Hardly a day goes by that I don’t miss ol’ Gumption…. He was the finest example a man could ever want to see, the all-around best kind of example, of how valuable it can be having a real, verifiable, mother-lovin’ orangutan running your town…. Not to say he was the best dressed mayor we’ve ever had, but, he made up for that by havin’ way more than his share of common sense, and a fine, well-honed sense of humor…. He was real smart about kissin’ babies, too, seemed to just love the little tykes…. and there sure weren’t any worries that he’d be making time with his secretary!….
Of course, it was a mite difficult at times, figuring out just what he was trying to say, but, most of the folks in town got real good at that there sign language he used to use to talk, so that big issue about those campaign promises was sure to blow over, once the right translation got circulated…. It was all a misunderstanding over the sign for “practice”, which, unfortunately, is almost identical to the sign for “masturbation”…. It could have happened to anyone!…. Yep, we’re gonna miss having some Gumption in the town hall, that’s for sure….
However, I’m even more sure that none of us will miss those two paragraphs, now that they’re done…. We can put them firmly behind us, and leave them there, with no regrets whatsoever…. Not only are there no regrets at being done with them, there is GREAT RELIEF, engendered, no doubt, by the realization of just how BAD they are…. Even as I was writing them, I could barely keep myself from tossing my cookies all over the keyboard, which, as we all know, is never a good idea…. It tends to make the rest of the day one of complete and utter chaos…. I don’t know about y’all, but, I’m not going there, not for anything….
Hence, the 360 turn upon completing the second paragraph above….. I mean, the concept of starting off with a bit of humor was a good one, and, in retrospect, actually showed some potential, especially the part about the orangutan in the town hall… Hell, it worked for Clint, right? But, it takes a bit more elegant prose than what I came up with to make it work, even if the elegance may be hard to find while using a southern-fried accent, with all the corn it implies….. The chopping off of consonants at the end of words was making it hard to type quickly, or efficiently, too, so there was that to account for….
What was I thinking? Well, I WAS thinking a bit of change might be nice…. but, I suppose it should be planned out a bit more thoroughly than this, eh? It isn’t quite one of my hidden talents, I’m guessing, to write an intro like that when I’m still in the stone-cold-brain stage of my morning routine…. Oh well, as a scientist, I’m not likely to hold on to the experience too long; no experiment is worth getting all worked up over, especially one that is a complete failure in most respects….
No, indeed, we don’t worry about stuff like failed experiments here at ECR….We just shrug our shoulders, and go on our merry, scientific way, to the next experiment, and the next introductory section, where we LIVE to experiment! Well, maybe not LIVE for it….. but, we definitely LOVE it!
Besides, it always gives me something else to write about, a process which, though it is a constant drain on my creativity, needing all the help it can get, nonetheless makes every word I write worthwhile…. Well…. we like to think so, anyway…. and, it keeps me from thinking about all the idiots out there the world would be better off without, which is what my mind tends to dwell upon, given the opportunity to do so…..
Shall we Pearl?…. Today, I think it would be best to do so, quickly….
“If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.” — Montesquieu
Day after tomorrow, I’m going on another cruise…. This one is a little short one, just a few days to Mexico and back, out of L.A….. I’ll be trying to post, but, we’ll see how it goes with the internet on board…. Often, the system they have isn’t up to the task of posting anything other than text, which, for me, is the hardest part to produce when I’m cruising…. Pictures I’ve taken are much more fun to put up, but the network on board the ships I’ve seen varies a lot in the bandwidth available for uploading… I had no problems on board the Celebrity ship in Europe, but all the Princess ships I’ve been on have been less than satisfactory, to say the least…. They’re also WAY overpriced, in terms of access charges per minute….
What that means for right now, though, is an old-school pearl for this section, because that’s what I FEEL like doing…. I’m not yet in enough of a state to rant, and don’t feel like it right now, anyway… I’ve got the grump on, for sure, but, don’t feel quite enough angst to carry it off yet…. hence, this paean to laziness…. Follow the bouncing ideas, ffolkes, and let this pearl lead you right where I want you to go, in your minds, which is where I will leave you today, so it will be easier to find your way back…. Enjoy!…. or not…. As always, the decision as to that remains as an exercise for the Gentle Reader….
“He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has.” — Henry Ward Beecher
“You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won’t back down.” — T. Petty
“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness, and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.” — Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
“Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.” — Epicurus
“Even a cabbage may look at a king.” — Smart Bee
(Look at this one again; think on it a while…. There is more here than meets the ear…..)
“It is not without good reason said, that he who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book i, Chap. ix, Of Liars
— Bother! said Pooh, when he mixed up the Ben-Gay and the K-Y Jelly.
(Oh!… Ouch!…. Sorry, that just happened…. I’ll try again for a good closer…. Disregard that one, please; it’s a plant, put there by one of Murphy’s myrmidons, no doubt….)
“Truth is merely common sense, says the naive realist. Really? Then where, precisely, is the location of–a rainbow? In the air? In the eye? In between? Or somewhere else?” — Edward Abbey
That’s better….. Sorry again for the disruption, ffolkes, I’ll double my security at the doors…. Oh, wait, I don’t have ANY security at the doors… Hmm, well, since there’s no budget for that, anyway, we’ll just have to put up with the occasional double entry…. If we move on quickly enough, maybe they’ll think we didn’t even notice, and give up…. Sure, that’s the ticket…. Okay, onward…
Again, a poem that requires no ups, no extras…..
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.
He questioned softly why I failed?
“For beauty,” I replied.
“And I for truth,–the two are one;
We brethren are,” he said.
And so, as kinsmen met a night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
When I read a poem like the one above, I get a feeling in me, that if I could die, for beauty, or for truth, I could be content with life…. Perhaps it’s just me, but, given the popularity over time of Emily’s poetry, so I rather think that such is a fairly common reaction to the power of her visions, rather than something unusual in me…. This is true in spite of the funny looks I’ve received all my life whenever I’ve admitted to such feelings in front of my peers….. Being the stubbornly independent sort of cuss I am, such looks only fueled my desire to BE different, instead of persuading me to conform to custom, to “Man Up!”, have another beer, & put down a bet on the next football game…
Well, sorry, dudes, I’m Man enough, and don’t much care for beer any more…. Plus, I’ve been over football for many years, having grown weary long ago of all the commercialism that infuses every level of the sport, from Pop Warner’s five year old linemen to the nursing homes taking care of the 45 year-old NFL veterans with degenerative arthritis, who can’t walk by themselves anymore…..
Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, and, every other kind of sporting endeavor in which people engage, as far as possible in the last hundred years, has been completely commercialized, channeling and shaping society itself into the modern format, wherein a system is in place to find and train the best in each of those sports, over the course of the youth of the player pool in each country, with the full cooperation of government, schools, and society in general.
This system of sports leagues, associations, rules, and advertisement, allowed unchecked in schools, while simultaneously encouraged in society at large, ensures there will be a never-ending supply of talented players for each sport, so that a very small number of people can make a very large amount of money, buying and selling that talent, and packaging it in the glamor of professional sports….
The entire pantheon of sporting figures we are forced to watch on television is, ultimately, just another distraction, encouraged by those shadowy corporate entities who control society from the wings…. They are the perfect way to keep large portions of the populace quiet and occupied, making up fantasy leagues, vicariously living through the eyes of cameras that lionize the activities of the players, who take classes in college to learn how to talk to reporters…. so they won’t embarrass their schools, their teams, or their owners…. who are the final arbiters of what will take place in those venues, of course….
As a former athlete myself, it’s a sad thing to watch….. But, then, most of what I see in society today is pretty sad, as none of what I see acknowledges any of the problems that are so obvious to me… The world just goes on, fussing and feuding, worrying about whether or not their local quarterback will be able to maintain THEIR reputation around the country, as the local papers would have us believe when they parade his latest exploits all over the section devoted to sports news….
I don’t know how I got going on this, but, it seems to have turned on me, into a short, if cogent rant on the state of the state, as it were…. and I don’t see it as a good state…. Of course, there’s nothing particularly new and fresh about that…. The issues I see, and talk about, have been building up for a long time…. many centuries, in fact. But, the difference between what I am saying in my rants and what has gone before is critical, to my mind….
The issues I’m speaking of in my rants are real, and, like it or not, we have reached a point in our history when ALL of the evil that has been done will be coming home to roost…. The acts of deliberate cupidity being enacted by the corporate masters, who believe in their own invulnerability, are going to have serious consequences, for them, as well as for us….
The carbon (monoxide, dioxide, or any other oxide…. doesn’t matter, none of them belong there in such quantities….) being pumped into the atmosphere each SECOND, by industry and vehicles, is going to reach a point of no return; in fact, it may have already done so…. At that point, our survival as a species will become a question rather than a certainty…..
I, for one, am not looking forward to those times, as it may just turn into what we’ve been led to believe Ragnarök, or Armageddon might look like by some of our more visionary, and visually oriented, religions…. Whatever it is like, even the corporate masters aren’t going to like it, because even their money won’t help….
Sorry to be so gloomy…. I just got to thinking about all of this, and decided to let it flow out, to get some of it off my chest…. Maybe somebody who needs to see it will come by, and start the movement to save the world…. If so, great…. if not, well, there’s always tomorrow, right?….
Well, maybe not always…..
“Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate problem is wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in pulpits that unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and ignorant? Is it not a spectacle to make the angels laugh? We are a company of ignorant beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness, learning only be incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering of truth by falling into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light enough for our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt to describe the ultimate origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one of us ventures to declare that we don’t know the map of the universe as well as the map of our infinitesimal parish, he is hooted, reviled, and perhaps told that he will be damned to all eternity for his faithlessness…” — Leslie Stephen (1832-1904), “An agnostic’s Apology”, — Fortnightly Review, 1876
I have the feeling this came out okay, but, I can never be sure…. I guess I won’t find out unless I go check it out, so, here goes….. Okay, well, it’s definitely a Pearl, and as such, I declare it done…. This means I can go now, right? Oh, good…. I think I may have hurt myself somewhere…. Oh, wait, never mind, that’s just my pride, which I see I’ve dumped in the trash….. See ya…..
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.