Safe in the arms of Melvin….

Ffolkes,

“… the real friend… is, as it were, another self.”

~~ Marcus Tullius Cicero ~~

— (106-43 B.C.) Roman Orator, poet, statesman– De Amicitia (44 B.C.) —

Purloined polar bear

    I envy, a bit, the luck this photographer had to catch these two in such a revealing posture; it almost appears as if they are actually relating in some way, or, if nothing else, the bear is giving a “stank eye” to the gutsy bird…. wondering if it’s worth the effort to try to snatch it up as a post-tea-pre-supper snack…. I don’t know, though, he/she looks pretty comfy. Plus, who knows, the two could be best buds….

The picture is one of a type I normally don’t like to keep in my comp, not because it’s a bad shot, or belongs to someone else, but, because I really don’t like the whole idea of zoos…. I enjoy the animals, but, seeing them in cages does something to my heart, every time, especially some of the more intelligent predators, who suffer greatly when caged, such as mountain lions, and, yes, bears…

The saddest creature I’ve ever seen in my life was a poor Crescent Bear at the L.A. Zoo, many years ago…. At the age of about 11, I stood & watched it, in horrified fascination, for hours, as it spent the entire day outside its cavern, pacing a 10-step line in front of the door, turning 180º on its two hind legs, then pacing back…. back and forth, back and forth, with a manic look in its eyes, occasionally giving a half-moan, half-crying voicing of its misery as it turned around…. The poor animal was, obviously, neurotic, more than half-insane with grief and pain, from being confined, and made to act against its every instinct, just so people, whom it fears and would not be near in the wild, unless forced, can stand where they are safe from the bear, to ogle it, until throwing garbage at it, to see it dance, giving it no respect, no dignity, and no quality of life….

People, believing in their self-given, egotistical, delusional mandate as the Lords of Creation, think nothing at all about how being caged feels to the animals… or, if they do, they manage to adopt one of the many, easily supported rationalizations for doing so, imprisoning them anyway…. Can you think of a more miserable existence on this planet, than to be a polar bear, living in a cage in Brazil, or India, during one of their summer heat waves? The old saw about the animals being pampered, are well-taken care of, and much safer and happier than in the wild,  is merely the human’s delusional system having its joke on reality…. at the expense of some of the most beautiful, free creatures on this world…

So, I try to keep and view animal pictures that aren’t from zoos; unfortunately, I too have rationalized at times, to keep pictures that are good portraits, that show the animal’s beauty, or spirit, while trying to avoid getting parts of the cages in the picture.. This one is from yesterday’s SFGATE Day In Pictures feature at sfgate.com…. a site that is getting so loaded down with ads and video crap, it will actually slow down your computer, by filling up the internet cache in no time at all…. so, if you go view it, be aware you may need to perform basic maintenance afterward….

Enough ranting in the intro…. though, to be honest, this isn’t so much a rant, as another indictment, of human nature…. about which I shall say no more, except to comment thus: I often wonder what will happen if there actually IS a God, and we are made to take responsibility for the way in which we have demonstrated only the baser side of our nature in our dealings with the creatures with whom we share the planet…. I have a feeling that there are a lot of people, expecting to be passed through the Pearly Gates, who will, instead, be trying to figure out why it is so damn HOT in heaven….

Mankind, for reasons having to do with his false sense of entitlement, has shown nothing but a form of species chauvinism for our entire history, without ever learning to question their own perverted outlook… without any possible, reasonable justification for such delusional thinking…. My suggestion? Send all the animals back to where they belong, and put the people in the cages….

So be it…. gigoid has spoken….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.” — Albert Einstein

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Due to…. Oh, hell… I was going to try to be discrete, using formal language to disguise how SHITTY I currently feel, but, fuck it. I’m still experiencing vertigo whenever I move my head too fast; it’s not getting old, it IS old. Since I can barely sit up without effort, ranting, or even pearling is out of the question…. Fortunately, yesterday, in dealing with the same issue, I managed to sit down a number of times for a few minutes, & throw together most of today’s Pearl ahead of time…. Even so, ranting was out of the question, so, here is one from a couple years back, not really a rant, but, with the same general cause, and effect…. Enjoy!….

From May 15, 2012:

Here is a reverse pearl…. instead of a quote, or two, and my discussion of the subject, here are four excellent pearls, all of which I have previously discussed; there is really no need to write more about them, as my opinion is well-documented…. Instead, just read them all, in the order presented, and note how accurate a picture it paints of the current political scene in this country…. they clearly demonstrate, or at least highlight, how our own failure as citizens of a democracy has contributed to the position in which we now find ourselves….

“There is no such thing as security. There never has been.” — Germaine Greer

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
— C. S. Lewis

“It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives…  When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force.  When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.” — Dorothy Thompson, American journalist, author (1894-1961)

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken

I was watching one of my favorite movies last night, “The American President” and one of the lines reminded me of just how far we have come from the dream our founding fathers had for us…. from the speech at the end of the movie, the President says, “I assure you, Bob Rumson (read: Mitt Romney) has no interest in solving your problems. He is interested in only two things; making you afraid of it, and telling you who to blame for it.”

If we elect a fool into the highest office in the land, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. And me? I insist on only being afraid of what I choose to be afraid of, and what the political pundits would have me be afraid of is just an illusion…. another of the lies, at the creation of which they are very facile and experienced…. stay alert folks….

“Liberty don’t work as good in practice as it does in speeches.” — Will Rogers

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With the above setting the tone, I believe we’ll go with something from this gentleman….

A Radio With Guts

it was on the 2nd floor on Coronado Street
I used to get drunk
and throw the radio through the window
while it was playing, and, of course,
it would break the glass in the window
and the radio would sit there on the roof
still playing
and I’d tell my woman,
“Ah, what a marvelous radio!”
the next morning I’d take the window
off the hinges
and carry it down the street
to the glass man
who would put in another pane.
I kept throwing that radio through the window
each time I got drunk
and it would sit there on the roof
still playing-
a magic radio
a radio with guts,
and each morning I’d take the window
back to the glass man.
I don’t remember how it ended exactly
though I do remember
we finally moved out.
there was a woman downstairs who worked in
the garden in her bathing suit,
she really dug with that trowel
and she put her behind up in the air
and I used to sit in the window
and watch the sun shine all over that thing
while the music played.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~


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“I don’t purr – I don’t beep – I ain’t cute!” — gigoid

Actually, someone else made this up; it does, however, describe me with disturbing accuracy, so, I’m laying claim to it, until I do find out who said it first, whereupon I’ll share that, then go eliminate them from this plane of existence, so I can keep it…. Yesterday, I spent a lot of time down, and while up, didn’t feel like surfing, or doing much of anything… but, I did manage a few minutes here and there, to collect pearls for today’s post, even if I didn’t know at the time how they’d be utilized…

It’s a trick I learned back in the early days of ECR, & even back to the original gigoid’s folly, that has helped before, when I run out of stuff to quote, and SB is being fractious, and/or I’m not up to much writing…. This one came out pretty well, as they are mostly just observations, and statements of reality from different viewpoints….. Enjoy, ffolkes, this one won’t really stretch the mind so much as soothe it… Watch your step though, it’s a nine-star pearl, so, there are extra thoughts required to get to any of the points that may be lurking within….

“Jehovah is an alien and still threatens this planet!” — Smart Bee, making gigoid chuckle

“Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.” — Epictetus

“Knowledge of divine things for the most part, as Heraclitus says, is lost to us by incredulity.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Coriolanus

“…there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth.” — George Jacob Holyoake

“Men are even lazier than they are timorous, and what they fear most is the troubles with which any unconditional honesty and nudity would burden them.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child.” — Knights of Pythagoras

“Don’t wait for someone to take you under their wing. Find a good wing and climb up underneath it.” — Frank C. Bucaro

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” — Ingrid Bergman

“Oh, well, I guess this is just going to be one of those lifetimes.” — Smart Bee

Lovely…. I love when a plan comes together….

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So be it…. Not only is that the best I can do, it’s all I can do…. 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

Kowabunga!

 

Tales of rabbits running, and thyme….

Ffolkes,

    I realized, at one point, while going over yesterday’s post, that my diatribe in the intro section, regarding some theoretical might-have-beens for one of our former POTUS’s, may conceivably have sounded as if I were disparaging, by stereotyping, “those kind of guys”, when I was speaking of GWB Jr, aka, Shrub, Jr….. That would be an erroneous conclusion, completely against the grain of my actual beliefs, and totally in opposition to the point I was making about the shrub’s latency…

    In that respect, I meant only to suggest that HE, Mr. Shrub, Jr., would have been much better off had he been allowed to explore that, shall we say, more ethically and/or morally evolved side of his personality…. which, sadly, also does not mention how much better off we all would have been, had that series of unlikely events have taken place…. I wanted to make that perfectly clear, as I MUCH  prefer the politics and personalities I find in the gay community over those I find in the Republican Party, as a rule…. Actually, I’d say it’s more like a natural law than a rule, as I’ve yet to meet a Republican I liked very much, and I generally enjoy ALL the gay and/or transgender ffolkes I meet…. though I’m sure they produce their share of assholes, too… We all take our turn at that….

    I started this apologia yesterday, at the point in time when I realized what I had done, so it has usurped my usual beginning routine…. which fits right in with the rest of the day’s events thus far…. I arose at almost 6 AM, the latest hour I’ve arisen in the course of many blue moons, and a good indicator that my new medication regime for sleeping is effective. I’m getting a handle on the amount of medication (cannabis….) I need to consume, as well as getting to understand how long prior to the time I want to go out for the night I need to consume it, so for the past five nights, I’ve gone to bed at a relatively normal hour, and gotten up eight to nine hours later, refreshed and reasonably recharged….. It’s a real treat, believe me, after many years of interrupted sleeping…. I do wake up a bit confused, though, as my mind doesn’t understand why I was asleep so long….

    All of the routines I’m now developing are new, so it may take some time to regularize them; bear with me until then, if you will, and give me some slack…. more than you’ve already given me over time, as you’ve watched me go through all the contortions that my particular brand of madness makes me display so ardently….. I know it can be difficult to see a human being going through some of this, but, just toughen up, ffolkes, it’s all in a good cause, as  long as the subscription papers got signed for the turning over of all the profits to the charity funds I picked…. Of course, that’s assuming we can ever show a profit, an event unlikely to happen in this lifetime, as I’m making no effort to do so…. So there….

    Not sure why the irritability is there, but, hey, I’ve been in stranger moods, and still gotten a Pearl done…. It’s probably just some left over confusion from waking up, a natural response to new routines, and a natural flip, to turn over the confusion to the curmudgeon in me, and let it out as grumpiness…. Every body needs to practice their skills, eh?…. Even if the only thing we’re going to do is go for a dive, in familiar waters…..

    Shall we Pearl?…. Below you will find a quote, one of my all-time favorites, but, sadly, one I have always attributed incorrectly, to the wrong author…. I had always thought this came from Mahatma Gandhi, in one of his gentle moments of sardonicism…. but, I was wrong, so, I offer it here with the correct author given credit….

“Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.” — George Bernard Shaw
_____________________________

    I’m not up to a rant today, ffolkes, even though I see by the news that the idiots are loose out there, even on a Sunday…. But, they’re talking about the budget, and the economy, and NOTHING is more upsetting to me than that…. They all talk just as if there were something they could do that would have some effect on the economy, when it is perfectly clear to even the most thick-headed that there is not a damn thing to be done… ANYTHING they do is the wrong thing, and it is something they will never understand, as it is beyond their capability….. So, rather than stand around and point out the obvious bleeding from the head wounds they give each other, pounding on a wall that won’t move, I’ll put together an old-school style pearl, to show the same derisive qualities, but with a bit of panache, and, hopefully, humor…. Let’s see if SB will cooperate today….

“The long habit of living indisposeth us for dying.” — Sir Thomas Browne

“Life is Not Fair!  Not today, Not tomorrow, Not ever!  Get used to it!” — Smart Bee

“Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.” — Anton Chekhov

“Difficulties are things that show what men are.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap. xxiv

“It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth.” — Oscar Wilde

“He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.” — Aristotle

Between those who use their neighbors, and those who use a cane.
Between those in constant power, and those in constant pain.
Between those who run to evil, and those who cannot run.
Tell me which ones are the cripples, and which ones touch the sun.

 — Ceili’s Muse “What you do with what you’ve got”
_____________________________

    I know a poet is special when what they’ve written speaks to me as if I were standing next to them, watching them as they wrote the poem…. All of this man’s poems do that for me…. He is very, very real, and powerful, especially when he reveals the vulnerability we all feel sometimes…..

Bluebird

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

_____________________________

    When I began to put this section together, my intent was a bit more dignified than the end result might indicate….. But, I have no regrets at all over this one, as it happened to turn out to be rather a good little pearly mini-rant, with some fairly nice shots taken, and some good advice delivered…. If nothing else, it gives us all a chance to think about just how much it’s going to cost me to get the psychiatric help I need…. until we remember, it’s all free, if you’re already insane!…..

    No, really, ffolkes, this one actually IS a good pearl, with all the right stuff to take someone in the right frame of mind right over into patriotic fervor, or possibly, an outbreak of common sense, or even random compassion…. One never knows with these pearls, you know, they can be pretty unpredictable in their effect on some ffolkes…. and even more so on other folks….

“It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives…  When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force.  When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.” — Dorothy Thompson, American journalist, author (1894-1961)

“Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the _real_ object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” — Patrick Henry

“A promise must never be broken.” — Alexander Hamilton

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?” — Thomas Jefferson,  “Notes on Virginia”

“A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.” — Ramsey Clark

“All the big corporations depreciate their possessions, and you can, too, provided you use them for business purposes.  For example, if you subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, a business-related newspaper, you can deduct the cost of your house, because, in the words of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger in a landmark 1979 tax decision: “Where else are you going to read the paper?  Outside?  What if it rains?” — Dave Barry, “Sweating Out Taxes”

“America … just a nation of two hundred million used car salesman with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.” — Hunter S. Thompson, “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail”
_____________________________

    There are mornings when I’m uncertain whether or not I really should be doing this…. Then, I read it, and it’s all okay again…. Let’s see if that works today….. Well, I won’t take the high road, and insist that this is all well-intentioned, and should therefore be pardoned…. Nor will I take the low road, and say it is so poor and lacking in content it should be ignored…. for in truth, it is neither one of those, but, almost a proper Pearl, in almost every sense… I’m not certain how it came out that way, but, I’ll take it…. and see you tomorrow, considering myself fortunate to be able to run away without guilt, “an have harmed none”…..

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

A plethora of pentangular puff pastries….

Ffolkes,

“Surely,” I thought to myself, “surely there won’t be any more fear.” Then, I woke up, only to find that, once again, the screen is blank, and so is my mind…. If I were a writer for a magazine, or a news paper, or some specific job that hires writers, perhaps I wouldn’t face such a conundrum each morning…. I’d have my assignments of what to write already waiting for me, as given to me by my editors, may they rot in hell…. (Sorry, editors, but your reputation precedes you….)  The assignments would, no doubt, be as boring as they could make them, but, they’d be subjects, and I wouldn’t have to fret and fuss over finding something to start with….

Of course, I can always go into the “whine and cheese” mode, like this morning, where I just complain about how much of a hassle it all is; it may LOOK like it’s easy to put together, but, it really isn’t, you know…. Trying to do this, while making it sound and look different than all the other times I’ve used this method, well, it isn’t as simple as it may seem…. Of course, nothing about writing on a daily basis is as simple as it seems, either, at least, not as simple as it looked before I began doing it…. The actual doing of it takes more dedication and perseverance than it seems as if it would, when looking at it from the outside….

The advantage to this type of intro section is, naturally, the very thing I complain of, to wit: no restraints on me as to what I can write…. I can do this, I can write a fictional beginning, or I can do something entirely off the wall…. and no comments about ALL of it being off that wall, if you please…. I get that enough from my own head; I don’t need y’all to reinforce that idea any more than it already gets….

If you’ve been watching the last few weeks, you’ll see that I’ve gotten rather good at saying nothing for about four or five paragraphs…. Every day, for some time, I’ve managed to fill in this section with nonsense, or blather, either of which takes up the required space, but, without all the wear and tear on my bone of creativity….. (I only have the one, you know, so it’s kind of overworked….) I’ve been sleeping more in the last week, too, which has also had a small effect on things, though I’m still not certain what that effect might be…. It just makes me sound as if I know whereof I speak, which is important for an op/ed writer….

That is what I really consider myself to be, at the bottom…. I write opinion editorials, which I and many others call rants….. Why? Well, because if I didn’t, all that stuff would sit inside my head, and rot…. The end result of that particular form of chemical reaction is NOT healthy, for me, or for whomever is nearby when it comes rushing out of my head, percolated from merely food for thought, into outright outrage, and justified anger, toward that portion of humanity that preys upon the remainder….. I can’t seem to help it, the evidence is right there in the news, for all to see, and I just can’t let it lie, sleeping dog or no…

So, I’ll keep on keepin’ on, so to speak, as long as the Beloved Ruling Class continues to screw over the rest of humanity….. Given the state of the planet, and the rate at which we continue to pump particulate matter into its atmosphere, that really won’t be all that long…. more’s the pity…. I was really looking forward to seeing the rest of the galaxy, too….

Shall we Pearl?….

“For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, his mind will be the greatest enemy.” — Bhagavad Gita (c. B.C. 400)
_____________________________

Though I described above how a pearl will generally include something rantable, or at least, formerly rantable and now archived, it should be noted that I do try to keep things as fresh as possible….. But, it gets hard, especially since the damn horse died…. I keep beating on it, but it won’t get up!…. Nonetheless, the subject matter will remain the same, in general…. the folks who stick it to the rest of us don’t change their spots, so they’re always there as targets…. At the present moment in time, however, my head isn’t quite ready for such vituperation… or perhaps it would be more accurate to say my HEART isn’t in it right now, as the emotions behind the rants are what make them powerful, on those occasions when they do achieve the proper tone of accusation and outrage….

Hence the following harlequin pearl, odd-numbered star variety, gathered fresh today for your perusal and delectation, snatched from the jaws of the Smart Bee to provide y’all with this morning’s food for thought, to go along with all the usual holiday hype we suffer from this time of the year…. I hope you enjoy them, they cost me a LOT of effort today…. Well, I’m assuming they will…. they always do….

“Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.” — Elbert Hubbard

I aske not labored letters which should weare
Long papers out: nor letters which should feare
Dishonest carriage: or a seer’s art:
Nor such as from the brayne come, but the hart.

— John Donne

“It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives…  When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force.  When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.” — Dorothy Thompson, American journalist, author (1894-1961)

There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds.

— Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) — In Memoriam, xcvi, Stanza 3

“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” — G. C. Lichtenberg

“Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.” — Socrates

“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.” Albert Einstein
_____________________________

In the past few days, I’ve been posting poems that didn’t need any help or introduction from me; the sheer genius they displayed spoke for itself…. Rather than rely entirely upon the works of other people, I’ve decided to spread a bit of the blame onto my own shoulders, so there can be no speculation of discrimination, or lack thereof…. I know exactly how my poetry stands up to the classics; no illusions of grandeur there, believe me…. But, sometimes, I do okay….. If nothing else, the rhymes are almost always consistent, so, I’m happy….

I know I’m in the now, if only…..

Oh, there it is again, fiddle faddle;
  Begone, I said, vamoose, skedaddle!
It looked at me as if I were insane:
  Scoffed, it did, filled me with pain.

Where does it come from?
Where does it live?
I’d stick out my thumb,
if I had more to give.

If only, should, would, could it be?
  It went away again, this time free.
It will be back again, this I know;
  or I’m wrong, and it won’t show.

Who cares?
Who hears?
Such goings on wobble the sphere,
I wish it wouldn’t do that here.

I’ve been wrong before…..

~~ gigoid ~~


“Not all men who drink are poets. Some of us drink because we aren’t poets.” — Smart Bee
_____________________________

“A man who can fool chiefs, and even gods, must still face the monsters he himself created.” — Old Maori saying

Introspection has always been a hobby of mine, but, since turning the ripe old age of 63, it seems to have become even more of a time-consuming process for me than has been true for most of my life…..

I can remember lying on my bed in the state of Washington, when my father was stationed there at Fort Lewis…. I would stare at the bottom of my brother’s upper bunk, and imagine all manner of things, including about myself, and my place in the universe…. Even at the tender age of 8 or 9, as the son of an Army sergeant, I had been many places, and seen more of the world than is usual for anyone other than Army brats…. our proud designation for ourselves…. The quest to maintain one’s personality in the face of all the changes going on around us gave me the impetus to perpetually be aware of more than is the norm for kids of that age; at least, it always seemed so, from what I can tell from my knowledge of others of that age….

Now that I’ve reached an age that completely got skipped in my earlier musings of what life would be like, I seem to be thinking back and forth more often, making connections with the past that explain certain elements of my own persona as they manifest today…. My hair, for example…. (I know, I know, my hair isn’t generally the subject of a rant, but, that’s not really what this is…. this is more of a…. a retrospective, yeah, that’s it…. a retrospective…. so, calm down, I’m not going to get all graphic, or gloomy, or pick at anyone in particular, other than myself…. ‘kay?…. ‘Kay!…..)

So, I was looking at my picture on my About page, and can only say that, well, there I am…. My hair is even longer now, (a bit grayer, too….). as I see no particular reason to cut it…. which is the root thought that stimulated this entire subject today…. A little while ago, I was standing outside a moment, with my hair not yet tied back into the usual ponytail, and the wind was blowing it around a bit….. I started to get annoyed, then realized I could only blame myself for it getting in my face, because the solution to that problem is right over there in the drawer, where the scissors live…. I thought to myself, how many times has someone asked me, “why don’t you cut your hair?”, and realized I couldn’t count that high…

My own reaction to that particular query is to think, (again…), to myself, “Well, actually, the question that occurs to me to ask is, why don’t I NOT  cut my hair?”…. It seems to me, when I stop to consider the matter logically, and reasonably, that if the hair grows, as it has always done, it must have some sort of evolutionary purpose for doing so, right? It seems logical to me…. Therefore, it seems logical to ask, as well, “who am I to fuss with evolution?” This line of reasoning, naturally, tends to piss of most of the folks who make the original statement to me…. but, I figure that sort of anger is a personal problem, don’t you? I can’t go around taking the heat for what other people don’t like about me, when their anger is based on THEIR beliefs, not mine….

In a way, I suppose it’s the old hippie in me…. Aha, you say, now we’re getting to the meat of the matter! And, typically, I am supposed to say, at this point, “Just what do you mean by that? I don’t know what you’re talking about….”   Then, I smile, and get on with what I was doing, which is explaining why being a hippie is not what most people would think…. I mean, there were a lot of popular misconceptions floating around all during the 60’s (Believe me, it was a very confusing time…. I know, I was there….), when there were a lot of people who thought that there was something wrong, or even evil, about being described as one of those misunderstood knights of the sub-culture….

Yes, I said knights…. Jedi knights, before they were the iconic, eternal, peaceful warrior as made popular in later years…. Hippies were the knights of the 60’s and 70’s, diligently tilting at all the windmills we could find, poking our noses into the business of the military-industrial complex, which I now refer to as the BRC, until they were sick of the sight of anyone with long hair….. Back in the day, even the most rigid of conservative hawks understood that they were witnessing a change of culture, and there was nothing they could do to alter the course that history was taking…. The power of love, and compassion, and freedom swept through the entire world, as well as refreshing American society, with repercussions still being felt today….

One of the most important characteristics of hippies that I don’t think most people understood is that we were only interested in revolution in the sense that revolution means change; no hippie worth the name ever wished to violently overthrow anything that didn’t threaten violence first…. But, it is also true that real hippies have no objection to using violence to defend themselves, a fact which always comes as a big surprise to those who would try to oppress them. As with any tool, honor has to be the regulatory agency for determining which tool should be used, and how…. This, sadly, is a concept that those who prey on other people, who seek power over them, can never truly understand, as it is not a part of their perception of reality….

I see that I’ve reached a point where this must either get very pointed, or fade into the background for the time being….. I’m feeling mellow, due to re-connecting with the halcyon days of my youth, so I’ll show mercy here, and opt for the latter…. Besides, I’m all out of introspection for the nonce, and there’s no telling when it might drop back by…. I’ll leave y’all with one final pearl, to seal the deal….

“Oh, how we fear the metamorphoses through which we truly become fledged humans, real mensches of the species homo sapiens. Yet even if we do not willingly undergo them, changes pursue us just the same. The woman who never bears a child metamorphoses in different ways. We may dig in our heels and dare life never to change, but, all the same, it changes under our feet like sand under the feet of a sea gazer as the tide runs out. Life is forever undermining us. Life is forever washing away our castles, reminding us that they were, after all, only sand and sea water.” — Erica Jong: Parachutes and Kisses
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Okay, housekeeping…. I’m leaving in the morning, to go on another cruise, and doubt seriously if I’ll be able to post on Sunday…. Just too much to do out in the BBR, and no telling how the internet on board this new ship will turn out to be, speed-wise… So far, they’ve all been different…. Most likely, though, I will post on Monday, Tuesday, & possibly Wednesday, but, again, maybe not at all until Thursday…. I’ll just have to wait to see how it all pans out…. Suffice it to say, if it comes down to posting, or interrupting fun, well, we know what will win out, don’t we?…..

Now, let’s see how this came out….. Okay, well, it’s long enough, and it’s not overtly stupid, or mean, so, I’ll call it done, and be done with it…. Lots of stuff to do to get ready…. NOT!  I’m ready, for just under 22 hours from now, when I’ll walk out that door, on the way to the airport…. See ya, some time or another, ffolkes….

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

Zipping in fields of pizazz….

Ffolkes,
Odd dreams, indeed, that persist into the day. Odder still when they ask for coffee. But there he was, a huge, red-skinned demon, complete with horns and a tail, big as life and twice as ugly, sitting in my only chair, and demanding coffee. I’m pretty sure, even without checking, that I’ve never had one of the nasty creatures that inhabit some of my less cheerful dreams sit in my living room, and the new experience wasn’t bringing me the thrill of discovery and wonder that one might expect. In fact, it was just pissing me off….

“What the hell makes you think I’m giving you coffee!” I said, calmly…. well, it would have been calmly, but for the volume set at “scream”…. My visitor merely smiled, looking at me as if I were a tardy student, and shook his head. “Because I asked for it?” he rumbled out of his over-sized mouth. “You’ve never been one to deny basic hospitality.” “I’m making an exception in your case, ” I snapped back, “since you seem to have invited yourself to this party.” “True, true,” he smiled, “but, you’ll feel better with some of it inside you, and we’ll have a better chat.” Fuming, but resigned because he was right, I moved into the small kitchen to pour a couple of cups.

There… that’s out. Better out than in, I always say…. I am starting today’s dive for pearls very late, as my body refused to get up at my usual time. I find myself here at my computer with three and a half extra hours of sleep, which I apparently needed badly.  It’s not really hard to understand why. I just don’t like to admit that it is so exhausting to sit around and fight against pain, but there seems to be little I can do to deny it, as that is all I do, mostly…. Let me tell you, this getting old sucks, big time….

Not only does it suck, but it makes me whine, which I hate in myself. It’s bad enough to have the pain, which no one can see, but to complain about it lacks dignity, and I can use all of that I can muster. So, if y’all don’t mind, I think I’ll just drag this cloak of dignity I found laying here around my shoulders, take a deep breath, and dive into the pool on a search for pearls…. take a breath now, if you’re going with me…One…two… three…. dive!……
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Here is a reverse pearl…. instead of a quote, or two, and my discussion of the subject, here are four excellent pearls, all of which I have previously discussed; there is really no need to write more about them, as my opinion is well-documented…. Instead, just read them all, in the order presented, and note how accurate a picture it paints of the current political scene in this country…. they clearly demonstrate, or at least highlight, how our own failure as citizens of a democracy has contributed to the position in which we now find ourselves….

“There is no such thing as security. There never has been.” — Germaine Greer

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
— C. S. Lewis

“It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives…  When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force.  When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.” — Dorothy Thompson, American journalist, author (1894-1961)

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken

I was watching one of my favorite movies last night, “The American President” and one of the lines reminded me of just how far we have come from the dream our founding fathers had for us…. from the speech at the end of the movie, the President says, “I assure you, Bob Rumson (read: Mitt Romney) has no interest in solving your problems. He is interested in only two things, making you afraid of it, and telling you who to blame for it.” (That may be slightly incomplete or inaccurate as to exact wording, but the meaning and sentiment remain clear) If we elect a fool into office, we have no one to blame but ourselves. And me? I insist on only being afraid of what I choose to be afraid of, and what the political pundits would have me be afraid of is just an illusion…. another of the lies, the creation of which they are very facile and experienced….. stay alert folks….

“Liberty don’t work as good in practice as it does in speeches.” — Will Rogers
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Unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. — New Testament — Matthew xxv, 29

This will be one of the shortest pearls ever, even including this superfluous opening. All I have to say here is what came to mind when I read it just now during my dive, which was, “Well, the bankers sure took this one to heart, didn’t they?”  That’s all… just think about it… which is more than any Christian would do….

Heaven Holds a Place for Those who Prey — Smart Bee
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“Whenever I’m faced with a difficult situation, I like to ask myself what my idol, Edward R. Murrow, would think; and I think Ed would call this censorship.  But I also ask myself what my other hero, General George Patton, would think; and I think George would believe this country needs to be cleaned up. Why, if George were alive today, he’d take two armored tank divisions into Hollywood and knock those liberal pinheads into the ocean!  So, as you can see, I’m a very confused man.  And when I’m confused, there’s only one thing that makes me feel better: I watch TV.” — Les Nesman, “WKRP in Cincinatti”

I find this to be, while amusing, a very, very scary, and uncannily accurate, description of how most of this country approaches life. When things become too confusing, they go watch TV, so they can find out what they are supposed to be thinking. I personally know a great number of folks who center their entire day around what is on TV; hell, before I got them out of that habit, my own kids were almost suckered into that sort of approach. Fortunately, my daughter inherited my love of reading and books, and my son turned his attention to the real world, immersing himself in kung fu for most of this free time.

But, in general, what is on TV is what most of America will parrot when asked what they believe. Very few of us seem to have perpetuated the habit of thinking about what we’ve been told; sometimes it seems as the bloggers I follow are the only ones who are doing so. I certainly see very little evidence out in real life that tells me that anyone is paying attention to this issue.

Mostly, the folks who question authority try to remain true to the system, pursuing their goals within the constraints of that system. But, it doesn’t work, as the vast majority of folks in this country come home from their slave jobs to flick on the TV and let the nonsense fill their heads up with stuff that keeps them quiet and content, like “The Simpsons” or some such….. SIGH……
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    Not much needs saying here… this fine fellow is here merely to express my opinion of politicians, popes, kings, queens, ayatollahs, bankers, CEO’s, and every other type of human who seeks to assume power over others…. so there!…. and to illustrate the old saw about a picture being worth a thousand words… in my case it is often 1500 words, so this image saved you all from that this morning…. nice of him, eh?
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However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act on upon them?
— Buddha

My religious upbringing was pretty casual, since my parents weren’t particularly devout, at least outwardly. Most of my life we attended Presbyterian churches, but were never heavily involved. The whole story behind Christianity always seemed pretty improbable to me, even at the tender age of four or five when it was first introduced in Sunday School, where the kids in Presbyterian churches were sent during services to keep from either distracting the minister during his sermon, or to distract their parents from their nap during said sermon. (You can’t fool a four-year old about motivation….)

As I grew older, the things about church that first bothered me continued to grow in number, fueled most heavily by the actions of the church-goers. It always seemed to me that what was said in church on Sunday, and what actually happened out in the real world had nothing to do with each other. Nobody I could see was acting in a Christian manner anywhere but in church, and even then, it seemed pretty self-serving, as if the folks who were discussing morality were showing off for the preacher, more than they were invested in the morals themselves. (You can’t fool a teenager about hypocrisy….)

As my reading list expanded, I found that my suspicions and objections to Christian churches intensified, as I became more aware of what actually went on out in the real world, and was exposed to more religions and philosophies. It seemed, at least on the surface, that the proponents of the other big religions in the world were no less hypocritical in their actions than were the Christian, and further evidence of the accuracy of that observation has been in the news daily for a long time.

Nobody in the entire world, as far as I can see, really buys into any of the religions, unless they are so poor that they grasp onto the charitable aspects of their respective creeds in order to survive. I can find no religion, anywhere in the world, that has significantly advanced the cause of morality in humans; it generally has a negative effect instead, providing their constituents with reasons to practice immorality, as long as it is directed against those in other sects.

So, I continue to wage my own personal battle against the ignorance of reality that all churches demand of their followers, and promote rationality and reason as an approach to life, rather than encouraging people to submit to what, to me, is just another lie disguised as something supposedly “good for me”…. and I find the following statement to be extremely accurate, not only in the context of when it was written, but today as well…..

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting.  It has been found difficult, and left untried.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936), “What’s Wrong with the World
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It is unusual for me to find myself with nothing to say; I’ve never been unable or unwilling to form an opinion on almost anything, and being who I am, I’m not shy about sharing those opinions. But, I feel now, at the end of this morning’s effort, to be without anything useful to add. So, being the reasonable, rational person I am, I will stop now…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!