now, to be sure, I am not the most appropriate person to chide anyone for using too many words…. Goodness knows I have a hard enough time keeping myself under some small bit of control in that arena… I’m wordy, I know it…. But, I’m wordy in the attempt to clarify what is real, and what is true, not to obscure it, so that its meaning is clear, rather than placing the blame on the reader, for not understanding the oh-so-superior intelligence of the speaker….

I’m a fairly smart guy, but I don’t have to try to prove it by making my listeners or readers feel like I’m talking down to them. Unfortunately for all of us, Mr. Buckley made a habit of doing just that…. and sadly, he convinced a lot of people that his erroneous assumptions were in fact a true reflection of reality, when, in reality, they were mere reflections of his self-aggrandizement, displayed in the mirror of his words….

As to what he says above, well, it just ain’t so…. As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite of what is real, for the more people who are enthused with the ideal of something, the more talent is focused on it, and the benefits to society always far outweigh any costs of implementing the components of the idealistic concepts at issue. Simple logic, but from a different assumption…. Poor Bill….. He spent so much of his time lamenting what could never be, he missed out on what is….. He never could find the peace found as described in Buddha’s words….

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” — Buddha
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“Every man’s life, liberty, and property are in danger when the Legislature is in session.” — Gideon J. Tucker

“A society that lacks the patience to read, and loses the ability to do so, is rendered defenseless against its most profound stupidities.  As an example, consider the ease with which Americans came to regard a president known for his inaccuracy and imprecision as the great communicator, and by the tendency of American elections to give victory to the candidate who can afford the greatest number of 30-second TV spots.” — Mike Schmoker

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

“War is the last refuge of incompetent statesmen.” — Smart Bee

“A lot of people voting for Pat Buchanan (or random name from this election) say they are doing so to send a message. Apparently that message is, Hey, look at me, I’m an idiot.” — Dennis Miller

It has been said that what a culture finds to be humorous says a lot about that culture. In today’s society, and for most of my life, political humor has been much like what I have posted above. What this says about society is clear…. we do not have any respect for the politicians who are the same people we keep electing. None. We EXPECT them to lie to us. We EXPECT them to cheat, to completely ignore what is best for society in favor of what is best for them and their rich friends. It is a form of stupidity that is so firmly entrenched in society that our only relief from the pain of knowing it is to laugh at jokes that vilify those people we revere in practice.

Ultimately, we are laughing at them because we do not wish to cry over our own failure to change anything…  My reaction to this, when I can bear to look at it at all, is to experience Rage. I want to kill, or maim, or somehow strike back physically at those assholes who have no connection to the humanity of which they are a part…. and I hate them all the more for that, for making me want to do that to any creature….

O’Brien: “The only people left alive were in an outlying district of the  settlement.  I was sent there with a squad to reinforce them.  Cardassians  were advancing on us.  Moving through the streets,  destroying, killing.  I was  with a group of women and children, and two Cardassian soldiers burst in.  I  stunned one of them…the other one jumped me.  We struggled.  One of the  women threw me a phaser, and I fired.  The phaser was set at maximum.  The man  just…just incinerated there before my eyes.  I’d never killed anything  before.  When I was a kid I’d, I’d worry about swatting a mosquito.  It’s not  you I hate, Cardassian.  I hate what I became because of you.” — “The Wounded”, Stardate 44429.6
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“Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone ELSE does the thinking.” — R. Buckminster Fuller

When I saw this I had to laugh…. loud….. and then I wondered what in the world was he thinking? Bucky Fuller normally had a very clear view of reality; this is made obvious by his invention of the triangular support design that allows us to build domes the size of small cities without fear of its collapse, unless by improper construction, or use of faulty materials. He also had a number of other ideas that were revolutionary in their approach to the way people think about reality, and many of his ideas have pushed the frontiers of human thought to new plateaus.

But with this statement, he misses a very important distinction when he fails to point out that, yes, believing what someone else had told us is a risky proposition at best, but, relying on faith is letting NOBODY do the thinking. … What someone else tells us is, at minimum, subject to some kind of fact checking, some verification. But faith disallows any such process, asking us to accept its premises without evidence.

Not a good idea….. at least, not in my experience. When others wish for us to believe them, solely upon their say-so, my experience is that they want me to allow them some sort of control over me. It’s not a pretty view to take of humanity, but, hey, the numbers don’t lie. How far, then, can I expect faith to provide me with some sort of defense against that sort of chicanery?

Not far, I can assure you, for I have never found that what I’ve been told by preachers, priests, or politicians to be remotely helpful to me; only they benefit from my acceptance of their information. I’m not expressing opinion here; this is what has actually occurred over the time I’ve been around on this planet.

So, let’s just give Bucky the benefit of the doubt, and say he just had a bad day when he said this…. I suppose it goes to show that everybody has off days…. just don’t forget to check what you hear against what you know, and all will turn out the way it should…. in that I have faith….  :-)

“Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.” — Smart Bee
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Behold the child, by Nature’s kindly law,
Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw;
Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight,
A little louder, but as empty quite;
Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage,
And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age.
Pleased with this bauble still, as that before,
Till tired he sleeps, and life’s poor play is o’er.
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 274

Ah, metaphor! How quaint and sharp thy wit, to give us a whole life of a man, in one graceful portion of language that supplies images in the mind’s eye to fill the gap of years. I imagine this poem has been the subject of term papers and essays by students of literature on more than one occasion, supplying the premises for hundreds of random interpretations from the various young minds that were tasked to examine its depths as part of their literary education. If not, well, a lot of teachers were missing out on a good lesson, for certain.

Have no fear, I’m not going to give you my take on this, beyond what I’ve already written above; I’m only auditing this course, and it won’t affect my GPA at all, so I won’t subject you to that. Besides, then you would have no reason to do so yourself, should you ever find yourself with a spare hour or two that needs to be filled up with something more constructive than painting your toenails again. Not that I don’t like painted toenails…. but more than once a day is overkill, isn’t it? I think so…. so, just enjoy it, and keep it for later if you wish…. it’s only a few bytes of memory…..
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    As a public service, and to provide some relief from the ongoing seriousness that is the common state of affairs here, I offer this delightful young pup in the throes of joie de vivre; I found the picture on Facebook, posted on my wall….. Would that we all could be as carefree as this!…. Just enjoy, ffolkes, that’s all it’s here for….   :-)
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It’s been a long road to this point this morning, but well worth it, to my mind. I hope y’all enjoyed the previous post, “Music Passion”, as well as this meander through my morning’s mindful muddle…. I’m going to stop pressing my luck, and end this here… it seems an appropriate place, sitting here at the end as it does, eh?  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!


Today only: Tofu Doll Houses….

Ffolkes,
Curious….. my mind this morning as I sit down to begin is empty again. I could have sworn when I woke up that there were lots of things going around in there, clamoring and pushing to be first to get out. But now that I’m faced with an empty screen, I find a matching empty screen in my mind’s eye, sitting there, staring at me like I’ve got something to put on there…. which, needless to say at this point, I don’t. I can’t say where all the stuff that was around earlier went to; if I did, I’d just go there, and cajole a few random thoughts to come on back with me, or maybe fool one of the weaker thoughts into turning into a comedy routine of some sort.

Since I haven’t a clue where they might be, I’m not sure now just what I should do. I can’t sit here typing stream of consciousness for too long; my stream is looking a bit thin at present. If only there were some way to magically call my thoughts back, like in a Harry Potter movie…. “Accio Inspiration!”  With my luck, Inspiration would be a big rock, which would proceed to smack me upside the head, thus inspiring me to curse mightily before heaving the rock out the window (hopefully, AFTER remembering to open said window….. the landlord gets so testy when I forget….). Like that’ll work….

Well, I suppose it’s back to Plan C…. pick up the axe, start chopping, and let the chips fall where they may. Not necessarily the most scientific or artistic solution, or even the most efficient, but brute force has always served me well…. so I’m going for it. If you’d care to tag along, please feel free, after donning the provided hard hats and goggles, both of which are required by law for all visitors to this site….. Thank you for you cooperation with these regulations…. they are filming us to ensure compliance. (See? Just over there, from that fourth story window across the way….) We hope you enjoy today’s tour through the WWW Ocean of Knowledge, and our search for Pearls of Daily Wisdom…..
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Tho’ lost to sight, to mem’ry dear        / Thou ever wilt remain;
One only hope my heart can cheer,–       / The hope to meet again.
Oh fondly on the past I dwell,            / And oft recall those hours
When, wand’ring down the shady dell,      / We gathered the wild-flowers.
Yes, life then seem’d one pure delight,   / Tho’ now each spot looks drear;
Yet tho’ thy smile be lost to sight,      / To mem’ry thou art dear.
Oft in the tranquil hour of night,        / When stars illume the sky,
I gaze upon each orb of light,            / And wish that thou wert by.
I think upon that happy time,             / That time so fondly lov’d,
When last we heard the sweet bells chime, / As thro’ the fields we rov’d.
Yes, life then seem’d one pure delight,   / Tho’ now each spot looks drear;
Yet tho’ thy smile be lost to sight,      / To mem’ry thou art dear.
– George Linley (1798-1865) — Song

I love these poems! I’ve seen several now, though at least two are probably this one seen twice. I’ve seen another in techspeak, written by some hacker. I know I’ve used this before, but it’s been quite a while, so, the hell with it, I’m using it again. I am just so impressed by the creativity, and perseverance, it must have taken to create these three poems in one, I am compelled to include it again today, in spite of my regular policy against repetition of source material for discussions. To keep the left column consistent as a complete work, then the right column, then the poem created by the two together; this to me is poetic genius, or at minimum, a complete refusal to give up on something until it is right….. fantastic!  Enjoy!…..
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“I don’t think we should punish the criminal [a rapist] by killing his child.” — Dr. John Wilke, President, National Right to Life Committee, — Search for Common Ground, taped for television 4/89, as quoted in “The Far Right, Speaking For Themselves”, a Planned Parenthood pamphlet

When I first read this, I could not believe that this is something that could pass the lips of anyone, anyone at all, without choking the speaker. There are so many wrong things about it, it is difficult to choose a starting point.  My next thought was to wonder how such an ignoramus could remember to breathe without someone there to remind them.  I certainly have serious doubts that this “Doctor” was awarded his degree by any accredited educational institution, in ANY field of scientific inquiry,  though I suppose it could be a Piled High and Deep Doctorate in Divinity, or some such faux degree. Such an example of extreme, deliberate ignorance is certainly not something that anyone with a) any compassion at all, or b) an IQ that exceeds 90, would ever contemplate allowing to come out of their mouth, at least, not without a grin and and a wink to assure the listeners that they were not serious.

After I got past the disbelief, (after all, there is no defined limit to just how stupid people can be… the bar keeps getting raised…..), I had a reaction not dissimilar to the one I get when I contemplate those who traffic in human flesh, i.e., pimps, brothel managers, and other WOS assholes of that ilk. (No, not preachers and priests, though they are certainly to be included in that category, for their active encouragement of the trade)

It is almost comforting to envision myself putting a double tap from a Glock 9mm right between their eyes, thus serving the sentence that Mother Nature herself would set if she were to judge such ignorance…. which she does, but leaves the execution of the sentence to other forces of Nature, such as the righteous anger of the brothers, uncles, and fathers of the abused victims…..
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“It is no great wonder if in long process of time, while fortune takes her course hither and thither, numerous coincidences should spontaneously occur. If the number and variety of subjects to be wrought upon be infinite, it is all the more easy for fortune, with such an abundance of material, to effect this similarity of results.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Sertorius

Infinite monkeys, pecking at typewriters over infinite time, would produce all the works of Shakespeare….. It now seems clear from whom the man who wrote that line obtained the obviously plagiarized concept he employed in its composition. If such it may be called, in light of this thought from Plutarch, a man whose reputation has stood through millennia.

With my complete faith in the power of Google, after writing the above little query into Plutarch’s statement, and in the interests of accuracy (and scratching the itch of curiosity it gave me), I typed the essential phrases into the search box, hit enter, and sat back to await the results, trying to find the current author to whom it is attributed.

Sure thing, the first link was to a comprehensive article on Wikipedia on what is known as the Infinite Monkey Theorem. Little did I know when I first took up this subject that I had blundered into a field of intense and continuous scientific and philosophical inquiry that has been raging among the academic and public sectors of society since the time of Aristotle, who is credited in the article as having been one of the first to propose the basic concept in writing.

In scrolling down the Wikipedia page in a quick scan, I realized what I saw there would be equivalent to 30 or more pages of a book, in a tiny font, mentioning discussions by most of the philosophers of the last two thousand years, including many examples of historical and cultural explorations of the concept. This first glance I took only covered the basic elements of the discussion, which was organized into what seemed to be endless divisions of academic, mathematical, and cultural aspects.

There are several other articles listed as well, some even longer and more detailed, that explore the idea’s mathematics, and the implications of that math. There are entire articles on the cultural aspects of the question, and each article is filled with links to more information, literally thousands of web pages of data. It is, in short, a subject worthy of weeks, or even years of study before any discussion to be held would cover any ground that hasn’t likely been covered previously.

It would take a few weeks of eight hour days just to check if any ideas I had for discussion had occurred already somewhere, or some when, not leaving much time to develop the any possibly new arguments in a fresh way, or even much time to organize any, since their relative newness was as yet undetermined. A challenge of a lifetime, or at least one worthy of a doctoral dissertation…. hmmm, I wonder if some university would accept such an article for a doctorate?

Hell, somebody probably thought of that already, too….. I guess I’ll find another subject for discussion here. This one seems to be a dead end….in spite of the 300 or so words I’ve already spewed.

Damn monkeys anyway! Who asked them to write Shakespeare? Though, as I’ve said before, there is some of his stuff that could use a bit of work….. just sayin’…..

“Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you hear it.” — Laurence Peter, “Peter’s Quotations”, 1977
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“Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.”– Goya

Master Goya knows whereof he speaks. If you believe it not, just view his body of work, and we will discuss it again.  Here is one of the marvels of which he speaks… I had forgotten how excellent a poet Keats could be. This is obviously a “toss off” poem, a spur of the moment reaction, yet effortlessly gives the reader a taste of the grandeur of what he had read in Chapman, and felt about what he read.  Enjoy!….

Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne,
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific, and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise,
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
– John Keats (1795-1821) — On first looking into Chapman’s Homer

Gorgeous! If you can believe it, I am speechless in admiration….. watch me….. See? Nothing more to say…. well, maybe one thing….

“True eloquence consists in saying all that should be said, not all that could be.” — Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld
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No, ‘t is slander,
Whose edge is sharper than the sword, whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile, whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Cymbeline
– Act iii, Sc. 4

Not to belabor my point, but see? Shakespeare. Really bad verse. At least 10 too many words, way more than needed, and still so obscure the point has to be shaken out like a peach from a tree. Not unusual for him, in my mind….. I rest my case…..

Kirk: “Spock, comment.”
Spock: “Very bad poetry.”
– “Catspaw”, Stardate 3018.2.
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Well…. I’d feel strange about the lineup today, but, in truth, it’s not an unusual grouping to find here. Since I never plan what to write ahead of time, I suppose that isn’t particularly surprising. It keeps me busy….. a bit of housekeeping, if you would spare me a moment of your attention….

*Smart Bee — Smart Bee is the database program in which a lot of the quotes I use as pearls are found. More of them than I would like are not attributed, as might be expected in a database of 111, 111 quotes amassed by a collection of geeks and programmers (i.e., hackers) in their spare time, and distributed for free.

In the past I have attributed all such orphaned statements to Anonymous, Unknown, and occasionally, no one at all (I feel plagiaristic every time, but whaddyagonnado,  when it’s perfect and you’re in a hurry to get done?) So, in the future, just for the sake of my sanity, such as it is, I’ll be attributing all such taglines found with no one to blame to Smart Bee itself. That way, I don’t have to try to figure out which to use each time, and can just get on with it… thanks for your patience with this little condom for my mental health.

And on that note, classy and elegant guy that I am, I shall bid thee adieu… be warned, please, that I intend to try to post to my blog site again later today…. but it won’t hurt, I assure you, especially if I don’t get to it….. Y’all take care out there…..

 


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

Kowabunga!

Hidden behind a glass partition….

Ffolkes,
Bastard rhymes are jostling for precedence in order in my head, just to make me mad. They do this periodically, and I think it’s just because they are jealous of free verse, and all it implies. Normally I just offer them some cold cereal, and they’ll slink away, but they look a bit more committed this morning. I suppose I will have to break down and give them cheese. I hate to do that, mostly because they’ll want it next time. But also because I hate to share my cheese, with anything, much less a bastard rhyme….

Maybe I’ll try a new method….ignoring them works well with standard problems; it’s like King Ralph I said back in 1990, “There’s no problem so big or complicated it can’t be ignored. Now all we need are all-new globes.” Yeah, that sounds right…..we’ll go with that, and if they complain, so much the better. Nothing I like more than pissing off bastard rhymes in the morning….. shall we dance?…..
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“If you can set the rules, you can win the game.” — John McCormack

Finding this pearl brought me a small sense of relief; I wasn’t sure if this was common knowledge or not, and didn’t want to spoil a good survival tool. But since it’s commonly available, I can use it without guilt, because it won’t make the playing field any less even if I do, as others have the same option.

This is a tool? you may ask….yes, I would answer, it is. How often in life have you found yourself somehow involved in a game or system not of your own choosing, and floundering around ineffectively because of it? If you’re anything like me, and I’m not THAT weird, it happens regularly, if not frequently. Somebody is always trying to set us up somehow, and gain some kind of arbitrary advantage, by making us conform to rules we don’t even know.

But now that you know this, you should be able to see how powerful a tool this really is. No longer do you have to put up with someone else’s idea of what is fair; if you find yourself in a position of losing out, then just change the rules of the game to suit your own purposes. This has the immediate effect of placing the controls of the situation back in your hands.

Using this tool, you will never have to face disappointed loved ones, or friends, just because you failed at a task they felt you should succeed at; instead you emerge victorious, with reputation intact, all by using a simple, easy-to-use skill. It’s how James T. Kirk became the first cadet to solve the supposedly unsolvable Kobeashi Maru scenario, and it is how you can regain control of a lot of situations in life that previously gave you fits….. Not a bad find for a Thursday, eh?…..
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Books are burning
In the main square, and I saw there
The fire eating the text.
Books are burning
In the still air
And you know where they burn books
People are next.
– “Books Are Burning”, XTC

When I first read this, an image immediately came to mind, a picture of some backwoods preacher in a tent somewhere, haranguing the local populace his own brand of ignorance, a pile of library books burning merrily in front of the stage where he preaches.  (Have you noticed? All these zealots are men. You never see women doing this sort of thing…)  I then realized that behind that image was a real-life danger of seeing this happen here in this country, if people like this Rick Santorum idiot have their way.

For weeks now, this bozo, who has no idea his nose is big, red, and bulbous, has been spouting nonsense that he thinks will appeal to a large number of conservatives, getting more and more outrageous each time he opens up his mouth. I saw yesterday that now he claims that as President, he would “unmarry” all the gay folks who have already been wed. What a ridiculous concept! And what business of the federal government’s is it who marries whom? And who asked him, anyway?

This clown, er, wait, that’s an insult to clowns. This fucking idiot (there, now I feel better…) has also made it clear that if he were elected (fat chance of that, fortunately) he would send all illegal immigrants back to where they came from, and he would make it a criminal offense to either get an abortion, or, get this, to become pregnant without being married! I only have one rational response to such idiocy and that is, “Sod off, you buggering idiot. Who the fuck told you that you have any right at all to tell a woman what to do with her own body? Oh, God told you? Well, now at least we can get you some medication for your condition….”

But, what I find scariest in all this man’s demagoguery is that he actually has supporters, people who feel the same way, even some women. I despair for these people, for they are in danger as well. Their danger stems from the fact that this man will lead them right into the fiery depths of their own version of hell, since most of what he spouts is directly opposed what is in the Bible. At least none of this was mentioned in any of the several different versions I’ve delved into over my lifetime. I suppose, in order to be fair, and to live up to my belief in free speech, we have to let him speak…. but we certainly don’t have to listen…..

Silence is the only acceptable substitute for brilliance.– our old friend, Anonymous
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She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life ‘s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Macbeth
– Act v, Sc. 5

I’ve mentioned before that Will isn’t one of my favorites in historical literature; but I also acknowledged that he is indeed one of the greatest wordsmiths of all time. This is an example of what I mean by that. A lot of his poetry, to me, seems overblown, more convoluted than it needs to be; this passage belies that belief. It’s beautifully put together, and a worthy expression of the concept it portrays. I’m going to leave it at that; some things just don’t need my help to be interesting…….

And here is an example of Will speaking from the other side of the coin…..just not very good, I’m afraid….

If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings,
I ‘d whistle her off and let her down the wind,
To prey at fortune.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Othello
– Act iii, Sc. 3
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All things dull and ugly, All creatures short and squat,
All things rude and nasty, The Lord God made the lot;
Each little snake that poisons, Each little wasp that stings,
He made their brutish venom, He made their horrid wings.
All things sick and cancerous, All evil great and small,
All things foul and dangerous, The Lord God made them all.
Each nasty little hornet, Each beastly little squid.
Who made the spikey urchin? Who made the sharks? He did.
All things scabbed and ulcerous, All pox both great and small.
Putrid, foul and gangrenous, The Lord God made them all.
– Monty Python’s Flying Circus

An unusual sentiment, but perfectly true, if one takes the concept of God at face value. It’s a perfect example of how a good idea taken to its logical extreme becomes ridiculous, and thus exposes its very real flaws. A lot of folks may take this the wrong way, and cry “Blasphemer!”, but hey, I didn’t write it; I just found it and shared it. Let’s not go back to the distant past when the messenger got shot for delivering bad news.

I have showed these folks above how to deal with what they believe to be a rigged game; just change the rules. But, sadly for most of them, they have adhered so long to the same old set of outmoded rules of conduct that they have lost the flexibility needed to enhance one’s chances of survival, rather than reducing them. As for me, well, I figure it’s a personal problem, and of little interest to me, other than to mark that spot on the map as not worth visiting……
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“If any man can convince me and bring home to me that I do not think or act aright, gladly will I change; for I search after truth, by which man never yet was harmed. But he is harmed who abideth on still in his deception and ignorance.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD)
– Meditations, vi, 21

I like this for a number of reasons, but the foremost is for its relevance to my own life. I have long considered myself to be a seeker of truth, and have known all that time that flexibility in thinking is the most important attribute of the true seeker. In simpler terms, in order to learn the truth, one must first admit to not knowing it; therefore, it is essential to the process to be able to accept from others their own version of truth. Only thus can those differing values be compared to what we hold to be true, thereby providing us with solid evidence for whichever truth we are seeking.

We are not born knowing what is true and what is not; only experience can teach us, and one can only be certain of reaching those truths if all of the available evidence has been reviewed. This is the only insurance we have against making ignorant decisions about important issues; the only other option is to remain ignorant, a state of anathema for a true seeker……
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Well, I finally made it. It’s been a long winding road to get here, not too much uphill, but lengthy. I think maybe I write so much each morning in order to keep from jumping into the day too far without preparation; if nothing else, this process does clear out my head to a degree not possible over the course of the day without having used it. It’s kind of like that nasty phlegm one gets with a bad cold, you know? Better out than in….. in any case, y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!