A stranger sits down, gingerly….

Ffolkes,

“All the knowledge in the world is found within you.”

~~ Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book ~~

old swan street view

The Old Swan

206 Kensington Church Street, Notting Hill, London

Hajime…. Last evening, on the advice of a friend, I went out to a bar, to get some socialization under my belt. Naturally, I overdid it, being somewhat out of practice. Had a good time, but, am now paying the price for my foolishness, in the form of a mild hangover, not debilitating to any huge degree, but, definitely an annoyance. SIGH…. Even us smart guys can make poor decisions, I guess; all part of being a Bozo on the Bus….

That being said, what it means is y’all get a break from having to listen to my ranting, or any of my other literary trickery. What I have done is what you’ll get. It’s not too skimpy, but, no rant, and nothing fresh other than the old-school pearls you’ll find. The music is again from our friend Eric C. with what I hope is a tribute to Freddie King, with some really, really hot blues licks. But, since I did that part while severely handicapped by whiskey, I am unsure if I got that part right. So be it…. I checked; it’s a compilation of live cuts, starting with a really hot version of Ramblin’ On My Mind…. That will do nicely.

That’s it, ffolkes. That’s all the fresh in me. Let’s get this done, so I can try again tomorrow to get it done the way I prefer it. For now, we’ll just g on, in our new, efficient way…. prompted by less than sterling competence.

Shall we Pearl?….

“Everyone must row with the oars he has.”

~~ English proverb ~~

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Eric_Clapton_Unplugged

As noted above, whatever you see is what you get….. Enjoy!….

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Eric Clapton
Ramblin’ On My Mind

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https://youtu.be/_BvwlxRwY5w?list=PLbw8R6g9XbgpA-Cig38RiV49hcdihzNc9

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Dont keep calm

“To generalize is to be an idiot.”

~~ William H. Blake (1757-1827) ~~

I’d intended to use the above to create a discussion, but, in stead, what you get is the five-star pearls you see, which you may use to direct your own, self-propelled rant, in your own mind…. Have fun!….

“Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless.” — B.F. Skinner

“How can you control yourself, master your behavior, when you come from a country where people howl at funerals?” — E.M. Cioran

“The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information.” — Edward Abbey

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires” – — Susan B Anthony.

“It was enough to make a body ashamed of the human race.” — Mark Twain, spoken by Huck Finn, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Comedy_Tragedy

Justifiable Insanity

An incredibly insane, vivid abhorrence fills me up today,
because of a thought which occurred to me.
I was merely thinking about what all the headlines have to say,
when I was pushed onto a train of thought, you see.

I began to ride the train, resigned to wherever I went, as it willed.
I was directed by imagination, to consider for a moment or two,
to seek how many reasons a Man has given for when he killed,
count them, count them, curiosity demanded, or, suffer, you…..

So, I tried to count the words I’d seen, or read, or heard,
in the reports we see all over the news and TV’s.
I had to grab a dictionary, to check off each word,
my memory is good, but, not for such numbers as these.

It seemed so simple, when I began my chosen task,
how many could there possibly be?
I probably should have known better than to ask,
for every page had an example; look for yourself, and see.

How many did I come up with, many might ask?
Too many to count, as it turns out,
at least, for anyone of flesh and bone to complete the task.
Even a computer would simply freak out.

If you think I’m being funny, well, you are dead wrong.
Just like all the people who die each day, for ideas, principles, or religion,
or any of the tens of thousands dying each hour, because of delusion so strong,
Mankind’s entire history consists of little more than perverted contagion.

~~ gigoid ~~

12/10/2015

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Stuff worth knowing….

*******

“Although a cloth be washed a hundred times,
How can it be rendered clean and pure
If it be washed in water which is dirty?”

~~ Nagarjuna ~~

*******

“What is reason?
Knowledge informed by sympathy, intelligence in the arms of love.”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

*******

“Whose undertakings are all devoid of desires and purpose,
and whose actions have been burnt by fire-of-knowledge,
him the wise call a sage.”

~~ Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 4, Verse 19. ~~

*******

“Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.”

~~ Juvenal, Satires ~~

*******

“Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way.”

~~ Native American Proverb (Blackfoot) ~~

*******

“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

~~ The Beatles, The last lyric of their last song ~~

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There you have it; that’s the best I’ve got. I hope you enjoyed it; if not, well, you can get a refund of all you paid, except for the time it took to read. Of course, there’s a lot of paperwork for that, so, you might want to think about it. In the meantime, I’m outta here, until tomorrow. That’s a for sure. and for certain…. See ya….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 8561

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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Officer, that rhinoceros is winking at me!….

Ffolkes,

“Earth has it’s boundaries, but human stupidity is limitless.”

~~ Flaubert ~~

10-19-2014 014

    I’m thinking Mssr. Flaubert was in a bit of a stinky mood when he wrote the above aphorism…. It does have the advantage of being fairly well true, if a bit lacking in scientific approach…. Yes, human stupidity is unlimited in scope; however the Earth is a finite object; as such it has actual limits. But, given the incredible beauty our world can display, there is no limit to how much it can stimulate our imagination, which IS infinite in scope as well… We are creatures of duality; our nature, our perception, and our emotional makeup all reflect that duality, which, by the fact of it’s nature, provides the universe with balance, and permanence….

It’s amazing, isn’t it? To look at a picture such as this one, of a plant thriving in the midst of urban blight, providing a source of beauty even the depressive nature of its surroundings cannot dim, and know how beautiful the world is, if it only gets a chance…. In the midst of sorrow, and pain, and the depression of poverty, one may always find beauty, which, by its mere existence, gives people hope, and the strength to live on, to keep struggling toward the light, using what is at hand…. just as this plant has done….

Enough early morning philosophy for one day; when I started I didn’t plan on going into that; it evolved as I began to type, pretty much writing itself…. Given the history of introductory sections on this blog, I find that to be a good thing. It’s given us a decent set of opening lines, and thoughts, with the bonus of not falling into a rant, right out of the box. I’m sure y’all can appreciate such restraint; I know this blog can get to be a heavy read, but, I really do try to think ahead in that respect…..

My tendency toward bozoid behavior, though, often causes me to forget my good intentions, and ranting becomes the order of the day. Today, however, you’ll note we are almost far enough down the page to make our escape…. In fact, we’re going to bail out by the end of this particular paragraph, as I see the opening coming up ahead, there at the side of the worm hole…. Again, I have to ask y’all to fasten your seat belts securely, as the cabin may experience some turbulence while the pilot is unconscious; no worries, it’s only a temporal effect, passing in seconds, and we’ll come out the other side without a problem…. Trust me….

Shall we Pearl?….

“We are more sensible of what is done against custom than against Nature.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Eating of Flesh, Tract 1

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I’m in the mood for some soothing, cerebral music today…. In this particular group of musical pieces, I suggest you skip past the first one that plays; it’s a bit slow for a morning piece…. but, it gets better, believe me…. Enjoy, ffolkes!


The Best in Classical Music: Part 1:

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“When you are sure you’re right, you have a moral duty to impose your will upon anyone who disagrees with you.” — Robert W. Mayer

Think about that for a moment….

When I think about this, beyond my initial gut reaction, which involves severe disdain, not to mention disgust, for such unwarranted arrogance, I am struck with two thoughts, each more depressing the the other….. First, I want to say that it is my firm belief that any time someone, anyone, uses the words, “it is your moral duty”, you can be sure they are speaking about THEIR morals, not anyone else’s….

This kind of discriminatory bigotry is damn near invisible to anyone who suffers from it, as it arises out of what can only be faith-based assumptions, thus ensuring that NO argument will be entertained…. In other words, no matter HOW ignorant, or bigoted, or INSANE their beliefs, if they think they are right (and, they will never entertain any other thought), it guarantees their fanaticism, and rejection of ANY evidence to the contrary….

That being said, it depresses me that, most of the people in this country, ESPECIALLY those who end up in politics, would, if asked, express their belief in this sentiment, right down to the bone, no matter how insane it truly is…. It is also a de rigeur position for anyone who buys into ANY of the religions out there, for they all operate with this sort of illogic as their primary method of exposition and thought…. You see, it doesn’t actually require any thought to believe this stuff; it’s all laid out for them, so all that is needed is to say, “ditto”, position the blinders comfortably,  and resume their clueless existence….

“As one reads history… one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the  wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted.” — Oscar Wilde

This attitude is the reason the government, and all the assholes who do their clandestine bidding, are able to continue to do whatever they wish to do, no matter how the public feels about it…..

Secondly, when I see that statement, (above, by R. Mayer) claiming moral infallibility by right of belief, I get depressed because, not only do most people believe it in the case of this issue, they also tend to carry the self-same attitude over into every area of their life, until every original thought is quashed before it ever formulates in their minds…. They become the nightmare of any honestly ethical man, as an entitled hedonist, believing they have the right to anything they desire, whether filling that desire affects, or even harms, anyone else, or not. With the mandate of faith, they are invulnerable to reason, and to criticism of any sort…

This attitude, of entitlement, becomes the societal norm after a while, until our culture resembles nothing so much as a jungle, where everyone believes in the theory of ‘dog eat dog’, with the eventual result we see now, where no one is able to trust anyone else…. All because lying, cheating, and stealing have become the norm, the primary way everyone turns to in order to get what they want…. and, nobody cares, because that kind of behavior is mirrored at all levels of society, right up to the very top….. This all-too human trait has been recognized for a long time, but, has resisted all attempts to root it out of human interaction; hence, we see war, after war, after war, since the beginning of historical memory….

Below, you will find the evidence I found, straight from the horse’s mouth, that shows exactly how we humans REALLY view life…. Real life, that is, not the ideal life everyone talks about…. These nine statements/aphorisms/quotes tell it like it is…. and how humans, especially our Beloved Ruling Class, looks at reality…. Please note, this is all RECORDED evidence, with attribution, so, it’s not like I made any of this part up on my own…. It’s all down in black and white, on paper, somewhere…. so, this is all stuff people really do, and believe….. or, want us all to believe….

“Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless.” — B.F. Skinner

“Necessity has no law.” — Francis Rabelais (1495-1553) — Works, Book v, Chap. xv

“The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” — Exodus 15:3

“The only very marked difference between the average civilized man and the average savage is that the one is gilded and the other is painted.” — Mark Twain

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” — Saul Bellow

“Democracy is the name we give the people whenever we need them.” — Arman de Caillavet

“Even though Federal health officials are promoting less tobacco use, the tobacco industry should continue to expand in foreign markets.” — Vice President Dan Quayle

“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.” — Otto von Bismarck

“If you can’t drink a lobbyist’s whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women  and still vote against him in the morning, you don’t belong in politics.” — Speaker of the California Assembly Jesse Unruh

In a manner of speaking, I rest my case; they are hoist on their own petard, condemned by their own words…. I’ll leave you with one final thought on the matter, to wit:

“A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.” — P.J. O’Rourke

So be it…..

gigoid has spoken.

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I’m in the mood for Yeats….

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~


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Today’s old school pearl is relatively fresh; it does, however, seem to lack a certain degree of intensity…. Oh, it’s all true, and good stuff, but, there just isn’t a lot of OOMPH to it…. Oh well, I guess they can ALL be compelling…. It’s a good pearl, anyway, so, just allow it to lead your mind to where it’s headed, and you’ll be fine…. maybe a small bit wiser, too…. maybe…

“An intelligent mind is a mind which is not satisfied with explanations, with  conclusions; nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another  form of conclusion. An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind, a mind that is  watching, learning, studying.” — J. Krishnamuti

“If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.” — Robert South

“Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” — Cicero

“Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.), [quoting Plato]

“Of all the strange “crimes” that human beings have legislated out of nothing, “blasphemy” is the most amazing–with “obscenity” and “indecent exposure” fighting it out for second and third place.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“Kindness gives birth to kindness.” — Sophocles

“Gentleman: A man who knows how to play bagpipes — and refrains.” — Fred Tart

A bit general, but, tidy enough…. I’ll take it….

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

I have done my duty, and that’s all I can say…. Since, however, duty remains my core belief, that’s good enough…. Today is a day with a lot of possibilities…. as Gilda Radner once said of life, “delicious ambiguity!”….. I’ll 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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Many times many is few enough….

Ffolkes,
I know I’m weird. Strange. Abnormal. Off the beaten path by a few yards…. but, does that mean that Murphy should pay closer attention to what I’m doing? Not in my book, but apparently in his….. It is less than 36 hours from the good sleep and physical well-being that defined the day yesterday, and I am on a completely different schedule. Yesterday, up at 4 AM, three hours to make a Pearl, and we’re on our way into the day. Today, it is after 8 AM and I’m just now getting rebooted and on the keyboard….. just couldn’t get up at 5 like I planned.

And pain? Well…. let’s just say it is being a bit more obvious today, and let it go at that…. I’ll be using a couple extra pain pills today, for sure…. and the process of making a Pearl promises to take a Herculean effort. But, hey, I’ve got nothing better to do, so, I may as well quit complaining and get on with it…. shall we Pearl? I think we’d better….
___________________________________

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” — Albert Einstein

Albert was a smart guy, but here, I think, he was hedging his bets. I think it more likely that, if there is a World War III, then there won’t be anyone around who is interested in fighting another World War afterward. Nuclear power used as a weapon won’t leave enough people alive for them to have the time to worry about another country; there will be no “winner” in such a war. If, and that is a very large if, there are any people still alive after a nuclear war, they’ll be far more interested in finding someplace to grow food that won’t further irradiate them than they are in continuing hostilities with other folks….

Even Albert was subject to underestimating the power of human stupidity, and if people ever get so stupid as to use nuclear weapons, it will prove that our stupidity is both beyond belief, and beyond all doubt….. What frightens me the most is that the people who have the power to start any such war are the same people who have already proved their stupidity and lack of common feeling, merely by seeking office, and I don’t think I trust them very far to make the best decisions….

It’s something that not even I can think about for long, as it can only cause stress and fear; there is no real solution, other than to hope that the people who’ve been chosen to lead our countries have enough sense to avoid that particular road…. It’s a faint hope, but the only one we have….

“Better contraceptives will control population only if people will use them. A nuclear holocaust can be prevented only if the conditions under which nations make war can be changed. The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned. We need to make vast changes in human behavior.” — B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
________________________________

“You would think living alone would free me from all the normal burdens of responsibility that people complain or worry about, but all living alone does is increase your psychological weight, as if your soul were living on Jupiter. It tends to make you more important to yourself and exaggerate your problems to the point that they’re insurmountable afflictions.” — from a fictional novel, supposedly spoken by T. Ruzak, in “The Highly Effective Detective Goes to the Dogs”, a book by Richard Yancy

As part of my make-up reading, the above novel is the first I’ve picked up. It’s pretty entertaining so far…. the hero is a man who lives in a mental state much like my own, full of questions about reality, and self in relation to that reality. This is a particularly insightful piece of writing, and echoes my own thoughts on this matter surprisingly closely.

“This world may be only illusion–but it’s the only illusion we’ve got.” — Edward Abbey

When one lives alone, there isn’t anyone to bounce ideas off of, or to check out some interpretation of reality that seems questionable. No corroboration, so to speak, of the crime. Other folks, and indeed, real society, seem far away and unimportant, since the only time it intrudes is when I make the effort to go out into it, or put forth some effort to contact some part of it. 

In effect, the only time I have company is when it is volitional on my part; only my few life long friends, and my kids, call me with any regularity. (Of course, this doesn’t count telemarketers and wannabe creditors, who are no doubt calling; I wouldn’t know as I hang up on any number I don’t recognize, as a precautionary measure to keep from losing my temper more than once a day….)

Living alone, as I’ve stated before, also has a lot of benefits, such as deciding who to see and when to see them (the other side of the coin also has value, as with most coins of this nature….). I’ve learned, since being so peremptorily sent off to retirement, to appreciate those benefits, as I haven’t had the opportunity to live alone for many years, since before I got married & had kids.

But, what Mr. Yancy related above remains a danger, as it is very tempting to fall into the trap of over-reflection on what is real and of importance, and fall into depression from too much negative emotional turmoil. I suppose one could say that maintaining a sane balance is still the most important thing to remember; both solitude and relationship have their advantages, and their disadvantages, and the key to successful living lies in balancing the two….

“The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly deceived.” — Oscar Wilde
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“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost.
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring.
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”

~ John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

No comments here, just a poetry break….

“Poetry is eternal graffiti written in the heart of everyone.” ~ Lawrence Ferlinghetti
___________________________________

“Our words must seem to be inevitable.” ~ William Butler Yeats

Yesterday, I managed to get to a couple of sites I’d been missing before I was unable to sit any longer. On my friend Carol Welsh’s site, at  Flowers, Trees, and Other Such Gifts of Nature, I found the above quote. She often posts quotes from authors I know, and others I’ve never heard of, and all of them are of equal quality as this one by Yeats. In fact, she has so many that she has graciously offered to let me browse them to find those what may be useful as pearls…. Yay! And thanks…. a whole new database to plunder!…..

Any who…. when I read the above, another person had commented that it made them think about finding exceptions, for some reason. I responded to that by saying that, if considered as being applicable to writing only, it is a very good goal, and one we all could take to heart in our writing. It is certainly a quality that I seek when I write. To put together just the right set of words, to turn a phrase from mundane to beautiful, to make the words seem inevitable, that is indeed a worthy undertaking…. and one which all of who write should at least consider as a tool of value, if not completely adopt as a feature…..

With that in mind, I think it is inevitable at this point to let this stand as it exists, as I don’t see how I can improve it much with a lot more verbiage…. So, onward…. but keep in mind that the above statement is a goal of this blog, and feel free to comment if and when it ever occurs….
___________________________________

Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

— William Butler Yeats, “He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”

I wasn’t looking for a poem, but there it was, so here it is…. Please tread softly here, for you tread on my dreams…..
___________________________________

I was right…. this has been quite an ordeal. Thanks again to Carol Welsh for her contributions to this morning’s effort. I found, and used, at least two quotes from her files, and saved several more for later use; doing so saved me a lot of time and frustration on a morning that really needed it. I’m not sure how this turned out; I guess the proof will be in the pudding, er, posting…. Any who, y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Alternate methods of removing recalcitrant pianists….

Ffolkes,
Many years ago, even before I got married & raised kids, I had already made it a habit to never go out on New Year’s Eve. It always seemed a sucker’s bet to me, and I never had all that great a time at any parties I attended. I took the attitude of “I don’t go our when all the amateurs are out” and would stay home & celebrate the new year fairly quietly. It’s kind of like when Harry Truman said  “I never got in trouble over what I never said.” For me, New Year’s Eve  was when I never had a problem I didn’t cause myself, by over-consumption of alcohol. I have no regrets about that, intending as I do to continue the policy tonight, and every other New Year’s I have left in me. I don’t believe I’m missing much, as I also don’t get terribly wrapped up in the holiday frenzy anyway, and everybody out on the streets is either drunk, partially drunk, or insanely cheery about the passing of another day. Far as I can tell, on every January 1 in my life, the sun came up just like it did yesterday, and as it will tomorrow. The times between hold the only differences, and we are the ones who determine how that boat floats…….let’s get on with the fun…..
___________________________________

A few random thoughts on the meaning of insanity, and by implication, sanity…….all came from one dive. Pearl after pearl on the same subject kept presenting itself for my perusal, so after a few, I just gave up & collected them. So here they are, all with a bit to say about those among us who perceive reality from a whole different place than you or me…..

‘What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art.’ — Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), Reminiscences

If sanity were dollars I’d be bankrupt.

“I come from a long line of Southern psychotics and an environment where madness is currency and conversation is blood sport.” — Elizabeth Ashley

According to figures from the Justice Department, the average rapist serves only 5.2 years on jail, and the average murderer serves only 8.6 years. By contrast, the average time served for possession of LSD is 10.1 years, and many Americans are serving mandatory minimum sentences of 20 to 25 years for possession or sale of marijuana.
(Insanity comes in many guises…. your choice as to which is real, and which is delusion….)

Avoid reality at all costs!

And who (in time) knows whither we may vent
The treasure of our tongue? To what strange shores
This gain of our best glory shall be sent
T’ enrich unknowing nations with our stores?
What worlds in the yet unformed Occident
May come refin’d with th’ accents that are ours?
— Samuel Daniel (1562-1619) — Musophilus, Stanza 163
(Psychosis is rooted in fear, and fear also assumes many masks…..)

I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night
(An accurate description of the onset of depression…..)

Why ask me? I’m just visiting reality.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled program…..
___________________________________

To get people to think they are thinking begets friendship, whereas actually to make people think begets resentment. There is no level so low to which people will not stoop, even honorable people, to avoid the difficulty of thinking.

So true, so true…..it fascinates me at times, this reluctance on the part of most folks to using the one and only evolutionary advantage they possess over other creatures. Compared to other animals, we’re not particularly fast, nor very strong, and our teeth and nails are not very good weapons compared to those of a domestic cat, for just one example. We need to wear clothing to protect ourselves from our own planet’s weather extremes. We rely on other species for our sustenance, being unable to create it ourselves.

In the final analysis, we’re pretty fragile, physically speaking; even a soft blow administered to the correct point can cause death. Hell, our bodies have more than one design flaw; how about how our food and air processing facilities? They cross each other at a critical junction, at the throat, and frequently cause problems that can have mortal consequences. Our elimination process and sexual organs also cross paths, in a manner of speaking; the outlet for the former is right next to the points of ingress and egress of the latter, depending on gender. From a strictly engineering viewpoint, it’s not a very good design.

It’s clear that there is little chance of humans ever dominating on the basis of physical characteristics; most animals are much better equipped for that. Our mind, our imagination, our perception of more than merely physical energy in the universe, these are our advantages over other creatures. We have the ability to remember the past in the present, and use those memories to extrapolate the future.

This is an incredible evolutionary leap, one that allows humans to readily turn their perceptions of how things work into tools that enable us to alter reality to suit our wishes. We can’t really fight our way out of a paper bag, and our defenses against predators is weak in comparison to other animals. But the power of our minds is sufficient to neutralize all physical and environmental advantages of the other inhabitants, and gives mankind the means to not merely survive, but to thrive and dominate.

So, the question remains: why are so many people so averse to using their minds? Well, I don’t know, for sure. I could make some guesses, and they might even be accurate. But it really doesn’t matter, because the only creature who can cause us to change ourselves, is ourselves. Nobody can make us do anything we don’t want to do. Most folks learn the power of the word “No” at a young age (age 2 is customary for most folks), and become so enamored with it, it becomes their default position for anything that is, or even appears to be, ‘difficult’. Sad, but true…..and wishing won’t make it go away. I can only wish I were smart enough to figure out how to get folks to see the light, before its too late, and the bulb burns out for good…..
___________________________________

When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway,
The post of honor is a private station.
— Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Cato, Act iv, Sc. 4

Aye, ’tis a lonely station as well. I  find it very rare to meet anyone today who places any credence in the concept of honorable behavior. If acting honorably is considered at all, it is well after avarice, pride, bigotry, ignorance, or self-interest is used as a first attempt. I find very few people I meet who live honorably; too many shortcuts used to obtain their desires, too many times ignoring evil, thereby encouraging it. Too may times people make their decisions on how to act toward others by first considering their own self-interests, never considering whether or not the other person has, or is even entitled to the same. Most interactions between people have become a contest to see who can manipulate the other into giving them their desires, regardless of consequence, or the ripple effect.

People just don’t seem to care anymore about other people. They wander through their lives in controversy, never knowing that they are their own worst enemy. Sometimes, it’s enough to make me pull my hair out, and for me at this stage, that’s not a good thing; what I have is long, but there is less and less of it every day.

Ah well, maybe I’ll completely retire, and stop paying attention to anything. No phone, no TV, maybe a little music. The radio news is probably not too toxic in small doses, and there’s always the option of making use of the On/Off switch…… SIGH……I’ve been an optimist for most of my life. It’s getting really tough to maintain a positive outlook, in the face of the mounting evidence that we are in a cultural stage best described by Robert Heinlein when he called these the “Crazy Years”, a time when the news resembles a self-edited periodical produced by the mentally ill…..Entropy is rising, and chaos is near, I’m afraid…..stay alert out there…….

“Better contraceptives will control population only if people will use them. A nuclear holocaust can be prevented only if the conditions under which nations make war can be changed. The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned. We need to make vast changes in human behavior.” — B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
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I’ve had this dialogue more than once; how ’bout you?

It: Can I ask you a question?
Me: You just did.
It: Ok, can I ask you two questions?
Me: You just did.
It: Ok, can I ask you another question after this one?
Me: You’ve already asked three questions without permission, why bother asking for the fourth?
— Michael Constant

Funny, isn’t it? How some folks believe they are entitled to “just a moment of your time.” I’ve had the above conversation, or one like it, on several occasions in my life, and each time my astonishment grows. If a person, in trying to be friendly and/or helpful, gives up their moments on every occasion asked, they are willingly enslaving themselves. Once one has the reputation of being the “go to guy” or “the ask her, she’ll know, or she’ll do it girl” they may as well forge and wear their own collar. Duty, which is the only valid reason for which a man acts, can a burden, yes. But it is a burden that is willingly shouldered, because the honorable man chooses his duty; no one may do it for him. Once chosen, duty will be fulfilled. But the choice is purely subjective.

However, this doesn’t stop other folks from trying to get us to do what they want, and they will use lies, innuendo, shame, defamation, guilt, or whatever manipulative tool they think they need, to get us to do their bidding. If one is not firm and self-reliant, they will find themselves never having enough time to meet their own needs, busy as they are with the needs of others. Best all-around to just stop them in the beginning, making it clear that one will make one’s own choices, and will not give up their time without good cause, as judged by themselves, and no other……
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If I don’t drive around the park,
I’m pretty sure to make my mark.
If I’m in bed each night by ten,
I may get back my looks again.
If I abstain from fun and such,
I’ll probably amount to much;
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.   — Dorothy Parker

I don’t really have a lot to say here. Dorothy Parker is one of my favorite people from the early 20th century. She was a semi-militant feminist in a time when it was still unfashionable, a description that is perhaps due more to her unique personality than to any cause. She was herself, period. She refused to be anyone else, and was not afraid to say so in no uncertain terms, and with undeniable elegance and style. She had a rapier wit, and used it unsparingly on the rich, famous, and whomever else she felt needed a dose of it. I’m glad she lived, and glad to have knowledge of so great a spirit as inspiration…..
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I must say again I like this new format for the POVW (Pearls of Virtual Wisdom); it gives me more to write/rant about than the old way. I guess that’s a good thing. If nothing else, it’s caused an increased output, and that’s good. I’ve finally figured out the best way for me to make a little money at this, and hopefully can gain a little breathing space in the constant war with the economy. The only drawback I’ve noted so far is a tendency to ramble on and on……I’m writing about what I believe in, so the passion is coming out with it, increasing quantity at the minimum. I’m working hard to maintain the quality……hope I’m doing okay at it……any who, that’s enough for one morning. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!