Polishing nouns is honest work….

Ffolkes,

“The problem with troubleshooting is that real trouble shoots back.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

cobh

Cobh, Ireland ~ Seaport for County Cork

Hajime…. If I were so inclined, I could start today with a feeling of pride, for having completed a Pearl under stiff opposition. But, since the major portion of said opposition came from my own head, it might be a trifle hypocritical, or, at minimum, shamelessly obtuse. I will, however, note my sense of gratification for having it done, no matter how it came about. Such is the life of a curmudgeon in the early morning….

This isn’t to say life isn’t good; it isn’t. Hah! Fooled ya, didn’t I? No? Okay, well, I fooled me, so that counts. It’s beginning to look as if nothing I write is going to count, doesn’t it? Perhaps we’d be better off to forgo any further attempts at levity, or even sobriety, in favor of getting on with this. Yes, I believe that’s the way to go; it may be our only chance to do this at all; day’s like this can turn ugly in a heartbeat, should my mindful control of unreality begin to unravel…. the symptoms of which are rapidly mounting. We’re going on now, because, otherwise, this is going to go south in a hurry…. Hang on, ffolkes; no time for niceties….

Shall we Pearl?….

“What is required is sight and insight — then you might add one more: excite.”

~~ Robert Frost~~

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Lenny Cohen

On the 7th of November, Leonard Cohen passed away, at the age of 82. I’ve listened to him all my life, and will miss his gravelly, emotional bass tones immensely. Here’s a video of a live performance, with links to much more of his work. Enjoy, ffolkes; we won’t hear anything new from him again….

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Leonard Cohen
1934 – 2016

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Comedy_Tragedy

I’d hoped to have a new poem, but, apparently, it isn’t ready to leak out. Here’s another old one to carry the day….

Relative Cynicism, with Caramel Sauce

Absolute stillness follows violent movement,
it can happen during a downhill race,
as an immovable piece of asphalt pavement
meets the once handsome racer’s face.

Yuk, yuk, yuk said that asshole Moe,
after poking both of Larry’s eyes,
bashing face, head, & crotch of Curly Joe
and only ever got hit with pies.

Lonely moments never really come along
when Murphy’s got us in his sights.
Not for money, love, or siren’s song
will he abrogate his natural rights.

All we can do is sigh, or laugh in pain,
as Life portions out our ration of shit.
Silver linings melt in the slightest rain,
so we may as well learn to live with it.

~~ gigoid ~~

4/7/2013

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pearls_3

Smart Bee decided, sans notice, to take the day off. But, it’s okay; I was reading one of the older posts recommended by the WP bots at the bottom of a page, & found this nice little discussion to fill in…. It’s just a little foray into gigoidism, and quite fun…. Enjoy!….

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From 4/17/2013:

“A thing is not proved because no one has ever questioned it…Skepticism is the first step towards truth.” — Smart Bee

As I was cruising through Smart Bee this morning, looking for inspiration for section 3, I came across this little gem, unattributed. It sounds like it could have come from a number of different philosophers, all of whom are noted for their wisdom and perspicacity (another great word….). It is also a part of the human flaw that has contributed to many of the problems we face as a society, and as a species.

Actually, it might be more accurate to say that the lack of this in humans is part of the flaw; most people one talks to would not agree with this idea, as stated. In fact, it is directly opposed to the educational premises of many cultures, especially those heavily influenced by religions, such as those in Mexico, Central and South America, where Catholicism is a powerful factor in society, and in the governing of that society. India, and much of the Eastern Hemisphere, too, have societies that are heavily influenced by religion, though with more participant sects than is true in the Western Hemisphere; Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, to name a few, are always a contributing factor in the political events that have shaped history.

“The common dogma [of fundamentalists] is fear of modern knowledge, inability to cope with the fast change in a scientific-technological society, and the real breakdown in apparent moral order in recent years That is why hate is the major fuel, fear is the cement of the movement, and superstitious ignorance is the best defence against the dangerous new knowledge. When you bring up arguments that cast serious doubts on their cherished beliefs you are not simply making a rhetorical point, you are threatening their whole Universe and their immortality. That provokes anger and quite frequently violence.” — G Gaia

As a result of this influence, many people tend to reject skepticism, as it doesn’t fit in with what they have been taught, which is to never question anything told to them by persons in positions of authority. Churches tend to encourage this sort of attitude, as their outrageous claims of divinity, and supernatural events performed by their deities, do not stand up well to scrutiny by an objective eye. The leaders of the churches thus play right into the hands of the Beloved Ruling Class, as they counsel their flocks to obey worldly, temporal authority as readily as they are conditioned to obey the secular variety…..

“I just stepped on a factoid!” – Zippy the Pinhead

Thankfully, not all of humanity is defenseless against this sort of conditioning. There are many ffolkes out there who don’t buy into the sort of psychological blackmail being promulgated by the preachers, priests, imams, and shamans of all shapes and sizes around the world, and a large number of them seem to end up blogging, right here on WordPress…. So, I end up preaching to the choir pretty often. But, that’s okay, too, because I know that occasionally, one of those folks who do believe in what they are told, without any questions or doubts, will read this, and, if nothing else, will think about what I’ve said…. Who knows, maybe I’ll go viral, and the whole world will remember that WE ALL ARE GODS?”…… (Remember? Axiom # 3…. “Thou art God, you know…. Let’s do lunch….)

“Youth of today! Join me in a mass rally for traditional mental attitudes!” — Zippy the Pinhead

I suppose that’s a note from my subconscious, to let me know I’ve gone far enough off the rails for now, and should let these good people get on with their lives, rather than wandering around in mine…. Goodness knows where we’ll end up…. So, anyway, just remember to cultivate your sense of doubt, your “crap detector”, as it were, and never, ever take anything “on authority”, without tangible proof…. You’ll find Life to be less confusing that way; certainly, it makes it a lot easier to look yourself in the mirror in the morning…..

“This is patently absurd; but whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities.” — Bertrand Russell

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All in all, not a bad effort, given the implicit difficulties we encounter on a regular basis. Having successfully navigated those turbulent waters, I can safely, and with some relief, bid thee adieu for another day. Yes, that means this will all happen again tomorrow; go figure…. Oh, and, stay strange; it’s pretty cool out there….

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

Dozer

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Such a waste of appealingly bitter waffles….

Ffolkes,

“No human thing is of serious importance.”

~~ Plato ~~

Second shots 001

Struggling Beauty


Good morning….

 “Sleep is a weapon.”

~~ Philip D’Anjou, “The Bourne Identity” by Robert Ludlum ~~


I first read the above words in the 1970’s, I think, when the book was first published. Regardless of the book’s qualities, I’d have liked it, anyway, if only for that line…. It’s such a powerful idea, and is, to my own knowledge, a very important piece of data for anyone to know, at least, if they’re the kind of person who enjoys life. It has so many applications to every part of life, it touches on all we do, and all we accomplish….. Without a sharp, strong, flexible weapon, life can be very hard, and very dangerous…. The weapon, of course, is our own mind….

Why is this relative to our purpose here today? Well, that’s simple actually…. Sleep, or rather, finding the means within myself to sleep, has become one of the more pressing issues in my life, as I am currently unable to predict at all when I’ll be able to go down for some rest…. Some days, I feel like I’m back in boot camp…. Of course, I never went to boot camp, aside from having been raised by a Master Sergeant… I guess that would count…

I’m not going to go into all the reasons for my reluctant insomnia; it’s TMI, and, no doubt, pretty boring for anyone not going through it. I will say, it’s not the kind of thing designed to make one into a happy camper, an assertion of which I possess no doubt whatsoever as to it’s truth….. In short, FUCK ME! THIS IS A PAIN IN THE BLOODY ASS!

Okay, I’m done. We can go now, to see if there is anything else in my head that might have some little entertainment value…. It may be a long search, so grab some of the trail mix before we head out; it could be a long time to lunch….

Shall we Pearl?….

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.” — from “Manual of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan

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early HAL from FP

Image from blu-ray.com via Google Images


Today’s video selection is a classic Science Fiction movie, long considered the definitive “First” in that genre. Shot on a minimal budget, with young stars, such as the then-unknown Leslie Nielsen, alongside fading Hollywood stars, such as Walter Pidgeon, the movie was shot as an entirely serious movie with a dramatic plot; it came out unintentionally hilarious, and campy, due to the special effects, for which the kindest word to describe would be “cheezy” ….. (Look at that robot!…. and, the alien landscape!…). I’ve included links and players for the official trailer, as well as some of the outtakes from the shooting process. To watch the entire movie, you can pay $2.99 to You Tube, or follow a link to many sites streaming old movies online…. Type “forbidden planet full movie” into the YT search bar, & it will furnish you with any number of links to the movie… Enjoy!…


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Forbidden Planet

Trailer & Outtakes

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Sandclock .jpg


Last posted on 11/20/2013:

Below you’ll find a short, but concise, religirant, another blast from the past, as I continue to mine my archives for material I can use today, to save me a bit of time, and mental energy, which I can always use to decide where I’m going for my next trip to…. ANYWHERE!…. Any who, all personal idiosyncrasies aside, this one is pretty good, I think, so pay attention, if you please, and take heed of what it says, for it is good advice, if naught else….

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Today’s effort is, to my chagrin, falling somewhat short of my expectations; not surprising, given the handicaps with which we began our journey today…. As I mentioned above, or, not, I’m going to cheat; this, of course means we go to the archives for our thoughts for today…. This one is pretty good, I think, but, regardless of its quality, it’s going to have to do…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it’s the best we’ve got today….

From April 27, 2012

“He that doubteth is damned.” — Romans 14:23

It took a while, but it was worth the time spent searching…. This is a perfect example of how, if we let them, all those folks who would have us believe that the Bible, (or any other sacred books inspired by alleged supernatural entities), is a direct line of information from God, will go to almost any lengths, trying to trick us into doing exactly what that book tells us to do. In this case, they apply both guilt and fear of retribution in the next life if we question any of what we are told by that book, or any of what we are taught by those who hold it as truth….

I have previously written here as to the value Doubt possesses, in the bag of tools people have to get by in this complex, confusing universe we inhabit. It is our only defense against information or events that can cause, or even intend, us harm, rather than good; such information invariably is given to us by other people, whose only intent in doing so is to achieve some sort of power or control over us. I don’t think this is a particularly hard concept to understand; its proof lies in almost every interaction we have when faced with organized religions. Anyone who has studied the psychology of humans can point out the techniques of behavioral modification used by the religious hierarchies to assert their will upon the public….

The above short little warning/threat, drawn directly from the Christian Bible, (Old Testament, if memory serves….), implies that anyone who does not bend over in submission to its decree will spend eternity in Hell. Hmm, a bit harsh, don’t you think? For merely entertaining a question regarding the accuracy of a concept presented, one with no evidence that proves its reliability? The Universe at large presents us with such false information regularly; anyone who doesn’t learn caution in such instances is liable for the consequences, which can be severe, such as in the case of being confronted by an apparently friendly, but in reality, rabid dog. Rabies is no picnic, from all reports, so, Doubt, used as a tool in such instances, is very appropriate, patently a valuable one.

However, in the minds of the folks who are selling faith-based products, Doubt is the last thing they want people to have in mind when considering what they say. It tends to cause their arguments to fall apart right in front of their eyes, and they cannot make the sale that way. If they can’t convince people to accept what they say without questioning it, their entire house of cards will come tumbling down around their ears, and they would have to give up all those nice little perks that go along with having everyone believe everything they say, like having poor people willingly give up 10% of their earnings in tithe, or getting to reside, with no rent, in a house built by the labor of others…. Did you think they would give that up easily?…. Well, then you’ve lost your strongest ally against such degradations to your sensibilities…. a healthy sense of Doubt….

“Fear not, for I have given you authority to do so.” — Smart Bee, via some random preacher’s King James version….

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Comedy_Tragedy

    As intimated would be the case today, here’s one from the archives….

After the odyssey….

Portraits of iconic symbols, crashing, singing, forgotten;
evolving into mature innovation, as yet pale, and rotten.
Still water justly breeds, impenetrable primal verses resound;
unholy moments tarry, emotion swirls in passion unbound

Spiritual ovulation precedes each pregnant pause;
gravid, time moves on, following destiny’s cause.
Cast adrift on waves of confusion, to a final, damp landing;
salvation beckons sweetly, fed well on understanding.

Dreams directly fall, in night’s grey bower, unbidden;
lingering flavors in simple taste, lovingly, cleverly hidden.
Childish laughter sounds, joyful, bright, and clear;
no need ever to hide, no more monsters to fear.

Temper most foul arrives under unregistered mail;
forgotten taunts live on, lashed by an ancient flail.
Plain dealing delivers such lasting specks of honest hate;
savage in retrospect, never hasty, always running late.

Forever, cries an ambient lover of the pending night;
his pale, weak issue forms its own failing light.
Still, fortune favors such as those who apprehend;
Sweet love of Gaia, let it never end.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 3/10/2013.

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About Hopi Indian Symbols

    I’m not sure about this one; it’s an odd, obscure little pearl…. I like it, so, it stays…. Follow the bouncing ideas, and you’ll get to a lovely surprise…. Trust me….

“Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.” — Mark Twain

“Bear, do not blame, what cannot be changed.” — Publilius Syrus

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” — Flannery O’Connor

“Virtue is its own revenge.” — E. Y. Harburg

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” — G. K. Chesterton, Everlasting Man, 1925

“Before enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood. After enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood.” — Zen Proverb

“In a mad world, only the mad are sane.” — Akiro Kurosawa

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I suppose they can’t all be gems…. Whether this came out good, or bad, or indifferent has now become irrelevant, when weighed against the fact it is done. So be it. I don’t know why, but, I’m a grump…. I guess I’ll go out into the BBR and torment some mundanes…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; it’s the primary reason I’m not in jail yet, so….

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….


Neutral feedback? Good idea; try it….

Ffolkes,

“I understand life and the universe. Cats are beyond me.”

~~ Smart Bee, echoing gigoid ~~

Ollie Owl

Ollie Owl


Good morning, ffolkes…..

Shall we Pearl?

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” — Lazarus Long, Time Enough For Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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ray-charles-2-copy

Image from rocktownhall.com via Google free images


Is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard of this artist? If so, you’re in for a treat…. ear candy, as it were. Enjoy, ffolkes…. this is another one of humanity’s cultural heritage treasures….


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Ray Charles

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Dont keep calm

    Apparently, on one of the Friday the 13th days during 2012, I had a good day in my head…. Here are some thoughts from that day, that still have relevance in today’s world…..

From 1/13/2012:

“It has been said that there are two theories of history: conspiracy and blunder. If there is some truth to that, it is surely equally true that blunder seldom receives all the credit due it as an explanation of complex events.” — Michael Scully

I would say that this is probably pretty accurate; after all, it is the winners who get to tell the story, and why would they make themselves look any worse than they already are? I believe that much of mankind’s progress up to now is, in fact, a result of blundering about, breaking the china and scaring the horses, until something serendipitous falls into someone’s lap.

The example most often given regarding inspiration that brings progress is that of Isaac Newton and the apple, which, according to history, fell upon his head unexpectedly, causing him to fall down and begin writing the 3 Laws of Motion. I think it more likely that he was trying to climb up to get the apple, and took a good fall onto his head; he just blamed it on the apple, and since he was the only witness, who can gainsay him?

This points out one of the less attractive, and most problematic of the characteristics of humans, and that is our inability to get beyond our childish feelings of insecurity. The older we get, the less able we become to handle the embarrassment or ridicule that follows a mistake, and the more contortions we will assume to keep others from seeing our Bozoid Tendencies. You see, like the Firesign Theater said, “I think we’re all Bozo’s on this bus!”; we all have the unfortunate ability to perform ridiculously stupid acts at times.

Most folks, though, don’t like to be thought of this way, and will go through almost anything to prevent themselves from looking inept in front of other folks. Me, I wish they’d just learn to laugh at themselves, and everyone else; maybe then they could grow up enough to be able to look directly at the things in society that we need to change, instead of childishly refusing to even look at the situation. Emotional maturity means dealing with whatever happens, without letting emotions control one’s actions, or reactions, and most of mankind doesn’t exhibit anything close to that sort of maturity……

Also from 1/13/2012:

“Thinking, understanding, reasoning, willing, call not these Soul! They are its actions, but they are not its essence.” — Akhenaton? (c. B.C. 1375)

When? Oh, four thousand four hundred eighty-seven years ago…..is that all? I’ve got acne scars older than that! Well, perhaps not. But I am continually amazed at some of the things I find that were written this long ago. It gives credence to the idea that mankind’s first steps toward modern culture were the result of how our minds work, and our penchant for using our imagination to understand the universe around us. It has been said that the first science was Astronomy, which makes a lot of sense. But, simultaneously, we used Philosophy, and the principles of logic and reason, to apply meaning to what we observed.

Forty-four hundred years is a long time to be working on the same issues, and it seems to me we should be getting somewhere a bit faster than we are. But then I realize that there is another side to human nature, one that is not so moral and ethical as our scientific bent, a side of us in constant competition with our virtues, battling to assume control of society. (You know… that old good vs. evil deal….) That other side is winning, too, mostly because those who disavow virtue have no compunctions against cheating, or lying, or manipulating events to suit their own purposes. Moreover, they don’t hesitate to resort to violence to do so, when they cannot find any simpler method….

I think, as a species, we’ve been at this long enough; let’s make a concerted effort to nullify the negative effects of deliberate ignorance and fear. Perhaps we can even find a way to survive our own nature….. The Universe will get the impression we’re slow learners, if we don’t start to show a bit more progress toward growing out of infancy….

Note from 2015: I’m not sure why, but, the following five star pearl insisted on being included at the end of this section…. I am pretty sure it’s just my reaction to what I said above…..

“Is truth not truth for all?”

~~ Natira ~~

~~ “For the World is Hollow and I have Touched the Sky” ~~

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“How do you make sense of such madness? The answer is, you can’t.”

~~ Pablo Guzman ~~

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“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving till the right actions arises by itself?”

~~ Lao Tzu ~~

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An ancient buddha said, Mountains are mountains; waters are waters.
These words do not mean mountains are mountains;
they mean mountains are mountains.

~~ Dogen ~~

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“How can I lose faith in the justice of life,
when the dreams of those
who sleep upon feathers
are not more beautiful
than the dreams of those
who sleep upon the earth?”

~~ Kahlil Gibran ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

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 ~~


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socrates

Dubiousity, Redux


In the virtual world, I call myself gigoid, the dubious, for specific reasons…. Rather than use my own words to delineate/describe those reasons, here are some of them, in the form of pearls, (naturally….), as collected by Smart Bee, just as an exercise…. It turned out to be a nice, eleven-star pearl, all centered around the concept of doubt as a function of wisdom…. It seems I’m not the only person in history to put my faith in doubt, rather than the other way around, so to speak…. There are a lot of big names here, and, I only went through the first half of the collection….

Pay particular heed today, ffolkes; these little bits of shiny stuff are more subtly important, to you, than you may realize…. Oh, and, ALL of this will be on your final Quiz…. Don’t blame me, I didn’t make it up….

Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished gods to me appear;
And one to me are shame and fame.
They reckon ill who leave me out;
When me they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt,
And I the hymn the Brahmin sings.

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Brahma ~~


“Philosophy, means, first, doubt; and afterwards the consciousness of what knowledge means, the consciousness of uncertainty and of ignorance, the consciousness of limit, shade, degree, possibility. The ordinary man doubts nothing and suspects nothing.” — Henri Frederick Amiel

“A lizard ran out on a rock and looked up, listening no doubt to the sounding of the spheres. And what a dandy fellow! the right toss of a chin for you and swirl of a tail! If men were as much men as lizards are lizards they’d be worth looking at.” — D. H. Lawrence (1928)

“Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.” — Robert Lindner

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.” — Voltaire

Modest doubt is call’d
The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
To the bottom of the worst.

~~ William Shakespeare ~~

~~ Troilus and Cressida — Act ii, Sc. 2 ~~


Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom. — Smart Bee

“Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt.” — Bergen Evans, The Natural History of Nonsense (1946)

“If you understand, or if you don’t. If you believe, or if you doubt. There is a universal justice and the eyes of truth are always watching.” — Enigma

“Men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt.” — H. L. Mencken

My guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
 deceived me into thinking I had something to protect.
 Good and bad I defined these terms, quite clear, no doubt, somehow
 Ah, but I was so much older then;
 I’m younger than that now.

~~ Bob Dylan ~~


Ah, yes, indeed…. I AM younger than that now….. so, there will be more on this subject later…. Ta, then….

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Y’all, just like me, are going to say goodbye now…( Goodbye!…), until tomorrow; we will do so with no further inquiry into how this got done…. In fact, y’all may as well just go into complete denial now; it will help later in the day….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, provided nobody says the wrong thing….If only we knew what that was….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

Negotiating terns with aplomb….

Ffolkes,
Round and round and round it goes…. and what we find here we’ll never know. Thankfully, too…. It goes to show that one can never tell just exactly what the universe might be up to when we aren’t paying attention, because it sure is always a surprise to me.  And that is just the way I like it, for the most part.

Oh, there is that part of me that enjoys, and even craves, routine and known limits. Life is much safer, and less dangerous when well organized and maintained on a schedule. But, it can also get boring, which is not allowed in this version of reality. I decided long ago that to admit boredom is to admit being tired of my own head, and what is going on in there, and I will not permit that to take place. Not going to happen on my watch, nope, no sirree….

“The chain of habit coils itself around the heart like a serpent, to gnaw and stifle it.” — Hazlitt

Thus having banished all boredom and ennui (figured while I was at it, I’d make it a useful decision, and get rid of some other crap I don’t need….), we come to this. Why, you may ask, would I wish to punish others like this? And that, I say to you, is just plain cruel, not to mention judgmental. You may not have seen it, but in my disclaimer, published many moons ago, I told everyone that all criticisms would be cheerfully ignored, and so they shall be. I’ll let it go this time…. but don’t let it happen again, or you won’t be allowed in the pool, much less on a dive…. sheesh, interrupting my spiel with critical remarks…. some gall….

Where was I? Oh, right, no ennui…. so, we end up with Pearls, rather than just sitting around staring at walls and complaining. I figure that alone has to be worth something, even if it is only self-congratulations.

But, worthy, or worthless, this is the name of the game, and for the moment, it is the only game in town (that’s why I start at 5 AM in my time zone….).  All that being said, necessary or not, it does clear the way down to the water’s edge, and the bags are all ready to collect some pearls…. shall we dive in then, and seek the makings of a Pearl?……We shall….
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“Happiness follows sorrow, sorrow follows happiness, but when one no longer discriminates between happiness and sorrow, a good deed and a bad deed, one is able to realize freedom.” — Buddha

“It’s a good rule to follow the first law of holes: if you are in one, stop digging.” — Denis Healey

I’ve put these two pearls together to form two sides of an idea, sort of (“sort of” is a very precise term from the social sciences, referring to the dubious practice of making things up to try to explain something beyond explanation….)… The first part of the idea, from the Buddha, is very subtle, and is most likely not well understood by the layman theologian. This is why I’ve inserted the second line; it helps the reasoning process to start in a simpler place, and it can’t get much simpler than the first law of holes….. Of course, it is a law that, in spite of its simplicity, its wide distribution, and its commonly-agreed usefulness, there are still folks who end up breaking it…. go figure…..

But, once someone has conquered the intricacies of thought that are involved in figuring out how to keep themselves out of holes, it becomes desirable to move on to greater thoughts…. or at least possible. It must be admitted that the Buddha’s statement here is one of the most basic, and most subtle, concepts in Buddhist thought, and is quite possibly the most difficult for Westerners to grasp in its fullness.

The Western mind is very attached to things; we are trained consumers from our first exposure to TV at a very young age, and the pressure to acquire goods and services, to spend, spend, spend continues throughout our lives. Accepting the valuelessness of all we buy and sell is a hard step for us to take. It’s not easy being green….

But, we must learn to be green, if we really want to be free…. free from the emotional morass, free from the eternal fire sale, free from the need to even pay slight attention to all the nonsense that is thrown at us to convince us to partake of the material world’s offerings…. but, once we realize that all of that is no more substantial than cotton candy, that all of what we are being asked to buy is just an illusion, having nothing to do with happiness or freedom at all, then we become truly free to think and do what our minds tell us is right, instead of just going along with whatever is on TV…. and that is a start toward being truly free….Free of influence, and free to think…. the truest and most basic of freedoms….
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“A friend once asked if it was true that no politician ever failed by  underestimating the intelligence of the peasants and livestock. I told him we  would never know, because their intelligence was something that was impossible to underestimate.” — President Weishaupt, “Church & State” by Dave Sim

I’m pretty sure that this is another of those observations that the beloved ruling class would rather didn’t get too well known. It is obvious to the most casual observer that those in power have no respect for those they rule…. if they did, they wouldn’t feel it necessary to lie to us at all, much less all the damn time. But the fact is, they don’t respect the public’s intelligence, and rightly so, for the public hides any intelligence it might have even from itself.

Acts of rebellion, or challenges to authority, are not only against the law, they are against custom, which is much stronger than law in controlling behavior. It is a strong, free man indeed who can act against what society holds as customary, for he will certainly be reviled for doing so. People don’t like to be told they are stupid, especially if they are….

SIGH…. This is a subject upon which I could rant all morning, but it is also one I recognize as being relatively useless to rant about. Nobody wants to hear it. Nobody who needs to hear it, wants to hear it, for sure. Sometimes I think that most people actually enjoy being led around by the nose, told what to do, what to buy, what to think. I guess it is a very simple, easy way to live, precluding as it does any need to think or do for one’s self….

I suppose if that is what one wants out of life, then it is a form of justice that that is what they get… All I know is that I hate to be included in that segment of the population, and will fight to the end to keep from having to put up with that sort of control over my life…. even if they won’t respect me in the morning…..
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“The national budget must be balanced.  The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn’t want to go bankrupt.  People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.), 55 BC

Once again, I will proceed to shout into the wind, knowing ahead of time that what I say here will cause no particularly large ripples of effect upon society’s pool of serene, calm water. But, it has to be said…. Mankind has to be considered to be a biological failure, by all the available evidence, such as the above statement. Though uttered about 2100 years ago, this might have been stated by Rush Limbaugh, quoting the Great Communicator (known in my world as the Great Fabricator….), and could be considered as the platform for the current Republican party, minus, of course, the little complaint about moderating and controlling authority.

2100 years, and we are still arguing over this sort of nonsense! Whether or not the stated ideas are necessary to the health of society is completely unimportant; the mere fact that we are dealing with the same class of concepts is what is disheartening. If we are to accept this, we must admit that we have made no progress whatsoever in dealing with human nature as it applies to society; we still find the same idiotic dances being danced, and the same idiotic processes keeping us from getting anywhere in a real sense.

Nor will we ever see any progress in this area, because this points out another fact that is not widely known or accepted, to wit: not only are we no smarter than we ever were, but we have actually lost ground over time, as the general intelligence of the average man continues to drop.

My cynicism is, unfortunately, justified, and I am not happy about it…. Ah well, at least it’s never a dull moment here in the real world; there is always something to keep us from getting bored…. too bad one has to wear a hazmat suit to watch TV these days….
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“Faith lives in the same apartment building as Doubt. When Faith was out of town visiting her uncle in the hospital, Doubt fed the cat and watered the asparagus fern. Faith is comfortable with Doubt because she grew up with him. Their mothers are cousins. Faith is not dogmatic about her beliefs like some of her relatives. Her friends fear that faith is a bit stupid. They whisper that she is naive and she depends on Doubt to protect her from the meanness of life. In fact, it is the other way around. It is Faith who protects Doubt from Cynicism.” — J. Ruth Gendler, The Book of Qualities

Awww…. isn’t this so cute? Isn’t it just the sweetest little thing you’ve ever read? And isn’t it just the biggest pack of BS you’ve ever seen?  Yes, to all three…. This is a perfect example of how far someone whose faith-based beliefs will go to convince people of the value of their delusions. If one follows the logic that is apparently here, it all seems quite valid.

But a closer examination shows that there is NO logic here at all. It is all an emotionally based argument. “Their mothers are cousins.”  What tripe! This is logic? I don’t think so…. What is worst here is that they make Cynicism sound like something to be avoided, rather than something anyone with a logical mind uses as a tool of great versatility….

But, it is quite attractive, don’t you think? It’s a very pleasant little trip into fantasy, and as such, lulls the reader into acquiescence with its precepts. It is a very dangerous form of lying, as it doesn’t claim to be truth. It even admits to a bit of Doubt (“They whisper she is naive…”), just so one will think it is even-handed, and respectful of truth.

But, in truth, it is a vicious lie, intended to trick the reader into believing what is obviously not so by appealing to the cuteness gene we all hide from each other until a picture of a puppy is produced, whereupon we all go, Awwww, and agree that there is nothing quite like a puppy picture.

Guess what? This isn’t a puppy picture…. it is a picture of a dead puppy, disguised as a cat and a fern….

“Someone’s got to raise some hell, it might as well be me.” — Jimmy Buffet
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God’s Problem Now: His wife’s graveside service was just barely finished, when there was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance.  The little, old man looked at the pastor and calmly said, “Well, she’s there.”

Okay, okay, I know…. I’m not a Christian, and I’ve used it before, but it’s funny as hell, so it stays…. Besides, I’m done fighting with Smart Bee for the day…. I won’t go into it heavily, but I will say that finding pearls today was a real fight. I’m hoping to spend some time later today searching out new sources of pearls, so hopefully this won’t happen again…. In the meantime, it’s not a bad ending; gotta be worth a chuckle, at least….   🙂
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What an ordeal! I must have rebooted Smart Bee 25 times, trying to find a different set of pearls to choose from, without any success to speak of at all. Either it needs updating, or I’ve run through all 111,111 quotes in there. Hard to believe, even as long as I’ve been using it. Ah well, I’ll just have to resort to Google tomorrow, and more often…. which is fine, just a bit more time consuming than depending on what I have on disk. So be it…

One of these days, well, it will be another of these days…. but we’ll deal with that bridge as we cross it. In the meantime, 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!

Tomato rice soup again?

Ffolkes,
I took yesterday off. After writing the morning Pearl, and answering comments made overnight, I went to the library. When I got home, I read an entire book, and watched two Harry Potter movies (#2 & #4, if you’re curious…). That constituted my entire day. Not terribly exciting, but it kept my head busy, not thinking about choosing targets among the many from which I could pick. It may not have been productive, in at least two senses, but it was certainly safer than following impulse.

With that said, we come to today. I am once again in the mood to go hunting, and I don’t mean to hunt Horcruxes. But once again I will sublimate all my anger and angst into this morning’s Pearl, and those who have engendered my ire can walk around for another day or two before I figure out how to go about fulfilling my impulses rather than blocking them…. It’s not a complex strategy to formulate, but there are a lot of details that need to be addressed, if I am to succeed without unwanted attention….. the latter point is the most delicate, of course, as it is always a hard decision to decide whether witnesses should be avoided, kept away, encouraged, intimidated, or eliminated. SIGH, it’s always something!

Ah well, that will wait…. for now, I want to get this done, and catch up a bit to WordPress, which I neglected all day yesterday, in favor of burying my head in books and movies. T’was fun, but not as productive as I am used to, so I need to make it up somewhat today. In that spirit, let’s be off, shall we?  Kowabunga!…..
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“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality the cost becomes prohibitive.” — William F. Buckley

Will Buckley imagined himself to be the poster boy for the conservative right in Amerika (I only spell it this way when I am referring to someone whose ideology most closely resembles that of 1939 Germany), and had the vocabulary to prove it. As a matter of fact, he was so impressed with himself and his intelligence, he was alleged in his own mind.  🙂 

I don’t listen much to his tripe anymore, but in my youth I found him to be an amusing way to spend some time, first to decipher his overblown language to find his intended context (the words he employs tend to obscure his meaning a LOT of the time; it is just TOO erudite for its own good….), then in chuckling over his use of logic to take his preposterous assumptions to their logically absurd conclusions….

Even in talking about him, other literary sources would become more convoluted in their word usage. When I Googled Bill’s name to research a bit (it’s been a long time since I paid him any attention) I found, as I remembered, that he had passed on in 2008. In the New York Times, the initial line reads: “Mr. Buckley marshaled a refined, perspicacious mind to elevate conservatism to the center of American political discourse.”  They couldn’t have just said, “Mr. Buckley was an educated man, and a vocal proponent of conservatism in this country.” Either is arguably true, but the second is a more accurate in a realistic sense, and still gets the same information across, but much less condescendingly.

Now, to be sure, I am not the most appropriate person to chide anyone for using too many words…. Goodness knows I have a hard enough time keeping myself under some small bit of control in that arena… I’m wordy, I know it…. But, I’m wordy in the attempt to clarify what is real, and what is true, not to obscure it, so that its meaning is clear, rather than placing the blame on the reader, for not understanding the oh-so-superior intelligence of the speaker….

I’m a fairly smart guy, but I don’t have to try to prove it by making my listeners or readers feel like I’m talking down to them. Unfortunately for all of us, Mr. Buckley made a habit of doing just that…. and sadly, he convinced a lot of people that his erroneous assumptions were in fact a true reflection of reality, when, in reality, they were mere reflections of his self-aggrandizement, displayed in the mirror of his words….

As to what he says above, well, it just ain’t so…. As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite of what is real, for the more people who are enthused with the ideal of something, the more talent is focused on it, and the benefits to society always far outweigh any costs of implementing the components of the idealistic concepts at issue. Simple logic, but from a different assumption…. Poor Bill….. He spent so much of his time lamenting what could never be, he missed out on what is….. He never could find the peace found as described in Buddha’s words….

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” — Buddha
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“Every man’s life, liberty, and property are in danger when the Legislature is in session.” — Gideon J. Tucker

“A society that lacks the patience to read, and loses the ability to do so, is rendered defenseless against its most profound stupidities.  As an example, consider the ease with which Americans came to regard a president known for his inaccuracy and imprecision as the great communicator, and by the tendency of American elections to give victory to the candidate who can afford the greatest number of 30-second TV spots.” — Mike Schmoker

“George Washington said to his father, “If I never tell a lie, how can I get  to be President?” — Red Buttons

“War is the last refuge of incompetent statesmen.” — Smart Bee

“A lot of people voting for Pat Buchanan (or random name from this election) say they are doing so to send a message. Apparently that message is, Hey, look at me, I’m an idiot.” — Dennis Miller

It has been said that what a culture finds to be humorous says a lot about that culture. In today’s society, and for most of my life, political humor has been much like what I have posted above. What this says about society is clear…. we do not have any respect for the politicians who are the same people we keep electing. None. We EXPECT them to lie to us. We EXPECT them to cheat, to completely ignore what is best for society in favor of what is best for them and their rich friends. It is a form of stupidity that is so firmly entrenched in society that our only relief from the pain of knowing it is to laugh at jokes that vilify those people we revere in practice.

Ultimately, we are laughing at them because we do not wish to cry over our own failure to change anything…  My reaction to this, when I can bear to look at it at all, is to experience Rage. I want to kill, or maim, or somehow strike back physically at those assholes who have no connection to the humanity of which they are a part…. and I hate them all the more for that, for making me want to do that to any creature….

O’Brien: “The only people left alive were in an outlying district of the  settlement.  I was sent there with a squad to reinforce them.  Cardassians  were advancing on us.  Moving through the streets,  destroying, killing.  I was  with a group of women and children, and two Cardassian soldiers burst in.  I  stunned one of them…the other one jumped me.  We struggled.  One of the  women threw me a phaser, and I fired.  The phaser was set at maximum.  The man  just…just incinerated there before my eyes.  I’d never killed anything  before.  When I was a kid I’d, I’d worry about swatting a mosquito.  It’s not  you I hate, Cardassian.  I hate what I became because of you.” — “The Wounded”, Stardate 44429.6
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“Faith is much better than belief. Belief is when someone ELSE does the thinking.” — R. Buckminster Fuller

When I saw this I had to laugh…. loud….. and then I wondered what in the world was he thinking? Bucky Fuller normally had a very clear view of reality; this is made obvious by his invention of the triangular support design that allows us to build domes the size of small cities without fear of its collapse, unless by improper construction, or use of faulty materials. He also had a number of other ideas that were revolutionary in their approach to the way people think about reality, and many of his ideas have pushed the frontiers of human thought to new plateaus.

But with this statement, he misses a very important distinction when he fails to point out that, yes, believing what someone else had told us is a risky proposition at best, but, relying on faith is letting NOBODY do the thinking. … What someone else tells us is, at minimum, subject to some kind of fact checking, some verification. But faith disallows any such process, asking us to accept its premises without evidence.

Not a good idea….. at least, not in my experience. When others wish for us to believe them, solely upon their say-so, my experience is that they want me to allow them some sort of control over me. It’s not a pretty view to take of humanity, but, hey, the numbers don’t lie. How far, then, can I expect faith to provide me with some sort of defense against that sort of chicanery?

Not far, I can assure you, for I have never found that what I’ve been told by preachers, priests, or politicians to be remotely helpful to me; only they benefit from my acceptance of their information. I’m not expressing opinion here; this is what has actually occurred over the time I’ve been around on this planet.

So, let’s just give Bucky the benefit of the doubt, and say he just had a bad day when he said this…. I suppose it goes to show that everybody has off days…. just don’t forget to check what you hear against what you know, and all will turn out the way it should…. in that I have faith….  🙂

“Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.” — Smart Bee
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Behold the child, by Nature’s kindly law,
Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw;
Some livelier plaything gives his youth delight,
A little louder, but as empty quite;
Scarfs, garters, gold, amuse his riper stage,
And beads and prayer-books are the toys of age.
Pleased with this bauble still, as that before,
Till tired he sleeps, and life’s poor play is o’er.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 274

Ah, metaphor! How quaint and sharp thy wit, to give us a whole life of a man, in one graceful portion of language that supplies images in the mind’s eye to fill the gap of years. I imagine this poem has been the subject of term papers and essays by students of literature on more than one occasion, supplying the premises for hundreds of random interpretations from the various young minds that were tasked to examine its depths as part of their literary education. If not, well, a lot of teachers were missing out on a good lesson, for certain.

Have no fear, I’m not going to give you my take on this, beyond what I’ve already written above; I’m only auditing this course, and it won’t affect my GPA at all, so I won’t subject you to that. Besides, then you would have no reason to do so yourself, should you ever find yourself with a spare hour or two that needs to be filled up with something more constructive than painting your toenails again. Not that I don’t like painted toenails…. but more than once a day is overkill, isn’t it? I think so…. so, just enjoy it, and keep it for later if you wish…. it’s only a few bytes of memory…..
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    As a public service, and to provide some relief from the ongoing seriousness that is the common state of affairs here, I offer this delightful young pup in the throes of joie de vivre; I found the picture on Facebook, posted on my wall….. Would that we all could be as carefree as this!…. Just enjoy, ffolkes, that’s all it’s here for….   🙂
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It’s been a long road to this point this morning, but well worth it, to my mind. I hope y’all enjoyed the previous post, “Music Passion”, as well as this meander through my morning’s mindful muddle…. I’m going to stop pressing my luck, and end this here… it seems an appropriate place, sitting here at the end as it does, eh?  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!


Once titillated, thrice shy….

Ffolkes,
Bilious clouds of smoke, greenish-yellow in the light of the street lamps, poured from the windows, while screams echoed off the walls across the way. As I stood in a shadowed doorway, I spied a figure in a window of the burning building’s second story, hooded, carrying a small bundle. As I watched the panicky movements, the figure suddenly tossed the bundle out of the window, where it fell softly down, almost seeming to float.

Without a thought, my legs moved, propelling me across the street to a point below the window, just in time to catch the bundle, which plopped into my arms lightly, without harm. As light from a nearby street lamp fell upon the bundle, I moved the covering blanket, to reveal the face of a small female child, with somber dark eyes that looked directly at mine, seemingly reading my innermost thoughts, and finding them to be distasteful….. as I looked back into those ancient eyes in a girl’s face, she spoke, “Well, are you just going to stand there, or will you flee now, assassin?…..

Hmm…. seems our assassin friend has found himself in a bit of an unusual situation, doesn’t it? Too bad we’re going to leave him to figure it all out himself… I’m okay with it, but it doesn’t really strike me just right, so I doubt if I’ll ever use those precise opening paragraphs for anything…. Always good practice though, and a good way to loosen up both fingers and brain cells….. works for me, anyway…..

That said, we should probably get right to the Pearl….. yesterday was an exhausting one for me. Nothing to do with WP, other than the 200 emails I’m now getting every day to deal with….. I had some errands that took me all over town on buses, a slow way to get around, and tiring for a old fart such as I’m turning into these days…. it’s a slow, insidious process, but the effects of age are nonetheless relentless in their advances.

Oh well, no complaints, just tired today…. fortunately, none of my physical degradations have affected my mind as yet, so let’s go give that a work-out, shall we?….. A-Pearling we will go……
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“Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.” — Robert Lindner

A few days ago, another blogger here on WP, odie mama, (http://eyesofodysseus.wordpress.com)  asked me a question. Well, it was more of an observation with a question mark behind it, but, …. it intrigued me. She said that even though I write about serious subjects with a cynical approach, a feeling of hope seemed to infuse the tenor of what is written, and asked me to comment on that….. It has taken me a couple of days for the idea to percolate, and this morning I found the pearl that helps to explain it, to me, and to her…..

I believe that the hope she is perceiving lies in the truth of the above quotation. The most powerful weapon of reason we have as humans is Doubt. Some may question that assertion, but to my mind, it is clearly the case. Nothing is more valuable in our search for the truth among all the lies we find strewn in our path; examining any claim with doubtful eyes is our best defense against the manipulations perpetrated upon us by other unscrupulous people. And those people whom I like to call our beloved ruling class know this…..

They know that when the people are informed, when education is free and universal, and the press is free, the task of manipulating the common man becomes much more difficult. This  annoys them no end, so much so that they spend a lot of effort trying to remove or restrict anything in society that will promote doubt among the general populace. Cut educational funding, promote religious agendas that thrive on ignorance, dress up their lies in fancy clothes to look like truth; anything that will make folks refrain from thinking is good, in their eyes.

And that is the hope that is so apparent here….. though I speak of serious subjects, and lament their prevalence, and effects on people, Doubt is ever-present. I tend to challenge ANYTHING said by a talking head, especially if they are a politician, a priest, a pastor, or an imam. Whatever…. they are all just trying to foster and maintain their own version of slavery, so, as far as I am concerned, they deserve none of my respect, nor any of my mercy…. and they will find none of it here….. That is the hope that I spread….. Doubt….. a powerful ally on the Scholar Warrior’s Path….. and one hated and feared by all those in power, or who seek power over others…..

The good want power, but to weep barren tears.
The powerful goodness want : worse need for them.
The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom.
— P.B. Shelley, “Prometheus Unbound”

— How many assholes does it take to change a light bulb?  None, assholes never see the light anyway. — Smart Bee
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“A shelf of classics for our young adults: Tolkien, Hesse, Casteneda, Kerouac, Salinger, Tom Robbins, and “The Last Whole Earth Catalog”. — Edward Abbey

Gosh! I didn’t realize I was so well-grounded in the classics! Not only have I read at least one book by each of these authors, but, I’ve read more than one by all but one of them, and…. I read the entire book printed on the margins of the pages of the “Catalog”, narrated charmingly, and so effectively, by the vintage, loyal, stalwart, inadvertently abused, but well-loved VW bus, Urge, who detailed the times and travels of the people chiefly responsible for the creation of the Catalog itself……

“How can they say my life isn’t a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?” — Cindy Adams
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“The wise man can pick up a grain of sand and envision a whole universe.  But the stupid man will just lie down on some seaweed and roll around until he’s completely draped in it.  Then he’ll stand up and go, “Hey, I’m Vine Man.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

Now, that’s deep!   🙂   Deep enough that I hope you were wearing high tops…. but I do like the metaphor of the wise man and the grain of sand; hadn’t heard that in a while…. Cute, and lots of whimsy points… but not quite right….

“Whenever anybody says he’s struggling to become a human being I have to laugh because the apes beat him to it by about a million years. Struggle to become a parrot or something.” — Jack Handey, “Deep Thoughts”

More approximate wisdom from Jack….   🙂   Admit it, you smiled…. Struggle to be a parrot, indeed!…. clever. Not quite what I’m looking for yet, though…. Onward…..

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. — Confucius

Not verified as truly the words of Master C,, but reasonable; it sounds like him. And that’s more like it, I think; we keep getting closer to a real pearl…. one more shot at the big money, ffolkes, then we’ll move on….

“A man’s gotta know his limitations.” — Dirty Harry [Clint Eastwood] in “Magnum Force”

Hmm…. I guess it just goes to show, you never know where you may find something unexpectedly valuable…. like a pearl heretofore hidden in the persona of a macho, maladjusted cop with PTSD, and a penchant for blowing his problems to bits with a big gun…. probably very stress relieving. It would be for me, for sure…. And… I think that the journey to get here, if you will look back over it, can be considered the true lesson, as is always the case when considering journeys, and destinations……
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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate now knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” — Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude

I am blessed with at least seven people in my life who fit into this mold, not including my children, who would also fit the given parameters. I’d also like to believe that my brothers and sisters, all four of them, would be there if needed; I know I would for them, and will be if necessary. We’ve all never been terribly close since moving apart, but also have always felt and shown loyalty, and love for each other.

So, that makes me a pretty lucky man, all in all, and I know it…. it humbles me, constantly, when I consider it, and it is a thought that carries me through some rough mental battles with myself, and with reality. Even if I don’t call for help, I know it would be there if I asked, and that can be enough…..

“The road to a friend’s house is never long.” — Danish proverb
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“Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books. For to you Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned by the flicking of a finger.” — Chinese proverb

This proverb is one that has ruled my existence, from the moment I first came across it in my early teens. In one aspect, it is a concept that supports and verifies what I wrote above about Doubt, and to my mind serves as solid evidence as to the truth of what I said there. This statement has also served me well as a social tool in my work, in every field I’ve embraced, if you can believe it. On a number of occasions, in mental hospitals, restaurants, and computer rooms, I have printed this onto a chalkboard, or an easel being used for a presentation at a meeting, just as a random act of intellectual subversion, and each time, the results have far surpassed whatever I had envisioned.

The sight of this quote displayed wherever I put it never failed to produce a response from all who read it, and those responses often painted a clearer picture of that person’s personality than anything else they ever said or did. Some would read it, and assume a puzzled frown, trying to assimilate its meaning. Depending on their success or failure, they would then smile and go on with whatever they were doing with a sense of calm and serenity… Or, others would frown in thought, then say something akin to “Pshaw!” and shake their heads as if to clean off their shiny coats of mud. Still others would widen their eyes, and look around for a pen, furiously scribble it down, and rush off to show it to someone else…. A very few would read it, and say something such as, “Oh, what a nice reminder….”  These folks were generally the ones who were my friends….

To my mind, this approach to life, that of a scholar as opposed to a warrior, is the only choice I could make to be happy, and true to my nature. I acknowledge within myself that violence is a part of my nature, as it is for all of us naked apes; it is not something that is wise to overlook. But that part of my nature has ever been dominated by the part of me that HAS to have thoughts to ponder, the part that needs to read and absorb the perceptions of other minds, the part of me that would literally die if I did not embrace it as my purpose, my raison d’etre. I can no more stop reading and thinking than I can stop breathing, or eating, or any other essential life function…. it’s the way I’m made, and it has always been a joy to me to know this, and to give free rein to my intellect, refusing to limit its consumption to any single viewpoint or system of beliefs….

And so, I walk the Scholar Warrior’s Path; I walk that path with my books close at hand, pausing often to read, and consider…. the path is much clearer ahead of me that way, and I walk it with joy…. seeking Truth, and Beauty, and Love.  I’ve found all three, and life is good, no matter what is happening around me, or to me…. So Be It…..
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“My Teacher said that that that that that man used is incorrect.” — Smart Bee

I love the English language!  You have to say it out loud, but if you do, you can see that the above sentence is absolutely correct usage….. brilliant!  Not worth a whole pearl, which is why it is here at the end. But, it had to be included…. just because….

I think that went well…. no major foul-ups I’m aware of…. of course, proofing is yet to come, but, it all looks good to go for the time being. With a start like this, the day promises to be fairly productive and agreeably pleasant. Who knows?  Maybe the woman I am to fall in love with, for the last time in my life, will walk into my life today…. not bloody likely, given current indicators, but, hey, worth a moment or two of anticipation before putting it back into the “I’m Patiently Awaiting” file, where it doesn’t distract me from the matters at hand….

On that note, I will put this to bed, in the vernacular of journalism….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse  Be With You…. (say it out loud, it sounds better…. it’s a hard “s”….)     🙂


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Fast Pan Soft Toe Shoe Affairs….

Ffolkes,
Legal requirements are such that I must inform you that today’s Pearl may exceed the normal limits on acceptable behavior for blogs whose content consists primarily of personal observations and opinions. I got eight hours sleep last night, if the clock isn’t lying to me, and I don’t know just what effect that will have on what goes in here. So, I figure I’d best give y’all a head’s up….

HEY! LOOK OUT!  Reading this may be hazardous. Not to you health, per se, but to your state of mind, which, it is acknowledged, MAY affect one’s health. But, there is really no worries, mates….. if you take a few basic precautions, you’ll be just fine.

First, try to suspend your beliefs for a bit…. I know, it’s hard, and they complain so much. But, if they aren’t lending their usual degree of panicky, tearful insecurity nonsense to the mix, you will be able to enjoy the show more.

Second, I’m afraid you’ll need to leave your prejudices outside the theater; you can leave them in your car, if you wish, Security officers are on patrol (somewhere…. not near your car, but somewhere…). In the rarefied atmosphere that today’s missive is likely to produce, they would constitute a severe moral hazard, and I cannot allow other patrons to be at risk for anyone’s misguided preconceptions of that nature. So, just leave them in the trunk of your car, please, for everyone’s safety, including your own.

Last, and most importantly, remember that this is all a process of finding and creating Pearls of VIRTUAL Wisdom…  Virtual. Not solid, not tangible. Not necessarily real, though at times they appear identical to actual wisdom. Maintaining a certain degree of disbelief will come in handy for you in absorbing and processing the material with which you will be presented during the festivities this morning. In short, have a little Doubt handy in case you are having trouble with what you are reading….. a little doubt is a powerful tool for sanity, believe me….. now, shall we Pearl?…. Let’s do that…..
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“We, the people, are not free.  Our democracy is but a name.  We vote? What does that mean?  We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.” — Helen Keller

Odd, don’t you think, that the most insightful views of society are often presented by those who have no sight at all? Helen Keller was, obviously, an intelligent woman; no matter how patient the teacher, a stupid person could not have become the woman Ms. Keller became, without at least a modicum of basic ability to think. To think well, one must learn to observe well, and she has definitely got that down, for in no other way could this statement have been made. And that, to me, is the point. She is(was) a smart woman, and if this observation can be considered to be true, (differences of opinion on that point may be presented, and welcome, but for another discussion…. for now, lets discuss this….) why isn’t anyone else saying or doing anything to address the issue?

Well, I’ll tell ya, pardner, it’s like this…. Tweedledum and Tweedledee already fixed the election, and nobody noticed. Yup. It’s true. I would say that the voting process in this country has been a sham for oh, about 49 years, give or take a month or two. It got shot to hell, right about the same moment the rifle bullet struck the back of Jack Kennedy’s neck on that fateful day in 1963 when he was assassinated, and the last hope of the American people died with him……

When LBJ took office, it was the end of democracy as we know it. From that time to now, there has been NO candidate for the Presidency of this country who would have been, or ever again will be,  allowed to run, if the true rulers of the nation did not, or do not approve.

Our true rulers have been underground, in the background, for a long time; they don’t like the public’s eye turned upon them, for they know that if the light falls on them, it won’t take long for all their evil to start to show. These men (there are no women in the group, other than those who become even more male than their counterparts, in their vicious disregard for the rest of humanity) have been in effective control of the political process for even longer; it just became more obvious at the time of Kennedy’s demise, and has been harder to cover up ever since.

I find it disturbing to see Mitt Romney out there, seemingly with their approval, as he is far too close to what one of their inner circle looks like, and they aren’t shutting him up. This implies they no longer care if anyone sees their manipulations, and that they believe they don’t need to hide as much as before, because there is NOTHING anyone can do to change the outcome that they have already decided on. Or, it could be a sort of sleight of hand…. present Romney for people to watch, then get Obama safely elected, and settle right back into the process of eliminating the Bill of Rights, a project they’ve been working on for some time now.

I feel I must point out to all the folks out there who believe our current President to be a new hope, that this is the same man who signed the National Defense Authorization Act into effect on New Year’s Eve, while the American public was busy drinking and celebrating the new year, completely unaware that their oh-so-liberal president had just handed the Bill of Rights over to the National Security Agency, and its myrmidons, to do with as it pleased….. If you doubt me on this, check the news from that day…. it’s a fact, it happened, and it is now too late…. officially.

The first and middle rounds are done folks. It is now the final rounds, and we are now officially at war, at least at the ballot box,  with our own government, by their own decree. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m stocking up on ammunition, food, water, and body armor…… because the day of the final showdown is not far away. One of these days, and it is not far off, the gloves are going to come off all the way, and you will see the government of this country firing weapons at its own citizens, in the name of “public security”….

I’d think about this, if I were y’all, and think seriously. Try not to believe whatever they tell you, just because a guy on TV said it; examine everything with a critical eye, and speak up. But, be ready to duck, because I have a feeling they are no longer going to even give a warning shot, or yell, before they fire at us….. If you look at them, you will see that the ‘executive orders’ in the NDAA say they are not required to do so….

Don’t be distracted, folks, by all the yammering going on about taxes, or healthcare, or racism, or any of the other bullshite that is currently touted as “what the American people care about”, and being spewed out of every media orifice in the land.  I care about my rights. I care about being able to live my life as I choose. I care about human dignity, and freedom, and compassion for others. But this election isn’t about any of those things, it’s not what is in the papers, and it’s not what is in the people’s hearts. It is about control over society, and money. That’s it.

It has been about that for a long time now. Unless the American public comes to its senses, it isn’t going to change, either, until Mama Nature steps in, and sends us all back to the drawing board as another failed biological experiment. That is Reality folks, and is not subject to our manipulation. We can control what we see of Reality, but we can’t change its nature, and it will end us as surely as the sun comes up every morning, if we don’t make some drastic changes. And, unfortunately, none of those changes will be allowed by the beloved ruling class, so….. end game…… Deal with it….

Once you’ve tried to change the world you find it’s a whole bunch easier to change your mind. — Smart Bee
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Morality is learned, not legislated. — Smart Bee

This will be a very short section. The above is something I believe to have the force of natural law behind it; as such it is not susceptible to our ability or desire to change it. It’s just the way it is. And I wish, for all of our sakes, that all the idiots in government, liberals, conservatives, libertarians, independents, and the churches in this country, of ALL denominations, would get this into their heads, and learn to accept the fact that there is NOTHING THEY CAN DO TO CHANGE THIS….. no matter how strongly they wish it weren’t so, it is so.

No matter how many laws they make and/or pass to try to legislate what they believe to be moral into law, each and every one of them will fail. History has proved this beyond any shadow of possible doubt,  literally thousands and thousands of times, and it is no longer a subject for serious debate. It hasn’t been for three thousand years, though people seem to act differently, and continue to complain, and try to “make it so”…..

So, please, those of you who wish that the rest of society would just be like you, forget it. Not going to happen, and you can’t pass a law to make it so…. Get over it…….please. All the noise and crap you subject the rest of us to is getting tiresome….

Horatio: O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
Hamlet: And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
— W. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene V

(I know, it’s from Willie, but when it fits, I use it, no matter whose it is…..)
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“A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” — Ronald Reagan

I’m a fair person; it says so right here on the label, and I think an examination of my record in that arena would indicate the truth of that statement. So, when I find myself to be in the wrong about something, I am willing to admit it, if for no other reason, so we can just get on with things. So, mostly, when I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. After finding and reading the above, though it galls me no end, I have to admit to being wrong about Ronald Reagan. Yes, I know, a shocking thought isn’t it?

Well, calm yourselves, it isn’t what you may think. In toto, I still think that Ronnie was perhaps the absolute worst President this country has seen in its 200+ year history. We are still, as a society, trying to crawl out of the hole his Reaganomics dug for us, and his war-mongering, rich fat cat, elitist sycophants and admirers are still entrenched throughout the legislative system and the Supreme Court, causing no end of problems with their conservative lack of compassion for the common man. No, no, I’m no fool, and the evidence of his sheer evil intent remains just as valid as it ever was.

But, the above statement, if he actually said it, and actually believed it, must be acknowledged as being not just true, but as eminently sensible. In that case, it deserves mention, if only for the fact that, for once in his life, he made a statement that indicates there might be a tiny little part of him that thinks about other people and what might be good for them.

More likely, however, given his prior track record, he believes that because of the danger to HIMSELF, the risk is too great; he doesn’t like for things to not yield to his control. I would have a hard time accepting that, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he grew a conscience…. Not bloody likely…… I don’t like to resort to calling names, when English suits itself so well to cursing and vilifying without depending on their no-doubt cathartic use, but I’m afraid Ronnie was an elitist asshole, plain and simple.

Have you taunted a Conservative today?– Smart Bee

(Smarter than usual, too… Cute….. Conservatives, just like Liberals, turn all sorts of neat colors when you question their basic beliefs, or show disrespect for their heroes, especially Saint Ronnie the Raygun…. or, Bishop Barry, the New Hope….NOT!)

(Sorry, but, I think, therefore I am… dangerous, that is… it’s a gift…..)
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“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.” — Yun-Men

This is good advice. Think about it a while. It will grow on you….. and grow…. and grow…. and grow….. then you can stop. And wobble no more…
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“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.” — Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

Though I’m not entirely convinced of physical reality of the entire Heaven/Hell scenario, I do like to believe that some sort of Universal justice is carried out, and after death is certainly a good time for it. When I let myself imagine such fine examples of that justice promised by almost every religion in the afterlife, my tendency is to agree fully with the above. But, I would also like to add that I like to believe that there are quite a few little doors on the lowest levels of Hell (if it’s as bad as it should be, it should be capitalized), and each leads to a room for a number of folks who absolutely deserve to be there for all eternity…..

There would be, in my version of Hell, a room for those who deliberately abuse women, children, animals of any kind, or any form of life at all; it is a genetic defect and the species would be better off without them altogether. This room is a good response by Reality, if we MUST suffer their existence.

Another room would be reserved for those who seek power over other people, for any reason. Those in that category who use that power to harm, abuse, and kill others in the search for that power will be given priority admission.

A fourth room would welcome those who engaged in human trafficking of any type. All of them. Every single fucking one of them. And the tortures and pain waiting for them in that room would be the cruelest, most agonizing that the Master Torturer’s demons could think up for them.

Right next door to this room would be those who dealt drugs for profit and power, dealing directly with, as both cause and effect, the despair and weakness of human poverty, and the vulnerability caused by that, by illness, or by developmental challenges. In short, those who made money trading in human misery.

I think that’s all the doors I would need; but, humans are inventive, and I like to think that there are still doors available, for any other crimes that humans can think up to perpetrate on one another that I may have inadvertently passed over…. I’m sure, as a professional, Beelzebub has learned to plan for the future, and for unseen contingencies…..

Well, even if it’s all a fantasy, which I have to admit is quite likely (even my most optimistic side will only admit to a 50/50 chance of this resembling reality, much as I’d like it to happen this way…..), it’s fun to think about, for our own sanity…..
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As I suspected when I awoke this morning, after eight unexpected but thoroughly welcome and appreciated hours of sleep, today’s content got rather…. expansive is a good word, I guess. I thought it might; getting that much rest tends to give me a boost of energy, which will naturally end up in what I write, as it is the first real call for it during the day. I don’t, however, always know just what may be produced by all that energy; if it taps into my outrage, it can tie me to the keyboard for a long time, ranting. Or, it can turn to fantasy, and get a bit strange even for me. No way to tell ahead of time, what with the way I carry out this process…..

All seems to have gone well today, though, so, no worries…. the Helen Keller rant gave me a thousand words that I’ll probably trim to post as an article on Triond or somewhere, so that’s a good thing. And it all looks solid to me, cognitively speaking. So, I’m going to let if fly on its own, and let the consequences begin; I seem to have been indiscriminate in my choice of targets, and didn’t leave out very many……. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!