~~ Cicero ~~
The Survivor Bonsai ~ 100+ years old, survived Hiroshima Atomic Blast
Image from UK Telegraph on the 60th Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima
Good morning…. The rather simple title for today’s Pearl took me an inordinate amount of time to create; although there are no set parameters for the title, nothing suitable floated up in my mind, for what seemed like forever. I finally settled on the simple vagueness you see, simply because it was the first one close to acceptable. In a way, it reflects perfectly how this whole deal will progress today, as I just don’t seem to be able to pull it together….
Ah, well, we’ve been here before, haven’t we? Well, I have, anyway. And, I don’t much like it here, so, I’m going to again go with our most ruthless intro technique, wherein I just give up in the middle, dumping us down the page. I hate to use it, but, it’s obvious we’ll never get anywhere unless I do…. I’ll ask y’all to kindly tighten up those restraining belts; Luigi hates to do it this way…. Hang on, we’re going in….
Shall we Pearl?….
“…there are periods of history when the visions of madmen and dope fiends are a better guide to reality than the common-sense interpretation of data available to the so-called normal mind. This is one such period, if you haven’t noticed already.” — The Illuminatus! Trilogy
You may ask, but, I can’t tell you, because I’m not paying attention. All I know is, it’s classical music, designed for children to listen to, for relaxation and fun. No, I don’t know why I picked it, but, yes, it’s pretty good…. I hope you enjoy it, non sequitor as it may be….
Classical Music for Children
“IDIOT, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.” He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
A most perfect opening for a rant on today’s world, wouldn’t you say? Naturally, it presents itself on a day when my brain is incapable of handling it with any aplomb. Rather than waste it completely, I’ll merely add an archived rant, which will, if nothing else, justify its use…. It speaks to the very issue outlined by our friend Ambrose, in a way…. Close enough for our purposes, anyway…. It’s a little long, but, hey, y’all don’t have anything better to do, right?….
From January 9, 2013:
“Is this an out-take from the “BRADY BUNCH”?” — Zippy the Pinhead
I’m rather hoping it is, in sooth…. if not, we all are in serious trouble, up the proverbial creek without a hint of a paddle. Not that it should be anything new or unfamiliar, as most of our history has been spent thus occupied. Of course, previous centuries didn’t have the distinct advantage of having either the Brady’s, or Zippy, in all his insane wisdom, as cultural icons, as well as ethical touchstones….. They had to make do with Socrates, and Plato, and stuffy old guys like that….. Aristotle was practically a rock star in his day, and remains a pretty smart dude, by all evidence, but I still prefer Carlin, I think, for the most cogent philosophy for modern times….
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 6, 1791
For a moment, I wondered what my unconscious mind was thinking when it made me copy and paste this amendment into the pearl, as a pearl…. especially as it seems to be in conjunction with the Zippy quote…. Here I am, five minutes later, still wondering what the hell I was thinking…. It happens that way sometimes…. just give me a few moments here, and I’ll come up with it…. Aha! Got it! Naturally, I only needed to go back to basics…. The answer to the question of how the two quotes are related is…. Reality….
Aye, that’s right, reality. It’s what we do here, explore reality, and all its implications, ramifications, and delineations. Also, it’s temperature. Well, perhaps that isn’t the right word, but…. Reality, as is clear and obvious to the most casual observer, exists in varying degrees (hence: temperature…. see?). The degree of reality that is included in an out-take from the Brady Bunch is clearly not the same degree of reality that is implied in the Sixth Amendment. I’d say, the Amendment would hit around 8 or 9 on the real scale, with 10 being the Reality of Amber, where all roads lead. (See Roger Zelazny’s book, The Courts of Amber…..), whereas the highest the Brady’s could hope for would be a 2 or a 3 on that same scale. They’re too oppositional in nature to be rated otherwise, as well as being on opposite ends of the scale of Relative Importance to ME and YOU…..
Now we get to the meat of this matter…. Of late, there has been a lot of public discourse regarding gun control, as a result of the media’s steadfast love of gore and manipulation. Another school shooting took place a few weeks ago, wherein some crazy idiot got hold of some firearms and used them in an insane manner. This, of course, all morality aside, is still a reprehensible act, and, IMHO, most easily solved by just taking one of his own guns and using it on him, at the time of his crime. Bang, problem solved, and since he’s standing there over the bodies he has made, no question of guilt. In such cases, the why of his guilt should not matter; whatever it is, it is reason enough to put him down, in defense of humanity. The other questions can be answered after the children have been defended….
Sadly, there are two segments of humanity who don’t agree with this logical outcome. One segment is what I term the humanitarians, a misleading term, since it usually involves the denial of much of human nature. The other, of course, is our old nemesis, the BRC…. our Beloved Ruling Class…. Neither of these groups will agree that allowing people to have guns should be allowed, or that killing the killers is a proper solution for the issue. In both of these positions, they are dead wrong, and, more, they know they are. This serves to make their arguments more shrill, more emotionally based, and, in their eyes, more valid, in some strange form of weird logic….
“Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, so don’t kid yourself…” — Frank Zappa
One of the most edifying parts of this discussion, for me, is how it makes it so easy to identify those who are wearing the uniforms, and from what camp they are from, according to their colors and insignia. You can tell the humanitarians, they’re the ones wearing the faux-camouflage pants, in support of the troops, they’ll assure you; they want the police to be the only ones who carry guns, believing, for some unknown reason, that police are somehow more moral or ethical than other people. (Of course, they also would have trouble if you asked them to define the words, “moral”, or “ethical”, in any other terms than those used in a philosophy paper they memorized in college, or in seminary….)
The BRC are always easy to spot, as their sense of entitlement provides them with all the armor against opinion, or law, they ever need. They want guns to be only held by the militia, (which they control), or the police (whom they also control), because it makes them nervous as hell to know there are guns out in the land, in the hands of people who would use them, for certain, if they attempt to perform their illegal lying, cheating, and stealing anywhere in their presence. It also makes them nervous knowing that they would be in danger for real, if the truth about what they do is ever made public with enough evidence to convince the masses to act…. They don’t want to have to worry they will be over-matched in firepower when that day comes along….
SIGH…. I’ve opened a can of worms, again, I know it….. I’m not going to claim to have all the right answers to the situation we find ourselves in today. Though it is a different world, technologically and culturally, from the time when the Second Amendment was written, deciding to abandon its precepts on that basis is not, and should never be, enough to justify any change in a law that is so important to the common man, the very people for whom the laws were created, to protect them from the self-same usurpation that is now being attempted. Once the law is amended, and weakened, the term “slippery slope” becomes very real, and a valid fear for those people.
To put a cap on it for now, I’ll say this…. Quite simply, I do not trust those who would take the right to bear arms from the people. I have seen NO evidence, in history, or in recent current events, that ANY governing body, or ANY group, or ANY single person, of ANY persuasion can be trusted to have guns, and use them solely for the benefit of the people, without turning them to their own purposes, first. NONE. You can’t show me any, either…. Go ahead, I’m listening….
I have studied people every day of my life, and I know too much of human nature to ever believe what I’m told of another person’s intentions; even the best intentions can change in mid-stream, turning its back completely on any commitments made previously. People lie, they cheat, they break in their minds, and they can’t, as a whole, ever be trusted to act rationally on a consistent basis….. at least, not any more rationally than can I myself….
“In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.” — Oscar Wilde
Such being the case, I’d rather keep my guns, thanks. I’ll accept the risks that go with that freedom, which includes the risk of bad people getting their hands on guns, and doing bad things to others. Don’t worry, if they do it in front of me, I’ll help…. and not by running away and hiding…. Life is dangerous, ffolkes, and one either learns to get along with that idea, or one spends a lot of time worrying about shit that can’t be changed…. A very unhappy state of affairs, to my way of thinking, and not very realistic in the long run….
“When the panorama of human existence becomes chaotic and confused, it is quite soothing to watch the sun rise in the East.” ~~ gigoid
Note from the future (today, 8/16/2015): I’ll leave you with a quote I find to be a very good way to explain to people just why I do this at all….
“Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.” — Isaac Asimov, The New Hugo Winners
I never meant to kill that period of time,
it didn’t give me any choice.
It tried to hem me in without reason, or rhyme,
refused me any vote, or any voice.
You have to admit, I buried it deep and fast,
just as if I cared.
I knew, though, it would never last,
or ever be fully repaired.
No news, no pictures can bring it back,
once is all we get.
No pleas of public good, or even public lack;
in stone the past is set.
Futuristic visions now occupy my dreams,
I’m ready to go on.
Look! It fills up the screen, and it gleams!
Where’s the moment I’m sitting on?
Now, I remembered, at long, long last,
is all we really can hold.
Every moment goes by so bloody fast,
we’d best fill them all with beauty, warm and bold.
~~ gigoid ~~
I was going to try to create a fresh, old-school pearl for this section, but, Smart Bee doesn’t wish to cooperate today. I did manage to pull out the following pearl though, which, due to its nature, and construction, is capable of acting as a solitary pearl, of the same weight and value of an entire seven-star necklace… I’d say, Mr. Futagil has the proper credentials to make his words of value to all of us…. Enjoy!….
Ride less and walk often.
Have fewer clothes and launder often.
Worry less and work harder.
Waste less time, and continue to learn.
Talk less and listen more.
Frown less and laugh often.
Speak less and act more.
Blame less and praise others.
Take less and give a hundred times over.
~~ Kenzo Futagil, describing the secrets of life. ~~
~~ He lived well over a hundred years. ~~
Today’s Pearl is one of those I’m happy to have completed; the internal cost of such days approaches the red zone on the spreadsheet of Life, so, I’m always glad when it’s done…. Now all I have to do is get through the rest of today, dealing with the nonsense and idiocy so commonly found outside the room where my computer lives…. I suppose, given how the day began, I’d best get started, before Time itself comes to a complete halt…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; I’ve come to realize there’s no choice…. not for me….
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
The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….