One technique I’ve developed, in the past two-plus years of writing this blog, has to do with this introductory section, which, if you’ve more than one time logged in to read here, you are aware the intro has long been my nemesis, so far as consistency goes…. Nothing I’ve been able to come up with has ever struck me as the one sure way to go, so, every morning, I sit and stare at the blank white screen, filled with as much ignorance as I ever allow myself to experience, in regards to what the hell to put there to fill up the vast void of white that confronts me, here, and in my nightmares….
Now, consistency, as you also may know, is NOT one of our watchwords; one of history’s great minds once told us that it is not necessarily a good thing, defining it as merely a concern of those with no real genius in them (“the hobgoblin of tiny minds” I think was the phrase used…. and, I forget, whether it was GB Shaw, or GK Chesterton, or exactly who first said it…. It was one of those eighteenth or nineteenth century Brit lit icons….
It will come to me, whereupon I’ll insert it into the narrative, probably in some parentheses, as here….. I know how y’all love it when I editorialize in the middle of stuff….). Where was I? Oh, right, consistency…
Since it doesn’t concern us overly, I’ve never worried about achieving it to any significant degree, at least, not here…. There ARE parts of my life where I’m very consistent, but, nobody really cares much how well I can cook, or tie my shoes, so, it’s not really an issue for me…. except here…. Oh, I don’t really CARE if I’m consistent; I just want it to be uniformly good, or readable, or whatever adjective you choose to say I like people to like what I write…. If they get either a chuckle, or a random thought about morality, ethics, or compassionate love for others, out of what I produce, well, I’m good with that….
If they don’t, I do try to give folks, and ffolkes, every opportunity to object, or to disagree, or to otherwise express their thoughts and/or feelings about what I’ve written….. Since that’s true, and the ball’s in their court, I feel as if I’ve done all I can do….
That, as you are well aware, is something in which I firmly believe, i.e., “All you can do is all you can do”, so, I feel as if I’m pretty well entitled to be guilt-free, at least in that respect…. Of course, there are always those who might disagree with that assessment, but, for those misguided few, we have a special procedure, involving large plastic anal probes, and a number of excitable young primates borrowed from a local zoo…
Ooh, that’s nasty! It might be good at this point to remind y’all about today’s special offer…. Today, and today only, we will be offering each and every participant in this…. well, whatever it is… each one in attendance, whether recently buffed or polished, will be supplied with their very own portion of whoop-ass, and the opportunity to let it out on a real, actual, dyed-in-the-wool politician, which we have taken the trouble to capture and sedate, so you won’t even have to tie them down to whoop on them…. Each one is fresh from a recent press conference, so you know they’ve been lying; thus, no guilt necessary for putting them through your personal wringer….
Okay, I’m done now…. I’m relatively awake, have consumed sufficient coffee that homicide is no longer an issue, and ready to move on to another form of personal torture…. I can’t say that today’s intro comes up to the standard set yesterday (that was a good one, I thought….), but, hey, it’s got six paragraphs, or more, so, it’s legal, and that, as you know, is all I really care about…. In fact, having thus completed the obligatory number of references, we can now do this….
Shall we Pearl?….
“Damage control is easy. Reading Klingon — that’s hard.” — Commander Montgomery Scott, Star Trek IV, The Search for Spock
(It was Ralph Waldo, the Emerson, and the quote says, precisely: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” And, yes, I was totally wrong about the author’s nationality, though not the time period….)
I am beset today by the onset of heat; the temperature here on the coast is supposed to go into the nineties this afternoon, and I’m NOT looking forward to it at all. I’m no longer the young stud I used to be, and can’t seem to tolerate the heat like I could in my younger days…. I used to go to Arizona in the summertime, when in my teens; if California wasn’t hot enough for me, I liked to go visit my uncle, in Tempe, spending time wandering around the desert, dodging snakes and Indian spirits, & soaking in the rays…
Now, these days, I don’t tolerate it well when it gets above 85º F, or so, and it’s supposed to hit 94 today. My intention is to either sit in a cool tub all afternoon, or go somewhere air-conditioned, and pretend to be interested in whatever is going on there…. for as long as necessary to avoid getting sweaty and/or miserable….
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “what does this have to do with a Pearl?” The answer to that would be, “not much”, but, enough…. It means that I’m not going to rant in this section, as I can’t find it in me to do so this morning…. It is already warmer than I like, so, I’m going to get this Pearl done as quickly as I can, so I can go seek out cooler pastures for the day…. Hence, the following seven-star pearl, sans parameters, our fastest product, construction-wise…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it should be a good one….
“Sometimes I think I understand everything… Then I regain consciousness.” — Smart Bee
“So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Pericles
—-> If you cut here, you’ll ruin your monitor. <—-
“Everything is in a state of metamorphosis. Thou thyself art in everlasting change and in corruption to correspond; so is the whole universe.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 19
“As the tempest and the thunder affect not the sun or the stars, but spend their fury on stones and trees below; so injuries ascend not to the Soul of the great, but waste themselves on such as are those who offer them.” — Akhenaton? (c. B.C. 1375)
“The longer I live the more I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains that I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
“Always tell the truth–if you want to make trouble.” — Smart Bee
See? Told ya….. (It’s all in the wrist….)
I found this poem in Smart Bee, hanging around in prose format…. I really like it, so, I tried to break it down into its poetic frames, or verses, but, I’m not sure I got it the way Rainer intended it to be when he wrote it… If you feel it should be different, feel free to leave a comment, showing how you’d do it; I’m sure somebody can do it better, and I’ve tried long enough… Enjoy, please, it’s a good one, even if the cadence or structure is a bit off…..
Again, again, even if we know the countryside of love,
and the tiny churchyard with its names mourning,
and the chasm, more and more silent, terrifying,
into which the others dropped:
we walk out together anyway beneath the ancient trees,
we lie down again, again,
among the flowers, and face the sky.
— Rainer Maria Rilke ~~
This Pearl has turned on me a bit…. it’s taken me almost two full hours to get this far, and I haven’t ranted at all. Not only that, but, I still don’t have a clue as to what should go here…. I’m not filled with enough angst to produce anything worthwhile in the way of a rant, nor do I really want to let Smart Bee loose again; it might get the wrong idea…. What to do, what to do…. I know, I’ll take a short break, and see what comes up when I return…..
I’m back, and I’ll bet you never even noticed I was gone, did ya?… S’okay, I didn’t expect to be that long, but, got busy spending money online…. more’s the pity… Any who, I decided to go with an older rant, from a couple of years ago, about one of my favorite subjects, to wit: human intelligence, and/or the glaring lack thereof in today’s world…. Enjoy!….
IDIOT, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.” He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
When I picked out this pearl, I had intended to write a piece exploring human intelligence. However, my brain had a different plan, and all of the thoughts that I had marshaled to use went into the wind, poof, gone….. Since I’m feeling a bit lazy today, I’m keeping the pearl, and writing something about it anyway, so there….
Ranting about human stupidity is an endless challenge; there is so much of it to pick from that the choosing becomes harder than the actual writing. Every day’s news brings more examples of how dumb folks can be, and finding just one that is acceptable is merely a matter of deciding which is the better choice from a humorous view, or a serious view, or whatever viewpoint from which we will write. I’ve yet to see a single day when there weren’t at least four or five instances of stories that illustrate how talented people are at finding new ways to show how stupid they really are…..
“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” — Lazarus Long
We’ve all seen this one, I think; if not this one by Robert Heinlein, then one from another author or philosopher. It’s a pretty common theme, after all. Often, examples can be found on the front pages, especially during election years. But the back pages also carry numerous examples, taken from real life…. such as this one….
Back when I was attending the University of Utah, The Daily Utah Chronicle ran a joke ad for a debate between Phil Donahue and Whiskers the Lamb. Over 30 people showed up. (what they were expecting, God only knows.) — Smart Bee
In order to further prove my point, here is an example taken from today’s news….
This link leads to a very short article from Yahoo news, and is a perfect example of how the world is going mad, step by step….. I’m not even going to comment on the article, as it’s already too hard to think about it without laughing at the absurdity of the whole issue…..
Okay, I think my point is proved. The human race is pretty stupid, and getting stupider all the time. Sure, we’ve got men in space, we’ve raised the average age to 72 with medical advances, we’ve been to the moon. But we also are still making war on each other. We still abuse animals, and women, and children, and any thing else that is weaker, and will stand still. We are still killing ourselves, and denying that it is even happening.
My only hope at this point is for something to happen to change human nature, to turn us away from this path we’ve chosen to walk. I hope it will happen, but I’m afraid the power of stupidity may just be greater than the power of hope….
Well, there you have it, such as it may be…. I’m certainly not going to do it again, at least, not until tomorrow, when I flog myself once again. to get up at this ungodly hour, while my frail old body has a modicum of use left in it, and do this all over, but, different… I hope. Until that time, I bid thee adieu….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious