Okay, so writing on a train isn’t practical…. at least not in one of the little roomettes they give you as a sleeper for a single passenger. The little table provided just isn’t cut out for working on, as it is cocked off to the side of the room. So, I’m sitting here trying to type in a very weird, uncomfortable position, which will kill my back before too long. Oh, the sacrifices one must suffer for one’s Art!…… Or even, for Bill, or Harry…. Sorry, couldn’t resist….. Since I’m stuck writing in these primitive conditions I let myself get away there….. it won’t happen again….
In fact, this is so difficult, I’m going to cheat, full time, for the first time ever…. All three sections today will be filled with old material, written for earlier Pearls, and you’ll just have to lump it, if’n you don’t like it…. Even the second section, with a poem for this month’s challenge, are from past Pearls…. so deal with it…. I’m having to….
Not only am I cheating to the extent of pulling from old stuff, but, this intro section is going to end up shorter than usual, as well…. Not that that is a bad thing, mind you….. Given the normal state of affairs here in the morning in the intro section, this one is downright upright. In fact, it’s so together, I’m going to leave it as is, and get on with the rest of today’s effort….. Shall we Pearl?…..
Here is a most excellent Pearl, from January of this year….. some of you may recognize it, as it wasn’t too long ago, but, I like it, and it’s a good one, so I feel justified…. Enjoy!…..
“Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason.” — Oscar Wilde
One may always trust Oscar Wilde to be both elegantly witty and intelligently insightful, though, to be sure, many of his most closely held views were somewhat divergent with what was commonly held to be true, philosophically. This divergence was, I believe, mostly deliberate on his part, as he tended to mock that which he did not respect, and he never had much respect for…. well, anything to do with human nature vs. reason and rationality. He mistrusted most people to act morally, and was unafraid of saying so; this, of course, made him both famous, and infamous….. His infamy, I’m sure, ultimately was his undoing, much to society’s loss; as is said so often about our brightest minds, “only the good die young….”
I often wonder, (well, maybe not so often, as much as I’m wondering now…) what the world today would be like, if somehow, some of those bright stars in history had lived to an age where their accomplishments, in relation to the advancement of human thought, and the betterment of the human condition, had a broader, and more lasting effect than their absence has left us. What if Keats had written poetry until he was 85? How many more inventions would have come to us from Nicolas Tesla, had he lived long enough for the rest of the scientific world to catch up to him, instead of hounding him to an early grave? How much more good music, and art, and literature would be available to all of us, if not for this tendency for the best of us to live as a burning meteor, flaming brightly through the sky, until burned out and lifeless?
It is a sad commentary for society to know that it is often the very brilliance of these people that brings about their downfall, at the hands of the ignorant, and the avaricious…. What is even sadder, to me, is that this demonstrates another part of human nature that is responsible for almost every issue in human history, and current society, that causes people to suffer pain, oppression, perpetual struggle, and will most certainly ultimately lead to the extinction of our species, on this planet, at minimum, if not completely…..
That piece of our nature is the unfortunate characteristic, in a number of humans, to be able to put aside all conscience, and act solely in their own self interest. All of us, of course, possess this to some degree; it is an outgrowth of having a will to survive. To these few others, it is their primary modus operandi; they simply do not take other people, or their concerns, into account when deciding what they are going to do, and are not hampered by the consideration of any suffering they may cause other people, animals, or things.
As is patently obvious, to my mind, every elected official, every high level preacher, every corporate magnate, and a great many lawyers, are all of this ilk, and have, for nearly 230 years now, been quietly and efficiently plundering the pockets and rights of the American people (and those of every other country in the world, for that matter…. it is a HUMAN condition, not just American…. Ours are just some of the most obvious about it….), while simultaneously lying, cheating, and otherwise acting to secure their stranglehold on society.
Anyone who disagrees with this assessment, quite simply, isn’t paying enough attention to the world around them….. Sorry to be so blunt, but the facts are all laid out, right there, almost every day in the news media, if one knows how to look at the larger picture it presents, rather than the individual facets of that picture. Focusing on the little shit is just what those in power wish for people to do…. it keeps them busy not noticing other, more incriminating stuff they are carrying out, in the darkness where they mostly live….
“… change depends on individual acts of courage and commitment. Most such acts are private, invisible, and uncelebrated. But some find a place in the public spotlight; and their influence goes far beyond mere example.” — Arthur C. Clarke & Michael Kube-McDowell, The Trigger, 1999
Each and every one of us, in the face of what we know about reality, is responsible in some way, and to some degree, for both the way things are, and the way they will be in the future. If you don’t believe that, well, discussion is, for you, probably useless, and little hope remains. For anyone with moderate insight, however, this is plain, clear truth, and we all need to accept it before any significant progress can be expected against those who are sociopathic, which I define, and hereby name, as homo suicidus, those who would kill us all…. But, it is imperative that we act soon, for the damage we have done, and continue to do to our world, is at a point where the effects are nearly irreversible, and even if we manage to wrest control from the beloved ruling class,it may be too late to save our lives….
“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence
It is my hope, small and pale though it be, that we WILL speak up, that the rational among us will rise up, and take back the control of our destiny from the hands of those who would see us all die, rather than give up their own control. It will only happen when men of courage, as defined by Mr. Emerson, stand up to those who would render us all impotent, for their own benefit. The only hope that exists for the rest of us lies in enough of us showing this kind of courage, and overcoming the fear that keeps us in thrall…..
“I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.” — John Milton (1608-1674) — Areopagitica
Myself, I don’t want to die ignominiously, gasping for breath, because I didn’t have the courage to speak up, and to fight back against the immoral, avaricious assholes who dominate society….. Instead, let’s create a whole new world, without a beloved ruling class, at all….. Who knows? We might just find out that anarchy works!….. Worth a try, I think….. And, if it doesn’t work, well, we can always try a technocracy, which we have yet to do in history….. With a bit of foresight and planning, it might just be what we need to survive our own foolishness… Maybe, Richard Brautigan had the truest prophetic vision, when he wrote “All watched over, by machines of loving grace….”
“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.” — Pablo Picasso
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
— Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning”
I forgot yesterday to post a link to the NaPoWriMo site, so here it is today, where it will be every day this month, or as long as my poetic urges hang tough…. Any who, you can see all the entries here: http://www.napowrimo.net/
A year has gone by
draped in melancholy tears
A mere stitch in time
So, I wrote this haiku on the one year anniversary of this blog, in August of 2012…. The poem is also from last year, in August, and it has an odd provenance, to wit:
” Yesterday afternoon, (which would have been 8/15/12) I sat down with the urge to write. A number of fleeting images chased each other around in my head, vying for who would be first to fly…. after some negotiations, I wrote what appeared to be a paragraph of prose in an abstract style, re-read it, scratched my head, and left it alone for the night….. This morning, when I sat down to start today’s Pearl, the paragraph was still there…. but it had changed somehow in the night…. I don’t know if it is my mind that changed, or the paragraph, but all of a sudden, it wasn’t a paragraph….. a few strokes, a couple of format and structural changes, and voilá, it’s a poem! Completely finished, too, needing nothing more from me…. I’ll call it…. ”
My mind wants to fly,
my soul wants to hold close, the source,
strong, the moments of time;
each as precious as golden thread,
binding together such elements of longing desire.
Love hovers, always patient,
seeking the open heart,
reaching for the promise of tomorrow…..
only for one, only for now, only what is real….
Dreaming, the morning calls,
heavy with mordant belief,
replete, and eternally alive…..
~~ gigoid ~~
I am a wordy son of a gun, when I get rolling…. Here is another old pearl, excerpted from a Pearl posted in 2012, and though a bit long, as is often the case, it has the advantage of being at least mildly amusing going for it….. Enjoy!…..
“Comedy = Tragedy + Distance” — Lenny Bruce
“Comedy is tragedy plus time.” — Carol Burnett
I’m sensing a theme here…. both of these people are known comedians (I know, kind of like known criminals, but legal….), yet both have deduced a common principle of humor…. It would be interesting to know the timing of these statements, if only to see who was plagiarizing whom. Regardless of which of them was the more dishonest, both were right, and both saw clearly how pain is directly tied to humor….. I’ve heard it said that we laugh because, if we didn’t, we would cry…… and I think everyone alive can identify with that…..
“Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained.” — John Powell
I’m either lucky, or smart, and since I know for a fact that the only luck I’ve ever seen is of the bad variety, I’m counting on smart….. I’ve known this for many years; in fact, I distinctly remember a moment when I was about 4 or 5 when something happened to drive the point home to me, and I stood there laughing at myself, distinctly enjoying my own silliness, and realizing that I would always be able to do so….. It was also a revelation about humor in general, because it allowed me to identify with other people, and what they found to be funny, thus enlarging my world by several degrees…. and opening up vast new worlds of humor….
I once read a book that proposed the theory that the feelings we get in life that are of value to us are not merely pleasant to feel, but are actually good for the body and system, to the extent that experiencing those valuable feelings would stop, and in some cases, reverse the aging process. In other words, laughter doesn’t just make you feel younger, but actually makes you younger by its effect on your overall well-being. Whether or not this is true, it feels true, and I’d like to think it so…. it would be very heartening to know that the more I laugh and enjoy life, the longer it will go on…. talk about a win-win situation! Even if it is not absolutely true, having “value experiences” seems like it can only be good for us; there doesn’t seem to be a down-side to this idea…..
“One of the things older folks like to give is advice, as a form of consolation for not being able to give bad example.” — Smart Bee
And if nothing else, it sure makes it a good thing to enjoy life to its fullest, so how can you lose? Nobody knows us like ourselves, so it should be pretty easy to come up with something about ourselves, and our often comical dealings with reality, to laugh at regularly, thereby giving ourselves a few more years to enjoy living…. And, if it is a just a bunch of backwash, well, at least you got a good laugh out of it…. that can’t be all bad…..
A guy calls 911: “My buddy and I are hunting, and he accidentally shot himself! I think he’s dead…. what should I do?” The operator, true to their training, says to him, “First, make sure he’s actually dead.” There is a moment of silence, then a gunshot is heard…. The guy comes back on the line to say, “Okay, now what?”…..
See, now isn’t that better?…..
It may look from the outside as if this Pearl is much like any other, but that is misleading. I’m sitting here, fighting nausea from some rather curvy, up and down just like a big boat on the ocean movements by the train…. I can’t recall this ever happening before, so maybe it’s a new gift of the aging process… Oh, joy….
Good thing I’m done, or nearly so…. Once I’m done putting this together, I’ll go explore the train, to find a spot in the Parlor Car, where the Wi-fi spot is located, so I can post this in a little while…. This train stuff isn’t as easy as I remember it; I think I’ll fly from now on…. Oh, quit your bellyachin’ Ned…. I think I’ve done all I can do here, so….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.