Stealing a reflective moment….

Ffolkes,

“For my part, I had rather be the first man among these fellows than the second man in Rome.”

~~ Plutarch ~~

 Life of Caesar

look

    Given the degree of dignity so obvious in the above photo, I think a group of fellows such as he would be a fine bunch with whom to consort, as stated in the quote…. with which I have to agree completely….. In fact, I would choose almost any animal at all, other than Man, to be my constant companion and friend, and feel the same way as Plutarch…. To me, the face in the picture (found in another Daily Telegraph photo feature on animals; attribution is in the corner) is one of great spirit, showing in the eyes the depth of intelligence, humor, compassion, and dignity….

Some might say that is anthropomorphizing, and to that I would say, so what? It doesn’t make it any less true… Besides, if a gorilla doesn’t have those characteristics, and we are evolved from them, how can we expect to have them, eh?…. As Mama Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”, and, as far as I can see by the visual evidence, mankind shows a lot more stupidity than any of the gorillas I’ve observed…. by a LOT…..

At this moment in time, even though in the midst of what could be an excellent discussion, I have to interrupt to issue some necessary information about today’s effort…. Yesterday, as Murphy’s gift, he gave me an episode of arthritic hip and back pain that pretty much curtailed the major portion of my semi-annual visit with my grandson; I had to give up walking around with my son and his four-year old, as I just couldn’t keep up, and the pain became debilitating…. I ended up sitting and watching for a bit, but, only managed a couple of pix, and a few seconds of video, then Murphy handed me the second part of the gift, a dead camera battery….

So, this morning, though I have pix, I also have more pain, plus, the bonus round, a toothache, as one of my teeth scheduled for extraction next week decided it didn’t wish to wait, and is demanding to come out very soon, or it will, no doubt, make my life a living hell for a while…. I do wish I knew why this part of my life is turning into a pitched battle with my own body….

Perhaps it’s all payback for how hard I pushed it for so many years…. I have to admit, I did work it hard there, from the time I was 12, until my early forties, what with baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, golf, biking, hiking, and all the other physical stuff I used to do…. and, I still miss being able to do all of it (except maybe the golf…. fun, but it will drive you absolutely nuts, trying to get it right….)

Ah well, I’m getting into TMI, so, let is suffice to say that, I hurt again today, and will be shortcutting here in the Pearl wherever I can, to save time…. I’m also up late, almost an hour later than usual, so, there is that, as well…. So, be prepared for some cheating, ffolkes, which will begin right here, with an abrupt exit from this intro….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” — Albert Einstein

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So, for section one, I am putting below three headlines from yesterday’s news…. All four speak about separate incidents of police misbehavior, which, unfortunately, though it sounds innocuous (‘misbehavior’, indeed….), when police act out, people tend to die…. Yet, for some reason, no court ever seems to find them guilty of any crime, and, in fact, many never even get charged, as they are usually cleared of any wrongdoing by internal investigations, or one by the local “lawyers” who work hand in hand with them…. a fact of corruption, almost incestuous in its nature, as the cops, and the investigating offices of district attorneys, are almost siblings, in the relationship they share in ‘fighting crime’….

But, even the media ignores that little oddity…. I’m putting these here because, since I won’t have time to rant about it, at least I can have you read the articles, and get angry right along with me, thus providing your own private little rant, in the privacy of your own head…. Here, read these, weep a little, then enjoy the pearls which I’ll throw together to drive the points home…. See y’all in section two….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/NAACP-Feds-should-investigate-black-teen-s-death-5679684.php#photo-6707581

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Jury-to-decide-if-Huntington-Beach-police-wrongly-5675811.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Group-protests-at-Wal-Mart-where-man-fatally-shot-5679694.php

“The first rule of gun fighting is — bring a gun.” — Smart Bee

(But, the law says the police are the only ones who are supposed to use guns…. or, it will, as soon as they finish their war on the Second Amendment…. Think about that one, ffolkes…. Are the people you read about above the ones you want to have as the ONLY armed people around? I certainly don’t think I want to be in a place where I am not allowed to have my own defense against THEM, as I don’t see many of them who are worthy of that kind of trust….)

(Okay, I’ll just let the pearls talk now… If I keep commenting, it will turn into a real rant, and take too much time…so, I’ll quit now…. It just irks me SO MUCH…..)

“The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.” — Eugene V. Debs, US labor leader.

(Note: Debs received one million votes in 1920 as candidate for US President, while serving a 10-year jail sentence for having said in June 1918: “Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder…the master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.”)

“The better the state is established, the fainter is humanity.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Liberty means responsibility.  That is why most men dread it.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend’s forehead.” — Chinese Proverb

“The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.” — Smart Bee

Was there a time when dancers with their fiddles
In children’s circuses could stay their troubles?
There was a time they could cry over books,
But time has set its maggot on their track.
Under the arc of the sky they are unsafe.
What’s never known is safest in this life.
Under the skysigns they who have no arms
Have cleanest hands, and, as the heartless ghost
Alone’s unhurt, so the blind man sees best.

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~

“Was There A Time”

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

As noted, I don’t have time to search out a poem, so, one of mine will have to do…. I’ll try to make it one we haven’t seen in a while…. Okay, so, here we have one I haven’t used since I wrote it, in December of 2012…. which speaks to what I spoke about in the intro, to wit: my old friends, Jim, and Jack…. or, as they are known to those closest to them, James and John…. I’m reproducing it in the original format used to post it….

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back ~~

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert


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

I promised you I wouldn’t rant today, but, I didn’t promise not to include any rants…. Here is a religirant from a couple of years back, that still hits the nail on the head…..

From 5/18/2012:

“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

First, let me apologize…. I hadn’t meant to go into a rant this morning, especially about religion; sitting down is as difficult as standing up or walking, so the time it takes to express the outrage necessary to produce a rant is more than I wanted to take. But then this popped up in front of me….

After I had picked myself up from the floor and recovered my breath, I still could barely stop chuckling and giggling long enough to use the mouse to cut and paste it to this page. Now I find myself almost speechless at the sheer arrogance, the complete lack of respect shown for humanity at large by this astounding statement.

In one short phrase, this deeply disturbed man has attempted to manipulate his listeners into a complete subjugation of their will, and in doing so, implies that they are not only unworthy in a moral sense, but are not smart enough to be allowed to think for themselves. I’m surprised he didn’t ask for money in the same sentence…. You can bet he did so before he got to the end of the speech….

I remember seeing Billy Graham when I was quite young, speaking on TV to a football stadium full of enthusiastically cheering, excited, identical clones in white cotton dresses, with skirts below the knees, and blue suits, with white shirts, no vests, and thin ties. Even at the tender age of 11 or so when I saw it, my first impression of him was of a used-car salesman, with a smarmy-looking smile at inappropriate moments, and a smooth, fawning manner of speaking that ranged from sly confidences to outraged proclamations of evil and sin, in very obviously scripted stages.

The words and phrases he used, straight out of the King James Bible, mostly, seemed to promote love and tolerance, but the underlying message was one of elitism and divisiveness, as indicated by the insistence that only those who accepted JC according to their rules would be allowed into heaven…. The rest of us would be doomed, consigned to everlasting hell for having the audacity to think differently…. It was pretty over-the-top, as far as I was concerned, though entertaining in a circus sort of way….

It is now 50 years since I saw that particular revival meeting, and Mr. Graham has continued to spew his particular brand of ignorance for that entire time. He is indeed one of the men of whom St. Francis of Assisi warned us to beware, a man of one book. And the above statement, to me, is proof of just how little he thinks of the general run of human beings. His basic message is, “You are a miserable sinner, and have no right to exist, other than at the mercy of God. You are not smart enough to keep from sinning on your own, so just shut up and listen, and do what you are told….”

It is certainly proof, I guess, that the world takes all kinds, for there are millions of folks out there who regard what Billy Graham says as just as much gospel as what is in the Bible…. but then in for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose…. Me, I’d rather listen to a ball game…..

Note from 2014:

“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” — H.L. Mencken

Aha! Well…. that explains that….

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

Well, I did it…. I’ve put together a Pearl, under trying circumstances, in jig time (whatever THAT means….)…. Rather than push my luck, I’m going to go post this now, and be done with it for the day…. Hell, since I’m going to be taking a LOT of extra drugs, maybe later I’ll go surfing for a little while, when I get to a point where I can think past the haze of pain…. I hope so… it would be nice to be able to see another web site than just my own, and the news…. Any who, I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; this pain has to ease off a bit some time…..

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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Renfield, settle our account…. Use the real money….

Ffolkes,

“Hey, mister!”
“What?”
“Got religion?”
“No, thank God.”

Okay, so maybe it’s not always the best way to begin…. I like it, though, if only for the degree of irony in the final line…. It probably doesn’t help soothe the minds of whatever readers may have ventured into today’s mess, but, dammit, this is ECR, and we won’t be pulling our punches for anybody! Not in THIS lifetime, even if it’s the only one we get this time (which is how it is beginning to appear….).

Life is too short, and too hard, to waste any time being hypocritical, especially when there has been enough trouble from that sector, (religion), historically, to last us, for as long as we want to hold a grudge…. Personally, I plan on holding it for a LONG time…. and, I LIKE looking myself in the eye every morning in the mirror….

Some days the ranting just jumps out of me, I guess. I’ve barely begun today, and I’m already deep into looking for new ways to say the same thing I’ve been saying for years now…. I hope to someday find the right words to awaken the sleeping dragon that is public sentiment, attempting, as I do, to engage society in the changes we will need to make in order to survive…..There are a lot of FOOLS alive today who insist on holding on to their ignorant denial of global warming and overpopulation, with FAR too many of those self-same fools in positions of leadership, they having persuaded society how harmless they seem to be….

These assholes are NOT harmless, though, and I’m getting really tired of seeing their denials in the news, given the same kind of coverage as what is true and necessary….. I’m sorry, but, at this point, I’m thinking it’s time to just quit being Mr. Nice Guy; these idiots will end up slowing things down enough that we ALL end up dead, when, in truth, THEY are the only ones who deserve to go the way of the dodo and the buffalo…. I’m very close to the point of making a decision to act…. If and when I make such a decision, it will be direct action, against those who would continue to argue that we have the time to allow their bullshit….

That won’t happen this morning, though…. I don’t have enough ammunition on hand; I’ll need to stock up…. and there’s a new cross-bow I’ve been looking at…. I like the cross-bow; quiet, powerful, with recyclable ammo…. an excellent weapon of choice for urban guerrilla warfare methodology…. As a weapon, its only drawback is its bulkiness…. If one has the time, and inclination, to recapture their used bolts, well, it’s easy to never run out of ammo… Plus, with some innovation, the bolts can be made into missiles of great destructive power, easily and accurately delivered from a reasonable distance from the target….

Any who, discussions of warfare technology and methodology aside, it seems we’ve come to a point where I need to make the decision to either continue on to the end of a rant, or end this here, and pretend it’s an intro section, as is our habit on most days…. Hmm, let me look back over what we’ve done here, and I’ll….

LOOK OUT! DUCK! INCOMING!….. Get down, ffolkes, we’ve got some heavy fire coming in…. Joe, get those guns online! Tom, activate the remote barriers…. Sally, fire up those catapults…. Let’s see how they like a bit of Greek fire raining down on their heads, eh?….

Sorry, ffolkes, you’ll have to excuse me, I’ve come under attack by unknown hostile forces, and must make a temporary foray out into the BBR to deal with the issue…. I’ll be back in a while, and will continue this Pearl at that time…. Until then, please enjoy the provided refreshments, over there on the table by the window, and be at ease…. You’ll be in no danger here; this facility is well-guarded, and is relatively impregnable to anything non-atomic in nature….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words?  Hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?” — 2 Kings 18:27 (KJV)

“A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself.” — Jessamyn West  (Irony is when you buy a suit with two pair of pants, and then burn a hole in the coat.)
_____________________________

Having indulged myself shamelessly in the intro section, diving into fantasy, a tiny religipolitirant, a bit of technological gobbledygook, and some Sun Tzu, I feel as if a rant in this section would not only be over-doing it, but, could actually be considered to be tacky, and pushy…. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being pushy when ranting; the whole point of a rant is to annoy the perpetrators, ultimately. It seldom does, of course, but, that’s the intent; we feel that intention should be honored, so we do…. But, today, and right now, it wouldn’t be right… for balance, and for integrity’s sake, we’ll go with an old-school pearl, with parameters such that we can find a bit of everything for our purposes….

“Yes, evil comes in many forms, whether it be a man-eating cow or Joseph Stalin, but you can’t let the package hide the pudding! Evil is just plain bad! You don’t cotton to it. You gotta smack it in the nose with the rolled-up newspaper of goodness! Bad dog. Bad dog.” — The Tick

“How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xiii, Line 375

“By virtue we merely mean the avoidance of the vices that do not attract us.” — Robert Lynd

“I think too much or not at all.” — Isaac Asimov

There is a time for thinking and a time for NOT thinking.  And THIS isn’t one of them.” — Paul the Samurai

“‘And how do you do your job, then, if you don’t exist?’
‘By will power,’ said Agilulf, ‘and faith in our cause.’
‘Oh yes, yes, well said, that is how one does one’s duty. Well, for someone who doesn’t exist, you seem in fine form.'”

— Italo Calvino, “The Nonexistent Knight”

“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.” — Kahlil Gibran

Well, then, having achieved the balance so desperately sought, through the liberal application of empathetic synergy, I propose we move on…. Plus, those cops over there are giving us the hard eye, so, follow me, ffolkes….
_____________________________

I found this while perusing other poems, and just thought it would be a nice little change for all of us…. You can always count on Keats for something new and fun….

Ben Nevis: A Dialogue

There was one Mrs. Cameron of 50 years of age and the fattest woman in all Inverness-shire who got up this Mountain some few years ago — true she had her servants — but then she had her self. She ought to have hired Sisyphus, — ‘Up the high hill he heaves a huge round — Mrs. Cameron.’ ‘Tis said a little conversation took place between the mountain and the Lady. After taking a glass of Whiskey as she was tolerably seated at ease she thus began —

Mrs. C.
Upon my Life Sir Nevis I am pique’d
That I have so far panted tugg’d and reek’d
To do an honour to your old bald pate
And now am sitting on you just to bate,
Without your paying me one compliment.
Alas ’tis so with all, when our intent
Is plain, and in the eye of all Mankind
We fair ones show a preference, too blind!
You Gentle man immediately turn tail —
O let me then my hapless fate bewail!
Ungrateful Baldpate have I not disdain’d
The pleasant Valleys — have I not madbrain’d
Deserted all my Pickles and preserves
My China closet too — with wretched Nerves
To boot — say wretched ingrate have I not
Le[f]t my soft cushion chair and caudle pot.
‘Tis true I had no corns — no! thank the fates
My Shoemaker was always Mr. Bates.
And if not Mr. Bates why I’m not old!
Still dumb ungrateful Nevis — still so cold!

Here the Lady took some more whiskey and was putting even more to her lips when she dashed it to the Ground for the Mountain began to grumble — which continued for a few minutes before he thus began,

Ben Nevis.
What whining bit of tongue and Mouth thus dares
Disturb my slumber of a thousand years?
Even so long my sleep has been secure —
And to be so awakened I’ll not endure.
Oh pain — for since the Eagle’s earliest scream
I’ve had a dam[n]’d confounded ugly dream,
A Nightmare sure. What Madam was it you?
It cannot be! My old eyes are not true!
Red-Crag, my Spectacles! Now let me see!
Good Heavens Lady how the gemini
Did you get here? O I shall split my sides!
I shall earthquake —–

Mrs. C.
Sweet Nevis do not quake, for though I love
You[r] honest Countenance all things above
Truly I should not like to be convey’d
So far into your Bosom — gentle Maid
Loves not too rough a treatment gentle Sir —
Pray thee be calm and do not quake nor stir
No not a Stone or I shall go in fits–

Ben Nevis.
I must — I shall — I meet not such tid bits —
I meet not such sweet creatures every day —
By my old night cap night cap night and day
I must have one sweet Buss — I must and shall:
Red Crag! — What Madam can you then repent
Of all the toil and vigour you have spent
To see Ben Nevis and to touch his nose?
Red Crag I say! O I must have them close!
Red Crag, there lies beneath my farthest toe
A vein of Sulphur — go dear Red Crag, go–
And rub your flinty back against it — budge!
Dear Madam I must kiss you, faith I must!
I must Embrace you with my dearest gust!
Block-head, d’ye hear — Block-head I’ll make her feel
There lies beneath my east leg’s northern heel
A cave of young earth dragons — well my boy
Go thither quick and so complete my joy
Take you a bundle of the largest pines
And when the sun on fiercest Phosphor shines
Fire them and ram them in the Dragon’s nest —
Then will the dragons fry and fizz their best
Until ten thousand now no bigger than
Poor Alligators — poor things of one span —
Will each one swell to twice ten times the size
Of northern whale — then for the tender prize —
The moment then — for then will Red Crag rub
His flinty back — and I shall kiss and snub
And press my dainty morsel to my breast.
Block-head make haste!
O Muses weep the rest —
The Lady fainted and he thought her dead
So pulled the clouds again about his head
And went to sleep again — soon she was rous’d
By her affrighted servants — next day hous’d
Safe on the lowly ground she bless’d her fate
That fainting fit was not delayed too late.

But what surprises me above all is how this Lady got down again.

~~ John Keats ~~

_____________________________

I grew up having to listen to Billy G., far too many times…. Here is a rant from a couple years ago, with his words as the stimulus, which is as it should be….. Not that he, being who he is, would ever admit to any responsibility for them…. It’s more the habit of a Christian to blame what they do or say on Jesus…. and, since Billy is, perhaps. the most well-known, self-defined Christian in the Western world, he is VERY good at that….

From May 12, 2012:

“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

First, let me apologize…. I hadn’t meant to go into a rant this morning, especially about religion; sitting down is as difficult as standing up, or walking, so the time it takes to express the outrage necessary to produce a rant is more than I wanted to take. But then this popped up in front of me….

After I had picked myself up from the floor and recovered my breath, I still could barely stop chuckling and giggling long enough to use the mouse to cut and paste it to this page. Now that I have, I find myself almost speechless at the sheer arrogance, the complete lack of respect shown for humanity at large by this astounding statement.

In one short phrase, this deeply disturbed man has attempted to manipulate his listeners into a complete subjugation of their will, and in doing so, implies that they are not only unworthy in a moral sense, but are not smart enough to be allowed to think for themselves. I’m surprised he didn’t ask for money in the same sentence…. You can bet he did before the end of the night….

I remember seeing Billy Graham when I was quite young, speaking on TV to a football stadium full of enthusiastically cheering, excited, identical female clones in white cotton dresses, with skirts below the knees, and young, clean-cut, earnest looking young men in blue suits, with white shirts, no vests, and skinny ties. Even at the tender age of 11 or so when I saw it, my first impression of him was of a used-car salesman, with a smarmy-looking smile at inappropriate moments, and a smooth, fawning manner of speaking that ranged from sly confidences to outraged proclamations of evil and sin, all delivered in very obviously scripted stages.

The words and phrases he used, straight out of the King James Bible, mostly, seemed to promote love and tolerance, but the underlying message was one of elitism and divisiveness, as indicated by the insistence that only those who accepted JC according to their rules would be allowed into heaven…. The rest of us would be consigned to everlasting hell for having the audacity to think differently….. It was pretty over-the-top, as far as I was concerned, though entertaining in a circus sort of way…. (My five-year-old’s crap detector was on full, and rejected all of his words pretty much out of hand, as too obviously false to consider…. Just another adult spouting off stuff that made no sense….)

It is now 50 years since I saw that particular revival meeting; with a dismal display of stubborn perseverance, Mr. Graham has continued to spew his particular brand of ignorance for that entire time. He is indeed one of the men of whom St. Francis of Assisi warned us to beware, a man of one book. And the above statement, to me, is proof of just how little he thinks of the general run of human beings. His basic message, to paraphrase what he said above, is, “You are a miserable sinner, and have no right to exist, other than by the mercy of God. You are not smart enough to keep from sinning on your own, so just shut up and do what you are told….”

It is certainly proof, I guess, that it takes all kinds to make a world, for there are millions of folks out there who regard what Billy Graham says as just as much gospel as what is in the Bible…. but then in for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose…. Me, I’d rather listen to a ball game….

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

Back in real-time, 2014, for some concluding comments: While searching for pearls for another section, I came across the following gem; it turns out to be a PERFECT example of the mind-set that one of Mr. Graham’s sermons can create in people…. I also wish to nominate this statement as the stupidest remark by an elected official in the latter half of the twentieth century  EVER MADE IN PUBLIC……  Perhaps one of you could call Guinness, or the Pulitzer Committee?….

“I can see stopping a car for a dog.  But a cat? You squish a cat and go on.  I think we’re over-complicating life.” — Iowa Democratic State Senator James Gallagher
_____________________________

I may be going a bit overboard this year; I can’t seem to shorten these Pearls back to the size I had evolved into creating. Ah well, such is life in blog land…. It’s done, and to my way of thinking, that’s good enough…. Remember, ffolkes, Life requires us to be honest with ourselves, if nobody else, and that means we need to live our lives so we have no regrets…. ever…. We are the only ones who can judge how we’re doing on that, which is where the honesty comes in…. See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Have the mango smoothies been certified yet?….

Ffolkes,
Dark, out-of-focus images of lava filled volcanoes, steaming rivers flowing down their sides, against a backdrop of a smoky sunset of unimaginable color and beauty, float around in my mind’s eye, with no concomitant tales of interest attached, making me wonder yet again just what it is that makes me want to do this again. Each morning, I stare at the blank page before me, and let my mind assume a trance-like state, while it searches through the inner realm for yet another fresh way to begin, only to find mere remnants of ideas once fully formed, or abandoned phrases that have no connection to anything real.

Somewhere inside me is a lake of material, waiting to be written; I can feel it, and often catch glimpses out of the corner of my eye, before it flashes off into the vast, unknown reaches of my mind, where I never willingly go, knowing it will be safe there until ready to flow out onto a page…. A lot of what I write is spontaneous, at least in the sense that I don’t decide beforehand what subject is to be explored. Instead, I let Smart Bee, or some random thought, dictate the choice of material, having found long ago that I am more likely to come up with something interesting that way. When I decide beforehand, I feel like I’m back in school, writing a paper on a given subject, with the length and style pretty well fixed, and not amenable to alteration. It’s probably not a particularly efficient method, but it works for me, most of the time….

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” — The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, 1951

But, it does make it hard each day to come up with an intro, (especially when J.D. has already written the ultimate version of this kind of opening, one that denies normalcy)…. and it just occurred to me that y’all are probably getting tired of hearing that. I wish I didn’t whine about it so often…. a statement that occurs to me to be just about as dumb as anything I’ve ever come up with…. If I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t have to whine about it… If I didn’t whine about it, I probably wouldn’t do it as often… Any way one looks at it, whining about it just exacerbates the issue, and makes it into something significant, instead of the minor issue it ought to be…..

Hmm…. it also occurs to me that I am approaching this in a manner that guarantees the issue won’t die, an event which is anathema to me…. Why am I doing this to myself? I am forced to admit, I believe my sub-, or un-, conscious mind seems to have set up a situation here where I am continually set up to fail, at least in my own eyes, and THAT is unacceptable! The world, and the assholes who have set themselves up as the BRC, fuck me in the ass on a daily basis, just like they do everyone, and doing it to myself is NOT what I’d call intelligent…. So, it stops here….

No more whining about intros… no more angst about blank pages…. no more bullshit cop-outs relating how hard it is to come up with ideas on a daily basis, and make them interesting, to boot. It’s the same issue every day, and all this repetitive fooferaw is getting on my nerves, so, I’m done with it…. I know it doesn’t help this particular Pearl, but, in the future, you can look forward to an intro section that doesn’t complain, that doesn’t serve cheese, with or without whine, one that doesn’t drag on forever before getting on with the show…. In deference to that glorious future…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“The character of human life, like the character of the human condition, like the character of all life, is “ambiguity”: the inseparable mixture of good and evil, the true and false, the creative and destructive forces — both individual and social.” — Paul Tillich

Having discovered within myself exactly how much such ambiguity can affect our lives, I feel compelled to add that one must learn to use that ambiguity, to balance its overall effect on us, with competence, confidence, and steadfast aplomb, else it will use us, instead….
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“Truth needs no flowers of speech.” — Alexander Pope

What immediately comes to mind when I look at this, is an image of a politician, mouth open, spewing out lie after lie, couched in flowery terms designed to draw in the listener with sweet, colorful little statements of intent, that have no relation at all to what is real, or what they will actually do. The more flowery a speech one hears from one of these pundits, the more you can be assured that all of it is lies. It is a time tested method of fooling the public…. tell them what they WANT to hear, and they will fall right into line…. Tell them what they don’t wish to hear, and they will mill around in confusion, and go through immense contortions to keep from using their minds, or making their own decisions, and, most importantly to them, it will make them uncomfortable, and fractious…..

My mind is almost automatically inclined to rant when I see a line such as this, and I’m always willing to take a few shots at the BRC, politicians, AND/OR any of their myrmidons and/or supporters, comprised of the mass of humanity that prefers to NOT use their brains for anything other than figuring out how to use the remote control, or sitting on. But, I slept a bit late today, and I’m feeling a bit lazy, at the moment, anyway, so I’m going to depend on SB to come up with an old-school pearl that will poke a stick or two into the eyes of the assholes who most deserve it….. SB is usually pretty good at that, so, let’s see what’s what….

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!” — Albert Einstein

“History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten. …What is interesting is brought forward as if it had been central and efficacious in the march of events, and harmonies are turned into causes. Kings and generals are endowed with motives appropriate to what the historian values in their actions; plans are imputed to them prophetic of their actual achievements, while the thoughts that really preoccupied them remain buried in absolute oblivion.” — George Santayana, The Life of Reason:  Reason in Science, 1918

BIBLE  A bible is a book which one or more religions consider to be holy, and to be something that they should follow. It is of course generally rather impractical to follow books, not just because they don’t often go anywhere, but also because they are not very good at public speaking, decision making, problem solving, or any of the other qualities recognized as being an advantage for leadership. A religion based around the teachings of any compilation of Toxic Custard would be very strange indeed. To subscribe to this new cult following, send $15 now. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“A tough lesson in life that one has to learn is that not everybody wishes you well.” — Dan Rather

“Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?” — James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance

“And unextinguish’d laughter shakes the skies.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Iliad of Homer, Book i, Line 771

Ffolkes, I just can’t make it any plainer than that…..
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This is a reprint of a poem I used some time ago…. It’s being reused because, a) it’s bloody brilliant, and b) it kind of fits in with the mood for today…. and those are all I need to justify it to myself, as I know the poetry buffs out there will enjoy it, for the genius it is….

Witch Burning

In the marketplace they are piling the dry sticks.
A thicket of shadows is a poor coat. I inhabit
The wax image of myself, a doll’s body.
Sickness begins here: I am the dartboard for witches.
Only the devil can eat the devil out.
In the month of red leaves I climb to a bed of fire.

It is easy to blame the dark: the mouth of a door,
The cellar’s belly. They’ve blown my sparkler out.
A black-sharded lady keeps me in parrot cage.
What large eyes the dead have!
I am intimate with a hairy spirit.
Smoke wheels from the beak of this empty jar.

If I am a little one, I can do no harm.
If I don’t move about, I’ll knock nothing over. So I said,
Sitting under a potlid, tiny and inert as a rice grain.
They are turning the burners up, ring after ring.
We are full of starch, my small white fellows. We grow.
It hurts at first. The red tongues will teach the truth.

Mother of beetles, only unclench your hand:
I’ll fly through the candle’s mouth like a singeless moth.
Give me back my shape. I am ready to construe the days
I coupled with dust in the shadow of a stone.
My ankles brighten. Brightness ascends my thighs.
I am lost, I am lost, in the robes of all this light.

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~

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In keeping with today’s themes, which are, respectively, Truth, and Madness…. (what else?), I submit the following, an excerpt from the archives, from early 2012, comprised of two short pearls, one a short indictment re: the spread of religious dogma, and one short but telling list of woes currently present in Reality…. If nothing else, they’re in color…. Oh, right, that’s only if you have the correct software… never mind, just read on, you’ll understand….
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“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

Now, if that isn’t a scary thought, I know nothing of fear; I assure you, however, fear is an old friend, with whom I am quite familiar, in all its guises. Now, to give credit where it is due, I suppose it must be noted that, from the standpoint of someone of Mr. Graham’s ilk, this is a very powerful statement of belief; it has all the proper elements for that particular delusional thought process (if one may stretch the definition of ‘thought process’ just a bit).

It is based purely on assumption, with no hint of anything resembling direct evidence. It implies omnipotence, displays deified arrogance, identifies a source for guilt, and encourages a fear of death. It vagueness allows the moral ambiguity necessary for the complete abrogation of personal responsibility for one’s actions. And, like all such proclamations of this nature, its very words indicate a complete and utter dislike for humans, both individually, and as a species.

My immediate and forceful response to this was “Then you, and God, need to get a Life! If y’all have nothing better to do in your copious free time than to try to shove this kind of crap into people’s minds, then you need to find a new activities director for the imaginary cruise you are on…. or find some better drugs.”  But, that’s just me…..

(Oops…. I think I just heresied on several important religions…..)
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Conscious is when you are aware of something and conscience is when you wish you weren’t. — Smart Bee (Anonymous, by any other name, smells as sweet…)

Insane politicians (is there another kind?). Human trafficking. Racism. Bigotry. Child abuse. Spousal abuse. Slavery. Crack cocaine, heroin, morphine, or other drug abuse. War on crime. War on women. Televangelists. Fundamentalist zealots. National Security Agency. FBI. CIA. Untold trillions of dollars of national debt.  Genetically modified food. Military Industrial Complex. The 1%/99% Society. Taxes. Global warming. Air pollution. The oceans are dying. Terrorism. Nuclear accidents. Massive global weather changes. Ozone depletion. Overpopulation. AIDS. Mutating viruses. The Bohemian Club. Reaganomics. Nationalism. Elitism. Illuminati Conspiracy. Women’s reproductive rights. Bill of Rights (or rather, loss of same). War on the US Constitution.  Rampant ignorance. Lawyers. Priests. Rabbis. Imams.  Puppy mills. Wall Street. Corporate personhood. The IRS. Insane politicians. (Did I say that already? Well, it deserves mentioning twice….)  Rising incidence of halitosis.

Except for the last, which is more of a personal foible, I’d say that’s a fairly extensive, and mostly complete, list of stuff I am aware of that I wish I weren’t; and it all came right off the top of my head, no research.  It certainly keeps my sense of outrage in good shape….. which is why we all need to practice the following sentiment at every opportunity…. otherwise, we are all going to be up Shit Creek without a paddle, proverbial or otherwise…..

“Speak out. You’ve got to speak out against the madness.” — Steven Stills
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Well there you go…. This is what happens when I’m allowed to dress myself, I guess…. Let’s see how it looks in the mirror….  Wow… it’s like a vampire, nothing shows at all…. I suppose that’s my usual morning alteration of consciousness kicking in, but, just in case it isn’t, try to ignore any parts that are showing signs of infection, okay…. And that’s all I’m required to say, according to public health regulations, so I’d best draw this to a rapid close, and catch that last train out of town, before the authorities show up for a late breakfast interrogation….  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.

gigoid

dozer3

But, the sign says it will sing……

Ffolkes,
It is a commonly held belief that Time is on our side; this, I can assure you, is not true, from at least one standpoint. I can attest from personal experience that Time, as has been previously noted, is a big PITA (Pain In The Ass)….. and I mean that in a bad way…..

Some women I’ve known have been known to call Time the Time Bitch, and watch in the mirror daily, to search for signs of her bitchiness, in the form of crow’s nests of lines around the eyes, and tangles of grey in the hair. We men, not quite as concerned with the outward signs of aging, nonetheless have our own issues with the Time Bozo, with no less degree of hatred involved…..

It’s hard on men in general to get old, especially since, for most of our lives, we are seen as, and view ourselves as, strong, competent, and able to withstand whatever the world throws at us, in order to accomplish our duty. This strength is hard to give up, but, give it up we must, as our muscles grow weaker, and we tire more easily, no matter how much conditioning we try to maintain. Yes, it’s possible to keep the worst effects at bay for a while, with proper exercise and rest, and a good diet, but, eventually, even the most athletic of seniors must put aside the bikes, and the hikes, and trade it in for an occasional waltz with your lover….

In my own case, I am incensed at how my body is losing function, as I’ve always thought of myself as invincible, perhaps even immortal…. Well, guess what? I’m not either of those things, other than in a metaphysical sense (We are immortal, but not in a recognizable fashion from our current viewpoint in Reality…..), and to be honest, I’m beginning to understand a little better exactly why there are so many older folks running around with a piss-poor attitude. After a while of trying to deal with the things that aging brings with it, the frustration builds up, and there is little choice but to find a way to let it out…. It’s just too bad that other people have to be in the way when that happens, but the other side effect of getting older is that we just don’t give a shit about that….

It’s the one thing that saves us oldsters from getting homicidal, actually, this license to grump. And, whether or not you feel that we are licensed to be so, just remember that we don’t give a shit what you think about it, do we?…. Nope, we don’t. So, get used to grumpy old farts like me toddling around, trying to get our shit done, pushing through our hazes of pain and difficult mobility (you try walking around with 50 lbs. of groceries, being pulled in a hand-cart, riding buses, when your hip is screaming with a pain level of about 7 out of 10, and pain and stiffness in the back at about 5 or 6, having to stand and wait, freezing, for buses that never came, for about 90 minutes…..), while we try to live the way we used to do, but much more slowly…..

I hadn’t intended to rant right off the bat this morning, but what I described in the last paragraph took place last evening, and I guess I’m still a bit pissed about it…. I was the victim of a bus system in the throes of destroying itself through budget cuts and piss poor management, and did actually have to stand at a bus stop for over 90 minutes for a bus that never showed up; I ended up calling a cab, and thank goodness I had a cell phone, or I’d have been stuck walking, two miles from home with 50 lbs. of groceries, part of which was thawing during the delay. By the time the cab arrived, I was in tears, and excruciating pain; it took me almost a full minute to be able to sit down in the seat, I was so stiff, cold, and in pain….

Ah well, I suppose I have to get used to that sort of thing, as our society doesn’t place a large emphasis on caring for the aged. Oh, there’s a lot of talk about respecting seniors, and showing them we care, but, I’m afraid I have to tell you, it’s all just smoke and mirrors…. When it comes down to the sticking point, senior programs are among the first to get budget cuts, far ahead of any cuts to the military, or to bailing out the bankers from their latest scheme to rip off the public….. No, I’m not bitter at all, why do you ask?…..

“Alas! it is not till time, with reckless hand, has torn out half the leaves from the Book of Human Life to light the fires of passion with from day to day, that man begins to see that the leaves which remain are few in number.” — Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Hyperion, Book iv, Chap. viii

Fuck it…. There isn’t anything I can do about it, so I may as well just bury it, down deep where all the other stuff is kept, the stuff I hate, but can’t do anything about…. That’s okay, though…. all that angst, and bitterness, will sit in there with the other stuff, and percolate, much like compost, until it comes bursting out sometime in the future, as a poem, or a steamy, messy, vicious indictment/rant against….. well, somebody…. In the meantime, I guess the only thing to do is go on with today’s dive, and see if it doesn’t calm me down a bit…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will keep him from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those that are worth committing.” — Samuel Butler

Smart Bee showed this quote to me this morning first off; I hesitated to use it, though it seems to lend itself to a discussion, and went on. A few moments later, after supplying a few nice pearls for an old-school format, it brought it up again. It usually knows what its doing, so this time I brought it up for treatment here, though still without a clear idea of what to discuss…..

It’s a good thought, and quite accurate in its assumption of human humor as moral mentor. To me, it seems quite obvious…. Then, I realized that, sadly, there is a significant percentage of humanity that possesses NO sense of humor that can be detected. These folks, handicapped as they are by their lack of chillness, often end up in a small category of life tasks, or jobs, as we call them today….

People without any humor tend to flock together in groups; they may not be fully human, but they do need the company of others of their ilk, just like the rest of us. So, they gravitate into professions where their lack of any sense of proportion, or irony, can be an asset rather than a liability, as it tends to be in most of Life’s activities.

Lawyers, accountants, politicians, preachers, all, by virtue of the nature of their work, don’t need a sense of humor; in fact, it slows them down to have one, as they see what they do as important and dignified, no place for levity. They never understand that, by doing so they are acting as the most hilarious of clowns, while being completely oblivious of how ridiculous they appear to the rest of mankind.

A guy calls 911, in breathless panic. When the operator answers, he cries out, “My buddy and I were hunting deer, and he accidentally shot himself! He looks dead! What should I do?” The operator, trained to be calm, says to him, “Okay, first, go make sure that he’s actually dead.” The guy say, “Okay.”, and puts down the phone, The operator hears some footsteps,then, a gunshot. The guy comes back online, and says, “Okay, he’s dead. Now what?”…..

See? That’s funny, right? Since this joke was chosen by a nation-wide search to find out what people thought was the best joke ever, we may assume it is…. Plus, if it isn’t funny to you, then you may want to get examined by a psychiatrist, as you may have lost the sense of humor you once had; quite frankly, it’s bloody hilarious, and quite true to human nature.

That’s all…. I’m going to leave this here, as I can feel my own sense of irony getting heated up, and I’m liable to start spouting off my own funniest stories…. Given my macabre, perilously close to perverted, and often unexplainable sense of humor about almost everything I perceive, especially if it has to do with people and their antics, that could be disastrous…. plus, we’ve got a long way to go yet today. So, I’ll leave this here, and just say this….

We are all Bozos on this Bus, whether we know it or not; it’s not something we have choice in, it is our nature to be clowns. The best, and easiest way to deal with the universe is to accept this, and not try to force Reality into an unnatural shape to suit our own folly, because when people try to do that, they just end up funnier than usual, to the rest of us, as Reality demonstrates its unwillingness to allow any such alteration. As the Firesign Theater said, so many years ago, “If the nose grows, let it show!”….

“Why is the alphabet in that order?  Is it because of that song?” — Steven Wright
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After my experience last night with the bus system here, I’m feeling pretty lazy, unwilling to make any effort to get past my recovery stage. I’m also feeling too tired to go searching for a good poem, so I’m going to resort to the ultimate cheat around here, and include here a poem of my own, from a few months ago; October of last year, to be precise….  It seemed appropriate for the occasion….. You may have seen it then, but, whether or not you did so, I hope you enjoy it….

Raging at Aging

As old as you feel, we are told, is old as you are,
custom assures such vision will carry us far.
Reality begs to differ, may it be so bold
it is really quite painful, and very, very cold.

The power and strength felt in our halcyon youth
desert us with age, yet another unwelcome truth.
Irony rules our time here on this bountiful earth
as we reflect the changes over time since our birth.

As physical powers fade from this fragile shell,
we learn our mind can serve us quite as well.
The strength that once filled our bones and hearts
is now applied by our will, to more arcane arts.

Life’s greatest gift is our freedom of choice
no matter how often we forget, we still get a voice.
Energy, or apathy, by our will we may choose,
failing to do so, our only way to lose.

Each of us lives in the grip of time and space,
always seeking our balance, our own chosen place.
One must accept reality, for it is true at the core,
all we can do, is all we can do, and nothing more.

~~ gigoid
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Today’s Pearl has apparently been taken over by Smart Bee…. In searching for a final pearl to discuss, it kept giving me a series of related quotes, as if it were trying to tell me which way to go…. Since I’m feeling so lazy today, I have allowed it to pick out a seven star pearl for your reading pleasure, and left it to chance that it will have some sort of relevance to reality….

Of course, each of the following, save the second pearl in line, by Mr. Graham, are worthy of an entire pearl alone…. Even the one by Graham is one I could rant on for a while, and have, in his case, in the past….. But, as I look at them all together, I find them to be not so much a pointed lesson, as a group of lozenges to treat the figurative sort throat that swallowing Reality can produce….. Enjoy!….. They taste almost like cinnamon…

“This universe is a trinity and this is made of name, form, and action. The source of all actions is the body, for it is by the body that all actions are done. The body is behind all actions, even as the Eternal is behind the body. — Upanishads (c. B.C. 800)

“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham
(Sorry, couldn’t resist including this, as a contrast to the rational material on either side…. this is so full of shit, it would counteract five pieces of real wisdom…. and any number of pearls….)

“It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.” — H.L. Mencken
(Especially after being exposed to Billy Graham….)

“Say not, when I have leisure I will study; you may not have the leisure.” — The Mishnah

“Having a passionate commitment to social justice does not excuse you from knowing what in the hell you’re talking about.” — Smart Bee

“It is good for a man to eat thistles and to remember that he is an ass.” — E. S. Dallas

“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.” — W.L. Bateman
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As I sit here on my sore butt, it occurs to me that I need to get a better chair….. Any who, I’m done for now…. After a short break to clear out the cobwebs, we’ll see how it came out….. Hmm…. well, it will do…. Actually, considering the struggle I’m having today just to keep from screaming at something or somebody, it didn’t come out so badly…. good enough. I won’t tempt fate any further today…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

 

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

gigoid

dozer3

Unable to pass, naturally, he punts….

Ffolkes,
Damn, damn, damn…. Murphy strikes again, it seems. What with my recent stresses building up to a climax on Thursday at the Disability psyche exam, I believe I may have exhausted myself. Yesterday, I managed to get the Pearl out, and even went out in the rain to post it at the coffee shop. In that process, I found that my newly acquired advanced age has taken away some of my resistance to the weather, and I got really cold before getting home to warm up. Then, last night, I got really tired, and went to bed at 8 PM, only to awaken at 3:30 AM, wide awake, of course, and ready to write…..

As I booted up the ol’ laptop, I poured coffee, and prepared to sit down and get serious. But, upon looking at the screen, Smart Bee was missing. This, I believe, is where Murphy stepped in again. The program icon was there, on the task bar, but wouldn’t come up on the screen. Well, this had occurred previously, and only got fixed after a week of panic and contortions, by reinstalling a newly downloaded version that I had to go get from the website. That version has acted fine, until this morning, when it once again went back into wherever it is software goes when it’s messing with you….

So, here I am, once again, without my trusted source of stimulating material. For today, I have some stuff I had previously collected, but, it looks like I’ll have to do another download of Smart Bee to get it back, which won’t happen until later. SIGH….. Murphy is indeed an asshole, and I don’t care if he hears me…. he couldn’t f….k with me any worse than he already does…. (I know, tempting for him, but, you know what, f….k him, and the white horse he didn’t ride in on…..)

There are, of course, probably other sources for quotes I could use, but I’m stubborn. Stubborn, but not stupid, so I WILL look for another program similar to SB that may work for me, once I get to where Google will work for me. In the meantime, I’m stuck with what I have on hand, and that means so are you…. Hopefully, it won’t cause any great difficulties, and also hopefully, will not result in a lessening of the quality of pearls.

Having thus gotten my morning whine out of the way, I should get on with the rest of the day’s work, such as it is. The first section should be no problem; it’s a diatribe on an old familiar target. After that, well, the results will be a matter of chance…. and if anyone says that will be some kind of improvement, well, that will just be cruel…. accurate, perhaps, but cruel….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“In my travels I have found that those who keep Heaven in view remain serene and cheerful in the darkest day. If the glories of Heaven were more real to us, if we lived less for material things and more for things eternal and spiritual, we would be less easily disturbed by this present life.” — Billy Graham, from Hope for the Troubled Heart Traveling Through

Ah, yes, more pseudo- faux wisdom from Mr. Delusional himself. Billy (what is it with these evangelical preachers and their names?…. Why would a 60 plus year-old man want to be called “Billy”? Makes me suspect some pederasty, myself, but I’m the suspicious type….) has hit upon a very valuable point here, without even being aware of the point he is making…. which is pretty typical for him. I’ve had to listen to his crap all my life, as my mother went through a period of time in my childhood where she enjoyed watching his TV revivals, and made us watch as well. For me, it worked out okay, as it gave me all the more reason to mistrust whatever the preachers were spouting off about, and there were some pretty hot Christian babes to look at, even if they couldn’t sing for shit; must have been from having no rhythm, as they danced even worse….. Hell, maybe it wasn’t dancing at all, but choreographed speaking in tongues while writhing on the stage….

Sorry, didn’t mean to wander…. any who, Billy’s assertion here, though it calls upon people to use their heads in a new way, unfortunately points the way to go that leads straight to the delusions he wishes to share. He is right that when we concentrate on our spiritual manifestation, we are less susceptible to the vagaries of reality, but, he uses the concept of Heaven as the goal, which, as we all know, is somewhat hard to prove exists. In order to accept Heaven as a reality, one must assume the belief in the other unprovable assertions made by these evangelistic (another word for “manipulative”) busybodies. Besides, what’s wrong with being disturbed by life? I’d rather be disturbed than lied to, which is what they are doing…..

“Some foolish men declare that a Creator made the world.  The doctrine that the world was created is ill-advised, and should be rejected.  If God created the world, where was He before creation?  How could God have made the world without any raw material?  If you say He made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression … Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning and end.” — The Mahapurana, Jinasena

You see, this makes as much sense to me as any of the stuff that the preachers and deacons tried to tell us as kids, and that Billy tries to force down the unwilling throats of adults. This philosophy at least takes reality into account in its provisions, even if it does make its own unprovable assertions…. But, most of the assertions it makes are much more logical and justifiable by evidence than are any of those made by the Christian sects. These assertions are at least verifiable according to reason, and fit in better with the observable universe. In a choice between logic and fantasy, I’ll go with logic, every time….

Fanatic: Someone who, having lost sight of his goal, redoubles his efforts. — Smart Bee (This is the last one found there, for the time being….SIGH….)

Sadly, the people who accept Billy’s nonsense are often of this ilk. No matter how much one defies their assertions by presenting logical alternatives, the believers just clutch their cherished delusions more tightly to their breast, and raise their voices in anger and angst, in order to drown out any opposing views by the din of their fervor. Actually, I, being the cruel curmudgeon I am, will often challenge these folks just to watch them explode, as it is quite an entertaining way to pass the time. Some might say that it is immoral to pick on them (it IS dishonorable to engage in a battle wits with unarmed persons, I suppose….), but, I can’t help myself. I’ve spent much of my life having to listen to these people, politely, and giving in to the admonitions to not argue with them; I’m done with that, and if I want to tease them, I damn well will….

“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.” — Robert A Heinlein, “If this goes on….”

One of the most annoying aspects of the folks like Billy, who proselytize their beliefs, dumping them on others, is the way they will do everything in their power to keep their constituents ignorant of any other views but their own. They cannot abide competition, and attempt to subvert it by brainwashing their acolytes to accept what they say, without ever trying to find out whether or not it has any validity according to any other knowledge possessed by Man. They are the people of whom St. Thomas Aquinas warned, when he said, “Beware the man of one book.” If Billy had his way, the Bible, King James version, would be the only book in the library, unless there were some approved treatises that discussed appropriately the contents of that Bible (thereby making it the same book, in essence).

This is the kind of discussion that could carry on for days, but, I’m tired of it, so we’ll bring it to a close. Billy is, all things considered, a pretty easy target, since he fits into so many of the categories that I like to make fun of…. preacher, fanatic, delusional, believes his own hype, hypocritical, sanctimonious, pompous, and sure of his own (non-existent) omniscience. It’s fun, but grows old as fast as his ideas…. I pick on him because it is obvious that he possesses a modicum of native intelligence; he just refuses to use it, and that, to me, is a crime against nature. He is smart enough to see that what he says is nonsense, but, is too cowardly, or too dishonest, to admit it. For this I hold him accountable, and thus use him as a target frequently…. because he deserves every bit of opposition we can give him…. He targets, and solicits money from, the weak-minded and the ignorant, and that, to me, is unforgivable……

If you wish to know
Why there are disasters
Of Armies and Weapons in the world
Listen to the piteous cries
From the slaughterhouse at midnight

— Old Chinese Saying
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A Question

A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.

Robert Frost

Well said!…..
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In lieu of Smart Bee, I went back into the archives to find an old Pearl to use here. Serendipity struck, and I found this one, which is rather appropriate. I wrote this one four years ago, almost to the day…. these were my comments regarding the outcome of the 2008 election, and the remarks, minus one, are all still very apropos…. Just ignore the one about the lame duck, as there isn’t one this time around…. the rest of it remains valid, so, to reiterate….

Ffolkes,
Though it is my gut feeling that we can all breathe a big sigh of relief that the nightmare of the last eight years is almost over, I must caution thee against complacence. It’s now a matter of keeping an eye on both the lame duck guy and the newbie, for a while at least. It’s best not to leave them unattended for long as they tend to get into mischief if not firmly leashed. With this in mind, I offer the following….

“As one gets older, one discovers everything is going to be exactly the same with different hats on.’ — Noel Coward

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

“I have never been hurt by anything I didn’t say.” — Calvin Coolidge (Let’s hope Obama can live up to that!)

And lets not forget the Wisdom of Who….

“Here’s to the new boss,
The same as the old boss….
….
So I get on my knees an pray,
we don’t get fooled again”– Pete Townshend

Y’all take care out there….

Almost eerie, isn’t it? I have to say, this country dodged a BIG bullet this election; if R&R, the consummate liars, had bought the White House, we would have been in for a very disturbing episode of history, with the outbreak of the Second American Revolution not out of the realm of possibility. I know I would have been ready to assume arms in a heartbeat….

But, reason prevailed, giving me some hope for the people of this nation, even those who have the heads firmly inserted into their bums…. I think Zippy is right on the money with this closing thought on the subject, and with that thought, we can bring the subject to a welcome close… for about 3 years, until the next group of power-hungry Republicans step up to try to steal the election….. Pay heed to Zippy’s wisdom!……..

“Disco oil bussing will create a throbbing Naugahyde pipeline running straight to the tropics from the rug producing regions and devalue the dollar!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Well, it may not be Art, but it is Frank and Earnest….. and, sadly, it’s the best I’ve got today. Since I’m now looking at 0615 AM from the wrong side, I think I might try to go back to bed for a while, and let this all slough off my conscience. Besides, I can look at it later with a fresh eye, and see if it is worth posting, or if my early morning adventures are affecting the Pearls adversely. If that is the case, well, gosh, I just don’t know what I’ll do…. I guess I’ll find out later…..  More to come…..

Well, it’s better than I had anticipated; good enough the let fly….. I’m considering it lucky, and being thankful….. Onward into another day, ffolkes….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Literally speaking, it’s figurative…..

Ffolkes,
Another fine night in Paradise, eh? I don’t know if I can stand all this happy, happy…. It was hard, but I think I’ve made the turn successfully…. time will tell. When I awoke this morning at 0245 (that’s A.M.), with (not) happy tears running down my face, I decided that it was time to turn this misplaced but real sorrow I feel into sardonicism, which, though no more productive, is nonetheless more empowering, and more pleasant to experience. I know exactly why I’m up at this hour; having to go to a psychiatrist appointment this morning has been eating at me ever since I found out I had to do so, as a requirement for my disability claim to be processed. The addition of this requirement at this late stage is typically callous, completely unnecessary from a realistic viewpoint, and totally infuriating, as it adds at least another month or two to the whole process, which has dragged on now for almost two years….

I also HATE the way this makes me whine with resentment. I’m a pretty tolerant person, about some things, but I really, really object to being ass-fucked by bureaucracies, just because they can. The case worker who ordered this requirement is a typical bureaucrat, obviously, as his number one response to anything he doesn’t immediately grasp is to slow down and add time to the process, never considering what effect that is having on the person who is seeking assistance. They don’t care; all they are concerned about is “doing the job right”, completing the paperwork, and meeting all the regulations set up by people who have never had to use the system, thus having no clue as to what their regulations do to people….

The only positive note in all of this is that, the longer they stall at awarding me the money THAT IS MINE, the larger the check for back payments will be. Unfortunately, knowing that doesn’t help now to make me feel any better; that money is still “pie in the sky”, until it hits my bank account. And, no matter how large it is, it doesn’t pay me for all the traumatic contortions that I’m being put through, just to obtain money that is mine to begin with…..

Well, it’s now almost 0330, so I should cease my whiny bullshit and try to turn to sardonic, instead of apoplectic, as I was upon awakening, and as I got when writing the above. This may be filling up space, but it isn’t very appealing to me, and probably not to y’all, either. The good news is that all of this angst and drama pulled another poem out of my head, without blood, but definitely with tears….. It’s a bit raw and feels like it could be refined a bit more, but, it’s going out the way it is, just because I don’t feel like fussing with it…. It’s pretty clear as it is….

Since I don’t have anything else to do right now, I guess I’ll go for a dive, look for some oysters with an appropriate pearl or two. It seems like the right thing to do, given the time and the situation….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Who, being loved, is poor?” — Oscar Wilde

Hmm…. While I happen to agree with this little gem from Oscar, I’m afraid I’m just not in the correct mood to do it justice…. I’ll have to try again…..

“If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.” — Jimmy Buffet

That’s better….. This is a perfect quote for today, since it both points out the problem, and the solution in one lyrical phrase. Jimmy’s good at that kind of turning of a phrase, being an excellent songwriter. Now, if only I could find something, anything, that I found amusing enough to laugh about. At the moment, the only thing that seems to work is letting myself picture the SS caseworker undergoing the pleasures of a stint in deepest HELL! When I envisioned some devilish figure poking him with a pitchfork, I have to admit, I chortled. And when the devil then picked him up with the blade and tossed him into a lake of fire, I guffawed…. and felt much better. Shoulda thought of it a long time ago….

“Baby, after considerable thought I’ve reached the conclusion that the only conceivable legitimate answer to the Universe as constituted is a peal of hysterical laughter.” — Keith Laumer, _Night of Delusions_

Yet more proof of this theorem…. I’ve heard it said all my life that the reason people laugh is so they don’t have to cry, and found it to be absolutely correct. I’ve also heard it said, by those who believe in Him, that if God had wanted us to be sober, He wouldn’t have given us a sense of humor….. While I can’t necessarily agree with the idea of God, I can see what they’re getting at, and agree wholeheartedly. (Hey! Look! Something a Christian and I can agree on!…. Who’d a thunk it?….) I mean, why else would a platypus exist at all?….

“It is ridiculous to suppose that the great head of things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs.” — Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) — Natural History, Book ii, Sect. 20

This sounds a lot more reasonable than supposing that God is the sort of weak, spineless entity that requires worship and obedience from His creations. I mean, if you’re going to have a God, then why give him all the worst characteristics of a fool? The only people I know of who demand that sort of obeisance are pretty psychopathic, and take medications for their delusions; or, in some cases, elected officials will get this way. I just can’t see an entity who is capable of creating a universe even spending one second worrying about being worshiped; it just doesn’t make any sense at all, and, quite frankly, I can’t understand how anyone in their right mind could ever buy into that idea. Such worship would make me feel uncomfortable, at best, and I just can’t see a God worrying about it overlong…. If such a God were to worry about anything, it would be wondering how He had screwed up in making such idiots in the first place…. and, in figuring out what asshole even gave them the idea….

“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?”

Here is a clue, though, as to how it all came to this….. As noted previously, Christianity, as with any other religion, gives its followers a sense of entitlement, and an opinion of their importance all out of proportion to reality. It is this sense of elitism that leads to a lot of the violence in the world, rather than low self-esteem; when one argues with a believer, their anger is immediately brought out as a defense against having to consider any validity in the arguments presented, and they will often resort to violence to try to force their beliefs on the unwilling. In fact, I’d say that 90% or more of all violence between humans is a result of a challenge to the pride one feels in their beliefs, or to the preeminence of their religious mania. Yes, greed enters into this equation, but greed is just another form of that same feeling of entitlement, so it doesn’t alter the facts at all; it supports them…..

The trouble with reality, is that it’s taken much too seriously. — Smart Bee

Smart Bee once again comes through…. it has faithfully supplied the proper quotes for this discussion, and here provides the perfect quote to bring this now over-long treatise to a close. We humans have a talent of screwing things up pretty radically, just because we can; it’s a gift. And then, of course, one must factor in that bloody Irish demi-god, Murphy, whose kind attentions are unwelcome by all. I once saw a pearl that said “God created the world in seven days, and then said, “I’m going on vacation…. Murphy, you’re in charge!”, and I knew…. the Universe is just one big joke, and because of our nature, the joke is on us…. so we may as well learn to laugh, and enjoy it the best we can….

“With YOU, I can be MYSELF..  We don’t NEED Dan Rather..”– Zippy the Pinhead
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Pieces of broken spirit….

Deep within the inner abyss, tears lay in wait
Ever on the verge, poised always to infuriate.
Real moments of sadness cracking our need
Swift, deadly waves of appalling terror freed.

Memory hurts badly when visiting now
Leaving me alone, forgetting even how
Killing the sunshine still pouring over all
Darkening all spirit, holding it in thrall.

Knowing no blame seems almost to heal
Yet healing is blunted, plainly not real.
Innocence is pointless compared with pain
On the soul it tattoos an indelible stain.

Hours become days, days turn to a year
Serving up only a compendium of fear.
Blind groping for light finds only dark
In caverns of terror, angry and stark.

Trails of endless sorrow fill up the nights
Confounded at last by unfathomable sights.
No hope can find its way to the fore
Never to sail safely, lost forever more.

~~ gigoid
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“I find that the further I go back, the better things were, whether they happened or not.” — Mark Twain

Sam makes a deeply insightful point here regarding human nature, and any honest man can apply this to himself. A dishonest man, of course, would never admit to such prevarication. But, the rest of us wouldn’t have any problem coming up with a couple of ways to show this to be true. It seems to be a human trait to color the past with our desire to see it as positive, and I think all of us tend to minimize any problems we had in the past, preferring to think that the bad stuff either didn’t happen, or wasn’t as bad as we thought. I’m pretty certain that this tendency arises from the same part of our nature that will deny the present in order to believe in a more hopeful future, up to and including direct denial of what is staring us in the face….. and that is our fear of the unknown, or rather, our fear of our own inability to deal with that unknown….

People under the influence of fear will do amazing things. We’ve all heard about mothers throwing cars off their trapped children, or men racing into a fire to save a loved one…. even this kind of bravery is motivated by the fear of losing those who we care about, as much as it is by any more elevating purpose, like nobility or integrity. Those can also prompt us to perform extraordinary feats, but I believe the original trigger for those qualities remains our fear. Fear is our strongest and best teacher, even though our least favorite; we always remember the lessons it teaches…..

But, there is another side to fear, and that one is not brave at all. It is the part of us that cringes at what we do not know, the one that shies away from the dark, the side of us that stammers when we meet someone new and imposing, the side of us that retreats from what is real into what is not, to save ourselves from experiencing that fear….. It is also an unfortunate fact that too many people allow this feeling to control not only their reaction to many types of uncertainty, but let it color and control one’s whole outlook on life….. This is the kind of fear that breeds racism, and bigotry, and other such societal plagues, as the people who give in to these fears are in full denial of reality, and, what’s more, refuse to even consider any possibility of learning differently. Their fear could easily be eliminated by knowledge of what they fear, but they generally refuse to even look at whatever evidence may be presented to them…..

So, with this in mind, it becomes clearer how over 57 million people in this country voted for an obviously unqualified and dangerously ignorant candidate, merely because they fear the person he faced as his opponent. This number, to me, is very depressing, because it indicates that we still have a long way to go in our society to root our the basic problems of ignorance, bigotry, racism, and fear….. There is still a huge number of people out there who are in denial of reality, and refuse to look at any possibility of change….

Funny thing is, we know exactly who they are now, because they identified themselves at the polls….. About 92% (that is a guess, but an educated one..) of the people who voted for Romney were white, and while it surprises me not at all, it does make me sad, being white myself, because more of the folks who share my ancestry are part of that ignorant, racist group than makes me comfortable. It also may make others believe that ALL of us Caucasians are like that, which is just too bad, as it just isn’t true. Those fearful cowards are NOT the majority of whites, they are in the minority…. to believe otherwise is to give up all hope of change, and I’m not willing to go there.

Ah well, we did win, so that is something positive to which I can cling. It is just a sad situation to me, to realize that there is still a long road to real equality in this nation, and it won’t be any less bumpy than it has up to now. These people are not going to give up their prejudices easily, and it may be necessary to just continue to educate as many of their children as we can, and wait for the rest of them to die off, taking their fear, their racism, and their deliberate ignorance with them to wherever the soul goes after death…..

“How is a man like the weather? Nothing can be done to change either one of them. “– Smart Bee
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Well, not too bad, considering I’ve been up half the night writing it…. The poem was ripped out of me last night, but most of the rest was written starting this morning before 0300, so I’m quite content to let it go as is…. Besides, now I’m too damn tired to do it over, and I have to get ready for the bloody appointment with the shrink…. Ah me, I’ve done all I can do, and you know the rest…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Malicious exploitation of rabbinical robes….

Ffolkes,
I may have discovered the answer to one of those questions that has perplexed mankind since our species first kicked the sticks out of the crib, to wit: Why do people get so cranky when they get old? I can now tell you…. it’s all the fault of Mister Time, or Mistress Time, if you prefer (there is a lot to be said for the idea of the Time Bitch, or She Who Turns Hair Gray, a name I’ve heard numerous women authors suggest for use…..).

Now, I know you’ll probably ask what is new about that, and I’ll tell you, if you’ll give me  a chance…. don’t rush me, I just got up….

See, and there is the other reason for our cranky pants…. while I was writing the previous paragraph, lovingly polishing the phraseology, the subtle, yet simple answer that had come to me… went. Gone with the wind. Kaput, got thrown out with the bath, done a bunk…. Oh, wait, there it is…. never mind…

So, anyway, the Time Bitch gets us all eventually, and we get cranky because, not only does it HURT, but, here we are, with all this knowledge and experience that we’ve spent a lifetime learning, and these sneak attacks on our breath, strength, hair, and skin have added up to turn us into physical shadows of our former selves. All the things we’ve learned to enjoy doing are now proscribed, due to our body’s inability to meet the physical requirements of the activity. Our favorite forms of recreation or work are kept from us as no longer feasible. This, as you might guess, gets to be old quickly….like us.

So, we have to learn a new skill, called rationalization, also known to small children as pretend, or the world of make-believe. (Well, maybe not new, just a new application for it…..) We learn to say things like, “Oh, that’s okay, I’d rather sit here and read my book, really. You go ahead and swim over to Hawaii without me….”, or, “You guys go ahead, I’m just going to sit here and watch all the people. I don’t really enjoy xxxxing.”  (xxxx, being, of course, one of our previously favorite things to do….)

We learn to pretend that we don’t really mind not being able to walk without a stick of some kind, or that places that used to be close are now far away (such as the floor….), or that we have to choose hamburger even if we can afford steak, because we can’t chew it….

So, don’t wonder any more about all those cranky old folks wandering around in the world. They’re just adjusting to the new requirements Life has placed on them, and it takes some practice…. In the meantime, I think I’ll try to get over my morning irritation with my body by diving into the WWW for some pearls… wan to come along? Let’s go Pearl…..
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“Ever notice that fifteen minutes into a Jerry Lewis telethon you start rooting for the disease?” — Jim Sherbert

It’s a good thing for me I was raised without having to experience one of the more severe religions, because I’d probably have died from making myself feel guilty by now, for making fun of iconoclasts revered by the rest of society. Mother Teresa, Jerry Lewis, Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Swaggert & Bakker et al, they have all felt the lash of my pen, pricking at them for their hypocrisy and self-aggrandizement. The pearl above describes my feelings exactly whenever I’ve spent more than five minutes watching one of Jerry’s telethons, which have been going on TV since I was seven years old (not quite an eon, but close enough….)….

The sheer effrontery of these people is what annoys me. All of them suffer from Grundyism, and to me, this is one of the worst human characteristics there is, common as it is. Grundyism, a term inspired by Robert Heinlein’s concept of the Mrs. Grundy’s of the world, is best illustrated by visualizing Mrs. Grundy, the prototypical nosy neighbor, peering with one eye around the corner of her parlor window, keeping a beady, judgmental eye on everything going on in her neighbors’ yards and houses, in order to provide her with ample supplies of gossip about which to spread innuendo and lies to her like-minded companions, Lady Nosy-Parker and the church secretary. Nothing that she does is ever a subject for her dissection in her daily phone and back-fence conversations, only the (in her eyes…) morally questionable activities that she observes in her neighbors.

Mr. Heinlein has suggested that the best way to deal with a sentence from one of these less-than-stellar characters such as “I know it’s none of my business, but…” , is to place a period after the word “but”, not bothering to be too careful as to worry about how forcefully that period is put in place. His attitude suggests that blood is acceptable, but mayhem is going a bit too far for mere gossip. Unless, of course, it is true, in which case, applying the period with a baseball bat, though messy, has been found to be gratifyingly cathartic, once the body is disposed of….. I suggest the use of lime and acid in combination; it is not fast, but extremely thorough….

Or, I guess, one could just say, “Go mind your own fucking business, you moron!” or some such polite suggestion, and leave it at that…..Offend them hard enough and they may watch you, but they will hesitate to talk about it…. I’ve found, personally, that an occasional wild-eyed stare at their house, mumbling and laughing maniacally, while fingering the sharp edge of an axe, to be fairly effective in keeping them quiet….. I love to see the curtains drop down over the window in a huffy rush…..
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A man can’t get rich if he takes proper care of his family. — Navajo Proverb

I love this statement. I’ve never seen it before, and it struck me hard when I first saw it. It is the kind of statement that reverberates…. it just doesn’t go into the mind and sit there, smug in its truth. It gently leads the mind to thinking about it, to examine it, and subtly yet firmly plants a thought that grows and grows, until its wisdom is not just clear, but shining.

In thinking it over, I found it could conceivably be used as a basis for a rant against the 1%, and I still may do so. But not just now…. I find it to be a soothing thought as well, and the mental energy of producing a rant would be counter-productive, I think. So, take note of this pearl…. it is one of the shortest I’ve ever made, with that characteristic common to all the shortest of them, to wit: it truly needs no help to make its point….. This is true morality, ffolkes…..

Integrity needs no rules. — Smart Bee
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First Love

I ne’er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale.
My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked, what could I ail?
My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face
And took my eyesight quite away,
The trees and bushes round the place
Seemed midnight at noonday.
I could not see a single thing,
Words from my eyes did start —
They spoke as chords do from the string,
And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter’s choice?
Is love’s bed always snow?
She seemed to hear my silent voice,
Not love’s appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face
As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling-place
And can return no more

John Clare

As an integral part of my eternal search for lustrous pearls, I save time by subscribing to email lists that will send me material. One of those is a poetry site, Poem Hunters.com; I started using their email service about two or three weeks ago, and have found their choice of poems to be very helpful, and erudite, as well as satisfyingly diverse. I’ve now been introduced to at least four new poets (new to me….) whose work I find to be very good. This is one of them…. enjoy!
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Some mornings go better than others…. on those mornings, I kind of wish I still was putting out five pearls a day instead of three. Ah well, I also like it this way, and it seems to be working well, so, “it ain’t broke, so I’m leavin’ it alone….”  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Major fun for trapezoids….

Ffolkes,
Maybe I should follow Robert Heinlein’s advice more often, and wash my hands after writing. It’s possible that what gets on them during that nasty process is turning toxic, and slowly destroying my brain. If so, this is one of those things that should be included in the manual for burgeoning authors…. but, then, perhaps it is not there for a reason. Perhaps that particular piece of knowledge has been deliberately withheld in order to limit the total number of authors who are writing at any one time. Perhaps there is a quota that the Universe maintains, so that too many authors aren’t haranguing the public all at once.

Nah…. I don’t think so. That would imply assigning just a bit more intelligence to the universe than I’m willing to believe in, even considering Murphy, and his interfering ways. No, there must be something else going on to make my brain feel so much like mush. I’m sleeping too much, I can’t concentrate, I’m easily distracted, and subject to fits of emotions I thought I’d banished years ago (such as the guilt described yesterday…. haven’t felt that in many moons….). If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was coming down off crack, or some other addictive drug, and suffering the withdrawal symptoms. But, since the only addictive drug I’m using is prescribed, and I’m not out of it, that doesn’t explain it either.

Perhaps it’s the celibacy thing catching up to me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a period of my life where I’ve gone so long without a least token physical intimacy, even when I was married….  🙂   Since I have not experienced such a drought before, I can’t say whether the symptoms are congruent with what I’m experiencing now, but I have heard that it can be quite strenuous on the organism when the absence of that particular form of exercise is in effect. It isn’t something I’ve ever really thought about…. I don’t think that’s it, though, it just doesn’t make sense, unless one believes that to create well, an artist must suffer. Suffer, okay, but is there any need to be cruel?…. Oh, yeah, forgot…. Murphy…. well….

Whatever is going on, it’s like pushing through clouds of cotton candy to find a thought; finding one worth writing about may turn into a real struggle, if this intro is any indication. I suppose it would be best to just ignore this brain thing as much as possible, and get on with the rest of what is planned…. who knows? It may turn out just fine…. we’ll just have to dive in and see, won’t we? Shall we Pearl?….
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“And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.” — John Dryden (1631-1700) — Britannia Rediviva, Line 208

Wow! Have you ever seen a better description of this blog?  🙂   I’ve been torturing words now for over 12 years, at least in a bloggy sense; that’s about how long I’ve been doing these Pearls. I’ve learned over the years not to hear their screams, or read the petitions, or pay any attention to the ones who try to distract me with their flexibility of meaning; I just strap them into the rack and start hacking away. Sometimes in the intro, I force them to assume the shape of a short fantasy; other times I will completely embarrass them by telling them they are haiku, or a poem, when they know for certain I am no poet. I can be pretty cruel to the words in my head…..

I figure it’s only fair, considering how they treat me much of the time. I don’t ask much of them, really…. just the morning group of five good pearls I can use to create these missives, and I’d leave them be. But much of the time, such as today, they insist on playing games, hiding, shifting about, presenting only the quotes they know I’ve already used, or massive amounts of Shakespeare, which they KNOW just annoys me…..

No, they’re not very nice to me, so I feel no compunction about torturing them to get them to do what I need them to do. If I didn’t, I’d never get anything written. If I didn’t write as much as I do, I’d build up all this incredibly strong angst and tension, and eventually it would have to come out…. and at that point, it can be dangerous, especially if there is anyone else in the immediate vicinity of the blast zone….

So, you see, this blog is really a public service in disguise…. No thanks are necessary: since they are my words, I take responsibility for them, and consider it my duty to keep them from harming others (except, of course, when I want them to do so…..). I just didn’t want y’all to think I was hiding anything important…. I like to call this my Literary Guantanamo Bay for Wayward Words, where we have the leeway, and the executive authority, to torture those nasty little terror-inducing buggers into submission….
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“I believe that it should be perfectly lawful to print even things that outrage the pruderies and prejudices of the general, so long as any honest minority, however small, wants to read them.  The remedy of the majority is not prohibition, but avoidance.” — H.L. Mencken, “Baltimore Evening Sun”, March 31, 1924

The key idea here is in the last line… I like to call it On/Off Button Training, and should be required of all children from the age of 5, with periodic refresher courses throughout life. It is a lesson that apparently has been completely forgotten or ignored for a long time by society at large, and our culture badly needs to re-learn it.

Put most simply, this lesson says, “If you don’t like it, turn it off. Change the channel. Walk away. Mind you own business, and let other folks mind theirs.” The lack of general knowledge of this principle is, in my mind, responsible for at least three-quarters of the issues that are currently being argued in the public arena, especially that of LGBT rights, women’s rights, and separation of church and state.

Mrs. Grundy, Robert Heinlein’s archetypical busybody, and the forces of religious intolerance, have been creating a firestorm of outrage and public hullabaloo for years now about these issues, especially gay marriage. For goodness sake, why is it so hard for them to understand? If they don’t like gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay person! Sheesh! Seems pretty simple to me….

But, for some reason, a large part of humanity seems to think that what they believe should be what everyone else is forced to believe, and for the most part, they refuse to even listen to any arguments that would belie that delusion. It is impossible to reason with someone who refuses to even discuss an issue, who has closed their mind to any possible change.

So, it places all of us who would rather try to get along with folks rather than fuss and fight all the damn time to use our own On/Off Button, and switch channels, or walk away when we are confronted with their ignorance…. But, make sure you are watching your back as you turn away; they can turn vicious if they feel threatened by your indifference…. just like any small rodent…..

“And what is a good citizen?  Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual.  Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point.  A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.” — H.L. Mencken
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“It may be irrational of me, but human beings are quite my favorite species.” — Doctor Who, Ark in Space

It probably seems to most folks reading this blog that I don’t like people very much. I tend to spend a lot of time finding and pointing out the things I see in them that I don’t like, and discussing them at nearly interminable length, which would seem to indicate a lack of affection for the species as a whole. In reality, the opposite is true…. I love people… I love watching them, listening to them, thinking about them, writing about them…. They afford me no end of intellectual stimulation, entertaining comedic genius, and fertile fields of thought and endeavor to explore, virtually and actually.

Human society and culture is an incredibly beautiful, complex tapestry of emotion and creativity; nobility, cruelty, heroes, villains, puppies, cats, love, hate, and all the rest of the things that make people what they are unfolds before us every day, growing and adding length and breadth to that tapestry of existence.

I can’t think of anything more interesting than the drama/comedy that is human history in the making…. I might wish it to be a more compassionate world, with less tyranny and oppression, without slavery and starvation. I might wish that my life would not be so complicated by ignorance and intolerance, and I might wish that the small percentage of humanity that holds the remainder in the grip of their own avarice would die horrible deaths worthy of their own evil natures.

But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Nor would I say that any of these changes are particularly apt to happen without many more people in the world taking an interest in them; most folks just go through life trying to get by, and not be bothered with anything more complicated, and one can’t really blame them, bless their cowardly little hearts…. My own method of dealing with how much I’d like to see reality change is to write about what I see, and what I think can be different, with the right set of attitudes.

This desire to see the changes arises out of my love for my fellow man, not from indignation or outrage, though they are present. But what I write, and what I’m trying to accomplish, is to help folks deal with life in a way that allows them more freedom, of whatever kind they wish to have, whether monetary, intellectual, religious, or physical; my motivation is to share the strength and freedom of thought that I have sought so hard to achieve… Mankind has much more potential than we are showing in our actions, and I would love to see more of it fulfilled, rather than stifled, as in current society…. we can be so much more…..

“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.” — Albert Einstein
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“Such bickerings to recount, met often in these our writers, what more worth is it than to chronicle the wars of kites or crows flocking and fighting in the air?” — John Milton (1608-1674) — The History of England, Book iv

Did you ever wonder why a group of crows is called a congress? I didn’t. It makes perfect sense to me…. Dark, sinister looking creatures who act in odd ways, even for birds. Their behaviors tend to lean toward stealing shiny objects from wherever, or stealing the food of people or other animals and birds. When they speak, it is in a voice that grates on the ear like fingernails on a slate. In groups, they mill around, cackling and grumbling and jostling each other, until they all fly off to different areas to carry out whatever nefarious schemes they have hatched among them. No, I have no problem envisioning a congress of crows; in fact, I believe they are in session now in Washington, D.C. ….
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“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

First, let me apologize…. I hadn’t meant to go into a rant this morning, especially about religion; sitting down is as difficult as standing up or walking, so the time it takes to express the outrage necessary to produce a rant is more than I wanted to take. But then this popped up in front of me….

After I had picked myself up from the floor and recovered my breath, I still could barely stop chuckling and giggling long enough to use the mouse to cut and paste it to this page. Now that I have, I find myself almost speechless at the sheer arrogance, the complete lack of respect shown for humanity at large by this astounding statement.

In one short phrase, this deeply disturbed man has attempted to manipulate his listeners into a complete subjugation of their will, and in doing so, implies that they are not only unworthy in a moral sense, but are not smart enough to be allowed to think for themselves. I’m surprised he didn’t ask for money in the same sentence…. You can bet he did before the end of the speech….

I remember seeing Billy Graham when I was quite young, speaking on TV to a football stadium full of enthusiastically cheering, excited, identical clones in white cotton dresses, with skirts below the knees, and blue suits, with white shirts, no vests, and skinny ties. Even at the tender age of 11 or so when I saw it, my first impression of him was of a used-car salesman, with a smarmy-looking smile at inappropriate moments, and a smooth, fawning manner of speaking that ranged from sly confidences to outraged proclamations of evil and sin, all delivered in very obviously scripted stages.

The words and phrases he used, straight out of the King James Bible, mostly, seemed to promote love and tolerance, but the underlying message was one of elitism and divisiveness, as indicated by the insistence that only those who accepted JC according to their rules would be allowed into heaven…. The rest of us would be consigned to everlasting hell for having the audacity to think differently…. It was pretty over-the-top, as far as I was concerned, though entertaining in a circus sort of way….

It is now 50 years since I saw that particular revival meeting, and Mr. Graham has continued to spew his particular brand of ignorance for that entire time. He is indeed one of the men of whom St. Francis of Assisi warned us to beware, a man of one book. And the above statement, to me, is proof of just how little he thinks of the general run of human beings. His basic message is, “You are a miserable sinner, and have no right to exist, other than at the mercy of God. You are not smart enough to keep from sinning on your own, so just shut up and listen to what you are told….”

It is certainly proof, I guess, that the world takes all kinds, for there are millions of folks out there who regard what Billy Graham says as just as much gospel as what is in the Bible…. but then in for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose…. Me, I’d rather listen to a ball game…..
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One more time unto the breach, and out again on the other side… Not bad for starting two hours late, and I only had to take about a dozen breaks to stretch and move a bit. I’ll take it…..

Hmm…. I just realized there is no poem….can’t have that… be right back….

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion — I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more — I could be martyred for my religion — Love is my religion — I could die for that…” — John Keats

Okay, so it’s not a poem… but it’s from a poet, and one of the best. I like the thought too, so it will have to do for today. I’ve been stuck with a fork, I’m done…. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

May we cauterize now, milady?

Ffolkes,
No time for fooling around this morning. Up a bit late, thanks to an extra hour of sleep my body insisted on taking (thanks for small favors!….), and stuff to do. I’m starting the day exhausted, with a sore right forearm and wrist. This is because of the unnatural activity I forced the arm into yesterday, when I went through over 300 emails that had exploded in my inbox, like some kind of replicating virus. I almost wore out my delete button, and read about 150 blogs (very, very quickly, I might add), at least 30% of which demanded a comment. It was a monumental task, and I’m glad it’s done; so is my mouse, I believe…..

That said, I will now proceed to head out into the hinterlands, to dive for pearls, which, for expediency’s sake I hope are not going to hide or be difficult to harvest today. Oysters can be hard to intimidate, and are not known for their quick thinking or pleasant dispositions, so if they’re not in a good place, it can turn on me quickly. In that case, I usually settle for those on the outer perimeter of the oyster beds, and call it a day. We’ll see, I guess, when I get down a few fathoms…. see ya in a while….

Ooh, ooh, here’s my first find; couldn’t wait to share it, trekkie that I am….  

— SMILEY   =-O~~~   The Enterprise firing phasers…

Is that genius, or what?  Well, I like it…..  Okay, the dive is going slowly…. currents are a bit tricky today.  Hang in there….

Still diving, but it’s moving along…. we’ll save a bit of time here, and bring this intro to a close, so we can get on with the regular business of pearling…. Shall we dance, then?….. Perhaps not…. well, let’s go Pearling then, if that is what you really want…..
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” … for these truths hold good for everything that is, and not for some special genus apart from others.  And all men use them, because they are true of being qua being …  For a principle which everyone must have to understand anything that is, is not a hypothesis …  Evidently then, such a principle is the most certain of all; which principle this is, let us proceed to say. It is, that the same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the subject in the same respect.” — Aristotle

I’ve run this through the filters in my head, and thought about it, studied it from all angles, even rinsed it off, shook it out, and let it air-dry…. I still can’t figure out what the FUCK Ari is talking about here….. The most reasonable idea I could come up with is that, while he was out walking through his garden, contemplating some esoteric line of reasoning, somebody came up and asked him where the nearest toilet could be found….. otherwise, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever…. especially the last line. A true tautology, to my mind, that is both proof and disproof of its own, well, silliness…. and I wonder how in hell it got included with the rest of his work that has come down to us through the intervening years…. if it were mine, I’d have deleted it long before it reached the printer, er, scribe for transcription….
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“As great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.” — Ursula K. LeGuin

I think that everyone can agree with the above statement; it would be hard to think of an argument that would have any kind of negative effect on this concept, as it is about as true as true can be. Arguing with this would be akin to trying to describe the contents of a room with no lights or windows, from outside the room, with the door and your eyes closed, and no moving around or touching allowed…. Having thus identified the importance of imagination in human existence, we can move on to a discussion of how powerful a tool it can be when applied to the mechanics of living.

As humans, we use imagination in every aspect of life; whenever we encounter a new situation, whether problematic or merely interesting, it is our imagination that we use to inspect the characteristics of the event, and to judge its relative size, shape, and degree of difficulty. It is our imagination we use to discover a course of action that will enable us to deal with the situation to our best advantage, or not, depending on our own skill at using it. And in those situations where a clear course of action is unclear, our imagination can provide us with entirely new ways to approach and cope with what we have encountered.

Of late, I have been reading a lot of articles written by women who have survived and exited, by their own efforts, the atrociously cruel life of those trapped in the human sex-trafficking industry. These articles are perfect examples of the power of imagination, from women who have experienced, and survived, the most degrading, debilitating, indifferently cruel treatment known to humanity.

That life, or living death, more like, was the lot of these enslaved women, and children, until they were able, by virtue of their strength of will and imagination, to free themselves.  For every single one of them, their imagination was both friend and foe, first as fuel to the fire of their very real fears for their lives, but ultimately, the force that enabled them to see the path they would need to walk to take back their life. Without it, they would be doomed to death, ultimately, for the insane, perverted misogynists who control this deadly trade have no compassion, and no compunctions about silencing those who would defy their will…..

But, happily, for these as yet all-too-few amazingly strong, imaginative women, a path to freedom was found, and now, they are all determined not only to live out their own lives according to their own standards, but to support each other, and to speak out against those who would continue the madness from which they fled, to do whatever is needed to give aid to the women and children who are still enslaved by these indifferently cruel masters of evil…. and one of the forms that aid can take, is to stimulate imagination in the victims, so they to may come to an understanding of how it can help even the most despairing soul to fight for freedom….. understanding like this…..

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security,
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child,
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure… that you really are strong,
And you really do have worth.
— Unknown, but brilliant….

And that is what it is all about, to me. Once these unfortunates realize that they do indeed have worth in the eyes of the Universe, a whole new vista of possibility opens for them, each one with the promise of freedom shining brightly, to show the way…..

For life, with all it yields of joy and woe,
And hope and fear (believe the aged friend),
Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love,–
How love might be, hath been indeed, and is.
— Robert Browning (1812-1890) — A Death in the Desert
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A poet is someone who is astonished by everything. — Smart Bee (Anonymous’ new user name…..)

O Music! sphere-descended maid,
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom’s aid!
— William Collins (1720-1756) — The Passions, Line 95

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that ‘s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Hebrew Melodies, She walks in Beauty

Jove lifts the golden balances that show
The fates of mortal men, and things below.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Iliad of Homer, Book xxii, Line 271

I have touched the highest point of all my greatness;
And from that full meridian of my glory
I haste now to my setting: I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
And no man see me more.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King Henry VIII — Act iii, Sc. 2

Life let us cherish, while yet the taper glows,
And the fresh flow’ret pluck ere it close;
Why are we fond of toil and care?
Why choose the rankling thorn to wear?
— J. M. Usteri (1763-1827) — Life let us cherish

Knowledgeable waitrons, maitres d’hotel, chefs, etc., all know that in presentation of food as visual art, odd numbers, 3, 5, 7, etc., make a more compelling and, oddly enough, more balanced, more artful picture than do even numbers. Go figure…. but in this case, exhibition of classical poetry, I think 5 is just right, even if one cannot chew it. No lessons here, unless it is a lesson on how to enjoy beauty…..
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“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

Now, if that isn’t a scary thought, I know nothing of fear; however, I assure you, fear is an old friend, with whom I am quite familiar, in all its guises. Now, to give credit where it is due, I suppose it must be noted that, from the standpoint of someone of Mr. Graham’s ilk, this is a very powerful statement of belief; it has all the proper elements for that particular delusional thought process (if one may stretch the definition of ‘thought process’ just a bit).

It is based purely on assumption, with no hint of anything resembling direct, tangible evidence. It implies omnipotence, displays immeasurable deified arrogance, identifies a source for guilt, and encourages a fear of death. Its vagueness allows the moral ambiguity necessary for the complete abrogation of personal responsibility for one’s actions. And, like all such proclamations of this nature, its very words indicate a complete and utter dislike for humans, both individually and as a species.

My immediate and forceful response to this was “If you truly believe that, then you, and God, seriously need to get a Life! If y’all have nothing better to do in your copious free time than to try to shove this kind of crap into people’s minds, then you need to find a new activities director for the imaginary cruise you are on…. or find some better drugs.”  But, that’s just me…..
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Conscious is when you are aware of something and conscience is when you wish you weren’t. — Smart Bee (Anonymous, by any other name, smells as sweet…)

Insane politicians (is there another kind?). Human trafficking of various kinds. Rampant racism. Ubiquitous bigotry. Child abuse. Spousal abuse. Slavery. Crack cocaine, heroin, morphine, or other drug abuse. War on crime. War on women. Televangelists. Fundamentalist zealots. National Security Agency. FBI. CIA. Untold trillions of dollars of national debt. Threat of world-wide economic collapse. Genetically modified food. Military Industrial Complex (yep, it hasn’t gone anywhere). The 1%/99% Society. Taxes. Global warming. Air pollution. The oceans are dying. Terrorism. Nuclear accidents. Massive global weather changes. Ozone depletion. Ice caps shrinking. Overpopulation. AIDS. SARS. Mutating viruses. The Bohemian Club. The Tri-Lateral Society. Reaganomics. Nationalism. Elitism. Illuminati Conspiracy. Women’s reproductive rights. Bill of Rights (or rather, loss of same). War on the US Constitution.  Rampant ignorance. Lawyers. Priests. Rabbis. Imams. Pastors. Popes.  Puppy mills. Wall Street. Corporate personhood. The IRS. Insane politicians. (Did I say that already? Well, it deserves mentioning twice….)  Rising incidence of halitosis.

Except for the last, which is more of a personal foible, I’d say that’s a fairly extensive, and reasonably complete, list of stuff I am aware of that I wish I weren’t; and it all came right off the top of my head, no research.  It certainly keeps my sense of outrage in good shape….. which is why we all need to practice the following sentiment at every opportunity…. otherwise, we are all going to be up Shit Creek without a paddle, proverbial or otherwise…..

“Speak out. You’ve got to speak out against the madness.” — Steven Stills
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Having thus spoken my share, and possibly a bit more, against the madness, I reach the end of another day’s Pearl of Virtual Wisdom. This one took some effort; late start, reluctant oysters, tricky currents, my own intra-cranial  oddity, all have served to increase the difficulty points to overcome to get to this point in the game. Thanks to a good pot of strong coffee,  with real half and half, and a bit of perseverance (no telling where that came from), what we have here is a “fait acompli”, and boy, am I glad for that!

Thus, I can enter the portal leading to the remainder of the day with a reasonable degree of contentment, if nothing else. Y’all take care out there…. and Blessed Be…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Unwarranted pleas for anecdotal briefs….

Ffolkes,
Well, I’m going for wishy washy this morning…. yesterday was so stressful, I couldn’t get to sleep until after 1 AM, an hour of the day which I haven’t come within 2 hours of seeing in months. Then, because I’m so worn out, I sleep 3 more hours than normal, which felt good, but put me behind right from the get….. I hate playing catch-up….always that light sense of panic one feels until getting back to normal schedule (whatever normal is when there is nothing ON the schedule after the “Get up” entry each morning)….

Adding to my stress yesterday was my banishment from WordPress…. yes, banishment. I still have been unable to get any Help or Support types to get interested in my problem; why should they worry that I can’t access my own domain, or web page? Or that over a third of the sites I try to go to, to read the posts of those I follow, are also blocked to me; I keep getting dumped off the network to an error page.

It seems like a straightforward problem to me; there is obviously some kind of coding error in the links that are being generated for emails and well, almost everywhere. I got sent to an error page by clicking on all sorts of links, in emails, on the notification toolbar, on gravatar icons, titles… they all were generating errors, and frustrating me endlessly.

Even more frustrating is the absence of ANY response from WordPress…. it’s as if they all went on vacation together, or are at some conference, and forgot to leave anyone watching the shop….. I’ve sent them eight support requests (well, angry demands are more accurate for the last 3; I’m afraid I let my anger color my language a bit….), and have received only one short response, to ask me if I had followed the FAQ suggestion of clearing cache and cookies (which I had done three times by then). To say the least, it pissed me off royally….May the bird of paradise shit on their heads……

So, since I don’t want to spend another day in frustration, I have decided to go wishy washy, and not carry out my threat to write this morning’s post as a rant about WP’s lack of support for users…. yet. Instead, I will immerse my mind into the complex and indefinable process of Pearling, and see if my difficulties extend to the publishing arena…. so, shall we Pearl?….. Yes, I believe we shall…..
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“How infinitely superior to our physical senses are those of the mind! The spiritual eye sees not only rivers of water but of air. It sees the crystals of the rock in rapid sympathetic motion, giving  enthusiastic obedience to the sun’s rays, then sinking back to rest in the night. The whole world is in motion to the center. So also sounds. We hear only woodpeckers and squirrels and the rush of turbulent streams. But imagination gives us the sweet music of tiniest insect wings, enables us to hear, all around the world, the vibration of every needle, the waving of every bole and branch, the sound of stars in circulation like particles in the blood. The Sierra canyons are full of avalanche debris – we hear them boom again, and we read the past sounds from present conditions. Again we hear the earthquake rock-falls. Imagination is usually regarded as a synonym for the unreal. Yet is true imagination healthful and real, no more likely to mislead than the coarse senses. Indeed, the power of imagination makes us infinite.” — John Muir, American Naturalist (1838-1914)

John Muir probably did more for the American people than all of the Congress’ in session for the last 235 years. His advocacy for preserving the natural wilds of this country made it possible for every American to be able to see, and understand, how important and valuable the land and natural life of the wilderness we enjoy as legacy really are in the overall scheme of life. Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and many more of this nation’s parks and wilderness areas are retained in their natural state, thanks to his efforts during his lifetime.

In addition, he wrote prolifically, singing the praises of life in the wild, and the sheer joy of learning to be at one with the creatures and plants with whom we share our planet. Every one of the quotes and expressions of his that I’ve seen shout out with the absolute love he held for all of Life, and the beauty it shares by its mere existence. The American people owe him a greater debt than they will ever be able to pay, or that most will ever know……
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“Cowardice” and “self-respect” have largely disappeared from public discourse. In their place we are offered “self-esteem” as the bellwether of success and a proxy for dignity. “Self-respect” implies that one recognizes standards, and judges oneself worthy by the degree to which one lives up to them. “Self-esteem” simply means that one feels good about oneself. “Dignity” used to refer to the self-mastery and fortitude with which a person conducted himself in the face of life’s vicissitudes and the boorish behavior of others. Now, judging by campus speech codes, dignity requires that we never encounter a discouraging word and that others be coerced into acting respectfully, evidently on the assumption that we are powerless to prevent our degradation if exposed to the demeaning behavior of others. These are signposts proclaiming the insubstantiality of our character, proclaiming the hollowness of our souls.” — Jeffrey R. Snyder, Fall 1993 _The Public Interest

This is an interesting spot of reasoned discourse, and as indicated by it’s anonymity, probably very close to the truth of the matter at hand, to wit: why society is failing to preserve itself. All of Mr. Snyder’s points are wickedly accurate, and serve to act as their own proof, as these critical observations are rather stridently argued over by those spineless, politically correct slaves to public opinion.

These pitiful assumptions of false attitudes are all mostly a long-winded attempt to distract from the validity of the points in question, so that the public isn’t “offended” by things they don’t like to be told. In fact, the degree of panic found in most pockets of society where this sort of venal shiftlessness is common generally approaches the flash point in mere seconds, as the pundits of PC and perpetrators of societal cowardice boil up like a pit full of snakes that has been poked with a stick, whenever they are confronted with any ideas in conflict with their own foolishness. It’s kind of fun to watch, actually, as long as one is holding the stick……

“There are well-dressed foolish ideas just as there are well-dressed fools.” — Nicholas Chamfort
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“I think we are trying to run the space age with horse and buggy moral and spiritual equipment. Technology you see has no morals; and with no moral restraints man will destroy himself ecologically, militarily, or in some other way. Only God can give a person moral restraints and spiritual strength. While our world is shaking and crumbling, we need to realize that one thing will never change, and that is God. He is the same today as he was ten million years ago, and will be the same ten million years from today. ” — Billy Graham

Have you ever heard a bigger crock of shit in your life? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound antagonistic, but this all just hits me in the wrong spot; it is illogical, cowardly, ignorant, and hatefully passive aggressive….. We’ll take this line by line…..

First line, Mr. Graham begins with a quick and severe judgment of human society today that clearly indicates that he has no respect for anyone else’s opinions or ideas, accusing even the best of us of having the intelligence and education no more complete or moral than that of a hundred fifty years ago. He patently holds us to be no more than savages in a world beyond our comprehension.

In the second line, he makes an absolute statement of fact out of his distorted and ignorant anthropomorphizing of technology, proceeding to predict the demise of the species without bothering to differentiate the methods by which he claims our fate to be inevitable. (It has always been noted that oracular statements have a tendency toward vagueness….. ask the ancient Greeks about Oracles….) (And though I might agree as to the distinct possibility of our extinction, I cannot accept or condone his reasons for believing it to be inevitable. It’s not inevitable…. yet….. just more and more likely if matters don’t change dramatically…. but the moral strength to engender that change is NOT the sole purview of him and his ilk, nor is it to be found anywhere else than it already exists, within the human spirit, slumbering until roused…..)

Then comes the worst part…. ONLY God can give moral restraint and spiritual strength to a person. With one negative assertion, for which no evidence is either quoted or claimed, he has denounced the moral status of literally billions of people in the world, over 2/3 of whom possess moral restraints, and spiritual strength that is obviously greater than his own, (they don’t go around questioning and criticizing HIS moral state, or trying to convince him to convert to their beliefs….). 

And none, not one of those BILLIONS of people is even aware of either his existence, or of his opinion of their status in the Universe….. if they were, they would no doubt laugh gently, shake their heads, and go about their business, a response he would be incapable of emulating, or even understanding…. for he obviously has a deep fear of his own unworthiness, which he then projects onto every other human being he sees. He does not trust or respect himself, so it is impossible for him to trust or respect anyone else. This, of course, makes God the perfect fall guy to blame his weakness on, so he can set himself up as the arbiter of God’s will for the rest of us pitiful sinners….

In the last two lines, his sense of proportion and his memory completely escape his control…. After delivering his last judgment of the state of the world, he assumes again, and assigns to God the power of immutability, for a mere twenty million years. Either he forgot that God made the Universe about 5000 years ago, as his belief system dictates, or that it has been proven by scientific study over millenia that the Universe is AT LEAST 20 BILLION years old, by the latest evidence.  Proven, not deduced, not assumed, not estimated, not guessed at, not divinely inspired…. proven, with, you know, concrete, documented evidence that you can, like, hold in your hand, see with your eyes? It seems clear to the most casual observer that a measly 20 million years is obviously a euphemism for “I don’t know what the fuck I’m saying now, so I’ll just make something up….”

I’m thinking Billy might have benefited by running this by some of his co-conspirators before releasing it for publication; someone a bit sharper, a bit more in tune with reality, might have suggested to him that he tone down the judgmental rhetoric, and check his math…. not to mention explaining to him the advantages of trying not to insult the very people you are trying to convince of your sincerity…. it’s a dead giveaway that what is to follow is nothing more than a long con, just another slick way to get the marks to give up the gelt, while distracting them so you can slip out of town in the dark of night…..

“I guess the hard thing for a lot of people to accept is why God would allow me to go running through their yards, yelling and spinning around.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey   (I’m not sure why, but it just seems to fit…..)
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Beauty is truth, truth beauty, –that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
— John Keats (1795-1821) — Ode on a Grecian Urn

A small bite of what is probably the world’s most famous poem…. tasty, yet filling. No comments required…. just enjoy…. ‘Nuff said…..
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“…I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of individuals…I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of democratic political institutions, and self-defeating in their purpose.” — Robert A. Heinlein, in a 1949 letter concerning “Red Planet”

When I first read this, it sounded exactly like something that might have been pulled from a letter written by either Thomas Jefferson or George Mason (quick quiz: how many of y’all know who George Mason is, or rather, was?…..) However, it was no real surprise to find it attributed to Robert Heinlein, whose life-long belief and support of the Bill of Rights and the concepts on which this nation was founded was apparent to anyone familiar with his writing.

He graduated from Annapolis, and might have spent many years in the Navy, had not injury shortened his enlistment; one doesn’t even walk down that path without a firm grounding in democratic philosophy and belief in the rights of the common man. This dedication to the principles of our founding fathers (and mothers; let’s not forget the women who were behind the men who started the Revolutionary War…. how far would it have progressed had those women set their minds against it?……) is one of Heinlein’s most enduring traits, and one that brought him my instant respect and admiration, along with millions of other Americans….. he was a most erudite, and popular bard during his life, and his body of work will endow him with the same popularity as long as men seek to maintain their Freedom…..
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Today’s Pearl came together fairly well; no major difficulties were encountered, and it all looks fairly interesting (well, heck, I guess I wouldn’t have bothered to write it if not, eh?…). Interesting, at least, to one whose mind flits around from subject to subject as mine does as a matter of course. I can only hope that it stimulates the same in other’s eyes and minds….. why else would I put it out there?

Here’s hoping that my woes with WordPress have faded into history…. and if not, well, you might just see another post from me today, one I will be compelled to create should my difficulties continue to be ignored…. in the meantime, y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!