Well, hell…. Now what do I do? Here it is, 0430 AM, I’m up, coffee in hand, ready to start trying to figure out if there is anything in my semi-conscious mind that would serve to begin today’s Pearl, & what do I find? This…. This is a completed Pearl, dammit! When I found the material below, and gave in to the urge to rant it stimulated, I didn’t realize that I would be usurping this morning’s time slot, thus effectively giving myself nothing at all to do now, except, possibly, proof/edit this, punching it up where it’s soft, & generally tinkering with it until it screams at me to stop….
But, if I do that, what do I do with this intro, that I so conveniently wrote, AFTER completing all of the stuff you’ll see below, including the poem,and the archived piece?….Though, I see now, I DID leave the closing section undone, so, I guess that’s something…. Big of me, wouldn’t you say?
Well, I would, given that I’m playing a practical joke on myself…. I USED to be pretty good at them, during my university days, but, like many of the skills I picked up at Berkeley, not all of them translated into something useful in later life; practical jokes lose a lot of their luster after having a couple of them turn bad, or, worse, ending up as the butt of one…. Payback’s a bitch, isn’t it?
But, I DO have some pretty good memories of decorating certain fraternity and sorority buildings in Davis, on the night prior to their yearly homecoming, “Picnic Day”, a gently nostalgic, pandering title, designed to pull money from the alumni and the rich parents of students, who came to relive their own wild youth once a year, while pretending NOT to be envious of all the students by which they’re surrounded…. I lived in a cooperative dormitory, so as representatives of the bourgeoisie, the Greek brothers and sisters made perfect targets for a bit of ridicule….
Oh, not to worry, we didn’t do anything terribly terrorist, or frightening; just some minor breaking and entering, leaving notes and posters, complete with appropriate art work, (no graffiti, just tacked up stuff….) to show we’d been there, or running a few jock straps and brassieres out on the clothes lines between the dorms…. highlighting the huge, long, signs stating, in two-foot tall letters, they’d been pranked by UCB’s “Society of the Green Hand” (The Society’s formation is a tale for another time; I believe the statute of limitations runs out in another couple of years on that….) Needless to say, we were lucky not to end up dealing with the local law….
Actually, that was close, because, as we were finishing up with the very last tree’s decor, of colored toilet paper, a campus police car drew up under the tree, shined their light on one of us, up in the tree, & queried, “What’s going on up there?”…. With admirable quick thinking, Jeff, the one in the tree, gave them a huge smile, and just said, “It’s Picnic Day!”…. The cop just shook his head and drove away, while we waited breathlessly for them to get far enough away we could breathe, and burst into nearly hysterical laughter… We then piled in our vehicle, drove back to Berkeley, and spent the day sleeping off the adventure….
Gee…. It looks as if I found a perfect introduction for today’s Pearl, at least in terms of being of regulation size and placement…. How this morning’s retrospective will fit in with what goes on afterward remains to be seen, as it does each and every day I put myself, and y’all, through this somewhat torturous process….
Ah well, it never gets bad enough to actually cause bleeding, unless, of course, some of you aren’t telling me when you leave the cabin, to go bang your forehead against the nearest wall, in reaction to some of the stuff that I say, and/or do…. But, then, that’s a personal problem, isn’t it? So shame on you for trying to make me feel guilty about it…
Wouldn’t work anyway; I gave up guilt, over stuff I say or do, quite some time back, and have never felt better…. On that egocentric note, I think we’ll go now, and find something productive to do with today, since the only thing I have to write this morning is the closing section….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I speak the truth, and they never believe me.” — Conte Camillo Benso di Cavour
I found these two articles yesterday, after posting the Pearl…. As you’ll see, they provide the perfect jumping point for what follows…. I suppose that, as always, ‘perfect’ is a question-begging word to use, but, hey, I calls ’em as I sees ’em…. when I can find my glasses….
I had originally intended to have some words regarding this article, as it speaks to some rather important points…. but, then, I saw the following article, and my angst went right through the roof, stimulating the rest…. Now, read this one…. & just include it all together; it’s all of a piece, anyway….
Here, then, is an excellent example of the definition of ‘gigo’, (garbage in-garbage out), from the psychologist responsible for the design and codification of many of the torture methods, including “water boarding”, used by the CIA at Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere around the world….. His comments, which I will examine below, are so egregiously INSANE, I had to read the article in pieces, as I found myself shouting at him, every time he opened his mouth to make one of the reported statements…
I cannot BELIEVE this man was found to be an adequate psychologist, passing his tests and arguing his doctoral thesis, without having at least the basic innate ability to display even an ounce of compassion; I also don’t understand, at all, how he could be considered anything other than the US’s version of the Nazi scientist, the one at Auschwitz, who sent the Jews into the ovens….
Ah, yes, Josef Mengele…. the infamous, iconic mad doctor, the real version, the model for what all the comics use as the ultimate villain so often, whose insanity threatens the entire world, and everyone in it…. I tell you, ffolkes, those people in Washington, D.C. are totally out of control…. I’m not kidding; the current crop of elected officials, as well as the appointees put in place by those (I stared at this point for a long time, and still cannot, for the life of me, think of an expletive that it harsh enough…, so we’ll go with a classic….) assholes, all exhibit every single symptom of the violently insane, who believe their own twisted version of reality is the only real one, who hold on to their paranoid delusions so tightly, nothing, and nobody, can tell them differently….
Hell, I don’t even need, in this case, to resort to my special knowledge and experience, of working with the violently insane as a therapist for over 20 years…. These guys lay it out so clearly, right out in public, there’s no need for me to have to explain…. Their own words convict them whenever they condescend to open their mouths about what they truly believe….
Here, let me show you a couple of examples from the second article listed… The comments in quotes are by the protagonist in this drama, James Mitchell, (Piled High and Deep), Ph.D., formerly of the CIA, the psychologist regarded as the architect of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program…. a description taken straight from the article…. You’ll be able to recognize my comments by the anger and vulgarity the statements produce in me….
“The people on the ground did the best they could with the way they understood the law at the time,” he said. “You can’t ask someone to put their life on the line and think and make a decision without the benefit of hindsight and then eviscerate them in the press 10 years later.”
You can’t? Why not? These people were in no danger; there is no danger, no life on the line, when someone tortures another; only the one being tortured is in danger. And if you do something so obviously WRONG, it doesn’t fucking matter a bit how long it is, you SHOULD be vilified in the press. There is no reason on this Earth why anyone shouldn’t KNOW torturing another human being, for ANY FUCKING REASON AT ALL, is NOT morally defensible. This principle is true even in cases where the ultimate goal is considered good; you’ve no doubt heard the saying, “the end does not justify the means.”
If they didn’t know it was wrong, why didn’t they do it out in the open, where everyone could see what they were doing? Fucking assholes think that their own parafuckingnoia should excuse anything they do….
“Everything you know is wrong.” — The Firesign Theater
“I’m skeptical about the Senate report, because I do not believe that every analyst whose jobs and promotions depended upon it, who were professional intelligence experts, all them lied to protect a program? All of them were wrong? All of these [CIA] directors were wrong? All of the people who were using the intel to go get people were wrong? And 10 years later a Senate staffer was able to put it together and finally there’s clarity? I am just highly skeptical that that’s the truth.”
This one’s easy….and so obvious, I again shouted this at the screen, hoping the asshole would hear me, “Why, yes, you bloody idiot, they CAN, and WERE, all wrong…. and every damn one of them WOULD lie to protect a program, which, in their minds, equals money, or influence….”
Then, of course, I realized I was shouting at my computer, so, I sat, tried to calm down, & began to type, to try to release some of the venom and bile that collected so quickly in the face of such evil insanity…. It started when the assbite used the phrase, “Senate staffer”, with the sneeringly obvious implication that position was only held only by persons of dubious character, and less than average intelligence, when compared to the noble men under his command….
When you start from a premise that is wrong, there is no way to make it come out right; every damn one of those directors started with the idea that whatever they did, right or wrong, shouldn’t be made public knowledge, and that such clandestine prevarication is justified by their goal (which, because it is their goal, they refuse to consider as anything other than right…. perfect “ipse dixit” logic….)
“If you get the first one in the wrong hole, you’ll never get all buttoned up right.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This, of course, is completely contrary to the values upon which our nation was supposedly founded; thus, any acts that indulge in that sort of paranoia, which were made on the basis of that idea, are, from the start, WRONG…. It really is that simple ffolkes, and I don’t understand quite WHY the public doesn’t get that, when listening to these lying, insane fools who pursue their delusional fantasies at the expense of the rest of us….
I reiterate…. “Everything you know is wrong.” — The Firesign Theater
Bloody fucking assholes, every damn one of them…..
“If I had a large amount of money I should found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.” — Stephen Fry
I’d say the good doctor Mitchell would be one of the first admissions…. I’ll leave you to consider the following, which pretty much sums up what I see happening in the world today, just about everywhere I look…..
“It is okay to be ignorant in some areas, but some people abuse the privilege.” — Smart Bee
Here is a poignant little poem, from a poet with whom I’m not very familiar… At first, I was going to pass over it, but, it grows as it settles, becoming more than it appears to be at first….. You’ll see what I mean if you give it a chance….
The dreams of my heart and my mind pass,
Nothing stays with me long,
But I have had from a child
The deep solace of song;
If that should ever leave me,
Let me find death and stay
With things whose tunes are played out and forgotten
Like the rain of yesterday.
~~ Sara Teasdale ~~
Given the theme in section one today, this is a perfect piece from the archives, to finish out the day….
“I observe that there are two entirely different theories according to which individual men seek to get on in the world. One theory leads a man to pull down everyone around him in order to climb on them to a higher place. The other leads a man to help everybody around him in order that he may go up with them.” — Elihu Root
I’ve also heard it observed that there are only two kinds of people in the world…. Those who make lists about the types of people in the world, and those who are bored to tears by that…..
Sorry, couldn’t resist, even for such an obviously true aphorism, one that is completely worthy of pearl status…..
I like to think that I act from the latter motivational base, that of working with my peers rather than against them, with my only thought of reward the good feeling that serving others gives me.
One piece of evidence that I’ve been successful at that, can be seen in my own place near the bottom of what most would consider the social scale. If I had been leaving bloody corpses behind me, I think I’d be enjoying a few more physical comforts than I do, and would have bodies buried somewhere that could be used against me, if they were publicized. When one has nothing, there is nothing to steal, is there?
“If you wish a life of trouble, fill your house with treasures.” — ancient Chinese proverb
I think the morality implied by the original pearl above is obvious, and is one that neither side of the issue would argue. But then, those who climb on the bodies of their peers to advance would never admit to such behavior; rationalization is one of mankind’s greatest skills. But, rationalized or not, they DO know that what they do is immoral; they have merely learned the art of lying to themselves as readily as they do to others.
To my way of thinking, it’s sad, as well as stupid, for far too many reasons to list here; relating one will do. It’s sad because these people will never even see any need to change, until it is too late for them to do anything that might help them. And it is stupid, well, just because it is…. No, sorry, just kidding… it is stupid because, a life that is built on lies, is no life at all…..
Joshu asked the teacher Nansen, “What is the True Way?”
Nansen answered, “Every way is the true Way.”
Joshu asked, “Can I study it?”
Nansen answered, “The more you study, the further from the Way.”
Joshu asked, “If I don’t study it, how can I know it?”
Nansen answered, “The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things unseen. It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown. Do not seek it, study it, or name it. To find yourself on it, open yourself as wide as the sky.”
I can see the Way, but cannot point to it, and this makes me pessimistic, for it (the Way) is possibly our last hope for redemption as a species, and the people who most need to find it are not even looking. I am optimistic because I see great promise in Man, even if I am not certain that promise will be kept….
The aforementioned edit/proof session took only about 30 minutes, which makes this one of the fastest Pearls to ever get completed, unless, of course, you’re going to be a stickler, and count the two or three hours spent yesterday in putting it together…. I, personally, don’t have a stick jammed far enough up my ass to feel like that, so, I’m just going to ignore the entire issue, before I say or do something to completely eradicate any dignity or aplomb I may have previously displayed today…. In other words, I’m outta here, before I get caught…. See ya, ffolkes….
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.
gigoid the dubious