“The attacker must vanquish; the defender need only survive.” I had forgotten this lesson, until today, when Smart Bee remembered it for me. It’s one I learned a long time ago, first learning to use it in a physical sense, then later hearing it spoken aloud, and explored as a concept one may use to form strategy and/or tactics, and ultimately, use to deal with real issues in life. I’m not sure, but it probably originated in The Art of War, the classic tome by Sun Tzu, that is still used today in military colleges all over the world, as the primer in that subject, the basic knowledge that all warriors need to understand. It is also an idea that many writers could use to make life easier, should they choose to observe it in their work….
I’ve been approaching this whole writing thing with a bass-ackwards POV, assuming that certain standards needed to be met, in order to consider myself successful. In point of fact, nothing of the sort is true, and following that path only leads to ultimate frustration, as one’s needs and desires bump up against Reality, always a sure-fire clusterfuck.
In Reality, standards only exist for the convenience of the natives; they don’t really apply to the real world at all, as the parameters for that are completely flexible, and change all the damn time. Reality doesn’t CARE, you see, only we do, so we try to place our own hang-ups, our neurotic need for some kind of understandable order, onto Reality’s shoulders, whereupon it just shrugs it off, every time….
The truth of the matter is that all I need to do is please myself, and not worry about the rest of it….. The purpose behind my performing this exercise is to maintain some semblance of sanity…. I’ve found that if I DON’T get this stuff out of my head, it tends to cause problems for me, and ultimately, for everyone else with whom I come into contact.
I am afraid that if I didn’t get it out of there, it could eventually creep out into the real world, and start affecting the parameters of the space-time continuum, with unpredictable, but most likely bad, results for everyone. Sudden shifts in how space and time operate are not particularly welcomed with glee by most of this universe’s inhabitants; they tend to get annoyed, once they’ve stopped screaming in abject terror….
As you might guess, I don’t want that to happen, so, I try to get all this out of my brain every day, lest bad stuff occur… it’s just better for everyone if I do…. Yep, that’s me all over…. altruistic and generously compassionate. See, it says so, right here on the label….. If you can buy into that, I’d like to speak to you later about an investment opportunity, just for you, with no risk attached…. Bring cash, okay?….
Since I’ve made this decision, which, essentially says that I can do whatever I damn well please, I feel a lot better, understandably. It takes a lot of pressure off to know that one needn’t give a shit about anything anyone thinks, or anything anyone can do; quite liberating, you know? I’m not sure as to how that will translate into the pearls, but, hey, any changes are good, as we say around here…. Besides, how could it get worse? Here now, stop that snickering, and be nice….
Shall we Pearl?….
These days, the urge to rant is almost constant…. the primary stimulant is always a news headline, and is always out there somewhere, on the net, the radio, the TV, or in a newspaper, for me to find. I seldom need to even read the articles behind the headlines, as the irony comes clear quite well without doing so, and reading the entire set of lies that the pundits are trying to sell us just makes me more angry, which can make the rant more vicious.
No, there isn’t any difficulty in finding rantable material, the issue I’m having is in the motivation to do so, which seems to be waning a bit, leaving me feeling lazy…. It’s waning, I know, because my overall life is making me happier than it has in a long time, so it’s not as if I want that to change; that would be downright stupid.
It does make for less compelling Pearls, though, even though I think they are best when they’re a bit obscure. I was always taught that obscurity, used in this fashion, makes people work their minds harder, and that’s always a good thing, so that’s what I do…. Ranting is for ME, to get that angst out of my head….. creating old-school pearls is done with the reader in mind, to entertain and challenge, hopefully mixing in a bit of humorous irony, just for flavor (it’s the chef in me…. gotta feed people, even if only their heads….).
What I’m winding up to say here is that once again, we’ll go with an old-school pearl in this section today, because I’m not going to rant, having decided to leave that off today’s menu, as explained, in no doubt excessive length, above…. So, sit on back, relax, and limber up the old gray cells, ’cause this pearl’s for you!….
“Your knowledge would be useless without my ignorance!” — gigoid (Just kidding, found it in Smart Bee…. but, I could have said it!….)
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” — Maya Angelou
“Aristotle was famous for knowing everything. He taught that the brain exists merely to cool the blood and is not involved in the process of thinking. This is true only of certain persons.” — Will Cuppy
“The Golden Rule is of no use to you whatever unless you realize it is your move.” — Frank Crane
“He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His sister’s husband’s niece.
‘Unless you leave this house,’ he said,
‘I’ll send for the Police!'”
— Lewis Carroll, “Sylvie and Bruno”
There! If that isn’t inscrutable enough for you, you’ll have to look elsewhere for your curly fries…. Oh, hell, okay…. Here’s a couple more, just so nobody can complain about not getting enough information to work with….
“We are born for a higher destiny than that of earth.- There is a realm where the rainbow never fades, where the stars will spread out before us like islands that slumber on the ocean, and where the beings that pass before us like shadows, will stay in our presence forever.” — Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)
“A string of excited, fugitive, miscellaneous pleasures is not happiness; happiness resides in imaginative reflection and judgment, when the picture of one’s life, or of human life, as it truly has been or is, satisfies the will, and is gladly accepted.” — George Santayana
Okay, if THAT isn’t enough, it’s simply too bad, because these two, in conjunction with the other five, make up a damn good set of directions for enlightenment, for those who care to follow it to its logical end…. Never tell me I never give anything away for free….
In keeping with today’s theme of altered parameters and distorted paradigm, I give you a poem of mine, one that I’m quite proud of, all in all, and seemed to fit in to today’s theme… or not, but, hey, it’s at least got a good message of its own….
I never meant to kill that period of time,
it didn’t give me any choice.
It tried to hem me in without reason, or rhyme,
refused me any vote, or any voice.
You have to admit, I buried it deep and fast,
just as if I cared.
I knew, though, it would never last,
or ever be fully repaired.
No news, no pictures can bring it back,
once is all we get.
No pleas of public good, or even public lack;
in stone the past is set.
Futuristic visions now occupy my dreams,
I’m ready to go on.
Look! It fills up the screen, and it gleams!
Where’s the moment I’m sitting on?
Now, I remembered, at long, long last,
is all we really can hold.
Every moment goes by so bloody fast,
we’d best fill them all with beauty, warm and bold.
~~ gigoid ~~
“.. I see TOILET SEATS…” — Zippy the Pinhead
More often than not, Zippy seems to show up either as the opening pearl for a group, or as the concluding pearl. He often ends up in the middle of a group, too, probably more often than anybody but Smart Bee, whose only limiting factor is whether or not Google can find out who originated an unattributed quote….
The above, for some unknown reason, (and, no, I don’t want to know….), just reached out and grabbed me, saying, “Use ME!”, and I thought to myself, “Why not?”…… I’m pretty easy about that sort of thing, as you’ve seen….. Any who, what this means is another old-school pearl, as this is just too broad a statement to use for a rant….
I suppose it could conceivably be translated into an unusual sort of metaphor for society, or the mountains of knowledge (I can see them now, forests of toilet seats, reaching off into the distance as far as the eye can see from the top of the mountain….), but, even I have my limits, thankfully. NO, instead we’ll just let SB, and Zippy, figure out what they want said, and pick out the quotes that will shine the light on that path…. I hope….
“A hard beginning maketh a good ending.” — John Heywood (c. 1565) — Proverbes, Part i, Chap. iv
“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest–a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.” — Albert Einstein
“To set the mind above the appetites is the end of abstinence, which one of the Fathers observes to be, not a virtue, but the groundwork of a virtue.” — Johnson
“Freedom is meaningless unless you can give to those with whom you disagree.” — Thomas Jefferson
“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” — Albert Einstein
“Muddy water let stand becomes clear.” — Lao Tse
“I’m mentally OVERDRAWN! What’s that SIGNPOST up ahead? Where’s ROD STERLING when you really need him?” — Zippy the Pinhead
Okay, pay attention, please…. Back away from the screen, and carefully put down the mouse… We ended up in a place where the slightest wrong movement could produce a head-bomb of such destructive power, it could wipe out years of preconceived notions, a circumstance for which my insurance is not nearly extensive enough, neither to cover any damages that would ensue, nor provide any needed therapy in the coming years, should someone make a mistake….
There, all safe now… Sorry, didn’t expect that, but, that’s what happens sometimes when I let Zippy have his way. I think that’s probably enough fun for one day….
I happen to agree…. that’s probably enough for one day, fun or not….. Let’s check it out for typos and inconsistencies…. well, typos, anyway….
I’m forced to admit, some days it just comes out better than others…. Some day, I’ll figure out how to make that true for every day. For now, though, this will do quite nicely, and right on time, too! Sans further folderol….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.