~~ Edward Abbey ~~
I find myself today in an unenviable position, one in which my only thought can be “PEACE!” Perhaps I am getting old, for the problems I face in my life are challenging my ability to adapt to them, leaving me without the balance I so treasure. It is certain my physical issues are presenting many difficulties for me; what is not so certain is whether or not there is any solution to them, other than learning to endure even more than has been asked of me to this point. That, simply put, gives me no peace….
I suppose also that this feeling marks me as human. But, that brings no comfort either, for I know human nature to be flawed, and dangerous, to itself, and every other creature on this planet. Claiming my humanity does not bring me any comfort, only confusion. But, then, confusion seems to be rather ubiquitous of late, in my life, anyway…. It isn’t a state of mind with which I’m terribly familiar, having been fortunate to possess a mind capable of resisting it with some skill; of late, it seems to have increased its power, or I am getting old, losing my ability to adapt quickly enough to suit reality….
Since the latter is more likely, it may mean there IS no solution to my conundrum; another step further away from peace of mind, clearly. SIGH. It may also be another sign of advancing age, I guess, to feel that peace of mind is the only goal worth pursuing….. In fact, that sounds particularly cogent, to me…. Of course, that may be because we are speaking of my issues, but, I think, maybe, this is something we may assume to be a universal issue for any human reaching my age…. I don’t know about other ffolkes, but, obtaining a bit of peace of mind has assumed a large importance in my world, if only for moments at a time….
That being said, we can now move on to a more practical issue, to wit: what the hell do we do with today’s Pearl? I’ve usurped this intro already, turning it into a no doubt too long piece of introspection, clearly personal, with very little hope of providing any direction to the rest of today’s post. Getting from there to the necessary point, where we can dive into the ocean of knowledge that is the world wide web is proving to be…. Wait, look! There’s a jumping-off point now! I’m grabbing it, while I can…. Hang on, ffolkes….
Shall we Pearl?
“Some people write to please, to soothe, to console. Others to provoke, to challenge, to exasperate and infuriate. I’ve always found the second approach
the more pleasing.” — Edward Abbey
(From the London Daily Telegraph-Animal Pictures of the Week)
“Yow! Are we laid back yet?”
~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~
According to one study, in the United States, 14.215% of respondents have consumed cannabis in the last year. In a total population of approximately 330 million people, this comes to (hmm… here is proof that math skills need use to maintain their freshness…. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to find a percentage with such odd figures… It took me a while to pencil it, having abandoned the calculator, as I didn’t recall how to work that function…. SIGH….), approximately 43 million ffolkes (making the obvious connection, are you?)….
When one considers that any such study is limited in scope, the figure assumes a larger significance. It must be remembered that, for the most part, cannabis users are accustomed to hiding their use; it is habit to deny such use, or minimize how much, or otherwise skew the picture with inaccurate data. Given that caveat, one must assume the figure of 43 million is far lower than is the actual case in Reality….
Personally, given what my experience over the years has shown me, going by what I KNOW of the ubiquity with which marijuana is present among the populace, I would say that figure could be revised upward to right about 50% of all Americans, and possibly more…. Remember, not very many of them will tell the truth about it, for fear of repercussions…. I would also guess many of the rest would just take a pot shot at the questioner with their rifle, for having the temerity to ask them about their private business…
Below you will find a wonderful song, a parody written by Weird Al Yankovic, using a great Alanis Morrisette song as the basis, along with link to an excellent summary of information on the current state of the legal battle to legalize cannabis, for medical AND recreational use, in these United States…. compiled with great skill, and compassion, by our old (well, maybe not so old, just familiar….) friend, Lou, over at Tales From the Conspiratum, his blog site, which he writes from his home in Montreal, Canada, graciously sharing his knowledge with his mates around the world….. Enjoy, ffolkes…. it won’t be long now, from the way things are looking….
You can find Lou’s site at: http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/2015/01/12/latest-us-cannabis-news/ By the way, today’s opening picture is from the same post as was noted yesterday, and the day before, from a post on Lou’s most excellent blog….
“None can love freedom heartily but good men; the rest love not freedom but license.” — John Milton
I found two pearls which seemed to perfectly form the bookends for a rant on political issues, but, find myself in a state of mind incapable of ranting…. I’m simply too tired. So, I’ll take a little time, & find an appropriate rant from the archives to fill in between the bookends I found, and be done with it…. I’ll be right back….
Artfully, he dodged the bullet, turning to watch it plow into the wall by his head. Slapping one palm to his forehead, he gave out a great shout, “ki aieeeeeee!”, striking to the left with his other hand, shattering the small bird statue on the pedestal. The bird screamed….. As entropy increased, gravity grew weak, then strong, tossing the players about the room like ten-pins in a row. Finally, a loud gong sounded, whereupon everyone dutifully trooped into the great hall to hear the daily proclamation from the beloved Leader in Mystery. Headache gone, thanks to the bird’s scream, he joined the parade, knowing he would find what he sought in the great hall…. His quest neared the end, and he could almost taste the cold dish of revenge, demanded by the blood of his murdered master…. Not for nothing was he called, “Pujin, the Merciless, Nearly-Master Killer of the Temple of the Divine Duck…..
Oops! That isn’t a rant, is it? Hmm…. It appears I lost track of my mind there for a few minutes; see what happens when I’m not paying attention? I go right for the nonsense…. Oh well. Here is the rant, now that I’m thoroughly embarrassed….
“He who conceals a useful truth is equally guilty with the propagator of an injurious falsehood.” — Augustine
If ever there was a perfect lead in to a rant about the Beloved Ruling Class, or our/their Corporate Masters, or about the Priestly Hierarchies, those fawning sycophants who support those two entities in their chicanery, well, I don’t know what it would be, if not this. It’s perfectly positioned to attack any, or all of these groups, all of whom make the described action, to wit: bare-faced lying, a habitual choice in their daily interactions with others. They do this with full knowledge of the harm they may cause, but are not concerned with that, other than as it pertains to the maintenance of their own image; they want us to see them as people who care about those over whom they hold sway. In short, they live a complete lie, they know it, and they like it….
Whether we speak of the political leaders of our nations, the corporate leaders of the banking crowd, or the Pope, Ayatollah, and other figures held as religious icons, they speak “with forked tongue”, in the vernacular of Tonto, our favorite TV Indian stereotype. Not only do they lie to the public almost every time the open their mouths, they know they are lying; with many of them, you can see it in their eyes, as they speak…. Some of them (perhaps even most….) are very good at concealing their cupidity from most people; it’s part of why they are successful. But, to anyone with even a hint of street smarts, or even moderate intelligence, and the patience to observe with impartiality, their lies are obvious…. Hell, it’s been said, with some reason, that you can tell a politician is lying, because his mouth is open….
“If I can’t misquote it, I don’t want it.” — Rush Limbaugh
This statement, whether he actually said it or not, explains quite accurately why he is so popular among the conservatives and ignorant fundamentalists in this country…. I would guesstimate the majority of elected officials in this country use this principle on a daily basis, as one of the standards by which they formulate their public policies, and one of their bywords when speaking in a public venue. Nothing is accepted so readily by the uneducated listener as a quote, or a statistic, that sounds elegant, and real, and comforting, even though it is an absolute untruth, or a mistake, or even a misquotation…. None of that matters to those in power, because they know that their success hinges on their ability to lie successfully to the public….. It’s a time honored tradition in our government, one every politician knows in his bones…
“It’s not that simple, no matter how you wish it so. You made public statements from a position of false authority; now you’re having them shoved down your throat. Welcome to netnews. — Smart Bee
The advent of the internet has made it possible to detail these lies as never before in history. As always, however, the information is only accessible if one reads, and is competent enough to be able to use the internet to its full capability for gathering data. So, the lies continue, though they are much more visible now than in previous periods of history. They will continue as long as people are too lazy, or too brainwashed to think for themselves, and to question what they hear from those who hold power over them.
I don’t think it is reasonable to ever expect those who are in power to stop what they are doing, do a complete reversal of attitude, and start using their positions to advocate for the people, instead of their corporate masters; it isn’t going to happen, as they LIKE being able to raid the public treasury at will. There is no benefit for them, in their eyes, for them to stop lying, so they won’t…. No, if we want things to change, it will have to begin in that part of society that does not answer to the moneychangers, or to the call of avarice, to wit: with you, and me…. Otherwise, we may as well just bend over, and kiss our asses goodbye, because ultimately, the way things are going, we are all headed down the universal toilet, where all of Mother Nature’s failed experiments get flushed…..
I can rant on this subject without limit, I think, as there is no lack of material to work with; the news is all over the net every day with more evidence of the lies the BRC wants us to believe. Hell, one can take almost any large newspaper, look on the front page, and find at least two examples of issues that arise out of corruption in government, or some environmental disaster that is a warning of our impending doom…. In any of these, you will find at least one government official making a statement that is just plain wrong, or false in some way, intended to spin the information to benefit the administration, or to denigrate it, depending on which side is speaking…. It’s a circus maximus, for sure, and provides us curmudgeons with all the rantable material we could wish for, gratis (well, for the price of a computer, and internet access, anyway….).
“God said it, I believe it and that’s all there is to it.” — Smart Bee
I had to put Smart Bee as the attribution here, probably because nobody in their right mind would ever claim credit for having said it…. But, as I, in my lifetime, have actually heard several people say this, (realio trulio, I swear…. three times I’ve heard it, in person, come out of a real live idiot’s mouth….), I can only credit it as being a common feeling among a certain percentage of people. Be that as it may, as long as there is ANYONE who thinks this way, we are all going to be held back from being all our species could be, as well as being in danger of facing extinction because of the intransigence of their ignorance…..
“Misanthropology: the study of why people are so stupid and why most of them should die, SOON!” — Smart Bee
I don’t know the exact figures, but I would say that at least 50% of all the elected officials in this country hold this attitude, if not as gospel or dogma for all issues, at least as true for most issues. Our government has been taken over, insidiously, over time, by religious fanatics, who are working frantically to cement their hold over everyone else by enacting their own morality as law…. As history has proven, time after time, legislating morality is ALWAYS doomed to failure, but, as this group believes implicitly in the rightness of their articles of faith, they will listen to no evidence to the contrary….
“Religion is the highest vanity.” — Friedrich Hebbel
Ah well, I guess all I can say at this point is I think we’re all going to hell in the proverbial handbasket, and I, for one, would just as soon not be involved in this particular picnic…. Nope, not me…. Sadly, there isn’t anywhere else to go, where I can get away from these fools, as they have infested almost every corner of this sad old globe, and are busy destroying the chances for any of us to survive their ignorance…. Unless I, and all those like me, change our nature, and become like the ones who are in power, willing to kill our brethren over these issues, there is little to be done, for they will never give up until they kill us all….
~~ gigoid has spoken….
“Buy a rifle, encrypt your data, and wait for the Revolution!” — .sig of Travis J.I. Corcoran (TJIC@icd.teradyne.com)
“Speak the truth, but leave immediately after.” — Slovenian Proverb
Note from 2015: Well…. There you go. As I look at the above, I note it is pretty thorough; as well, it has its own ending pearls, so, I’ve eliminated the one previously chosen, since it isn’t needed, and would be overkill on a rant already far too long for your comfort…. Sorry ’bout that, but, I get a little carried away once I get going….. No worries, ffolkes, it’s done now, and we can go on….
I chose today’s poem for its relevance to my current state of mind; it just seems to fit…. I hope you enjoy it; it was one of the first I wrote after my nearly 40 year hiatus from writing poetry…. Before this, the last poem I wrote was in my early twenties….
But you shall not escape my iambics.
Soft, sinuous patterns of unearthly beauty
blithely commune with sinking stars,
as pale shadows of former virtue hover
near, ever clean, ever tolerant.
These unbidden habits are worn with age and care,
ready now for dissolution,
welcoming gladly the kiss of Death’s handmaiden.
Unknown to all, the child stands aside,
weeping for the lost days of youth,
days that now shall never be,
nor yearned for ever after.
Only darkness shall lay upon the landscape,
cold, hard, eternal.
Such then are the signs and portents
as we enter into the unknown future,
they are grave indeed.
Uncertainty will be our sole companion,
as the search for hope yields no result.
The lamentations of the gods
shall sound the elegy for Man,
who never learned to see the gift that was made,
so many echoes ago, in the hopeful past;
thus will we pass this plane of existence
as we came, baffled and afraid….
~~ gigoid ~~
This is what I would call a serendipity pearl; in choosing the inclusions, I gave no instructions or parameters to Smart Bee. With seemingly no effort at all, it gave me the following seven-star pearl, within an incredibly short time, and, only a few offerings that were rejected…. Nice of SB, don’t you think? Especially as it came out very well…. It speaks, of course, of LIFE, or as we like to call it, LAL, or Life at Large….
Where most it promises.
~~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616) ~~
~~ All ‘s Well that Ends Well — Act ii, Sc. 1 ~~
“As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.” — Christopher Dawson, “The Judgment of the Nations”
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” — Confucius
“Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 10, 1787
“In practice it is seldom very hard to do one’s duty when one knows what it is, but it is sometimes exceedingly difficult to find this out.” — Samuel Butler
“There is only one blasphemy, and that is the refusal to experience joy.” — Paul Rudnick
“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910)
Considering how little of my native intelligence is at my disposal this morning, I am astounded; for finishing, and for writing so much, even if much of it was archived material…. But, my astonishment doesn’t outweigh my inertial state, which is balking at thinking at all…. I think I’ll go eat some worms…. Well, maybe I’ll make it oatmeal. Whatever, I’m outta here, ffolkes, with the very real hope I can see y’all tomorrow….
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
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.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….