In the normal course of human events, none of us are free of guilt…. At least, that’s what the preachers tell us, right? I’m here to tell you, ffolkes, that this particular message, that they’ve been trying so hard to convince us of all these years, is a load of bilge water, and you’d be better off not paying any attention to it…. I mean, what is the point? It isn’t true, and trying to live one’s life as if it were can only lead to a lifetime of misery, in which the Universe at large will spend most of its time laughing at you….
I think this is what that famous guy, whose name escapes me completely, meant when he said that “the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation, and go to their grave with that song.” (Okay, so it was Henry David Thoreau…. Google, of course, knew who I meant….) Like most of us, the need to subvert one’s own opinions and/or true beliefs in order to keep from being ostracized will, after a time, become difficult to maintain, causing resentment and anger; this is a process which, after a certain amount of time, will create in anyone a sense of fatalism that can lead to….
What? Lead to what?….. SIGH…. I’m lost, ffolkes. I admit it…. I can’t find my point anywhere, nor any of the reasoning that led me to start off the way I did…. Gone, kaput, disappeared without a trace…. I don’t think it will matter, in either the short, or the long run, but, it’s still a bit disconcerting to lose an entire train of thought like that….. Of course, I never really bought into any of it anyway; it was all just another exercise in futility my mind came up with when I sat down to write…. The fact that it had no real connection to anything real is probably a factor of not having consumed any coffee to that point….
I’m positive, though, that I’ve never had that happen just that way before…. which means this is a UNIQUE intro section, something for which I search diligently every day, without ever having much success…. Then, I go and have a brain fart, and voilá, instant uniqueness, with no effort at all…. Is that not elegant proof of the existence of Murphy? I would say yes, even if not constrained to tell the truth…. I tell you, there is no justice, no justice at all….
Of course, expecting justice from the universe at large is probably one of the dumbest things we can do, without a doubt…. As far as I can tell, and according to ALL the evidence, the universe doesn’t give a shit, one way or another, about much of anything…. Pretty much, the way things happen will be the way they are, and nothing anyone does, says, or feels about it will make any difference at all in what happens…. In one sense, this gives us a great deal of consistency we can depend on…. but, on the other hand, it also allows for enough flexibility that NOTHING is predictable, at all, at all….
Most people spend the greatest part of their lives coming to terms with this particular one of reality’s rules of conduct, which isn’t so much of a rule, as it is a suggestion…. They try and try to make their life fit into some predetermined script, and wonder why it never works very well, or why it always seems so much easier when they DON’T try so hard to be consistent….
But, that’s humanity for you, always haring off in one direction, when their best bet is to calm down, walk slowly and carefully to the nearest river, and throw themselves in it, as they really don’t have much of a chance at succeeding at life without having the use of at least a small bit of common sense, a commodity we all know to be not particularly common….
Now that I’ve lost my way completely, and have blathered for a completely absurd number of paragraphs, I think it would be for the best if I just fade off into the sunrise, taking this intro with me…. otherwise, we may NEVER get out of this section….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“Anything sufficiently bizarre is indistinguishable from the truth.” — Steve Gardner
There are a number of Gentle Readers out there who can testify to the fact that, around here, we don’t settle for the least…. in fact, we don’t settle at all…. What that means, in terms of this particular blog, or this section, well, your guess is as good as mine today…. If you hadn’t noticed yet, my brain is not functioning…. I don’t mean it is working slowly, or painfully, or with difficulty…. the damn thing is refusing to work at all, and to be honest, it’s almost refreshing in its simplicity of decision…. No fuss, no muss, just plain old-fashioned hedonism, with a strong overlay of ego….. and that’s all. So far, I haven’t noticed a single coherent thought pass through my conscious mind…. I also can’t say I would have noticed it if it had….
I’ve had this happen before, but, it usually waits until the Daily Pearl has been completed; it’s never dumped on me right in the middle like this…. so I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to deal…. I suppose the best idea is to just go for an old-school pearl, with no particular parameters (which I couldn’t think of anyway…. no brain function to speak of, remember?….)…. It’s probably our only hope for any kind of salvation…. Me, I’m gonna go for a dive, so….
“I want to be so HAPPY, the VEINS in my neck STAND OUT!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
“Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite.” — Lazarus Long
“Living your life according to the Bible is like trying to fix your stereo by using toaster instructions.” — Chris Pirillo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“L’homme est bien insense. Il ne saurait forger un ciron, et forge des Dieux a douzaines.” (Man is quite insane. He wouldn’t know how to create a maggot, and he creates gods by the dozen.) — Montaigne
“Eurybiades lifting up his staff as if he were going to strike, Themistocles said, “Strike, if you will; but hear.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Themistocles
“Do not allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth.” — Fran Lebowitz
“To be stupid, selfish, and have good health are three requirements for happiness, though if stupidity is lacking, all is lost.” — Gustave Flaubert
Okay, so, a bit of caution is warranted here…. The above pearl is of a type that, without proper venting, can conceivably cause your brain to overheat, with less than desirable results….. While reading, please remember to breathe in through the nose, and out through the ears….. er, mouth…. Sorry, no wonder there’s confusion…. there’s a typo in the instructions!…. Damn!…. Billy, break out the printer ink, we got a problem…. You ffolkes, just carry on to the next section, okay? I’ll catch up when I get this squared away….
This…. is an astounding piece of poetry; it’s also an astonishing piece of Truth, which, in order to experience, one must first show enough courage, and fortitude, to wade through the entire work to the very end, where they will find it laid out for them in the last line…. You HAVE to read all of this, no matter how much the strong imagery disturbs, or how long it takes (not as long as it seems…) …. otherwise, the full meaning, and dramatic effect, of the last line, and the power of the truth being told, will be missed…. Once you get there, though, you’ll see why I insisted on it…. Enjoy, please….
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went–and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill’d into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires–and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings–the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum’d,
And men were gather’d round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other’s face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain’d;
Forests were set on fire–but hour by hour
They fell and faded–and the crackling trunks
Extinguish’d with a crash–and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil’d;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look’d up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash’d their teeth and howl’d: the wild birds shriek’d
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl’d
And twin’d themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless–they were slain for food.
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again: a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought–and that was death
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails–men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devour’d,
Even dogs assail’d their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish’d men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lur’d their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answer’d not with a caress–he died.
The crowd was famish’d by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap’d a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they rak’d up,
And shivering scrap’d with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other’s aspects–saw, and shriek’d, and died–
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless–
A lump of death–a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirr’d within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp’d
They slept on the abyss without a surge–
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expir’d before;
The winds were wither’d in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish’d; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them–She was the Universe.
~~ George Gordon, Lord Byron ~~
The following can be considered a rant….. In sooth, however, it is more than that…. and less at the same time…. Yes, it indicts the BRC, taking shot after shot at what I now term the Asininnies, targeting their cupidity with a fair degree of accuracy, and aplomb, if I do say so myself…. It isn’t as vituperative as some, and probably less boring than others, as the central theme connects, at least tentatively, to the realm of comedy….. not necessarily my own, which, as is known, tends to be suspect, subject, as it is, to the vagaries of my bozoid nature, and undisciplined habits….
For an older piece, though, it’s pretty sharp, I think…. But, that could be my Early Onset Alzheimer’s rearing its ugly head…. ( Otherwise known as EOA, that debilitating, dreaded disease of the mind affecting far too many of us….)
Nonetheless for all that, this has a good message, twined in amongst the original text, and, in what comes after…. Well, I’m hoping, anyway…. it’s all right out there, & shouldn’t be hard to spot….. Abondanza!….
“He was sweet and sincere and giving and good… AND A CHERISHED NEIGHBOR UNDESERVING OF SUCH A FATE!! Nevertheless, better him than me. Amen.” — Eulogy given by Banana PC Jr to Opus in “Bloom County”
As an indictment of modern society, this little remark from Berke Breathed manages to hit just about all of the high points, and is wickedly, viciously sarcastic, to boot. Just plain charming, is what it is….. I forget exactly how Opus died, but I remember it was particularly mundane, as well as inane, and also made the sarcasm grade higher. I really don’t understand why Berke Breathed stopped writing his/her comic strips; he/she may have been the best cartoonist ever….
I thank the stars that, for a while, we were able to enjoy his or her wit (I never did know if the person who drew Bloom County was male of female…. it never seemed to matter….). Between this strip, and Odds Bodkins, which came before Bloom County, my sense of proportion was sculpted into a truer figure, resembling reality much more closely than it did prior to being exposed to the deadly sharp, brilliantly targeted humor in those comics.
The indictment is brilliantly delivered here, in one simple phrase… “Nevertheless, better him than me.” I don’t know about y’all, but that seems to me like it would be a pretty good slogan for the general attitude society presents in the modern world. It shows of that perfect sense of selfishness and entitlement that is held by so many of today’s folks, given to them mostly by their elitist religions, when not by their insane nationalism, or provincialism of almost every kind.
Of course, this egregious attitude, so common to those in the Western religions, is strengthened and exemplified by the beloved ruling class, as they continue to lie to the public on a daily basis, all while they go about their business of looting the public treasury, and carrying out the wishes of their true masters, the bankers and corporate executives.
The beloved ruling class, and the preachers who support them, are so effective at their work that they have trained most of the public to accept their lies without question. People are so controlled that they believe the pittance they earn is a blessing, actually believing they have the right, and the power to do anything at all to try to improve their own lot, without fear of consequence. What other conclusion is possible, given the picture that is presented to us by our leaders? They (the BRC, beloved ruling class….) say whatever they wish, no matter how untrue. They steal, and call it business. They cheat, and call it expedience. They kill, and call it spreading democracy. For such treatment, the public rewards them, by electing them to office again, and again…..
“Do not be afraid of enemies; the worst they can do is to kill you. Do not be afraid of friends; the worst they can do is betray you. Be afraid of the indifferent; they do not kill or betray. Yet only because of their silent agreement, betrayal and murder exist on earth.” — Bruno Yasienski, contemporary Soviet novelist
Indifference is a condition of mind the true world masters have refined to an art, one they employ constantly, to ignore the evil they cause. In this, they are not alone…. Humanity at large has become indifferent to the struggles of other people, and have that indifference rewarded regularly, by advantages to their self-interests. Indifference becomes a protection for the weak and vulnerable, who cannot afford to give up any of their own resources to aid another, a situation perfectly set-up by our beloved rulers, and maintained by them as suitable for their purposes.
It must be very satisfying for the shadowy masters of our society, to see how easily people in society have taken to their training, applying it so well to their own pitiful existence, as this kind of attitude, when adopted as a societal norm, becomes self-protecting, and self-reproducing…. the more people are cruel to each other, the more it will continue to be so…..
“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
Comedy, as produced by some cartoonists, is a very accurate portrayal of the true nature of society, and can serve as a means of causing change. Unfortunately, our beloved ruling class already knows this, and takes steps to curtail the effect as much as possible. In my opinion, comedians like George Carlin, cartoonists like Berke Breathed, Garry Trudeau, and Walt Kelly (Pogo), should be held up as the heroes and honored philosophers of Society, because they are always fighting to expand the human consciousness, rather than limit it, as is the case for the entire ruling class, and the priestly hierarchies.
They, the masters, do not want a public that can think critically, for then their chicanery is exposed. Oh, they are well enough protected that they are in no real danger; they just don’t like to be in the light, where they can be targeted…. It is the same for all evil; it does better in the dark, where its purposes and methods can be hidden from sight…. which is why I love the comics, both live, stand-up comics, and those who scribble on paper, for they are in the thick of the revolution of the mind, the war that is still raging here on Earth…. The war to see whether reason, or venality, will determine the future of the human race…. I, for one, salute them all….
— Bother! said Pooh, as he bribed Ron Brown.
(See?…. Even Pooh has been corrupted…..)
When I copied this in for inclusion today, I intended to add on to it, but, a bit of editing, some buffing & polishing, as it were, and, it will do just fine…. It’s kind of fun, to go back over older stuff, noting how my skills have advanced in some areas, or not…. It’s also comforting, in a way, to find I’m generally in complete agreement with my former self, in re: whatever subject is under discussion….
Well, it’s comforting in one sense, while, at the same time, disturbing in others, since it also means the same issues are still causing the same problems today…. showing we haven’t made much progress in solving them…. Ah well, we all have our little idiosyncrasies, don’t we?…. At least, mine doesn’t require any lubricant….
It DOES, however, require that one reject indifference…. If I’ve learned anything in my life, it is the importance of CARING, of engaging in life, of having compassion, accepting and appreciating the pain, and the joy, and learning how to love…. all of which boils down to a simple idea, as it says in the Tao Teh Ching… To find the balance of Nature, it is necessary to put aside apathy…. in more than merely a physical sense….
“Time as he grows old teaches many lessons.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Prometheus, 981
Gosh, mister Wizard, we’ve finished so early! What will we do now?
Well, I can suggest a number of things that would be far more productive, and probably more interesting, than continuing to pay further attention to my babbling….. but, y’all can most likely figure out for yourselves what you want to do next…. Hell, I can’t tell you, I don’t even know where you keep your toaster oven!
Not that I really WANT to know, but, it always helps when giving suggestions in other people’s houses…. I think it is becoming patently obvious, in light of having gone back over the rest of this concluding section, my brain is still missing in action, and there is little point in continuing this charade…. So….. See ya….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious