Mired in the prime of strife…..

Ah yes, the delights of awakening to the tender mercies of emotional distress…. Within 10 minutes of getting up today (Thursday, the 19th), at the reasonable hour of 0755, I received a call from Social Security, to ask me, in essence, whether I would like to extend the time it takes to secure my disability benefits, another six months, by adding on a visit to a psychiatrist to determine the status of my PTSD….. As you might expect, this caused my emotions to boil over instantly, whereupon I treated the case analyst who had called to a graphic example of just what state I’m in, PTSD-wise, blubbering in incoherent anger, bemoaning in no uncertain terms the federal government’s apparent desire to put me in a grave before letting go of my money….. It was NOT the way I would have chosen to start my morning, to say the least….

Now I have no idea how much longer this will take; I’ll need to talk with my lawyer now, and that can be stressful as well, so I may as well prepare myself for a period of insensibility, as my mind tends to want to shut down when stuff like this threatens my equilibrium. But, sadly, it looks as if I may as well resign myself to another long period of waiting in the dark, and can pretty much kiss the idea of Christmas goodbye for another year….. Too bad, really…. I had hoped to be able to actually go to a store and buy something for my kids for the occasion, but, I guess I’ll once again be trying to ignore the whole scene, and making do with giving them one of my own pieces of family history as a gift, or perhaps writing a poem for them…. not exactly the most thrilling of gifts, but, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Yesterday, the 18th, I didn’t post again, for the second time since starting this blog. It felt weird to not post, just like it did last month when it happened for the first time. As the poor federal case worker found out this morning, there is a lot of pressurized material stuffed into my head, and it needs to come out on a regular basis…. I did complete a Pearl yesterday, but couldn’t get to the library in time to post it, due to waiting for other folks to get stuff done…. SIGH….. Add a few more hit points to that stress level, ffolkes, and start counting!…..

Being a day behind, even though ahead, this will get posted on the 20th of October, 2012…. which, had he lived, would be my father’s 100th birthday…. and is now my youngest brother’s 57th, 58th, or 59th, I can never keep him and my younger sister’s ages straight…. Any who, happy happy to Kevin, and to my Dad’s memory….

As a result of this morning’s folderol, I am retreating, and will start looking for pearls as a substitute for going out to look for a victim; I always find beating up on somebody to be liberating, but inconvenient, what with all the criminal charges and all…. Instead, I’ll just pour all that angst into a rant, or a poem, or something…. maybe even a piece on Zippy, or Pooh, to bring out a few smiles. They (smiles) are buried pretty deep right now, but, a bit of Zippy can do wonders…. Let’s get to it….. Shall we Pearl?…..

Raquel Welch:  36-24-36
Bo Derek:  35-24-36
Ann-Margaret:  37-25-36
Bette Middler:  37-25-36
Marilyn Monroe:  37-24-37
Jane Russell:  39-27-38
Jayne Mansfield: 40-23-37
Sophia Loren:  37-25-36

— Smart Bee (?)

So, sue me. It isn’t what you think, unless you are thinking what I’m thinking. I’m not going to say that isn’t possible, or even unlikely…. unless you  are thinking it is about some sexist premise that identifies women as objects. Being male, I’m not an expert on spotting or exposing that, but I’ve been around a long time, and have never held with most of what society holds as true about women, unless spoken by a woman who hasn’t proved to be one of the brainwashed….

No, this list is only here to note that what society seems to project, in magazines and advertising, through fashions and trends sponsored by those who determine such matters (i.e., the moneymen…) as the image of beauty, is not the same as what public opinion obviously feels about what makes a woman beautiful, in terms of weight and shape. All of the women in the above list were, and/or are, considered to be the visual pinnacle of what the public believes is beautiful, as evidenced by the popularity of their work, in film or on stage…. but none of them are at all similar to what the manipulators of fashion would have us believe is the ideal shape…. Whereas models can only be described as slender or willowy, all these women are what we might call zaftig, or rubenesque, in their visual proportions….. Personally, I agree with the public…. I find Ann Margaret to be much more pleasant to look at than any model in a magazine that I have EVER seen….. And, the fact that I feel entitled to make a judgment makes me as guilty of objectifying women as a man who utilizes brothels for sex…

Thus, if we grant the truth of that revelation, the mere existence of the list becomes the most objectionable piece of it….. It illustrates that the process of objectification is subtle; just applying such standards to women at all tends to cause people to think of them as objects, rather than as people. Society has been male-oriented for a very long time, a state of affairs justified as “might makes right.” Sadly; a lot of what is wrong in the world can be traced to that unfortunate fact. Men have, out of their own insecurities and fears, set things up so that women have very little say about what happens to them in life; those decisions are made for them by fathers, brothers, or husbands in most of the world. In order to do this, and not suffer pangs of guilt at every turn, men, and women, are taught that it is okay to objectify women, and to treat them as if they are property…. and property needs to be labeled, hence lists such as the one above….

Yesterday, rmott62 posted a blog, (http://rmott62.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/your-lies-are-part-of-our-genocide/), which I re-blogged on my site, speaking about this very subject, to wit: how the language we choose can objectify those of whom it speaks.  You can probably get a better idea of how insidiously the issue of victimizing women permeates society by visiting her blog; she speaks powerfully, with no punches pulled, from experience, and with great insight, much more forcefully than I ever can, so I recommend to you very strongly that you go to her site, and read what she has to say…. It will change the way you look at much of what passes in our society for normal, and make you ashamed for not noticing…. if not, it should, for we are all guilty of perpetrating the evil, if only by not acting or speaking up, for as long as the victimization of women, and the entire prostitution industry, continues to objectify, demean, and drag women of all ages into perpetual slavery…..


I keep hoping, but the poem I feel in my head isn’t ready to come out yet, and time is passing (at the leisurely pace so beloved of the federal bureaucracies…..)….. so, if I want to get this Pearl posted today, I’d best be coming up with another poem for this space. I’ve become somewhat addicted to this morning dose of verse; it seems to make the prose taste better somehow….. Whatever the reason, I like it…. Here, then, is another fine piece from the annals of history, with some whimsy applied as the primary search criterion…. hell, whimsy could easily be construed as an algorithm, almost, in this sense…. Besides, the poem I’ve found is the perfect choice to follow the first pearl’s message. Any who, sensible nonsense aside, enjoy!…..


When I was young, I used to
Watch behind the curtains
As men walked up and down the street. Wino men, old men.
Young men sharp as mustard.
See them. Men are always
Going somewhere.
They knew I was there. Fifteen
Years old and starving for them.
Under my window, they would pauses,
Their shoulders high like the
Breasts of a young girl,
Jacket tails slapping over
Those behinds,

One day they hold you in the
Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you
Were the last raw egg in the world. Then
They tighten up. Just a little. The
First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.
Soft into your defenselessness. A little
More. The hurt begins. Wrench out a
Smile that slides around the fear. When the
Air disappears,
Your mind pops, exploding fiercely, briefly,
Like the head of a kitchen match. Shattered.
It is your juice
That runs down their legs. Staining their shoes.
When the earth rights itself again,
And taste tries to return to the tongue,
Your body has slammed shut. Forever.
No keys exist.

Then the window draws full upon
Your mind. There, just beyond
The sway of curtains, men walk.
Knowing something.
Going someplace.
But this time, I will simply
Stand and watch.


Maya Angelou


As always, when lacking the wherewithal to rant, or to discourse intelligently (if that can be said to ever happen….) I retreat into the wisdom of the ages, developing an idea with pearls that says, well, whatever it says…. I do try to make it enlightening in some fashion, even if only by providing some comic relief to the sober nature of much of the other material here. Here, then, are some pearls that spoke to me about enlightenment, each in its own little whisper….

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, 1892

With virtue you cannot be entirely poor… Without it you cannot be really rich. — Chinese Proverb

A master programmer passed a novice programmer one day.  The master noted the novice’s preoccupation with a hand-held computer game.  “Excuse me”, he said, “may I examine it?”   The novice bolted to attention and handed the device to the master. “I see that the device claims to have three levels of play: Easy, Medium, and Hard”, said the master.  “Yet every such device has another level of play, where the device seeks not to conquer the human, nor to be conquered by the human.”  “Pray, great master,” implored the novice, “how does one find this mysterious setting?”   The master dropped the device to the ground and crushed it under foot. And suddenly the novice was enlightened. — Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”

“God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent- it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash, and in small bills.” — Lazarus Long

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler

“Avoid fried foods which angry up the blood.” — Satchel Paige, early to mid-20th century sage

“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha — which is to demean oneself.” — Robert Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” — Thomas Paine

The Journey is the Reward, Not the Destination. — Zen Koan

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: “Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.” When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, “The one I feed the most.” — George Bernard Shaw

Well, there you go…. If you’re not enlightened by now, well, you’re on your own, because that’s the best I’ve got in stock. Hmm…. gee, you don’t get the impression this is a metaphoric manipulation, do you? …….  Nah! Trust me!  No hidden agendas here, or metaphoric stimuli intended to create moments of zazen illumination….It’s all the real deal, and used properly, has been known to produce wonderful results…. and, well, the price is right, yes? Free advice is always worth what you pay for it….. Ta for now, luvs…..

Well, the gods of literature can relax now…. I didn’t need to resort to either Zippy, or Pooh to get the Pearl done. I even managed to avoid using Will Shakespeare again…. though I do have a LOT of material of his that is appropriate for target shooting, it wasn’t needed today. Some might be thankful for that, but, they’re just jealous, for not thinking of it first….. Today we are back in waiting mode, with the added hope that the federal game of slow-them-down-as-much-as-possible won’t be able to find the dice, and won’t hold things up any more than they already have been….. Fat chance, I know, but, hey, gotta have our groundless hope, eh?…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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




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