The picture you see above, an excellent study showing the area of space containing the Horsehead Nebula, the obvious design you see above the very bright globular cluster surrounded by blue gas in the lower left corner. This nebula, because of its obvious shape, has been known for many years to astronomers; this photo, however, was taken by a 10 year-old amateur astronomer, and was chosen as this year’s Youth category winner, in Space.com’s yearly contest of astrophotography…. Excellent, excellent work for any age….
That said, the picture also serves, if not as proof, at least as evidence in favor, of the truth stated just above the photo, by Robert Anton Wilson…. Although I didn’t really become aware of the depth of his writing, or the direction of philosophy he pursued during his life, what I’ve learned of him tells me our paths traveled on many on the same roads, or, at least, ended up at the same places…. especially when I see he is responsible for the above statement, which closely mirrors my own words, to wit: doubt is the beginning of wisdom….
Another, less elegant, but, perhaps more cogent way to get the same point across, it seems to me, would be, “better out than in”…. which is, in my world, one of those things that is true for all time, except in those rare occasions when reality ripples, and it can be temporarily suspended, for the good of all….. otherwise, reality has determined that that statement shall apply without exception, to all things human…. especially those issues and events that are typically determined by their mind set…. in ALL such cases, ’tis better out than in…. and any arguments to the contrary simply provide their own proof of the assertion…. by coming out.
There, how was that for a bit of logical Twister…. good thing we weren’t using the fast music, or we may have ended up with some severe strains, possibly a fracture or two…. and the insurance geeks would have killed me. Dodged a bullet there, boy howdy….. Since there is little alternative at this point, I’m going to pretend none of the above ever happened, other than to acknowledge that, somehow or another, we got this far down the page, and are now legally allowed to get on with today’s post, regardless of how well if flies, or, indeed, if it makes any sense at all…. I’ve finally received my master’s license for reality stretching, so, we’ll just reach around this corner, grab this little lever, and yank it good and hard….. This is what happens…..
Shall we Pearl?…..
“You know what it’s like to be dead. It’s just like it was before you were born. Remember what it was like before you were born?” — Evan
Silence that spoke, and eloquence of eyes.
~~ Alexander Pope ~~
— The Iliad of Homer, Book xiv, Line 251 —
Today’s Pearl of Virtual Wisdom (see disclaimer…. I know I put it someplace… oh, hell, we’ll worry about that later….y’all know how I think, by now….sort of…. If you’ve had a clue at all, you know, if you just pay attention, you’ll get there….), will contain a new type of pearl, consisting of pearls, but, of a different nature, pearls from new waters, shall we say? Rather than our usual diet, culled from the waters known to Smart Bee, Ambrose Bierce, Daniel Bowen, and others, we will try to find something that is of a slightly different spin than our usual fare, which can tend to lead into sober, depressing, if altogether accurate discussions of what the news says….
We all know, also, the news companies tend to concentrate on stories with drama, which will sell papers, or ideas, or whatever else it is they may wish to sell; people have always been drawn to drama, the gorier the better, and be damned with whomever has to suffer to provide the reports of their troubles….. Whether it be bloody bank robberies, starving African children, dying animals in receding wetlands and rain forests, creatures dying in the oceans, or, oceans dying, people being shot, and dying, or bombed, and dying, or strangled, stabbed, beaten, or otherwise killed, so their deaths may be served up with all the other random deaths each day, reported on the news as if it is the way it is supposed to be, and that life is just a series of catastrophes punctuated by random, periodic deaths….
I do not even touch upon the other derivative incidents and reportable events, all of which vary only in the degree of drama implied by the events described, or the number of casualties, listed in deaths vs. survivors….. Derivatives include sporting events of every nature, where the drama, though vicarious to the actual viewer, and reporter, still offers the drama of conflict, between good and bad (home and away), and for the joy of each winner, there is the misery and failure of the loser to report, just as heavily as the victors. Financial news, to those who have money, or want money, presents the same sort of derivative violence, where those who make the ruthless choices tend to win out over those who choose to try to be honest in business, and that conflict, also inherent in the process, makes for great drama….
The drama of course, is there to distract the reading public from any of what is actually going on behind the scenes, politically, financially, religiously…. all those institutions are operating with most of their inner workings invisible to public sight, in spite of laws that SEEM to say otherwise…. But, they always seem to find a legal rationale to cover their clandestine activities….. all of which makes for a wonderful addendum to the way the rest of the world is lying to everyone who tries to live a normal life, without any of the weird shit these pundits, corporate snakes, priests, police chiefs, military officers, and of course, the other side of society, the tongs, the mafia, the criminals who prey on those that the governments mostly leave for them, meaning all of them…. making them not necessarily worse, but, slimier, even more so than the corporate snakes, the absolute worst sort of person alive….. in my less than humble opinion.
Now, you will see the newest format for pearls…. Rather than go any further on the road toward making targets of those responsible for the state of the world, I will merely provide, through the auspices of those doing the ridiculous dance themselves, links to articles that tend to exhibit some sort of indication of something not quite right going on in the world, whether from a sarcastic point of few, an approving squint with a bit of a wink, a nudge-nudge to the ribs, or as in the second one today, an “it’s an about damn time” sort of way. You may possibly even come across something you’d label as ‘good news’….. Oh, and I guess there’s one more category, that of the first article below, which can best be stated as “DOH!”…..
The last one there must be real important stuff…. I didn’t look at even two of them, but there were reportedly more than 50 photos, just to show the celebrities arriving for the wedding, and pre-wedding “Bond Style” Bash…. I’m happy to say, Blooney, er, Cloony, was the ONLY one I recognized without having to read the caption to see who it was…. and he’s getting so old & salt & peppery, sometimes he blends in…. with the text…
Oh. My. Gosh….. this is news? Oh, right…. never mind…. must have been a slow news day….
Okay, if you aren’t weirded out after reading those, you’re a better man than I, Gunga Din…. The world is a very strange place ffolkes, which is probably why Epictetus said what the did, about being able to accept those things we cannot control…. besides, it makes it easier to laugh at all of them, and the whole picture… Once you can let go, learn to appreciate the irony, or sardonicism, or, at the very least, the futility of fighting against it…. well, there will be the bemusement, and serenity, you seek….
“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.” — La Rochefoucauld
“Credulity is the man’s weakness, but the child’s strength.” — Charles Lamb
Eureka! I have found a treasure trove of old Sherlock Holmes movies and TV episodes, mostly on BBC, or from late night cable packages, all found on You Tube, our world’s newest repository of contemporary cultural knowledge, all in digital video format…. I now have enough new finds to defeat ANY bout of insomnia I may get…. The player will show you the titled story; the link will take you to the page where I found it, which has links to many more Sherlock videos, all based on the stories by A. C. Doyle…. Timeless human drama set in fascinating times in our past….
We haven’t seen anything from this Americam poet for some time; here is one I think of as one of his best….
A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.
I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.
Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?
Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.
Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.
And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.
Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.
This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.
O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.
What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.
All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
~~ Walt Whitman ~~
I wasn’t sure this pearl would come out okay… As it grew, it seemed to wobble all over the place, though with some indications of directing the fall, when it came…. Somehow, out of left field, it seems, it managed to bring itself to a close, on a note with which no argument is possible, which manages to, congruently, give one the appropriate key for both understanding, and for coping with, ignorance…. Don’t worry, don’t force it….. it will come to you. Or, it won’t, in which case, just go with the last line, and you’ll do fine….
Remember, ffolkes, they’re just pearls, merely euphemisms and metaphors, taken from virtual oysters…. so, there’s nothing to be afraid of… besides, once I’ve removed the pearls, with some garlic, wine, butter, and a bit of fish sauce, we can turn the oysters into a slice of heaven, and still have the pearls, all shiny and precious…. so, enjoy, either way you need to think about it…. as elucidation leading to epiphany, or lunch…. I’ve had good reason to choose both at one time or another, so no worries, mates, it’ll all come out in the wash…. Now that I’m mixing so many metaphors at once, on to the pearls….
“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1972)
“One of the most devastating enemies of the family is radical sex education in the public school. It is more explicit than necessary for the good of the child. Too much sex education too soon causes undue curiosity and obsession with sex.” — Beverly LaHaye, President, Concerned Women for America, in her newsletter, 4/81, as quoted in The Far Right, Speaking For Themselves, a Planned Parenthood pamphlet
“What UNIVERSE is this, please??” — Zippy the Pinhead
“On one occasion Aristotle was asked how much educated men were superior to those uneducated: “As much,” said he, “as the living are to the dead.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Aristotle, xi
“Any religion…is forever in danger of petrifaction into mere ritual and habit, though ritual and habit be essential to religion.” — T.S. Eliot, Selected Essays, 1927.
“Old places and old persons in their turn, when spirit dwells in them, have an intrinsic vitality of which youth is incapable, precisely, the balance and wisdom that come from long perspectives and broad foundations.” — George Santayana
“An it harms none, do what thou will.” — Wiccan Credo
Having avoided any efforts from Murphy’s band of rogues, by finishing much of this yesterday, it’s only right I get it up and out before he can affect it at all… so, with no further fufera (alternate spelling for fooferaw….), we’re outta here…. See y’all tomorrow, 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
“The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.”
À bientôt, mon cherí.