I’m still in a bit of shock, but, it’s understandable…. It’s not every day the President Of The United States addresses one directly in an email…. Actually, logic, and my ever-alert crap detector, says that even if I DID receive an email that purported to have been written by the POTUS himself, with a real White House logo at the top of the page, addressing me by my first name and all, the real odds are, it probably wasn’t him at all, but one of his staff flunkies, trying to convince me that he actually knows who I am, and gives the tiniest shit about what I might think…. Perhaps that’s why I’m a bit skeptical of the offer to join in on a conference phone call with the POTUS, because, hey, he REALLY WANTS TO KNOW what I think about stuff….
Yep, I got that email yesterday, directly from the White House, and signed (digitally, of course….) by Barack himself…. First, the damn thing addressed me by my first name, as if Barry actually was writing, had been introduced, and was granted the use of my given name, rather than treating me with the respect of using my surname…. Pretty insulting, if you stop to think about it, not to mention presumptuous….
They (or he, as they wanted me to believe….) wanted me to respond by clicking on a link that would include me in whatever propaganda event they have planned for whenever it was…..some kind of group hug over the phone or something…. Sure, I’m going to give them my name again…. they already inundate me with daily emails to try to get me to donate money (begging letters, I call them….), or to involve me in some propaganda spin, or to get me to call Congress (where one may talk to as many answering machines as one wishes….. I know, I’ve tried….)….
To be honest, I only let them continue because I believe in the old adage about knowing one’s enemies, and keeping them close, in order to know what they’re up to….. Originally, back in 2008, when I first emailed the White House, I did it because they advertised that they had set up the email to give them an idea of what the public wanted…. I found out quickly that all they really wanted was a way to gather emails from people who might be supporters, so they could ask them for money and time, to carry out their so-called “grass roots” efforts to “improve the lot of the middle class…..” Since I wrote them ONE TIME, FIVE YEARS AGO, I have been assaulted by ten different organizations who somehow got my name (I wonder where?….), all of whom want me to sign petitions, or start petitions, or join a cause, or mostly, just send some money for them to throw into their black hole….
Move On.org, Greenpeace, the White House, and a host of others now send me emails EVERY DAMN DAY, practically dunning me for contributions, letting me know that, if I don’t personally take the time to support them, the big bad Republicans, or the Tea Party, or some corporate raider, is going to once again make me and the whole rest of the country suffer, just because they are able to raise more money than we are….
Hell, even Al Franken, the former comedian who got himself elected as Senator in Minnesota, sends me begging letters every day, just because they got my email address from Move On (I think….)….. I just delete all of them without reading them all the way through, so I know at least what they’re moaning about now…. If I bothered to click on the “unsubscribe” link in the emails, well, that would just be one more piece of data for them to use, so they could mark me as a known enemy-type to them…. Better to just ignore and delete….
I really hadn’t meant to rant in the intro again, but, as I sat down to write today, it struck me how insulted I was by that email…. For them to think that A) they could manipulate me like that, B) they could get me to join in by making it a personal request by the POTUS, and C) to use my first name, as if I’m some sort of child, or servant…. Well, all three of them are erroneous assumptions, insulting in their familiarity, and in their assumption of my gullibility, as well as being downright asinine in their assumption of my technical ignorance….
In addition it is just plain stupid to think that I would actually believe for even ONE SECOND that the President of the United States would actually address a citizen in such a way, and actually care for even a moment what that citizen thinks…. As if that would alter their own agenda!…. What a crock of bullshit!…. I am tempted, a little, to send back a reply of some sort, just to see if they are paying attention at all to what they receive, other than as a means of mining addresses…. But, I know for a fact that they would just ignore it, as it doesn’t fit into any of the parameters they’ve set up to gather that data….
I guess I’ll just let this one go for the time being, and see if they try to follow up, as they’ve done before, with another invitation to join the call…. Sometimes, they’ll send two or three invitations like this, just to see if I’ll respond…. I don’t generally do anything but delete them, but, it might be time to see if I can trick THEM into some kind of dialogue, until I can pull them in far enough into my game, and deliver to them some of the same kind of CRAP they send me every day….. It’s worth a try, I think, and may keep me amused for a short while…. It also probably won’t affect these Pearls, as nothing else seems to keep me from getting them out, other than my own physical failings….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“.. Should I get locked in the PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE today — or have a VASECTOMY??” — Zippy the Pinhead
Hmm…. Tough choice, there, Zippy…. Having been there, done that, for both, we’ll go on to bigger things…..
I like to think I’ve got a handle on Life, but, as soon as I think that, Life snatches itself out of my grip, so my handle probably isn’t as secure as I’d like to think…. That’s okay, it’s always been a chancy world, with nothing ever guaranteed, but for change….. I like it that way, truth be told.
With that in mind, I’m going to gather together a group of pearls for this old-school version of a daily POVW, as they were created back when I sent them via email to about 200 otherwise bored state employees, who came to view them as their bright spot in the day, whether they opened them when they arrived, or saved them for a quiet moment, as some did….
Since this one was picked out without any particular parameters or paradigms to guide the choices, I can’t predict how it will turn out…. but, that’s Life, right?….
“Virtue consists in avoiding vice, and is the highest wisdom.” — Horace (B.C. 65-8)
“Ten thousand years – a single thought. A single thought – ten thousand years.” — Zen saying
“The first gift of maturity is the ability to look a child straight in the eye.” — John Francis Putnam (1964)
“A God alone can comprehend a God.” — Young
“I’d rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I haven’t.” — Lucille Ball
“Men often believe — or pretend — that the “Law” is something sacred, or at least a science — an unfounded assumption very convenient to governments.” — Lazarus Long
“Life is too short to be taken seriously.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Damn near perfect, I’d say….
Today’s poem is one I’ve used before, though not for some time…. I use it, because I like it, and that’s all there is to it…. I hope you like it, too…..
A fragment moon hangs from the bare tung tree
The water clock runs out, all is still
Who sees the dim figure come and go alone
Misty, indistinct, the shadow of a lone wild goose?
Startled, she gets up, looks back
With longing no one sees
And will not settle on any of the cold branches
Along the chill and lonely beach
~~ Su Tung-po ~~
As I noted yesterday, the new WP function that refers us to older posts has been a real godsend for me…. Here is a wonderful little rant from early this year, that seems quite appropriate today…..
From the 2/26/13 POVW, “Don’t bust Your gaiters, boys, it’ll get bigger….”
“We are going to have to find ways of organizing ourselves cooperatively,sanely, scientifically, harmonically and in regenerative spontaneity with the rest of humanity around the earth…. We are not going to be able to operate our spaceship earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common.” — Buckminster Fuller
Bucky said this some time around 1968 or 69; Google would know exactly…. but I remember it well, as part of the argument that first convinced me of the imminence of the danger from overpopulation, pollution, climate change, and all of the other foolish, self-destructive behaviors in which our species has engaged for millennia. The cumulative effects of all of these issues is approaching a flash point, a point that, quite possibly, may already have been reached, and passed, without anyone noticing….
Perhaps the worst example of the entire problem is the movie “An Unpleasant Truth” with former VP Al Gore narrating a summary of these issues, with all the then-currently-available-evidence, all of which, taken together, was rather impressive, as well as fairly well unarguably accurate. In other words, it told the exact truth, and clearly….
I call this the worst example because this perfectly told truth of the matter was ridiculed, reviled, and dismissed, by the governments, and the public, one by ignoring it, and the other by refusing to listen, reacting instead to an unfortunate delivery style. Yet, every word Al spoke in this movie is true, and is being proved today, with the already extreme climate changes we are witnessing on a world-wide scale….
“What are the facts? Again and again and again — what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” — what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!” — Lazarus Long
But, the stupids keep on decrying any changes have happened, and blithely ignore the warmer, dryer winters, the cooler, wetter summers, the shrinking polar ice (at BOTH poles!…), the instability in the biosphere, the tons of carbon monoxide and particulates being added into the atmosphere every second, along with all of the other evidence that PROVES them wrong. It isn’t a matter of there not being any real evidence, it is a matter of the evidence being ignored, or challenged, that is proving to be the hardest obstacle to be overcome, if we are to survive beyond the next 100 years….
Yep, that’s MY estimate, based on all the different time-scale estimates I’ve read about, the evidence I’ve examined, and my take on how society is dealing with all of it…. I don’t see the changes needed happening, not yet, nor is there much indication that a way to stop the assholes in power from their insane intransigence, or their selfish hoarding of resources for their private use, is even close to being discovered, or implemented.
The atmosphere is almost full, and the balance of the gases and elements that make up the air we breathe is, WITHOUT FAIL, going to begin to change, eventually changing into air that will not support our life form, meaning, we won’t be able to breathe it; we will suffocate…. This process, well understood by science, has already begun, and will happen faster with each passing day, once it reaches a certain critical point…. That point, if not already reached, is not far off….
“Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin, the victim can’t help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.” — Lazarus Long
Now, I know there is some small hope, and that everyone who reads this will give me positive reasons for that hope…. and I agree with all of them. I don’t want to die, and I don’t want my children, or their children, to have to face the same issues in order to save themselves. I’d much rather just shoot the motherfuckers who are causing all of it right now, and be done with it….
Sadly, that won’t work, (they’ve already proven that, by using that method over the last three or four millennia…), so we’ll have to figure out something else to do…. I am not enough of a genius to be able to figure out exactly what that might be, though I have some ideas that would help, I’m sure…. But, I’m not in a position now to have those ideas instituted, so they are moot, unless I somehow find myself in such a position….
Hope is, therefore, just about ALL I have left….
I must be restless again…. I booked another cruise yesterday, just a short 4 day affair to Ensenada and back, out of L.A., and now am trying desperately to find stuff to distract me from getting all worked up about it, packing two weeks early, and generally driving Pat crazy with my enthusiasm to get out of Dodge…. Now, I’m trying to post this before actually getting it done…. Settle down, there, big fella, there’s still a good 13 days before you get to go, so, you’d best get a grip…. Let’s see how today’s Pearl came out, shall we?….
Not too bad, considering…. It’s good enough to let if fly without any more help, or editing that I can see… I guess that means I have to go now….. Ta then, until tomorrow….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
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.