Multiple choices should be outlawed in the early morning; they only lead to frustration and angst. Hell, even the simple choice of getting up or not, once awake, can be agonizing enough to ruin much of the subsequent day. Of course, having the choice to make is better than the alternative, for sure. I know I’d sure hate to wake up dead…… THAT would tend to spoil the best of days before it even got started, wouldn’t it?
I’m thinking it may be a good idea, at this point, to cease and desist traveling on this particular road. It comes to mind that I’m writing myself into a corner I won’t be able to get out of easily, so we’ll hare off in a new direction, to save myself the trouble later on. One of the few advantages to this aging process is the increased use of foresight to save trouble; I sure wish I’d started sooner, as it is an extremely handy, and efficient, habit to cultivate. It is hard to describe just how much time and effort it saves me, which, at this point in my life, makes it a most valuable habit, as well. I wouldn’t be able to get half as much done as I do without using it frequently…..
Silly me, though…. I got so busy patting myself on the back for having avoided a pitfall, I walked right into a subject change without any idea of where to go with it….. Hang on, this may take a moment or two, then we’ll be off again…. Okay, I’m back, with more proof of Murphy’s ubiquitous presence in reality. There I am, cruising along, writing this intro, and my own head takes me on a random trip through limbo, with only phantasmagoria as companion to visions of otherwise brilliant conversations. In other words, zip to write about….. Oh well, I got a paragraph out of it, so, it will have to do….
The morning dive for pearls has now assumed a more vital aspect, thanks to the above lackadaisical effort at erudition. It would no doubt be best for me to just chuck up the rest of this section, and hope the remainder of today’s material will carry the process home. I’m starting to believe that may be the ONLY hope there is left for today….. so let’s get with it…. Shall we Pearl?…..
“He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hopes for the human condition is a fool.” — Albert Camus
I like to think of myself as a positive sort of guy, at least in the sense that I have hope at all. Of late, however, I’ve come to think that this statement by Al might be more accurate than I had given it credit for at first. After a lifetime of observing people, including the Beloved Ruling Class, in all their public glory, I’m afraid he’s right. There doesn’t seem to be much remaining hope that human nature will alter itself sufficiently to save us before it kills us all, as there is no evidence of the needed alterations taking place, nor any indication that they will become amenable to such alteration over time. Those who have the power are not often, stop, make that, are never willing to give up their, to them, justifiably acquired power without a struggle. Doing so is the only way we, as a species, have any chance of surviving the next century; that much is clear……
“In the United States…politics is purged of all menace, all sinister quality, all genuine significance, and stuffed with such gorgeous humors, such inordinate farce that one comes to the end of a campaign with one’s ribs loose, and ready for “King Lear,” or a hanging, or a course of medical journals.” — H. L. Mencken
This is a pretty good description of the American political scene. The feeling one gets, after exposure to its machinations for even a relatively short period of time, can leave one with just the feelings brought out by Mr. Mencken; it can get worse, should one actually get involved in the political process themselves. The constant barrage upon the senses by the politicians during a campaign have been known to cause actual medical issues, especially hearing and comprehension problems; it has long been established that lies can have that effect, if not treated with alternate doses of truth on occasion. During a campaign, especially for a national office, the number and weight of the lies that are spewed forth enters the realm of the ridiculous, even the ludicrous, and over-exposure can be hazardous to health, of both your mind, and the nation at large…..
“He wants a shoe horn, the kind with teeth.” — Smart Bee
It took me a minute to realize just why I used this pearl…. It really doesn’t have anything to do with our discussion of politics, other than as a peripheral issue…. A shoe horn, with teeth, is something I’ve always wanted…. (Don’t ask why. It’s another story, and could conceivably lead to legal charges being filed, so we won’t go there….) As a semi-desirable consumer item, I think there is a market, and if history is any indication, we’ll be seeing them advertised on TV any day now. That’s because the BRC, with their supporters, the preachers and bankers, just love to sell us useless shit we don’t need. It keeps us occupied in anything other than looking at what they are really up to. How else to explain Pet Rocks, or Chia Pets? It’s almost as frightening as the whole “air guitar” phenomenon…..
“Picture the sun as the origin of two intersecting 6-dimensional hyperplanes from which we can deduce a certain transformational sequence which gives us the terminal velocity of a rubber duck …” — Smart Bee
Or, don’t, if you prefer. As you might be able to tell, I’ve lost the thread here…. Too bad, really. I love ranting about politicians, and it was progressing very well, until I decided to get humorous. That always seems to puncture the balloon of my outrage, and turn it to a less acidic form of ridicule. Politicians are nasty, vicious creatures in the wild state, and need to be accurately and completely defined, in order to maintain the kind of control over them we need; they’ll do their best to take over if one isn’t watchful, and ruthless in defense of our liberty, the elimination of which is the goal of all politicians. Making jokes about them encourages the proper amount of disrespect, but isn’t mean enough to affect them strongly enough to allow full control; you gotta put on a choke chain, and keep it tight around their necks…..
“A man gazing at the stars is proverbially at the mercy of the puddle in the road.” — Alexander Smith (1830-1867), in Dreamthorpe
That same man is at the mercy of politicians, because politicians thrive on living in the mud, which is, as we know, the primary characteristic of puddles in the road. It is all well and good to keep one’s eyes on the heavens, but eventually we must bring our gaze down to earth, if only to see the mud in which the politicians have mired our steps, binding us to the spot so they can ply us with lies, and more lies…. Bloody assholes, all of them….
Notes of process and program…
Poems, alas, don’t chase through my head,
bumping and pushing, like brothers at dinner.
They’re more ripped out of my innards, instead.
Time and circumstance reveal no ultimate winner.
Simmering and bubbling near my unconscious mind
these maddening rhymes blind me, sans glimmer.
Building until bursting as if to be dined and wined,
the remaining denizens appear much slimmer.
Fiery visions retain such glorious fatal dimension,
in retrospect, yet fail to leave a permanent scar,
until blessed, or cursed, with focused attention,
singing, crying, bleeding, fast as a movie star.
Pretty soon can’t be soon enough, she said
to a chameleon colored thief bathed in moonlight.
Fancy candles in stripes of blue, gold, and red
foster honest dreams in shades of white.
Passage to daylight is problematic, at best:
beastly ghosts of insomniacs cast no shadow.
Even judges with robes can pass the wrong test
while the rest of us go with what we know.
Offered today as a bit of contrast, both to my poem above, and to life in general, is this wonderful little piece from the writers at Monty Python….
Our universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding,
In all of the directions it can whiz;
As fast as it can go, that’s the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere out in space,
‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth!
— Monty Python, “The Meaning of Life”
A one-eyed man is able to see,
A lame man is able to tread.
He treads on the tail of the tiger.
The tiger bites the man.
Thus does a warrior act on behalf of his great prince.
— Smart Bee, sort of….
In Smart Bee, my database of quotations and other tidbits, more than a few faux Chinese koan thingies, such as this one, keep showing up, like all the quotes, in a random order. Some are a little funny, but not much, either for content, or for their irony of delivery. Mostly, they’re just strange…. This one almost sounds as if it should actually mean something, like it is a deep lesson, buried in simple phrases.
But, after due reflection, for quite a long while, just to see if there was ANYTHING in it at all that might be of some value, I find it to be as obscure as ever, and devoid of all meaning….. Misfortune, indeed…. Warriors acting for their princes don’t fuss around with biting tigers, even if one-eyed and lame….
Never mind, move along, nothing to see here… We’ll keep going until we find a real pearl…..
“If once you conceive fundamental fact as a multiplicity of subjects qualified by predicates, you must fail to give a coherent account of experience. The disjunction of subjects is the presupposition from which you start, and you can only account for conjunctive relations by some fallacious slight of hand, such as Leibnitz’s metaphor of his monads engaged in mirroring. The alternative philosophic position must commence with denouncing the whole idea of “subject qualified by predicate” as a trap set for philosophers by the syntax of language.” — Alfred North Whitehead, Princ. Rel. pp. 13-4
Well, real pearl or not, there it is…. I don’t know about your reaction on reading this (if you made it all the way through, congratulations…. I did, only because I intended to discuss it, if necessary…. it is….), but mine was to burst into loud laughter, not a good thing, considering I found it at 11 at night, and the neighbors probably didn’t appreciate it….. My immediate thought upon catching my breath was, “Well, Al, you may be right, or not…. but, this is so densely constructed as to be damn close to impenetrable, and whether you are correct or not, nobody will care by half way through…..” I know, for sure, that I didn’t care at that point, as it took me about two minutes to get that far, slogging and chopping away at it like crazy…..
SIGH…. Never mind, again…. Move on, please, we’ll keep looking…..
“Not all politicians should be shot. One should be saved for the archives.” ~~ Smart Bee
I can’t believe how hard I laughed at this when I found it, and neither could the neighbors, again…. 🙂 It’s just so perfect! Apparently, I’m not the only person alive for whom politicians are an issue of some passionate negativity, who would just as soon use them for target practice as anything else…. such as for shark bait…… It’s too bad, really, that I found this so late in the day; it would make a great beginning pearl for a political rant. Since it came when it did, however, it will have to serve as the closer to this particular rambling pearl. It looked for a while as if it couldn’t be salvaged, but, with one great final surge, it put itself right into the running for POTD (pearl of the day…. one of our non-existent awards….). Great work, Smart Bee!…..
“Well, O.K. I’ll compromise with my principles because of EXISTENTIAL DESPAIR!” — Zippy the Pinhead
The best thing about existential despair is its similar nature to cotton candy. It looks all important and edgy, but really isn’t anything but sugar, spun out into a fantasy due to the wonders of the physical world, and its natural laws regarding heat, and certain chemical compositions. One bite, and it disappears, melting away to insignificance….. That, I think, is quite enough for one day….. Let me go back and see how it all shows up against the light background….
Well, it’s not exactly material destined for the Encyclopedia Britannica, but, it isn’t too bad, all things considered. I’m pretty certain there isn’t anything legally actionable, which is always a positive note. Since it has reached that stage where the only requirement is to be done, I’m pronouncing it done….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.