SIGH….. I know…. one look at the big sigh, and you’re all, “So, what’s his problem?” Typical…. just kidding. No, the sigh was for real, actually. It was in reaction to a thought I often have at this moment, a thought that can determine the entire day’s direction. Of course, while I was typing, that thought went completely away, and now I’m stuck in the middle of this paragraph with no subject matter, which is about par for my course this early in the morning. How, you are asking, will he ever pull himself out of this one? Well, I’ll tell you, he has no frigging idea at this point. He’s trying hard not to panic, but I’m afraid his effort isn’t getting very far, because he’s about to FREAK OUT! Shit! Damn it! Now I’m pissed… hold on, be right back….
As you can see, he did. Freak out, that is. So badly, he was forced to take a break, and asked me to sit in for a moment while he pulls himself together. Who, you are asking, are you? Well, you see, I can’t tell you that, or I’d have to kill you, and we don’t want to leave our readers laying about the premises all dead, now, do we? No, we don’t. So, just take your curiosity and shove it quietly back into your back pocket, and we’ll just forget you asked, okay? Better for everyone that way…… that’s better…..
Oh, look, he’s back! It’s been fun, y’all…… ta then!
Who the hell was that? What? No, I didn’t ask him to sit in, did he say I did? Why, that asshole! No, I have no idea who that might have been; I just had to go wipe up the mess I made when I freaked, and when I come back, there’s stuff all over the screen. Gad! It’s getting so you can’t even trust your own hallucinations!
Fuck this, let’s go Pearl, okay? I gotta get outta here for a while….. C’mon, follow me, I know a shortcut…..
“[Spirituality is] being able to see anything in a context. If you’re stuck in something that you’re trying to do, you step back and say, “What is this about?” Put it in a larger context. This is what the Gestalt psychiatrists call “insight.” It’s what other psychiatrists call “reframing.” It’s the ability to do this, rather than being stuck in a particular pattern like a computer. This kind of thinking is always in the back of science — theories are provisional. If they don’t work, one steps back and takes another look at them.” — Ian Marshall, Salon 2/18/00
A voice of reason speaks! Of course, there is little hope that anyone is, or will be, listening. First attributed twelve years ago, this statement seems a balanced response to any questions or arguments one might have in the discussions (if such they may be called) that swirl and eddy around the subject of creationism vs. evolution. It accurately points out the mind-set, the attitude, as it were, that one needs to approach any question of science, or philosophy, or religion, or any other subject, that is essential to finding any viable answers to the inquiry. Any picture needs to be beheld in the proper perspective, in order to fully see the characteristics of which it is comprised; when viewed from a different perspective, the picture changes, and may no longer be an accurate representation of what is real, thus altering how we can deal with it.
The seeking of this perspective is a quality of inquiry that is too often overlooked by the proponents of creationism. The view of events and purported evidence that support their position does not yield itself well to such examination; the evidence upon which they are basing their belief shifts about, or disappears entirely if viewed from any viewpoint other than the one from which it is presented. This is due for the most part to the inability of these proponents to verify the evidence by independent means, or by reproducing the evidence anew in another experiment. They can’t do that, because the evidence has no real existence in reality, but is rather based on assumptions that cannot be verified. Generally, pointing this out tends to provoke a certain apoplexy in them, and it’s best at that point to leave them to their own devices, so as not to annoy them further by intruding upon their fantasy with your reality……
“If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?” — Thomas Henry Huxley
We’ve looked at the whole Solar System:
Mars, Venus, the Moon – you can list ’em.
Wherever we roam,
There’s nobody home.
Perhaps they stepped out, and we missed ’em?
Well, perhaps it isn’t exactly on a par with say, Keats, or Yeats, or Emily D, but I like it…. it speaks to the Bozo in me, as well as to the scientist, and the romantic. Not bad for a simple limerick, eh?
Now you can see why school was never really much of a difficult academic challenge for me, but rather a complex social challenge. Facts, philosophy, language, math, science, I could handle all that just fine, as my grades indicated so well. But, throw me into the mix at a dance, and I was mostly clueless, though not completely, coming from a large family. Having sisters did keep me from the worst social gaffes; but sisters aren’t known for their support and encouragement of younger brothers. In fact, one might say that ridicule and laughter are their preferred methods of emotional interaction with them. But, they didn’t want me embarrassing them in front of their friends, so a minimal amount of helpful information was given (with appropriate physical reinforcement) in that vein….
I also had the educationally neutral, yet socially advantageous status as an athlete, eventually earning varsity letters in three sports, for three years out of four. The before and after game activities were my primary social proving ground, my laboratory, so to speak; needless to say, it took me a long time to really learn anything substantially accurate regarding human interaction on more than a superficial level. In short, I was an engineer, in spirit, if not in actual practice…. pathetically naive about relationships, and women, in both the general, and the specific senses.
Then, I went to Berkeley…. I don’t think I need to say that my education, and even enlightenment in some cases, in social issues of every type, personal, political, relational, general, and specific, assumed a much larger importance, a much larger portion of my time and attention. Simply put, it blew what passed for my mind into tiny pieces of shattered illusions (to use the charming vernacular of the time….).
I’d guesstimate that 95% of what I had believed or thought I knew about most everything to do with society, and how people interact with one another, was either out-of-step, untrue, unreliable, or simply made up nonsense, that seemed to have no real purpose other than to allow some folks to manipulate others with more facility. Let me tell you, that first year away from home was an eye-opener, for sure and for certain….. and I thank my younger self almost daily for deciding on Berkeley the moment I first saw the campus, riding with my Dad in a tiny little Renault compact in 1967…. It was the only college I applied to, or wanted to go to…. and, fortunately for my mind/self, I did….
“If you wish to make a man your enemy, tell him simply, You are wrong. This method works every time.” — Henry C. Link
This statement is another of those that I almost passed on, thinking it was too obvious a point to make for good discussion. But, as is often the case when I think that at first, a second look at the idea stimulated further thought….
For example, the question occurs to me to ask, “Well, if this is so, what is there in men that makes them so easy to manipulate like this?” For that is what it is, a simple manipulation. Such a statement as “you are wrong”, when uttered with confidence and surety, doesn’t even have to be true; the mere fact that you have said it will activate most men’s towering ego, which, automatically it seems, refuses to believe that it CAN be wrong, much less accept being told so by anyone at all……
Generally, there is no need to even offer any proof of such an assertion. The ego of most who seek argument will blow right past that key step in finding truth, and head right on into outraged anger at the one who would be so rude as to question them. Actually, watching some folks go through the mental steps to this outrage can be pretty entertaining, especially when they turn all those colors in their faces as their anger grows, and they become increasingly apoplectic in response…. fascinating shades the human skin displays when aroused!…..
Of course, once made, you usually have an enemy for life, so it is often wise to withhold such applications of control over others. Allowing oneself to indulge in this sort of manipulation, while satisfying and amusing in the short run, often leads to later regrets, at having to deal with the consequences repeatedly over time (most folks have a long memory for being told they are wrong; they never forget, and they never forgive…. one would think they had nothing better to do…..)
This is another lesson to be learned in these interactions, that compassion for ignorance is not always misplaced, rare as it may be to find an ignoramus deserving of it. For myself, I find it hard to be compassionate when the other person chooses to be ignorant; whether due to fear of the unknown, faith-based denial of reality, or simple laziness, it all tends to piss me off, and I’m not shy about sharing that with them.
But, for those whose lack of understanding comes from an inherent inability to comprehend the necessary information, I am willing to show some tolerance, and make the attempt to educate them….. they can’t help using the deck of cards they have, even if it is missing a jack and half of the queens……
“Anybody who wants religion is welcome to it, as far as I’m concerned — I support your right to enjoy it. However, I would appreciate it if you exhibited more respect for the rights of those people who do not wish to share your dogma, rapture or necrodestination.” — Frank Zappa, “The Real Frank Zappa Book”
“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne
“[The Equal Rights Amendment] is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” — Pat Robertson
🙂 So, where would you like me to begin with this? ….. Take your time….. I know, hard to pick, isn’t it? A few days ago, I found and included here another of Pat’s verbal miscues. That one was amusing mostly because it was so obviously his own natural stupidity that overcame his media chops, turning his attempt at deep philosophy into a soliloquy that Geraldo Rivera would have rejected. It wasn’t even necessary there to even point out what was wrong about it; sheer nonsense needs no explanation.
But this statement is another kettle of old stinky fish altogether. This one reaches for the heights; it seeks to climb the highest peak of human stupidity, and seriously would like to drag all of us along with him, into that clear air, free of any distracting truths. The sheer, complete refusal to even glance in the direction of Reality that this indicates in the speaker is, to me, absolutely astounding. I have watched with resignation and chagrin as the world has, step by step, little by little, “dumbed down”; the percentage of public acts that approach the ludicrous grows larger every day, hastened by the unstoppable march of population growth.
The mathematics of demographics leaves no room for argument with the FACT that average human intelligence decreases as the population increases; it is a proven equation, and not arguable in the slightest. The numbers simply cannot lie. Society is getting dumber. Deal with it…..
And prepare yourselves, as such egregiously insane and ignorant statements as this will no doubt become more frequent, as the number of folks who haven’t a clue, or a care, as to what may or may not be real, grows beyond all expectations, keeping the rest of us busy cleaning up the messes they make. Oh well, it will give us something to do until the inevitable result of such a trend takes effect, at which point the planet will be able to get back to normal, without the infestation of self-destructive mammalians all over the available surface space….
`Just the place for a Snark!’ the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.
‘Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true.’
Is there anyone who doesn’t know who wrote this? Or hasn’t heard of he Snark and the Boojum? If so, I pity them, and wish they could have more fantasy in their lives, for they obviously have not had enough thus far, if these names ring no bells for them, and bring no smiles of fond remembrance of childhood days, reading or listening to tales of Wonderland. Every child needs to experience times of joy in dreams, and flights of unfettered imagination, for without it, they are ill prepared to face reality with any hope of success.
gigoid has spoken….. so be it….
Any more signs of that asshole that jumped in here at the intro? Good….. I guess I’m going to have to put a password protection on my keyboard for those times I have to leave it unattended suddenly. Of course, since he was most likely a figment out of my own imagination, he could probably find the password in my mind anyway, so that won’t work…. hmm. I’ll have to think about this…. I don’t want to up my meds enough to completely eliminate such hallucinations; sometimes they’re the only company I have for days and days… but, I also can’t have them usurping this blog; it’s counter-productive at minimum, and probably not a completely healthy situation, at least not for me. Can’t say how it affects them…. I never ask, I never tell….
Now that I have thoroughly convinced you of my complete and utter insanity, I can move on to bigger things…… and, as I’m sure you will agree, it’s about damn time….. Y’all take care out there…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
Yes…”Every child needs to experience times of joy in dreams, and flights of unfettered imagination…” I agree with a lot of what you have written, even, and maybe especially… “the number of folks who haven’t a clue, or a care, as to what may or may not be real, grows beyond all expectations, keeping the rest of us busy cleaning up the messes they make.” We see it on a daily basis nowadays, sad, shocking, and unfortunately true. Thanks for today’s post. 🙂
🙂 No worries! Well, not that I want to think about right now, while I’m busy basking…. thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it…
Love the guy who dropped in at the beginning of this and esoteric-ed the shit out of it. I love what you said about societies’ beloved little Patty Robertson never even glancing at reality! Oh he is such a shining beacon of light to the thought-free! He tries never to look directly at reality cuz his mom said might go blind . . . or wait maybe that was the sun his mom said never to glance at. Oh well, what’s the difference?
I’m sure he doesn’t know the difference, that is for sure….
Oh, Linda, I forgot to say before; (I was a bit distracted right then…) … I know what you mean about the guy who hijacked the intro section; it was a bit surreal. I suspect the NSA; they’re probably getting ready to take me away for my anti-government ranting, and are engaging in some pre-arrest terrorism of their own…. If you happen to see that guy, point him out to me, I’ve got some things to go over with him…. firmly….. or, if you’re packing at that moment, just go ahead and pick him off. It’ll be good target practice….
I was into the evangelical movement in the early 70’s and knew Pat Robertson. He was busy establishing the 700 club and building a home in Va. Beach. What’s really scary about this stupid statement, is that he and a multitude of evangelicals actually believe this.
Why did I leave the movement after only 3 years? Because my rational mind kept questioning why I needed to be submissive to my husband and obey him. When I told my pastor I was leaving the church and why, they formed a circle around me and began to call demons out of me. Of course, there were none in residence so they finally gave up and I walked out and never looked back.
Good for you… I believe it was Gandhi who said something about turning one’s back on what we believe to be false according to our own beliefs… I don’t mean to offend, but when you said they formed a circle and shouted at the demons, I chuckled quite a lot, and my immediate thought was, “I wish I could have seen that!” It sounds like a surreal experience, for sure…. I like Pat… 😉 He’s a great source of material….
The experience was surreal, but at the time all I felt was fear and anxiety.
I agree that Pat is a great source of material….
I’m sure you were anxious, it was a brave step to take in those days…. I was just trying to get you to smile over it a bit… they are the ones who are living in the dark….and most likely, still have their heads buried in the Santa Monica sand…..
Ooops, sorry, Virginia Beach sand…. probably all the same from where they’re viewing it… buried in it….
You are wrong!
No, I’m not!
Yes, you are!
No, I’m not wrong!
You ARE wrong!
No, I tell you I’m not wrong!
So, you insist you’re right?
Yes, I am Wright
Why yes, yes, I am… but,…. shhhh! I’m on a mission, and no one can know…. The fate of my cat, and every i-phone user in the world, depends on it….. 🙂
Wait…. I’m not Wright, you are!…. Never mind….
The Robertson quote is particularly timely given the Rosen and Ann Romney back and forth…
another fun ride this
I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right…. serendipity strikes again… glad you enjoyed it…. take care….
awesome post! i like how you think..keeping an open mind is extremely important. we can try to use science, religion, philosophy, etc..to understand the nature of the reality of this world, but the truth transcends all of this! the truth transcends transcendence! to truly understand the complexities of life, we need to quiet our ego and focus on the Power that gives life. The Power that is BEYOND names and titles, BEYOND science and religion and all ‘understood’ knowledge…finding THAT which gives life and connecting and uniting with it is what life is all about. hope you have a great day!
As always, smart, and thought provoking. At least for those who care to think. I can identify with the part of you that despises ignorance. I have a very hard time keeping my mouth closed. No problem saying “you are wrong.” Needless to say, I have made more than a few enemies of “so called” friends. Oh well, I gotta keep movin anyway. No time to get to caught up. My full time job is paying attention. Not a trade many are interested in it seems. On the creationism -vs- evolution thing, nothing need be added. You seem to have covered it quite well.
PS: I like your template. Very cool.
Reblogged this on gigoid and commented:
Really, I did make an effort to finish the currently unfinished Pearl I’ve been composing, but, the BBR kept calling me back out of my chair. Then, when I tried again this morning, SB went all wonky on me… So, here is a rather fine really old-school Pearl from the early days here at ECR. It got some decent traffic, and a pile of good comments, so, it must be worth a read…. I’ll do my best to post fresh tomorrow; in the meantime, please enjoy today’s offering (well, re-offering, I suppose), and stay strange. It’s really your best hope….
See ya soon
gigoid, the dubious