Seventy-seven reasons to sit shiv-eh in the nude…..


“I feel my immortality oversweep all pains, all tears, all time, all fears, – and peal, like the eternal thunders of the deep, into my ears, this truth, – thou livest forever!” — Byron (1788-1824)

To look at this inspiring quote from Lord Byron, one might think he refers to religion, and the afterlife so glibly promised by those who engage in that particular human foible…. I’m fairly certain, however, that would be a mistaken assumption…. This, I expect, was more the result of the same sort of attitude as displayed by Bob Heinlein when he said, “There’s no conclusive proof of life after death. There’s also no conclusive proof there isn’t. Either way, soon enough, you will know, so why fret about it?”

If I am not mistaken in my memory (a rare occurrence…) Lord Bryon joined Yeats, and Keats, his contemporaries, and friends, in the unusual insistence on NOT buying into the whole dogma fallacy, and, they weren’t shy in saying so…. proving they lived in a truly free society, because, though all of them burned out and died rather young, none were hounded or persecuted for their beliefs while they were alive….

This is as opposed to society’s eventual reaction to Oscar Wilde, whose homosexuality, or, as most believe, his bisexuality, put him in direct opposition with the forces of public morality of his era, whereupon they sent him to prison, where his health broke, and he died young, as did the three romantic poets…. But, not by fate, but, rather,  by human folly.

I’m not sure just why I’m talking about Romantic Era poets, or about the victims of dogma, either…. I was staring at the screen, lost in contemplation, when I decided to use a pearl to get me started (my mind was, in a creative writing sense, quite empty….), so I went to SB and found the quote from Byron, which, acting on instinct, I brought over and used as a springboard for discussion….

A discussion, as it turns out, truly worthy of some nontenured research fellow at college teaching a boring English Literature class on a July day, in a boring monotone, that would put the most dedicated student to sleep, I’m sure…. But, even if I don’t have any idea how I got here, here we are, four or five paragraphs down the pike, and all warmed up, finger-wise….

See how that works? I write, you read, and we have fun…. Simple, yes? Now, why would you want to go anywhere else in the morning for your first dose of Reasoning, Ranting, and Rhyming, which is pretty much all we do here…. Oh, I remember why…. Hey, I can’t do anything about Murphy’s tender mercies, nor can I keep myself from ranting over the shenanigans, (to use a NICE word they don’t deserve…) of the Asininnies (The BRC, the Priestly Hierarchies, the Shadowy Corporate Masters, the Blue Meanies, and the Mundanes…. at least, those of the clan Stupid….) whenever I run across more evidence of how nasty they are….

In spite of all the minor handicaps under which we operate, I think we do a pretty decent job here at ECR, of staying sane, and spreading that sanity around as far as we can…. If people don’t want to use it, well, I can’t go out there and beat it into their heads…. (Well, maybe I could, but it might be hard to continue publishing this blog from a prison cell….) When the sky turns green, and we can no longer see the moon at night for all the carbon and methane in the air, I guess they’ll get the picture…. Until then, well, I’ll just keep on keepin’ on….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Excuse me, Worker, I’ll just be a nanosecond.” — a computer, from Firesign Theater’s I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus

Robert Heinlein called the latter half of the twentieth century, “The Crazy Years”, with good reason…. I have reason to believe that the period of US history to which he SHOULD have applied the term might better be placed in the beginning of the current century, instead….

As proof of that, below, I offer five links, to articles on ONE news site, all of which give a pretty good estimation of the depth of the problems we have in society today…. It’s a pretty good overview of some of the issues, but one should remember to remember the irony of having to read the words they’ve written, at all…. My comments will follow each link, in parentheses to avoid confusion….

“Two rules we should always have ready,–that there is nothing good or evil save in the will; and that we are not to lead events, but to follow them.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — In what Manner we ought to bear Sickness, — Discourses, Book iii, Chap. x

(In sooth, this one isn’t so crazy as sad…. In the massive pyramid scam that comprises the structure of the NFL, the bosses make billions, the players, basically a bunch of grown up kids, make millions, the lackeys (like cheerleaders, equipment managers, beer vendors, stadium workers, and all the other mundane drones working in the business somewhere…) make a few thousands, while the fans, who are paying in all of that gelt, pretty much get screwed… but, then, what would you expect of a business that engenders billions of dollars of revenue each year, while engaging in what is essentially a complicated game of tic-tac-toe, with live x’s and o’s….. Actually, the whole NFL scenario reminds me of the whole Religion scenario…. same scam, different clothes… Robes and collars in one, uniforms and helmets in the other….)

(We all knew the Russian government was crazy, as often proven by their chief crazy, Vlad, the Bad boy, Putin….. and this little exhibition of the power of expediency over compassion is a perfect example of how the leaders of society take nothing but their own agenda into account when making decisions, regardless of how those decisions may affect another living creature, canine, or simian….. They don’t give a shit for anything but themselves, in essence, and this is more proof of it, to my way of seeing things….)

(You know which farm bill this is, right? I’m pretty sure this is what they call the Farm Subsidy Bill, the one that distributes the BILLIONS of dollars, stolen by the government from taxpayers, to various American farmers, to supplement their income by paying them NOT to grow things…. Farmers, being PAID to NOT GROW food…. now, if that isn’t crazy, then I don’t know what the word means….)

(You know we’re in trouble, as a species, when a scientific theory that has been proven beyond all doubt is STILL being questioned in public…. The fact that the debate here is taking place in a Creation Museum is one of the more ironic parts of this….. Here, in one spot, is gathered all of the major points of ignorance that are held as true by Creationists, who believe the world was created 6,000 years ago, reportedly by some aged, white-haired, Caucasian Supernatural Being, with serious busybody tendencies, (whom nobody saw, other than a few minor prophets, where they had been in the desert, happily  having visions from dehydration, and experiencing beautiful, inspiring visions from consuming the desert plants…), with the aid and collusion of some of history’s most accomplished con men, in support on the ground…. The mere fact that the matter under discussion here is still being questioned, by ANYONE, is the most ironic, and the saddest part of this one….)

(I’m pretty certain I don’t need to comment at all here, though I will; this story is infused with craziness…. The sheer insanity of this couple’s journey into methamphetamine hell, turned them from being human, into monsters….

I lay the blame for this death squarely at the feet of the BRC, as more proof of the failure of their “War on Drugs”….. Hell, from what I can see, everything the BRC has ever done to fight drugs has only worsened the problems that produce the drug use in the first place…. The drug use that is endemic in the lower reaches of the financial scale in our society is a direct result of the widening gap between the rich and the poor….

The sense of futility and hopelessness that goes with living in poverty, (and I know it’s real, having been there….) leads to despair, and drugs often seem like the only way to forget it all for a while….. Deal with THAT issue, the financial gap, and there MIGHT be some improvement in that area of societal behavior…. It’s obvious by the last 50 years that the current methods used to deal with drug use are NOT working….)

There you go ffolkes, a compendium of evidence that goes to prove how insane society has become…. I wish us all the best of luck in the coming years…. We are going to need it, badly….

I’m trying to make today’s Pearl a fresh one from beginning to end, so, here is one of my own poems, that speaks about society, and how it treats those who perceive the universe with greater clarity than the majority…..

Intelligent Crimes

The value of wit is often said to cause harm,
for those who think, such is its greatest charm.
The new and the bold cannot be fulfilled
if innovation and change is left unwilled.

Society behaves at its base as a mob
conformity and submission its primary job.
Any sign of rebellion against the mob’s rule
is met with resentment, naming such rebel the fool.

Intellect and talent are looked at askance,
expressing artistry stands nary a chance.
To stand out from the rest of mankind
is fraught with danger, for body and mind.

Often, I stand to watch, in solemn dismay
as beauty and joy get left by the way,
ignored and reviled by the unwashed masses
who prefer darkness, and acting like asses.

With shouts of derision the normals make known
their fear of intelligence, greater than their own.
They hope to stop all semblance of progress;
for thoughts and ideas, they couldn’t care less.

The world struggles on in spite of all opposition,
managing to maintain its advanced position.
Pulling the foolish along in spite of reluctance,
helping each to learn the survival dance.

Hard though it may be to keep up with the future
genius manages its plans to develop and nurture.
In the final analysis, those who live by reason
enjoy life the most, season to season.

~~ gigoid ~~


Okay, I’ve EARNED this old-school pearl…. The above material, in section one, while not quite as tiring as a rant, still left me pretty tired from the effort to be both reasonable, and tactful…. It’s harder than you think to NOT bite people…. HARD!, whether figuratively, or literally….

Nonetheless, I think I’ve showed decent restraint today, as evidenced by the miniscule amount of bandaging material that we’ve had to use so far…. Also, I’m happy to report, there have been no injuries today that broke the skin!…. Hurray!….. So, I’m going to put together a classic, seven-star pearl, without any specific  parameters, other than my own whimsy, and Smart Bee’s admittedly odd sense of direction…. Enjoy!…..

“I’m having an EMOTIONAL OUTBURST!!  But, uh, WHY is there a WAFFLE in my PAJAMA POCKET??” — Zippy the Pinhead

“And it shall some to pass that idiots shall roam the earth, and morons shall rule the masses.” — Smart Bee

“[In America] we like our solutions quick, and we like ’em stupid.” — Bill Maher

“Distrust interested advice.” — Aesop

“I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore.  What is reality? Nothing but a collective hunch.” — Lily Tomlin

“A little learning is a dangerous thing but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.” — Bob Edwards

“DON’T go!!  I’m not HOWARD COSELL!!  I know POLISH JOKES…  WAIT!! Don’t go!!  I AM Howard Cosell!…  And I DON’T know Polish jokes!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

I’m almost certain, without having even proofed this, or gone back to edit at all, that it will do some real damage, if it gets into the right hands…. In that respect, all I can do is hope, because I’m too lazy to go promote it myself…. C’est la vie, mis amis! No soap, radio!   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,
and sometimes
I just sits.



An Elite Cadre of Irrelevant Nouns….

Twisting and turning, Reality struggles to evade my grasp, changing shape before my eyes. The effort to hold on brings sweat to my brow, running into my eyes and stinging. With a mighty shove at my chest, Reality surges out of my arms, and breaks for the door outside, laughing over his shoulder, taunting me.

As I race toward the door, I see him fly through it, without bothering to open it, cheating again by using magic. I stop then, sure that if I open the door to follow, I’ll spend the entire day searching without ever finding him. Once again, I will have to just start the day without the benefit of Reality….

Nothing new there, of course. I lose track of it all the time, and to be honest, I’m getting rather used to it. It is difficult sometimes, when knowing the state of things might be helpful, but I find I can usually fake it without causing too much damage or chaos. Most folks don’t pay close attention to it anyway, so that part is easy.

It’s just that it makes it harder to see Murphy, should he decide to grace me with his benevolent attention; hell, he’s been known to bribe Reality to shift directions on me in mid-stride. But, all in all, I find that not being in touch with Reality can be quite advantageous, especially when denial is called for…

In our society, denial is a valuable ally. If I were to pay attention to ALL of the evidence available, I probably would be so frightened and angry, I’d never get anything done but for ranting. There is just too much of it to make denial practical on a constant basis, so I use it when I can, just to be able to get anything done.

Being able to “tune out” of Reality is, in fact, a skill that all humans use, mostly unconsciously, and it has been both a blessing and a curse for all of our history. While it is valuable to be able to distract ourselves from the negativity so ubiquitous in Reality, it is also dangerous, for the negatives are those things we need most to look at, and to change. It’s a conundrum we’ve never solved satisfactorily, and the opportunity to do so may not last much longer….

Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he sooth’d his soul to pleasures.
War, he sung, is toil and trouble;
Honour but an empty bubble;
Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying.
If all the world be worth the winning,
Think, oh think it worth enjoying:
Lovely Thais sits beside thee,
Take the good the gods provide thee.
— John Dryden (1631-1700) — Alexander’s Feast, Line 97

Well, I could most likely meander around this issue for a while longer, but this isn’t getting any pearls on the page; Reality is a big subject, with a lot of different viewpoints to discuss. We will therefore leave Reality wherever he got off to, and proceed with our normal, or at least regularly scheduled, activities for the morning…. Shall we Pearl?…..

Climate ‘Tipping Point’ Nearing

Here are two links, that comprise together the first pearl for today. As mentioned above, the time we have, as humans, to save our pathetic asses from extinction by our own hand, continues to grow shorter, even as I type, and as you read. The article relates news about the latest report by a panel of climate scientists who have studied the available evidence, and have concluded that the planet’s ecological equilibrium is nearing a “tipping point”, a point of no return, as it were, for the process of environmental destruction.

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory out of desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in a forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
— T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Of course, as a well-balanced article, the author includes a reaction from a scientist who is prominent for his criticism of such theories, having decided on his own that the evidence is either misinterpreted, or falsely erroneous (or, erroneously false, your pick…). He labels their warnings as “extremely unlikely” and “highly implausible”. Of course, I don’t think he has actually read the article, but hey, he’s entitled to his opinion, isn’t he?…. Right….

    Regardless of how much denial is thrown at studies such as this one, their veracity is not affected. It’s all true. The scientists don’t try to predict exactly how long it will take, only that the evidence shows that it will happen sooner than we would like to think.

It’s kind of like Creationism vs. Evolution, in that disproving one does not prove the other; nonetheless, one remains true, and it isn’t the one based on imaginary events for which there is no clear evidence. Sorry, but even one such as myself, whose grasp of Reality is tenuous at best, cannot deny such evidence; it isn’t going to go away just because I don’t believe it….

I’m not going to rant forever this morning on this point. The second link above is to a World Clock at This clock shows a number of different areas that are affecting the environment of the planet, showing the rates at which various processes, such as population growth, and pollution being pumped into the atmosphere, are taking place in real time. The figures being presented are clearly supportive of the ideas expressed by the group of scientists in their report, and if you can comprehend the figures, as I do, then you will see just how scary the situation has become…..

So, don’t take my word for it. Go check out the article, and the Clock. And if you don’t get a bit frightened, well, then you’re not really paying attention…. Stay alert, my friends, and keep your eyes and ears open…. The value of Denial is coming to an end….

Written on a Summer Evening

The church bells toll a melancholy round,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More harkening to the sermon’s horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound
In some blind spell: seeing that each one tears
Himself from fireside joys and Lydian airs,
And converse high of those with glory crowned.
Still, still they toll, and I should feel a damp,
A chill as from a tomb, did I not know
That they are dying like an outburnt lamp, –
That ’tis their sighing, wailing, ere they go
Into oblivion -that fresh flowers will grow,
And many glories of immortal stamp.

John Keats

I needed a beauty break, after such dark beginnings. This poem, while a bit dark itself, still brings me a sense of peace, if only from the beauty of the words themselves…. and the ending gives hope, so….

Some professors asked a monk to lecture to them on spiritual matters. The monk ascended a podium, struck it once with his stick, and descended. The academics were dumb- founded.  The monk asked them, “Do you understand what I have told you?”  One professor said, “I do not understand.” The monk said, “I have concluded my lecture.” — Smart Bee

This sounds like any number of Zen koans I’ve heard or read over the years. It is appropriately obscure, yet so simple it gives its own answer within its boundaries. Now, to a mind trained in Western modes of thought, the point of the monk’s lecture will be as densely concealed as London in one of its famous fogs. To anyone who has made a study of Buddhism, or Zen, or even Taoism, the monk answered the question himself, quite clearly…..

The monk could have made his point, even to the academicians, with a few more words, giving them a direction in which to point their reasoning powers. But, keeping to the character of the lesson, he used the fewest words he could to drive the lesson home.

Since one of my purposes in this blog is to try to show where the two modes of thought may mingle and blend, I will not leave the answer as an exercise for the Gentle Reader. Most simply put, the monk told the professors that spiritual matters are not understood; they are merely real, like the podium, and no matter how hard you strike it, it remains unchanged.

The lesson is deeper than it appears to be, as with most lessons of this nature. It implies a lot about self, and reality, and how our viewpoint of each can determine the direction and tenor of our spiritual experiences. It implies the most important piece of understanding, which says that it is not necessary to understand everything in order to have an appreciation of it, or to be able to deal with it successfully.

It is only necessary to be those things a human can be…. honest, clear-thinking, clever, compassionate, kind…. and Life will proceed as well as can be expected. It actually makes life much more pleasant when one is able to stop fighting against reality, and learn to “go with the flow”…. It’s much easier than trying to change everything to suit our own preferences, a habit doomed to failure, for sure and for certain…

SIGH…. By now, one would think I’d be accustomed to the effort it takes some days to get this done. It all started out well, then took a deep dip into molasses, which, as we all know, is slow…. It doesn’t taste very good either, by itself; it’s okay as an ingredient in other items, like cookies, but, by itself, is pretty disgusting. Hard to clean up, too…. Such is life here in gigoid land, and there isn’t anything I can do about it at this late stage, so it will have to fly as it is…. again.  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….


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