Virtuous and vicious every man must be,–
Few in the extreme, but all in the degree.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 231 —
I live in my own place
have never copied nobody even half,
and at any master who lacks the grace
to laugh at himself — I laugh.
— inscribed over the door to Friedrich Nietzsche’s house —
Ah, the poor wee beastie! She’s gone and made the poor lad into a foolish spectacle, and his dignity is in tatters. It’s funny how in pictures such as this one, the dog’s expression is just way too human for comfort, and may explain why we tend to anthropomorphize…. It takes almost no imagination at all to see the embarrassment the dog feels at being dressed up so ridiculously, or to know that he isn’t at all comfortable playing the fool. Mastiffs, even puppies, have an innate dignity that such nonsense tends to ignore….
I like the quotes that open us up today; they sort of picked themselves, as did the two which end this intro, below…. In fact, those four pearls make a pretty good pearl of their own, with some insightful observations of how mankind deals with reality….. Kind of too bad, because they would have done well in one of the sections that follow, as well as in this one…. Some quotes are just more flexible that way…. in fact, quotes, in many ways, seem to parallel those who write them, in terms of well, everything…. I guess that makes some sort of reasonable sense, as we humans tend to put a lot of ourselves into whatever we touch, or create….
That being said, I’m not sure if what I’m putting into this today is going to make the grade…. It’s certainly well punctuated, and I can find no obvious typographical errors (which doesn’t mean there aren’t any, believe me….), but, doesn’t quite FEEL right…. and, as Apple Corp. has proven, the way something looks, and feels, is important…. and, legally defensible…. Who would have thought, eh? I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard when I heard that Apple had won that lawsuit years ago, where they were able to copyright the “look and feel” of their computers, and defend that copyright in court….
Well, I did laugh, and very hard, but no harder than I was weeping, at the thought of how stupid that was, and how it is obviously an indicator of how strange the world has become…. The fact that they COULD win a lawsuit defending the “look and feel” of a product, of any kind, just tells me how corrupt are the legislators, who make such laws, and the courts, who make the decisions that favor the corporate interests who are paying them….
Oops, did I just accuse the Federal Court System, and the Supreme Court, of corruption at the hands of corporate interests? Why yes, yes I did, and I am not going to back down from that, either, as they have recently given more incontrovertible evidence of that, as the Hobby Lobby decision shows how misogyny and corporate influence are still rampant, even at the top levels…. or, more accurately, I’d say, especially at the top levels….
Justice Sotomayer, perhaps the only judge on that august bench that has a clear view of reality, has already made it clear that she disagrees with most of her peers on the SC bench, and accuses them of having “blind spots”. She stops short of accusing them of actual taking of bribes, but makes it clear she is not happy with them…. In my own less than humble opinion, the Supreme Court is no longer capable of true dispassionate judgment of the law, as they are, most of them, completely under the influence of their corporate and/or political sponsors, and no longer determine their own course of belief…. So, sue me…
I suppose I should stop now, before this introductory rant gets any longer…. I’ve already gone beyond the bounds of tact, or, for that matter, good taste, but, that’s nothing unusual for me. I only hope I didn’t drive anyone off yet…. There is a lot yet to come…. Plus, I am guessing I am going to have to be a bit abrupt now, in order to get us out of here, before it becomes impossible to do so…. In fact, let’s jump right here, okay?….
Shall we Pearl?…. Since we started today with a two-fer, we may as well go with the flow….
“Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.” — Albert Camus
“Things don’t change. You change your way of looking, that’s all.” — Carlos Castaneda
While searching through my archived material, looking for something else, I found the following politireligirant… It is a very long rant, but, I think it keeps within the boundaries of interest well enough to be a worthwhile read, and/or discussion… It’s also still a valid rant, almost a year later, so, the root material that stimulated the rant is, you may be certain, still eating away at the foundations of reality as we know it….
WARNING! FRESH RANT BELOW: Read it, or not, as you wish…. but, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you…. 😆 (Note from 2014: this is no longer exactly fresh, but, the disclaimer still applies, as well….)
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 1, 1791
I had thought, when I found this restatement of the First Amendment, to use it as the opening for a politirant. It IS the perfect lead-in to such discussions, as each and every one of the issues addressed in this codicil to the Constitution is under attack, and, in essence, is no longer one of our guaranteed rights…. I’m not crying “foul!” without evidence; the sky actually IS falling, to use an obvious literary reference. So, I suppose I will…. use it to lead in to a politirant, that is…. Let’s take this piece by piece….
Religion in this country IS free to carry on with, as long as the religion is a Christian sect…. Any other group is likely to suffer a lot of obstruction in the pursuit of their religion, both by law, and more significantly, by custom, and the power of peer pressure…. On the State level, as well as locally, laws have been, and are being passed that prevent Muslim women, and men, from wearing certain articles of clothing their faith demands they wear; other religious icons and dogmatic representations have been subjected to legal restriction as well, for many religions…. except Christian…. But, such laws are only the surface of the problem….
There are even Christian churches, or, well, allegedly, or peripherally Christian churches, that are discriminated against by their larger co-conspirators, just because they don’t have the same ideas about what their particular focus of worship is all about…. Just ask anyone from the Mormons… or ask anyone in The Tribe about antisemitism in the twenty-first century, and listen to them list all the various examples one can find, and not just in the news…. Ask just about any Southern Baptist what they think about Catholics, or Jews…. but, be prepared to get spewed upon with some nasty vulgarities…. Then, ask anyone from Texas what they call a Muslim when they aren’t calling them ragheads….
Okay, that’s the first section of the Amendment, on religion…. That’s gone, kaput, no longer in force; from a cultural point of view, it really never was in place, not very strongly…. The Christian sects have always been good at paying lip service to the principles of their dogma and creed, (the ones about tolerance, and compassion for others….). but, they’ve never been terribly good about actually living up to those principles, have they?…. That little episode during the Middle Ages, the one they called The Inquisition, now THAT was a pretty thing, wasn’t it?…. Now, of course, we have the plague of pedophilia, and/or outright bigotry that permeates so many church hierarchies, and not just the Catholics…. Even a simple, even Christ-like soul, such as the current Pope seems to be, won’t have a big effect on that degree of corruption of spirit….
Next is free speech…. Need I even say anything at all about this? How free is our speech, when telling the truth about the illegal activities being perpetrated by the government is looked on as treason? How free is our media, when they won’t print anything that exposes the lies told every day by the government, much less publish the stuff that Eric Snowden had to show? Oh, they enumerate the prevarications in spots; there are fact checking sites, and a lot of folks who claim to call BS on them everywhere…. The lies they tell are so obvious, that much exposure is unavoidable, given the internet, and the scope of modern technology….
But, those sites, articles, and shows that expose the lies don’t get anywhere near the publicity or exposure that the lies get, or the spin on the lies, or anything at all that the pundits and talking heads have to say in defense of their lies…. Hell, much of the time, the response by the government, regarding a particular instance of being caught lying, is handled most effectively by just ignoring it, making no statement at all…. and the media lets them do it! Every time!…. No follow-up outrage, no further mention of the lies told, just silence…. When was the last time we saw a public official actually tried in court for lying to the public?….. Nixon, maybe? Maybe so….
I can think of, at minimum, three instances in the past six years of this administration when huge lies were told, or exposed, and not a single politician or government official has been prosecuted for those lies, up to, and including the President…. This doesn’t even address the lies told by the Republican Party (the “loyal” opposition?….) on a daily basis by that entities representatives…. I’m not going to bother naming them, as all of them were covered extensively in the news, for all the good it did….
Okay, free speech, and freedom of the press, those are pretty much gone, too…. Let’s see, now, what’s next?…. The freedom to peacefully assemble, and petition for redress of grievances…. Have you tried to get a permit to have a protest lately? I understand there are now a bunch of requirements that are necessary to be allowed to assemble anywhere in a public venue, all laws passed on a local level, as a rule, and enforced by police departments with a huge sense of entitlement, legal backing, and guns they aren’t afraid to use on the public….
Those requirements that must now be met before assembling any group for protest in public, requirements which are, if one actually reads this Amendment, completely illegal according to the Constitution, have to do with protecting property, mostly, from the vagaries of mob actions….. The laws were put in place through the efforts (i.e. they spent a lot of money to make sure their politicians voted the “correct” way….) of corporate entities…. The landed gentry, or more accurately, private interests, to protect THEIR profit margins, and THEIR rights, as opposed to the rights of the people… Can’t have those ignorant voters taking money out of their pockets in their dissatisfaction, now, can we?….
Oh, and by the way…. When was the last time we heard about a policeman getting arrested , ( Or women, though police women don’t seem to ever go as completely overboard in their zealousness as their male counterparts, at least not without first becoming more male than female in their attitudes about violence, and the use of it to control the public….), for being violent during a protest? Or actually being prosecuted, and convicted for those kinds of acts? Very, very seldom, as you are well aware, I’m sure…. That particular issue is generally taken in hand by many governments by passing laws making the police immune to prosecution for ANYTHING they do while on duty…. pretty slick, eh? Become a policeman, get a get-out-of-jail-free card to stick in your wallet….
Not bad work, if you’ve got the stomach for it, along with a very, very skewed and distorted sense of honor, and justice…. To my mind, in the current state of our society, it takes a pretty sick mind to want to take on the duties of a police officer…. Sadly, there just aren’t enough honest, honorable men to fill the empty spaces, and the need for them….
As a result, I’d estimate that at least half of the men, and, almost as many of the women, who try to become police officers are clinically insane, and should never be allowed to have that sort of power over others, for they WILL eventually, even consistently, use that power for their own ends, or use it in ways that are destructive to the public good…. It’s their nature to do so, and they WILL do so, if given the chance… As evidence, I will once more point to the news, and the many instances reported of dishonorable, destructive behavior by police officers….
It must be remembered, THOSE reports only tell of the ones who are caught, or prosecuted, or screw up so badly even their own mates turn on them…. How many instances of police bullying, or intimidation of citizens in the pursuit of their ends, actually show up in those reports?…. More significantly, how often do you see a news report, many months after an incident, that was investigated for wrong-doing, or illegalities on the part of the officers, that exonerates the officers of all wrong? Of course, the fact that these investigations are carried out by OTHER POLICE OFFICERS seems to forever lose its place among the reactions from the press….
SIGH, now, I’m a little bummed out…. Here it is, not quite 7 AM, I’ve got a dental appointment to live through at 10, and I’ve already put the hammer to the First Amendment…. Say BYE BYE, ffolkes, to that hallowed document, the Bill of Rights, otherwise known as the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, because the efforts of the past 235 years by the corporate masters to do away with that hallowed document, as predicted by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, George Mason, and a number of other of our Founding Fathers, have almost reached their desired results….
Most, if not all, of the rights we were guaranteed in the Bill of Rights have now been abridged, in one way or another, and we can not depend on ANYONE in our government to give them back…. Not when we’ve already given them the keys to the treasury, by allowing them the right to vote their own salaries, their own health care system, their own retirement, all without ever realizing we were doing so….. The American people have cooperated fully in their own enslavement, ffolkes, and though the collars we wear are not yet such as to kill us outright with their fit, nonetheless have taught us to do without a lot of the freedoms our forefathers gave us, with our full, if sadly ignorant, consent….
Sorry to be the one to bring this out, but, hey, somebody has to, right? Right….. I may not be a small child, but, as far as I can see, the Emperor is NOT wearing any clothes, ffolkes….. Now, let’s see how many ffolkes, and/or folks, out there will either admit to it, or reject my assertions…. nicely, of course…. I suppose this is a good place to bring this rant to a dignified close, though, given my history, that’s pretty much out of the question… the dignity, I mean… I think I’m going to have to resort to a pearl to make my escape…. so, let’s see if Smart Bee can come up with just the right one…..
“What now if the sky were to fall?” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Heautontimoroumenos, Act iv, Sc. 3, 41, (719.)
“If you don’t make the rules, you don’t have to keep them. If you do make the rules, you won’t anyway.” — Smart Bee
How admirable, he who thinks not,
Life is fleeting,
When he sees the lightning!
Well, it took three, and that’s okay, too…. because they’re perfect….
Here is one of my older poems, that fits in well with today’s apparent theme…. I hope you enjoy it….
“Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so…”
I’d be crying a river, I thought
if ever such crap I bought.
Sorry if it hurts your sense of style,
but, hypocrisy always gives me bile.
Being lied to accidentally is okay,
but, deliberate lies make me angry, and fey.
Oh, God, hear what I pray!
Keep me from your followers today.
Having to listen to so much that is wrong
makes me puke, before it makes me strong.
I don’t know why it isn’t clear to other folks,
which is alright, you know, different strokes.
But, why should that mean that they must
force me to believe, or fail in trust?
Spare me the lies, and the make-believe,
fairy tales are easier to hear, and to weave.
They give us a lesson which we can feel
but don’t pretend at all to be real.
Reality can scare us, that’s a given fact,
still, met with care it will leave us mostly intact.
Met without fear, standing tall and alone
Life will allow us to make it our own.
Folly beckons, and so many follow
mass delusions seem to me most hollow.
I’ll have to stick to my own chosen way
while so many go so sadly astray.
It’s lonely at times, it may seem sad,
but really isn’t, and I’m quite glad,
that knowledge is always stronger than fear,
year after year, tear after tear…..
~~ gigoid ~~
The following is what might be considered a partial pearl…. Just one entry, with a number of good zingers, all of which hit me where I’ve lived, an environment where I spent many an interesting day, and night, trying to maintain my own sanity in the face of what isn’t supposed to be, but, actually, is rather infectious, if exposed to it for long periods of time… to wit: Insanity, insanity, as far as the eye can see, and not a drop to…. oops, sorry, wrong cliche…. Any who, working with people who live at the extreme edges of human thought and existence is always interesting, and often, if one can keep intact one’s sense of the ludicrous, more than just a little entertaining….
** Hello and Welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline **
If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.
If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6.
If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want – just stay on the line so we can trace the call.
If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press next.
If you are manic-depressive, it doesn’t matter which number you press – no one will answer.
If you suffer from panic attacks, push every button you can find.
If you are sane, please hold on – we have the rest of humanity on the other line and they desperately want to ask you a few questions.
— true phone script for operators at the Berzerkeley Crisis Hot Line
— okay, so that’s a lie. It could be, though….
— Shoot…. I must have used this before, because the Spell Checker didn’t react at all to the word ‘Berzerkeley’….
— Alright, so, it’s not mine; I don’t know who did it, but, it’s funny as shit, especially to a former psychiatric technician…. You’ve got to admit, the one about the co-dependent is pretty sardonic, not to mention sly…. Okay, so I’m odd…. I knew that, and, you should have, as soon as you saw the dog in the bumble bee outfit…. Deal with it….
I actually wrote this pearl yesterday…. In the interim, it occurred to me that there might be some people who would consider this to be offensive, in that it makes (mild) fun of people with problems…. To those people I would say this: one of the primary characteristics of all the conditions of mental illness listed above is the loss of any sense of humor, about much of anything, and certainly not about their condition….
This lack is a large part of why they are having the problems to begin with, and I would point out that the urge to be politically correct about such matters indicates a certain lack of humor, as applied to one’s self…. and I can can tell you, without a single doubt, that being able to laugh at yourself is probably the primary characteristic of those who are sane, and can deal with reality on its terms….
TO MANKIND And the hope that the war against folly may someday be won, after all. — Dedicatory note of The Gods Themselves
For a Pearl that grew so much, this went smoothly; mise en place is a good thing…. and, no, I’m not going to explain that now. This is already too long. In fact, I shouldn’t be surprised if it became the longest Pearl ever, but, that remains to be seen…. Regardless, it’s done, and I’m outta here. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious