Twisted versions of a flawed Reality….

Ffolkes,

“History doesn’t repeat itself — historians merely repeat each other.”

~~ First Rule of History ~~

horses

    Last night, as Orion chased his prey across the winter sky, slowly, majestically pacing toward the Western mists, sword shining at his belt, bow drawn, I thought of my children, and my grandchildren, so young, so innocent of the world, and the life they will have to face in the coming years. My thoughts, because of what I know to be true, were dark, and fearful, not for myself, for I have had my share of years, filled with equal parts joy and pain, but, for them, knowing how much of the pain they will have to know, before they have much chance at a great deal of the joy that can be found…

Still, I have hope, that I can persuade them, in my remaining time here, to look to the sky, to find a way to the stars, where they may have a better chance of feeling some of the joy I’ve felt, but, on another world, or moon, or asteroid, or…. If they can find a way to leave the Earth, they will see, and experience, what I’ve dreamed of all my life, hopefully finding their joy in the satisfaction of surviving against all odds, by their wit, and courage…. as well as in the pride of fulfilling the destiny for which our species, I believe, was ever destined…. Not by design, but by serendipity….

Or, perhaps, by accident…. Who knows, for there is no evidence we humans have ever found, or deduced, or surmised, to suggest we, and all the vast universe, are a creation, of an entity so powerful, we could, by the mere definition of such a creature, never have the slightest chance of ever understanding exactly WHAT it was…. Whatever it, or they, or she, or that word we don’t or can’t ever know, IS, in truth, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t concern itself with, or much care what we might think of all this…. I would guess, without ever knowing one way or another, such a creature most likely figures we’ll just enjoy it, try to figure out how it all works, playing with it as best we can without breaking it…. but, as I said, who knows, and, who cares?

There…. I think THAT should do for an opening section…. We’ve covered some rather maudlin hopeful wishes for a future for humanity, we’ve encouraged the conquest of space, we’ve explored a bit of philosophy and religious theory, while simultaneously mocking intellectualism AND spiritualism, in the same breath…. Not bad for off the cuff, eh? Not just that, but, it’s all PRE-COFFEE! That, in itself, is a miracle, beyond all belief….

And well you shouldn’t believe it…. because all of that last part was a deliberate LIE!… I had coffee before I started….

I’m practicing…. I decided to run for a local office, just to pass the time until Armageddon, which, according to my calendar, should be just around the corner, say, May, or April of next year…. maybe sooner. Hard to tell yet, as there is still a LOT of societal inertia to overcome before the revolution can really get rolling….

Hmm, I see we’ve retreated a bit from reality again. It happens whenever I write this much without the benefit of either rhyme, or reason…. SIGH…. I suppose I’ll have to either move the schedule up, or apply one of those old emergency closings, which cause so much havoc to our budget… No, we’ll be patient, because I see an opening right over there…. Wait for it…. wait…. hold on, almost….. THERE!…. Hah! Fooled you again! We’ve been parked for five minutes….

Nyah, nyah, nyah….. See, Paul? I AM still crazy, after all these years….

Shall we Pearl?

“He should not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.” — Elrond

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I’m up very early today, and not in the best of moods, due mostly to my reaction to the blackmail I’m being subjected to by my HMO. To say the very least, I am NOT a happy camper today…. So, we’ll go with funny, to take a bit of the edge off…. When one wants funny, who better than a comedic genius, such as these two men….

Jonathan Winters & Robin Williams

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“The ignorance of the working-class and the superior intelligence of the privileged class are superstitions — are superstitions fostered by intellectual mercenaries, by universities and churches, and by all the centers of privilege.” — George D. Herron (1862-1925)

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Today, I will be ranting vicariously. Below you will find a number of links. Each will take you to yet another example of the Insanity in which the world is currently engulfed. Each one is another piece of evidence showing how the pressure of environmental stresses, under which all the life forms on this planet exist, have increased beyond our ability to either stop, or even comprehend, bringing us ever closer to becoming a Real Life example of the old experiment we all remember….

You know, the one where the rats are left in a cage they cannot escape, without the means to stop reproducing beyond their natural limits, outstripping their food supply, whereupon they begin to turn on each other, exhibiting self-destructive, irrational behaviors, complete with vicious, deadly, INSANE violence, ultimately leading to death for them all…. Not the most appetizing image for breakfast, but hey, none of it is anything we can avoid…..

I don’t know about y’all, but, I would prefer to at least see where the fatal blow is going to come; it does give me at least a chance to duck, and cover…. If it’s all too much to deal with, just consider each link as a pearl, and skip down to the poem…. which, naturally, exposes one to the risk of being considered a wimp, if only in one’s own mind….

Special thanks go out to Lou and the gang over at Tales from the Conspiratum, my favorite source for examples from around the world, of just how crazy things have gotten….

http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/2015/01/20/isis-plans-on-killing-hundreds-of-millions-in-religious-cleansing-german-embed-reporter/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/01/19/police-radar-see-through-walls/22007615/   

http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/2015/01/20/inequality-isnt-inevitable-its-engineered-thats-how-the-1-have-taken-over/

http://www.naturalnews.com/048322_financial_collapse_Federal_Reserve_global_economy.html

http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/2015/01/20/proof-elites-control-democracy/

Oh, hell, that’s enough. I don’t want to depress y’all any more than necessary. I’ll just say this…. Of the five stories I chose today to highlight some of the crazy shit happening all around us, none have any good endings, either real, or implied. Some of it may seem like hyperbole, or jumping at shadows, but, frankly, anyone who can’t see what is happening isn’t paying attention, or is deliberately denying reality. It is that simple, ffolkes. We MUST start to act now, if we are to have ANY chance of surviving into the next century. That is not a statement I make lightly; I’ve made a study of the issues, and it ALL has gone farther toward BAD than almost anyone will admit, in public, or, in private….

Which, I should say, describes WHY we are having these problems at all, now doesn’t it?

To change the mood a touch, so we can go on with a clearer mind, if not a happier heart, here is something a little lighter….. Lou is also good at finding this kind of stuff, too….. At the other end of the spectrum of human existence, we have the following example of a few of humanity’s OTHER qualities….

http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/2015/01/20/the-meaning-of-life-explained-by-3rd-graders-443/

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Today’s poem comes from my usual source, but, with a bonus. After the text version, of this all time classic, copied from Poem Hunter dot com, (which just happens to fit in with today’s theme perfectly), I’ve included a link to, and a video version of the poem, as displayed on the YT clone site, Daily Motion, with a link to the page provided as well….

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~

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Nine excellent pearls, all for y’all…. Take them as you will…. That is what they are for, after all….

“If this material is offensive to you, and admittedly it will be offensive to someone, then you should take time out to contemplate this truth.  Seriousness is the refuge of the truly shallow!” — Smart Bee

“Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” — Euripides

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” — Henri Bergson (1859-1941)

“As a matter of cold fact, a lot of people have no use for you because they can’t use you.” — Smart Bee

“In an insane society, the sane man must appear insane.’ — Spock

“He who has the courage to laugh is almost as much  a master of the world as he who is ready to die.” — Giacomo Leopardi

Gutta cavat lapidem non vi, sed saepe cadendo. [Drops of water hollow out a stone – not by strength, but just falling often.] — Smart Bee

“As for life, it is a battle and a sojourning in a strange land; but the fame that comes after is oblivion.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ii, 17

“”Bury me on my face,” said Diogenes; and when he was asked why, he replied, “Because in a little while everything will be turned upside down.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Diogenes, vi

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Having completed most of this Pearl yesterday during appropriate breaks from misery, and arisen very early, thanks to the gift of tardive dyskinesia (one of those “gifts that keep on giving”….), I’m done, and it’s still shy of 0430…. SIGH…. Now I get to wait for the rest of the world to wake up to get anything marginally useful done…. So be it…. Provided I’m not ensconced in hospital from the stress and fatigue building up over time, I’ll see y’all tomorrow…. Watch out for them “corporate persons” y’all; they’re getting pretty fierce….

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….


		
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No, no, not the Toast Points!….

Ffolkes,

“Kindness is my true religion.”

~~ The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet ~~

Day 3 and 4 028

    This coming Saturday is another of those days in one’s life that begins to assume a proportion of importance, and significance, greater than the other days, even other special days. On the one hand, that can be a delight; in other ways, not so much…. You see, it will be my 64th birthday…. I’ve finally reached that age Sir Paul and the boys sang to us. so many years ago, in a song whose poignancy now can bring me tears, rather than the hope and joy it brought me as a teen, when I first heard it…. Oh, which song is that? Why, “When I’m 64”, of course….

The song itself is a love song, obviously, which is why I say it’s poignancy, at least for me, assumes a melancholy aspect, rather than the comforting one it formerly held…. You see, the song makes the assumption that one will HAVE someone to love at 64, a feat which, somehow, managed to escape me…. I have my friends and my family, but, in essence, and in the final analysis, when I go to bed at night, and get up again in the morning, I am alone….

Oh, not completely, of course, and to be honest, I am thoroughly enjoying my solitude…. One doesn’t realize just how soothing being alone can be, until it actually happens. Nobody to tell me to pick up my socks, nobody to worry about waking up with my noise, nobody to cook for, nobody to pick up after…. all those little idiosyncrasies, and small annoyances that build up resentment over the time one lives with another person, never even get the opportunity to bother me, as I don’t have to deal with such things, at all… It really IS a nice way to live, if one can afford it….

I also love being retired, for a lot of reasons…. In fact, one of those reasons was brought home to me yesterday…. I went outside to sit on the porch a while; one of the landlord’s handymen was in the yard, getting it ready for winter. As I watched him sweeping some leaves, I was forced to admit that it was very pleasant to be able to sit on a nice day, and watch someone else do work, without any need whatsoever to join in….. Made me feel quite smug, actually, and improved my mood immensely…

So, I will remain alone, and mostly enjoying it, until serendipity strikes again….. If I were less polite, I could speak now of my hopes in that respect, but, rather than get any more maudlin, or more revealingly inane, I’ll take this little self-exploratory exposition, and play it as it lies…. In fact, that opportunity approaches quickly, and, it so happens, is located right next to one of our exit opportunities…. Ffolkes, I’d suggest you tighten your seat belts, and hold on, ’cause we’re goin’ for it….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Do you call yourself free?  I want to hear your ruling idea, and not that you have escaped from a yoke.” — Nietzsche, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”

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For the past month or so, I’ve been indulging myself…. Rather than read so much, I’ve been exploring You Tube, our society’s repository of video entertainment, ranging from private/personal videos to blockbuster Hollywood/Bollywood classic movies…. Personally, I find it serendipitous to have found a treasure trove, at least, for me…. Well-written, accurately portrayed versions of the Sherlock Holmes stories, from a long running series on BBC, are giving me, literally, hour upon hour of solid entertainment, without having to strain my eyes reading all night….

Well, I suppose the computer screen is no less troublesome for my eyes, but, it is easier than reading to watch the stories acted out, and very well acted, at that…. Jeremy Brett, as Sherlock Holmes, with Edward Hardwicke as the estimable Dr. Watson, were one of the very best Holmes/Watson pairings, with just the perfect degree of edge to their relationship, perfectly matching the pair’s bookish, very British, complex male intimacy…. and, Mr. Brett possesses the perfect build, voice, nose, and intensity of gaze to portray Holmes, as he did so admirably for 12 years….

Basil Rathbone, of course, set the standard for playing Holmes, and I find it interesting that the two men I consider to have done that the best, resemble each other very closely…. Both tall, (well, they APPEAR tall… perhaps an actor’s trick, but, nonetheless, both fit the image…), slim as a whip, with an aquiline nose and face, and those intense eyes, that can bore a hole right through one’s mind…. Brilliant, both of them…. Enjoy, ffolkes, I am doing so, a lot….

Sherlock Holmes -The Empty House

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“The entire world is being driven insane by this single phrase: ‘My religion alone is true.'” — Ramakrishna, Hindu saint & reformer

I would like to comment on the above statement, to set the stage for what comes after…. This short, pithy statement from a Hindu saint, to my mind, simply resonates with truth, a truth so deep it penetrates into virtually ALL categories of human interaction, and can be seen as the core reason behind a great many of the ills we are witnessing in society today…. The attitude he expresses, echoed by nearly every human being on the planet, no matter WHICH of the thousands of religious sects or philosophies to which they subscribe, has spread to include race, or nationality, or town, or university, or bloody bowling team….

The attitude he observes is so prevalent in society, the divisiveness isn’t even considered to be a problem; it is seen to be the natural state of affairs for mankind, so nobody even bothers to try to change it, in themselves, in others, or in the world at large…. They just accept their own racism/bigotry as “normal”, their aggressiveness as “courage”, and their stupidity as “faithful loyalty”, never realizing their loyalty is to ideas and concepts that were proven wrong centuries ago, or are simply a matter of traditional custom, and, thus, justifiable by right of common cause…. another ill-conceived idea, as it doesn’t ever consider whether the commonality extends outside their chosen group, the ones who spout the nonsense they with which they identify the best….

So, we end up with a society wherein the so-called leaders of the group lie to the public as a matter of policy, using a blend of partial truths and outright lies to manipulate the public into thinking, and acting, according to THEIR OWN agenda…. The public, meanwhile, are confused even further by those religious leaders who perpetuate their own agenda, wherein they counsel the public to obey temporal authority, if they wish to be rewarded with eternal life when they die, counting on their fear of death to convince them of the (false) need to give up their right to make up their own minds….

This sort of manipulation now extends to almost every corner of our society, as the government has gone completely rogue, turning away from the principles of a democratic republic, as our founding fathers wished this country to be run, straight toward the money, offered to them by those corporate snakeheads who have assumed the actual control of society, buying politicians, judges, and priests to do their will for them, allowing them to remain behind the scenes, to enjoy all of our money and resources that flow into their coffers each day…..

We, the people, end up with a government that lies to us, spies on us, and treats us as their own personal set of market slaves, while those who actually control the resources, and the money, go about their own business at the top of the heap, without a thought, or an ounce of compassion, for all of the misery and pain they cause to the other members of their species….

In short, they disgust me, and, though I am a compassionate man, I would feel NO remorse whatsoever should I ever break down, overcome my basic beliefs, including my own reluctance to kill, and start eliminating as many of them as I could identify…. I’m getting pretty damn close to that point, and, since I’m also getting to an age where I don’t much care whether or not I live much longer, I’d be the perfect assassin, with no fear of death at all…. and, all because of headlines like the following, which give you an idea of just how much the people in our beloved ruling class don’t give a SHIT about you, or anyone but themselves…..

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/28/us/us-secretly-monitoring-mail-of-thousands.html?_r=0

“The troubling part is that they don’t have to report the use of this tool to anyone,” Ms. Orr said in an interview. The Postal Service declined to comment on the case.”

This one doesn’t really surprise me, except for the fact that the article was allowed to be printed; it does tend to pull their covers…. That, in fact, may be the scariest, most disturbing part of all of it…. It is getting to the point where those who are responsible for most of the evil in the world seem to NOT CARE any longer if we know they are there…. They just go ahead with what they want to do, and don’t even bother to explain themselves…. even when exposed, such as now….

Now, THAT scares me…. What will we do, if they are so secure, they don’t even feel they need to hide their control any longer?…..

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/28/nyregion/two-governors-shifts-on-ebola-are-criticized-as-politics-not-science.html

“Charity should be spontaneous. Calculated altruism is an affront.” — Edward Abbey

This headline is here to show again how the politicians of this country, of which governors are perhaps the most egregiously corrupted, use the fears of the public for their own agenda, to try to position themselves into portraying an image to the public that has nothing to do with reality…. They imposed the quarantines IN SPITE of knowing there was no medical justification for it… plain and simple, they lied, merely to make themselves appear to be strong leaders, who are concerned over threats to public safety…. The only safety the public needs is to be protected against THEM, seems to me….

Oh well, that’s enough ranting for one day…. Pretty soon, ffolkes, I’m going to STOP writing…. Then, who knows? Maybe I’ll go hunting…. sounds like fun to me….. I’ll leave you with two thoughts from Smart Bee and Zippy, which will provide the perfect closing thoughts…..

“One of the greatest advantages in the world is enjoyed by the person who says and insists that they are telling the truth, when in fact, they are telling the truth.” –Smart Bee

“Yow!  Are we wet yet?” — Zippy the Pinhead

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On days such as today, when I’ve ranted, again to little purpose, I feel a bit down…. but, in those cases, a poem like this is a sure cure for any such indulgence of will…. Enjoy, ffolkes, this is one of the best, ever…..

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~


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An odd little pearl, composed of a series of comments on the state of being Man (includes Woman; we only use Man in be in tune with the most common standards of use, but, either one works, because, in this case, it includes both….

“The balls of sight are so formed, that one man’s eyes are spectacles to another, to read his heart from within.” — Johnson

“You aren’t responsible for what someone else loses you are only responsible for what you give and if you have given your best that’s more than they would have had without you.” — Callan Williams

“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

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell the truth.” — Oscar Wilde

“As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.” ~~ Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 1

“What’s a `pantheon’, and why is it mad at me?” — Famous Last Words

“For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Against Colote

That’s really not too shabby, ffolkes…. The last one, from Plutarch, (Who is, perhaps, next to Aristotle and Plato, my favorite ancient philosopher), sounds to me like a paraphrase of the Theory of Bozoid Tendencies…. I guess, among all his other talents, Plutarch must have been precognitive, as well….  Ya think?….

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I went to bed early, due to a tummy/gut upset (some part of my dinner wasn’t what my body likes, or can tolerate, apparently….), so, I was up way early, too…. Hence, this is done, and it is still shy of 6 AM…. But, that also means I can hit the day running, so, what the hell…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Stealing a reflective moment….

Ffolkes,

“For my part, I had rather be the first man among these fellows than the second man in Rome.”

~~ Plutarch ~~

 Life of Caesar

look

    Given the degree of dignity so obvious in the above photo, I think a group of fellows such as he would be a fine bunch with whom to consort, as stated in the quote…. with which I have to agree completely….. In fact, I would choose almost any animal at all, other than Man, to be my constant companion and friend, and feel the same way as Plutarch…. To me, the face in the picture (found in another Daily Telegraph photo feature on animals; attribution is in the corner) is one of great spirit, showing in the eyes the depth of intelligence, humor, compassion, and dignity….

Some might say that is anthropomorphizing, and to that I would say, so what? It doesn’t make it any less true… Besides, if a gorilla doesn’t have those characteristics, and we are evolved from them, how can we expect to have them, eh?…. As Mama Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”, and, as far as I can see by the visual evidence, mankind shows a lot more stupidity than any of the gorillas I’ve observed…. by a LOT…..

At this moment in time, even though in the midst of what could be an excellent discussion, I have to interrupt to issue some necessary information about today’s effort…. Yesterday, as Murphy’s gift, he gave me an episode of arthritic hip and back pain that pretty much curtailed the major portion of my semi-annual visit with my grandson; I had to give up walking around with my son and his four-year old, as I just couldn’t keep up, and the pain became debilitating…. I ended up sitting and watching for a bit, but, only managed a couple of pix, and a few seconds of video, then Murphy handed me the second part of the gift, a dead camera battery….

So, this morning, though I have pix, I also have more pain, plus, the bonus round, a toothache, as one of my teeth scheduled for extraction next week decided it didn’t wish to wait, and is demanding to come out very soon, or it will, no doubt, make my life a living hell for a while…. I do wish I knew why this part of my life is turning into a pitched battle with my own body….

Perhaps it’s all payback for how hard I pushed it for so many years…. I have to admit, I did work it hard there, from the time I was 12, until my early forties, what with baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, golf, biking, hiking, and all the other physical stuff I used to do…. and, I still miss being able to do all of it (except maybe the golf…. fun, but it will drive you absolutely nuts, trying to get it right….)

Ah well, I’m getting into TMI, so, let is suffice to say that, I hurt again today, and will be shortcutting here in the Pearl wherever I can, to save time…. I’m also up late, almost an hour later than usual, so, there is that, as well…. So, be prepared for some cheating, ffolkes, which will begin right here, with an abrupt exit from this intro….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” — Albert Einstein

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So, for section one, I am putting below three headlines from yesterday’s news…. All four speak about separate incidents of police misbehavior, which, unfortunately, though it sounds innocuous (‘misbehavior’, indeed….), when police act out, people tend to die…. Yet, for some reason, no court ever seems to find them guilty of any crime, and, in fact, many never even get charged, as they are usually cleared of any wrongdoing by internal investigations, or one by the local “lawyers” who work hand in hand with them…. a fact of corruption, almost incestuous in its nature, as the cops, and the investigating offices of district attorneys, are almost siblings, in the relationship they share in ‘fighting crime’….

But, even the media ignores that little oddity…. I’m putting these here because, since I won’t have time to rant about it, at least I can have you read the articles, and get angry right along with me, thus providing your own private little rant, in the privacy of your own head…. Here, read these, weep a little, then enjoy the pearls which I’ll throw together to drive the points home…. See y’all in section two….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/NAACP-Feds-should-investigate-black-teen-s-death-5679684.php#photo-6707581

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Jury-to-decide-if-Huntington-Beach-police-wrongly-5675811.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Group-protests-at-Wal-Mart-where-man-fatally-shot-5679694.php

“The first rule of gun fighting is — bring a gun.” — Smart Bee

(But, the law says the police are the only ones who are supposed to use guns…. or, it will, as soon as they finish their war on the Second Amendment…. Think about that one, ffolkes…. Are the people you read about above the ones you want to have as the ONLY armed people around? I certainly don’t think I want to be in a place where I am not allowed to have my own defense against THEM, as I don’t see many of them who are worthy of that kind of trust….)

(Okay, I’ll just let the pearls talk now… If I keep commenting, it will turn into a real rant, and take too much time…so, I’ll quit now…. It just irks me SO MUCH…..)

“The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.” — Eugene V. Debs, US labor leader.

(Note: Debs received one million votes in 1920 as candidate for US President, while serving a 10-year jail sentence for having said in June 1918: “Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder…the master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.”)

“The better the state is established, the fainter is humanity.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Liberty means responsibility.  That is why most men dread it.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend’s forehead.” — Chinese Proverb

“The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.” — Smart Bee

Was there a time when dancers with their fiddles
In children’s circuses could stay their troubles?
There was a time they could cry over books,
But time has set its maggot on their track.
Under the arc of the sky they are unsafe.
What’s never known is safest in this life.
Under the skysigns they who have no arms
Have cleanest hands, and, as the heartless ghost
Alone’s unhurt, so the blind man sees best.

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~

“Was There A Time”

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As noted, I don’t have time to search out a poem, so, one of mine will have to do…. I’ll try to make it one we haven’t seen in a while…. Okay, so, here we have one I haven’t used since I wrote it, in December of 2012…. which speaks to what I spoke about in the intro, to wit: my old friends, Jim, and Jack…. or, as they are known to those closest to them, James and John…. I’m reproducing it in the original format used to post it….

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back ~~

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert


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I promised you I wouldn’t rant today, but, I didn’t promise not to include any rants…. Here is a religirant from a couple of years back, that still hits the nail on the head…..

From 5/18/2012:

“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

First, let me apologize…. I hadn’t meant to go into a rant this morning, especially about religion; sitting down is as difficult as standing up or walking, so the time it takes to express the outrage necessary to produce a rant is more than I wanted to take. But then this popped up in front of me….

After I had picked myself up from the floor and recovered my breath, I still could barely stop chuckling and giggling long enough to use the mouse to cut and paste it to this page. Now I find myself almost speechless at the sheer arrogance, the complete lack of respect shown for humanity at large by this astounding statement.

In one short phrase, this deeply disturbed man has attempted to manipulate his listeners into a complete subjugation of their will, and in doing so, implies that they are not only unworthy in a moral sense, but are not smart enough to be allowed to think for themselves. I’m surprised he didn’t ask for money in the same sentence…. You can bet he did so before he got to the end of the speech….

I remember seeing Billy Graham when I was quite young, speaking on TV to a football stadium full of enthusiastically cheering, excited, identical clones in white cotton dresses, with skirts below the knees, and blue suits, with white shirts, no vests, and thin ties. Even at the tender age of 11 or so when I saw it, my first impression of him was of a used-car salesman, with a smarmy-looking smile at inappropriate moments, and a smooth, fawning manner of speaking that ranged from sly confidences to outraged proclamations of evil and sin, in very obviously scripted stages.

The words and phrases he used, straight out of the King James Bible, mostly, seemed to promote love and tolerance, but the underlying message was one of elitism and divisiveness, as indicated by the insistence that only those who accepted JC according to their rules would be allowed into heaven…. The rest of us would be doomed, consigned to everlasting hell for having the audacity to think differently…. It was pretty over-the-top, as far as I was concerned, though entertaining in a circus sort of way….

It is now 50 years since I saw that particular revival meeting, and Mr. Graham has continued to spew his particular brand of ignorance for that entire time. He is indeed one of the men of whom St. Francis of Assisi warned us to beware, a man of one book. And the above statement, to me, is proof of just how little he thinks of the general run of human beings. His basic message is, “You are a miserable sinner, and have no right to exist, other than at the mercy of God. You are not smart enough to keep from sinning on your own, so just shut up and listen, and do what you are told….”

It is certainly proof, I guess, that the world takes all kinds, for there are millions of folks out there who regard what Billy Graham says as just as much gospel as what is in the Bible…. but then in for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose…. Me, I’d rather listen to a ball game…..

Note from 2014:

“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” — H.L. Mencken

Aha! Well…. that explains that….

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Well, I did it…. I’ve put together a Pearl, under trying circumstances, in jig time (whatever THAT means….)…. Rather than push my luck, I’m going to go post this now, and be done with it for the day…. Hell, since I’m going to be taking a LOT of extra drugs, maybe later I’ll go surfing for a little while, when I get to a point where I can think past the haze of pain…. I hope so… it would be nice to be able to see another web site than just my own, and the news…. Any who, I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; this pain has to ease off a bit some time…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Parabolic patterns, majestically arranged on tiles….

Ffolkes,

We read of a certain Roman emperor who built a magnificent palace.  In digging the foundation, the workmen discovered a golden sarcophagus ornamented with three circlets, on which were inscribed, “I have expended; I have given; I have kept; I have possessed; I do possess; I have lost; I am punished. What I formerly expended, I have; what I gave away, I have.” — Gesta Romanorum — Tale xvi

I have decided, again, to make a change, of at least a temporary nature…. Here is a beginning pearl for your perusal, one that shows well in the early light, and not merely because it is a tale from old Rome…. those always go over well with the breakfast crowd….. This is also a fine way to show off a very old format for Pearls, from the very Dark Ages, before computers were available to the public, and we all had to write stuff down with real pencils, or one of those other actual writing utensils…. Never mind all that, though, and look at the pearl more closely…. You’ll see that there is actually a real-life lesson in there, just waiting for us to learn it….

Of course, we must then assume one is capable of learning, capable, moreover, of learning such an ethical lesson this early in the day…. Not everyone can, you know…. There are a lot of people who can’t learn ethical lessons at all, but, we try to keep them confined to the political arena where  we can keep better track of them…. Hah! I wish it were that simple…. No, there’s actually a good little parable in the above little tale, all about big fish, little fish, etc., compassionate living, ethics, and the pointlessness of arguing with reality, but, in sooth, I just included it there to show y’all how pearls used to be constructed, back in the days before the digital hegemony became extant…. Can we be done now? Okay….

So, yesterday, I made a really dumb statement, and though that isn’t all that unusual, it IS unusual for me to resort to hyperbole when I’m writing, even when being sardonic, or sarcastic…. Part of the trouble with hyperbole is its unfortunate habit of always coming back to bite later on… Yesterday, I spoke of being one of the richest single men in the world, referring to a fortune in the neighborhood of several hundred million dollars….. which, of course, isn’t anywhere NEAR the richest…. The men and/or women who inhabit THAT short list have fortunes approximating several BILLION dollars, a figure they cannot envision any better than the rest of us, in the final analysis…. nor can they take a single penny more than we can with them wherever any of us are going, after we’re done fooling around on this plane of existence….

There…. now that I’ve cleared up that little misunderstanding, I can honestly say that I’ve completely screwed the pooch, in a manner of speaking…. I’ve written myself into another damn corner, and the only way out is to just bail…. I hate to do that, it gets my cardigan all wrinkled from the dive, and it’s always such a hassle to retie all the knots, and restock all the snacks…. But, it does get us to the next section, without having to go back and do any of this over, and without having to resort to sheepish, apologetic shuffling while you look magnanimous and kindly…. Thanks for THAT!….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I am ignorant of absolute truth. But I am humble before my ignorance, and therein lies my honour and my reward.” — Kahlil Gibran
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[7/16/89] “I’ve had no indication from home, nor have we picked up any here that they felt that the US economy was going to move towards a recession.” [10/4/91] “The economy is moving in the right direction.” [10/25/91] “I don’t want to buy into the predicate about [the US being in] another recession. I don’t feel that way.”  [10/31/91] The economy’s turned the corner, headed for recovery.”  [11/8/91] I’m not prepared to say we are in a recession.”  [1/4/92] It will not be a deep recession.”  [1/15/92] Look, this economy is in free fall.”  — President George Bush

Perfect, eh? I think this little collection of quotes from the news is an excellent way to demonstrate my point about the lies that politicians tell on a regular basis…. This group of quotes could arguably be reproduced for just about ANY politician alive, and look almost exactly the same, whether the subject is the economy, gun control, foreign policy, the war on (drugs, poverty, illiteracy, hunger, disease, cancer, the middle class…. pick one, they’re all current….), or just their own cupidity…. It’s clear from each and every of the above statements, at each and every time he was queried, this man had absolutely no clue as to what was actually going on with the economy…. and had no intention of ever admitting any such thing….

To be honest, I don’t expect him to have a clue about the economy….. That is a subject of which no one alive has any real understanding; the economy of this nation, and of the world at large, is too big, too astronomically huge and amorphous, with so much inertia inherent in its workings, the effects of ANY kind of cause are delayed, and perverted (which merely means altered unexpectedly…. get your mind out of the gutter, please….) by that inertia, making the behavior of the entire entity rather completely unpredictable by any normal means, and certainly by no means of which we are capable at this point in our mental development…. Even cloud-computing won’t resolve such huge numbers….

The economy of the world, as an outgrowth of the society which engages in it, is suffering in the throes of unbridled, undisciplined growth… The number of people on the planet is bumping right up against the total number of those it is POSSIBLE for the planet to support, in a real, physical sense…. That fact, not factoid, is, of course, calmly being ignored by society at large, and we continue to produce alarming numbers of people, along with the alarming amount of grunge that each person seems to require, every second of every day….. If it were a medical issue, we would call what is happening in the world of money, and society in general, “cancerous”, as it is steadily, unflinchingly, irrevocably eating itself alive from the inside…..

I’m going to set myself a small task… As a finishing exercise for this small rant against the general stupidity of our species, I’m going to go perform a quick data mining expedition on the front pages of the news… I’ll bet I can come up with at least four or five examples from this morning’s batch of headlines that will serve as examples of some part of what I’ve outlined above…. Let’s see what the world is up to, eh?….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Judge-orders-removal-of-San-Diego-war-cross-5059879.php

(Oooh, politics AND religion, in one article…. How many opinion-based arguments will we hear on this one, do you think?….)

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Sunnyvale-car-dealer-pleads-no-contest-to-sales-5060326.php

(Apparently, the urge to lie, cheat, and steal extends into every level, and every corner of society, not merely the government….)

http://blog.sfgate.com/fiore/2013/12/11/im-an-internet-company-im-the-government/

(Another brilliant observation from Mark Fiore, Pulitzer-winning journalist, exposing at least one or two of the falsehoods out there….)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/House-GOP-conservatives-help-propel-budget-bill-5060806.php

(Congress…. Senate…. budget…. Now, how many of these people would you guess are lying, to you, to each other, and to themselves? Can you say, “ALL OF THEM”?…..)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/UN-inspectors-confirm-Syria-chemical-attack-5059352.php

(As noted above, the incidence of diseased ethics is not limited to the government of this country alone…..)

There you go…. easy money, if I was getting paid. The five articles I found were all right there on the front page… didn’t have to search beyond there to find enough examples to complete my self-imposed task. I find that both encouraging, and disheartening at the same time…. So much so, I’m done with this for now…. We’re all goin’ to Hell in a Hand Basket, ffolkes, so, we may as well enjoy the ride…..

Then farewell Horace, whom I hated so,–
Not for thy faults, but mine.

— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto iv, Stanza 77
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One’s solace, from tasting the fruit of the tree of knowledge, at times, can only be found in the arms of genius…. and serendipity…. Such is the joy of finding this at just this moment, when I needed it most….

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~

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As a practicing hedonist, finding one’s self overwhelmed is an occupational hazard, in a manner of speaking. We’re told our whole lives that there is a price to pay when we over-indulge; at one time or another, all of us have experienced a graphic example of the truth of that little fillip from the gods of laughter, usually bestowed upon us to bring a bit of humor to our lives, at those moments when we least wish to laugh, and most need to…. In short, there’s always a come-uppance when we piss on our own shoes, and crying about it won’t help….

In accepting the truth of that, one doesn’t always give in completely, and learn to “like it”, but, we can learn to live with it, and live with it we must, so, it’s usually best to just do so, and get on with it…. This means, in one respect, at least, that I’m done being sick…. I’ve taken my turn, it’s over now, so can someone else please get on this bus and drive it away? I’m through with it….. Thank you….

Now that’s settled, I can see I have a lot of work to do, in my head, and on this blog…. I’ve managed to write so damn much that most people give up, I think…. Not that I’m writing for other ffolkes, but, it’s nice to know they’re out there, and that I’m not talking to the wall…. Any who, I’m coming to terms with having traveled over 50,000 miles in the past nine months, more than I’ve covered in the previous 12 years, or more, and my body needs to take a break…. This will mean I’m online more, so, we’ll see if I can’t get around to see more of other ffolkes’s blogs, which I do miss being able to get to…. As John Carter of Mars said, “While I live, there is hope….”

Here’s a pearl, composed of random pearls, to finish off this Pearl…..   😆

“How ridiculous and unrealistic is the man who is astonished at anything that happens in life.” — Marcus Aurelius

“Reality is a much bigger concept than I thought.” — Smart Bee

“Education never ends… It is a series of lessons with the greatest for the last.” — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

“The most common sort of lie is the one uttered to one’s self.” — Nietzsche

He only earns his freedom and his life
Who takes them every day by storm.

— Goethe, from Faust

“What is the first business of one who studies philosophy? To part with self-conceit. For it is impossible for any one to begin to learn what he thinks that he already knows.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — How to apply general Principles to particular Cases, — Discourses, Book ii, Chap. xvii

“I grow old ever learning many things.”– Solon 630 – 555 BC

Serendipity, indeed! John Carter was right! Seven perfect, matching pearls, all of great age and luster, but for one, one that serves as an exact counterpoint to the rest, providing the perfect balance…. God, I love this job…. oh, wait….. shoot….. Oh, well, still fun….
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Euripides was wont to say, “Silence is an answer to a wise man.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Bashfulness

Another outburst of egotistical meanderings, just as if anyone cared, or was even listening…. If nothing else, one must give points for persistence, eh? And proofing, I’m good at the proofing, generally…. Let’s try that for a moment or two… I’m really not sure what to think about this…. so, I won’t. I’m outta here, ffolkes, and there’s nothing any of us can do about it now…. See you tomorrow, I think…..

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

Baldly factual assertions, drying in the wind….

Ffolkes,

Yesterday’s outburst, one would think, would have been enough to soothe the urge to rant that comes over me at the reading of these reports on the idiocy prevalent among the elected glitterati in this country. The amount of sheer stupidity, of outright deliberate denial of facts in favor of paranoid delusions, the display of asininity and selfish, avaricious cupidity that has been reported in the news, JUST in the House of Representatives over the last two weeks, is enough to weigh upon anyone with a brain, much less a sensitive, patriotic minded fool such as myself. It is seriously painful to observe the degree of idiocy the Retardican Party has tapped into of late, while trying to justify their racism and bigotry, which they typically try to disguise as concern over what should be non-issues….

Obviously, as indicated by the tone and content of the first paragraph, all of that rant didn’t get put down on screen yesterday, and it continues to burn a hole in the bag I’m holding it in, demanding to be put out into the light of day, where it can scream epithets and derogatory statements about relatives at the idiots who keep assaulting all of us with their intransigent asininity.

I mean, are these fools living in a different world than the rest of us? Can they not see the same evidence that the rest of us see? Can they continue to deny reality in the face of all the opposition that has been generated against them by just about every other demographic category in existence? I often wonder how many of these seemingly obvious questions, so obvious they are really rhetorical in nature, can be answered with a yes, when describing the current crop of Tea Party-supported fools in the Retardican Party…. you know, the idiots causing all the trouble in society right now, with their blind, fascistic insistence on opposing any and all reforms proposed by a black man, whose very existence as POTUS is a fact they are unable to accept….

I ask you this…. How long is the rest of this country, consisting of people like me, who believe in the true American Dream, a group that includes more than merely the White, Christian sub-group as its proponents, a Dream which acknowledges the diversity that actually exists in Reality, of Whites, Blacks, Browns, Greens, Purples, Rainbows, Latinos, Asians, LGBT’s, women, and everyone else the Tea Party would like to believe isn’t entitled to participate in their delusion…. How long are we going to allow these ASSHOLES to continue to try to force their vision on everyone else?

These people, as policy, lie, and cheat, and will resort to almost any act, no matter how egregiously immoral, to keep things as they want them to be, where their desires and entitlements are the only ones allowed. This has been proven by historical fact, and continues now, as they keep attempting to legislate morality, change congressional voting districts to favor themselves, and generally do anything they can to keep the rest of the people in this country from achieving any real societal diversity….

Hmm… I seem to have let this get away from me again, but, it just pisses me off so much when I look at the news each day, and see another example of how the ignorance and bigotry of the right-wing Retardicans is being shoved into the face of American politics, with the concomitant splatters of shit flying everywhere…. Their intransigent stupidity, and arrogance, is getting very old to me, and, I’m sure, to a lot of other people, and I wish to hell they’d just crawl back in their holes, and leave everyone else alone…. Not to mention shutting the hell UP!….

But, they won’t, so we will have to continue to put up with their noise, and the sheer lies and nonsense they throw out on a regular basis, to confuse and distract, if nothing else….. Me, I’m about ready to DO something about it, but, it will have to wait until I finish this Pearl, which, by the looks of it, may not ever get started, if I can’t shut myself up…. Okay, if I can’t stop at the end of this paragraph, I’ll institute emergency procedure #5…. I hope I don’t have to, though…. #5 is a messy one….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“If an ass goes traveling he will not come home a horse.” — Thomas Fuller

(The more I let this little statement echo around in my head, the more angles, depths, and meanings float up, into my awareness…. To keep from adding undue length where it is least needed, I will just say this… I wish the BRC wouldn’t spend as much time trying to convince the public that this statement is false, as they currently do. Since the statement is demonstrably and unarguably true, in so many ways, that could be construed as an impossible task… unless, of course, you help them by believing it…..)
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Having begun my rant in the intro, I don’t think it would go over well to continue it here…. So, we’ll go old school, which, as you know, is my default position in these instances….. I’m uncertain still if that meets with the approval of my readership, but, hey, I’ve been operating in the dark here for a long time, in that respect, so, it’s nothing new, and nothing to get huffed about…. As long as I can continue to pretend to some sort of relevance, and keep y’all unaware of how little I really know, well, I’ll be doing as well as the average politician, right? Right…. Let’s see what SB has for us today…..

“The typewriting machine, when played with expression, is no more annoying than the piano when played by a sister or near relation.” — Oscar Wilde
(Ouch! Now, THAT’S sarcasm!…. At which, of course, Oscar was the master….) (You don’t think he’s…. wait!?…. He’s not talking about ME, is he?…. Nah!…. No way!….)

“I’m continually AMAZED at th’breathtaking effects of WIND EROSION!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“The ruthlessness born of self-seeking is ineffectual compared with the ruthlessness sustained by dedication to a holy cause. “God wishes,” said Calvin, “that one should put aside all humanity when it is a question of striving for His glory.” ” — Eric Hoffer

“The only thing I know for sure is that I know nothing at all, for sure.” — Socrates

“Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.” — H.L. Mencken

“Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.” — Buffalo Springfield

“If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re missing the joke.” — Smart Bee, with gigoid’s complete agreement….

When this pearl was about halfway done, I had no idea where it was headed, and still don’t know exactly how it got to where it ended up… but, then, I don’t know a lot of stuff about reality, so, we’ll just go on, as we were, no doubt, meant to do anyway…. I don’t encourage the belief that fate is unavoidable, but, when it happens, it’s best not to fight it too hard… One must learn how to “go with the flow”, as it were, or severe mental injuries may occur, even in the best of families….
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Today’s poem chose itself…. I went searching, on the internet, for an appropriate poem for today, but, couldn’t seem to settle on anything I read, from a number of poets I visited…. until this one. It reached out, grabbed me, and said, essentially, “Use me, again….”  I should have known it would know it has been here before…. so, here ’tis again….

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~

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Today’s your lucky day…. Nothing in the news this morning has prompted an upsurge of angst or outrage to parallel the rant in the intro section… which means we get to go back to old-school. I know, the law doesn’t say we HAVE to go there, but, around here, it’s what we do…. So, deal…. and, preferably, enjoy!    😆

“He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.” — Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

“Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.” — Mark Twain

“The beauty of a pun is in the “Oy!” of the beholder.” — Smart Bee
“Puns can groan on you” — Yep, where else? Smart Bee
(A true two-fer, that counts as one pearl….)

“Each time Time torments me, I tell myself that one of us must back down, that it is impossible for this cruel confrontation to go on indefinitely.” — E.M. Cioran

Before enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood.
After enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood.

— Zen Proverb

Ooh, ooh, Teacher! Can I answer?…. See, it shoulda used the Buddha quote, then it would all be clearer…. Teacher: “Y, know, you may be right…. but, that would be unethical, now, wouldn’t it? Resorting to Buddha, when Zippy will do?…” Sorry, Teacher…. I’ll pick two more, to fix it….

An American scientist once visited the offices of the great Nobel prize winning physicist, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen.  He was amazed to find that over Bohr’s desk was a horseshoe, securely nailed to the wall, with the open end up in the approved manner (so it would catch the good luck and not let it spill out).  The American said with a nervous laugh,  “Surely you don’t believe the horseshoe will bring you good luck, do you, Professor Bohr?  After all, as a scientist–”  Bohr chuckled.  “I believe no such thing, my good friend.  Not at all.  I am scarcely likely to believe in such foolish nonsense.  However, I am told that a horseshoe will bring you good luck whether you believe in it or not.” — found in Smart Bee, without attribution

“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)
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Please save the above drivel for future reference!

At this point, there is little point in not admitting defeat, and slinking away with head bowed in shame…. or, at the very least, embarrassment for having allowed this to occur, without giving ffolkes the proper warnings…. Let’s see if it has any redeeming qualities..

I’m pretty certain none of the above is toxic, so, we’re going to let it fly, solo…. One can’t always be two places at once, can one?….. Whatever that may mean, and it may or may not mean anything, we are still outta here…. now…..

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

Luring nuns back into the habit….

Ffolkes,

Whereas, the production of this blog is essential to the proper functioning of my mind, and, hence, my life, and, whereas, producing said blog has saved my sanity on numerous occasions, and, whereas, nobody has stepped forward to tell me to stop, it is hereby decreed that publication will continue until death, or, more appropriately, until someone cries for mercy…….  gigoid has spoken… so be it….

Sorry, just have to make it official now and then, to appease the gods of bureaucracy, that, despite having been retired for about three and a half years now, still have some influence on my actions, volitional as they may be at other times. It’s kind of like knocking on wood, or throwing salt over your shoulder when you spill it; old habits and superstitions die hard, and one never knows when one of the elder gods will take offense at something we’ve done to unconsciously insult them. It’s best to cover all the bases, as it were, right? No point in taking foolish chances, not in reality; it bites……

Now that is out of the way, I can dive right into today’s display of temper, or outburst of creativity, or just plain drivel (as is usually the case…), searching for just the perfect pearl to start things off…. You see, it’s all a random process, and I never know beforehand just what I’ll be doing, or where we’ll be heading off to to find something worth writing about…..

I’ve been watching the news, and the usual suspects are busily carrying on the normal course of idiocy out there in the public venue; I’ve even seen a couple of items that stirred me to write, almost…. However, the afterglow of contentment I have in my attitude bag from the cruise seems to have blunted my rant mode, at least temporarily….

Who knows? Not me…..It could pop out at any time, so, we’ll see what’s up when I begin to peruse Smart Bee in a few moments…. The first viewing of that little gem is always a surprise, as I never know if it will cooperate, or pretend to be dumber than it looks. It can be a pain, fortunately infrequently, but still on a regular basis, and I have no way to determine how it will act beforehand…. yet another example of how metaphor is everywhere in life, once one learns to see and appreciate its immense variety, as well as its ubiquitous presence as part of the fabric of reality…. which  brings us around once again to where we need to be, poised and ready to dive in and begin the search for pearls of virtual wisdom…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness, we return to the source to remain where we have always been.” — Seng Ts’un.
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“Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

Since we were talking about metaphor, and the power of the Metaphorse in reality (well, I  was talking about it…..), the above is a perfect lead-in to a discussion of the finer points of how to take advantage of this phenomenon, or, at the very least, minimize the damage that NOT knowing, or not caring, can bring to those who ignore its power…..

Fortunately for y’all, I suspect my brain is still a bit too fuzzy to get into the subject deeply enough to make the correct point, or, sigh, to make the point correctly, (for any grammar Nazis out there….); making it incorrectly could conceivably cause even more damage…. Naturally, I’ll resort to my tried and true method for hiding my own shortcomings, and use the very power of which I speak, to put the message into an old-school pearl…. The point of this one should, by now, be completely transparent…. if not, well, there’s always tomorrow….. To preclude any whining, this will NOT be on the Quiz…..

“Beware the man of one book.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

“The impression forces itself upon one that men measure by false standards, that everyone seeks power, success, riches for himself, and admires others who attain them, while undervaluing the truly precious thing in life.” — Sigmund Freud

“Force has no place where there is need of skill.” — Herodotus

“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Cleveland Press, 3/1/21

“I don’t want to panic, but my alphabet soup says, “Forget about me … just try to save yourself.”” — Tom Wilson (“Ziggy”)

Don’t have it yet? Okay, okay, I’ll clarify…. but, you only get two more….. if you don’t have it by then, well, I’ve failed, and will go shoot myself….I don’t want to die, so, please, pay attention…..

“God may be in the details, but it is also important to know the big picture.” — Deng Ming-Dao

“There’s only one way to kill a rat…” — Robert A. Heinlein

There…. it seemed only fitting to finish with Heinlein, as I’m a firm believer in the old Irish adage of “Begin as you mean to go on….”  Whoops, it’s another metaphor…. Okay, I’m done for now…
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I offer no apologies for the poems I pick to include in this section, but feel I should explain why they sometimes don’t fit with the rest of the Pearl, attitudinally (if that is a word….) (hmm, must be a word, because the spell checker didn’t even flinch…)…. Actually, it’s quite simple…. I use the same random method for this as for picking pearls…. If it grabs my eye and my fancy, it stays, even when it has little or nothing to do with the rest of the post… In this case, it is not altogether out of line, but, no matter, because it is one of my favorite poems….. Enjoy!…..

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~

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Whew! For a moment, I thought it was time for a rant, and I don’t have one on tap…. but, then I remembered it’s time for the next installment of the Alaskan Adventures…. Good thing!

After the intense (NOT!) experience of exploring Icy Point Strait and the booming Alaskan village of Hoonah, the ship sailed overnight to Juneau, where we spent the 4th of July, sans any overt displays of either fireworks, or excessive celebration of the holiday in a formal sense…. (Who needs a party when you’ve got some guy on board wearing a sleeveless American flag t-shirt with his used-to-be-greyish-white Bermuda shorts and flip flops, sweating his way through the buffet line?….)

A formal party wasn’t necessary, as we were docked at 7 AM, with two other huge cruise ships anchored in front of us, and another pulling in behind just after breakfast…. There was another Princess ship, a Holland American ship, and a Norwegian Cruises ship (shown below). This meant that close to 12,000 people were in town for the day; our own ship wasn’t scheduled to depart until midnight, due to a miscommunication with the town authorities….

It seemed as if at least 5 or 6,000 of them were walking around at any one time, all hell-bent on finding another 3D magnet or Tanzanite necklace…. If I’d still been in my twenties or thirties, I might have joined in the fracas at the Red Dog Saloon, one of Alaska’s oldest taverns, but, being 62, I just went back to the ship and took a nap after my (for me) extensive walk….

It seems that Juneau sets off its fireworks display for the 4th at midnight of the night before, to ring in the day with the hullabaloo rather than end it that way. (Alaskans are different, trust me…. They work at it….) Unfortunately, this didn’t get into the memo that Princess received, so we were there for the duration, with only the local stores and bars in which to while away the hours (a mistake for which I’m sure they were eternally grateful….).

I went a bit nuts again on the souvenirs, but did find all we needed to cover everyone on our lists, finding some rather cool stuff (gotta love that fake snow!….). We also overdid it on the walking, going ashore twice, and hoofing it about 2 miles each time, walking down the pleasant wharf-side path past the ships, or passing among the crowds on the sidewalks in front of the myriad of shops, bars, and restaurants that lined the streets nearby.

Having looked over the last two posts, and this one, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed in my pictures. I had thought I got more, and that they were better, but, so far they’re not up to snuff…. The next couple of days, in Tracy Arm Fjord and Victoria, will show a little better, though, as I got the hang of the camera better, and took more shots… I hope you enjoy these as much as I do, and did while taking them…..


Alaska Grand Adventure 059 Alaska Grand Adventure 038 Alaska Grand Adventure 039 Alaska Grand Adventure 053 Alaska Grand Adventure 054 Alaska Grand Adventure 055 Alaska Grand Adventure 056 Alaska Grand Adventure 057 Alaska Grand Adventure 058_____________________________

Very well, then…. I shall now go peruse my effort….. Not too shabby, but needed a bit of punch-up, now done. Therefore, with no further ado, I shall take my leave, to go forth unto the new day, hopeful…. foolishly, perhaps, but hopeful, nonetheless….. I am, after all, getting fairly adept at this living stuff…..  Now, if I can only learn to do it well…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Occasionally, it floated sideways….

Ffolkes,
Boo hoo? Boo hoo? What a crock of crap!…. Oh, hi, sorry, didn’t realize we’d started…. When I woke up today, the best I could come up with was Boo hoo…. which, as is common knowledge, is no way to start the day….. So, I got some coffee, kicked Murphy off the coffee table where he was snoring, and retreated to the porcelain throne room for a little quiet time with a book. No sooner did I sit down to begin, the damn waterworks start leaking again…. The damnedest part is that I have no frigging clue as to what the hell is causing it….

I mean, I’m still in poverty, relatively speaking, but, I’ve got food, the rent’s paid, and all will be well soon, as I’m just waiting for a decision now on my SS benefits. My kids are doing well, and the lady Ive been sparking is feeling better now, so no personal issues happening, either. My brother’s news regarding his illness was a bit of a facer, but I’m getting a handle on that, so that isn’t it either….

No, it’s just a gift from the gods, I guess, letting me know that my past indiscretions in my choice of work are not completely resolved, at least not to the point where my unconscious is going to give me a free pass….. I can truly be an asshole, when it comes to dealing with myself….

PTSD is an insidious condition…. in many ways, its symptoms and issues are hidden, not only from others, but from the victim themselves, by the person’s unconscious mind, which, in the case of these issues of extreme mental anguish, assumes control over the rest of the person’s psyche.

It’s a pain in the ass, too, I’ll tell ya, as days like today, if not addressed and resolved, can become a daily battle, rather than an occasional skirmish…..  Thankfully, I’m currently at a place where the latter is more common than the former…. so, today is a bit of a surprise, though not completely unexpected, given recent events….

The human mind is a complex organism, and we don’t know a lot about how it actually does what it does. Even from a personal standpoint, we aren’t very knowledgeable regarding how our minds work; we know what it does, but know very little about how it goes about doing it.

Not surprisingly, this can lead to a great many issues that a more complete understanding might preclude; unfortunately, that knowledge is currently unavailable, as the mechanics of our mind’s activities is a mystery, for the most part. All we know is what we observe; we know almost nothing about the process, or, for that matter, the end result…. If we did, we could answer the age-old question, “What is the mind?”, with something other than speculation…..

Okay, I’ll call a halt here…. A discussion of brain activity, while interesting in its own right, and in its own way, probably isn’t the best way to begin a Pearl…. neither is a lamentation on the disadvantages of having contracted PTSD in the course of my career choice. So, we’ll drop it now, and get on with today’s business, before I bore y’all to petrification. This is a chatty, fairly erudite intro section, but, it really doesn’t mean much, does it? SIGH….. Someday, maybe I’ll get the hang of this intro stuff…. Shall we Pearl?…..

P.S.  A housekeeping note: I noted at least two major typos in yesterday’s Pearl, and am ashamed….. (you can’t see it, but my head is hanging, and I have an appropriately sober, apologetic expression on my face….)  I’ll try to proof better today…..

“I feel so inar-inar-inar tic-u-late” — Smart Bee
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“I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair.  Then I thought, wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?  So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.”– Marcus, Babylon 5

Marcus brings up an interesting point here, when he talks of the general hostility of the universe. I don’t think he quite has a handle on the actual shape of Reality, though, and in his desire to avoid responsibility for his own cupidity, he assigns the universe as villain in his play. Our universe isn’t hostile to us, as he would like to think. Unfair? Yes. Hostile? No…. The universe really doesn’t give a crap about us, one way or another. Things seem unfair, not because they are stacked against us, but rather because they are not stacked in our favor, a slight but distinct difference…..

Reality plays no favorites, beyond a tendency to allow itself to be adjusted by those who have an understanding of how it works, without granting them any dispensation, but rather rewarding their cleverness and wit. Those who believe the universe is out to get them are defenseless against the trials and tribulations that are a natural part of living, because they begin from an attitude of helplessness. Those who at least have the confidence to act in their own behalf are much more able to achieve their goals, than anyone who allows Reality to push them wherever they end up, without any direction made by choice…..

Thus, we can see that courage, as well as knowledge, is necessary to being able to confront Reality on its own terms. Not only is it necessary to pay attention to the way the universe works, and how it interacts among all its parts, but necessary to have the courage to act on what is known, and what the person believes to be right, in a moral sense.

Of course, the universe doesn’t care one way or another if we are moral; it rewards those who act out of immorality as well, if they are bold enough to act. We just feel better about ourselves if we act from right thought, and we make it easier for others to do the same. Acting immorally only benefits the one who is doing the acting…..

But, cowardice is also rewarded by the universe; it just isn’t a very palatable reward, to have our every wish denied, and our every act dismissed, as incompetent, illegal, or just plain dumb….. Lack of courage, and lack of knowledge thus become their own rewards, and the person’s misguided views about reality lead them into issue after issue of conflict with the rest of reality.

In this way, they continually reinforce their own misapprehensions, and will only more firmly believe that the universe is out to get them, and everyone else…. This, in spite of the fact that they are looking at, and dealing with, the same Reality as everyone else, who don’t all seem to have the same problem…. Instead of giving them a clue that maybe they should do things differently, they merely assume that the other people have cheated them somehow…. because that is what they would do….

It’s really too bad in some ways, that so large a percentage of humanity is so lacking in courage and wit as to find the view stated above to be congruent with their own view of the way the universe operates; it’s part of what makes it so easy for those in the BRC and the 1% to control them, and to pull the wool over their eyes.

These folks are so convinced of their own helplessness in the face of all they don’t understand, they will latch onto almost anything someone tells them, if it soothes their fears, and gives them someone or something other than themselves to blame for their misfortunes…. Sad, but true, and a perfect description of what has transpired in society for several thousand years now, as the BRC keeps the majority of humanity in the proverbial dark about what is true, and what is real….. They’ve had a lot of practice, and they’re very good at it….

But, then, it isn’t hard to control someone who is brainwashed to believe that it is the way reality is, so I can’t say it is due to any particularly large degree of wit or talent that allows them to do so…. It is more that the folks who they control are so stupid, they ask to be controlled, because they can’t, and more importantly, won’t, trust themselves to do it….. Sad, but true….

At his point in this narrative, I am becoming a bit enraged, a not uncommon reaction to a rant about the BRC and the 1%…. Heck, this time, I didn’t even have to mention the papists or preachers who are their shock troops, on the front lines of the brainwashing process, in order to get upset and angry over their machinations…. until now. My rage is growing, as it always tends to do when I start to rant on this subject, and I’m not ready to deal with the consequences of letting it get any bigger right now…. too much other stuff to get to today. But, just let me say this…..

Those in our society who deliberately control others for their own benefit are my enemies. I believe them to be responsible for virtually ALL of the social ills we have, as well as the global and environmental issues that are threatening our very survival as a species. They are, for their own personal benefit, hoarding the resources of the planet, and refusing to share them with the remainder of humanity, all because they can, and they want to. The welfare of others is of no concern to them, so they automatically become my foes, in my battle to try to make a world my children, and grandchild, can have the opportunity to live a full and complete life of their own, without being oppressed and controlled by assholes who don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves….. As my old martial arts instructor used to say…. “Fuck ’em….. hard.”…..

— “Bother!”, said Pooh, as he dropped his bombs.
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A Refusal to Mourn the Death, by Fire, of a Child in London

Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness

And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn

The majesty and burning of the child’s death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.

Deep with the first dead lies London’s daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.

Dylan Thomas
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“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.” — Albert Camus

Without meaning to, Albert gives me hope for the future…. or, at least, for the future success of my writing…. because, boy, if my writing doesn’t fit the description of “ridiculous beginning”, I don’t know what would!   🙂

No, really, I find this to be comforting, especially for us Bozoids, who have a very close relationship with the concept of ridiculous. I mean, it’s what we do, right? Right….. In that vein, I’m going to go old-school again today for this final pearl…. The experiment yesterday, of a completely random process of choice of the pearls to be included, went very well, so we’ll give it another roll today, and see what we can come up with, me and Smart Bee…. Having once again written this PRIOR to the choosing, I have no preconceived idea of what may happen, so, please, don’t forget your helmets and seat belts…. otherwise the insurance drones will pitch a fit….

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~~ Robert Frost

Hah!….. Fooled ya, didn’t I? While cruising Smart Bee, looking for pearls for this pearl (don’t worry about it…. I’ll explain it again someday….), I had a moment of revelation, an epiphany, so to speak, about the course of my life up to now….

I have to say, it’s been a wild ride, if not particularly dangerous in general; there have, of course, been moments of great terror, and great fear. Nobody escapes completely from life’s vicissitudes, but, mostly, I’ve been able to cruise through life smoothly, without any particular danger that wasn’t by choice (my work, for several years, didn’t fit into that “safe” category at all….).

I’ve also had my share, and more, of pain in life, both emotional and physical, especially in the last 10 years, as my physical strength wanes, and my social life has evolved in ways not particularly comfortable for me. But, I can only feel, and appreciate, that pain because I’ve also had my share, and more, of joy, joy that sustains me in those times when pain is prevalent.

So, I’ve seen, and experienced, the balance and duality that defines our existence in this universe, and come to appreciate its beauty as a whole…. and I see this, because I’ve always felt what Robert Frost spoke so eloquently in this poem, and tried to always follow the road less traveled, wherever I’ve gone in my life. I have to say, I’m glad I did…..

So, there’s your old school pearl, in a new school setting, all shiny, and glowing with its own special inner fire…. enjoy!

“I am covered with pure vegetable oil and I am writing a best seller!”  — Zippy the Pinhead
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Okay, let’s see how it came out…. Gosh, that’s not too bad, all in all. During the process of putting it together, it didn’t seem all that cogent, or powerful, but, on retrospect, it’s just fine the way it is…. with only one apparent typo, and two added words, for clarity….. In the words of the Artful Dodger, I’ll take it…. and run…..   🙂    In fact, I like it enough, that this is enough…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Milling around the foyer in fabulous shoes….

Ffolkes,
Morning insinuated itself into my awareness slyly today, sliding past the pillars of sleep’s palace, to poke me in the proverbial ribs. Even before getting out of bed, there were signs that might have given me a clue about how things would be, such as when the lamp went flying away from my grasp as if I were trying to tickle it, not switch it on, taking itself and most of the nearby chess pieces to the floor. Spoons jumping out of cups, toilet seats taking a vicious swipe at exposed flesh, shirts that try to strangle one to get them on….. It seems the inanimate world had a conference last night, and decided to declare war on me, starting today at sunrise.

I can deal with it….. This isn’t a new battle in this house; I’m constantly negotiating compromises and truces with the kitchen appliances, or spending the day fixing or repairing old junk, just to stay on the microwave’s good side. Every one of my appliances, knick knacks, and decorative posters has, at one time or another, been the subject of a pitched conflict over whether or not I have the right to use them as I deem fit.

I admit there are times when I’ve lost my cool, and done harm to innocent spoons. I’ve been unconsciously cruel to various pieces of clothing in the past, it’s true, though it wasn’t intentional, merely unconsciously inconsiderate. And the floor is always complaining that I never sweep or mop…. hey, what does it want? I’m a bachelor!….. The world is lucky if I shower often enough to keep from curling the paint….

Ah well, such is life in the hours before dawn…. one can never predict exactly what will happen on the cusp of the day. Possibility is everywhere, and the choices we make can make or break the entire day, depending on how well we approach the task of waking up.

Me, I’m an old hand at getting it done, no matter what it takes. Why, I’ve been known to spew out five or six paragraphs of absolute bilge water at the slightest provocation, just to get a Pearl started….. Oh, right, that’s what I just did, isn’t it? Oops….. I’d better salvage what I can, while I can…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“..  I think I’d better go back to my DESK and toy with a few common MISAPPREHENSIONS…” — Zippy the Pinhead
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I found the Heinlein quote below, an old one, with great potential for a rant. Some time in the last day or so, however, my outrage seems to have boarded a train, or a bus, and gone on vacation. No note, no phone call, just gone…. What a pisser! Any who, I decided to just let the old sub-conscious mind have its head, and pick some other pearls to go along with it. I can’t say it is the most obvious, or the most powerful, pearl ever put together, but, it has its points….. Those points, of course, are left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader, with no promise of recompense, but assurances of value…. enjoy!….

“When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression no matter how holy the motives.” — Robert A Heinlein, “If this goes on –”

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” — Thomas Paine

“Still one more thing, fellow citizens:  a wise and frugal government, which shall refrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.  This is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), inaugural address, 1801

“Yes, evil comes in many forms, whether it be a man-eating cow or Joseph Stalin, but you can’t let the package hide the pudding! Evil is just plain bad! You don’t cotton to it. You gotta smack it in the nose with the rolled-up newspaper of goodness! Bad dog. Bad dog.” — The Tick

(Oops, how did this slip in here?…. Ah well, it kind of fits in, so, we’ll show a little literary compassion, and let it stay….) (Just think of how satisfying, and entertaining, it would be to use that rolled up paper on a Congressman…. Republican, or Democrat, it would be hilarious, as well as potentially lucrative….)

“Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an ‘inconvenience.’   We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy.  We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and  then wonder how all those assholes got in there.” — Frank Zappa

“And that’s the Truth! THPPPPT!” — Edith Ann (Lily Tomlin)
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After that, I’m feeling a bit serious…. hence, Dylan Thomas, a serious poet, and a serious subject….

And Death Shall Have No Dominion

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead man naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas
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“Nothing unreal exists.” — Kiri-Kin-Tha’s Law of Metaphysics

For the uninitiated, this is from Star Trek, a line from the fourth movie, The Voyage Home. It is the answer, and question, posed to Spock by the computer, near the beginning of the movie, just before it asks him, “How do you feel?” Though the quote, and its author, are part of a fictional story, and do not, as far as I know, exist in real life, the idea is nonetheless a potent philosophical assertion, and deserving of some meditation upon its implications, and ramifications. I like it, as it creates a series of doorways, one after another opening for welcome, inviting me to come in and examine its furnishings for their value…. A bit fanciful, perhaps, but then, it IS from Star Trek….

“Trekkies” have always taken the concept behind the show and movies much more seriously than most of us, and have created an entire panorama of alternate universe stories, legends, and characters as an adjunct to the original tales. I am certain that some fan, somewhere in the world, has put together a book that lays out Kiri-Kin-Tha’s philosophy for study, complete with Laws, Axioms, and Arguments. They probably even included material from other fictional works from the ST venue, weaving them into a coherent treatise, all of which is completely fabricated….. People can be pretty amazing when they are obsessed, indeed…..

“Nothing unreal exists.”….. fascinating, as Spock would say. It is reminiscent, in a backwards fashion, of the question posed by the door to Ravenclaw Tower, in the final Harry Potter book, The Deathly Hallows, when Professor McGonagall is queried, “Where do Vanished objects go?” by the door, in order to gain entrance to the Ravenclaw common room. “Into nonbeing, which is to say, everything.”, she answers immediately. “Nicely phrased”, replied the door….. I say backwards only because the ST movie came first in real time, by about 25 years or so…. As can be seen, however, the concepts involved in the two similar episodes are more than mere ideological throw-aways, but have some valid basis for their existence…

This is the power of Imagination at its finest, in my mind. People will take a good idea, and run with it into landscapes where it has never before been conceived, turning it into passionate variations on the original theme whose quality rivals that of it progenitor. At the height of the frenzy over the Harry Potter movies, a few years ago, I visited a site called MuggleNet.com, curious as to what the fans of the movie and stories were doing.

I was completely astounded by the prolific writings by fans, who wrote entire novels, short stories, and alternative plots by the dozens, all populated by the characters from the books by J.K. Rowling. Romances between the various characters abounded in the imagination of the fans, as well as the creation of new characters, and inventive new kinds of magical spells, objects, and creatures. The variety and depth of talent displayed is incredible, and goes to show how powerful is the influence of obsession on our imagination.

And hence one master-passion in the breast,
Like Aaron’s serpent, swallows up the rest.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 131

Of course, obsession has the unfortunate tendency to go beyond the bounds of reasonable action in pursuit of its object of attention. It can easily consume all of the mind’s available store of common sense, submerging it in the raging river of passionate belief in whatever idea has emerged as the passion of choice. Pope was speaking no more than simple truth when he wrote these lines, which point again to the same fatal flaw that exists in other areas of human nature, the weakness of will that makes us choose paths that are self-destructive in their intensity, or in their ultimate logical end. Too many of us tend to make our choices in life without using even the most basic of mental tools we have, including imagination; the use of those tools can be hard, in the sense that it is harder to think than it is to allow others to think for you…..

Thus, we come to another point where the subject under discussion can be expanded, and further explored. Or, we can leave it here, with the ideas already discussed as a springboard for private consideration. I have a feeling it could get a bit esoteric from this juncture, and I’d lose a lot of ffolkes to the fatigue factor. I am feeling that a bit meself, having now been sparring with this Pearl for a bit over three hours. I should have eaten some philosophical oatmeal, to increase the fiber content of my output, I guess….

Rather than go any further down that road, we’ll bring this pearl to a close….. Perhaps you can take a bit of what we discussed with you, and chew on it later…. it doesn’t seem to get any less crunchy over time, so it can’t hurt…. Fewer calories than jerky, and it won’t require flossing afterward…..

“You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant (‘ceptin’ Alice).” — Arlo Guthrie
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Okay, I’ve gone over this not-so-little effort, and can only be glad it took a long time, because it certainly did. Nearly four hours this morning, long enough to bring on some stiffness from sitting too long. I’ll have to go out & spend a bit of quality time with my body out in the Big Blue Room today, I guess, or I’ll start to calcify into one of those petrified old statues you see in public parks everywhere…. “Old Fart with Stick”….. that’s me all over. Ah well, enough incoherent rambling for one day……  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Adequate portions will not be forthcoming….

Ffolkes,
It is unclear to me, even when I most try to understand, just how I’m supposed to cope with the different issues that keep arising. Without getting detailed or graphic, allow me to just say that I have three medical conditions that cause me either physical and/or emotional pain on a daily basis. Sometimes, only one is active, or giving me a problem. Sometimes, there are two of them working at once to drag me down. And some days, like yesterday, and, so far, today, all three of them bless me with their own particular demands for my attention, whether to merely acknowledge what cannot be changed, or to cope with symptoms that become extremely out of control or prominent. When all three are clamoring for my mind’s time, they each have their own little ways of grabbing the attention they want…..

One has to do with pain, of a muscular type, and is the most easily controlled; usually extra medication and time will fix it. Another, unfortunately, doesn’t respond to that kind of treatment, and requires a different approach to avoiding issues, essentially dietary boundaries that must be maintained. The last is the most insidious, and strikes in my mind, the depression and tears and guilt that swamps me at times, and only can be dissipated by spending a long time trying to do something positive, or other kinds of activities that distract me from the dark thoughts that come with the emotions…..

None of them are any fun, to speak of. And days like this, when all three are active, are massive challenges to get through. Today may be especially hard, for environmental reasons that I won’t go into right now…. If you can’t tell, I’m trying really hard to be discrete, and to not turn this into another litany of complaints, that only serves to worry those who care about me, and I don’t want to upset anyone for something that I have to do on a daily basis…. today, and yesterday, have just been a bit more difficult…. lots of back and abdominal pain, interspersed with tears, guilt, and adrenaline rushes, and aftereffects of adrenaline, which, in me, lasts for hours and hours…..

That part is over, so today becomes a challenge for two types of pain, which isn’t so hard to deal with, in one sense…. Once I’ve finished this morning’s Pearl, the only task I have for the day is to make it down to the library to post and check the yahoo email, and I’ve become accustomed enough to the walk that I think I can do it without any extra difficulty, as long as I rest up well first…. No worries, as the library is open until 9 tonight….. Easy money…. Now that I’ve bored y’all to tears with my problems, I think I should turn my head to the process of diving….  It should turn out to be a more positive activity, and work out as well as anything else….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“I just had a mental breakdown. Got any jumper cables?” — Smart Bee
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“The simple rights, the civil liberties from generations of struggle must not be just fine words for patriotic holidays, words we subvert on weekdays, but living, honored rules of conduct amongst us…I’m glad the American Civil Liberties Union gets indignant, and I hope this will always be so.” — Senator Adlai E. Stevenson

“It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support.  If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man’s shoulders.  I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too.” — Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

Okay, I give up. It’s been three hours now, almost, and these two pearls, excellent though they are, make up the entire results of those three hours…. That’s right, two. I keep refreshing Smart Bee, but it seems to want to keep offering up stuff I’ve been rejecting for years as not useful…. too short, too silly, too long and boring, or just boring. So far, every time I’ve rebooted SB, it seems to start showing me even older stuff than the time before….. Bah, I’m taking a break….

The remainder of today’s Pearl is hereby canceled. I can’t do it…. I’m in pain, and I can’t concentrate. I hate to waste the above two quotes, as they would make very good material. But, they’ll still be available…. I’ve been down for two hours, taking a break, and don’t feel much better. So, this will have to do. Think about the above quotes, when you have a moment; they’re good stuff. I’m going to get myself to the library, add a poem, post this, and try to get back here, where I can get back to what my body wants from me today, i.e., curled up in bed, trying to ignore it all…. see ya….

“I’d like some JUNK FOOD…  and then I want to be ALONE….” — Zippy the Pinhead
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“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” — Maya Angelou

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~~ Dylan Thomas
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Here is the second part of the series begun yesterday, about a dark time in life for me…. this is some more background material about my skills and training, and a lead-in to tomorrow’s piece, wherein the hammer comes down…. or came down, right on my head….

Repercussions, Part II

In 1973, at the age of 23, I attended school to study to take the state examination for a license as a Psychiatric Technician (PT). The classes were subsidized by, and took place at, Atascadero State Hospital (ASH) in Central California. Junior college credits were given through the local J.C., Cuesta College in nearby San Luis Obispo. In conjunction with the classes, students were allowed, and encouraged, to work 20 hours per week in the hospital, as a supplement to the clinical hours required to complete the courses. So began my journey in the mental health industry, and unknown to me at the time, down the path to darkness…..

The hospital at Atascadero is a maximum security facility that houses up to 1200 individuals, committed to the bleak, prison-like hospital by the courts, as being either unable to stand trial due to being unable to understand the charges, or because they were unable to cooperate in their defense, due to mental illness. Some of these men (it is an all-male facility; women in the same legal categories were housed elsewhere, at Patton State Hospital, or PSH, in San Bernardino) were also committed by the courts as being Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity, or were those who had manifested symptoms of mental illness after being convicted of crimes and sent to prison. A very few of them were not insane, but were master manipulators, career criminals with very good lawyers who had convinced the court to send them to the hospital rather than prison. These individuals caused a great many problems, as they would manipulate their less functional peers into giving up their property, or doing their will, or  incite them to violence, just to watch the results from a safe distance, for amusement.

Working in a maximum security facility as a therapist is possibly one of the most difficult jobs man has ever created; a prison-like environment makes it difficult to create the ambiance necessary to allow the men being treated to feel safe and comfortable enough to deal with their individual problems. The danger of housing so many people with mental illness is an ever-present and overriding concern, as one of the primary characteristics of those with these types of diagnoses is a lack, or even absence, of impulse control. As a result, managing assaultive behavior becomes a necessary adjunct to treatment.

The Department of Mental Health, working with employees from all the state hospitals, developed a policy for dealing with the issue, and training in Management of Assaultive Behavior (MAB) was given to every employee who came into contact with the committed individuals. Since the facility was classed as maximum security, the training was especially important for the Hospital Police, who were responsible for maintaining the security of the physical plant, and for the therapists (psychiatrists and psychologists, nurses, psychiatric technicians, and ancillary staff such as occupational and rehabilitation therapists) who were the primary care-givers for the individuals. These teams were taught specific techniques for recognizing the warning signs of impending violent behavior, re-direction when possible, and for physically controlling individuals who were acting out in a violent manner, without causing or sustaining injury.

Most of these principles and techniques, if not all, were very similar to the Judo and Ju-Jitsu that I had been taught, so my prior training and experience became valuable tools for me in being able to keep safe both the aggressors and victims involved in the violent episodes so frequently found in settings such as ASH. I became one of the people who specialized in MAB, which necessarily meant that whenever a violent incident broke out, I was one of the first to respond, as I was adept at controlling the situation without any of the participants sustaining injury, the primary goal in such instances.

Working in such a high stress environment as a maximum security hospital was both physically and emotionally draining, and after three years at ASH I had had enough, and moved north to work at Napa State Hospital in order to get back to being a therapist rather than a glorified cop. I obtained a position as a PT in a treatment program for adolescents. To me, it was  a wonderful change; the kids in the program, a co-educational environment, were smaller as a rule than the full-grown men I was used to, and there were far fewer individuals who resorted to violence than at ASH. It was also different for being co-ed, as I had previously not worked with any women, or girls, in a therapeutic setting. Because of my experience in MAB, violence on the unit where I worked became a non-viable behavior for the adolescents, and after a few months the number of incidents that took place were greatly reduced.

After a few years at NSH, I decided to take an extended sabbatical from working as a PT, and traveled around California for a few months, until not working became a bore; I was raised to be productive, and needed to get back to work. I applied to and was hired to work in another state hospital in Camarillo, a relatively small town near Ventura in Southern California. At CSH I once again worked with adolescents, as they had a similar program patterned after the one at NSH. My martial arts training, which I had continued all this time, once again proved to be a valuable tool, and I again became the first responder at any outbreaks of violence among the individuals under treatment.

I met my wife at Camarillo; she was another PT in the adolescent program. We worked together, began dating, fell in love, married and started our family. It was a challenging period for me; between work, parenting, maintaining my marriage, home maintenance, and the myriad of little things that are the activities of daily life in this country, I was a very busy, very stressed individual. But I loved it that way, and was happy and content for some years. The economy at that time changed for the worse; we were unable to keep up with our mortgage payments, and lost our house to foreclosure. We decided to move north, to the Sonoma Valley, to raise our children in a country setting, with very well-respected schools, and a much lower crime rate than the southern California area in which we had lived.

I eventually hired on back at NSH, but the adolescent program was no longer open, so I began working with adults, on an all-male unit with individuals with a wide variety of diagnoses. As the level of security at Napa was not maximum, and the degree of training was not up to the higher standards at ASH, the units in the program where I worked were very dangerous, a situation which ultimately led to my downfall. It was about this time when I calculated that in my career as a PT, I had worked in the most stressful environments in the entire world, outside of battlefields, constantly in danger, and my martial arts background had become not just useful, but absolutely critical. I estimated the number of violent incidents in which I had been involved, and found that over the years I had an average of one major incident (translation: a knock-down, drag-out fight) per week since I had started as a PT at ASH. My calculations came to a minimum of 728 incidents. I was appalled, but also somewhat proud of this figure; in all those incidents only one of the individuals had sustained a minor injury, and I had sustained one minor injury myself. Not a bad record all in all…2 failures and 726 successful outcomes.

However, the damage to my psyche that had accumulated through the years had by this time reached an unprecedented and dangerous level, and I was finding it extremely difficult to maintain the now uncertain equilibrium I had achieved. My experiences had left me burdened with an indelible yet hidden wound in my soul, in my very center. The experiences to which I’d been exposed culminated in an incident that brought all of my pent-up stress to the surface, and affected me so deeply that I still feel the effects today……I became, quite literally, one of the “walking wounded”, a condition with which my generation, due to the Vietnam War, had become all too familiar. It was a single incident, that happened one night in 1984, and to this day I have never fully recovered…..

To be continued…..
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Naturally, Murphy felt he should make a contribution to today’s effort; I don’t know how I could have ignored the possibility. Ah well, blame my distractions…. but, regardless of his efforts, or my own, seemingly, it is done. It seems like a lot, considering how I feel, and I have to point out to myself, and y’all, that a lot was created way in the past, and a lot was faked, big time. Like I said, though, it’s done, and nothing will make me give it back…. I’ve tortured myself long enough, I”m done….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Echoes of apologetic mumbles….

Ffolkes,
This post was written yesterday, on Thanksgiving Day, but I was unable to post it, due to foreseen difficulties I was unable to resolve. So, for the second time in history, I missed a post. Much as I hate it, I am not overly upset, merely heavily confused, because my routine is now shot to shit…. So, this will get posted this morning, Friday, and we’ll pick up the thread at the appropriate time tomorrow…. Needless to say, I also have been unable to do much reading on other ffolke’s blogs, so please be patient with me…. I’ll be back eventually, full time, and will bug the hell out of y’all then, whenever I’m not on the road to somewhere I’ve never been….. Any who, here is what I spewed out yesterday….. enjoy!…..

Well….. That’s a pain, for sure…. I am up early, ready and able, hell, even enthused about writing today’s Pearl, and I just realized I might not be able to post it today. Both the library and the coffee shop where I go to connect to the Internet are closed today, due to the fact that it is Thanksgiving Day.

Kind of ironic, isn’t it, that on this, one of the most inherently social holidays, there is no social venue for people to gather, unless it has something to do with the holiday. Businesses other than restaurants will all close, so there is actually NO place for folks like me to go to hook up. I don’t have the money to eat out, nor to eat in, really…. I mean, I have food to last me the month, but I guarantee it’s no turkey dinner. That doesn’t bother me at all…. but knowing I may not be able to post this is quite upsetting, to say the least…. It is hard enough living in poverty, without it being shoved in my face like this…. No library until Saturday, so tomorrow’s post is looking like it won’t get online, either….. SIGH. Funny how our society turns away from the people who need the most help, especially on those days when it hurts the most.

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” — Ray Bradbury

The buses run only on a holiday schedule, greatly reduced, so all of us poor folks and seniors, who depend on the bus to get around, are stuck today, limited to where we can walk. Libraries and other government agencies are closed, so there is no place to go to get off the streets, if one has no home (I’m lucky in that regard, and in having food…..). But, if one has no family event to attend, or money to eat out, then this holiday is pretty well more of a depressive reminder of how tough things are, than it is a reason to be thankful…. Myself, I’m thankful enough, for what I have…. which is little enough, all things considered, but enough to be worth being thankful. But, I am also rather depressed, because I can see how hard it is for those who have less than I do, and I know that things would be much different, for me, as well as for those who suffer more, if the society in which we live made any real attempt to help those in need…..

Now, I don’t know how it is for others in this society who are living on the edge, but for me, going to a shelter to get food on a day like today would be kind of the last straw. It would be the final indicator that I have lost the ability, and the means, to take care of myself, a severe blow to the little bit of pride I have left. It is enough of a come-down to realize that I used to have a house, a couple of jobs, a family, a car, bills, the whole nine yards, and would most likely be planning a dinner myself, to cook when the kids came over to celebrate the holiday, had things worked out the way I wanted them to…. Alas, though, my ex-wife had other plans, as did the woman I thought loved me up until three years ago, and my dreams of a quiet retirement with my true love were destroyed by the reality of betrayal….. C’est la vie!….

I’ve managed to get over that, for the most part, (though, obviously, not completely….) as I try to obtain my just rewards for all the years I’ve poured money into the SS system. The system protects itself very well with layer upon layer of bureaucratic paper that stands between anyone attempting to obtain their benefits and the actual use of them, so the battle with them wages on in the midst of all the rest, aggravating my PTSD, and making it harder for me on days like today, when everything in the world is pointed toward letting us poor folks know just how badly we’ve screwed up by not having enough of the greed gene, and how little society really cares for those who don’t quite make the grade, financially, whatever the reason for that….

“A nation’s advance as a civilized society can be properly measured by the manner in which it treats the poor and the elderly – often the same people.” — Smart Bee

Once, many years ago, I took some business administration classes at the local JC, one of which was taught by a banker. In class, I once noted to the teacher that all of our reading, and all of what she had been relating to us, in toto, indicated that there was in our society only one actual form of discrimination taking place, and that was financial, or economic discrimination…. In other words, the Haves are all conspiring against the Have Nots, and all the laws are in the favor of the Haves. I asked if she thought that this would ever change, if society would ever really achieve any sort of social progress beyond what the dictates of the rich would like it to have…. She didn’t even pause to consider her response; she just said no…. She didn’t say as much, but it was obvious that she, and every other person who was on the side of the Haves, would be making sure of that….. Financial and economic discrimination is real, and is just the way they want it, so it isn’t going to change, ever…. You can take that to the bank, so to speak….

With one hand he put
A penny in the urn of poverty,
And with the other took a shilling out.

— Robert Pollok (1799-1827) — The Course of Time, Book viii, Line 632

I suppose that if society did make those kinds of effort, or if there was any social progress that was actually going to be allowed to happen by the beloved ruling class, then I’d have less to write about, as I do spend a lot of time railing at the members of that esteemed group. I doubt seriously that much change will occur, and I am certain that whatever does happen won’t be enough to change the overall structure of our culture, that allows, and even encourages, this kind of discrimination according to economic principles. Those who are in power have been there for a very long time, and they’re not about to give up their comforts, much less their profits, without a fight…. and any kind of fight at all will mean that we have lost our way, again…. Ah well, it’s enough to dishearten the most optimistic person alive, and it certainly causes me some distress, even as it promises no end to what I will have to write about….

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus (Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon) — Hogwarts School Motto

Shall we Pearl?….. Actually, I suppose you could say we already started, what with the nearly a thousand word rant above…. It IS more of a pearl than an intro, but, we must stick to our purpose and routine…. Oh, wait, no we mustn’t, necessarily…. I forgot I have no clue as to where to post this, so getting it done is a moot process, if not a altogether a moot occupation…. Ah, fuck it, I’m sticking with it, for the nonce…. if only for the chance to use the word “nonce”, one of my favorites…. Onward….
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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them.  That only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.” — Lao-Tzu

I’m not sure how to take this…. I found this quote from Lao Tzu AFTER writing the above intro, and AFTER writing the third section’s pearl below. As always, Lao Tzu makes obvious the reason why I am feeling my discomfort, and points out how to get past the pain, caused, as usual, by my own perceptions, and my reaction to them. But, at the same time, this time, it occurs to me that although we cannot force reality to do what we want it to do, there does seem to be a rather unbalanced percentage of results that favor the bad guys, rather than evidence that supports an even, or even random, set of chances. I mean, yes, this does parallel my own philosophy’s axiom #2, almost exactly, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to me when the universe does present us with natural and spontaneous changes.

And, really, it is not. But, from what I can see, objectively, it seems easier for the bad guys to take advantage of the system as it exists, and for them to achieve the results they desire. It seems that if the universe were truly a random deal, then those chances of success would be equal for both the rich and the poor; seems only fair to me…. But, then, I am not the universe, and most simply put, I care, and it doesn’t. That is what makes the difference, and is why the bad guys win so much more often…. If one is the kind of person who cares about others, then fairness becomes an issue. If one doesn’t care about others, then it is not an issue, and one can use all the advantages the universe offers to those who would lie, hurt others without compunction, and cheat their own mothers, (well, who knows… they MIGHT feel guilty about it, but they would still do it….) to achieve their own ends. This is why the world is like it is, quite frankly…. because there are two types of folks in the world, and one of them insists on playing fair….

You know what, though? I don’t care, ultimately, how unfair it is….. Each of us has to make a decision about how we are to approach life, and whether or not we will be the kind of person who will take advantage of others to get what we want. To do so is to give in to the Dark Side of the Force, in my mind, and I just won’t do it…. Yes, I could have a lot more, and be a lot more comfortable, physically…. I could be rich, if I didn’t care about other folks…. But, I do, and I also enjoy being able to look at myself in the mirror in the morning without any shame…. I mean, doing that is already a dangerous occupation, as my face is far from what I’d call pretty, or even handsome…. but, it is an honest face, and that is what I care about….

So be it…. Let reality  be reality, ffolkes, and let the chips fly where they may…. All we can do is all we can do, anyway, right? Right……

“You cannot believe in honor unless you have achieved it. Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” — George Bernard Shaw
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When asked for his own [favourite poem], Dylan [Thomas] slowly said, “This is the best poem in the English language,” and then repeated, gravely and with feeling, these lines:

I am
Thou art
He, she, it is
We are
You are
They are.

— Richard Burton (1577-1640), — quoted in Andrew Sinclair’s “No Man More Magical”

Strangely enough, that’s enough….. In my humble opinion, Mr. Thomas ought to know…..
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“Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,– entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigour, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad;…freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected,–these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) — First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Point by point, how are we doing with these “bright guiding principles”? Do they still provide us with, and hold us up as, the example to the world of a truly free people? Well, let’s just see, shall we?….

“Equal and exact justice to all men, etc.”  Well, as much as I’d like to say yes, I really can’t, you know. And you DO know, don’t you? The rich are treated much more leniently than are the poor, when it comes to the enforcement of just about any law, this is an accepted fact in society, and hardly needs any more documentation. Anyone who says otherwise is either a professional liar (i.e., one of those who get the preferred treatment….) or is from another planet, and just got into town….. Well, hmmm…. Also, political entities always assume immunity from the laws they create, and the record of the courts in both prosecuting, and convicting them of misdeeds, is simply atrocious.

“An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” — Simon Cameron (1799-1889)

And, please, don’t get me started on how the law favors religious groups…. To begin with, they don’t pay any taxes, and that is quite enough for me to swallow, thank you very much….. Sure, the cops are always happy to bust a preacher for drinking or whoring, but that is kind of like a sport for them, and how many ever end up in prison, anyway? Almost none…. Hell, when a preacher/priest/minister vouches for a criminal, it can mitigate their treatment to some degree…. Sorry, but I just don’t call that equal under the law, especially when a preacher will lie even faster than a politician will, and that is supposedly the fastest thing on Earth…. Don’t even try to tell me you don’t expect your politicians to lie…. and, if that is true, then preachers and priests are sure to follow their lead, or lead the way, take your pick….

‘Kay, number two…. “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations…. entangling alliances with none.” Well, this one is kind of hit and miss, I’d say…. Of course we DO have some rather embarrassing alliances (dictatorships, drug regimes, political tyrants whose country is in a strategic military space, etc.) but, those don’t count, as they are “clandestine” alliances that nobody is supposed to know of….. Our degree of honest friendship is rather limited, as well, to those countries who will vote with us in the UN, or those over whom we have some sort of economic control…. but, hey, everybody WANTS to be an American, right?…. Not any more, I should think….

“the support of the State governments in all their rights,” Well, the states get supported just as long as they follow Federal guidelines and political boundaries…. This one sort of got a bit messed up at the start, and has never really recovered since the early 1800’s, when corporate interests gained control of all three branches of the government, arranging the laws, and the courts’ decisions on those laws, so that corporate interests are always considered first, before those of individuals, or private, small businesses, or the states, or townships, or any entity except those few who have gathered all the strings into their grasping hands….. You can think otherwise as much as you’d like, but that is the simple truth, and will remain so until enough people realize it, and begin to act together to create change, as happens periodically throughout history.

Well, onward…. “freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected”   Freedom of religion…. as long as it doesn’t offend the Christians…. Freedom of the press…. as long as it doesn’t offend the churches or the corporations too much…. Freedom of person… well, not since the NDAA went into effect on 1/1/2012…. According to that evolutionary descendant of the Patriot Act passed by a Congress completely under the influence of panic back in 2001, an American citizen can be arrested and held, without any judicial review, or any oversight at all, for an undetermined amount of time, and the authorities do not have to explain why to anyone at all…. Not exactly the “writ of habeas corpus”, is it?….. “trial by juries”…. Well, only if one is ever charged…. under the NDAA, the citizen can be “disappeared”, without any trial, or explanation at all….. a bit scary, isn’t it?

My question, for all of us, is this….. Why are we not talking about all of this, as a matter of public discourse? Why are we allowing our government to suborn our legacy of freedom? Why do we accept that the government, and politicians, lie to us, and steal from us, and constantly act in their own interests rather than ours, seemingly with our complete approval……Why?….. Are we that stupid?….. According to Tom’s standards, we didn’t do very well on our report card.

But, then, the very enemies that Tom warned us of during his lifetime, the corporations and banks, have conspired to keep us from getting any better marks; they have in truth been winning the battle, ever since early in the 19th century, soon after Tom’s term as President….. The corporations and bankers are the true rulers of this society, world-wide, and have been for many thousands of years, mostly without the major part of society even being aware of their control over events. Nothing that happens, anywhere, is unplanned by them, or at least unknown to them; if something happens, you can be sure they made no effort to stop it. This is because it is entirely within their purposes to have the pirates, liars, and thieves of our society in charge of the governments, and they will do nothing to curtail any of their greed or ambition, as it serves their purposes perfectly, keeping the weak and poor kneeling before the rich and powerful.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m getting just a bit upset about some of this stuff, and, well, to be honest, I’d like to see some of what has been usurped put back the way it should be, before I check out of this hotel…. More will follow, you can be sure…. I’ll be back with more evidence of the chicanery under which we are laboring to live….. Be alert, ffolkes, the world needs more lerts!…..
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“I appoint you ambassador to Fantasy Island!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” — Mark Twain

I’m not sure which of these two is the right choice…. either one seems to be appropriate, given the state of the rest of this Pearl. I’ve been fussing and farting around with it now for about four hours, give or take an hour or so of break and distraction time, so, there really isn’t much more I can do to it, or any further damage I could cause…. My hit points are about exhausted, and Godzilla is going to escape…. again….. So, I think, all in all, it would be best if I go with Mark Twain’s idea, and pause here for a breath or two, to greater effect than further twaddle would be…. You can thank me later…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!