“The company of just and righteous men is better than wealth and a rich estate.” — Euripides
I am up incredibly late, due to a completely unprecedented event, one that took me by surprise…. At the usual time, about 4 AM, I rolled over, looked at the clock, and said to myself, “Oh, go back to sleep!”…. The unprecedented part is, I did…. Fancy that…. Unfortunately for my schedule, that little snooze lasted another hour and a half, so now I’m already under the gun, and have barely started….
What does that have to do with a cheeky squirrel? Well, nothing really, other than their placement here at the beginning of today’s effort…. The squirrel, whom I met yesterday during my walk, lives downtown, near the library, in a park between a couple buildings…. He, (How do I know?…. look more closely at the picture, ffolkes….) is obviously quite used to people, as he walked right up to me to beg for treats, only stopping about three feet away from my feet, to stand up and look me right in the eye, as if saying, “Well, where’s the nuts?”…. I did have a scone, which I proceeded to share with him…. He sat a few feet away, calmly but quickly scarfing down the cake and blueberries like a true urbanite…. I was almost surprised he didn’t ask for a hit of my coffee….
Instead, he just looked at me, as if to say, “Thanks”, then politely turned away & jumped down off the bench next to me, running over to a bush to explore underneath, looking for more goodies, I would venture to guess…. I think it’s a nice thing that the people of this town have been so tolerant of the animals in the park that they have no strong fear of humans, and can coexist with them without any problems…. It is fairly unusual, in my experience, and good to see….
It’s a bit hard on my curmudgeonly nature, though, and definitely puts a test to my training…. but, small, furry creatures tend to hit me in my soft spot, so, screw it, it was a good day, and a good encounter with another one of this planet’s denizens…. who taught me a fine lesson about dignity of spirit…. How so, you may ask? The next picture should give you a clue…. just think, dogs, cats, etc. and how they act in public at times…. and you’ll see just how important dignity really is in the real world….
I rest my case….. WHY do they do that, you may ask? Because they can….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“There is a fine circumstance connected with the character of a Cynic,–that he must be beaten like an ass, and yet when beaten must love those who beat him, as the father, as the brother of all.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Of the Cynic Philosophy, — Discourses, Book iii, Chap. xxii
SIGH…. I KNEW there was a catch to this curmudgeonly old cynic business!… Oh well, bring it on….
“All things change; nothing perishes.” — Ovid
As noted, today’s post will be put together, primarily, using material from the archives…. Here then is the first of those cheats, with a quick, unusual little rant from the past, produced prior to the last presidential election….. Enjoy!….
From April 2012:
During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai E. Stevenson “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”
Obviously, this implies he was part of the minority, along with not enough voters…. Mr. Stevenson was perhaps the last truly rational man to run for the highest office our country offers, hindered only by his commitment to honesty. I’ve seen a number of articles about that campaign, and it’s clear in my mind that his very rationality is what gave the election to the other candidate.
He made every attempt he could to try to engage the minds of Americans, naively, as it turns out. His opponent, Eisenhower, just mostly kept his mouth shut and let his slogans speak for him, such as “I like Ike!”, and other such intellectual standards, that appealed directly to the American public’s misplaced sense of national pride.
After four years of post WWII and the Korean war economic boom(s), it wasn’t hard for the Republicans to rest on their laurels, firmly attached to the coattails of a war hero…. There was, and still is, no place on the political scene in this country for rationality, obviously, as Ike and his ilk won in a landslide…. So much for the opportunity to see what a “thinking man’s president” might be able to accomplish….
The chances of such a man being elected today are even slimmer, considering that, in today’s media-frenzied world, those candidates who can be the most sly, underhanded, and completely dishonest, are those who catch the eye, and the votes, of the great unwashed, uneducated masses who now comprise the voting public….
“It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell
Conscientiously, I cannot use another poet’s work today, to save the blame for this where it belongs, right in MY lap….
Life is short, and though I’m odd, they say
it really doesn’t bother me
to realize there is no God, per se.
Though other folks will disagree
and tell me I’m wrong
I won’t believe it, with naught to see.
Liars called padre tell me, have humility,
and do as the authorities say,
then fondle little boys with facility.
They also tell me to share the wealth
and give them a 10% tithe
so they don’t have get it by stealth.
So spare me the delusions, please
don’t bother with such a tale;
I’m nobody that needs such a tease.
Keep your fantasies under your hat
and out of my face;
I don’t need them, they’ll make me fat….. headed.
~~ gigoid ~~
I don’t even feel up to picking out an old-school pearl today, and don’t have any time to fret over it, either…. It’s already light…. So, here is another rant, from the same year, different month…..
“Why shouldn’t WOMEN have to put the toilet seat back UP?!” — Smart Bee
When I was working, a popular subject for water-cooler discussion was the ongoing, never-ending war between the sexes. For some reason not clear to me, men and women seem to feel as if they are in competition with each other, in a contest to find the most annoying things about the other sex, and make fun of them for those qualities. One of the typical conflicts between the two has always been the toilet seat, a conflict arising out of the very basic differences in the plumbing system of each gender. Men are pointers, women are setters, and the difference is critical only because we both use the same appliance to deal with our needs.
The above question is often asked by men, usually after an argument over having failed to put it down after using the facilities. Being a man, it naturally seems to be a relevant question to me, but for some reason it just seems to piss off the woman involved. I mean, it DOES have hinges; the process of moving it up and down isn’t rocket science, and isn’t particularly hard to figure out. But, due to the ongoing hostilities, women have decreed that it is the responsibility of men to make sure the seat is in the down position, ready for the female to use. How this came to be will, no doubt, forever remain a mystery, but is nonetheless true.
“There will always be a battle between the sexes because men and women want different things. Men want women and women want men.” — George Burns
Thus far in history, at least that part of history since the invention of the toilet, and the hinged seat for it, a solution has never been found. It often seems to me that men and women must enjoy the ongoing war, because neither side seems willing to approach the issue with anything other than ego and divisiveness.
No real solution has ever been sought, to my knowledge. Women spend their time trying to “domesticate” their men to put the seat down after using the toilet, and men spend their time ignoring them, thus ensuring that the conflict will continue. It all seems a bit pointless to me, as I can see two or three possible answers to the question that would serve to ease the hostilities….
No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see. — Taoist Proverb29/2012
This little gem from Taoist philosophy holds the key to the end of the war. If men and women can, just for a few moments, look at the matter with logic, with the purpose of improving the situation, I believe the answers will make themselves apparent. One answer, in my mind, needs no physical effort at all; it involves a difficulty, but only because people find it difficult to make changes in themselves. If both men and women could, and would, put aside the anger and emotional investment in the conflict, then one small attitude adjustment would suffice to remove the entire problem….
If men could develop some sensitivity (I know, tough when it’s essentially foreign to their nature, but still possible to develop….), then they could see how leaving it up could conceivably cause problems for those who must sit down to use the appliance. As a matter of fact, this is how I personally became aware of the solution, for I once sat down to use the toilet, and found myself falling into the bowl, as someone had left the seat up, and I hadn’t noticed. It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, and from that time on, I was more conscientious about putting it down…. so, just a bit of empathy, and that won’t be a problem for men to take the second to put the seat down….
Women would also need to develop more empathy for men for the solution to work for them. The toilet seat is on hinges, and as mentioned, isn’t particularly hard to learn how to use. It’s just up or down, and no other choices. So, some tolerance for the forgetfulness that is part of the male nature would go a long way toward solving the bitterness when they leave it up; just put it down for goodness sake, and don’t complicate the issue with anger and emotional storms, all over a moment that in other situations would prompt the woman to feel affection for the man’s charming childishness….
Another solution presents itself to my awareness, as well. The toilet, and the whole system we use, have not been looked at with the intent of improving it for centuries. The toilets we use today would be recognizable to John Harrington, inventor of flushing toilets in 1596 (which is why they are called “johns”, btw…..); it hasn’t changed shape or basic function since its invention all those centuries ago.
It seems to me that a clever engineer could figure out some way to eliminate the need for the toilet seat altogether, thus eliminating the whole issue.
(No comments, please, on using the word elimination in re: this whole issue. It works, it fit, so get your mind out of the gutter for a bit…. (I don’t know about y’all, but, my mama taught me to pay attention to any advice that rhymes….) I mean, we can put men on the moon, and currently have people living in our space on the ISS, hundreds of miles above the highest mountains; why on earth can’t we figure out how to make a toilet easy to use for both sexes…. Seems like a no-brainer to me…. But, since no brains are involved in the process, I guess that isn’t surprising….
I’ve thrown this together so fast, yet taken so many breaks, it’s coming out late anyway; so be it. It’s done, and that’s the best it’s going to get….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, when I’ll hopefully have a bit more in me to create with….. gigoid has spoken…..
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