Who will pay the price for sanity?….

Times of great import are approaching, it is told. Events are to take place that will rock the foundations of our world, while I, an old man with sharp eyes, sit and watch the important people scurry about, involved in their important jobs, communicating their important ideas….. Only us old men see the truth, though…. Nothing is important, it is all an illusion, and nothing will ever change…. So it has been, for centuries, and so it will remain, as long as men wish to feel important…..

I don’t think it will come even close to winning the Bulwer-Lytton Award, but it’s pretty bad, nonetheless, don’t you agree? Sadly, when I wrote it, I wasn’t trying for bad, but was in fact, until the very end, shooting for a grim sort of eloquence. But, after one read-through, that goal went by the wayside….. Not everything can be worth writing, I suppose, and that paragraph certainly falls into that category…. We’ll just pretend it didn’t happen, and go on, okay?…. No need to mention this to the doctors, or the overseers, now is there?….. I wouldn’t want to lose my privileges over it…..

Actually, I’m sitting here this morning, a bit dazed…. I feel pretty good…. The pain pill I took two hours prior to getting up might have helped a lot, but, all in all, this is the best I’ve felt of a morning in, well, a long time… in recent memory at least, and damn if it isn’t encouraging! Payday is near, I have food left, thanks to those friends who won’t seem to let me go under, the coffee tastes like ambrosia, and I’m not feeling any blockage of my writing mode…. there is HOPE! It’s amazing, really, how much feeling better will improve the attitude we face the day with; I must say, it’s awfully nice to NOT have stuff to complain about….

I’m thinking, since I feel so good, even if only in a relative sense, I should get started without further delay. I’m actually looking forward with glee to this morning’s dive for pearls, which hasn’t happened in far too long…. In any case, Shall we Pearl?…..

“Three out of five people aren’t the other two.” — Smart Bee

“How people play the game shows something of their characters. How they lose shows all of it.” — Smart Bee

This is SO true! Not only is it true, it is beyond true, because it also implies another truth, which also happens to be true…. Funny how that works, eh?…. Any who, what I mean by that is this: How people approach the idea of playing a game at all indicates a lot of things about their mental status, in short, their attitudes, as well as their character. I spent more than a few years providing psychiatric therapy to adolescent and adult individuals, and using games was one of my favorite therapeutic tools. It became a valuable one indeed in being able to gauge a young lad’s, or lass’s, mental attitude, after tossing them a ball, of some kind, and seeing what they did with it….. Within a minute or so, they would reveal a lot about themselves, that would often be useful later in figuring out how to help them.

If they missed catching it, or showed a lot of awkwardness, it would give an indication they hadn’t played much with balls, and perhaps were not sports oriented. If they caught it, then that showed they had some experience and/or interest. How they tossed it back also showed things about them, and the expressions and body language they displayed, while performing the basic physical skills, indicated their degree of familiarity with the movements involved in the different tasks of moving, catching, and throwing. Whether or not they reacted with pleasure, or fear, or surprise, or whatever emotion they display when the ball is tossed to them (a simple, easy toss, not a fastball…. give us a little credit….) also gives some pretty accurate data on how they deal with such surprises, showing how they feel about themselves in the process….

In a basketball game, one could observe to see whether the player understands the team concept, and how to adjust their own play to flow with others. How a person spends the slack time in baseball, while waiting for a pitch, or a delay, can indicate their inner state, as well as their investment in the game…. And if they refused to play at all, then that showed something about their social adaptation skills as well….. Almost everything these young individuals did in relation to playing games, of any kind, whether physical, or table, party, or other types would tell something about their psycho-social development stage, and even give clues about where problems might be encountered in helping them.

Humans have a very long history of experience with games, and though other animals have been noted to have created games, no species has been anywhere near as prolific, or creative, in the ways in which they test themselves, against each other, and against themselves. Historically, of course, many games were designed to develop the skills needed in the culture for warfare, or for business, or for other sorts of competitive interactions with others of other cultures, tribes, or nations.

In the modern world, of course, the business side of games, and the impulse to compete in every human is highly developed, in hundreds, even thousands of different venues…. Professional sports, amateur sports, computer gaming, Olympic sports, mountain climbing, all tests of various degrees of difficulty in the quest to improve the human spirit by improving the mind and body, under the most trying, demanding conditions that can be devised.

Games, whether we actively play them, or sublimate those impulses in other ways, are a part of human culture and society, and permeate all levels of societal interactions…. How many soccer moms are there who never played a game of soccer outside P.E. class in their lives? How many people enter the business world, and pit their minds and will against others in the financial arena…. No one can tell me that the whole stock market isn’t based on gaming theory, not without a lot of charts, easels, and time to expand equations…. and I wouldn’t believe them then….

Our society spends literally TRILLIONS of dollars each year on professional sports, with all their merchandising and high pressure sales of every single physical item involved in either the playing of the sport (Football, baseball, basketball, tennis, hockey, soccer, and literally hundreds of others….), or involved in the following the sport, equipment to play, equipment to watch the professionals play, tickets, posters, jerseys, and other fan merchandise, including the watching of the sport on the entertainment media of choice, also for sale at a store near you….. It is a HUGE part of the American economy, even the world-wide economy, at least in countries that are connected to the media world.

The impulse to play games, however sublimated it may be, is a basic piece of human nature, stemming from the inherent need for the species to improve itself, thereby improving chances for survival. Though society has advanced enough that not everyone has the need to be able to throw a spear or run fast to survive any more, we still have the part of our nature that says we do need to be able to do that…. so we want to practice somehow…. Games are how we practice those skills; always have been, and always will….

Today, practicing survival skills for many involves sitting in front of a TV, with a beer and like-minded former game-players, to watch a game of their favorite sport on TV, and cheer for the good plays…. Or it means taking your kids to soccer practice every week at three different fields around town, “because sports is good for them”…. Or it means a teenager becoming pale and wan from playing a video game for 36 hours straight….. Or, it can mean calling your broker when you’ve received a good stock tip….. We all find our ways to practice the age-old skills we no longer need, one way or another….

“It’s all a game — play it to have fun.” — Price’s Advice

“Life IS a game, but the rules are written down in so many different ways, there tends to be as many interpretations as there are players…. Do your best to play fair, by anybody’s rules, by keeping to a level field of play, and you stand a better chance of not only winning, but of enjoying the game…” ~~ gigoid

A new poem from gigoid is still in the cooker, simmering until it is done. As you may know, I can’t rush it, or it will disappear, never to be seen again, at least in my fears, so it will be left to finish without any interference from my conscious mind…. In the meantime, here is something from another poet of no little note…. Enjoy!….

The day came slow…

The day came slow, till five o’clock
Then sprang before the hills
Like hindered rubies, or the light
A sudden musket spills

The purple could not keep the east,
The sunrise shook from fold,
Like breadths of topaz, packed a night,
The lady just unrolled.

The happy winds their timbrels took;
The birds, in docile rows,
Arranged themselves around their prince
(The wind is prince of those).

The orchard sparkled like a Jew, —
How mighty ‘t was, to stay
A guest in this stupendous place,
The parlor of the day!

— Emily Dickinson

Old school! Old school!…. and all the better for it, eh, what? Since tomorrow is Halloween, we will celebrate by blowing away some of the cobwebs of ignorant fear associated with so many of the symbols of the holiday’s featured religion, Wicca…… from which much of the lore of this date is drawn. It was merely hijacked by the Christians as their own, back when they rewrote all the history books to suit themselves….. They’re good at that….

Below you will find a number of quotes, all targeted and locked on one of my ongoing peeves, deliberate ignorance, and the exploitation of that by the world’s religions…. Well, you know what I mean…. people are mean, sometimes, you know?….. They just like to cover it up with talk about redemption for original sins (of which I swear I have no recollection), and penance for sins, and confession of sins,  and hellfire, and such. I think they’d be better off getting a real job…..

“For “ignorance is the mother of devotion,” as all the world knows.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part iii, Sect. 4, Memb. 1, Subsect. 2

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority.  Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.” — Giordano Bruno (1548- burned at the stake, 1600)

“Those who believe without reason cannot be convinced by reason.” — James Randi

“I call Christianity the *one* great curse, the *one* great intrinsic depravity, the *one* great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, *petty* — I call it the *one* mortal blemish of mankind.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

(Just threw this in to make it clear exactly “who” we were discussing…..) (Plus, I happen to agree with Freddy on this one….)

“It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment or the courage to pay the price… One must abandon altogether the search for security and reach out to the risk of living with both arms… One has to embrace the world like a lover… One has to accept pain as a condition of existence… One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.” — Morris L. West, “Shoes of the Fisherman”

(Oops, sorry, this is 180 degrees from all of the above, talking about the other end of the scale of human nature….. Well, just use it for contrast, okay?…….)

“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

(Hmm…. Freddy seems to have a problem with Christians, doesn’t he?….. Can’t say as I blame him…..)

In regards to Oral Roberts’ claim that God told him that he would die unless he  received $20 million by March, God’s lawyers have stated that their client has  not spoken with Roberts for several years. Off the record, God has stated that  “If I had wanted to ice the little toad, I would have done it a long time ago.” — Dennis Miller, SNL News

“The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert A. Heinlein

Enough! I could do this all day, and not get the point across any better…. Plus, Smart Bee is getting testy, so we will now leave off our regularly scheduled daily battle against the advance of DUMB in society…… Stay alert, ffolkes, the world needs more lerts……

“I’m having a BIG BANG THEORY!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Well, all things considered, it could be worse…. That third section almost got away from me there for a while, but, all is well that ends well…. Life is good, except when it isn’t, and that’s about the best we can expect, I reckon….. I’ll take it….. Can you just wrap that up for me? Thanks…..  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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