Having spent the last 8 or so hours in complete and utter misery, or, as much as anyone sleeping indoors in a warm place can experience in one night, I am up, and ready to Pearl, in my own fashion…. Coffee’s siren call fills my senses as, bravely, I sally forth from the chamber of horrors that comprises my sleeping room, to do battle with the forces of evil one more time….
Not that there are any such nasty forces at play right here and now, but, it sounds more dramatic that way, making it easier to talk myself into this again. Motivation can play a big part in getting a Pearl done, especially in the beginning, when potential is strongest, but, the day has not yet been given a direction, or even a mood….
Motivation today will be an issue of note, I’m thinking, as it generally is on those days when I’ve spent the night NOT sleeping…. well, or otherwise. I mean, I know I’m going to do it, but the energy levels required to get this done are greater than what is available to me without some reason, a stimulus of some sort, a kick in the pants to get the process rolling…. Once I’ve gotten started, inertia is sufficient to keep me going, even when tired…. Plus, once I begin a rant, or begin to edit an old one, the angst flows…. Then, energy is no longer an issue….
However, right now, energy is a bit hard to find…. plus, I can tell you, I’m not in the mood to write much at all, so I’ll be leaning heavily on archived material today…. It won’t matter much, as the subjects on which the old material is based is as valid today as it was then…. The Asininnies are still on the loose, and global warming is still gaining speed, so there’s plenty for me to rail about; in fact, given my usual subject matter, I don’t think I’ll ever really run out of material to write about…. Those assholes are just too good (or bad, depending on where you’re looking at it from, of course…) at what they’re doing to ever fail to find something else they can turn into a pile of shit….
In sooth, I am finding motivation to be a hard thing to corral these days, mainly due to the advanced state of global warming that the latest environmental scientists reported in 2013…. The worst case scenario, which speaks of the meltdown of our planetary supply of permafrost at an increasing rate as the ambient planetary temperature continues to rise, (permafrost contains methane, which is more potent a pollutant than even carbon…. Tons of methane are being released into the air each day now)…. gives us a possible end-time that is only MONTHS away; none of the other, more optimistic theories about what might happen give us much beyond a few years, possibly as many as fifty or a hundred….
But, no matter how long we may or may not have before the air becomes unbreathable, the changes we have caused in our environment are coming to a head, and once a certain point is reached, the rate at which it will occur will jump drastically, becoming a parabolic curve, approaching infinite speed…. at which time, it would be a prudent matter to bend over and kiss your ass goodbye…. More significantly than even this, though, is the fact that it is probably too late for us to even try to find a way to stop it all…. The carbon we’ve put into the air is beyond the point of return; the changes that occur will only get faster, as more methane from melting permafrost joins the carbon in the air….
SIGH…. I suppose you can see why motivation is becoming problematic for me; what I know of science tells me that the scientists are correct, and we no longer have any choice in what will happen. We have removed ourselves from having any say in our own future, turning over our fate to Mother Nature, and She is both ruthless and pitiless in her defense of her own integrity…. We have fucked up, and we will receive no reprieves, no pardons, and no mercy….
There, now that I have thoroughly depressed my entire base of readers, and myself, we’ll go on to the Pearl for today, and hope I can find something to make you smile, or get outraged along with me, or, if nothing else, give y’all a few minutes of entertainment…. while in the process, getting all that shit OUT of my head….. Bonus!
Shall we Pearl?…..
ELYSIUM, n. An imaginary delightful country which the ancients foolishly believed to be inhabited by the spirits of the good. This ridiculous and mischievous fable was swept off the face of the earth by the early Christians — may their souls be happy in Heaven! — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
As promised, here is a short, mild rant from the archives…. Apparently, 50 weeks ago, the world’s issues resembled those we are witnessing today, and my take on what was going on was, IMHO, not unintelligent, and fairly instructive…. Hence, the inclusion today of TWO pearls from last year, in all their dubious glory…. Enjoy!
In difficult ground, press on;
In encircled ground, devise stratagems;
In death ground, fight.
– Sun Tzu, The Art of War (circa 400 B.C.)
The Art of War is still considered by military experts to be one of the definitive books on warfare and strategy, after more than 2000 years. I’m not certain, but would certainly be surprised, if this little tome is not still used as a reference at West Point, Annapolis, The Citadel, and the Air Force Academy, in classes on tactics and strategy used in battle, and in peace time. In the book, which is actually quite short, Sun Tzu gives the basic tenets for success in war; he was so perfectly correct and complete, that all he wrote remains valid today, even though the landscape of war has grown much larger, and more complex. The issues that can decide victory or defeat remain the same….
One of the most surprising features of the book is the idea that Sun Tzu presents regarding the perfect warrior. In his mind, warriors came in a number of types, each of which required a different method of leadership. The surprise lies in his choice of the type of warrior that he considers to be the most valuable; oddly enough, at least, on the surface, he chose…. the Spy….
Not the weapons master, not the brilliant tactician, not the engineer…. the spy, who combined attributes of all the other types. According to Sun Tzu, a properly trained and experienced agent provocateur was, by far, the most valuable type of warrior, for, with the proper application of truth and lies, and the correct timing, battles might be won without loss of life or property, or with a minimum of effort, due to the efforts before the battle by the spy. This choice indicates that Sun Tzu recognized the true battle that is waging at all times when people interact with each other…. the battle between truth and lies….
We see this battle raging in our own society every day, as the politicians vie with each other to see which one can get the furthest from the truth and still convince people they aren’t full of shit. When we have priests telling us that we aren’t the masters of our own bodies or minds, expecting us to not even ask why, we are witnessing the constant struggle for control of our minds… and our pocketbooks….. Control of the former, of course, will always lead to control of the latter, and you can bet your booties that it is the pocketbooks that the preachers and politicians are concerned with, not just our minds, or our souls…. You betcha, compadre…
She was a wight, if ever such wight were,–
Des. To do what?
Iago. To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.
Des. O most lame and impotent conclusion!
– William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Othello — Act ii, Sc. 1
Normally, or as close as we get to normally, I wouldn’t use a Shakespeare quote, and this one shows why very well…. I can’t for the life of me figure out what the hell any of it means, but the last line struck home for this discussion…. Before what I am saying reaches the point where the last line might apply, I will refer you to the book itself…. The Art of War, by Sun Tzu; copies of it are available at any bookstore, or at your local library; nowadays, you can probably find it online in a number of places.
It is a fairly quick read, (though there are points that do require some thought and pondering), with fewer than a hundred pages in most of the versions I’ve seen. As I said above, it’s pretty simply written, but covers all that is needed to get his point across, which has to do with winning, not just at war, but in life. As with many things in Chinese culture, there is more to the subject than may be apparent on first view, and it is worth the time to look more deeply into what Sun Tzu left for us….
But war ‘s a game which were their subjects wise
Kings would not play at.
– William Cowper (1731-1800) — The Task, Book v, The Winter Morning Walk, Line 187
As much as I’d love to bleed out a fresh poem today, I can’t find it anywhere in me…. Hence, I retreat to one of my favorites for respite….
A Dream Of Death
I DREAMED that one had died in a strange place
Near no accustomed hand,
And they had nailed the boards above her face,
The peasants of that land,
Wondering to lay her in that solitude,
And raised above her mound
A cross they had made out of two bits of wood,
And planted cypress round;
And left her to the indifferent stars above
Until I carved these words:
She was more beautiful than thy first love,
But now lies under boards.
~~ William Butler Yeats ~~
This religirant is a bit more pointed than the one above that spoke about the battle in society for the minds of the people; the battle here is the same, but the methods used by the Priestly Hierarchies, and people of the ilk of Billy Graham are different than those used by the BRC, though no less demeaning, and no more honest…. This rant is one of my more potent, and very clear as to the targeted group’s identity….. which, as always in anything to do with humans, includes just about everyone….
Delusional material, very dangerous…. Read carefully…
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I may learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health, that I may do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I may be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
– unattributed, even by Smart Bee (I can assign no blame to them, for not wanting to take credit for this….)
From the time we are small, our minds are programmed with the ideas and beliefs our parents and families held as truth, regardless of whether or not there is any actual truth to be found in them. We have little, or no, defense against these ideas, as we are naturally inclined to believe what our care givers tell us. While I can understand the way it works, it seems to me to be a shame, that we don’t come with a built in truth detector, to protect us before we are able to reason for ourselves. Until our minds have been trained, we tend to accept whatever someone in a position of authority tells us, which may keep us safe, in a physical sense, when we are small and vulnerable, but is a dangerous habit to keep when grown.
The above is an example of how churches and the priestly hierarchies attempt to befuddle people into obedience and acceptance of their credos, aimed at those adults who have carried over their trust in authority into their adult views. On the surface, the statements seem to imply a certain morality, one of patience, compassion, and beneficence; but, underneath, they are merely designed to reinforce the ideas they wish to espouse, of obedience, humility, and subservience to authority.
If one is to believe the priestly hierarchies, we humans don’t really stand a chance against the universe…. In their minds, God has it all worked out, and it isn’t our place to question any of His prerogatives; we are here only to do His (translates as: their….) will, and to sing His praises (keeps us busy NOT thinking….). We are weak, bumbling, foolish creatures whose only claim to fame is that God loves us…. according to dogma. It occurs to me to ask, “So, which one of y’all is the one to whom God spoke, when he laid down all this specious crap? When y’all talked with God, how long had it been since you last took your medication?”
I know, I know, not very friendly approach, but, sheesh, give me a break…. I mean, these people are responsible for a great deal of the suffering and trouble mankind has endured over the last 5000 years or so, and don’t even have the courtesy to take credit, or apologize. In their minds, all that stuff they do to maintain their status quo is justified by their holiness, or whatever it is they claim makes them special. And, all the time, in reality, everything they do is designed, ultimately, to bring coins to their purses, and food to their tables, at the expense of the ignorant mass of believers….
I feel a nasty rant coming on…. Sometimes, when I write one of these rips at religion, I just get SO ANGRY…. I’m mad at the preachers and priests, and those who support them, for their willingness to prey on the public, using the pretension of religious fervor and worship to justify their narcissism, and for the thousands of years of suffering that mankind has endured at their hand. I am also angry at those people who buy into their bullshit, for not having the courage to use their minds, to blithely accept anything told to them by an authority figure, never even considering that there might be more to life than they are seeing…. It is all such a waste, and my anger knows no bounds….
“Civilization is fun! Anyway, it keeps me busy!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
Well, it would keep me busy if I could find any…. I had to include this little side-trip from Zippy in order to bring my anger level down. I was feeling the urge to let out ALL of the vulgar curses I could think of, to express how I feel about all the assholes who perpetrate this entire fallacy on the rest of humanity, knowing how gullible they are, and how little effort it takes to fool them into believing the most incredible bullshit.
I mean, how hard can it be to fool someone who would believe that the recent spate of cold weather means that global warming is a myth? How hard is it to fool someone who will gladly trade their freedom in this life for the promised reward in the next life? It’s so damn easy that the fools actually come asking for it, to be made into puppets, just so they can believe they are beloved of God, and guaranteed a spot in Heaven…. I often wonder just how fit to survive our species really is, when we can’t even come to terms with our own sense of self, or learn to accept the responsibility for our own actions….
Most folks are so scared to think for themselves that they gladly surrender that chore to the priests and politicians, apparently not even caring how often they lie to them. Even when the lies are exposed, and even proved, people will hang on to their prejudices, and to the belief in supernatural beings that control our every move; they are quite unwilling to let go of what they’ve bought into all their lives, even when it’s clear that none of it is true. Most of the time, they are unwilling to even look at any arguments against what they hold to be true, preferring the solid comfort of their ignorance. Makes me want to puke, it does…. on THEIR shoes….
Ah well, I’ve spilled enough bile and venom for one morning. It would probably be best to move on, and let this one die a natural death. If nothing else, I got some angst and pressure relieved, for the time being. It is almost a comfort to know that the politicians and preachers will be providing more ammunition in the coming days, as they continue their campaign of oppression against the people of the Earth; that means I’ll always have plenty about which to rant…. Happy Days!….
“Those who won’t think will have it done for them.” – Smart Bee
In spite of the use of mostly archived material, plus a poem by someone else, I’m beat…. Probably not sleeping is a factor in that, but, putting this together took more than I realized it would…. It must be okay, then, because otherwise I wouldn’t have worked so hard on it…. Hey, if that kind of logic and faith works for religions, I can use it, too, right? Sorry, I know, leave the ranting to the rants…. Any who, this now achieves the primary defining characteristic we seek for any Pearl, which is, arguably, it’s done….. 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.