Running fast in sequined socks….

Ffolkes,
A soft breeze stirs the fragrant air, scents of exotic flowers mingling with the calls of sea birds circling over the beach, adding to the sense of serene isolation. Slow, rhythmic, the murmur of waves brushing against the sandy shore serve as background to the racing thoughts of the man lying on a lounge chair, near the sparkling water of the infinity pool. Long, pale, slender, the man sits up, brushing a hand through his luxurious hair, as he gazes around the pool area, constantly searching for anomalous shadows. His eyes, dark, with heavy brows, narrow in speculation as the door leading to the bar flies open, emitting a blast of sound from the blaring jukebox, rudely dispelling the quiet of the night…..

Not too shabby, I think, but, I’m stuck right where I left it, with no clue as to where to go from there. Too many choices, I suppose, and given my track record over the last two days, I’m not going to make any choices whatsoever…. What a bloody cock-up, as my friends across the water would say, if they were as vulgar as I am…. There were some rather good high points, but, several moments of sheer terror, as I realized just how bozoid I can be sometimes, and embarrassment washed over me for the stupidity I displayed…. Yes, ffolkes, me, stupid, all in the same sentence, and quite more intimately acquainted than intended, let me assure you…..

First, the EOA episode on Monday, when I transposed the names of Ayn Rand and Anais Nin in my head, so firmly that I exchanged one for the other several times in one rant, all about the WRONG person’s ideas…. I think the correct words to use would be….. hang on a sec, the thesaurus is across the room….. okay, that would be…. either “tiresomely ignorant” or “completely lacking in wit”, take your pick. Both are appropriate, though each is just slightly short of the mark in terms of degree…. perhaps, “incredibly dim” would fit best….

Yes, almost a thousand words, possibly more, all based on my dyslexic confusion of authors who were not even the same sex, much less clones that could be confused on sight…. No, just my own stupid habit of not checking what is coming out of my head for accuracy, a habit that I need to break, as it doesn’t fit with my own beliefs in the scientific method. Checking sources for accuracy should be automatic, and I skip that step far too often…. There is no possible excuse other than laziness, and that is an unacceptable reason, in my book….

Second in my list of faux pas, I had a long, very interesting dialogue with a reader from Europe (I know this, because Spell Checker tells me…. the spelling of two words by the Euro method, i.e. “ise” instead of “ize” at the end, is a dead giveaway….). We spent a couple of hours trading comments, and I was thoroughly charmed to be so gently put in my place as a curmudgeon gone mad…. This reader was compassionate, sensible, and erudite, and used many of my own thoughts to remind me of why I should hold on to hope for the future.  I was very pleased to have met and traded ideas with such a fine philosopher…. a philosopher whom I assumed was a man, but, in reality is a woman….. DOH!  (Picture an old fart slapping his forehead with his open hand….)

Yes, once again, in my mad rush to fulfill my own internal agenda, I skipped over details that would have given me a clue to the fact that my assumptions were erroneous. I’m getting tired of the embarrassment factor, and will, you can be sure, making some procedural changes in my head. I’ll also be watching out much more closely to make sure that what I’m saying, and writing, is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. Reality doesn’t DEMAND that we pay heed to the principle of notary public, but, it sure makes it less frequently embarrassing if we do….

Well, having consumed a pretty fair-sized portion of crow, I am going to try to suppress my nausea long enough to at least finish this intro, and then get on with the dive for today. I think I’ve covered all I need to in regards an apology; now all I have to do is wait for the guilt and angst to fade away…. no worries. I know that this intro is risking losing interest, but, I had to get this stuff out of my head, to make room for all the nonsense that needs to be let out into the light of day, before it causes any further trouble…. Better out than in, right?…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“For getting attention, there’s nothing like a good, big, mistake!” — Bozo the Clown, Tuesday, 1963
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Okay, here is the deal…. Each of the following is a pearl of virtual wisdom, and each one can be categorized into a different group than each of the others, to wit, in order: Art, Science, Politics, Sex and Psychology (Sexy Psychology), and Philosophy. As you can see, the categories together make a fairly wide, fairly accurate description of Life at Large, or as we call it here, Consensual Reality. Each has its own message for the universe, with its own kernel of wisdom buried inside….

However, even though they don’t seem to have anything at all to do with one another, they are all subsets of the larger category, and, as such, worthy of inclusion here. The point they make, taken together, would probably drive the average reader insane, but, I have faith and trust in the perspicacity and flexibility of the readers of this blog…. Hell, if they weren’t capable of those characteristics, they wouldn’t be hanging around here for long…. Taken together, the point is blunted, but nonetheless effectively wise, as virtual wisdom goes….

Due to the patently obscure nature of this pearl, not only will it NOT be on the Final Test, but, you will receive bonus points for never mentioning where you saw it…. We here at ECR will, in turn, never mention that you were here…. Don’t forget your helmets and body armor….

‘I don’t mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don’t understand.” — Sir Edward Appleton

Relativity for Children: Time moves slower in a fast moving vehicle. — Smart Bee

“One claim for the value of the British monarchy is that its existence precludes anyone from aspiring to absolute rule.  I have a theory that the American presidency serves a similar purpose, precluding anyone from managing the government.” — Smart Bee

“One of the prison psychiatrists asked me if I thought sex was dirty, and I said it is if you’re doing it right.” — Woody Allen, “Take the Money and Run”

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” — Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

I think they made a movie about these pearls…. starring Jack Nicholson, in one of his finest performances.. It was called, “Five Easy Pieces”, and I never understood it at all, until reading this pearl…. Who knew?….   :-)
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Lately I’ve been exploring the poetry of Sylvia Plath, a poetess I’d never delved into before last year, for reasons that are irrelevant to this discussion. What I’ve found is an incredibly talented wordsmith, and a ton of poems I haven’t previously enjoyed…. so, I’m doing so now…. This one doesn’t have any particularly intimate meaning for me, I just like it, as it is a good demonstration of the depth of her talent…. Enjoy!

Mirror

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful ‚
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

~~ Sylvia Plath

Wow… those last two lines just grasp your shirt-front and shake, don’t they?….. Whew!….  :-)
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“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain

As I sit here, I can almost feel myself getting older…. It seems to be a predilection of being this age, that one becomes somewhat introspective, looking back over our time here on Earth, and making judgments about what we’ve done, or are guilty of leaving undone, in our lives. This preoccupation seems to be innate, but, I don’t necessarily see a lot of it in others my age, in my experiences out in society at large.

Here, on WordPress, the normal demographics of population diversity seems to run a bit higher, in that respect, than it does out in the Big Blue Room…. probably something to do with the fact that those here on this site are, if nothing else, highly educated enough, and/or affluent enough, to partake in the Internet’s community dialogue…. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that there are still millions of folks out there who have never, and never will, see any of what transpires here, for whatever reason, educational, financial, or merely indifference…. In that group of people, those my age are concerned much of the time with survival, and tend to be directed outward, to deal with the mechanics of that critical issue.

To that group, introspection is a luxury they cannot afford to indulge in themselves, as it takes time away from activities and mental attitudes necessary for surviving. I have been living on the edge of that group for a couple of years now, and can only be thankful that I am close enough to the edge to be able to afford this luxury; I do have to make sacrifices to have it, so I appreciate it a lot. It was a pain in the derrière, literally, to have to leave home to find internet access, so, not having to do so is a big plus for me.

In my time of introspection, I’ve spent a lot of it fighting off guilt, for the things I’ve done in my life that don’t meet with my own approval, as so aptly referred to by Mr. Twain. We all have those things hidden in our memories, those failures of ethical or moral standards we set for ourselves, and looking back on them is hard, as there is nothing we can do to change it. We have to learn to forgive ourselves for such transgressions, because no one else, not even God, if ones choose to believe in the traditional dogma, can change the past. (Query: Can God build a wall so strong He can’t knock it down, or a rock so heavy He can’t pick it up?…. Just wondered; sorry, little side trip….)

Since we cannot change the past, nor go back and try to make things better, if nothing else, we must learn to hold those little kernels of painful memory inside us, and find a way to deal with the little nugget of discomfort that will always accompany such memories. It is a delicate procedure, as we must deal with chastising and scolding our own selves, while still maintaining our self-love, without which we can never be comfortable, or comforted. One cannot accept love from another unless they feel it is deserved; it will sour and spoil all the flavor of the interaction, dooming it to failure, and pain.

How do we maintain this self-image of someone who is worthy of being loved by others? Well, that, my friends, is a very long story, indeed, and one I’m not going to start here and now, as it could be days before I surfaced again, and we’re already at the point where most folk’s minds, as well as those of regular ffolkes, will be losing interest, unless I pull some literary magic, or set off some figurative fireworks. Currently, my supply of fireworks is low, so we’ll leave a deeper discussion of this subject for another time. For now, let me say this….

We are all creatures of a Universe that puts a premium on flexibility, especially of mind. This flexibility is enhanced when we spend time on ourselves, in introspection, and inner dialogue, and is ultimately part of what is the only way to ever really achieve any balance or stability in life. It gives us the proper perspective on how we fit into the rest of the picture, and points the way to the greatest degree of successful interaction with the other parts of that universe. It is the best way to stay in touch with what we are, and what we need to be, to survive, and to make our lives meaningful in some way.

“We are injured and hurt emotionally – not so much by other people or what they say or don’t say – but by our own attitude and our own response.” — Maxwell Maltz, “Psycho-Cybernetics”

Well worth a dollar, or a moment or two of your time, I’d say…. Try something new and different, spend some time in your own head…. Of course, one should (careful, there’s that word!….) be cautious in this, as with any potentially mind-altering activity like mindful introspection…. You never know when a preconceived notion will jump up and bite you….. and those ingrained prejudices can be hard to spot, as they tend to hide behind walls of ignorance and fear….. Remember yesterday’s pearl…. The Snark might actually be a Boojum…. Catch it, cook it, eat it with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, and then get on with your life….  :-)
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All things considered, today’s effort will make the grade…. which, given the struggle I had to produce it, is a good thing. I feel as if I’ve gone six rounds with the champ…. but, I think I won, if only on points awarded for honesty, and the bruises will fade in time….. Since I can’t really think of anything further I can do to cause trouble, or to cure any, I guess I’ll go find something constructive to do until the library opens, and I can go find a book to read…. gigoid has spoken; 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

dozer3

Turn left at the ugly statue of Zeus….

Ffolkes,
The world groaned, loudly, as the bleary, bloodshot, beady orb of the sun reluctantly peered over the eastern horizon. Nothing moved at first, as the burgeoning light moved across the bare landscape, bringing focus, if no hope, to a world already gone mad.

As the darkness fled, Zombies, tattered and torn, scattered quickly into the nearest caves, grunting and bellowing their rage at having to leave their feeding grounds, but none of them was willing to face what always came with the sunlight…. For with the sun came the vicious, insatiable Giant Platypi, the thunder of their rampaging waddle echoing against the stark hills.

Yes, the dreaded Giant Platypi, scourge of all life on this planet of nightmare….. a planet called….. Beelzebub’s Bottom….

Okay, that’s enough of THAT….. Being silly is one thing, but drifting over int0 stupid is another thing altogether…. It seems the bubbling fountain of words from which I generally take what I need to build a story is rather stunted, blocked off, as it were, by some kind of writer’s block, or, as we call it here at ECR, mental constipation in the old pipes.

We can’t have that, so I’m going to resort to my emergency stash of words, all of which are high in fiber content, to stimulate the proper degree of…. hmm, let’s be discrete, and call it….. movement. I’ve never known it to fail, though the resulting rush of words can be a bit disconcerting, coming out all at once as they tend to do….

There, fait accompli, as they say in Belgium…. Well, I’m assuming that is what they say there, as I’m told the Belgians speak French, for the most part; I wouldn’t know for certain, as I’ve yet to visit that fine, old, European anomaly, a country that has almost never had to go to war… Oh, they got caught up in the fight when everyone around them was engaged in their numerous historical battles for contested ground, but, they’ve somehow managed to avoid any terrible, long, drawn out affairs such as the rest of Europe seems to enjoy on a regular basis. Good food, too, and some nice wines, from what I hear….

Any who, if nothing else, Belgium provided a complete paragraph, totally irrelevant, but, filling space nicely. Sometimes, in dealing with the daily crisis of inspiration produced by having to write these introductions every bloody morning, that’s all I can expect from a paragraph, so I’m going to ignore the catcalls and criticisms being shouted out from the back, and move on to the next destination called for on our itinerary. Let’s see, what does that valuable piece of planning tell us?…..

Well, nothing…. It can’t tell us where to go next, because it, too, is just another literary device I made up to fill more space. Actually, it’s looking as if today’s intro is going to end up completely composed of fluff, sort of a case of “literary license” gone mad….. And if anyone says there’s nothing new in that, I’m going to strike you with my foot, straight on your butt….. Ah, hell, no I won’t…. I’m sorry, it’s all my fault… I’m the one blundering about, trying to find some direction, and it isn’t your fault I am now totally lost….

“If nothing went wrong today, you’re probably dead.” — Murphy’s Last Law

Since nothing else seems to be working, and, according to the above, I’m not dead, I am hoping to find my way back to some sort of control, by ending this now ridiculously over-long intro section, and trying to find a pearl worth the effort of writing something a bit more solid and real. Let’s hope Murphy is busy elsewhere, and doesn’t fuck with me any more today; I’m sure he had a hand in all of the above, even if it wasn’t out where we could see it….. Any who…. Shall we Pearl?….
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“I believe in god, I just don’t like him.” — Smart Bee

Having experienced blockage once today, I’m not willing to suffer it again; hence this first pearl, deliberately chosen for its controversial nature, and its obvious need for discussion…. You see, this is completely true for me… Well, not the believing in god part, but the not liking Him part…. Of course, it isn’t really His fault, you know, it’s just that the folks He hired to do His P.R. are such idiots…. If he had known in advance just how stupid His creation was going to act, He’d have gone about the whole thing differently… That’s not speculation…. I’ve heard Him say so….

What? You don’t think I’ve talked with God? (Notice how I promoted him from just a god, to God? Slick, eh?….)  Why not? You are willing to believe all the stuff in the Bible, and you are willing to believe in crank assholes such as Billy Graham and his ilk….. Why would you not believe me, when I say I’ve talked to Him? Is it so hard to believe that someone from modern times can speak to God, or is that something limited to the days when the issue of JC’s divinity first arose, two thousand years ago, when the general populace was much less educated, and easier to fool?

“A man who claims to know what’s good for others is dangerous.” — Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I’m just as good as those others who have claimed to know what is in His mind, and, in many ways, I am much better equipped to be able to understand Him, I think. I’m not going to kowtow, or bother with all the worship bullshit, as I wouldn’t want all that myself, and have my doubts that any entity worthy of being called a god wouldn’t, either. He probably enjoys not having to deal with that when He talks with me…. I know it would drive me absolutely batty to have all those people whining and crying at me all day and night, asking for favors they don’t deserve, and patting themselves on the back for their piety….

In reality, these people, the pious and heavily devout, were the major factor in my original disillusionment with the Church (“Church” being a generic term for all the delusionally dogmatic dunderheads who make up the majority of Christian sects, including all the absurd claims made in their literature….), which took place before I even reached my teens. By that time, I was already convinced that most of the folks who got involved in Churches were so engaged only because it served their purpose, not because they actually believed any of it. Their daily actions and words were enough to put that idea to the lie; they failed every time, for what they said and did in no way matched what they preached as their belief…..

“Then he saw also that it matters little what profession, whether of religion or irreligion, a man may make, provided only he follows it out with charitable inconsistency, and without insisting on it to the bitter end. It is in the uncompromisingness with which dogma is held and not in the dogma or want of dogma that the danger lies.” — Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh

But, even this obvious hypocrisy, and the stubbornness with which it is held, wasn’t the real issue, to me…. It had to do with what I read in the Bible, and heard from the people who were interpreting those words….

For the most part, the things that people ascribed to God seemed to me to show the moral integrity of a pirate, more than a saint, and all the things we were told to do, i.e., be humble, be tolerant, be forgiving, seemed to me to be designed to allow them, and their allies, the politicians, to take advantage of people, by using God as their authority, more than being designed to help people.

This lack of ethics, both in what they said, and what they did, turned me off very quickly to the idea of God, and had me examining the entire philosophy for truth….. Truth is, as I found, a commodity not particularly common in religious writing, as it turns out…. Who knew?….

“If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil.  But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.” — Woody Allen, “Love and Death”

Well… I know…. I know now anyway, and I continue to try to tell people what I know, but, I’m just one guy, with one little blog, and very few people hear my truths, compared to all those who need to hear….. And besides, most of them really don’t want to know what I know, because it’s scary, and real, and they would have to think, all three of which are things they avoid at all cost, unless we’re talking about a movie…. which, come to think of it, would preclude the thinking part of that…..

I don’t spend a lot of time any more arguing with religious folks; it’s time better spent in more productive activities. But, it doesn’t mean I can’t feel sorry for them, and the black and white world they live in, when there is a whole universe of complex, colorful beauty out there to be appreciated…..

“Until you walk a mile in another man’s moccasins you can’t imagine the smell.” — Robert Byrne
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Urge him with truth to frame his fair replies;
And sure he will: for Wisdom never lies.

– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book iii, Line 25

The Riddle of the World

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,
A Being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Skeptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest;
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his mind and body to prefer;
Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err;
Whether he thinks to little, or too much;
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus’d;
Still by himself, abus’d or disabus’d;
Created half to rise and half to fall;
Great Lord of all things, yet a prey to all,
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurl’d;
The glory, jest and riddle of the world.

Alexander Pope
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– Bother! said Pooh, as he found a politician in his honey pot.

Eeeuuwww! Can you imagine the stench? And the waste of honey is appalling, to say the least…. Okay, sorry, but it was just too hard to resist…. I ranted above about religion, after which, Smart Bee presented me with four of the five pearls used in it, one after another, AFTER I had already finished it… The five pearls, you may note, if presented together, alone, would just about cover the same ground as the rant…. with perhaps a bit less verbiage, and, hopefully, equal humor….

Then, the above Poohism shows up, almost flashing by before I saw it, so short it is…. This tells me that Smart Bee has something to say about politicians today, so, old-school it is…. Here are what Smart Bee has autocratically decided to show us about the BRC, in general, and, in particular, the political branch of that entity…. Enjoy! Oh, and don’t fret, none of these will be on the Quiz, unless they are….

“Annual drug deaths: tobacco: 395,000, alcohol: 125,000, ‘legal’ drugs: 38,000, illegal drug overdoses: 5,200, marijuana: 0.  Considering government subsidies of tobacco, just what is our government protecting us from in the drug war?”  — William A. Turnbow

“I have short-term memory loss, though I like to think of it as Presidential  eligibility.” — Paula Poundstone

“According to the tax bill signed by President Reagan on December 22, 1987, Don Tyson and his sister-in-law Barbara run a “family farm.” Their “farm” has 25,000 employees and grosses $1.7 billion a year.  But as a “family farm” they get tax breaks that save them $135 million a year.” — Smart Bee

“Laws are only words words written on paper, words that change on society’s whim and are interpreted differently daily by politicians, lawyers, judges, and policemen. Anyone who believes that all laws should always be obeyed would have made a fine slave catcher. Anyone who believes that all laws are applied equally, despite race, religion, or economic status, is a fool.” — John J. Miller, And Hope to Die — (in _Jokertown Shuffle – Wild Cards IX_)

‘We may not imagine how our lives could be more frustrating and complex–but Congress can.” — Cullen Hightower

Okay, five should be enough to get the point across…. if not, well, there’s always tomorrow…..  :-)
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This process, some days, exhausts me, and today is one of those days, for some reason…. It’s too bad, too, because I still have a bunch of stuff I SHOULD do today…. Ack! Nooooo! Don’t say that!…. Brrt, brrt, brrt….. danger, danger, Will Robinson!…. Illegal operation, use of bad word, parameter, “should” = “don’t go there”, /end notes….

Fortunately, as you can see, I tend to react badly to the word “should”, as it is usually something somebody else told me to do, or told me I should do…. “Should” is a word that is handy to use as a channel marker, to show us where we don’t have any real need to go, unless we happen to agree with what somebody else thinks we need. They aren’t often right, in my experience, so it’s a good way to figure out what NOT to do….

That’s cool, as it means, since this is done, I can post it, then take a nap, a much more profitable and enjoyable activity than the other stuff I ‘should’ be doing…. I love rationalization, if only because I’m so good at 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

dozer3

Such beauty lives without shame….

Ffolkes,
I love rice. I do. It is so versatile as a food…. it can be eaten as a side dish, complementing an entree item. Add some sauce and veggies, meat, and cheese to it, and you have a lovely risotto. Dress it with a vinaigrette and some garden specialties, and you’ve got a cold salad for an afternoon lawn event. If you enjoy the nutty flavor of a good rice, it can be eaten as is, too….. And, I am sick to death of it…. I know now why so many folks in the throes of poverty use it so much, along with beans, and pasta…..

A little of it goes a long way to stretch other foods, it’s cheap, compared to many other staples, and it takes longer for the family to get tired of it, as long as one is creative in the kitchen…. But, I swear, when I can afford more food, rice will go to the bottom of the list, merely because I am so incensed at having to eat it every day to stay alive, and not giving in to the temptation to steal…. It is surprising, perhaps, to realize how quickly one’s ethics and morals can be put aside when one is hungry and angry….. bad combination, I can attest….

Ah well, life could be worse, I’m sure…. It could be that I couldn’t afford the rice, and had to subsist on beans… Now, THAT would be tragic,  not to mention the danger to the public…. I mean, I already have a pretty heavy reaction, methane gas-wise, when I consume beans… even refried beans can cause some serious toots. If I am forced to eat more beans, I’m not sure the walls of this apartment will stand up to the volume under pressure that is engendered in my bowels by vegetable protein…. and the effect of both the noise and the odoriferous output on my neighbors is bound to be considerable, given that I would have very little control over when such outbreaks would occur….. It could turn into a Keystone Kops type event in a flash…..

So, I try to stick to pasta and rice for my staple starches. It’s best for everyone if I do…. Hmmm…. I just realized, in reading back over this morning’s introductory remarks, that I may have strayed into the TMI category….. not everyone thinks body functions are funny…. Nurses do, for sure, and healthcare workers of any kind can develop such a basic appreciation for the less public aspects of our physical processes….. The rest of society, however, seems to have an objection to body fluids, and the humor they can provide….

I noticed this difference once when I had surgery, to remove a piece of evil from my midsection…. After abdominal surgery of any kind, the first thing the doctor and nurses want to see happen is for the intestines to resume function; this is indicated by the build-up, and passage of gas. Thus, it becomes a point of interest, and even enthusiasm, when the nurse is first informed of any such activity by a surgical patient… in other words, nurses are the only group people who get happy and enthused to learn that people are farting…. Kinda get ya, right here, doesn’t it?….. (points at his heart….)

Okay, that’s enough fart humor for one day, such as it is…. It doesn’t affect me negatively at all, having been privy to its charm for many years from my nursing experiences, but I know that it can affect others detrimentally. I’ve been informed of such by many folks, just before they storm out of a room in high dudgeon, miffed because the conversation turned to phlegm, or other such delightful substances that the human body is wont to produce at times. Silly humans…..

I have a feeling I had best get on with the normal business of the day, before there isn’t anyone left to read it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage.  But if we don’t practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us — and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.” — Carl Sagan, “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Parade, February 1, 1987

Unfortunately, Baloney Detectors became out of style….. No one listened to Carl, and we are STILL recovering from exactly what he pointed out could happen. As soon as Clinton left office, after leaving the first budget surplus ever, Bush 1 took over and proceeded to give Reaganomics another try; the first time they hadn’t stolen quite as much as the figures showed they could, so they had to go back for all that money. Along the way, they jacked the budget deficit back up a couple trillion dollars, and turned it over to Shrub 2, who decided  to spend us completely into oblivion, starting two wars, all because he was covering for the crap his father pulled to keep his theft of the 2000 election out of public scrutiny….. Whew, sorry, didn’t realize there was so much indignation to pack into one paragraph summarizing the Republican meltdowns of the American economy…. which they continue to try to blame on anybody but themselves and the Bushes, much less Saint Ronnie….. the asshole….

Don’t forget, I knew Ronnie before he got to the Presidency…. he was governor when I went to college….  I was one of the ones he was talking about when he made the remarks regarding turning student protests into blood baths…. Mind you, these were PEACE protests, against the war in Vietnam….. I was there when he and his oh-so-sweet wife Nancy made their undisguised play for their chain of facilities to garner a monopoly on the mental healthcare market, by changing the laws to turn mental patients out of the state hospitals, back to their counties, where the facilities owned by the Reagan demons were the only available places to put them…. In case you wondered, they were called Heavenly Manor I believe, and the state-registered owner of record was Nancy Reagan…. even though her husband started, supported, and signed bills to try to make it happen…. No nepotism there at all, eh?….

I never trusted Reagan, ever since he got out-acted by that ape in that movie back in the 40′s where he was the world’s most unconvincing college student (well, his ditziness in the role seemed to be an accurate display of character, but you know what I mean…. he just wasn’t very real, and looked like he was made of cardboard….) His actions as governor were clearly anti-American, and yet people for some reason loved him. It didn’t surprise me at all when it came out that his administration was one of the crookedest ever, and hid more from the public than even the rest of government was comfortable with….

None of this mentions how disastrous his economic policies were; you remember, don’t you?  Ronnie was fond of the term, “trickle down” theory, a policy he espoused in which, according to Ronnie’s strange math,  giving huge breaks to the richest would result in more money “trickling down” to the rest of society…. Well, guess what folks? It didn’t work, nor could it ever have worked, because there is no “trickle down” where it concerns money, and those who covet it…. they will hold on to every little bit they can, and cry for more if threatened….

I realize the view I am presenting is far different than what you might see in history books of the time, or even what some conservatives who idolize Reagan will want to remember, but none of what I’ve said is based on anything that I didn’t see happening myself; it’s all documented stuff, on the nightly news in somebody’s archives. What goes in the books is what all the folks in power decided to say happened, not what actually occurred.

If most folks knew, or even thought about, what actually happened for most of history, they would think they’d been lied to their entire lives…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!   They HAVE!   It cracks me up, a little bit, when I’m done being sad, just how little truth is EVER told by those in positions of power over others in society. Lying and cheating are pre-requisite habits, and sheer  necessities, in getting into the positions they hold, and they aren’t about to stop once installed in office with the treasury keys in their pockets.

So, go ahead and believe, if you will, that the beloved ruling class, epitomized so darkly and accurately by the Republican Party in the last 40 years, is on your side, and is working hard to make your lives better…. They will go on stripping you of every freedom the founding fathers gave us, along with all your money, and your hope for a brighter future, because they DON’T CARE! Not about you, or anything that you believe; they care about themselves, and how much power they can accumulate in their lifetime.  They don’t even THINK about what it may cost anyone else…. they don’t consider anyone else’s benefit or interests, at all, ever….. And that is the truth, whether you can accept it or not…..

“Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.” — Walt Kelly, Potluck Pogo
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In my poems, I am trying to get to a point where everything extraneous is stripped away, leaving only the most powerful words to portray my meaning…. I’m getting a bit better, but I’ve a way to go yet, to my way of looking at it, which, as we know, is all that matters, since I’m the one writing it…. I don’t know if I’ll ever be as good at it as I’d like…. but, the following poem, from Ogden Nash, certainly demonstrates the concept that I’m trying to get to…. If I can ever come even close to the sheer genius of this poem, I will be happy….

This was my dream;
I dreampt it.
I dreamed that my hair was kempt,
and my true love unkempt it.

– Ogden Nash

See? Sheer genius! With four tiny lines, he connected to the most lovely and compelling dream shared by ALL men…. completely amazing, and to my way of looking at things, the kind of power that literature should always have…. not that it will…. But, if everyone who writes shoots for at least the same kind of inspiration, and won’t settle for crap, at least we could conceivably see more poetry like this…. and that would be a good thing, yes?….. Yes….
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Another old-school pearl, with some observations on Life, the Folks who inhabit the planet, and the stuff they find to keep busy…..

“Among the rich you will never find a really generous man even by accident. They may give their money away, but they will never give themselves away; they are egotistic, secretive, dry as old bones. To be smart enough to get all that money you must be dull enough to want it.” — G. K. Chesterton, A Miscellany of Men

“Never mind what I said,” the Lord spake.  “Doth thou listen to every crazy idea that comes thy way?”
And Abraham grew ashamed.  “Er — not really… no.”
“I jokingly suggest thou sacrifice Isaac and thou immediately runs out to do it.”
And Abraham fell to his knees, “See, I never know when you are kidding.”
And the Lord thundered, “No sense of humor.  I can’t believe it.”
– Without Feathers — Woody Allen
(This is probably a far more accurate portrayal of what took place than what we find in either the Bible, or the Qur’an, both of which talk extensively  about Abraham, and his relations with God, or Allah, take your pick…. It seems more true to human nature, somehow…..and, if God exists, I would like to think he has a sense of humor. If not, we are in deep shit…..)

“Let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth – to see it like it is, and tell it like it is -to find the truth, to speak the truth, and live the truth.” — Richard Nixon, accepting the Presidential Nomination, 1968
(I laughed aloud when he said this, but later, I cried….. in looking at it now, in retrospect, this actually rivals the crap that Romney has been spouting….. and I can see how he, and others, got the idea they can get away with this kind of shit…..)

“Liberty cannot be guaranteed by law. Nor by any thing else except the resolution of free citizens to defend their liberties.” — Edward Abbey
(This had to go here, just to counter balance the severe level of BS that Tricky Dicky raised in one sentence…..)

Extremes in nature equal ends produce;
In man they join to some mysterious use.
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 205

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

“He who knows best knows how little he knows.” — Thomas Jefferson

Well, that should be enough…. It’s a rather meandering concept, but it gets there eventually….. and if not, well, it’s always a good time trying to figure out just what dark alleyway of the human psyche I have wandered into, or out of, as the case may be…. Here, we have a combination plate…. enjoy! Oh, and it WILL be on the Quiz….
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I’d say this isn’t too bad, but then, I have inside knowledge of what it took to produce it….. which included a pain level rather larger than normal, by a factor of about two (i.e., double the morning dose….) I hate grunting when I stand up and walk; I feel like an ape. One with an irritable disposition, to be sure…. Growling just becomes a natural response when all one wants to do is to be able to straighten up without going into spasms…. and the thought of human interaction is just plain scary. I will have to avoid all contact with folks while on my trip to the library to post today…. I don’t think I want to deal with blood today, mine or anyone else’s….

Ah well, life goes on, and we must take it as it plays out….. My apologies in advance today, for not being able to spend any time perusing other blogs…. it will be all I can do to get this up and posted, so it will have to wait for another day…. Probably for the best anyway, my concentration is shot…. 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!

Has anyone felt my milquetoast?

Ffolkes,
I’m not sure why, but I woke up in a foul, fragile mood, which makes me want to bite something, or preferably somebody.  I actually do have an idea why, but only the final event really matters; it is one that is not for publication. I’m finding myself enjoying (if that is the word) some newish side benefits, perks, if you will, of being the proud possessor of PTSD, in all its ugly glory…..

The last few weeks have been a bit rough, in terms of physical pain and financial stress. I’m getting really, really fed up with trying to subsist on the amount of money I was making when I was 22.  Add that stress to the pain I’ve been fighting, and you get the diffuse anxiety, depressive thoughts, and emotional fragility that causes me to burst into tears without any warning…. like right now….. S’cuse me a minute…..

Sorry ’bout that…. any who….. The latest news that has me stressed out is that my landlord is having a problem refinancing the property, and may lose it. So, as of the first of this month, I might have to move, if his refinance isn’t approved. I really don’t want to move…. I’ve grown to hate the process severely. I can no longer do most of it myself, because of my back, so I must find someone to help me. Since I live like a hermit, that will be problematic, and just adds to the stress.

“It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.” — Adrienne Rich

That’s enough self pity, I think…. I hate to indulge in it, and don’t really want to put my problems out there for all to see. But, today, I don’t care what people think about it, I just need to vent, and this is my only source for that service….. I’ll try to keep it lighter from this point, ‘kay?….

Shall we Pearl? That is, after all, what I am here for……

Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land?
All fear, none aid you, and few understand.
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744)– Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 261
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Better stop short than fill to the brim.
Oversharpen the blade, and the edge will soon blunt.
Amass a store of gold and jade, and no one can protect it.
Claim wealth and titles, and disaster will follow.
Retire when the work is done.
This is the way of heaven.
– Tao Te Ching

In discussing religions, I have always avoided showing a preference for one over another. It may seem like I pick on Christianity a lot, but that, I believe, merely reflects the fact that I was raised as one, so I am more familiar with its intransigences. All of them are based on false assumptions, so, to my mind, they are all delusional at their base.

Taoism, on the other hand, is NOT a religion, as it does not promote any particular concept of a dyslexic Dog, and speaks of Heaven only as a reflection of the Tao, an ideal, as it were, without supposing the presence of a supernatural policeman enforcing delusional behavior.

REPENTANCE, n.  The faithful attendant and follower of Punishment.  It is usually manifest in a degree of reformation that is not inconsistent with continuity of sin.

Desirous to avoid the pains of Hell,
You will repent and join the Church, Parnell?
How needless! — Nick will keep you off the coals
And add you to the woes of other souls.
Jomater Abemy
– Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Instead of attempting to get people to behave acceptably by offering rewards and punishments, Taoism provides suggestions and observations regarding the way to approach reality to achieve a desired result. There is no promise of everlasting life for following the rules set down, nor any threat of a fiery Hell if those rules are broached. There is only the author’s wisdom regarding his approach to life, with suggestions for behavior that lead to desirous results in reality. It is an appeal to reason, rather than treating adults as children with a mad, capricious parent, inconsistent from one moment to the next…..

“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

All of the above suggestions are very good advice, and all obviously based on experience. They have been tested by reality, and found to be accurate in every case. If you have ever filled a glass with liquid to the brim, then tried to carry it somewhere, the first line is one you will agree with right away; it is actually a technique taught in food service to waitrons, to always leave some room at the top of the glass, so that it becomes easy to carry, rather than stressful, and messy. The others are equally relevant, as I can attest, and, as can be seen by reading history books, and the daily news, evidence is ubiquitous in both.

On a personal level, I find Taoism to be incredibly useful in dealing with everyday events. It requires the development of new ways of thinking, and getting rid of habitual patterns of behavior based on dysfunctional concepts and institutions, but I can attest that it is entirely worth the effort.

Using these precepts as the basis for all one’s actions is actually a soothing, uplifting process; I find today that merely discussing the differences has improved my emotional state. This can theoretically be extended into every corner of our lives, and provide us with a source of serenity and peace in a world full of strife and confusion…..

“To YOU I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition.” — Woody Allen (Well, sort of….)
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Yesterday, I wrote one of several pieces on Will Shakespeare…. Murphy has apparently decided to be helpful, in his own way, and keeps shoving into my face more and more examples that demonstrate the extent of the crap he produced.

Rather that piss him off, I’ll put some more in today’s Pearl, to further my campaign to remove him from the pantheon of literary gods, and return him to where he belongs, somewhere in the middle of the pack of writers in the world, a worthy compatriot of Jacqueline Suzanne and the author of “Twilight”……

He arrests him on it;
And follows close the rigour of the statute,
To make him an example.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Measure for Measure — Act i, Sc. 4

“Convey,” the wise it call. “Steal!” foh! a fico for the phrase!
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), The Merry Wives of Windsor — Act i, Sc. 3

I hold you as a thing ensky’d and sainted.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Measure for Measure — Act i, Sc. 4

Can such things be,
And overcome us like a summer’s cloud,
Without our special wonder?
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Macbeth — Act iii, Sc. 4

Ap. My poverty, but not my will, consents.
Rom. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Romeo and Juliet — Act v, Sc. 1

That is probably enough…. these five all strike me as nonsense. Perhaps they show more meaning if put into the context of the plays, but, are still far more obscure than they need to be…. I’ll stop now because Will has taken quite a few hits here the last two days, and is starting to look a bit bedraggled and bloody. Of course, he has a reputation that can probably stand up to that….. Ah well, my suggestion is, if you want to see a good play, go see something that Tennessee Williams wrote, or better yet, Neil Simon….
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A Last Confession

What lively lad most pleasured me
Of all that with me lay?
I answer that I gave my soul
And loved in misery,
But had great pleasure with a lad
That I loved bodily.

Flinging from his arms I laughed
To think his passion such
He fancied that I gave a soul
Did but our bodies touch,
And laughed upon his breast to think
Beast gave beast as much.

I gave what other women gave
That stepped out of their clothes.
But when this soul, its body off,
Naked to naked goes,
He it has found shall find therein
What none other knows,

And give his own and take his own
And rule in his own right;
And though it loved in misery
Close and cling so tight,
There’s not a bird of day that dare
Extinguish that delight.

William Butler Yeats

And now the emotional repair job is complete. A bit of light, happy making poetry from Mssr. Yeats, and all is well….. Enjoy!
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So be it…. today’s effort was mostly therapeutic, for me, at least by intent. Hopefully, it will bring some light into your life as well…. 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!