“For a man needs only to be turned around not once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost….
Not ’til we are lost…. do we begin to find ourselves.”
~~ Henry David Thoreau, “Walden” ~~
Rock Spire on Mars
Image by NASA’s Rover Opportunity
Good morning…. I love pictures taken by the Mars Rovers, Opportunity, and Curiosity; it always gives me a little thrill to realize the picture I’m looking at was taken, not long ago, on a planet more than 50 million miles from Earth…. THIS, ffolkes, this is what we humans were made for. Anyone who doesn’t understand that, really, is not in touch with their own humanity. Nothing fascinates us more than wondering what is up there, and nothing, in my mind, will stop us from going there, unless it is ourselves, and our own flaws…. If anything in this Universe exists which can be called a destiny, for any living creature, it is my belief the destiny of humanity is to go to the stars…. Not to conquer, not to control, but, to understand, to wonder, to find out…. Maybe, when we get there, we’ll find what we’ve always been looking for, which we cannot even name….
Those among my Gentle Readers with sharp eyes and memories will note the first, opening pearl today is the same one with which yesterday’s final pearl ended. I seldom resort to such tactics, but, the chance to carry on an idea like that was too hard to resist…. It’s a perfect pearl; short, pithy, to the point, and versatile, so, why not use it?…. But, then, much of “Walden” is like that, isn’t it?….
Any who, that’s all for now, just had to get that out…. I’ll be courteous today, by not subjecting y’all to any further attempts at humor, or even ill-conceived and executed attempts at coherence here in the intro; instead, we’ll use those newly-acquired, useful, ruthlessness and executive decision-making skills to get us on down the page….
Shall we Pearl?
“Belief is not the beginning but the end of all knowledge.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Image from hulu.com via Google Images
From about 1957 to 1968, until I left for college, my family spent every Sunday evening in front of the TV, with much of the rest of the country, to watch this show. Although today I wouldn’t be caught dead listening to accordion music, I still have a fondness for good big bands…. Larry brought good music to people who otherwise would have had NONE in their life, even if they didn’t really appreciate it much…. And, he’s got such a smarmy smile, he’s cute, as well as, patently, harmless….
Lawrence Welk and his Champagne Music
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” — C. S. Lewis
I find C.S. Lewis an interesting character…. He lived during the mid-twentieth century, in England. His works include a number of fantasies, including the Narnia series, a thinly disguised series of stories with a heavily Christian world-view, composed as morality tales for the modern world, in almost complete euphemist style…. But, he had, in my mind, one of the more inventive philosophical bents of many of the modern thinkers, producing a number of very excellent observations about life, politics, religion, and how they all interact, such as the one with which we’ve begun today’s discussion….
I had intended to speak about that entire set of combined subjects today, but, while researching one bit, I found the following rant from last year, which immediately proved to be serendipitous, as it speaks to the subject at hand perfectly…. Below this paragraph, you’ll find what I consider my finest rant EVER. I read it for the first time since writing and posting it yesterday, & realized it fit in exactly with today’s discussion…. So, to get to the point I’ve been circling for a while now, here is a pretty complete summary of how I view today’s modern world of the future, and, my opinion as to its most likely outcome….
Oh… why, look there! It’s us, bombing people again, without a declaration of war from Congress. I don’t know about you, but, I’m getting more than just a little perturbed, not to say infuriated, by the American public’s acceptance of these completely illegal (under our own laws….), immoral, unethical, and fucking useless in any humanitarian, or practical respect, completely unwarranted attacks, on whomever we decide is a threat to our…… our what? What were these, no doubt, evil people doing that threatened us, here in our big houses, across the big ocean, with our big airplanes ready to bomb anyone foolish enough to annoy our corporate masters?….
Oh, right, didn’t I mention? I have no doubt whatsoever that, whomever we’re bombing now, if we examine the expressed reasoning closely, we will find that, somehow, in some way, these people were disrupting the smooth flow of money into the coffers of one, or more, of our corporate masters, er, patriotic businesses… It wouldn’t be supportive of the government to NOT protect the interests of those paying for the bombs, now would it? Of course not…. Naturally, since it costs about $75 million/day to bomb them, at least the arms makers are showing a good profit, yes?….
Did you detect a smidgeon of smarmy disdain in the above? If you did, you got it; if not, you’re not paying attention… Not unsurprising, given the brainwashing from which most Americans suffer; the media has helped the Beloved Ruling Class, and their employers, the corporate snakeheads, to spread their manipulations and distractions… oh, hell, let’s just call them what they are…. the lies they use on a regular basis, to distract the public from examining any true facts of what they’re up to, to manipulate the public and the media into believing those lies, as well as believing the other lies they tell, just because they can’t help themselves… just as if it were true, or legal, or had anything to do with helping the common man….
“I wish everybody would have to have an electric thing implanted in our heads that gave us a shock whenever we did something to disobey the president. Then somehow I get myself elected president.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey
Hmm… the New American Dream, I’d say…. already half-true….
You may be certain of this… whatever spun-sugar the administration, which (who?) ordered and carried out this bombing, (An act which, again, was initiated without informing either Congress, or the public, anything about it beforehand….), in their Olympian fashion, deigns to tell us in this instance, about why we must bomb the Somalians, whatever THEY are up to, (oh, right… the article explains, they are “extremists”…), will NOT be anything resembling the actual truth, or anything that would help to resolve any real issues…. It will merely be whatever their information spin doctors have told them will fool the public into backing them, and fool the media into reporting all of it as if it were legitimate in any respect…. Count on it….
“The NY Times is read by the people who run the country. The Washington Post is read by the people who think they run the country. The National Enquirer is read by the people who think Elvis is alive and running the country…” — Robert J Woodhead
You may also count on the fact that, most likely, this is all about somebody’s profit line, and protecting a small group of “corporate persons”, aka “the men who would be kings”, who tend to feel that the money flowing into their pockets is theirs by right of entitlement; they firmly believe they are entitled to make a profit, no matter the cost to anyone else… Accept that, believe that, and you’ll have made a start, at finding out the actual truth behind most of what our government does, in any situation that comes to the attention of the public, and the media…. It’s all about covering the corporate ass, you betcha….
Now, you may think I’m being an obsessive conspiracy-monger, but, I doubt that, seriously. I don’t think it is a conspiracy; it’s simply the way it is…. The assholes to whom I refer are the same assholes who have had this country, and, for that matter, the world, in a stranglehold since the dawn of the concept of money…. They are just men, canny, strongly self-centered, and completely amoral, who have made it their habit, and lifestyle, for millennia, to take advantage of the way the system works, which is exactly how they have arranged it to work, with them as the only people in a position to control the whole shebang, from the shadows, where they are safe from those upon whom they prey….
Now, the system has grown to be so ponderous, so huge and unmanageable, that, while still protecting their identities by the very size of the system, it’s getting away from them a bit; a lot of information is now floating around out there on the Web they would rather stuff back into the box…But, sadly, not enough, yet, to make a difference in how things work, or, to change where we are headed, as a direct result of the insane machinations of mankind’s most amoral members… It may be too late altogether, to prevent their deliberate perpetration of the inequities they’ve built into our culture from leading all of us, them included, down that path followed already by so many failed species that have lived, and died, on this ball of mud over the last few epochs, since life began here on Earth….
I have a suspicion that we Humans won’t make much more of a splash, or have any more effect on reality, than did the passing of the Dodo, when Homo horriblus’s (our) voracious appetite for destructive insanity, and our failure to live up to our potential , led us to killing the last of the defenseless birds, just a couple hundred, or so, years ago…. When we have, in our turn, passed into memory, the Earth will, with a resigned sigh, in sorrow for the potential beauty that will never be, shrug its mountainous shoulders, shift around some basic elements, and begin the long slow process of healing the wounds we will have left behind us, in the final cataclysmic throes of our death-song…..
“As Caesar was at supper the discourse was of death, -which sort was the best. “That,” said he, “which is unexpected.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Caesar
Final note from 2015: Though I really don’t have anything more to say, Zippy does, in re: the ultimate meaning of being human…. Well, TRYING to be human in an insane world, anyway….
“America!! I saw it all!! Vomiting! Waving! JERRY FALWELLING into your void tube of UHF oblivion!! SAFEWAY of the mind –” — Zippy the Pinhead
Emily, if y’all hadn’t noticed, is my favorite poet, and, some days, she is necessary for my sanity to maintain any semblance of normalcy…. Today is one of those days…. Fortunately, her work isn’t hard to find….
The duties of the Wind are few
The duties of the Wind are few,
To cast the ships, at Sea,
Establish March, the Floods escort,
And usher Liberty.
The pleasures of the Wind are broad,
To dwell Extent among,
Remain, or wander,
Speculate, or Forests entertain.
The kinsmen of the Wind are Peaks
Azof – the Equinox,
Also with Bird and Asteroid
A bowing intercourse.
The limitations of the Wind
Do he exist, or die,
Too wise he seems for Wakelessness,
However, know not i.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
Today’s final, old-school pearl is one of those tough ones; persuading Smart Bee to give up anything useful can be a challenge of major proportions, and, today was no less so than it ever has been…. I’m actually sweating from the effort…. Since I can’t shower off until I’m done, I suppose I’d best get it posted, so there won’t be any further guilt amassed for no good reason…. The pearl itself is a collection of comments on how to approach certain aspects of Life at Large, should you desire something more than a slavish, miserable period of time on this planet…. Take heed, ffolkes, it’s all good stuff, if a bit murky….
“Cease to be ruled by dogmas and authorities; look at the world!” — H.G. Wells paraphrase of Roger Bacon’s works
“History is a lie commonly agreed upon.” — Nietzsche
“Sincerity and truth are the basis of every virtue.” — Confucius
“There’s more to living than not dying.” — Smart Bee
“The laugh of a child will make the holiest day more sacred still.” — Robert G. Ingersoll
“It is not length of life, but depth of life.’ — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.’ — Dylan Thomas
“I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.” — Cicero, De Oratore
“You may not, cannot, appropriate beauty. It is the wealth of the eye, and a cat may gaze upon the king.” — Theodore Parker
Well, there you go…. Today’s Pearl has been brought to you by sheer stubborn obsessiveness, with a side of confusion. But, don’t worry, neither is toxic, merely inconveniently wearisome. We’ll all get over it. That being the case, I can take my leave without further rigmarole, in the full belief in our own rightness, or, at minimum, sheer effrontery…. Whatever, as they say downtown…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, so long as nobody catches on….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….