Significant signs of sincere drivel….

Ffolkes,

“The truth you speak has no past and no future.
It is, and that’s all it needs to be.”

~~ Richard Bach, “Illusions” ~~

beacon hill park Victoria

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC

Hajime…. In retrospect, there was nothing to be done; if there had, I’d have done it. Instead, here I sit, again searching for some small inspiration to get us to our desired destination. In the ineffable, incomparable way of life at large, nothing doing, at least, not so far. Since waiting around for it to show would be rather presumptuous (for it may never show at all), I suppose I’ll need to find some other source for material to put here. That, of course, is also a hit or miss issue, but, given the circumstances, it could be worse. How, I am not sure, but, I know Murphy, and, believe me, if given half a chance, it WILL get worse.

In order to avoid any such conundrum this morning, I’ll use the new degree of ruthlessness I seem to have found, and cut this intro without mercy. It won’t take long, and actually is quite fun, if one doesn’t fight it. All you need to do is put down your adult beverage, take a deep breath, and read on. As for my part, it works pretty well, all things considered. How does it work? Easy, I push this button, and we’re gone…. Watch….

Shall we Pearl?….

Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens.

[Against stupidity the very gods fight in vain.]

~~ Friedrich Schiller ~~

~~ The Maid of Orleans, Act iii, Sc. 6 ~~

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Lenny Cohen

Leonard Cohen

Image from http://www.pinterest.come via Google Images

One of yesterday’s commenters mentioned today’s featured artist; it’s been a while since we’ve included his work, so, here is a pretty thorough collection of many of his most popular pieces, all in one place. Enjoy!….

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The Best of Leonard Cohen

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https://youtu.be/L9WDRGxp0vA

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Sandclock .jpg

Originally, I had a quote picked out for today, to lead into a discussion of the ubiquitous corporate oligarchy as it now exists in our world. However, reality intervened, to prevent any such fresh ranting today. Instead here is a more light-hearted discussion from early in 2014 to fill in for today. It’s a fun one, so, have fun…..

From 1/30/2014:

“We’re not into science fiction because it’s _good literature_, we’re into it because it’s _weird_. Follow your weird, ladies and gentlemen. Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace your nerditude. In the immortal words of Lafcadio Hearn, a geek of incredible obscurity whose work is still in print after a hundred years, “woo the muse of the odd”.” — Bruce Sterling, addressing a convention of SF writers

A few days ago, I experienced an epiphany regarding the solutions we need to find to the issues of global warming and climate change…. This statement is one that, though not exactly what I’m talking about, is in the right ballpark…. Finding answers to what is happening in the real world has been part of what science fiction writers have done, peripherally, for many years, in the sense that the stories they write explore the concepts involved in ways that demonstrate the questions, and can, hopefully, point the way to finding the answers we now need…

There have been many, many stories…. full length novels, novellas, short stories… all written over the last two hundred years or so, that talk about the most critical issue we now face, to wit: the climate changes produced by our insane pollution of the atmosphere. There has also been a lot of speculation and talk among the people who do the writing, and those who write about them, all discussing possible scenarios for possible futures….. Somewhere among all that talk and discussion, there MUST be an idea that we can use to turn the tide that we have so foolishly turned against us…..

In other words, in a metaphorical sense, we need to go out into the realms of fantasy and imagination, to find the elves, so we can benefit from the wisdom of their counsel…. Even though I already know what they will tell us…. The elves always give the same counsel…. we will need to find a Hero, who can step forward to assume the Quest to save mankind from the folly of his own greed and ambition…. Metaphorically, this is absolutely correct…. what it will translate to in real terms is yet to be seen, but, something needs to be done to find an answer, and soon, for the time we have to accomplish anything that will work is growing smaller rapidly….

“There is something inside all of us that yearns not for reason but for mystery… not for penetrating clear thought but for the whisperings of the irrational… not for science but for wizardry disguised as science.. not for rationally founded influence but for magic.” — Karl Jaspers

In the meantime, rather than ranting at you to get out there and try to find an elf, who can then lead us to his where his people have gone, far over the Western Sea,…. I’ll put together an old-school pearl, with some good advice and/or some snarky comments about the assholes who got us to this point in the first place….

“For me, all I can do is spit in the eye of my fears by living each day with as much passion and commitment as possible to what truly counts, such as love and justice. To give the into the fear and hopelessness would be to declare defeat, something I am not ready to do while there is still the will to struggle.” — Lawrence Paradis

“You shouldn’t think about *how* we’re doing this. You should ask yourself, ‘why?'” — Penn Jillette

“To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” — Agatha Christie

“A little folly is desirable in him that will not be guilty of stupidity.” — Michael de Montaigne — Book iii, Chap. ix

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde

“Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?” — Plato

See? There is a perfect example of why I seldom make precognitive assumptions about a particular pearl, especially BEFORE it is constructed…. This is a grand pearl, but, no snarky comments to be seen…. ‘S’okay, it doesn’t need them….

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Comedy_Tragedy

Blithely Untitled

A poem came to me today, willy, nilly,
along with a sharp blow to the head.
Since it left me feeling just a bit silly,
anything that rhymes should lessen the dread.

Manifesting destiny into a small, insidious group
we push on toward sanity, concentrating hard.
Full engaging moments spent navigating the loop
shall ever make a difference to victims found in the yard.

Still corpses of creatures, straight out of nightmare
fill up the corners of our tortured minds.
While ever saddened, the iconic male, most debonair,
gazes softly, ironically, at all the mutual interest he finds.

Moronic public statutes compel outbreaks of sanity,
responding to momentary impulses toward inducing peace.
Still, the motions get completed, in fertile stages of inanity
while the bulk of our inmates can find no surcease.

Reluctant motivation to continue is unbound,
striving to ascertain how far there yet remains to go.
No precognitive guesswork will make any less of a sound
to soften the final strains, or teach us to truly know.

~~ gigoid ~~

2/7/2014

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

The best wisdom at affordable prices….

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“A wise man first determines what is within his control;
all else is then irrelevant.”

~~ Epictetus ~~

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“Between the vision and the act lies the shadow.”

~~ T. S. Eliot ~~

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“Joy is wealth and love is the legal tender of the soul.”

~~ Robert Green Ingersoll ~~

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“Always we hope
Someone else has the answer
Some other place will be better
Some other time it will all work out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer
No other place will be better
And it has already turned out.
At the center of your being
You have the answer;
You know who you are and what you want.
There is no need to turn outside
For better seeing.
Rather abide at the center of your being
For the more you leave it
The less you learn.
Search your own heart and see
the way to do is to be.”

~~ Lao Tzu ~~

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“we can never be born enough.
We are human beings;
for whom birth is a supremely welcome mystery,
the mystery of growing:
the mystery that happens only and whenever
we are faithful to ourselves.”

~~ e. e. cummings. ~~

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“…and remember you’re a Man, not just god,
and for you there aren’t and never will be any easy answers,
only questions, and no reasons,
only causes, and no meaning,
only intelligence, and no destination
and no kindly magic smiling down from above,
and no fires to goad you from below,
only Yourself and the Universe
and what you make out of the interface between the two equals.”

~~ Keith Laumer, _Night of Delusions_ ~~

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“On SECOND thought,
maybe I’ll heat up some BAKED BEANS
and watch REGIS PHILBIN..
It’s GREAT to be ALIVE!!”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

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Since Zippy finished off that most excellent old-school pearl with such panache, I don’t think I’ll need to get too fancy here at the close. Rather than make any such faux pas, we’ll just note, it’s done, and we’re done for today. We will, with great anticipation, see y’all again tomorrow, as long as the Universe holds together. It’s got a solid record of doing so; most likely, we’ll see y’all then….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Fill in with plastic adobe….

Ffolkes,

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.”

~~ Voltaire ~~

winter blooms

Winter Blooms


Hajime….. I’ll need to proceed with some caution this morning, I think; I feel a certain looseness, an instability, and could conceivably turn introspective at the slightest provocation. I’ll try to save it for the ranting section, but, sometimes, it just gets away from me, y’know? Since I managed to notice it before it hit me too hard, we do stand an even chance of getting through this without getting maudlin, or, fate forfend, sentimental. Makes me shiver to think of it… Brrr….

Of course, such an unstable portion of my soul can also lead to severe outbreaks of nonsense and/or blather, which, as you see, is showing signs of some leakage into this missive. Uh oh. Though I AM up a bit early, I don’t think we can afford to allow too much blather, or we’ll never get out of the intro. It’s already threatening to burgeon into more than bargained for, so, I should probably start to think about hitting the road for the oyster beds, soon. Better soon than never, right? Right…. Okay, let’s see what’s in this drawer over here….

Oh, look! I haven’t seen this one before…. I wonder what it does…. I know, I’ll just push this butt…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.”

~~ Les Brown ~~


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1974 bluegrass

    Norman Blake, Doc Watson, & Jerry Garcia, among many other famous bluegrass players of the day, performed at the Bluegrass Festival in Marin in the year 1974, turning in performances which became legendary…. I found it on YT, and have included here today for your listening pleasure…. Enjoy!….


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Marin Bluegrass Festival
1974

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Plato-Aristotle

The World Is Too Much With Us: Late And Soon

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
 
~~ William Wordsworth ~~


Y’all are, in some cases, probably scratching your head in puzzlement, wondering why a poem from Wordsworth would be, in the first instance, at the top of a section generally devoted to ranting, or, at minimum, examination of an idea of some sort. (That’s a clue, by the way….) In the second instance, you may wonder why it is used in conjunction with a picture of Plato and Aristotle, those prototypical philosophers. For those who are puzzled, relax, I’m gonna tell you. For those who have become used to our oddness, well, you’ve already girded your grid for a big one….

Let’s begin with the first lines, which, oddly enough, contain the words which prompted this treatise. “Getting and spending we lay waste our powers; little we see in Nature that is ours. We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” To my way of thinking, one need not be a poet, or a scholar, to feel the truth of these words, for they hold an indictment of the majority of humanity, for the crime of refusing to be human, denying their own nature in favor of living in fear and delusion. A bit sweeping in scope, but, pretty clearly true, to my mind…..

Wordsworth uses the brevity of poetic expression to put his finger very precisely on that part of human nature which we have abrogate, to wit: our connection to Life, and the rest of the natural world. By “getting and spending” we de of alter our own perceptions to suit our feelings, has made us both powerful, and, afraid of that power…. This leads to an inner confusion, which is reflected in how we choose to deal with reality. For thousands of years, most people have chosen, in the name of expediency, and, in deference to their own inner conflict based on their fears, to embrace three delusional ideas, which have been drummed into their consciousness by unscrupulous predators from birth….

By accepting what they are told is truth, these unfortunate slaves have been easily manipulated, until we are now seeing a world rapidly approaching complete totalitarianism in government, as the few take advantage of the ignorant many, to foster the completion of their own paranoid vision of the universe, which gives them control of others, so they can feel safe. A pathetic dream, to be sure, but, all too real for comfort….

I’m growing both angry, and pedantic; I can feel both getting stronger as I think of these matters. I see little hope for our species into the next century. There are already climatic issues occurring which could conceivably end ALL life on this planet, in the next FIVE years. This sounds unreal, and, perhaps, unduly speculative, but, I can assure you, as a scientist, it is NOT speculation. Physical processes of a chemical nature are occurring, as I type, and we humans have no knowledge of how to stop the chemical process taking place, since we don’t really understand our own planet all that well. But, we keep pumping particulate matter into the air, anyway, even though it has become abundantly clear that doing so will lead to disastrous consequences.

See, that is the other face of our fatal flaw; we humans have the ability to deny reality, to pretend it doesn’t matter to us what may happen in the future, as long as our desires of the moment are being met. Every human I know, myself included, has this power, and it is a power that will, in the end, be our undoing….

SIGH…. I intended to rant on this for a while, but, seem to have reached a point where it’s best to move on…. Look around you, ffolkes; see what is REALLY going on in the big picture, and, I think, if you can be honest with yourself, you will see just how badly we humans have fucked up our chance at life…. and, how little time left we have to try to mitigate some of our foolishness, before it kills us all….

So be it. gigoid has spoken….

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Comedy_Tragedy

“Emily Dickinson didn’t even publish books, she just wrote these demented little poems with a quill pen and hid them in her desk, but they still fought their way into the world, and lasted on and on and on. It’s damned hard to get rid of Emily Dickinson, she hangs on like a tick in a dog’s ear. And everybody who writes from then on in some sense has to measure up to this woman. In the art of book-writing the classics are still living competition, they tend to elevate the entire art-form by their persistent presence.” — Bruce Sterling

Augmentation: Inner Aye

Distant, peals of thunder, vividly.
Closer, a patterr of rain, falling gravidly.
Between the light and the darkness of fear
find merely the remnants of one lonely tear.

Do not hate us, though we have not sinned;
eager for courage, upon whom all hope is pinned.
Tales of insolence, hatred, or fallen virtue
fill us up, not down, in such pristine foreign venue.

Capable hands severed, able hands tied;
the future is angry, all but now denied.
Multiple times, warnings sounded across the pale
nobody heard, nobody came to tell the tale.

Gifted by time, salience fails in epic rhyme;
watchmakers watching, each a separate crime.
Logical solutions refuse to emulsify
forever pretending to cruelly crucify.

Blood will fly alongside pertinent composure,
never seeking, never finding tea, or closure.
Falsely laid trails on mountains of gold
imply no happy endings, no fortunes told.

Ages past have no time for repetition;
further chances only lead to perdition.
Destiny feels a shameful portion of guilt,
for a thousand sand castles, never built.

~~ gigoid ~~

3/2/2016


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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Random Gems

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“If you never assume importance you never lose it.”

~~ Lao-Tzu ~~

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“Courage is the ladder on which all other virtues mount.”

~~ Clare Booth Luce ~~

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“Set the cart before the horse.”

~~ John Heywood (c. 1565) — Proverbes, Part ii, Chap. vii ~~

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An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~

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“Time destroys the speculations of man, but it confirms the judgment of nature.”

~~ Cicero ~~

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“Where there is much light there is also much shadow.”

~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~~

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“Be and not seem.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

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Sorry ’bout the rapid removal up in the intro section, ffolkes. That was pretty radical, wasn’t it? I guess from now on I’ll test those devices out before employing them on a group; the insurance folks will like that. In the meantime, we have finished, and, not too shabbily, I’d say. Hey, it’s not every day you get a fresh poem, right? Since doing so rather fagged me out (the bleeding is copious until it gets down on paper/screen….), & I’ll need some time to recover…. 24 hours seems about right, so, I’ll see y’all right here tomorrow, if nobody aims straight….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Chicken bones for dessert….

Ffolkes,

Xenophanes said,

“I confess myself the greatest coward in the world,

for I dare not do an ill thing.”

~~ Plutarch ~~

~~ Of Bashfulness ~~

PK Leelu

A Storm on the Horizon

Leelu in full PK mode


Hajime…. For any Gentle Readers who are wondering why I’m continuing to use the Japanese opening for today’s Pearl, well, I’ll tell ya…. It’s like this: As I write this, it isn’t morning. It isn’t even evening, really, as it will be, in a short time, what is best described by Eric Clapton in his song, “After Midnight”…. That’s pretty clear, right? It’s the fucking middle of the night, again, and, here we sit, me & Leelu, working on a Pearl instead of sleeping, as my body/mind would REALLY like to be doing.

Why I’m up again isn’t important, though it’s probably relevant. But, any sort of discussion would just set me off again, I’d start ranting, and we’d never get out of the intro. So, I’m passing on that, and we’ll go straight to something more fruitful, or, at minimum, less offensive and rude. We do like to avoid rude, whenever possible. Mom wouldn’t like it if we were rude…. We don’t like to disappoint Mom, do we? No, of course not….

The question now, however, becomes once more problematic, as we are proscribed from using the same trick twice. My box of literary tricks is rather empty right now; what with all the recent time spent finding my way back from Hell, I haven’t had a lot of time to read, or study, or, for that matter, think as much as I’d like. Though we are both body and mind in one, the body’s complaints sure seem to take precedence when they occur; this makes it hard to use the mind to balance whatever is happening…. One can persuade one’s self Reality isn’t actually happening for only so long; at that point, Reality switches tools, from a scalpel to a sledge hammer. and has its way, regardless of whether we can fool ourselves, or not….

I’m pretty good at fooling myself, as are most of us human types. This doesn’t mean I like it; I can just accept it…. Now, where were we? And, where were we going? Oh, right, intro. Okay, it looks as if we have enough to satisfy the licensing board, so, why don’t we let Luigi have some more fun, and use the turbo booster? Everybody strapped in? Okay, Luigi, it’s all yours…. (Don’t worry, ffolkes; if we crash, we’ll just switch over to the Tardis, travel back to this instant, & start over….)

Shall we Pearl?….

“Skeptics laugh in order not to weep.”

~~ Anatole France ~~


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tom_waits_stencil_by_theMIVC-1262

Tom Waits ~ Stencil by The MIVC

Image from 8tracks.com via Google Images


Unique. It’s the only word for Tom Waits; his voice, his musical talent, his lyrics, his persona. Another of mankind’s treasures, to my way of thinking. You can decide for yourself…. This was his debut album, released at age 24; on the page listed below, you can find all of the rest of his body of work, with extras…. Enjoy!….

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Tom Waits
Closing Time

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We the People...

~~ Bruce Sterling ~~


Though I’m afraid he’s right, Mr. Sterling’s assertion does require some definition of terms; “moral relativism” just BEGS to be misinterpreted, in the sense that each person will filter the concept through their own moral viewpoint. So, in order for us to discuss it wit any degree of confidence, I’d best delineate why my own opinion runs, if not parallel, at least in the same quarter of the compass as his statement. Why don’t we do that? I dunno, why not?

Okay. I believe it, moral relativism means exactly what I described above. Each of us has our own moral code (hopefully); we view the world, and its activities, with that code coloring our perceptions. For example, a person who holds the belief they have the duty to help others will view a business transaction entirely differently than one who feels they are entitled to do unto others, first. One will sell their products at a fair price. with service given to each customer. The other will consistently overcharge for cheap products, and act as if they are doing a favor to sell at all.

You see, to me, that’s what moral relativism is; when people make a decision about how to interact with others, for whatever purpose it may be, a certain percentage of our species tends to think it is just fine to rationalize ANY sort of behavior, if it leads to them getting what they want. They can justify lying, stealing, even killing, in the pursuit of their desires, without any compunction, or, really, any thought at all about how others might be affected by their actions. Moreover, many of them are canny, and have learned how to manipulate others of their kind, who have a tendency to be violent, to do their bidding…. They call them ‘police’ these days….

“Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1816

As Tom’s observation from the early days of the Union show, the problems we face today have their origins in that very same beginning, as those who serve only themselves worked their lies and manipulations to gain control of government almost before the ink was dry on the Constitution. He recognized in this, and other writings, how the bankers and preachers had conspired, naturally, as is their nature, to pervert the legislators from day one of the first Congress, lobbying to have their own wishes made law….

And they’ve done it. Our world today is under attack by large corporations, and their owners, who number far fewer than many might believe. They wish to control everyone’s habits, and finances, and health, and every other aspect they can seize. They have made sure the laws favor them over any other member of society, and now have almost free rein to attempt to order everyone’s lives, so we all live in the same houses, watch the same TV shows, eat the same poisonous foods, go to the same doctors who feed us more poisons, then send us to church on Sunday to celebrate our slavery, by worshiping a delusion who promises us our next incarnation will be better.

Bah, humbug! Not for me, thanks…. I’ll take it the same way it’s laid out in the Constitution of this nation, as written. Period.

    gigoid, the dubious, has spoken.

    So be it.

“When, in the course of human events,…. etc.”

~~ Declaration of Independence of the United States of America ~~


Dont keep calm

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Comedy_Tragedy

    For some reason, this one, though recently created, seems to fit in with today’s rant; since I can do what I want, here ’tis….

Mad Dogs at Bay

Wicked, angry, red scenes of imminent demise
haunt my dreams each night.
Fearful visions of destructive surprise
leave me sweating in terror, as well they might.

Small, mean, ugly, with beady little eyes,
pundits gather like maggots, bloated and vile,
grunting, snuffling, mumbling outlandish lies,
enslaving the ignorant with patience and guile.

Society’s denizens exist as volunteer slaves.
Living and dying by script, completely blind.
Never allowing any resentment, no making waves.
Never knowing joy, nor any peace of mind.

Free men will not be controlled, ’tis said;
No coercion, no illusion can cloud their sight.
No threats, no pain, no fear they dread;
their only duty to keep to the right.

Dreams are mere reflections of our inner fears,
whispering, close against doors shut fast.
Mocking our mostly  irrelevant tears,
clearly marking the future as our sordid past.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 7/15/2015.

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pearls_3

    What follows is what I would call a true pearl of virtual wisdom; in fact, in this case, it approaches the real thing. Most of it will definitely be on the Quiz, so, if I were y’all, I’d take notes, at least…..

“Reality is a group hunch.”

~~ Frank Zappa ~~
———-
“We do not perceive reality. We conceive it.”

~~ Oskar Haeml ~~
———-
“If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself.”

~~ Native American Proverb (Minquass) ~~
———-
“Never pretend to be something you’re not.”

~~ Things We Can Learn From Dogs ~~
———-
“Be and not seem.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~
———-
“Truth never tranquilizes.
The defining property of truth is its ability to disturb.”

~~ Solomon Short ~~
———-
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

~~ Erich Fromm ~~
———-
“When someone loves you for a long time,
really loves you, then you become Real.
Generally, by the time you are Real,
most of your hair has been loved off,
your eyes drop out,
but this doesn’t matter . . .
when you are Real you can’t be ugly.”

~~ The Velveteen Rabbit ~~
———-
“Do not go gentle into that good night
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~


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Some of you may have noted, or, not, I failed to actually tell y’all why I used the opening word; it shows how easily we humans can be distracted by them, adding more evidence to yesterday’s discussion of Socrates thought on the use of language, and how it can be evil when used improperly. Which is, again, a digression. Each Pearl you’ve seen, and continue to see, has been a fight to produce; I’m in sad shape, in a lot of ways, and the mere fact it’s getting posted at all is a victory, in a way. It means I survived another fight, which, at times, is the only possible way to win at all.

Since it’s been such a daily fight, we begin as every Judo, Karate, and Japanese martial art of any sort begins a match…. The irony, of course, is we are done now,  but, it does mean I’ve survived this far, at least. Now I post, then, begin the fight to survive to do it again tomorrow…. Considering my record so far, the odds look good again…

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 2780


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

I’d like to be made fully cognizant, please….

Ffolkes,

“After all,” he said, with a small, sardonic smile, “it’s only a matter of time.”

“Of course it is,” she replied, smiling back in her sultry way, “but, whose time will tell the tale?”

Have you ever seen one of those big old, shuffling bears, with a red vest, and a silly top hat, that rides around on a unicycle, playing a squeeze box? No? Neither have I…. But, that’s probably alright, because I HAVE seen one of the other kind of bears, the kind that shits in the woods whenever the Pope’s existence gets confused with his own… Playground games have more solid effect on Reality than you knew, you know…. No soap, radio!…..

Now that we have established the proper tone for this morning’s episode of fun and frolic, otherwise known as pearling for dollars, not that we ever see any….. at least, not for this…. But, I do like to start with some nice, thick, obscure nonsense; it just gives something special to enhance the tenor of whatever comes out of my head, sort of like adding streusel to schnitzel. Plus, it makes for a better, more healthful start to the day, as all of what we’ve been so fortunate to offer up thus far has been organic in nature….

Yep, nothing but pure, 100%, government certified organic materials were used to construct the pearls you’ll see today…. It’s our newest product line, brought in to try to corner a piece of the vegan market, though the reason “why” escapes me completely. It has something to do with the diversification program the top management wants to put us through, to try to bring the bottom line up from 0, to some number that resides outside the negative realms where it typically stays…. I keep telling them, nobody will buy it, especially not here, but, hey, they’re committed to it…. probably, one of them married a vegan, and can’t get any at home unless he does this…

Now that we’ve prevaricated shamelessly (Silly readers, there’s no top management here at ECR…. there’s just ME!!….), I wonder what other kind of mischief I can get into before getting to the meat today…. I’m feeling a bit whimsical, as well as feeling like I want to bite someone (not sure as to WHY on that one…. just woke up with a stick in my ass, and SOMEBODY’s got to pay for that, right?….), or maybe dance a few steps of the Assholio on somebody’s head…. You know, the Assholio, those classic mambo-like moves guaranteed to take the skin off anyone… All I know is SOMEBODY is going to get an earful, before the day is done….

Shall we Pearl?…..

And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium

— T.S. Eliot
_____________________________

“Gentlemen, listen to me slowly.” — Samuel Goldwyn

On first attempt this morning to fill in this section, I wrote what is now residing in section three…. My intended material, presumably located somewhere in the semi-intelligent haze of thoughts that hovers around in my head at all times, which concerned the recent SOU by our beloved POTUS, apparently got lost in the shuffle….

In truth, it’s just as well, because, from what I could gather on first impression, the State of the Union he described in his speech had very little to do with the actual Reality of that State, or, for that matter, that Union, since he managed to leave out some rather important issues altogether, concentrating only on what he wants people to focus on….

This technique is common among prestidigitators, showing a shiny, squirmy object, in one hand, with some kind of feathers, metaphoric, or real, (real is good, they never fail to pull in the eye….), that draws the attention, while the other hand is hiding the actual important issues, perhaps even off stage, never referring to them, so as to not plant any unwanted ideas….

Now, I have yet to peruse the content of the entire speech, but, I’ve seen a couple of articles that touched on his high points, and there were … are a couple of what I think should be called glaring omissions…. For example…. no, can’t do it… I’d better go research the speech fully before I pick at a specific…. Be back in a bit….

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obamas-2014-state-of-the-union-address-full-text/

Well…. That was educational, to be sure…. Yes, I just read the text of the whole speech; you can, too, using the link just above…. go ahead, I’ll wait….

In the speech, there were, as I mentioned, a couple of important issues that received only minimal mention, in passing…. (I know, I said they were omitted… I was wrong, they were merely minimized, and hidden in plain sight….). There was only one paragraph on gun control, wherein he promises to “try” to “stop more tragedies”, with one quick reference to Sandy Hook (gotta get those talking points in!… Shootings at elementary schools always bring out the tearful emotions, which is the intention…. such emotions are much more easily manipulated….).

This is an issue that has gripped the public attention all year, but, isn’t worth mentioning, except in passing…. Instead, the POTUS will deal with this “on his own”, through the use of the concept of the “Executive Order”, to limit assault weapon accessibility, along with other issues on his agenda, in which he is being blocked by Congress, or the Constitution….

There is also only one short, vague paragraph mentioning the issue of spying, prefaced, of course, by mentioning the illegal war in Afghanistan, reassuring us the number of troops there is decreasing, (We’re all gone from Iraq, he says….. Sure, sure we are….)…. while simultaneously fanning the embers of fear, by then stating “For while our relationship with Afghanistan will change, one thing will not: our resolve that terrorists do not launch attacks against our country……The fact is, that danger remains. ”

“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence

This, of course, is the justification for the following complete wash on the clandestine spying issue that has been in the forefront of the news all year; he makes a passing, one-sentence statement on that…. ( The pertinent statement is in bold, and italicized….) ….”That’s why I’ve imposed prudent limits on the use of drones – for we will not be safer if people abroad believe we strike within their countries without regard for the consequence.  That’s why, working with this Congress, I will reform our surveillance programs – because the vital work of our intelligence community depends on public confidence, here and abroad, that the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated.”

That’s it…. That’s the sum total of what he had to say about the single most reported and discussed issue in the public arena in the entire year of 2013…. ONE sentence. Oh, the drones, too… They are another seriously disturbing factor in the clandestine activities they AREN’T talking about…. but, they’re nowhere near as critical for the public as the spying that continues to take place, in spite of the “welcome public debate” created by the actions that exposed the chicanery by the administration….

Oh, also, was that a crushing silence I heard on the subject of Eric Snowden, probably the most important character, definitely the most important of the last year in America, to enter the stage in the morality play that is our government? Why, yes, yes it was a crushing silence…. Maybe the president was still in shock; perhaps due to learning that Mr. Snowden had received his first nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday?…. That must be it….

His statements on climate change and global warming, while pointed in the right direction, still show no better willingness to face the true issues involved, as he said nothing that would disturb the bottom line of the corporate masters listening closely…. The entire speech, as far as I could see, had a very imbalanced viewpoint of Reality, much different, obviously, from a politician’s point of view than it is for the general public at large, and for me specifically…. His viewpoint paints a much rosier picture, of the past, the present, and the future, than the one I see, all without really making a single promise, or offering up a single detailed plan of action.

I guess I should have expected as much, seeing as this POTUS is one who is adept at painting pictures with words…. Unfortunately, the pictures he paints really don’t reflect Reality…. They’re very romanticized, vague, idealized, and lacking in clarity….. which, I believe, is a deliberate technique, designed to soothe the eyes and minds of the public at whom it is directed, distracting them from the harshness of the Reality that they can see whenever they look away from his pretty pictures…. Can’t have the natives getting too restless, now, can we?….

I think, given the evidence of this speech, along with some of the other issues that I’ve seen the POTUS take up, this is a far more dangerous individual than I had imagined, not because he is promoting reform, but, because he is using that pose, of being a reform politician, to cover up his much more egregiously oppressive policies, such as in the areas of intelligence, and executive power….. He has expanded the power of the office of the Presidency to an extent heretofore unseen, writing Executive Order after Executive Order, at times when Congress is out of session, or just to circumvent their blockage of what he is trying to accomplish….

This administration has brought suit against more journalists, for publishing leaked material, than any previous administration, by a factor of 10; they have aggressively and ruthlessly pursued any and all attempts by the media to obtain his vaunted, and non-existent “transparency”, which he so glibly promised in his first campaign for the office…

There are times I don’t blame him for some of it, because of all the actual, real reforms he, and every other president in the last 60 years, has tried to get past a divided Congress, and had blocked by their intransigent ignorance, and partisanship…. Except, that’s not how the Constitution says it is supposed to work….

He is writing LAWS, which is an act reserved for Congress…. He has issued orders on gun control that, according to the Second Amendment, he has no right to issue, for they restrict the public’s access to weapons of certain types altogether…. Not, I will admit, that they’re weapons they NEED, but, the Second Amendment doesn’t allow for any distinctions as to type or quantity of guns; change part of that, and it all changes, of that there can be no doubt…..

So, yes, I guess you could say that, once again, I’m disappointed in this POTUS’s assessment of Consensual Reality, or, at least, of his stated assessment, as well as in his lack of transparency, and willingness to lie to the public…. Oh, yes, ffolkes, lying by omission is still lying; just because he didn’t say anything about an issue, doesn’t mean he isn’t DOING anything illegal in that area… it just means he doesn’t want us to know about it…. You can be sure of that…. He’s already proven that transparency is just a word to him, one he is very glib and confident in using, but, one he has no intention of ever actually providing to the public….

In looking at the entire speech as a whole, what I see is a long, manipulative set of words and phrases designed to get the public, and his cronies, thinking about just those issues he wants to address, without giving any real information on any of it, beyond the necessary key phrases that identify his talking points.

He uses a lot of examples of what he calls typical Americans from the middle classes to illustrate his points, shamelessly using emotional stimuli to direct the people to the attitudes he desires to create in support of his agenda. In truth, he’s an adept, efficient speaker, never confusing the issues with facts, preferring to use insinuation and/or vague references to factoids….Sadly, none of what he said had any solid connection to what is actually real….. Ah well, I’m forced to admit, I wasn’t expecting to see anything better, and, I didn’t….

“Never be angry when a fool acts like a fool.  It’s better when fools identify themselves…it removes so much uncertainty.” — Lord Peace
_____________________________

Once again, I’m putting in one of my own poems, to maintain the level of personal responsibility that must be assumed for whatever one may call this entire mess…. So be it…

Unheralded Sagacity…

To many, who will not see beyond their nose
the world becomes a dangerous place,
a bullet in every gun, a thorn with every rose,
no magic comes to save us, reality leaves no trace.

Minds closed, wrapped tight in manufactured fears,
men become clay, easily molded into complacent form.
No chains needed, held in thrall for years,
lies become gospel, when dishonesty is the norm.

Shed the chains you wear in durance, in kind;
Oh, ye of little faith, and much doubt
Strength is found in an unfettered mind,
Cry “freedom” with a great shout.

No help from any gods can hinder so much
as our own lack of confidence;
finding the light within, knowing it as such
confirms us, becoming consequence.

Illumination…..

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

“We’re not into science fiction because it’s _good literature_, we’re into it because it’s _weird_. Follow your weird, ladies and gentlemen. Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace your nerditude. In the immortal words of Lafcadio Hearn, a geek of incredible obscurity whose work is still in print after a hundred years, “woo the muse of the odd”.”  — Bruce Sterling, addressing a convention of SF writers

A few days ago, I experienced an epiphany regarding the solutions we need to find to the issues of global warming and climate change…. This statement is one that, though not exactly what I’m talking about, is in the right ballpark…. Finding answers to what is happening in the real world has been part of what science fiction writers have done, peripherally, for many years, in the sense that the stories they write explore the concepts involved in ways that demonstrate the questions, and can, hopefully, point the way to finding the answers we now need…

There have been many, many stories…. full length novels, novellas, short stories… all written over the last two hundred years or so, that talk about the most critical issue we now face, to wit: the climate changes produced by our insane pollution of the atmosphere. There has also been a lot of speculation and talk among the people who do the writing, and those who write about them, all discussing possible scenarios for possible futures….. Somewhere among all that talk and discussion, there MUST be an idea that we can use to turn the tide that we have so foolishly turned against us…..

In other words, in a metaphorical sense, we need to go out into the realms of fantasy and imagination, to find the elves, so we can benefit from the wisdom of their counsel…. Even though I already know what they will tell us…. The elves always give the same counsel…. we will need to find a Hero, who can step forward to assume the Quest to save mankind from the folly of his own greed and ambition…. Metaphorically, this is absolutely correct…. what it will translate to in real terms is yet to be seen, but, something needs to be done to find an answer, and soon, for the time we have to accomplish anything that will work is growing smaller rapidly….

“There is something inside all of us that yearns not for reason but for mystery… not for penetrating clear thought but for the whisperings of the irrational… not for science but for wizardry disguised as science.. not for rationally founded influence but for magic.” — Karl Jaspers

In the meantime, rather than ranting at you to get out there and try to find an elf, who can then lead us to his where his people have gone, far over the Western Sea,…. I’ll put together an old-school pearl, with some good advice and/or some snarky comments about the assholes who got us to this point in the first place….

“For me, all I can do is spit in the eye of my fears by living each day with as much passion and commitment as possible  to what truly counts, such as love and justice. To give the into the fear and hopelessness would be to declare defeat, something I am not ready to do while there is still the will to struggle.” — Lawrence Paradis

“You shouldn’t think about *how* we’re doing this.   You should ask yourself, ‘why?'” — Penn Jillette

“To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” — Agatha Christie

“A little folly is desirable in him that will not be guilty of stupidity.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Book iii, Chap. ix

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde (1856-1900)

“Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?” — Plato

See? There is a perfect example of why I seldom make precognitive assumptions about a particular pearl, especially BEFORE it is constructed…. This is a grand pearl, but, no snarky comments to be seen…. ‘S’okay, it doesn’t need them….
_____________________________

All things considered, this didn’t turn out so badly as I had feared…. As I said above, so be it…. See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Hip-deep in tuning forks….

Ffolkes,

Almost very morning, for the last two or so years, I have arisen from my bed relatively early in the day, anywhere from 4 AM to 6 or 7 AM, and set myself to write. Every time I do, without fail, I suffer a pang of fear, that what I have to say will come out badly, or be boring, or most often, I”m afraid I won’t be able to think of anything worthwhile to write about. This morning, that fear has reached major proportions, because a) not only have I once again broken routine by staying up late, and arising late, so, I’m feeling rushed, and, b) not only can I not think of anything about which I feel like writing, but, worst of all, c) I don’t feel like writing at all….

Now, THAT is a huge change! I’ve depended on this process for quite a while now to maintain my sanity, and NOT having any urge to produce is a completely new feeling for me…. This process has all become habitual, often running by itself, without any conscious direction from me. I haven’t even bothered to consider whether or not I wanted to write; I just wrote. This morning I’m suffering from a lack of motivation as much as my usual lack of palatable, or at least acceptable, material, and I don’t know how to deal with it….

In at least one sense, this feeling, or lack of feeling, is a positive note in my existence, as it implies that those things in my life that cause me to feel depressed are either not presently active, or, are not bad enough to trigger any of my more destructive symptoms, such as labile emotionalism, angst, diffuse anxiety, and unreasoned fear. This leads me to feel competent, able to deal with any other difficulties with a higher degree of success, which, happily, leads to a further reduction of overall stress….

In addition, I seem to be getting the hang of living with my back and hips in this condition, (that is to say, weak, and constantly threatening a higher pain level), by not making mistakes about physical activities that cause me to tweak it, sending me into crescendos of spasms and severe pain; I haven’t had that problem in some time… My use of meds is not necessarily reduced, as I still get breakthrough pain at times, but it seems much more consistent in the average number per day….

All this means I don’t fear for my sanity as much as previously… This is, no doubt, probably not a wise course of action, as sanity can be a pretty slippery slope, and Murphy is always lurking around somewhere, just waiting to fuck with me for no good reason. But, it also means a period of time when it will be a struggle to find the motivation to write, perhaps even a bigger struggle than the daily one I have now in looking for something to write about…. Motivation is much harder to create than prose, I’ve found, especially within ourselves. I find it uplifting, and easier, to help others find motivation than I do finding it for myself; that’s probably very human of me, but, hey, you can’t pick your parents, or your species….

I do seem to be getting pretty good at this intro business, from an output standpoint, anyway. I can’t speak to the quality of what comes after, but I’d say the intro is fairly consistent these days, starting each day’s post with a four-to-six-or-seven-paragraph discussion of pretty much nothing at all, confusingly, but, firmly, leading the Gentle Reader deeper into the morass, until they have to go on to the end just to find their way back to reality…..

Hopefully, the poetry, and some of the virtual wisdom that is presented, makes the trip worthwhile… because, now, it’s no longer all about keeping me sane, which implies that I will spend less time in that state… or, not, which may or may nt completely destroy all my creative urges, and I’ll just fade away into blog limbo, never to be heard from again…. Sadly, I am unable to judge whether or not that is a comforting thought, or a scary one…. and I don’t think I want y’all to decide, either…. which means I’d best get on with this….

Shall we Pearl?…..
_____________________________

Since my own level of creativity is in the dumps, I’ll be depending on Smart Bee heavily today…. Let’s see what it has for us today…. What happens now is as much of a surprise for me as it is for you, as this is my favorite kind of old-school pearl, one that I have started my search by typing in “star dot star”, or *.*, a search parameter that tells the search engine to look for anything, everywhere, which means one never knows what will be found…..

“How’s the wife?  Is she at home enjoying capitalism?” — Zippy the Pinhead

“Since my cat learned to type, there is no guarantee whose thoughts these are…” — Smart Bee

“One of my favorite philosophical tenets is that people will agree with you only if they already agree with you. You do not change people’s minds.” — Frank Zappa, 1979

“The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” — Alden Nowlan

“Fools! they know not how much half exceeds the whole.” — Hesiod (c. 700 BC) — Works and Days, Line 40

Hmm… okay, I admit, it’s a bit obscure…. Let’s see if two more will fix it….

“Think of doubt as an invitation to think.” — Smart Bee

“One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty in finding someone to blame your troubles on. And when you do find someone, it’s remarkable how often their picture turns up on your driver’s license.” — P. J. O’Rourke

Yep, perfect…. Enjoy!…..
_____________________________

“Emily Dickinson didn’t even publish books, she just wrote these demented little poems with a quill pen and hid them in her desk, but they still fought their way into the world, and lasted on and on and on. It’s damned hard to get rid of Emily Dickinson, she hangs on like a tick in a dog’s ear. And everybody who writes from then on in some sense has to measure up to this woman. In the art of book-writing the classics are still living competition, they tend to elevate the entire art-form by their persistent presence.” — Bruce Sterling

This is quite true, but, it’s like that hive of bees…. Eventually, you just have to say to yourself, “Well, yes, having this urge to write poems IS much like having a hive of bees live in my head….. But, there they are!” Acceptance is hard, but in Emily’s case, not quite as hard for me as for some folks, as I KNOW I’ll never reach her level of genius when it comes to poetic expression, so I don’t bother to fret over it…. Here is an example of what I mean….

Safe in their alabaster chambers,
Untouched by morning and untouched by noon,
Sleep the meek members of the resurrection,
Rafter of satin, and roof of stone.

Light laughs the breeze in her castle of sunshine;
Babbles the bee in a stolid ear;
Pipe the sweet birds in ignorant cadences, —
Ah, what sagacity perished here!

Grand go the years in the crescent above them;
Worlds scoop their arcs, and firmaments row,
Diadems drop and Doges surrender,
Soundless as dots on a disk of snow.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

_____________________________

As I iterated above, and shall now reiterate, I’m lacking in inspiration, and motivation, which means I’m lazy, and I don’t care…. Not so lazy as to go to the archives, but, lazy enough to go with another old-school pearl in place of a rant, which, though I believe there is one in there, just primed to come out to play, it’s not quite the right moment for it…. Another rationalization, but, then, rationalization has always been one of my better skills. It’s particularly handy when trying to decide whether to indulge my own whims, such as this one, to pearl….. The first four of these presented themselves as a group when I was searching for the material in section one of today’s post, and seemed to have something to say…. Who am I to keep words from expressing themselves?….

“When an idea is wanting a word can always be found to take its place.” — J.W. von Goethe

“Let’s not be too tough on our own ignorance.  It’s the thing that makes  America great.  If America weren’t incomparably ignorant, how could we  have tolerated the last eight years?” — Frank Zappa, Feb 1, 1989

“…this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” — John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1816

“I sometimes think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

“Pardon him, Theodotus, he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.” — George Bernard Shaw

“A bare assertion is not necessarily the naked truth.” — George Prentice

“He may look like an idiot and talk like and idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.” — Groucho Marx

See, even when I’m being lazy, I can still take shots at pundits…. Gotta keep in practice, y’know?…..
_____________________________

3.141592653589793238462643383279502883197116939937.. I forget the rest….

A friend is one who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

Both of the above quotes came from Smart Bee, which is often the only one who knows where it originated… They are both there just because I like them, and they seem to be appropriate for both the mood of today’s Pearl, and for my own mood…. I would say I just like them, but, since I did that already, I’ll just get on with the proofing…. It shouldn’t take long, as there isn’t that much that I composed fresh, which cuts down on editing…. Didn’t seem to cut down much today… that took almost as long as the intro…. But, it’s done, you’ll be thankful to know, and we can all get on with the rest of the day….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Penguins are never quite sober……

Ffolkes,
From a purely subjective viewpoint (which, if you think about it, is all we really have) I am not a crook…..no, wait, that’s for another group. Okay, try this….from a purely subjective viewpoint, people suck major waste. They create major waste, too, but it doesn’t fit the image I’m creating. No, really, I mean, how hard can it be to be nice to each other? But, noooooo, people have to piss all over each other on a regular basis, as if they didn’t know any better.

That’s what really gets me about most of what goes on in the world at large; people do know what is right, and they just refuse to do it. They would rather lie, cheat, and steal from their fellow man, just because they think they can. It’s enough to make a strong man turn to drink, and send a weak one to the grave. There are days when I am glad I’m currently stuck here at home a lot; it keeps me from having to go out and deal with the great unwashed masses too often. Such interactions tend to be bloody, and I don’t need to get summoned to court to answer why I was beating that young man to death with his own leg…… I’d best dive in before I commit perjury or something…..
___________________________________

Creation sleeps! ‘T is as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause,–
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
— Edward Young (1684-1765) — Night Thoughts, Night i, Line 23

Mr. Young seems to have been feeling a bit prophetic himself. If we consider this to have been written halfway through his life, then it was created somewhere around 1720, just the very beginning of the Industrial Age, when mankind first left the path of sustainability. The sky was still unrelieved blue, the waters were clean, and the sunsets were still the same colors they had been for a million years.

By the end of the century, London, and a few other cities of its size around the world, were beginning to see the first effects of pollution, with a rise in such diseases as TB, cancer, and respiratory complications, and the disappearance of a multitude of water-living creatures due to the poisons being dumped into the Thames.  Between the fireplace in every house, the trains, and the factories now blotting the horizon in all directions, the air in London was practically unbreathable at times, until Mother Nature took pity and sent some higher winds or rain to give them a break. One of the most lucrative of employments was that of window-washer, as it only took a day or two for a window to gather so much dirt and smoke as to be impenetrable to light or sight.

This phenomenon was not confined to London, and by the end of the next century, in 1900, the planet was starting to reel under the assault of particulate matter being pumped into the environment by the industrious little parasites crawling over its surface, still reproducing without restraint, oblivious to the harm they cause, merely by being born. The pollution not only continued, but increased by factors of 10 regularly, until, at the end of the twentieth century, we have reached a point of no-return.

The planet’s capability of dealing with what is poured into it is reaching a critical flash point; within the next century, it is a certainty that major environmental events will occur, as the planet begins to slough off the poisons we have created. The polar ice caps are melting and shrinking, at a rate which will only grow faster exponentially; as time goes on, it will increase at an ever-increasing rate, a rate that will effectively halt any more pollution by us, as we will be busy trying to survive the earthquakes, floods, famine, wars over food and clean water, unpredictable extreme weather, and other phenomena we cannot predict. These are merely the ones we KNOW will happen.

So, how do we survive? We don’t. As far as I can see, it’s too late; not enough time left for us to fix what we’ve broken.  Deal with it. Mankind has signed its own death warrant, and there is no court of appeal. We will join the dodo, the saber-tooth tiger, and T-Rex in the ranks of evolutionary dead-ends, another failed experiment.

The only way that this won’t happen, is if one of two things happens, soon, like yesterday: 1) The beloved ruling class comes to its senses, and stops trying to control everything to their own benefit, immediately begins to take steps to discontinue the destructive mind-set they have, and learns to share, or 2) The rest of us rise up and force them to do that, in spite of their stupidity and greed. I suppose those two things are actually one, but the point is that nothing else will work. There is no other way to survive. The people in charge MUST make these changes, or we are all going to die, not with a bang, but with a whimper and a cry of despair……
___________________________________

“Emily Dickinson didn’t even publish books, she just wrote these demented little poems with a quill pen and hid them in her desk, but they still fought their way into the world, and lasted on and on and on. It’s damned hard to get rid of Emily Dickinson, she hangs on like a tick in a dog’s ear. And everybody who writes from then on in some sense has to measure up to this woman. In the art of book-writing the classics are still living competition, they tend to elevate the entire art-form by their persistent presence.” — Bruce Sterling

Mr. Sterling makes a valid point here. I have noted this feeling in myself, particularly after reading some Oscar Wilde, or Hemingway, or Poe, some Mark Twain, or Dorothy L. Sayers, Bob Heinlein, or Arthur C. Clark (yes, I know, very eclectic. I prefer to call it psychotic…) Just a couple days ago, I commented on this over a phrase from the pen of Mr. Wilde, of such great beauty it beckons like a lighthouse in a dark, moonless night at sea. I can only hope that my attempts at emulating the luminaries, like Emily and Oscar, elevate my art to a level approaching theirs……
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In the worlds before monkey, primal chaos reigned.   Heaven sought order, but the Phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown.  The four lands formed again and yet again, as endless eons wheeled and passed.  The wind, time and later (??) all worked upon a certain rock, old as creation, and it became magically fertile.  That first egg was called ‘thought.’  Tagahatha (??) Buddha, the Father Buddha says, ‘with our thoughts, we make the world.’  Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch.  From it came a stone monkey.  The nature of monkey was IRREPRESSIBLE!

I found this gem without attribution, so I don’t know who to thank for it; it’s delightful, if only for its sense of fun. Irrepressible indeed! Plus, in certain ways, it is as logical and plausible as the claims made by some of the other religions floating around out there, isn’t it? The logical procession it displays is almost believable, and the mixing of myth, magic, and reality shows a mastery of both logic and its antithesis, intuition.

Living as I do in California, I could say with complete confidence that there is most likely one or more alleged “churches” in Southern California whose tenets of faith resemble this paragraph quite closely. Probably one with a fast-growing congregation, all of whom drive BMW’s or VW beetles. Those who don’t ride donkeys, that is…..
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Calvin: People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world. Hobbes: Isn’t your pants’ zipper supposed to be in the front?  — Calvin (Bill Watterson, “Calvin and Hobbes”)

A fine example of how all of us are our own best source for laughter. As a matter of fact, it reminds me of several occasions in my own life in which I held this conversation in my own head, with myself playing both parts. SIGH….. gotta say, though, Calvin and Hobbes is the best cartoon to come along in a long time; sometimes it seems as if Doonesbury is the only really witty one left. Ah, for the days of Pogo, and Odds Bodkins!  Bloom County was also great, but way too short-lived. Hopefully, we will always have at least one cartoonist to help us stay sane when reading the news…..

“Creation is a mighty joke, but the laugh is at my own expense.” — Meher Baba
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“The basis of action is lack of imagination. It is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.” — Oscar Wilde

Sometimes Oscar cracks me up…..this, for example, produced a quick sardonic grin on my face, immediately followed by the thought “that sounds like something W.C. Fields might have said when he was soused”, which was most of the time, if one can believe of him what he so arduously sought to have others believe. Maybe that tenuous self-confidence, that almost shyness, made so obvious in the outer persona of each of them, by the very volume of the oddness, or uniqueness they espoused as a public figure, is what reminds me one of the other.

Both tried very hard to have others believe of them more than they thought of themselves; it seems to me that is what gave them purpose, for without it, the darker, depressive sides of their nature tended to drag them into emotional bogs. Probably why one drank so much, and one chose a more convoluted path to self-destruction, both men’s wit and imagination, and inner-terror, acting as methods of coping with a world that would never really understand them…..
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Whew….that took awhile; close to three hours this morning, and haven’t even looked at email yet; I’m falling further behind as I type, but what are ya gonna do when it flows? Go with it, obviously….. any who, let’s go see what the rest of the world is up to, shall we?….Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!