Absent gestures of high regard….

Ffolkes,

“Man has made use of his intelligence, he invented stupidity.”

~~ Remy De Gourmant ~~

Last of Eire 2015 019

Cows is Cows ~ These are Irish Cows


Good morning…. I could, in view of the actual nature of Reality, express that sentiment much more accurately, but, what fun would that be? Nobody really wants to know, anyway, right? So, what’s the point? None. And, if we can do nothing else around here today, let us at least try to have a point….

Wait. Do we really want to set a precedent like that? Maybe we should rethink that for a moment; it’s not as if there’s any real money riding on the decision, so, nobody will pay any attention. In this society, money talks, bullshit walks, as it is said in many places, all of them financially certified as bankable, the ultimate test of reality for an oligarch. Oops…. How did we start ranting so quickly? I wasn’t even feeling any particularly sharp angst anywhere, were you? Hmm…. the urge must be getting pretty strong…

It will have to wait, though, as I’m not done here in the intro….. Or, wait a minute…. Am I? Let me just check this little gauge right over here, and…. well! I’ll be damned! (No doubt on that one, is there?…. Ha!) According to this, we ARE done! There’s a bit of nonsense, a greeting, of sorts, some mini-ranting, or facsimile thereof, and some general confusion. Yep. That’s all of them…. Okay, then. Luigi, it seems we are finished here; take it away, as soon as you…..whoa! Hang on, ffolkes…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“There is no sun without shadow and it is essential to know the night.” — Albert Camus

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Last of Eire 2015 024

Ireland’s Best Feature ~ The Irish


I’m not in the mood to search You Tube today, so, I’ll put in some of the pictures I took in Ireland/Europe…. I didn’t get as many as I wished, being a bit under the weather, and I’m grateful for the help I received in getting as many as I did…. Enjoy, ffolkes….

Last of Eire 2015 002

Galway B&B

Last of Eire 2015 006

Gaelic/English Road Signs

Last of Eire 2015 003

Common Sight on any walk in Ireland

More Galway 005

Monument to the Famine Victims ~ White Strand Beach, Galway

More Galway 033

Monument to the Famine Victims II

More Galway 044

Abandoned Church in Galway

More Galway 051

Typical Irish Colors for Buildings

Last of Eire 2015 013

Scenes from a train ~ Leaving Galway for Dublin

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    I had thought by now I’d feel like ranting; I even let a bit of angst out in the intro as a precursor…. Now I’m here, it’s all gone, and I don’t even care. I’ve got a few little indictment style shots I’ve collected, which, if SB will cooperate by augmenting with a couple more, will serve our purpose ‘sufficient unto the day’, as it were…. And, if not, well, it will have to do, anyway….. Enjoy, ffolkes, it’s all true as the day….

1. No matter what they’re telling you, it’s not the truth.
2. No matter what they’re talking about, they’re talking about money.

 ~~ Todd’s Political Principles ~~


“There is not enough love and kindness in the world to permit us to give any of it to imaginary beings.” — Nietzsche

“Any system of religion which has anything in it which offends the mind of a child cannot be a true system.” — Thomas Paine

“By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more.” — Albert Camus

“Make money and the whole nation will conspire to call you a gentleman.” — George Bernard Shaw

“It’s hard to decide if T.V. makes morons out of everyone or if it mirrors Americans who really are morons to begin with.” — Martin Mull

“Mankind…  infests the whole habitable Earth and Canada.” — Ambrose Bierce

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Comedy_Tragedy

Serendipity Morning

My mind wants to fly,
   my soul wants to hold close, the source,
strong, the moments of time;
   each as precious as golden thread,
binding together such elements of longing desire.

Love hovers, always patient,
   seeking the open heart,
reaching for the promise of tomorrow…..
   only for one, only for now, only what is real….
Dreaming, the morning calls,
   heavy with mordant belief,
replete, and eternally alive…..

~~ gigoid ~~


Written April Fool’s Day, 2013.

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pearls_3

    In order to get this done, I’ve gone to the archives. Believe it or not, this Pearl has taken more than seven hours to produce…. Something must be done. Damn! Guess who gets THAT job? Yep…. SIGH… We’ll see how it goes; for now, this will do….

From 6/24/2013:

All things considered, it’s been a good morning…. This isn’t to say it hasn’t been without its difficulties, but, I’m trying really hard not to be a whiner, so we’ll pass over all that, and get on with it…. Here is a seven-star pearl for your delectation, lovingly selected over the last hour from Smart Bee, who has been a bit off, but, came through in the end. The point of this is related to the above rant, but, not so’s you could tell at first glance…. Don’t sweat it, it’s all good stuff, even without the point, and who wants a point that’s all belabored, anyway, right?…. So, make sure you have your chopsticks, the protective bib provided for your convenience is in place, and you should be able to get through it without any new laundry bills…..

“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.” — Wendell Berry

“All things come round to him who will but wait.” — Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Tales of a Wayside Inn, The Student’s Tale

“Against those skilled in the attack, the enemy does not know where to defend.  Against the experts in defense, the enemy does not know where to attack.” — Sun Tzu

“What matters today is not the difference between those who believe and those who do not believe, but the difference between those who care and those who don’t.” — Abbe’ Pierre

“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.” — Don Marquis

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say.” — Marshall McLuhan

“The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” — Eden Phillpotts

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It’s done; no more can, or should be said of this one. I won’t detail all the weird stuff that kept it from getting done before this, but, it includes cats, and hats, and that’s that. Enough, I’m outta here, and I MIGHT explain tomorrow, should I make it that far…. See y’all then, 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….


			
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Honorable thieves of Time….

Ffolkes,

“I respect your right to make an idiot of yourself.

 Please respect mine.”

~~ Smart Bee, speaking for gigoid ~~

Alaska Grand Adventure 005

Main Street, Skagway, Alaska


Good morning…. That’s what it says on the label, anyway, though, from my viewpoint, I think I’d want a second opinion before committing myself too far. We’ll go with the odds, though, and just get on with today’s mess, for lack of a better idea….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it.” — Elwood P. Dowd, “Harvey”

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hubble-anniversary-image 1

NASA Hubble Deep Space Telescope Anniversary Image


Rather than a video today, I’m including some artwork which demonstrates the extent of humanity’s exploration of our own Solar System. NASA, with some newer entries into the space exploration circle, has a number of projects taking place around the system, of which we will look at three…. The first is an article on the subject of asteroid mining, which I personally believe to be the next goal our species should take on…. Also included are videos, at the Space.com web site, showing some details of the mission to photograph Pluto and its companion bodies, Charon, Nix, etc., and a video compilation showing the journey of the Mars Rover Curiosity, in a time lapse video made of pictures from each day’s journey…. Those two are in reverse order from how the appear here…

Space is Mankind’s destiny; there is no other answer to the question of why our species exists…. It is our fate to either explore to the ends of the Universe, or kill ourselves trying….

So be it…..

gigoid has spoken.

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

Archimedes concept

Moving a mineral rich asteroid to Mars.

http://www.space.com/29864-asteroid-mining-space-exploration-podcast.html?cmpid=NL_SP_weekly_2015-07-08

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Mars sunset by Curiosity

NASA Rover Curiosity photo of a sunset on Mars

http://www.space.com/29868-11+-years-of-mars-roving-in-8-minutes-time-lapse-video.html

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new-horizons-pluto-flyby-illustration

Artist’s rendition of the New Horizons spacecraft

http://www.space.com/29856-pluto-grows-in-new-horizon-s-color-lens-time-lapse-video.html

july-8-2015-pluto-heart-new-horizons

Pluto’s Heart

pluto-new-horizons

Pluto, Charon, & New Horizons

pluto-nix-moon-chaotic-spin

Pluto’s Irregular Moon, Nix, as it tumbles around its orbit

20110318_lg

New Horizons Path to Pluto, 2011-2015

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Dont keep calm

    I’d planned a fresh rant for today, but, circumstances have prevented it from getting written just now…. This, of course, means a trip to the archives…. Today, we’ll discuss our world’s Plague of Evil, a term I use to describe the most viciously evil practice our species exhibits, to wit: the trafficking of humans, women, children, and men, for the purposes of sexual exploitation…. If I ever do reach a point where I no longer care about society’s rules, pimps, snakeheads, and other participants in this evil trade would be my very first targets…. And, I wouldn’t/won’t stop until I run out of targets, for nothing, to me, is more dishonorable, or more disgusting, than to take part in such abuse….

From 9/6/2012:

Miss, n.: A title with which we brand unmarried women to indicate that they are in the market. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

While this quote is intended to be funny, it actually perpetuates the discriminatory,  proprietary labeling of women in our society, exactly the way this says it does. By using such terms, we “brand” women according to their eligibility to be possessed by a man, to serve as his property, and think nothing of it. Indeed, a person is considered polite and well-mannered when he or she uses these societal forms of address, never even considering the implications of what they are saying.

Men are either Mister, or, as boys, Master. That’s pretty indicative of the mind-set that using these terms puts the speaker in; men are assumed superior, merely for being male. Women are either Miss, Mistress, or Missus (Mrs., probably a shortened form of Master’s Mistress… or some such….. ), automatically placing them in the subordinate position to the males.

In the last part of the 20th century, society began to use the term Ms., pronounce mizz, to indicate a woman not married, and not to be automatically considered as a candidate for marriage, in an attempt to mitigate somewhat the restrictive mental attitudes that accompany such terminology, and it has had a fairly positive effect, though in no way complete or enough.

This small change is merely one step in the direction society needs to go, and the journey is not a short one; these attitudes have been part of society for thousands of years. It will take a concerted, sustained effort to change the way people think, even partially. But none of us, men or women, can consider ourselves truly free , free to be, and free to become who we CAN be…. which makes the effort the only rational choice…..

All of this does not even touch upon how these attitudes open the way for the trafficking in human beings that continues to take place all over the world. Because of the assumed male superiority, it becomes a very short step to assuming that men may do whatever they please with women. This includes the rape and abduction of young girls and women, taking them to far away cities where they are forced to work as sex slaves by unprincipled men, who hide behind the laws that protect them; laws also written by men.

This has been going on for centuries, and continues right here in this supposedly advanced country. The public does not pay any attention to the sex trade, as long as it isn’t right in their faces; the unscrupulous, misogynistic men, and women, who run these businesses talk of “victimless crimes” as if the women involved were willing participants, while in reality, most of the women are trapped there by abusive, terrorist men who rape them repeatedly until their will to live is gone, thus making them pliable and docile.

These men, and the women who sometimes join them in their depredations, are sick, disgusting scum, and society needs to excise them from the tree of life. To my way of thinking, a long, drawn out period of torture and pain before death is what they deserve, but I am willing to settle just for death. This trade in sex and the slavery that supports it are a scourge upon society, and should be dealt with just as if it were any other type of threat against the species, with swift and complete justice, and no mercy…..

Free our sisters, free ourselves….


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Comedy_Tragedy

Momentary Terror

Absently casual, memories pester endlessly
   leaving only bleeding remnants, amiable and loving.
Coming awake, I cry to still the pain, shamelessly.

Elsewhen, time gives surcease, if only to live,
   shoring broken pilings, worn and gray.
Passing on, I laugh at the pain, accept all it will give.

Time will build a shelter, warm and ever safe
   save for Fate’s busy hands.
Enduring, I follow the pain, knowing it will chafe.

Fixed against a darkened sky of starry black
   such beauty brings us to our knees.
Entranced, I welcome the pain, ’tis all I lack…..

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 2/4/2013.

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dalai lama

The Dalai Lama

Image from boingboing.com via Google Images


Today’s final old school pearl sees us taking a look at some of the ways we can all improve our lives, if only to make ourselves more comfortable about all that happens around us, by showing us how to change ourselves from within, the only true change we can make in this Reality…. If that wasn’t clear, perhaps the words of some of history’s most beloved sages will help, as they have done for thousands of years…. Enjoy!….

“My teachings are very easy to understand and very easy to practice. But no one can understand them and no one can practice them. In my words there is a principle. In the affairs of men there is a system.” — Lao-Tzu

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

“Even if you don’t follow a formal meditation program, it is good to sit quietly for a little while every day.” — Deng Ming-Dao

“Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?” — Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

“Ours is a strange world, in which the vast majority do not know what it is they want, but are willing to go through hell to get it, and once they’ve got it, they don’t know what to do with it because it was supposed to make them happy and didn’t.” — Don Marquis

“Dope will get you through times of no money better that money will get you through times of no dope.” — Freewheelin’ Franklin, “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers”

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

~~ The Dalai Lama ~~


(Note:  If the most modern example of common wisdom seems out of place, stop a minute to consider what it actually means, by replacing the offensive, yet perfectly apt word, with almost any other object of human need/desire, to obtain an example of the universal quality of the concept… Try the word, “love”, or, “air”, or, “food”, for example, to see the meaning remains valid…. )

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It’s done. Thank goodness, too. Rather than fuss with it, I’m gonna post it, and be done with it. Jeez, one would think I was organized, if one didn’t know better. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, attitude adjusted, or not….

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….


Look Hilly! A red tie, a flag pin, a fake smile, & a ready lie…. It’s one of them rogue politicians!…

Ffolkes,

“Live so that you can at least get the benefit of the doubt.”

~~ Kin Hubbard ~~

mantra against fear
The Litany Against Fear

~~ Bene Gesserit Mantra ~~

From “Dune” by Frank Herbert


The world we live in, because of a serious flaw in our nature, is a dangerous place…. As Albert Einstein once observed, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” The nature of our inherent flaw has been the subject of inquiry since the beginning of recorded history, and before; it has been examined, analyzed, dissected, and discussed innumerable times, and ways, with no real solution to the problem ever becoming apparent…. To this day, this…. weakness, prevalent in a large percentage of the species, continues to cause difficulties for the entire planet, not only for ourselves….

However, we, or I, won’t rant about it, not yet…. But, I’d like to point out the basic nature of the flaw that is so common it has proved to be nearly impossible to delete from our internal file systems, (Perhaps it may be said to be not so ‘nearly’…. nothing we’ve tried has ever helped much, so, it may just BE completely impossible to eradicate the root cause from our lives…. simply because it is a root part of our nature….). I like to describe the flaw by calling it by it’s most common name, to wit: deliberate ignorance…. This is not to say that those who possess the flaw are stupid, necessarily…. Stupid can’t help being stupid; ignorance is a choice, one made by those who wish never to feel, or, in their own eyes, have any responsibility for their actions, and, especially regarding how those actions affect those around them….

This, of course, a long winded way to say they are plain and simple, selfish, narcisstic assholes, who consistently choose to use their abilities and talents solely for their own benefit…. They have no compassion, for they don’t acknowledge the innate worth of anyone but themselves…. This attitude arises out of our most basic emotional reaction to what the world does around us, i.e., fear…. The asinine buttheads who prey on other people for their own benefit are, quite simply, cowards…. All of what they see and perceive about the world frightens them to death, because they do not have the courage to ever admit their own ignorance…. Without admitting one does not know, one can never learn anything at all, including anything that would reduce their overriding fears….

The Litany Against Fear, from the book, Dune, is one man’s attempt to offer a partial solution, to the extent that if one has the wit to study themselves, and use the ideas of others to help them understand both themselves and the world around them, affirmations such as the Litany help to train the mind, into one with true knowledge of the universe, and their place in it…. This knowledge, and the qualities one must develop to obtain it, have the net result of removing the power of the fear which is our most common reaction to things we don’t understand… When one has come to understand their own fears, those fears have no more power to control or influence one’s actions….

What I can tell you for sure is that it works…. I first read the book when I was about fourteen, and I found that, prior to that time when I studied the arts of war more thoroughly, and trained myself to be as dangerous as the world I inhabit, it helped to control the power of fear in me, to where I controlled IT, rather than the other way around. The knowledge I sought and found later served to supply me with even greater resistance to those fears, until it no longer was of any great concern…. Having had the advantage of knowing, and using, the Litany was of immense help….

There, now, that wasn’t so bad, was it? We managed to complete enough chatty conversational discussion to qualify as a proper intro section, so, if nothing else is true, that worked just fine…. I can’t say I’m any more impressed than usual, but, it works well enough to get on with the rest of today’s messiness…. which is, no doubt, a good thing, as my hands are all weirded out this morning, giving me fits if I type too long…. Before it gets so bad I can’t hit the right keys at all, I’d best use that hole right there, and get us out of here…. Hang on, ffolkes…

Shall we Pearl?

“When a man has pity on all living creatures then only is he noble.” — Buddha

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In today’s digital world, becoming famous to much of the world isn’t necessarily difficult; what is difficult is maintaining the same degree of fame over time…. The world mostly has a very short attention span…. This comedian/social critic/self-styled revolutionary, Russell Brand, has managed, by publishing his thoughts and public interviews on You Tube, to keep society’s attention, if not completely focused on him at all times, still in their awareness to compel their attention, after a couple of years….

His ideas and words become news in no time, as the media finds him to be a ratings booster, due to his unique style, and the attractiveness of his ideas to a large portion of humanity….. If nothing else, he’s a kick to listen to, especially if one examines his ideas more deeply, to find they are, generally, right on the mark…. Enjoy, ffolkes, there is a lot of stuff at the link you might find either amusing, or astounding, or offensive…. but, mostly, you won’t dismiss any of it as nonsense, because it’s pretty obvious the stuff he spouts off about is mostly all true….

Russell Brand on David Letterman – October 13th 2014 – Full Interview

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“The punishment suffered by the wise who refuse to take part in the government,

is to live under the government of bad men.”

~~ Plato ~~


http://time.com/3558263/mitch-mcconnell-shutdown-obamacare-majority-leader/

In an interview that brings new meaning to the phrase, “mealy-mouthed”, Mitch McConnell lives up to his reputation as one of the most dishonest, amoral politicians alive today, a true disciple of the master of evil, one of his predecessors as the third or fourth most powerful flunkie on the continent, the demon Cheney, and the newest example of the obvious lack of connection to the REAL demographic diversity of the citizens of the United States. Even though he actually says nothing in the interview that could be in any way construed as a promise, or a commitment to any position at all, he still managed to demonstrate his complete ignorance of anything that is of real importance to any of those citizens, beyond the now small minority of rich, white Caucasians, and those who believe all their bigoted, racist nonsense.

“It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.” — H. L. Mencken

Mr. Mencken has, sadly, hit upon what gives all the appearance of a universal truth, when applied to Mankind…. Well, perhaps only in specific cases, rather than universal, but the great majority do have problems resisting evil impulses, or display a distressing lack of will regarding evil influences…. In short, strangely enough, a lot of people, especially those who end up as politicians, or preachers, or police, or mercenaries, or snakeheads, or bankers (to wit: that part of Man that preys upon the rest, acting solely out of motivations based on personal gain….) are those who make the decision to embrace darkness, rather than resisting its seductive call….

But then, the darkness promises one need never feel personally responsible for any acts of evil, or have any compassion for others, especially for their victims, whom they typically view with great disdain….. all while consistently presenting a different face to those victims, a face they are seduced into believing is one to be trusted to think for them….

Yes, it sounds rather far-fetched to me, also, that ANYONE would fall for this load of crap, but, they do, time after time, generation after generation…. To view the patterns of human history is to wonder if the tendency to be forced into slavery is a congenital failing, peculiar to a portion of the human race, as opposed to others who are congenitally predisposed to prey on their own kind….

SIGH…. Bummer. I find myself, at this point, unable to carry on this rant, due to physical constraints…. (Hmm? Oh, no. nothing life-threatening… it’s just that my hands seem to be turning into bricks….). Rather than just abandoning our indictment of the asininnies we’ve hauled into the limelight, allowing them to scatter off into the cracks in the walls, like a herd of the vermin they resemble so closely, without at least hearing the indictment against them, we’ll try something else…

I know, I’ll ask SB to put together a short pearl to accomplish for us some of the poking of their dignity, and pulling of their covers we so enjoy…. Let’s see what it can find for us, shall we?….

“At a convention of biological scientists one researcher remarks to another, “Did you know that in our lab we have switched from mice to lawyers for our experiments?” “Really?”, the other replied, “Why did you switch?” “Well, for two reasons.  First we found that lawyers are far more plentiful, and second, the lab assistants don’t get so attached to them.” — Smart Bee

“Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order.” — John Lindsay

“Money is wrong. It’s the means whereby man enslaves his brother.” — Finny

“Government, today, is growing too strong to be safe. There are no longer any citizens in the world; there are only subjects.  They work day in and day out for their masters;  they are bound to die for their masters at call.  Out of this working and dying they tend to get less and less.” — H.L. Mencken


“When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: ‘Whose?'” — Don Marquis

“He is useless on top of the ground; he aught to be under it, inspiring the cabbages.” — Mark Twain

“A guilty conscience never feels secure.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 617

“A traveller at Sparta, standing long upon one leg, said to a Lacedaemonian, “I do not believe you can do as much.” “True,” said he, “but every goose can.”
— Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Remarkable Speeches

Basta! We all probably can find something more productive on which to spend our time…. Onward….

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Here is a poem by one of my favorite modern poets; his work is gritty, real, and straight to the point…. It’s very powerful stuff, written from the vantage point of a man who spent most of his life on the streets…. which made him an excellent voice of the people…. Plus, what he writes seems to often complement the subjects on which I choose to rant, such as today….

Challenge To The Dark
shot in the eye
shot in the brain
shot in the ****
shot like a flower in the dance

amazing how death wins hands down
amazing how much credence is given to idiot forms of life

amazing how laughter has been drowned out
amazing how viciousness is such a constant

I must soon declare my own war on their war
I must hold to my last piece of ground
I must protect the small space I have made that has allowed me life

my life not their death
my death not their death…

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

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Smart Bee seems to think I have nothing better to do this morning than sit here and patiently wait for it to get off its ass & give me what I need to finish…. This took forfuckingever…. Wow. I must have used that word before, because Spell Checker didn’t even blink at it…. Okay, so, that bodes well for the rest of this group…. May as well get started…. but, I’d suggest you hook the safety line to the hook by the doorway, so as not to fall out of the plane if we have to make any sudden flight adjustments due to confusion….

Actually, this begins strongly, and in some way, brings us where we would otherwise wish to be…. I guess….

Happily may I walk.
May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful above me.
May it be beautiful all around me.
In beauty it is finished.

 — Navajo Night Chant


“When man learns to understand and control his own behavior as well as he is learning to understand and control the behavior of crop plants and domestic animals, he may be justified in believing that he has become civilized.” — E. C. Stakman

“Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained.” — John Powell

“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“As great scientists have said and as all children know, it is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception, and compassion, and hope.” — Ursula K. LeGuin

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” — H.P. Lovecraft, ‘Supernatural Horror in Literature’

“You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.” — Erica Jong

Hmm…. I’m not sure about this one, but, it seems to make some sense, sort of…. Ah well, each individual pearl is enough to work with, and, now, we’re done….

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No doubt, I’ve done better…. But, since the last line of the last section pretty much says it all, I think I’ll take my chances, & take my leave while the possibility of arrest is still speculation, not a certainty…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!

À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

Even tax codes are tasty with hollandaise….

Ffolkes,
“With chattering teeth, wheeling eyes, and muscles tensed, as if in anticipation of a blow, he sits before the object of his reasoned fear, aghast at the level to which feverish apprehension rises uncontrollably. Sheer unbridled terror rules over all courage, bringing the morbid, deathly paralysis that comes to all in such straits. Yet, we see his face harden, and fill with purpose; he reaches up to the table, sets his hands upon the magical keys, and begins, despite, or even because, of his fear…..”

And so begins another day here at ECR, where even the panic inspired by the vision of a blank white screen cannot overcome my unyielding dedication, my purposeful, yet idiotic need to blather out all that is in my head each day. No matter how much sleep it costs me, no matter how little money I make from it, and no matter what anyone says, I will have my way, and will have my say…. If nothing else, it is important, to me, to keep my string unbroken, if a bit frayed. Goodness knows why, but, asking the universe to answer any ‘why’ questions is futile, so we shan’t bother with it…

Not everything in this universe needs an explanation, which I find to be a soothing thought, all in all. It certainly helps me out quite often, as I tend to not worry about the stuff I can’t change, and finding explanations for everything I do gets tiresome very quickly….. It is only other people who wish for us to be up front about motivation, and I’m happy to say, I don’t live by their expectations or desires. That may sound a bit callous, but, in fact, it is not, as I certainly afford them the same courtesy as I demand…. Thus, in my view, and in that respect, the scale is balanced.

I find myself wandering a bit far afield this morning, delving into such a rather abstruse and delicate trend of thought, and I’m wondering if I am quite up to handling it with the required alacrity. My savoir faire, as it were, is not always at its strongest in the mornings, and I’m fairly certain that, if I continue in this vein, I’ll hurt myself…. Since I have no intention of taking any chances of missing my embarkation on Saturday next, (and certainly not because of a failure of savoir faire….), we’ll go on to something a bit less dangerous, from a literary, or even physical, standpoint…. Of course, given the material that usually ends up being presented here, even that may be asking a bit much…..

Oh, well, hell…. Shall we Pearl?…..
_____________________________

“Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.” — George Orwell, 1984

As the story about E. Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, unfolds in the news, I am struck by how the US government is reacting in such a way as to PROVE the accusations that were made, of not merely spying and illegal mining of data from its own citizenry, but of doing so without any oversight, or any legal recourse for its victims.  Even Saint Barack has shed the hooded mantle of secrecy, and is not only admitting that the spying is going on, but is trying to legitimize it in the eyes of the public. At the same time, the legal arm of the government is preparing to bury this young man with a conscience, for blowing the whistle on how far the powers that be have gone, in their quest for absolute control over society.

In the book from which the above was excerpted, 1984, George Orwell painted a vision for us of how things might be, if ever the general public gave up all power to the government…. At the time of its publication, almost all of the things in the book that showed how that worked were not present in real life, except in secret…. However, if one looks at the book now, just about every technological technique used to monitor the populace of the world, is now in play in our world…. Big Brother is now watching us, and if he doesn’t like what we are doing, well, that’s OUR problem, and they will make sure that we are aware of that….

I really want to rant about this today, but, for some reason, my mind is refusing to cooperate… It might have something to do with the fact that this whole scenario makes me almost incoherent with anger…. Anger directed at the government, and at all the lying politicians, and cowardly judges, and  and all of the other assbites who support them, such as the police, the churches, and, sadly, the ignorant and afraid among the citizenry…. I would like to take them all and just shake some sense into them, but, I happen to know they are immune to such treatment, their minds having been indoctrinated into blind obedience before they reached the age of reason…..

“A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.” — Eric Hoffer

What is most infuriating to me is that the people ALLOW this all to take place…. The politicos put out all their lies and illusions, and the people buy into them, without ever examining any of it for truth, or even relevance…. In the last presidential election, over 48 million people, who otherwise might be considered relatively sane, went out and voted for a man who lied to them consistently for six months.  48 fucking million! That is an incredibly large load of stupid, ffolkes, and makes me afraid all over again….

Fortunately, there were enough other ffolkes who didn’t fall for Mitt the Twitt’s line….  They did, however, fall for the line of a man who is, perhaps, even more dangerous, for he is adept at diverting attention away from what he does in secret, by performing public acts that seem to prove he is aboveboard…. which he is not…. I was, at first, encouraged by the election of a black man as president, hoping it signaled a weather-change in society, but, there doesn’t seem to be much difference, ultimately, in what he has done, as opposed to any other president….

If he was at all different, we would not have had the NDAA signed while the nation’s attention was diverted by a holiday; that happened right after he won the second election in 2012.  If he actually intended to fulfill any of the campaign promises he made, he would have done so by now, but, Guantanamo is still open, people are still being detained and questioned in prison camps overseas, where we cannot observe them, and drones ARE being utilized inside American air space, to spy on our own citizens…. Don’t even bother to try to deny any of that, because the proof is all over the news and the internet…. Moreover, he isn’t denying any of it, as he now knows he cannot be stopped, having fooled everyone into compliance, and secured his position until 2016….

I guess I did end up ranting… anger will do that…. I HATE being lied to, by anyone, but, I hate it the most when I am lied to by elected officials. I don’t know why I hate it so much, except that it has been going on for my entire life, and it is a direct contradiction to the way it is supposed to be. We are, theoretically, supposed to elect the candidates who demonstrate the most honesty and integrity, but, due to the extreme gullibility of the public, we always end up with the candidate who is the most convincing liar, instead…. It drives me crazy, for sure, but, some might say that is a short drive…. I don’t care, I’m too pissed off to worry about it….

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning  ourself.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“I love my country too much to be a nationalist.” — Albert Camus
_____________________________

I’ve left the selection of today’s poem for last, though I found the little excerpt by Cowper earlier, and included it for its relevant beauty…. What I found can only be described as appropriate…. it is strange, disturbing, and esoteric by intent, thus making it the perfect counterpoint to what comprises the rest of today’s effort…. Not that what I’ve created isn’t strange or disturbing; I suppose it is more of a type of trim, than a counterpoint… Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy it, if only for its oddity….

There is a pleasure in poetic pains
Which only poets know.

— William Cowper (1731-1800) — The Task, Book ii, The Timepiece, Line 285

Father Death Blues

Hey Father Death, I’m flying home
Hey poor man, you’re all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I’m going

Father Death, Don’t cry any more
Mama’s there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don’t hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts’ll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body’s gone
Father Death I’m coming home

Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we’ll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.

~~ Allen Ginsberg ~~

_____________________________

All things considered, it’s been a good morning…. This isn’t to say it hasn’t been without its difficulties, but, I’m trying really hard not to be a whiner, so we’ll pass over all that, and get on with it…. Here is a seven-star pearl for your delectation, lovingly selected over the last hour from Smart Bee, who has been a bit off, but, came through in the end. The point of this pearl is related to the above rant, but, not so’s you could tell at first glance…. Don’t sweat it, it’s all good stuff, even without the point, and who wants a point that’s all belabored, anyway, right?…. So, make sure you have your chopsticks, the protective bib provided for your convenience is in place, and you should be able to get through it without any new laundry bills…..

“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.” — Wendell Berry

“All things come round to him who will but wait.” — Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Tales of a Wayside Inn, The Student’s Tale

“Against those skilled in the attack, the enemy does not know where to defend.  Against the experts in defence, the enemy does not know where to attack.” — Sun Tzu

“What matters today is not the difference between those who believe and those who do not believe, but the difference between those who care and those who don’t.” — Abbe’ Pierre

“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.” — Don Marquis

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say.” — Marshall McLuhan

“The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” — Eden Phillpotts
_____________________________

Having thus sharpened my wits as far as possible on the whetstone of virtual wisdom, and, convinced I can do no more damage, I will take my leave, once I’ve checked this over for typos, etc., a statement of intent which you are, no doubt, grateful to hear….. Okay, well, that took a while, but, we’re all good to go now…. Having once more defeated the forces of Murphy, if only for a time, I bid thee a fond adieu… Oh, yeah, only five days to go, four, if one looks at it right, and y’all won’t have me to kick around any more…. Just kidding…. Nixon pops up at the weirdest times; I just meant we’ll be off to Alaska on Saturday, come Hell or High Water…. Any who….  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

Negative! Do NOT scotch that beezul…..

Ffolkes,
It is hard to believe, I know, but, it’s true….. If I hadn’t already had coffee, I wouldn’t have believed it myself, but, I’m considered by most to be a cynic, so, people expect me to have doubt about most everything, and rightly so….. This, however, is really, really hard to accept, as it goes against the grain of everything we were taught about reality when we were children, for starters….. The fact that it also is extremely offensive to almost anyone with a sense of taste, or style, is just added to its negative impact. Maybe we could just convince it to go back to where it came from? It’s worth a shot, I think….

Oh, didn’t I mention that? Sorry, I get carried away, and forget, well, everything….. Ah, hell, I give up…. It was all a sham, as usual…. I had hoped, by the time I finished the first paragraph, to have come up with some idea as to what the devil I was talking about above, so I could do a 180 degree turn, and leave you all breathless with admiration, and gaping surprise at my cleverness. Instead, I’m once again forced to be honest with you, and admit my failing…. SIGH….. Sometimes, I guess I’m too clever for my own good…. I just wish that was an event that occurred infrequently, rather than being the norm for this blog…..

However, I’m nothing if not realistic, so we’ll go on, despite having embarrassed myself unmercifully; an author needs to have thick skin, especially considering the nature of what I generally write….. In fact, I need to have thick skin, and a strong stomach, but we won’t dwell on that, as it is controlled by a bit of medication…. gotta love modern chemistry, eh? It would be nice if they could come up with an inspiration drug, wouldn’t it? Just pop a pill, and, voilá, floods of ideas pour out of the subconscious…..

I used to be able to use my conversations with my old friends, Mr. John Daniels, and Mr. James Beam, for that, but, I lost my tolerance for hard liquor when I couldn’t afford to drink, so, that’s no longer an option…. SIGH…. I miss them…. Jack was a funny guy, and nobody can tell a ghost story quite like Jim…. Old friends are the best, aren’t they? Plus, neither of them seemed to care if I plagiarized them; they’re just that kind of guys…. But, we lost touch over the last couple of years, and right now, I’m not ready to take up the habits I had when younger, as I can’t keep up like I used to…. or, my liver can’t keep up, which has the same end result…. C’est la vie…. When one becomes a man, he puts away the toys of the boy he was….

I have a few good reasons for drinking
And one has just entered my head
If a man can’t drink when he’s living
How the hell can he drink when he’s dead?

~~ Smart Bee

I see that I’ve managed to blather and ramble enough to call this an intro, and since I have nothing further in my head that I can think of to babble about, I suppose we’d best get on with the day’s dive….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“Have the courage to act instead of react.” — Earlene Larson Jenks

Why is it the shortest aphorisms have the greatest depth to them? This is so deep, one needs scuba equipment to explore its depth safely, or drowning in one’s own ignorance seems certain. This indictment, or call to action, however one views it, is part of what makes the world such a dangerous place. Albert Einstein said it very well, with a quote of which I’m very fond, even though it is an indictment of me, along with everyone else who fails to act at certain times in life….Albert E & true sin

    In my own life, I know that those times when I have failed to meet the dictates of honor weigh upon my conscience most heavily. As much as I feel badly about those acts in my life where I know I caused pain to others by my own lack of control, I feel worse, if possible, about those times when I failed to act, when I knew I should….. No failure of courage is more dishonorable in my eyes, and I will never forgive myself for those acts, or those times when I failed to act, even if God will…. Whether we like it, or not, duty remains duty….

At this point in this narrative, it would be relatively normal to begin a rant about modern society, and how little courage most people show when confronted by evil acts. And, on most days, I would do so…. but, I think the little pup in the picture says all I have to say, and says it much more effectively, than I could hope to do. So, I’m going to leave it at that, and just say this…. We all have choices in life; the choices we make will determine whether or not we can look ourselves in the eye each morning when we look in the mirror…..

“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect,” — Lazarus Long
__________________________________

I’m not sure why, but this poem of mine, from last year’s prolific output during September, seems to capture some of the flavor of the above section, so, here you go….

Accentuated Lessons

Bold statements of calculated intent
Become common rule of the malcontent.
Avarice assumes such attractive wear
Beguiling deception, illusory and fair.

Grasping and pulling with ghostly hands
Legally proper in all the signatory lands.
Seeking and finding each vulnerable soul
Anguish as payment for exacting the toll.

Wraiths of commerce’s invisible dead guards
Still haunt the dreams left in sad empty yards.
While absentee nobles sit in stiffly elegant splendor
Served by sad-faced detainees in abject surrender.

Escape from reality is illusory at best
Often we falter and fail its daily test.
Only when focused on inner strength
Does peace stay with us for any length.

Peace lies within, always…..

~~ gigoid

__________________________________

I’m feeling lazy this morning, even though I slept well; probably my inner nature asserting itself…. Any who, I’m going to cheat a bit again, and put in a pearl from an older Pearl… from 2012, that is, so not too much older…. It’s not bad, and seems to fit in to today’s scheme…. Enjoy!….
—————————————————

“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.” — Don Marquis

This is a lesson that I didn’t learn until I was almost out of high school, even though I had ample opportunity to do so. I guess I was less skeptical of human nature then, having had less direct experience at dealing with all its idiosyncrasies….. but, learn it I did, to both my everlasting regret, and my endless gratitude, for a gift that has lasted a lifetime. Being able to tell the difference between the two states, to wit: thinking and thinking they are thinking, has been invaluable in preventing trouble, as well as remedying it when it occurs. Which is alladamtime, in the vernacular of the streets of Rome….

“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.” — George Bernard Shaw

I was a very good student in high school, and though I didn’t carry that tradition into college, during those teen years of the early 1960’s, I was considered a reference source by most of my classmates, and ended up tutoring them fairly often in the course of joint studying, assuming a teaching role. (Being such a reference source can also be a potential problem, but that’s another story….) This was my first real exposure in how human nature affects learning, and what works with some people to get them to comprehend what they are trying to learn won’t work for others, who are not as invested in the process of using their mind for anything other than counting change for a dollar…..

“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on. “I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least – at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know.” “Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter.  “Why, you might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!” “You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!” “You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talking in its sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!” “It IS the same thing with you, ” said the Hatter. — Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

This conversation from the other side of the looking glass creates in me a very strong sense of deja vu…. Many of the conversations I’ve had while acting as a tutor to my peers sounded just like this, only we were discussing mathematics, which makes it that much scarier…. But, it also highlights the problem for those of us who act as tutors to our peers, relating back to the original quote…. When teaching others, you must find the right mode of speech, the right way to approach the student in a way that they can comprehend the lesson…. A good friend sent me a poem yesterday which states the difficulty perfectly (Thanks to Shawna Alexander, who also forgot to send the author’s name…)…..

Which is better?

A genius knows when to dumb it down
A smart man knows when to know nothing
And an idiot can be all three
Well what does that mean?

You’re only as smart as others allow
So if you’re too smart to be understood,
To others your intelligence level goes down
So to truly be a genius you must know when dumbing it down is good

To know nothing isn’t unintelligence
It’s best for different situations
Though very different from a genius,
A smart man recognizes when on his knowledge to put limitations

An idiot is in the best position,
Because it’s second nature for them to put it in layman’s terms
An idiot has the best potential for genius if it’s his intention
And being an idiot is how others feel their intelligence is confirmed

Thus we can see that in order to successfully teach, one must be flexible enough in their own persona to be able to assume the characteristics that will ensure a successful lesson, by speaking to the student at their level of understanding, and by fooling them into using their mind to think with, rather than just using it to find their way home every night….

“Neither man nor woman can be worth anything until they have discovered that they are fools. The sooner the discovery is made the better, as there is more time and power for taking advantage of it.” — William Lamb Melbourne
__________________________________

“Correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the fine line between sanity and madness gotten finer?” — George Price

The answer to that would be a resounding “Yes!”…. Well, you can tell the Pulitzer Committee to stand down; we won’t be needing them to meet in special chambers to award this any prizes….. But, it’s not exactly the worst Pearl ever created, either. It has the distinctly advantageous quality that I so admire in a Pearl, which is to say, it’s done, and I’m not doing it over…. Y’all will just have to chew it up the way it is; swallowing is optional……  I’ve done enough damage for one day, so…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Conundrums be damned! Fire away!….

Ffolkes,
Heart pounding, he typed faster and faster, as words poured out onto the screen. No simple story this time, no bleeding hearts. No fantasy lovers, no warriors brave. Simple dialogue, with real people speaking real words, straight from Life, naked and proud. To hide now would be disaster, only the truth will help save what there is to save. Only sacrifice will bring back…. the dry cleaning….

Sorry, I couldn’t think of anything else that would fit, and I’m still having trouble sitting for long. I don’t suppose this one will get into the hall of fame, will it? I thought not…. I didn’t want to settle for that, but the deadline was approaching quickly, and nothing else came bubbling up. It could be worse, right? I could have said…. the Devil, or some other force of evil, which would have created some anticipatory twinges amongst the readers, but didn’t go with the mood I was shooting for…. I wanted something different today, not the usual sense of controlled panic that generally comes during the intro…. and I think I hit it just right with dry cleaning….

But then, I’m the one who wrote it, so it is de rigeur for me to praise it, even if only to damn it with faint praise. It’s all part of the morning routine now, which seems to have added a bit of diligent searching for adequate introductory paragraphs as part of the program. Of course, the intro has always been a part of the routine, but I have always had some idea of what to do with it, or where it came from. Now, those ideas are seemingly drying up, so I’m resorting more often to chat mode, like today, in order to produce enough material to pass as an introduction. It’s stopgap, but it works….

If it doesn’t work, I’m going to, first, panic….. I’ll run around like a headless chicken for a bit, then slowly bleed out until an idea forms. Then, if there still isn’t any usable material, I’ll go outside, find some unsuspecting pedestrian, and knock them out so I can check their pockets for ideas….. Don’t worry, I’ll be careful not to hit them too hard; just enough to go through their clothing, and I’ll make sure they are out of the road so they don’t get run over…. This process, however, can be slow; there aren’t a lot of folks out and about so early in this neighborhood….

Or, maybe I’ll just continue in the vein I’ve opened today, and fake it for five paragraphs….. I am encouraged, somewhat…. I must be improving my writing skills, if I can now put out such grandiose, self-indulgent, yet oddly compelling, compound sentences, produced on demand, in enough quantity to make a moderately long introduction. Since I cannot speak to its quality, the quantity will have to do….

“What we imagine is order is merely the prevailing form of chaos.” — Kerry Thornley, Principia Discordia, 5th edition

It’s always nice to have the right quote on hand…. Shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

“All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can – and must – be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function.  As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible.  Attempts to formulate a “perfect society” on any other foundation other than “Women and children first!” is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal.  Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly- and no doubt will keep on trying.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

Lazarus, speaking for Robert again, relates this truism in a straightforward way, with no ups and no extras. Normally, I would use this to begin a rant, once again railing against the beloved ruling class and the priestly hierarchies. Today, I’m letting it stand alone, and will instead just ask you to think about it, in depth. To my way of thinking, the only way that our species can survive is if enough men and women become convinced that our current path does not conform to “Women and children first!”, and as such is counterproductive to our survival. Only then will people take the necessary steps to stop the madness….

We are all being dragged along this mad path to self-destruction by folks who have no interest in anything but their own aggrandizement, and will most certainly die off as a species if they are not prevented from carrying on as they have been….. I know I keep harping on this, but the problem is not going to go away by ignoring it; in fact it will kill us all the faster if we do. It has to change, ffolkes, we all know this…. let’s try to get the fuckheads in charge to get on board, so we can have the future we otherwise won’t see….
___________________________________

“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.” — Don Marquis

This is a lesson that I didn’t learn until I was almost out of high school, even though I had ample opportunity to do so. I guess I was less skeptical of human nature then, having had less direct experience at dealing with all its idiosyncrasies….. but, learn it I did, to both my everlasting regret, and my endless gratitude, for a gift that has lasted a lifetime. Being able to tell the difference between the two states, to wit: thinking, and thinking they are thinking, has been invaluable in preventing trouble, as well as remedying it when it occurs. Which is alladamtime, in the vernacular of the streets of Rome….

“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says; he is always convinced that it says what he means.” — George Bernard Shaw

I was a very good student in high school, and though I didn’t carry that tradition into college, during those teen years of the early 1960’s, I was considered a reference source by most of my classmates, and ended up tutoring them fairly often in the course of joint studying, assuming a teaching role. (Being such a reference source can also be a potential problem, but that’s another story….) This was my first real exposure in how human nature affects learning, and in how what works with some people to get them to comprehend what they are trying to learn won’t work for others, who are not as invested in the process of using their mind for anything other than counting change for a dollar…..

“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on. “I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least – at least I mean what I say – that’s the same thing, you know.” “Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter.  “Why, you might just as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!” “You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that ‘I like what I get’ is the same thing as ‘I get what I like’!” “You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talking in its sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!” “It IS the same thing with you, ” said the Hatter. — Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

This conversation from the other side of the looking glass creates in me a very strong sense of deja vu…. Many of the conversations I’ve had while acting as a tutor to my peers sounded just like this, only we were discussing mathematics, which makes it that much scarier…. But, it also highlights the problem for those of us who act as tutors to our peers, relating back to the original quote…. When teaching others, you must find the right mode of speech, the right way to approach the student in a way that they can comprehend the lesson…. A good friend sent me a poem yesterday which states the difficulty perfectly (Thanks to Shawna Alexander, who also forgot to send the author’s name…)…..

Which is better?

A genius knows when to dumb it down
A smart man knows when to know nothing
And an idiot can be all three
Well what does that mean?

You’re only as smart as others allow
So if you’re too smart to be understood,
To others your intelligence level goes down
So to truly be a genius you must know when dumbing it down is good

To know nothing isn’t unintelligence
It’s best for different situations
Though very different from a genius,
A smart man recognizes when on his knowledge to put limitations

An idiot is in the best position,
Because it’s second nature for them to put it in layman’s terms
An idiot has the best potential for genius if it’s his intention
And being an idiot is how others feel their intelligence is confirmed

Thus we can see that in order to successfully teach, one must be flexible enough in their own persona to be able to assume the characteristics that will ensure a successful lesson, by speaking to the student at their level of understanding, and by fooling them into using their mind to think with, rather than just using it to find their way home every night….
___________________________________

After a hundred years
Nobody knows the place,–
Agony, that enacted there,
Motionless as peace.

Weeds triumphant ranged,
Strangers strolled and spelled
At the lone orthography
Of the elder dead.

Winds of summer fields
Recollect the way,–
Instinct picking up the key
Dropped by memory.

Emily Dickinson

After a hard morning of diving for pearls, I need a break, and Emily is always just right for that….. Enjoy!… Except for you, Shawna… you can ignore it, if you like….  🙂
___________________________________

It’s been a Mounds morning, all in all, and my teeth hurt…. guess I’ll go brush them…. What that has to do with all this is unknown… but, it must be important, because, hey, I typed it, right?  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!

This beginning is final…..

Ffolkes,
The universe is being odd this morning. I’m not sure what effect this may have on the Pearls; they’ve never been exposed to this level of strangeness before. We’ll have to see, won’t we?……
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“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.” — Don Marquis

Boy, is this one True! And it describes perfectly one of the primary reasons that our species will most likely  go extinct in the next century or so.  Intelligence, and its most powerful asset, imagination, are the evolutionary advantages that our species possesses over others. Our ability to imagine future events, to see potential consequences of actions, to invent new ideas and processes, and to reason, have (unjustly) given us dominion over the rest of the creatures with whom we share the planet. I say unjustly, because it just isn’t working.


Instead of using our abilities to improve the lot of all life here, we have instead used them to destroy resources; to pollute the air, the water , and the land; to kill, each other and animals; and in general, have spent most of the last 200 years fouling our own nest to the point where it will no longer support life at all.  The way I see it, we are committing racial suicide, and all because no one is willing to break the pattern of evil that has led us to this point, because they would have to give up their comfortable, unrealistic unwillingness to use the gift that we were given.  Personally, I’m at the point myself where I don’t see much sense in trying to change things for the better any more; too many folks are too willing to go to hell in their handbasket, as long as it has cable TV, A/C, and a full cooler of beer…….
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“A lot of people will urge you to put some money in a bank, and in fact–within reason–this is very good advice. But don’t go overboard. Remember, what you are doing is giving your money to someone else to hold on to, and I think that it is worth keeping in mind that the businessmen who run banks are so worried about holding on to things that they put little chains on all their pens.” — “Miss Piggy”

This little statement, though it comes from an unlikely source, has a lot to be said for it; it definitely raises a pertinent question about the intentions of those who keep our money for us. I have personally experienced the way bankers treat us once they have our money in their grasp. Here’s a little example, minus proper names to protect the guilty…… my bank has no branches nearby, as they are located in Texas, but they accept deposits electronically for checks deposited at a local UPS store. However, the funds deposited are placed on hold for “up to” 5 business days, to ensure the check will clear. This means that I have to wait 7 days (there is a weekend in the way) in order to access my money. In the meantime, I guarantee that the bank will be earning an interest amount for the deposit while it is sitting there (earned negatively, eg, they didn’t pay it to me, so they get to keep it). Meanwhile, they have the use of my money to invest, or otherwise earn for them, while I’m waiting to get at it, and fending off creditors with my other hand. The game is rigged folks, and it is not rigged in our favor……
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“Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.” — T. S. Eliot

Two pieces of poetry here, that fit together well to make a point. I like the first, by Mr. Eliot, for its insight, and for the potential that abides within, the potential for expansion into almost any available segue……so I’m using it for this one. Read the following from Thomas Cowper, and see if you are not reminded of one of the Laws of Science, in fact the primary Law, that supersedes all the others…..I’ll clue you after ward, if it escapes your effort….

Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oftenest in what least we dread;
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.
— Cowper

I read this, and was puzzled at first, because it seemed so familiar, yet I knew I’d never seen it before. Then my thoughts coalesced, and I knew……this is merely another way to express that most powerful of universal laws, the one standing over all, and known to all and sundry as Murphy’s Law. Four quick lines, and it feels like an entire lecture class has explored the nuances of Murphy’s insight. It explains how we are unable to see or feel him before his arrival, and how the moment of truth is always at the most unexpected time. It shows also how we feel about it, all with the greatest of ease. I Love Poetry!……
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“Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.” — Isaac Asimov

Perhaps my greatest fear in life is rooted in my belief in what Isaac has stated here. I’ve always felt that Mankind’s destiny lay in the sky; why should our minds be free to travel the length and breadth of the universe, and not our bodies? There has to be a reason why the stars call to us; our curiosity has always led us in that direction. But I am afraid, that the beloved ruling class, whose purpose in life is not the same as the rest of humanity, has too powerful a grip on society;  I’m afraid that they will drag the rest of us down with them on their trip to hell. If, if, if,….. if things were different, all the money we spend on fighting each other, or trying to take over some resource or another, were put into space exploration, we would already have a colony on the moons of Saturn, and the leftover money would be enough to powerfully bolster the educational system to support the need for more scientists. But how will we be able to make the effort, when the powers that be are totally engrossed in their own aggrandizement, and will allow nothing to challenge their hold over the rest of us? I fear for us all…….
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“Happiness follows sorrow, sorrow follows happiness, but when one no longer discriminates between happiness and sorrow, a good deal and a bad deed, one is able to realize freedom.” — Buddha

The lesson here is a subtle one, and one that is difficult for Western minds to grasp. We are accustomed to viewing the universe through the filter of our prejudices, which allow us to judge events according to our own beliefs and preferences. Removing the filter to which we are accustomed tends to create anxiety; we are unused to facing the universe without our prejudices to shield us.

But the end result is worth the effort, for it removes all the causes for us to fear the universe. When we can see that the universe proceeds without our judgments, when we can accept that those judgments are superfluous, then we are free to experience life in its full, natural state, without fear, and without conflict. When there are no distinctions made, the roots of conflict disappear, and life becomes much more enjoyable, and much more fulfilling…….
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Well, that wasn’t too bad, now was it? Hopefully, these musings will assist you in kick-starting your brain today, and give you a jump on the day. That’s the target anyway…… y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer at play..

Kowabunga!

Scratch the Ultimate Itch….

Ffolkes,
Aggravating a full-grown leopard is probably an activity best left to female leopards, but if the big fella I was confronted with was any indication, I wouldn’t have to wait for his mate to get him going. Eye’s focused, ears back in fighting position, muscles bunched and ready to spring, he was an awesome example of his species. The screaming yowl that issued from his throat cut straight through to the fear center in my brain, which was doing some screaming of its own. Flight? Or fight? Both seemed likely to bring this to an unacceptable outcome; if I break and run, he’ll take me down from behind in three steps. If I stand and fight, I and my Swiss Army Knife were going to be slightly out gunned. A lot slightly…..there was only one thing to do. I started to sing, a slow, easy tune, while slowly moving from side to side in  gentle dance. As I did this, and the big cat watched warily, I reached back and pulled my iPod out of my pack. I selected the tune I wanted, hit the play button, and listened gladly to the sound of bagpipes at full volume. It had the effect I had hoped for; at the first blast of the pipes, the cat’s ears quivered, his eyes squinched up, and he immediately turned tail and disappeared into the vegetation. Another victory of reason over fear, and another victory chalked up for the pipes o’the lochs…..


Okay, so it’s not the greatest literature that ever came down the pike. I like it, and that is all that matters, mostly. I just felt like being silly this morning; don’t much feel like getting serious today. My life in MeatSpace is serious enough to fulfill all my needs in that respect; hence, this little bit of drivel from the fertile mind of a retired dilettante. I do like the new format for these Pearls; the constant need for new material is no longer a critical issue. It does, however, make it a bit more serious-minded, with a bit less opportunity for sarcasm and/or innuendo. But, for days such as this, when my spirit rejects somberness, the old format is still useful. The Pearls selected for today’s missive were collected with that in mind, and will hopefully lighten your day……

“One of the unpardonable sins, in the eyes of most people, is for a man to go about unlabeled. The world regards such a person as the police do an unmuzzled dog, not under proper control.” — T.H. Huxley, 1893
(That’s me, in a nutshell….)

“It’s awfully hard work doing nothing. However, I don’t mind hard work when there is no definite object of any kind.” — Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

“Albert Einstein was a late talker as a child. His parents were understandably worried. Finally at the supper table one evening, he broke his silence to say, “The soup is too hot”. Greatly relieved, his parents asked why he never said a word before. Young Albert replied, “Because up to now everything was in order.” — From ‘The Little, Brown Book Of Anecdotes’ by Clifton Fadiman

Know’st thou the land where the lemon-trees bloom,
Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket’s gloom,
Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows,
And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose?
— Goethe (1749-1832)
— Wilhelm Meister, Book iii, Chap. i

Don’t you just hate it when they verbify nouns?
(I know I certainly do….)

“If you get gloomy, just take an hour off and sit and think how much better this world is than hell. Of course, it won’t cheer you up if you expect to  go there.” — Don Marquis

And on that note, I will leave you the remains of the day….. y’all take care out there….


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

Kowabunga!