In response to the quote, from Sophocles, I would say, “except, perhaps, those we tell to ourselves.” That simple fact may be part of the problem, wouldn’t you think?….. Ah well….
In coming centuries, should we survive to see them, the Philae lander, (which you see above in an artist’s rendering of its descent to the comet on which it tried to land, taken from Space.com’s coverage of the event), may become the subject of a number of jokes, described as “Philae, the Bouncing Bot”, or other such inane nicknames, a result of the comical way it managed to complete its landing sequence…. Thanks to the unknown physical demands of the landing, onto a comet moving at great speed, the silly thing managed to bounce three times before coming to a complete rest on the surface, a sequence of events not realized until the pictures from the mother-ship had been analyzed….
What a ride, eh? Zooming along through space, trying to land on a rock, only to find itself on a make-shift carnival ride…. Too bad it didn’t have any human riders to give us a play-by-play description of how it felt to be bouncing over the surface of a speeding rock through the depths of space… As it was, we were barely able to find the poor wee ‘bot where it ended up on the surface, finally spotting it shortly before its batteries gave out. The information it was able to transmit to the scientists at the EU Space Center, of the single drilling sample it was able to perform, was sent to the center just before it said “Nighty night”, and went to sleep, perhaps never to wake again….
Since there is only a small chance of it ever doing so, we’ll leave our species’ latest technological wonder to rest in peace, and hope it passes through enough sunlight on its trip around the Sun to be able to wake up & reestablish contact with Earth. Until then, we’ll just tell it, “Well done, little ‘bot!”, and get on with today’s Pearl…. Hey, we’ve got to get started some time, right? Right…. Now seems like a good time….
Since we’ve already come down the page a ways, I think we’ll take what we’ve been given, and run to the bank to deposit what may be left by the time we get there…. Not that we’re going to sweat much over an imaginary deposit in an imaginary bank, but, it deserves a mention, if only to fill in just a few more lines…. Pretty cool the way I slipped those in there, isn’t it? I’m getting fairly adept at this, I think…. Other times, I’m sure I’m deluding myself, and, since I haven’t a clue as to how to figure out which is true, we’ll pretend I never said anything about it, and take the opening into the rest of the Pearl that is looming just ahead…. In fact, DUCK!….
Whew, almost hit the overhead lights on that pass…. Oh well, we made it, and we’re here, so, lets’ get on with it…..
Shall we Pearl?
“In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.” — John Kenneth Galbraith, Guardian (London, 28 July 1989)
I don’t know about y’all, but, I love Van Morrison’s music, always have…. Here’s a bunch of it…. Enjoy this little trip through the past, ffolkes, or else….
I’m not late, but, the news is currently pretty boring, and, more importantly, I AM quite lazy…. Hence, another blast from the past…. This one isn’t a rant, per se, though it shows some rant-like qualities…. I think we’ll label this one a ‘discussion’….
“Don’t ever become a pessimist, Ira; a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun — and neither can stop the march of events.” — Lazarus Long, from Time Enough For Love, by Robert Heinlein
As with many important truths, this one does not comfort one to know it; a common attribute of remarks by Lazarus, who has a tendency to voice the truth regardless of its potential, or even certain, effect on the audience. And, damn it, it is just so much simpler to let all the bad stuff hold sway on our attention, and give in to the depressive urge to berate and chastise the universe for its lack of tact and consideration for human sensibilities. It never listens, anyway….
My semi-rant in section one today is a perfect example of this principle at work; I do try to maintain some optimism in the face of reality; I even have learned to try to explain away all the weird stuff, as being outside the statistical universe under consideration. It’s a lie, but it’s my lie, so I usually can buy into it, long enough to allow denial to set in, and thus preventing the otherwise inevitable depression over how bad things have gotten…..
Actually, right now, it’s fairly simple to stay completely distracted, as we always have the election, and all the shenanigans taking place on that stage, to draw our attention away from the imminent demise we face as a species, or even, more importantly, our personal concerns of everyday living. It’s easy to deny the inevitability of carbon monoxide pollution when we have Mitt the Twitt’s lies to chase down, or Biden’s latest zinger to admire, or Lyin’ Ryan’s latest example of elitism to watch with dropped jaw….. It’s a veritable circus, and the clowns are in full swing….
(Note from 2014: This was written during the 2012 campaign leading to the national election, with Mitt, the Twit, Romney, cluelessly running against Barry the Obama, who was seeking his second term at the helm….)
It’s not just the candidates providing the entertainment, either…. every Tom, Dickwad, and Mary is chiming in with their two cents, on TV, radio, and, most prodigiously, on the Internet, all trying to get SOMEONE to listen to them during the run-up to the election. Those two cents can get very, very strange, as each commenter tries to make the most outrageous statements and/or claims/accusations about all the actors on stage, providing a whole new package of entertainment for us, each one vying for our attention at the top of their lungs, figuratively speaking…..
This is where the metaphor of the circus gains its credibility, although, more accurately, I am reminded by this, most emphatically, of just about any carnival at the County Fairs I’ve been to….. Disheveled, sinister-looking barkers, complete with suspenders and a cigar in their mouth, yelling out the prizes they promise, each one grander than the next, and easy as pie to win: exotic visions that promise endless satisfaction of desires, enormously valuable jewels and objet’s d’art for virtually nothing, and endless illusions to draw the eye away from the seediness and underlying, almost frenetic despair permeating the air….
Yes, indeed, the political scene here in America has always reminded me of a carnival, and the events and activities that prompt my impression of the election as an illusionary device, designed to fool the public into thinking that things will change if they vote, has never been stronger than it is now. I have hope that by voting against the obviously evil side of the campaign, the overall effect on the immediate future will be mitigated to some degree. But, I can find within me very little hope that the eventual outcome is in doubt, and that outcome is not one that anyone is going to like…. at all.
My optimism is fairly natural to me; I’ve always been a hopeful kind of person, and I continue to hold hope that mankind’s future will extend beyond this century, groundless as it may be. My pessimism, unfortunately, has the advantage of having the most evidence in it’s favor right now, even if Obama wins the election, as I expect he will. He is only one man, and the course of human events is very difficult to change once it is headed in a particular direction. My hope is based on the wish that more than just he will learn to make the inner changes needed for us all to survive the storms that are coming…. A slim hope, yes, but hey, it happens to be all we’ve got…..
Here is a piece of my own poetry, written during a period of contemplation of current events, (of that time, of course….), of the most personal kind, in which I managed to include much of my own philosophy, truncated into verse, right in the very last stanza…. Go figure….
As old as you feel, we are told, is old as you are,
custom assures such vision will carry us far.
Reality begs to differ, may it be so bold
it’s really quite painful, and very, very cold.
The power and strength felt in our halcyon youth
desert us with age, yet another unwelcome truth.
Irony rules our time here on this bountiful earth
as we reflect the changes over time since our birth.
As physical powers fade from this fragile shell,
we learn our mind can serve us quite as well.
The strength that once filled our bones and hearts
is now applied by our will, to more arcane arts.
Life’s greatest gift is our freedom of choice
no matter how often we forget, we still get a voice.
Energy, or apathy, by our will we may choose,
failing to do so, our only way to lose.
Each of us lives in the grip of time and space,
always seeking our balance, our own chosen place.
One must accept reality, for it’s true at the core,
all we can do, is all we can do, and nothing more.
~~ gigoid ~~
As I begin to write this section, I have no clue as to what I’ll find today in SB…. In fact, that may be the way to go…. Right, we’ll do it…. This pearl will be ALL Smart Bee’s choices, on any subject it cares to pick, as long as it makes a point of some kind…. Let’s see what happens with such a loose set of parameters….
“In everything one must consider the end.” — J. de La Fontaine (1621-1695) — The Fox and the Gnat, Book iii, Fable 5
“A multiple personality is in a certain sense normal.” — George H. Mead
“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Better be ignorant of a matter than half know it.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 865
“It is not love of self, but hatred of self which is at the root of the troubles that afflict the world.” — Eric Hoffer
“The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.” — G. K. Chesterton, TREMENDOUS TRIFLES
A soldier told Pelopidas, “We are fallen among the enemies.” Said he, “How are we fallen among them more than they among us?” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Pelopidas
“Even while a thing is in the act of coming into existence, some part of it has already ceased to be.” — Marcus Aurelius
“This and a great deal more like it I have had to put up with.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Act iv, Sc. 6, 8, (746.)
Hmm…. Well, I’m not entirely sure what it means, but, I like it. It’s done, too, making it perfect….
Whew! That went fairly well, all things considered…. Today’s Pearl has been brought to you by the number 2, by the letter J, and by those generous folks three houses down whose internet service I’ve been stealing for weeks…. Just kidding, but. hey, it isn’t unusual for me to be a bit giddy when I’m finished…. Perhaps this would be a good time to make my break for freedom…. Say goodnight, Gracie….
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….