Thereby hangs a pail on a nail….

Ffolkes,

My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool;

it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.

~~ Ursula K. Le Guin ~~

Mixed days 037

Interior scenes from a train….


Good morning…. I got nothin’. Nothing at all, at all…. Not only can I think of nothing to write about, I can’t seem to even work up any angst about not being able to do so. this is going to make it a hard row to hoe today, for sure and for certain…. I suppose, that being the case, I’ll just issue the usual warning about keeping your hands inside the vehicle, and get on with it…. Try not to expect too much today, alright? I hate to disappoint people,  & it looks as if we’ll be having a special on that today….

Shall we Pearl?….

“..  I wonder if I ought to tell them about my PREVIOUS LIFE as a COMPLETE STRANGER?” — Zippy the Pinhead

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bozo_0

    It’s time to head back to our roots…. Here is a collection of cartoons starring the clown who started it all…. Enjoy, ffolkes….

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Bozo The Clown

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le penseur-rodin

“And it does matter.  An honest man or woman is an honest man or woman more because he or she is honest in the small, everyday things that “don’t matter” individually, but which make up a well-lived life, than because of some single great temptation that was passed.  A person who is concerned about individual rights or about individual dignity makes his or her difference not because of any sweeping great statement or action, but because of the accretion of small, individually seemingly insignificant acts that spread that dignity and confirm those rights through every action they take.  It matters because every action you take, and every action I take is an expression of the human spirit.” — William Oliver (oliver@uncmed.med.unc.edu)

What a fine beginning quote for a rant; it fits right in with our usual theme, and provides a good jumping off point for a discussion of current events…. Since a rant, or even a discussion is pretty much out of the question today, I’ll fill in with some rather good pearls from SB, before it went into its current snit…. Here for your morning enjoyment are some comments on modern life, as seen here on ECR…. The first one will give y’all an idea of exactly how far humanity has advanced over the last 4800 years…..

“The Earth is degenerating these days. Bribery and corruption abound.  Children no longer mind their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.” — Assyrian Stone Tablet, c.2800BC

“The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are both able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can, but will not, then they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, then they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, how does it exist?”  — Epicurus — Aphorisms, c. 300 B.C.

“Heaven does not choose its elect from among the great and wealthy.” — William Makepeace Thackeray, The Virginians (1857-59). Chapter 5

“The remedy in the United States is not less liberty but real liberty — an end to the brutal intolerance of churchly hooligans and flag-waving corporations and all the rest of the small but bloody despots who have made the word Americanism a synonym for coercion and legal crime.” — Archibald MacLeash (b. 1892)

“Acquittal of the guilty damns the judge.” — Horace

“From the standpoint of any sane person, the present problem of capitalist concentration is not only a question of law, but of criminal law, not to mention criminal lunacy.” — G. K. Chesterton, A Case In Point, The Outline of Sanity

“Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an ‘inconvenience.’   We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy.  We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and then wonder how all those assholes got in there.” — Frank Zappa

“There are some politicians who, if their constituents were cannibals, would promise them missionaries for dinner.” — H.L. Mencken

“Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.” — Walt Kelly, Potluck Pogo

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Comedy_Tragedy

    Well, of COURSE it’s one of mine; I told y’all I had nothin’ new…. Ah well, sometimes old is better….

Random Exposure

If I only knew what I was doing here,
I could give others a clue.
Reality gets stranger every year,
and I’m not sure what I should do.

Singing happy old tunes, in an old, gravely voice,
gives me a lot of pleasure.
I’m only glad I can still make a choice,
to look at life, to take its measure.

Memorable moments keep passing by
gilded, framed in precious emotion.
I never have to ask anyone why,
no need for a stronger potion.

Everything in life is clear, to me
there is no doubt, no misunderstanding.
We’re all good, as you can see,
members of Life, in good standing.

Life can be hard, or it can be great fun;
the right path is there for each of us to take.
That choice is often a difficult one;
pay close attention to the choice you make.

~~ gigoid ~~


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buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    As noted in the intro section, I’ve got nada…. This, of course, means you get another archived pearl for the final section…. The pearl I found to fill in today is a pretty good one, from a pretty good year…. Enjoy!…

From 5/5/2013:

Today has turned into a traditional Pearl… though the intro is shorter than usual, the rest of it follows format perfectly, with a rant in section one, a classic poet, and poem, in section two, and a third section, which obviously is supposed to be an old-school grouping of pearls…. I confess that I keep a stash of quotes from Smart be, to the tune of about eighty-seven pages of a document, so I’m not as short of quotes as I’d thought to be. I’m going to use it for a couple days, & let the real Smart Bee have a vacation, to see if that will fix the corruption in the file….

I know, wishful thinking, but, it’s worth a shot… If it works, it will piss Murphy off, so I’d do it that way anyway, for just that reason…. Any who, today’s group will be VERY random, so bear with me…. Buckle up, please, we can’t proceed until all seat-belts are fastened securely…. insurance rules…

But the sunshine aye shall light the sky,
  As round and round we run;
And the truth shall ever come uppermost,
  And justice shall be done.

~~ Charles Mackay — Eternal Justice, Stanza 4 ~~


“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” — Robert Heinlein

“Life is a long lesson in humility.” — James M. Barrie

“Ridicule is the best test of truth. — Lord Chesterfield

“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” — Hermann Hesse, _Damian_, 1919

“There are two sentences inscribed upon the Delphic oracle, hugely accommodated to the usages of man’s life: “Know thyself”, and “Nothing too much”; and upon these all other precepts depend.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Consolation to Apollonius

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” — Smart Bee

Now, that’s not bad at all…. a very cogent grouping, I think…. Let yourself flow with it, and you’ll end up in a place you will like, I guarantee… If not, well, that’s okay too…. some of us need to let things stir around a while before consuming it… or something…. Ah hell, just listen to the last one, and all will be well….

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It’s done. Since that is the BEST I can say of it, we’ll let it die a peaceful death, moving on to the next item on today’s agenda, which happens to be missing…. Oh well, I didn’t feel up to much, anyway…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, should there be no other option….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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Saving pennies for post-apocalyptic discount sales….

Ffolkes,

Thankfully, the massive outbreak of pain I experienced yesterday is but a memory today…. so far. I’ve become accustomed to having my assessments of this condition undergo rapid changes, almost as if Murphy were involved. Whenever I make the mistake of commenting on its absence, it will rush back to assure me it isn’t gone altogether, but was merely hiding from me, in order to make itself more…. noticeable? Shit, what a crock! I’m not buying that, with or without credit cards….. Besides, it doesn’t matter much what I say or do, it seems to pick its own time and place to attack, always the most inconvenient it can find, of course….

I’m not sure how much y’all have had pain in your life; we all have it to some degree. My own experience with it as a constant companion tells me, it has a number of faces and body types, each of which affects our own in different ways. The “why” of that escapes me, but, since it’s one of those things that we cannot change or affect in any way, it’s useless to worry about it. Suffice it to say the different appearances it may adopt make it possible to at least describe how they may differ, and how they can be dealt with, if at all…

The kind of pain I had yesterday is such that can’t really be affected much, without resorting to drugs that turn me into a zombie…. My doctor tried me on methadone once, which, it turns out, is a pretty powerful drug…. One ten mg. dose, and I would have needed no makeup, or acting ability, in order to play the part of one of the newly-popular undead…. I couldn’t smile, or frown, or formulate any emotional response beyond a simple “oh?”…. I had no connection to my will, and found myself sitting in my chair at work, staring at the monitor, drooling, and wondering if I would ever be able to move again…. There was no pain, but there was also no life, so, I decided that a small amount of pain was preferable to being essentially dead….

Most of the time, my pain recedes into the background; the hydrocodone I take to control it has worked fairly well, so far, at putting up a wall between the pain, and my conscious mind’s awareness of that pain. As long as I can keep from increasing the number of pills I use to get that effect, I am fairly well set to live life relatively normally, if I’m careful not to overdo my physical demands on my body. If I do make that mistake, and “tweak” my back, or hips, then the pain goes to a level that the pills can’t handle, and I have to take an extra dose or two,  get myself prone in order to remove gravity from the equation, and hope that over time, the pain will lessen….

Thus far, it always does grow less, so, as long as that is true, then I can look forward to a fairly normal existence…. Once the pain reaches another level or two higher than it is now, I’ll have to make a decision, as to whether or not to start taking stronger medications, such as the methadone, or oxy-contin, or morphine…. all of which are highly addictive, and ultimately lead to a state that I really don’t want to contemplate as one I may have to enter. Life is tough enough right now, without adding in more complications due to drugs; I already feel like I’m a walking pharmacy when I travel, with the minimum of eight different drugs I am taking each day, at various times…..

Okay, I think I’m done with the bitch-fest for now. The pain has receded to a manageable level, and it promises to be a nice day, weather-wise; what more can an old man ask for from life? Not much, I’ll tell ya, because, more than just that can be hard to pin down; wishing for more is generally a waste of everybody’s time and energy, since the universe pretty much ignores anything we may want, and goes about its business without considering our needs or desires at all. Just as well, I suppose, or we humans might get a sense of entitlement, and think we’re the lords of creation, or something….

Oh, we do? Well, that’s pretty stupid, isn’t it? Oh well, people are strange, of that there is no doubt….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“I can’t think about that.  It doesn’t go with HEDGES in the shape of LITTLE LULU — or ROBOTS making BRICKS…” — Zippy the Pinhead
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“A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt as dangerous.” — Alfred Alder

So, I was going to forgo a rant today, giving my back, and your brains, a bit of a break, but, when I went to peruse the news, I saw the latest discussion of what is happening in the House of Idiots in Washington, D.C., regarding the budget resolutions being discussed, wherein the possibility of a government shutdown is threatened, if the Retardicans and Demobutts can’t come to some kind of compromise.

(What a wonderful dream! No government to worry about… can we get that in writing, please, in perpetua, or whatever the legal term for “forever” is?)

It seems the Retardicans are still upset about Obamacare, and the notion of helping the middle class, as well as the lower classes (gasp!), to obtain medical insurance coverage at a reasonable cost. This idea, of being fair and ethical, seems to have struck them in the wrong place, and they have been whining and complaining ever since it became law, frantically searching for ways to undermine the whole program, with the ultimate goal being to stop it altogether….

The entire issue, of course, is just smoke, to cover up the simple racism that these assholes won’t cop to…. It is STILL stuck in their craw, after over five years, that they somehow allowed a BLACK MAN to get elected to the highest public office. They have looked for, and desperately latched onto, every possible way they could find to block every piece of legislation the White House has espoused, no matter how much such legislation would help the public, ever since Obama was first elected.

The publicly stated goal of the Retardican Party in 2008, right after the election, was to make Obama a one-term President; having failed at that, their new goal became the eradication of ANY laws, or any beneficial reforms, that were accomplished during his administration…. Hence, the campaign against healthcare reform, which, ultimately, is not in their, or the country’s best interests, but, hey, who needs common sense?….

I’m almost too disgusted with the entire bunch of them, Retardicans and Demobutts both, to even continue this rant….The right wing continues to shoot itself, and the public, in the foot with their intransigent inflexibility, and their unreasoning paranoia about the POTUS, while the left side continues to wander around with a vacant expression, letting whatever the administration says or does go without question or review, as if somehow a man who was politician enough to get elected to the Senate, then the Presidency, all of a sudden became the world’s most truthful man…. Sorry, folks, it just doesn’t follow….. such trust in ANYONE who is an elected official in this country is plain silly, and doesn’t show much real common sense….

I see NO ONE in the public venue whom I would trust to make decisions for me, on ANY subject, much less those that can affect my life, and the quality of same…. Sorry, I just don’t see ANYONE who seems to be honestly interested in anything beyond their own agenda, and those agendas have nothing to do with mine, or what I see as beneficial for everyone…. They just don’t…..

I also, unfortunately, don’t have any viable solutions, which is why my rants often are short…. I mean, I do know what would help, and that is for everyone in the world who does have common sense to get together, join forces, and tell the assholes to stop…. But, they have guns, which they are practiced in using to get their way, whereas, most of US aren’t willing to contest matters on that level, so, that probably isn’t ever going to happen…. Not until more of our side are willing to use force to get our way, just as they have always done….

Since I don’t see it happening, we may as well just kiss our asses goodbye, because the eventual outcome of such idiocy is death, and I don’t mean individually, but rather, as a species…. Stupid is as stupid does, as somebody once said, and when I look around the world these days, stupid is pretty much all I see…..

Hell is the place of those who have denied;
They find there what they planted and what dug,
A Lake of Spaces, and a Wood of Nothing,
And wander there and drift, and never cease
Wailing for substance.

— William Butler Yeats, Responsibilities and Other Poems (1916).The Hour-Glass
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I know it is a dream, even a pipe dream, but, if there is any poet in the world I try to emulate, it is T.S. Eliot…. His poetry, to me, is like the music of the spheres, sounding forever through the darkness, bringing beauty, light, and peace, where it is most needed, and little known…..

Sweeney Among The Nightingales

Apeneck Sweeney spreads his knees
Letting his arms hang down to laugh,
The zebra stripes along his jaw
Swelling to maculate giraffe.

The circles of the stormy moon
Slide westward toward the River Plate,
Death and the Raven drift above
And Sweeney guards the horned gate.

Gloomy Orion and the Dog
 Are veiled; and hushed the shrunken seas;
The person in the Spanish cape
Tries to sit on Sweeney’s knees

Slips and pulls the table cloth
Overturns a coffee-cup,
Reorganized upon the floor
She yawns and draws a stocking up;

The silent man in mocha brown
Sprawls at the window-sill and gapes;
The waiter brings in oranges
Bananas figs and hothouse grapes;

The silent vertebrate in brown
Contracts and concentrates, withdraws;
Rachel née Rabinovitch
Tears at the grapes with murderous paws;

She and the lady in the cape
Are suspect, thought to be in league;
Therefore the man with heavy eyes
Declines the gambit, shows fatigue,

Leaves the room and reappears
Outside the window, leaning in,
Branches of wisteria
Circumscribe a golden grin;

The host with someone indistinct
Converses at the door apart,
The nightingales are singing near
The Convent of the Sacred Heart,

And sang within the bloody wood
When Agamemnon cried aloud,
And let their liquid droppings fall
To stain the stiff dishonoured shroud.

~~ T.S. Eliot ~~

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Okay, so, having no clue as to how to finish this one, I’m going with a weird version of old-school…. I’m not even sure whether it’s legally a pearl, but, I DID find it in an oyster bed, so….

:bozotic: /boh-zoh’tik/ or /boh-zo’tik/ adj.  [from the name of a TV clown even more losing than Ronald McDonald] Resembling or having the quality of a bozo; that is, clownish, ludicrously wrong, unintentionally humorous.  Compare {wonky}, {demented}.  Note that the noun `bozo’ occurs in slang, but the mainstream adjectival form would be `bozo-like’ or (in New England) `bozoish’. — from The on-line Hacker Jargon File V423

(While all the above is mostly true, it lacks complete information… In 1966, I, gigoid, first wrote down, in one of my first journals, my Theory of Bozoid Tendencies, a psychological/philosophical treatise that gave some of the thoughts behind the assertions made in the Theory, and which can be seen as a prelude to Peruaosophy, the Philosophy of Pearls, which came to me ten or twelve years later, after more observation of humans, more cogitation about their behaviors, and repeated analysis thereof…..

The theory basically states, “Every human has an innate knowledge of, and ability to, garner the complete attention of other people by the commission of a really stupid (or, “bozoid”) act, in a public venue, and, in fact, tend to CHOOSE to do so on a regular basis.” This, of course, was based on my observations of humanity up to that time, and colored by the odd assortment of literature I had consumed…. but, it works, and has been clinically proven… In addition, the term “bozoid” was more commonly known and used, than were “bozotic”, or “bozoish”,  West of the Mississippi River, especially in Northern California, around UC Berkeley (“Berzerkeley…), since the early 1970’s…..)

(“It irks me when people use the character’s name in a demeaning way.” — Larry Harmon, AKA ‘Bozo the Clown’ — after his stage name was used for political purposes by Bob Dole, 1996)

Okay, it seems this pearl has jumped the tracks, and won’t be coming back toward reality anytime soon, so I’ll have to apply emergency technique number twenty-nine, which simply involves denial of current reality in favor of the one we now will enter, just as if we meant to be here, now….

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So, I’m bored, but, SB can usually help…. Here is a pearl, whose parameters are…. well, your guess is as good as mine, right? Right…. Don’t worry, they’re all tax-deductible….

“Shall I show you the muscular training of a philosopher? “What muscles are those?”–A will undisappointed; evils avoided; powers daily exercised; careful resolutions; unerring decisions.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Wherein consists the Essence of Good, — Discourses, Book ii, Chap. viii

“Reality is only as the mind perceives it, where yesterday will never arrive and tomorrow has long since gone.” — Smart Bee

The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.” — G. K. Chesterton, A Defense of Humilities, The Defendant, 1901

“In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus

“If This Is Hell – Where Are the Lawyers???” — Smart Bee

“Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.” — Jerry Garcia (1942-1995), Musician, the Grateful Dead — Rolling Stone magazine, (November 30, 1989)

Dharma: “What is the greatest mystery of all?”
Yudishthira: “That each day, death walks the earth, and we continue to live as though we were immortal.”

— The Bhagavad Gita
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My goodness, but that was an ordeal!…. I had no idea when I got up what an epic effort I’d be making this morning. I’ll be right back, after I see what sort of damage I’ve done…..

Incalculable, in current market conditions…. which proves, at last, I am certifiable. Nonetheless, it’s done, and I’m still upright, so, we’ll call it a win, thus giving denial of reality one more score…. Until next 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

dozer3

Running fast in sequined socks….

Ffolkes,
A soft breeze stirs the fragrant air, scents of exotic flowers mingling with the calls of sea birds circling over the beach, adding to the sense of serene isolation. Slow, rhythmic, the murmur of waves brushing against the sandy shore serve as background to the racing thoughts of the man lying on a lounge chair, near the sparkling water of the infinity pool. Long, pale, slender, the man sits up, brushing a hand through his luxurious hair, as he gazes around the pool area, constantly searching for anomalous shadows. His eyes, dark, with heavy brows, narrow in speculation as the door leading to the bar flies open, emitting a blast of sound from the blaring jukebox, rudely dispelling the quiet of the night…..

Not too shabby, I think, but, I’m stuck right where I left it, with no clue as to where to go from there. Too many choices, I suppose, and given my track record over the last two days, I’m not going to make any choices whatsoever…. What a bloody cock-up, as my friends across the water would say, if they were as vulgar as I am…. There were some rather good high points, but, several moments of sheer terror, as I realized just how bozoid I can be sometimes, and embarrassment washed over me for the stupidity I displayed…. Yes, ffolkes, me, stupid, all in the same sentence, and quite more intimately acquainted than intended, let me assure you…..

First, the EOA episode on Monday, when I transposed the names of Ayn Rand and Anais Nin in my head, so firmly that I exchanged one for the other several times in one rant, all about the WRONG person’s ideas…. I think the correct words to use would be….. hang on a sec, the thesaurus is across the room….. okay, that would be…. either “tiresomely ignorant” or “completely lacking in wit”, take your pick. Both are appropriate, though each is just slightly short of the mark in terms of degree…. perhaps, “incredibly dim” would fit best….

Yes, almost a thousand words, possibly more, all based on my dyslexic confusion of authors who were not even the same sex, much less clones that could be confused on sight…. No, just my own stupid habit of not checking what is coming out of my head for accuracy, a habit that I need to break, as it doesn’t fit with my own beliefs in the scientific method. Checking sources for accuracy should be automatic, and I skip that step far too often…. There is no possible excuse other than laziness, and that is an unacceptable reason, in my book….

Second in my list of faux pas, I had a long, very interesting dialogue with a reader from Europe (I know this, because Spell Checker tells me…. the spelling of two words by the Euro method, i.e. “ise” instead of “ize” at the end, is a dead giveaway….). We spent a couple of hours trading comments, and I was thoroughly charmed to be so gently put in my place as a curmudgeon gone mad…. This reader was compassionate, sensible, and erudite, and used many of my own thoughts to remind me of why I should hold on to hope for the future.  I was very pleased to have met and traded ideas with such a fine philosopher…. a philosopher whom I assumed was a man, but, in reality is a woman….. DOH!  (Picture an old fart slapping his forehead with his open hand….)

Yes, once again, in my mad rush to fulfill my own internal agenda, I skipped over details that would have given me a clue to the fact that my assumptions were erroneous. I’m getting tired of the embarrassment factor, and will, you can be sure, making some procedural changes in my head. I’ll also be watching out much more closely to make sure that what I’m saying, and writing, is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. Reality doesn’t DEMAND that we pay heed to the principle of notary public, but, it sure makes it less frequently embarrassing if we do….

Well, having consumed a pretty fair-sized portion of crow, I am going to try to suppress my nausea long enough to at least finish this intro, and then get on with the dive for today. I think I’ve covered all I need to in regards an apology; now all I have to do is wait for the guilt and angst to fade away…. no worries. I know that this intro is risking losing interest, but, I had to get this stuff out of my head, to make room for all the nonsense that needs to be let out into the light of day, before it causes any further trouble…. Better out than in, right?…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“For getting attention, there’s nothing like a good, big, mistake!” — Bozo the Clown, Tuesday, 1963
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Okay, here is the deal…. Each of the following is a pearl of virtual wisdom, and each one can be categorized into a different group than each of the others, to wit, in order: Art, Science, Politics, Sex and Psychology (Sexy Psychology), and Philosophy. As you can see, the categories together make a fairly wide, fairly accurate description of Life at Large, or as we call it here, Consensual Reality. Each has its own message for the universe, with its own kernel of wisdom buried inside….

However, even though they don’t seem to have anything at all to do with one another, they are all subsets of the larger category, and, as such, worthy of inclusion here. The point they make, taken together, would probably drive the average reader insane, but, I have faith and trust in the perspicacity and flexibility of the readers of this blog…. Hell, if they weren’t capable of those characteristics, they wouldn’t be hanging around here for long…. Taken together, the point is blunted, but nonetheless effectively wise, as virtual wisdom goes….

Due to the patently obscure nature of this pearl, not only will it NOT be on the Final Test, but, you will receive bonus points for never mentioning where you saw it…. We here at ECR will, in turn, never mention that you were here…. Don’t forget your helmets and body armor….

‘I don’t mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don’t understand.” — Sir Edward Appleton

Relativity for Children: Time moves slower in a fast moving vehicle. — Smart Bee

“One claim for the value of the British monarchy is that its existence precludes anyone from aspiring to absolute rule.  I have a theory that the American presidency serves a similar purpose, precluding anyone from managing the government.” — Smart Bee

“One of the prison psychiatrists asked me if I thought sex was dirty, and I said it is if you’re doing it right.” — Woody Allen, “Take the Money and Run”

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” — Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

I think they made a movie about these pearls…. starring Jack Nicholson, in one of his finest performances.. It was called, “Five Easy Pieces”, and I never understood it at all, until reading this pearl…. Who knew?….   🙂
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Lately I’ve been exploring the poetry of Sylvia Plath, a poetess I’d never delved into before last year, for reasons that are irrelevant to this discussion. What I’ve found is an incredibly talented wordsmith, and a ton of poems I haven’t previously enjoyed…. so, I’m doing so now…. This one doesn’t have any particularly intimate meaning for me, I just like it, as it is a good demonstration of the depth of her talent…. Enjoy!

Mirror

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful ‚
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.

Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman
Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

~~ Sylvia Plath

Wow… those last two lines just grasp your shirt-front and shake, don’t they?….. Whew!….  🙂
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“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain

As I sit here, I can almost feel myself getting older…. It seems to be a predilection of being this age, that one becomes somewhat introspective, looking back over our time here on Earth, and making judgments about what we’ve done, or are guilty of leaving undone, in our lives. This preoccupation seems to be innate, but, I don’t necessarily see a lot of it in others my age, in my experiences out in society at large.

Here, on WordPress, the normal demographics of population diversity seems to run a bit higher, in that respect, than it does out in the Big Blue Room…. probably something to do with the fact that those here on this site are, if nothing else, highly educated enough, and/or affluent enough, to partake in the Internet’s community dialogue…. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that there are still millions of folks out there who have never, and never will, see any of what transpires here, for whatever reason, educational, financial, or merely indifference…. In that group of people, those my age are concerned much of the time with survival, and tend to be directed outward, to deal with the mechanics of that critical issue.

To that group, introspection is a luxury they cannot afford to indulge in themselves, as it takes time away from activities and mental attitudes necessary for surviving. I have been living on the edge of that group for a couple of years now, and can only be thankful that I am close enough to the edge to be able to afford this luxury; I do have to make sacrifices to have it, so I appreciate it a lot. It was a pain in the derrière, literally, to have to leave home to find internet access, so, not having to do so is a big plus for me.

In my time of introspection, I’ve spent a lot of it fighting off guilt, for the things I’ve done in my life that don’t meet with my own approval, as so aptly referred to by Mr. Twain. We all have those things hidden in our memories, those failures of ethical or moral standards we set for ourselves, and looking back on them is hard, as there is nothing we can do to change it. We have to learn to forgive ourselves for such transgressions, because no one else, not even God, if ones choose to believe in the traditional dogma, can change the past. (Query: Can God build a wall so strong He can’t knock it down, or a rock so heavy He can’t pick it up?…. Just wondered; sorry, little side trip….)

Since we cannot change the past, nor go back and try to make things better, if nothing else, we must learn to hold those little kernels of painful memory inside us, and find a way to deal with the little nugget of discomfort that will always accompany such memories. It is a delicate procedure, as we must deal with chastising and scolding our own selves, while still maintaining our self-love, without which we can never be comfortable, or comforted. One cannot accept love from another unless they feel it is deserved; it will sour and spoil all the flavor of the interaction, dooming it to failure, and pain.

How do we maintain this self-image of someone who is worthy of being loved by others? Well, that, my friends, is a very long story, indeed, and one I’m not going to start here and now, as it could be days before I surfaced again, and we’re already at the point where most folk’s minds, as well as those of regular ffolkes, will be losing interest, unless I pull some literary magic, or set off some figurative fireworks. Currently, my supply of fireworks is low, so we’ll leave a deeper discussion of this subject for another time. For now, let me say this….

We are all creatures of a Universe that puts a premium on flexibility, especially of mind. This flexibility is enhanced when we spend time on ourselves, in introspection, and inner dialogue, and is ultimately part of what is the only way to ever really achieve any balance or stability in life. It gives us the proper perspective on how we fit into the rest of the picture, and points the way to the greatest degree of successful interaction with the other parts of that universe. It is the best way to stay in touch with what we are, and what we need to be, to survive, and to make our lives meaningful in some way.

“We are injured and hurt emotionally – not so much by other people or what they say or don’t say – but by our own attitude and our own response.” — Maxwell Maltz, “Psycho-Cybernetics”

Well worth a dollar, or a moment or two of your time, I’d say…. Try something new and different, spend some time in your own head…. Of course, one should (careful, there’s that word!….) be cautious in this, as with any potentially mind-altering activity like mindful introspection…. You never know when a preconceived notion will jump up and bite you….. and those ingrained prejudices can be hard to spot, as they tend to hide behind walls of ignorance and fear….. Remember yesterday’s pearl…. The Snark might actually be a Boojum…. Catch it, cook it, eat it with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, and then get on with your life….  🙂
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All things considered, today’s effort will make the grade…. which, given the struggle I had to produce it, is a good thing. I feel as if I’ve gone six rounds with the champ…. but, I think I won, if only on points awarded for honesty, and the bruises will fade in time….. Since I can’t really think of anything further I can do to cause trouble, or to cure any, I guess I’ll go find something constructive to do until the library opens, and I can go find a book to read…. gigoid has spoken; so be it…..  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

Your eggnog is on fire…

Ffolkes,
I hope everyone had a peaceful and gratifying Thanksgiving holiday; now it’s time for turkey sandwiches! Best part of the whole deal, for my money…..

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
— John Dryden (1631-1700) — All for Love, Prologue

Eureka! After months and months of searching, I finally found this couplet, which stands as my modus operandi, the vision statement for this entire undertaking, to wit: the creation of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. I’ve always known the poem existed, but had not come across it in years.  I am proud and happy to serve it up this morning to lead off Black Friday, with a bit less frenzy than what is taking place right now in malls, Walmarts, and Target stores all across the country, as all the little well-trained consumers storm the well-stocked shops for Christmas bargains. Jesus, in whose honor they are, ostensibly, committing mayhem upon each other, well, he watches and weeps……Since it is only the day after Thanksgiving, I will spare you my yearly Christmas rant for the present. Too early in the day to get all worked up at the hypocrisy of the season….more later on this….
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The very purpose of the First Amendment is to foreclose public authority from assuming a guardianship of the public mind … because the forefathers did not trust government to separate the truth from the false. — Thomas v. Collins, 323 US 516 (1945)

Perhaps the nicest thing I can think of to say regarding this court ruling is to point out that our founding fathers could easily have left this out of our system of law. But, their experiences in dealing with the English throne taught them well, and they had no faith that those in power would honor the truth, and built some protection into the primary formation of the democracy they envisioned. I must applaud their foresight, because as can be seen by the modern political scenario, there is not one politician out there who has any interest in the truth, unless it will buy votes. Even when they do speak literal truth, it is a virtual guarantee that that truth will be denied once the election is over. We must be vigilant, because those who would limit our freedom are hard at work, campaigning to fool the most folks into believing their BS, and rubbing their hands together in glee, thinking of how rich and powerful they will become, once they have sold their lies enough times…..
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“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” — Buddha

Examining the Buddha’s statements can be confusing to a mind more accustomed to Western modes of thought, until one learns to put aside the cultural imperatives and look only at the bare truth or falseness of a statement. In doing so here, we find a far-reaching profundity that is not apparent at first look. Endurance implies conflict; to endure, one must first identify what it is we are to face with our virgin courage. Only if the experience becomes painful, or frightening, or overwhelmingly complex do we face the need to endure these experiences; if they cause no discomfort, no endurance is required. But when life presents us with difficulties, knowing one can always live through it, with the right thoughts leading us into right actions, is a valuable gift indeed. The ability to endure is one of the primary characteristics of the ancient sages, who lived “like ice on the verge of melting”…….
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“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.” — Lao-Tzu

Water……we are 90%(+/-) water; it’s a basic part of our organism, and knowing all one can about its characteristics can only help us to understand ourselves, and our relationship to the world around us. It is a common mediation practice to envision in the mind a pool of still water, and attempt to merge with that absolute stillness, until reaching a point of merging with that serenity. A rushing stream of water can also provide a meditative focus, as can floating & dreaming in a pool, or merely considering the various properties of water that make it a unique substance, like no other in the universe, and worthy of our interest.


One of the most important aspects of water to consider is this: water can exist in all three possible forms in the universe; solid, liquid, or gaseous. And in all three states, it retains its integrity of being; it is water still, with all its facets present in each. No matter if it is solid as ice, gaseous as steam, or refreshingly liquid as its ordinary state, it is still just water, at a different temperature. Water is also indestructible. It cannot be destroyed by any means known to mankind, it can only be made to change forms from liquid to gas, or gas to liquid, or solid to either one of the others. Pretty cool, yes? So, trying to be like water is an occupation worthy of our efforts; even if we only come to understand it better, it’s a good thing. I myself enjoy meditating on the image of a stream of rushing water, until I get to the point where I am the water wearing down a rock, day by day, eon by eon, until the pool comes to resemble my innermost fantasy, a Mount Rushmore sized bust of Bozo the Clown……
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And never, ever cut a deal with a dragon.

I have enough respect for my audience that I won’t try to embellish this one; it is a patently obvious truth, and advice only a BIG fool ignores, generally to his everlasting regret. Anyone who would do so probably also votes the straight party ticket.  It’s just not a good policy, not at all, at all…..
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All in all, not a bad morning’s work. I will tempt fate no further, and send this on its way…. y’all take care out there…..

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.
gigoid
Just Dozer

Kowabunga!