Naturally, the investment of prior absolution for future transgressions received gratis by agnostics causes catechism envy in devout Catholics, and numerous Episcopalians….


Since retiring in 2011, (2010, technically, but, ’11 was my first full year in that state, so, we’ll use it as the jumping-off point, for the sake of mathematical convenience….), I’ve been slowly, steadily having more problems with my ambulation, as my spine, hip & shoulder joints, and overall level of arthritic deterioration reaches levels of effect that can’t be ignored, or compensated for, without paying a price, measured in steps of the 10-point scale of pain…. This includes whatever pinching of my sciatic nerves is going on to create the numbness that forms on my thighs when I stand, or walk, too long…. I can now only get a couple of blocks before sitting down for a recovery period becomes mandatory, lest I go into distressed metabolic crisis mode from the grinding pain that builds up….

Now, I’m a tough guy, for the most part…. Football, basketball, judo, and kung fu (to name just a few of the sporting activities I once pursued, daily….) taught me well, how to use my body to the limit of its strength and ability, while ignoring certain levels of pain, which were part and parcel of smashing into other’s bodies in football, and other sports, as well as the physical training involved in the martial arts, not to mention throws, kicks, punches, blocks, and many other skills that are painful to learn; learning to turn off pain’s demands on our attention is a primary skill of any athlete, or martial artist…. Pain becomes another motivational factor, not a limitation….

Then, of course, age related issues intervene, and one can no longer tolerate the physical demands of sports and the arts; for me, this began around age 40-45, when certain issues involving digestion became the foremost point of experience for me…. It’s a condition called diverticulosis, and there are physical aspects of having it that preclude certain athletic pastimes, so, starting at that age, my level of conditioning began to decline, and I began to experience more pain, of several different types….

Why, you are asking about now, is he regaling us with these tales of woe from his past? Hell, I’m not exactly sure…. except that this morning, pain is foremost in my mind, since my body decided to gift me with two of three possible types of pain, both at a level I can’t quite get stuffed into the box where it won’t affect me so badly…. which, in turn, is making it hard to concentrate on this Pearl…. So, in what may have been poor judgment, I decided to try to use it as a springboard for discussion, and lead into today’s Pearl that way…. However, it seems to be more of a bitch-fest, and that wasn’t what I had in mind for today, by a long shot….

I think I was going to try to turn the discussion into how to deal with pain effectively, but, since I can’t seem to do that myself this morning, trying to tell y’all how to do it might be asking more of my writing skills than is wise…. It also might be more of an intellectual challenge than I’m up to, as I can’t seem to concentrate for long on any one thought…. That makes writing, or ranting, or even pearling, particularly problematic…. Since that’s all I do here, it’s going to be touch and go as to whether or not this bombs completely….

I’m going to take a chance, though, and continue on to the rest of today’s effort…. It may turn out to be a mistake, but, that’s a risk worth taking, to get past this morning’s wonderful state of agony with a bit of aplomb….

Shall we Pearl?…..


I definitely don’t have an organized, official-type rant in me today, so I’m going to use a pearl format that I’ve used a few times previously, to good effect…. I’ll let SB pick out five pearls, then I’ll comment on them, hopefully in a way that will lead us somewhere worth being…. or, we could end up somewhere we’ll never find our way home from…. It’s a risk, but, I’m pretty confident I can find my way back from wherever we find ourselves, so, let’s give it a whirl….

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 (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 15

It’s always good to start with a poetic pearl; it’s just classier…. This, of course, is a very familiar poem, (Okay, it’s actually an excerpt from a larger poem…. be that way….) even to those people who don’t read a lot of poetry. The first line has become almost a cliche in common speech patterns, as it has been used ever since first appearing, to indicate the perils of both possessing knowledge, and the lack of it, when reasoning, or, trying to reason…. It is only those of us who go on to read the rest of the epic poem who can truly understand the poignancy of this lament, as the last two lines of the quatrain show plainly the marked price of original sin…. and, in the process, gives us a hint of WHY we ate the apple…. Powerful stuff, of which Pope created a LOT…..

“You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive.” — Margaret Thatcher

When I first saw this, I thought it was the PERFECT way to show how the thought processes of politicians operate; upon reflection, I believe it to be even better than that, as it shows not only WHAT virtually every one of them thinks, but, also shows the self-delusion that MUST take place in a pundit’s mind for them to turn that direction….

This little statement implies that, not only is a little white lie okay, when it’s for the good of those who are being led (“good”, naturally, being decided by the one elected, not the folks being led….), it’s practically a duty to lie, in order to be in the position to make that decision for others (you HAVE to be evasive?)….. Of course, this doesn’t admit to possessing, or come anywhere near any display of ANY sort of ethical, or moral reasons for acting in this manner, as there aren’t any that are justifiable…. That, unfortunately, has never seemed to matter much to them, or kept them from making up their lies….

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” — Marcus Aurelius

Okay, so, this one ISN’T about politicians, or preachers, or corporate snakeheads…. it’s about Life at Large, and how to live it well… And, darn it, it doesn’t need any more embellishment from me…. Oh, well, onward….

LAWYER: A professional advocate hired to bend the law on behalf of a paying client; for this reason considered the most suitable background for entry into politics. — Definition from “THE CYNIC’S DICTIONARY”

Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!…. This is a wonderful observation, made all the more appealing to me because it SOUNDS as if it is said in jest, when, in truth, it is a perfectly sober, accurate definition, based on long-term observation of Reality, as it pertains to society and culture….

Our government is inundated in lawyers; in certain circles, of which I am a conversant member, we refer to their presence in such numbers as an infestation, which gives a better feel for what they’re really like, to wit: vermin, such as rats, mice, or fleas…. the assholes…. As Jay Leno once noted, the definition of the word “politics” is from the Greek…. That is “poli” from “poly”, meaning “many”, and “tics”, meaning, “small, blood sucking vermin”….

Sorry, maybe I DO have a bit of a rant in there…..

“Nations and empires flourish and decay,
By turns command, and in their turns obey.

— Ovid

Now this is a very deep, incredibly insightful little couplet, from an poetess who lived well over 2000 years ago…. Even then, so long ago, there were enough ffolkes who could see the grand folly that permeates human society and culture, and were able to foretell the outcome of their own era’s repetition of what had gone before…. Now, if only we could get some of those who are in the position of leadership in this country to comprehend this concept, there might be a better chance for us to survive….

I’m not particularly hopeful that will ever happen, though, as I’m firmly convinced the men and women who inhabit the halls of our government wont’ ever get a clue, as they have what they consider more important work to do, that of emptying as much of the public treasury as they can fit into their own pockets; that doesn’t leave them room enough to accommodate, or even entertain, any such altruistic notion as species survival…. more’s the pity….

So, there you have it, a pearl of nondescript origin, in a reasonably new, different format, to take the place of what would probably have been merely another indictment of a lot of guilty folks, which happens often here, and is no doubt becoming a bit stale…. Hopefully, this little breath of fresh air will clear the atmosphere sufficiently to allow us a bit of breathing room, so we can come back to rant again another day…. When I do, I’ll be using this brilliant manifesto of technique, voiced by an old British bulldog, who became a politician, though reluctantly, I think….

“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time–a tremendous whack.” — Sir Winston Churchill


Having begun the day, in section one, with a bit of classicism, it must be time for another reprint of an old favorite, from one of the masters…. Enjoy!….

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

~~ John Keats ~~


As noted, today, pain is causing this process to move along at a rapid pace, without a lot of heavy thought, which would be beyond my current capabilities…. It’s really too bad, too, because I’d hoped to spend a bit of time today visiting a few of my regulars, to let them know how much I appreciate seeing them at my site each day…. That will probably have to wait until, at least, later in the day, if I can manage to get some relief… In the meantime, here is a fresh, old-school pearl, with parameters set to let SB pick today, as I don’t have the patience to sit that long…. Hope it comes out okay….

“The more you know, the more confusing everything becomes.” — Smart Bee

“Man, were he not corrupted by Governments, is naturally the friend of Man, and that human nature is not of itself vicious.” — Thomas Paine

“It is not necessary that whilst I live I live happily; but it is necessary that so long as I live I should live honourably.” — Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804)

“Following the Noble Path is like entering a dark room with a light in the hand; the darkness will all be cleared away, and the room will be filled with light.” — Buddha

“It seems like once people grow up, they have no idea what’s cool.” — Calvin & Hobbes

“His own character is the arbiter of every one’s fortune.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 283

“I may not understand what you say, but I’ll defend to your death my right to deny it.” — Albert Alligator, in Pogo, 26 September 1951

Hmm… a little obscure, but, all in all, not bad at all…. I’ll take it.


As well, since I have little choice in the matter, at least, none uninfluenced by the level of pain I’m currently living with, I’ll take whatever is above, as is…. No matter how many potential typos it has, it’s going out sans editing or proofing, other than what I’ve managed to do while trying to swim this horse across the Rubicon, or the Styx, or whatever mystical, metaphorical river you choose to call it…. Me, I’m calling it done….

See you tomorrow, ffolkes, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise…. (Pido disculpas por la blashpemia, pero, es necessario para mantener mi dignidad, si no otra razón….) (I know, it’s probably well mangled Español, but, I don’t claim any particular fluency, just basic comprehension, suited to my purpose… Plus, as an obsessive type, I looked up the words I’d forgotten….) Ta ta, then….

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


27 Days will make a difference….

Wonderful visions often invade my mind, seemingly from outer space, as I don’t usually feel they are coming from my own creative well. They probably are mine, but are just torturing me with their beauty, knowing I am incapable of writing them…. yet. Sometimes, I begin to think I’m getting somewhere with what I’m creating here, but, mostly, I just write, and take the consequences of what I’ve written, elegant or not.

I would like to think that my style and skills have improved over the last two years, but I’m afraid that the most progress has been shown in the area of how fast I type; I’m much faster, in at least one respect, if not all of those having to do with speed and accuracy…. Bound to happen given how much I write, so that isn’t unexpected….

Certainly, nothing about this intro section is improved by my superior skills in typing; it’s still a rambling, unpredictable mess of ideas and styles, sometimes fictional, then switching to reality mode, sometimes, like today, remaining in real time…. Whatever it is, it baffles me how I do it every day without shooting myself, for getting it done, most days, seems like an ordeal of major proportions, and leaves me bloody and bowed in defeat…. That’s how it feels, anyway…. Is it worth it? I guess it must be, because I keep doing it….  go figure….

Chatty….. there’s a word. It’s a word that I hope never to have applied to me, by anyone, especially myself; if I thought I was getting anywhere in the vicinity of ‘chatty’, I would immediately run in front of a bus to eliminate the possibility of it happening more than once.

Or, gossipy, there’s another one I will not engage in, not in my world…. I hate gossip, having lived in a small town for much of my youth; I got my fill of the musings of all the Mrs. Grundy’s in the world, who have nothing better to do in their lives but watch for other people to do something of which they disapprove, so they can spread their malicious rumors to all and sundry who will listen…..

So, if I ever start sounding like either one of the above, please, just shoot me, and be done with it, for I wouldn’t want to live like that, and that’s for sure and for certain. I’m not sure I want to live this way, either, having to come up with something new and exciting every morning to put into this section, to get ffolkes to read on….

Given my now essential, vital need to write, as much as I need to breathe, though, I’ll have to live with it, at least until I can figure out the proper template to use to fulfill my requirements for this part of the Pearl…. SIGH…. Just more proof, I suppose, that my bozoid tendencies are much more powerful than my desire for true excellence…. when the nose grows, you have to let it show….

On THAT singular note, I will now proceed to the rest of today’s nonsense, and hope that it goes more smoothly than this has done…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“He who conceals a useful truth is equally guilty with the propagator of an injurious falsehood.” — Augustine

If ever there was a perfect lead in to a rant about the Beloved Ruling Class, or our/their Corporate Masters, or about the Priestly Hierarchies, those fawning sycophants who support those two entities in their chicanery, well, I don’t know what it would be, if not this. It’s perfectly positioned to attack any, or all of these groups, all of whom make the described action, to wit: bare-faced lying, a habitual choice in their daily interactions with others. They do this with full knowledge of the harm they may cause, but are not concerned with that, other than as it pertains to the maintenance of their own image; they want us to see them as people who care about those over whom they hold sway. In short, they live a complete lie, they know it, and they like it….

Whether we speak of the political leaders of our nations, the corporate leaders of the banking crowd, or the Pope, Ayatollah, and other figures held as religious icons, they speak “with forked tongue”, in the vernacular of Tonto, our favorite TV Indian stereotype. Not only do they lie to the public almost every time the open their mouths, they know they are lying; with many of them, you can see it in their eyes, as they speak….

Some of them (perhaps even most….) are very good at concealing their cupidity from most people; it’s part of why they are successful. But, to anyone with even a hint of street smarts, or even moderate intelligence, and the patience to observe with impartiality, their lies are obvious…. Hell, it’s been said, with some reason, that you can tell a politician is lying, because his mouth is open….

“If I can’t misquote it, I don’t want it.” — Rush Limbaugh

This statement, whether he actually said it or not, explains quite accurately why he is so popular among the conservatives and ignorant fundamentalists in this country…. I would guesstimate the majority of elected officials in this country use this principle on a daily basis, as one of the standards by which they formulate their public policies, and one of their bywords when speaking in a public venue.

Nothing is accepted so readily by the uneducated listener as a quote, or a statistic, that sounds elegant, and real, and comforting, even though it is an absolute untruth, or a mistake, or even a misquotation…. None of that matters to those in power, because they know that their success hinges on their ability to lie successfully to the public….. It’s a time honored tradition in our government, one every politician knows in his bones…

“It’s not that simple, no matter how you wish it so.  You made public statements from a position of false authority;  now you’re having them shoved down your throat.  Welcome to netnews. — Smart Bee

The advent of the internet has made it possible to detail these lies as never before in history. As always, however, the information is only accessible if one reads, and is competent enough to be able to use the internet to its full capability for gathering data. So, the lies continue, though they are much more visible now than in previous periods of history. They will continue as long as people are too lazy, or too brainwashed to think for themselves, and to question what they hear from those who hold power over them.

I don’t think it is reasonable to ever expect those who are in power to stop what they are doing, do a complete reversal of attitude, and start using their positions to advocate for the people, instead of their corporate masters; it isn’t going to happen, as they LIKE being able to raid the public treasury at will. There is no benefit for them, in their eyes, for them to stop lying, so they won’t….

No, if we want things to change, it will have to begin in that part of society that does not answer to the moneychangers, or to the call of avarice, to wit: with you, and me…. Otherwise, we may as well just bend over, and kiss our asses goodbye, because ultimately, the way things are going, we are all headed down the universal toilet, where all of Mother Nature’s failed experiments get flushed…..

I can rant on this subject without limit, I think, as there is no lack of material to work with; the news is all over the net every day with more evidence of the lies the BRC wants us to believe. Hell, one can take almost any large newspaper, look on the front page, and find at least two examples of issues that arise out of corruption in government, or some environmental disaster that is a warning of our impending doom….

In any of these, you will find at least one government official making a statement that is just plain wrong, or false in some way, intended to spin the information to benefit the administration, or to denigrate it, depending on which side is speaking….  It’s a circus maximus, for sure, and provides us curmudgeons with all the rantable material we could wish for, gratis (well, for the price of a computer, and internet access, anyway….).

“God said it, I believe it and that’s all there is to it.” — Smart Bee

I had to put Smart Bee as the attribution here, probably because nobody in their right mind would ever claim credit for having said it…. But, as I, in my lifetime, have actually heard several people say this, (realio trulio, I swear…. three times I’ve heard it, in person, come out of a real live idiot’s mouth….), I can only credit it as being a common feeling among a certain percentage of people. Be that as it may, as long as there is ANYONE who thinks this way, we are all going to be held back from being all our species could be, as well as being in danger of facing extinction because of the intransigence of their ignorance…..

“Misanthropology: the study of why people are so stupid and why most of them should die, SOON!” — Smart Bee

I don’t know the exact figures, but I would say that at least 50% of all the elected officials in this country hold this attitude, if not as gospel or dogma for all issues, at least as true for most issues. Our government has been taken over, insidiously, over time, by religious fanatics, who are working frantically to cement their hold over everyone else by enacting their own morality as law…. As history has proven, time after time, legislating morality is ALWAYS doomed to failure, but, as this group believes implicitly in the rightness of their articles of faith, they will listen to no evidence to the contrary….

“Religion is the highest vanity.” — Friedrich Hebbel

Ah well, I guess all I can say at this point is I think we’re all going to hell in the proverbial handbasket, and I, for one, would just as soon not be involved in this particular picnic…. Nope, not me…. Sadly, there isn’t anywhere else to go, where I can get away from these fools, as they have infested almost every corner of this sad old globe, and are busy destroying the chances for any of us to survive their ignorance…. Unless I, and all those like me, change our nature, and become like the ones who are in power, willing to kill our brethren over these issues, there is little to be done, for they will never give up until they kill us all….

~~ gigoid has spoken….

“Buy a rifle, encrypt your data, and wait for the Revolution!” — .sig of Travis J.I. Corcoran (

“Speak the truth, but leave immediately after.” — Slovenian Proverb

Well, there is no poem ready for today, so once again, I’ll have to dive into the past…. This works out well for me, though, as I have one poem that may go well with the above rant…. I hope so, anyway….. As every day this month, this is for the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here: (I still don’t know if I’m doing this right, but, oh well….)

Geezer to Congress, with Love
Politicos don’t care much ’bout seniors and their ilk,
except for their money, I thinks;
Though they talk as if they’d cozen them in silk,
what they actually do, it stinks.
“The banks are failing, we can’t allow that!”,
steal from the aged, that’s their plan.
“Their life’s ending, that’s plainly where they’re at,”
lie shamelessly, because they can.Maybe just once, if we all act together,
it couldn’t miss.
Right on their shoes, no matter the weather,
take careful aim, and piss.

Why the hell not?
It’s worth a shot!

~~ gigoid


Having ranted today once, I’ll not subject y’all to another…. though there’s more in there to rant about, for sure…. I just don’t want to make y’all think I’m insensitive, or have become overly personal, or judgmental (read: boring….). So, we’ll fall back into default position, and put together a fresh pearl, with some kind of point, yet to be determined by my subconscious mind…. I just let that happen as it happens, as you know…. If you get the point today, be aware it’s worth extra points, and this one WILL be on the Quiz…..

we can never be born enough.
We are human beings;
for whom birth is a supremely welcome mystery,
the mystery of growing:
the mystery that happens only and whenever
we are faithful to ourselves.

— e.  e.  cummings.

“The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination — but the combination is locked up in the safe.” — Peter DeVries

“One day with life and heart is more than time enough to find a world.” — James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) — Columbus

I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things –
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold –
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!

— William Butler Yeats, “Fergus and the Druid”

” Never eat anything bigger than your head.” — Kliban’s First Law of Dining

“I may not understand what you say, but I’ll defend to your death my right to deny it.” — Albert Alligator, in Pogo, 26 September 1951

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” — Bhagavad-Gita (and Robert Oppenheimer)

Well, there you go…. If that isn’t obvious, I’m doing something wrong…. it’s not your fault, so don’t hurt your brain trying to figure it out. My insurance company refuses to cover self-inflicted mis-comprehension…. I do have some nice tea, though, if that will help…..

Hmm…. I’m a bit suspicious. This went a little too smoothly for me to be comfortable…. Murphy has been known to do this right before I save my work, then gift me with a power surge that eliminates all three hours worth of typing…. Gotta get me an autosave function for this program, for sure…. Well, let’s see how it came out, and get on with it…..

Well, not too bad, all in all, and well worth a yippee for being done…. It may not win any Pulitzers, but who cares? Social Security would just take the prize money out of my benefit checks, probably forever…. can’t have that; I worked too hard to get them awarded, broken as I am, so it’s just as well….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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.


Unless the Hottentot objects, we’ll have the nachos….

FATAL LOGIC ERROR – Engage Brain and (R)etry  Click….ah, there we go. Okay, back online. Sorry, got caught in an early morning endless loop, and almost couldn’t find the kill switch. But all is well now. Well, all is as well as its gonna get, what with global warming, overpopulation, growing famine and drought, conservative reactionism, and this year’s version of the swine flu. At least the ozone layer is okay….oh, wait, that’s almost gone too. Hmmm, okay, so maybe things aren’t all that great right now. But, at least you still have your health, yes?…..

“Winston Churchill, the present would-be British Fuhrer, is a person with a range of ideas limited to the adventures and opportunities of British political life.  He has never given evidence of thinking extensively, or of any scientific or literary capacity…  His ideology, picked up in the garrison life of India, on the reefs of South Africa, the maternal home and the conversation of wealthy Conservative households, is a pitiful jumble of incoherent nonsense.  A boy scout is better equipped.  He has served his purpose and it is high time he retired upon his laurels before we forget the debt we owe him…” — H. G. Wells, Tribune article, December 15, 1944

History is written by the winners….and Winnie had way more than his 15 minutes in the spotlight at center stage….. which is perhaps why it seems to mean more when such a damning criticism comes from such an unimpeachable source. H.G. Wells can certainly be considered one of the most erudite and realistic of modern philosophers; certainly his imagination of the possibilities inherent in new technology certifies him as more than merely intelligent, even somewhat spookily prophetic.

As time goes on, our society continues to advance very tidily along the same pathway into the future that Mr. Wells envisioned when gripped in the powerful and creative fist of his inspiration. His condemnation of Churchill’s curmudgeonly manners and persona are perhaps justified in the main; however, how can one not appreciate the attitude needed to carry on this famous conversation by the PM at his finest: “Mr. Prime Minister!” said the outraged Duchess of Whatever, “you are a drunken boor!” “Churchill merely responded with, “Certainly, madame, but tomorrow morning I won’t be drunk, and you will still be ugly.”…. If it’s a true anecdote, (I haven’t personally tried to verify its provenance…), it’s well worth an occasional re-telling, if only to remind us of proper protocol when consorting with those who wear sable and ermine to dinner…..

“I may not understand what you say, but I’ll defend to your death my right to deny it.” — Albert Alligator, in Pogo, 26 September 1951

It’s an election year, and the circus has started early. Six of the eight supposed candidates for the Republican nominee who will be offered up as a sacrifice at the altar of Obama next November have already talked themselves out of the contest (such as it is…), and now we are sentenced to at least six or eight more months of only three brands of ignorance, any one of which would be a disaster in the making as President.

If any one of the three currently leading candidates should, through some form of dark magic, happen to be elected, I’d wager serious money that we would be on the brink of World War III within a matter of weeks….it’s pretty scary. Especially when one of the front runners admits to being committed to passing a law that would make it illegal to operate the government of this country using any standards but those of the conservative right.

Yes, folks, the fanatical right-wing dingbats are coming out of the closet, and we had best remember that they too are heavily armed citizens. Only our own right to bear arms has kept them under control this long; if we aren’t careful, we’ll be living under strictly religious precepts, whether we like it or not…..

“Here’s to the New Boss, same as the Old Boss…and I get on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again.” — Pete Townshend

If on my theme I rightly think,
There are five reasons why men drink,–
Good wine, a friend, because I ‘m dry,
Or lest I should be by and by,
Or any other reason why.
— John Sirmond (c. 1589-1649) — Causae Bibendi

Beautifully stated! This is the type of poetry one wants on hand when some busybody asks why one is taking a drink, any time they consider it inappropriate. There’s just something about seeing a man having a drink that arouses the outrage of women (mostly of Mrs. Grundy’s ilk), preachers, reformers, and Second Lieutenants, every time. It’s getting so a man can’t sit down to a bottle of beer without some blathering idiot telling him he’s gonna get fat, or trying to make him feel like a heel for not spending that money on some charity of their choosing.

Don’t stop me now, I’m on a roll….. no, not really. I just think it’s weird that so many people feel like everyone should live by their rules, and are not shy about telling everyone they meet that they are the best judge of what (they think) should be considered acceptable behavior. Nine times out of nine, you’ll find that these moralists (a more polite way of saying bigoted, hypocritical assholes)  are guilty of every act they ascribe to others, or, if not, sure wish deep down that they could be…..

But you shall not escape my iambics.

Soft, sinuous patterns of unearthly beauty blithely commune with sinking stars, as pale shadows of former virtue hover near, ever clean, ever tolerant. These unbidden habits are worn with age and care, ready now for dissolution, welcoming gladly the kiss of death’s handmaiden. Unknown to all, the child stands aside, and weeps for the lost days of youth, days that now shall never be, nor yearned for ever after. Only darkness shall lay upon the landscape, cold, hard, and eternal.

Such then are the signs and portents as we enter into the unknown future, and they are grave indeed. Uncertainty will be our sole companion, as the search for hope yields no result. The lamentations of the gods shall sound the elegy for Man, who never learned to see the gift that was made, so many echoes ago, in the hopeful past; thus will we pass this plane of existence as we came, baffled and afraid…..

Well, sorry….this was supposed to be a poem, but it just ran away with me there for a few minutes. I’ll have to come back later and look at it with fresh eyes….. Okay, so it’s not bad, as a not-poem goes. I’ve certainly created worse…..I’ll just have to put it out there, and let it fly or not, as it chooses… (I do tend to anthropomorphize fairly often; its a gift…..)

Teach me to feel another’s woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
— The Universal Prayer, Stanza 10

Perfect poem! The Golden Rule never smelled sweeter, and could rightly be called a rose in this guise, but by no other name would it smell as sweet. Who knows what I really mean by that? I certainly don’t; it sounds good, though, eh? I’ll settle for that…

Having thus discharged another morning’s duty (remember, duty is a choice!), I shall now release your attention from my control, and send you on your way into the day, hopefully infused with good karma and positive attitude, our best weapons against the minions of evil that cross our paths each day. Y’all take care out there…..

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

gigoid –The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.



Unassailable Grace, Impervious Beauty….

As mentioned yesterday, today’s offering will assume the new position. With no further ado, I give you the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom (remember, kids, don’t try this at home)……

“I may not understand what you say, but I’ll defend to your death my right to deny it.” — Albert Alligator, in Pogo, 26 September 1951

Pogo, the comic strip by Walt Kelly, was still being drawn by Mr. Kelly when I was a kid. However, being just a kid, I was often confused by the things that Pogo, Albert, and all their  swamp-mates would say, and often wondered why people thought the strip was so funny. Later, when I went away to college, I was re-introduced to the strip, and came to understand why Walt Kelly was considered a genius. His droll sense of irony and his keen wit had, in the swamp society he created, a perfect outlet for all his sharp observations of American culture and politics, delivered in a down-home, laid-back way that belied the depth of his cutting wit. This Pearl, from Albert Alligator, is a perfect example of that wit, and how he used one single line to portray a number of concepts. This particular phrase sounds as if it could have been uttered by almost any of our modern talking heads. It is certainly no less potent a point than those being brought out by the group of Republican presidential wannabees; it actually sounds like something Rick Perry might blurt out, then spend the next three days “refining” his meaning. Though today we have our own modern version of Pogo in the characters of Doonesbury, I would love to have seen some of the strips Mr. Kelly would have drawn on the subject of today’s culture, were he still alive, especially those that would poke gentle fun at what I like to call the Motley Crew (Perry, Cain, Romney, Bachman, etc.)……

I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot rob me of free Nature’s grace,
You cannot shut the windows of the sky
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave:
Of fancy, reason, virtue, naught can me bereave.
— James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Castle of Indolence, Canto ii, Stanza 3

IMHO, (in my humble opinion, for the uninitiated) poetry is possibly the one divine attribute that mankind can truly claim as his own. There is some unique part of the human psyche that is able to take the most complex, powerful emotions we experience and, in just a few well-chosen, gracefully arranged words, give powerful expression to what otherwise would take hundreds of words to explain. Love, death, betrayal, honor, independence, sorrow, joy, all of the most powerful of human feelings, all are perceived by the fertile minds of poets, who then, by some unknown inner process, give back to the world what they perceive and feel, in a form that inspires and illuminates. This particular excerpt, from James Thomson, is one I had never come across before, and before I even understood what it was saying, I knew I’d be using it, because it is just plain beautiful to read. When reading it, try reading it aloud; it’s got a wonderful rhythm to it that is just fun to speak out loud……and the message I get from it is pretty inspiring as well. What did you see or feel when you read it?…….More on this subject in future missives…..

Nuke a gay whale for Jesus. — an attempt to be as politically incorrect as possible, of unknown origin

Like most of us probably have, I’ve seen this floating around the net (there’s a phrase you wouldn’t have seen even as little as 20 years ago); whether it made you smile, frown, or just groan is immaterial for the purposes of this discussion, plus I don’t really care. 🙂 What I’m interested in just now is the phrase ‘politically incorrect’. I have serious misgivings when I consider the societal gestalt that created the whole idea of ‘political correctness’; the phrase alone is suggestive of an idea that keeps cropping up, an idea that Mrs. Grundy has been promoting for centuries, to wit: morality can be legislated. (Mrs. Grundy, for those of you who don’t know her, is that old lady across the street whose curtains twitch all day long as she takes note of all her neighbor’s activities, so she has ammunition for her busybody opinions and critical judgments of the rest of us. Also known as Nosy Parker) Trying to tell people how they should act is not the function of government, and what goes on in my house is MY business, not anyone else’s. This is another subject that we will explore again, when I’ve gotten the hang of this new format. So far, I’m being a bit too long winded (surprise!)…..

“For a man can lose neither the past nor the future; for how can one take from him that which is not his? So remember these two points:
first, that each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle, and that it signifies not whether a man shall look upon the same things for a hundred years or two hundred, or for an infinity of time; second, that the longest lived and the shortest lived man, when they come to die, lose one and the same thing.”  — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ii, 14

The author of this little statement of philosophy re: reality and life was born one thousand, eight hundred and ninety years ago. I think we can agree that that is a long time ago. He lived without TV, without radio, without air-conditioning, cars; hell, they didn’t even have toilets yet. (Put THAT picture in your head; 10,000 or so people in ancient Athens, no toilets!) We modern folk tend to look upon those times, when we think of them at all, with scorn or amusement for what they had to put up with (or without). We have theoretically made a lot of progress since those days, but I can think of very few modern thinkers who have come even close to such insight into human nature, and the proper alignment of that nature in the universe. I actually find this to be the case in a large number of instances, and can only regard it as more data that points toward Armageddon in the not-so-distant future. Mankind as a species is in a period of grave danger, and that danger lies within our own nature, for we are quick to deny that which doesn’t fit our conception of how things should be, and turn our attention elsewhere. This denial will end up, I believe, as our Achilles’Heel…..

Well, that’s enough doom & gloom for one morning. Wow… looking back over today’s piece, I am underwhelmed, but hopeful. There was no lack of subject matter, but this format seems to feed into my tendency to fall into pedantry (see?), so we may have to make some adjustments. Here, then is your final Pearl for today, more wisdom from the ages, and sans comment……

‘We give to necessity the praise of virtue.” — Quintilian (42-118 AD) — Institutiones Oratoriae, i, 8, 14

Y’all take care out there…..

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