Measuring infinitesimal increments may take a while….

Ffolkes,

I’m tired….. in my head…. I’m tired of writing, tired of sitting, tired of not being able to do enough to keep my mind from chewing on itself. I have a mind that requires rather a lot of stimulation, to feel as if it is being utilized in a way that maximizes its qualities, which are extensive, to be sure, although never as much so as could be wished…. In other words, I’m smart enough to have a strong need to keep busy, but, not so smart as to have all the answers I’d like to have…. Just smart enough to know how much there is still to learn, is the way I like to think of it….

My tiredness is, I think, a result of having written this blog each morning, with only a few minor failures, every single day for almost three years…. In that time, I’ve made some changes to the structure, and tweaked it until I pretty much have it how I like it….. and, according to the WP stat bots, I keep getting new followers…. Just yesterday, two new names showed up as new followers of our blog here at ECR, one of which is an old blogging friend, who just now followed, after almost 3 years of visiting the site, and leaving an occasional ‘Like’….. So, I know that there are at least a few ffolkes who read it every day…. Out of the 375 ffolkes who have hit the button to follow, at least a few MUST come by each day, right?….

In addition, I send the Daily Pearl out via my own email to 47 others who have been receiving them now for over a dozen years…. When I worked for the State, it was sent out each day for about six years to almost 400 employees at NSH, all of whom were addicted to receiving them in their morning email, to start their day….. Conceivably, I could still send them to those people…. but, it annoys their IT folks, as 400 emails sent in a group tends to burn up a lot of bandwidth, causing a spike in their traffic, and the possibility of a network slow-down…. Of course, I figure that’s their own damn fault for not spending enough on infrastructure to handle the traffic, but, hey, they’re friends, so I don’t fuss with them….

All in all, I’ve been writing A LOT for the last couple of years, since retiring…. which, in the ultimate sense, is a good thing…. But, I’m tired of the frustration of constantly feeling as if what I have to say is extremely important for mankind at large to be aware of, but, never having that message heard by anyone who NEEDS to hear it….

If we are to have any real chance at surviving the upcoming events in the environmental arena, all of which are a result of our own foolish asininity, (speaking from the viewpoint of one who knows quite well what NEEDS to be done, but, has no clue as to how to get people to get off their asses to do it….) well, if we ARE to survive, we’ll need to first admit the need to do so…

As you are well aware, if you’ve been here previously, I write a lot of such “gadfly” rants, exhorting the public to wake up, to pay attention to what the corporate assholes, political assholes, and religious assholes have been up to, because what they’ve gone and done is going to kill all of us if we don’t put a stop to it, NOW….

It needed to be done yesterday, and, it certainly won’t help to do it tomorrow; tomorrow, (metaphorically) we’ll be DEAD (literally).

We, as a species, need to get off our collective asses and kick the stupid, selfish, ignorant bullies, who are busily killing us all, straight into the ocean, where their sorry, no-doubt bitter-tasting carcases can at least provide the sea life with some little bit of extra protein…. which would comprise the FIRST useful, unselfish act of their lives….

These rants are generally justified with evidence, or, if nothing else, a link to where such evidence may be found; I try not to make assertions without some sort of proof, as I’m unwilling to base them merely on articles of faith…. a habit of writing and communicating which, I may point out, is more than you’ll ever get from a political pundit, a preacher, or some corporate asshole….

THEY will all expect you to believe whatever comes out of their mouths, without ANY sort of proof, other than their version of the Bible, or, hilariously enough, their “word” as to it’s veracity…. We’ve all heard a pundit on TV, saying “Trust me!”, with the obvious sub-text of, “I’d never lie to you!”…. which, of course, is the first lie….

My rants, however, in spite of the number of followers who evidently stop by only now and then, are not getting into the mainstream consciousness of society, which is where the need for them is strongest…. The message I’m putting out is one that isn’t going to help much unless it is seen or heard by a very large number of people, who would then, hopefully, use the information and stimulus contained therein to form the nucleus of a movement, that eventually would lead to the eradication of the centuries-long oppression of mankind by the slave masters, and our eventual survival on this beautiful planet….

Or, the message will be lost, as are, thus far, ALL the other common sense messages that might be of help to us, buried in the cacophony of noise that is always roaring in the background of TV, radio, and the internet, never to be of any help, or aid us to survive beyond the next hundred years or so that are left to us….. all because of the insane blindness of those who have usurped human culture for their own purposes….

I’d rather there was a greater chance for us to survive, but, there’s not a lot I can do about it…. People are gonna do what they WANT to do…… That seldom means anything intelligent…. and, sadly, that’s just the way it is….

Shall we Pearl?…. We may as well, we’ve got nothing better to do…..

“Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy,and it isn’t original sin. He’s born with the tragedy that he has to grow up. A lot of people don’t have the courage to do it.” — Helen Hayes
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Obviously, the intro section this morning fulfills any ranting requirements that may be in place, anywhere…. So, that means I can go bananas in this section…. Well, maybe not fruit, but, perhaps, a rutabaga, or other vegetable would do?….. As you can see, my bozo wants to come out to play, and, it’s best all around if I don’t get in the way of that…. So, I’ll give that side of me the reins, and we’ll see what SB can do for us today, in the way of a group of pearls to start us off in the proper direction to get us where we need to go….. where it will, hopefully, come to a halt….

“Quemadmoeum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.” [A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killers hands.] — Lucius Annaeus Seneca “the younger” ca. 4 BC – 65 AD

“A student brings something to discuss, saying, “I don’t know whether this is really good, or whether I should throw it in the wastebasket.” The assumption is that one or the other choice is the right move.  No.  Almost everything we say or think or do  — or write — comes in that spacious human area bounded by something this side of the sublime and something above the unforgivable.” — William Stafford

“Actions lie louder than words.” — Carolyn Wells

“I never understood why God decided to endow the military man with His big brain when bone and marrow are all that he needs to execute his purpose.” — A. Einstein – Ideas and Opinions

“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” — HAL 9000

“Do you think there’s a God?” “Well, SOMEbody’s out to get me!” — Calvin & Hobbes

All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.

– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 289

Well, it’s a tough one, I’ll admit, but, those are always the best kind, you see, because, hey, challenge?….. Believe it or not, it IS a good one…. just a trifle abstruse…. In fact, upon reflection, it’s a lot like that word, abstruse….
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In truth, I suppose, the translator of this poem is the one who deserves a lot of the credit for the power, and the clarity, of the images and language that make this so compelling a poem…. Whomever is responsible, it is one of my all time favorite poems, and I include it today, again, with great pleasure….

Shui Tiao Ko Tou

Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don’t know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorrow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks luster, brightly shines; is all, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!

~~ Su Tung-p’o ~~

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This was already an old rant last time I posted it, in June of 2013…. and, since I spent all of my fresh angst in the intro section today, this will have to suffice, to fulfill any other legal standards that may apply…. I think it will do, just fine, as it remains as valid today as the day I first wrote it….

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“Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom.  It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” — William Pitt (1759-1806) speech on the India Bill, Nov. 18, 1783

I had not intended to start with a political rant, but this just came up, so here we go…. This is as true today as it was in 1783, perhaps even more so. Since 9/11/01, when those fanatic idiots carried out their insane delusions of grandeur on the world stage, the “necessity” for Homeland Security has been the watchword of the political pundits who unfortunately are in charge of the legislative and executive branches of our government. Bill after bill after bill keeps coming down the pike and bulling their way through into becoming law, or even worse, is created by executive order, without the benefit of review by Congress, useless as that may be.

The entire incident that happened that day was blown completely out of proportion by the media. Yes, it was a tragedy, in which something over 3000 American lives were lost, in three separate incidents. The videos of those planes hitting the buildings in New York must have been replayed a thousand times before noon, all over the country, until every American, and for that matter, anyone in the world, who had access to a TV was informed of what had occurred….

The American media, and the political machinery that manipulates it so effectively, then proceeded to flood every channel with the after-effects, making sure that the sorrow and fear of every person they could find willing to speak of it on camera was put on the evening news, thus, ensuring that no rational, dispassionate examination of the events would take place. Before the first day had passed, the national reaction had been whipped to a frenzy, stirring the fears of every paranoid in society, and making it seem as if the entire nation was filled with anger and vengeful righteousness. Though I didn’t join in the paranoia, I could feel it happening all around me, as normally intelligent people became so angry they lost all sense of proportion, or for that matter, all sense of truth.

In the ensuing months and years, whenever the politicians have wanted to distract the nation from what they were actually doing, all they needed to do was mention the words “terrorism”, or “national security”, to immediately pull the attention off of them, pointing it firmly at the pitiful  group of fanatical Muslims they blamed for the attacks (completely ignoring all the valid reasons those same politicians had provided those fanatics  in the first place, reasons specifically designed to stimulate an attack….). Thus, the Hunt for Osama bin Laden was on! (“We’ll get him, by God”… We did, of course…)

In this country, as a result of those attacks, approximately 5000 American lives were lost (that figure is larger, by quite a lot, than the actual number, purposely…. it is near enough to correct to make the point…). At this time, in the quest to find Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, over 50,000 Afghan civilians have been killed. In Iraq, which we somehow decided to invade, even though they had nothing to do with 9/11, well over 250,000 civilians have died to soothe our national pride.

(Note from 2014; the number of casualties in both arenas has, naturally, grown on all sides, with the greatest number of deaths, by far, having been suffered by the Afghan and Iraqi civilian populations, just as the number of our American casualties remains, by many thousands of deaths, the smallest of any of the participants…. This amounts to, literally, millions of Afghan and Iraqi deaths, and fewer than 10,000 Americans…. go look at them yourself if you don’t accept my figures….)

In that same period, WE lost another 1000 or so soldiers in fighting and bombings. And, as a side effect, the US Bill of Rights has been effectively eliminated, by Executive Order, disguised as Homeland Security (June, 2013 — Now authorized by what is so laughingly called the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012…. signed by President Obama on New Year’s Eve of 2011, while everyone was partying, not paying any attention to their so-called “rights”…..)

“Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated” — George Bernard Shaw

So, what is my point here? My point is this…. those pathetic fanatics killed more, of people THEY considered to be the enemy, than they had ever been able to kill, one time….. ONCE….. Since that one time, our country has killed more than 300,000 civilians in retaliation (amendment from 2014: make that >1 million…).

You can call it what you like, I call it nothing more than schoolyard revenge by bullies. The events of that day provided every politician in this country the opportunity to wrap themselves in the flag, not to proclaim their patriotism, but to manipulate the unreasonable fear they created in the public to keep them from realizing the truth of the matter.

That truth is this: we are in no real danger from Al Qaeda,  or from any other splinter faction terrorist group, nor have we ever been in any real danger.  We never really WERE in MUCH danger….

Oh, sure, they may be able to pull off stunts such as this one occasionally, but for the most part, the world has gotten pretty good at either catching them in hiding, or stopping their plots before they actually carry them out. Governments have a LOT more resources than terrorists, no matter how rich they may be personally. Most times, their piteous efforts kill a handful of people, and destroy a building or two, and that is the extent of it….

No, the pathetic, desperate people who become terrorists, in direct concatenation of intent, action, and responsibility, are actually created by those same political pundits, who, after bombing their villages, killing their families, and destroying their homes, are now reviling them as monsters, using all their bloated resources in hunting them down.

The terrorists I see in the news are not a real threat to anyone; they don’t have the wherewithal to perform more than one act of violence at a time; they cannot wage a war, they can only try to act as guerrilla forces, at best. Mostly, they are just sad schemers, planning glorious (in THEIR twisted minds….) deaths, that ultimately have no meaning, other than to provide the Western politicos another unreasonable fear to use against the American public, in order to continue the raping and pillaging among their own people.

The entire issue is one that is repugnant to me; I have watched in horror, not as terrorists have been hunted, but as the rights of the American people have been taken away in the name of “security”. Security from what? We don’t need more security from terrorists; the techniques for dealing with it are well-established, and effective, as they employ the very same methods used by the fanatics to achieve their ends, and many more not available to them, because of the depth of their resources, and their lack of morality. (Note from 2014: See, Eric Snowden, NSA, “US Cyber-Security Forces”, etc….) No, we need more security from our own pundits, who have utilized these tragic events for their own benefit, to the everlasting regret of every true patriot….. Bloody fucking assholes, every one of them…..

“I have formed a very clear conception of patriotism. I have generally found it thrust into the foreground by some fellow who has something to hide in the background. I have seen a great deal of patriotism; and I have generally found it the last refuge of the scoundrel.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Judgement of Dr. Johnson, Act III

So be it…. gigoid has spoken….

3/8/2014: This rant has been updated and edited to conform with the most current version of Reality, including, but not limited to parenthetical comments, and actual textual edits to improve the flow of thoughts… I also have to say, with this one, I hit the nail right on the fucking head, so, I can say, without any doubt whatsoever…

So be it…. gigoid has spoken, again….
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I’d suppose it’s a function of having done this repeatedly for a relatively long time, but, gosh, Wilbur, I think I’m getting the hang of this…. Even if not, it feels as if I am, so, I’ll take comfort in axiom #1, to wit: “I think I am. That’s close enough.”….. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes, if YOU’RE lucky….

Just kidding…..          :-)

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

Plugging holes on the Wall of Logic…

Ffolkes,

Almost…. It almost happened…. I’ve been struck with a HUGE lazy stick, hard, right on the ol’ schnozzle…. If it were an actual blow, it would HURT! But, it’s not, and it didn’t, it only put a big hole in my ambition, taken a big bite out of my dignity, and dropped my energy level below the legal limit for breathing creatures in this plane of existence. I slept well enough, under the influence of my chocolate cannabinoids, but, just don’t feel all energized, spunky, sparky, and full of what we like to call piss and vinegar…. Actually, that last part MAY be just about right for how I feel this morning, but, the rest of it fell a bit short….

I am poised, like ice on the verge of melting, at least, that’s what I am…. but, rather than making me resemble an ancient Taoist sage, it was close to being a case of the ice being too thin, and I almost broke down, coming very close to displaying the absolute deepest form of laziness I can think of….. I was going to reblog one of my older posts….. Yep, me, gigoid, depraved enough to go down the path to egocentricity far enough to fall into the quicksand of narcissism…. I’ll tell ya, it was a close one, but, I managed to fight it off, long enough to get my fingers on the keyboard….

That’s all it took, fortunately, to kick me into the well of angst and/or anxiety and/or outrage, where the cold, clear water of reason shocked me awake; only thus was I able to resist the urge to go back and use the old Pearl I had in mind…. Oh, it would have been a good one…. In fact, I was going to put up the Pearl that is often listed by the stat monkeys as my most-read-piece, one entitled, “Our best quality yak butter is on sale….” I went back to see it one time, and it IS a good one, but, I’m not ready yet to start reposting them, unless I’m sick, or otherwise indisposed, and UNABLE to write for some legitimate reason, not just laziness…

Now that I’ve shown this heretofore nonexistent sense of morality about laziness, which, if one HAS to be picky, we could, in all honesty, call prudishness, I guess we could just go on to today’s rant, or perhaps an old-school pearl, to start…. I seem to have accidentally created an actual, really, truly, introductory section that actually goes through introductory convolutions, for once, setting the stage for the rest of the blog…. I’m not sure, really, how that happened, so, I wouldn’t count on it being true every day from now on, but, hey, it’s nice for today, eh?

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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“Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty.” — Germaine de Stael

Ripped straight from the internet news outlets, below is a collected panoramic parade of some of the most current shenanigans perpetrated by those I like to call Asininnies, (a group consisting of politicians, preachers, bankers, police, judges, and the military myrmidons…..) along with some artwork, that shows off the more obvious of their handiwork, included herein for those who require obvious evidence, something they can SEE, if not actually touch, to convince them of what is already slapping them in their wallets, and soon, will slap them directly upside their heads….. There can be no downside to that slapping, as we will, no doubt, see for ourselves as time progresses….

This pearl is an ugly one…. It’s an outgrowth of another author’s technique to illustrate the ills in society, without having to come out and actually SAY what is wrong…. Here are nine articles, all of very recent vintage, from the news that everyone reads online…. The first two are the artwork, with pictures that show exactly what we will be experiencing over the next hundred years or so, as the weather continues to become more unpredictable, and the world continues to alter its chemical balance…. The other seven links lead to examples of just how insane our culture has become…

These are just minor examples, at that, showing the fringes of the actual problems, the symptoms, rather than the disease, which resides in the human spirit, and psyche…. One of the more obvious symptoms of these perversions in the human soul is the behavior of lawyers; the mere presence of lawyer jokes in our culture shows the universal mistrust of those who go into the law…. These three are present for the simple reason that it is the one profession where the human characteristic of greed is most easily seen…. For some reason, which I don’t even WANT to think about, many people decide to use the law as their means of stealing from other people, and manipulating them for their own purposes….go figure….

Most politicians are lawyers, and lawyers are the ones who PROTECT the bankers and shadowy corporate masters, so it is clear that the law has been usurped for the use of those who break it more often than anyone else (see the third link down, entitled “Jamie Dimon – Yes there is no justice” for a clear example of this, remembering that the scenes described in the article are reproduced EVERY DAY on Wall Street….). Lawyers are, in my estimation, the single group of people who are the most responsible for the state of the world as we see it today; it seems that the law, and its complexity, is the perfect camouflage for those who would become pirates, and thieves, otherwise known as politicians, and preachers.

Some folks, and, even some ffolkes, might say that is a bit harsh, to condemn an entire class of work as evil… which would be dumb, which is why I know none of MY readers would go so low as to say anything like that….. I’m not saying the class of work is evil…. It is the PEOPLE who use it to their own purposes, at the expense of others, to whom I refer, and there are far too many more of that sort in the legal profession than there are of any other type, those types of people who are more honest, compassionate, and HUMAN, using the law to HELP rather than harm…..

The law is too integral a part of our society for it to be in the hands of the unscrupulous, but, the simple truth of the matter, ffolkes, must admit that it is…. Most lawyers, especially those who become elected officials, are, if not precisely evil, court the title by their evil acts, and deserve every bit of laughter at the jokes we make to express our feelings about how we’re treated by them…. and, I say, fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke…..

What do you call a lawyer buried up to his neck in sand? Not enough sand.

How can you tell the difference between a dead snake and a lawyer on the roadway? Skid marks leading up to the snake….

Why do lawyers never get buried? They’re so crooked, they just screw them into the ground….

(These three are just what was hanging around the top of my mind…. didn’t even have to go look for them…. which is a testament to the ubiquitous nature in society of the nearly-universal disdain for lawyers….)

http://www.businessinsider.com/pictures-of-environmental-destruction-2013-4?op=1

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-city-sea-level-rise-maps-nickolay-lamm-2013-4?op=1

http://blog.sfgate.com/bottomline/2014/01/24/jamie-dimon-yes-there-is-no-justice/

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Legendary-Silicon-Valley-VC-Says-Criticism-Of-The-5174842.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Police-disable-devices-found-in-Md-gunman-s-bag-5174710.php

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/72-year-old-mom-disabled-son-lost-on-S-F-streets-5173848.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Anti-abortion-activists-march-in-San-Francisco-5174706.php

http://blog.sfgate.com/topdown/2014/01/24/the-governor-his-wife-and-the-ferrari-careful-what-you-wish-for/#19974101=0

It’s getting pretty weird out there, ffolkes…. I’d suggest you stay alert, and keep your powder dry…..

“America, how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?” — Allen Ginsberg
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Enjoy the spring of love and youth,
To some good angel leave the rest;
For time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last year’s nest.

– Longfellow (1819-1892), It is not always May

Sometimes, just a stanza of poetry will put me into a reflective state, nudging my mind to wander along the pathways suggested by the poetry’s vision, allowing me to follow whatever trail it finds, to stimulate curiosity or a random thought….. This stanza from Longfellow is a good one for that kind of indulgence…. Let’s see what else I can find today to help us improve our mind, or merely our mood, in some way….. Ah, this will do nicely….

Shui Tiao Ko Tou

Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don’t know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorrow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks luster, brightly shines; is all, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!

~~ Su Tung-po ~~

_____________________________

I’ve done my duty, with, perhaps, the LEAST amount of enthusiasm I could muster, ever….. But, it’s getting there, in spite of my recalcitrance…. Plus, having reached this stage, I am rewarded by the opportunity to take it a bit easier, with an old-school pearl, since I’ve completed a rant-like piece, and a poem is on board…. So, we’ll go hook up with Smart Bee, and see what’s shakin’…..

Please, ffolkes, while I’m performing this maneuver, remember to remain seated, and keep those safety harnesses hooked up, at least loosely, as we can encounter rough weather at any time during the flight…. Oh, you didn’t know we were flying?…. I guess I’m getting pretty smooth at the take-offs….

“The grave’s a fine and private place, but none, I think, do there embrace.” — Andrew Marvell

“We all have been for all time…and we shall be for all time…As the Spirit of our mortal body wanders on in childhood, and youth and old age, the Spirit wanders on to a new body: of this the sage has no doubts.” — Bhagavad Gita (c. B.C. 400)

“What if there were no hypothetical situations?” — Steven Wright

“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.”– Smart Bee

“Never esteem anything as of advantage to thee that shall make thee break thy word or lose thy self-respect.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iii, 7

“And though all cry down self, none means his own self in a literal sense.” — Butler

“What is history but a fable agreed upon?” — Napoleon Bonaparte
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So, laziness having been defeated for the time being, I think I’ll go back to bed for awhile…. Yeah, that’s the ticket…. I mean, hey, it’s not even 8 AM yet, so, I’m actually just returning to bed after an extended trip to the bathroom, and a slight detour for a Pearl and 3 cups of coffee…. Isn’t it amazing how easily we can lie to ourselves? Is it any surprise we are all Bozos on this soon-to-be crashing Bus? Yeah, that’s what I thought, too…. See ya, hopefully tomorrow….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Soluble items should be sterilized first….

Ffolkes,

I’m still in a bit of shock, but, it’s understandable…. It’s not every day the President Of The United States addresses one directly in an email…. Actually, logic, and my ever-alert crap detector, says that even if I DID receive an email that purported to have been written by the POTUS himself, with a real White House logo at the top of the page, addressing me by my first name and all,  the real odds are, it probably wasn’t him at all, but one of his staff flunkies, trying to convince me that he actually knows who I am, and gives the tiniest shit about what I might think…. Perhaps that’s why I’m a bit skeptical of the offer to join in on a conference phone call with the POTUS, because, hey, he REALLY WANTS TO KNOW what I think about stuff….

Yep, I got that email yesterday, directly from the White House, and signed (digitally, of course….) by Barack himself…. First, the damn thing addressed me by my first name, as if Barry actually was writing, had been introduced, and was granted the use of my given name, rather than treating me with the respect of using my surname…. Pretty insulting, if you stop to think about it, not to mention presumptuous….

They (or he, as they wanted me to believe….) wanted me to respond by clicking on a link that would include me in whatever propaganda event they have planned for whenever it was…..some kind of group hug over the phone or something…. Sure, I’m going to give them my name again…. they already inundate me with daily emails to try to get me to donate money (begging letters, I call them….), or to involve me in some propaganda spin, or to get me to call Congress (where one may talk to as many answering machines as one wishes….. I know, I’ve tried….)….

To be honest, I only let them continue because I believe in the old adage about knowing one’s enemies, and keeping them close, in order to know what they’re up to….. Originally, back in 2008, when I first emailed the White House, I did it because they advertised that they had set up the email to give them an idea of what the public wanted…. I found out quickly that all they really wanted was a way to gather emails from people who might be supporters, so they could ask them for money and time, to carry out their so-called “grass roots” efforts to “improve the lot of the middle class…..” Since I wrote them ONE TIME, FIVE YEARS AGO, I have been assaulted by ten different organizations who somehow got my name (I wonder where?….), all of whom want me to sign petitions, or start petitions, or join a cause, or mostly, just send some money for them to throw into their black hole….

Move On.org, Greenpeace, the White House, and a host of others now send me emails EVERY DAMN DAY, practically dunning me for contributions, letting me know that, if I don’t personally take the time to support them, the big bad Republicans, or the Tea Party, or some corporate raider, is going to once again make me and the whole rest of the country suffer, just because they are able to raise more money than we are….

Hell, even Al Franken, the former comedian who got himself elected as Senator in Minnesota, sends me begging letters every day, just because they got my email address from Move On (I think….)….. I just delete all of them without reading them all the way through, so I know at least what they’re moaning about now…. If I bothered to click on the “unsubscribe” link in the emails, well, that would just be one more piece of data for them to use, so they could mark me as a known enemy-type to them…. Better to just ignore and delete….

I really hadn’t meant to rant in the intro again, but, as I sat down to write today, it struck me how insulted I was by that email…. For them to think that A) they could manipulate me like that, B) they could get me to join in by making it a personal request by the POTUS, and C) to use my first name, as if I’m some sort of child, or servant…. Well, all three of them are erroneous assumptions, insulting in their familiarity, and in their assumption of my gullibility, as well as being downright asinine in their assumption of my technical ignorance….

In addition it is just plain stupid to think that I would actually believe for even ONE SECOND that the President of the United States would actually address a citizen in such a way, and actually care for even a moment what that citizen thinks…. As if that would alter their own agenda!…. What a crock of bullshit!…. I am tempted, a little, to send back a reply of some sort, just to see if they are paying attention at all to what they receive, other than as a means of mining addresses…. But, I know for a fact that they would just ignore it, as it doesn’t fit into any of the parameters they’ve set up to gather that data….

I guess I’ll just let this one go for the time being, and see if they try to follow up, as they’ve done before, with another invitation to join the call…. Sometimes, they’ll send two or three invitations like this, just to see if I’ll respond…. I don’t generally do anything but delete them, but, it might be time to see if I can trick THEM into some kind of dialogue, until I can pull them in far enough into my game, and deliver to them some of the same kind of CRAP they send me every day….. It’s worth a try, I think, and may keep me amused for a short while…. It also probably won’t affect these Pearls, as nothing else seems to keep me from getting them out, other than my own physical failings….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“..  Should I get locked in the PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE today — or have a VASECTOMY??” — Zippy the Pinhead

Hmm…. Tough choice, there, Zippy…. Having been there, done that, for both, we’ll go on to bigger things…..
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I like to think I’ve got a handle on Life, but, as soon as I think that, Life snatches itself out of my grip, so my handle probably isn’t as secure as I’d like to think…. That’s okay, it’s always been a chancy world, with nothing ever guaranteed, but for change….. I like it that way, truth be told.

With that in mind, I’m going to gather together a group of pearls for this old-school version of a daily POVW, as they were created back when I sent them via email to about 200 otherwise bored state employees, who came to view them as their bright spot in the day, whether they opened them when they arrived, or saved them for a quiet moment, as some did….

Since this one was picked out without any particular parameters or paradigms to guide the choices, I can’t predict how it will turn out…. but, that’s Life, right?….

“Virtue consists in avoiding vice, and is the highest wisdom.” — Horace (B.C. 65-8)

“Ten thousand years – a single thought. A single thought – ten thousand years.” — Zen saying

“The first gift of maturity is the ability to look a child straight in the eye.” — John Francis Putnam (1964)

“A God alone can comprehend a God.” — Young

“I’d rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I haven’t.” — Lucille Ball

“Men often believe — or pretend — that the “Law” is something sacred, or at least a science — an unfounded assumption very convenient to governments.” — Lazarus Long

“Life is too short to be taken seriously.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

Damn near perfect, I’d say….
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Today’s poem is one I’ve used before, though not for some time…. I use it, because I like it, and that’s all there is to it…. I hope you like it, too…..

Pu suan tzu

A fragment moon hangs from the bare tung tree
The water clock runs out, all is still
Who sees the dim figure come and go alone
Misty, indistinct, the shadow of a lone wild goose?

Startled, she gets up, looks back
With longing no one sees
And will not settle on any of the cold branches
Along the chill and lonely beach

~~ Su Tung-po ~~

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As I noted yesterday, the new WP function that refers us to older posts has been a real godsend for me…. Here is a wonderful little rant from early this year, that seems quite appropriate today…..

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From the 2/26/13 POVW, “Don’t bust Your gaiters, boys, it’ll get bigger….”

“We are going to have to find ways of organizing ourselves cooperatively,sanely, scientifically, harmonically and in regenerative spontaneity with the rest of humanity around the earth…. We are not going to be able to operate our spaceship earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common.” — Buckminster Fuller

Bucky said this some time around 1968 or 69; Google would know exactly…. but I remember it well, as part of the argument that first convinced me of the imminence of the danger from overpopulation, pollution, climate change, and all of the other foolish, self-destructive behaviors in which our species has engaged for millennia. The cumulative effects of all of these issues is approaching a flash point, a point that, quite possibly, may already have been reached, and passed, without anyone noticing….

Perhaps the worst example of the entire problem is the movie “An Unpleasant Truth” with former VP Al Gore narrating a summary of these issues, with all the then-currently-available-evidence, all of which, taken together, was rather impressive, as well as fairly well unarguably accurate.  In other words, it told the exact truth, and clearly…. 

I call this the worst example because this perfectly told truth of the matter was ridiculed, reviled, and dismissed, by the governments, and the public, one by ignoring it, and the other by refusing to listen, reacting instead to an unfortunate delivery style. Yet, every word Al spoke in this movie is true, and is being proved today, with the already extreme climate changes we are witnessing on a world-wide scale….

“What are the facts? Again and again and again — what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” — what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” — Lazarus Long

But, the stupids keep on decrying any changes have happened, and blithely ignore the warmer, dryer winters, the cooler, wetter summers, the shrinking polar ice (at BOTH poles!…), the instability in the biosphere, the tons of carbon monoxide and particulates being added into the atmosphere every second, along with all of the other evidence that PROVES them wrong. It isn’t a matter of there not being any real evidence, it is a matter of the evidence being ignored, or challenged, that is proving to be the hardest obstacle to be overcome, if we are to survive beyond the next 100 years….

Yep, that’s MY estimate, based on all the different time-scale estimates I’ve read about, the evidence I’ve examined, and my take on how society is dealing with all of it…. I don’t see the changes needed happening, not yet, nor is there much indication that a way to stop the assholes in power from their insane intransigence, or their selfish hoarding of resources for their private use, is even close to being discovered, or implemented.

The atmosphere is almost full, and the balance of the gases and elements that make up the air we breathe is, WITHOUT FAIL, going to begin to change, eventually changing into air that will not support our life form, meaning, we won’t be able to breathe it; we will suffocate…. This process, well understood by science, has already begun, and will happen faster with each passing day, once it reaches a certain critical point…. That point, if not already reached, is not far off….

“Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.” — Lazarus Long

Now, I know there is some small hope, and that everyone who reads this will give me positive reasons for that hope…. and I agree with all of them. I don’t want to die, and I don’t want my children, or their children, to have to face the same issues in order to save themselves. I’d much rather just shoot the motherfuckers who are causing all of it right now, and be done with it….

Sadly, that won’t work, (they’ve already proven that, by using that method over the last three or four millennia…), so we’ll have to figure out something else to do…. I am not enough of a genius to be able to figure out exactly what that might be, though I have some ideas that would help, I’m sure…. But, I’m not in a position now to have those ideas instituted, so they are moot, unless I somehow find myself in such a position….

Hope is, therefore, just about ALL I have left….
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I must be restless again…. I booked another cruise yesterday, just a short 4 day affair to Ensenada and back, out of L.A., and now am trying desperately to find stuff to distract me from getting all worked up about it, packing two weeks early, and generally driving Pat crazy with my enthusiasm to get out of Dodge…. Now, I’m trying to post this before actually getting it done…. Settle down, there, big fella, there’s still a good 13 days before you get to go, so, you’d best get a grip…. Let’s see how today’s Pearl came out, shall we?….

Not too bad, considering…. It’s good enough to let if fly without any more help, or editing that I can see… I guess that means I have to go now….. Ta then, until tomorrow….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Facial reconstruction is gratis only for Federal gargoyles….

Ffolkes,
At the tone, the time will be…. 0646….. Pretty damn normal, if you ask me, which, I know you didn’t, but, since I’m obsessed with time in the mornings, I told you anyway…. Still, obsessive behavior aside, this is still the latest hour I’ve seen upon awakening in several months, so, I’m sort of jazzed about that. Sleep, or rather, the lack of sleep, has assumed too great a role in my life over the last few years, insidiously creeping up on me, a restless night here, a lost night there, and voilá, full-blown insomnia, with its ever-present gifts, dragging fatigue, and fuzzy head….

When younger, I could chalk it up to the activities of the night before, and throw off the worst of the fuzziness and fatigue, but, now that I’m older, the old reserve fuel tank is never quite full, and one ends up napping during the day like a two-year-old after three hours at a picnic…. Fortunately, I’m retired, and I’m old (well, old enough….), so napping is an acceptable pastime, both to those who might observe, and to me, who appreciates well the opportunity to give in to that particular urge…. I, like most children, fought like hell to grow out of taking naps, but, like most of us, have learned to enjoy the chance to rest and rejuvenate ourselves during the day….

So, sleeping so well that I see a new part of the morning, without having approached it with eyes already open, becomes an event worth celebrating, at least to the extent of acknowledging, and praising, its welcome presence. Of course, none of this really means anything that is worth writing about, but, it does get me a few paragraphs into the day’s effort without having to try to be too creative. Such an effort would, no doubt, be destined to fail, anyway, so it’s just as well…..

All that said, I can chalk it all up as a completed item on the day’s list, and get on with the regularly scheduled program…. Now, all I have to do is figure out what the hell our regularly scheduled program is, and we’re good to go. Since I’m up and relatively clear-headed, we’ll just dive in, and let Smart Bee determine what direction the program will take today…. ranting, joking, profound, or silly, it’s all grist for my mill in the morning, so let’s be off, to find our fates….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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Having been lulled into a sense of false security by my late awakening, I should have known that Murphy would stick his nose in somewhere; it’s just too good an opportunity for him to be able to resist. Sure enough, he tried to fool me with some weird little aphorisms that were not merely not profound, but weren’t even pretty, thereby attempting to slow down the process…

Smart Bee, as the loyal software program it is, faithfully resisted Murphy’s ministrations, by slipping in the following group around, and between, the offerings he tried to saddle me with…. For a five-star pearl it isn’t bad, but, with the addition of the final two offerings, it enters another realm of thought altogether, one of great value to the discerning mind, and of great interest to the inquiring mind….. Enjoy! (And, pay attention! It’s all good stuff to know…. separate, or together….)

“The worst fear is the fear of living.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“There is nothing that can be said by mathematical symbols and relations which cannot also be said by words. The converse, however, is false. Much that can be and is said by words cannot successfully be put into equations, because it is nonsense.” — C. Truesdell

“It takes a very long time to become young.” — Pablo Picasso

“It is better to know nothing than to know what ain’t so.” — Josh Billings

“A platitude is simply a truth repeated until people get tired of hearing it.” — Stanley Baldwin

See? Isn’t that near-perfect? And when you add in these, well…..

“Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Few really ask. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds–justification, confirmation–forms of consolation without which they can’t go on. To really ask is to open the door to a whirlwind. The answer may annihilate the questions and the questioner.” — Anne Rice

“…just when I had you wriggling in the crushing grip of reason, too…” — Calvin & Hobbes

As I have had occasion to say previously, it’s all in the wrist, as is patently clear…. Oh, and the timing, of course, because, as we all know so well, timing is everything….
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su tung-po    “Born in 1036, Su Tung-p’o was a famous Chinese poet. He was also called Su Shih. Born in present-day Sichuan province, Su was from a literary family. During the Sung Dynasty he wrote very simple poems based on Buddhist Philosophy. Su occupied many official posts, rising to president of the board of rites (which regulated imperial ceremonies and worship). He designed the parks surrounding Lake Si in Hangzhou. Five emperors came to the throne during his lifetime. ” — from Poemhunter.com

Shui Tiao Ko Tou

Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don’t know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks lustre, brightly shines; is al, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!

~~ Su Tung-p’o ~~

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Y’all don’t really care why, and it really has no bearing on what happens, so I’m going to skip all the explanatory expostulation I normally provide before including something from the archives, and just say this…. I’m putting this here because it is one of my best rants, as it has an actual suggestion for an act, or proposed act, that actually might have a positive effect on the way the world is heading…

It’s a pretty simple idea, too, not terribly hard to institute, should it ever become popular enough to spread over the world, until the powers that be HAVE to respond one way or another to it…. which, I am quite certain, they will be hesitant to do, since it is an idea that holds THEM accountable to the rest of us…. Having thus risked boring you to death with unnecessary verbiage, read on, and think about it…. If you like the idea, share it…. enough said….
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“Integrity is when what you say, what you do, what you think, and who you ARE all come from the same place.” — Madelyn Griffith-Haynie

Okay, I know we are all probably sick to death of politics, and the election, and everyone would like to have a break from talking and thinking about it….. I know I am. So, I’ll try to make this fairly short, and make it the last political diatribe for at least a day or two. It may be possible, if nothing in the news jumps up to stimulate my outrage (which may be on a short vacation itself….. I hope. I could do with the emotional space….).

Any who…. here is what I was thinking when I came across this little gem…. What if we devised a test, that in some way would enable us, as voters, to determine the relative status of each of the candidates according to this rule? A way, as it were, to measure their degree of integrity, which is something I think we can all agree would be a good thing to see in a politician, unlikely as it may be. If we could, say, set up a scale of integrity, and make it law that a person had to score in the top 5% of the scale in order to merely be eligible for office, I think we might see a whole new set of politicians, who had never before been seen in public.

In fact, in thinking about the current crop of those in office, it is entirely possible that ALL of those in office now might not be eligible…. I am not excluding the President, out of fairness, though I personally believe he might score in the top 10%…. I still have questions about some of the stuff he has signed that didn’t seem to be very well publicized, as they didn’t exactly fit with his image….. The newest version of the Patriot Act, the NDAA, that he signed last New Year’s Day comes immediately to mind…. (with the authorizations to view mail, view email, review library use, and other data, to use drones, anywhere, to hold and question US citizens without warrant, or any notification or justification, etc… The Act abridges every one of the Bill of Rights in some way…. This comment added post-publication….)

I don’t care if he did try to mitigate some of the deleterious effects of the law, he still signed the damn thing, thereby seriously endangering a number (correction: ALL…) of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. Plus, the method he used to keep it from the public awareness was rather suspect, in my mind, and reminiscent of the old days under Nixon, Johnson, Reagan, and the two Shrubs, may they all rot in whatever level of  Hell they are destined to occupy….. (I know, I know…. not being a Christian, that curse has little weight, but, hey, it’s a pretty clear indicator of my opinion of all of them….)

As I suspected it might, this grew to be somewhat more than I intended it to be, so I’ll cut it short here. But, my suggestion above, about the test for integrity that should be a given for political aspirants, is completely serious, and I wanted to get that out. Maybe by the next election, we can get the rest of the country to buy into it…. which should be interesting, and fun. I’ll be looking forward to the expressions on the faces of all the supporters of those now in office, when their people gloriously fail to pass the test…. and to the results it will have on society, should it ever be adopted…. I don’t see any way at all that it could do anything that wouldn’t improve the situation…..

And so I penned
It down, until at last it came to be,
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.


— John Bunyan (1628-1688) — Pilgrim’s Progress, Apology for his Book

Any thoughts on this?…. Feel free to comment below, or respond on your own blog, or via email
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Late it may be, but, it’s all fresh, or at least freshly commented upon…. “But,” he asked, “how does it read?” Well, let’s see…..  Not too badly at all, that’s how it reads…. So, without judging the content, it meets all necessary regulations and standards, if not all the demands of good taste. That’s never been too great a concern around here, anyway, so… off it goes, and I’m outta here, to go figure out how to spend another Sunday in Paradise, otherwise known as home sweet home…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Ten paces south from the gargoyle….

Ffolkes,
I was warned, but I didn’t listen. Of course, I never believed it could actually happen, not to me….. Like every other fool in history, the admonition of my peers was lost on me, filled as I was to the brim with confidence, and pride in my skill. And, like every other fool in history, I failed, badly….. What is it about wet paint that makes men want to touch it, to find out if it is actually wet? What is it about a “Keep off the Grass” sign that makes our toes itch for the feel of the lawn? Why does a door that says, “No Admittance” make us want to see what is behind it?….. SIGH….. We’re all a bunch of little kids at heart, aren’t we?…. Just trying to find out what the world is made of, and getting told to watch our step…..

Hmm…. I’m not sure where that paragraph came from, nor am I certain at all of where it intended to get to, so, in retrospect, it’s probably just as well that I leave it right there, and not get into any further exploration of that train of thought. It sort of wanders around up there, spinning some light magic, but then fades away, as if unconvinced of its own purpose…. And there I go again, talking about my writing as if it had a will of its own…. Regardless of how out of control this blog may seem to be, the words don’t write themselves, but, I tend to get carried away with my anthropomorphism at times, so, please, bear with me….

Now where shall we go? I’m faced this morning with a totally blank Pearl template…. the only thing I had written ahead is the ending line. Although this is a good thing, it does leave me in fear, as any author would be, faced with such a bright, shiny vast plain of whiteness, just begging to be filled with words of wit and magic, while I cower in abject trepidation at the sheer folly of my ambition, and pray to my muse for salvation….. Since my muse seems to be mad at me again, I could have a long wait….

We’ve got trouble, ffolkes, right here in River City…. It starts with T, and ends with ubble, that’s Trouble, and we’ve got it right here. (Can you hear the trombones?) Once again, the intro section has gotten away from me, and wandered off into areas of my head that could conceivably alter the course of history, should they be brought into the light of day. Since the alterations may or may not be such that they would help, it would probably be best to just give up again, and get on with today’s Pearl. I’m going to have to rely solely on Smart Bee to pull this off, and hope that there are a number of good pearls to get me going…. Only one way to find out, I suppose, so…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Everyone knows that dragons don’t exist.  But while this simplistic formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suffice for the scientific mind. The School of Higher Neantical Nillity is in fact wholly unconcerned with what does exist.  Indeed, the banality of existence has been so amply demonstrated, there is no need for us to discuss it any further here.  The brilliant Cerebron, attacking the problem analytically, discovered three distinct kinds of dragon: the mythical, the chimerical, and the purely hypothetical.  They were all, one might say, nonexistent, but each nonexisted in an entirely different way …” — Stanislaw Lem, Cyberiad

Now, that sounds like it belongs here, doesn’t it?…. In a way, you COULD say that this blog nonexists in an entirely different way…..
__________________________________

As is the case in many instances, when faced with a literary conundrum in the morning, I’m resorting to default, and firing up an old school pearl for your perusal and edification (if that can ever be said to be true of pearls….)…. The following seven pearls were, of course, chosen at random, and without conscious volition, but with an eventual destination in mind…. Today, we are fortunate to note that the destination is also random, as is the conclusion to which you will be led, willy-nilly…. That conclusion is, naturally, left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader…..

“I am not young enough to know everything.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

“Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one  man. How’s that again?  I missed something.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes.” — Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

If a cat spoke, it would say things like “Hey, I don’t see a problem here.” — Smart Bee

“Some people think only intellect counts:  knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it.  But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion and empathy.” — Dean Koontz

“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?” — Abraham Lincoln

“Do your Duty.  Honor the Truth.  Respect Life.  Share your Love.” ~~ Axiom #7, Peruaosophy

I know, I’m a strange puppy…. If it helps, I mean well….    :-)
__________________________________

This is a poem I’ve used before…. I like it a lot, and it fits my mood, somehow…. Enjoy!

Shui Tiao Ko Tou

Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don’t know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks lustre, brightly shines; is al, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!

Su Tung-p’o
__________________________________

The issue of gun control is currently a HOT BUTTON issue for a lot of people in this country…. At least, it is for those who enjoy over-reacting to all the violence reported in the news….. They seem to forget that there are now over 7 billion people on this planet, with more crowding on every second, and the increased violence we are seeing is a natural result of overpopulation combined with stupidity, both of which exist in ample supply in our society….

The following is a piece I wrote not long after one of the school shootings in 2012, which, to my mind, pretty well summarizes my objections to the foolish and unwarranted fear that has prompted the idiotic notion of repealing the Second Amendment altogether…. Here is my response to that notion….

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence…  From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable….  The very atmosphere of firearms every- where restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” — George Washington (bogus?)(who cares? I don’t, it doesn’t make it any less true if it was said by someone else…..)

I am constantly hearing people these days spouting off about gun control, and how guns should be outlawed. This is a viewpoint that I have never understood, because it makes a totally unwarranted assumption (more than one actually, but one that is most important….), i.e., guns cause violent behavior, and if people couldn’t legally own them, violence would stop.

This is naive, and unreasonable, given that there is absolutely no evidence to support such a contention. There is no evidence whatsoever that violence is NOT part of human nature; this is a psychological FACT, not subject to debate. People have violent tendencies, and violence is the primary response of a great many people who have never learned how to use their reason to control their emotions.

Though I’ve never owned or carried a gun, I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, in its most literal sense. Without the right to bear arms in our own defense, we, as citizens, would be at the mercy of whomever was in office at the time, and would have no recourse at all to any redress of grievance against those officials, since they could not be forced to comply with law.

I do NOT trust any elected official to act in MY best interests; human nature also decrees that they will act in their OWN interests first, with no compulsion to even consider anything else. Making it a law that only police and government lackeys could legally be armed is a sure way to guarantee that the average citizen would be at the mercy of these so-called leaders, mercy being a quality that they have never heretofore demonstrated in any fashion.

As I said, I don’t own or carry guns, yet. I’ve trained myself to be dangerous without the use of them, and feel no fear that I cannot deal with an armed man to my benefit; this is simply because it is the person holding the gun that is the danger, not the gun itself. Speed, power, and accuracy are the key elements to controlling a violent situation, along with some forethought and preparation, and the ability to keep a clear mind when under duress.

When a person is holding a gun, they feel ten feet tall and invincible, but they remain human, and humans can be controlled with superior strategy and tactics. It does no good to hold a gun, when the target won’t sit still, or even remain visible….. and in these cases, that sense of invulnerability becomes a liability to the gun-wielder.

However, most Americans do not have this sort of skill set, nor the state of mind that makes it work. In the hands of a skilled warrior, a gun becomes a dangerous weapon indeed, for it will be used to achieve the warrior’s goals, as any weapon would, and not employed to merely bully others into doing what is desired, which is the usual use of these kinds of weapons in the hands of the ignorant and deceitful. And politicians, by the very nature of their sociopathy, do get rather deceitful in the pursuit of their self-centered ends. The desire to be in public office, to me, is a sure sign of a sick mind, as a healthy one has no need to assume power over others, being content to be in control of themselves.

At this point in the narrative, I got a bit sarcastic, caustically so, directed at those shrill advocates of this kind of legal oppression, laws that attempt to legislate morality,  so I’ve stopped it here to avoid offending anyone unduly. I agree with the need to tighten the regulations regarding assault weapons, but not as far as is wanted by the fear-mongers.

I also think it is a good idea to keep guns out of the hands of children, and people who have demonstrated the lack of emotional control needed by a free citizen of this country, to own and use a gun appropriately, i.e. the mentally ill, who are characterized by a lack of impulse control…. Not a good characteristic for someone with a gun in their hands….

But, once again, I must caution people to examine any laws that do get passed closely, for going farther than intended, which the people in charge have a tendency to do, to slip stuff by the public….

I’ll try to wake up your precautionary instincts by asking this….. If the insane are not to be allowed full rights as a citizen, who is it that gets to decide who is insane?  The same issues of trust are present, or absent, in that idea, as in the assumption that the Beloved Ruling Class will act in our best interests….. They can be trusted to act in their own interests first, and we all would do well to keep that in mind…..

“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan
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There are many here among us who are CERTAIN that life is but a joke, Bob, and today’s effort is simply further evidence in support of that conviction…. But, today’s Pearl is done, so, who cares? Not me….. Having cheated a bit, by reprinting a couple of items, I’ve got some time to kill…. But, rather than fill it by tormenting y’all any further, I’ll be a nice little blogger, and leave you in peace….

Happy Valentine’s Day, ffolkes….

May love and joy light your way,
and keep you warm this winter’s day….

Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Uh oh, it’s leaking magic smoke…..

Ffolkes,
It isn’t the most horrific thing I can think of to have happen, but, it’s annoying enough…. Did you ever get a song stuck in your head, and not be able to stop it? I have, and it isn’t pretty; by the time the song fades away, I generally have about half my hair left, and have lost weight from the stress of hearing the phrase “oh lord, stuck in Lodi, again..” for the ten-thousandth time in a row….. Like I said, it could be worse (it could have been the theme song to “Barney”…. you know… “You love me, I love you, etc.”, on and on, into nausea unlimited….), but, even Country Joe McDonald’s voice gets old after a while…. of course, he’s old now, too, so…. Oh right, sorry, forgot…. he’s dead, now, so he probably sounds even worse….

This was a particularly sticky episode of this kind of conundrum; even playing classical music to drown it out wouldn’t work, and since my guitar is still in the pawn shop gathering dust, I couldn’t play through it. It wouldn’t be so bad, I guess, if it would change lyrics occasionally, to finish the song, at least. But, no, it has to repeat the same line, over, and over, and over, until you want to scream at your own head to SHUT UP! This, of course, leads people to believe you just might be too near the edge, and give you a wide berth on the sidewalk. It can also make it tough to get a waiter to approach one’s table at the cafe ….. Well, if I were at a cafe, it would…..

The song finally faded out last night, thankfully, just before bed time, but was sure a pain in the old arse while it hung around….. Now this morning, the incident came back to me, and I thought to myself, “Why not?”….. So, shamelessly, I have just used that minor incident, one without any particularly compelling features, or dangerous attributes, and turned it into a three paragraph intro section, through the magic of inconsistency and mumble, mumble, as well as the power of a sick imagination. (‘Mumble, mumble’ is a euphemism, for stuff I choose to hide from you due to its manipulative nature…..). I know, it was a bit unethical of me, but, that is the way we authors get when faced with a blank page…. ruthless, you betcha….

No blood was drawn, however, so I don’t see that there is much to complain about. Sure, I stretched your credibility, but that’s good practice for what comes later. And sure, I took advantage of your willing, or at minimum, unsuspecting, nature, to lead you on down a primrose path to nowhere…. But, ask yourself this: where would you be if I didn’t? See, I’ve done y’all a favor by this, and you should be grateful…. You could be stuck somewhere, reading something that makes sense, and what would that get you? Nothing you need, for sure….

So, quit the bitching, and just buckle up for the ride. It promises to get a bit bumpy today, given the state of this intro…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Be not unwilling in what thou doest, neither selfish nor unadvised nor obstinate; let not over-refinement deck out thy thought; be not wordy nor a busybody.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iii, 5

(Oops! Too late…. I wish I’d gotten the memo earlier in life….)
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“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”  — Udana Varga, c. 500 B. C.

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

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

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

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

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

“Under every stone lurks a politician.” — Aristophanes

This particular subject is an easy rant for me, with all the major characteristics of a good subject right out there to see and write about. As such, I could probably go on all day without running out of stuff to poke at in this area of human nature. But, I’ve made my point, I think, so we’ll save some of the energy for later. Let it suffice to say, how someone feels about the Golden Rule is usually a good indicator of how they feel about politicians, et al. A real politician will look you in the eye, tell you they support the Golden Rule wholeheartedly, then will turn right around and say the exact opposite to your enemy. to gain their support. And, they’ll never feel a moment’s guilt over doing so…. If they did, how could they ever consider trying to be elected in the first place? Just wanting that kind of power is a clear sign of mental illness, guaranteed….

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

I was done with this, but fate intervened…. Just to show how our culture has developed under the influence of the delusions fostered by the lies of the BRC, consider this, which I found in the 13th Bathroom Reader…. One of our cultural myths says that the soldiers at Valley Forge under Washington during the Revolutionary War starved during winter because there was no food anywhere for them. The truth is, there was plenty of food, but the farmers in Valley Forge sold it all to the British Army, who were able to pay cash…. Kind of takes away from the grandeur of the alleged events, and puts the lie to any elements of implied nobility, doesn’t it? Conversely, it does rather support what I’ve outlined above, wouldn’t you say?…… Sick puppies, all of them, and always ready, and willing, to take advantage of human greed….

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

Families, when a child is born
Want it to be intelligent.
I, through intelligence,
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he will crown a tranquil life
By becoming a Cabinet Minister

– Su Tung-p’o

Remembrance

To what can our life on earth be likened?
To a flock of geese,
alighting on the snow.
Sometimes leaving a trace of their passage.

Su Tung-po

A two-fer….  :-)
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I’m feeling a bit lazy this morning, having already ranted sufficiently to relieve the toxicity levels in my brain; it always has such a soothing effect on me to spew….   :-)    So, I’m going to go old school again, as I am wont to do in these cases…. Today’s group of pearls are all in the same vein, so to speak…. Each one gives us a little glimpse into the methodology of life lived well, and can, if duly appreciated, absorbed, and utilized, be quite valuable tools in the daily struggle against entropy and chaos…. If, for some unknown and incomprehensible reason, they don’t strike that chord for you, well, it will impress your friends to quote them now and then; if nothing else they’re quite engaging ideas, well stated…. enjoy!…..

“As you go the way of life you will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.” — Native American advice

“Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“For a man can lose neither the past nor the future; for how can one take from him that which is not his? So remember these two points: first, that each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle, and that it signifies not whether a man shall look upon the same things for a hundred years or two hundred, or for an infinity of time; second, that the longest lived and the shortest lived man, when they come to die, lose one and the same thing.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ii, 14

“Any necessary work that pays an honest wage carries its own honor and dignity.” — W. Kelly Griffith

“Doubt is the key to knowledge.” — Persian Proverb
(Caution: If you quote this one, be prepared to defend your statement….. This has a tendency to create ‘doubt’, even in those who just hear it…..)

And, for the final word, our old friend Alan Watts, doing what he does best…. making the complex seem simple….

“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
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I have to say, having the time to spend on these Pearls, without the stress of thinking of how to get it published, is certainly helping the quality of the gems that are being produced. Probably something to do with the available time for editing and polishing, but, no doubt the reduction of the need to hurry is key…. Whatever is the reason, I’m content with how today’s version of my take on Reality has worked out….. plus, it’s done. Therefore, I pronounce this Pearl closed for business…. Hasta mañana, amigos!  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

With piteous disregard for the weak of mind….

Special note: To all my Facebook, Yahoo, WordPress, and Internet friends….. I feel this Pearl is an important one to share…. I don’t usually try to promote my work this hard, but today’s message is one of importance for all Americans, if only for the links I’ve added to my comments. Those links need to be seen by millions of our countrymen, whereby we have a real opportunity to fix a big part of the problems faced by our Society at large, in light of the results of our recent election…. Please read these ideas, and spread them around for discussion, as far as you can, by Sharing on Facebook, by Pressing on WordPress, and wherever else on the Web they may get to…. thanks….

Ffolkes,
Several days ago, I spoke here about the embittered asses who have been spouting off in Facebook, and other places, regarding seceding from the Union, since their bigoted racism was struck down by the majority of right-thinking people in this country on election day. I spoke fairly eloquently to express my chagrin, and my anger at their intransigence, but yesterday, I read a response to those people that was not just better than mine, but was, in my mind, perfect. The author had researched his law well, and was forthright in outlining the very illegality of their so-called “right to secede”, as well as being quite forthcoming in his anger at them for their treason. That article can be found here:  http://90degrees2theleft.com/2012/11/15/when-a-comment-is-better-than-the-article/#comment-333

Yes, treason, the same word I used previously. You see, the South LOST the Civil War, though they don’t seem to realize it, just the same as they lost this election. When they did, they lost the right to secede from the Union, forever; that is clearly stated in the articles of government that were set in place during the Reconstruction after the War. I was fairly lenient, saying they should just be allowed to leave, if they wish; this man is more righteous in that sense, and would have these traitors prosecuted and jailed, and not merely allowed to leave, but EXILED in shame, for their treasonous statements and actions. And you know what? I wouldn’t stand in the way of that at all…. Stupidity should have SOME consequences attached to it, especially when it is deliberate….

Apparently, these ffolkes aren’t leaving it there, at just expressing their displeasure at this treason, but are following up their words with action…. They’re submitting a petition to the White House, suggesting that these secessionists be arrested for their treason, have their citizenship stripped from them, and be sent into exile. Their position as citizens would then be offered to resident immigrants in this country, who all WANT to be Americans, with educational assistance given to complete the naturalization process. I think this is a GRAND idea, and will be signing that petition as soon as I can get online again. That petition is easy to find, too, here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/revoke-citizenship-those-who-petition-secession-our-union-and-grant-their-citizenship-working/LQ9sXmmh?utm_source=wh.gov&utm_medium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

Once again, the intro section has been usurped into political ranting mode, but, that’s one of the risks around here; political or religious ranting fervor may strike at any time. Apparently, right after I wake up is one of the times when that is likely; my outrage is set to kick in at a moment’s notice at this time of the day, I guess, which is, all in all, a good thing, I think….. Whether y’all agree with that may not be immaterial, but it is moot, since we’re about done with it for today, anyway…. But, lest one think that I’m not serious about this, let me reiterate….

Reason prevailed at the polls on November 6, and the MAJORITY has spoken. These, sad, white, racists cannot stand having their delusions shattered, and are deathly afraid, knowing their prejudices are no longer in control of society, and they are now exposed as the bigots they really are. This talk of secession is just one more piece of evidence that shows their complete ignorance, of history, of reality, and of the laws of their own country.

Fuck them…. fuck them all. Arrest them for treason, strip them of their citizenship, and send them off to Africa, or wherever in the world there is a haven for such assholes (Now, there’s a thought…. Who will take them? I don’t know that any country will want them, as they’ve already proven their inability to live with others, and shown just how bigoted and racist they are…. There might not be anywhere for them to go…. Oh, well…. too bad, so sad…. I guess we’ll just have to dump them on some island that nobody else wants…..).

Give their rights as citizens to working immigrants, who have already shown their commitment to be good Americans by their actions in support of this country. Maybe then, we can see the last of the Southern fried idiots who have been keeping this country from joining the rest of the human race in the struggle to survive…. and the Civil War will finally be over….

Well, now that my political/religious* rant for this morning is done, I may have a hard time finding something else to discuss…. time will tell, I suppose, as it always does (how does the Doctor always know?….)  At any rate, I can do no more damage here, so we’ll get on with today’s dive for pearls…. Shall we Pearl?…..

*I say religious, as well as political, because I hold religion, or more accurately, preachers/priests, to be equally responsible for the attitudes these secessionists hold; it is the combination of the bigotry and elitism promulgated by the Christian religions (and others, they’re not alone….) with the ignorant political and historical throwbacks to the Old South who have usurped the GOP, that has created this group of hard-core fundamentalist fanatics, who cannot, and will not, learn to get along with anyone who isn’t in their chosen group…. If there is a group of people on this planet worthy of my hatred and complete disgust, it is these religious politicians, and political preachers, who preach their litanies of hate to their congregations just as if it was some kind of truth, while simultaneously claiming their own innocence and God-given mission, and calling it Peace and Love…. Despicable, sad excuses for human beings, which is why I try to pity them, because they are not even worth the mental energy it takes to hate….
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Having ranted enough for the time being, here is an old school pearl. This one is a bit different, as it doesn’t lead to one central concept, as such, but rather a number of related ideas. All of it is good food for thought, and are things I believe in….. as if that matters….. Nonetheless, it is all good stuff, and one can never have too much good stuff….

“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“He was a wise man who invented God.” — Plato
(You’ve got to think about this one, and go a bit deeper than the first level or two….)

“All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers … Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than to the particular country in which he was born.” — Francois Fenelon

“I don’t know but I’ve been told
the streets of heaven are lined with gold
I ask you how things could get much worse
if the Russians happened to get up there first
wowee, pretty scary”

– Robert Zimmerman
(Bonus points if you know his stage name…..)

“I just didn’t say it.”  — Ronald Reagan –Associated Press, 10/5/66
(When asked to explain a “recorded” statement…. i.e., it was on tape….)

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

As a final note, here is a fitting finish to this subtle, yet pointed group of sharp sticks to the eye of ignorance…..

“As for courage and will – we cannot measure how much of each lies within us, we can only trust there will be sufficient to carry through trials which may lie ahead.” — Andre Norton

I love it…. yet another proof of what I’ve said before… “All you can do, is all you can do…..”  Having done so, we will pass on to another pearl…. a poetic one….
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Shui Tiao Ko Tou

Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don’t know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks lustre, brightly shines; is al, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!

Su Tung-po
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Here is what may properly be called a minimalist pearl…. at least, that’s what I’m calling it, and I’m the one in charge, so…. any who, below you will find two statements, one purely textual, and one with some attached art (well, a facial photo of Jimmy Carter may not exactly be art, but, it IS a picture….). Both statements cut to the heart of one of the modern world’s most basic root problems, in my mind, which is the disparity of purpose and unity between males and females of the human species. I regard this “battle” to be the most destructive element of what is wrong with our culture, and believe very strongly that it needs to change…. I’m not so narcissistic or egotistical to believe that I have all the answers as to how that might be accomplished, but, a clear examination of the truth is generally a pretty good place to start….

“In the early twelfth century century the Virgin had been the supreme protectress of civilisation. She had taught a race of tough and ruthless barbarians the virtues of tenderness and compassion. The great cathedrals of the Middle Ages were her dwelling places upon earth. In the Renaissance, while remaining the Queen of Heaven, she became also the human mother in whom everyone could recognise qualities of warmth and love and approachability… The stabilising, comprehensive religions of the world, the religions which penetrate to every part of a man’s being– in Egypt, India or China– gave the female principle of creation at least as much importance as the male, and wouldn’t have taken seriously a philosophy that failed to include them both… It’s a curious fact that the all-male religions have produced no religious imagery– in most cases have positively forbidden it. The great religious art of the world is deeply involved with the female principle.” — Kenneth Clark, 1969

Now that Mr. Clark has thrown some light on some of the historical elements, one of this country’s former Presidents (whom history will judge much more fairly, and admirably, than current society…..) has some words about how the political, and religious leaders of the world have conspired to keep things the way the are for so long, just because they are assholes (Sorry, my phrase, not his…. But, they are, though…. assholes, that is….)…..

    I could go on in this vein for a very long time, and promise to do so again at a later date…. Suffice it to say here that we all need to think about this sort of stuff, every day…. That is the only way to sustain the outrage long enough to stimulate us to act. Action will be necessary for changes to be made, as is always true…. True, is what every word above is…..
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“All right, then, Harry?” “All right, Hagrid….” I have to say, this one came out worthy of an NTS rating (Not Too Shabby). I can’t say it’s exactly inspired, or even inspirational, but it sure came down heavy on the side of Reason and Truth, eh? For a day when there is so much more happening, I feel a fair sense of accomplishment, merely for completing it. And, since that is an award I give myself, nobody can take it away from me, without much more effort than it would ever be worth…. If you are now confused, my work here is done….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe. — PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Forays into alternate unreality….

Ffolkes,
It is now the Ides of November, and the news is reverting to its pre-election year format, which includes, of course, a great deal of stuff that means nothing, other than to draw the attention of the folks who watch it to wherever there is something new to sell. The kind of reports that tend to stimulate my outrage, supplying the fuel to rant, will be buried on page three and four, rather than right up there for all to see, which makes it hard for those of us limited in our access to the Net news outlets.

For the rest of this month, it will be hard for me to send out the daily email via gmail, as I’ll be posting most often from the library, and my gmail still refuses to function there. So, for those who receive this daily Pearl via email as your primary source for my drivel, please be aware that each will be posted online, at http://www.gigoid.me  (provided I get my domain name renewed in time…. gonna be close….) If you don’t get one in your inbox by about 2 PM or so, then go look online, and you should find it there….. If not, then I’ve missed a day, and am probably at home, curled up in bed, with enough pain to prevent a trip to the library. SIGH…. So far, so good, and I’m doing my best to see that doesn’t happen….

Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, I would guess it would be a good thing to go for a dive. I never know what Smart Bee will be like on a daily basis; it’s frustrating, but it’s reality, so whattya gonna do?…… This copy of SB is pretty new, only installed last weekend, and has been polite and helpful thus far, but, with all the Zippy and Pooh quotes in there, it tends to corrupt itself periodically, so I have to keep a sharp eye on it in that respect. When it gets a wild hair, it can frustrate me for hours before I tip to what it is doing…. Ah well, y’all probably don’t care what foibles are involved in the actual formation of one of these pieces, so, rather than continue to bore you senseless (not good to have insensible readers lying about…..) we’ll be off into the wilds of my inner mind…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re missing the joke.” ~~ Smart Bee
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“Timing is everything. In everything.” ~~ gigoid, paraphrasing many different authors, all of whom agree that, well, timing, in everything, is everything. Not to belabor the point or anything….

In the instances of cooking, fighting, any sport I’ve ever played, learning, and love, I can personally vouch for the absolute truth of this assertion. (Actually, almost anything works here as example, but even I have to limit how many points I try to make at once…..) Timing is the difference between rubber, shoe leather, and heaven, when it comes to things such as scallops, or any seafood. And the difference between a 3-minute egg, and a five minute egg, can be startling. I won’t mention at all that, without timing, such dishes as souffle’s would be completely impossible…. In fighting, obviously, timing  can mean the difference between a trophy and a stay in the hospital, or worse. There is a vast and important difference between being fast enough to block a punch, and missing it, a difference that registers itself firmly, usually on some delicate part of our physique….

Anyone who has played baseball, basketball, football, volleyball, handball, racquetball, ping pong, tennis, cricket, golf, hockey, rugby, or any other sort of sport knows how important timing is in the playing and the outcome of a game. (Don’t forget poker, or Parcheesi, either…..) To anchor that thought, just think about “balls”…. their shape, their size, how they bounce, or fly, all play a part in how we end up chasing them around. The physical skills, and the timing, for catching a football out of the air are much different than how one tries to catch a baseball. And the skills of ping pong differ hugely from those involved in golf, even though the two balls are of the same approximate size.

In learning, one must be where the information is, and be open to receiving it, before it can be acquired, in certain instances, and timing can be a crucial factor in achieving that end. Arriving late to a lecture means lost effort, as does not arriving at all…. timing is everything….

I don’t think I need to enumerate the number of ways that timing can have an affect on love; we all have had our own personal experiences that, no doubt, taught us that lesson already. You can thank that assumption on my part for saving you from what could have conceivably become a never-ending tale….. Whew! Lucky you!…..

Achieving mastery of the skills involved in any of the above mentioned pastimes requires experience over time, and the learning of all the separate ways that timing is important to each separate activity within the sphere of the craft. It is not a simple task, nor should it be. It requires attention, and concentration, and a willingness to admit one’s own inabilities, in order to acquire the skills necessary to mastery. Once these skills, and the sense of timing necessary to their implementation, are learned, then one can accomplish things that would otherwise be impossible, or merely mundane…..

“It has long been known that one horse can run faster than another – but which one?  Differences are crucial.” — Lazarus Long

Lazarus gives us here an adjunctive concept to that of timing; to know the proper time for each act, learning and knowing the differences between things involved can be critical. Think, for example, of the difference in the two balls used above, ping pong and golf; merely dropping one on a hard surface will demonstrate the vast difference in the behavior of each type. The sound, the bounce, the capture in the hand, all are completely diverse, in spite of the close resemblance of the two in size and shape…..

For this type of knowledge to be obtained, it must first be admitted that one does not know; only then is the mind open to receiving the instruction needed to add such skills to our tool bag. In addition, one learns that close attention to details is important in any field; as Lazarus so aptly  points out, the answer to the question of WHICH horse is faster can affect our lives heavily, if one is betting on them. Noting that one is limping, or carrying a heavier load, can mean the difference between celebration and sorrow, not to mention a lighter wallet…..

Life on this planet is wondrous indeed, and our part in that wonder is one of great diversity. We can live in such a way as to make ourselves, and everything around us, stronger, smarter, and more content with life…. or, we can live such that every step is uphill, and every act brings us pain or misery. Learning how timing, and attention to detail, can be of service to us are important lessons to be learned, whether we know it or not…. Me, I prefer knowing stuff like this, because it sure makes life easier, and more pleasant, overall…. and it’s much better than the misery that accompanies the fact of NOT knowing such skills…..

“One cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs — but it is amazing how many eggs one can break without making a decent omelette.” — Professor Charles P. Issawi
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Remembrance

To what can our life on earth be likened?
To a flock of geese,
alighting on the snow.
Sometimes leaving a trace of their passage.

Su Tung-po
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Today’s search for appropriate pearls has been somewhat idiosyncratic….. By that I mean Smart Bee has apparently been pursuing its own private agenda regarding what is offered up for review. There have been a number of good ones, but, none were quite right for today, in my gestalt vision. I’ve saved several to future days in my own Doctorish way (I don’t have a sonic screwdriver, but I know my way around temporal anomalies…..), and came to a decision, a welcome, if somewhat unusual event. I’ve collected a number of random pearls that gave me a quick smile when I read them this morning, or a quick spurt of recognition of truth, as the case may have been. You’ll find them below…. As well, you will find, if you read them all straight through, just letting them wash over your awareness, you will end up feeling a little lighter of heart…. and if not, well, you still can…. Just loosen your metaphoric shoelaces…..

“Eek!” — Smart Bee

What do you call a potato that commits a crime? A perpetater.
(I have not offered attribution for this wonderful pun, as I felt anyone who contributed this wouldn’t want their name published…..except, maybe, me…..Alas, I didn’t do it….)

“Being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.”
“It isn’t,” said the Caterpillar.
“Well, perhaps you haven’t found it so yet,” said Alice;
“but when you have to turn into a chrysalis –
you will some day, you know –
and then after that into a butterfly,
I should think you’ll feel it a little queer, won’t you?”
“Not a bit,” said the Caterpillar.”

– Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter V

“Art is anything you can get away with.” — Marshall McLuhan.

“Yesterday I saw a chicken crossing the road.  I asked it why.  It told me it  was none of my business.” — Steven Wright

“Artificial hearts are nothing new. Politicians have had them for years.” — Mack McGinnis

Fifty flippant frogs
Walked by on flippered feet
And with their slime they made the time
Unnaturally fleet.

~~ Smart Bee

“While my BRAINPAN is being refused service in BURGER KING, Jesuit priests are DATING CAREER DIPLOMATS!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Okay, then…… kick those shoes off, and relax. The sun came up, and is likely to keep on doing so….. No worries!

:-)
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It occurs to me that today’s effort is a pretty good reflection of reality…. and if I have to explain THAT impression now, we might never get out of here…. so, I’ll just leave it at that. This Pearl does have the inimitable characteristic common to all of my best, and worst, Pearls, that is to say, it is done. Done to death, some might say, but done, nonetheless, and as such, according to my ongoing policy, it is also finished, and will be submitted to the Gentle Readership for their perusal, and any entertainment they may find in it….. I, such as I am, shall go post it at the library, and be done with it, which, as I say, is the best part…. Timing, remember, is everything….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Mighty fancy footwork, pilgrim….

Ffolkes,
Fast forward a few spaces….. there.! See it? It’s all broken, and we paid a bundle for those! That blasted driver did that deliberately! What are we going to tell the boss? Boy, he’s going to shit a brick when he sees this!….. Maybe we can get it replaced before….uh oh, I guess not…. Hi,  boss! Long time no see….. What, no, it’s not important, just a delivery that came overnight…. yeah, we know…. okay, I’ll get the boys started cleaning it up, while you call the vendor….

I suppose it might be interesting to stick around and hear the conversation with the vendor, but I’m not feeling curmudgeonly enough yet to pull off a conversation…. gotta have some angst in there for that to happen easily, and I’m keeping my angst at a minimum these days. Moving is going to be enough of a pain without getting all weirded out by it, thank you very much. 

I started the process yesterday, checking out potential places, and put in a good 4 miles of walking to do so…. not bad for an old fat guy with a limp….. I can see I’ll need to do a bit more looking online, and map out a route to use the buses to get there…. SIGH…. such a pain, when I just want to relax and read my books….

No more complaining, I swear…. I’m tired of hearing it myself. It’s probably for the best if we just get on with the business for which we are gathered this morning, yes? Yes…. Shall we Pearl?…..

Disclaimer: The following may contain coarse and violent nudity.  Occasional language will also be encountered…..
___________________________________

“Calling him a pea brain would be an undeserved compliment.” — Smart Bee

Many of you who have visited here before will know, by this statement, exactly who will be our subject for dissection, er, discussion today. That’s right, Mitt the Twitt, who has been out there meeting and greeting the public, and living up to my expectations once more…. He has started to harp upon a piece of legislation in Wisconsin, I believe, or maybe Ohio…. some state, anyway…. that the Obama administration initiated via the Attorney General’s office.

Unfortunately for him, he is once again harping on a lie; he says the legislation is an attempt to limit the vote of military personnel, claiming Obama is anti-military. It’s really too bad for him that this isn’t true; in fact, it is the opposite of what he claims…. the legislation protects the voting rights of the military voters, as well as the other citizens who were affected by the law it proposes to overturn… a law initiated and pushed through by a Republican coalition…..

“Admit nothing, deny everything, and launch counter-accusations.” — Smart Bee

I was certain Mitt would continue to stick his foot where he seems to like it, (firmly entrenched in his mouth), and he didn’t disappoint…… He kept repeating this blatant untruth several times on Sunday, only stopping when it was pointed out to him by his own people that he was wrong. Now, of course, he is ignoring it altogether…. a typical ploy to get people to talk about anything other than his missing tax returns.

Which, by the way, isn’t working, as more and more Republicans are making pointed remarks about it. In a way, it reminds me of a little boy, trying to keep from having to admit to Mom he’d been in the cookie jar, while having cookie crumbs all over his face and fingers. It might be cute, if it wasn’t so pathetic in an adult….

“He who confesses to small faults hopes you’ll think he has no big ones.” — Smart Bee (Hmm, SB is really on the ball today….)

Mitt’s mouth has gotten him in so much trouble, both open and shut, that his handlers have gagged him. A full search of the front page of the SF Chronicle news site, SFGATE, shows that there are NO stories being pursued this morning, on either the presumptive candidate, nor the POTUS. Neither Romney nor Obama were mentioned anywhere on the front page. The landing of the newest Mars rover (successfully, YAY!….), the latest crazy white man gunning down innocent people of color, and the Olympics are the top stories today.

For a politician, this is extreme hiding…. the trick for them is to get their name out there, so people are talking about him, and he remains in the forefront of the national eye. For a candidate for any office, NO news is bad news…. and in this case, is most likely due to their candidate’s ingrained habit of opening mouth, inserting foot….

Just remember this, my girl, as you look up in the sky — You can see the stars and still not see the light. — The Eagles, from “Lyin’ Eyes”

It’s early yet, so perhaps by the end of the day, the Twitt will have once again proved his complete lack of intelligence with some ill-considered lie. I suppose it’s a good thing that he is so completely clueless; if he bothered to ever look up at the sky, he wouldn’t even see the stars, much less the light…. At this point, all we can do is make sure that enough ffolkes get to the polls to keep him from ever getting any closer to the Oval Office than the two-dollar White House tour….. and continue to watch as he continues his campaign of self-destruction, right there in front of God and everybody…..

“I used to be a FUNDAMENTALIST, but then I heard about the HIGH RADIATION LEVELS and bought an ENCYCLOPEDIA!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“The broad mass of a nation… will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.” — Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), “Mein Kampf”
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Families, when a child is born
Want it to be intelligent.
I, through intelligence,
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he will crown a tranquil life
By becoming a Cabinet Minister
— Su Tung-p’o

Born in 1036, Su Tung-po was a famous Chinese poet. He was also called Su Shih. Born in present-day Sichuan province, Su was from a literary family. During the Sung Dynasty he wrote very simple poems based on Buddhist Philosophy. Su occupied many official posts, rising to president of the board of rites (which regulated imperial ceremonies and worship). He designed the parks surrounding Lake Si in Hangzhou. Five emperors came to the throne during his lifetime.

Su’s poetry and art were inspired by Taoism and Buddhism, although his political views were founded in Confucian philosophy. Su is generally considered the greatest poet of the Sung dynasty. He is also noted for his fu, satiric poems which approach free verse, and for letters and essays. Although his writings were once blacklisted, even destroyed, his genius could not be repressed. His poetry and writing have been reprinted, studied, and enjoyed by generations since.

His satiric verses and opposition to official policies frequently lost him his official status and resulted in imprisonment and 12-times exiled. Su’s tumultuous career began around 1079, when he wrote a satirical poem on the New Policies promoted by Prime Minister Wang An-shih, who was infuriated and had Su arrested. Su served time in jail and was later released, but the following year he was banished to Huang-chou in the southern hinterlands. This proved to be a major turning point in his life. Beforehand, Su was a free and spirited personality, and his poetry was full of insight and energy. However, having barely escaped with his life and being banished to the harsh region of the south, he began to reflect on the beauty of nature and the meaning of life. In exile, he enjoyed the simple pleasures of farming and writing, taking joy in what life had to offer. In fact, many of his most popular works were done at the time. Though Su was later pardoned, he was never far from controversy. Even as an old man, he was banished to the furthest reaches of the land–Hainan Island in the South China Sea. The experience, however, only further enlightened him. Though pardoned once again, this time he did not make it back to court and died on the trip north.

Picture, poem, and biography from Poemhunter.com   Su Tung-p’o

I love finding new authors…. well, authors who are new to me. I’ve seen this poem before, and even used it once, I believe, as a pearl, but I didn’t realize there was more from the poet. Now I have a whole new bunch of stuff to read, that I’ve never seen before…. Life is good!….
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It’s time again for an old-school pearl…. these statements all lead to one cogent thought, one that can completely change your life, and how you look at that life…. just let your mind float freely, holding each thought, then adding the next one in, until all have been mixed together thoroughly, to a smooth consistency…. and you will SEE!…..

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

Be a hero! Teach your children to think for THEMSELVES! — Smart Bee

“A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.” — Oscar Wilde, “Oscariana”

“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.” — Malcolm X

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

And, as it has been said for centuries in the alleyways and hidden streets of the world’s greatest cities,….. there you go. You may now consider yourself a yogini of highest rank…..  or was that yogurt?  No matter, don’t you feel enlightened? I know I do….. with a nice blueberry aftertaste….
___________________________________

I’d better stop here…. it’s threatening to get away from me, and it wouldn’t be pretty for that to happen today; too much built up angst-pressure. It would blow away this whole corner of the internet for a couple hours, minimum…. So be it….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Metaphorical marmosets in mufti….

Ffolkes,
So here’s the deal…..yesterday when I went diving in search of pearls, I came across the material you will find below. I have no idea how it happened, but the poems I found all pointed toward the same compass point, and when I strung them together, they made a fine little story, a metaphor for the life of a Man. So today’s Pearl is all Poetry (minus a small portion, included merely as free hints). This is all you get today, as it burned up all my creative juices stretching points to create this poetic ramble…..but fear not, it also has given me a plethora of new ideas, which you will find in future episodes….. remember, these all lead you to a point, so let the mind flow with it, and you’ll get a nice little charge out of it at the finish……

Who says in verse what others say in prose.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
— Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace, Epistle i, Book ii, Line 202

“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.” — Yun-Men

“Families, when a child is born
Want it to be intelligent.
I, through intelligence,
Having wrecked my whole life,
Only hope the baby will prove
Ignorant and stupid.
Then he will crown a tranquil life
By becoming a Cabinet Minister
— Su Tung-p’o

And this the burden of his song
Forever used to be,–
I care for nobody, No. not I,
If no one cares for me.
— Isaac Bickerstaff (1735-1787)
— Love in a Village, Act i, Sc. 2

Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo’s laurel bough,
That sometime grew within this learned man.
— Christopher Marlowe (1565-1593) — Faustus

A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow in the morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
— T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

“How does the poet speak to men with power, but by being still more a man than they?” — Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) — Burns, Edinburgh Review, 1828

Order is heaven’s first law; and this confessed,
Some are, and must be, greater than the rest,
More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence
That such are happier, shocks all common sense.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 49

Careful, Mister.  Old Zeke is liable to fire that sucker up!

Feel free to send your comments (which will all receive a response), kudos (gratefully accepted), or criticisms (cheerfully ignored) with a SASEmail. In the meantime, y’all take care out there…..

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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!