There are times, such as today, when I just don’t have the chutzpah for this…. On those days, fortunately, I can dip into a very large repository of my older work, since, over the last three years, I’ve written over 3 million words, equal to more than 4000 pages of material. I know, it’s more than it seems like I could have done, but, hey, at about 2000 words a day, it adds up quickly….
Not to say all of it is Pulitzer-candidate-worthy, by any means, although, in my estimation, a few pages of it could make the grade, if it was all in one piece…. But, that isn’t why I wrote it; the main thrust of my efforts were taken to prevent overt insanity taking over my life, sending me into a depression I would no doubt have wallowed in for a long time…. For a while there, it looked as if my retirement wasn’t going to go well, but, everything has worked out for the best, and I am content….
I am not, however, quite ready for this today, so, I’ll be dipping into the past again, to find something suitable for today’s “look and feel”, and screw Steve Jobs, even if he IS dead…. In fact, let’s start right now, with a bit of a fictional opening from the past….
“What we have heah, is a failyuh to obfuscate.” On that hopelessly obscure note, the tiny little alien, which looked suspiciously, not to mention confusingly, like an orange bulldog in a green jumpsuit, wobbled what was apparently his head weakly from side to side, formed what seemed to be a smile with what seemed to be a mouth, closed what appeared to be his eyes (I think it’s a he…), and fell backwards into the lap of the fat dignitary seated in back of the podium…. the mayor, I believe….
Everything would have been okay, but the mayor apparently thought the alien was going to throw up on him, and proceeded to dump the poor wee beastie off the stage, into the crowd, which started using him for a soccer ball (the alien’s personal defense system caused him to roll up into an impenetrable ball…. cute, but confusing fir the crowd, I suppose….)…. A real mess…. While it wasn’t the most dignified ending to a press conference I’d seen in my days in the mayor’s office, it was better than the one we tried to hold after the sewers all exploded at once…. No matter how hard we blew the fans, the smell wouldn’t disperse….
Ever since the entropy bomb went off last year, it’s been pretty crazy around here, what with the Anti-Alien groups fighting it out with the End of Timers, while the remnants of the churches are busy dealing with the twelve disciples of Jesus, who ALL rose from the dead, and are now recanting their stories on the talk show circuit, with franchised copies of the shows running even on Al-Jazeera….. When the Chief of the World Police issued his proclamation of insanity, and said his officers would now be found patrolling the subways, because it was too dangerous for them on the streets, well, things really began to deteriorate….
End of fictional opening…. I don’t know about y’all, but, I like it…. In fact, it’s entirely possible I may just make this the first of these fictional openings I’ve done to be chosen for completion…. It’s a good start, so I may see where it takes me for a while…. It’s just so weird, it just might make a good story…… provided I can find the proper middle, and ending to fit the beginning…. Time will tell, I suppose….. For now, this intro is, again, getting out of hand, so, we’ll just bail…. right here, right now….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“Practice yourself, for heaven’s sake, in little things; and thence proceed to greater.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap. xviii
As mentioned above, today’s Pearl will contain a lot of archived material…. Let’s begin with a fine rant from last year, in the spring….. or, in the words of Willy-boy from Avon, from the Ides of March….
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time–a tremendous whack.” — Sir Winston Churchill
I have used this quote previously, usually as part of a group of pearls leading to some point or another; it’s a very good quote, strong, positive, with a solid essence of meaning. It’s also damn good advice, which I try to heed at every opportunity I give myself to rant…. Winnie had a very good point here, mainly because he had the task of getting an entire island full of asses who believe themselves to be independent minded to work together to save those selfsame asses from the Germans, who were themselves displaying their own form of assholiness…. A bloody disgusting task, if you ask me, but, he was obviously the man for the job, as he seldom gave a shit about what anyone else thought, about much of anything….
The insight shown in this statement, however, is much deeper than is at first apparent…. Winnie understood that the average Englishman, as is true for the whole planet, as a rule of thumb, is pretty stupid, and stubborn to boot, being mostly unwilling to listen to anything they don’t wish to hear, whether smart or dumb, much less see any need to act on it. This, as might be clear to others, as it is to me, is NOT a particularly valuable frame of mind if one wishes to survive, and Winnie, knowing his people, was quite willing to use a two-by-four as his primary teaching tool to get his points across to the idiots he was forced to deal with during WWII….
Sad to say, this stupidity on the part of the larger part of humanity continues to this day…. Witness, if you will, the current crop of movies, if you wish to get a clue as to where the mind of humanity is focused…. It may amaze you, and will most likely depress you, to see that there is not a single movie about anything more serious than adolescent acne anywhere to be seen… Oh, there are what are termed psychological thrillers, but, they are mostly just shock literature, designed to make a good screenplay more than to explore the human psyche…. Nothing out there is remotely intelligent, because there just isn’t a market for it…..
I’m not proposing any solutions here; this is strictly a gripe session, for my benefit only. I get so tired of watching the parade of human events, because it so often turns sad, and depressing, to see how stupid and ignorant people can be…. and how cowardly most people are in asserting morality in public…. You know a society is going downhill when the police drive around acting as if they are under siege, and the people do not trust them at all to show either fairness, or restraint. In the town where I live, the worst traffic offenders I see on a daily basis are the police, who set the worst possible example for other drivers, even, and especially, when they are NOT responding to calls….
And the government wonders why nobody trusts them? Our society is sick, ffolkes, and I’m out here with my pile driver to hit that point again. That last paragraph was my second hit, and now, the tremendous whack of which Winnie spoke….
We are all responsible for the sorry state of the world, equally…. Those of us who are not actively engaged in actions which are destructive, are guilty of not speaking up often enough to get the attention of those who are, nor are we engaged in doing anything which will stop their deliberate depredations. They are guilty of being assholes, yes…. but we are all guilty of complicity in that, and can claim no less responsibility for when we fall down the hole we’ve been digging for ourselves…. And, that is the TRUTH….
“I’m amoral, and it’s been bothering my conscience.” — Smart Bee
“To escape criticism — do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” — Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” — Romans 2:1
(I’ve always maintained there is a lot of good advice in the Bible, as long as one doesn’t go all fanatic about its origin…. this is a perfect example of the veracity and relevance of that contention….)
This poet needs no adorning phrases from me, or anyone else; his work has stood on its own, very well, for a long time…. All you have to do is enjoy it….
APENECK SWEENEY spreads his knees
Letting his arms hang down to laugh,
The zebra stripes along his jaw
Swelling to maculate giraffe.
The circles of the stormy moon
Slide westward toward the River Plate,
Death and the Raven drift above
And Sweeney guards the horned gate.
Gloomy Orion and the Dog
Are veiled; and hushed the shrunken seas;
The person in the Spanish cape
Tries to sit on Sweeney’s knees
Slips and pulls the table cloth
Overturns a coffee-cup,
Reorganized upon the floor
She yawns and draws a stocking up;
The silent man in mocha brown
Sprawls at the window-sill and gapes;
The waiter brings in oranges
Bananas figs and hothouse grapes;
The silent vertebrate in brown
Contracts and concentrates, withdraws;
Rachel née Rabinovitch
Tears at the grapes with murderous paws;
She and the lady in the cape
Are suspect, thought to be in league;
Therefore the man with heavy eyes
Declines the gambit, shows fatigue,
Leaves the room and reappears
Outside the window, leaning in,
Branches of wisteria
Circumscribe a golden grin;
The host with someone indistinct
Converses at the door apart,
The nightingales are singing near
The Convent of the Sacred Heart,
And sang within the bloody wood
When Agamemnon cried aloud,
And let their liquid droppings fall
To stain the stiff dishonored shroud.
~~ T.S. Eliot ~~
This section will, as usual, hold an old-school pearl, in order to soothe my guilt, by producing at least this much of today’s post fresh…. such as it is…. This one has parameters of its own; I let SB figure out what might work, and can only hope for the best…. Let’s see what’s out there, besides the Truth…. Fox and Mulder told us, so we can be sure, the Truth is Out There…..
Freedom has a thousand charms to show,
That slaves, howe’er contented, never know.
— William Cowper (1731-1800) — Table Talk, Line 260
“Thou art the man.” — Old Testament — 2 Samuel xii, 7
A monk said to Joshu, “Your stone bridge is widely renowned, but coming here I find only a heap of rocks.”
Joshu said, “You see only the stones and not the bridge.”
The monk said, “What is the bridge?”
Joshu said, “What do you think we are walking on?”
“Conquer your fear and you need fear no more.” — Smart Bee
“He said that men ought to remember those friends who were absent as well as those who were present.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Thales, ix
Of all that writ, he was the wisest bard, who spoke this mighty truth
He that knew all that ever learning writ,
Knew only this that he knew nothing yet.
— MRS. APHRA BEHN
“The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.” — Chinese proverb
Here we are…. finally…. I’m a bit confused, but, that’s normal; my confusion arose when I ask myself why the last pearl took twice as long to complete as the first two… If the intro hadn’t taken so long, I’d still be there, would never have gotten here, and thus, would have been even later…. It’s as if this morning’s supply of entropy exceeds the serenity of spirit I’ve built up, so much so, it started affecting reality more than its presence would normally warrant…. or something…. Well, it’s that, or I’m a bozo, and we all know what that implies, don’t we? Yep, and since we are proscribed from discussing that in public, lest we singe our eyebrows, we’ll just ignore the whole issue, and do our best to bring this to a close…. Since doing so with any degree of dignity is long gone, we’ll just do this….
See ya, ffolkes, it’s been real…. Tomorrow, maybe I will have found some of my sanity, or, at least, a semblance of same sufficient to produce a more elegant submission…. Choppy and strange as it is, this will have to do….. Ta then, luvs…..
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