Little pieces of big….

Ffolkes,

“Experience is what you get when you were expecting something else.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

penguin eye

So…. where’s the fish?


Hajime….. There is a large mountain just ahead of me, blocking my way to consciousness…. I don’t know if I have it in me to get over it. The only option I can perceive is to put my head down and slog. Gee, spell-checker didn’t react to that word at all. Hmm. Well, if it can be phlegmatic so early, so can I…. The hell with the mountain; we’ll take the train, & go around. Why not, eh?

Since my first attempt at humor to open the day fell completely flat, let’s hare off in another direction, shall we? Given the penguin at the top of the page, we can probably get away with a lot today…. Damn good thing, too, because, frankly, I ain’t got it today. I have no clue as to why, but, I woke up without any energy, in spite of a reasonable time spent asleep (I think; I can’t be sure, as I was sleeping, & wasn’t paying attention….). I suppose it’s just one more item to chalk up to the aging process, and hope for the best, meaning it won’t happen often. Hope is free, thank goodness.

Well, since funny didn’t work, and chatty is boring, let’s see…. Where should I wander next? Oh, wait, I know. Since I don’t have much chutzpah today, why don’t we just be done, and go onward? It’s a thought, and a good one, I think. In fact, I’ll be the executive my title entitles me to emulate, and make that decision unilaterally, my favorite kind. It’s a Scorpio thing; you don’t want to know. In the meantime, since you don’t know, and don’t want to know, we can be off, just as if we were once on.

Okay, all common and uncommon sense is now gone. We’re leaving. Hang on, because we tuned up the engines, and the plane got pretty zippy. Don’t tell the insurance guy, okay? Okay. Enough nonsense, or whatever this is…. we’re outta here…. I’ve got a Pearl to process…

Shall we Pearl?….

“Experience is a good school, but the fees are high.”

~~ Heinrich Heine ~~


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    Yep, you guessed it…. Classical music again…. Hey, it’s our default, so, back off!…. Alternately, you may enjoy…. As usual, the mix you get was picked by the picture, which was the one that caught my eye….

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Classical Music

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    I’m not up to a rant today, so, to sublimate the angst, here is a rather lengthy, but, cogent religirant, which I last posted in 2013, written in 2012… Enjoy!….

From late 2012:

Originally this morning, I had intended to write something less controversial here…. but, Smart Bee is being a bit recalcitrant this morning in coming up with suitable stuff…. so, I’m going ahead with this discussion of religious thought, even though I was trying not to be so sober today….SIGH…. “The best laid plans of mice and men, etc….”  Such are the mysterious ways of Smart Bee….

I believe in god, I just don’t like him. — Smart Bee

Now, here is a concept I can get behind…. I am often unsure of how to express my own beliefs about the idea of a God, or god,  capitalization depending, I suppose, on one’s sense of reverence regarding same. All the twaddle I was taught in Sunday School was an obvious pack of lies; even at age 5 I was unconvinced of the stories they told me. None of them seemed any more real, or plausible, than the cartoons I watched on Saturday morning, and there was certainly no bloodshed in the cartoons…. mayhem, yes, bloodshed, no…. But, the story of the crucifixion is enough to give even the most ghoulish of child nightmares, for sure and for certain…. What were they thinking?….

But, the statement above goes along better with what I would like to believe (which is no more, and no less, than any other human…. believing what we’d LIKE to believe is always more attractive than what MIGHT be true…. neither of which necessarily has anything to do with what is actually REAL….), because most of the stories and lessons we heard as children about God make him out to be a petty, narcissistic, vindictive asshole, to be quite frank.

Well, there is that, plus, most of the preachers, to me, seemed to me to be much more interested in other people’s business than their own, with many of the same characteristics of their ignoble so-called creator. None of them were much of a recommendation to me as proper examples of what a good man should be, and none of what I heard about god, or God, put (H)him in that category, either.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” — Jesus Christ (Gnostic Gospel Of Thomas, Saying 70)

Or, better out than in…. so to speak. Which, as you know if you’ve been reading here previously, is something I believe in wholeheartedly….. Jesus, for me, falls into a similar category for me as God, or preachers…. kind of in limbo regarding all the stuff that was, and is, said about him. He was obviously a real historical figure, and not a mythical supernatural being, and as such his words and actions were recorded for posterity. The accuracy of what was written is, to say the least, questionable, if for no other reason that he spoke Aramaic as his primary language…. that is pretty well established.

What many fail to consider is this…. in order for us to hear his words, we have to hear what was translated through at least four or five languages, from the original Aramaic. First, it would have been translated to Latin, or possibly another middle eastern dialect of the time, then into Latin. Then it was translated to probably Italian, French, and Spanish; then into German and, possibly, it underwent its first change into English, back when it was still considered to be Middle English…. I’m pretty sure the first King James version didn’t occur until well after the Renaissance period.

So, my question is this…. how much of the original meaning of his words came through into the English translation? It’s funny, but when, as a teen, I asked this of my pastor, all I could get from him was that, because the words were inspired by God, then the meaning would have been accurately translated by all those different people, as they were doing God’s work…. which, even then, made me go, “Hmmm? Could you explain that again, in English, with something, anything, that approaches an answer?” (This was before I spoke Spanish, or German, or anything else but English….)

That seems to be a problem with preachers/priests… they tend to lump everything into the same mold, and expect us to believe that what they say is true, even though there is no direct evidence to support any such twaddle. “The Bible says God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it!” seems to be their logical train of deduction, even though there is no logic, or deduction, to it. I wasn’t born in Missouri, but, you’ve got to SHOW ME the evidence before I’ll waste my time trying to place any belief into such grandiose ideas. When one of the church minions asks me, sarcastically, if I expect God to send me a telegram, I usually reply, “Well, that WOULD be more persuasive than expecting me to take it on your word, now, wouldn’t it?”  Idiots….

“God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.” — H.L. Mencken

This attitude, the elitist idea that those who believe are somehow superior to those who do not, is one of the root causes of most of the trouble our species is having today. The insane attitude that this planet, and all the other creatures on it, were placed here specifically for our benefit and use, is responsible for all of the pollution that continues to pump into the ecosystem, for all the abuse and chauvinism against the other life forms who live here, and for a great number of the social issues, such as poverty, racism, misogyny, and violence, that plague us as a culture.  We are not only NOT the masters of creation, we are not even qualified to be our own masters; we cause ourselves as much trouble as we do the rest of creation, if not more, all because religionists insist that those who believe them are good, and everyone else is bad…. a stupid idea at best.

“God made Man to his image and likeness, and Man, being a gentleman, returned the compliment.” — Voltaire

Hence, my lack of faith in the nonsensical claptrap that the various religions attempt to pass off as truth. Reality, to me, is scary enough, without the idea of some insane supernatural creature, sitting up in some fanciful Utopia, looking down and giving a rat’s ass about what I’m doing with my life. It just doesn’t make any sense to me to try to visualize a god…. by the very definition of the beast, they cannot be imagined by a creature of lesser scope…. and telling me that you have a direct line to God, and know what he wants me to do with my life, only makes me wish I could order your new medications personally…. Oh, didn’t I mention it? We now have medications that will keep people from believing delusional material, or at least keep them from acting on those beliefs before thinking about them at least a bit….. but, who’s going to give it to a priest, when the doctor believes the same bilge?

Now that I’ve alienated any number of true believers out there, I guess I’ll let this discussion die a natural death. I could obviously continue indefinitely, but, the rest of the day calls, and I should get to it…. If you have any thoughts on these conclusions of mine, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below…. and remember, please, the rules of engagement prohibit outright flaming on this site…. Confine name-calling to short, impersonal epithets, and please, include some logical thought in your responses, as neglecting to do so wastes my time, and everyone else’s…. I don’t mind being called a fool, but, as I said, let’s see your evidence….

“I find your lack of faith in the Force disturbing….” — Darth Vader (Star Wars)

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Comedy_Tragedy

“Language is a cracked kettle on which we tap out crude rhythms for bears to dance to while we long to make music that will melt the stars.” — Gustave Flaubert, “Madame Bovary”

An Old Man, Snoring….

Winter arrives with gusts of wind and rain,
  clover spreads green amongst the hedges.
Urban gardens quiver, and dream of spring again,
  gargoyles stoically crouch on corniced ledges.

Umbrellas sprout over heads shrouded and hatted,
  dotting the sidewalks in colorful profusion.
Urban denizens pose sketches, framed and matted,
  adding casual beauty to fill the illusion.

Hissing tires, swishing along with the wipers
  join nature’s orchestra smoothly, as percussion.
Dripping gutters sound gong tones, true pipers,
  a sudden roar of wind hushes all discussion.

Dreams of summer heat form the crux of desire
  as winter chills our souls from without.
Sitting in warmth, gazing into an imaginary fire;
  content to know spring will come, no doubt.

~~ gigoid ~~

12/21/2012


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pearls_3

    What we have here is a standard, seven-star random harlequin pearl, classic variety…. All good stuff, with a message for the ages…. Enjoy!…

“We start this life alone and we end this life alone, it is what we do in between with the people and the world around us that matters.” — Larry G. Smith

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Don’t let yourself indulge in vain wishes.” — Rabindranath Tagore

“It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.” — Ursula K. LeGuin

“Neither the water nor the moon make any effort to achieve a reflection.” — Deng Ming-Dao

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” — C. G. Jung

“Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life.” — Bertolt Brecht

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It’s done. It’s a mess, but, it’s done. I will make no claims to quality today, but, will make a stronger effort to do better tomorrow. Given today’s results, the odds are good on that. See y’all then, ffolkes, as long as my batteries hold out….

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….


		
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Magic bullets engender dilatory responses….

Ffolkes,

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.

Just get people to stop reading them.”

~~ Ray Bradbury ~~

Mars colony2

Artist’s rendition of Life in the Mars Colony

Image by Ville Ericsson via Space.com


Good morning…. Remember Alice’s White Rabbit? That’s me, all over. “I’m late, I’m late, etc….” The date with which I’ve tasked myself is not, perhaps, as important as the Rabbit’s, though, ’tis to me, but, that’s one of those points we are wont to call moot. Well, some of us are. But, I digress, which, as y’all have previously seen, isn’t unusual, or particularly helpful.

Ah, well, so much for the intro. I had hope honesty, even if coupled with fantasy, might work; alas, ’tis yet another plan gone awry. This, of course, leaves us in the lurch, and though Lurch was one of my favorite characters, it’s not the place a nice blog likes to find itself. Therefore, with powers vested in me by the leasing of the Tardis, I declare this intro complete…. Luigi, you know what to do…. The rest of you…. look busy.

Shall we Pearl?….

“He who fights the devil with his own weapons, must not wonder if he finds him an overmatch.” — South

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Jerry

Jerry Garcia


As a Deadhead in good standing, (I’m all registered as a user at Dead.net), I receive periodic emails from the remainder of the band, which has now morphed into the Dead & Company, now beginning a tour to live up to the band’s historic live reputation as improvisational wizards, along with the newest band members, taking the place of, but, never replacing Jerry and the others who have passed….

The Garcia Family started a non-profit foundation, with the purpose of bringing music to the children and people of the world. They’ve just released a song, with people from all over the world singing “Ripple”, one of the Dead’s iconic songs, with cameo appearances from several big musical names, such as Jimmy Buffet, and David Crosby. I’ve included it as today’s video, so, enjoy!…..


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Ripple | Playing For Change | Song Around The World   

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    Since I’m late, you know what’s going to happen now…. Here’s a short little mini-politireligirant that spilled out in the intro, from the archives….

From the intro on 6/10/2014:

I am frequently (adjective TBA) (Okay, we’ll use “bemused” for wont of anything more accurate….) to learn something new about people, especially myself….. In the process of checking my bank account online, to see if my SS allowance had been deposited, I became aware of the power of certain feelings, engendered by the mere presence, or absence of resources… In essence, just the mere fact of having a significantly useful amount of money to use is enough to stimulate feelings of extreme relief, almost a giddy joy, which is probably a reaction to NOT feeling the stressful worry that goes along with NOT having enough resources on hand….

In today’s world, most of us are only one or two months worth of paychecks from living on the streets, so when our bank account gets too small, it’s a source of constant stress….. Especially when food becomes scarce…. Of course, only the middle and lower classes of society are subject to this process, but, hey, that’s you and me, ffolkes, so it’s not as if you don’t know whereof I speak….

The most difficult feeling with which to cope, for me, is the one that comes to me when I realize that our BRC, our beloved rulers, and their corporate masters, along with their counterparts in the priestly hierarchies, don’t ever have to feel any of that…. They are already rich enough to have passed beyond the level where a month or two of income reduction, or shall we say, reduced profit, because that’s closer to the truth of the matter, won’t have any significant effect on their lives, and certainly wouldn’t cause them to lose their place of residence. In point of fact, they’re rich enough that they don’t have to even THINK about that issue at all…. I would guess that is a very powerful feeling in itself….

Now, I know you’re thinking to yourselves, “there he goes again, ranting in the intro…”, and you’d no doubt be right. I didn’t intend to start off this way, but, having gone to look at my account, it struck me pretty hard how wide the gap has grown between the rich, and the rest of humanity…. The income differential grows larger each minute, as the system of thievery of the middle classes, and the parasitic assholes who reap the rewards of that theft, continue their pillaging of society without ever slackening pace…. rushing us all along the road to extinction with gleeful madness…

Such ranting has become less than profitable for me, and seems to keep some folks away, which is part of the reason why I’m looking around for new ways to interest my readers…. I hate feeling this crap, and hate the fact that the world is set up in such a way as to allow the rich and powerful to do pretty much whatever they want, and the rest of us suck hind teat…. SIGH….

It just makes me want to go out & buy that gun I keep promising to obtain…. But, I know that soon after doing so, I’d have to keep one of the first rules of gun ownership, to wit: If you are going to keep your gun loaded, then only pick it up when you are prepared to fire it….. My only problem with that is the difficulty in CHOOSING a target; there are a LOT of them out there that are worth one of my bullets…. It’s all the more attractive as I think about how GOOD I’d feel after taking down a couple of those assholes who have more money than morals…. tempting, indeed…

For now, though, I’ll content myself with that, and get on with today’s business, such as it is…. At least this will keep me from SPENDING all that money for a few hours….

Note from 2015:

Nothing’s changed much in the past year, has it? In fact, things look a bit less stable than even that short time ago…. Ah well, tomorrow’s another day….

“Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.” — Eugene O’Neill

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Comedy_Tragedy

    Yep. It’s mine, from the past….

When life calls, ready or not….
Memories are all we have sometimes
to keep our sanity intact,
with learned phrases and subtle rhymes
lessening life’s vicious, vibrant impact.

Presently all seems composed and intent
in stark contrast to hollow day,
forlorn patchwork emotions of unheralded bent,
fill up night’s bower, leaving hell to pay.

Such vigorous and elevated temper
brings us rare moments to ponder,
filled with lessons all need to remember
lest base perception lose valued wonder.

Laugh loud when entropy sticks fast
leaving shameless anger in its wake.
Let bygones pass quietly into the past
reaping only what is left to take.

Final words of wise imagination
tell us living well’s the best revenge, it appears
ever eluding choirs and congregations
finally finding home, never buried in tears.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 9/10/2012.

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    Naturally, we go once more to the archives to save our sorry ass….

From 6/13/2014:

Naturally, saving time means old-school…. I’ll be good, though, and find some fresh pearls, instead of pulling one from the archives… Aren’t I nice? Especially for someone still half-way buried in sleep…. Let’s see what happens; this could go several ways, so I hope it finds a good path…. I never quite know what to expect when I push Smart Bee to hurry…. sometimes it comes out well, and sometimes, well… it comes out, which is the BEST thing that can be said of it…. Let’s hope for better than that….

“Memory: what wonders it performs in preserving and storing up things gone by or rather, things that are!” — Plutarch

“We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.’ — Mark Twain

‘The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.” — Darth Vader (Star Wars)

Although a cloth be washed a hundred times,
How can it be rendered clean and pure
If it be washed in water which is dirty?

 ~~ Nagarjuna (c. 100-200 A.D.) ~~


“Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.” — The Wizard of Oz

“After being asked by a waitress if he wanted his pizza cut into four slices or eight: “Better make it four. I don’t think I can eat eight pieces.” — Yogi Berra

“The death of God left the angels in a strange position.’ — Internal documentation, programmer unknown

Well, it does show some of the effects of hurrying, but, it’s really not bad at all…. Makes a couple of good points, I think…. No worries, either way, it’s done…. so be it….

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Done. I’m not sure at all how it came out, and simply don’t have time to care. This is it, ffolkes; WYSIWYG. And, I’m outta here. See y’all tomorrow…. maybe. Ah hell, who am I kidding? I’ll be here, come hell or high water…. or, the NSA, those clandestine a-holes….

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….


We’d prefer a Mallard, but, the Muscovy will do…

Ffolkes,

Here pigs will fly,

lightning will strike twice,

hell will freeze over,

and eventually,

things will get really interesting…

~~ gigoid’s promise to his readers ~~

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    Great picture, ain’t it? Amazing what can happen with patience, and timing. The pic itself is from the London Daily Yell (the Telegraph), from one of their Day in Pictures features a few days ago…. It also lives up to the promise just above it, or, makes a determined effort, at the very least…. Me, I’m up late again, thanks to lorazepam’s sedative effects, but, have fortunately prepared much of today’s Pearl before getting up this morning…. It’s weird, feeling this rested; I haven’t had such regular, deep sleep since before I was married & had kids…. It’s almost scary, to think of what I’ve been missing, and how my life may have been made better for having slept more….

But, that’s whining, and wishing for things that cannot be changed, a foolish effort, at best…. So, we’ll forget about the past, and get on with finding out what the future may bring. Of course, given the state of the environment, thinking about our future may not be the best way to find ourselves in a good mood. All the evidence points to the opposite, in fact, and little can be said of a positive nature about that particular subject…. If’n we want to feel good, we’ll have to come up with something completely new and different….

It seems to me I’ve again written myself into a corner…. Can’t go on without an idea or two, yet, none are forthcoming…. Damn! I suppose I’m going to have to use the new technique again; it’s sure getting a workout since arriving here; I don’t think we’ve missed a day since that auspicious day…. which goes to show, I suppose, it is needed, and is being put to use per its nature. Oh, look, there ’tis now…. Doesn’t it look all grand & pretty in its new holiday outfit? Careful, though, don’t let that naive, innocent look fool you; it’s quite ruthless… In fact, it’s here, and as of now, there’s no way to keep it from performing its function, which means….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“For every human problem, there is a neat, simple solution; and it is always wrong.” — Mencken’s Metalaw — H. L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy

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“How many lawyer jokes are there? 3, the rest are true stories.” — Smart Bee

I had intended to find some more true stories to share with y’all about lawyers,  but, instead, let’s examine the creature as it exists in reality…. Now, I, personally, know a lawyer, and, since he no longer works as one, having recovered, in my mind, both his sanity, and his honor in the process (don’t tell him though, I get the impression he’s still a bit ambivalent/unsettled at how it came about, so, we don’t discuss it…), I feel absolutely no qualms whatsoever claiming him as a friend…. He’s gotten to the point he laughs at some of the jokes now….

He is an intelligent person, of course; no other kind would be my friend for so long (Over 30 years now…), or be able to put up with my own level of insanity…. In my case, of course, that was used to AVOID ever studying law, beyond what I felt necessary to know for my own protection…. I’ve always maintained there are only two kinds of lawyers who come out of law school, no matter which it may be.

The first kind intends to help people find their way through the maze of laws, allegedly designed to to allow them to live safely and with dignity; these lawyers, those with actual morals and ethics, serve justice, and the intent of the law…. Like my friend, they often end up leaving the field, or, sadly, at times, doing the Darth Vader, by turning to the dark side….

The other type is different sort of creature; their purpose for studying law is to find an angle to work, in order to further their own personal goals, which center around money, and power….. These lawyers may end up helping some people, but, at a cost those people can rarely afford comfortably. Mostly, this sort pad their bills with absurd charges, that puff up legal fees until the courts step in, to set regulations as to how much they can charge… whereupon, they merely find another method to get around the definition of “services rendered”….

Of this second type, a certain percentage actually, over time, become so enamored of the process of acquiring money and power, they figure out the only logical course to take, if they wish to continue their upward progress (in their eyes….). So, they mutate, and become politicians (an old Greek word, from “poly”, meaning “many”, and “tics”, meaning “small, dirty, bloodsucking parasites”….), because as legislators, they are allowed to vote themselves the keys to the treasury, calling their motivation “public spirit” and/or “the call to leadership”…. Often the mutation actually begins during school, as all the nutrient factors are present there, and a certain type of sociopathic personality takes to such things naturally, as it serves their purpose so well….

Excuse me a moment, I need to curse….

Okay, I’m back…. see, I can be nice, & not subject y’all to my forays into French colloquialisms…. However, in point of fact, they’re all (all the elected officials at the national level, to be specific….), fucking crazy, loony as a mass of mixed leopards, wolves, vipers, cobras, hyenas, rhinos, hippos, and, oh, a tiger or two, all slithering, strutting, blundering, screaming, locked in a confined space, each displaying the worst characteristics of their perverted, all-too-predatory natures…. And, all of whom are convinced of their own right to tell everyone else how things should be…. I mean, they should know, cuz Jesus told them so….

Yep…. Think about it, ffolkes, and, you, too, folks…. Of the 455 people at the top of the American political heap… (That’s 1 President, 1 VP, 12 Supremes, 100 Senators, 340 Reps at the House, & 1 Armed Forces COS….I think…. He isn’t elected, but, otherwise, I’m missing somebody….), (unless I lost track of how many Reps there are…. that changes at times…)…. Regardless… it’s a small number of persons, considering they make the decisions for so many…

So, ask yourself these questions…. How many of those are lawyers? How many are male? How many are white (Caucasian, or close)? How many are of a faith OTHER than Christian?…. I think you can see the point here…. no matter what the actual numbers may be, when counting the token women and persons of color they’ve allowed to join them, for the show of apparent diversity, it isn’t enough to make any difference in the real agenda that will be forged by those people…. It WILL be according to the white, male, Christian, legally trained (i.e., avariciously self-serving) point of view….

As another point of difference between them and the rest of the population: All of them, every single one, is a millionaire, or more (except perhaps for a few Reps, newbies not yet adept at playing the lobbyist’s for their treats and financial breaks….) Yet each and every one of the named politicians, less-than-500-people, with an average income over a million dollars a year, has better health care, better retirement arrangements, and better wages than anyone else in the country, all voted in by, who else, but, themselves….

Plus, just for good measure, for the great and glorious service they have done for the country, and all the sacrifices they must make to come to Washington, live like movie stars, and decide which lobbyist they should let take them to dinner tonight, why shouldn’t they get those benefits, not just while in office, but, for the rest of their lives?! Whether they are ever elected again or not…. Pretty good deal, eh?…. Wish I’d a thought of it….

And people wonder why I often talk about buying a gun….. I only have four things left to say about lawyers, and their mutated state, politicians….As usual, other people have said it better, so, as is my wont, I turn to them, with these final words upon which to meditate….

“If it weren’t for lawyers, I think we could have invented a universal symbolic representation of reality.”– Smart Bee

(technically, it’s not a joke; it’s merely an observation….)

“It’s possible to fight intolerance, stupidity, and fanaticism when they come separately.  When you get all three together it’s probably wiser to get out, if only to preserve one’s sanity.” — Adam Dalgliesh, in Devices and Desires, by P.D. James.

“The dread of evil is a much more forcible principle of human actions than the prospect of good.” — John Locke (1632-1704)

“The measure of a man’s life is the well spending of it, and not the length.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Consolation to Apollonius

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After that, I need some soothing music, and this will do quite nicely…. Enjoy! It’s only the best….

Best of Mozart : Overtures , Sonatas , Eine Kleine Nachtmusik , Concertos

http://youtu.be/eCB7c7RDmyU

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Today’s poem, appropriately enough, is from John Keats… The title of it is “Essay on Man”, an epic poem, containi perhaps the largest repository of excellent insight into Man’s true nature ever created, especially one that rhymes…. It’s a very long piece, with ten very long sections, or stanzas, each as brilliant as the one before, ending with what is called the “Argument of the Second Epistle. I have included that ending below, to give a taste of the entire piece…. but, I’d really recommend following the link, and taking the time to read the entire poem; it’s brilliance is so bright it will infuse your entire spirit, as well as, perhaps, giving you a deeper understanding of people, and why they are the way they are…. that’s the power of poetry….

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/essay-on-man/

Argument of the Second Epistle:

Of the Nature and State of Man, with respect to Himself, as an Individual. The business of Man not to pry into God, but to study himself.

Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
Plac’d on this isthmus of a middle state,(28)
A being darkly wise, and rudely great:
With too much knowledge for the Sceptic side,
With too much weakness for the Stoic’s pride,
He hangs between; in doubt to act, or rest,
In doubt to deem himself a God, or Beast;
In doubt his Mind or Body to prefer,
Born but to die, and reas’ning but to err;
Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
Whether he thinks too little, or too much:
Chaos of Thought and Passion, all confus’d;
Still by himself abus’d, or disabus’d;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of Truth, in endless Error hurl’d:
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world!

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

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Pearls, pearls, who’s got pearls?….. Hmph! Such impertinence!…. But, who really cares, ultimately? SB is gonna give me what it will, no matter how I piss, moan, threaten, or complain… So, here, take this…. it’s what I’ve got….

“Here comes a pair of very strange beasts, which in all tongues are called fools.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), As You Like It — Act v, Sc. 4

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority.  Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.” — Giordano Bruno (1548- burned at the stake, 1600)

“We achieve “active” mastery over illness and death by delegating all responsibility for their management to physicians, and by exiling the sick and the dying to hospitals. But hospitals serve the convenience of staff not patients: we cannot be properly ill in a hospital, nor die in one decently; we can do so only among those who love and value us. The result is the institutionalized dehumanization of the ill, characteristic of our age.” — Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin, “Personal Conduct” (1973).

“Liberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying No to any authority–literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social and even political.” — Ignazio Silone, The God That Failed (1950)

“And it does matter.  An honest man or woman is an honest man or woman more because he or she is honest in the small, everyday things that “don’t matter” individually, but which make up a well-lived life, than because of some single great temptation that was passed.  A person who is concerned about individual rights or about individual dignity makes his or her difference not because of any sweeping great statement or action, but because of the accretion of small, individually seemingly insignificant acts that spread that dignity and confirm those rights through every action they take.  It matters because every action you take, and every action I take is an expression of the human spirit.” — William Oliver (oliver@uncmed.med.unc.edu)

“Everyone knows that dragons don’t exist.  But while this simplistic formulation may satisfy the layman, it does not suffice for the scientific mind.  The School of Higher Neantical Nillity is in fact wholly unconcerned with what does exist.  Indeed, the banality of existence has been so amply demonstrated, there is no need for us to discuss it any further here.  The brilliant Cerebron, attacking the problem analytically, discovered three distinct kinds of dragon: the mythical, the chimerical, and the purely hypothetical.  They were all, one might say, nonexistent, but each nonexisted in an entirely different way …” — Stanislaw Lem, Cyberiad

“How often we recall, with regret, that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor and missed him and killed a publisher. But we remember with charity, that his intentions were good.” — Mark Twain

Don’t even ask…. SB did this one all by itself…. It’s cute, but, is it good? Only you can be the judge in this case; I must recuse myself….

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Like it or not, it’s done, so, I’m going to have to take it, as it is almost 8 AM, & I’m still just finishing the initial draft…. But, that’s done, so, all that remains is the process of posting… to free myself to go do so, I bid the a fond farewell, with the usual ending wishes…. see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, maybe even on time….

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, the dubious

“The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.”

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí.

 

Oatmeal, techno-piracy, and the Legion of Honor…..

Ffolkes,

Today’s Pearl is incredibly late getting started; this will require some patience on your part, and some rapid thinking on mine, or we’ll both be lost all day…. It’s sort of like that first button, which, if you don’t get it into the correct button hole, you’ll never get dressed up all right…. We wouldn’t want that, especially given the somewhat amorphous nature of this beast….

All that having been said (WITH, I might add, the inherent embedded apology…. went to a baseball game last night at the local yard, and didn’t get in until late….), we’re going to do the unprecedented, and not have an intro at all…. Well, I suppose this little bit could be construed as such, but, it’s so little, it doesn’t fit in much with the others…. S’okay, though, all shortcuts have been approved, and the apology issued here is good for the whole deal…. There will be a number of them (shortcuts), so, please, remain alert….

So be it…. gigoid has spoken…. On with method #4, so we can get this slow on the road (not a typo….)….

Shall we Pearl?

Don’t you hurry me, sonny, you hurry a miracle man, you get rotten
miracles, that what you want? — Miracle Max, played by Billy Crystal from William Goldman’s, “The Princess Bride”

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So, here’s the deal…. Below is a link, to an article discussing some of the latest developments over at the NSA, and their continuing campaign to bullshit the American people as much as is humanly possible…. The article is in lieu of one of my own rants, even though I’d find this one a snap, mostly…. right up my ally, and I can FEEL the anger inside when I think about it…. But, I’ll let the author of the article expound on it today… Instead of a rant, I’ll be going with another short episode of the Travels of Wise Old Pine Cone, as I follow him around the neighborhood each day, watching him relate to friends, neighbors, and the environment at large…. Enjoy!….

First, the bad news….

http://theweek.com/article/index/262945/the-nsa-has-a-shocking-new-excuse-for-destroying-evidence

AMNESTY, n.  The state’s magnanimity to those offenders whom it would be too expensive to punish. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

It’s getting to the point where the BRC had better begin thinking about leaving Eric Snowden alone; Al Gore has come out in support of him, and the public has always been on his side…. If they continue to verify his claims in such prominent ways, it would be in their best interests, I think, to let him be, from a legal standpoint…. I don’t think the public is going to allow them to sacrifice him to their gods of paranoia…. End of short rant….

Now, the good stuff…..

June 11 2014 003Wise Old Pine Cone stopping in to tour the training center nearby….

June 11 2014 004Wise Old Pine Cone posing against one of his favorite plants as a backdrop….

June 11 2014 007Wise Old Pine Cone, being a curious git…. blurry on purpose, to avoid details on someone’s package…

June 11 2014 009Wise Old Pine Cone, taking a short nap….

June 11 2014 012Wise Old Pine Cone, reminiscing about the old days….

June 11 2014 018Wise Old Pine Cone, with another of his Cone friends…

June 11 2014 029Just so you know I’m not being a troll about being up late, here is a shot of the park outside the center field fence at the ball game I attended last night…. As you can see, it was late; the game was just over, and the lights were still on as people wound their way home….

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Again, we’re going with one of mine, this time because it’s faster…. This is one of my own personal favorites, because it speaks about my Dad, and what I learned from him…. I’m 63 years old, and he’s been gone since 1984, (thirty years!…. Time does fly…), but, I still miss his calming presence….

Ah Ain’t Sho, but Mebbe So….

Fried eggs got nuthin’ on me
Ah’m not even sure of mah name,
or how Ah come to be;
no idea from where Ah came.

Ah does like a mystery tho’,
puzzlin’ things out so’s Ah knows,
good from bad fo sho,
Ah sho don’t want no rock pillows.

If’n Ah cain’t figure out what’s best,
Ah just falls back on mah Daddy’s words,
seems he knowed just whut’d stand the test,
‘n how to gentle the scaredest birds.

‘Course, he’d lived a good long time,
‘n had lots of stuff go on by;
Went to a war, n’ lost a piece or two,
never once used it fer an alibi.

He tol’ me once Ah’d best learn to learn,
school’s only cool if ya ain’t already a fool.
Yer own good measure you can earn,
by startin’ yer learnin’ with the Golden Rule.

Always seemed to me as Ah growed up,
he mostly only spoke if it wuz true,
‘n by doin’ that clued me to what’s up,
kept me from stuff that’d a made me blue.

Without ever sayin’ the word itself,
Ah learned ’bout honor, ‘n helpin’ others
not some fake stuff from some shelf,
but, knowin’ whut’s right, ‘n that we’re all brothers.

Ah’ve been around long enough now, Ah think
to get around the block at least two times.
I s’pose long as my head don’t shrink
Ah’ll keep on doin’ right, ‘n makin’ these rhymes…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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Naturally, saving time means old-school…. I’ll be good, though, and find some fresh pearls, instead of pulling one from the archives… Aren’t I nice? Especially for someone still half-way buried in sleep…. Let’s see what happens; this could go several ways, so I hope it finds a good path…. I never quite know what to expect when I push Smart Bee to hurry…. sometimes it comes out well, and sometimes, well… it comes out, which is the BEST thing that can be said of it…. Let’s hope for better than that….

“Memory: what wonders it performs in preserving and storing up things gone by or rather, things that are!” — Plutarch

“We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.’ — Mark Twain

‘The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am.” — Darth Vader (Star Wars)

Although a cloth be washed a hundred times,
How can it be rendered clean and pure
If it be washed in water which is dirty?

— Nagarjuna (c. 100-200 A.D.)

“Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.” — The Wizard of Oz

“After being asked by a waitress if he wanted his pizza cut into four slices or eight: “Better make it four. I don’t think I can eat eight pieces.” — Yogi Berra

“The death of God left the angels in a strange position.’ — Internal documentation, programmer unknown

Well, it does show some of the effects of hurrying, but, it’s really not bad at all…. Makes a couple of good points, I think…. No worries, either way, it’s done…. so be it….

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Yes, indeed…. so be it….. I’m not going to push any harder, or any longer…. In fact, I’m done, and I’m outta here…. See ya, 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,
and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

I’ve never seen a poltergeist retch before…..

Ffolkes,
Having thus far lived, in many respects, a relatively uneventful life, it was a bit of a surprise to find myself, upon first arising today, gazing at a large, green, rather handsome alien, all seven or eight feet of him, sitting quietly in my easy chair, reading a Nora Roberts novel obviously plucked from my bookcase. He kept reading as I stared at him, obviously unaware of my regard, breathing, apparently, through his legs, which inflated and deflated in a regular pattern every few seconds. As he sat there reading, (I say ‘he’ for lack of any proper definition of his gender, or whether he has one at all… gotta call him something….) he gave the impression of infinite patience, and serenity, idly perusing the paperback novel he had chosen…..

Then, of course, I blinked my eyes, and he was gone, back to dreamland, from where he had escaped, apparently just to provide me with a compelling opening paragraph to grab your attention….. which, hopefully, worked well…. It would have grabbed me, I’ll give it that…. It leaves me without anywhere to go from here, but, I’ve been there a lot, and know I can just wander around in my head long enough to reach the legal requirement for an intro. It’s not as if there is any lack of nonsense on hand, it’s merely a matter of shoveling it into the correct venue…. a statement which will, I’m sure, cause as much confusion for you as it does for me….

Let’s face it, ffolkes, I’m lost already…. I suppose that isn’t a very unusual happenstance, but I’m not generally forced to admit it so early. It must have something to do with getting up so late; I actually slept in until 0610, and woke up in a panic, thinking I’d missed an appointment or something…. then spent a few minutes recovering from my alien visitation before successfully arousing myself to get coffee…. Once I’d had a sip or two, of course, all was well with the world, and I could turn my mind to composition….

Which brings us to here….. I’m going to NOT push my luck today, I think. I’ve got two days to get through before getting on a boat bound for Alaska, and I’m not taking ANY chances of fate intervening in any negative fashion. The lists I’ve made are getting checked off, item by item, and it’s down to the last few; my excitement level goes up with each item I gleefully check off….. Before I can turn to any of what is needed for today’s list, though, I have to complete this little chore that I’ve set for myself, so…..   Shall we Pearl?…..

“Is something VIOLENT going to happen to a GARBAGE CAN?” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Having come to this so late in the day (time is relative, you know….), I’m feeling a bit pressed for time. So, I’ve dipped into my massive archives of material, and come up with this old style pearl, from August of 2011…. It’s a pretty good pearl, quite stimulating in a cogitative sense, not lacking in irony, and possessing a small degree of style… Well, I think so…. Enjoy!…..

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Ffolkes,
As I was diving this morning in search of some fine, lustrous Pearls to start the day, it struck me that the decision making process in humans seems to have a definable limit. Not a limit of content, but rather a limit of use. No matter what it is that we are doing that requires a decision, there comes a point in the process where we say, “enough!” and end the process of gathering information by the decision to act upon it. Now in a cosmic sense this is not a particularly profound discovery, nor, I think, particularly useful. But then most things we discover don’t have a lot of practical use; we just file them away somewhere in the back of our memory where we seldom look for what we need now, but may find a use for later.

There may be moments in the future where such knowledge may become of use, perhaps even critical. But for the most part, a great deal of memory is crowded with stuff we’ve figured out on our own, but which has little relevance to our life at that time. I’m not sure if this trait is an important evolutionary development, or just something that stays with us because it does no immediate harm to our ability to deal with reality.

Little snippets of fact or conclusions we’ve come to, of a personal or general nature, seem to be destined to clutter up our memories, and I suppose that the mere fact of their existence my prove to be their evolutionary purpose; something to keep us from getting anywhere too fast for our mind to keep up. Who knows? Certainly not me, but hey, it was useful to me today, if only because I was able to finesse an entire paragraph while saying absolutely nothing important for you, or me, to know……useful after all……    🙂

“ICONOCLAST, n.  A breaker of idols, the worshipers whereof are imperfectly gratified by the performance, and most strenuously protest that he unbuildeth but doth not reedify, that he pulleth down but pileth not up.  For the poor things would have other idols in place of those he thwacketh upon the mazzard and dispelleth.  But the iconoclast saith:  “Ye shall have none at all, for ye need them not; and if the rebuilder fooleth round hereabout, behold I will depress the head of him and sit thereon till he squawk it.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
(So THAT’S what I’ve been doing all these years! Nice to know there is a word for it…..)

“Power is an illusion; only stupidity is real.” — Smart Bee

“Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.” — Oscar Wilde

“If we can put the names of our faiths aside for the moment and look at principles, we fill find a common thread running through all the
great religious expressions.” — Louis Farrakhan, 1993

“It may be bad manners to talk with your mouth full, but it isn’t too good either if you speak when your head is empty.” — Smart Bee

“Objective evidence and certitude are doubtless very fine ideals to play with, but where on this moonlit and dream-visited planet are they found?” — William James

Okay, “enough!”……. I guess it does have a purpose after all…..the prevention of terminal boredom…… Y’all take care out there…..
_____________________________

At this point in time, I am uncertain as to what style of poem will appeal today, so, I’m leaving this section for last…. I’ll be back…. Okay, I’m back…. and I brought with me one of my all time favorites…..

The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.   

~~  Shel Silverstein ~~

_____________________________

The way this has turned out, I should have just reblogged an old Pearl, and been done with it…  Instead, I have three parts of old Pearls that will serve to make up today’s Pearl, and the hell with the consequences…. Here is a fine old religirant I found, from late in 2012…..

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Originally this morning, I had intended to write something less controversial here…. but, Smart Bee is being a bit recalcitrant this morning in coming up with suitable stuff…. so, I’m going ahead with this discussion of religious thought, even though I was trying not to be so sober today….SIGH…. “The best laid plans of mice and men, etc….”  Such are the mysterious ways of Smart Bee….

I believe in god, I just don’t like him. — Smart Bee

Now, here is a concept I can get behind…. I am often unsure of how to express my own beliefs about the idea of a God, or god,  capitalization depending, I suppose, on one’s sense of reverence regarding same. All the twaddle I was taught in Sunday School was an obvious pack of lies; even at age 5 I was unconvinced of the stories they told me. None of them seemed any more real, or plausible, than the cartoons I watched on Saturday morning, and there was certainly no bloodshed in the cartoons…. mayhem, yes, bloodshed, no…. But, the story of the crucifixion is enough to give even the most ghoulish of child nightmares, for sure and for certain…. What were they thinking?….

But, the statement above goes along better with what I would like to believe (which is no more, and no less, than any other human…. believing what we’d LIKE to believe is always more attractive than what MIGHT be true…. neither of which necessarily has anything to do with what is actually REAL….), because most of the stories and lessons we heard as children about God make him out to be a petty, narcissistic, vindictive asshole, to be quite frank.

Well, there is that, plus, most of the preachers, to me, seemed to me to be much more interested in other people’s business than their own, with many of the same characteristics of their ignoble so-called creator. None of them were much of a recommendation to me as proper examples of what a good man should be, and none of what I heard about god, or God, put (H)him in that category, either.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” — Jesus Christ (Gnostic Gospel Of Thomas, Saying 70)

Or, better out than in…. so to speak. Which, as you know if you’ve been reading here previously, is something I believe in wholeheartedly….. Jesus, for me, falls into a similar category for me as God, or preachers…. kind of in limbo regarding all the stuff that was, and is, said about him. He was obviously a real historical figure, and not a mythical supernatural being, and as such his words and actions were recorded for posterity. The accuracy of what was written is, to say the least, questionable, if for no other reason that he spoke Aramaic as his primary language…. that is pretty well established.

What many fail to consider is this…. in order for us to hear his words, we have to hear what was translated through at least four or five languages, from the original Aramaic. First, it would have been translated to Latin, or possibly another middle eastern dialect of the time, then into Latin. Then it was translated to probably Italian, French, and Spanish; then into German and, possibly, it underwent its first change into English, back when it was still considered to be Middle English…. I’m pretty sure the first King James version didn’t occur until well after the Renaissance period.

So, my question is this…. how much of the original meaning of his words came through into the English translation? It’s funny, but when, as a teen, I asked this of my pastor, all I could get from him was that, because the words were inspired by God, then the meaning would have been accurately translated by all those different people, as they were doing God’s work…. which, even then, made me go, “Hmmm? Could you explain that again, in English, with something, anything, that approaches an answer?” (This was before I spoke Spanish, or German, or anything else but English….)

That seems to be a problem with preachers/priests… they tend to lump everything into the same mold, and expect us to believe that what they say is true, even though there is no direct evidence to support any such twaddle. “The Bible says God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it!” seems to be their logical train of deduction, even though there is no logic, or deduction, to it.

I wasn’t born in Missouri, but, you’ve got to SHOW ME the evidence before I’ll waste my time trying to place any belief into such grandiose ideas. When one of the church minions asks me, sarcastically, if I expect God to send me a telegram, I usually reply, “Well, that WOULD be more persuasive than expecting me to take it on your word, now, wouldn’t it?”  Idiots….

“God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.” — H.L. Mencken

This attitude, the elitist idea that those who believe are somehow superior to those who do not, is one of the root causes of most of the trouble our species is having today. The insane attitude that this planet, and all the other creatures on it, were placed here specifically for our benefit and use, is responsible for all of the pollution that continues to pump into the ecosystem, for all the abuse and chauvinism against the other life forms who live here, and for a great number of the social issues, such as poverty, racism, misogyny, and violence, that plague us as a culture. 

We are not only NOT the masters of creation, we are not even qualified to be our own masters; we cause ourselves as much trouble as we do the rest of creation, if not more, all because religionists insist that those who believe them are good, and everyone else is bad…. a stupid idea at best.

“God made Man to his image and likeness, and Man, being a gentleman, returned the compliment.” — Voltaire

Hence, my lack of faith in the nonsensical claptrap that the various religions attempt to pass off as truth. Reality, to me, is scary enough, without the idea of some insane supernatural creature, sitting up in some fanciful Utopia, looking down and giving a rat’s ass about what I’m doing with my life. It just doesn’t make any sense to me to try to visualize a god…. by the very definition of the beast, they cannot be imagined by a creature of lesser scope…. and telling me that you have a direct line to God, and know what he wants me to do with my life, only makes me wish I could order your new medications personally…. Oh, didn’t I mention it? We now have medications that will keep people from believing delusional material, or at least keep them from acting on those beliefs before thinking about them at least a bit….. but, who’s going to give it to a priest, when the doctor believes the same bilge?

Now that I’ve alienated any number of true believers out there, I guess I’ll let this discussion die a natural death. I could obviously continue indefinitely, but, the rest of the day calls, and I should get to it…. If you have any thoughts on these conclusions of mine, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below…. and remember, please, the rules of engagement prohibit outright flaming on this site…. Confine name-calling to short, impersonal epithets, and please, include some logical thought in your responses, as neglecting to do so wastes my time, and everyone else’s…. I don’t mind being called a fool, but, as I said, let’s see your evidence….

“I find your lack of faith in the Force disturbing….” — Darth Vader (Star Wars)
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Well, it’s clear that I’ve done some decent work in the past, though this may or may not fall into that category. Regardless,  I like it, so it stays…. Plus, this way, I can be done, and get on with what is important, like staring at the clock to make it go faster….. Where did I put those time distortion pills, anyway?….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Poorly constructed fuzzy bears sold here….

Ffolkes,
Provided the reports I heard last night are true, the election proved to be just what I’d hoped… a solid victory in the name of Reason. As of 9:00 PM, the report I got from a friend with a TV, said that Obama had won the election, with enough electoral votes to secure the win, and ample extra to provide a mandate from the people. I am hopeful the final count of the popular vote is equally weighted, and that a significant majority of the people who voted gave the mandate to the President, to continue trying to repair the damage done by the last 25 years of Republican piracy.

Even if the vote is closer than I hope to see, I imagine the attempted fraud on the part of the Republicans will be unearthed (I understand there is already some video proof circulating on Facebook of voting machine tampering on their part in Pennsylvania….), and hopefully, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. One can hope…. but, I’ll be satisfied with just knowing the danger, if not past entirely, is at least mitigated for another four years….

I’ve now read the morning papers, and feel a bit better. Obama’s victory is confirmed, and the immediate danger is past. However, I was appalled at the sheer number of IDIOTS in this country who voted for Romney; it is clear that if the whites in this country were not now in the minority, the story might have been different. Fortunately, they are not in the majority any longer….

It was also appalling to learn that there were actually small percentages of blacks and Latinos who actually voted for the Republican liar; I can’t imagine WHAT they were thinking, when he made it so obvious that he hates and fears both groups. I also have a hard time understanding why a single woman would vote for a man who so obviously hates them….. I guess it just goes to show the depths to which human stupidity can take someone who makes no effort to determine the truth, or is in denial of that truth….

If 150,000 people do something really stupid………it’s still stupid. — Smart Bee

Or, in the case of yesterday, right around 50,000,000 (fifty million) people provided proof positive of their stupidity…..So be it…. The Republicans somehow managed to maintain their majority in the House, so we can look forward to another four years of them blocking every attempt to make any progress in easing the burdens of the middle and lower classes, and placing a fairer share of those burdens on the people who can afford them, i.e. the 1%….. Only time will tell if any of the attempts to curtail their blatant elitism, and mitigate the damages that catering to them has caused over time, have been at all effective. For us bloggers, it promises to provide a wealth of material over the next few years, as the ongoing battle between the classes continues to wage….

For now, though, some of the tension is released, and I feel better knowing that this particular issue, of the forces of evil threatening to usurp the White House, is now on hold for another four years. So much better, I think it must be time to go for a dive, and see what we can come up with for an interesting discussion today…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

Originally this morning, I had intended to write something less controversial here…. but, Smart Bee is being a bit recalcitrant this morning in coming up with suitable stuff…. so, I’m going ahead with this discussion of religious thought, even though I was trying not to be so sober today….SIGH…. “The best laid plans of mice and men, etc….”  Such are the mysterious ways of Smart Bee….

I believe in god, I just don’t like him. — Smart Bee

Now, here is a concept I can get behind…. I am often unsure of how to express my own beliefs about the idea of a God, or god,  capitalization depending, I suppose, on one’s sense of reverence regarding same. All the twaddle I was taught in Sunday School was an obvious pack of lies; even at age 5 I was unconvinced of the stories they told me. None of them seemed any more real, or plausible, than the cartoons I watched on Saturday morning, and there was certainly no bloodshed in the cartoons…. mayhem, yes, bloodshed, no…. But, the story of the crucifixion is enough to give even the most ghoulish of child nightmares, for sure and for certain…. What were they thinking?….

But, the statement above goes along better with what I would like to believe (which is no more, and no less, than any other human…. believing what we’d LIKE to believe is always more attractive than what MIGHT be true…. neither of which necessarily has anything to do with what is actually REAL….), because most of the stories and lessons we heard as children about God make him out to be a petty, narcissistic, vindictive asshole, to be quite frank. Well, there is that, plus, most of the preachers, to me, seemed to me to be much more interested in other people’s business than their own, with many of the same characteristics of their ignoble so-called creator. None of them were much of a recommendation to me as proper examples of what a good man should be, and none of what I heard about god, or God, put (H)him in that category, either.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” — Jesus Christ (Gnostic Gospel Of Thomas, Saying 70)

Or, better out than in…. so to speak. Which, as you know if you’ve been reading here previously, is something I believe in wholeheartedly….. Jesus, for me, falls into a similar category for me as God, or preachers…. kind of in limbo regarding all the stuff that was, and is, said about him. He was obviously a real historical figure, and not a mythical supernatural being, and as such his words and actions were recorded for posterity. The accuracy of what was written is, to say the least, questionable, if for no other reason that he spoke Aramaic as his primary language…. that is pretty well established.

What many fail to consider is this…. in order for us to hear his words, we have to hear what was translated through at least four or five languages, from the original Aramaic, which is a language no longer spoken anywhere. First, it would have been translated to Latin, or possibly another middle eastern dialect of the time, then into Latin. Then it was translated to probably Italian, French, and Spanish; then into German and, possibly, its first change into English, back when it was still considered to be Middle English…. the first King James version didn’t occur until well after the Renaissance period.

So, my question is this…. how much of the original meaning of his words came through into the English translation? It’s funny, but when, as a teen, I asked this of my pastor, all I could get from him was that, because the words were inspired by God, then the meaning would have been accurately translated by all those different people, as they were doing God’s work…. which, even then, made me go, “Hmm? Could you explain that again, in English, with something, anything, that approaches an answer?” (This was before I spoke Spanish, or German, or anything else but English….)

That seems to be a problem with preachers/priests… they tend to lump everything into the same mold, and expect us to believe that what they say is true, even though there is no direct evidence to support any such twaddle. “The Bible says God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it!” seems to be their logical train of deduction, even though there is no logic, or deduction, to it. I wasn’t born in Missouri, but, you’ve got to SHOW ME the evidence before I’ll waste my time trying to place any belief into such grandiose ideas. When one of the church minions asks me, sarcastically, if I expect God to send me a telegram, I usually reply, “Well, that WOULD be more persuasive than expecting me to take it on your word, now, wouldn’t it?”  Idiots….

“God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.” — H.L. Mencken

This attitude, the elitist idea that those who believe are somehow superior to those who do not, is one of the root causes of most of the trouble our species is having today. The insane attitude that this planet, and all the other creatures on it, was placed here specifically for our benefit and use, is responsible for all of the pollution that continues to pump into the ecosystem, for all the abuse and chauvinism against the other life forms who live here, and for a great number of the social issues, such as poverty, racism, misogyny, and violence, that plague us as a culture.  We are not only NOT the masters of creation, we are not even qualified to be our own masters; we cause ourselves as much trouble as we do the rest of creation, if not more, all because religionists insist that those who believe them are good, and everyone else is bad…. a stupid idea at best.

“God made Man to his image and likeness, and Man, being a gentleman, returned the compliment.” — Voltaire

Hence, my lack of faith in the nonsensical claptrap that the various religions attempt to pass off as truth. Reality, to me, is scary enough, without the idea of some insane supernatural creature, sitting up in some fanciful Utopia, looking down and giving a rat’s ass about what I’m doing with my life. It just doesn’t make any sense to me to try to visualize a god…. by the very definition of the beast, they cannot be imagined by a creature of lesser scope…. and telling me that you have a direct line to God, and know what he wants me to do with my life, only makes me wish I could order your new medications personally…. Oh, didn’t I mention it? We now have medications that will keep people from believing delusional material, or at least keep them from acting on those beliefs before thinking about them at least a bit….. but, who’s going to give it to a priest, when the doctor believes the same bilge?

Now that I’ve alienated any number of true believers out there, I guess I’ll let this discussion die a natural death. I could obviously continue indefinitely, but, the rest of the day calls, and I should get to it…. If you have any thoughts on these conclusions of mine, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below…. and remember, please, the rules of engagement prohibit outright flaming on this site…. Confine name-calling to short, impersonal epithets, and please, include some logical thought in your responses, as neglecting to do so wastes my time, and everyone else’s…. I don’t mind being called a fool, but, as I said, let’s see your evidence….

“I find your lack of faith in the Force disturbing….” — Darth Vader (Star Wars)
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The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.

~~  Shel Silverstein
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“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.  Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me.  It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” — George Bernard Shaw

Now, THAT is a good attitude toward living! Carpe diem, and all that, don’t y’know? I like to think that I approach life in much this same manner, even though I have my moments spent in depression and despair; those moments I consider to be anomalous, and not fully representative of my take on life in general. Many people may not feel this way, and I cannot disparage them for that, as living often requires more of our attention that can be spared to make sure we are positively motivated; it’s not easy to get by in this world, and maintaining a positive outlook can become secondary to just having the wherewithal to do anything at all.

But, George points out a pretty good way to think about it, even if one hasn’t the time or resources to fully appreciate, or apply, the principle as given….. As such, it joins a number of other viewpoints of famous historical figures, all of whom had advice to give to people about how to live well…. below you will find several of these suggestions for living life as well as one is able to live….

“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it… Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher.  But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.” — Buddha

“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.” — Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)

“Honor has not to be won; it must only not be lost.” — Arthur Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.
— Tao Te Ching

“A wise man first determines what is within his control; all else is then irrelevant.” — Epictetus

Well, there you go…. now, all you have to do is put all of this into practice…. sounds like fun, eh?….
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Another day, another post…. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was getting pretty good at this…. We all need to have our little illusions in life, so, remember what has been said so often, in so many ways…. It’s all good….  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!

Negotiations broke down early this year….

Ffolkes,
Today’s offering is a tribute to the power of procrastination. Or will be, if it ever gets done. Of course, to get done, it would be well to get started, but we don’t want to rush into anything, now, do we? In order to become a master of procrastination, as I am, one must learn that timing is everything. Work cannot be completed until JUST the right moment arrives, and there is no way to tell ahead of time when that might be. It all depends on the Wild Hair Syndrome, which, as we all know, can strike at any random moment….

But, once the Wild Hair has been combed, the words can flow, and another Pearl can find its way out into the cold, cruel world for all to see and enjoy. (Well, hopefully…) We’re expecting our own Wild Hair to show up any second now…. If you like, while we are waiting, we can discuss the weather, or, how ’bout them Giants, eh?…. No? Hmm…. politics?… No?…. a little rant?… No?…. oh, wait, here it comes now. Just look at it! Shiny and tall, with fresh color! It really duded up for this occasion…. Well, let’s get ‘er combed, so we can be on our way…. hand me that soldering iron, would you?…..

There, that should do it…. Okay, we may now proceed to our regular order of business, and end this period of professional procrastinating. It has been brought to you by your favorite Dutch uncle, gigoid, who hopes that you have enjoyed the interlude, and invites you to come on back any time you want to hang out awhile & accomplish absolutely nothing…. shall we Pearl?….
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A monk said to Joshu, “I have just entered this monastery. Please teach me.” 

“Have you eaten your breakfast?” Joshu asked. 

“Yes, I have,” replied the student. 

“Then you had better wash your bowl.” — Smart Bee

This little story, a typical Zen lesson, is a good example of why the Eastern philosophies have always appealed more to me than the typical Western mode of thought. The student is led to a point in the story, then left to find the actual lesson for themselves, forcing them to use their ability to reason in order to reach the teaching point. The lesson is thereby much more strongly reinforced, by the experience of searching for the answer to the puzzle, teaching both the lesson in the words (take the first step first, then the second….), and the lesson in the act (stretch your mind to find the truth…).

This method of teaching, and of learning, is much more effective, as well as more efficient than the typical formats that Western society tends to use. Here in the Occident, the teacher stands before a group of students, and gives out structured lessons, with a lot of memorization and rote learning of long passages from religious texts.

The students then take tests that determine how many factoids they have remembered, thus indicating how much they have learned…. to conform. Of course, they don’t learn how to reason, but you can’t have everything, and the ability to reason among the general populace is not highly prized, nor encouraged, among the hierarchy of Western leadership. They much prefer their subjects to be ignorant and pliable, thank you….

Irony: Limbaugh saying that dittoheads think for themselves. — Smart Bee

Hmm…. this is developing rant-like characteristics, and I don’t wish to go there… but it’s hard not to. It’s getting really difficult to not pay attention to the degree of craziness currently present in society. For goodness sake, Romney is going to be the Republican candidate; it’s a numerical lock now. Romney….

Here is a man with no integrity whatsoever, none. A man who has spent his entire life pursuing wealth at the expense of the taxpayers, and been very successful at it, too. He grew up privileged, was an elitist bully all through school, and has spent his entire career in public office changing his story to fit whatever he felt people needed to hear to get elected.

Not only has he lied time after time, often just making things up on the spot, but he doesn’t hide any of it. It’s all there for anyone to see, AND NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE! It’s like, “oh well, he’s all we’ve got, so we’ll overlook his dishonesty, his lack of self-control, his bigotry, his lack of qualifications, and his obvious lack of compassion for women, immigrants, gays, blacks, latinos, and almost every American that isn’t a white Christian”….. None of that stuff is being counted against him, and I don’t get it…. It’s like all of his worst features, as a human and as a politician, are completely invisible to his supporters, while simultaneously being all-too-obvious to the rest of us…..

It’s hard to trust the American voting public; I’ve seen too many instances in my life of them voting the worst possible way (Nixon, for one, two Bush’s for another…. and let’s not get into Reagan this morning, I don’t have THAT much time….)  I’m hoping, for sure, that some rationality will break out on the first Tuesday in November, and we will elect the incumbent for another term.

Barack’s made some bad moves, but mostly is trying pretty hard to get some good stuff done. Now, if he would only step away from those Executive Orders on National Security, I could feel a lot more comfortable with him…. as it is, he remains in the “not to be fully trusted” category due to his political pundit status…. He did, after all, seek the office, and that is a strike against him in my book. 

NONE of the beloved ruling class can be fully trusted, and if you don’t believe that, well, you are living in a different world than the rest of us…. You should probably think about upgrading your security…..

And don’t forget to wash your bowl….
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As further proof of Serendipity…. one never knows where good advice can be found, until it hits you in the head….

    Be like Han…. damn good advice, in my world…. of course, in my world, Donald the Trump would play the part of Darth Vader…. eerie resemblance of spirit there, isn’t it?….
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While Europe’s eye is fix’d on mighty things,
The fate of empires and the fall of kings;
While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
The Rights of Woman merit some attention.
— Robert Burns, Address on The Rights of Woman, November 26, 1792

Now, here is something you don’t see every day…. support for Women’s Rights written by a man. A pretty famous man, at that. It’s very heartening to me to find this, as it indicates some hope. Apparently, even 200+ years ago, there were men around who were able to throw off the indoctrination all males are given from birth, in conjunction with the oppressive set of behavioral rules set for women, and be able to see how unbalanced our patriarchal society has become. 

For centuries, men with no honor, and no integrity have been the ones who make the laws of our society; those laws, naturally, favor men, assigning women to a lifelong position of subordination. Anyone who feels that this is inaccurate is welcome to provide examples of the opposite viewpoint; I am confident there are none of significance, having made a careful study of the matter for many years.

As of this year, the issue remains volatile, and relevant. Congress is considering, at this very moment, a bill to make women’s pay more equitable in comparison to their male counterparts in the workforce. In fact, looking at those who support the bill, and those who do not, is a pretty good way to see just how divided society remains on the issue. Rationally speaking, equality for women isn’t something debatable. Even hardened conservatives hesitate to come out and say they don’t support women’s rights, though they continue to vote that way.

To me, it is incomprehensible that it should still find supporters outside the church hierarchies of most religions; they are the ones with the most to lose, should things change. But, in reality, there would be no net loss to society if women had equal status with men in a legal sense. The only effects would be positive, at all levels; that much is obvious to anyone who looks closely at the possible outcomes.

Alas, Mankind is not in the habit of making decisions rationally; if we were, we wouldn’t be in the fix we’re in. Maybe, maybe, things are changing a bit, and this bill will tip the scale toward a more sane reality. “Free our sisters, free ourselves…”  It was true when I first heard it back in 1968, and it’s true now…. and I still have hope, fool that I am….
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Once again, procrastination wins…. a bit later than some, earlier than others, but, I’ll take it. Doesn’t matter now, anyway, as it’s done, and I can’t get it back in the bottle….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

It can only be cannon fodder….

Ffolkes,
Light and dark chased each other through the night in my dreams, laughing and playing existential tag up and down the stairs. We watched, smiling, as they cavorted, pleased to see them together again, after so many ages of standing apart, ignoring the other. Reality had assumed a more pleasing configuration, and the stars smiled…..

Such is what dribbles out when I sit to type some days. It’s not bad, but a bit amorphous, and I’m not sure where it might go. Light, dark, Reality, it’s quite an eclectic group of characters, and could be interesting to develop, were I so inclined…. Fortunately for us all, I’m not so inclined at the moment. I say fortunate because I have the feeling that what would come out of it would not be something I’d care to write…. it could get pretty sappy, or even go romantic. Shudder….. not really, just being silly. But, still, not going there this early in the morning……. it could sour my coffee…..

I think I’m dithering, and that appalls me; I do try to maintain some slight degree of dignity, most of the time, when I’m not indulging in whimsy. If I’m not careful, I can see that this could easily get away from me today, so I think we’ll just dive in and get on with it… shall we Pearl?….
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Ladies’ Sewing Circle And Terrorist Society — Smart Bee

I chuckled mildly when I saw this; it’s pretty good contrasting of two images in one phrase, producing a delightful little intellectual shock. Plus, I figured this way I can include the word “terrorist” as one of the tags, which will no doubt draw the attention of those NSA covert information gatherers who are now keeping track of all the terrorists’ communications on the internet. Of course, this is NOT a communication from one terrorist to another, not even in code. But I figure the more times I use the word in this section, and add it to the tag cloud, it should draw their attention like a moth to a bright lamp at night…..

Why, you may ask, do I wish to draw the attention of the covert assholes who are denying my right to privacy?  (Well, this is published, so maybe not privacy, but freedom of speech for sure….)  I’m not certain, actually. I’ve been a little bored lately, maybe that’s it…. Naw, I never get bored! I guess I’m just feeling a bit cranky after several days of fighting my own body, and I need something outside myself upon which to focus my angst and resentment. They seem to be a likely target for venting my spleen…. and if not, well, we’ll have a chance to see if my preparations for confrontations of this nature have been effective, eh?

In at least one respect, I’m baiting them, for sure…. I’ve not said anything particularly seditious here up to this point, though it would have been simple to do so; I’m trying to be careful not to cross the line over into the actual statement of action that would trigger their overreaction. It’s another test, of sorts, to see how much they will tolerate before taking some sort of action. I post every day, pain or no pain, so if you don’t see a post from me some morning, you’ll know the experiment had an unfortunate, if not unforeseen, result, and they’ve come to take me away for questioning and reconditioning…. a thinly disguised pair of euphemisms for torture, which is now an authorized tool in the tool bags issued to our police forces, and is now an interrogation technique cleared for use on US citizens, such as you, or me….

There, that should do it. Four paragraphs should be enough to draw their attention, and I’ve been careful not to say anything that is illegal, at least not under the Constitution I know. If it doesn’t suit their new ideas of what people are “allowed” to say in public (and when has THAT phrase ever applied in this country, I ask?), well, they’ll do what they do, I suppose… So keep your eyes on this space, and we’ll have at least one picture in a frame to indicate the current health of the First Amendment in our country…. or we’ll have a missing writer, disappeared into some federal enclave, never to be seen again…. but, you’ll know where to start looking, at least….
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“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you “like hell. — Edna St. Vincent Millay

When my former wife decided to leave the family we had created, shortly before my daughter was to graduate high school, I was devastated, badly. There was also a sense of relief at not having to be confronted on a daily basis with all that was wrong in the relationship, but it was mostly overshadowed by the depression caused by failing in my duty. You see, to me, being married was not just a labor of love, it was a duty I had assumed, and I was taught that to fail in one’s duty is the worst thing that a man can do in life. Whether or not that failure was my own, or due to the efforts of others, is immaterial in the final analysis. Duty is duty. So, when I saw this from Ms. St. Vincent Millay (a favorite sf/fantasy author, as well as poetess) I felt an immediate connection to it, as it is a very accurate description of the form that my depression assumed.

“There is not so agonizing a feeling in the whole catalogue of human suffering, as the first conviction that the heart of the being whom we most tenderly love is estranged from us.” — Bulwer

And, in spite of the 12+ years that have passed, I feel this way still. She never believed me when I told her that my love for her was stronger every day; that may have been the source of the entire problem. I don’t know why, as I thought that 20+ years of faithful marriage was pretty good proof of my intentions. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the issue may have been; she did what she did, and we all know there is no going back in time.

So, I still spend some time every day walking around the hole that is still there in my world, and still spend time at night not sleeping because I have no one next to me to whom I can turn.

Though I had thought for a time that I had found another woman, an honest one, that also turned out to be not true, as she ended up removing me surgically from her life in two days, and never even bothered to give me a reason…. Though it hurt, it was so viciously dishonest that the pain of the betrayal hasn’t lasted as long.

We all have our holes to walk around, and fall into. Sometimes they never go away, and we just have to learn to make new pathways around them. But, it still hurts….. and that, too, is Life…. and in Life, Love can regrow, as it can be metaphorically equated to a Rose…. so there is always hope.

When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
— The Rose, sung by Bette Midler
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“Duct Tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it  holds the universe together. The only difference is that “May The Force be  with you” sounds a lot nicer than “May you be covered in duct tape.” — Carl Swanzig

I love this! Not just because it is whimsical, which is a good thing, but because it is a good comparison. Best of all, it lends itself to a long series (6 movies worth) of images it can create using the dialog from those flicks.

Imagine this… Luke is barreling down the pathway on the Death Star, getting ready to fire the missile that will destroy it, when Darth Vader comes up behind to threaten him. Obi-wan says, “Use the Duct Tape, Luke!” So, Luke reaches back to Darth’s Tie-fighter and telekinetically causes a piece of Tape to detach itself from the dashboard (where it had been holding together a crack) and covers Darth Vader’s helmet, causing him to lose control of his ship, allowing Luke to fire his missile…. end of Death Star, thanks to Duct Tape….

Or, when Darth kills Obi-wan, the line would have been, “If you kill me Darth, I shall become stickier that you can possibly imagine!” The possibilities are endless, and think of how much money could have been saved on special effects using Duct Tape rather than movie magic to hold things in place, or move them about invisibly. Probably a LOT….

Ah well, maybe some day George Lucas will produce a comedy re-make using the idea…. It might not be the blockbuster that Star Wars was, but I’ll bet it would more than break even…. Hell, I’d pay good money to see it today…. I could use the laughs…..
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Wake up all you citizens, hear your country’s call,
Not to arms and violence, But peace for one and all.
Crush out hate and prejudice, fear and greed and sin,
Help bring back her dignity, restore her faith again.

Work hard for a common cause, don’t let our country fall.
Make her proud and strong again, democracy for all.
Yes, make our country strong again, keep our flag unfurled.
Make our country well again, respected by the world.

Make her whole and beautiful, work from sun to sun.
Stand tall and labor side by side, because there’s so much to be done.
Yes, make her whole and beautiful, united strong and free,
Wake up, all you citizens, It’s up to you and me.
— Pansy Myers Schroeder

No comments from me here… this is not great poetry, but it is good. It is also a very clear statement of what this country needs, period. Enough said…. for now….

“Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking.” — Lao-Tze

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” — Sun Tzu
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If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. — Smart Bee

Although this didn’t have attribution, it sounds just like something the current Dalai Lama might say. It is certainly a truism, in my world, though possibly the most difficult thing for me to actually practice all the time. I tend to indulge my curmudgeon, and let my cynicism have its way with me while I’m typing, so it probably looks like I am a fairly judgmental person.

In reality, I am not. Fortunately for us all, life is not what I type, much as I try to get close to it when I do, so my darker impulses seldom get carried into practice in the world outside my computer. Besides, as I know just how dark that side of me is, I never go there, even in my writing; just being there makes me want to take a shower, and the hot water heater is on the fritz, so I’m reduced to sink baths for the nonce.

In truth, what is above is what I shoot for when I think of other people, and the world at large. Though not perfect, I am mostly successful, unless the object of my consideration is totally devoid of any reason to offer compassion, such as a politician. It is that compassion, actually, that prompts much of my outrage at what unprincipled people do to those who know them not for what they are.

Most people, as far as I can see, are just regular, nice folks who are trying to get by in a world where almost everything is set up to take advantage of regular, nice folks. As a result, over time, their own principles become degraded, as they try to cope with the cheating and greed that is the common practice in modern culture.

Our politicians lie to us; we expect it, and keep voting for them anyway. Banks cheat us, and we have no recourse in law, because the lawmakers are “honest politicians” and stay loyal to those who have bought them, those self-same banks. Lawyers, who should be a buffer between the average Joe and the law, instead use it to their own benefit, and are reviled, mostly, by those they are supposed to serve.

Doctors are in much the same condition; even those true healers among them still must go along with the system, charging such outrageous amounts, and surrendering so much power to the giant medical and pharmaceutical companies in order to be able to treat people, they can never effect any positive  changes. So, the field ends up attracting the worst sort of men and women, who are more interested in the money and fame to be attained than they are in helping other people, i.e., showing compassion….

Still, compassion is not dead in the world; there are still a lot of folks who not only feel it, but give it away freely. Many of them will read this piece, and I know this, because they all follow my blog here on WordPress, and I have proof of their existence, in their own writings, both on their blogs, and in their comments here….

A lot of compassion has been expressed to me for my pain, and for that I am truly grateful. Such is the power of compassion that receiving it like that only makes me want to show more of it in my life… and so I shall…. with the caveat that I will continue to withhold it from those who refuse to exhibit it themselves, whenever I encounter them….
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Today’s Pearl just goes to show that one never knows when there is a rant lurking just near the exit door in my mind, just waiting to pop out and pontificate…. But, it’s all good, as I don’t think I can disagree at all with any of it, upon reflection. It will just have to fly as is, once again, fatalist that I am….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…. Don’t forget the Duct Tape, either, it’s always handy to have around….


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Truncated modules sustain less karmic damage….

Ffolkes,
Unseen, unheard, melodies of haunting beauty didn’t play, yet echoed hollowly down the empty hall, uneasy and cruel, just as if invited to sup with the family. Smitten with the pungent sight of naked ambition, all those with a wilted rose, sly ambition banked to a glow, smiled with careful cheer, swamping the object of their devotion with a sea of broken lies. No one speaks, no one cares, no one asks, yet, the music continues, playing silently, unseen, while the night slips further along toward the day……

Spending the mornings in my head can be a strange experience, especially when I wake up with stuff such as the above passage floating in front of my inner eye, insisting on being transcribed onto the page before I’ve even had a sip of life-giving coffee. I wouldn’t mind as much if they would at least wait until AFTER I’ve gotten dressed, at least a robe and slippers, before they set up such a clamorous bid for attention. But, noooooo, they have to start NOW, often shouting at me before I’m fully standing….. just like a damn two year-old, no impulse control. Makes me want to paddle their diaper….

See, I told you it could get strange….. let’s avoid any further nonsense, and Pearl, shall we?…..
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Amor, ch’al cor gentil ratto s’apprende,
prese costui de la bella persona
che mi fu tolta; e ‘l modo ancor m’offende.
Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,
mi prese del costui piacer si` forte,
che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona.
Amor condusse noi ad una morte.

Love, which is quickly kindled in a gentle heart,
seized this one for the fair form
that was taken from me-and the way of it affects me still.
Love, which absolves no loved one from loving,
seized me so strongly with delight in him,
that, as you see, it does not leave me even now.
Love brought us to one death.
— Dante, La Divina Commedia: Inferno V, vv. 100-106

I have never made it all the way through Dante’s masterpiece(s); time and circumstance have conspired to keep that from happening over the years. But every now and again, I come across parts of it, and have to say, I am more than just a little impressed. I don’t speak or read Italian, though having Spanish, a little French, and a little Latin, from whence all three languages sprang, it isn’t totally incomprehensible. I can usually figure out the subject under discussion, at least, of what I read in that language, although any deeper meaning or details are mostly indecipherable.

But one doesn’t need to understand every word to enjoy passages such as this. Read aloud, the poetry assumes a new power, aided by scansion and meter, faultless in its structure and rhyme. Read silently, meaning almost jumps into the mind, but is made moot by the beauty of the verse’s sounds as they strike the welcoming ears of the imagination.

Then, of course, one turns to the translation…. and the amazement deepens. Though not as structurally sound, the sheer strength of the meaning that is now clear turns what could have been mundane into the spectacular. I don’t know who made the translations I’ve seen, but they are indeed masterful translator(s), and excellent poet(s) in their own right. The scope and power of the full concepts that Dante put into this, his life’s crowning achievement, comes through clearly in the translated work, and easily lives up to the high standard set by the original piece in Italian….. Good stuff, as the boys downtown would say…..
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“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” — Lao Tsu

On certain occasions, as I am lying on my bed, on my back, I can fall into that twilight-zone-like state of drowsiness that steals over the entire body/mind at such moments, just before falling into sleep. Not every time, but significantly often enough, at that precise moment, my entire nervous system experiences a powerful surge of energy, emanating from the base of my neck and spreading instanter to every square nanometer of the network that suffuses and permeates everywhere in the body.

Every muscle in my body gives a huge jerk, whether contracting or expanding is unclear, as it happens so quickly that it is impossible to tell anything other than having just bounced two inches into the air with the force of the muscular spasms.  It begins, full power, then ceases instantly, with a strong impression of a silent bang! The experience has never repeated in the same day.

If that isn’t odd enough taken alone, there is also the surprising fact that the mind/body never seems surprised that it happened, feels no tension or panic that one might expect at such an unexpected shock to the system, and the state of drowsiness is usually easy to fall back into, with sleep following momentarily.  It’s as if the entire instant spasm served as a purge of the energy that had accumulated, energy that was blocking my path to the other side of consciousness, clearing the entire system of unwanted and unnecessary dross, rather than being some sort of epileptic seizure-like activity that places stress on the system, as might be otherwise surmised. One of these days, I’ll remember to ask my doctor about it when I’m in there for something else (knock on wood…). Not much I can see to do about it until I know more; worry has killed more folks than ever bled to death…

What, you may ask, does this have to do with knowing one’s self well enough to not want more than enough? Nothing. The quote was there already when this train of thought interrupted the movie I was watching last night, and I needed a place to write this down. Don’t fret, I’ll find the appropriate quote, illustrating the last line (the only part that really has anything important to consider…) and add it here at the end. What Lao Tzu said doesn’t really need my help anyway…. it can stand alone just fine…..

“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.” — perfectly attributed to Anonymous in my source.

(Honest… and it was also the very first quote that came in front of me, I swear…. serendipity strikes again!)

(Besides, this sounds just like something Ken Kesey would have attributed to Neal Cassady, or better yet, Jack Kerouac….. betcha….)

(Okay, outside, but solid, chance it’s from an obscure Allen Ginsberg poem, and Kesey stole it…. no way to tell now, eh? Huh, maybe Google knows….)

(Boy, trust Google, folks… it knew, instantly, that the above is part of a short dialogue by Chris, the DJ on the TV show, “Northern Exposure”, whose character was wont to such outbursts of philosophy….. the entire quote is worth seeing, and is included below for your perusal…..)

“There’s a dark side to each and every human soul. We wish we were Obi-Wan Kenobi, and for the most part we are, but there’s a little Darth Vadar in all of us. Thing is, this ain’t no either/or proposition. We’re talking about dialectics, the good and the bad merging into us. You can run but you can’t hide. My experience? Face the darkness, stare it down. Own it. As brother Nietzsche said, being human is a complicated gig. Give that old dark night of the soul a hug. Howl the eternal yes!”
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An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do..
After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.
‘I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.’
The old woman smiled, ‘Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?’
‘That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.’
For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.
Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.’
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding..
You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.
SO, to all of my cracked pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Gotta love this! A story of perfect love, and perfect understanding of how the universe fits together with no visible seams….. don’t over-think this one, just enjoy it…… and spread it around, like the cracked pot you are……
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“There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” — W. W. “Red” Smith

I’m beginning to understand this outlook toward writing more as each day passes, and the struggle to keep my Muse awake and interested in what I’m doing begins to tax my ingenuity to the limit of its ever-growing, yet still modest capacity. In fact, it is that struggle that keeps that capacity growing, always pushing me to exceed what has been written before, never settling for good enough, always wanting better.

There are times, all-too-often, when I sit and stare at the screen for what seems to be forever and two days, searching desperately through my head for something about which I can rant, or describe, or remember, or make up, that will satisfy the unending pressure I put on myself to create a worthy, stimulating piece of literature, one that will stand up to the test of time. And should I succeed in that quest, the net effect on my soul is the same as if I had copiously bled until I was nearly dead……. might just be easier to open up the vein, and have done with it…..
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Spirit is the first differentiation of SPACE; and Matter the first differentiation of Spirit. That, which is neither Spirit nor matter -that is IT- the Causeless CAUSE of Spirit and Matter, which are the Cause of Cosmos. And THAT we call the ONE LIFE or the Intra-Cosmic Breath.
— Book of Dzyan (B.C. 3000?)

So, I’m sitting here, at a computer that has more RAM, and a larger hard disk memory than were available in the entire world just 50 years ago. There is more information listed in here, somewhere or another, than was commonly available in entire libraries at that time, and if one adds in the possible extensions to that information that are instantly available online, even the Library of Congress begins to look like the library of a simple country farmer in the 1800’s….. With all this information at my fingertips, I come across this quote, reputedly from a document that is more than 5000 years old. 5000 years old. That is a period of time that essentially covers the entire period of written human history; the Book of Dyzan is no doubt one of the earliest books ever produced, at least of those that have survived to today.

Taken at face value, without knowing the source, this statement could easily have been made today (from the sound of it, by a yogi sadhu, a disciple of the Dalai Lama, or a Taoist scholar with a flair for humor and metaphor). (Plus, it must be noted, whoever wrote this most likely did not indicate the need for using ALL CAPS to signify special meaning….. no keyboards, eh? Blame that on the faux intellectual geek who transcribed it….) It is clear that the person who composed this was definitely a scholar in his own time; the structure of the language, and the thoughts behind the expression in that language, whatever tongue it may have been, indicate a depth of education beyond the ordinary, even for today.

When one stops to consider that this visionary definition of perceived Reality was uttered and written down over half a millennium in our past, one must stand in respectful awe of the mind from which it sprang. The world of 5000 years ago was, indubitably, much different than today’s world; if nothing else, the knowledge society has gathered over that time regarding the physical world, and how it works, has altered society in innumerable ways, and gives today’s citizens many distinct advantages in terms of the effort required for survival. Yet this person, man or woman, created a statement of their vision of Reality that definitely stands the test of Time, as well as the test of how well it can be considered to be relevant to Reality, as far as the nature of that concept is understood to be consensual for all who reside there……
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I’m hoping that there is some sort of positive karmic value to the effort I put into this each day; I don’t see any particular reason it should be so, but there is also no apparent reason it should not be, either. To certain philosophical disciplines, this would seem to indicate that this is most likely an activity that is neutral in that respect.

But, that does not take into account the power of Murphy in Reality, or the value for me in making the effort with the intent toward right action, even if it fails in its intended purpose. With those in mind, it makes sense to hedge our bets, and ease out of the game before it gets more expensive than I can afford….. and if you followed that, you’ve been reading my work probably too much….. 🙂   I had a good time this morning….. hopefully you will, too, when you stumble into my lair, unsuspecting of what is to follow….. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!