Bits & pieces of a broken whole….


“Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows.”

~~ Robert Green Ingersoll ~~


How magicats can see in the dark….

Hajime…. Fortunately, I don’t think it will explode. That’s a good thing, right? If it had, neither of us would be here, reading this, just as if we had some purpose for doing so. Now, since the universe doesn’t care, one way, or the other, (neither do I, but, that’s another story…), I’ve made the only logical decision, which is, most simply, to keep on keepin’ on, no matter what anyone says. So, there…

Some of our Gentle Readers may already recognize what is happening here. You see, they’ve seen me in this state before; pale, sweaty, anxious, yet, firmly committed to creating a Pearl worthy of your consideration. They already know what to expect, and, most likely, came prepared for just such an eventuality. The rest of y’all, having no clue as to what might happen, have, no doubt, already found ample reason to bolt; let me caution you against any such reckless reactionism. When you arrived, the defensive shields allowed you to enter; they’re not so sanguine about letting people leave, so don’t. You wouldn’t enjoy the experience, of that you may be sure.

But, don’t worry; as long as you keep reading, & make no sudden moves, you’ll be fine. Besides, they only shoot rubber bullets, which leave a mark, but, theoretically, won’t kill you. That’s handy, isn’t it? It’s also by design; if you’re dead, you can’t read. And, we hate hauling bodies out so early in the day; the trash won’t get picked up until tomorrow, & the smell…. well, let’s not go there, okay?

By this point, you have probably realized, you’ll get no sense out of me today. I’ve come to the same realization, & though it pricks my conscience a bit to give up before actually saying anything, it would be best to get on with the rest of today’s mess, before reality steps in to sink us all. As the blog administrator, I am allowed to do, or say, whatever it takes to get it done, even if it causes environmental, or ergonomic damage. Since I can’t afford any more outlay for damages, without annoying the lawyers no end, I’ll just do this….

Shall we Pearl?

“Learning maketh young men temperate,
is the comfort of old age,
standing for wealth with poverty,
and serving as an ornament to riches.”

~~ Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) ~~

*grin* Well, one may hope it does; hope is free….



I figured to use classical music today, but, couldn’t decide what type we should choose, to soothe what are. by now, a number of savage breasts. To settle the issue with a bit of elegance, we’ll go with the complete symphonies of Wolfie Mozart, just because we can…. Abondanza!….


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Complete Symphonies





In a place somewhere inside my head, there are new poems being constructed; the process generally takes place without conscious involvement from me; when they’re done, they leak out in their own way. But, none are near ready, & I’m tired of recycling, so, today, I will retreat, without shame, to one of my favorite poets… Enjoy!….

The Blue Jay

No brigadier throughout the year
So civic as the jay.
A neighbor and a warrior too,
With shrill felicity

Pursuing winds that censure us
A February day,
The brother of the universe
Was never blown away.

The snow and he are intimate;
I ‘ve often seen them play
When heaven looked upon us all
With such severity,

I felt apology were due
To an insulted sky,
Whose pompous frown was nutriment
To their temerity.

The pillow of this daring head
Is pungent evergreens;
His larder — terse and militant —
Unknown, refreshing things;

His character a tonic,
His future a dispute;
Unfair an immortality
That leaves this neighbor out.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~



Naked Pearls

“In uffish thought, he stood….”


“Indeed, what is there that does not appear marvelous
when it comes to our knowledge for the first time?”

~~ Pliny the Elder — Natural History, Book vii, Sect. 6 ~~


“Before you can build a house,
you must first believe
that the bricks are in fact bricks.”

~~ Arthur Schopenhauer ~~


“In formal logic, a contradiction is the signal of defeat:
but in the evolution of real knowledge,
it marks the first step in progress toward victory.”

“” Alfred North Whitehead “”


“It is common sense to take a method and try it.
If it fails, admit it frankly and try another.
But above all, try something.”

~~ Franklin D. Roosevelt ~~


“Arouse the mind without resting it on anything.”

~~ Diamond Sutra ~~


“I take a simple view of life: keep your eyes open and get on with it.”

~~ Laurence Olivier ~~


“I don’t have a weird sense of humor.
Your reality is just weird.”

~~ gigoid ~~



Today’s Pearl has been brought to you through the auspices of the human imagination; any failure to acknowledge the rights of Reality are strictly forbidden. You may, however, choose to forget you chose to stop in today, without penalty. Normally, you would suffer the agony of extreme ambiguity, but, we made a special deal with the prosecuting demon, so, all’s well that ends well. Now, all we have to do it end it, if I can ever find the right… Oh, there it is. Okay. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, when I’ll try to find a bit of rationality to share. Doesn’t seem to be any to be had, today. Stay strange, ffolkes; it’s getting pretty real out there….

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.


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

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À bientôt, mon cherí….

Man the focs’l! Avast me hearties! Yar!….


“A man can only do what he can do.  But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.” — Albert Schweitzer
Second shots 013    The pub pictured above, is, as can be noted by the mirror over the bar, the The Old Swan, in Kensington, just around the corner from the B&B where I stayed in London, in Abbey Court, quite near Portobello Road. It could be considered as my neighborhood pub for when I am in that city, as it felt like home from the first time I walked in…. During the three days I spent in London, I was in here four times, for three meals, and a night out, once I’d gotten over my jet lag. It was everything an English pub was advertised to be; comfortable, friendly, and bursting with tradition, from the dark wooden walls, to the pretty barmaids, and the warm fire in the hearth….

For three years now, damn near, I’ve been trying to create an environment here, on this blog, that would make ffolkes feel the same about coming here as I did about going to the Swan, with the same sort of welcoming atmosphere, sans food and drink….. Instead, here, we serve dishes of a more intellectually fulfilling nature, rather than those of a savory, aromatic, stomach-filling sort…. The intent is a bit different, too…. The pub’s focus is on providing a place to relax and socialize, rather than one designed to stimulate thought, and to illuminate that which is kept deliberately dark, thereby arousing the passion to make changes…. all in the hope of helping the world to make the changes needed to save our ignorant asses….

That goal, of course, is probably not realistic, but, it’s the only one I find to be worthwhile, since, if we don’t manage to make the aforementioned necessary alterations in how we approach living, we, as a species, are certainly going to die…. I hate being so pessimistic; it really isn’t my nature to lose hope, or to give up…. but, between the intransigence of those in power, the ignorance of the great unwashed masses, historical inertia, and the unfortunate tendency of our species to express the violence in our nature rather than the compassion that exists within us as well, I don’t see the necessary changes as having much chance of being made in time to fix what we have made of our nest….

That lack of hope doesn’t keep me from trying though, and, if the last three years is any indication, my efforts are, if nothing else, prodigious…. I guess it wouldn’t be out of line to say I must have had something to say, because I’ve certainly said something, to the tune of about four thousand PAGES, holding more than three million words that have been inside me for years, waiting for their chance to come out to play…. I’m not sure how many are left in there, but, as you can see, there doesn’t seem to be any lack of them to pick from…. thank goodness…..

In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ve put enough of them together so far today to have reached one of our potential points of entry into the later sections…. Yep, there’s the ending of this intro coming up right there, up there a few lines ahead of us…. Probably a good thing, too, as this was beginning to unravel, or, as we like to say around here, it was “preparing for burn”, or “damn, what the hell was that?”….. I’m sure you know whereof I speak, as it tends to happen here on an almost daily basis…. I’m not going to bother naming it, or trying to define it, but, y’all know exactly what I mean, don’t you?…. I know you do, but, if it embarrasses you to admit it, that’s okay…. We all know, so, it’s cool….

Oh look, it’s the ending I saw….. Good, the water looks inviting today….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Scilurus on his death-bed, being about to leave four-score sons surviving, offered a bundle of darts to each of them, and bade them break them. When all refused, drawing out one by one, he easily broke them,–thus teaching them that if they held together, they would continue strong; but if they fell out and were divided, they would become weak.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders


“All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.” — John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

In the course of this blog, I’ve ranted many times about how the Asininnies, or, at least, those in that group who speak to the public, consistently lie about their actions, as well as their motivation for those acts. Moreover, I’ve tried to relate how the ignorance of those who listen to those lies, believing them implicitly, is as much the underlying cause as the lies themselves….. In support of that opinion, I offer the results of the presidential election in November of 2012, when 55 million Americans voted for a man who lied to them more than 50% of the time, a figure corroborated by more than just two fact-checking organizations….

Yes, you read that correctly…. 55 million Americans chose to vote for a man who was a proven liar, just so they wouldn’t have to consider the idea of having a black man as President for another four years…. Not that the established conservative political coalition would allow him, or his political allies, to actually DO anything for the people; the GOP has managed to throw up a roadblock on EVERY piece of legislation designed to help the public for the last six and a half years, becoming in the process the champion “do-nothing” Congress of all…. This Congressional group has considered fewer bills than ANY other of its predecessors, and has passed even less of it, thus earning their championship with a truly monumental, record-breaking LACK of work…. or, progress….

“A long tradition has regarded low self-esteem as a powerful and dangerous cause of violence. Our review has indicated, however, that it is threatened egotism rather than low self-esteem that leads to violence.” — Case Western Reserve University psychology study as quoted in Thomas C. Palmer, Jr.’s Boston Globe article (3-31-96), — Self-Esteem Self-Threatening?

I ask you, sincerely, as an experienced, retired mental health professional, what is legislative obstruction other than passive-aggressive violence to the public, like a spiteful child complaining of a lost entitlement?…. As far as I can see, the House of Representatives Republican majority has done NOTHING other than act like spoiled children for the last seven years, since BEFORE the ’08 election, when the threat of a black president first surfaced…. and, in the process of their throwing their series of legislative tantrums, have managed to slow the process of healing so needed by the economy, and the national psyche….

In spite of their efforts, the economy has improved, a LOT; unemployment and inflation are at their lowest rates since the first Shrub started raiding the public coffers, the banks are fat and happy, and even the middle class has seen an improvement in their overall economic picture…. It’s looking as if the American economy is finally starting to recover, a little bit, from the disaster of the Reagan years, and the complete catastrophe that was the legacy of the Shrubs, both Senior and Junior, each of which created their own particular mess in the money world, giving new meaning to words such as nepotism, corruption, and cronyism….

I’m going to give y’all a break today; I’ll end this rant here, & finish off this section with some appropriate pearls…. I’ve made the point I wanted to make, if only minimally…. but, I feel myself approaching a level of anger at such immorality which could potentially affect the quality of the argument, so, I’ll let it go, and just reinforce my point with pearls…. Remember, ffolkes, you have to listen closely to what they say, and make the effort to determine its veracity, or lack thereof, before buying into anything that comes out of a politician’s, or a preacher’s, or a banker’s mouth…. They don’t have a good track record at truth-telling…. nor, as far as can be seen, do they have any interest, or investment, in learning to do so

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” — Winston Churchill

“What one fool can do, another can.” — Ancient Simian Proverb

“What we wish, that we readily believe.” — Demosthenes

“Men of power have no time to read, yet the men who do not read are unfit for power.” — Michael Foot

ARTHUR:  I am your king!
WOMAN:   Well, I didn’t vote for you.
ARTHUR:  You don’t vote for kings.
WOMAN:   Well, ‘ow did you become king then?

— Monty Python and the Holy Grail

“POLITICIANS do it, but they stay in too long and make you pay for it afterwards.” — Smart Bee

“What is it not to sin? Do not ask much; go, the silent flowers will tell you.” — Angelus Silesia ne Johannes Scheffler (1624-1677)


Hang on…. I just finished section one, and don’t have a clue as to a poem for this section…. yet. I’ll be back… I won’t be Arnold, but, I’ll be back…. Uh oh, stand back, ffolkes, I feel a poem bleeding out….

A Few Words of Note

In place of ranting and raving about assholes every day
maybe I’ll try something more fun.
Rather than throwing words at all the assholes on public pay
I’ll switch to shooting at them, with a gun….

Should I actually hit one, purely by mistake,
maybe it would wake them up.
Maybe, if they had to think, or actually cut us a break,
we’d see a chance to win at life, to take a step up.

Our nation, such as it is today, was founded by men who told the truth;
that morality disappeared long ago.
Simple ethical strength so bright, so prevalent in our country’s youth
was soon corrupted, corporate interests now run the show.

Nothing would please me more than to fire off some rounds,
if only to gain their attention.
But, I can no longer run, I’ve gained too many pounds;
so, my keyboard and intellect must serve to fulfill my intention.

I won’t stop, of that you may be sure
I love my freedoms, and the philosophy from which it springs.
Tom, and Ben, and John, and Pat, those patriots pure
gave me their example, and the inner peace it brings.

If bullets won’t persuade our elected liars to toe the ethical line,
I’ll throw my most powerful words…..
If nothing else, it will make them wriggle to escape, or voice their pitiful whine,
thus exposing themselves for what they are…. plain and simple turds.

~~ gigoid ~~

Well, they can’t ALL be great…. It rhymes, and it’s a good message… I like it, but, then, I DID write it, so…. It will do, for now; it could conceivably get some editing done on it in the future, but, for the moment, I have to go stop the bleeding, so I can get all this posted…. Now, where did I put that gauze?….


Time for some more old-school pearling, ffolkes…. Smart Bee has been pretty cooperative so far, so, I’m going to push my luck, & see if we can come up with another pearl of virtual wisdom to finish off today’s effort….. Go, SB!….

“When ideas fail, words come in very handy.” — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

“A guilty conscience never feels secure.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 617

“Christ believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.” — Bertrand Russell

“If you have had your attention directed to the novelties in thought in your own lifetime, you will have observed that almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced.” — Alfred North Whitehead

“You must turn and face the tiger to learn it is made of paper.” — Smart Bee

“I grow old ever learning many things.” — Solon 630 – 555 BC

“..  I think I’d better go back to my DESK and toy with a few common MISAPPREHENSIONS…” — Zippy the Pinhead

I rest my case…. The most cogent of the above aphorisms came from SB itself, which, obviously, goes to prove my assertion….. I hope you enjoyed this one, it’s pretty good….


When I awoke this morning, I had no idea this would all flow out before I was done…. It’s all fresh, and all punctuated, so, I’m going to take my chances with it as it is, sans any further perusal, and trusting to my basic skills to protect me from the grammar Nazis out there…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…. I feel lighter, for sure…..

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

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Olive, or peanut oil for the fries?….


“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
 — The Beatles, The last lyric of their last song
July 15 2014 017

    I’ve begun to put both a pearl, and a picture, at the beginning of the Daily Pearls, which, you may have noted, if you’ve stopped by in the last week or so…. After almost three years of, (literally, AND figuratively) pounding my head against the keyboard, in order to stimulate the wherewithal to create an introduction, I’m resorting to new ideas, and new techniques, to get the “little grey cells” working, or at minimum, provide a starting point for discussion….

Today, my choice of quote and picture, while at first appearing to be be quite normal, even a bit elegant, will actually, over time, create a rather disturbing inner dynamic, which could conceivably turn into unwarranted disaster….

All that, you might wonder, from one little picture of a nearly-dead flower, and a lyric? An old lyric, at that? Well, yes…. it is often a surprise to discover just how dangerous the world really is, so, it isn’t so much surprising, as it is inconvenient, and, to be honest, somewhat of a PITA…. Who needs this kind of crap from a blog, eh? Not me, for sure, and it’s MY damn blog! What the hell is going on here?

Nothing, ffolkes, relax…. that was hyperbole…. Faux panic is always a good way to move on to another subject; one can always claim personal preference, and be assigned to a new counselor…. Of course, you’ll never find another counselor like us, but, hey, if you’re too scared to go on, well, we won’t cast stones… We may jeer and taunt you for a while, but, stones are not allowed under the terms of our insurance….

So, please, just chill, and keep you eye a little closer on the altitude meter….. when you see us approaching a ceiling, see the instruction sheet in the seat back ahead of you, to learn how to don your life vest….

If you should happen to be at a seat without instructions, just observe how the person next to you deals with their own vest, and you should be fine…. We’ve never lost a Gentle Reader, so, that’s something, right? Of course, there was that one time, back in the day, when we couldn’t find that guy from Arkansas for a couple of hours, but, he turned out to be fine….. just passed out in the toilet from accessing the in-flight service bar once or twice too often…. He had a terrific hangover, but, no grounds for any litigation, so it all worked out well….

And look, so has this intro section! I’ve managed to wander, ramble, and blather enough to have found a proper jumping off point, which is all we need to get going on this deal…. So, I’m taking advantage of the suitable environmental structure we’ve come across, and diving right in…. Let’s go, ffolkes, you don’t want to get left behind….

Shall we Pearl?…..

I ‘m armed with more than complete steel,–
The justice of my quarrel.

 — Christopher Marlowe (1565-1593) — Lust’s Dominion, Act iii, Sc. 4   


“Ignorance of one’s ignorance is the greatest ignorance.” — Smart Bee

Fucking brilliant….. No other lesser phrasing would be powerful enough to express how strongly I believe in what Mark has written here…. He is absolutely, 100% on target with his observations, and delivers a message that even the most hardened idiot has to hear…. of course, until they just get that glazed look on their face, and deny, deny, deny…. which they will do, immediately, by the millions, should they get even two paragraphs into this article…. Mark has a way with words like no one else, and he uses them here to once again skewer the GOP, and the group that I call the Asininnies….. He’s done it so well, I’m tempted to say he did it perfectly…..

“Counts his sure gains, and hurries back for more.” — James Montgomery (1771-1854) — The West Indies, Part iii

Sniff…. It brings a tear of joy to my curmudgeonly soul to hear, and feel, the brilliantly sharp sardonicism Mark brings to bear, on the asininity, and the sheer stupidity that permeates the entire rich, white, Judeo-Christian fundamentalist, corporate mentality…. You know, the one that fills the halls of our government in Washington, all 50 state capitals, and every bloody church in this somewhat less than diversified land of ours….. The ranks of those who refuse to use their brains for anything beyond transporting their bowels from one toilet to another are bursting with politicians, lawyers, priests, preachers, quasi-military police nimrods, and corporate raptors, viciously dispassionate in their unending search for more power, and more resources to control…. all without any regard, or concern of any kind, for anyone whose lifestyle and/or beliefs do not match their own limited views….

It took me a while to compose the above paragraph; I tried to be as condemning as possible, without resorting to vulgarity…. I think it worked okay, in that it’s clear how I feel about those assholes…. but, due primarily to my own tendency toward pomposity, it could be better, and leads me to believe you just can’t replace a good round of swearing and cursing for delivering a message like this one…. I could have said most of that, and delivered the same message, with a simple, “the bloody fucking assholes are doing it again”, with minor amplification for corroboration of details….

Shit flows downhill, you know, so, it’s best to fling it before we get any on ourselves…. Besides, with the way most of those in the 1% treat most everyone else, they deserve every bit of our disdain and vituperation, as well as our vulgarity…. THEY are the ones who live their lives in a vulgar manner…. What word, other than “vulgar”, better befits the likes of Rush Limbaugh, or Dick Cheney, or Karl Rove, three of the bastions of conservative thought?…. None I can think of, and my vocabulary is pretty extensive…. Just putting their images in my mind gives me a shudder of revulsion, worse than any I’ve ever gotten from snakes, lizards, or insects, let me tell you….

Once again, Mark has said it better than I am currently capable of doing, so, I’m going to soothe my fevered brow with an old school pearl, to vent some of the angst and anger that builds up in me whenever I consider the egregious immorality of those at the top of the societal pyramid of power…. those fucking assholes…. Here is a seven star old-school pearl, with parameters designed to find some sharp, pointed sticks, which we shall then envision to be flying directly at the lying eyes of the pundits….

“Government of the people, by the lawyers, for the conservatives.” — Smart Bee

“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.” — Malcolm X

“We are doing the right thing and we do not see the bad things.” — Vice President Dan Quayle pretending he is one of the wise monkeys

“If you can’t get a job, get a senate appointment!!!” — Smart Bee

“Basically a dog person.   I certainly, though, wouldn’t want to offend my constituents who are cat people, and I should say that being, I hope, a sensitive person, that I have nothing against cats, and had cats when I was a boy, and if we didn’t have the two dogs might very well be interested in having a cat now.” — Incoming Missouri Congressman James Talent, — responding to the question Are you a dog or a cat person? (Mr. Talent is a graduate, summa cum idiotum, of the Dan Quayle School of Political Science-Like Stuff)

“One can imagine a sane, healthy, cheerful human society based on no more than the principles of common sense, as validated each day by work, play, and living experience. But this remains the most Utopian and fantastic of ideals.” — Edward Abbey

“If God had intended for politicians to ski, he would have made bullshit white.” — Smart Bee

This is an example of what I call a “rock-solid” pearl…. When you see quotes from Smart Bee at either end, and smack in the middle, you can trust that this pearl is one that will hold its shape under the most trying of circumstances, as well as being so sharp, it can puncture the eye of a pundit without leaving a permanent mark….. It’s that solid, sharp, and real…. Much like a fine stiletto in the hands of Mack….. You know, Mack, the Knife? Bobby Darin? No…. Oh well, a sharp stiletto, in the hands of one who knows how to use it, is a VERY dangerous weapon…. silent, deadly, and leaves almost no trace of its work….. trust me on this…. Hmm, maybe we’d best go on…..


I need some Emily….

No Rack can torture me—
My Soul—at Liberty—
Behind this mortal Bone
There knits a bolder One—

You cannot prick with saw—
Nor pierce with Scimitar—
Two Bodies—therefore be—
Bind One—The Other fly—

The Eagle of his Nest
No easier divest—
And gain the Sky
Than mayest Thou—

Except Thyself may be
Thine Enemy—
Captivity is Consciousness—
So’s Liberty.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


Far be it from me to question reality, but, isn’t this the third section? Aren’t I supposed to be done now? I want to be done now…. Oh well, duty calls, so, I’ll put down my goblet of morning whine, & save it for later…. Instead, we’ll just get started on another old-school pearl, which will go right here, so I can say I did something today, other than just fool around….

I have, of course, fooled around enough so far today to beat the band, but, it works for me….. We’ll just ignore all that, and get on with this random, harlequin style pearl, fresh as a daisy, which, when you think of it, isn’t too fresh, because, hey, it just got picked, and is losing life and strength every second, and perhaps we’d better just get on with it, because, if I don’t take a breath, or end this sentence, I’m going to pass out….. Here, have some pearls….

“Time carves all.  Let yourself be carved to attain your true nature.” — Master Po

“Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.” — Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645)

“Nothing gives so much direction to a person’s life as a sound set of principles.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Know then this truth (enough for man to know),– “Virtue alone is happiness below.”  — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 309

“In formal logic, a contradiction is the signal of defeat: but in the evolution of real knowledge, it marks the first step in progress”toward victory.
— Alfred North Whitehead

“The effects which follow too constant and intense a concentration upon evil are always disastrous. Those who crusade, not _for_ God in themselves, but _against_ the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes even perceptibly worse than it was, before the crusade began.  By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself.” — Aldous Huxley — The Devils of Loudun

“What comes from this quarter, set it down as so much gain.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Adelphoe, Act v, Sc. 3, 30, (816.)

In the eternally relevant words of Edith Ann (Lily Tomlin), “And that’s the TRUTH! Thppppppt!”


Okay, so, here we are again, at the end of another fine mess, created fresh this morning by yours truly, gigoid, the dubious, who has, in every respect, lived up to his sobriquet today…. If that confuses you, or makes you feel angry, and afraid, or even just silly, well, it can’t be helped…. I’ve never made any bones about this being a safe occupation; we do what we can to satisfy the insurance drones, but, if there is no risk, where is the motivation to stay alert, eh? The world needs as many lerts as it can get…..

So be it….. gigoid has spoken. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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Some lessons are more painful than others….

As much as I enjoy these morning interludes with the blogging world, there is still a certain degree of fear that goes along with publishing one’s own writing for others to read. One is, after all, exposing the inner self to the world, which, historically, has a habit of treating inner selves rather shabbily, or even cruelly, especially when they are shown for the first time, and often thereafter. It’s perhaps the biggest risk we take by deciding to share our thoughts with the world at large, a risk that is very real, and anyone with less than military grade armor protecting their ego is in serious jeopardy….

My own fear is no match for my ego, though, never has been, so it’s never been an issue for me…. I couldn’t wait to start blogging, as I’ve had stuff to say about life and society for many years, with no outlet for my outrage, or my angst, or my decidedly odd sense of humor. Once I was retired, and discovered that I had all the time I wanted to write, I jumped in without any discernible hesitation, taking to it like a duck takes to water….. but, happily, without the water all over my butt…..  🙂

Then, of course, Murphy came to live with me, as he found his perfect target in my attempted routines, my attempted regular posts, my attempted sleep, and all the other parts of life that he found he could so easily distort and pervert, such that I never know where the next conundrum will surface. I seem to be a fertile field for his machinations, and ever since, oh, a week or so into this time period, since I began blogging, he has made it his life’s work to find a new way to fuck with me, EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY!!! If it weren’t such a pain in the ass, I might feel special (cue Gilda Radner’s Church Lady voice for that last word….).

I didn’t mind so much, until the wearisome events surrounding living in poverty began to mount up into a mass that even my well-buried depression couldn’t keep hidden, and my PTSD became a daily issue, with the advent of unpredictable emotional storms, causing me to burst into tears at the slightest stress, or the thought of any stressful concept…… Concepts of a stressful nature….. yeah….

Such as when I found out yesterday that my older brother has been diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, and has decided not to take the treatments that might extend his life, to save his family from financial ruin…. It’s a decision that isn’t surprising; our father made the same one.

But, the butthead might have informed his brother(s) of it, so he(they) didn’t have to find out when he called to wish a happy birthday….. (Actually, I don’t know if he told my “little” brother…. if he did, and he didn’t call me, either of them, I’m afraid we are going to have to exchange a few words…. They may need to be reminded of who they are dealing with, and the proper protocols needed to keep from getting their sorry asses kicked…. I may be old, and getting feeble, but, I am still their brother, and I can still be dangerous when aroused….)

As you might guess, this little revelation has thrown me for a bit of a loop, and I don’t really even know how I feel, other than tearfully sad, fearfully mad, and a hundred other powerful emotions I can’t even name. So tearful, a break is needed, to get rid of some annoying fluid build-up that is common when I cry….. I’ll be back…. Okay, well, that didn’t work out so well….

I’m going to have to resort to more emergency procedures today, in order to get this Pearl done. I don’t know why, exactly, but it seems important to do so today. So, in sections one and three, where there would normally be a rant or two, I’m going old school, because that’s all I can do for now. I’ll do my best to make them potent pearls, even though they won’t be as floridly original, or as clear, I’m sure. At this point, enough emotion is swirling around inside me that a poem may just break out in section two, but, if not, I’ll find something sufficiently compelling in a more classical selection, if I can hold it together that long…..

I’m going to go for a dive now, and see if I can drown a bit of this sorrow in knowledge…. I have hopes, because aphorisms have always been a source of comfort to me in times of need…. So, I’ll stop torturing y’all now, and get on with it…. Shall we Pearl?….

“When you get older you have to be careful about always saying, “Things  aren’t as good as they used to be.” But it’s hard not to.” — Andy Rooney
(I don’t much like Andy Rooney, but even a blind dog can find a bone some days….)

— Bother! said Pooh, on his deathbed.

I was a bit nervous as to how this might turn out, given my state of mind, or lack thereof, but, Smart Bee seems to be in a compassionate mood, for a software program, anyway, so maybe it will all be okay….. Here are five pearls, each with their own message for the world to consider….. I particularly like the first one, and the last, and they DO help the pearl make its point…. That point’s a bit subtle, even for me, but, it’s there, if you wish to look for it, and it’s not bad….

“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

“A time to be born; a time to die.” — Ecclesiastes 3:2

“Allow your children to face the consequences of their actions.” — Brown

“If you ever feel like you’re on the verge of a nervous breakdown, just follow these simple rules: First, calm down; second, come over and wash my car; third, shine all my shoes.  There, isn’t that better?” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

“If possible, try to find a way to come downstairs that doesn’t involve going bump, bump, bump, on the back of your head. -” — Pooh in Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne, English author (1882-1956)

See? As I’ve been known to say previously, it’s all in the wrist….

What I said above about Smart Bee’s apparent empathy today seems to be accurate…. When considering poetry to fill this space today, after determining there is no poem of my own ready to come out, it showed me an excerpt from a Yeats poem, which prompted me to go find these two gems, both of which fit my mood today, as well as the apparent theme, obviously chosen by Reality…. Enjoy!…

A Friend’s Illness

SICKNESS brought me this
Thought, in that scale of his:
Why should I be dismayed
Though flame had burned the whole
World, as it were a coal,
Now I have seen it weighed
Against a soul?

William Butler Yeats


A Dream Of Death

I DREAMED that one had died in a strange place
Near no accustomed hand,
And they had nailed the boards above her face,
The peasants of that land,
Wondering to lay her in that solitude,
And raised above her mound
A cross they had made out of two bits of wood,
And planted cypress round;
And left her to the indifferent stars above
Until I carved these words:
{She was more beautiful than thy first love,}
{But now lies under boards.}

William Butler Yeats

Here is a seven star pearl for your perusal, as a finish to today’s effortful outpouring of confusion…. Smart Bee was again very cooperative, giving up this group in less than forty clicks, an astounding rate of success, especially given how it has performed already today. One could get the impression that it was AI software, and was reacting with compassion to my pained mental static….. Lest that be untrue, or, in case it is, I’ll not suggest otherwise…

Meantime, here are seven pearls, that just fall together into an attractive shape, no matter which way you jumble them up…. enjoy! Should it be necessary, there are cleaning solutions and tools in the cabinet by the pantry, including items to clean your clothing, in the event of spills or splashes…. We’re big on safety here, but, Life can be dangerous, especially when dealing with ideas…. unpredictable little buggers…. Why, I’ve seen them jump right out of a frying pan, into a fire…. imagine that!….

“What UNIVERSE is this, please??” — Zippy the Pinhead

“Two wrongs are only the beginning.” — Kohn’s Corollary to Murphy’s Law

“To get really high is to forget yourself.  And to forget yourself is to see everything else.  And to see everything else is to become an understanding molecule in evolution, a conscious tool of the universe.  And I think every human being should be a conscious tool of the universe.  That’s why I think it’s important to get high.  I’m not talking about unconscious or zonked out. I’m talking about being fully conscious.” — Jerry Garcia

One ship drives east and the other drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of the sails and not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Winds of Fate

“The only use of a knowledge of the past is to equip us for the present. The present contains all that there is. It is holy ground; for it is the past, and it is the future.” — Alfred North Whitehead

“Those who will not reason, perish in the act.  Those who will not act, perish for that reason.” — W. H. Auden, _Shorts_

Lastly, a perfect find for today…. The counter-curse to the one I received long ago, when the ancient Chinese gentleman said to me, “May you have an interesting life.”….. Now all I have to do is find a competent, relatively cheap, er, inexpensive necromancer to say it to me….

“May you live in uninteresting times.” — Smart Bee

I can’t speak to how today’s effort has been for y’all, but, it has helped me a lot, to regain enough composure to get the rest of the way through the day. The process of creating a Pearl has always been therapeutic, (a big part of why I started in the first place….), and today has served to solidify that characteristic for me…. My only remaining hope is that I haven’t bored anyone to their own tears, or offended anyone enough to lose them in the process, but, that’s always a gamble in this universe, so….

In looking back over this, I have to say, it came out pretty well, all things considered…. Now comes the tough part…. Reality awaits me, outside the door, and I can’t ignore its call this time…. Ah well, such is life…. it goes on, with or without our approval or cooperation, so I may as well try to enjoy the ride while it lasts, for, as the Scots say, I’ll be a long time dead….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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



It looks like a very sincere artichoke, though….


Multiple choices should be outlawed in the early morning; they only lead to frustration and angst. Hell, even the simple choice of getting up or not, once awake, can be agonizing enough to ruin much of the subsequent day. Of course, having the choice to make is better than the alternative, for sure. I know I’d sure hate to wake up dead…… THAT would tend to spoil the best of days before it even got started, wouldn’t it?

I’m thinking it may be a good idea, at this point, to cease and desist traveling on this particular road. It comes to mind that I’m writing myself into a corner I won’t be able to get out of easily, so we’ll hare off in a new direction, to save myself the trouble later on. One of the few advantages to this aging process is the increased use of foresight to save trouble; I sure wish I’d started sooner, as it is an extremely handy, and efficient, habit to cultivate. It is hard to describe just how much time and effort it saves me, which, at this point in my life, makes it a most valuable habit, as well. I wouldn’t be able to get half as much done as I do without using it frequently…..

Silly me, though…. I got so busy patting myself on the back for having avoided a pitfall, I walked right into a subject change without any idea of where to go with it….. Hang on, this may take a moment or two, then we’ll be off again…. Okay, I’m back, with more proof of Murphy’s ubiquitous presence in reality. There I am, cruising along, writing this intro, and my own head takes me on a random trip through limbo, with only phantasmagoria as companion to visions of otherwise brilliant conversations. In other words, zip to write about….. Oh well, I got a paragraph out of it, so, it will have to do….

The morning dive for pearls has now assumed a more vital aspect, thanks to the above lackadaisical effort at erudition. It would no doubt be best for me to just chuck up the rest of this section, and hope the remainder of today’s material will carry the process home. I’m starting to believe that may be the ONLY hope there is left for today….. so let’s get with it…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“He who despairs over an event is a coward, but he who holds hopes for the human condition is a fool.” — Albert Camus

I like to think of myself as a positive sort of guy, at least in the sense that I have hope at all. Of late, however, I’ve come to think that this statement by Al might be more accurate than I had given it credit for at first. After a lifetime of observing people, including the Beloved Ruling Class, in all their public glory, I’m afraid he’s right. There doesn’t seem to be much remaining hope that human nature will alter itself sufficiently to save us before it kills us all, as there is no evidence of the needed alterations taking place, nor any indication that they will become amenable to such alteration over time. Those who have the power are not often, stop, make that, are never willing to give up their, to them, justifiably acquired power without a struggle. Doing so is the only way we, as a species, have any chance of surviving the next century; that much is clear……

“In the United States…politics is purged of all menace, all sinister quality, all genuine significance, and stuffed with such gorgeous humors, such inordinate farce that one comes to the end of a campaign with one’s ribs loose, and ready for “King Lear,” or a hanging, or a course of medical journals.” — H. L. Mencken

This is a pretty good description of the American political scene. The feeling one gets, after exposure to its machinations for even a relatively short period of time, can leave one with just the feelings brought out by Mr. Mencken; it can get worse, should one actually get involved in the political process themselves. The constant barrage upon the senses by the politicians during a campaign have been known to cause actual medical issues, especially hearing and comprehension problems; it has long been established that lies can have that effect, if not treated with alternate doses of truth on occasion. During a campaign, especially for a national office, the number and weight of the lies that are spewed forth enters the realm of the ridiculous, even the ludicrous, and over-exposure can be hazardous to health, of both your mind, and the nation at large…..

“He wants a shoe horn, the kind with teeth.” — Smart Bee

It took me a minute to realize just why I used this pearl…. It really doesn’t have anything to do with our discussion of politics, other than as a peripheral issue…. A shoe horn, with teeth, is something I’ve always wanted…. (Don’t ask why. It’s another story, and could conceivably lead to legal charges being filed, so we won’t go there….)  As a semi-desirable consumer item, I think there is a market, and if history is any indication, we’ll be seeing them advertised on TV any day now. That’s because the BRC, with their supporters, the preachers and bankers, just love to sell us useless shit we don’t need. It keeps us occupied in anything other than looking at what they are really up to. How else to explain Pet Rocks, or Chia Pets? It’s almost as frightening as the whole “air guitar” phenomenon…..

“Picture the sun as the origin of two intersecting 6-dimensional hyperplanes from which we can deduce a certain transformational sequence which gives us the terminal velocity of a rubber duck …” — Smart Bee

Or, don’t, if you prefer. As you might be able to tell, I’ve lost the thread here…. Too bad, really. I love ranting about politicians, and it was progressing very well, until I decided to get humorous. That always seems to puncture the balloon of my outrage, and turn it to a less acidic form of ridicule. Politicians are nasty, vicious creatures in the wild state, and need to be accurately and completely defined, in order to maintain the kind of control over them we need; they’ll do their best to take over if one isn’t watchful, and ruthless in defense of our liberty, the elimination of which is the goal of all politicians. Making jokes about them encourages the proper amount of disrespect, but isn’t mean enough to affect them strongly enough to allow full control; you gotta put on a choke chain, and keep it tight around their necks…..

“A man gazing at the stars is proverbially at the mercy of the puddle in the road.” — Alexander Smith (1830-1867), in Dreamthorpe

That same man is at the mercy of politicians, because politicians thrive on living in the mud, which is, as we know, the primary characteristic of puddles in the road. It is all well and good to keep one’s eyes on the heavens, but eventually we must bring our gaze down to earth, if only to see the mud in which the politicians have mired our steps, binding us to the spot so they can ply us with lies, and more lies…. Bloody assholes, all of them….

Notes of process and program…

Poems, alas, don’t chase through my head,
bumping and pushing, like brothers at dinner.
They’re more ripped out of my innards, instead.
Time and circumstance reveal no ultimate winner.

Simmering and bubbling near my unconscious mind
these maddening rhymes blind me, sans glimmer.
Building until bursting as if to be dined and wined,
the remaining denizens appear much slimmer.

Fiery visions retain such glorious fatal dimension,
in retrospect, yet fail to leave a permanent scar,
until blessed, or cursed, with focused attention,
singing, crying, bleeding, fast as a movie star.

Pretty soon can’t be soon enough, she said
to a chameleon colored thief bathed in moonlight.
Fancy candles in stripes of blue, gold, and red
foster honest dreams in shades of white.

Passage to daylight is problematic, at best:
beastly ghosts of insomniacs cast no shadow.
Even judges with robes can pass the wrong test
while the rest of us go with what we know.

~~ gigoid

Offered today as a bit of contrast, both to my poem above, and to life in general, is this wonderful little piece from the writers at Monty Python….

Our universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding,
In all of the directions it can whiz;
As fast as it can go, that’s the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere out in space,
‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth!

— Monty Python, “The Meaning of Life”

A one-eyed man is able to see,
A lame man is able to tread.
He treads on the tail of the tiger.
The tiger bites the man.
Thus does a warrior act on behalf of his great prince.

— Smart Bee, sort of….

In Smart Bee, my database of quotations and other tidbits, more than a few faux Chinese koan thingies, such as this one, keep showing up, like all the quotes, in a random order. Some are a little funny, but not much, either for content, or for their irony of delivery. Mostly, they’re just strange…. This one almost sounds as if it should actually mean something, like it is a deep lesson, buried in simple phrases.

But, after due reflection, for quite a long while, just to see if there was ANYTHING in it at all that might be of some value, I find it to be as obscure as ever, and devoid of all meaning….. Misfortune, indeed…. Warriors acting for their princes don’t fuss around with biting tigers, even if one-eyed and lame….

Never mind, move along, nothing to see here… We’ll keep going until we find a real pearl…..

“If once you conceive fundamental fact as a multiplicity of subjects qualified by predicates, you must fail to give a coherent account of experience. The disjunction of subjects is the presupposition from which you start, and you can only account for conjunctive relations by some fallacious slight of hand, such as Leibnitz’s metaphor of his monads engaged in mirroring. The alternative philosophic position must commence with denouncing the whole idea of “subject qualified by predicate” as a trap set for philosophers by the syntax of language.” — Alfred North Whitehead, Princ. Rel. pp. 13-4

Well, real pearl or not, there it is…. I don’t know about your reaction on reading this (if you made it all the way through, congratulations…. I did, only because I intended to discuss it, if necessary…. it is….), but mine was to burst into loud laughter, not a good thing, considering I found it at 11 at night, and the neighbors probably didn’t appreciate it….. My immediate thought upon catching my breath was, “Well, Al, you may be right, or not…. but, this is so densely constructed as to be damn close to impenetrable, and whether you are correct or not, nobody will care by half way through…..” I know, for sure, that I didn’t care at that point, as it took me about two minutes to get that far, slogging and chopping away at it like crazy…..

SIGH…. Never mind, again…. Move on, please, we’ll keep looking…..

“Not all politicians should be shot.  One should be saved for the archives.” ~~ Smart Bee

I can’t believe how hard I laughed at this when I found it, and neither could the neighbors, again….  🙂  It’s just so perfect! Apparently, I’m not the only person alive for whom politicians are an issue of some passionate negativity, who would just as soon use them for target practice as anything else…. such as for shark bait…… It’s too bad, really, that I found this so late in the day; it would make a great beginning pearl for a political rant. Since it came when it did, however, it will have to serve as the closer to this particular rambling pearl. It looked for a while as if it couldn’t be salvaged, but, with one great final surge, it put itself right into the running for POTD (pearl of the day…. one of our non-existent awards….). Great work, Smart Bee!…..

“Well, O.K.  I’ll compromise with my principles because of EXISTENTIAL DESPAIR!” — Zippy the Pinhead

The best thing about existential despair is its similar nature to cotton candy. It looks all important and edgy, but really isn’t anything but sugar, spun out into a fantasy due to the wonders of the physical world, and its natural laws regarding heat, and certain chemical compositions. One bite, and it disappears, melting away to insignificance….. That, I think, is quite enough for one day….. Let me go back and see how it all shows up against the light background….

Well, it’s not exactly material destined for the Encyclopedia Britannica, but, it isn’t too bad, all things considered. I’m pretty certain there isn’t anything legally actionable, which is always a positive note. Since it has reached that stage where the only requirement is to be done, I’m pronouncing it done…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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