From inside the pentagram….

Ffolkes,

“Never do a thing concerning the rectitude of which you are in doubt.”

~~ Pliny the Younger — Letters, Book i, Letter xviii, 5 ~~

not so crooked

Shadow of a not-so-crooked old man….


Hajime…. As I sit to begin this morning, I am struck by just how important to my sanity this process has become. Of course, sanity is a question-begging term for most folks, Most ffolkes, too. For me, it’s not a question, at all, at all. I am crazy as a bed-bug, as the saying goes, but, rather than suffer from it, I tend to revel in it. But, then, I am strange, and have accepted it as reality. In fact, being ‘tetched’, as it were, has afforded me untold opportunities in Life, of which otherwise I might never have seen or heard, to my everlasting regret. Since I don’t believe in regrets, I chose insanity.

You see, insanity is not the boojum most folks would have us believe. It is merely another of the many states of mind we humans can adopt, a state which, in truth, is merely another method humans have developed to deal with a big, scary universe they don’t always understand. It isn’t, as we are told, a bad method, it’s merely strange, compared to what most people have experienced. Strange and different don’t always have to mean ‘bad’; if it works to help the person deal with life more effectively than their previous method, well, so be it, in my book. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

But, the rest of the world doesn’t much like strange and different; those two adjectives have, unfortunately, been given a bad rap, in my estimation, and needn’t be viewed askance any more than any other such superlatives. In fact, they offer many advantages the merely sane are unable to even perceive, and, in their own way, are honorable methods for dealing with Life at Large. Well, I find them so, anyway….

I think I’m lost. I haven’t a clue how we got to this point, other than by indulging my own talent for blather. Since we’ve gotten to this point without having any real direction, perhaps it would be best to get on with the show, before we reach the point of no return. We need the return, for the deposit. Therefore, I am calling a halt to any further nonsense, sense, or blather, and will now flip this little switch right over here, which should take us directly to the oyster beds, express-style…. Hang on….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Mongo only pawn… in game of life.”

~~ Alex Karras in “Blazing Saddles” ~~


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bonnie (2)

Bonnie Raitt


The musical selection for today is an example of pure self-indulgence. I feel like listening to something both soothing, and hot. I can’t think of a better artist to cover both. Here is a live concert from the Oakland Coliseum in 1989. It just doesn’t get any better than this, ffolkes, not in my world…. Enjoy, if you will….

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Bonnie Raitt Live

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Dont keep calm

    Yesterday, for a time, before my back & shoulders began to react to the oncoming rain we’re expecting today, I spent time commenting on a friend’s blog. He posts mostly about politics and issues in the Middle East, and can be found here: https://lobotero.com/ 

My comments became rather a lengthy series of mini-rants, and, apparently, have cleared out any angst that had built up. So, in today’s section reserved for such ranting, you get an old-school pearl, designed to create more angst, or, as we like to call it sometimes, stimulating our rage against the Machine…. It isn’t the most pointed pearl ever, but, it gets rather esoteric and strange in spots…. As well, it’s got some rather tasty shots…. Enjoy!….

“The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” — Aristotle

“In all levels of life, the sheep are safe only when the wolves are not hungry.” — F. J. Lovret

“If you have ever seen a four-year-old trying to lord it over a two-year-old, then you know what the basic problem of human nature is — and why government keeps growing larger and ever more intrusive.” — Thomas Sowell

“When I was seven years old, I was once reprimanded by my mother for an act of collective brutality in which I had been involved at school. A group of seven-year-olds had been teasing and tormenting a six-year-old.  It is always so, my mother said. You do things together which not one of you would think of doing alone…. Wherever one looks in the world of human organization, collective responsibility brings a lowering of moral standards. The military establishment is an extreme case, an organization which seems to have been expressly designed to make it possible for people to do things together which nobody in his right mind would do alone.” — Freeman Dyson, Weapons and Hope

“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” — Paul Simon

“King Arthur and his armored goons of the Round Table functioned as the Politburo of a slave state: Camelot. Of all who have written on the Matter of Arthur, from Malory to White, only Mark Twain understood this. But Mark Twain was a great writer.” — Edward Abbey

“How many Presidential family members does it take to screw in a light bulb in the White House? Two, Hillary for her office, Bill for the rest of the White House.” — Snarky Bee

“I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices or caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. Indeed I know it. I can stand any society. all that I care to know is that a man is a human being – that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.” — Mark Twain — Harper’s Magazine, September, 1899

“If voting could change the system it would be illegal.  If not voting could change the system it would be illegal.” — Schroedinger’s Cat

“Our subjectivity
Is a mirrored,
Spiked casket.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

After the odyssey….

Portraits of iconic symbols, crashing, singing, forgotten;
evolving into mature innovation, as yet pale, and rotten.
Still water justly breeds, impenetrable primal verses resound;
unholy moments tarry, emotion swirls in passion unbound

Spiritual ovulation precedes each pregnant pause;
gravid, time moves on, following destiny’s cause.
Cast adrift on waves of confusion, to a final, damp landing;
salvation beckons sweetly, fed well on understanding.

Dreams directly fall, in night’s grey bower, unbidden;
lingering flavors in simple taste, lovingly, cleverly hidden.
Childish laughter sounds, joyful, bright, and clear;
no need ever to hide, no more monsters to fear.

Temper most foul arrives under unregistered mail;
forgotten taunts live on, lashed by an ancient flail.
Plain dealing delivers such lasting specks of honest hate;
savage in retrospect, never hasty, always running late.

Forever, cries an ambient lover of the pending night;
his pale, weak issue forms its own failing light.
Still, fortune favors such as those who apprehend;
Sweet love of Gaia, let it never end.

~~ gigoid ~~

3/10/2013


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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Life according to Jimi

*********

“But first, are you experienced?”

~~ Jimi Hendrix ~~

*********

“[Freedom is] the power to live as you will.
Who then lives as he wills?”

~~ Marcus Tullius Cicero ~~

*********

“Make haste slowly.”

~~ Ben Franklin ~~

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“Where no hope is left, is left no fear.”

~~ Milton ~~

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“If you want to be loved, be lovable.”

~~ Ovid ~~

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“I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm.”

~~ Calvin Coolidge ~~

*********

“The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world
is to be in reality what we would appear to be;
all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves
by the practice and experience of them.”

~~ Socrates ~~

*********

“Use a mirror in difficult times:
You will see both cause and resolution.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~

*********

“If I don’t meet you no more in this world
Then I’ll see you in the next one.
Don’t be late”

~~ Jimi Hendrix ~~

*********


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Having fulfilled the minimum requirements for a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom, we shall take our leave. We shall, in the interim before our return, attempt strongly to rid ourselves of this damnable royal “we” into which we keep stumbling. We are hopeful of success. We are also outta there, until the morrow. Count on it….

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….


			

Killing time in cheerful green socks….

Ffolkes,

Nope, not going to do it….. I won’t, I won’t do it! You can’t make me do it!….. Okay, drama over….. Originally, I had planned to re-blog one of my older pieces today, as I was not sure how I’d feel this morning…. Oh, not to worry, I don’t do New Year’s Eve any more, so that’s not an issue…. No, I just wasn’t sure how well I’d sleep, or what was happening today, or much of anything…. it was a confusing day yesterday, for some reason….

Maybe it was all the end of the year lists getting me all woozy and discombobulated; we’ve been inundated in them for days now, and I’m not sure how many more I can take….. Best New Phone Muzak, Stupidest Celebrity Arrests, Stinkiest Farts of the Year, The Absolute Best This, The Most Shockingly Entertaining That…. Every damn category the human brain could come up with gets covered by some reporter’s end of the year list….. If I wasn’t such a strong-minded individual, I would have cracked days ago… Probably just as well I haven’t, though, or they’d stick THAT on some list or another, and I have no desire to see my ride in an ambulance to the psych hospital become an internet meme, eerily contagious slick digital music or no….

So what is a struggling young author to do on a New Year’s Morn? Aside from being more honest in the choice of self-descriptive adjectives, you ask? I am neither young, nor struggling, particularly, other than in my own brain and body….. I could start like last year, with another fictional story opening…. but, then I’d be repeating myself, and I already decided not to just re-blog last year’s first post, good as it was, as it wouldn’t be fresh, and a New Year’s Day post ought to be fresh, at least to SOME degree…. I could wander and blather…. Oh, wait, I’m already doing that… Hmm…. I suppose I could go completely off the rails, and start a few paragraphs of piffle talk, complete and utter nonsense, that SOUNDS as if it might be real…. but, that’s too close to how I write already….

Okay, now we’re going to get tough…. I won’t have this kind of waffling, not to begin my third full year of blogging…. I have two documents now, each filled with a years worth of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, for 2012, and for 2013…. Soon I will open the next one in the series, to begin taking down the Pearls for 2014, of which this, obviously, is the first. I was hoping to make it one of the best, as well, but, it’s already beginning to look as if this one may be out of control right here at the start, thus leaving little hope for much distinction by the time we reach the end….

Of course, that’s how I felt at first about last year’s New Year’s post, and look how well it turned out…. I almost re-blogged it today, just because it is so good…. Ah well, I’d hoped to avoid this, but, before this gets any further off the rails, I’m going to apply emergency technique # 4, otherwise known as the “Oblivious” method….. It involves some seriously deep denial, and a touch of grim-faced concentration, but, it always works, and its the least expensive of all my emergency methods…. A good thing to remember, since tax time will be here soon enough…. (Considering the upcoming End of the World As We Know It, taxes seem a bit like adding insult to injury, don’t you think?…..) Here’s how it (#4) works…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

Say first, of God above or man below,
What can we reason but from what we know?

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744)  — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 17
_____________________________

“An hour’s perusal of our national charter makes it hard to understand what the argle-bargle is about. The First Amendment forbids infringements of the freedom of speech “except for commercials on children’s television” or “unless somebody says ‘****’ in a rap song or ‘chick’ on a college campus.” The Second Amendment states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” period. There is no mention of magazine size, rate of fire, or to what extent those arms may resemble assault rifles.” — P. J. O’Rourke

Now, at this point in most Pearls, you would think you’d find a good, long, vituperative rant, picking apart the arguments forwarded by the group of idiots who form the bulk of my target choices. It’s a perfect lead-in for a dual rant, on the media’s bungling of their avowed purpose, and the continuous attempted assault on the Bill of Rights, especially Amendment #2, which has had attempt after attempt made on its integrity since the first year it was printed, each one, thankfully, diverted from its intent….

In fact, the repeated attempts to curtail the Second Amendment rights we supposedly are granted have made it simpler to protect those rights, in at least one way, as those who would, ostensibly, take them away, keep providing us with a way to identify them, because of their repeated attempts to try to legislate it out of existence…. There are times when one may rejoice in the idiocy of one’s enemies…. But, they are very persistent, and they have no compunctions about screwing other people; they’re not going to cease their war on the Bill of Rights until they feel they’ve got them all under their control, just like they feel they do with much of the rest of society…. Sadly, quite sadly, they’re right about that control….

Any who, normally, a rant at this point would be not out of place…. however, it’s a New Year, and I don’t feel like being serious yet, so, we’re going with an old-school pearl, to take some random shots at those who I find it most enjoyable to set in my sights, the Beloved Ruling Class, the Priestly Hierarchies, The Police Myrmidons, and all the other Mundanes, who spend their lives with their heads firmly up their ass, making their slavery a simple matter for the formerly listed group(s) of asininnies…. (Hey, look!…. I just made up a new, GREAT word for that particular group of folks!! Asininnies…. I like it, a LOT…..) Okay, that’s the extent of the rant, let’s see what SB can do for us today…..

“The most common commodity in this country is unrealized potential.” — Calvin Coolidge

I speak religion’s message clear,
I am denial guilt and fear.
I am the prayers of the naive,
I am the lie that you believe.

— |\|I|/|

If there is any period one would desire to be born in, is it not the age of Revolution; when the old and the new stand side by side… when the glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era? This time…is a very good one… — Emerson

Q: How many believable, competent, “just right for the job” presidential candidates does it take to change a light bulb?
A: It’s going to be a dark 4 years, isn’t it? — Smart Bee

“If voting actually changed anything it’d be made illegal.” — Smart Bee

I swear, all I did was set the parameters, then hit the buttons, and watch…. Some days, it’s a thing of beauty to behold, I’ll tell ya…. Not too obscure, not too bloody, and, for flavor, a spicy portion or two….. Just to show you there are no hidden agendas, or anything other than full service, non-discriminatory curmdugeonry toward ALL individuals and groups, one last perfect pearl to finish this off in the classic manner…. Stooges Style!…. But, add a bit of irony, and it becomes almost Groucho-like…. Well, it makes my eyebrows twitch, anyway…..

“Support the right of unborn males to bear arms!” — A public service announcement from Phyllis Schlafly, the Catholic Church, and the National Rifle Association

Hey, not so bad for a New Year’s Day…. you should feel lucky, eh? It wasn’t Zippy….. Zippy can make one’s head hurt…. Of course, Phyllis has been known to have the same effect on any rational man….
_____________________________

“In the vacant places, we will build with new bricks.” — T.S. Eliot

I know I’ve used this little piece from T.S. Eliot in the past; he is frequently called upon as a source in this blog. Today, he’s here just because I like this quote, and just reading it is a good exercise for the brain, to get it ready for whatever follows in this section…. At this point, that is still an unknown…. I only know that it will be a good one, because I won’t settle for less on such a significant day (If that is what this is…. I suppose it is, what with being a real, actual Holiday and all…. I’m not particularly impressed myself, as a follower of the Aztec Calendar, which told us the world already ended, I think, about two or three years ago, I forget…) Any who, enjoy today’s poem, whatever it may be….

Perfect! It has been said that one should begin as one intends to go on…. What better way to begin a new year, than with Keats?….. A bit long, but, well worth the few moments in time to create this vision in the mind, and savor….

Song Of Four Fairies

Fire, Air, Earth, and Water,
Salamander, Zephyr, Dusketha, and Breama.

Salamander.
Happy, happy glowing fire!

Zephyr.
Fragrant air! delicious light!

Dusketha.
Let me to my glooms retire!

Breama.
I to the green-wood rivers bright!

Salamander.
Happy, happy glowing fire!
Dazzling bowers of soft retire,
Ever let my nourish’d wing,
Like a bat’s, still wandering,
Faintly fan your fiery spaces,
Spirit sole in deadly places.
In unhaunted roar and blaze,
Open eyes that never daze,
Let me see the myriad shapes
Of men, and beasts, and fish, and apes,
Portray’d in many a fiery den,
And wrought by spumy bitumen.
On the deep intenser roof,
Arched every way aloof,
Let me breathe upon their skies,
And anger their live tapestries;
Free from cold, and every care,
Of chilly rain, and shivering air.

Zephyr.
Spirit of Fire! away! away!
Or your very roundelay
Will sear my plumage newly budded
From its quilled sheath, all studded
With the self-same news that fell
On the May-grown Asphodel.
Spirit of Fire — away! away!

Breama.
Spirit of Fire — away! away!
Zephyr, blue-ey’d Faery turn,
And see my cool sedge-bury’d urn,
Where it rests its mossy brim
‘Mid water-mint and cresses dim;
And the flowers, in sweet troubles,
Lift their eyes above the bubbles,
Like our Queen, when she would please
To sleep, and Oberon will teaze.
Love me, blue-ey’d Faery, true!
Soothly I am sick for you.

Zephyr.
Gentle Breama! by the first
Violet young nature nurst,
I will bathe myself with thee,
So you sometimes follow me
To my home, far, far, in west,
Beyond the nimble-wheeled quest
Of the golden-browed sun:
Come with me, o’er tops of trees,
To my fragrant palaces,
Where they ever floating are
Beneath the cherish of a star
Call’d Vesper, who with silver veil
Ever hides his brilliance pale,
Ever gently-drows’d doth keep
Twilight for the Fayes to sleep.
Fear not that your watery hair
Will thirst in drouthy ringlets there;
Clouds of stored summer rains
Thou shalt taste, before the stains
Of the mountain soil they take,
And too unlucent for thee make.
I love thee, crystal Faery, true!
Sooth I am as sick for you!

Salamander.
Out, ye aguish Faeries, out!
Chilly lovers, what a rout
Keep ye with your frozen breath,
Colder than the mortal death.
Adder-eye’d Dusketha, speak,
Shall we leave these, and go seek
In the earth’s wide entrails old
Couches warm as their’s are cold?
O for a fiery gloom and thee,
Dusketha, so enchantingly
Freckle-wing’d and lizard-sided!

Dusketha.
By thee, Sprite, will I be guided!
I care not for cold or heat;
Frost and flame, or sparks, or sleet,
To my essence are the same;–
But I honour more the flame.
Spirit of Fire, I follow thee
Wheresoever it may be,
To the torrid spouts and fountains,
Underneath earth-quaked mountains;
Or, at thy supreme desire,
Touch the very pulse of fire
With my bare unlidded eyes.

Salamander.
Sweet Dusketha! paradise!
Off, ye icy Spirits, fly!
Frosty creatures of the sky!

Dusketha.
Breathe upon them, fiery sprite!

Zephyr and Breama.
Away! away to our delight!

Salamander.
Go, feed on icicles, while we
Bedded in tongue-flames will be.

Dusketha.
Lead me to those feverous glooms,
Sprite of Fire!

Breama.
Me to the blooms,
Blue-ey’d Zephyr, of those flowers
Far in the west where the May-cloud lowers;
And the beams of still Vesper, when winds are all wist,
Are shed thro’ the rain and the milder mist,
And twilight your floating bowers.

~~ John Keats ~~

_____________________________

“If you would make changes in the present, study the past.” — Spinoza

It may simply be this concept that compels people, myself included, to engage in retrospectives. We are told this from our earliest days (well, I was….) in one way or another, and I think most reasonable, rational people will agree its a good idea to know the past, if only to avoid the mistakes we made then in our future acts. So, let’s take a moment for some words on 2013; I won’t use the adjective “few” in re: words and me, as that is non-productive, since it probably won’t be just a few…. We’ll see, though….

2013 was, for me, a long, interesting time; in the past 365 days I have traveled on a great many different paths, all over the Western/Northern Hemispheres of the planet…. I’ve spent over a month, cumulatively, on three different floating hotels, on four separate cruises, after spending the first four months of the year in the grip of near-poverty. I’ve flown on airplanes, ridden trains, buses, and innumerable taxicabs. I didn’t ride any bikes. I’ve been to five different states, if one counts the airports, and touched foot to ground in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Canada, Mexico, and, of course, the United States.

I had the chance to go to Paris for a day, and St. Peter’s Port on the Isle of Guernsey for a day, off the coast of France, but did not go to either, as I would rather have more time than was available to explore them (Paris needs more than four hours to see, I think, especially since the Louvre was closed the day I would have been there….)

I DID see many of the places of which I’ve read and dreamed of seeing all my life, especially in Ireland, and England…. Though I didn’t get in to see the Book of Kells ( Lines way too long…. ), I did walk around Trinity College, Dublin, and got to see a perfect pint pulled in a pub in Cork…. Found a pub in Belfast that first opened in 1635, by Queen’s charter, which served excellent bangers and mash….

I had a long lesson in humility, dignity, compassion, and love this year, from reconnecting with, and going twice to visit in Texas, my high school classmate, Carole Heaton Oliveiro…. She contracted cancer, in a particularly virulent, painful form, and went, undeservedly, but with magnificent strength and will, through treatment for over a year, only to pass away in less than a week from being diagnosed as terminal.

Her ordeal brought her very close to me, and I will always cherish getting to know her better here at the end of our lives…. Bonus: I got in touch with other old friends through her…. Also, traveling to see her, while for emotional reasons, turned out to be my most instructive trips, in terms of how my age and condition now affects all I do when on the road…..

During this entire year, I’ve also been falling more and more in love with Patricia, and find a great deal of contentment from just being together, even though the past two months have been a physical nightmare for both of us…. I’ve been fighting bronchitis, apparently for about two months now, while she, we just found out last week, has had pneumonia for the past month, at least, and possibly longer. It’s possible we both succumbed to travel fatigue, after three cruises in five months, one of eleven days, one of seven, and one of four; but, to believe that would be to give in to feeling old, and we’ve agreed to NOT allow this to affect our travel plans….    😉

Now that the chatty portion of today’s program has been fulfilled, beyond all hope or expectation, I will get to the point of this, which, though it may not seem so, was planned just this way from the start of this section…. GASP! Imagine that…. forethought by gigoid…. What will they think of next?…..

So, the point of Spinoza’s wisdom, of course, extends beyond the merely personal level on which my discussion above rests; more significantly, it can apply without effort to include the entire world, and, all of mankind’s folly, which, as we know, is legion, and imminently dangerous…. I spent a great deal of time in 2013 writing about who I think is to blame for the world’s state of impending crisis, so I won’t insult you by saying I’ll leave them alone this year…. But, what Spinoza says is true, and if we don’t start looking at what has happened in the past, we are going to continue to have a present that will eventually kill us, in a very short time, cosmically speaking….

THIS is what we need to be looking at in the coming days and years, ffolkes… Global warming is a reality that cannot be denied, or ignored any longer, not without the very real risk of suicide, for ALL OF US. If we, as a species, do not make necessary changes, to human nature, and to the way we approach Life in general as a species, in re: planetary resources and the biosphere….. well, then, in the next five decades (NOT centuries, NOT millennia, I said, and can show proof that we are talking about DECADES!…), if nothing is done, we are all going to die, and that is the “unfortunate truth”…..

Okay, for a retrospective, that ain’t bad, and you can be sure, on this subject, there will be more to come…. for now, I think I’ve done all the damage I can do for one day….. I’ll leave y’all with just this thought…..

“Anaxagoras said to a man who was grieving because he was dying in a foreign land, “The descent to Hades is the same from every place.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Anaxagoras, vi
_____________________________

Well, there is no doubt whatsoever that I have done all the damage I can possibly do in one Pearl…. I’m not sure what that means in terms of the next year, but, I suppose we’ll see, won’t we? I’m done, ffolkes, and deserve a break, after this one…. It’s all fresh, other than the poem by Keats, so, it took a lot out of me…. well worth it, from my view…. Better out than in, right? Right!….. See you tomorrow…..

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

Entirely costumed in pale green aspic….

Ffolkes,
It’s been a long time since I’ve been down like this physically; I guess I’ve been lucky without being aware of it. I suppose that’s normal, to take for granted our times of peace, because they are so easy and pleasant that we tend to just coast along, never realizing how different it can be when things aren’t as well aligned, or working better. It’s an easy state of mind to fall into, until one doesn’t feel well, and realizes how much it is missed….

My physical conditions are of the type that don’t put me in agony, per se, but are just always there, preventing me from feeling very good, and sort of dragging me down into a morass of fatigue and discomfort. It’s not life-threatening, at least not yet, and it’s not particularly bad, when considered in the light of things like cancer, or lupis, or such conditions. It’s just not very comfortable, and makes me want to hole up in my cave and growl at anyone who comes to the door. Fortunately, nobody does….

Writing is hard when this happens…. It does keep me at home, pretty much, but it makes it hard to sit for long at the computer, so anything I write tends to peter out before I can get far into it. Around here, writing is always an adventure anyway, so that isn’t so much of a handicap, since I can’t sit long anyway, because of the need to move my back almost constantly to find a comfortable position. It just tends to make it hard to rant for any length of time, and as is known, I love to rant. It’s what keeps me so calm the rest of the time, and able to look at things dispassionately; I take all that out in what I write about priests, preachers, politicians, and human stupidity, my four horsemen of the apocalypse……

Today, though, we’ll be presenting part III of Repercussions, which is the hardest piece for me; it was hard to write, and it is very hard to read it again, as it deals with perhaps the most destructive moments of my entire life. The first section pearl will be old school, in that I won’t be writing as much as pointing…. and a poem, of course, will ease our spirits in section two, as is now the rule….. We should get on with it, eh?…..

“Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.” — Winston Churchill

Well, now, if that isn’t an apt description of what goes on around here pretty much every day now, I don’t know what is, or would be…. Actually, in thinking about it, the process Winnie outlines happens in a flash of time for some, and each step is individual to the author doing the writing…. Hell, you know, I don’t think he knows any more than I do in this instance, and, since I’ve always passed on the experience of having a mistress,  have never acknowledged a master, and never lived under a tyrant (Well, other than my ex-wife…. Sorry, too easy, just kidding…..) , it rather breaks down for me, anyway. It’s really the last part I like, about killing the damn thing and flinging it to the public…. that feels quite right….. So, here, allow me to fling you along the path to the end of today’s adventure through my head… Shall we Pearl?…..
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For humans, the truth is a slippery concept to hold on to; it seems to change form on us if we do not clutch it tightly enough. Everyone feels that what they believe is the basic truth, and what others may hold to be true do not count in their world. Yet actual truth has nothing to do with our belief; the universe itself defines what is truth, and we can only change its labels to suit our own prejudices. I can, and no doubt have, supplied any number of examples of how humans can twist the truth to suit their own purposes, but today, I give you instead some of the thoughts others have had on the subject (with one random quote thrown in to challenge the Gentle Reader, one that speaks to part of the reason why truth is so slippery for us…. you have to figure out which one it is yourself…..)…. all of which combined gives a good idea of my own take on the matter…..

“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.” — H. L. Mencken

“I have never been hurt by anything I didn’t say.” — Calvin Coolidge

“Humanity has been searching for an all knowing intelligence for as long as there has been a question it could not answer.  Until it learns to use its own mind it will continue to chase it’s tail.” — R. Thomas

“By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell — and hell heaven.  The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.” — Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

“A half-truth is usually less than half of that.” — Smart Bee

“Everyone, I think, remembers Voltaire’s famous line about freedom of speech. The version of it that you are familiar with is actually based on a faulty translation. What Voltaire actually said was this: “I do not agree with what you say, sir, though I will defend to the death your right to say it. But for now … shut up!” — Steve Allen

It would have been nice to have one more, but, that last one says it pretty well….. I hope you found your way to the point of the exercise, as it, too, says it pretty well…. and, in many fewer words than I COULD use, to be sure….     🙂
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Fragment

I WALK’D along a stream, for pureness rare,
Brighter than sun-shine; for it did acquaint
The dullest sight with all the glorious prey
That in the pebble-paved channel lay.

No molten crystal, but a richer mine,
Even Nature’s rarest alchymy ran there,–
Diamonds resolv’d, and substance more divine,
Through whose bright-gliding current might appear
A thousand naked nymphs, whose ivory shine,
Enamelling the banks, made them more dear
Than ever was that glorious palace’ gate
Where the day-shining Sun in triumph sate.

Upon this brim the eglantine and rose,
The tamarisk, olive, and the almond tree,
As kind companions, in one union grows,
Folding their twining arms, as oft we see
Turtle-taught lovers either other close,
Lending to dulness feeling sympathy;
And as a costly valance o’er a bed,
So did their garland-tops the brook o’erspread.

Their leaves, that differ’d both in shape and show,
Though all were green, yet difference such in green,
Like to the checker’d bent of Iris’ bow,
Prided the running main, as it had been–

Christopher Marlowe
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Repercussions, Part III

On a day in mid-August of 1984, I was working once again at Napa State Hospital (NSH) as a Psychiatric Technician. Since the adolescent program where I previously worked had closed, I was assigned to a unit designated T8, in the T-building, a two-story edifice which encompassed enough space for 10 units housing up to 45 individuals each, an industrial kitchen with two separate dining rooms, serving meals in both rooms in rotation, for eight units, and several program offices for the Program managers and support staff.

The population was all male, in a program whose purpose was to treat a variety of different diagnoses. The residents of the program, who were diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar Disorders, Personality Disorders, along with a wide variety of other psychiatric conditions, were housed together on eight units with dormitories where they slept at night. On this particular late summer’s day, the men on T8 were relatively quiet, as everyone tried to cope with the stifling heat common to the area at this time of the year. The buildings at NSH were built in the 1950’s, all of concrete, and could be very uncomfortable.
A couple of hours into the shift, we escorted our charges out the door, downstairs to the hallway leading to the dining room for dinner. It is always the most dangerous part of the shift; the residents are hungry, and the walk to the dining room necessarily leaves the staff spread apart in order to keep an eye on everyone. The team I worked with was a good one, and with all of us staying alert, we got to the dining room and supervised the clients, who were conversant with the routine, until all were seated and eating, except a couple of stragglers still in line.

The phone on the wall rang, and one of the kitchen employees picked up to answer. She listened a moment, then turned to quickly address us nursing staff, saying in a strained voice, “T-6 needs help, stat!” “Stat” is the medical code word for an emergency situation, requiring staff to respond as fast as possible to lend assistance. Two of us, myself and Hoi-sing Lee, another PT, immediately broke into a run, out of the door to the left down the hallway to the stairway door leading up to T-6. We hit the open hall door at a full run and bounded up the stairs, slowing as we came to the doorway to scan the situation before entering into the main day hall of the unit.

To the left was the medication room door, bottom half closed, top open to the room. A female staff member in the open upper half pointed across the day hall at a resident there, saying only, “that’s him” In the middle of the room, near the chairs grouped in front of the TV, lay another of the residents, curled into a ball and shivering violently. A female staff member could be seen in the nursing office, still calling for help. No one was in the TV area to the left of the door; most of the clients were on the way to the dining room, as were most of the staff, so my teammate, Lee, and I were the first responders at the scene. I looked straight ahead from the door as I moved into the room, and saw a sight I will see in dreams for the rest of my days, burned indelibly on my memory in an instant that lasted forever.

I saw the body of a male staff member, obviously unconscious; he lay on his back straight in front of me about 10 feet away. I recognized him as the T-6 shift lead, a friend named Al, who had oriented me to the program when I first came on board. I observed that he was breathing, but his complexion had a very bad looking chalky grey cast to it, eyes closed, and obviously insensate. Another 15 feet beyond where he lay paced the apparent perpetrator, who immediately began yelling at me in a threatening voice, shouting, ” Yeah I did that, come and get me!.” He was about 6’1″, approximately 190 lbs., appeared to be in good shape, and very obviously was in an agitated psychotic state, just coming down after an explosion of rage, and still pumped up to fight.

As I approached him, I had to step over the body of my friend, and very carefully moved toward the agitated individual, on full alert and fully adrenalized. Time had slowed to a crawl, and I could hear the harsh breathing from the aggressor as he paced in a tight circle, mumbling to himself between yells in my direction. Hoi-sing, an experienced PT, and like me, a veteran of many such situations, silently crossed behind me to the left, quickly circling around to his opposite side, so we could approach from both directions. As I stepped up to him, I casually took his left arm, just as Lee did the same on the other side. Both of us had been trained to use a special hold which allows control of the arm without stressing it by putting it in unnatural positions, allowing you to use your weight to control the arm, quickly tiring the subject. He began to try rip his arms from our grasp, yelling obscenities at us, and flailing about.

Hoi-sing was experienced, but only weighed about 110 lbs. dripping wet, and I could tell he wasn’t going to be able to hold the right arm much longer, and I would then be the unhappy recipient of an attempted blow to the head. I had to think fast, so I dropped my weight while holding his arm, then lifted him upward until his weight went onto his toes, just enough that I was able to control the direction of our movement. I quickly directed all three of us right into the chairs a few feet away, knowing that I could direct him hard enough to cause his legs to run into the arm of the heavy chair, causing him to imbalance and fall over to the floor, with me still on top grimly keeping a death-grip on his arm. This unfortunately left Lee underneath him, but as I knew he would, he wriggled free, still holding the right arm, and we were then able to use our combined weight to hold him securely on the floor until more help arrived.

Very soon after we got control of the still wildly struggling individual, more people arrived, and helped us to restrain him, then per procedure, move him to a secure room, where he could be restrained with leather straps on a bed until he regained control, as the psychotic rage passed. Once he was secure, Lee and I returned to the day hall where Al still lay, being examined by the on-duty physician, surrounded by silent and worried looking staff. A paramedic team arrived with a gurney stretcher, Al was lifted onto it gently, and rushed to the emergency room at the nearest hospital a few miles away. The doctor was only able to stand there shaking his head sadly, with a grave expression, saying over and over, “it’s bad, it’s bad”. After writing up the incident reports, Lee and I finished our shift on our unit, quietly raging inside but still outwardly under control.

After our shift ended, we went to the hospital to see if Al had been stabilized and/or had regained consciousness; before we left work, we had heard only periodic updates that told us he was still in surgery. When we arrived, we were told he was in a coma, in critical condition, and being monitored for fluid pressure on the brain. His prognosis was serious and guarded, meaning the doctors didn’t know whether he would recover or not, only time would tell.

Four days later, Al died without ever waking up. The doctors explained that he had apparently been struck full in the face, a massive blow to the nose. The doctors explained he had received in essence two blows, one to the face and nose, and one to the back of the head when he fell to the floor. In reality, he never stood much chance of a full recovery; even if he had lived, the likelihood of a severe loss of brain function would almost certainly have made him a full-time bed patient, requiring full nursing care to survive. He would never have been able to speak, or walk, or hold his family again. He was survived by his wife and four children.

At the funeral a day after his death all of us who had worked with Al stood by his casket at the memorial service as we and his family bid him a tearful farewell. We could but stare in shock, and wonder at the terrible waste of a good man’s life, silent as the sadness filled us.

And I, I was filled with a such a sense of rage and sorrow, such waves of pain and anguish that I could barely speak for the clenching of my jaw. For the first time in my life and career, I had been unable to protect someone I had cared for, and I was filled with an immensely deep sense of regret for having arrived on the scene too late to save my friend…..My equilibrium was completely shattered, and I could not find my center, nor even momentary peace, despite recognizing that we had done as much as we could, and held no personal responsibility for his death. That knowledge gave me no comfort, and I entered the realm of the “walking dead”, gripped by madness and and soul-deep pain….
To be continued…..
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Whew…. I managed to get down here to finish this off without stopping to read the third section, which for now is a good thing. I’ll have to do so at least once more, to do the final edit and spell check by eye that I always do, so I don’t need the angst right now….. Once again, I don’t know how this one came out, as I don’t have the wherewithal just now to decide…. It looks okay, and it’s done, so…. it flies….  So be it…..   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!

Unable to pass, naturally, he punts….

Ffolkes,
Damn, damn, damn…. Murphy strikes again, it seems. What with my recent stresses building up to a climax on Thursday at the Disability psyche exam, I believe I may have exhausted myself. Yesterday, I managed to get the Pearl out, and even went out in the rain to post it at the coffee shop. In that process, I found that my newly acquired advanced age has taken away some of my resistance to the weather, and I got really cold before getting home to warm up. Then, last night, I got really tired, and went to bed at 8 PM, only to awaken at 3:30 AM, wide awake, of course, and ready to write…..

As I booted up the ol’ laptop, I poured coffee, and prepared to sit down and get serious. But, upon looking at the screen, Smart Bee was missing. This, I believe, is where Murphy stepped in again. The program icon was there, on the task bar, but wouldn’t come up on the screen. Well, this had occurred previously, and only got fixed after a week of panic and contortions, by reinstalling a newly downloaded version that I had to go get from the website. That version has acted fine, until this morning, when it once again went back into wherever it is software goes when it’s messing with you….

So, here I am, once again, without my trusted source of stimulating material. For today, I have some stuff I had previously collected, but, it looks like I’ll have to do another download of Smart Bee to get it back, which won’t happen until later. SIGH….. Murphy is indeed an asshole, and I don’t care if he hears me…. he couldn’t f….k with me any worse than he already does…. (I know, tempting for him, but, you know what, f….k him, and the white horse he didn’t ride in on…..)

There are, of course, probably other sources for quotes I could use, but I’m stubborn. Stubborn, but not stupid, so I WILL look for another program similar to SB that may work for me, once I get to where Google will work for me. In the meantime, I’m stuck with what I have on hand, and that means so are you…. Hopefully, it won’t cause any great difficulties, and also hopefully, will not result in a lessening of the quality of pearls.

Having thus gotten my morning whine out of the way, I should get on with the rest of the day’s work, such as it is. The first section should be no problem; it’s a diatribe on an old familiar target. After that, well, the results will be a matter of chance…. and if anyone says that will be some kind of improvement, well, that will just be cruel…. accurate, perhaps, but cruel….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“In my travels I have found that those who keep Heaven in view remain serene and cheerful in the darkest day. If the glories of Heaven were more real to us, if we lived less for material things and more for things eternal and spiritual, we would be less easily disturbed by this present life.” — Billy Graham, from Hope for the Troubled Heart Traveling Through

Ah, yes, more pseudo- faux wisdom from Mr. Delusional himself. Billy (what is it with these evangelical preachers and their names?…. Why would a 60 plus year-old man want to be called “Billy”? Makes me suspect some pederasty, myself, but I’m the suspicious type….) has hit upon a very valuable point here, without even being aware of the point he is making…. which is pretty typical for him. I’ve had to listen to his crap all my life, as my mother went through a period of time in my childhood where she enjoyed watching his TV revivals, and made us watch as well. For me, it worked out okay, as it gave me all the more reason to mistrust whatever the preachers were spouting off about, and there were some pretty hot Christian babes to look at, even if they couldn’t sing for shit; must have been from having no rhythm, as they danced even worse….. Hell, maybe it wasn’t dancing at all, but choreographed speaking in tongues while writhing on the stage….

Sorry, didn’t mean to wander…. any who, Billy’s assertion here, though it calls upon people to use their heads in a new way, unfortunately points the way to go that leads straight to the delusions he wishes to share. He is right that when we concentrate on our spiritual manifestation, we are less susceptible to the vagaries of reality, but, he uses the concept of Heaven as the goal, which, as we all know, is somewhat hard to prove exists. In order to accept Heaven as a reality, one must assume the belief in the other unprovable assertions made by these evangelistic (another word for “manipulative”) busybodies. Besides, what’s wrong with being disturbed by life? I’d rather be disturbed than lied to, which is what they are doing…..

“Some foolish men declare that a Creator made the world.  The doctrine that the world was created is ill-advised, and should be rejected.  If God created the world, where was He before creation?  How could God have made the world without any raw material?  If you say He made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression … Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning and end.” — The Mahapurana, Jinasena

You see, this makes as much sense to me as any of the stuff that the preachers and deacons tried to tell us as kids, and that Billy tries to force down the unwilling throats of adults. This philosophy at least takes reality into account in its provisions, even if it does make its own unprovable assertions…. But, most of the assertions it makes are much more logical and justifiable by evidence than are any of those made by the Christian sects. These assertions are at least verifiable according to reason, and fit in better with the observable universe. In a choice between logic and fantasy, I’ll go with logic, every time….

Fanatic: Someone who, having lost sight of his goal, redoubles his efforts. — Smart Bee (This is the last one found there, for the time being….SIGH….)

Sadly, the people who accept Billy’s nonsense are often of this ilk. No matter how much one defies their assertions by presenting logical alternatives, the believers just clutch their cherished delusions more tightly to their breast, and raise their voices in anger and angst, in order to drown out any opposing views by the din of their fervor. Actually, I, being the cruel curmudgeon I am, will often challenge these folks just to watch them explode, as it is quite an entertaining way to pass the time. Some might say that it is immoral to pick on them (it IS dishonorable to engage in a battle wits with unarmed persons, I suppose….), but, I can’t help myself. I’ve spent much of my life having to listen to these people, politely, and giving in to the admonitions to not argue with them; I’m done with that, and if I want to tease them, I damn well will….

“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.” — Robert A Heinlein, “If this goes on….”

One of the most annoying aspects of the folks like Billy, who proselytize their beliefs, dumping them on others, is the way they will do everything in their power to keep their constituents ignorant of any other views but their own. They cannot abide competition, and attempt to subvert it by brainwashing their acolytes to accept what they say, without ever trying to find out whether or not it has any validity according to any other knowledge possessed by Man. They are the people of whom St. Thomas Aquinas warned, when he said, “Beware the man of one book.” If Billy had his way, the Bible, King James version, would be the only book in the library, unless there were some approved treatises that discussed appropriately the contents of that Bible (thereby making it the same book, in essence).

This is the kind of discussion that could carry on for days, but, I’m tired of it, so we’ll bring it to a close. Billy is, all things considered, a pretty easy target, since he fits into so many of the categories that I like to make fun of…. preacher, fanatic, delusional, believes his own hype, hypocritical, sanctimonious, pompous, and sure of his own (non-existent) omniscience. It’s fun, but grows old as fast as his ideas…. I pick on him because it is obvious that he possesses a modicum of native intelligence; he just refuses to use it, and that, to me, is a crime against nature. He is smart enough to see that what he says is nonsense, but, is too cowardly, or too dishonest, to admit it. For this I hold him accountable, and thus use him as a target frequently…. because he deserves every bit of opposition we can give him…. He targets, and solicits money from, the weak-minded and the ignorant, and that, to me, is unforgivable……

If you wish to know
Why there are disasters
Of Armies and Weapons in the world
Listen to the piteous cries
From the slaughterhouse at midnight

— Old Chinese Saying
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A Question

A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.

Robert Frost

Well said!…..
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In lieu of Smart Bee, I went back into the archives to find an old Pearl to use here. Serendipity struck, and I found this one, which is rather appropriate. I wrote this one four years ago, almost to the day…. these were my comments regarding the outcome of the 2008 election, and the remarks, minus one, are all still very apropos…. Just ignore the one about the lame duck, as there isn’t one this time around…. the rest of it remains valid, so, to reiterate….

Ffolkes,
Though it is my gut feeling that we can all breathe a big sigh of relief that the nightmare of the last eight years is almost over, I must caution thee against complacence. It’s now a matter of keeping an eye on both the lame duck guy and the newbie, for a while at least. It’s best not to leave them unattended for long as they tend to get into mischief if not firmly leashed. With this in mind, I offer the following….

“As one gets older, one discovers everything is going to be exactly the same with different hats on.’ — Noel Coward

“A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“I have never been hurt by anything I didn’t say.” — Calvin Coolidge (Let’s hope Obama can live up to that!)

And lets not forget the Wisdom of Who….

“Here’s to the new boss,
The same as the old boss….
….
So I get on my knees an pray,
we don’t get fooled again”– Pete Townshend

Y’all take care out there….

Almost eerie, isn’t it? I have to say, this country dodged a BIG bullet this election; if R&R, the consummate liars, had bought the White House, we would have been in for a very disturbing episode of history, with the outbreak of the Second American Revolution not out of the realm of possibility. I know I would have been ready to assume arms in a heartbeat….

But, reason prevailed, giving me some hope for the people of this nation, even those who have the heads firmly inserted into their bums…. I think Zippy is right on the money with this closing thought on the subject, and with that thought, we can bring the subject to a welcome close… for about 3 years, until the next group of power-hungry Republicans step up to try to steal the election….. Pay heed to Zippy’s wisdom!……..

“Disco oil bussing will create a throbbing Naugahyde pipeline running straight to the tropics from the rug producing regions and devalue the dollar!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Well, it may not be Art, but it is Frank and Earnest….. and, sadly, it’s the best I’ve got today. Since I’m now looking at 0615 AM from the wrong side, I think I might try to go back to bed for a while, and let this all slough off my conscience. Besides, I can look at it later with a fresh eye, and see if it is worth posting, or if my early morning adventures are affecting the Pearls adversely. If that is the case, well, gosh, I just don’t know what I’ll do…. I guess I’ll find out later…..  More to come…..

Well, it’s better than I had anticipated; good enough the let fly….. I’m considering it lucky, and being thankful….. Onward into another day, ffolkes….  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!

Elements of improbable style…..

Ffolkes,
Unknown random thoughts awoke me early today, and I have yet to pin them down sufficiently to see just why it was so bloody important for me to be up just now (0645…. that’s AM, in case the military time doesn’t compute….). I can’t see anything particularly in need of my attention, and I can’t believe my head got me up just to witness the very short power outage at 0642, which lasted all the way until 0643….. my assistance was not necessary, other than to re-program a couple of clocks, which could have been done later.

Considering my retired state, and the fact that I don’t HAVE to get up at all, should I so wish, whatever reason I’ve been summoned awake at this hour is insulting, not to say a bit tiring….. and if it was merely to set the clocks, then I need to have a serious discussion with my unconscious mind; it’s getting a bit out of whack with reality, and what is important.  But, hey, I’m up, so I may as well begin the Beguine…. so to speak. (And, boy, did I just date myself there!…..) (Of course, I MAY be the only one left alive who knows the song, so…. I might be safe….)

Much of today’s Pearl was written last night, as Smart Bee presented me at that time with a plethora of quotes with which to work. In addition to the fine group of them that centered on my usual topics, I also found this one, which relates to a post I made some weeks ago; that post, it turns out, was a pivotal post, as it seems to somehow have attracted a large number of new readers to my blog, many of which have begun to follow it, to my delight and surprise.

That post, the title of which escapes me (as they all do, since I don’t bother to make them logical, or indicative of content….) spoke in the intro section about fish sauce, and its importance in society….. That post has become the most widely read post I ever wrote, with well over 30 Likes, and a number of comments….. Fish sauce struck a chord, somehow, with a LOT of people, it seems…. Any who, the following may shed light on just why it turned out to be so popular…..

“SAUCE, n.  The one infallible sign of civilization and enlightenment. A people with no sauces has one thousand vices; a people with one sauce has only nine hundred and ninety-nine.  For every sauce invented and accepted a vice is renounced and forgiven.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

I find this to be somewhat comforting, all in all, as it lends to the concept of civilization a somewhat elegant veneer. Little did I, or any other historian or scholar, for that matter, realize just how intrinsic to the inner nature of society Sauces really are…. I do know that the world would be a darker, sadder place without gravy, especially Country Gravy, and who can deny the socially redeeming value of a good Hollandaise? Then, of course, there is fish sauce, without which our society would never have arisen, lifted up from the culture of the caves to assume the grandeur of what it is now. We owe a lot to Sauces, and fish sauce is one of the grandest sauces ever conceived. I don’t know about y’all, but a fresh fish sauce just makes my toes curl in anticipation…. YUM!

Okay, now that is over, my medication is starting to take effect, so fish sauce stories will soon become impossible to write, much less explain later to the authorities…. It must be time to put all this aside, and get on with the scheduled program…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

While searching for pearls for this morning, (as noted above, last evening would be more accurate…..) it seems as if Smart Bee wants me to take a few shots again at the political scene here in America…. almost all of what is coming up is pointed in that direction, and who am I to disparage Smart Bee?….. So, here are some pearls, some from political figures, some from philosophers, some from talking animals, and some from screenwriters…. maybe some others, too…. My comments will appear between pearls, to provide some direction….. if it can be called such….

Nick: “There are lots of things worse than movies: politicians, wars, forest fires, famine, plague, sickness, pain, warts, politicians…”
Jack: “You already mentioned them.”
Nick: “I know I did. They are twice as bad as anything else.”

— The Last Action Hero

Years ago fairy tales all began with “Once upon a time…”, now we know they all begin with, “If I am elected…” — Carolyn Warner

These two pearls are such that just about every American can identify with, and that is just sad. Nobody in this country will argue with either of the above opinions, as expressed, because they know there is just too much evidence proving them to be true. Deciding for whom to vote is no longer a matter of examining and comparing the candidates’ positions on various issues, but rather a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils. And, as Jerry Garcia once pointed out, “The lesser of two evils is still evil….”  We will know that things are changing if ever someone hears this kind of joke, and objects….

“I have never been hurt by anything I didn’t say.” — Calvin Coolidge

It is really too bad that more politicians don’t take what Calvin said to heart. In fact, it seems that Mr. Romney has not only NOT listened to this advice, but has actually gone in the other direction; just about every time he opens his mouth to speak, he says something that he later regrets. This is not merely my opinion…. just look at the news every day, and you will find yet another example of how poorly qualified he is to speak in public.

“Ah say, son, you’re about as sharp as a bowlin’ ball.” — Foghorn Leghorn

The saddest and most disheartening part of it is two-fold; one, in his bowling ball state, he believes that, merely because he wants to be President, he should be allowed to be President…..

“Faith:  not wanting to know what is true.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Second, there are millions of IDIOTS, wallowing in their faith, who actually listen to him, and nod their doltish heads in agreement as he spouts off again…. They do this without ever pausing to consider whether or not what he says is true, because he has appealed to their basic fears, their bigotry and racism. It’s quite pathetic, when viewed dispassionately…. and what is true gets lost in the shuffle…

“Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do.” — President Ronald Reagan

“Poor dear, there’s nothing between his ears.” — Margaret Thatcher, — about Ronald Reagan, in the 6/2/88 issue of The New York Times

But, the idiocy we see in Romney’s acolytes is actually comprehensible when one considers that these are the same fools who thought Reagan was a saint, when in actuality, as the above statement shows, he was not only a fool, but a vicious, narcissistic fool, who didn’t care at all that what he said was absolutely false, as long as it served his purpose. To make such an ignorant statement as the above shows me not only that he hates Americans, but has no respect for them, or for their innate intelligence…. not to mention his cluelessness re: his own lack of IQ points….

“If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” — Thumper (1942)

Ronnie, and now, Mitt the Twitt, will never understand what Thumper said; they probably think that there is nothing to learn from a cartoon rabbit. While Thumper’s mom obviously has a compassionate nature, and some common sense, these men simply cannot comprehend how a metaphor can apply to them. Of course, I’m fairly certain that neither Romney, nor Reagan, could have defined the word “metaphor”, much less understand how it might apply to them. They just don’t care enough about anyone else for that kind of insight to ever occur in their insulated little world of delusion….

“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the Legislature is in  session.” — Lysander Spooner

Here is another pearl whose very existence is telling. The very fact that someone can say this at all implies that it is a foregone conclusion, that it is such a truism that there is no argument whenever such criticisms are leveled. Everyone knows about this, but, like the weather, nobody ever does anything about it…..

“Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its one sure defense.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910), Notebook, 1888

Thus, the final line explains the process of creating Pearls of Virtual Wisdom; they are my inadequate but sincere attempt to defend the liberties that are threatened by these political assholes who want to get rid of the basic rights our forefathers procured for us. If I can make one person laugh, or stop to consider what I’ve said, then I’ve achieved my basic purpose…. which is more than can be said for many of my undertakings. I can only hope that by doing so, I can, in some small way, contribute to the dispersal of the truth about the congenital liars and thieves who are currently trying to usurp this country, and send us back to the dark ages….. And we all know who is behind them, don’t we?…..

:Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.” — Ambrose Bierce: “The Devil’s Dictionary”
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I’ve sat and stared at the screen for about a half-hour or so now, and nothing seems to be gelling, at least, not into anything remotely resembling poetry…. SIGH…. I suppose this means we’ll have to settle for something classic this morning….. such a burden!…..  🙂  Ah yes…. after so much reality, a bit of fantasy, from one of the Romantics….

Faery Songs

I.
Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! oh, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root’s white core.
Dry your eyes! oh, dry your eyes!
For I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies,–
Shed no tear.

Overhead! look overhead!
‘Mong the blossoms white and red–
Look up, look up! I flutter now
On this fresh pomegranate bough.
See me! ’tis this silvery bill
Ever cures the good man’s ill.
Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Adieu, adieu — I fly — adieu!
I vanish in the heaven’s blue,–
Adieu, adieu!

II.
Ah! woe is me! poor silver-wing!
That I must chant thy lady’s dirge,
And death to this fair haunt of spring,
Of melody, and streams of flowery verge,–
Poor silver-wing! ah! woe is me!
That I must see
These blossoms snow upon thy lady’s pall!
Go, pretty page! and in her ear
Whisper that the hour is near!
Softly tell her not to fear
Such calm favonian burial!
Go, pretty page! and soothly tell,–
The blossoms hang by a melting spell,
And fall they must, ere a star wink thrice
Upon her closed eyes,
That now in vain are weeping their last tears,
At sweet life leaving, and these arbours green,–
Rich dowry from the Spirit of the Spheres,
Alas! poor Queen!

John Keats
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Since I used an old school pearl format above to take some shots at the political spectrum, I thought this would be a good spot for a bit of the same sport with my other favorite whipping boy…. religion, and the folks who like to fiddle around with it….. This time, I’ll leave the pearls to their own devices, and allow your minds to meander among them as you would, picking out the choicest pieces for perusal…. Enjoy!…

“You believe God created you in one day? Yeah, looks like a rush job…” — Smart Bee

“Instead of striving to be like Jesus most Christians would rather presume that Jesus was just like them.” — Callan Williams

Instead of being born again, why not just grow up? — Smart Bee

Born again? No thanks, I was born right the first time…. — Bumper Snicker

Born again? Mom said, NO WAY!…. — Smart Bee

“One Galileo in two thousand years is enough.” — Pope Pius XII
(Shows how brave they are, eh? And how worried about people who can actually think….)

God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM. — Exodus 3:14
(So…. God is Popeye…. who knew?….)

That is most likely enough for one day. I imagine pearls such as this one tend to drag my karmic burden a little further into the gutter, but, I can’t resist….. We, as humans, have a lot of payback coming when it comes to religion, and all the shit it has heaped on us humans in the last 5000 years….. I’m just getting some of mine back early, that’s all….
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I’ll take it. Sometimes, the best policy is to just take the money and run. Since I know for a fact that no money will be changing hands today, I’m proceeding directly to the running part…. I’ve always found myself to be a more difficult target when I’m running….  I do hope you’ve enjoyed today’s efforts; I’d be crushed if you didn’t…. well, sort of crushed….. Any who, 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!

Grilled cracker crumbs with a pilsner….

Ffolkes,
Fantasy plot lines and silly rhymes; aggravating whistles with serious, delirious moments of clarity at odd times. This is how my mind works when searching for a subject line each morning. It’s a strange little process, (which fits right in), but it seems to work fairly well; there is always a subject line, isn’t there?……
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“I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm.” — Calvin Coolidge

This is a correction message…..awhile back, I was discussing a subject nearby, and happened use a paraphrase of this sentiment, and proceeded to attribute it to Harry Truman. I should have checked my memory, because it wasn’t Harry, but one of my other twentieth century favorite Presidents, Calvin C. It does sound like something Harry would have said, though……no comments needed, by the way. This is one of those that doesn’t require it. Just pay attention…..
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“Meet the new boss, just the same as the old boss.” — Pete Townshend

That’s one of the problems with bosses, you know. They tend to resemble one another after awhile; I guess having power over others just isn’t a good thing for people’s souls. Most bosses I’ve had in this category were unjustifiably convinced of their own infallibility, and tended to look upon their job site as their own little kingdom, subject only to their whim. I can’t explain why it happens, but it does; almost everyone who enters into a position of authority becomes dogmatic, and a defender of the status quo, instead of becoming a leader, always alert for change and willing to compromise with rationality. Bosses who know they are working for their underlings, not the other way around, are few and far between…..
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It’s like brother Nietzsche said–being human is a complicated gig, so give that dark night of the soul a hug and howl the eternal yes.

This sounds like it’s from Ken Kesey, or another of the Merry Pranksters, the iconic group of authors, poets, and musical artists in the early 1960’s who were the forerunners of the Hippie movement that grew out of the Beatnik culture in the fifties. Old hipsters like Shel Silverstein and Alan Ginsberg, Neal Cassidy, Jack Kerouac, Mountain Woman, and a host of transient companions wrote revolutionary music, revolutionary literature, and carried on a lifestyle deliberately crafted to annoy the ‘squares’, all intended to create an atmosphere of change in American society.

The spirit of challenge to authority, the spirit that brought our forefathers to the point of revolution, was revived in America’s youth, and continues today, in such events as the recent Occupy Wall Street protests. It may pull my covers to say so, but I’m glad the spirit of revolution is still alive in this country; we’re going to need all we can get of it in the next few years to bring to bear on the problems created by those in our society who would rather suffer abridgments to their personal liberty, maintaining an oppressive status quo, than take the more challenging, but less safe, path to the future……
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“I contemplate with sovereign reverence the act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” — Thomas Jefferson, to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Association in 1802

All I can add to this is…..(Big SIGH…) Me too!…….Amen, my brother! The protection this part of the Constitution affords to the individual is, and has been, invaluable in maintaining our personal liberties. This protection is under serious attack just now, as the rich and powerful in society continue to seek to erode those liberties in the name of security from our enemies. Stay alert ffolkes, because those who would have us all live under one set of rules (theirs) have tunnel vision, and cannot see any other possible outcome than the one that feeds into their deliberate ignorance.
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1.  Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully. — Instructions for life

I love lists. They add so much order, and humor, to life. I wish I could find the entire list from which this was excerpted; it would be interesting, to say the least. I’ve found several of these Instruction, scattered about the tagline database I have, and they are always like this one; simply wonderful, and oh, so handy to use. Some, like this one, call for going beyond the effort that most folks make in their quest to ‘get by’ in life, but most are just good little snippets of wise advice.


I like two things about this particular Instruction. First, it is first. This idea is the basis for the concept of ‘paying it forward’, the realization that by doing good now, without expectation of reward, good will be with us in the future. Making this a habit has far-reaching effects, not limited to one’s self, but to all with whom they interact. People only reach their full potential as human beings when they are acting in service to others; no one seems to know why this is so, but the countless instances of proof  that can be seen all around us every day, and throughout history, completely corroborate the validity of the concept. And it is a powerful antidote to the evil we see each day, as the fearful and the ignorant wage the ageless battle between the dark and the light. It deserves to be put first…..


Secondly, I like the attitude it promotes. Cheerful, friendly service to others doesn’t just make them feel better, but is just as fulfilling for the perpetrator. The more one follows this practice, the more their whole life will improve. Relationships with relatives, friends, and strangers are stronger, and more enduring. Job performance improves, which improves one’s financial and social status, and sense of comfort. There’s just no downside to following this principle; it costs nothing, and the return on investment is astronomical…..
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I’m always a bit surprised these days when I come to the end of another Pearl; it seems like I could keep writing forever. But, got important stuff to take care of today, and I’d best be at it. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!