With a suitably dour expression, the dowager duchess demurred….

Ffolkes,

“‘Tis not knowing much, but what is useful, that makes a wise man.”

~~ Thomas Fuller ~~

more palsBosom Buddies


In keeping with my resolution to lose weight (no, not a New Year’s resolution; I started three months ago…), and to take a more proactive attitude toward my overall health, I’m making good progress, 25 lbs; gone, so far, in 3 months…). In terms of the pain, not so much has been achieved, as yet, though I have high hopes, so to speak. In general, I also intend to be a bit less of a curmudgeon, at least in the way I look at certain subjects…. I have no intention of giving up my insistence on not suffering fools gladly; I’ll just be a little nicer to shopkeepers, and other folks who cannot properly defend themselves from my ire when they act stupid right in front of me…. It will probably help my karma, too, so, it’s a win-win…

So what does that mean for today’s intro? Not a damn thing, but, something had to go there, right? Right. Now that it has, I suppose it would be advisable to direct your attention to our next abortive attempt to engage your interest…. Sad thought the attempt was, (To be truthful, I tried to warn them/us/myself, it wouldn’t work… and, as you see, it didn’t….), it may not have snatched up your attention, to nail it on our chosen theme, but, it did get you down to this paragraph. Let’s see, where to now?….

Perhaps you’d like to see the pictures I got from…. no, that’s right, we don’t post genitalia pictures, thought I’m told some people get a lot of them sent to them via email…. I wish I got genitalia pictures in the mail; what a thrill that must be! (Why yes, you do detect a trifle bit of sardonicism in that statement…. why do you ask?….) What I would do with them isn’t clear, nor do I want to think about it, but, at least somebody out there could be nice enough to give me a choice in the matter…. How will I ever learn to judge them by quality of form?…. No, I’m not serious…. In fact, I believe I’m lost again, having completely wandered away from any sort of direction I may have thought to go….

Oh well, it’s okay…. Even though I spent a miserable night, and felt for a time like borrowing my neighbor’s AK-47, I managed to get back to sleep for an hour, which allowed me to rescue my mood, so as not to start the day with an urge to sink my remaining teeth into some soft, pink flesh…. preferably the throat of a Kaiser executive…. Oops, didn’t mean to rant, even for one partial sentence… Oh well, I guess that’s a good sign, indicating this would be a good time to get our asses out of here, and get on with today’s effort…. Okay, I’ll do it…. Watch….

Shall we Pearl?

“The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions.” — Cicero (B.C. 106-43)

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My friend Lou, at http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/, sent me a link yesterday, with a suggested video for my readers to enjoy while reading their morning pearls…. I checked it out, and he’s right…. It’s a great little compilation of soothing sounds and music, suitable for reading, studying, meditating, or yoga…. take your choice….

Zen Garden – Cherry Blossoms, Relaxation & Meditation – 50 minutes

http://youtu.be/l_YSyUpf8Ec

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UBIQUITY, n.  The gift or power of being in all places at one time, but not in all places at all times, which is omnipresence, an attribute of God and the luminiferous ether only.  This important distinction between ubiquity and omnipresence was not clear to the medieval Church and there was much bloodshed about it.  Certain Lutherans, who affirmed the presence everywhere of Christ’s body were known as Ubiquitarians.  For this error they were doubtless damned, for Christ’s body is present only in the Eucharist, though that sacrament may be performed in more than one place simultaneously.  In recent times ubiquity has not always been understood — not even by Sir Boyle Roche, for example, who held that a man cannot be in two places at once unless he is a bird. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

I’ve related my take on religion previously, but, I find the following rant from the archives makes fine reminder of why the entire concept is one we could do without, if we so chose…. Taking personal responsibility for our own morality has always seemed, to me, to be a much more moral way to live, than to allow others to determine for me how I should act…. My comments re: the rightness of eliminating those who deliberately harm others, or society, are a bit radical; in truth, they are a bit harsh even for me. In truth, though, ’tis no more radical than basing the same act on someone else’s idea of how morality should be defined….

From 12/6/2012:

Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?”  The Master said, “Is not Reciprocity such a word?  What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” — Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

Ah yes, the Golden Rule…. For how long have the sages of our species been reiterating this rule? Years? Centuries? Millennia? Yes, all of the above. Yet, in today’s society, there is ample proof that a large portion of humanity totally ignores this rule, instead operating under a different rule, to wit: “I’m going to get mine first, and do unto others, first, before they can do unto me” This rule has never been precisely stated, unlike the Golden Rule, which has been stated in any number of ways over time. But, those who live by this rule are just as committed to their own self-interests as sages are to the interests of all…..

The struggle for the Soul of Man has been raging since the beginning of history, for though we now drive cars, and wear ties, and use telephones, our emotions and desires are the same ones we had when we lived in caves and ate unrefrigerated foods on a daily basis, if we were lucky. To this date, no one has been able to discover why some people just won’t go along with the program, but insist on making their own rules, to the detriment of everyone else. I suppose if we did discover the reason, it wouldn’t be a problem any more, but it is still frustrating to know that we are, as a species, still fighting the same old ignorances and cupidities that we had in the beginning of history, and are still losing far too often…..

I believe in the inherent goodness of people, but, at my age, I also must qualify that belief to include the very significant number of folks who choose to act against that part of their nature, giving rein to that beast in all of us that yearns to take, and to destroy. Yes, we have goodness in our makeup, but we also have evil, and there are a lot of people who choose to dwell on that side of their own nature, and basically don’t give a crap about what it means to other people. As long as they meet their own needs and desires, everyone else can just go to hell…. I don’t much like it, but it is true nonetheless….

So, I say this…. If one sees a person who is harming others by their actions, and you can determine that they are doing so deliberately, then I believe it is within the boundaries of the Golden Rule to destroy them on sight (or, at minimum, administer a sound thrashing)…. for this reason: if I were acting in such a manner, I would wish that the rest of rational society would judge me, and bring me under control, for the good of all. If that necessitated destruction, so be it; it is a final solution, if a bit harsh. I also do not believe that anyone who deliberately acts to harm others has the right to exist as part of society, and it is perfectly sensible to remove them….

I know, this sounds as if I’m speaking in favor of the death penalty, and in one sense, I am. Unfortunately, the one problem with the death penalty is that nobody can agree on who is capable of making the correct, rational, and honorable decision in such cases. Myself, I’m a bit more of a curmudgeon, and believe in personal responsibility…. so I’m not going to fret over killing a rapist, or a child molester, or a senior abuser, as long as their guilt is clear. They made their choice when they acted against the rules and morals of society, so my choice makes perfect sense in response, according to that same Golden Rule.

A bit different view of that rule, eh? Well, nobody claimed this would be a smooth, level flight, or a soft landing….

“I stared into the abyss. The abyss stared into me. Neither of us liked what we saw.” — Brother Theodore

Google says that this particular phrase is attributed to Brother Theodore (whoever he was….) Nietzsche gave a very similar expression, when he said , “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” Either one of these is a fitting closer for this section….

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Along the same lines as the above, here is one of mine, in what I would define as a call to reason….

Early Observations

Until I knew there was more,
I wanted to know God.
They said he was a nice guy,
and would let me live forever.

All I had to do, they said,
was live my life for Him,
always living by scripture
cleaving only to his Way.

But, everyone I saw in church,
acted different at home.
Living wild, cussin’ and fussin’,
nobody lived like they said.

Still, I tried to be like Jesus,
he was sort of cool.
He never hurt nobody
and walked on the right path.

‘Course they killed him for that,
they couldn’t stand his example.
Turned him into a martyr,
 hid his real words among their own.

Then I found the Buddha,
and met Lao Tzu at the gate.
They saw things real different,
showed me how to see straight.

Right thought, and right action
replace blind obedience and faith.
Reality becomes manageable,
fear retreats, the universe expands.

Brother John said it pretty well,
“Imagine there’s no heaven,
it’s easy if you try.”
Sounds like he knew why.

Day to day, life is grand,
we walk in eternal beauty.
Open your eyes and hearts,
find yourself already immortal.

~~ gigoid ~~


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

This is what I’d call a prototypical pearl, which is of a variety which makes it plain life isn’t as simple as it seems, yet, provides us with all we need to understand any complexity, if we are open to developing a character of honor, dignity, and courage, tempered by kindness, and its outgrowth, compassion….

“Life is a struggle with the obvious. We have been so blinkered with expectations or so blinded with choices that seeing and accepting the obvious becomes rare and courageous.” — Callan Williams

“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” — Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

“Man is a religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion – several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) — The Damned Human Race

“Determine never to be idle…It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Character is much easier kept than recovered.” — Thomas Paine

“Of all the benefits that virtue confers upon us, the contempt of death is one of the greatest.” — Montaigne (1533-1592)

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Having survived the black hole that was my mind this morning, and emerged, relatively unscathed, on the other side of reality, I see that what I’ve created here today is, once again, more than I intended, while less than I’d hoped…. Not bad for a late start after a misery of a night…. I’ll take it, and run…. See y’all tomorrow, if all goes as planned…. Oh, I’d also like to mention the addition of Richy to our call for blessings in the ending blurb, as well as a brand new worthy sentiment, from our old friend, Oscar, which I’ve added to the very end, (the only appropriate place for it….), just for fun….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Time to apply the marinade….

Ffolkes,

“But I be a cat, and no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer.” — JoJo
July 22 2014 001 (2)

    That, of course, is true of all cats, all the time….. However, you CAN trust a cat to be straight with you, if it is asking for something…. Cats are completely shameless about that; they will always ask for what they want, figuring it is always worth the effort, since, if one doesn’t ask, one never knows, do one?…. Nope, so, they ask, and don’t get upset at whatever the answer may be…. Of course, if they DON’T get what they want, they will keep asking, in a louder voice, until you break down and give it to them….

Just look at that face! Focused, alert, terminally cute…. all the proper attitudes for the penitent beggar….. And, you can see in the eyes, she’ll do literally ANYTHING, if you’ll just give her whatever it is she’s asking for….. Well, or they’re saying, “Give it to me NOW! Your will is my will.”…. She’s got that intense, Svengali-like look to the eyes, doesn’t she? And all she really wants is some pets…. you know, a little scritch around the ears, or, best, along the jawline…. Purrrrr….

The picture is Jojo, the small, formerly feral cat who lives here for the time being…. It took us a while to come to terms, but, having lived with cats all my life, along with dogs, it’s only a matter of time before my superior scratching skills win them over…. That, and being knowledgeable enough about cat psychology to know how to respect their boundaries…. It’s all a matter of respect with cats…. if you don’t respect their nature, there will be continual struggles based on that misunderstanding, and you’ll find yourself wondering who is actually in charge of the house…. They can be stubborn when they feel insulted….

Okay, that was nice…. A bit of morning cuteness, some casual conversation, and we’re pretty much good to go for today’s intro…. It’s a bit shorter than some, but, short is okay, short is good…. especially since, yesterday, I got a bit carried away, to the tune of over 3200 words… That’s what happens when I try to combine two rants into one…. but, I think I got in some good blows to the body of the asininnies, so, I’m happy with it…. I just promised myself to make today’s effort more in line with the norm, whatever that is….

Such being the case, I’m now going to bring this to a close, and get on with the rest of this…. It’s not as if we don’t do this every day, now, is it? It is? Oh, hell, I was hoping y’all wouldn’t notice…. I should have had y’all busy doing something, like fastening your seat belts, or shining up the brass work, or something…. Oh, well, we’ll manage, even if you don’t pay attention to the standard rules of engagement, as we use them around here…. But, then, nobody ever does, so, what the hell, let’s get on with the show….

And, oh, yes…. as for cats being from this planet, I don’t think ANY of them are…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Life is short, art long, occasion sudden; to make experiments dangerous; judgment difficult.  Neither is it sufficient that the physician do his office, unless the patient and his attendants do their duty, and that externals are likewise well ordered.” — Hippocrates (460-359 BC) — Aphorism i

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“Although it is tempting to resent disaster, there is not much use in doing so… Whether we remain ash or become the phoenix is up to us.” — Deng Ming-Dao

What you will find below was first posted as the entire Pearl of Virtual Wisdom on 10/28/2011, just a few months after I started on WordPress…. It’s a pretty good discussion, from a period when I had not yet firmed up either the format for Pearls, or my own style of writing…. I have gone through to edit, so it’s more user-friendly, bearing in mind what I’ve learned since then about how to put together a piece for posting…. I haven’t altered any of the ideas or concepts, just adjusted punctuation and grammar a bit…. I hope you enjoy it….

From 10/28/2011:

Our real self, the soul, is immortal. We may sleep for a little while in that change called death, but we can never be destroyed. We exist, and that existence is eternal. The wave comes to the shore, and then goes back to the sea; it is not lost.” — Paramahansa Yogananda

Paramahansa Yogananda was an Indian sadhu, a holy man. He was a teacher of yoga and philosophy, beloved around the entire world. He wrote the book “Autobiography of a Yogi”, which is held to be responsible for bringing the practice of meditation to the Western world. Now, yesterday, or perhaps the one before, I included here a quote from one of the Indian holy books written before the advent of Christ, in approximately 300 B.C. If you were to hold the two quotes together, it would be very difficult to tell whether or not they came from the same piece, or at least the same school of thought. But there are over two thousand years between the appearance of the first, and the writing of the second.

To me, this is one of the major reasons I often prefer the approach of the older religions to the questions of Life that they try to answer. Compared to most Christian, or Muslim writings, the passages from the Bhagavad Gita, the Dhammapada, and the older Hindu tomes written first in Sanskrit, all show a much greater understanding of how the universe works, without having to resort to the creation of one deity, who is omniscient, omnipotent, and all-seeing (it says so right here on the label), who strangely enough, resembles most an old Jewish patriarch, and who, oddly enough, has the behavioral characteristics of a jealous and spiteful little boy.

That whole batch of stories in the Old Testament about the prophets like Job, and Lot, are like reading a soap opera script, complete with deus ex machinae. It’s the sort of story that first drove me away from Christian teachings, which proclaim to be merciful, but have been perverted to rationalize prejudice and racism, causing me to seek out more logical, evidence-based philosophies, that encourage diversity and reason.  I’ve never looked back, and, thus, have never risked becoming a pillar of salt…..

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is it’s natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov.  13, 1787

In the past few years, since the advent of Homeland Insecurity, I have watched the more conservative elements of our society pull back, just like a tortoise who sees danger, and retreats into his hopefully impervious shell. And at the creation of each new regulation to curtail one of our liberties, I have watched with somber regard, ashamed of my country. We were attacked on 9/11/01, yes. But why? Has anyone ever stopped to ask that question? Well yes, some did, and they were shouted down as being unpatriotic. Apparently, holding fast to the liberties provided for us by Mr. Jefferson, et al, has become an unpatriotic act.

It is unpatriotic for me to object to having my private information and home privacy invaded, as well as to complain when it has been curtailed. It is supposedly unpatriotic to object out loud to any of the measures taken; the pundits will scream their tiny little heads off, using every fear of the unknown that they can come up with to frighten and distract the public. I recently broached a radical idea, in one of my pieces, when I suggested we, as Americans, should consider the concept of another American Revolution. I pointed out that the men and women who fought against English rule in the late 1700’s did so because they wanted to govern themselves, to “pursue happiness” according to their own rules, rather than living with rules and taxes laid upon them by people who were only interested in profits and power.

Sound familiar? Today, we are living under the same sort of oppression; the people who are elected in this country run for the office not because they are public-spirited, but because it is the best way to achieve power over others. I cannot think of one single elected representative that did not lie to the public to obtain office, nor can I come up with a name of one who didn’t continue to lie once elected. It’s pathetic how stupid the general public has become, so focused on the details of living that they can’t spare the intellectual energy to question their beloved ruling class. I’m not sure anymore that there are any Americans left who believe in what Tom Jefferson said above; they’d all rather just kick back and watch hockey, whining like children when the beer’s too warm……..

“Freedom is just a hallucination created by a pathological lack of paranoia.” — Smart Bee (Scary, if true…..)

I think I’ve chosen poorly this morning, which isn’t surprising. I had a lot to say about this when I first picked it, but I can see that most of the subject was covered above. It might be amusing to try to go humorous with it, but I’m not in the mood today for that; too much sheer anger built up against the forces of Dark, aka Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, Bush I or II, or any of the other crop of folks who prefer to keep the public in a state of constant turmoil, in order to distract them from what they are actually doing. It is hard for me to accept the whole “water-boarding” controversy, because I had assumed that our leaders were people of integrity, not hypocrisy.

Torture, to my way of thinking, is an act of cowardice, only used by those who believe that the end justifies the means in all cases; it doesn’t fit with my image of how a free man functions. Cowards who live in constant fear that someone will really see what a coward they are, who will say or do anything to maintain their own little kingdom of influence. Sometimes the end CAN justify the means, but not most of the time. Most of the time, it merely serves as a way to comfort their innate insecurity, and keep them from assuming either guilt, or responsibility for their actions, which they KNOW to be immoral, unethical, and, most likely, illegal according to our Constitution.

This could go on forever; I have a lot of powerful emotion behind these ideas, and could sit here all day, taking shots at the talking heads. But, I do have other stuff to get done today, so I’ll leave it here. Feel free to comment, positively or otherwise; dialogue is always welcome here. In the meantime, y’all take care out there…..

“I think we should stop looking for issues to discuss.  I think we should shut up and get to work.” — Howard Chaykin

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On days like this, when I’ve sublimated a rant out of the archives, I like to go with this poet, one of the best of the twentieth century, a true poet of the people…. I give you, the inimitable Charles Bukowski….

Alone With Everybody

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
much
and nobody finds the
one
but keep
looking
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than
flesh.

there’s no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular
fate.

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else
fills.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

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I find myself in the throes of laziness, which, though nothing new, is nonetheless problematic, striking as it is mid-blog…. Such a conundrum might have sent me off into the archives again, to find another fill-in piece, but, I’m going to be a good boy, and put together a fresh pearl, if for no other reason than to take the sails out of the argument I’ll give myself later….

See, even in the midst of an internal debate, I can think ahead! Getting older DOES have certain advantages, with foresight being one of the more important ones, one that saves us old farts a lot of energy that would otherwise be spent foolishly on wasted effort…. and, yes, that could be called pandering to myself…. Enjoy it anyway, if you believe you should…. If not, well, there is little I can do to help you at this point; you’re what we would normally call toast, by any other name….

“Have you ever wondered why you always run out of breath when you throw up? Ah, but a man’s retch should exceed his gasp, else what’s a heaving for?” — Smart Bee

(Sorry, really, I couldn’t help it…. it’s just such a wonderful pun!…. Gotta love that Scottish wit….. I’ll do better, promise….)

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Yes, we’re all tired of dinosaurs.” — Mom’s Hint #130

“In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it’s a false promise predicated on the idea that the opposite of security in risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.” — Theodore Forstmann

“It is fatal to be right when the rest of the world is wrong.” — Brother Theodore

“There’s always a bigger fish.” — Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Episode I

“Three doctors were talking about their favorite patients.  The first  said that he preferred operating on Germans because their organs were lined up in exactly the right position.  The second preferred Japanese because not only were their organs in exactly the right position, but they were also color coded.  The third chimed in too.  “I’ll take lawyers any day.  Ever open one of those suckers up?  Only two working parts – the mouth and the anus, and they’re interchangeable.” — Smart Bee

I love it! This pearl, eclectic though it may be, is rock solid, ffolkes…. Bookended by Smart Bee, bolstered with wisdom from Mom, Qui-Gon, and Mark Twain, how could it be anything but amazing!…. If you read them with the right squint, and allow your mind to be guided, the mind-set where you end up will leave you breathless…. guaranteed…. I mean that in the best way, of course, not in the same sense as the first pearl in this section….

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Well! That was…. something. I think I’d better go take a look at it, now that it’s done…. I’ll be back shortly….

See, that never takes long, does it?…. It’s almost like being a Time Lord when I do that…. Now, how to describe the unthinkable…. You know what? I think I’d be better off not to try…. It could get explosive, and who knows what it might do to the space-time continuum, which is shaky enough these days?…. We’ll just close our eyes to any potential hazards, and wish y’all happy trails….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Save all the cliches, we can recycle them….

Ffolkes,
Is it now merely habit that brings me here each morn? Where lies my purpose in writing these missives of murky thought? Why am I asking you? And what’s with all the questions? Since, out of four, I don’t know the answer to any, maybe I should reconsider my original format, as it doesn’t show a lot of promise at getting me much of anywhere. Of course, it is getting me there fast…..

Where’s my towel? Now there is a question to which I can always respond, thanks, of course, to Douglas Adams. His “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” has reached what I’d call the iconic stage, where phrases and ideas from the book have become societal standards, among them, the proper use and care of your towel. Perhaps it was prescience, or perhaps just lucky genetics, but I’ve always known about the importance of towels, and that one should always have one handy. My expertise in this area has been with me my entire life, whereas Doug, and the Guide, have not. Maybe I am the result of a sordid liaison with an alien, covered up by my shamed parental units, my lifelong interest in space is a repressed urge to return home, and my intimate knowledge of towels is an innate part of my heritage….

Whatever it is, my towel is always clean, and right here in my…. hey! Who took my towel?….. Nimrods…. Ah well…. um….. good morning, ffolkes…. As you know, I am subject to being taken this way, so fear not; this may seem to be a bit odd, but it’s not unusual, so there is nothing to worry about…. or maybe that was unusual, but not odd. Ah well, no matter…. The daily Pearl is now officially under construction, and any, and all, anomalous events are not only normal, but sought after for their warm fur…. Just kidding, we wouldn’t shoot an innocent anomaly….. We might make tease it unmercifully, or feed it oatmeal laced with Ex-Lax (ouch!), but we wouldn’t shoot it….. makes a huge mess on the floor, especially if we hit it…. Of course, so does the oatmeal….

The only real, pertinent question at hand just now is this: how the hell do I find my way back into the pearling mode, after such an explosion of nonsense? This is FUN, and ridiculously easy to write! Sober thoughts and portentous phrases can’t compete with such levity and good, clean fun…. I could, I suppose, try to make an entire Pearl out of humorous material, but, I don’t know if I am THAT funny….. I do try to maintain SOME degree of lightheartedness, even in the most sober of pieces, enough at least to laugh at myself, if not at humanity. But, I am easily entertained, having been caught previously having a great time just sitting around, watching my fingernails grow; other ffolkes probably have a bit more sophistication…..

Well, if I’m ever to get into the meat of today’s meal, I should draw this intro section to a close. Four full paragraphs of sheer tom-foolery (or, in this case, ned-foolery) is plenty for one day, and certainly enough for an introductory section. I only wish that the ease of effort that this took would carry over into the rest of the Pearl…. It would be nice not to sweat over it for once…. Ah well, the creative process is supposed to hurt, so I’ll quit whining, and get on with it now….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.” — Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”
__________________________________

Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?”  The Master said, “Is not Reciprocity such a word?  What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” — Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

Ah yes, the Golden Rule…. For how long have the sages of our species been reiterating this rule? Years? Centuries? Millennia? Yes, all of the above. Yet, in today’s society, there is ample proof that a large portion of humanity totally ignores this rule, instead operating under a different rule, to wit: “I’m going to get mine first, and do unto others, first, before they can do unto me” This rule has never been precisely stated, unlike the Golden Rule, which has been stated in any number of ways over time. But, those who live by this rule are just as committed to their own self-interests as sages are to the interests of all…..

The struggle for the Soul of Man has been raging since the beginning of history, for though we now drive cars, and wear ties, and use telephones, our emotions and desires are the same ones we had when we lived in caves and ate unrefrigerated foods on a daily basis, if we were lucky. To this date, no one has been able to discover why some people just won’t go along with the program, but insist on making their own rules, to the detriment of everyone else. I suppose if we did discover the reason, it wouldn’t be a problem any more, but it is still frustrating to know that we are, as a species, still fighting the same old ignorances and cupidities that we had in the beginning of history, and are still losing far too often…..

I believe in the inherent goodness of people, but, at my age, I also must qualify that belief to include the very significant number of folks who choose to act against that part of their nature, giving rein to that beast in all of us that yearns to take, and to destroy. Yes, we have goodness in our makeup, but we also have evil, and there are a lot of people who choose to dwell on that side of their own nature, and basically don’t give a crap about what it means to other people. As long as they meet their own needs and desires, everyone else can just go to hell…. I don’t much like it, but it is true nonetheless….

So, I say this…. If one sees a person who is harming others by their actions, and you can determine that they are doing so deliberately, then I believe it is within the boundaries of the Golden Rule to destroy them on sight (or, at minimum, administer a sound thrashing)…. for this reason: if I were acting in such a manner, I would wish that the rest of rational society would judge me, and bring me under control, for the good of all. If that necessitated destruction, so be it; it is a final solution, if a bit harsh. I also do not believe that anyone who deliberately acts to harm others has the right to exist as part of society, and it is perfectly sensible to remove them….

I know, this sounds as if I’m speaking in favor of the death penalty, and in one sense, I am. Unfortunately, the one problem with the death penalty is that nobody can agree on who is capable of making the correct, rational, and honorable decision in such cases. Myself, I’m a bit more of a curmudgeon, and believe in personal responsibility…. so I’m not going to fret over killing a rapist, or a child molester, or a senior abuser, as long as their guilt is clear. They made their choice when they acted against the rules and morals of society, so my choice makes perfect sense in response, according to that same Golden Rule.

A bit different view of that rule, eh? Well, nobody claimed this would be a smooth, level flight, or a soft landing….

“I stared into the abyss. The abyss stared into me. Neither of us liked what we saw.” — Brother Theodore

Google says that this particular phrase is attributed to Brother Theodore (whoever he was….) Nietzsche gave a very similar expression, when he said , “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” Either one of these is a fitting closer for this section….
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Emily’s Letter to the World

As I  mentioned yesterday, I found a treasure trove, a book with all of the collected poems of Emily Dickinson. I’ve been perusing it, randomly sampling from different parts of the book, and I am enchanted with her talent all over again. Her ability to put simple words together to form incredibly complex ideas regarding life and nature is astounding, one that leaves me in awe as a writer. Today, I’m including two of her short pieces, which I discovered by letting the book fall open where it would…. and there these were, just waiting to be shared….. During her lifetime, she only published four poems; these are from the first of the collections of her work published posthumously…..

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
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The mountain sat upon the plain
In his eternal chair,
His observation manifold,
His inquest everywhere.

The seasons prayed around his knees,
Like children round a sire:
Grandfather of the days is he,
Of dawn the ancestor.

~~ Emily Dickinson
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“Who will protect the public when the police violate the law?” — Ramsey Clark

Here is a question that is particularly relevant in today’s society. In my time on this sad little ball of mud, I have studied the various parts that make up our culture, and the police, due to their ubiquitous nature, have always been right there at the forefront of my observations. We all have our stories of how we have had to deal with police in various circumstances, not all of which show them in their best light. In fact, next to lawyers, police officers are probably the most reviled members of society, as well as one of the most admired. There are good reasons to support both views…..

I cannot say that my knowledge of ALL policemen is complete; I don’t know them all. But my observations over the years have indicated that at least half of those who enter the field do so out of a desire to have power over others, rather than an impulse to be of service. It is easy to spot these folks…. They’re the ones who never signal a turn in their cars, and are always moving at a speed greater than the posted limit. They assume that the laws that govern the populace are not applicable to them, and act accordingly. They enter any situation with the attitude that “might is right”, and attempt to intimidate anyone who tries to usurp or question their authority. They don’t serve as policemen to keep the peace, but to control the beasts….. two entirely different goals.

I find myself at this point to be in the beginning stages of a rant; this subject is one that frustrates me a lot, as I believe that the police should be offering themselves as an example of honorable, lawful behavior. Many of them do so, but a large number are no more concerned with serving and protecting than they are in consuming donuts without sprinkles. Due to circumstances well within my control, I’m not in the mood for ranting this morning, so I’m going to let this go without further comment.

Suffice it to say that society needs to consider the question asked above by Mr. Clark, and take a hard, realistic look at the requirements needed to procure police officers who are of the proper frame of mind to assume the responsibilities involved in public protection. It seems to me that psychological testing of potential officers would be a good place to start; perhaps some of those who go into the field for their own purposes might not be given such power, if they could be winnowed out in the testing process…… Perhaps then we would begin to see the police set the example for the rest of society, rather than proving to be one of the problems we need to solve…..

“The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.” — Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)
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All I can say is, well, it’s done…. I may have crossed the line a bit, going over into crusader mode; some mornings I support the death penalty, others I don’t…. It’s a tough concept to cover in a few words, and a coherent discussion can be time-consuming, as well as emotionally trying. If what I’ve said prompts any comments, well, that’s a good thing, and I’m always ready to look at new information and opinions. If not, well, there’s always tomorrow…. I may be a bit more lucid then….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!