All fear, none aid you, and few understand.
~~ Alexander Pope ~~
— Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 261 —
A while back, you may recall a series of posts here with The Wise Old Pine Cone as the featured subject, with pictures describing his adventures living here with me, his girl friend, and The Young Paduan Cone….. Then, the stories stopped, simply because the Old Cone disappeared, along with his charges, not to be seen again until a couple days ago, when I happened to spot him, managing to speak to him a moment, to find out what happened… I took this picture to show where he’s been hanging out, literally….
It seems he got a call one night, after I’d retired, calling him to an emergency far away (no, he doesn’t use the phone; he’s telepathic, obviously…. he couldn’t hold the handset anyway….). Realizing he’d be gone a while, he took his student, and his girl friend, who, unknown to me, was pregnant…. By the time he’d taken care of the issue in Bulgaria (don’t ask…. I didn’t, so I don’t know why it was in Europe….or, what pine cones might be having trouble in the area…..), she was almost due, so, he rushed home, and found a nice tree, where she produced the batch of young cones you see above…. Nice story, eh?
All perfectly nonsense, naturally…. The truth is, I forgot about the cone, then, when I went to find it, it was all crumbled up, too dried out and old to hold together….. SIGH, oh well, at least I got a picture out of it, and a short story to go with it, which also served as a decent, if a bit awkward, beginning for today’s effort…. Hey, they can’t ALL be gems, can they? Well, if so, I haven’t found the technique thus far…. The hell with it, it’s good enough for government work, and since I no longer work for them, but, quite the opposite, it’s damn well good enough….
It’s also gotten us far enough I can be thrifty, bringing this to close with a reasonably moderate length, rather than wandering around, blathering, whining, or fantasizing until I find an exit point. In fact, this one worked so well, I see it has brought us to one of those points in jig time, instead of island time, reputed to be slow…. Having not set foot on the islands (Hawaii, etc….) since I was four, I’ll take their word for it, and just take advantage of the way out…
Shall we Pearl?….
It is our choices …. that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.” — J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets
To be we know not what, we know not where.
— John Dryden (1631-1700) — Aurengzebe, Act iv, Sc. 1
“There is scarcely an occurrence in nature which, happening at a certain time, is not looked upon by some persons as a prognosticator either of good or evil. The latter are in the greatest number, so much more ingenious are we in tormenting ourselves than in discovering reasons for enjoyment in the things that surround us.” — Charles Mackay — Extraordinary Popular Delusions. . .
Humanity has been doing this ever since we moved out of the caves, having spent much of our time before that discussing the matter in full, as we huddled in those dark, oppressive shelters, shivering in the cold, suffering in the heat, and generally living without a clue as to how the universe works, beyond what we could see in front of our noses…. Cowering in our fears, our imagination peopled the forests, rivers, oceans, skies, and even animals, such as ourselves, with demons, fairies, goddesses, gods, and all manner of dangerous creatures of unknown, and therefore, presumably evil intent…
In doing so, it seems to me we, as a species, using our imagination, fueled by ignorance of reality beyond our perceptions, adopted this BAD habit, of assigning anthropomorphic identities/qualities to those natural objects and functions we did not comprehend, such as rain, thunder, fires, pain, fear, our own body’s functions, etc., in our attempt to establish some kind of order we could understand, thereby utilizing our allegedly advantageous, vaunted intelligence, with the immense power of imagination, seemingly limited in other species, to survive….. It has done that so well, we have become a danger to ourselves, and every other living creature on the planet…. and, we’re still doing it….
Just because we no longer live in caves does not mean we are any less of a fearful, small, uncertain entity, each of us, totally unclear on the true reality that goes on all around us…. In our haste, and daily rush to survive, by the only methods we have learned, we do not have, or take, or make the time to actually use our minds the way they were designed to be used; nor is the imagination, of most people, of much help to them in surviving, beyond gifting them with a talent for mimicry, which is mostly what people use to get by in life.
For most of humanity, by my observation, routine actions and behaviors are not motivated by conscious choice, made after examining all the available information, but, rather, are utilized because it is the ONLY way they know, the same way their mom, or dad, or big brother, or priest, or teacher taught them to act, without ever knowing WHY they do so….
Nadia Harash is a new blogger, a Palestinian Muslim woman, who is providing the world with her viewpoints, which, given her gender, religion, and location, marks her as a very brave, very strong, very intelligent woman, obviously fighting to find a way to stay sane, and alive, in a world gone mad…. She asks a question that can be answered, at least in part, by our subject here today, to wit: human stupidity is, over time, becoming universal, making it all that much easier to manipulate them, as they are driven by fear, unreasoning, irrational, unthinking fear, which they sublimate into anger, generally against women, but, often against infidels…. any sort of adjective will do as a focus for hatred, it doesn’t much care who or what it hates….
The people who are joining the jihadists are those who have no rigorous mental structure of their own, nothing to serve to remove, or even lessen, their fear of everything, and everyone; this fear, naturally, leads them to hate, for all anger (from which hate springs…) comes from obstructed desire, in this case, the desire to be free of fear, thus leading us to see that all those chanting, rifle-waving maniacal fanatics are nothing more than little boys, whistling in the dark, and using modern technology to allow them to assuage their fears by killing….
But, the Western governments don’t help, for they are doing the exact same thing…. But, they are using their own positions in power to justify their fears, saying all their acts are motivated by national security, or to protect the “homeland” (remember what the Nazi’s used to call their country?….Yep…. the homeland…). However, they are doing so in ways that mark them as craven cowards, ordering jets, and tanks, and drones, and ships with missiles to do their killing for them, without ever having to leave home at all…. They do this, without ever realizing, or even considering, how their actions are making the entire issue worse, by increasing the fear on the side of those being bombed….
It all has to do with what I’ve been pounding on for years now…. The governments of the world are not under the control of the people who elect them, or allow them to rule, nor have they EVER been so. The people in actual control of all the resources (money) are watching their OWN agendas being carried out, agendas that have NOTHING to do with helping the general populace live a better life; it’s all about making themselves more powerful, and safe from exposure, while the world goes up in flames, from all the distractions, such as wars, violence on the streets, slavery, drug running, religion, sports, television, and all the other ways the people are kept oppressed….
It’s been going on for millennia, and will continue until people, as a whole, wake the fuck up and throw the assholes into a deep pit…. I have a feeling I could rant on about this for a long time; hell, I already have, any number of times…. instead, since this is long enough already, we’ll just take a few closing shots, as selected by Smart Bee, to round out our attack on the powers that be for the day…. enjoy….
“The chief cause of human error is to be found in prejudices picked up in childhood.” — Descartes
“I love this nation, but we have some of the stupidest people here.” — Smart Bee
“I learned the difference between a cactus and a caucus. A cactus has its pricks on the outside.” — Morris Udall, Former U.S. Rep. on his education in public life.
“The majority isn’t silent- the government is deaf!” — Smart Bee
“Boy, am I glad it’s only 1971…” — Zippy the Pinhead
Now, to some, that pearl might be a bit obscure, but, trust me, it’s not…. For now, just go on to the next section…. it will hit you later….
Another relatively unknown legend of music from the latter half of the twentieth century, Kate Wolf was well known in Northern California, where she lived, writing songs that celebrated the beautiful country, and her life… Her song, “Red Tail Hawk” is considered by many to be one of the best folk tunes written in that era, along with a number of her other works…. The link I chose was one that connects to a page with a great many links to her works…. but, if you choose the link to her full album, “Close To You”, you’ll find a number of links to other artists in the folk genre, including Emmy Lou Harris, along with numerous others…. Enjoy!…..
This poem needs no introduction, nor any comment….
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp’d on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock’d them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
~~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~~
Today’s final pearl will be put together using pearls that struck my fancy…. now, if I could remember where I put it, we’ll be able to get this done in a timely fashion… if not, well, oh, well….
“It is sometimes expedient to forget who we are.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 233
“Intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac” — Me & Smart Bee
“Cats are PROOF there is a higher purpose to the Universe.” — Smart Bee
“It [the Bible] is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910) — Letters from the Earth (1905-1909)
“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.” — Buddha
God must love assholes — She made so many of them. — Smart Bee
“What is left when honour is lost?” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 265
I wasn’t sure about this one at first, but, any time we end up with Mark Twain, Publius Syrus (twice!), and Smart Bee three times, you can be sure the pearl works…. which, it does, quite well, I’d say…. But, then, we all know I’m prejudiced about this, so….
Okay, I’m a bit late, and, I’m already half-brain dead; at least the weather today promises to be a bit more livable…. I think I’ll go take a walk in it…. 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
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
À bientôt, mon cherí….