From this perspective, it’s clear the vicar was nude….

Ffolkes,
Day the next 013    This picture was taken somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean, during a trip around the British Isles…. It may just be my favorite picture, of all I took on that trip…. The color, the composition, it just speaks to me, in a lot of ways, bringing with it memories of that time, along with appreciation, for the picture’s potentiality for cogitative stimulation…. The first thought that always occurs to me is how it is impossible to tell, just from the picture, whether this was taken at sunrise, or sunset; it could easily be either one….. Not bad, for an old fart with his first camera, eh?….

Today’s Pearl will be odd, as if, A) you hadn’t heard THAT before, and, B) just as if it could be anything else, when one considers the source, to wit: me, in all my strange glory…. What do you mean, that isn’t glory, it’s dirt? I’m not going to even bother to think about THAT statement; no way that could be true…. I mean, if that were true, what was all that….. well, never mind. I think, upon reflection, we should just skip right on by this little episode, and chalk it up to the early hour, even if it’s a late early hour, for me…. It’s getting harder to drag myself up each day, but, that, too, is nothing new, is it?….

Age, pain, bozoid tendencies…. I’ll tell ya, ffolkes, it makes for an “interesting” life, one you would think would offer plenty of material for a writer….. and maybe it does, for a writer whose mind is normal… My own idiosyncracies tend to color my perceptions, as they do for all of us…. mine just have a greater effect on me than most ffolkes suffer; maybe it has to do with all the spikes, thorns, and broken glass covering the material my head produces. It does get a bit iffy trying to handle it without injury, especially given my known habit of beating myself over the head with certain types of information, so it is more easily assimilated…..

I’m wandering again, aren’t I? This is what happens when I sleep late; I wake up foggy, (normal for me…), but, start writing anyway, as I’ve found the process of creating these introductory sections eventually wakes me up enough to get through to the end of a Pearl…. Well, so far, anyway….. Apparently, once I’m relatively awake, I can do this in my sleep…. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether it helps, or hinders to write while somnolent; I DO keep getting them done, so, I suppose that’s something….

Well, now, there’s a pretty mess, eh? It seems I turned the picture, which is somewhat undefined by itself, into yet another reason to ramble and blather my way through the first section, all without ever coming to any conclusions, but, without haring off into uncharted regions of my mind, or anyone else’s, for that matter…. What did I just say? Let me go back a second, & analyze that last sentence…. Okay, yep, it’s as I thought…. I’m reaching the point of incoherency, so we have to stop now, or someone will get hurt…. and it’s most common for me to be that someone…. So, instead….

Shall we Pearl?….

“If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Okay, well…. that explains THAT….. Onward, ffolkes….

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I may have mentioned I’m up pretty late, (or not…. I am now, though, right?…. Mentioning it, that is…. I’m up late… there, now you know….), which precludes a FRESH rant, especially given the news of late, which has way too many subjects that would be suitable…. In today’s state of mind, picking one could be as hazardous as writing one…. So, here is a reasonably priced discussion of some esoteric minutiae for your reading pleasure…. Oh, and keep your neurons fired up and ready with this one, ffolkes, it’s a bit deeper than usual, even if it doesn’t touch on anything particularly volatile…..

From 10/21/2012:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached that point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….

:-)

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Being late means not having the time to go search for anything from other authors to fill up the empty spaces between lines; this can be a good thing, or not, depending on a lot of factors, which we won’t go into now…. Suffice it to say, it’s usually easier to find one of my own to go with whatever is taking place, and today is no exception to that observation/rule…. I wrote this in October of 2012, during the period of time after my retirement when I was in my deepest depression, and living under the most trying circumstances I’d experienced in many years…. I guess it goes to prove that poetry comes out of human experience in a more compelling fashion when that experience is a test of their endurance, or stamina, or however one describes the effort of standing up to the crap life sends our way, every day…. Enjoy, ffolkes, this is one of my best….

Seeing is Conducive to Belief

Folly sits so comfortably upon my fevered brow
one would easily believe that I would know how
to look at Life with a jaded, weary eye
seeing enough, and more, to know Why.

Such seems the case, as I will it to be,
an open book of a face, it looks so like me;
what’s known to be so, needs no close attention
familiar sights require no minding, nor mention.

The eye is drawn at once to the stark and new,
and sent back to sleep by successful review.
Once we find evidence we feel we understand,
curiosity languishes, dismissed at command.

Ancient sages knew the insidious value of illusion,
preachers and pundits know the power of confusion.
Each pair of eyes contains its own point of reference,
each mind sets its own standards of preference.

Seeing is believing, for those who live in thrall,
accepting what is perceived is all they ever recall.
Unknown to them, reality follows another set of rules,
Deeper, more dangerous, and no place for fools.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Even though I’ve managed to get caught up to schedule fairly well, by dipping into the archives instead of going fresh, I’m still feeling rushed from being behind all morning…. An old-school pearl should fix that, and takes no time at all…. as long as Smart Bee is cooperating today…. Let’s go see what it’s got for us, shall we?…. No parameters, we’re going with pure impulse for this one…. Good luck! Buena suerte!  We might need it….

“Actually officer, if you factor in the earth’s rotation, we were all speeding.” — Smart Bee

“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, scatalogical 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, Catch22

“The universe is as it is because if it were any different, we wouldn’t be here to observe it.” — Stephen Hawking

“I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.” — Pogo, character in “Pogo,” comic strip by Walt Kelly

“I am not a wimp.” — George Bush

(Sorry, George, but, yes, you are a wimp, and I have to say, I don’t mind telling you….. If you have to say it, it’s proven…. Q.E.D.)

“… as sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul…” — Aristotle — Nicomachean Ethics, Bl. I, Ch. 6, 10966, lines 29-30

“Facts are not truths; they are not conclusions; they are not even premises.  The truth depends on, and is only arrived at by a legitimate deduction from all the facts which are truly material.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Well, there you go…. That went well, and quickly, just as planned…. Damn it! Now I have to keep a watch out for Murphy; things have been going WAY too well thus far….. Watch my back, would you?…. I’ll go try to finish up….

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Well, ffolkes, as I stated in the intro, it turned out quite interesting…. Better behaved, all in all, than I’d expected, so, since I’ve already thus been rewarded by the Universe for my perseverance, I’ll take my leave without further ado, or fuss…. See y’all 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 the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Bump the aardvarks to the second seating….

Ffolkes,

So much for planning…. It seems that I will have to wage war with my HMO to be able to live with any dignity; so be it. They’re the ones who are refusing to be flexible, or to make honest decisions based on rational reasons. So, I’ll take them to the court of public opinion over the next few months, and see how THEY like being raked over the coals of societal anger….. If I can get society on my side against them, it might work…. That being said, just as obscurely as I could, we can go on to bigger and better things….

Epiphany is, I find, an experience I’m finding hard to pin down to actual codification. No worries, though, as they don’t disappear, even if not immediately acted upon, as they usually insist upon; they come complete with enthusiasm, and their own sort of energy, created by the sheer exuberance of the manifestation experience. The one I had the other night, when conversing with my old friends, is shifting in outline the more I examine it, with the only clear issue coming to light being what I’m going to call The Search for Innovation….

Normally, I’d start ranting right there, detailing the idea I’m presenting, and taking a few well-earned shots at the Asininnies I hold as responsible for our plight today. Since, however, I’m not normal, I’m going to put that particular piece aside for a time, and let it percolate, because it doesn’t feel as if it’s quite done yet…. needs a few days more to cook in there.

Not only is it unwise to use food before it is well cooked, it is also unwise to use ideas before they are fully developed, lest they turn on us, and become toxic in themselves, just like a slab of meat we leave out too long…. No, I’m going to allow this epiphany to bake at the correct temperature, for a sufficient time to allow it to get done, all the way to the center….. Nobody likes a gooey center, do they?…. Not in a robust, world-saving concept they don’t…. They want it done all the way to the middle…

Now that I’ve completely mixed all the metaphors I could find, just to tell you we’re NOT ranting first off, and NOT yet detailing the inner workings of my recent ideas, but, rather, trundling along with no real direction or purpose, I am authorized to tell you we are nearing the end of today’s intro section, oddly enough, and will be heading off into the wilds of ECR in just a few moments….

Any hopes, dreams, or obsessive desires you may have acquired upon this short journey are completely your responsibility, and the management can not be held liable for any that are not fulfilled. Please leave the 3D glasses in the seat back in front of you, and exit to the rear when we come to a complete stop…. We hope you’ve enjoyed this small detour through the lobby, and hope you enjoy the rest of your day with us….

Shall we pearl?….

“…only here did the human soul in a higher sense acquire depth and become evil – and these are the two basic respects in which man has hitherto been  superior to other beasts!” — Friedrich Nietzsche
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Unbeknownst to you, or me before I began today, my work space is operating with a handicap. The overhead light has burnt out, and, since I have worn out over half of the keys on my keyboard, to the point where the letters are no longer visible, it’s getting really hard to see which letter I’m hitting…. Now, of course, if I were a typist of classical excellence, it wouldn’t matter, because my hands would always be in the correct position to strike the appropriate keys…. but, I’m not, in the ultimate sense… I do type well, and classically, most of the time, but, when composing, it’s a different matter, as there are pauses to think, or edit, or fix typos, which can break up the smooth flow of the words onto the screen…

So, here we are, a large paragraph later, a hundred words or more, simply to tell you that I’m not going to rant in this section, but will instead fill this one up with an old-school pearl, of unknown, and heretofore unseen, parameters…. Enjoy!….

– Bother! said Pooh, as he kicked Piglet’s ass. — Smart Bee

“Not only is life a bitch, it has puppies.” — Adrienne E. Gusoff

“Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.” — Hermann Hesse

The Eternal is empty (like a bowl),
It may be used but its capacity is never exhausted.
It is bottomless, perhaps the ancestor of all things.
It unties its tangles,
It softens its light.
It becomes one with the dusty world.
Deep and still, it appears to exist forever.
I do not know whose son it is.
It seems to have existed before the Lord.

– Lao-Tzu (fl. B.C. 600)

Chiefs who no more in bloody fights engage,
But wise through time, and narrative with age,
In summer-days like grasshoppers rejoice,–
A bloodless race, that send a feeble voice.

– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Iliad of Homer, Book iii, Line 199

“Whatever you would make habitual, practice it; and if you would not make a thing habitual, do not practice it, but habituate yourself to something else.”  — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — How the Semblances of Things are to be combated, — Discourses, Book ii, Chap. xviii

“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.” — Gaiman and Pratchett, Good Omens
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I’m in an odd frame of mind today, all things considered…. There is only one poet to whom I turn, on days such as this….

Delight becomes pictorial
When viewed through pain,–
More fair, because impossible
That any gain.

The mountain at a given distance
In amber lies;
Approached, the amber flits a little,–
And that’s the skies!
 
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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Below the line under this short paragraph, you will find a relatively ancient Pearl…. from October of 2011, it is in the format I used at the time, which consisted of an introduction section, where any comments, or ranting, I had on tap were placed, followed by a group of pearls forming another pearl, with a short closing…. This structure, in this exact form, is how the Daily Pearls looked back then….. Today, it is saving me the effort of searching out another old-school pearl, since, hey, here’s one right here…. Enjoy!….
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From 10/7/11:

Ffolkes,

The nature of Reality is a fascinating subject, due in part, I believe, to that part of its nature that is amorphous, ever-changing and unpredictable. It is also hard, uncompromisingly immutable, and always the same. In these two facets, it is much like us, coexisting on the edge of light/dark, sharp/dull, sweet/sour, pleasure/pain. As we feel, so our view of what is real changes to suit those feelings. But though our view of it will alter to fit our whim, reality itself is immune to such manipulation. Its nature is to provide the truth that our illusions keep us from seeing, not to change at our direction. But it too will change, for entropy is the rule for which exceptions exist (see below), and entropy cannot be denied.

Thus even though our nature is but a mirror of Reality, it is not Reality itself, wish as hard as we might that it would be so. We are left with only our reasoning mind to cope with the dichotomy. And that is fine, for we are also dichotomous by nature; all of our senses obtain their information from the universe by registering presence/absence of substance (touch), molecules (smell), air waves (hearing), more molecules (taste), and photons (sight). So dichotomy is something with which our minds are comfortable.

But, though we can be comfortable with perceiving Reality, we still must be cautious, because danger, by its nature, is duplicitous, and can hide right out in the seemingly open. Our perceptions require us to review their veracity on a regular basis, lest surprises occur. Surprises, while nice coming from one’s boy- or girl-friend, can be rather unwelcome coming from Reality.

Especially those little conundrums that Life always seems to hand us that have their roots in the past; old debts, old friends, old enemies, all have a tendency to show up in our lives just when they are least welcome. Goes to show, I guess, that the old saw about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure makes a lot of sense when considered in that respect. Leading us back to another old saw…..be alert! The world needs more lerts. And so do we…..

“I went in search of my art, often in danger of my life. I have not been ashamed to learn those things which to me have seemed useful — even from vagabonds, barbers, and executioners. For we know how a lover will go a long way to meet the woman that he loves. How much the more, then, will the lover of wisdom be tempted to go in search of his divine mistress!” — Paracelsus

“The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.” — John Vance Cheney

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” — Stephen Hawking

A mighty pain to love it is,
And ‘t is a pain that pain to miss;
But of all pains, the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain.

 — Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) — From Anacreon, vii, Gold

“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;  supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” — Sun Tzu (fl. c. BC 500)

“If for every rule there is an exception, then we have established that there is an exception to every rule. If we accept “For every rule there is an exception” as a rule, then we must concede that there may not be an exception after all, since the rule states that there is always the possibility of exception, and if we follow it to its logical end we must agree that there can be an exception to the rule that for every rule there is an exception.” — Bill Boquist

Well! I don’t know about y’all, but I feel MUCH better!…… y’all take care out there…..
_____________________________

I’d say, more or less, this Pearl is pretty much typical for the breed…. Why I’d say that, I don’t know for sure, but, it FEELS true, so, we’ll go with it, and pretend it is, even if it isn’t…. Isn’t it amazing, how I can pull so many words out of an insane, completely useless piece of introspective nonsense?…. Well, I think so….

As long as nobody shoots me, or hauls me away to some dingy, freezing, rat-infested back room in some fleabag hotel, to beat me with a rubber hose, in a vain, forlorn attempt to force me to retract my strong words, against the BRC and the churches, bless their little black hearts and souls, well, I’ll be back tomorrow…. Okay, so, MAYBE I’ll get struck by an attack of common sense, or perhaps extreme embarrassment, but, otherwise…. See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Tiny, torn pieces of once proud menu items….

Ffolkes,

With a last, silent slide down the slippery sky, the nearly-full moon fell behind the mountain to the west, filling the valley below with darkness complete….. Instantly, twelve silent shadows moved as one, filing through the forest, to pass the edge of the clearing where they had lain hidden, near the darker line of trees, swiftly making their way to where the moon was last seen. No curious animals stirred in the now Stygian night, as the line of warriors, weapons in hand, passed through, below the silent nests of sleeping birds; no rasp of scraping leather, or clack of loosely packed arrows escaped the troop, no wheezing breath betrayed their position….. The twelve warriors moved like ghosts through the forest night, making their way to their destined fate.

As they made their silent way toward the mountain, their destination loomed, a darker mass against the bulk of trees…. Massive, with small twinkling lights at the highest corners of the crenelated walls, the castle spread itself higher and higher up the mountain, to where sentries could just be made out, marching past the lights as they worked their way around the castle’s outer walls. At a hand-signal, the troop stopped, looking to the front of the line to where the leader, gazing up at the walls, stood at the edge of trees leading up to the castle’s moat, and bridge gate…. Discipline had them standing silent, waiting for the next step to be ordered…. Before this night was over, the world would change; many innocents would die, and a new world would greet the surviving few….

Fortunately for us, we won’t be around when they get into the castle…. It’s been quite a while since I  began a daily Pearl with a fictional story opening… It felt pretty good, actually, and, from the look of it, might be one I should put away to work on later, as it could conceivably work itself into a nice little tale…. So far, I’ve never finished one, but, hey, ya never know, do ya? Even I sometimes manage to do something right, so, hey, why not? In the meantime, here we are, already a good, solid two and bit of paragraphs into this, and it’s all good, and all fresh…. Bonus!

Of course, now we come to the conundrum of this type of opening section…. To wit: Now what? I suppose I could just jump in and start the dive, but, would that satisfy all the legal issues? Don’t know, & don’t want to pay the fines to find out…. Hmm, I could….. no, better not. Last time I tried that, it didn’t work out so well, and took me three days to recover my chutzpah…. Well, we could always…. wait, no, the automatic blender we’d need for that is broken…. Damn, well, shoot, what ARE we going to do? I can’t recall ever being precisely in this particular position before, but, that doesn’t mean we haven’t been here… I mean, even MY excellent memory has a few gaps in it….

Well, I guess there’s no other option; we’ll have to go back to method #4, which, in spite of its stark, ugly nature, remains the most effective choice to get this process unstuck at times like this…. I suppose if Reality weren’t quite so exquisitely diverse, there wouldn’t be as many choices, and making the right one would be easier…. Since it isn’t like that, we’ll have to go on with this, and hope for the best…..

Shall we Pearl?

“Being normal isn’t one of my strengths.” — gigoid
_____________________________

Other than the intro section, whose level of creativity needed for production has never been calculated (thankfully…), most of today’s Pearl is from 2012…. so, I’m creating a fresh pearl here, just so we can say it isn’t ALL old and possibly stale…. I’m not sure exactly what the parameters for this may end up as, so, I’d keep my safety harness hooked, at least loosely, if it were me….

“The farther you go, the less you know.” — Lao Tzu, “Tao Te Ching”

“Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. . . . the human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive.” — Frank Herbert, Dune

“Antiphanes said merrily, that in a certain city the cold was so intense that words were congealed as soon as spoken, but that after some time they thawed and became audible; so that the words spoken in winter were articulated next summer.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Man’s Progress in Virtue

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” — The Wizard Of Oz

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

“On with the dance, let joy be unconfined” is my motto, whether there’s any dance to dance or joy to unconfine.” — Mark Twain

“Being about to pitch his camp in a likely place, and hearing there was no hay to be had for the cattle, “What a life,” said he, “is ours, since we must live according to the convenience of asses!” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Philip

This, if you haven’t noticed, is quite possibly a perfect pearl, seven star random style, with a good set of ideas that add up to a pretty formidable lesson, if one has the wit to find it…. If not, it’s all still good advice, or, good thoughts with which to live life, so…. Any who, such perfection requires a finishing quote, one that reflects the useful nature of pearls, while still offering some actually useful information…. In those respects, this is as iterated…. perfect….

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total oblivion. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me and turn my inner eye to follow its path. When the fear is gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” — The Litany Against Fear (Frank Herbert, -Dune-, 1965)
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To avoid any potential lawsuits, here is one of my own poems, from some time in 2012….

Seeing is Conducive to Belief

Folly sits so comfortably upon my fevered brow
one would easily believe that I would know how
to look at Life with a jaded, weary eye
seeing enough, and more, to know Why.

Such seems the case, as I will it to be,
an open book of a face, it looks so like me;
what’s known to be so, needs no close attention
familiar sights require no minding, nor mention.

The eye is drawn at once to the stark and new,
and sent back to sleep by successful review.
Once we find evidence we feel we understand,
curiosity languishes, dismissed at command.

Ancient sages knew the insidious value of illusion,
preachers and pundits know the power of confusion.
Each pair of eyes contains its own point of reference,
each mind sets its own standards of preference.

Seeing is believing, for those who live in thrall,
accepting what is perceived is all they ever recall.
Unknown to them, reality follows another set of rules,
Deeper, more dangerous, and no place for fools.

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

Below this line you will find one of my most well-put together, and well-written pieces of work…. It’s a long rant, covering several issues, from way back in 2012 sometime…. I’m impressed, and so will you be…. I’m also lazy, and there’s just no cure for that…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. long as it is, it’s a pretty good read, I think….

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It’s not every day I’m compelled to write about religion, politics, philosophy, and the Unified Field Theory, unless in separate pearls…. Taking them all on together might seem a bit egocentric of me, but I’ve never been one to dismiss a challenge, unless it was one that didn’t interest me…. This one definitely hits all the high points of my particular bent, or bents, so, what the hell, let’s see what happens…..

“Each religion, by the help of more or less myth which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny.” — George Santayana

This idea is one that makes it possible for me to get through a lot of days without becoming homicidal toward a lot of people who bandy their religious beliefs about as if I were at all interested in them. I am aware that there have been a lot of good people throughout history, including current times, who are devout believers in one religion or another; they are sincere in their beliefs, and in their efforts to live their lives according to the precepts of their religions.

Some of them are even preachers, or priests of one sort or another, but the percentage in those categories of sincere belief is most certainly smaller than in the general public…. Let’s face it, most of those who go into the business do it because they aren’t any good at anything else, and the work is pretty easy…. Being a preacher is only hard if it gets taken seriously enough to try to help other folks, but most of the ones I’ve met are more concerned with convincing everyone of their piety than they are with actually helping…. and to most of them, the process of proving their own piety is accomplished by challenging everyone else’s beliefs, and sticking their noses into other people’s business….

One of the most insidious attractions of religion to many people, sad to say, is that it provides such a convenient vehicle for going through life without ever having to come up with an original thought or feeling. Every system of religious dogma, from no matter what cult, or division, or schism, or whatever it maybe called, is designed to give people answers to their questions about life and all the things that happen that they don’t understand, thus creating a sense of dependency. This is very convenient for political pundits, who manage to take advantage every time the preachers pull another scam on the public….

Unfortunately, those answers, comforting as they may be, seldom reflect reality very well, but are based rather on how that particular sect views the issue at hand…. and you can rest assured that those answers are designed to benefit the sect, and the preacher, in rather more ways than they will benefit the person with the questions…. But, I’m sure it is very comforting to know that if you just go along with what they say, you are somehow guaranteed something…. I never could understand that part very well, as there was nobody who could tell me just what was being promised…. other than I’d have to wait until I was dead in order to see it…. (The politicians like this one as well, because it gets people used to being told something,  i.e. campaign promises, then having those promises unfulfilled…. )

“There are so many ways that we sabotage our own divinity, our own possibilities. and the mythologies of race and gender may well head the list.” — Callan Williams

Ah yes, the mythologies of race and gender…. Consider this…. each of us who are of the genus homo sapiens is a unique individual, no matter what color our skin, or whether we are male or female. Unique in our own right, beginning with the pattern of DNA that dictates and defines the characteristics of the organism that is each one of us. Unique. This is indisputable scientific fact.

And yet, there are still people who choose to believe that there are characteristics shared by certain groups of homo sapiens that make them somehow superior or inferior to another group. Which of those characteristics they claim as exclusive is always based on articles of faith, and never on any physical evidence. The basis for these articles of faith are outlined in the myths, myths that ignorance breeds, born out of fear of the unknown….

These fears are pretty formless, as the people who have them don’t like to think about them. First, because then they feel uncomfortable, and being comfortable is preferable to thinking, no matter how much it may alleviate the fear.  Second, it is also hard to clearly define something that one rejects all evidence of knowing about; the fear is a known factor, and knowledge is not.

These behaviors are a very childish reaction to serious adult issues, but then, a large number of people never learn to deal with life after a certain age; the techniques of denial and avoidance that children rely on are hard for some to give up, especially in matters of emotional or psychological import.

“The ability to accept responsibility is the measure of the man.”  — Roy L. Smith

This is very true, and actually would be claimed as their own by many folks who make a habit of refusing to even consider being responsible for anything outside their own little world. The flaw in their world-view is their intractable belief that what THEY perceive is the only true way that the world CAN be perceived; they seem to be constitutionally unable to entertain any idea to the contrary.

This makes compromise with them somewhat of a difficult proposition, as their unfounded, but unshakeable belief in their own rightness gives them a feeling of entitlement, of believing that they can lie to and cheat others without consequence, because the “others” are, as unbelievers, not worthy of honorable treatment. (Hmm, I can’t decide if this sounds more like a fundamentalist Christian, a ruthless business man, or a politician…. since it fits all three, I guess it fits Romney like a second skin….)

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

This second quote from Mssr. Santayana points out another flaw in the philosophy held by those who follow many religions, under their own interpretations of the scriptures that are used by them. This flaw is obviously based on the relatively inarguable fact that all of them are faith-based philosophies…. grand, well considered, beautifully constructed philosophies, whose basic premise is an entity whose existence cannot be evidenced in the physical world.

There are innumerable thoughtful and elegant “proofs” of the existence of these entities, all of which, again, are constructed entirely of words and ideas. Some use logic, some history, some use hope, some use delusion, and some use an amorphous idea that cannot be pinned down…. none of them have actual pieces of physical evidence that incontrovertibly points to the existence of such an entity. If anyone knows of one, or two, or more, please let me know of it/them; I would be very interested in the information, and its provenance, to be sure….

I have wandered far afield today, indeed, into the most distant realms of human thought, and I’ll bet you thought I’d forget about the Unified Field Theory…. For those unfamiliar with the phrase, let me explain as succinctly as I can; this has gone on a long time, and I’m sure we all have better stuff to do, but, hey, I’m here, you’re here, so….

Any who, the Unified Field theory is a mathematical model of the universe that, in essence of its yet-to-exist-theory, explains and describes all the different types of energy that we know to exist in the Universe; Gravitational energy, Magnetic energy, Electric energy, Electromagnetic energy, Kinetic energy, Biochemical energy, life energy…. All are known to us; we can identify and measure them all, but we do not understand, even minimally, how they interact, or how they are all inter-related as part of the Universe at large…. hence the need for a unified theory, to connect our understanding of them all. It hasn’t been written yet; it is still just a concept for the future of scientific endeavor, though Stephen Hawking is said to be working on coming up with one before he dies…. if anyone can, then, he is certainly the most promising candidate.

In short, we are trying to discover and codify the one theory that explain how it all works, how everything fits into the larger picture…. There are many, including Mr. Hawking, who believe that knowing this can possibly lead us to a closer idea of the answer to the Why it all works the way it does…. by design, or by chance? Did God lose a bet, or win one? Or is there some as yet unknown reason beyond our current ability to understand? Being able to SEE and KNOW how it all works can only give us clues about the origins of it all.  Even if it doesn’t give us all the answers we seek, we will have a better understanding of the Universe, and ourselves, and thus, perhaps, a better idea of our true place in all of what we see….

Whew! If you made it to here, you are indeed worthy…. as well as, most likely, tired, confused, and a bit troubled, with doubts as to my sanity….  It’s okay, I understand…. and I don’t blame you. I should have handed out warning notices at the beginning…. Ah well, ’twas fun for me, and that will do…. Stop me, please, I can’t seem to shut up…. wait, don’t pull that pl….
_____________________________

I’m pretty certain that this one will NOT make it to the Pulitzer short list, but, it’s done, and around here, that’s what we’re shooting for, first of all…. Any issues of quality should be taken up with the literary committee, which meets on alternate leap years in the main library conference room downtown…. Feel free to join them at their next meeting, in January of 2016, I believe…. For the nonce, you’re on your own….. See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Bring me the brass candlesticks from aisle three….

Ffolkes,

It’s a Sunday…. It’s also another day I can pretty much write off, in terms of getting much done, as this bronchitis is still kicking both my figurative, and my literal ass. I have no energy at all, in spite of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in over a week (got almost 7 whole hours of it, with no coughing, and no needed emergency trips…. whee!….). I’ve decided to not try to push myself into writing a lot, even though I told myself I wouldn’t give in to this being sick stuff, as I have done for much of my life… When I told myself that, I wasn’t considering how old I am, or how damn sick I am, so give me a break, eh? I’m still delirious half of the time, and not too sure when I might be back to relative normalcy….. whatever THAT may mean around here….

Instead, I’m going to include some short pearls that comprised an old Pearl, a new poem I found by Emily (new to me….), and one fresh old school pearl, the type that is easiest on my head, as well as my body, as they don’t take long; plus, bonus material…. actual thinking isn’t required…. Okay, no comments about “oh, we knew THAT!”…. I’m doing my best here, and don’t need the grief….. Any who, I hope this doesn’t drive away too many ffolkes because I’m not being fresh…

I do have stuff I COULD talk about…. Those idiots in Congress are at it again, shuffling about in their ignorance and blind maliciousness, talking about undermining some diplomatic deal the POTUS accomplished with some of the insane assholes from the Middle East, where they pride themselves on how ignorantly they can live…. It’s funny how these Republican assholes (that is, as opposed to those Democratic assholes with whom they share office space…) seem to go into the most fantastic contortions of nasty, ill-tempered, ill-conceived machinations designed (in their tiny minds) to make it hard for Obama, just because it isn’t the way THEY want it done, when, in fact, it is their own image they are tarnishing, by appearing to be small minded and childish….. And they still don’t understand why they lost the election…. I also have a wonderful little quote about gun control that I’ve been saving, and the percolating that I’ve felt going on in there on this one promises to make it a doozy, or, as we like to say around here, some damn good shit….

But, I don’t have the energy for more than what you just got, so, we’re going with the plan outlined above for the day, as it is the best hope I have of coming up with anything worth reading…. at least, that’s my take on it, and, I’m driving…. So….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Well, one must get an idea someplace.” — Stephen Hawking
_____________________________

I was reading one of the old Pearls that the new WP function recommended, and thought there was some pretty good stuff in it…. I was going to just re-blog it today; instead, I’m just going to include a few of the short pearls it contained…. I hope they tickle your fancy, or at least your plain….

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

from 12/28/2011

Ffolkes,

Hoy, yo soy una tabula raza. Y cuando you escribo, es muy dificil.  Pero, tambien soy un brujo, y la realidad es mi amigo. Andalé! Vamanos!……. Pop!

Okay, whew! Thought I’d be stuck in Spanish all day; it’s all because last night I had a dream about my first real trip to Mexico, many years ago, when my partner-in-crime, Dusty, and I, rode the train from Mexicali to Mazatlan, a brutal 30 hour ride. We found out an important piece of information on that trip.

Mexican beer won’t get you drunk, no matter how fast you consume it.  It’s a decent way to stay hydrated, but that’s all. If not kept cool, it starts to taste somewhat like badger piss, though I’m only familiar with that on a hearsay level. Sure won’t give a buzz, though; it’s only about 1% alcohol. We forgot, it’s a Catholic country, and still rooted in the last century, minus one, in a cultural sense. Ah well, ’twas alright; we just spent the entire week with whiskey instead of beer. Jack is Jack, no matter where he travels….  Oh, I was wrong yesterday…. I didn’t lose my mind; it’s here somewhere. It’s just that, due to intense mind fog, all thoughts have been grounded.

Okay, I’m ready…. let’s rock….

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

“You could say I’d lost my faith in our politicians.” — Smart Bee

But it was a small loss, considering there wasn’t much there to begin with…. I’d be willing to have a bit more faith in them, if even ONE of them would stop consistently lying to me. Note I said consistently; I’m adult enough to realize that, being what they are, they have to lie. If they could just learn to not lie EVERY time they open their mouths, we could reach some kind of compromise agreement. But they don’t seem to want, or seem not to be able, to do that, so I’ll just have to go on wallowing in my disbelief. That way, I’m not disappointed so often…. My mind ain’t so open that just anything can crawl right in.

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” — Paulo Freire

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

‘You can’t go home again if home is a place you’ve never been.”– Ursula K Leguin

Sad it is that too many people in our society, of all ages, know exactly what this means, from cruel experience. Society has always had its poor and homeless, and repeated explorations into the reasons for it have all been inconclusive, for they all get to the same point and lose coherent credibility. When the vagaries and complexities of human nature are brought into the equation, the sheer number of variables makes the equation unsolvable.  In other words, nobody knows for sure why society arranges itself as it does.

We just don’t know enough for certain to be able to say with any high degree of confidence, “THIS is why this is so”. Thus, any and all attempts at finding a solution to the problem have been ineffective at best. We live in a nation with more natural resources than all but a handful of countries around the world, but we still have a small but significant percentage of our population who don’t know whether they will eat today, or whether they will sleep indoors tonight. I can’t say I’m any smarter than anyone else who has looked at this issue; I don’t claim to have any magic bullets. But I can feel compassion, and I can wish….

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

“If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it if you have love, compassion, and tolerance. The clear truth of a person’s love of God is if that person genuinely shows love to fellow human beings.” — Dalai Lama

Here we have some plain common sense, in the guise of eternal wisdom. I like to think that even the most dogmatic religious devotee, of any religion, would agree with this concept. (I know, that’s a stretch, even for one with my sunny disposition, always filled with optimism…. HACK!  Oops, sorry, almost choked….) It’s difficult to object when it matches so closely the most basic beliefs of almost every sect. Though proponents of each world-view may differ greatly on the shape and nature of what they worship, none would deny that love, compassion, and tolerance are lessons taught by all of them, in their study and contemplation of human nature, and its niche in the scheme of things. In every face with which God is seen by Man, one may see these three attributes written clearly on their visage. If we have any redeeming feature written on the slate of our souls, love for one’s fellow man would be that characteristic….

“[...] For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner [...] on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. [...] That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.” — Carl Sagan
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As promised, a bit of Emily’s amazing vision, sans accoutrement…. (also, without formatting, which apparently got lost along the way here….)

A Coffin is a Small Domain

A Coffin is a small Domain,
Yet able to contain
A Citizen of Paradise
In it diminished Plane.

A Grave is a restricted Breadth
Yet ampler than the Sun
And all the Seas He populates
And Lands He looks upon

To Him who on its small Repose
Bestows a single Friend
Circumference without Relief
Or Estimate or End

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
_____________________________

Also as promised, below you will find a fresh harlequin pearl, ripped from the very bowels…. no, wait, that’s the wrong image for someone with current issues in that direction…. Let’s try again…. Here are some fine, fresh pearls, and I hope you enjoy them…. (It seemed the best thing, to keep it simple…. nobody can say I don’t have tact, eh?…. Maybe not a lick of sense, but, tact, I got….)

“Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.” — Leo Tolstoy

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

“Remember that when you hear a horse, it might be a zebra.” — African proverb

“No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding.” — Plato, Laws

“Intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac” — Smart Bee

“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.” — Albert Camus

“There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.” — Benchley’s Law of Distinction

This MIGHT be the oddest pearl I’ve ever created, but, it’s fairly consistent, and very deep, if you give it a chance…. If it still doesn’t gel for you, just forget it, and go on to the next task in your list…. That always works for me….. Or, just break it down into its individual components; each is perfectly usable as a stand-alone proverb, or, as we call them, oysters….
_____________________________

I have a feeling this Pearl may not be up to my usual standards, but, I just don’t care much at this point…. I’ll check, but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s done, and I can go back to bed now…. See you tomorrow, I hope….

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

Here, the exception is held as rule….

Ffolkes,

As time passes, the traumatizing events of the recent past are slowly beginning to fade, with some reluctance…. I’m still fighting off the bronchitis I picked up on my trip, along with concomitant issues of less than delightful nature; all in all, though, I’m feeling much better than the last four days….. I guess tons of breathing treatments, prednisone, & anti-diarrheal medications, all augmented by heavy antibiotics, will do that, as long as one is not at death’s door to start with…. Not to say it isn’t still a bit of danger at my age, but, everything seems to be under control, if not fully whipped as yet…. I’ll do for this, anyway…. It’s getting so I can do these in my sleep, sort of….

My trip to Ensenada on the Ghetto Princess is going into the memory category in my head that NEVER gets any visits, other than as a reminder to avoid certain things in the future…. This was my fourth cruise this year, as I’ve completely indulged myself in spending most of the back payments that Social Security saved up for me by putting me off for so long…. Of those four trips, this one managed to fall into last place from the outset, never looking back, until it had completely fallen off the charts of any statistics kept on “bad vacations”.

The staff of the ship did their best, for the most part, but they were operating under the handicap of a ship in need of refurbishing, rigid company policies in need of review, and a managerial staff who were obviously less well trained, or experienced, than the standards usually found on Princess ships…. Structural changes in the way the ship was set up were made that made it less comfortable for passengers, by crowding more people into smaller spaces, such as in the buffet, where they removed part of the serving area to make room for more seats… This made it hard to get the food at all, as the newly designed serving area was cramped and crowded at all hours…

The ship itself was in need of repairs in many small ways, and the staff was rushed and obviously overworked. They try to turn over their passengers between these quick 3 and four day cruises so quickly that nothing ever gets all the way done, or done well…. They disembark one group from 0730 to 1000 or 1100 AM, then start loading people back on at about noon, and sail at 4:30 PM, all the while moving luggage and restocking stores for the next cruise…

The room service food, which we used a lot due to my illness, was NOT up to their usual fare, and almost always arrived luke-warm…. which is okay for the lasagna, but not so good for a cheeseburger, or the lobster bisque…. I did meet the Executive Chef in charge of the specialty and main dining rooms (not the buffet, or room service…. that was under the auspices of the Executive Sous Chef….), who was a nice man, and reported all the things I pointed out to him as another chef…. but, there was little he could do beyond that. From speaking with him, I wish I’d been well enough to eat in one of his outlets, as I’m sure it would have been better than what I experienced in the other venues….

Any who, what with other issues on board, my illness, and more problems that showed up in our travel arrangements with shuttle companies, etc., this trip was the worst we’ve ever been on, and we are now determined to remain homebodies for the next few months, to get his trip out of our system, and plan for a better trip next fall, when we’re planning to go to Europe, to the British Isles…. This is the last whine you’ll have to endure on this trip, which I had hoped to make into a better story…. Maybe after I’ve recovered a bit, I’ll be able to see more of the humorous side of what happened, but, just now, while I’m still sick and uncomfortable, it’s a bit hard to see it that way… C’est la vie, eh? I guess, after three great trips, it was my turn for a bad one….

In the meantime, it’s morning, and time to go diving…. Since I’ve been up, answering email, and writing this post, for quite a while, I’ll need to use some archived material today, but, by tomorrow, should be back to all fresh material, once I have built up a bit more energy than I’m currently able to muster….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Go placidly among the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence….” — Desiderata
_____________________________

As mentioned above, I’m using something from the archives, but for a purpose…. I wanted to point out that, along with Lou, the other blogger to whom I refer in the pearl below, I was trying to let people know about the spying being done on the public by the government, long before the revelations by Eric Snowden that PROVED how much is being lifted from our private data, all by the “most transparent administration” we were promised when we elected Obama ( Yes, I voted for him, twice, as the lesser of two evils…. I’m regretting it, mostly because he has proved to be as bad a liar as the rest of them….)…. Any who, this is from late in 2012, before Mr. Snowden released his information, which makes Lou and I somewhat precognitive, don’t you think?…..

From the Pearl posted on 11/24/2012:

“Just because you’re not paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you!” — Smart Bee

Last week, or maybe earlier, another blogger and I were both ID’d as being a bit paranoid, (self-identified, I might add, along with accusations by another blogger….) because we happen to believe at least some of the conspiracy rumors continually floating around the internet. Each of us took comfort from the above sentiment, knowing it to be 100% true, and have mutual agreement in that belief. Lou seems to be pretty tech-savvy, posting a lot of different types of media on his blog, so he must have similar knowledge as I of computers, and the functions of which current technology is capable. This knowledge, along with a deep understanding of human nature, is the root cause for our paranoia, and, it’s justification….

“No excellent soul is exempt from a mixture of madness.” — Aristotle

The little laptop computer upon which I type to create these Pearls of Virtual Wisdom is an amazing machine, and fairly representative of what is available to the public these days. It has, quite simply, more computing power in it than was present in the ENTIRE WORLD when the first laptop was on the design boards, when I got my first clunky 386.

What this simple fact(oid) implies is this: the government, and its supporters, the bankers, corporations, and churches, have available for their use, enough computing power to record EVERY piece of communication, of EVERY type, created each day in the ENTIRE WORLD.

Along with that capability, to monitor ALL communications, it has the capability of mining that huge amount of data for significant words, phrases, and patterns that will inform them of anyone, anywhere, who is speaking in a way that is potentially against their interests.

Yep…. every single piece of published communication, via phone, internet, TV, radio, or any other form of media by which humans communicate, is vulnerable to being overheard by those in the beloved ruling class…. Allow me to assure you, the reasons for which they want this information have nothing to do with YOUR rights, or YOUR interests, nor are they going to tell you, either that they are doing it, or how often, or where, or anything about it.  In many public places, with cameras and recording devices, it is possible for them to overhear even the words we speak to each other face to face.

If they wish, they can even concentrate technology on a single spot, (such as your car, your living room, or kitchen….), and listen to every word spoken there, even if they are not within miles of the place. There is, by published report, no place left on Earth where technology cannot penetrate, to listen to what is being spoken, given the opportunity, and the time to employ the needed technology.

So, my friend and I are well aware that what we write and publish here online is perfectly available to those who care about such matters, and they WILL be listening to what EVERYONE is saying, even, or, perhaps especially, us. Since I have a tendency to rant against the very people who are listening, I doubt that my name is missing from several lists of theirs. In fact, I’d be surprised if it was missing from those lists…. if it is, they’re not paying attention….

As I’ve said before ffolkes, be alert; the world needs all the lerts it can get. You are being watched, and listened to, whether you choose to believe it or not, so it would behoove you to, perhaps, take that into account. Please, don’t fall into that, “oh, you’re just being paranoid,” attitude, or the “well, if I don’t say anything wrong, they can’t get me,” fallacy….

One of the primary characteristics of those with the power-mongering gene is a certain irrationality, a characteristic that is inherent in their make-up…. They have an unfortunate tendency to act on belief and faith, not on fact, so their actions, while fairly predictable, are somewhat irrationally chosen, and don’t necessarily make any sense to those of us who use our minds for other things than reclining upon….  Remember, as Lazarus Long advises, “Always cut the cards.”….

I have read and understood the above.   X______________________

_____________________________

I’m currently without poetic impulse, though I have the feeling there is something in there, growing…. For now, though, to keep from allowing anyone else to share the blame for today’s post, I’ll include what I consider to be one of my better pieces from the past…. Well, I like it, anyway, so, here ’tis….

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 ~~

_____________________________

As always at this juncture, I find it necessary to fall into default mode, and come up with what I like to call an “old-school” pearl… So, here it is…. Enjoy!…. Oh, and, ffolkes, remember, don’t fight against wherever the pearl directs your mind…. you could hurt yourself, and my insurance is already maxed out…. Thanks…. Take care with this, and you’ll be fine….. In fact, if it works out the way I want, you’ll not only enjoy it, but your acne will clear up within a few hours….

“The first sign of a nervous breakdown is when you start thinking your work is terribly important.” — Milo Bloom

“It is a secret known to but a few, yet no small use in the conduct of life, that if you fall into a man’s conversation, the first thing you should consider is, whether he has a greater inclination to hear you, or that you should hear him.” — Steele

“If nothing’s fair, why can’t it ever be unfair in my favor?” — Calvin

“[Freedom is] the power to live as you will.  Who then lives as he wills?” — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is:  what are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” — Stephen Hawking

“FOOLED you!  Absorb EGO SHATTERING impulse rays, polyester poltroon!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Okay, I will admit…. some days it works better than others…. You’ll have to make your own judgment as to how this one gets rated…. I like it, but, then, I did it, so, mine don’t count…. At least it isn’t sharp enough to cut yourself on…..
_____________________________

Well, it’s been a long morning, and it isn’t even seven o’clock yet…. Fun, though, for the most part…. I suppose it goes to prove that everything is relative, as the fun part seems to be connected to the fact that I’m NOT feeling shitty in some fashion… That, plus I’m done with this, which is always an uplifting event around here…. Now let’s see how it came out….

Well, damn, Samn, that’s not bad at all… I’ll take it, and run with it, all the way downtown…. or, back to bed, which sounds more attractive at the moment…. I had fun, and so did you, admit it…. Oh well, be that way…. 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

dozer3

He needs more time, or it won’t fly….

Ffolkes,

One might surmise, given the relatively advanced age I’ve reached today, I might just be able to show a degree or two of restraint, and keep from ranting first thing. On the other hand, I find it encouraging that, at this age, (I’m 63 today, an age I NEVER contemplated reaching when I thought about it in my earlier days….) I still have the wherewithal to expend energy on ranting at all. I find it to be quite positive to be able to bring my experience, and my extensive knowledge of the English language, to bear on the issues I see around me, and hope I never give up my sense of activism, at least as far as ranting goes… I might not join in too many more demonstrations out on the streets, but, I’ll keep writing as long as I have a venue from which, and in which, I can spout off….

Sixty-three…. hmph. I suppose you COULD say it’s a perfect age, just right for curmudgeonly attitudes and ill-tempered, bombastic outbursts, all aimed at these whippersnappers in Washington who are fouling everything up with their stupidity, their selfishness, and their rampant lack of integrity. When I was a lad, we didn’t have politicians like these, no sirree… our politicians had HAIR. They were honest! They fought commies, and won! They were bigger than life… and THAT is as much of a crock of pure bullshit now, as it was then…. For sure…

No, I can’t say much about politics being different now, because it isn’t…. Many of today’s issues actually have their roots in the fifties, when I was first starting to observe the political world, and then-President Eisenhower, that old soldier, knowing well the value of silence, in 1954, quietly began sending our troops over to Southeast Asia, as “observers”, without bothering to tell the American people about it…. The general knowledge of his build-up of troops in Viet Nam didn’t happen until the mid-sixties, right before I went off to college, and boy, the shit hit the fan then, didn’t it?

The universities and colleges in this country, and across the entire world, became hotbeds of revolution (For any NSA hot-heads who might be listening in….. whoa, calm down, there, big fellas, it’s just a word….. revolution merely means “change”, not “doom”….. at least, not from THIS side of the word….), fomenting discontent among the common citizens, and turning millions of young people, like me, into life-long political reformists, by pointing out how the government, and all it’s supporters and lackeys, were reacting in the classical fashion of the guilty…. The issues that came to light back then were so powerful, and of such a revolutionary nature, that even long-time supporters of the government, (such as my father, a WWII survivor, and a 20 year Army veteran….) began to question what the government officials of the time were up to, to the point of writing letters to ask them that very question, pointedly….

I remember once, I came home from college for a weekend visit, in 1969, ( I was at UC Berkeley, a REAL center of protest at that time….)… I brought with me a copy of the SF Chronicle from the day before I arrived, which had a picture on the back page, a large one, of an Oakland Tactical Squad member leveling a shotgun at the back of a fleeing hippie…. The young protester was speeding away from the officer, some thirty or forty yards down the block, in full flight, hair streaming, arms akimbo, running full speed for his life… The officer was obviously about to fire, with his shotgun up level, aiming straight at the protestor’s BACK. The picture had appeared the morning after one of the People’s Park demonstrations, taking up half of the back page, as it was taken from a rooftop across from the action, the day before it was published…. But, when I got home & showed it to my father, he was astounded!…. No, that is too weak a word…. he was flabbergasted, as well as extremely dismayed…

You see, he had received his copy of that same Chronicle, delivered to our home, 300 or so miles away from the Bay Area, in a conservative farming town near San Luis Obispo…. but, the picture was not anywhere in the paper…. He was astounded, not only because of the subject matter of the picture, (a policeman obviously firing at the back of an unarmed, fleeing citizen…. ), but because of the censorship implied in its absence from the paper, removed to spare the sensibilities of the conservatives who were far away from the scene itself…. It was his first evidence that he, and the rest of the American public, were not getting ALL the facts from their own government, whom they trusted….

It actually was quite a sad time, for both of us, as he had been the one to pass on to me his own patriotic beliefs, and his pride in this country; it hurt to know that our faith was completely undeserved by those who had taken power here…. He wrote to several government officials he knew from his time in service, at the Pentagon, but was never able to find anyone who wasn’t part of the cover-up going on, and was thus turned against the very government he had defended so valiantly in WWII, even giving up some of his blood in the process (he earned a purple heart, though he wouldn’t talk about it much….)

You know, I just realized that my father’s reaction to the exposure that occurred during the Viet Nam protests in the sixties is most likely the major qualifying reason for my political activism today…. It pisses me off, royally, that this government could so egregiously abuse the patriotism and belief in the system held by my father…. Not merely for him, but for myself, and for all those men and women who gave their lives and personal loyalty to defend what they believed this country to be about, I began to observe, to form ideas and opinions, and to comment upon what they do…

It’s only now, after I’ve retired, and have the time to pursue this, that I’ve really started to work at it; I try now to give them as much shit as I can possibly shovel out to throw at them…. This country, as my father saw it, and as he taught me to see it, is a GOOD place, with people who care about each other, and make an honest effort to  live their lives with honor and integrity…. It is a place where a person can look for their own destiny, without interference from others, and without having to fear for their lives because their destiny is not the same as what is common, or traditional. It’s a place where the word, “freedom”, actually means something important to every man and woman, without having to resort to creating fear in order to have it….

But, the people who have become professional politicians, who have fallen under the manipulative powers of the shadowy special interests of the bankers and corporations, have usurped that integrity, and turned us into a nation of self-serving, fearful, ignorant assholes, not willing to share anything with the rest of the world, jealously hoarding as many resources for our own use as we can get away with, bombing the crap out of anyone who has something we desire, and won’t give it to us…. We’ve become the world’s bully, throwing our weight around everywhere, just as if we had the right to do so, and no matter how the people we are abusing feel about it….

Oops, did it again, didn’t I?…. It must be an age-related issue…. I started off reminiscing about the old days, just like any old-timer, then lost my way, and began to spout off against the machine, again…. SIGH…. Oh well, maybe this means the rest of today can get going without any further ranting on my part…. or, not, as the case may be…. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…. for now….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book iii, Chap. xv
_____________________________

I ranted so long above, I decided not to rant in this section, a decision for which I’m sure you are eternally grateful… I am including here the article I noticed yesterday, and the comments I made on it… Then, however, instead of ranting, I’ll put in a harlequin pearl, to try to make the same points as always, but, in a new and exciting way…. If you believe that, let’s talk real estate, ‘kay?….  Enjoy!….

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Report-Snowden-gets-tech-support-job-in-Russia-4942178.php

The interesting part of this article is the comments…. From what I could tell, the vast majority, apparently nearly all, of the commenters supported what Snowden had done, either regarding him as a hero, or thanking him in some way for his bravery, in being the one to pull the covers on the NSA and the government’s deep involvement in spying on their own people. Like myself, they are aware of the fact that, in the process of exposing the government’s lack of integrity, he was giving up his own life as an American citizen, resigning himself to a lifetime of persecution by a vengeful collection of dishonest and highly embarrassed politicians, on both sides of the political aisle….

Enough of that; y’all know how I feel about this already. Let’s go pearl, shall we?….

“Although everyone is entitled to be stupid, some abuse this privilege.” — Smart Bee

ARENA, n.  In politics, an imaginary rat-pit in which the statesman wrestles with his record. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“How could the drops of water know themselves to be a river? Yet the river flows on.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“We should be able to see that our interest would be best served not by asking the state to promulgate our values but by forbidding the state to promulgate any values at all. If the state can espouse some value that we love, it can, with equal justice, espouse others we do not love.” — Richard Mitchell

“Why is the universe the way we see it?  If it had been any different, we would not be here!” — Stephen Hawking

“Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.” — Mark Twain

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” — Alan Watts

Sometimes, perfection just sneaks up on you, patiently sitting in front of your face until you notice it’s there….
_____________________________

Inside the museum infinity goes up on trial.
Voices echo, ‘This is what salvation must be like after a while.’
But Mona Lisa must have had the highway blues;
you can tell by the way she smiles.

– Bob Dylan

Time, and again….

Life, and/or love, will seldom fit
into any box we keep for them to sit.
Loose and limber, without any reason,
always somewhat out of season.

Surprise, surprise, they seem to say,
can’t help it, it’s just our way.
If only you would learn, instead of know,
maybe you’d find yourself with one to show.

Deal, just the way it is, now and here,
follow the path, on the other side of fear.
Finding the future isn’t all blood, sweat, and pain,
far, far more than mere joy we stand to gain.

The sages all say not to try, just do,
sounds as simple as putting on a shoe.
I’d say we could really go places,
if we could learn, to tie up the laces….

~~ gigoid ~~


I believe I mentioned there was a poem percolating in the unguarded, dark corners of my mind somewhere…. I guess it was waiting for the right moment to push its way out into the light of day…. Here ’tis, such as it is…. I like it, myself, as is obvious from the fact that it’s here…. I’ll stop blathering now….
_____________________________

Okay, so, I’m happy…. It’s my birthday, I’m up and feeling pretty good, all in all, and have gotten a poem out of my head, always a good sign of mental health, for me…. That stuff does better out than in, if you know what I mean…. or, even if you don’t, it still does better out than in…. Any who, I’ll be done soon, so, have patience…. Here is a random pearl, picked from the archives, but, from another of my birthday posts, to keep it all in the family…. let’s see what I did back then….

11/1/11
Ffolkes,
Today is my birthday. I’m sixty-one years old now, and one might think I’m all grown up. I suppose I am. If being such is defined as the state of finally accepting one’s own mortality, whether with fear and loathing, or with calm and grace, then, yes, I am all grown up, for I have exhibited both states of late.

I am still at the point where the thought of death is not easily applied to myself; I’ve been immortal since my early teens, and only of late have I come to realize that such a belief might be an erroneous assumption. I’ve always thought that the progress mankind has made in the field of medicine would reach a point where living much longer than we do would become common, and yes, I’ve been accused of unreasonable optimism previously. But, though there is improvement, the average age of death for males in our society continues to hover right around 72 years, and that for me is all too close for comfort.

When the Grim Reaper comes for me, he’ll find me to be unwilling to cooperate; when they take me, it will be kicking, fighting, biting, screaming, and whatever else it takes to keep from having to leave this life before I am ready to do so. I’ve got a lot left to get done before I can consider myself to have done all of what I set out to do in life; I will need more time before I can feel ready for it to end. Unfortunately, we don’t always get the last word in that particular decision-making process; all too often it is taken out of our hands altogether. I can only hope to be given enough time to finish what I’ve begun.

I have a number of creditors to appease today, it being that time of the month when they all come out of the woodwork with their grasping hands, greedily trying to take some of my money before I give it to someone else. None of them seem to care that if I give them all what they wish, then I won’t eat again this month. Ah well, c’est la vie, such as it is…..not exactly what I had in mind for birthday activity, but we gotta do what we gotta do. Since I do have all that to deal with, we’ve gone back to the old format again today. The Pearls were all chosen for their luster; they shine even in the dark…..enjoy!!!

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) — First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Heavy, adj.: Seduced by the chocolate side of the force.

And if we do but watch the hour,
There never yet was human power
Which could evade, if unforgiven,
The patient search and vigil long
Of him who treasures up a wrong.

– Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Mazeppa, Stanza 10

“To lose a friend is the greatest of all losses.” — Syrus

There….I feel better, sort of….. y’all take care out there…..

Back in 2013 now, and, I’m sensing a theme here…. Good thing we’re all done, isn’t it?….
_____________________________

Okay, so I went a little overboard…. if you hadn’t noticed, it happens around here on a regular basis, and I’m not going to apologize for it, not when it makes me feel so damn good…. Y’all will just have to deal with my unwarranted, and possibly frightening, display of good will and high spirits today…. or not, it’s up to you, as always… I do hope you enjoyed it all…. Now, let’s see if any of it makes any sense…..

Not only does it make sense, I feel even better, knowing I still have to appease creditors, but, having done so today, I can still go out for breakfast…. I’m a simple guy, really, though it may seem otherwise if you go by what happens here on ECR…. Breakfast makes me happy, and I say that’s simple, and right, and I’m going to go have some now…. See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

We’ll titrate the phone books, THEN we’ll marinate….

Ffolkes,

I should, perhaps, know better than to begin while still free of coffee…. Aha, I know…. I’ll go peruse the headlines, to see what I can find to rant about today…. Be back when I’m lucid….

Lucid I may be, but, bursting with energy, I’m not, sad to say…. It’s funny, actually; as soon as I started gulping down my coffee, I started yawning, my eyes began to droop, and I started feeling as if going back to bed is the right thing to do (it’s still only 5:15 AM, so it’s not as if it’s too late…). Or, maybe, a bit of a lie-down on the couch would do the trick… We’ll try that first, before I make a complete fool of myself here… Shoot, too late for that, huh?… Oh well….

Laying down wasn’t the answer, either, it seems….. I’m here, though, and I’ve had coffee, so I may as well get started….. Let’s try this…..

Spinning darkly, madly through wild spaces, shouting defiance, the weight of Ramistolia, the Axe of Invincibility, heavy at my belt,  I begin to curse, slowly, with great passion, at the strange methods used by wizards to move people to where they need to be.  I think then of home, and Mira, my wife….. Sleeping now, I hoped, dreaming her gentle dreams of love and beauty, about to awaken…. Flushed in the pale light of dawn, her long tresses tumbled, she will arise, moving slowly to the bath as her handmaiden throws a robe over her milky white shoulders. She’ll think of me then, and smile, not knowing that I had already left her, to meet the destiny set out for me……  IF I managed to survive Alizander’s terrifying mode of transport….

Well, that’s enough of that… it’s okay, but not the best I’ve ever come up with…. I haven’t actually done one of those in a while, which is odd, because I always enjoy it, even though I never do finish any of them. I keep telling myself that one of these days, I’ll sit down, and outline a story to go along with one of them, but, so far, I’ve not done so…. Obviously, it’s not as important to me as I had imagined it to be, which is fine…. I’m actually pretty content with life just now, and it’s hard to get worked up over much of anything….

My contentment may be a contributing factor in the difficulties I’m encountering in this process…. For ranting, it is necessary to feel at least a bit of discontent down in the deeper parts of the psyche, and, right now, mine is pretty happy, for the most part…. Oh, like everyone, I have my moments of angst and bitterness, but, mostly, of late, I can avoid them, or pass them off without any fuss, or lasting effects…. After a lifetime of passionate involvement, and volatile relations with women (I always did find passion to be irresistible…), I am quite content to live more peaceably….

Now, if only the pundits and talking heads would just go crawl back under the rocks from whence they came, all would be well in my world…. But, no, they have to go through all the asinine contortions they can, while continuing to act out their insane personal agendas, taking society down with them, on their completely unnecessary trip to Hell…. The idiot assholes, or asshole idiots, take your pick, on both sides of the political fence, are still exhibiting massive amounts of blind stupidity, and have yet to give any indication they are getting any smarter with time…. Personally, I’m kind of happy with parts of the shutdown, as it does mean they aren’t up to much of anything at all in government, which HAS to be good for all of us….

There, that’s my rant for the day, such as it is…. and now that this intro section has climbed up to a new plateau of chaotic oddity, I guess I should get on with whatever I plan for the rest of it…. Such is life before the rest of the worlds returns from the ‘little death’, into which we slip each night, searching for Endymion…. If you like, you can choose your own metaphor for that, but, I’ll stick with that one, because, hey, it’s done, right?….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Ignorance of one’s misfortunes is clear gain.” — Euripides
_____________________________

Bloggers, it seems to me, are a group of people who should have a good grasp of the importance of freedom of speech in a democratic society. Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, all of whom were part of the founding process of this nation, and our particular brand of democracy, wrote many letters, essays, and comments on the subject, as it is considered to be one of the most important keys to the survival of a democracy, in the face of the attempts made daily by corporations, priests, aristocrats, and all the other immoral, unethical pirates, who live to control others, and who continuously strive to maintain, and increase, their ability to manipulate and control society for their own benefit.

“We can’t allow the people to interfere with the smooth flow of democracy.” — Kitchener city council member

This might seem like a funny statement, until you realize that he wasn’t being facetious, , or even ignorant; rather, he was clearly and honestly (a mistake I’m sure, and the reason his name is now forgotten….) expressing the prevalent attitude among virtually all of the elected officials in this country. Thomas Jefferson particularly warned us, on a number of occasions, to be watchful for attempts by corporations to manipulate the law, as did others of the founding fathers….

Unfortunately, we didn’t listen to them well enough, and along about the middle of the nineteenth century, the corporations found, and used, the most corrupt federal judge they could bribe, influencing him to establish legal justification, and pass judgments on certain laws, creating legal precedents that would forever put the government under their power and control…. If you think that is a bit simplistic a view, or that it is essentially wrong somehow, please, please, show me your evidence…. As proof of my assertion, just consider the modern legal definition of “corporate personhood”, to get a clue as to what I’m talking about…..

“When I want to buy up any politicians I always find the anti-monopolists the most purchasable. They don’t come so high.” — William H. Vanderbilt (1821-1885)

Now, we see the net result of those manipulations, as our country is being held hostage to those politicians who are most heavily influenced by corporate philosophy, and corporate money…. In addition, this administration, which was elected partly due to their promise of transparency and accountability in government, has proven once again that we have fallen prey to some very persuasive liars, as the following link to an article will demonstrate…. Please read this article, which ran a few days ago on SFGATE…. The implications herein are terrifyingly real, and support what I’ve been saying all along, that even though Obama is very good at distraction, always telling the public what they want to hear, his actual agenda is not as transparent, or as beneficial to the public as he has claimed…. Read it, please, then I’ll continue….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Report-Obama-brings-chilling-effect-on-journalism-4884506.php

Pretty scary stuff, isn’t it? I don’t like to gloat, but, I DID warn y’all, back in 2009, when Obama was first sworn in, that what you were seeing in him was NOT what you were actually getting…. That became clear when one of his first acts when he got into office was to renew the provisions of the Patriot Act (which could more accurately be called the Paranoid Act….), first pushed on the American people in the wake of 9/11/01, an event completely blown out of proportion by the then extant President Shrub, and his band of good ol’ boy cronies (I won’t bother to mention the timing of the attacks, which were conveniently distracting to the public, drawing their attention from the other news of the day…. which included the possible investigation, by the US Department of Justice, into the 2004 elections, to seek further evidence of illegal voting and election tactics by the Republican Party ….).

Obama’s first significant act as President, then, was to reinforce the LACK of transparency fostered by the Shrub’s administrations, and to further limit the power of the US Bill of Rights to protect our citizens from their own government…..

“I want the ability to monitor high-tech communications among far-flung terrorists. I want to be able to have our people learn their plans before they strike.  That’s the key.” — US President Bill Clinton, radio address, Saturday, May 20, 1995

Oops! What’s this? Yet more indication of how long this charade has been going on? Yep, you got it, ffolkes….. In fact, without trying terribly hard, I could go back over the past 75 years of American political history, and show exactly how much the rights of the American people have been eroded, and how many lies have been told in the process of that erosion…. It’s isn’t hard, because I only use the public newspapers and TV news for my evidence, which anyone may access….

Believe me, it’s a lot of lies, and they continue right up to today….. It amazes me, sometimes, to see just how easy it is to get the public to fall in line…. All one has to do is make people afraid, and they will accept whatever loss of freedom is asked of them, in order to save themselves from thinking, or from admitting their history of being duped….

“What George Washington did for us was to throw out the British, so that we wouldn’t have a fat, insensitive government running our country. Nice try anyway, George.” — D.J. on KSFO/KYA

Normally, and, of late, mostly, I pick on the Republican Party, due in part to their lack of finesse in lying, and due to their more open disregard for the people…. But, the Democrats are no better, ffolkes… They have merely learned how to lie more smoothly, telling people what they wish to hear, and making them believe that they are working for the people’s benefit….

Frankly, and simply put, they’re not interested in any of that sort of thing…. They have merely discovered an old method, of giving something desired, something of small and insignificant meaning, very publicly, to the people, with great fanfare, while, with the other hand, they are clandestinely searching our emails, and profiling our citizens in search of the mulligan, terrorists….

Yes, I said mulligan…. the threat of terrorist activity is very small, as they are very few, and not well funded, generally…. Any who are so funded, you may be sure, are well controlled by those who are in true power, for they control the flow of money, and the availability of weaponry, both of which are needed to foment rebellion. They know this, and since they, quite simply control all the money, they control the terrorists…. No, the terrorists are what they show you in one hand, while the true actions of significance are happening behind closed doors, and in shadowy corners where no one looks….

“… But when he [the people's champion] has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.” — Plato (428-348? B.C.), “The Republic”

I guess I’ve ranted enough for one day…. I’ll leave you with this…. The US government has been controlled by corporate interests (i.e., money) for a very long time…. The quote below gives us a clue as to how long it has gone on, though it started long before 1950…. By that time, though, the corporations were in control enough so that, even though there was no military need, or justifiable rationalization, to drop the atomic bomb, the government was persuaded to do so…. It’s a pretty clear picture, when one sees that the highest ranked military leaders saw no need for it, but, the politicos, and their corporate masters, just HAD to see what their new toy would do….

“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.  …The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening.  My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.  I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.  We were the first to have this weapon in our possession, and the first to use it. There is a practical certainty that potential enemies will have it in the future and that atomic bombs will sometime be used against us.” — Admiral William D. Leahy, — Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, I Was There, 1950

Stay alert ffolkes, this old ball of mud doesn’t have a lot of turns left where we’ll be joining in the song of life…. These idiots, who operate their lives on a basis of complete self-indulgence, and blind belief in their own invincibility, are getting closer and closer to the time when the physical laws of nature will take over, and complete the job of suicide of the species that they have begun…. We can’t keep pumping carbon into the atmosphere, whether it’s monoxide, dioxide, or any other oxide, and expect nothing to happen…. Our lungs don’t use that stuff, and it will eventually kill us…. So, stay alert, and maybe we’ll get a chance to turn things around…. Here’s hoping….

“It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.” — Voltaire
_____________________________

I have the feeling that any responsibility or today’s effort shouldn’t be shared, lest whatever happens affect the reputation of whomever I chose to display here in the poetry section…. So, you’ll have to settle for one of mine, as the new one is still cooking…. I hope you enjoy it….

After the odyssey….

Portraits of iconic symbols, crashing, singing, forgotten;
evolving into mature innovation, as yet pale, and rotten.
Still water justly breeds, impenetrable primal verses resound;
unholy moments tarry, emotion swirls in passion unbound

Spiritual ovulation precedes each pregnant pause;
gravid, time moves on, following destiny’s cause.
Cast adrift on waves of confusion, to a final, damp landing;
salvation beckons sweetly, fed well on understanding.

Dreams directly fall, in night’s grey bower, unbidden;
lingering flavors in simple taste, lovingly, cleverly hidden.
Childish laughter sounds, joyful, bright, and clear;
no need ever to hide, no more monsters to fear.

Temper most foul arrives under unregistered mail;
forgotten taunts live on, lashed by an ancient flail.
Plain dealing delivers such lasting specks of honest hate;
savage in retrospect, never hasty, always running late.

Forever, cries an ambient lover of the pending night;
his pale, weak issue forms its own failing light.
Still, fortune favors such as those who apprehend;
Sweet love of Gaia, let it never end.

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

I’ve ranted sufficiently for one day, so I won’t bother you with yet another…. As is our wont, we’ll go default, meaning old-school style…. It may be default, but, it’s MY default, so deal….  :lol:

“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” — Emily Dickinson

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” — Stephen Hawking

“In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears.  Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.” — Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-78)

“Time carves all. Let yourself be carved to attain your true nature.” — Master Po

“A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.” — Ramsey Clark

“I think the dragon’s asleep.” — Famous Last Words

A word is dead
When it is said
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.
— Emily Dickinson

In the words of the Colonel, “I love it when a plan comes together….” Nothing like a balanced pearl of virtual wisdom to start, or end, your day….
_____________________________

I have a feeling that this one is better than it seems from over here…. let’s take a closer look….. I might be right about that. Since, however, I’m not the best judge of my own work, I’ll just do as I always do, which is to post it, and damn the consequences…. See ya…

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Lost on a red brick road, searching in vain for Oz….

Ffolkes,

Seven days to go until my last indulgence for the year is to begin…. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but, Patricia and I will be taking another cruise a week or so from now… (nine days, technically, but, we don’t count today, and we don’t count the day we board…. only the days between us and the event count…. That way, we are allowed to get enthusiastic when it gets below double figures, and that comes sooner using this method… It’s all in the wrist, see, and how you look at it…. really….) It’s a seven day cruise, out of SF, to Ensenada, Mexico, and back, with stops in Santa Barbara, Long Beach/L.A., and San Diego. before getting to Ensenada.

Any who, I can hardly wait, especially since it is looking more and more likely that I won’t be able to afford another one for a long time, because the stupid assholes in Congress are willing to completely trash the economy for the next 10 years or so in order to keep from showing any sort of willingness to compromise, or show any sort of minimal intelligence.

According to the most trustworthy financial experts, the actions of these fools are sure to push the economy to the brink of another massive recession, exactly as they did back in the Reagan era, and as will continue to happen as long as Reaganomics, or any other form of Republican conservatism, is given ANY CREDENCE AT ALL….

The fiscal policies that conservatives believe in are much of a type with their religious views, i.e. delusional at the very base of it. Just like there is no Caucasian senior citizen with a big white beard, sitting up in the sky, making judgments about our morality, there is no fiscal magic bullet, and it is delusional to think that taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich is going to make it all better for the middle class….

It doesn’t make any sense, arithmetically, mathematically, financially, morally, or by any other set of standards you wish to apply. No matter what anyone tells you, or how nice a suit they’re wearing, if they tell you that you can trust them about this sort of elitist bullshit, well, ffolkes, you’ll get exactly what you deserve…

I’m not sure how I fell into a rant, when I started out telling y’all about my upcoming trip…. but, I guess all of this has been in the forefront of my mind for some days, and I’m getting pretty upset about these gobshites…. I’ll rant about this below, anyway, as I’ve got some great stuff already picked out to direct the discussion… In fact, today’s piece may just combine my usual two targets into one rant, if I can work it….

But, it won’t happen if I write it all in the intro, so, since I’ve already rambled through about five or so paragraphs, without ever touching very strongly on any of what I wish to say, I’m sure the authorities won’t object if we just get on with it for the day, and leave the intro in the very common piss-poor state it’s in…. And, if nothing else, I got a full cup of coffee into me, which is a good sign, and bodes well for my typing speed for the rest of the day….

Shall we Pearl?…..

Mourn not the dead…
But rather mourn the apathetic throng –
The cowed and meek
Who see the world’s great anguish and its wrong,
And dare not speak.

– Ralph Chaplin (1887-1961)
_____________________________

“Carlyle said that men were mostly fools. Christianity, with a surer and more reverent realism, says that they are all fools. This doctrine is sometimes called the doctrine of original sin. It may also be described as the doctrine of the equality of men. But the essential point of it is merely this, that whatever primary and far-reaching moral dangers affect any man, affect all men. All men can be criminals, if tempted; all men can be heroes, if inspired. And this doctrine does away altogether with Carlyle’s pathetic belief (or any one else’s pathetic belief) in ‘the wise few.’–  — G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

This statement is an excellent overview of the Christian elitist philosophy that has, patently, and demonstrably, been the primary cause behind almost all the major problems now afflicting the human race, as we struggle against our own nature to keep from committing species suicide…. It shows quite clearly the attitude that is the key factor in how most Christians view the world at at large, which is to say, as their own property, as Lords of Creation…. It also shows the attitude of entitlement, so unjustly claimed, that almost every Christian feels, surrounded as they are by the blanket of invulnerable certitude….

“Self-righteousness is a leading cause of blindness.” — Smart Bee

Even the most intransigent Christian will usually admit the correctness of this…. until it is applied to them. They don’t see their own beliefs as being self-righteous…. Wait, no that is wrong…. they DO see themselves as self-righteous, but, they believe that, because they are convinced they are right, they have a perfect right to be that way…. It’s slightly different, and much more dangerous for society, in that respect, for it gives them, in their own minds, carte blanche to decide what is right for everyone else, too….

“God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it…..” is a popular catch-phrase in their clique, as it both states their main philosophy, and at the same time, indicates their complete and utter refusal to consider any other ideas…. (Thereby protecting them from ever having to think for themselves, and, more importantly, from having to even think at all….Just nod your head, praise Jesus, and live forever, no matter what you’ve done here on Earth….)

Then we come to their perverted view of “equality”…. I’m sorry, ffolkes, but the old saw about “everyone is equal” or even, “everyone is created equal” is just so much bullshit, and anyone with even half a brain can see it isn’t true…. People are not equal…. they may have equal rights….. to life, to love and to any other part of life that they can, and are willing to defend…. But, in the real world, the one we’ve all agreed to call Reality, nobody is equal, my friends….

If you believe they are, well, I’d be happy to demonstrate several ways in which you are not superior, or, if you prefer, how you are worse at some things than others, and how, most certainly, you are not equal, to someone, or anyone else…. People DON’T have equal abilities…. some are faster, some are smarter, (…. Gee, I wonder who that might be?….  :-)   ), some are better cooks, some dance better…. it all depends on a lot of factors, none of which support the idea that everyone starts out the same, or ends up the same….

But, these misguided fools would have us believe that everyone “is equal in God’s eyes”…. a statement that their every act denies…. If they truly believed that, then how do they account for all their missionaries? What kind of attitude is it presenting when you are going out to force religious beliefs on whomever there is in the world who has different ideas, especially in “backward” countries, defined as people who have never been exposed to their particular form of insanity in the past? If they really believed in equality, they would acknowledge the possibility of truths other than their own, and that other people don’t require their condescension to live honorably….

Now, in modern times, we come to the Tea Party, an entity which, to me, is the most terrifyingly ignorant, and most dangerous, form of human political interaction to come out of the last 60 years. It represents, in part, the culmination of that much time of people trying, time after time, to prove that Reagan was right…. This, in spite of the incredible amount of evidence that all of his policies not only did not, and do not, work, but, in reality, will actively cause more problems than they will ever solve, conclusions drawn directly from the Reality of the last 40 years, watching the economy repeatedly go down the tubes from having adopted his ideas for a time….

These people, and I use the term loosely, with their white Christian sense of entitlement, and delusional belief in their own rightness, are still trying to force the same old crap down everyone’s throat, and are willing to tell any number of lies, of all varieties, and on any subject, in order to accomplish the purported purpose… Witness, if you will, the sheer effrontery of the following statements by the people responsible for the government shutdown…. I tried to count the number of sheer fabrications I read, but, I couldn’t count that high…. Also, please note the dismissive tone in most of the quotes, as if any argument that might be presented is unworthy of consideration, looking as they are from the lofty heights of their asinine certitude….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/slideshow/Most-outrageous-quotes-on-the-debt-ceiling-71829/photo-5302328.php

It seems to me that, in spite of the American public’s downright STUPID trust of those who have not earned it, the greater number of people who see stuff such as these egregious confabulations ought to be able to at least SEE what I’m talking about, and begin to question why there are so many inconsistencies and “inaccuracies” in the statements made by their heroes….

Instead, the average Joe in this country, who has a severe dislike for using the empty space between his ears for anything other than a place to wear a gimme cap, preferably with a John Deere logo, will buy every word they hear, and nod their pointy little heads in agreement, even though they have no real idea of what is true, and what is not…

This government shutdown, and the ensuing economic problems that it will create for society, is the direct result of a small number of assholes who found a loophole in the law that would allow them to hold the entire country hostage to their demands, all of which are completely in direct opposite contrast to what society itself wants, or believes…. Every poll made since the start of the shutdown has clearly shown that the majority of this country does NOT agree with what these assholes are doing… a LARGE majority, at that….

But, since they are fully assured of their own invincibility, and protected by their misplaced sense of entitlement, they don’t care, (not that they ever did, it just seemed appropriate to point it out now….), and they stubbornly refuse to consider any compromise…. even though it is becoming increasingly clear they are signaling the end of the Republican Party as a political force in this nation…..

This subject is one I could rant about for days, and, in truth, already have done so…. So, I’m going to cut this short here, and merely restate my position….  The Christian churches, who have saddled Western society with the burdens of their delusions for over 2000 years, along with the political conservatives over whom they have control, in the halls of government, have taken the rest of this nation hostage, and are sending us all into financial ruin, just so they can try to “prove a point”…..

The saddest part is, the point they are trying to prove is one that the nation at large has already rejected, in favor of moving on into the future, and is no longer willing to endure… They may have accomplished the purpose they wanted, though that is not any clearer than any of their arguments, but, in doing so, have alienated so many people, they have effectively ensured their own demise as a political party of any influence….

“I hope, when they die, cartoon characters have to answer for their sins.” — Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

Substitute “politicians and preachers” for “cartoon characters”, and I’m right there with Jack…. Come to think of it, there aren’t a lot of visible differences I can see in the two groups, which just goes to show you, you never know where serendipity will turn up….
_____________________________

I’m not sure why, but this just seemed like the right poem to go along with today’s subject matter…. Besides, I like it…..

Sonnet To Liberty

NOT that I love thy children, whose dull eyes
See nothing save their own unlovely woe,
Whose minds know nothing, nothing care to know,–
But that the roar of thy Democracies,
Thy reigns of Terror, thy great Anarchies,
Mirror my wildest passions like the sea,–
And give my rage a brother—-! Liberty!
For this sake only do thy dissonant cries
Delight my discreet soul, else might all kings
By bloody knout or treacherous cannonades
Rob nations of their rights inviolate
And I remain unmoved–and yet, and yet,
These Christs that die upon the barricades,
God knows it I am with them, in some things.

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~

_____________________________

I had originally intended for this section to contain another rant, on an important matter, but, I’m tired of ranting for the time being…. Since I’m in charge, nominally, I’ve made an executive decision to go old-school, just as if it were something new and different…. Not only are we retreating to our default position, we’re going there without parameters, random, harlequin style…. Is that anything like Gang Nam style?…. No? Okay, good….

“It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 785

“One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.” — Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“The universe is as it is because if it were any different, we wouldn’t be here to observe it.” — Stephen Hawking

“If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.” — Eugene V Debs (1855-1926), American socialist

“I came up with a new Politically Correct term…. Religiously Impaired…. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it applies to atheists or fundamentalists.” — Smart Bee

“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.” — Martin Fraquhar Tupper

One might consider the last quote as the perfect closing statement for such a pearl….. But, that would be like taking my own advice, or something, so we’ll go with the classic format, and add in the seventh star…. which is pretty perfect, itself, IMHO….

ZEUS, n.  The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog.  Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance to the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frumpp insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
_____________________________

Some days, I’m more equal than others…. If you know what that means, well, you’re a better man than I, Gunga Din…. No, actually, I do know what it means, and in this particular case, it’s a good thing I do…. Let’s see how this came out today…..

Hmm… this one is a bit hard to call…. It SEEMS okay, and it’s got a lot of good stuff in there; I just don’t know if it is coherent enough to make its points… Oh, well, I’ll never know if I don’t post it, so…. Of course, even if I do post it, I still may never know, but, I’ve learned to live with not knowing a lot of stuff I’d like to have on tap…. Bang the drum, slowly, my friends, and let the sunset fill your souls…. until the next sunrise…. See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Phlegm can be a fluid subject….

Ffolkes,
Breaching the surface of reality, I swim into consciousness slowly, my mind already set on the first sip of coffee, which I can smell brewing in the kitchen. Daring Murphy to fuck with me before I have any of that which gives me reason to live, I sit up, groan, stiffly rise to press the power switch on the laptop, then walk over to switch on the lights. As soon as my eyes clear up a tad, I type in the password, and go pour that first, life-saving cup of auxiliary blood. Adjusting it to my preferred level of sweet & light, I listen as the computer goes through its boot sequence of whirs and beeps, sitting down in front of the monitor to take the first, life-giving sip.

As focus and power flow through my bloodstream, I realize that Murphy has once again respected my need for quiet and privacy, long enough to get that first sip into me…. Since this is the ONLY time he does that, I take a moment to silently thank his spirit, not that the asshole ever acknowledges it, or gives anyone a break for it….. I don’t care if he does come back at me for saying so, but, he’s really an asshole, you betcha. I’ve been trying for years to come to some sort of truce, or at least a sense of common respect, but the dickhead just keeps stepping in it, and doesn’t seem to care how it makes him appear to others…..

I suppose that is all one can expect from spiritual iconic forces of nature. They tend to pick up a sense of entitlement about their invulnerability, and lose all sense of tact and proportion. In short, he is a full-grown asshole, stuck with the attitude of a 13 year old prick (Picture the elitist son of some rich politician… that’s Murphy all over….. Vicious temper, lack of impulse control, no compassion, sick, perverted sense of humor, and acne, which explains why he’s uglier than the average bear….. I know, picture in your mind any of the Romney boys, add in some acne scars, and you’ve nailed that asshole perfectly…..)

Ah, well, sorry ’bout that…. didn’t mean to get all vicious myself, but I get carried away when talking about Murphy, and his ubiquitous presence in my Reality. I should no doubt just be thankful that I am grumpy enough to make him keep his distance in the morning before I’ve had my coffee; I can assure you, and him, that is a wise decision. There are several secret places in the world where the remains of those who didn’t observe that precaution are located, and I’d just LOVE to have him join those foolish people in eternity. Sometimes, I actively wish he WOULD bother me just then; it would be pretty satisfying to get back some of what he has taken from me over the years…..

Now that y’all are firmly convinced of my complete break down, it’s probably a good time to go for a dive. In looking back over this intro, it is clear that nothing further can be done to salvage the moment, so….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“Not only does God play dice with the Universe he sometimes casts them where they can’t be seen.” — Stephen Hawking

Yesterday, I was standing outside where I live, enjoying a bit of winter sun, and for some reason started to think about Stephen Hawking, and his latest project, the search for a Unified Field Theory, a theory that will tie together and explain all of the various branches of science that we explore as humans in a strange and beautiful universe. I began to ponder just how he would go about it, and spent almost 10 minutes standing in one position, following the train of thought to its end. (I’m not sure how I was physically able to do so, and I was quite stiff when I emerged from my trance & realized I hadn’t moved for so long….)

It was the most amazing inner journey I’ve taken in a long time, ranging from the sub-atomic level of the building blocks of all matter, neutrons, protons, and electrons, to the composition of the galaxies farthest from our own position among the stars….. a truly epic journey. Alas, my own skill at mathematics is not deep enough to have suggested a possible path to the UFT equations, but, I felt a revelation nonetheless, as I realized something about the structure of the Universe, something that might just point to the solution, in a simplistic fashion.

I don’t think Mssr. Hawking, brilliant as he is, needs my assistance in his quest; he IS the most intelligent man alive, perhaps the most intelligent who ever lived. The rest of humanity is not even capable of understanding how his mind perceives the universe, as it obviously does so much more rapidly, more deeply, and with greater understanding, than any of the rest of us. But, all of us have something he doesn’t have, too, and that is our own unique perspective on what we perceive…. I think he is smart enough to know this, and has always been aware of not only the differences between him and those of lesser ability, but of the similarities, and the connection we all possess, with each other, and with the universe.

As I stood there yesterday and cogitated, it occurred to me that the structure of atoms that we have developed by observations and deductions, verified by experiment, is almost exactly the same as the structure of solar systems. The analogy goes even further, as one can assume the different size and colored stars, with their differing types of planets, could be likened to the way atoms of different numbers of elements form different types of matter. The way the solar systems come together to form galaxies, clouds, and globular clusters can be likened to the way different types of matter join to form biological systems of infinite variety. Though not exact, the similarities are startlingly alike in the way they can be combined in an infinite array of dissimilar objects and substances…..

So, I think that, when Mssr. Hawking is successful (and I truly hope he is…. a Unified Field Theory would mean an entirely new chance at life for our species, as it promises, by its very nature, to give us the key to unlimited energy, and unlimited possibilities that were never before even considered, as being out of the scope of our capabilities. Anti-gravity, telekinesis, telepathy, teleportation, faster-than-light ( FTL) travel to other stars, safe, reliable atomic energy, in the form of atomic fusion, all are just the beginning of what UFT can give to us…..) he will find there are a very large number of clues left lying around in the way that the universe is constructed, and that looking at one level can increase our understanding of another…. It works at a human level, and I think it will hold true for all levels of perception…..

And though the course may change sometimes,
Rivers always reach the sea.

– Led Zeppelin, Ten Years Gone
__________________________________

I’ve been thinking a lot lately of Noah, my compatriot and best friend, who died a while back… I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this one previously, but I don’t mind repeating good stuff, and this poem is perfect for my current state of mind…..

A Dog Has Died

My dog has died.

I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now he’s gone and I buried him,
and that’s all there is to it.

Pablo Neruda

Translated, from the Spanish, by Alfred Yankauer
__________________________________

All things being equal, I would normally (hah!) put another pearl here that stimulated my outrage, in order to rant; a news article headline, a quote from one of the Ignoramusi, or the latest lies from the political arena. All things, however, are not equal, nor do we ever approach normalcy here without first obtaining all the appropriate licenses and permits, which I consider a complete waste of my time. So, I’ve fallen back to my default position in such instances, and gathered together a string of pearls, in this case a grouping of random thoughts and comments on religion, philosophy, and/or spirituality. Each of these has the added distinction of my complete agreement with the sentiments expressed…. Enjoy!…. As a treat, the Quiz for this week is canceled…..

“We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should govern their spiritual horizon, nor Muslims that Lord Buddha is at the center of their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major prophet, nor Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual concerns, to say nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get Christians to agree among themselves about their relationship to God. But all will agree on a proposition that they possess profound spiritual resources.  If, in addition, we can get them to accept the further proposition that whatever form the Deity may have in their own theology, the Deity is not only external, but internal and acts through them, and they themselves give proof or disproof of the Deity in what they do and think; if this further proposition can be accepted, then we come that much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.” — Norman Cousins, from his book “Human Options”

“All cats are NOT gray after midnight.  Endless variety …” — Robert Heinlein

A man fell off a mountain and, as he fell, saw a branch and grabbed for it. By superhuman effort he was able to get a precarious grip on it.  As he was hanging there for dear life, he looked up and cried out, “Is anybody there?” A deep majestic voice answered, “Yes my son, I am here. What do you need?” “Help me!!” cried the man. “I will help you”, said the voice, “just let go of the branch and you’ll be safe.  All you have to do is trust.” The man thought for a moment and cried out, “Anybody ELSE up there?” — Smart Bee

“Things go better with Buddha.” — Smart Bee

“I am the Supreme Being, you know.  I’m not entirely dim.” — Sir Ralph Richardson (as God) in TIME BANDITS

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum — “I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
__________________________________

In the past two years or so, since I began blogging full time (i.e., posting daily, somewhere…), I’ve used a lot of quotes and material more than once, when it is appropriate. So much so, it is getting hard to remember whether I’ve used some things before, or not. I don’t help myself by not giving clues to the content in the title, but, that is too much a habit now to change; if I want to know what is in one of my posts, I have to find it and read it, just like everyone else.

My memory, however, is pretty good, and I can mostly keep from repeating myself too much without having to go back and find out for sure. Unfortunately, as happens all too frequently on days like today, I can also get so lost in my memory that I not only cannot figure out whether a pearl is old or new, but I forget entirely why I wanted to know. We have reached that point here, and now. When I started to write this closing section, I had a whole series of ideas and thoughts all ready to get down…. Well, they’re all gone now, and I’m stuck here wondering what the hell I had in mind…. if I wasn’t already done with the rest of the Pearl, it would be a pisser, for sure…

I did go back and proof it, for what that is worth, and can only say, well, it’s done. I like it, mostly, and it isn’t overly consistent, or too sane; with those characteristics, it could be considered one of the best. I will refrain from even guessing, however, as it isn’t my place to do so….. That is why I keep y’all around, so to speak…. and now I am truly rambling. Okay, I’m 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

dozer3

The penny screamed when I pinched it….

Ffolkes,
What an odd sensation I’m experiencing this morning! I am awake, almost fully, it seems, but every bone and muscle in my body wants me to go back to sleep….. I can barely hold my head up from what feels like fatigue (after almost 10 hours in bed….), but my mind is alert and ready for the day, so to speak. Weird…. I’m typing while leaning on my right arm, and my back is bowed, all because I’m tired, or feel that way. I know I shouldn’t be tired, but, there you go…. More gifts from an aging body, I guess, and not one I’m going to worry about, or give in to. Not that I’m bursting with creativity or anything like that this morning…. I’m just tired of giving ground, and I’m not ready for my rocking chair yet….

Oops…. that was a conclusion, given too early, I think. Now I don’t know where to go with this intro section, having already delivered the punch line, so to speak. But, in keeping with the theme of no complaints, I’ll forge onward, despite the self-induced literary suicide I just performed. Well, suicide is maybe a bit harsh…. let’s just call it a faux pas, and let it go at that. A faux pas is much easier to repair than a suicide, that’s for sure…..

Trite, trite, trite…. what was I thinking? Oh well….. It’s looking like today may just be more of an adventure than even I was prepared for; so far, I’ve found myself performing several little contortions that do not bode well for the rest of the day. An egoistic curmudgeonly moment, followed immediately by clumsy lexicography are not the most hopeful signs of brilliance I can think of, off hand. This may take some rather severe mental contortions to make it to the end. Ah well, I had a feeling when I awoke that this would be one of those days, so I mentally “girded my grid for the big one”, as the bozos say….

Hmm…. “gird your grid for a big one” is a phrase that I see might need some clarification, but, oh well. Now is not the time, so unless you feel like plugging it into Google, to see if it knows where it is from, I guess you are S.O.L., as they say downtown, because I’m not going to do that right now. I could, but, I’m not…. leftover curmudgeon, I guess. But, I’ll soften enough to give you a hint…. it comes from one of the Firesign Theater’s albums, and the word “bozo” is a second hint….

Well, none of the above is going to win me any literary prizes, and I have sputtered through five or six paragraphs already, so it’s probably all for the best to go on to the regular program. Not that I think that will be of any use, or help…. this one is already too far off the tracks to worry about trying to get back on…. we’ll just wander through the uncharted territories today, and let the chips fall where they may….  Shall we Pearl?….
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“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics but for our contributions to the human spirit.” — former US President John F. Kennedy

At last! A worthy pearl! JFK, like the current President, was a superb public speaker, “Ich bin ein Berliner” notwithstanding, and whether he wrote his own words, or relied on his speech writers, he delivered, arguably, some of the most memorable, and insightful, aphorisms in US political and social history. The above statement is a perfect example, as he expresses a sentiment that can only be applauded, if not verified. I say verified because  there is not a lot of verification from the past that history remembers anything BUT the battles. But, one can hope….

Actually, I believe what Jack said very strongly, in the sense that there are different histories that are remembered, most of which become altered in some way over time, as does all memory. The great teachers and philosophers who have lived have left their mark on the world in more ways than always show, in spite of the records of their deeds not always surviving intact. But, throughout history, there have been men, and women, who have done much to advance the human condition, whose words and deeds were never seen, and never recorded, but, nonetheless. whose effects still ripple down the river of time.

Some of the great minds in history, such as Lao Tzu, Zoroaster, Genghis Khan, Gautama Buddha, Jesus of Nazareth, Mohammed, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and many others, all made such advances in the human spirit, and their ideas keep proving their worth every day by their relativity to modern society. Men like Leonardo da Vinci, whose genius was so bright it shines even today, and modern philosopher/scientists such as Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking, have advanced that human spirit as much as anyone.

I’m not being as eloquent as I’d wish for such a deep subject…. What I’m trying to get to here is that we all, each and every one of us, have the power and opportunity to do the same as these historical figures, to advance the human spirit, just by the way we live our lives. What the philosophers say, and write, and the wisdom they pass on, is all very good, and a lesson to the rest of us…. But, what the average person does every day in their lives is just as important to the future as any scientific breakthrough, because what they do will determine what their children learn, and THAT is where the advancement really takes place, in the moments of teaching that happens every moment for children, and their adult teachers.

Living a life of integrity, with honesty and duty as the watchwords for action, is the best teaching method there is; to provide a good example for a child holds no less promise for mankind than all the work of all the genius’ of all time. How each one of us approaches life will, in the end, determine what happens to our species as a whole. It isn’t easy, especially given all of the people in society who do NOT wish to have any part of advancing anything but their own interests…. especially when so many of those kinds of people are in positions of authority. But, it can be done, and is done, every day, by millions of men and women of good spirit…. They are truly the future of mankind, and, if there is any hope for survival, it lies in their honest hands….

“So live that you can look any man in the eye and tell him to go to hell.” — Smart Bee
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The Wild Old Wicked Man

BECAUSE I am mad about women
I am mad about the hills,’
Said that wild old wicked man
Who travels where God wills.
‘Not to die on the straw at home.
Those hands to close these eyes,
That is all I ask, my dear,
From the old man in the skies.
Daybreak and a candle-end.

‘Kind are all your words, my dear,
Do not the rest withhold.
Who can know the year, my dear,
when an old man’s blood grows cold? ‘
I have what no young man can have
Because he loves too much.
Words I have that can pierce the heart,
But what can he do but touch?’
Daybreak and a candle-end.

Then Said she to that wild old man,
His stout stick under his hand,
‘Love to give or to withhold
Is not at my command.
I gave it all to an older man:
That old man in the skies.
Hands that are busy with His beads
Can never close those eyes.’
Daybreak and a candle-end.

‘Go your ways, O go your ways,
I choose another mark,
Girls down on the seashore
Who understand the dark;
Bawdy talk for the fishermen;
A dance for the fisher-lads;
When dark hangs upon the water
They turn down their beds.
Daybreak and a candle-end.

‘A young man in the dark am I,
But a wild old man in the light,
That can make a cat laugh, or
Can touch by mother wit
Things hid in their marrow-bones
From time long passed away,
Hid from all those warty lads
That by their bodies lay.
Daybreak and a candle-end.

‘All men live in suffering,
I know as few can know,
Whether they take the upper road
Or stay content on the low,
Rower bent in his row-boat
Or weaver bent at his loom,
Horseman erect upon horseback
Or child hid in the womb.
Daybreak and a candlc-cnd.

‘That some stream of lightning
From the old man in the skies
Can burn out that suffering
No right-taught man denies.
But a coarse old man am I,
I choose the second-best,
I forget it all awhile
Upon a woman’s breast.’
Daybreak and a candlc-end.

~~ William Butler Yeats
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“The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem. Thus he rejects the latter and takes the former.” — Lao-Tzu

In spite of how it must appear, there is a small degree of organization to this blog’s contents. Most days I try to make sure that the first and third sections, while possibly related, are essentially about different concepts. The second section is, of course, reserved for whatever poetry strikes my fancy that day, whether classic, humorous, or original (Though it does seem that my recent outpouring of original poems has run dry, I don’t think I’m done with that, yet…..).  It seems to work for me…. well enough, at least, to keep my internal critics quiet most of the time.

Today, it seems that most of what I’m seeing for pearls are related somehow to what I spoke of peripherally in today’s first section, to wit: the importance of integrity in human life. Integrity…. hmm…. not the precise word, or the characteristic I am thinking of, actually; it’s more than merely integrity. I suppose one could say the concept to which I’m referring is too mystical an idea to be presented clearly, and not be too far off the mark….

However, not being one to ignore a challenge to my vocabulary, I’ll take a few unseen moments here and find the correct word to facilitate further discussion, because, hey, if I can’t, no discussion, right? Right…. Be right back…. instantly, by all you will know and see…..  Well, the challenge is a strong one, and I think best answered with more than one word to describe what I’m trying to say. Those words are all contained in Axiom #7 of Peruaosophy, to wit: Do your Duty. Honor the Truth. Respect Life. Share your Love.

I know that it is my own philosophy, and some may think that is cheating, but, not so. All that I hold to be true is in that axiom, and it represents the four cornerstones of my personal foundation. I find that when I am able to live up to all of these concepts, when I am able to use their direction in guiding my actions, my life is much smoother, and my moments of joy are plentiful, to balance the pain that life brings all of us in turn. This, to me, is the best way to advance the human condition, little by little, with the efforts of each man and woman adding its weight to the forward momentum.

Yes, the actions and discoveries that the best of history’s minds bring to us are wonderful, and work to make the lives of every human better…. It is the everyday efforts of each man, though, that takes that wisdom and turns it into reality, by using ideas, and integrity, to add their experience to that of the rest of society. Since there is a large number of folks who do NOT subscribe to this kind of ethical behavior, choosing to make their own self-interest their primary concern, it is the duty of those who do believe in these ideas to carry them out as best they may, so that the world can retain some semblance of harmony. It doesn’t always work, and, in fact, is in constant jeopardy of not working at all, but, it is the only way that will make the changes our society needs to survive…. which is another discussion for another time…..

“And now there is merely silence, silence, silence, saying all we did not know.” — William Rose Benet
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All in all, not a bad start to December. Now, if the configuration issues I noted yesterday on my site have been cleared up by my renewal of the domain name, all will be well. I am hopeful, if not sanguine…. And, if I want to get this posted today in time to get anything else constructive done, I’d best draw this to a close…. No poem, yet, but, I think you’ll like what I’ve added there…. I’m off to the library and farmer’s market….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid