~~ Knights of Pythagoras ~~
Hajime….. As I sit to begin, I feel a sense of deja-vú, not particularly surprisingly, as this happened a lot in the past. Though most of the Pearl for today is finished, the rest promises to be a complete struggle, as my mind is blank as the proverbial clean slate. Oh, there’s plenty going on in there, it’s just not printable, or, even, shareable. The dega-vú just makes it worse, as it attempts to add guilt to the mix, which we don’t allow, thus muddying up the waters even further…
Rather than bore y’all any further with my issues with writing, let’s try the old cut-’em-off-at-the-pass technique we employ so well, to get us down to the meat of today’s post. ‘Meat’ may be an unfortunate euphemism, given the somewhat odoriferous state of what may follow, but, we’re nothing if not bold in the pursuit of our Art, if such title may be justifiably applied to what is found here. Me, I don’t give a crap whether it’s valid art, or just frank & earnest; it’s still better out than in, so there.
Okay, I’m getting grumpy, so, we’d best be on our way. I have no expectations for today’s Pearl; it’s on its own. And, so are y’all, once we hit the oyster beds…. Our insurance is going to lapse at noon, and, since we don’t actually HAVE any income, we won’t be supplying it in future posts. C’est la fucking vie, as we say downtown. We also say this, a lot….
Shall we Pearl?….
That’s all the facts when you come to brass tacks;
Birth, copulation and death.”
~~ T. S. Elliot, Sweeney Agonistes (1932) ~~
Image from last.fm via Google Images
I am NOT a fan of opera. Never have been. There are a few arias sung by duets, or alto sopranos, that are inspiring and beautiful, to be sure, such as the one in The Shawshank Redemption. Mostly, it’s just noise, as far as I’m concerned. I could go with a few Twain quotes; he wasn’t much enthused by it, either. But, instead I will say this: I am a fan of the human voice. I love a Capella music, especially live on the street. I play guitar, having learned simply so I could sing along myself. Music is in all of us, but, isn’t always easily expressed, or felt. Whomever had the brainstorm to bring these three gentlemen together to sing, was guilty of an act of genius….
Just listen, & try not to drop your jaw too far when they start to hit the high notes on some of these songs….. It will send chills up your spine, I guarantee…. In case I forgot, and, I did, their names are Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti…. Enjoy!….
The Three Tenors In Paris
~~ Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long ~~
In general terms, a generation can be considered to be twenty-five years; some might say it is longer, as much as fifty years. To strike a logical, or, at least, reasonable balance, we will use the mean of the two, rounded off from 37.5 years to 40, for convenience of addition, etc. Given that assumption, I would estimate we have now gone at least three, and possibly four generations without paying the slightest attention to the lessons taught to us by our own history…. This period, significantly enough, covers about the same time as has passed since the advent of what is usually called The Industrial Revolution. For our purposes, this age of man began in earnest soon after, if not prior to, the birth of this nation, in the early part of the nineteenth century.
Now, one might think an author, or a character from a novel he wrote, is not the most appropriate judge of such matters; I contend this author is sufficiently educated as a historian, as a graduate of the US Naval Academy, to warrant some attention paid to his assertion, voiced by one of his characters. Robert Heinlein was not only an author, but, a scholar/historian/astronomer/engineer/pilot, and a number of other titles he earned throughout his life. He was one of the most cogent social philosophers of his time, though many of his ideas were considered radical…. a sobriquet commonly applied by mankind to all free thinkers….
In addition, this statement echoes the idea of many historical sages, in almost identical words. Thomas Jefferson made statements similar to this, when he wrote letters to peers in his time. He warned of the corruption he saw in the government almost immediately upon the signing of the Constitution, lamenting in one letter, “A monied aristocracy in our country … has already set the government at defiance.” He also warned of who he felt was the worst danger to the new republic, when he wrote, “Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.”.
If in no other way, this country has completely ignored this warning, allowing the interests of corporations and oligarchs to corrupt the halls of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Presidency of this nation, with the apparent full agreement of the populace, who embrace every economic principle spouted to them by those who have consistently preyed upon their ignorance. The checks and balances set up by the Constitution are useless, for those who make the laws now are in the complete power of the lust for money and power.
— i.e., none to speak of.”
~~ Lazarus Long ~~
Lazarus’s wry observation, though tongue-in-cheek, nonetheless points out a good part of why those who care nothing about community, but, live only to fulfill their own narcissist desires for power have been able to keep the public in the dark about the true state of affairs in the halls of government…. These congenital liars are willing to say anything at all to convince the gullible they are working in their interests, while in truth, have been busily corrupting judges and legislators to pass and approve laws which favor business principles over those of people. This, in spite of any claims to the contrary you may hear from those predators, is absolute truth for anyone with any wit to see, right in front of their eyes.
What is it they refuse to see? Simply this: the entire human culture, in every country in this world, exists as it does while laboring under two delusions. First, people have come to believe money exists in reality, as something other than an idea, which we learned to use to represent our time and energy, by placing a value on it. Second, there is a completely false belief in the need to be governed. Governments do not perform any of the functions for which they originally were formed; instead, they merely act as a means for unscrupulous people to take advantage of those who do not understand their own nature, much less the nature of reality around them.
Of course, since the first step to learning is to admit one does not know, or is wrong, these people would have to first find the courage to overcome their fear of either of those states. Fear arises from ignorance, or, perceived danger without understanding. It is easier to accept what one is told, than it is to be strong enough to think for one’s self, a very common human characteristic, of which those who prey on others are well aware. In fact, they count on it….
As a scientist, with leanings toward social history and the nature of humankind, I cannot say there is any solution at this point. I can also say I don’t believe there is a need for one, as the situation in the world today is ultimately self-correcting, according to the now-proven laws of evolution. No species can long survive when there is no limit to their breeding; our world has rejected any such control over our reproductive characteristics. Simply put, there is not enough planet to support the number of humans currently living here; not for any length of time. In addition, our own short-sightedness is going to play a large part, as we continue to degrade the environment upon which our survival depends, with no thought to the future at all.
~~ Edward Abbey ~~
Society has reached the point where we are cancerous, to ourselves, and to the planet. I can say what changes we need to make, but, I am almost certain they won’t be heeded, or made. So be it. As I mentioned somewhere, this is a rant to end all rants, for I am tired of singing to the choir. For a time, this section may/will exhibit some rather different material, not all from the archives. Also, so be it. For now, here are a few pearls to finish off this indictment of us all…. The last one tells us exactly what I mentioned needs to be done, if we are to have any chance at all of surviving as a species….
“In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.” — George Bernard Shaw
“We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry.” — John Webster
“A fish never thinks about water until he’s out of it.” — Robert Penn Warren
“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” — Sun Tzu (fl. c. BC 500)
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” — Denis Diderot in “Dithrambe sur la fete de rois”
The duties of the Wind are few,
To cast the ships, at Sea,
Establish March, the Floods escort,
And usher Liberty.
The pleasures of the Wind are broad,
To dwell Extent among,
Remain, or wander,
Speculate, or Forests entertain.
The kinsmen of the Wind are Peaks
Azof – the Equinox,
Also with Bird and Asteroid
A bowing intercourse.
The limitations of the Wind
Do he exist, or die,
Too wise he seems for Wakelessness,
However, know not i.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.” — Yun-Men
“Virtue is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from treading the course of virtue.” — Confucius
“The best things in life are never rationed. Friendship, loyalty, and love. They do not require coupons.” — George T. Hewitt
“Full wise is he that can himselven knowe.” — Geoffrey Chaucer — The Monkes Tale, Line 1449
“Live dangerously and you live right.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust (1806)
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” — Marcus Aurelius
“‘Truth’ never set anyone free. It is only *doubt* which will bring mental emancipation.” — Anton LaVey
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will.” — Jawaharlal Nehru
“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.” — Walt Whitman
Such as it is, it’s done, And, so am I. Another long night, and a long day ahead, promises today will be a challenge. May as well get started. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, provided all goes relatively according to plan….
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….