Hordes of unqualified gowns….

Ffolkes,
Yesterday morning’s fiasco, although handled adroitly, apparently has had repercussions. I’ve received notice from some lawyer that my Inspiration is suing me for abduction, kidnapping, cruel and unusual abuse, and calumny, whatever that is…. The little shit decided to call a lawyer on me! What nerve!

First, he fails to live up to the agreement we made when we first started working together, as he spent more time at the local bars than giving me ideas. When he did work with me, he was surly, uncommunicative, and generally a pain in the ass. Then, just because I needed him to work yesterday, and wouldn’t let him leave, the little asshole sues me…. typical, I’d say. He must have been listening to Murphy….I’ve seen them huddled together several times, pointing at me and laughing….

Ah well, I think I’m going to fire him anyway; he just wasn’t very good at his job. Now I can do it without any guilt… I’m not worried about the law suit; I had him on contract, and it’s all documented. Still, I hate to fail at anything…. but, he never would invest anything into his work, and motivation for Inspiration isn’t my expertise, or my job, once they’ve agreed to sign the contract.

So, I’m not worried; more disappointed. He wasn’t a bad person, and occasionally gave me some good stuff, but I can’t deal with deliberate laziness. I’d rather beat my head against a wall (my usual form of finding inspiration…) than try to get a lazy person to work.

So, having made that decision, we can now move on to the business at hand, that being the composition of pearls of virtual wisdom (remember, VIRTUAL wisdom; don’t try this at home, kids…)  Shall we Pearl?…..
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Life! we ‘ve been long together
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
‘T is hard to part when friends are dear,–
Perhaps ‘t will cost a sigh, a tear;
Then steal away, give little warning,
Choose thine own time;
Say not “Good night,” but in some brighter clime
Bid me “Good morning.”

— Mrs. Barbauld (1743-1825) — Life

I’m not sure why I put this here, except that I like it. I’m not sure, either, why I like it. It’s simple, and with a nice cadence, but the content is merely average. I guess I just like the sentiment, which is, to my eye, pretty positive in its outlook. Being cynical and rather curmudgeonly by nature, I admire those who can maintain a positive outlook on Life, and for some reason, this poem gives that to me. You can’t ask more of a poem….
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We continue today with an old school pearl…. here are six quotes, all on the same general subject. They lead one on a short, meandering path to a very valuable lesson. That lesson is left, for the nonce, as an exercise for the Gentle Reader…..

“There is nothing which cannot be answered by means of my doctrine,” said a monk, coming into a teahouse where Nasrudin sat.  “And yet just a short time ago, I was challenged by a scholar with an unanswerable question,” said Nasrudin. “I could have answered it if I had been there.” “Very well.  He asked, ‘Why are you breaking into my house in the middle of the night?’ — Smart Bee

It would be nice to be sure of anything the way some people are of everything. — Smart Bee

“The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is that the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance.” — Eric Hoffer

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness — II Timothy 3:16

If the Bible proves that God exists then comic books prove the existence of Superman. — Smart Bee

“The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors.” — Thomas Jefferson

There you go….. I think the lesson here is a valuable one, so I’m hoping that everyone picked up on it. It may just help the status of society at large; the more people who know this concept, and actually live it, the better of we will be, and the longer we can put off our imminent extinction….
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The Suicide’s Argument

Ere the birth of my life, if I wished it or no
No question was asked me–it could not be so !
If the life was the question, a thing sent to try
And to live on be YES; what can NO be ? to die.

NATURE’S ANSWER

Is’t returned, as ’twas sent ? Is’t no worse for the wear ?
Think first, what you ARE ! Call to mind what you WERE !
I gave you innocence, I gave you hope,
Gave health, and genius, and an ample scope,
Return you me guilt, lethargy, despair ?
Make out the invent’ry ; inspect, compare !
Then die–if die you dare !

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Suicide among teens in this country has reached pandemic proportions in the first decade of this century. It seems to be connected to the apparent rise in “bullying” in schools, and online; many of the teens who kill themselves reported having been abused and bullied, usually for being gay, or obese, or just for being different in some way.

I can acknowledge from my own teenage years that the kids who get the best grades are often bullied and/or discriminated against by the other kids for just that reason (I wore glasses, too, and can’t count how many times somebody called me “egghead”…). I was fortunate, in having a strong ego that could stand up to the bullying, and push back, and by also being a good athlete, which gave me an acceptable ticket into the society of my peers. Many people don’t have those advantages, and they must internalize their pain and anguish, which eventually leads to their demise.

It is a very difficult problem to address, as the root cause lies in human nature. People acting in groups are not as predictable, or as reasonable, as a single person. And they often turn to action based upon the lowest common denominator of the group, which generally is fear…. fear of the unknown, which a person who is different represents in their eyes.

It’s sad, it’s pathetic, and it’s all too true; humans in groups tend to pick on those who are viewed as a threat to the group, whether the threat is real or not (usually not). And all too often it is the young gay person, or the artist, or the one with weight problems who is viewed as a threat, even though there is no rational basis for believing that.

I don’t know the exact answer. I know that being able to stand up to a bully will usually get them to stop, but not everyone has that kind of strength; their uniqueness may be in another aspect of human nature. I think most likely, the change, if it is to come, will have to start the same place that society needs to start to change, to wit: human nature, or at the very least, human morality. When parents teach their children to appreciate the diversity of life, instead of fearing all that is not the same as them, then this type of behavior will become irrelevant. It won’t be an issue, because the bullying won’t happen in the first place….

All of us know about the experiment with the rats, and how, when placed in conditions of extreme over-population, the rats behavior deteriorated, and became counter-productive in a survival sense. They began to be irritable, even violent with each other, and eventually got to a point where they were killing and eating one another.

Guess what folks? We are rats, we are in a cage, and we have begun showing the symptoms of severe over-population. And it isn’t going to change, unless we can find a way to change our inner lives, and begin to look at the world as something we are a part of, not its master….. and in essence, if we don’t change, we will end up dead, having committed suicide, because of our own nature’s predilection for irrational behaviors in the face of fear of the unknown…..
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In retrospect, this didn’t turn out too badly. What with the situation with my Inspiration, and the amount of pain I woke up with today, I was a bit concerned I might not be able to write well enough to satisfy my inner critic. But, it’s good enough…. it’s way better than government work, for sure….. Y’all take care out there, and may the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Venal to sublime is ready in booth two….

Ffolkes,
The process of getting up in the morning was somewhat delayed today, when I started to arise, and my brain SNARLED at me! It’s never done that before, and needless to say, I was a bit shocked! It didn’t bite, but it sure sounded serious; I was compelled to soothe it a bit by sitting on the edge of the bed, petting and talking to it softly; after just a moment or two, it stopped its grumbling and joined the rest of the group in getting on with routine. Before it got up to join the rest, it even gave me a big sloppy lick on the face, as if to say it was sorry for growling at me…..

Whew! I don’t think I want to go through THAT every morning; I’d better check its feed, see if something out of the ordinary got in there by mistake. Generally I only feed it massive amounts of well written words in a line, with accompanying classical or blues for music, and the occasional humorous cat or cute animal video for variety. Sometimes the videos will give it gas; maybe that’s the problem. I hope so, I sure don’t need a trip to the psychiatrist, just so I can get up in the AM without a fight…. at$90 or more an hour, it’s not a win-win….

With that short, yet all-too-long little nod to yesterday’s uncommon whimsy, we brace ourselves, and dive in willy-nilly, fully prepared to enjoy our daily Pearl…..
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“It’s said that ‘power corrupts’, but actually it’s  more true  that power attracts the corruptible.  The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.  When  they do  act,  they  think of it as service, which has limits. The tyrant, though, seeks mastery, for which he is  insatiable, implacable.” — David Brin, The Postman

I used this some months back, but it is so accurate, especially in today’s climate of political fooferah, (lovely word, so apropos! even if its made-up…), that I am compelled to use it again, without shame or remorse, for it is a piece of truth that we all need to be familiar with, for our own protection. You see, the current crop of folks vying for the top spot in the limelight that shifts around prior to the upcoming election frenzy in D.C. and all around this battered bastion of alleged freedom we call home, are all clearly members of the latter group, the potential tyrants. Hell, they are not merely clear examples of such, they are seemingly proud of it.

Each and every one of the pretenders to the throne (i.e., the “loyal opposition party”, or “candidates”, or, as they are known on the street, “the dog and pony show”) has made it clear that they are not seeking this position for the benefit of the American people; hell, they clearly don’t even like Americans much. They make statements every day that demonstrate that a) they are clueless as to what being the President actually entails; they continually make remarks that show they would be attempting to perform actions not within the purview, or the actual powers of, the Presidency, and b) they are more interested in promoting the ascendancy of their own particular religion than they are in taking part in a political process. And these guys are the BEST they think they can come up with to challenge the sitting party. Did I mention their apparently ingrained clueless state?….

That, I think, is the saving grace in the entire scenario…. these idiots are so out of touch with reality, and the American public they think they should represent, that no one with any sense at all is paying much attention to their writhing and contortions.  In spite of the nearly limitless presence of it in all sectors of society, there isn’t quite enough ignorance out there to quite be able to push us all down that road….. yet……. but don’t stop watching them! They’re sneaky, by nature……

“A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.” —  Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
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“I felt like poisoning a monk.” — Umberto Eco on why he wrote the novel The Name of the Rose.

I like this…. I think Umberto and I would have some lovely conversations. I can see us, sitting at a table at the edge of a beautiful garden, with vineyards in the distance, laughing and trading whoppers late into the night, while happily consuming large glasses of excellent wine, and scaring the wildlife….. No, really, what a great way to find one’s inspiration, especially for a tight, well-told murder mystery set in the what, 13th century? You could murder anybody you wanted, and never have to worry about getting arrested; imagine the release of tension as you personally described how the poison caused this pious asshole, (or noisy neighbor, whatever….) to shrivel up and die in unspeakable agony, after personally slipping the poison into the sacrificial wine you knew the pervert would be hitting right after the communion services….. exquisite!

Some mornings you will find, at the beginning of these gurgitations (can’t come up with exactly the word to describe what these are….fill in your own guess, if that one doesn’t do it for you….)….  a short opening paragraph or two from an as-yet unwritten new story that pops into my head on a regular basis. Unfortunately, as I tried to explain to a friend last night when she asked me to finish one of them, those opening paragraphs are the entire content of what my brain is percolating; no further details of said story are ever found anywhere.

But, as I told her, I’m just waiting…. one of these times, an outline of an entire plot-line, complete with suggested side-plots and characters to include or make up, will grow in my inner eye as I type, until there is enough to fill in a complete short story, or novelette, or who knows, an epic poem! (Probably not the latter; I’m aware of my limitations….small as they are….)  And I like to think it will all come from a moment such as Umberto describes…. an instant of mad whimsy that points me toward an opportunity to express my store of unlimited possibility…..
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A poem:                          to be read aloud:

<> !*”#                          Waka waka bang splat tick tick hash,
^`$$-                             Caret quote back-tick dollar dollar dash,
!*=@$_                         Bang splat equal at dollar under-score,
%*<> ~#4                     Percent splat waka waka tilde number 4,
&[]../                             Ampersand bracket bracket dot dot slash,
|{,,SYSTEM HALTED     Vertical-bar curly-bracket comma comma CRASH.

— Fred Bremmer and Steve Kroese — Calvin College & Seminary of Grand Rapids, MI.

The urge to poetry strikes even the humblest among us…..  🙂   Ain’t it Grand!…. and, for full understanding of this, to get the real feel, it MUST be read aloud….. enjoy!
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“Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Yes…. sometimes I DO get tired of writing about heretical, oppositional, or even merely controversial things. But it’s not my fault! Every day, I read the news, I listen to the gossip (best source of REAL info on what folks are thinking about in their copious free time…), and I go online to find out what’s up out there in the world at large. What do I find?

Teens being murdered by bigots, or bullied and persecuted to the point of suicide for being ‘different’. People being starved or beaten, or killed by their own countrymen. People being starved, beaten, or killed by those from other countries (Our country in particular has a nasty habit of dropping bombs on places where we, well, wherever we feel like it….). Children being abused by priests, by educators, by corporations, by priests again, (sorry, but it’s pretty ubiquitous; more common than ever admitted, or guessed….), worst of all, by their own parents. Wars breaking out, over disputed territory, over paranoia, over false claims of insult to promote private agendas and ambitions, over whose imaginary friend dresses better.  Millions and millions of people oppressed economically and kept in ignorance, manipulated to chase after pipe dreams promoted by the elitist, sycophantic, racist churches and religious pundits of all faiths and formats, all of whom preach tolerance while practicing bigotry while supporting corruption. Women being kidnapped and forced to engage in prostitution, by sociopathic and sadistic misogynists (sometimes known as Conservative Republicans, or organized criminals) . OUR OWN FUCKING LEADERS SIGNING AWAY OUR DAMN RIGHTS, JUST AS IF THEY HAD ANY RIGHT TO DO SO, IN THE NAME OF “NATIONAL SECURITY” FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!!!!

Odd, I don’t recall anything in the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, that mentions “national security” as a legal, or even desirable, excuse to restrict the rights of American citizens…. but that may be because it’s not in there….. anywhere….. Tell them all to stop pulling all this stupid shit right in front of me, and I will stop writing about it…. deal?…..
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“I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, and I’m happy, Doctor, I finally won out over it.” — Jimmy Stewart in Harvey, 1950.

I’ve never before realized that “Harvey” was released the year I was born…. a nice little fact that adds to my conviction that it was an auspicious year for the Universe. It also may explain why I’ve always felt a particular connection to, and appreciation for, both the movie, and the brilliance of its protagonist, Elwood P. Dowd, so magnificently portrayed by Jimmy Stewart. I’ve always considered it to be one of the five best movies ever made, and still do. Its relevance and appeal for every man, woman, and child, its warmth and humor, its very insightful, accurate, and forgiving  character portrayals, its breezy insouciance and irrepressible positivism, all combine to give it that indefinable quality by which one can always recognize classic truth, costumed here in the guise of a large, amiable six-foot tall rabbit named Harvey……
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And so we come to the end of another day’s trip around my head…. if you’re having second thoughts as to the value of spending this much time on my ramblings, consider this…. it’s original, in a personal sense, if not always entirely new, fresh subject matter; it’s non-fattening, almost entirely protein-based; and the price is right, only a bit of your time and attention….. what a deal!  Come on back tomorrow, for another turn around my oyster beds…..  Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!