How much for a self-portrait?

If the weather here in California this spring is any indication, global warming is developing nicely. Rain, a couple days of sunshine, clouds, now more rain… the pattern is nothing like what I’ve seen in this state for the last 60 some years that I’ve lived here…. Oh, I’ve been elsewhere, all over the US in fact, but I’ve never lived elsewhere for long without returning to the left coast.

There are just too many advantages, both in terms of weather, and in terms of availability of whatever climate or land configuration one wishes. Mountains, seacoast, desert, valleys, rivers, urban, rural, rain forest, oak forest, any type of geographic formation one could wish for is all within four hours drive from anywhere in the state.

So, I’ve always come back here to stay, even though I love seeing far-away places, and learning about the people who live there. It is one of the reasons I want to travel now that I’m retired, and as soon as I can secure my full retirement from the Feds (bless their pointy little heads), I’ll be off. But, for the nonce, I am stuck here, and the weather is NOT acting normally. Usually by mid- to late-April, the weather is so gorgeous one wonders that the entire world doesn’t move here to enjoy it.

Global warming is real. No matter who you listen to, or what statistics you may see that say otherwise, (and those statistics would either be missing important pieces, or made up of fantasy numbers straight out of someone’s head) it is a process that began some years ago, and is being continuously augmented and strengthened by society’s refusal to stop pumping crap into the air.

In one of my earliest blogs I published a link to a site called “World Clock”. On this site is simply a counting program, that counts several key factors in the overpopulation and pollution arenas. One face shows the population of the world, counting off how many are born each second; one can get dizzy very quickly by watching how fast the numbers change. Another face shows how much CO2 is being pumped into the air each second by the industrial sources and by automobiles. It is astounding how many TONS of carbon dioxide is going into the air, as I type.

If you wish to see it, here is the link:

So, any who, the point of all this was not to get into a rant on global warming, though it is easy for me to do; it was merely to point out that once again, I’ll be stuck indoors on what would normally be a great day at this time of the year. But, thanks to the effects of global warming and over-population, I’ll be right here, typing and reading away, and wishing I could go for a walk without freezing…. in April, in California…. it’s disheartening to say the least…. Ah well, let us Pearl…..

“Perhaps we are wiser, less selfish and more far-seeing than we were two hundred years ago. But we are still imperfectly all these good things, and since the turn of the century it has been remarked that neither wisdom nor virtue have increased as rapidly as the need for both.” — Joseph Wood Krutch

Mr. Pollyanna Krutch makes a really dumb statement first, but redeems himself with the last line. To make the assertion that today’s society is morally or ethically advanced over what we have been in the past is absurd, and that is being kind. If he sees any such thing in society, it is only a result of having so many more people wandering around butting into everything that it SEEMS like there is more tolerance and more ethical behavior amongst the common members of our culture. The percentage of such folks certainly has NOT grown over the past, nor could he quote any source of data to support that idea (I know, I’ve looked for it…).

Nonetheless, he turns his gaffe around by making the last statement, which is perfectly true. Neither wisdom nor virtue in society has grown, at all, at all…. in fact, the number of incidents that hit the news every day would indicate quite the opposite, to anyone viewing it dispassionately. In fact, in light of the proven theory of how society is becoming LESS intelligent over time (proven mathematically, in previous Pearls, so please don’t make me go through that proof again… it’s just arithmetic, and anyone can perform the basic computation of the data), it would seem to be rather obvious that the amount of wisdom and virtue has decreased over time, and in the case of society today, both of them seem to be absent entirely.

At this point I could start providing examples of how I come to this conclusion, but I’d rather go on to the next pearl, so I will merely refer the Gentle Reader to today’s headlines, where I am sure ample evidence of my supposition is provided, gratis. It shouldn’t take too long, and is probably a more convincing argument than any I could write.

Tell you what…. you go check out the news today, and if you find some evidence that society is getting wiser, or more ethical or virtuous, bring it up in the comments section below, and we can discuss the matter further….. meantime, we will be going on to the next egregious societal anomaly….. which usually isn’t hard to find…..

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

This poem really doesn’t need much discussion. In and of itself, it is a classic work of art, and few intelligent people would argue the fact. I have included it not only for that reason, but because it fit so well with what is written just above. Eliot’s vision here is incredibly prophetic, in my mind, and whenever I read it, pictures flash across my inner eye, of nuclear wasteland (photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are prominent), of foamy lake waters with dead fish floating around the rocks, of the yellow air so common in Los Angeles. He saw it all coming, and brought us fear, in a handful of dust…..

“Power, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer; it dignifies meanness; to what is contemptible, it gives authority; to what is low, exaltation.” — unattributed in Smart Bee

I wish I knew who wrote this, and I may google it later to try to find out. For now, it serves to address what struck me when I read it. First, it is absolutely true, especially if speaking of power over other people, and there are far too many obvious examples for me to bother listing them all, as you can see them all over the news. What struck me is the realization that all of these people who seek, and assume, power over others, do so out of their deepest fears, and their unwillingness to deal with that fear, which is also known as cowardice.

That is correct. Cowardice and fear are what motivate our leaders, every damn one of them, and I don’t care how often you may point out how much courage it takes to put oneself at the apex, because that is just a bullshit lie told to you by those self-same cowards to cover up their gratuitous lack of morals or ethics.

It takes courage to face one’s fear. It doesn’t take courage to pull the wool over the eyes of people who hand them the woolen cap to use. Only a person who fears that much could ever bring themselves to even contemplate the actions of those in power; and only cowardice could explain how such people carry out the dishonorable acts that are listed every day in the news.

“We create an environment where it is alright to hate, to steal, to cheat, and to lie if we dress it up with symbols of respectability, dignity and love.” — Whitney Moore, Jr.

I find it ironic to consider the degree to which people will go to NOT look at this concept, at how hard they will squirm and struggle to find some reason to trust these cowardly assholes who are actively ripping off the public. Instead, society marches on, happily content to ignore all the signs that the folks to whom they are entrusting the keys to the public treasury are bending them over and taking them from behind at every opportunity. I mean, it’s hard to believe, since I’ve never seen any Vaseline used in these rapes…. but, I guess the denial being employed extends even to their pain….

“I think the next four years we should try it with no President.” — Dana Fradon

“Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane — like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell — mouths mercy and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who frowns
upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!” — Mark Twain, _The Mysterious Stranger_

No discussion needed here…. I’ll just point out the author, and fade into the background so his words speak for themselves…… My only comment is, “Damn straight!”  I never could figure out why an omnipotent entity would even WANT to be worshiped…. I certainly wouldn’t, and I’m not even partially omnipotent….

“Beware the fury of a patient man.” — John Dryden (1631-1700) — Absalom and Achitophel, Part i, Line 1005

I’m not sure why I was compelled to include this pearl today. Originally I had intended it to be an ending quote for a pearl of a different nature, but then I thought I’d use it like this….

I would suggest to those who are in power today in this country, and, for that matter, around the world, that they should probably pay close attention to what they may perpetrate on the mostly unsuspecting public in the near future. I give this suggestion only in the spirit of fairness, one which they are not particularly invested in displaying on a regular basis. Nonetheless, I am informing them that not all of the public is unaware of their chicanery, and the patience of these folks is wearing pretty thin.

I can say this because I am one of them, and I am just about done putting up with all the bullshit they are perpetrating on the rest of us, and very close to doing something about it myself. What shape those actions may take is as yet undetermined, but they may rest assured, they will not like it at all….  Just sayin’……

Fair warning……

Well, this turned out to be an interesting group…. as always, I never know when I begin exactly where I’ll end up, and today is no exception. But, as it is said, the journey is more important than the destination, so I am content, for the journey was fun… for me, anyway. Only you can judge your take on that…. So, with today’s Pearl a fait accompli, I now bid thee a good day, and hope that all will be well in your little corner of reality, at least for the day…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you……

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



6 thoughts on “How much for a self-portrait?

  1. I wish that I could say that I disagree with just anything of what you have written…but sadly, I cannot. I worry about the world, my children, my grandchildren. What have we done to ourselves??? And why aren’t we trying harder to fix it? You don’t need to say a word, I already know. As for the weather, yes, I’ve never seen anything like this in all my years of living in California…which has been for most of the years of my life. I’ll be indoors for the most part today as well. 🙂

    • Carol…. You should know by now that I can’t shut myself up…. 🙂 I appreciate when someone takes the time to comment, even when they have been saddened by what I’ve written…. great minds think alike, eh?

      Weather notwithstanding, I do have to get to the library today, so it’ll be off to the bus stop for me in a while, if the rain holds off….but I’ll be coming straight home to warm up, and stay inside from that point on, for sure…. you enjoy the day, wherever you end up…. 🙂

      • I always enjoy what you write…because it’s proof to me that there are some other people paying attention. Never mind the sadness, it’s there every time I turn on the news and see the stupidity that is running rampant in our society right now. I’ll never stop hoping though, for the children…they need us to keep hoping that the world will wake up and become a better place.

  2. Hahahahaha! For the blog title! 🙂 It only took me until the end of reading the post, checking out a few other open tabs and coming back… Not always the speediest mentally.

    Funny about the weather, next door so to speak we are in the 80s with lots of sun. Threats of T-storms, but only one materialized so far this week.

    In reading the Mark Twain quote, my only shot back at it is the trade-off is we get free will. At least that’s the argument I’ve heard other places. In movies anyhow.

    • 🙂 Well, we all know how the movies are reality…. wait, that didn’t come out right… any who, free will. So, what comes to mind for me is this: How is submitting to God’s will, the primary requirement of faith, the same as free will? And if we truly have free will, how is it that exercising it has a cost? Just wondered… 🙂

      • Yeah, see that’s where we run into problems. If you turn off logic, then faith can step-up and fill the gap. If you are set on logically thinking this through, well then… I think it is possible to have faith and logic, just not in the way major religions are set up. Which is why I either make it up as I go along or pick a faith du jour to suit me for any given time/place/event. It is not uncommon for me to go from being Atheist to Agnostic to Protestant to Buddhist to Kemetic to Wiccan to just worshiping the wind and the dust all in the span of a few hours. The trick is that I don’t announce my conversion each time. And no there is not necessarily any logic to any of it, except for at any finite point in my existence when there maybe logic. 🙂 No, none of that is an answer, just my coping mechanisms.
        In answer to your questions – I think it stems from men trying to control their fellow humans with a warm fuzzy sugar coating.
        And, well, fuck them.

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