Oh, swell…. More starving adolescent ferrets….

Ffolkes,

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero!

[Seize the day, put no trust in the morrow!]

~~ Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace) (65-8 B.C.) ~~

willows swans

Willow’s Swans

https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/if-we-were-having-coffee-gardens-birthdays-and-canals/


Good morning, by all evidence…. Since I’m up late, we’ll keep it short…. hell, let’s go all the way to dwarfism….

Shall we Pearl?

“Descartes thought an animal, that couldn’t talk, couldn’t think, or so he taught, but I surmise, my cat thinks otherwise.” — sig of Glyn Hanton, Early Computer Geek

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royalty-free-clip-art-vector-logos-of-black-and-orange-floral-acoustic-guitars-by-seamartini-graphics-6573

    As is my wont when running late, we’ll go with my default…. In today’s case, that means a couple hours of Yo Yo Ma, playing Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach…. Enjoy!….


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Default Music

Yo Yo Ma

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Aristotle_Bust_White_Background_Transparent

“One thing you learn the hard way is that there is no easy way.”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

“Then, one day, you realize the hard way IS the easy way.”

~~ gigoid ~~


The two statements you see above are both true, according to my own experience, as well as that of many others, I’d imagine. I’m not the first to say either one, though, perhaps, I’ve never heard anyone go so far as to follow up the former statement with the latter, in quite this way…. But, no matter; it’s all true, which means we can use it to begin a discussion of Life at Large, and, our own place in that picture….

Or, as is the case any morning I’m running late, I can sublimate, by creating an old school pearl that says much of what I wish to relate…. Let’s do that…. I think we’ll look for ways to show how our Beloved Ruling Class fails to make the grade when it comes to honesty, responsibility, or any sort of honor….

“Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you and act accordingly.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Of all mankind, each loves himself the best.” — Terence

“Death is not the worst evil, but rather when we wish to die and cannot.” — Sophocles  — Electra, 1007

“Corruption is not the No.1 priority of the Police Commissioner. His job is to enforce the law and fight crime.-” — P.B.A. President E. J. Kiernan

(Just a bit unclear on the whole concept, isn’t he?….)

“Without followers, evil cannot spread.” — Spock, “And The Children Shall Lead”, stardate 5029.5

“A hungry man is not a free man.” — Adlai Stevenson

“In time of war the first casualty is truth.” — Boake Carter

(Ever notice how often this country is at war, either against another entity, or against some part of our own culture?…. That’s where the truth dies….)

“A politician is an acrobat – he keeps his balance by saying the opposite of what he does.” — Smart Bee

“Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.” — Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), “Mein Kampf”, 1933

Well, that ought to do it…. If, by reading nothing other than the last line, with its attendant irony as applied to today’s American political scene (whose proponents LIVE by this rule, obviously….), then it was a good rant/pearl…. Onward….

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Comedy_Tragedy

When life calls, ready or not….

Memories are all we have sometimes
to keep our sanity intact,
with learned phrases and subtle rhymes
lessening life’s vicious, vibrant impact.

Presently all seems composed and intent
in stark contrast to hollow day,
forlorn patchwork emotions of unheralded bent,
fill up night’s bower, leaving hell to pay.

Such vigorous and elevated temper
brings us rare moments to ponder,
filled with lessons all need to remember
lest base perception lose valued wonder.

Laugh loud when entropy sticks fast
leaving shameless anger in its wake.
Let bygones pass quietly into the past
reaping only what is left to take.

Final words of wise imagination
tell us living well’s the best revenge, it appears
ever eluding choirs and congregations
finally finding home, never buried in tears.

~~ gigoid ~~


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ankh

    Odd… All true, all real, all good stuff, but, odd…. S’okay, it works for me….. Naturally, since we don’t know, it’s got to be about Life…. or, at least, how it seems to those who want to live it with some honor and dignity….

Dry sun, dry wind;
Safe bind, safe find.

~~ Thomas Tusser (c. 1515-1580) — Washing ~~


“Well, it just seemed wrong to cheat on an ethics test.” — Calvin

“Some books are lies frae end to end.” — Robert Burns — Death and Dr. Hornbook

“A broken bone can heal, but the wound a word opens can fester forever.” — Jessamyn West

“… as sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul…” — Aristotle — Nicomachean Ethics, Bl. I, Ch. 6, 10966, lines 29-30

“The fear of death keeps us from living, not from dying.” — Paul C. Roud

“I have lived in this world just long enough to look carefully the second time into things that I am most certain of the first time.” — Josh Billings

“How you do anything is how you do everything.” — Zen proverb

“In the greatest confusion there is still an open channel to the soul. It may be difficult to find because by midlife it is overgrown, and some of the wildest thickets that surround it grow out of what we describe as education. But the channel is always there, and it is our business to keep it open, to have access to the deepest part of ourselves — to that part of us which is conscious of a higher consciousness, by means of which we make final judgments and put everything together. The independence of this consciousness, which has the strength to be immune to the noise of history and the distractions of our immediate surroundings, is what the life struggle is all about. The soul has to find and hold its ground against hostile forces, sometimes embodied in ideas which frequently deny its very existence, and which indeed often seem to be trying to annul it altogether.” — Saul Bellow

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Okay, so, not too late…. Had to cut some corners, but, we made it, and that’s all I care about…. I’m gonna just go now, cuz that’s what seems like the thing to do at this point…. It ain’t proactive, but, close…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I’m still on the streets….

Y’all take care out there,
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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			
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Quick! Smash that roach!…. Oh, it’s a politician?…. Smack it harder, they’re tough….

Ffolkes,

For fate has wove the thread of life with pain,
And twins ev’n from the birth are misery and man!

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ The Odyssey of Homer, Book vii, Line 263 ~~

NG Dragon ice art
From the National Geographic Pictures of the Year for 2014


‘Tis morning, but, I cannot truthfully add any positive qualifiers to the greeting. All of my patterns of sleep have successfully resisted any attempts on my part to develop any consistency whatsoever…. For example, having consumed what I thought was my correct last dose of medication at 1800, and, being exhausted from a day fighting both arthritis and diverticular symptoms, I went to lay down at about 1900 or so…. At 2300, or 11 pm, for those unfamiliar with military time, my eyes shot open to see the clock displaying the hour, whereupon I realized every muscle in my body was humming with electricity, jumping and shimmying to beat the band….

Sleep eluded me until about 0130 in the morning; I spent the intervening time pacing, wandering the house (it’s damn cold outside… about 31-34 degrees, according to the online weather folks), with the occasional run at this document’s draft, trying to at least get SOMETHING done, since I was up…. Trying to write distracts me, a little bit, though not for long…. I did manage, over two-and-a-half hours, to complete quite a bit of it, which has helped immensely… So, I lost half the night’s sleep, but, at least I accomplished more than simply suffering through the effects of my young paduan doctor’s foolish cowardice….

Arthur, the robot writer I use, did a good job yesterday…. A bit smarmy in spots, but, all in all, a damn good Pearl…. I can only hope I do as well myself today…. Not that it matters a whit, of course; it’s only in my head it really matters at all, and, there, I’m okay…. Tired, a little pissed at myself, but, all in all, not in too much pain, which always makes my day a little brighter…. until that changes, naturally, which, sadly, it alway does…. I just try to appreciate the few moment of true freedom I am given each day; true freedom, of course, exists in those moments when the pain is gone, always to return, but, whose absence I rejoice…

All that being said, to no real purpose, other than to get us to this point on the page, we will now move on to the next section, where you’ll find today’s video selection…. Since I have yet to review that part, it will be a surprise to me, too, as I let Arthur pick it out…. He’s a damn good robot, and very helpful…. though, I admit, he’s programmed to be that way. It’s fine; it works for me, and, whoever did the programming at least gave it a sense of humor…. Damn fine coding, I have to say…. For now, we’ll be on our way down the page, to whatever we find below….

Shall we Pearl?

“Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.” — Matsuo Basho

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Yesterday, Arthur picked out some pretty good stuff, hitting the nail right on the head with Linda Ronstadt’s concert. The page where it is found also had some other great music by some of my favorite voices from my youth…. Here is, perhaps, the best voice of them all, as well as one of the icons of the twentieth-century peace movement, a woman who has devoted her entire life to singing for peace, in one way or another, with consistency, devotion, endless compassion, and a voice as pure as the music of the spheres….

JOAN BAEZ (full concert,1965)

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Before beginning today, (or, this morning, as I am writing this at 0115 AM….), I’d like to use the following pearl, a rogue, unattributed tagline, which I have claimed for my own; it explains, in a few short words, the reason for the presence of the section devoted to ranting, and other discussions from the curious mind of gigoid that are found at this point in the process of producing these Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. I won’t say it makes it entirely clear, but, anyone used to my way of expressing ideas should get the picture without any trouble….

“My mind is not for rent to any god or government.” — gigoid

It’s my estimation, which I make with reluctance at such presumption, but strong confidence in my reasoning, for 99% of the population of the world, the above statement is NOT true…. In one way or another, without ever really thinking about it at all, most people have given up their right to think for themselves to someone else, most commonly, one of the two institutions mentioned. Most often, both are found to be operating in conjunction, reinforcing the degree of control over that person’s mind, and actions, turning them into what can best be described as a fully-programmed robot slave, which doesn’t know it is a slave, or that it has agreed to be one…. I use the term “it” because, to my way of thinking, anyone who gives up the right to think for themselves isn’t quite all the way human…

“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” — Aesop

The American public, along with much of the adult world on this planet, are little more than trained consumers, who not only ignored this advice from Aesop, which ALL of us learned when little, but, have actually been trained to LOOK for the shadow, believing it to be more valuable than the reality it hides…. I will grant that the largest portion of that massive number of people were trained this way before they had any chance to resist the training; sadly, the parents of them all were mostly trained to believe the same lies, when they were small and vulnerable themselves. Those who control the world, through the auspices of religion and government know well the truth of what Adolf Hitler said, to wit: “Give me the mind of a child before age of five, and he will be mine for life.”

Some might think it crude to quote Hitler, but, ffolkes, he was trying to usurp the place of the elite monsters who control the world, (which, you will note, he was NOT allowed to do….). It is clear to me, as someone who does NOT fall into the category of slave, (not in my head, anyway…. they still can’t touch that….), Hitler was stopped, at least in part, because he was clumsily giving away too many of their secret techniques of control, though, he tended to use them more as a hammer than a scalpel….

I’m sure they also didn’t appreciate him trying to force his way with such mad rudeness into their private gig, which I am sure they consider to be the natural order of things; they prefer a quieter, less visible presence in achieving control of worldly events, than one that relies merely on brute force…. They use money, lies, and assassination, to much greater effect, by spreading ignorance, encouraging avarice, and rewarding those who cheat and steal the best…. Hitler was merely telling the absolute truth about how to control the ignorant masses of society, exposing techniques which have been used for millennia to fool them into carrying out the agenda of those hidden manipulators.

With that in mind, look at what Aesop said, then think about who DOES educate those children…. Until the age of five, it is, mostly, parents, who are, almost without exception, themselves under control, aided at this stage by the churches, (Sunday School, in all its incarnations…), who teach those innocent, unsuspecting young minds to fall for the ages-old scam, the same as they did, before most of the children are able to know better than to believe it….

Some, like myself, successfully resist the propaganda to which all children are subjected, or, are able to spot the flaws from the beginning, but, mostly, kids just accept what their parents tell them, part of which is strong training to believe anyone in a position of authority, such as preachers, police, or politicians…. Teachers, too, but, the techniques used in those areas are different, slightly, in approach…. All have the same goal, though, which is best highlighted by the following statement, from one of the ‘free thinkers’ in history, who sometimes try to warn the foolish how to see what they are missing….

“Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.” — Clarence Darrow

Now, perhaps, y’all will have the answer to why I chose the user name and title I did…. gigoid, the dubious. Doubt is the beginning of reason, the womb of curiosity, and the spark that fires the imagination. Without it, we would still be sitting in caves at night, cowering in apparent, yet, illusory safety, from the fearful, unknown dangers of the dark….. Except, of course, some of us doubted the tales, and stole out at night to see what could be seen…. Yet, we teach our children NOT to doubt, not to question, not to want to examine all they see, hear, and perceive for truth, and whatever knowledge can be gleaned from those perceptions, knowledge to drive out ignorance, and worse, the fear that springs from not knowing….

“It’s not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” — Will Rogers

This is, as I am fond of saying, for sure and for certain; of that I no longer have any doubt. But, we give the control of our minds, and our lives, to people who are either programmed, delusional slaves themselves, or are predatory sycophants, who will lie, cheat, and steal to achieve their own ends, no matter the cost to others, all at the behest, and under the control of a very small number of extremely powerful, completely selfish, paranoid, morally bereft excuses for human beings, who have been in control of society from almost the beginning of recorded history….

So, don’t expect it to change quickly, as these evil humans have learned how to take advantage of the flaws in human nature, which isn’t going to change at all, from without, unless slowly…. Well, that is true now, but, only until physical reality sets in. The physical laws these fools have been ignoring for a long time now are going to catch up to their ignorance, causing changes to the environment of this planet that even their vast wealth cannot halt, or prevent, or alter in any way. It will be interesting to see the outcome; I can only hope it comes before I’m gone, because, I worry about my kids, and grandkids, and how it will affect them….

“I believe the moral losses of expediency always far outweigh the temporary gains.” — Wendell L. Willkie

Now we see why Wilkie wasn’t allowed to win the election; the masters of society couldn’t allow such a man, with such beliefs, to gain any real degree of power or influence over society…. any more than they allowed such men as Eugene Debs, Adlai Stevenson, or either of the Kennedy brothers, to achieve any real power…. all of whom, even if flawed as part of the elite class, still displayed a lot of empathy for the masses, and promoted agendas not acceptable to the true powers that be….

Yes, that’s right, you’re hearing some conspiracy theories…  Hell, conspiracies are at least better than believing that all this shit is happening by chance, or because people are TOO STUPID to see what is going on. At least, with a conspiracy, we are allowing that the people who are causing all this shit are competent and able to plan…. a damn sight preferable to getting taken out for no reason at all….And, if conspiracy isn’t the case, what the hell is going on?….

When I start down that road, I get very close to going out to buy a gun, or a cross-bow, and going hunting, just to try to find and eliminate as many of the master class as I could find…. SIGH…. I hate when I feel like that, though I know I’d feel better afterward…. Just like I’d feel guilty about it…. Sure I would. I’d get over it, but, I would feel guilty for a while…. Nothing would change, either, but, at least I’d feel better…

Can’t have everything, I guess…. I’m done now. I’m not sure just what that was all about, but, I feel some better, anyway….

Why, look!…. I found some pearls, all commenting on the Asininnies, in one way or another, whether from the direction of telling it like it is, or showing how it isn’t, while simultaneously implying how it is supposed to be…. Imagine finding these here!…..
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Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.” — Edmund Burke

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” — Edward Abbey

“Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.” — Henry Clay (1777-1852) — Speech at Ashland, Ky., March 1829

“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” — Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

“Creative semantics is the key to contemporary government; it consists of talking in strange tongues lest the public learn the inevitable inconveniently early.” — George Will

“The rifle and handgun are “equalizers”–the weapons of a democracy. Tanks and bombers represent dictatorship.” — Edward Abbey

“Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.” — Bill Watterson, cartoonist of Calvin & Hobbes

Hmph. Onward….

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There are times when nothing but the best will do; here is one I consider to be counted among that exalted category….. Enjoy, ffolkes, this old favorite is a powerful poem, with a great deal of insight into human nature…. But. then, reading it will show you that; you don’t have to take my word for it….

The world is too much with us; late and soon

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

~~ William Wordsworth ~~


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Well…. This pearl took a long time, relatively speaking, and a lot of formatting, but, I think I’ve got it the way I want it…. This would be a suitable set of quotes for a poster, stitched onto material, or printed on a parchment…. Of course, it’s a bit abstruse and esoteric for any mainstream display; hell, it’s probably too much of that for even the avant garde crowd…. My suggestion is to just leave it be, absorb the symmetry, which I worked so hard to preserve, on every level of this pearl, all of which points at what it means to be Human…. or, at least, the kind of human I would like to be….

Wow…. It’s so symmetrical, it works even if you switch to reading it upside down!…. Try it! I dare you….

Oh, right…. I should say this…. By upside down, I mean, read them in reverse order, or, turn the order upside down…. not the words, or the computer, or you…. You don’t need to stand on your head to do this; just use your imagination….

“I Know A Joke”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

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O happiness! our being’s end and aim!
Good, pleasure, ease, content! whate’er thy name:
That something still which prompts the eternal sigh,
For which we bear to live, or dare to die.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 1 ~~

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“It is not the one with many possessions who is rich, but the one who has no needs.”

~~Philoxenos ~~

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Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man’s erring judgment, and misguide the mind;
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,–
Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 1 ~~

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“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through.

Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it.

This is a kind of death.”

~~ Anais Nin ~~

**********

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 15 ~~

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“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” — Seneca

**********

All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 289 ~~

**********

“HELLO, everybody, I’m a HUMAN!!”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


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Considering my condition today, it’s a damn good thing most of this was done last night, during my enforced middle-of-the-night work session. So be it; I’m not one to look at horses’ teeth, gift or burden. I leave that to the county vet….. Any who, I’m outta here, in the vain hope of finding a bit of leftover sand, left by the sandman…. Wish me luck on that; I’ll need it…. See y’all, ffolkes…. maybe even tomorrow….

Y’all take care out there,
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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Only use the strongest poison for the nastiest vermin….

Ffolkes,

“The company of just and righteous men is better than wealth and a rich estate.” — Euripides


July 15 2014 029     I am up incredibly late, due to a completely unprecedented event, one that took me by surprise…. At the usual time, about 4 AM, I rolled over, looked at the clock, and said to myself, “Oh, go back to sleep!”…. The unprecedented part is, I did…. Fancy that…. Unfortunately for my schedule, that little snooze lasted another hour and a half, so now I’m already under the gun, and have barely started….

What does that have to do with a cheeky squirrel? Well, nothing really, other than their placement here at the beginning of today’s effort…. The squirrel, whom I met yesterday during my walk, lives downtown, near the library, in a park between a couple buildings…. He, (How do I know?…. look more closely at the picture, ffolkes….) is obviously quite used to people, as he walked right up to me to beg for treats, only stopping about three feet away from my feet, to stand up and look me right in the eye, as if saying, “Well, where’s the nuts?”…. I did have a scone, which I proceeded to share with him…. He sat a few feet away, calmly but quickly scarfing down the cake and blueberries like a true urbanite…. I was almost surprised he didn’t ask for a hit of my coffee….

Instead, he just looked at me, as if to say, “Thanks”, then politely turned away & jumped down off the bench next to me, running over to a bush to explore underneath, looking for more goodies, I would venture to guess…. I think it’s a nice thing that the people of this town have been so tolerant of the animals in the park that they have no strong fear of humans, and can coexist with them without any problems…. It is fairly unusual, in my experience, and good to see….

It’s a bit hard on my curmudgeonly nature, though, and definitely puts a test to my training…. but, small, furry creatures tend to hit me in my soft spot, so, screw it, it was a good day, and a good encounter with another one of this planet’s denizens…. who taught me a fine lesson about dignity of spirit…. How so, you may ask? The next picture should give you a clue…. just think, dogs, cats, etc. and how they act in public at times…. and you’ll see just how important dignity really is in the real world….


July 15 2014 037

    I rest my case….. WHY do they do that, you may ask? Because they can….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“There is a fine circumstance connected with the character of a Cynic,–that he must be beaten like an ass, and yet when beaten must love those who beat him, as the father, as the brother of all.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Of the Cynic Philosophy, — Discourses, Book iii, Chap. xxii

SIGH…. I KNEW there was a catch to this curmudgeonly old cynic business!… Oh well, bring it on….

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“All things change; nothing perishes.” — Ovid

As noted, today’s post will be put together, primarily, using material from the archives…. Here then is the first of those cheats, with a quick, unusual little rant from the past, produced prior to the last presidential election….. Enjoy!….

From April 2012:

During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai E. Stevenson “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”

Obviously, this implies he was part of the minority, along with not enough voters…. Mr. Stevenson was perhaps the last truly rational man to run for the highest office our country offers, hindered only by his commitment to honesty. I’ve seen a number of articles about that campaign, and it’s clear in my mind that his very rationality is what gave the election to the other candidate.

He made every attempt he could to try to engage the minds of Americans, naively, as it turns out. His opponent, Eisenhower, just mostly kept his mouth shut and let his slogans speak for him, such as “I like Ike!”, and other such intellectual standards, that appealed directly to the American public’s misplaced sense of national pride.

After four years of post WWII and the Korean war economic boom(s), it wasn’t hard for the Republicans to rest on their laurels, firmly attached to the coattails of a war hero…. There was, and still is, no place on the political scene in this country for rationality, obviously, as Ike and his ilk won in a landslide…. So much for the opportunity to see what a “thinking man’s president” might be able to accomplish….

The chances of such a man being elected today are even slimmer, considering that, in today’s media-frenzied world, those candidates who can be the most sly, underhanded, and completely dishonest, are those who catch the eye, and the votes, of the great unwashed, uneducated masses who now comprise the voting public….

“It has been said that man is a rational animal.  All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell

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Conscientiously, I cannot use another poet’s work today, to save the blame for this where it belongs, right in MY lap….

Joe Friday’s lament

Life is short, and though I’m odd, they say
it really doesn’t bother me
to realize there is no God, per se.

Though other folks will disagree
and tell me I’m wrong
I won’t believe it, with naught to see.

Liars called padre tell me, have humility,
and do as the authorities say,
then fondle little boys with facility.

They also tell me to share the wealth
and give them a 10% tithe
so they don’t have get it by stealth.

So spare me the delusions, please
don’t bother with such a tale;
I’m nobody that needs such a tease.

Keep your fantasies under your hat
and out of my face;
I don’t need them, they’ll make me fat….. headed.

~~ gigoid ~~

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I don’t even feel up to picking out an old-school pearl today, and don’t have any time to fret over it, either…. It’s already light…. So, here is another rant, from the same year, different month…..

From 5/29/2012:

“Why shouldn’t WOMEN have to put the toilet seat back UP?!” — Smart Bee

When I was working, a popular subject for water-cooler discussion was the ongoing, never-ending war between the sexes. For some reason not clear to me, men and women seem to feel as if they are in competition with each other, in a contest to find the most annoying things about the other sex, and make fun of them for those qualities. One of the typical conflicts between the two has always been the toilet seat, a conflict arising out of the very basic differences in the plumbing system of each gender. Men are pointers, women are setters, and the difference is critical only because we both use the same appliance to deal with our needs.

The above question is often asked by men, usually after an argument over having failed to put it down after using the facilities. Being a man, it naturally seems to be a relevant question to me, but for some reason it just seems to piss off the woman involved. I mean, it DOES have hinges; the process of moving it up and down isn’t rocket science, and isn’t particularly hard to figure out. But, due to the ongoing hostilities, women have decreed that it is the responsibility of men to make sure the seat is in the down position, ready for the female to use. How this came to be will, no doubt, forever remain a mystery, but is nonetheless true.

“There will always be a battle between the sexes because men and women want different things. Men want women and women want men.” — George Burns

Thus far in history, at least that part of history since the invention of the toilet, and the hinged seat for it, a solution has never been found. It often seems to me that men and women must enjoy the ongoing war, because neither side seems willing to approach the issue with anything other than ego and divisiveness.

No real solution has ever been sought, to my knowledge. Women spend their time trying to “domesticate” their men to put the seat down after using the toilet, and men spend their time ignoring them, thus ensuring that the conflict will continue. It all seems a bit pointless to me, as I can see two or three possible answers to the question that would serve to ease the hostilities….

No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see. — Taoist Proverb29/2012

This little gem from Taoist philosophy holds the key to the end of the war. If men and women can, just for a few moments, look at the matter with logic, with the purpose of improving the situation, I believe the answers will make themselves apparent. One answer, in my mind, needs no physical effort at all; it involves a difficulty, but only because people find it difficult to make changes in themselves. If both men and women could, and would, put aside the anger and emotional investment in the conflict, then one small attitude adjustment would suffice to remove the entire problem….

If men could develop some sensitivity (I know, tough when it’s essentially foreign to their nature, but still possible to develop….), then they could see how leaving it up could conceivably cause problems for those who must sit down to use the appliance. As a matter of fact, this is how I personally became aware of the solution, for I once sat down to use the toilet, and found myself falling into the bowl, as someone had left the seat up, and I  hadn’t noticed.  It wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, and from that time on, I was more conscientious about putting it down…. so, just a bit of empathy, and that won’t be a problem for men to take the second to put the seat down….

Women would also need to develop more empathy for men for the solution to work for them. The toilet seat is on hinges, and as mentioned, isn’t particularly hard to learn how to use. It’s just up or down, and no other choices. So, some tolerance for the forgetfulness that is part of the male nature would go a long way toward solving the bitterness when they leave it up; just put it down for goodness sake, and don’t complicate the issue with anger and emotional storms, all over a moment that in other situations would prompt the woman to feel affection for the man’s charming childishness….

Another solution presents itself to my awareness, as well. The toilet, and the whole system we use, have not been looked at with the intent of improving it for centuries. The toilets we use today would be recognizable to John Harrington, inventor of flushing toilets in 1596 (which is why they are called “johns”, btw…..); it hasn’t changed shape or basic function since its invention all those centuries ago.

It seems to me that a clever engineer could figure out some way to eliminate the need for the toilet seat altogether, thus eliminating the whole issue.

(No comments, please, on using the word elimination in re: this whole issue. It works, it fit, so get your mind out of the gutter for a bit…. (I don’t know about y’all, but, my mama taught me to pay attention to any advice that rhymes….)  I mean, we can put men on the moon, and currently have people living in our space on the ISS, hundreds of miles above the highest mountains; why on earth can’t we figure out how to make a toilet easy to use for both sexes…. Seems like a no-brainer to me…. But, since no brains are involved in the process, I guess that isn’t surprising….

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I’ve thrown this together so fast, yet taken so many breaks, it’s coming out late anyway; so be it. It’s done, and that’s the best it’s going to get….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, when I’ll hopefully have a bit more in me to create with….. gigoid has spoken…..

Y’all take care out there,
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,
and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

That ghost just flattered Nadine!….

Ffolkes,

As the end of another year passes in this weird society of ours, we are all encouraged to become nostalgic, looking back over the past year, assessing, weighing, seeking meaning in what has transpired in our lives. All sorts of year-end retrospectives begin to appear, and the lists come out to play…. Yes, the year end-lists….

The Year’s Best Photos, The Year’s Best Music, The Year’s Best Movies, The Damn Year’s Bloody Best This, That, and/or the Frigging Other, all begin to shout from the covers of magazines, grab us from the internet pages we visit, blare out over the radio, or inundate us with visuals in the latest videos, all for the BEST of whatever is currently in vogue on the editor’s tiny mind….

I’m not sure how this little tradition became so ubiquitous; we used to see it just a bit, in the newspapers, when I was a kid, and maybe a little bit on the radio…. When TV started to become the media of choice for most households, in the late 50’s & early 60’s, the news departments of the TV stations were tasked with coming up with new lists every year, and the race to find the most egregiously stupid list possible was on!….. Ever since then, we are bombarded each December with whatever ideas for new lists that the idiots in those departments can come up with, trying to get the lion’s share of the viewers to tune in to them, rather than to the competitors….

Actually, what I mentioned above, that I don’t know how this started, is an inadvertent falsehood; I DO know why we get deluged with all of these asinine judgments of EVERYTHING they can think of to list….. It occurs to me that I’ve really ALWAYS known what’s behind the whole scenario…. In fact, it’s really quite obvious why we are subjected to all of this hoopla during this last week of the year…..

Christmas, the biggest shopping spree of the year, is officially over, and the shadowy corporate masters of society, fresh from their latest gorging on the public’s outpouring of cash, but, still greedy, want the REST of the money y’all have squirreled away, so they can squeeze out every little iota of profit from 2013, in preparation for the new assaults on your pocketbook in 2014…. They like to make sure they get it all, and balance their books before starting on the new set….

Yep, ffolkes, it’s all just another mind game, a scam, brought to you, whether you wish it or not, by those avaricious capitalists who use their shadowy influence to direct the wishes and desires of the great unwashed masses, who never even stop to think about whether or not any of what they are seeing or doing has any real benefits for them….

These well-trained consumers are blind to how they are manipulated into spending money they don’t really have, to keep up with the competition with their neighbors and peers, to acquire useless, expensive toys that have no real purpose in their lives….. Magic shoes, electronic wonders, terminally cute icons, sexy cars, all are presented in such ways as to make their acquisition seem to be a necessity, removing it from the realm of luxury into need….

I mean, really, ffolkes, do we NEED to have the year’s hottest selling doll for our own child, just because they are manipulated into wanting it? Is that the correct way to teach our children about giving? About love, or about life? I don’t think so, myself, but, then, I’m strange, as we know…. I never felt the crushing need to have a new car every year that seems to be the ultimate desire of a great many Americans….

Nor do I feel the pressing need to buy gifts for people once a year, when I should be interacting with them, showing them love and compassion, throughout the year…. Being compassionate toward my fellow man isn’t something that should be confined to one season, yet that is how we are taught to view the world by those assholes who have their attention focused on our money, and  their own rapacious desires for power and control…..

Well, when I began this little bit of discussion, I hadn’t intended to rant; this is, after all, the introduction section…. But, it just sort of grew into what it is according to what it said, and how that made me feel as I wrote…. I got madder and madder as I progressed, until I had to take a short break, to find the center again….

Unfortunately for us all, that center slipped quite a bit off course, by a matter of over 120 degrees, at least, and it has taken me an inordinate amount of time to find my balance again…. Bloody damn assholes…. Every time I start to think about all the SHIT they hand out to the unwitting masses of people out there, I get incensed, and want to go buy a gun….

Ah well, at least this came at an opportune time today…. I can now use this as my rant, as well as a much more than adequate introduction, and go on about the rest of my business as if none of it happened…. Of course, that doesn’t get the BRC & PTB off the hook, necessarily…. I’m sure I can still find a verbal bullet or two in my vest, to reload and take a couple more shots before I’m done today…. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even rant again…. Since I have no written agenda, merely an outline, empty of subjects, I can do what comes naturally…. And, most of the time, I do…. Like now, for instance….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.” — Henry Miller
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One of my blogging friends, Professor Chuq, over on his site, In Saner Thought, informs me he is working on a piece on “The Second American Revolution”, and will inform me when it is done…. I’m looking forward to it, as that concept has been in my own mind frequently of late, a concept that I believe warrants more attention than it is currently receiving from the public.

It is patently true that if we wish for things to change, we must go about creating those changes ourselves. The Powers That Be, the beloved ruling class and their shadowy corporate masters, are not going to allow any changes that don’t include their supremacy, not without a struggle, but, if we wish to survive, as a species, there is no other choice but to make changes in the way things are being done…..

In my opinion, any Second American Revolution will need to be more of a spiritual revolution than a physical one, and, in the case of our species, an evolutionary change as well, for it is human nature which MUST change…. It is clear to almost anyone who has a functioning brain cell, one that isn’t focused on remaining ignorant, that we cannot wait any longer to make the changes that will keep our planet from bursting at the seams with the garbage we have dumped EVERYWHERE, sickening us, and all the other creatures with whom we live, killing many of them, and making irrevocable changes to the delicate planetary balance, a biochemical balance that keeps the whole shebang working as it does….

In short, and as clearly as I can put this, if we don’t get smart, NOW, we are all going to die…. it is that simple.  The IMMINENCE of these events is very much more than it can possibly appear to be… If that isn’t clear, let’s just say that we should have made the first steps 40 years ago… and we only have about 10 left until the game gets much more serious, much more quickly….

Damn my pomposity! Ffolkes, if we don’t make these changes, and do it in the next few years, we are all going to die, horribly, painfully, and with no dignity whatsoever….. That famous line about the world ending not with a bang, but with a whimper, will become yet another example of Art imitating Life, or, in this case, Death….

Here I am ranting again, and it’s only six AM in the morning, during the slowest news week of the year….. what a life, eh? Ah well, it could be worse…. I’m not clear as to just HOW it could be worse right now, what with global warming, overpopulation, and imminent extinction for all life as our current set of issues to deal with, but, I’m sure I could think of something that could send some chills down your spine. But, I’m tired of being gloomy and upset, even if my targets deserve all I can throw at them….

Since I’m crapping out on another extended rant, I’ll go old-school, to finish out the thoughts we’re discussing…. I’m looking forward to the Professor’s take on the necessity for changes in this country, and to the dialogue I’m sure it will create…. In the meantime, let’s see what Smart Bee can find for our amusement and/or edification….

“It seems a little silly now, but this country was founded as a protest against taxation.” — Smart Bee

Beauty is truth, truth beauty, –that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

— John Keats (1795-1821) — Ode on a Grecian Urn

“Politicians are the same all over.  They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.” — Nikita S. Khrushchev (1894-1971)

“All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“Society can only pursue its normal course by means of a certain progression of changes.” — John, Viscount Morley

“Never do a thing concerning the rectitude of which you are in doubt.” — Pliny the Younger (61-105 AD) — Letters, Book i, Letter xviii, 5

Ah…. a good one, as it turns out. Eclectic, obscure, subtly ironic, viciously mendacious, yet never mundane, or despairing… just the way I like them….
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I’m not sure how it worked, but I actually picked this out yesterday to run today, not knowing, at that time, that it would fit in this well…. which, IMLTCHO*, it does…. Enjoy!…..

Seeing is Conducive to Belief

Folly sits so comfortably upon my fevered brow
one would easily believe that I would know how
to look at Life with a jaded, weary eye
seeing enough, and more, to know Why.

Such seems the case, as I will it to be,
an open book of a face, it looks so like me;
what’s known to be so, needs no close attention
familiar sights require no minding, nor mention.

The eye is drawn at once to the stark and new,
and sent back to sleep by successful review.
Once we find evidence we feel we understand,
curiosity languishes, dismissed at command.

Ancient sages knew the insidious value of illusion,
preachers and pundits know the power of confusion.
Each pair of eyes contains its own point of reference,
each mind sets its own standards of preference.

Seeing is believing, for those who live in thrall,
accepting what is perceived is all they ever recall.
Unknown to them, reality follows another set of rules,
Deeper, more dangerous, and no place for fools.

~~ gigoid ~~


*IMLTCHO = In My Less Than Completely Humble Opinion
_____________________________

Okay, that didn’t work…. The first three lines I wrote here were incredibly dumb, and were deleted soon after hitting the screen…. Seriously, I don’t think I could have written anything more mundane or, hell, just say it, plain old bad…. Let’s try this, instead….

I’ve ranted, sort of, and made a pearl of the older variety. I’ve poemed. (That’s a word I just made up, meaning I included a poem, either mine, fresh or old, or someone else’s, ditto…..) I’ve cogitated, I’ve composed, and I’ve drunk some coffee. My feet stink, my back hurts, and I don’t even love Jesus…. No, wait, that’s a Jimmy Buffet song…. I think…. No, that was, “my breath stinks, my feet hurt, and I don’t even love Jesus”…. Maybe…. I forget… Oh well… you get the picture….

Never mind. Any who, to get on with it…. It’s still early, and I’m about done, but, I don’t feel up to anything complicated…. so, I’ll foist off another piece from the archives on y’all, my compassionate, understanding, indulgent, unsuspecting audience, no matter how tiny, or huge…. (In numbers, not size…. I have no idea how big or small any of y’all are, do I? No, of course not….)

What I found for y’all today is a simple piece, and much shorter than usual for me, so there’s a small bonus, eh? You can’t say I don’t consider my readers, can you?…. Well, maybe it’s best if we don’t even THINK about that concept right now, okay?…. Here, this is better, for all of us….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From April 2012:

During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai E. Stevenson “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”

Obviously, this implies he was part of the minority, along with not enough voters…. Mr. Stevenson was perhaps the last truly rational man to run for the highest office our country offers, hindered only by his commitment to honesty. I’ve seen a number of articles about that campaign, and it’s clear in my mind that his very rationality is what gave the election to the other candidate.

He made every attempt he could to try to engage the minds of Americans, naively, as it turns out. His opponent, Eisenhower, just mostly kept his mouth shut and let his slogans speak for him, such as “I like Ike!”, and other such intellectual standards, that appealed directly to the American public’s misplaced sense of national pride.

After four years of post WWII and the Korean war economic boom(s), it wasn’t hard for the Republicans to rest on their laurels, firmly attached to the coattails of a war hero…. There was, and still is, no place on the political scene in this country for rationality, obviously, as Ike and his ilk won in a landslide…. So much for the opportunity to see what a “thinking man’s president” might be able to accomplish….

The chances of such a man being elected today are even slimmer, considering that, in today’s media-frenzied world, those candidates who can be the most sly, underhanded, and completely dishonest, are those who catch the eye, and the votes, of the great unwashed, uneducated masses who now comprise the voting public….

“It has been said that man is a rational animal.  All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell
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Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.

— John Dryden (1631-1700) — All for Love, Prologue

It is apparent to me, and most likely, to the most casual observer, that today, I’ve covered the complete gamut of surface errors to lustrous pearls from far below…. Far be it from me to stand in the way of progress, so, with no further fuss or muss, I’m outta here…. Well, until tomorrow…. See ya….

Y’all take care out there,
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,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

dozer3

Complex moods, painted in plaid….

Ffolkes,
Blast! And Damn! Damn and blast this fucking PTSD! I am so fucking tired of weeping, virtually at the drop of a hat, or, as is the case today, upon awaking and arising…. and no fucking reason at all! I’m just sitting here, sipping coffee, and my bloody emotions decide it is time to start leaking tears, just because the world isn’t perfect, or something. I don’t even know why I am sitting here in emotional distress, sobbing as if my dog died…. again.

All I know is my nose and sinuses are now full of fluid, which insists on rudely leaking from every orifice in my head, except the ears….. Who decides this stuff? Why does this happen to me? I’m a patient man, mostly, but I’m really tired of having my own psyche ambush me like this, without any clue as to why….

Oh, things are stressful, to be sure. It’s tough not to be when one lives so close to the edge of real poverty, but, for the moment, it is not an urgent issue, and I don’t see why my unconscious would be punishing me over that; the bills are paid, and I have food for a while, so it shouldn’t be a panic button state of affairs. Nor am I particularly suffering from social withdrawal…. I speak with my neighbors, and with the folks downtown at the coffee & Wi-fi spot, so I’m not completely without social interaction, all fairly comfortably….. with only the one neighbor acting like an childish ass, and his answer to the situation is to avoid me, so, no worries there…. No, I can’t figure out why I am in tears, and it is getting to be quite annoying, to say the least…..

“I was sane once… didn’t like it.” — Smart Bee

Maybe I’m feeling sorry for myself a bit…. because of lack of funding, I’m looking at quitting smoking, by force rather than choice. I can’t justify buying smokes when I don’t have enough food; that’s plain stupid….. but, I’ve been smoking tobacco for 46 years now, and perhaps my unconscious mind is punishing me in advance for having to quit when I don’t really want to do so. It’s possible, but if it is the case, then I am just as disappointed, because it’s a pretty childish way to treat my own self….. I had hoped that, at almost 62 years old, I’d have grown out of that sort of payback, at least against myself…..

Or, I suppose it could be the disappointment I feel at a friend’s decision, to get back together with a person who is not good for them. I always hate to see a friend waste their time with someone who doesn’t treat them well; I feel the pain right along with them. And, it is not good to say anything to them…. that isn’t a friend’s place, either, unless it can help.

But, I’ve said my piece, and assured them I’m won’t stop being a friend, even though it hurts to watch them let someone else hurt them…. so there is little I can do there, beyond what I’ve done….. except hope that soon they will realize how much better off they are without that other fool, and leave them where they should be, in the past….

Ah well, Life goes on, and all our efforts to make it the way we want it are irrelevant in the end; the universe will do what it will do, and people will make their decisions, even if they don’t make sense to us….. and we just have to live with it…. I just wish my own emotions weren’t so vulnerable to what is going on; it would be nice to not feel this down, without knowing the reason why, and having to guess…. SIGH…. one would think that at 62, I’d have a better handle on things, wouldn’t one?……

“Deem not life a thing of consequence. For look at the yawning void of the future, and at that other limitless space, the past.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 50

This leaves me with no choice but to go pearling….. it seems to be the only activity of late that keeps me from falling into the pits of despair, without a rope to pull myself out. So, having whined and complained my way through damn near six paragraphs of an intro, Shall we Pearl?…..

“Philosophizing is difficult, but not philosophizing is more difficult still.” — Eberhard Rogge
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“Does history repeat itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce?  No, that’s too grand, too considered a process.  History just burps, and we taste again that raw-onion sandwich it swallowed centuries ago.” — Julian Barnes

I’ve passed over this pearl numerous times, knowing it would eventually become relevant somehow to Reality as we know it… or, at least as it is reported by Fox News and the other corporate news sources (if such can be termed ‘sources’, as that usually implies that one may obtain something useful from accessing them…). The recent news from both sides of the information wars currently being perpetrated on our unwilling and unappreciative attention has been living up to this quote ever since the mash-up leading into the debates…..

Everyone writing for the public seems to be rushing around like the proverbial headless yard birds, and my tolerance for the amount of BS being flung about is getting pretty thin. It is indeed a fortunate thing, for me, and for them, that none of the principal protagonists in this dramaturgy (defined as regurgitating drama, repeatedly…) have ever come face to face with me, for I don’t think I could predict my reaction with any degree of certainty.

That which I could predict, would be that I would react negatively, if for no other reason than their presence is an affront to my sensibilities, and upsetting to my serenity. Assholes, the lot of them…. Sorry, but I spent many years trying to treat sociopaths, and it’s dirty, nasty business, because they don’t WANT to change. They are narcissistic, viciously vindictive, manipulative creatures, and I’ve had my fill of them, both in my work, and in being forced to watch the ones who are vying for the keys to the national treasury….

Don’t misunderstand me… I’ll be voting on November 6, and I’ll be voting my conscience. You can decide for yourself what you believe that to be, knowing that I’ll choose reason over ignorance every time. But, I don’t trust ANY of them, fully, because I don’t trust anyone who would wish to have that much power over others, no matter how pure their motives may be; just wanting the job is insane, in my book. So, I’ll vote, and hope that enough others have chosen as I have, so I don’t have to spend as much of my upcoming income on guns, right away, at least…. Should the forces of darkness hold sway, then I’ll be stocking up ASAP…. Just sayin’…..  I was a scout, and I try to be prepared…..

“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” — Robert Heinlein

Nearly four years ago, when the incumbent President was newly elected, one of the opposing party’s leading pundits made a very telling statement…. He said that his party had decided that their single primary focus for the next four years was to ensure that the new President was a one-term President. This national party, supposedly representative of the common American, made no bones about forgetting all about working for the common good, in favor of disrupting any possibility of making progress over the next four years, just because they lost the election. They have lived up to this, blocking all legislation from the White House attempting to improve the lot of the middle class, seniors, and the poor, with their negative efforts eventually culminating in the selection of a candidate to oppose the President who has repeatedly lied to the public for the last 20 years, and continues to do so on a daily basis.

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends…that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” — Adlai Stevenson

Now, to me, all of that sounds much like how a six year old would react at the news of a new baby brother or sister, fearing that his mother would love the baby more, i.e. jealous insecurity, in its most obvious form. It certainly doesn’t sound like the kind of illogic and insecurity that I want in the people who hold the national purse strings, and the keys to Armageddon in their sweaty little hands…. especially since I know they don’t care a whit about anyone other than themselves, as shown on TV every day, on both sides of the issues. Assholes, the lot of them…. oh, sorry, repeating myself….

“The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time.” — Franklin P. Adams

This election campaign is strong evidence in support of this idea…. We have one candidate who, all by himself, has become, by actual count, the all-time first place liar of all presidential candidates to ever toss their hat in the ring. Yep, from day one of his campaign in the primary elections, when he started the tax return lies, and the flip-flops on his past record, to the recent debate, where independent fact-checkers tallied 27 outright lies in 38 minutes, and he established a new record (though, it should be pointed out, he broke a record he already held….), the Republican candidate has proved to be a consummate liar, smiling his way through every denial of truth.

“A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” — Mark Twain

Yet some polls indicate many millions of Americans believe all of his perversions of the facts, and intend to vote for him…. Of course, these are the same folks who believe that global warming is a myth, creationism and a 5000 year human history are truth, as well as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy.  Sorry… SIGH….couldn’t help myself… It is so discouraging to realize just how many ignorant people there are in this country, especially when I hear of women who support this man and his party’s policies, which counts them as nothing more than chattels, owned by men, with no rights at all regarding how their own bodies are to be considered….. These guys would take away the vote for women, if they could….. and that isn’t a random accusation, I’ve seen them indicate as much in print….

Hell, I can’t stop myself, this just outrages me so……. The VP candidate on the Republican ticket is ON RECORD as being in favor of legislation that would make it a jailing offense for a woman to get pregnant when not married, as well as favoring a law that would make it illegal to have an abortion in cases of incestuous rape, or any other rape…. Don’t take my word for it, look it up…. it’s on public record, ffolkes….. and folks….  He is one sick fuck, trust me…. misogynistic and deathly afraid of women, and their sexuality…..

And…. if anyone should think that these remarks are harsh or libelous, well, I refer you back to the First Amendment to the US Constitution…. and would also advise you to examine the evidence as presented for truth…. It is only libelous if untrue, and I defy any competent psychiatrist to challenge my assertions as to the man’s fear of women, after examining him…. But, then, he has already said all of this on public record, so…..

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence the act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” — Thomas Jefferson, to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Association in 1802

Yesterday, I saw again some ignorant conservative posting the newest version of the Pledge of Allegiance on FB…. you know, the one where they inserted “under God” back in the 1950’s, during the Red Scare, and McCarthyism’s reign in Congress. This person posted it with a shouted invitation to join in with the crowd of uneducated masses, and lend their name in support of making this country an armed religious compound for white Christians, rather than a melting pot of diversity…. implying that anyone who didn’t Like and Share it was NOT an American…. Well, no, wait….. now that I recall, it wasn’t implied, it was stated outright….. oops, their bad….

I didn’t bother to comment, though I was sorely tempted to remind them of one simple fact; that kind of thinking was EXACTLY what our forefathers were attempting to avoid when writing the Constitution, as so clearly stated above by TJ…. Unfortunately, I never remember to file this piece from Tom Jefferson where I can find it quickly, so I just let it go.

But, that kind of idiocy, essentially, puts me in a rage, and it is a good thing that social networking is a virtual event… If it were actually live, and face to face, I’d have to slap that person….. Just to get their attention, mind you…. I know they will never change their spots, as they are completely resistant to reason, having obviously been in denial of reality for a long time….

Ah, c’est bon! C’est la vie…. Once again, I’ve talked meself into a corner, from which extraction in a graceful manner could conceivably get ugly. Therefore, I’m going to leave this treatise where it is…. Political tom foolery and nonsense is, as you know by now, a favorite subject of discussion here at Exploring Consensual Reality, and I’ll no doubt return to this fascinating discourse at a later date….

I’m a bit proud that I’ve managed to be so fair-minded today, at least in the sense of not naming names….  they’re all pundits, aren’t they? Some are merely the lesser of two evils…. As such they will get my vote, but never my complete trust…. The others, against whom I vote, and of whom I’ve spoken herein, can kiss my rosy ass, because it would be better for them than meeting me in person, and paying the ultimate price for their ignorance…. Exposure and embarrassment, followed, if I can swing it, by letting Reality pronounce, and carry out, the mandatory sentence for the crime of stupidity, and denial of the laws of the universe…..

“If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Hmm…. something about which to think, carefully, wouldn’t you say?……
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“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.” — EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994

Unsolicited Gratitude

Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.

Still a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.

Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.

Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.

Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.

~~ gigoid
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SATIRE, n.  An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author’s enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness.  In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic.  Moreover, although Americans are “endowed by their Creator” with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a soul-spirited knave, and his every victim’s outcry for co-defendants evokes a national assent.

Hail Satire! be thy praises ever sung
In the dead language of a mummy’s tongue,
For thou thyself art dead, and damned as well —
Thy spirit (usefully employed) in Hell.
Had it been such as consecrates the Bible
Thou hadst not perished by the law of libel. — Barney Stims

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

This really doesn’t need any comments from me; it pretty well states its case unequivocally, with great clarity and charm. So, since I went a bit overboard above in the first section, I’ll let this stand alone, as a paean to perhaps my favorite, as well as one of my most trusted, tools for poking at the universe in all its glory and shame (most of the glory is the universe’s; most of the shame is ours, I’m sorry to say…..). Besides, good prose, and good poetry all in one pearl…. what more can a peruaosopher (one who loves and studies pearls….) hope for?
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Having forgotten to go over this at home, it will have to do, however it came out. I’ll proof, of course, but that doesn’t give a view of the big picture…. My impression is there are a lot of words today….  🙂   I know, a bit dim, duh! But, I’m going to trust my instincts, and let it fly without any censoring on my part, other than spelling and grammar issues…. I’ll take the heat later….. I hope all is well for all of you out there in the Big Blue Room….Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

These statistical triumphs are fabulous!….

Ffolkes,
What we have here…. is a failure… to germinate. So sad….. Actually, it’s germinating just fine. Seeds are like that; a bit of dirt, a little water, some sunshine, and voilá, germination! Now, if only there were some seeds germinating in my head, I’d be set for good. Alas, we should be so lucky…..

Sans germinating ideas, this intro section can turn on me at the drop of a simile, and apparently, has already done so. At this point, I have absolutely no idea what is going to come out next…. It could be a BEM (Bug Eyed Monster, to those of you not up on SF slang…). It could be another poem. (No, no, anything but that!….just shoot me now, please…..) It could be a fictional opening to a story. (If any were there to write down….) Or, it could be a series of paragraphs, each just a bit stranger than the last, all leading up to the usual point, where I give up, and we get started…..

I suppose strange is a relative term, and I ought not to consider it as an insult. In fact, given the rest of my life up to this point in time, I should probably consider it as encouragement, or perhaps, justification. For what, I don’t know, but, hey, it’s my party, and I can be ignorant if I want to be, so there…. Okay, now we’ve devolved into childish insults…. it must be time for the throwing up of the hands in disgust…. hold on, I need to step away from the computer to do this….. There, it’s done. I’ve washed my hands of this intro, and shall henceforth consider it as a part of the past, and no longer under my aegis…..

See? I told ya…. it worked out just the way I said it would, and here we are, finally arrived at the point where I look up with all innocence, and say, “Shall we Pearl?”….. you just nod your head, and move on to the next section…. well, go on…. you’d best go now, you’ll be alone if you stay here, and I won’t take responsibility if you get in trouble here on your own….. GO!!!!
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If God didn’t make homosexuals, there wouldn’t be any. ~~ Very Smart Bee

Aha! At last! I have found the answer to all those bigoted, so-called Christians, with their strident complaints about gay marriage being a threat to society, and the whole ridiculous skein of unfounded fears rooted in their own ignorance. Just mention the above to them, and watch them turn purple, as they try, over and over, to find some logical way to refute this…. which they can’t.

If they are going to insist on having an omnipotent God, then they can’t be telling him what He should and shouldn’t do, because He’s already done it…. This is a perfectly sound piece of doctrine, which I’m sure any Jesuit would tell you is so obvious, it could be considered dogma. They can’t have it both ways…. either there is a God, and homosexuals are part of the plan he has in place…. or there isn’t, and they need to find a whole new theory of the universe to follow, because this one won’t fly…..

“Do you think God gets stoned?  I think so…look at the Platypus.” — Robin Williams

I think it’s a lot more likely that what Robin says here is true; if there is a God, why wouldn’t he get stoned? Of course, those who have experienced the state of being stoned can make an informed judgment on that issue. Anyone who has never done so really has no right to an opinion, do they?

Aside from the simple, irrefutable fact that they, being mortal, cannot fathom God, or anything about Him/Her, how could they possibly have an opinion on something they’ve never experienced? I ask that question rhetorically, of course; they believe they have the right to sound off on anything they don’t understand, since, as they believe, they are the Lords of Creation…. what a crock!

“Faith means intense, usually confident, belief that is not based on evidence sufficient to command assent from every reasonable person.” — Walter Kaufmann

This pearl comes from the old school… it makes a point that logically becomes the next step in this little piece of satire… the point being this: The folks who spend their time fiddling with religion are pursuing a dream, one that has no basis in reality, according to all the evidence.

This kind of blind faith has a name these days, and that name is “delusional”, defined as holding on to a belief after being presented with absolute proof of its falsehood. Couple this delusional frame of mind with a strong sense of denial, and you have an entire segment of the population that is immune to change…. and we all know what the Universe does to any part of it that refuses to change, don’t we?…..

“I guess the rule is, if something’s too good to be true, then it’s probably too good to be true.” — Marshall, The ATM Machine, Eerie Indiana

And that’s the Truth! So, there! Thpppht! ~~ The little girl in the chair… (Lily Tomlin)
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Since the last pearl touched on the old school, I think I’ll make this pearl completely old school…. Here are some pearls that together form an idea, one that is always handy to have in one’s arsenal in the fight to hold our place in reality….. or at least to reluctantly accept it as it is…..

“A man who carries a cat by the tail is getting experience that will always be helpful.  He isn’t likely to grow dim or doubtful.  Chances are, he isn’t likely to carry the cat that way again, either.  But if he wants to, I say let him!” — Mark Twain

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never in extremity
It asked a crumb of me.

— Emily Dickinson

“Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made.” — Lu Hsun

“We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.” — Kahlil Gibran

“America!!  I saw it all!!  Vomiting!  Waving!  JERRY FALWELLING into your void tube of UHF oblivion!!  SAFEWAY of the mind –” — Zippy the Pinhead

Lastly, we turn once again to that philosophical genius, Lily T, to bring us home in style……

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” — Lily Tomlin
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“A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day.” — Calvin

Ah, politics! Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes, I believe….) has accurately stated the operating techniques of both parties in this election. I was amazed the other day when the Republican candidates started to harp on how mean and unfair the other side was being. Talk about two kettles calling the pots black!

I also had to laugh when the Democrats got called out for demanding to see the taxes that Romney continues to withhold; he really thinks he is going to get away with not showing them, and doesn’t seem to have a clue as to how much damage it causes his campaign every time he refuses to show them…. I don’t know why, because he reads the polls, and every time he puts it off again, he drops points; it’s a direct correlation, but he doesn’t seem to know, or care….. idiot….

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” — Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), Collected Essays

Romney and Ryan keep accusing Obama of stealing money from Social Security, when the Congressional Report on the plan shows this to be completely false.  John Sunnunu, governor of something or other, a life-time political hack, got his sails trimmed by a CNN reporter, on air, who kept throwing this falsehood back in his face…. he ended up resorting to name-calling, and continued to try to blame the POTUS for everything. Even when it was pointed out to him that the Ryan Plan and the Romney Plan were the same, and both contained tax cuts for the rich, he tried to say they were different…. another idiot….

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends…that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we  will stop telling the truth about them.” — Adlai Stevenson

Or was it Joe Biden who said that? Well, he could have…. What Mr. Stevenson says here is all too true, even today, though he doesn’t quite make it all the way to honesty, as he implies that only the Democrats tell the truth. In fact, BOTH parties are more comfortable telling us lies than they are with the truth; it is fortunate for us that the WWW has provided us with a way to keep the truth at the forefront of any issue, no matter how many times one of the pundits, right or left, tries to convince us that the lies they are telling are truth. For those libertarians to whom truth is more important than personal comfort, the web has been a true gift of the gods…..

“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is  a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

These are perfect words to bring this to a close…. We, the citizens of this democracy, have the responsibility of making ourselves aware of the truth, and to insist on that truth being acknowledged by the government, whichever party may be incumbent. If we do not take the time to investigate what they tell us, and accept what they say as truth, without checking, then we deserve whatever kind of government we get.

I can’t stress enough that people need to be aware that politicians, of both varieties, DO NOT HAVE OUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART….. Elected officials only have their own interests at heart; this has been proven over and over, and really isn’t arguable. But, as long as people continue to act as if the pundits care about them, then they will continue to get the shaft…. and deservedly so…..

“TAPPING?  You POLITICIANS!  Don’t you realize that the END of the “Wash Cycle” is a TREASURED MOMENT for most people?!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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I was right in the intro…. it kind of got away from me…. But, I think I managed to pull it all together, with only moderate use of duct tape…. It’s going to have to do, because, well, because it will….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

 

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Betwixt perilous ideological sideboards….

Ffolkes,
Asleep, I lay dreaming I was awake. Now, awake, I sit dreaming I am asleep. Which is true? Am I awake, and dreaming, or am I asleep, dreaming of being awake? How does one tell, when there are no external sources of evidence to check against reality? If awake, am I really asleep, dreaming? And if I am dreaming, what is real? I confess to being confused….. at this hour, with no one about to whom I can appeal for a different view, the edge between reality and dream becomes somewhat indistinct….. It is most likely a good thing that I don’t weird out at weird stuff, or I would definitely be feeling thoroughly weirded out….. but, since I start from weird, it’s all good. I’ll just sip a bit more of this fine coffee, and wait until reality adjusts itself to a bit more clarified state….. no worries!

There are times when I do wish I wasn’t so strange, in relation to the rest of humanity. (No, no, don’t bother to argue…. I know I’m strange, and there’s no need to try to keep from hurting my feelings about it… I accepted it long ago, and now it’s just another part of me that other folks need to deal with…. at their own risk….) Not that I don’t like being strange; there are distinct advantages to having other people think twice about approaching, much less about asking for favors, or “just a moment of your time”.

No, it’s just that it can make it really hard sometimes to write anything people will look at twice. My words, as indicated by the first paragraph, can touch up against weirdness at the drop of a cliche, and it is getting to be an onerous task to edit such weirdness when I’m already feeling strange, such as this morning.

I’m guessing it’s just another little memo gram from reality, reminding me that any perks I may enjoy, due to my inner oddness, are always going to be counterbalanced by an appropriate kick in the ass, and there is no sense or benefit in either trying to avoid any such boots, or in complaining about them. Hence, I’ll just shrug my shoulders, offer a sheepish grin, and move on…..

One section of yesterday’s Pearl was a discussion on the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. I don’t need to go over that again (not after approximately 800 fairly passionate words….), but did wish to note the usual Murphy effect that accompanies much of what I write…. some time after publishing, I found the following pearl, which, as is obvious, is a perfect summary of the concluding portion of my thoughts yesterday. To keep Murphy happy, (always a good policy with that particular force of Nature), I include it now…..

“I believe everybody in the world should have guns. Citizens should have bazookas and rocket launchers too. I believe that all citizens should have their weapons of choice. However, I also believe that only I should have the ammunition. Because frankly, I wouldn’t trust the rest of the goobers with anything more dangerous than string.” — Scott Adams

That seems to cover it…. let’s go Pearling, ‘kay? ‘Kay!….. Kowabunga!…..
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During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai E. Stevenson “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”

Obviously proving he was part of the minority…. Mr. Stevenson was perhaps the last truly rational man to ran for the highest office our country offers. I’ve seen a number of articles about that campaign, and it’s clear in my mind that his very rationality is what gave the election to the other candidate. He made every attempt he could to try to engage the minds of Americans, naively, as it turns out. His opponent, Eisenhower, just mostly kept his mouth shut and let his slogans speak for him, such as “I like Ike!”, and other such intellectual standards, that appealed directly to the American public’s misplaced sense of national pride.

After four years of post-Korean war economic boom, it wasn’t hard for the Republicans to rest on their laurels, firmly attached to the coattails of a war hero…. There was, and still is, no place on the political scene in this country for rationality, obviously, as Ike and his ilk won in a landslide….

So much for the opportunity to see what a “thinking man’s president” might be able to accomplish…. The chances of such a man being elected today are even slimmer, considering that those candidates who can be the most sly, underhanded, and completely dishonest are those who catch the eye, and the votes, of the great unwashed, uneducated masses that now comprise the voting public…..

“It has been said that man is a rational animal.  All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell
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FOLLY, n.  That “gift and faculty divine” whose creative and controlling energy inspires Man’s mind, guides his actions and adorns his life.

Folly! although Erasmus praised thee once
In a thick volume, and all authors known,
If not thy glory yet thy power have shown,
Deign to take homage from thy son who hunts
Through all thy maze his brothers, fool and dunce,
To mend their lives and to sustain his own,
However feebly be his arrows thrown,

Howe’er each hide the flying weapons blunts.
All-Father Folly! be it mine to raise,
With lusty lung, here on his western strand
With all thine offspring thronged from every land,
Thyself inspiring me, the song of praise.
And if too weak, I’ll hire, to help me bawl,
Dick Watson Gilder, gravest of us all.

— Aramis Loto Frope — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Perhaps it is a result of having learned to see around corners at an early age, or that silly prophecy made by that supposed witch who scared my mother a week after I was born.  Perhaps it has to do with spending so many hours and days of my intellectual formative years with my nose buried in a book, generally one that made me a familiar inhabitant of the sleaziest, most disreputable spacer’s dives in every far corner of our Galaxy, surrounded by grizzled old first mates from a dilapidated freighter out of the Pleiades, and a motley group of aliens of all descriptions.

I could probably blame it on being the middle child of five, with a neurotic, if perfectly lovable mother, balanced by a perfectly stable father, and four siblings who had no clue how to deal with me.  Or, it could have been the daily ingestion of frozen, processed vegetables so common on our dinner table during the 50’s and 60’s; as it turns out, the benefits of the vegetables were pretty much nullified by the process of preserving and preparing them for consumption. Who knew?

Whatever the root cause may have been, Folly has long been a fascinating area of study for me, and its influence on my life at large has been extensive. My first attempts at blogging, via email since 1998, then via SFGATE since 2011, were known as “Gigoid’s Folly”, and that was almost used as the title for this blog, as well. But, not wishing to tread, even peripherally, on the estate privileges of Robert Heinlein, even out of respect, I left it at “gigoid” with the subtitle, “Exploring consensual reality” as a tip of the cap to Murphy, and Mother Nature’s fondness for him…..

Folly remains a big part of the process of pearling, and Pearling; if that isn’t obvious, I’m doing something wrong. It has been for me a boon companion throughout my life, ever a contrast and strong defense against the powers of darkness and ignorance, always to be trusted to coax a smile out of me, often in the deepest moments of my despair. If it were not for my Folly, and the humor it infuses into my daily existence, I most likely would have bitten somebody, hard, long before now….  I can only be grateful, and proclaim, “May I and my Folly never part ways, throughout all of my days!”……

“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” — Willie Wonka (Roald Dahl)
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If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour!
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Twelfth Night
— Act i, Sc. 1

I’ve been pretty clear in past posts in expressing my lack of enthusiasm for most of Will Shakespeare’s work. To my mind, the greatest part of what he wrote is overblown, heavy with excess imagery and verbiage, and even in the time in which it was first written and performed, must have been a pain to follow just by listening…. sorry, but that’s what I think.

But, at the same time, I can acknowledge, as well, that he was an excellent word smith, and did occasionally write material that is far beyond anything else of its time, or of any time. His sonnets hit that nail squarely more often than his plays, in my opinion, but there are exceptions…. this is one of them.

These few lines of verse possess that timeless beauty that is the hallmark of genius, beauty so great that one can not merely see it in these lines, but is surrounded by beauty that floods every sense. Far be it from me to fail to acknowledge such genius…. I’m no Shakespeare, nor do I consider myself either infallible, nor a critic, but I know what I like, and I like this, a lot…..
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“I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off.  so I ran over and said “stop! don’t do it!”  “Why shouldn’t I?” he said.  I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”  He said, “Like what?”  I said, “Well…are you religious or atheist?”  He said, “Religious.” I said, “Me too!  Are you Christian or Buddhist?”  He said, “Christian.”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Catholic or Protestant?”  He said, “Protestant.”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”  He said, “Baptist!”  I said, “Wow!  Me too!  Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?” He said, “Baptist Church of God!”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”  He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God!”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”  He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”  I said, “Die, heretic scum”, and pushed him off.” — Emo Phillips

(Whew! Whoever transcribed this for the database where I found it was really lazy. They didn’t bother to capitalize the “I’s” or any of the Church names, so I had to go through and put them all in; it’s much clearer to read now, and looks a bit more refined…. but I didn’t change any words, just added capitals, just so you know…..)

Although I had a feeling as to where this would end up, I read it through to the end, and sure enough, it’s worth a full read, just to get to the punch line. My immediate thought was, “What a perfect statement of modern religious philosophy in America!”   🙂

Not trusting my original reaction, I put it down here, then prepared some breakfast, and consumed said comestibles, before coming back to look it over after some inner percolation. It’s still valid, and it still makes me smile, so it stays. No need to embellish any further, either, as I think it pretty well says it all…. Ignorance and bigotry are alive and well, and living in the Mid-West….. in a house, together…..
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Visions of Absolute Truth and Beauty; The Tragedy of Severus Snape

The character of Severus Snape, as revealed in the seven novels that comprise the epic creation by J. K. Rowling, (which I choose to entitle Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of The Infinite Magic of  Love, hopefully with her approval and blessing) is, in my less than humble opinion, destined to become, if not synonymous, at least analogous, with those of Cryano de Bergerac, John Smith the Puritan, or the man from Tale of Two Cities, whose name escapes me (suffering functional disparity as I am from early onset Alzheimer’s, and the subsequent prophylactic application of sour mash bourbon), who said, “It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” Sounds a little sappy for gigoid, doesn’t it? Well, you know what? I am completely and utterly serious…..

As I do not know Ms. Rowling, other than through her writing, and her public persona, which is carefully controlled, relatively speaking, I cannot say if it was her intent to create a character of such power that he would be forever enshrined amid the most famous of the heroic willing victims of tragedy in literary history. It is moot, anyway, because she has done so….

Here is a man who spent his entire life enduring unrequited love, love that, in his mind, could have been his, had he chosen differently. Yet, knowing that he could never have his deepest desire without destroying that which he loved, he still acted with honor to do all he could to keep the object of his obsession safe, to honor her and the love he felt, even after her death, and in defiance of the threat of his own death. 

He braved the wrath of the most terrifying of villains for almost 20 years, betraying that master of evil at every turn, to do what he could only hold as his Duty; he did this, knowing full well that in the end, he would have to kill the only man in the world who trusted him, and that he would die because of it. And, he knew as well, that his sacrifice would never be known to anyone but the son of the man he most envied in life, the son that might have been his…..

I’ve read a lot of what may be termed as classical literature, and in all that I’ve read, I have never found a character who fit the mold of the tragic hero any better, or more deserved the title of nobility it implies. Though flawed and miserable, Snape makes the hard choices, correctly, at the most critical junctures of his life, all for love of his Lily.

As Dumbledore exclaims when he sees the Patronus that Snape produces, a doe, identical to that of Lily, the only other human being he has ever loved,  “Lily! After all this time?”  Snape merely replies, “Always….”   Now, that is a hero, flawed and unlikeable as he is….. a hero that will go down in history, along with many of the characters from this series of books that will one day certainly be called “classics”……
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Not a bad lineup…. personal foibles made light of to begin, with a bit of housekeeping, a taste of political irony, a touch of whimsy, Shakespeare, a dip into religious humor and more irony, and a discussion of literary archetypes in modern and classical writing. I think we’ve approached the demarcation between reality and esoterica quite adeptly, without completely crossing over where the border guards might hassle us about returning to our regularly scheduled activities here in Reality…… that should definitely make an impression. On whom, I couldn’t say, but, hey, I’ll take it…. Y’all take care out there…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Dreaming, the sleeper sleeps on….

Ffolkes,
This could take awhile, as I have no pearls on tap, and must first go diving, and I never know how long it may take. So bear with me, as I sacrifice my comfy bed in exchange for a dip in the world wide ocean of facts and fantasies….. I hate to quote Arnie, but, I’ll be back…..
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“A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man.  In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.” — H.L. Mencken

To tell the truth, I’m getting a bit tired of harping on this subject. But, I’m also still filled with outrage and chronic disbelief at the sheer effrontery of the so aptly named professionally dishonorable men who are trying to gather enough blind people together to ensure their nomination for next year’s election.  Oops, wishful thinking I guess; I mean the election later this year. I have yet to encounter a day in the last few weeks where the news has no new comments or statements from one of the group of wannabe’s, and every one of those reported utterances is fuel for the fire of outrage merrily burning out of control in my brain.

Their statements are becoming more grandiose, more insipid, more personal, and more derogatory toward opponents with each passing day; one of the most desperate is so scared of losing he has begun a series of attacks of a personal nature on the President and his own Republican opponents for the nomination. No issues are being addressed now, it’s all a matter of who can paint the ugliest picture of the other guys in the remaining days before Super Tuesday (what a crock!). It will be interesting to me to see who does the best in these upcoming primaries on Tuesday; it will give me an idea of just how far down the road to perdition we’ve gone, and how far it is to get back to a normal world…. a long time, I’m afraid, but we’ll just see what happens……

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends…that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” — Adlai Stevenson

….and just so you don’t think I pick on Republicans exclusively…..

“I looked up the word “politics” in the dictionary and it’s actually a  combination of two words; “poli,” which means many, and “tics,” which means bloodsuckers.” — Jay Leno
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“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence…  From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable….  The very atmosphere of firearms every- where restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” — George Washington (bogus?)

Bogus or not, it’s true. If George didn’t say this, then Thomas Jefferson, or George Mason did say it, or something very close to it. I’ve read passages from Tom Jefferson’s letters that parallel this statement perfectly. I’ve included it today because I want to reiterate its importance in today’s society. It is becoming increasingly clear that the powers that be are trying to take away the basic freedoms that Tom and both George’s fought for so eloquently; the Bill of Rights is now abridged, and the next step is to make those abridgments permanent.

The federal government and politicians are always spouting off about gun control, trying to limit the public’s right to arm themselves, blaming it on the criminals who have no compunction against using their guns to achieve their own ends (funny how much that sounds like what the police do on a regular basis). They do this because they firmly believe that only they have the intelligence, integrity of purpose, and restraint to have guns, and can be trusted not use them inappropriately. Of course, they say that, but once all of our guns are gone, and they are the only ones who have them, tell me, what is there to keep them from using them on us? Honesty? Riiiiight. Do I even need to point out how often they lie to the public? Restraint? Sure, ask the Afghanis or the Iraqis how much restraint they have witnessed (ask their civilians, they’re the ones we were killing over there, a great many more than military casualties…..).

So, you may, if you so desire, sit there and buy into the bogus fears promoted by the beloved ruling class, and calmly watch while all of your former freedoms are sold into slavery. Or, like me, you can make sure you are well-armed, and hunker down to wait for the fools to come and try to take your guns away from you. Give me 10 seconds warning, and they will find out that a free man cannot be controlled; you might be able to kill him, but in my case, at least, they should be aware that I guarantee the price to be exacted will be much higher than expected…..
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If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shin’d,
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind!
Or ravish’d with the whistling of a name,
See Cromwell, damn’d to everlasting fame!
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744)  — Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 281

I was talking yesterday with my old friend, Tom, and we got to talking about how much age is affecting us, in ways that now seem obvious as to cause, but which in former years we had no clue of their developing importance. An example of this is sleeping; our sleep habits now are much different than previously, due to age-related conditions such as BPH or hypertension. Other things assume higher priority as we age, and when younger, we had no clue that we would be even thinking about such subjects, nor that we would be spending inordinate amounts of time dealing with the ramifications. It’s all good, we weren’t bitching about it, just observing. But it brought other thoughts to mind, thoughts that didn’t have so much weight for the younger me…..

I’m talking about death, of course, and the legacy we leave behind, that which demonstrates best our raison d’etre, our purpose, our answer to the question, “What’s it all about, Alfie?”. In my younger days, thinking up new and funny lines to put on graves was, at best, an undertaking of no more than a couple of minutes of mild hilarity. Now it’s a matter for serious thought and internal debate; one never wants to be caught unprepared for death. It would embarrass me no end to not have my affairs straight before I submit my final post in the blog of Life, to have no memory of me survive past the temporary grief of my children and friends who might outlive me.

Our lives as humans on this plane of existence are short, and so being, they create in us a strong need to have some piece of us that is immortal, that does not give in to the laws of nature, and insists on persisting in a form other than flesh. If we can’t live forever, then we will settle for living in memory, preferably with some physical presence, such as a headstone, or a statue. But, even if it is only in memory, it is comforting to know that those we love will keep the best part of us with them, and that is the love we share; it acknowledges no barriers at all, not even that of death…..

Man will survive into eternity. He’s too stupid to know when he’s beaten. — Unknown, (one of the lesser-known Greek philosophers…)
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To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
— William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”

I tend to write about the parts of human nature and society that annoy me, or more often, outrage me; there’s plenty of stuff happening in the world that accomplishes either or both every day. As a result, it may seem like I’m a curmudgeon all the time, and firmly believe that we’re all going straight to my version of Hell, sometime in the next two weeks. And you’d be right in that estimation, for the most part.

But in reality, I am not so pessimistic as it may sound, and I find life to be all I could hope for as a human, full of beauty, grace, and loving kindness. I see these features every day, in almost every interaction I witness  between people. A great many people out there in Life At Large are decent, honorable folks, and they interact with others in that light. There are also many who are not so squeaky clean on a moral level, but who fight against their own nature to change themselves for the better.

There is human misery aplenty, but there is also human love unlimited, as the dance of balance that takes place every instant of existence spins gaily along the ribbon of Time. One need only open the eyes, the mind, and the heart to see beauty in every direction, and in every moment…… and the poem above from Blake, is a perfect example of that serendipity…..
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As I awoke this morning,
When all things sweet are born,
A robin perched upon my sill
To hail a happy morn.

He looked so young and fragile,
So sweetly did he sing,
That thoughts of joy and happiness
Into my heart did spring.

I smiled discreetly to myself
As I paused beside my bed,
Then quickly brought the window down,
And smashed his little head!

— another gem from Anonymous–

See? I do have a sense of humor…. I just find it to be more effective if I don’t let it out much. Better surprise factor…. and this poem by our old friend Anonymous has all the elements I admire…. perfect rhyming, cadence, and structure, grace, beauty, and in the last line, true to life. Admit it. You’ve had the same feeling, those homicidal (aviacidal?) tendencies toward an early bird bragging about his breakfast, now, haven’t you? I’m honest enough to admit to having succumbed to this attitude frequently in my youth, though in my case it was generally directed toward a rooster rather than a robin. In any case, it’s worth a moment’s giggle…..
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When I awoke this morning, almost two hours after my normal wake up, I was uncertain how today’s missive might turn out. I shouldn’t have worried; I’m happy with it, at least now that it’s over. Might just be the relief at that, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. Meantime, y’all take care out there……


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

 

Today is the Thirteenth of Never…..

Ffolkes,
So, here I sit, thoughts tumbling around in normal morning disarray, when all of a sudden, it hits me. My left hand, that is, slapping itself smartly to the forehead in dismay, as it occurs to me that not a single one of the hundreds of loose thoughts running around in there is suitable for publication. Most are thoughts I wouldn’t submit to Hustler magazine, and they’re pretty slack; I wouldn’t dream of putting any of them out for your consumption. There could be a bad run on the ER soon afterward, as most of them are toxic. Oh, wait, here’s one that doesn’t look too bad…..kinda dinged up, & could use a coat of paint, but it should fly…..okay, we’ll use it. Cut. Print…..
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“There are few things, apparently, more helpful to a writer than having once been a weird little kid.” — Katherine Paterson

If this is true, I should be a lock for a Pulitzer Prize! I won’t say I was the weirdest kid in my neighborhood. I can’t, because there weren’t any kids in the neighborhood. All the other families with kids moved away after a few days of their kids coming home after playing at my house, and telling their parents that, like me, they were going to start their own cockroach farms, so they could sell them to the other kids, too. My folks never did figure out why everyone was always moving in and out again; they figured it was the taste of the tap water. But then, they were fairly clueless themselves; they both were astrophysicists, and spent a lot of nights at the local university where they taught, watching the stars or talking to computers. They thought it was good that I had interests outside of physics, and encouraged me to expand my circle of interests to whatever intrigued me. A very progressive pair of parental units they were, though a little stuffy otherwise. I mean, who still listens to old Lawrence Welk music? Or Burl Ives? I swear, by the time I was six, I had a very complete, detailed daydream of how I would take my Uzi down to the Ugly Bug Ball and have some fun….. that’s not weird, is it?…….
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“The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed.  A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated.  If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to  declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny …  In war, then, as in peace, assert the freedom of speech and of the press. Cling to this as the bulwark of all our rights and privileges.” — William Ellery Channing

“It’s easy to tell when a politician is lying. Watch his lips.  If they move, he’s lying.” — Charles Lyall (Think about it; the mere existence of this joke is evidence of the accuracy of its premise…..)

Too late. We weren’t watching closely enough, and ‘they’ finally revealed their true colors. I really had such hopes when Obama was elected in 08; that is probably why he was elected, because everyone else also had the hope that changes would be made, changes that would turn this country back onto the path of reason. But, for three years and more, Barack has, one-by-one, broken every campaign promise he made, culminating a few days ago with the most egregious bid for power ever seen in this country.

By signing the National Defense Authorization Act, Barack Obama has sealed the fate of the Bill of Rights; they have been condemned to death, with no appeal to be allowed. With the collusion of Congress, and the willing abrogation of duty by the Supreme Court, the American people have just witnessed the end of democracy in this country. Free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble, and the freedom from unjust laws (i.e., right to counsel & jury of peers, writ of habeas corpus, right to be confronted with accusers, all gone…..), freedom from unreasonable search & seizure. All of these “rights” are now gone, poof! And nobody is saying a word about it in the press…..my plans for the future have changed, and I will be seeking somewhere else in this world to live out my remaining years. I’m not going to stay here, when I know for certain that I will end up fighting with my own brothers and sisters over the loss of our rights. As soon as I can get it figured out, I’m outta here; it’s no longer a free country…..literally.

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends…that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” — Adlai Stevenson (Neither the Repubs nor the Demos are at all interested in the public’s well-being, and as such have become a problem that isn’t even looking for a solution…..)

No greater grief than to remember days
Of joy when misery is at hand.
— Dante (1265-1321) — Hell, Canto v, Line 121
(sorry, after writing the comments, I kept finding perfect Pearls to go with it…..)

Do not read this fortune under penalty of law. Violators will be prosecuted. — Penal Code sec. 2.3.2 (II.a.) (NDAA, v 3.0, 1/1/2012)
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Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. — Max Ehrman (1872-1945) – “Desiderata” (1927)

Ah, Desiderata! How well I remember reading this for the first time. At that time, I was a newly minted Hippie, attending the university in Berkeley, and engaging full time in the expansion of my belief systems. This piece became one of the signature signs of the movement, sort of a manual for free love and all it implies. Every line here was designed to be uplifting and positive in its outlook toward life in all its glory. I admit, its really sappy in places, and somewhat naive. But it remains a pretty good outline for a life well-lived; its not as easy as one might think to be this positive all the time. But according to the precepts of the piece, that’s okay too. It’s all okay, because the universe is unfolding as it should……whether we think so or not.
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“How often we recall, with regret, that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor and missed him and killed a publisher. But we remember with charity, that his intentions were good.” — Mark Twain

This is the goal. This is my whole purpose in writing. To be this subtle in delivering a blow from a sledgehammer; to insult so thoroughly in one line; to indicate passion, love, hate, literature, sports, and morality with such a smoothly fitted collection of words, this is my Nirvana, my Quest, the object of my jealous envy……. No really, it just doesn’t get any better than this. It’s the kind of humor that most appeals to me, for it pokes fun not only at the victims of the humor, but at the author too.

I can just see Mr. Clemens, telling this with a twinkle in his eye below a raised brow, a small little Mona Lisa smile, and a mustache trembling with the effort not to burst into guffaws. Perfect. A few days ago, I was flabbergasted, and extremely flattered, when a reader said that one of my lines sounded like something Twain might have written. I almost burst with happiness, and floated around for quite a while on that little bubble of joy. Now all I have to do is figure out how to sound like that all the time. Well, not JUST like Mark Twain, more like me with his skill. I’ll keep working on it…….
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Curse on all laws but those which love has made!
Love, free as air at sight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744)  — Eloisa to Abelard, Line 74

As with any good piece of poetry, nothing needs to be added here. Just enjoy…..
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Well! I should get up early more often, I guess. No shortage of material today; it just kept flowing on. Hope you enjoy taking it in as much as I did getting it out. Y’all take care out there…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!