I’m confused, but, then, nothing new there, eh? Today’s confusion started upon arising, at my semi-usual hour of 4 AM, to find the cat already up, waiting for me, actually being a good kitty, staying out from underfoot until I’d punched the coffee machine on (it doesn’t brew itself until 0430….), and sat down to don my socks…. She then politely bumped my ankle for attention, accepted some ear scratches as if they were her due, then went to lie down in the middle of the floor, in her Mae West pose, looking at me as if I should be bowing and scraping in awe…. Cats are strange, aren’t they? Most mornings she’s a psycho kitty for the first hour I’m up; today, she’s a sphinx, unfathomably inscrutable…. or, that’s what she wants me to believe, anyway….
Cat antics aside, here I am, up in good time, but, with a severe lack of stuff going on in my head…. I’ve ranted enough lately that my angst level isn’t causing any discomfort….. even though there are plenty of issues in the news I could rant about. In fact, issues seems to be jumping off the page, shouting at me to be written up; remember a couple of days ago, I had gathered almost ten article links that needed discussion, piling seven or eight of them into one pearl?…. Ah, those were the days….
Sadly for me this morning, I don’t have the inner emotional turmoil so necessary to providing the driving force behind my rants, so, as usual, I’ll cheat, and use what I can find in my earlier material…. I can usually find something relevant, as the same issues are happening today as were there when I began this particular site, almost three years ago….
Plus, my opinions may evolve, but they don’t generally take a whole new direction, as they tend to follow the antics of the same group of idiots, most of whom act out their own particular brand of insanity in an elected office, or a court seat, or some other public position that, for some stupid reason, makes them believe they should open their mouths, and let everyone know just HOW stupid they can be….
In addition to my lack of drive for ranting today, my thumb is getting worse; I’m thinking it is the repeated use of the mouse that is doing it, as I don’t use it to do all that much knife work any more, which is what caused this the first time it happened. Whether it is the mouse, or the typing, is unclear, and I hesitate to tell my doctor about it, lest the treatment involve a hiatus from doing this specific activity, which is the worst culprit in terms of how often it makes it hurt…. Typing does, that’s for sure, so I’d bet I’ll have to at least cut back severely for a time, to allow the ligament at the base of the thumb time to heal….
Or, I could go to the doctor, & ask him to send me to an orthopedist, who would inject some cortisone, or other steroid, right into the thumb joint…. When that was done last time, it fixed it up right and tight in a jig…. Within seconds, my hand was back to completely normal range of motion, with no pain upon starting any of the activities that caused it previously…. It was like magic…. I just don’t like the idea of steroidal injections like that, unless there is some critical need; I believe it’s better to use more natural, less intrusively aggressive treatment modalities as a first choice….
Whatever I do, this Pearl will have to be done first, so, I suppose I’d best get on with it; the silly thing isn’t going to write itself, now, is it? No, probably not, if past issues are any indication…. That being said, and the usual, legally constructed amount of introductory blather having been produced, I suggest we do that now, before anything untoward has an opportunity to happen….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“I don’t pick on politicians. They ain’t done nothin’.” — Red Skelton
As mentioned, since my own store of rantable emotion is a bit depleted, I’m dipping into the past…. This time, WAY into the past, to give you one of the first Pearls posted, with this one first showing its face here in May of 2011, as noted below….. Pearls of that time usually had a paragraph, or two, at the beginning, followed by a group of pearls…. It will appear a bit differently than it did then, as I’ll edit it using my current knowledge, to make it at least come close to what my writing should look and sound like today…. Regardless of all that, it’s a bit long, but, still pretty valid, so, I hope you enjoy it….
I’m not certain how or why, but this morning’s pearl took a serious turn on me, so bear with me. There will be pearls……
Humanity, and the societies that it formulates, are a never-ending source of interest to me. It provides not only data for my overactive brain to chew on, but also gives me almost limitless subjects for this grist. After the grist is milled of course….. One of the more fascinating areas of observation is about honesty, and its’ root, honor. When I grew up, half a century ago in the 1950’s, honor and honesty seemed to be part of the fabric of society, as least superficially.
What I didn’t know then was that those particular virtues were only given lip service, especially in the way the public was notified of the doings of government. It became de rigeur for politicians, and concomitantly government agencies, to lie to the public about what they were actually doing, claiming they were telling the honest truth. Truth to tell, it no doubt started well before that time period, but for me it was a disappointment to later find that the very people society chose (with promises of transparency and honesty) to lead them were bare-faced liars and cheats.
As partial proof of this, I offer the (already vetted) facts about the Vietnam conflict (Congress never declared war, so in my mind there was none). When I went to college in 1968 I found out the truth, which was that our government had been in the country, supplying ‘military advice and support’ since 1954, ten years before anyone in government admitted to it, having gone there to protect the interests of our ally, France, who had just been thrown out as colonial overseers, and the interests of the drug trade, in which both of those countries were heavily invested. Not 1964, when the government finally admitted we were there, because the number of troops sent there, and the money being spent, brought the situation into the public eye.
I have believed for a long time, and still believe, that the assassination of JFK was an act perpetrated by people in our own clandestine spook forces, who recruited and trained Oswald. It was designed to distract the American public from the chicanery in Southeast Asia, while at the same time removing Kennedy, who was proving to be an obstacle to the goals of the real government, and becoming far too popular. So, they gave us a martyr, blamed it on the Red Menace, and with the help of their (paid for) lackey, LBJ, proceeded to pour billions of dollars into the war, to continue to protect investments by our corporate classes in the heroin trade.
Today we find ourselves in ever more dire straits, as governments and politicians continue to lie, cheat, and steal, pretty much without any restrictions. The public, dazed and confused by a constant barrage of financial stress, is told lie after lie, confident-sounding utterances created by Spin-Meisters adept at making prevarication sound like truth. All of the politicians have become nothing more than talking heads, whose most valuable asset is their ability to lie with a straight face. And truth be told, there has to be some kind of character flaw in those people who run for office, for what sane person wishes to assume power over their fellow man?
It has gotten to the point that I spend each day fighting the urge to go buy a gun, and start hunting these assholes down. But that would be giving in to their perversity; better to take up my pen (or laptop in this case) and start my campaign by offering to the public the Truth (as opposed to the so-called truths offered up daily in the news services), and do so in my own unique fashion, that is to say, with Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. With that in mind, we now go into the better part of this daily spew, with Truths from folks throughout the ages. Enjoy!…..
“Sex! Lies! Drugs! Money! Power! Corruption! Man, I love Congress!” — Smart Bee
“They say you shouldn’t say nothin’ about the dead unless it’s good. He’s dead. Good.” — Moms Mabley
(I particularly like this one. I made a list of folks to whom this would apply, and in less than a minute came up with more than 10 names. Only two of them were already dead, and the other eight were all still out there, spewing their malice onto an unsuspecting public, shamelessly. Doesn’t say much for my tolerance, but then it has been in short supply for some time now.)
Annual drug deaths: tobacco: 395,000, alcohol: 125,000, ‘legal’ drugs: 38,000, illegal drug overdoses: 5,200, marijuana: 0. Considering government subsidies of tobacco, just what is our government protecting us from in the drug war?” — William A. Turnbow
“I don’t mind being screwed, but the government thinks I’m a nymph.” — Smart Bee
“It’s said that ‘power corrupts’, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power. When they do act, they think of it as service, which has limits. The tyrant, though, seeks mastery, for which he is insatiable, implacable.” — David Brin, The Postman
Well, that is certainly enough for one morning. It can be a depressing subject, but we can consider ourselves fortunate that we have our own view of reality, and can modify it to suit ourselves. Y’all take care out there…….
“Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.” — Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy.
While I don’t usually use section two for ranting, the following poem, by an American icon, stimulated the following discussion, as any really good poem might do to someone, at any time…. especially one as powerful as this one….
I hadn’t realized that Walt Whitman was an atheist/agnostic….. It isn’t part of what is taught in your average elementary or high school here in this hypocritical, unabashedly Christian nation, which continuously spouts off about the separation of Church and State, yet gives a tax immunity to churches, even those of other denominations, and/or names of gods worshiped…. (Nor was it made common knowledge that the prevailing opinion, both in his own time, and with modern scholars studying his life, that Walt was probably gay, or bisexual, in his gender preferences…. Not that it matters at all, in the ultimate sense, but, merely knowing it provides some interesting perspective on his work, and his life, eh?….)
I call this (single-mindedness re: Christianity vs. Reality) hypocritical because, while this generosity in tax status displayed to other sects covers their claim of non-discrimination, simultaneously, at every turn of events in society, these single-minded “men of one book” work to weave their “Christian values”, and strictly Christian morals into very fabric of society, negating the entire spectrum of beliefs held by its denizens, by influencing the majority of elected officials to write laws that favor the morality based on Christian dogma, none of whom dare risk their own excommunication, or chance at heaven…. Bless their point little heads….
Aha…. Thankfully for my embarrassment level, I checked with Wikipedia re: Whitman’s religious views…. While I stand by what I stated above completely, it’s slightly out of context, as he was NOT an atheist, or an agnostic, per se, though his beliefs were radically different than those of the average American, especially in the eighteenth century. He is described as a deist, similar to my own stand, as one who believed that ALL religions were correct, and true as far as their metaphorical principles were concerned…
The differing views by all those religions, of what God looks like, or what He/She/It may, or may not have said, or where, or when, held no interest for him (as they don’t for me); his understanding of reality, and, thus, his views on divinity and spirituality were much too tall, and wide, and deep, to ever be confined into one little philosophy, or any one set of dogmatic principles, as seen from only one viewpoint….
To my way of thinking, this is a very intelligent way to think; he has nothing but my admiration for his independent individuality, in the face of a society that could not understand his mind, or his spirit…. Well, and for this poem, which prompted the above, with only three or four lines…
SILENT and amazed, even when a little boy,
I remember I heard the preacher every Sunday put God in his
As contending against some being or influence.
~~ Walt Whitman ~~
“Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross an infinite sea and so make it finite… he poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” — G. K. Chesterton “Orthodoxy”
Since most of today’s Pearl seems to have been produced at other times, I believe I’ll put together an old-school, but fresh, pearl for this section…. Let’s see what Smart Bee can find for us, with no hints as to what we should find, or see….
“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too self-full to seek other than itself.” — Kahlil Gibran
“I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” — Thomas Carlyle
“Playing the banjo is a lot like throwing a javelin blindfolded… you don’t have to be very good to get people’s attention.” — Smart Bee
“Virtue is the beauty, and vice the deformity, of the soul.’ — Socrates (B.C. 469-399)
“Don’t believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves.” — Albert Camus
“They say you can’t do it, but sometimes that isn’t always true.” — Casey Stengel
“Let the greatest part of the news thou hearest be the least part of what thou believest, lest the greater part of what thou believest be the least part of what is true.” — Francis Quarles (1592-1644)
Hmm…. Not too bad, if a bit obscure…. But, all in all, I think it will do; it DOES make a point, though that point isn’t one usually found by any normal means….. But, then, we’ve never worried too much about normal, have we?….
I’m only sure of one thing at this point…. and that one thing escapes me still….. Be that as it may, all I have to do now is figure out what to say to either make up for what I’ve just put y’all through, or pretend that it’s good for you…. I think…. yes. We’ll go with the second one, because, even if it ISN’T good for you, it WANTS to be…. Intent is 87% of meaning, you know, and though it isn’t quite a much of a sure thing as being 99% sure, it’s not bad…. and, it’s done, so, there’s nothing more that can be done for it now…. Since that’s the case, I’ll see y’all tomorrow….
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