Bitter whimsy…

Ffolkes,

“Rotten wood cannot be carved.”

~~ Confucius ~~

~~ Analects, Book 5, Ch. 9 ~~

homebase

gigoid’s hideaway….

Hajime…. Bitter whimsy, indeed, my friends. It’s been at least three days since I last sat to compose a Pearl, though I’ve spent a little time collecting pearls to use. Most of my time, sadly, has been spent feuding with the powers that be, in the guise of banks, and robotic zombies in service to soulless corporations. As usual, the conflicts in which I’ve been compelled to engage have ended in what can best be called a draw; I get what I need, the myrmidons get confused, and we both feel a bit unsettled afterward. Mostly, it works, though there seems to be little point to any of it.

In fact, if you consider our opening lines from Confucius (the real one, not the one with the weird fake accent everyone uses… this is from the books he actually wrote, back in the days of Lao Tzu and the emperors of various dynasties in China…), taken together with the intro closing quote from Bert Russell, it gives the flavor of how my time out in the BBR has gone, for the most part. Relatively productive in terms of task completion, but, with the concomitant angst and stress from having to deal with mundanes, myrmidons, zombies, and simple idiots, to go along with the more rarely encountered true human, those who are able to display rational behavior, and a human ability to display empathy toward others.

I miss the conversations involved in blogging; in the past six or so years, I’ve met some of the best ffolkes I’ve ever known; several have become very good friends, and I am reluctant to completely give up the time I spend connecting with them. But, I am finding, also, I am less filled with the background of tension that comes from having to soak up so much bad juju, which is hard to avoid if one follows current events. There are literally dozens of issues being played out in the world today, all of which are relatively critical in nature; the failure to meet some of the challenges necessary to resolve those issues will have serious effects on the entire world, including our own species, effects which conceivably lead to our demise as a species. It ain’t pretty, ffolkes; humanity has been ignoring the basic rules of reality for a long time, hoping against hope the delusions/illusions upon which we have based our existence are powerful enough to withstand conflict with the real world. I’m unhappy to report, they aren’t….

But, that’s a rant for another time, yes? Yes. For now, I’m going to once again slough it all onto a back burner, & throw together a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom, just because I can, and, probably should, given the alternative, which none of us should contemplate without a better handle on things…. For now…

Shall we Pearl?

“In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice,
and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper,
and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying.”

~~ Bertrand Russell ~~

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mikegordon__leo_kottke

Image from LIVEmusicblog.com via Google Images

Leo Kottke has been a legendary performer on the 12-string guitar for most of my life; I first saw him in concert in my first year at UC Berkeley, where he blew me, and the rest of the audience, right out of our shoes. Mike Gordon is much younger, but, no less a phenomenon, as a studio bassist, and for the popular rock band, Phish, with Trey Anastasio complementing his bass licks on lead guitar with his improvisational genius. Leo and Mike got together prior to Phish, to play in concert, also making a number of albums treasured by aficionados of great improvisational music…. Enjoy, ffolkes; these are two of the best, having fun together….

*************************************

Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon Live

*************************************

*************************************

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Comedy_Tragedy

Adjectives of Quality ~~ Bloody Friday

A baleful lump of ironic introspection
sits upon my shoulder today
leaving traces of fey reflection
with a smattering of true dismay.

Resistance may be futile, many have said,
belief didn’t necessarily follow.
Abnegation of fear marks all bills paid,
leaving such empty threats hollow.

Symbolic courage never sleeps so deeply
as when delusion holds sway.
Bartered virtue, sold far too cheaply,
stands in shame, until honor fades away.

Too many culprits exist to count just one;
all of us bear obvious blame.
Evil is as evil does, only, when it’s done,
it begins again, all same-same.

Nobody seems to care enough to deny the lies.
Ignorant fear rules humanity’s masses.
When evil passes unremarked, innocence dies;
silence equals guilt, leaving only hope’s ashes.

Reality screams; tales of terror unfold,
flames fanned with purposeful malice,
insidious dangers hide beneath atrocity untold
as Gaia weeps into an empty chalice.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/3/2015

********************************

pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Odd, but, true….

*******

“Everything can be filed under “miscellaneous”.”

~~ Dilbert, Scott Adams ~~

*******

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth:
(1) not going all the way; and
(2) not starting.”

~~ Buddha ~~

*******

“Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

*******

“The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves
as the sole cause of all our adversities.

~~ Sophocles ~~

*******

“As I look at your image,
I see only the light which was not absorbed.”

~~ Mark Middleton ~~

*******

“It will not out of the flesh that is bred in the bone.”

~~ John Heywood (c. 1565) — Proverbes, Part ii, Chap. viii~~

*******

“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”

~~ Ursula K. LeGuin ~~

*******

********************************

‘Tis now 0510, which means this process has done its job admirably; I’m still relatively sane, and nobody died in my vicinity, whether due to my action, or inaction. Plus, compared to the general run of mundanes, I’m still sane, and as free as anyone in this sad old world can be. Rather than entertain any opinions of a different nature, I’ll just ease my way off screen, & get on with the re-ordering of my personal reality. It’s a tough job, but, who else will do it, if I don’t? No one. Since that remains the case, I’ll see y’all later; the exact date remains, at this point, a mystery, but, don’t fret, it won’t be too long… It seems to keep pulling at me…. See ya, ffolkes….

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….

Twice as many diphthongs as needed, or desired….

Ffolkes,

“Diogenes said once to a person who was showing him a dial,

“It is a very useful thing to save a man from being too late for supper.”

~~ Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Menedemus, iii ~~

day2 London 001

    Time moves on, day by day, whether we pay much attention to its passage, or not; though we seem to be the only creatures we know who bother to formalize its presence, by counting each tick of a second on the Cosmic Clock that rules this Universe…. In fact, I believe we are the only creatures who have bothered to name it, or count each time the clock moves its hands…. For us, it offers us the opportunity to supply meaning to our perceptions, to separate them from all the others our over-active sensory receptors react to at the same time…. In short, we use Time as a convenient way to organize the way we look at the world, thus fulfilling the old saw, common to most cultures, that says Time was invented so everything didn’t happen all at once….

Okay, I know, that was a long, windy method of telling a really old joke, but, hey, what do you expect at 5 AM? Especially on a day when I awake at 4 AM & spend an hour trying to convince myself it’s worthwhile to get up, be cold, grumpy, & half-asleep for the first ten minutes, until some coffee and the heater have some little effect, giving me a chance to slather on some magic cream to the points that hurt the most when I get up…. I suppose it’s getting to the point where the time in bed is more attractive than getting up, which has NOT been the case for a long time….

Yet, I keep arising, and though I seem to get slower each day getting to the point where words I can trust to be coherent flow out of my head, and can begin the process of making a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom…. I suppose this task, though only a self-chosen duty, as opposed to one chosen for a reason other than selfish needs, has assumed an importance greater than my need for sleep, which grows smaller each day, it seems…. Whether I get 8 hours, or 4, I still wake up between 4 and 5, and must arise to consume caffeine, which leads inevitably to typing….

Ah well, though I always enjoy my moments of introspection, it isn’t getting this done, beyond helping to move down the page a bit further than we began…. I can vouch, however, for the quality or ability to draw readers in for the full monty, or in many cases, the lack, or absence of same…. I mean, y’all know as well as I do how often we end up spouting sheer nonsense in this section; it can be a trying time, I’m sure, for those looking for a bit of quiet morning thinking…. but, it saves my ass (figuratively, of course…) quite often, so, deal with it, won’t you?

Me, I’m going to go into Sandbag mode, and drop you right over there, at that convenient, if a bit malodorous space on the verge of the town dump…. Sorry about the odor, it’s the only spot we could find this morning….. they got a new load of some OLD crap dumped there yesterday, and it is beginning to get really ripe…. We won’t be there long though, and, naturally, you’ll find a mouth and nose covering in the seat back in front of you, should you choose to use it…. We aim to serve…. we don’t often hit that target, but, we do aim to….

On that note, I see our opening coming up, so hold on tight to those stanchions, ffolkes, it could get bumpy….

Shall we Pearl?

” …and remember you’re a Man, not just god, and for you there aren’t  and never will be any easy answers, only questions, and no reasons, only causes, and no meaning, only intelligence, and no destination and no kindly magic smiling down from above, and no fires to goad you from below, only Yourself and the Universe and what you make out of the interface between the two equals.” — Keith Laumer, Night of Delusions

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Well, okay, so I’m lazy; this is NOT breaking news…. But, because I am, y’all benefit in this case…. Here is a most excellent, if a bit overacted, classic Sherlock tale, a well-adapted classic tale from the files of Dr. Watson…..

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Three Gables

 

 

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“Our Constitution … gives to bigotry no sanction.” — George Washington

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/11/us-observe-armistice-day-more-comfortable-war-than-peace

The quote from our Founding Father above the link was, I am afraid, not just optimistic, but, probably, overly so, given that the attempts to suborn that very principle began within moments of the signing of the Declaration, and the passage of the Constitution…. All of the good intentions of the men who wrote those documents were condemned to memory very soon after the ink was dry on the signed copy, as the corrupt bankers, and the equally corrupt preachers began their campaign to nullify the reforms those documents represented….

Thomas Jefferson knew the dangers, and voiced his fear of the loss of liberty many times over the years, while he witnessed the abrogation of civil rights that each new court decision brought, due to the money to corrupt the federal judges began to flow as soon as the court system was in place…. By the mid-nineteenth century, the federal court system was primed to make any decision desired by those bankers and priests, thus securing the control over the government they had sought since before the actual signing of the Declaration….

That period in the middle of the century was when the now infamous decision was made, to classify corporations as “people”, forever surrendering any hope of liberty or justice that might otherwise have been our legacy….. Proof of Jefferson’s fears? He wrote many letters to friends and colleagues, all of which stated the opinion described by the following….

“…when all government… in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1821

Jefferson, like Thomas Paine, like Ben Franklin, George Mason, and many others of the Founding Fathers of this country, was mistrustful of the powers that be, not trusting them to keep from attempting to remove all the reforms they espoused with their revolution. They feared the professional politician, the bankers, and the priest/preachers, who care nothing for the people, beyond what they can steal from them, or use to control them; letters we have today illustrate those fears, which, I may add, have certainly been proven to be justified….

Our government is now run by oligarchs, old, rich, white Christian bigots, who attempt, all too successfully, to railroad their misogynistic, racist, divisive agenda into law…. and, if their latest efforts are as successful, they may be able to alter the laws until ONLY they, and those they are able to manipulate, are allowed to vote, their dream come true….

“In our society, the Republicans set out to prove that the Democrats can not be trusted to run the government. And the Democrats set out to prove that the Republicans can not be trusted to run our government. The real problem here is that both the Democrats and the Republicans have come up with something which is absolutely true and perfectly correct. This means that the people get to pull some sort of horrible trick on themselves and live with their choice for four years.”

The link above. and the quotes I’ve added here between the short diatribes against the Asininnies, will have to serve today as my rant…. I’ve already typed too much, and the pain now enveloping my hands is astounding in its intensity…. Damn this hurts!  Ah well, I’ll have to finish up with a few more pearls, and be done with it…. Besides, by now, y’all MUST know how I feel about the corruption and loss of liberty we must suffer to observe, in this country we so love…. If I had my druthers, I’d start picking them off, one by one…. but, sadly, I’m afraid there are too many of them to be of much use acting alone….

Maybe, just maybe, my dearest dream will come true…. One bright morning, very soon, the rest of humanity will wake the fuck up, and begin the process necessary to take back our country, kicking the assholes who have tried to take it all away into the deepest, darkest hole we can dig for them, until we can finally be done with all the bullshit they’ve caused…. Ah well, we all can dream, can’t we?….. Here’s a few well-aimed shots at the assholes now, all perfectly phrased to highlight those we call pundits and preachers…. or, as the FF’s named them, the bankers, priests, and professional politicians….

“There ought to be one day — just one — where there is open season on senators.” — Will Rogers

“People are idiots.” — The Dilbert Principle — Scott Adams, Dilbert creator, author, re-engineering sage, 1996

“Any country with “democratic” in the title isn’t.” — Murray’s Rule

“Liberty is so much latitude as the powerful choose to accord the weak.” — Judge Learned Hand

“Abuse of power isn’t limited to bad guys in other nations.”It happens in our own country if we’re not vigilant.” — Clint Eastwood

(Clint, I hate to be the one to tell you…. we weren’t….)

“[E]lections amount to little more than choosing between the scum that floats to the top of the barrel and the dregs that settle to the bottom.” — L. Neil Smith

“When I’m in office I always keep Members of Parliament talking. If they stopped they might start thinking.” — Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Well…. there you go…. I might add, these pearls were chosen from an almost unlimited field of appropriate quotes, all in the same vein as these….. which leaves me no choice but to add a final comment from our old friend, Zippy….

“Uh-oh —  WHY am I suddenly thinking of a VENERABLE religious leader frolicking on a FORT LAUDERDALE weekend?” — Zippy the Pinhead

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was up a bit late, and my hands have slowed down the process a bit, so, I’ll once again need to subject you to one of my own poems…. I’ll try to pick a good one, if such exists in my collection….

Unheralded Sagacity…

To many, who will not see beyond their nose
the world becomes a dangerous place,
a bullet in every gun, a thorn with every rose,
no magic comes to save us, reality leaves no trace.

Minds closed, wrapped tight in manufactured fears,
men become clay, easily molded into complacent form.
No chains needed, held in thrall for years,
lies become gospel, when dishonesty is the norm.

Shed the chains you wear in durance, in kind;
Oh, ye of little faith, and much doubt
Strength is found in an unfettered mind,
Cry “freedom” with a great shout.

No help from any gods can hinder so much
as our own lack of confidence;
finding the light within, knowing it as such
confirms us, becoming consequence.

Illumination…..

~~ gigoid ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am now so late, I will have to resort to posting an older pearl, from the archives…. Ah well, it’ll be a good one, I promise….

From 7/23/2013, a pearl with message that complements today’s rant/old school pearl in section two…. Enjoy!:

Baffled by my own mind’s attempts at coherency this morning, I digress, as usual. But, I do it so well, you wouldn’t even have noticed, if I didn’t point it out for you…. It’s all just part of the service here at ECR. where we try to make every dish as attractive as the one before, which was, if I must say so myself, damned attractive, for a dish.

Until we can actually achieve anything close to that, however, we’ll have to continue to go with old-school pearls, because, well, because…. Besides, it’s much better than listening to me rant, right?….. Whoa, wait a second, let’s not all shout at once…. Okay, I get the picture…. Sniffle….. Here, then…. Smart Bee is being a butt, so here is a pearl from last year….

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human  mind to correlate all its contents.   We live on a placid island of ignorance  in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should  voyage far.  The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little;  but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” — H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

Sometimes, I think we have already arrived at this point in time….. but, if not, then we are not far away…… with this firmly in mind, please find the following, all of which lead one gently to an idea that may, or may not, make you feel better. Which, of course, is NOT the purpose…. nonetheless, the conclusion framed by these quotes is one you NEED to know……

“It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have  been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” — Dalai Lama

As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian (politician’s too!) can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose. — Bhagavad Gita

“Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience.” — Diogenes

“Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really know what’s going on.” — Edward R. Murrow

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” — Smart Bee

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I have fulfilled my duty, and, shall proceed now to take my leave of you, sans any further to-do…. a turn of phrase, no doubt, several hundred years old, with a meaning that has probably gone through a number of changes, according to current usage on the street…. But, it still works to describe this situation, quite well, actually, so, you’ll just have to accept it the way it is, and not worry about what it may or may not mean…. I see that my tendency to grow pompous at the drop of a cliche has reached new heights of idiocy, so, I shall take my leave before I pull my covers off any further…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow…. well, I will, as long as I continue to be unable to talk myself out of it….. See y’all then….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

Even subliminally, it can smell risque…..

Ffolkes,

I am currently in the throes of putting up the seasonal decorations around my place…. Yes, the lovely new attack dog is going out in the front yard, (right next to the new gun emplacements….), to make sure none of the usual door-to-door sales types will make it up the steps long enough to ring the bell, thereby annoying me…. I’ve gotten one of the latest models, animals trained to hide the body after they’ve run them down and killed them….. You can’t imagine the FORTUNE I’m saving in disposal costs….

I’m also putting up my holiday decorations….  spreading around the chewed-up briefcases and Awake magazines from former sales people who came into the yard, the bloody clothing, the chalk outlines, …… Oh, yeah, and I’m putting the barbed wire over the chimney so that fat asshole can’t get in anymore…. We’ll have the usual crowd of hired thugs outside, too, haranguing whomever walks by, shouting at them to go home, and stop being such well-trained consumers….

Seriously, here it is, just Thanksgiving, and I’m already sick to death of all the Christmas decorations, and the Christmas commercials that have already started dunning everyone on the vacuum tube, reminding them of how little time to spend they have, or what the latest hot item to spend money on looks like, or shouting about how much more they need to spend…..

Constant reminders of how many “shopping days until Christmas” are left to endure rain down on our consciousness at every turn, in stores, by the roads, on the airwaves, on TV, everywhere one looks is another visual and/or auditory barrage upon our senses, applying more psychologically designed pictures and phrases to stimulate the training that we as consumers have been programmed to receive….

I’m sick of it, with still almost four weeks to go to the main event, followed by the after-holiday push to spend more, so that the business ass wipes who run things in the world can squeeze out every possible penny of the disposable income of the middle class, and all the possible extra pennies left in the pockets of the lower classes…. Every little cent that their targeted victims, i.e., EVERYONE, can be persuaded to put toward the foolishness of manufactured desires, instead of using it to buy what is absolute necessity, is what they’re after, and they’ll get it….

But, the commercials don’t care, nor do those who make and pay for the commercials…. They don’t care that the parents of those children they’ve targeted with their ads cannot afford to buy the toy, or other unnecessary item for which they’ve created the obsession, making it so it becomes an issue of status for the child to not have one of the favored items to show in school, or in the park…. The assholes who create this entire commercial frenzy this time of year aren’t going to give up the period of time when they make the most profit, since they can mark everything with a higher price at this time of year, knowing people will buy anyway, because that’s what people do when they’re brainwashed….

Yes, ffolkes, you’re all brainwashed to spend money during the holidays…. There are even articles that help people get over the depression that this brings on at this time of year, depression that actually has a legitimate cause to exist, as it is made clearer to many folks that all of this fuss and bother is a complete fabrication…. The honest truth of the matter is, at this time of year nobody really gives a rat’s ass about Jesus, or compassion, or about anything other than corporate avarice, and making more money this year than last….

The few people who do suffer some qualms about all of this either stay out of it (like me, mostly….), or they get depressed, or they just shake their head, bury their feelings, and try to pretend, along with most everybody else, that they’re really having a good time…. I don’t know about y’all, but, starting now, and right up until the third of January or so, I will be completely ignoring the television, and trying not to even SEE all the ridiculous decorations and signs everywhere, all for the purpose of getting me to spend more money on crap that won’t last beyond the new year….

Oh, and maybe, just maybe, I will try to keep from ranting in the intro section…. even though it does fill up the space rather well….. I have a feeling it’s not the way to pull ffolkes in to read further…. Just a hunch, but, a good one, I think…. Any who, since I’ve once again filled up this section with ranting and complaining about society’s moral compass, or lack of one, there’s no need to carry on any further down that path; we’ll go find a new direction to take, one that, hopefully, will be more entertaining than this…. even if I’m right….

Shall we Pearl?….

“He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.” — Horace

(Around here, this is sometimes a good thing to remember….)
_____________________________

“A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depends on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the measure as I have received and am still receiving.” — Albert Einstein

Originally, when I saw this, I thought it would be a perfect start for a discussion of public ethics, or societal morality, either of which could be supported by its premise, logically speaking…. But, then I thought about what I had said above, in the intro, and decided that the two subjects are similar enough to bring tears of boredom to my eyes, as well as, arguably, having the power to glaze over ANYONE’s eyes in a New York minute…. Ethics and/or morals don’t usually make for the most stimulating rants; they tend to be critical enough to tune out even the most hardened DIY’er, such as a graduate of an EST program, or a survivor from a Sterling Men’s Weekend….

But, old-school pearls are a perfect venue for such critical outpourings…. they can deliver the same degree of displeasure and disgust at the acts being described, but in such a way that the humor makes the criticism more palatable for those who are in need of the knowledge… Well, that’s the theory, anyway, which has always held true in the past….

This format just makes it simpler to get the points across, and in such a way that the receiver doesn’t automatically dismiss it, out of hand…. We can hope, anyway, right?…. Right?… Besides, this is more fun, and much easier on my head, my back, and my hips…. Let’s see how Smart Bee is feeling today, shall we?…. Today, we’ll be looking for pearls that point the way to an honorable life, or, at the least, a life of honorable intent….

“I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“So you see, the only true proof of what you are is in the way you hear the truth.” — Lemmy Kilmeister

“The majority of the stupid is invincible and guaranteed for all time. The terror of their tyranny, however, is alleviated by their lack of consistency.” — Albert Einstein

“Whatever became of eternal truth?” — Smart Bee

“I used to wonder about the meaning of life.  But I looked it up in the dictionary under L and there it was, the meaning of life. It was less than I expected.” — Dogbert

“There is Moral Sense, and there is an Immoral Sense. History shows us that the Moral Sense enables us to perceive morality and how to avoid it, and that the Immoral Sense enables us to perceive immorality and how to enjoy it.” — Mark Twain

“How’s the wife?  Is she at home enjoying capitalism?” — Zippy the Pinhead
_____________________________

More genius, unadorned….

Death Wants More Death

death wants more death, and its webs are full:
I remember my father’s garage, how child-like
I would brush the corpses of flies
from the windows they thought were escape-
their sticky, ugly, vibrant bodies
shouting like dumb crazy dogs against the glass
only to spin and flit
in that second larger than hell or heaven
onto the edge of the ledge,
and then the spider from his dank hole
nervous and exposed
the puff of body swelling
hanging there
not really quite knowing,
and then knowing-
something sending it down its string,
the wet web,
toward the weak shield of buzzing,
the pulsing;
a last desperate moving hair-leg
there against the glass
there alive in the sun,
spun in white;
and almost like love:
the closing over,
the first hushed spider-sucking:
filling its sack
upon this thing that lived;
crouching there upon its back
drawing its certain blood
as the world goes by outside
and my temples scream
and I hurl the broom against them:
the spider dull with spider-anger
still thinking of its prey
and waving an amazed broken leg;
the fly very still,
a dirty speck stranded to straw;
I shake the killer loose
and he walks lame and peeved
towards some dark corner
but I intercept his dawdling
his crawling like some broken hero,
and the straws smash his legs
now waving
above his head
and looking
looking for the enemy
and somewhat valiant,
dying without apparent pain
simply crawling backward
piece by piece
leaving nothing there
until at last the red gut sack
splashes
its secrets,
and I run child-like
with God’s anger a step behind,
back to simple sunlight,
wondering
as the world goes by
with curled smile
if anyone else
saw or sensed my crime

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

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I’m having a bit of pain this morning, a surprising event, considering all the sleep I’ve gotten the past four days…. Ah well, c’est la vie…. The net effect of that, though, is that I am getting lazier by the moment, and have decided to go in a new direction altogether…. I’ve been collecting links, to articles that I intended to rant about, or use to justify a rant, however one wishes to look at it… Laziness, however, always takes precedence over ranting, so, instead, I’m just going to provide you with some reading material, should you choose to follow the links to their sources….

What you will find is a group of articles that will show you just how avarice, and immorality, and corruption, and, and, and,….. almost every human failing that brings people into conflict with one another, are not just present in modern life, but, have become the standard of our cultural interactions….. Each of these articles discusses a segment of society that is engaged in some kind of behavior that is unethical, or paranoid, or corrupt in some way…. well, except for the last one, which offers a solution, of sorts, to a lot of the tension and stress caused by the manifestations outlined in the other links…. The last one, as radical as it is in its language, its spirituality, along with its author’s mildly abrasive approach, is perhaps the sanest article in the whole lot….

So, read these, if you’ve got the time…. Then go and try some meditation, or whatever method you choose to get back in touch with your center, which is where we all need to learn to exist….. Strange, isn’t it? How such a simple idea, existing at one’s own center of being, is really and truly the key to a happy life…. Yet, there it is, in all its simplicity…. All we have to do is pick it up, and use it….. Hey, it’s worth a shot, isn’t it? Nothing else seems to be working, if these stories are any indication…..

http://news.yahoo.com/eu-lays-down-steps-us-must-protect-data-142411846.html


http://www.sfgate.com/technology/dotcommentary/article/Spying-on-online-sex-lives-raises-red-flags-5017893.php


http://blog.sfgate.com/crime/2013/11/27/san-jose-cop-charged-with-writing-bogus-tickets/


http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Holiday-shopping-season-begins-on-Thanksgiving-5019245.php


http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2013/11/26/meditation-for-the-damned/

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This one took some doing, it did, so it only gets a cursory examination for errors…. which I’m doing now, even though you can’t see me…. Some days, this process shows me more than just the usual justification for its evolved state…. That may sound a bit obscure, but, that’s okay, because we’re done for the day, and it won’t hurt at all, unless you get all huffy and try too hard to figure it out…. Don’t fret, amigo, no está importante….. See ya tomorrow….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Consistently exceeding the limits of surreality….

Ffolkes,

Into each of our lives, there comes a time when the frightening face of our own mortality confronts us, whether we are ready or not. Depending on our individual beliefs on that subject, our reaction to this confrontation can vary quite a lot. Some of us turn to the comfort of religious beliefs, to provide the comfort those may give; others turn to whiskey, or gambling, or some other outbreak of youthful defiance in the face of it. Some ignore it, preferring to postpone any such confrontations to the last moment. Some of us may turn to philosophy, of a non-religious nature, to find an answer that will assuage the fear of the unknown that such encounters will inevitably produce…..

No matter what our own reaction may be, there remains the question in everyone’s mind, as to what happens AFTER we die….. Those with religious beliefs have such answers spelled out for them by the dogmatic representations of whatever church, or synagogue, or temple, or whatever, that they choose to believe has the correct view. Others choose to avoid entangling themselves in organizations based on a delusion, and try to find some other way to deal with whatever fear they may feel about death, and what may, or may not, happen afterward….. But, no matter which method one chooses, there is no avoiding the issue, since there is, to date, no way to avoid dying…..

I’m not really going anywhere specific with this discussion; I already know how I believe, and, just now, I don’t really much care what other folks believe… A friend of mine, Carole, a high-school classmate, has been fighting cancer for almost two years now, and her battle is about to end. Her doctors have done all they could, but the cancer is winning, and she will not last much longer. She will be entering hospice care, if not already there, and only receiving pain management therapy. It is a difficult time for her family, and for all of us who care for her, as she is one of the finest human beings I’ve ever known, whose passing will affect the spirits of the many, many people whose lives she touched….

Later, I will be writing a memorial of her, to tell the world what a fine woman it has lost…. I visited her last April for a short time, and promised her I would come to see her again, to celebrate her victory over the Big C, or, if not, to say goodbye before she passed on. So, on Monday, I’ll be zipping down to Houston again for a couple days, to try to see her one last time, and wish her a happy trip to wherever the afterlife may take her…. Since she has been a devout Christian for all her life, in addition to the benevolence of her spirit, I don’t doubt she’ll have a straight shot to the Pearly Gates, and a pass inside by St. Peter, without any delays…..

Any who, I just wanted to get that off my chest, so I’m not blubbering all over the keyboard while trying to write this morning….. I’ll be writing more on this subject in the next few days, as it will be foremost in my sphere of attention much of the time…. In the meantime, I believe this little outburst has completed the intro requirements, so we can get on with the rest of today’s effort….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Be cheerful while you are alive.” — Phathotep (24th Century B.C.)

He who hath bent him o’er the dead
Ere the first day of death is fled,–
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress,
Before decay’s effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers.

— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — The Giaour, Line 68
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“I have short-term memory loss, though I like to think of it as Presidential eligibility.” — Paula Poundstone

Back in 2008, I was encouraged by the election of a black man to the office of POTUS; it seemed, at the time, to be a positive note for our society, and a good omen for the future….. Blinded temporarily by my hope, I had forgotten that the BRC, (if you’ve forgotten, that’s the Beloved Ruling Class….), and the corporate masters who control them, would not have allowed anyone in that office whom they could not control, or did not trust to serve their interests. Since first entering office, the President has gone on to prove his allegiance, which, in spite of how it may appear, remains with those who pay his salary, and I’m not talking about the citizenry at large…..

Obama’s reaction to this whole issue of spying on the public, that has come about since Eric Snowden sacrificed himself for the American people, by telling the truth, has clearly shown just how much he has been hiding from the public with all his talk about helping the middle class…. It turns out that, as always, that talk is a smoke screen, to obfuscate the issues they (the administration…) don’t want to be discussed, replacing them with other issues,  that make them look like they actually DO care about the middle class, or the lower class, or, wait…. I thought we were supposed to be a ‘classless’ society? Oh, they must have meant that our society has no class, not that is lacks classes…. Makes more sense to me….

The administration is pissed, not because they are breaking the law ( which they are, to wit: the Constitution….), but because they got caught at it. They are trying to discredit, vilify, and bury Eric Snowden, all because his actions have caused them to run around like idiots, scrambling on a daily basis to come up with rational, or even reasonable explanations for all the crap they’ve been doing to the public for years on the sly. It makes them look exactly like what they really are, which is a bunch of criminal assholes, caught red-handed trying to burn the Bill of Rights, unable to explain what they intended to do with that book of matches, or the lit match they were caught holding….

So, instead of admitting their chicanery, they are trying to get Snowden back so they can make an example of him, for others who may wish to expose their machinations and illegal actions. This is typical of the political mind, to ignore all criticism, and act as if you have the right to do whatever you want…. I am appalled by the statements that Obama is now making, about his belief that he needs no approval from anyone, not Congress, not the courts, and certainly not the public, to wage war on another country…. which, as I happen to know (because I READ it!….) is NOT what it says in the Constitution of THIS country….

Yesterday, I found an article tucked into the back pages of the news, with yet another revelation about the spying that the NSA and the government at large has been perpetrating on an unsuspecting public…. This particular little revelation makes it clear that the NSA, and other agencies, have been gathering data about the general public to a much greater degree than previously thought, and certainly more than they are willing to admit….. Read the following article, to get an idea of just how little your privacy means to the BRC’s political hacks, and just how little concern they have for protecting your rights…. This is some eye-opening, and ultimately frightening, information, ffolkes, and you need to know how much your rights are being stepped on…..

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Report-US-military-cracked-most-online-encryption-4790443.php

Okay, I’m done ranting for now, though there will be more later, I’m sure…. The civil war in Syria isn’t going away because we wish it, nor will our intervention solve any problems there, other than to eliminate one of the players, who will immediately be replaced by someone else, who may or may not be crazier than the one being removed….. That, or we’ll be supporting the rebels, who are connected to Al Qaida, our sworn enemy….

Oh well, I don’t expect it to make any sense, so I’m not disappointed…. It does, however, make me sad, and mad, and once again, disappointed in the BRC, and its constant war on society, which, if you will recall, consists of you, and me, and all the other ffolkes, and folks, out there in reality, just trying to get by……

“When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.” — Dilbert, Scott Adams

“There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.” — Arthur C. Clarke
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I can’t think of a better way to provide contrast to the above rant, than with a bit of Shel Silverstein….

Hug O’ War

I will not play at tug o’ war.
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

~~ Shel Silverstein ~~

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When I was perusing the news yesterday, I also found the following, published by John Cleese, of Monty Python fame…. I don’t know about y’all, but, IMNSHO, he’s a funny guy…. and right on the mark… It’s only too bad he didn’t try to define the position of the USA along with those of Europe….

“The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from ‘Miffed’ to ‘Peeved.’ Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to ‘Irritated’ or even ‘A Bit Cross.’ The English have not been ‘A Bit Cross’ since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from ‘Tiresome’ to ‘A Bloody Nuisance.’ The last time the British issued a ‘Bloody Nuisance’ warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

“The Scots have raised their threat level from ‘Pissed Off’ to ‘Let’s Get the Bastards.’ They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front lines of the British army for the last 300 years.

“The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from ‘Run’ to ‘Hide.’ The only two higher levels in France are ‘Collaborate’ and ‘Surrender’ …

“Italy has increased the alert level from ‘Shout Loudly and Excitedly’  ‘Elaborate Military Posturing.’ Two more levels remain: ‘Ineffective Combat Operations’ and ‘Change Sides.’

“The Germans have increased their alert state from ‘Disdainful Arrogance’ to ‘Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.’ They also have two higher levels: ‘Invade a Neighbor’ and ‘Lose.’

“Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

“The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.”

~~ John Cleese ~~

If I were to take a shot at creating one of these for the USA, it would have to be along the lines of “The US raised it’s security threat level today, to its next to highest rating, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type, characterized by deliberately planted delusions, technologically produced hallucinations, extreme rigidity of thought, and a constant state of diffuse anxiety……” I firmly believe that this is exactly how the BRC wants the public to feel; they’re much more manipulable in this state than in any other….
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Well, that was over all too quickly; I’m almost embarrassed…. I haven’t had that problem in years; premature ejaculation, whether of words, or sperm, has been under my reasonable control now for many years, and having it happen right out in public is a bit of a facer…. But, this all came out so fast, I must have been percolating it for longer than I imagined…. So be it. Let’s see how it came out….

Okay, so, I’m a little concerned about the world political scene; that comes through pretty clearly…. In my mind, there is good reason to be on alert; these fools don’t seem to realize how close to the edge the world is right now….. Stay alert, ffolkes, the balloon could go up any time….. See ya, tomorrow, hopefully….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole…
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Evidence of brave new ventures….

Ffolkes,
Since global warming seems to have pretty much eliminated the previous patterns of weather we have been accustomed to see, it’s getting hard to know what to wear in the morning. From Wednesday to Thursday, the temperature here made a dramatic one-day drop of over 20 degrees. Instead of sultry heat, we had a cool, brisk breeze off the water all day, with temps about normal for this time of year.  I’m surprised that there aren’t now thousands of folks fighting colds brought on by the rapid changes…. They may start coughing & sneezing at any time, if things operate as they usually do when we get these kinds of quick climate reversals…..

Personally, I seem to be immune to such colds, as I’ve only had one I remember, back in my twenties, and garlic took care of it in two days…. great antibiotic, that allicillin…. It’s the one that exists naturally in garlic, a selective antibiotic, that will kill all foreign bugs in the human body, without ever killing the ones natural to our system…. Great discrimination, and not surprising the medical world seems to ignore it…. they’d lose a lot of money if garlic were in common use. If I’m any example of how well it works, it is pretty damned effective, as I haven’t had either a cold, or a flu, or any other respiratory disease take hold of me in over 40 years, since I first learned of the medical properties of garlic….

Whenever I feel the first symptoms of a cold, that itchy, crowded feeling in the nose, and mildly dizzy, disoriented feeling that comes with fluid in the middle ear, I start eating a clove of garlic every few hours, raw…. Taking it like that for two day seems to be enough protection; the first symptoms have never progressed beyond that stage into a full blown cold, or flu, or any other bacterial infection….. EXCEPT for the one time, when I was about 43, and got stuck for a full day without any garlic available…. I fought that cold for a week, eating 6 cloves a day, feeling miserable…. and still had it less time than most colds stick around…..

So, if you don’t believe me, just try it…. at first sign of a cold, before it is firmly established, begin taking a single clove of garlic by mouth every four hours, just like a regular antibiotic the doctor would give you. Chop up the clove (about thumb size) into a minced state; put it in your hand, have a glass of water ready, and just wash it down quickly like a pill that doesn’t taste good…. The garlic taste is a bit strong, but not too bad if you wash it down fast…..

Your friends may avoid you for a day or so, since the raw garlic will come out in your sweat, but that will only help isolate the cold germs, and keep them from spreading, or being reintroduced or restrengthened with new germs…… and, if one cultivates a healthy, natural attitude, the odor can be quite pleasant, all in all…..

Well, that turned into a small medical infomercial….. so I guess I can count this as an introductory section, and get one with the true business at hand….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“In the future, the most important work skill will be a lack of ethics.” — Dilbert, by Scott Adams

Mr. Adams probably knows already, but this future arrived some decades ago. I had made this observation regarding business ethics back in 1968, not long after getting to Berkeley, and being exposed to sources of information that the rest of the world doesn’t wish to acknowledge. Lying about quality of products, cheating the government on taxes and the public on prices, cut-throat policies toward rivals, office politics that focus on the negative for promotion, advancement due not to merit, but to despotism or, worse, nepotism. All of these practices are now the normal state of affairs in the American business world, at the top, at the bottom, and at every stage between. To be successful in business in this country, one must actively pursue activities that are certain to keep them out of any Heaven belonging to any religion…..

Hell, one of American business’s greatest success stories is now running for president of this country, and making no bones about his own ethics…. He has NONE. Not a single thing that he can point to and be able to honestly say, “this is morally and ethically correct”. He can’t say it, because it would be a lie, according to not only the religions from around the world, but according to the very religion he claims to follow.

The leaders of the Mormon church aren’t going to expose his chicaneries…. they make far too much from it…. 10% of $250,000,000 a year is nothing to sneeze at, and no way they’re going to put it at risk by chastising him in public, or anywhere else…. He is a preacher’s dream….. stupid, immoral, rich, and willing to say he believes whatever they tell him, as well as willing to say anything at all to achieve his immoral and unethical ends…. to wit: power over others…..

“A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another’s.” — Jean Paul Richter

Have you noticed at all that the focus of the Romney/Ryan campaign is not any particular issue that concerns the public, other than the one they are using?….. All they do is make up lies about the President, or about what he has proposed to alleviate the pressure on the lower and middle classes, or about one of his proposed efforts to mitigate the damage to our economy and society that was directly caused by the Bush administration (the Shrub(s) left a HUGE mess, folks, and four years is only the beginning of what it will take to fix what he did….more, likely, as the Republican party is STILL blocking all attempts at reform, meaning it takes longer to fix what they already screwed up…..).

Mitt the Twitt, and Lyin’Paul Ryan don’t go into public without some barbed comment to make about the President…. and they, and their supporters, don’t seem to care that it is all lies, or misrepresentations, or taken out of context, or just plain made up. They keep right on spouting the same talking points, over and over, even when independent fact-checking organizations have PROVEN their lies….

It seems to work on the weak-minded, because there are a lot of people out there who will repeat the same lies for them, just as if it were true…. It is actually quite a pathetic, saddening sight to me, to see so many Americans fall into this pit of inequity and shame that comprises the Republican campaign…. it is clear proof, unfortunately, that racism and bigotry are not dead in this country, despite all the progress we’ve made over the last 75 years…

Sadly, it is THAT progress that is scaring the proponents of regression that still exist here; it scares them silly to have a black President… My God, what is next, a Muslim woman as President? Or worse, a strong, passionate, gorgeous, frightfully intelligent gay person? What is the world coming to?….. Ideas such as these scare these ignorant assholes to death, and they are proving that, in pursuit of their idiocy, they will go to ANY lengths to keep reason and rationality from being a part of American politics…. because they KNOW that they will make less money off the really ignorant that way…..

When all is said and done, the most important thing to Romney and Ryan is not politics, not ethics, and certainly not public spirit…. It is money. The most important thing to them is that the society is maintained in a state where they continue to make money at the expense of the weak and vulnerable, and have the power over others that is such a key piece of their own self-image…. Can’t feel like a man, unless they’ve got women, blacks, latinos, old people, and anyone who disagrees with them under their power….. Paranoia runs deep, my friends, and they feel it all the time…..

“What is left when honour is lost?’ — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 265

Nothing is left, when honour is lost. Nothing worth having anyway….. and that is exactly what will be left for all of us lower and middle class Americans, should the Romney/Ryan Gang of Thieves, Worshipers at the Altars of Gold, ever get within shouting distance of the Oval Office….. You can take that to the bank…. or they will…..
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Semblance of Time

The dreams and visions of modern times are pallid and pale
filled with fear and loathing instead of joy and wonder.
Reality is aging poorly, submitting less data to loudly regale
Sad faded images lacking substance, or proof of thunder.

Sisters and brothers of nightly performance speak in spite
building up scars to protect, or keep a semblance of sanity.
Knowing illusion is near and dear, steeped in muscular delight
while compassion and intelligence get smothered by humanity.

Loneliness soon became the friend of many sizes of fools
stealing through mazes of social tests as if truly wise, or old
while companies of sterile opportunity are hiding their tools
from anyone who might be feeling even a little bit bold.

Painful momentary flashes seem to outline society’s fate
until sheltered heavy monuments to elder gods fall from grace.
We’re all getting tired of being told we’re far too late
never ever nearing tolerance, nor regaining solicitations of face.

A hard message awaits us all when we dare to even stay
of life’s dispassionate disposition and curmudgeonly faux heart.
Only with the strength of heroes can such tales make their way
Only a poet will deftly turn morbid pain, into a valid work of art.

~~ gigoid
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In the normal course of events here, I would hesitate to put the following three pieces next to a poem of my own, lest the comparison completely destroy my ego. But I’m not unhappy with today’s offering of my life’s blood; it isn’t yet as powerful as I would like, but it’s progress….. And these three little portions from three of my favorites can thereby serve as examples…. The power, the scope, the language of all three are exactly the kind of writing that I hope for to flow out of my mind someday…. The sheer artistry that is shown here is the goal I have for my poetry, and, for that matter, for my prose, as well. I could do worse……

Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused or disabused;
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 hurled,–
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 13

The hour is striking so close above me,
so clear and sharp,
that all my senses ring with it.
I feel it now: there’s a power in me
to grasp and give shape to my world.
I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come toward me, to meet and be met.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from Book of Hours
(This passage by Rilke leaves me slack-jawed in awe, every time I read it…..)

My skin is kind of brownish yellowish, white.
My eyes are greyish green.
But I’m told they’re orange at night
My hair is reddish, blondish.
But is silver when it’s wet.
And all the colours I am inside
have not been invented yet.

— Shel Silverstein

You can be the judges, if you would, and let me know if I ever make this grade….. a little kindness when I don’t would be appreciated, but isn’t necessary for improvement, so be harsh if you feel the need. I’ll just ignore what doesn’t make sense to me, anyway…. If nothing else, we all got a decent dose of good stuff today, and that can be enough, if one is prepared to accept reality as it is…..
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In looking back over the effort today, I am not entirely displeased…. which is to say, it will have to serve. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s ramble through the crowded hallways in my head, and that nothing you’ve seen here today has convinced you that returning is a bad thing…. If nothing else, you will find here an honest approach to life, in all of its glory, and all of its sad and painful poignancy….. 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!