View only with intimately innocent eyes….


“Cats know how we feel. They don’t give a damn, but they know.” — Smart Bee

10-19-2014 008

    This picture has NOT been altered in any way, other than to sharpen up the spider’s outline. It sure is a BIG one, isn’t it? Why, just looking at it, sitting there on the side of that house, it looks to be a good foot and a half long, wouldn’t you guess? I’ll bet the folks who live there don’t have to worry much about flies, or even stray dogs…. the spider would make sure NOTHING got into the house, unless it came to act as the dinner entree…. I wonder what it would be like to have a trained attack spider….

There…. now y’all can’t accuse me of never giving y’all any nonsense in the intro any more…. I must admit, what with the stuff going on in the world, and my own issues, such as the advent of diabetes, worsening arthritis, and ongoing wars with Kaiser P, it’s been a bit difficult to maintain the proper mindset for nonsense…. One must needs bring out the inner Zippy the Pinhead, and let the nose grow to its maximum degree of round redness…. or is that red roundness?…. Any who, as can be guessed, when dealing with HMO’s or postal employees, sobriety works much faster than silliness, so, I got out of the habit of getting strange, just for the hell of it….

As can be surmised, however, as a life-long bozoid personality, strange is never far off, so, it takes mere moments for me to adopt the mantle of humorous oddity that settles so comfortably upon my shoulders, whenever I let my inner Bozo out to play. Nothing is more fun, or more satisfying, than to bring a frown of confused annoyance to the formerly unhappy faces of those who surround me in public, or to drive entire rooms full of diners out of a restaurant, through the use of what is called, in the mental health industry, word salad…. Plus, there is, in my mind, NOTHING that compares to confusing myrmidons, such as county sheriff’s deputies, or rookie CHP’s…. they’re so cute when they scowl, don’t you think? And nothing is better than getting them right up to the point of apoplexy, only to discover I’ve done nothing illegal….

But, teasing the animals with badges isn’t all fun, nor is it always danger-free, even when NOT acting illegally….. There are far too many aggressive, stupid idiots wearing badges, who think nothing of abusing their authority, and filing false charges against any member of the public they don’t like…. especially one who makes them feel stupid…. but, I figure, it’s not my responsibility to make them feel good…. I do figure it is my job to make fun of them, and to give them every bit of crap I can, because you can be sure, they will be doing so to the public, eventually…. Too many police officers in today’s world are in the field simply because it gives them the opportunity to act tough, and to bully others….

But, I’m not going to rant, he said, piteously…. I promised I wouldn’t!….. Besides, at this point, I don’t have to…. I didn’t notice, but, we passed the legal limit some time ago…. Time does fly when having fun, eh? I’m thinking, since we’re already here, I’ll just dump us out of the intro right here, in this paragraph, so we can get on with the show before I get much weirder…. As is patently obvious, and, as I said above, strange isn’t far off, for me, so, we’ll just let it go at that, and get on with what we came to do…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

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


As promised,  I pre-screened this video, and can faithfully, and truthfully say, it’s a good story…. It happens to be one of my favorite Holmes stories…. and Jeremy Brett was one of the better Sherlock actors, in my opinion…. He captured the fragility of Holmes’ mentality quite well; his “crazed eyes” are perfect, as is his infectious enthusiasm when portraying Holmes on the scent…. Enjoy ffolkes, it’s a bit less than an hour of solid entertainment, as the Victorian world of Watson and Holmes is brought to life on screen for your enjoyment….

Sherlock Holmes and the adventure of the Norwood Builder — Jeremy Brett


It has been some time since I posted this list…. It is comprised of 20 statements of the qualities one must display in order to live up to the name of gentleman…. I could spend quite a bit of time going over each characteristic, complete with examples of how poorly most men in this country do at meeting these standards, but, I am of the opinion that each of these speaks for itself.

Each statement of character is short, clear, and unambiguous; do this, and you will live with honor, integrity, and respect, not only of others, but, your own as well…. I once heard it said, and can certainly agree, the best way to teach this to your sons is to follow each directive, showing them HOW…. no words are necessary. Just live, and let them watch, and learn….

A Gentleman Is

    There… Now, isn’t that better than a rant? I must say, it was a lot easier on me….


The following entry is not a poem, but, to me, it is poetry in prose, simple wisdom derived from experiential observation and insight. If I ever marry again, I will seriously consider having the preacher/shaman use this for the ceremony…. This one is one of those I don’t really care if nobody likes…. I do….. But, I happen to believe that there are very few rational, compassionate humans who can find much in this to which they can object…. Enjoy!…. The sentiments expressed are the best we humans have learned to express….

“Marriage. It’s a hard term to define, especially for me, I’ve ducked it like root canal. Still there’s no denying that marriage ranks right up there with birth and death as one of the three biggies in the human safari. It’s the only one though that we’ll celebrate with a conscious awareness. Very few of you remember your arrival and even fewer will attend your own funeral. You pick a society, any society– Sunni, Fidembo, Pennsylvania Dutch– what’s the one thing that they all have in common? Marriage. It’s like a cultural hand rail. It links folks to the past and guides them to the future. That’s not all though; Marriage is the union of disparate  elements– male and female, yin and yang, proton and electron. What are we talking about here? Nothing less than the very tension that binds the universe. You see when we talk of marriage, people, we’re talking of  creation itself. ‘I am the sky,’ says the Hindu bride-groom to the bride, ‘You are the earth. We are sky and earth united.’ The ring please Joel. You are my husband, you are my wife. My feet shall run because of you, my feet shall dance because of you. My heart shall beat because of you, my eyes see because of you. My mind think because of you, and I shall love because of you. Are you guys cool with that? Then kiss.”

~~ Chris Stevens, “Northern Exposure” ~~


The following pearl is possibly the oddest pearl I’ve ever put together…. I’m not certain if it was Smart Bee guiding my hand, or if my subconscious was being cute…. What I do know is that, odd as it seems, it also seems to make some kind of sense…. which means this is a stealth pearl, one that delivers the message it wishes to convey by taking the mind through vistas unknown, but, ending up where one may bend over and pick up a solid rock of insight, put it in their pocket, and wander away as if entranced…. Or, just let it wash over you, and spread its balm of understanding via the process of cellular absorption…. Whatever….

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” — Walter Winchell

“I have two pets: A large main dog, and a small emergency backup one.” — Smart Bee

“Conservatives want to make people virtuous; liberals want to make them healthy. Both believe that using the state to accomplish their aims is legitimate. That is why both conservatives and liberals favor anti-drug laws, psychiatric coercions, and other assaults against individual freedom and responsibility couched in therapeutic terms.” — Thomas S. Szasz

“That which is incapable of proof itself is not proof of anything else.” — Shelley

“Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot” — Charlie Chaplin

“Bush wears a hat so he knows which end to wipe!” — Smart Alec Bee

“We made too many wrong mistakes.” — Yogi Berra

“The happiness and unhappiness of the rational, social animal depends not on what he feels but on what he does; just as his virtue and vice consist not in feeling but in doing.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 16

“Let’s have a Tupperware party! Habeamus convivium ad mercem emendam.” — Latin For Everyday Occasions

Okay, that should do it…. what it will do remains to be seen, but, it should be, if nothing else, adorably cute…. or not.


This one defies all description…. Well, it defies all MY description, anyway. Such as it is, though, it IS done, which puts it into that category of my favorite pearls… i.e., the finished variety…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…. I can’t seem to talk myself out of it…. HONK, HONK!…..

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



À bientôt, mon cherí….


Look honey! It’s the official White House Pornographer…..


As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs good friends or ardent enemies,

for the former instruct him and the latter take him to task.

~~  Diogenes ~~

crane style kung fu

    I’m enjoying the latest format for these Pearls; it took me close to three years here on WordPress to figure out how to give myself the impetus to begin each day, but, with a quote, and a picture, it’s almost too easy….. I can go with one of them, or the other, or I can use both, or neither; any of those seems to work just fine to get me going…. Today, you should know I found this, again, in the photo collection on the London Daily Tell, er, Telegraph, from a week or so ago, This Week in Animal Pictures, but, I gave it my own title, “crane style kung fu”, since it is a rather perfect representation of that style of the art’s “look and feel”…. The two huge birds, disputing over a patch of the lake, give us the exact form to emulate…

    Of course, once I’ve used the picture, or the quote (in this case, obviously, only the former…. the quote stands alone, and really doesn’t need anything from me today….), then I have to once more figure out where to go from there…. Sometimes, the picture, or the quote, or, most often, the combination of the two, will provide that direction…. I screwed it up today, going for the attribution, and the kung fu reference…. That, as you can see, has left me right here, in the middle of nowhere, with nowhere to turn…. I am, indeed, a Bozo, of the First Degree….

    However, even a Bozo gets productive on occasion; we just don’t like to let that get spread around too much, as it can de-sillify the image…. and, yes, I just made that word up, de-sillify, which means, to make a Bozo less silly than before… Before what? Why, before being de-sillified, of course… There isn’t a Bozo alive who can convince me they enjoy the process, even WITH all the modern improvements to keep the bleeding to a minimum, so don’t bother asking….

    There…. that feels better…. Sometimes, when the nose grows, you just gotta let is show, you know?…. Today, I think you may need all the silly I can provide, as the rant/discussion/essay/sober, reasoned discourse in section one, which I began yesterday, has grown beyond all reason, and is probably long enough for three Pearls…. In fact, it’s so involved, I’m going to use one of the best emergency methods for getting us out of here…. You may recognize it…. #4? I thought you might…. Here it is, in fact, so….

    Shall we Pearl?…..

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” — Albert Einstein


    Ffolkes, you will probably need to gird your grid for a big one….. The pearl below has been evolving for a full day, growing beyond my ability to restrict its size, due to the relatively verdant field of subject matter with which  I chose to work, the scope of the discussion, and the critical nature of the issue on which I am trying to focus, to wit: all of the available evidence at hand indicates that the human race has entered a stage of civilization that, in every historical case, has led directly to its demise, and disappearance. Moreover. because of the technological advances we have made, as a species, this time, that demise will be world-wide, and will preclude any possibility of ever rising again…

    Now, I know that sounds rather pessimistic, as well as cynical; I can’t help that. The evidence is too ubiquitous, and too convincing to me, to ignore, or to minimize. Below, I am going to provide links to articles from only ONE source of news. The breadth of the problems described in those articles are connected to the worst characteristics of human nature, and are symptomatic of the culture’s deterioration we are facing. Each one shows humanity at its worst, and the worst part of it is, all of the protagonists in the stories, on both sides of whatever issue is being discussed, all demonstrate those qualities that continue to cause the problems to be insoluble by any known means…

    I’ve got a lot to say about this, so, we’ll start with some art…. It’s just a picture of me, and one of the guys I’ve talked all this over with…. though in the case of this gentleman, our conversation was completely non-verbal…. Now that I stop to think about it, it made it all much less susceptible to misunderstanding…. Below the picture, we’ll begin our assault on the Asininnies latest shenanigans, and our discussion of how it all connects to create another link…. showing the path to extinction we are all following so blindly….


day2 London 009

“At once it struck me what quality went to form a man of achievement, especially in literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously — I mean negative capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” — John Keats (1795-1821)

    Trust a poet to come up with exquisitely crafted, delicately balanced, subtly nuanced, completely negative statement (otherwise known as an insult….), about someone mostly everyone in the world admires, and make it almost sound as if he is administering praise, when, in fact, he just poked Willie S. with a very sharp stick in the reputation…. Of course, it is also obscure enough that you may question exactly how it applies to blogging here in section one, which is generally reserved for rants, or rant-like facsimiles…. and, it would be a good question, as the connection IS rather tenuous, at best…. However, I’ll try to make it clear….

    I speak often about how the world is screwed up, an assessment of existence for which I lay much of the blame on several aspects of human nature, and the way those characteristics affect our society and culture…. I think it can all be boiled down to one particular area of examination, which is the way we, as human beings, deal with the matter of Truth…. There is, of course, more than just this issue involved, but, how we handle clear, correct expressions of Reality, in our dealings with the world, and each other, is one that has far reaching side effects on every area of human discourse, which is a long winded way of saying, on our history….

“Honor isn’t about making the right choices.  It’s about dealing with the consequences.” — Midori Koto

    In today’s complex world of the Future, it can easily be shown how Truth is considered to be something that is susceptible to human alteration, according to whatever whim or reason they may have for doing so, whether honorable, or otherwise, whether selfish, or otherwise…. I’ve shown many, many instances of how the government of this country, and many of its other official entities, such as the courts, the police, the churches, and ALL of the bankers, continuously, and purposefully lie to the public…. Not only that, but, they spy on us, and keep their own secrets about doing so….

    Then, when confronted, they create a huge hullabaloo, all starting with denial, fading into reluctant admission, then justification, then distraction, then…. time passes, and the public is given some other catastrophic event to put fear into them, such as a mass shooting, or an alleged terrorist threat….. It always follows the same basic pattern, with the intent, and result, of nothing changing at all….

    Below you’ll find a number of links, to articles that show how the White House, the Congress, the Federal Courts, the police, and, even the public attitudes toward Truth, are shown in the light in which they use them, to wit: they all regard Truth as more of a myth than a reality…. The article on how resumes for work contain falsifications is particularly disturbing, for it shows just how far the corruption has spread to the general public…. Well over HALF the public saw fit to include lies on their resumes… The companies doing the hiring reinforced the corruption by, to some extent, rewarding almost half of the resumes with lies, by considering other factors other than the lies in the hiring process…. In other words, about half of the lies were accepted as OKAY….

    SIGH…. The last article is different from the rest, though it touches on the general issue quite nicely…. Mr. Carroll offers another viewpoint than mine, with some similarities, and some differences…. As always, his thoughts on the matter are quite insightful, making an excellent addendum, and ending note, for what would otherwise be completely depressing material….

    I’ll let you get to the articles now, with this bit of housekeeping… I tried to help a bit, to indicate the point being made by the inclusion of each article, by including the excerpts I pulled out below each link…. They show the most disturbing points in each article, to my way of seeing them…. Good luck, I know it’s a lot, but, this is turning out to be something of a manifesto of my world-view, & I think it will be worth the effort to cover all of it…..

“Michael Rumold, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the lawsuit has been successful but the ruling was disappointing….”It’s troubling to see courts sign off on government secrecy arguments when the general public knows the truth,” he said.” — excerpted closing lines from the article, summing it up nicely….

“Witnesses have said that Brown had his hands raised when the unnamed officer approached with his weapon drawn and fired repeatedly. ” — excerpted from the article

“….. results of a preliminary ballistics report show that police in the city of Stockton fired the 10 bullets that struck Misty Holt-Singh, 41, and all her wounds likely came during a final burst of gunfire,….”

“33 officers fired at the vehicle, most of them during the final shootout. Officers were under constant fire and were concerned the suspects would kidnap other hostages, take over businesses or even a school.”….

“We believe July 16, 2014, brought dynamics never before seen in law enforcement,” he said, adding that the suspects attempted to kill officers, fired more than 100 bullets and had about 200 rounds remaining when the gunfire ended.” — excerpted from the article

“If approved by the voters, it would have asked Congress to submit a constitutional amendment to the states that would authorize federal lawmakers to limit campaign spending and would specify that only people, not corporations, have the right of political free speech.”

“In the 2010 Citizens United ruling, a 5-4 majority of the nation’s high court said federal laws that limit spending by corporations or labor unions on political causes violated freedom of speech….. ” — excerpted from the article

“58 percent of hiring managers in a recent CareerBuilder survey saying they have caught a resume lie.”….. “Fifty-one percent of respondents said they would automatically throw out a resume containing a lie, 41 percent would base their decision on the type of lie, and 7 percent would overlook a lie if they liked the job candidate.” — excerpted from the article

“…. a response from GOP state vice chairwoman Harmeet Dhillon…. “There are open press and closed press events at every convention (Brulte) has run. There will be open press events and press conferences at this convention. Closed press is to allow delegates to ask him sensitive questions about strategy and finances that the public and our opponents are not entitled to know. … And neither does John Burton (the Democratic state chairman) invite the Chronicle to every meeting of delegates to his party.”

“We asked Tenoch Flores, spokesman for the California Democratic Party, about its rules regarding press coverage of convention events. His response: “It is our policy that any delegation meeting taking place at convention is open to press.”– excerpted from the article

    and, finally, a voice of reason….

“I favor considered opinion over uninformed opinion. It’s a liberal bias…..”

“Experts are not always right. Scientists are not always right. But most of the time they are. We built a very fine country on the basis of Enlightenment rationality. Thomas Jefferson and those folks very much favored knowledge over ignorance, reason over superstition.”– excerpted from the article

    Truth. Lies. Human nature….. What a mess, eh? I can only hope that, somehow, the strength and beauty of human nature, the incredible creativity and passionate imagination our spirits have the potential to express, just as much as it does our flaws, will gain ascendancy in the coming years, becoming the rule of human behavior, rather than the exception, and that we can overcome the reckless, selfish, violent spirits among us to reach for that potential…. Being a curmudgeon, and somewhat of a cynic, at least in regard to human nature, I find myself reluctant to hope…. but, it’s like Emily always said….

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


    Here is a poem, that you may have seen just recently, as I only wrote it less than a month ago…. However, in  searching for another poem of mine I was going to use, I opened this one, and found it to be a perfect match for the theme in section one…. I wrote this last month, on the 19th, so all of it must have been in my head when I put together the above rant…. Any who, I hope you enjoy it, it’s not bad…

A Few Words of Note

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

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

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

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

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

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

~~ gigoid ~~


    Since the first section went so epic, we’ll go simple here in section three for today…. An old-school random harlequin pearl should do nicely, all fresh and sassy…. I’ve always wanted to call a pearl “sassy”…. I think seven stars today would be just fine….

“Lawyers: the larval form of politicians.” — Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 37th edition (not really)

“To use words but rarely is to be natural.” — Lao Tzu

“We have met the enemy; in fact, we elected him.” — Cruickshank’s Law #1

“The opposite of bravery is not cowardice, but conformity.” — Dr. Robert Anthony

“Albert, stop telling God what to do.” — Niels Bohr

“The ability of our people to deceive themselves is the highest art of the nation.” — Smart Bee*** (see below)

***(It should be noted that, for this pearl, I Googled it, to see if anyone had actually claimed this bit of sardonicism…. and found that there were, literally, dozens of politicians who have used this…. I’m hoping they were making a joke, but, sadly, I don’t think they were…..)****

****(all of that, of course, is a big, fat lie…. It COULD be true, but, I did make it up…. Full disclosure: I didn’t want to tell you it wasn’t real…. It SOUNDS as if it could be, that’s the problem….)

    Now, for the final, most excellently silly pearl, we will rely on our old friend….

“Awright, which one of you hid my PENIS ENVY?” — Zippy the Pinhead


    I could make excuses, but, I won’t. In fact, I’m so burnt from creating this, I’m going to put it up without even proofing it…. and the typos can just go to hell…. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Lying to politicians for fun and profit….

We all can agree on certain things, I think, such as the sun is likely to come up in the morning, or water is pretty wet; there isn’t a lot of argument when someone makes an assertion along those lines. But, make a statement about just about anything that isn’t an accepted part of Consensual Reality, and you will get arguments from all sides…. That is just human nature, I think, and not something that needs to be changed, as it stems from our natural curiosity, and I’m all about encouraging people to doubt, especially if it has to do with interpreting Reality. That entity, as we all know, can be a slippery, elusive subject to pin down in a precise manner…..

Now, at this point in this morning’s effort, you are probably asking yourself, “What the hell is he babbling about now?” And you’d be right to do so, because I haven’t a clue…. That’s right, that entire paragraph is null and void, as far as having any connection to the Real Reality we all cohabit. I started out with a thought in mind, but it had disappeared before I got to “water is pretty wet”, so I just sort of faked it, letting the words flow out just as if they had any real meaning. What can I say, it’s a gift….

Y’all might be getting a bit worried at this stage in the proceedings, that it could be dangerous to hang around long enough to read the rest, but you couldn’t be more wrong…. I’ve spent a lot of time, effort, and money, (well, maybe not much money….), to ensure that everything on this blog is true and complete, to the best of my knowledge, and safety is one of our bywords.

I’ll have you know that, in spite of the radical nature of what we often discuss here, no reader has ever been injured, either by, or because of the content, and no reader has ever hurt themselves while reading it. Well, there was that one guy, who fell out of his chair, laughing at a picture, & banged up his elbow, but he doesn’t count, as he wasn’t wearing his seat belt, and no bandages were called for….

So, have no fear…. everything here at Exploring Consensual Reality is designed with your safety in mind…. unless, of course, one considers that the BRC could conceivably take offense to some of our content, and come to discuss the matter in their own inimitable fashion, i.e., with guns and tanks. In that case, each of you is authorized to take whatever action you see fit, up to and including the use of arms, to protect yourselves.

I’m pretty sure that right now, I’m too small potatoes for the powers that be to worry much over my writing… Not until I’ve got several million readers egging me on to even more radical suggestions, and more scathing criticisms of the actions of our Beloved Ruling Class, will they bother to try to shut me up…..

Oops…. ranting early again… Sorry, it’s getting to be a habit. It’s a good thing I’m not an addictive personality, or it could get to be obsessive. Some might say that producing this blog on a daily basis is obsessive, but, they don’t say that where I can hear them, knowing I’ll hurt them, a lot…..

No, really, ffolkes, all kidding aside, it’s probably the best thing if we just get into the water, and get on with today’s dive for pearls. In looking back over this intro section, I am firmly convinced that very little else has a chance of saving this one…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.” — Pythagoras (BC 582-507)

“The first riddle I ever heard, one familiar to almost every Jewish child, was propounded to me by my father:

“What is it that hangs on the wall, is green, wet — and whistles?”
I knit my brow and thought and thought, and in final perplexity gave up.
“A herring,” said my father.
“A herring,” I echoed.  “A herring doesn’t hang on the wall!”
“So hang it there.”
“But a herring isn’t green!” I protested.
“Paint it.”
“But a herring isn’t wet.”
“If it’s just painted it’s still wet.”
“But — ” I sputtered, summoning all my outrage, “a herring doesn’t whistle!!”
“Right, ” smiled my father.  “I just put that in to make it hard.”

— Leo Rosten, “The Joys of Yiddish”

When I first read this, it teased out a goodly chuckle at the silliness of the exchange, and the fine irony of the father’s riddle. But, I wasn’t sure it would make a good pearl, based as it is on systematic cultural delusions, until I realized it doesn’t have to confine itself to that standard in order to be useful…..

As I’ve demonstrated amply in previous posts, I’m not a big fan of most organized religions; mostly I regard them as examples of mass delusional outbreaks, that everyone buys into because they’re too embarrassed to admit it’s all a bunch of bilge water, solely designed to take advantage of the constituents. Well, that, and mental laziness, meaning it’s easier to let others do the thinking for you….

I can see, however, how this particular little story is adaptable;  if one doesn’t consider the dogmatic implications of any of it, it becomes more of a valid lesson in how to approach reality, and a lesson in human cupidity….. It teaches the lad several important things about his father, his culture, and ultimately, encourages the use of imagination….

The final line is my favorite part, and is a perfect metaphor for how we can expect the world at large to treat us, at least from a societal standpoint….. How we can deal with individuals within that society is also implied, though it doesn’t go so far as to explain why they act as they do…. In fact, the lesson there is that other people AREN’T to be trusted fully, as they tend to lie, for whatever reason, and finding the truth can be problematic at best…..

The Jewish culture tends to pride itself on its long history as an institution, and to tout how much suffering they have had to endure at the hands of the intolerant and the ignorant over the centuries. This long history of struggle has imbued their mindset with deep pessimism, to a large degree, and a great many of their aphorisms, maxims, and quotes tend to reflect that lack of trust in the rest of humanity, promoting the idea of isolating and maintaining their own culture.

I suppose that attitude has served them well, to protect them against ideological immersion in other cultures, preserving their own proprietary prejudices from merging with the others. Whether that is a good thing, or not, remains to be seen, at least on the larger stage of the entire panorama of human existence.

If little else can be determined by such a long history of cultural isolation, by choice, it at least provides the rest of us with some pretty amusing tales and stories, and a chuckle or two at their twisted wisdom, such as it is…..

“Once upon a time, four AMPHIBIOUS HOG CALLERS attacked a family of DEFENSELESS, SENSITIVE COIN COLLECTORS and brought DOWN their PROPERTY VALUES!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Just for fun….

Roses for Noses

I have a bozoid personality, of the first degree;
nobody, I mean nobody, knows that better than me.
I often wonder, as the world goes around, and around
how many others have realized just what I’ve found….

I know for a fact, I’m not the only bozoid one;
too many people laughing out there, having fun.
Is their laughter, though, at themselves first?
or is it some other impulse, like purple liverwurst…..

I’ve always loved to make others laugh and giggle,
since my tender youth, when my ears began to wiggle.
The world is full of humor,  but not always easy to find
so laughing at myself I learned never to mind.

We bozos know each other, here, there, and everywhere
there’s no hiding such joy, it just wouldn’t be fair.
We all have one feature, our great bulbous nose,
and there’s no doubt at all, cuz it just grows.

There’s nothing like a good, big mistake, a disaster,
to show us the folly of living life faster and faster.
Nothing in the world can ever take the place,
of seeing in the mirror, a happy, smiling face.

Don’t be shy, just let it all hang out;
we bozos have more fun, there’s no doubt.
Life’s too somber and gray if we let it get on top
if we don’t stay loose, the pain won’t ever stop.

My advice to all of you, out there in the world,
let noses grow round & red, keep hair tightly curled.
Find a way to let your spirit out often to play,
you’ll never once regret any price you pay.

~~ gigoid

“A poem is a serious joke, a truth that has learned jujitsu.” — William Stafford

Over time, I’ve found the most powerful pearls are composed of five random quotes, chosen by my unconscious mind in a process I’ve yet to understand, or even evaluate, fearing it would burst the bubble of whatever makes it work so well…. This pearl is a perfect example of that category, and all in all, contains some pretty damn good advice on how to live life with honor and dignity, as well as joy.

The final conclusion to be reached on the path I’ve laid out is, naturally, left for the Gentle Reader to find at the end of the journey…. No worries, kids, it’s not a long trip…. good luck!…. And don’t forget to stay on the path; our rescue dogs are on their vacation this week….

“We lie about the truth, that’s what ruins us here. And do you know why we lie about the truth? Not because we like to, but because we are scared to death of it. If we looked the truth in the eye nine out of ten of us would run to the graveyard and demand to be buried at once.” — Babbaluche the cobbler

“Accepting your limitations makes you humble. The limitations themselves make you an idiot.” — Dan Goodman

“When I’m not thank’d at all, I’m thank’d enough; I’ve done my duty, and I’ve done no more.” — Henry Fielding (1707-1754) — Tom Thumb the Great, Act i, Sc. 3

“Dreaming permits each and everyone of us to be quietly and safely insane  every night of our lives.” — Charles William Dement

“The most utterly lost of all days, is that in which you have not once laughed.” — Chamfort

There is a lot to be said for perseverance; without it, today’s Pearl would have been canceled hours ago. Of course, I may be confusing perseverance with blind stubbornness, but, the end result is the same, so we’ll go with what we have…. At least I got that poem out; it has apparently been quietly waiting to get its chance at the keyboard, as it flowed out yesterday in about 20 minutes or so…. very cathartic, let me tell you….

I’ve proofed, and polished what little shine was there to be brought out, as well as I can, under the circumstances (don’t ask….), which, fortunately, brings us to the desired point, where I get to say, “It’s done.”

Yay…..  I’ll try not to let my enthusiasm splash on you…. I think I’m just depressed, because now I have to go deal with the Real Reality, out there in the Big Blue Room, and for today, at least, the tide is carrying me out to sea, away from the safe harbor of my room…. Ah well, I’m a big boy, I can handle it….   Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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



Sodden reflections of ancient grandeur….

It is always easy to give in, to give up…. Even those of us who make an effort to maintain honor and dignity in life, can find ourselves far too often in a position where life will be made easier, in a sense, by giving in to some kind of action that is less honorable than another, or less dignified, at least. For example, I’m sitting here, just allowing my mind to wander, and tears begin to form, along with a stray thought about how hard it is to get by while waiting for my SS money to start. The tears, while all-too familiar these days, are NOT welcome; I’m tired of seeing myself as broken, no matter how broken I am in reality…..

In this instance, giving in means crying because I am so tired of being unable to create much of any quality of life beyond the most basic standards. It also means accepting the weakness of spirit that is implied by the tears, that broken quality so common to those who have been grievously injured in some way. I’m not sure what it looks like from the other side, but from the inside, it is not a good feeling to feel fragile and vulnerable, especially for a big, strong man, who has always been seen as, and regarded himself as, a pillar of strength, both physically, and mentally. All my life I was a superior athlete, and a leader among my peers, intellectually and socially; now I am a recluse, living with constant pain and worry, wondering if my food will stretch to the end of the month, and weeping because I can’t buy anything for my kids for Christmas…..

This blog, and the writing of it, is what has kept me relatively sane for the past year plus that I’ve been writing on WordPress (over 560 posts now, and over 16,000 visitors…. way cool, that….). (Well, I have to add, my sanity has received a lot of bolster and support from my friends, in which I am rich…. as it includes some rather excellent people I’ve met here on WordPress, as well as my life-long friends….without them, I would truly be alone….)

Writing here affords me an area of expression that provides the stress relief I so require, and I am sure that if I had not been able to do this, I would most likely be in jail, and somebody would be dead who wasn’t scheduled to be so….. You see, there are just so many logical targets….. but, once again, that is a form of giving in, and I’m reluctant to do so any more than I already do….. Besides, I’m so broke, I can’t afford a gun, so I’d have to use a knife, and it’s so messy…. Quiet, but messy….

Bah! This is all twaddle, isn’t it? I would guess that it is okay for me to use my own feelings as a springboard to begin, but, to some extent, it almost feels like the very giving in of which I am speaking, a cheap way to find subject matter, to be sure. To me, though, it feels as if I’m being overly sentimental and weak…. and, to some degree, I am. But, I’ll be damned if I’ll feel bad about it….

I spent a lot of years feeling bad about the fact that I felt bad (it sounds a bit confusing, I know…. think about being on the inside of that thought….). One who is injured as I was tends to feel unworthy; first, for allowing the injury to occur, and then for being no longer useful for the purpose being served. It doesn’t matter at all that what was done, was done by necessity, or that it was done correctly, and well; the very fact of being injured is enough to outweigh any logical viewpoints. I’ve learned, for the most part, to not give in to that feeling, as it really isn’t a true feeling; it is one we are taught to feel, by those corporate masters who would have us work on, oblivious….guilt isn’t a natural response, it is taught….

Now, however, those unwanted feelings sneak up on me, like this, in the mornings when I am not yet alert, and send me off into an emotional morass that takes a while to dissipate. This morning, it has taken, what?…. Damn near seven paragraphs written before I feel like I’ve regained some equilibrium…. That is simply too much, and I’m putting a stop to it here and now….. Of course, my sub-conscious mind is rather stiff-necked and stubborn, and my decision may have no effect whatsoever on future outbreaks of angst in the early morning…. but, I must make an effort to control my own mind, or what is the point of having one?….. Shall we Pearl?……

“..  hubub, hubub, HUBUB, hubub, hubub, hubub, HUBUB, hubub, hubub, hubub.” — Zippy the Pinhead

(I knew a man once, in reality, whose entire vocabulary consisted of exactly this word, in almost exactly this cadence….. except when he got really upset, then he’d look you in the eye, and say “bastard”, as he took a desultory punch at your nose…. I loved him, dearly…. His existence, while inconceivable to the rest of us, was extremely simplified, and comfortable to him, and, in my view, was not an unreasonable response to a world he did not comprehend, a world in which he lived every moment in fear…..)

Here is a short trio of pearls, old school style, to indicate a certain point (which, as always, is left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader….). Please note, for later reference, the roller coaster characteristics of the path from the beginning to the conclusion…. Taking notes will not be necessary, or graded….

“A little experience often upsets a lot of theory.” — Cadman

“If the King’s English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!” — Ma Ferguson, Governor of Texas (circa 1920)

“Life is always like high school. Which is interesting, because high school is nothing like life.” — Jon Carroll, SF Chronicle, November 17, 1995.

Hmm….. this is interesting. I’ve noticed previously that Pearls often would take on a completely different meaning if presented in a slightly different order, on those occasions when more than one pearl is used to make a point. At times, the conclusion may be different, while other times may cause the conclusion to remain valid, while the road taken to get to that validity traveled through a different country.

This is kind of like that, except that it is so flexible, I believe it would change its face and clothing no matter which way the three quotes are ordered. In this case, I have merely inverted the order of presentation, to find that the meaning stays the same, relatively, while the path does not….

“Life is always like high school. Which is interesting, because high school is nothing like life.” — Jon Carroll, SF Chronicle, November 17, 1995.

“If the King’s English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!” — Ma Ferguson, Governor of Texas (circa 1920)

“A little experience often upsets a lot of theory.” — Cadman

Same idea, basically, but it got there on a Segway, not a roller coaster….. I really do love the English language; it is so amenable to torture….. and as an inanimate entity, has no feelings to offend, nor blood to spill…. Well, I guess, given my heavy-handed writing techniques, some blood is unavoidable, but, it cleans up well with a bit of cold water and salt…..

“It is not a fish until it is on the bank.” — Irish Proverb

Always a hedonist, I have opted today to go with one of my all-time favorite poems….

Where the Sidewalk Ends

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

~~ Shel Silverstein

“Beware the lightning that lurketh in the undischarged capacitor, lest it cause thee to bounce upon thy buttocks in a most untechnician-like manner.” — The First Commandment for Technicians

“Is the printer plugged into the wall power socket? Is the plug wire from the wall plugged into the back of the printer?” — The First Two Questions for the Printer Help Desk Technician

“Did you try to reboot the computer?” — The First Level Help Desk Question

There are many, many more rules, of course, in the technical world, rules whose existence is necessitated by the power and scope of human stupidity. The first one above is, naturally, a corollary of Murphy’s Law of Scientific Endeavor, and one that all those of a geekish nature learn very early in life.

The second and third are indicative of my own experiences as the Computer Technician for a tax business, a large franchise with a number of offices in various cities in the region they served. I installed their networks and tax software, did trouble-shooting for the office computers and systems, set up classrooms for tax classes for taxpayers, and for new employees during the tax season. Essentially, I was their one-person Help Desk, on call for emergencies to any office. Great fun, but hard work, as they weren’t exactly the most well-trained set of managers I’d ever encountered…. but, that’s another story….

“Work thou not on energized equipment, for if thou dost, thy fellow workers will surely buy beers for thy widow and console her in other ways.” — The Seventh Commandment for Technicians

I’ve included this one, just because Smart Bee gave it to me so soon after finding the first one, above; I hadn’t known the Commandments had been codified, and didn’t know they, the Commandments, were there in Smart Bee’s database. Each, of course, is suitable as a starting point for a pearl, and together, they can provide some quality moments of laughter at the foibles of human nature we all share.

The second Help Desk question, re: the printer, is drawn from real life experience, which I obtained one time on a call to the office in V___, California. They were unable to tell me why their network printer would not print any of their files over the phone, so I had to go to the office physically to troubleshoot the unknown issue….

Upon arriving, I walked to the printer, to check if it was plugged in to the wall, and that other machines plugged into the same plug were functioning, as I would with any trouble shooting visit. All good….. I then walked over to the printer, where I found the other end of the wire leading to the plug. It was only halfway plugged into the printer, thus would NOT have supplied any power, but looked okay upon cursory examination. Problem fixed, for as soon as I pushed the plug all the way onto the receptor, the machine fired up and started printing out all of the files it had been sent….. thus certifying the veracity of Lazarus Long’s admonition, to wit: “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.”

The saving grace behind our tendency toward bozoid acts of sheer stupidity, is that it also provides us with unending supplies of laughter, at ourselves, and at this crazy world in which we live, or, in some cases, merely spend time. As the Firesign Theater noted in their performance, “I think we’re all Bozos on this bus…..”

None of us, no matter how smart, or competent, or lucky, ever escapes completely from Murphy’s influence, and there is always a reason to laugh at ourselves, if we have the grace of spirit to understand the humorous facets of our own nature. ‘Tis an old Irish proverb that tells us, “There’s no better medicine than a long sleep and a hearty laugh.” Or, it might have been, “a hearty laugh, and a long sleep.” I forget…. so sue me. Oh, crap, that tears it!….

See? Now, my own bozoid tendencies have erupted, and I’m displaying my own proof of my assertions…. Okay, I’m done… quit it. Stop laughing now, I’m done, see?  Never mind, I’ll just go away now, having completely lost all continuity, and probably, all credibility….


It is probably a good thing that I am beginning to regard the passage of just one day as a significant victory of principle. Or, perhaps it would be clearer and more accurate to say the passage of one day without a) snapping, to the point of giving in to illegal, if entirely justifiable, homicidal urges, b) starving, or c) crying without warning or reason, can be regarded as such a victory.

In which case, I’ve already lost today, on record, so there’s no point in getting all weirded out for the rest of the day…. Here ’tis, damn near 10:00 AM, and I’ve completed today’s Pearl, not without struggle, I admit, but, completely ready to join the “done” category….. Therefore, I shall now cease rambling on, without rhyme, or reason……  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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



Fluffy bags of pineapple chips….

It is always interesting to me to see what kind of nonsense I can come up with for this introduction, especially on mornings like this, when I wake up with more pain than normal. It’s a Catch-22 situation, sort of, where, if I sleep well, I sleep longer, the medication level in my blood decreases, and I wake up in pretty severe pain. If I don’t sleep well, I take the meds during the night, and wake up with less pain. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I guess….

I gotta say, the other way is better, because this sucks; I feel like I’m pushing through a haze just to think. And, as is apparent, it has affected my writing, as I seem to be stuck in personal complaint mode…. fuck it, I’m taking an extra pill, and waiting for it to hit…. see ya in a while….

“Once upon a time, I dreamed of becoming a great man. Later, a good man. Now, finally, I find it difficult enough and honor enough to be–a man.” — Edward Abbey

If one is patient, if one can look long enough, a pearl to fit any situation will appear….. A bit less grouchy & whiny now, I’m ready to dive into the WWW to look for some pearls. Provided, of course, that Murphy isn’t hanging about, looking for some way to further complicate matters….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“If reality wants to get in touch, it knows where I am.” — Smart Bee

And Thought leapt out to wed with Thought
Ere Thought could wed itself with Speech.
— Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) — In Memoriam, xxiii, Stanza 4

Boy, this one would be really useful, if only we could get a few political pundits to buy into the concept….. It seems that the Republicans have decided to take the low road to November for the time being. Their presumptive candidate, Mitt the Twitt, has been extremely reserved in the last few days, both in his speech and his appearances. I’m fairly certain he got the word from the true power brokers, the bankers who finance his program, to keep his stupid mouth shut, unless he spoke exactly what they told him to say. He hasn’t responded ad lib for weeks now, and that is just not in his nature; it has to be a learned behavior on his part.

Now, while this is good for all of us, to not have to listen to his egregious lying every day, it is a dangerous sign for the country. Without really saying much of anything substantial, the Twitt has garnered support from a large segment of ignorant fundamentalists and ultra-conservatives, a fairly substantial block of votes, and is now being very careful not to alienate them, a habit of his proven in the primaries…. These people will support him, as long as they believe he will bring religious mania to the job, so he is saying nothing to disabuse them of that perception….

But, time is on the Democrats side this time. The Twitt is a master doofus, for certain, and has no idea, nothing at all in his head, that comes near the thought above by Lord Alfred. When he speaks off the cuff, he repeatedly resorts to his congenital tendency toward untruth in almost every sentence. If he doesn’t know an answer, he makes it up, and there are a LOT of answers he doesn’t know. As a matter of fact, he has, no doubt, been told by his handlers not to answer ad lib queries at all, using distraction and referral to keep from directly addressing such approaches, because every time he does, the extent of his ignorance becomes ever clearer…..

No, I don’t think the Twitt will be able to stand up to the scrutiny that is coming. Once the conventions are done, and the formal candidates begin their campaigns, the flaws that are so apparent to me in his makeup will come to light in the harsh glare of public examination, and will, I have no fear, be found wanting….. The degree to which he resorts to lies and misinformation is obvious, and not even the American public will stand for someone who lies so badly……

“The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.” — Paul Valery, 1895

I like this…. it is a powerful insight into human nature. But that is not why I like it…. I like it because it proves itself; it is perfectly tautological, for he fulfills the accuracy of his contention by the act of stating it. I also like it because it takes a perfectly simple idea, and complicates it unmercifully, torturing the poor thing until it is crying out for surcease. I mean, how hard can it be to understand, “I think we’re all Bozos on this Bus!”, which, you will please note, says the exact same thing as mssr. Valery?……

Nothing draws the attention of society faster than a good, big mistake, and it is natural for all humans to make the biggest mistakes we can manage. Sorry, but it’s just the way we are, and it’s always been that way. The smartest ffolkes learn to put on a big, red nose and make the best of it. Many others, not so sanguine, try to deny it, and become fundamentalists, seemingly born with no sense of humor at all. A lot of folks try to ignore the entire subject, and end up getting caught often “with their pants down”, a common phrase that indicates how well the language accurately portrays the concept….

“Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained.” — John Powell

I’ve found the easiest, and most effective, method for dealing with this part of our nature is to embrace it. To accept our bozoid tendencies and utilize them to my advantage, both by recognizing it in others, and by appreciating it within myself. Nothing is more liberating, or more cleansing to the spirit, than a good laugh at one’s own expense….. and finding those moments of laughter are easier than can be imagined, once one learns to let that side of their nature free. The Universe at large is very silly, in many ways, and welcomes bozoid behavior with open arms…. After all, we are the stars of our own show, and we can write the script however we like…..

“Should I do my BOBBIE VINTON medley?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Haiku’s inventor
must have had seven fingers
on his middle hand.
— Smart Bee

Bonus pearl…. it’s just so perfect! Logical, precise structure, and irony, all in one…. beautiful….. Then there is this…..

The only problem
with Haiku is that you just
get started and then
— Smart Bee

Sorry, it won’t happen again…..

A Drunken Man’s Praise Of Sobriety

Come swish around, my pretty punk,
And keep me dancing still
That I may stay a sober man
Although I drink my fill.

Sobriety is a jewel
That I do much adore;
And therefore keep me dancing
Though drunkards lie and snore.
O mind your feet, O mind your feet,
Keep dancing like a wave,
And under every dancer
A dead man in his grave.
No ups and downs, my pretty,
A mermaid, not a punk;
A drunkard is a dead man,
And all dead men are drunk.

William Butler Yeats

I had a yen for Yeats….  🙂

It has been said that “true freedom is the release from pain”, and I am here to tell you, it is gospel truth. It is astounding how differently one looks at life and the world when not filtered through a haze of pain. It makes one almost want to break out in song in praise of biochemistry and drugs, but I don’t think I’ll scare the neighbors like that just now….. All in all, it didn’t turn out too badly, I think, so, we’re off to publish…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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




A strange trip, and long….

Since retiring from my job on the last day of 2010, I’ve been writing a lot. For years, my need to write was sublimated at work, writing reports and evaluations according to set rules and formats, on specific subjects. All the dross that builds up in my head just kept sitting there, growing into a pile of emotionally charged opinions, radical political thoughts, religious heresies, and humorous observations on human nature that promised to bury me should it ever fall over. Fortunately for me, I was forced to retire, even though not fully prepared, and the chance to do something to reduce the pile presented itself…..

The human heart has hidden treasures, in secret kept, in silence sealed.” — Charlotte Bronte

In at least a therapeutic sense, it came at just the right time, as I had a lot of angst and anger built up over the way I was treated when I left work. All that anger was, of course, useless to me, other than as a stimulus to write. Once began, the dam burst, and what I’ve been keeping inside came tumbling out, in daily portions of anywhere from 500 to 2500 words. It has been extremely liberating on an intellectual level, as I don’t believe I’ve ever had the opportunity to write exactly how I feel about “life and all that stuff” to any great degree.

Now, since beginning my own blog, first on SFGATE, and now on WordPress, I have allowed myself to show the darkest stuff that I have in there, at least in the political and religious fields, and the feeling is one of stupendous relief. Being able to get all that stuff out of my head has helped me in a lot of ways not immediately apparent to the casual eye; I do believe it was beginning to fester in there…..

I’m not sure exactly what I’m trying to say here, except that I feel pretty grateful, all in all, for having been able to write like I have for the last year and some…. grateful for both the opportunity, and for the wherewithal. And I am especially grateful for all the ffolkes that have come to read my work, and comment, and generally show the kind of support that only true friends can show.

Without having met anyone face to face, I can truthfully say that I’ve met a large number of people here that I am very proud and happy to consider as friends, and my only regret is that there isn’t enough time in the day to be able to read as much of their work as I’d wish to get to. But it remains a very well-appreciated gift to have all of that available to read; I never have to worry about finding something entertaining or interesting, because every one of the blogs I follow has the power to give me both….

So, to all those who have come here to read, and those who comment, thanks very much for stopping in, and I hope that what I write continues to draw your interest. I can guarantee that what I write will not always be politically correct (thank goodness!), nor will it always be comfortable…. but it will always be real, and it will always be mine…. I think it’s time to go Pearl, don’t you? ……

“And here, poor fool, with all my lore I stand no wiser than before.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

John Keats

A Drinking Song

WINE comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

William Butler Yeats

Of late I find myself turning more often to poetry for recreational reading. Keats and Yeats, (and what are the odds of that similarity?), are two of my favorites, not surprisingly. Today I’ve put one of each of their pieces out for your perusal and enjoyment, and to assuage my practicality gene, which prompts me to make everything I write of some usefulness. So, this is your daily lesson in comparative literature; you won’t be awarded any points, but it will prepare you for the quiz that will come at the end of the week….. otherwise, just enjoy! It’s not every day you get two classic poets in one blog….

“Most people can’t think, most of the remainder won’t think, the small fraction who do think mostly can’t do it very well.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Robert Heinlein was considered by his peers to be the Grand Master of Science Fiction, and with good reason. One of those reasons is his insight into human nature, a key element in creating the believable characters with which his books are populated. The above statement is a good indication of this insight, and is an idea that I’ve held as true for most of my adult life. It helps soothe the emotional turmoil that happens every time another bozoid member of the beloved ruling class opens their mouth to insert their foot…. It also keeps me from being disappointed when I face the daily proof of how dumb folks can be, said proof being presented on a regular basis online or in newspapers and TV shows.

Even though I consider myself to be a member of the last group mentioned, I am also realistic, and know that I am part of the majority of those who think, those who don’t always do it very well. If I did, I’d probably not be living in poverty. I’m perfectly aware that it was my own angry reaction to my employer’s rudeness that complicated the retirement process, and has placed me in this position of having to survive until all of my retirement resources have been garnered for use.

If I had paid more attention to my cosmic judo, I would have just let them push me out as disabled, gotten my State Disability Retirement, and would now be enjoying my Social Security. But, noooo, I had to spend six months arguing with the State to placate my pride. I won, in that I got what I wanted from them, but in the process, screwed myself…. typical human behavior, but nonetheless disappointing to know that my bozoid tendencies can still rule my behavior…..

Ah well, now I must use other parts of what I’ve learned over the years, to enable me to put aside my disappointment in myself, and move on to rectify the situation. I’m getting where I need to go, but having to keep myself under strict control to keep from banging my head against the nearest hard surface every time I am confronted with another delay. Sheesh! One more thing that they don’t tell you about in any of the retirement planning manuals….

The statement above doesn’t help me much in this situation, other than to make it clearer why things take so long to get done in the SS and federal bureaucracy. In fact, this insight is most useful for just that…. to help understand why the world is going along the way it is, limping and rushing toward extinction for our species. The inability to think, and worse, the reluctance that most folks have to think, is one of the root causes of why the world is going to shit…. and it’s getting worse all the time, as the forces of ignorance gain ever more of a foothold in society.

The current Presidential political scene that is developing ahead of the election in November is truly a frightening prospect to anyone with more than two functioning neurons between their ears….. I find it incomprehensible, if all-too-believable, that the race is as close as it appears to be. I’ve seen reports that, before even being officially picked as the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, or more accurately, the Republican platform, has more committed electoral votes than I would have believed possible.

I don’t think that there is much of a real chance that the incumbent won’t be re-elected; there is just too much time left until November, and I don’t think that Mitt will be able to keep his mouth shut long enough to keep from self-destructing. But, the tendency of the media to blow up anything they see to sell stories gives him far too much credence, and may complicate the matter. Time will tell, but it makes me nervous, as there are too many historical precedents of the idiocy of the voters to help me feel very relaxed about it…. and neither should you be…..    I predict that if Romney even gets close to being elected, there will be an upheaval that this country hasn’t seen in over 200 years, as the forces of ignorance contend with those among us, such as myself, who will be moved to act if the election results go south… and it won’t be a move toward compliance, or submission to a new order….

REVOLUTION, n.  In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.  Specifically, in American history, the substitution of the rule of an Administration for that of a Ministry, whereby the welfare and happiness of the people were advanced a full half-inch. Revolutions are usually accompanied by a considerable effusion of blood, but are accounted worth it — this appraisement being made by beneficiaries whose blood had not the mischance to be shed.  The French revolution is of incalculable value to the Socialist of to-day; when he pulls the string actuating its bones its gestures are inexpressibly terrifying to gory tyrants suspected of fomenting law and order. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

I think I’ve rambled enough for one morning; reality is calling me to get on with the rest of the day. So, I’m going to cheat a little…. Below is a picture I found on Facebook; I titled it “The Last Will and Testament of Noah”, as it seemed to fit what I believe he would have said, if he could speak. He lived with me about 17 and a half years, passing away last August. I’ve spoken of him often here, and will no doubt do so again in the future. A short time after he passed away, I wrote a tribute to him and our life together. That piece “An Ode to Noah” can be found here:  This picture says it all, for me…. and yes, I know, I’m a softie at heart….___________________________________

Duty calls, and I must answer, so I will now be ruthless….as much as I ever do…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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



Side effects of eloquence, no charge….

SIGH….. I know…. one look at the big sigh, and you’re all, “So, what’s his problem?”  Typical…. just kidding. No, the sigh was for real, actually. It was in reaction to a thought I often have at this moment, a thought that can determine the entire day’s direction. Of course, while I was typing, that thought went completely away, and now I’m stuck in the middle of this paragraph with no subject matter, which is about par for my course this early in the morning. How, you are asking, will he ever pull himself out of this one? Well, I’ll tell you, he has no frigging idea at this point. He’s trying hard not to panic, but I’m afraid his effort isn’t getting very far, because he’s about to FREAK OUT!  Shit! Damn it! Now I’m pissed… hold on, be right back….

As you can see, he did. Freak out, that is. So badly, he was forced to take a break, and asked me to sit in for a moment while he pulls himself together. Who, you are asking, are you? Well, you see, I can’t tell you that, or I’d have to kill you, and we don’t want to leave our readers laying about the premises all dead, now, do we? No, we don’t. So, just take your curiosity and shove it quietly back into your back pocket, and we’ll just forget you asked, okay? Better for everyone that way…… that’s better…..

Oh, look, he’s back! It’s been fun, y’all…… ta then!  

Who the hell was that? What? No, I didn’t ask him to sit in, did he say I did? Why, that asshole! No, I have no idea who that might have been; I just had to go wipe up the mess I made when I freaked, and when I come back, there’s stuff all over the screen. Gad! It’s getting so you can’t even trust your own hallucinations!

Fuck this, let’s go Pearl, okay? I gotta get outta here for a while….. C’mon, follow me, I know a shortcut…..

“[Spirituality is] being able to see anything in a context. If you’re stuck in something that you’re trying to do, you step back and say, “What is this about?” Put it in a larger context. This is what the Gestalt psychiatrists call “insight.” It’s what other psychiatrists call “reframing.” It’s the ability to do this, rather than being stuck in a particular pattern like a computer. This kind of thinking is always in the back of science — theories are provisional. If they don’t work, one steps back and takes another look at them.” — Ian Marshall, Salon 2/18/00

A voice of reason speaks! Of course, there is little hope that anyone is, or will be, listening. First attributed twelve years ago, this statement seems a balanced response to any questions or arguments one might have in the discussions (if such they may be called) that swirl and eddy around the subject of creationism vs. evolution. It accurately points out the mind-set, the attitude, as it were, that one needs to approach any question of science, or philosophy, or religion, or any other subject, that is essential to finding any viable answers to the inquiry. Any picture needs to be beheld in the proper perspective, in order to fully see the characteristics of which it is comprised; when viewed from a different perspective, the picture changes, and may no longer be an accurate representation of what is real, thus altering how we can deal with it.

The seeking of this perspective is a quality of inquiry that is too often overlooked by the proponents of creationism. The view of events and purported evidence that support their position does not yield itself well to such examination; the evidence upon which they are basing their belief shifts about, or disappears entirely if viewed from any viewpoint other than the one from which it is presented. This is due for the most part to the inability of these proponents to verify the evidence by independent means, or by reproducing the evidence anew in another experiment. They can’t do that, because the evidence has no real existence in reality, but is rather based on assumptions that cannot be verified. Generally, pointing this out tends to provoke a certain apoplexy in them, and it’s best at that point to leave them to their own devices, so as not to annoy them further by intruding upon their fantasy with your reality……

“If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?” — Thomas Henry Huxley

We’ve looked at the whole Solar System:
Mars, Venus, the Moon – you can list ’em.
Wherever we roam,
There’s nobody home.
Perhaps they stepped out, and we missed ’em?

Well, perhaps it isn’t exactly on a par with say, Keats, or Yeats, or Emily D, but I like it…. it speaks to the Bozo in me, as well as to the scientist, and the romantic. Not bad for a simple limerick, eh?

Now you can see why school was never really much of a difficult academic challenge for me, but rather a complex social challenge. Facts, philosophy, language, math, science, I could handle all that just fine, as my grades indicated so well. But, throw me into the mix at a dance, and I was mostly clueless, though not completely, coming from a large family. Having sisters did keep me from the worst social gaffes; but sisters aren’t known for their support and encouragement of younger brothers. In fact, one might say that ridicule and laughter are their preferred methods of emotional interaction with them. But, they didn’t want me embarrassing them in front of their friends, so a minimal amount of helpful information was given (with appropriate physical reinforcement) in that vein….

I also had the educationally neutral, yet socially advantageous status as an athlete, eventually earning varsity letters in three sports, for three years out of four. The before and after game activities were my primary social proving ground, my laboratory, so to speak; needless to say, it took me a long time to really learn anything substantially accurate regarding human interaction on more than a superficial level. In short, I was an engineer, in spirit, if not in actual practice…. pathetically naive about relationships, and women, in both the general, and the specific senses.

Then, I went to Berkeley…. I don’t think I need to say that my education, and even enlightenment in some cases, in social issues of every type, personal, political, relational, general, and specific, assumed a much larger importance, a much larger portion of my time and attention. Simply put, it blew what passed for my mind into tiny pieces of shattered illusions (to use the charming vernacular of the time….).

I’d guesstimate that 95% of what I had believed or thought I knew about most everything to do with society, and how people interact with one another, was either out-of-step, untrue, unreliable, or simply made up nonsense, that seemed to have no real purpose other than to allow some folks to manipulate others with more facility. Let me tell you, that first year away from home was an eye-opener, for sure and for certain….. and I thank my younger self almost daily for deciding on Berkeley the moment I first saw the campus, riding with my Dad in a tiny little Renault compact in 1967…. It was the only college I applied to, or wanted to go to…. and, fortunately for my mind/self, I did….

“If you wish to make a man your enemy, tell him simply, You are wrong. This method works every time.” — Henry C. Link

This statement is another of those that I almost passed on, thinking it was too obvious a point to make for good discussion. But, as is often the case when I think that at first, a second look at the idea stimulated further thought….

For example, the question occurs to me to ask, “Well, if this is so, what is there in men that makes them so easy to manipulate like this?”  For that is what it is, a simple manipulation. Such a statement as  “you are wrong”, when uttered with confidence and surety,  doesn’t even have to be true; the mere fact that you have said it will activate most men’s towering ego, which, automatically it seems, refuses to believe that it CAN be wrong, much less accept being told so by anyone at all……

Generally, there is no need to even offer any proof of such an assertion. The ego of most who seek argument will blow right past that key step in finding truth, and head right on into outraged anger at the one who would be so rude as to question them. Actually, watching some folks go through the mental steps to this outrage can be pretty entertaining, especially when they turn all those colors in their faces as their anger grows, and they become increasingly apoplectic in response…. fascinating shades the human skin displays when aroused!…..

Of course, once made, you usually have an enemy for life, so it is often wise to withhold such applications of control over others. Allowing oneself to indulge in this sort of manipulation, while satisfying and amusing in the short run, often leads to later regrets, at having to deal with the consequences repeatedly over time (most folks have a long memory for being told they are wrong; they never forget, and they never forgive…. one would think they had nothing better to do…..)

This is another lesson to be learned in these interactions, that compassion for ignorance is not always misplaced, rare as it may be to find an ignoramus deserving of it. For myself, I find it hard to be compassionate when the other person chooses to be ignorant; whether due to fear of the unknown, faith-based denial of reality, or simple laziness, it all tends to piss me off, and I’m not shy about sharing that with them.

But, for those whose lack of understanding comes from an inherent inability to comprehend the necessary information, I am willing to show some tolerance, and make the attempt to educate them….. they can’t help using the deck of cards they have, even if it is missing a jack and half of the queens……

“Anybody who wants religion is welcome to it, as far as I’m concerned — I support your right to enjoy it.  However, I would appreciate it if you exhibited more respect for the rights of those people who do not wish to share your dogma, rapture or necrodestination.” — Frank Zappa, “The Real Frank Zappa Book”

“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

“[The Equal Rights Amendment] is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” — Pat Robertson

🙂    So, where would you like me to begin with this? ….. Take your time…..  I know, hard to pick, isn’t it?  A few days ago, I found and included here another of Pat’s verbal miscues. That one was amusing mostly because it was so obviously his own natural stupidity that overcame his media chops, turning his attempt at deep philosophy into a soliloquy that Geraldo Rivera would have rejected. It wasn’t even necessary there to even point out what was wrong about it; sheer nonsense needs no explanation.

But this statement is another kettle of old stinky fish altogether. This one reaches for the heights; it seeks to climb the highest peak of human stupidity, and seriously would like to drag all of us along with him, into that clear air, free of any distracting truths. The sheer, complete refusal to even glance in the direction of Reality that this indicates in the speaker is, to me, absolutely astounding. I have watched with resignation and chagrin as the world has, step by step, little by little, “dumbed down”; the percentage of public acts that approach the ludicrous grows larger every day, hastened by the unstoppable march of population growth.

The mathematics of demographics leaves no room for argument with the FACT that average human intelligence decreases as the population increases; it is a proven equation, and not arguable in the slightest. The numbers simply cannot lie. Society is getting dumber. Deal with it…..

And prepare yourselves, as such egregiously insane and ignorant statements as this will no doubt become more frequent, as the number of folks who haven’t a clue, or a care, as to what may or may not be real, grows beyond all expectations, keeping the rest of us busy cleaning up the messes they make. Oh well, it will give us something to do until the inevitable result of such a trend takes effect, at which point the planet will be able to get back to normal, without the infestation of self-destructive mammalians all over the available surface space….

`Just the place for a Snark!’ the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

‘Just the place for a Snark!  I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark!  I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true.’

Is there anyone who doesn’t know who wrote this? Or hasn’t heard of he Snark and the Boojum? If so, I pity them, and wish they could have more fantasy in their lives, for they obviously have not had enough thus far, if these names ring no bells for them, and bring no smiles of fond remembrance of childhood days, reading or listening to tales of Wonderland.  Every child needs to experience times of joy in dreams, and flights of unfettered imagination, for without it, they are ill prepared to face reality with any hope of success.

gigoid has spoken….. so be it….

Any more signs of that asshole that jumped in here at the intro? Good….. I guess I’m going to have to put a password protection on my keyboard for those times I have to leave it unattended suddenly. Of course, since he was most likely a figment out of my own imagination, he could probably find the password in my mind anyway, so that won’t work…. hmm. I’ll have to think about this…. I don’t want to up my meds enough to completely eliminate such hallucinations; sometimes they’re the only company I have for days and days… but, I also can’t have them usurping this blog; it’s counter-productive at minimum, and probably not a completely healthy situation, at least not for me. Can’t say how it affects them…. I never ask, I never tell….

Now that I have thoroughly convinced you of my complete and utter insanity, I can move on to bigger things…… and, as I’m sure you will agree, it’s about damn time….. Y’all take care out there…..

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



Open for dissection: bring your own scalpel….

With a hearty grin and a friendly wave, we greet the morning once more. The grin may look a bit forced, and the wave somewhat rehearsed; chalk that up to the lateness of the hour when I finally dropped off. Just couldn’t persuade the sandman to get here any earlier, and when he finally came, he had to go back for his sack of sleep dust, which he had inadvertently left at his previous stop, somewhere in the Grand Tetons,  up in Wyoming. By the time he got back, I was already yawning, so all went smoothly from that point. If one doesn’t count the age-related trips to the BR during the night (why is it always colder when we have to get up? Is it a law or something?…..oh, right. Murphy. Never mind…).

It’s probably the worst part of the whole deal to have one’s own body providing itself with its own problems; between losing hair at an alarming rate and the nightly trips to the BR, it’s a wonder I haven’t snapped and hurt someone. Of course, no one is ever here, so I’d have to go find someone to flail upon, which just serves to add more angst. Ah well, the alternative is worse, I suppose….I wouldn’t go back to my teens unless forced at gunpoint……. let’s drop the whole subject, shall we?….. it helps to think of this, from a man with experience….

“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” — George Burns

Which is a damn sight better than, “Suddenly, Professor Liebowitz realizes he has come to the seminar without his duck …” Okay, I’m through fooling around now; we’ll get on with the regular program……sorry, I needed the warm-up…..

“It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

I’d have to agree here. I’d also like to add it would be pleasant to possess both qualities…. I’ve always felt Oscar was being more than a little facetious with this, but even if not, and it was entirely cynical, that would not alter its attraction, because, after all, it IS a value judgment….. in fact, several value judgments in one package. What I mean by that has been classified secret, so unfortunately, that’s the end of this little segment….. if I said any more, I have to find and cream pie all of you…..

:religious issues: n.  Questions which seemingly cannot be raised without touching off {holy wars}, such as “What is the best operating system (or editor, language, architecture, shell, mail reader, news reader)?”, “What about that Heinlein guy, eh?”, “What should we add to the new Jargon File?”  See {holy wars}; see also {theology}, {bigot}. — This term is a prime example of {ha ha only serious}.  People actually develop the most amazing and religiously intense attachments to their tools, even when the tools are intangible.  The most constructive thing one can do when one stumbles into the crossfire is mumble {Get a life!} and leave — unless, of course, one’s _own_ unassailably rational and obviously correct choices are being slammed. — from The on-line Hacker Jargon File V423

I have, in previous posts, expressed admiration of hacker culture, and I don’t think it is misplaced. This term, used as humor, parallels exactly the same phenomenon in society at large, for the same kinds of questions, i.e., “What do you mean, the banks need more money?” or “My, that’s a lot of oil you have there…..wanna share?” I especially like the given default response when confronted, “get a life”; it shows a lot of class and restraint to leave it at that. SIGH….I’d love to be able to leave it at that….. so I will….. you lucked out, in one respect. I don’t quite have the built-up outrage for a full rant just now; we’ll have to get back to this another day…… you can put the Taser down, now, you won’t need it……

” Stereotypes are like a supermarket. They are convenient, economical, and useful. They do our thinking for us. We don’t have to waste time trying to make sense of our ignorance. Stereotypes slice through the niceties of language, tide us over the loose ends we don’t understand and wrap up into a comfortable package our narrow – mindedness about everything and everybody except ourselves.” — Chuck Stone (Washington Post 6/3/96)

I’m sorry I missed this article, whatever it was about, when it was first printed; this excerpt shows a lot of insight, and the article itself would no doubt have some good things to say. This is a really accurate description of Robert Heinlein’s Mrs. Grundy; she’s the old busybody who lives in every neighborhood, who spends all her copious free time peeking out the windows and noting down all the gossip she can find about her neighbors, and pronouncing criticisms and moralistic judgments on everyone but herself. This sort of attitude, petty, mean, lazy, and ignorant, is all-too-familiar, and may ultimately lead to our downfall as a species.

Though given adequate tools, much of mankind refuses, in far too many cases, to use, even minimally, the gift of imagination, save to imagine their fears, magnifying them all out of proportion because they have not the courage to face them. Whether it is about religion, or freedom, or truth, or whatever, the ignoramus’s among us react with anxiety and rage to any ideas that are unfamiliar, or in any way differ from their own set of preconceived stereotypes and standards. Thus, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, even Lutherans & Papists, or anyone with a differently hued skin, become objects of fear and loathing, and the age-old arguments continue. I often like to use the following in trying to reason with such people, but fanaticism is usually immune to such frippery as truth or rationality……

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.” — Thomas Jefferson

I also like this take on the subject; it gives permission to fire away at these Bozos, whenever and wherever we encounter them…..

“In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong.” — John Kenneth Galbraith, Guardian (London, 28 July 1989)

…And in a final spasm of pearlistic splendor, we have this from Mrs. Grundy’s antithesis, a woman of grace and intelligence….. ’nuff said….

“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.” — Edith Sitwell

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
— Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — The Day is done

SIGH……that’s better. I’ve just spent the last 40 minutes desperately searching for something profound to write about, and had little success in the quest at hand, until I came across this little gem. I’m sure it’s quite familiar; I seem to remember several long, boring sessions in high school English class discussing this, and a number of other classic poems. It may possibly have been made to be a fun class, but our English teacher was, at that time, suffering a bit of career burp, apparently feeling somewhat despondent over his career choice; regretful of being stuck in a small town, and small school, where someone of his delicate sensibilities and artistic bent was not quite as appreciated as he might have been in a larger town, where there would conceivably be people with tastes that didn’t include anything to do with tractors, the weather, or sheep.

He once commented to the class at large, after grading a test on grammar in the 10th grade, in which all but two of the class failed miserably, that he could teach this subject to a roomful of developmentally disabled chimpanzees faster than our group was picking it up. He may have been right; a good 30% of my classmates still wear cowboy boots, string ties, and shirts with pearl buttons to dress up; I understand, though, that even those who still drive pickup trucks, and who still depend on the land for their living, have email addresses, so there has been some progress made there. In the group photo from our last reunion last year, I didn’t see even one belt buckle bigger than the wearer’s fist.  Heck, I hear there is now a hospital, and TWO bars in town; there’s just no stopping progress, I suppose….. I’ll just fold my tent, and steal silently away…..

And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium
— T.S. Eliot

No adornment needed……

Well, THAT turned on me! Getting all this down in comprehensible form became a matter of ripping it out of my head, and literally flogging myself to type it onto the screen, a bloody process at best. I shall require copious sustenance in the form of high-caloric comestibles, to replace all the energy that got burned up. Not complaining; sometimes that’s what it takes….. but it always comes as a surprise, and I should know better than to be so heavily affected. One word….. Murphy….. Q.E.D………y’all take care out there……

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




Captain Kangaroo, Spiderman, and Tricky Dicky walk into a bar…..

What was that? Just spent 10 minutes composing three lines of absolute crap. It was so bad, and was getting so nowhere quickly, that I just deleted the whole damn thing. So, we will start anew….good morning. It is now just past 4 AM, and I am up, fully awake, anxiously awaiting the two little beeps from the coffee machine that it is ready. Yes! And there they are….I’ll be back….

I’ll say it again….the first sip of coffee in the morning may be my favorite moment of any day. There is just something so bracing, so uplifting, about how everything in one’s system responds positively to the first sip. The next few sips approach the same parameter, but never get there. And, of course, the whole rest of the day is then a downhill run, unless I come up with some new and astounding kind of entertainment or pleasure producing activity, like writing a good poem, or getting an award from another blogger who likes my work, or you know, like an orgasm, which these days are few and far between.

Well, that covers that, probably more thoroughly than it required, or wanted. But that is how I get sometimes when I wake up early. That part of my mind that acts as a governor, attempting to keep my thoughts in a channel that can be focused, probably refuses to get up this early, so the more undisciplined, and prolific, side of my angst-ridden soul takes over and goes amok, until the governor wakes up in disgust and starts putting on the brakes. Sounds as if he’s up now so we’ll dive into the deep end of the pool……

“I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self.  Why was that so very difficult?” — Hermann Hesse

Robert Heinlein has, in fact, answered this question quite directly, in a number of his novels, wherein the main character or narrative voice talks about the Pink Monkey Effect. This is the theorem (actually, more like an axiom, as it has been demonstrated in real life many, many times), that states that in a group of Brown Monkeys, the order of prominence will put a monkey who is Pink, or merely not-Brown, at the bottom of the social scale, every time. Thus it can be surmised that discrimination according to the color of skin is bestial in nature, and is not a valid characteristic of a creature who reasons.

How does that relate to humans? Simple. In society, most people live by the rules they are taught as children, and never behave very far outside the parameters set forth by their parents. These people have a difficult time dealing with change, or anything that falls outside their experience, and this includes how people act when they are acting in accord with their true nature. It is well outside their experience when others use reason, rather than rote, to determine how to act. Thus, anyone in society who challenges the norm becomes a Pink Monkey, and is discriminated against by the Brown Monkeys, and all because the Browns don’t want to grow up and be human; they would rather act like apes…..and never even realize it…….

“Nature, whose sweet rains fall on just and unjust alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undetected. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) — “De Profundis”

It is hard not to love Oscar Wilde, and this particular passage gives an inkling of why. He had such a beautiful command of language that so catches the imagination of the reader, that one becomes almost lost in wonder, at the sheer melody of the words and how they are placed together. The first sentence is possibly one of the most beautiful, and deepest, passages ever written. What imagery and emotion is packed into that one sentence.  “……..secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undetected.” “…..whose sweet rains fall on just and just alike”.

I can only hope that someday I will be able to write a passage such as this; in a way, a passage like this one acts as a goad, or a stimulus to my imagination and creativity. I have come close a few times, but have a far piece to go before I can claim anything close to the beauty of this paragraph by Oscar. It makes me wonder sometimes how Oscar would describe today’s world; I’d be willing to give a lot (say, a finger, or a toe, or even cash money) to hear what he could say on that subject……

If God had meant for us to take life seriously, He wouldn’t have given us a sense of humor.

I would say this is true, as far as it goes. I would feel compelled to add that, to listen to some of the folks who consider themselves tight with God, they don’t figure He has one; at least they won’t cop to it. They live and act as if they never did anything bozoid, or made a mistake, or for goodness sake, looked at a platypus. If that creature isn’t proof that God has a sense of humor, I couldn’t say what is.

Since I don’t honestly believe in the tenets put forth by any of the organized religions I’ve studied (damn near all of them now), I would have to say that our sense of humor is a survival characteristic, a buffer for our minds, to protect it from all the crap and nonsense that floats free in the universe, especially in what we see and hear from our cohabitants on this little mudball we call home.

Such a device is essential to retaining one’s sanity in the face of the kind of complicated, emotionally charged, irrational, and illogical BS we constantly have to deal with when trying to deal with the great unwashed masses. It certainly has aided me in my campaign to bring some light to the dark-headed among us (I refer here to the old saw: the lights are on, but nobody’s home), both by acting as a favored method of teaching for me, and a favored method of learning for them. So, for me, it is a two-edged sword, giving me both protection from the assaults on my mind from the ignorant, and allowing me to share some helpful information in people who can’t learn any other way.

And in the final analysis, it’s always good to remember that humor is best applied in looking at ourselves. I can’t tell you how often I break out in sheer delight over something stupid I’ve done, something I have told myself time and again to not do, but that I end up doing anyway. Just goes to show that even us smart guys are not immune to bozoid tendencies…..thank God….. 🙂

“I have a feeling that at any time about three million Americans can be had for any militant reaction against law, decency, the Constitution, the Supreme Court, compassion and the rule of reason.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

Mr. Galbraith makes a valid point here, but I think his estimate is low, considering there are over 310 million of us now. I’d wager it’s closer to 30 million, of which 95% would be fundamentalist Christians and/or Mormons. The entrance qualifications for acceptance into one of those organizations are pretty low, and since the principal characteristic of all of them is sheer mental laziness (they refuse to think for themselves, instead of blindly accepting what their leaders, or their interpretation of their scriptures, tell them), and the ranks of the great unwashed masses have swollen in the last decade. If you need proof, look at the Tea Party, which I consider one of the more apt descriptions for that entity. I would, however, prefer to add some words to it, to wit: the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

For the sake of argument, let us look at just one subject, say evolution vs. creationism. As recently as November of last year, several of the Republican candidates for the nomination to run for President expressed their doubts about evolution, trying no doubt to appeal to that 30 or more million folks who believe in creationism. Below, you will find just one argument on the subject; there are literally millions more scientists who would say the same…..

“Evolution is as much a fact as the earth turning on its axis and going around the sun.  At one time this was called the Copernican theory; but, when evidence for a theory becomes so overwhelming that no informed person can doubt it, it is customary for scientists to call it a fact.  That all present life descended from earlier forms, over vast stretches of geologic time, is as firmly established as Copernican cosmology.  Biologists differ only with respect to theories about how the process operates.”– Martin Gardner, “Irving Kristol & the Facts of Life”– The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII No. 2, ppg. 128-131

In reality, I am aware that I’m preaching to the choir here; most of the folks I know don’t much hold with nonsense. But, a lot of other folks may eventually read this, and if I can offend them enough, maybe I can get them to think for a moment or two, much as it pains them to do so……if not, well, it’s fun for me, and leaves them feeling confused, so that’s all good…..

William Shakespeare doesn’t need my approval, but he has it nonetheless. Though I don’t consider him to be as good as he is touted to be, he is still one of the most prolific of writers, and obviously had a firm grasp of human nature and how to write about it. Where other folks go past my preferences are those passages that become too complex and wordy; to me, this makes it less entertaining, and I’m not impressed merely by verbiage. I myself can write some pretty impenetrable stuff, so I realize that much of what he wrote was written that way to impress the yokels, who were his main source of income.

But, though I’m not his hugest fan, I still can acknowledge that there are very few at all who can compare to the beauty and depth of some of his work. Below I have included three of his best, in my opinion. These passages show skill, emotion, human nature, and humor, all with great style and wit. It doesn’t get much better than this…….

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” — William Shakespeare, As You Like It — Act v, Sc. 1

And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer’d. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs;
She swore, in faith, ‘t was strange, ‘t was passing strange,
‘T was pitiful, ‘t was wondrous pitiful;
She wish’d she had not heard it, yet she wish’d
That Heaven had made her such a man; she thank’d me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
She loved me for the dangers I had pass’d,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used.
— William Shakespeare, Othello — Act i, Sc. 3

“What! canst thou say all this and never blush?” — William Shakespeare

I probably should have known that getting up so early would be problematic. Here I am, finished with this, and now I have to wait about three hours for the rest of the world to arise and get moving, before I can accomplish anything worthwhile, since today’s schedule has to do with interactions outside home.

Oh wait, company coming today….okay, that’s cool. No worries….. sorry, got distracted inside my head. I guess this is enough for one day (and no remarks about it being too much for any day), so maybe I’ll go take a long shower & go back to bed….. I sure like being retired, and making up my own schedule, without any outside influence; it’s a very powerful feeling. Any who, y’all take care out there….

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