Brief moments of sanity aside….

Ffolkes,

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another;
there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”

~~ Carl Jung ~~

221B Baker St

221B Baker Street, London

Hajime…. I am not certain exactly when, but, I’m coming up on five years here at WordPress, sometime in July, or August, I think. I should check. At any rate, it’s been a while. I’ve attempted to post every day, at least once; though I haven’t quite made that goal, I’ve come pretty damn close, with well over 1500 posts to my credit. While I can regard that as a satisfying accomplishment, I must be honest enough to say, not all of it is what might be called fresh, as I’ve recycled a fair amount of what I’ve written for new posts. I call it cheating, though, with the caveat I’m only stealing from myself. So be it.

Today, I’m still busy, and without my usual sense of unease with not making the deadline I’ve set for myself each day. This has allowed me to fall completely into cheat mode. Below you’ll find a fresh pearl, composed of material previously posted, including my longest-ever rant. It’s all fairly standard stuff, for around here, so, no surprises there. I’ll even go so far as to let it speak for itself from this point on, as I intend to cut this short, Moreover, I’m doing that now, before I lose my nerve. I’ll just push this button, right here, and….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Education is about the only thing lying around loose the world, and it’s about the only thing a fellow can have as much of as he’s willing to haul away.” — George Lorimer

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george_carlin_unraveling_a_free_speech_icon

George Carlin

Image from http://www.salon.com via Google Images

George needs no introduction; quite simply, he was the best. Ever. You can argue if you like, but, that would not be a stellar use of time…. Instead, just listen to the proof…..

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George Carlin
It’s Bad For Ya

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https://youtu.be/WuW93V4eH74

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Sandclock .jpg

 

One of my Gentle Readers complained of no rant yesterday, so, today, I’m making up for all the rants I’ve missed the past week or so. This may be the longest rant I’ve done, though that’s a guess. It is pretty long, and, though written early in 2014, it all remains perfectly valid, as far as I can see…. I hope you read it all, and pay attention, because it’s all about stuff that affects you directly…. Enjoy!….

From 10/18/2014:

“He must needes goe whom the devill doth drive.” ~~ John Heywood (c. 1565) — Proverbes, Part ii, Chap. vii ~~

“As you know, I planned a trip out there for some time, so it fits in very nicely.” ~~ president George Bush, on his trip to LA after the riots ~~

“Nobody goes to bed hungry in America” — R. Reagan

“Politicians aren’t born, they are excreted.” — Cicero

“That it should come to this!” ~~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act i, Sc. 2 ~~

The above five-star pearl is a lead-in group, mostly aimed at those with whom the following discussion is concerned. Below you’ll find two links to articles discussing two separate, but related issues from the news yesterday, found in the UK Guardian’s US edition online. They are both in-depth pieces, with a bit of egregiously egotistic back patting in the first one, but, both are more involved, in-depth, and in tune with the truth than any news organization from the US I can find, with the most important issues made clear, the culpability of the responsible parties made obvious, and the downright evil prevarication by the FBI director laid out for all to see….

After those first two articles, I’ve also included an excellent column on the same subject by one of the Guardian’s staff opinion writers, named Trevor Timm. He gives a good summary of the exact points I wish to cover in his opening paragraph, which I’ve included as an excerpt, below the link. After that, I’ll have a few comments, and we’ll see how it goes from there…. Hitch up your belts, & make sure your backpacks are secured ffolkes, this could take a while…. but, as Lord Peter has been known to say, “This ain’t a joke, Charles! It’s important. Damn important!”…..

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/16/-sp-revealed-whisper-app-tracking-users

“Whisper acknowledged that it researches the location of specific users it believes are posting newsworthy information, but emphasised it typically uses GPS data.

Whisper stressed the IP location data it uses for people who have asked not to be followed is rough and unreliable.

“We occasionally look at user IP addresses internally to determine very approximate location,” the company said. “User IP addresses may allow very coarse location to be determined to the city, state or country level.”

It added: “Whisper does not request or store any personally identifiable information from users, therefore there is never a breach of anonymity. From time to time, when a user makes a claim of a newsworthy nature, we review the user’s past activity to help determine veracity.”

The company strongly rejected any assertion of wrongdoing. “The Guardian’s assumptions that Whisper is gathering information about users and violating user’s privacy are false,” it said. “The privacy of our users is not violated in any of the circumstances suggested in the Guardian story.”

Four days later, Whisper rewrote large sections of its terms of service and introduced an entirely new privacy policy.

Whereas the previous terms and conditions described all of Whisper’s tracking of user location as “voluntary”, the new terms now warn users to “bear in mind that, even if you have disabled location services, we may still determine your city, state, and country location”.

Since becoming aware that the Guardian planned to publish its story, the anonymous app has also inserted a new line into its privacy policy.

It now warns users that turning on the app’s geolocation feature may “allow others, over time, to make a determination as to your identity”.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/16/fbi-director-attacks-tech-companies-encryption

“…he recognised their embrace of encryption responded to “perceive[d]” market pressures in the wake of Snowden’s disclosures. But Comey suggested that end-to-end mobile device encryption amounted to a safe haven for criminals.

“Are we no longer a country that is passionate both about the rule of law and about their being no zones in this country beyond the reach of that rule of law? Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?” he said.
Comey acknowledged that the Snowden disclosures caused “justifiable surprise” among the public about the breadth of government surveillance, but hoped to mitigate it through greater transparency and advocacy.

Yet the FBI keeps significant aspects of its surveillance reach hidden even from government oversight bodies. Intelligence officials said in a June letter to a US senator that the FBI does not tally how often it searches through NSA’s vast hoards of international communications, without warrants, for Americans’ identifying information.
Comey frequently described himself as being technologically unprepared to offer specific solutions, and said he meant to begin a conversation, even at the risk of putting American tech companies at a competitive disadvantage.

“Where we may get is to a place where the US, through its Congress, says, ‘You know what, we need to force this on American companies,’ and maybe they’ll take a hit. Someone in some other country will say, ‘Ah, we sell a phone that even with lawful authority people can’t get into.’ But that we as a society are willing to have American companies take that hit. That’s why we have to have this conversation,” Comey said

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/17/government-internet-backdoor-surveillance-fbi

“FBI director James Comey wants a US government-mandated backdoor into your iPhone and your Google account. But Comey doesn’t want to call his proposed privacy invasion a backdoor. He doesn’t understand how it would work. And he expects everyone who has been horrified by the NSA’s mass surveillance to just sit back, weaken their personal security and trust that the government will never abuse it.

Comey also claimed on Thursday that the “Post-Snowden pendulum” needs to swing back in favor of the government, neglecting to mention Congress has passed literally zero laws reigning in government surveillance. In fact, the main reason the major tech companies are pushing forward with encryption is because the government refuses to follow the will of the people and curtail the NSA’s powers at all. If Comey wanted a careful debate about the right balance of privacy and security before decisions like Apple’s are made, like he also said on Thursday night, maybe he should’ve advocated for that when the NSA was massively expanding their powers for years in complete secrecy.

Twitter tweet October 16, 2014: “Comey’s right: Deployment of strong crypto should be preceded by thoughtful debate. Which we had & correctly resolved 15 years ago.— Julian Sanchez (@normative)

So while we break out the world’s smallest violin as Jim Comey complains about the “Post-Snowden pendulum”, remember: the US government, through its own secret actions, brought this on themselves.”

“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” — Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Star Wars”

I can’t say, with any degree of accuracy, but, I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard such a load of pure bullshit, straight from the bull’s butt, in a very, very long time…. When Richard Nixon raised his peace sign fingers, and stated, “I am not a crook.”, was probably the last time…. I swear, this man, this Comey, who heads up the FBI, obviously has the lowest opinion of the American public’s intelligence of almost anyone I’ve ever seen…. The demon-spawn from hell, Newt Gargoyle, or Gribble, or Grinch, Grngich, or whatever his weird-ass name was, came close on a regular basis, as did that ghoul, Dick Cheney, but, this Über-cop, this gestapo at the head of our nation’s largest domestic police force has, I believe. taken the cake….

Moreover, he implies that anyone who doesn’t support his, and the government’s, grab for power over every aspect of our lives is unpatriotic, a cowardly enemy of American principles, which, according to HIM, start (and, by implication, end…) with submissive respect for the “rule of law”, suggesting that the American public should feel privileged to allow them to have access to ALL of their private information…. Of course, the implied insult here is that only criminals and other unsavory characters should have something to hide from them, and their oh-so-perfect moral position….

What a crock of shit! I can’t say it any plainer than that…. and, I’ve probably said enough by now, anyway…. I’ll leave you with one last wake-up pearl, to think about when you’re assigning blame for what is happening in today’s world….. The FBI director, in his remarks, asks what he considers a rhetorical question, to wit:

“Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?”

I can only answer with a resounding “Yes, we have! We have lost ALL trust in the police. and the government, with good reason. I wouldn’t trust you to tell me the correct time!”

Well, I might not say that last part to his face, maybe, but, I can assure you, I’d want to, very badly, and would have to exert significant effort of will to refrain from doing so…. though, why I would bother, I don’t know…..

“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” — Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Star Wars”

I was going to leave it at that, but, as I finished, I received an email from EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit activism organization made up of people, like me, and, hopefully, y’all, who are concerned with keeping the internet free of corporate influence and government oppression, to guarantee the open, free interchange of ideas and communication that characterizes how it is supposed to be, as intended by those who created it…. They are one of the entities who brought suit against the government about this issue, in a suit which is now about to be heard by the Supreme Court, along with several others they have supported, or helped to organize…

Below, I have included three links to articles on their home site, which speak to the information and issues of which we spoke above in this section. Each article clearly explains how the government and other entities are trying to subvert the internet, making it a tool for oppression, rather than a tool for expanding human knowledge and culture…. These explain how the government, and their myrmidons, the police, are working to take away the usefulness of having such a means to spread knowledge, wanting instead to keep it for their own use, which involves the control over our lives they so desperately desire….

Good info, ffolkes, well researched and written, very clearly presented…. I’ve donated to this one, which I don’t do, as a rule, but, they’re working hard to protect US, that is, YOU and ME, so, they deserve my support…. If nothing else, it will give you an idea of how the situation stands today….

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/even-golden-key-can-be-stolen-thieves-simple-facts-apples-encryption-decision

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/09/computercop-dangerous-internet-safety-software-hundreds-police-agencies

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/nsa-mind-bender-wont-tell-info-already-leaked-media/

“The best way to lose freedom is not to do anything.” — Smart Bee

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Comedy_Tragedy

A Dubiously Soft Morning

Idiosyncratic images, clamoring for regard,
fill up the white, white screen on which I view
my life, never seeing, nor invited to sup
ambrosial remnants of anything new.

Still, yet almost in motion, allegory sails away
bobbing gently, quick and easy to find,
signs of one happy child, seriously at play,
blissfully immersed, focused joy in mind.

Formidable cries of outraged simple justice
echo plaintive relevance, in half the time.
Maladaptive infants, destined for hospice
salvage an only child, daring to sing in rhyme.

Creativity equals unquestioning farce,
often reaching for absurdity, brazenly afire.
Instead, a blow is felt no joy will ever soften,
accepting the price, added to the cost of desire.

~~ gigoid ~~

7/26/2013

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About Hopi Indian Symbols
Since we’re cheating full out today, here is an old, old-school pearl, with a rather ironic beginning, just to keep things confusing, as if today’s effort here weren’t enough. It’s a good one, though, so, enjoy!….

From 9/18/2014:

In order to say there is at least one fresh section today, I offer for your consideration the following old-school pearl, a random, harlequin style, with no obvious parameters…. often, these turn out to be the very best kind, so, we can hope…..

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they cannot find them, make them.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

“Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.” — Robert Frost

“You can’t make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you’re doing is recording it.” — Art Buchwald

“Certum est quia impossibile est.” [It is certain because it is impossible.] — Tertullian (160-240 AD) — De Carne Christi, c. 5

“One truth stands firm. All that happens in world history rests on something spiritual. If the spiritual is strong, it creates world history. If it is weak, it suffers world history.” — Albert Schweitzer

“Destiny is but a phrase of the weak human heart – the dark apology for every error. The strong and virtuous admit no destiny. On earth conscience guides; in heaven God watches. And destiny is but the phantom we invoke to silence the one and dethrone the other.” — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“He declared that he knew nothing, except the fact of his ignorance.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Socrates, xvi

Works every time…..

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‘T is done, and, done to death, I’d say. I’ll skip the usual witty repartee, if such as this can be so labeled, and leave you to the rest of your day. I hope you enjoyed this little journey through the past. I’ll be back tomorrow, most likely, but, hopefully, with some material a bit fresher than today. In any case, we’re outta here, and now…. See ya, ffolkes. Count on it…..

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Image

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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Bring me the brass candlesticks from aisle three….

Ffolkes,

It’s a Sunday…. It’s also another day I can pretty much write off, in terms of getting much done, as this bronchitis is still kicking both my figurative, and my literal ass. I have no energy at all, in spite of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in over a week (got almost 7 whole hours of it, with no coughing, and no needed emergency trips…. whee!….). I’ve decided to not try to push myself into writing a lot, even though I told myself I wouldn’t give in to this being sick stuff, as I have done for much of my life… When I told myself that, I wasn’t considering how old I am, or how damn sick I am, so give me a break, eh? I’m still delirious half of the time, and not too sure when I might be back to relative normalcy….. whatever THAT may mean around here….

Instead, I’m going to include some short pearls that comprised an old Pearl, a new poem I found by Emily (new to me….), and one fresh old school pearl, the type that is easiest on my head, as well as my body, as they don’t take long; plus, bonus material…. actual thinking isn’t required…. Okay, no comments about “oh, we knew THAT!”…. I’m doing my best here, and don’t need the grief….. Any who, I hope this doesn’t drive away too many ffolkes because I’m not being fresh…

I do have stuff I COULD talk about…. Those idiots in Congress are at it again, shuffling about in their ignorance and blind maliciousness, talking about undermining some diplomatic deal the POTUS accomplished with some of the insane assholes from the Middle East, where they pride themselves on how ignorantly they can live…. It’s funny how these Republican assholes (that is, as opposed to those Democratic assholes with whom they share office space…) seem to go into the most fantastic contortions of nasty, ill-tempered, ill-conceived machinations designed (in their tiny minds) to make it hard for Obama, just because it isn’t the way THEY want it done, when, in fact, it is their own image they are tarnishing, by appearing to be small minded and childish….. And they still don’t understand why they lost the election…. I also have a wonderful little quote about gun control that I’ve been saving, and the percolating that I’ve felt going on in there on this one promises to make it a doozy, or, as we like to say around here, some damn good shit….

But, I don’t have the energy for more than what you just got, so, we’re going with the plan outlined above for the day, as it is the best hope I have of coming up with anything worth reading…. at least, that’s my take on it, and, I’m driving…. So….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Well, one must get an idea someplace.” — Stephen Hawking
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I was reading one of the old Pearls that the new WP function recommended, and thought there was some pretty good stuff in it…. I was going to just re-blog it today; instead, I’m just going to include a few of the short pearls it contained…. I hope they tickle your fancy, or at least your plain….

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from 12/28/2011

Ffolkes,

Hoy, yo soy una tabula raza. Y cuando you escribo, es muy dificil.  Pero, tambien soy un brujo, y la realidad es mi amigo. Andalé! Vamanos!……. Pop!

Okay, whew! Thought I’d be stuck in Spanish all day; it’s all because last night I had a dream about my first real trip to Mexico, many years ago, when my partner-in-crime, Dusty, and I, rode the train from Mexicali to Mazatlan, a brutal 30 hour ride. We found out an important piece of information on that trip.

Mexican beer won’t get you drunk, no matter how fast you consume it.  It’s a decent way to stay hydrated, but that’s all. If not kept cool, it starts to taste somewhat like badger piss, though I’m only familiar with that on a hearsay level. Sure won’t give a buzz, though; it’s only about 1% alcohol. We forgot, it’s a Catholic country, and still rooted in the last century, minus one, in a cultural sense. Ah well, ’twas alright; we just spent the entire week with whiskey instead of beer. Jack is Jack, no matter where he travels….  Oh, I was wrong yesterday…. I didn’t lose my mind; it’s here somewhere. It’s just that, due to intense mind fog, all thoughts have been grounded.

Okay, I’m ready…. let’s rock….

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“You could say I’d lost my faith in our politicians.” — Smart Bee

But it was a small loss, considering there wasn’t much there to begin with…. I’d be willing to have a bit more faith in them, if even ONE of them would stop consistently lying to me. Note I said consistently; I’m adult enough to realize that, being what they are, they have to lie. If they could just learn to not lie EVERY time they open their mouths, we could reach some kind of compromise agreement. But they don’t seem to want, or seem not to be able, to do that, so I’ll just have to go on wallowing in my disbelief. That way, I’m not disappointed so often…. My mind ain’t so open that just anything can crawl right in.

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” — Paulo Freire

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‘You can’t go home again if home is a place you’ve never been.”– Ursula K Leguin

Sad it is that too many people in our society, of all ages, know exactly what this means, from cruel experience. Society has always had its poor and homeless, and repeated explorations into the reasons for it have all been inconclusive, for they all get to the same point and lose coherent credibility. When the vagaries and complexities of human nature are brought into the equation, the sheer number of variables makes the equation unsolvable.  In other words, nobody knows for sure why society arranges itself as it does.

We just don’t know enough for certain to be able to say with any high degree of confidence, “THIS is why this is so”. Thus, any and all attempts at finding a solution to the problem have been ineffective at best. We live in a nation with more natural resources than all but a handful of countries around the world, but we still have a small but significant percentage of our population who don’t know whether they will eat today, or whether they will sleep indoors tonight. I can’t say I’m any smarter than anyone else who has looked at this issue; I don’t claim to have any magic bullets. But I can feel compassion, and I can wish….

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“If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it if you have love, compassion, and tolerance. The clear truth of a person’s love of God is if that person genuinely shows love to fellow human beings.” — Dalai Lama

Here we have some plain common sense, in the guise of eternal wisdom. I like to think that even the most dogmatic religious devotee, of any religion, would agree with this concept. (I know, that’s a stretch, even for one with my sunny disposition, always filled with optimism…. HACK!  Oops, sorry, almost choked….) It’s difficult to object when it matches so closely the most basic beliefs of almost every sect. Though proponents of each world-view may differ greatly on the shape and nature of what they worship, none would deny that love, compassion, and tolerance are lessons taught by all of them, in their study and contemplation of human nature, and its niche in the scheme of things. In every face with which God is seen by Man, one may see these three attributes written clearly on their visage. If we have any redeeming feature written on the slate of our souls, love for one’s fellow man would be that characteristic….

“[…] For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner […] on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. […] That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.” — Carl Sagan
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As promised, a bit of Emily’s amazing vision, sans accoutrement…. (also, without formatting, which apparently got lost along the way here….)

A Coffin is a Small Domain

A Coffin is a small Domain,
Yet able to contain
A Citizen of Paradise
In it diminished Plane.

A Grave is a restricted Breadth
Yet ampler than the Sun
And all the Seas He populates
And Lands He looks upon

To Him who on its small Repose
Bestows a single Friend
Circumference without Relief
Or Estimate or End

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
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Also as promised, below you will find a fresh harlequin pearl, ripped from the very bowels…. no, wait, that’s the wrong image for someone with current issues in that direction…. Let’s try again…. Here are some fine, fresh pearls, and I hope you enjoy them…. (It seemed the best thing, to keep it simple…. nobody can say I don’t have tact, eh?…. Maybe not a lick of sense, but, tact, I got….)

“Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.” — Leo Tolstoy

Curse away!
And let me tell thee, Beausant, a wise proverb
The Arabs have,–“Curses are like young chickens,
And still come home to roost.”

— Edward Bulwer Lytton (1805-1873) — The Lady of Lyons, Act v, Sc. 2

“Remember that when you hear a horse, it might be a zebra.” — African proverb

“No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding.” — Plato, Laws

“Intelligence is the ultimate aphrodisiac” — Smart Bee

“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.” — Albert Camus

“There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don’t.” — Benchley’s Law of Distinction

This MIGHT be the oddest pearl I’ve ever created, but, it’s fairly consistent, and very deep, if you give it a chance…. If it still doesn’t gel for you, just forget it, and go on to the next task in your list…. That always works for me….. Or, just break it down into its individual components; each is perfectly usable as a stand-alone proverb, or, as we call them, oysters….
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I have a feeling this Pearl may not be up to my usual standards, but, I just don’t care much at this point…. I’ll check, but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s done, and I can go back to bed now…. See you tomorrow, I hope….

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

Proud members of a local pantheon…..

Ffolkes,

I’m a bit pensive today…. This may be due to the subject matter that occupied my thoughts yesterday evening, a series of old impressions and feelings about my family, whom I dearly love, as long as it is from a distance….. No, actually, I do love them, such as they all are, for they are legion…. I think if possible, my mom would have produced an entire baseball team, rather than merely a basketball squad…. Though it is hard to think about, for a son, or a daughter, my parents MUST have enjoyed the physical aspects of marriage, and more than just a little bit, for they certainly “issued forth” with more than their share of children; there were seven of us, in total, though two of us died soon after birth (my long-lost, unknown, but always loved brother Scott, and sister Emily, both of whom died within hours of their birth, sometime during WWII, while my father was overseas, fighting in the Pacific theater…..)

It’s strange, actually, to sit here in tears, crying for two people I never got to know, but, I guess I’m just a closet softie. If both of the babies had lived, life would have been very different for me… It’s quite possible that, instead of being the middle child of five, I would have been the baby of the brood, with two older brothers, and two older sisters to torment me unmercifully, as did I and my siblings for my youngest brother…. Perhaps I’d have been the fifth of seven, as it did turn out, but, that, too, would have made me a different person than I am…. As middle child, the pressure is to survive the eldest siblings machinations, while still finding ways to make my younger siblings’ lives miserable… It’s what brothers are for, you know…

Actually, I always thought growing up in the middle gave me an advantage, that of learning to develop the use of brains over brawn…. Since I wasn’t big enough to fend off the older siblings, I had to learn fast, and develop my mental flexibility, to be able to outguess them consistently… That wasn’t hard with my older sister, but, my brother was pretty smart himself, and gave me some fits before I figured out how to manipulate him… You see, the middle child is in a difficult position… If I fought with my older sibs, I suffered pain, from their retaliation…. If I fought with the younger ones, the risk came from the possible intervention of my parents, who always tended to side with the underdog, ( always the younger of anyone involved in such altercations…) So, you see, we middle children learn to develop a larger, more flexible set of mental and physical skills than do our siblings, just to keep our sanity in the dog-eat-dog world of large family dynamics….

What occurred to me last night was the following query, to wit: had Scott and Emily survived, would I have been the same person I turned out to be? Since it is, relatively, a moot point, (it didn’t happen, after all….), it enters the realm of unwarranted, and therefore useless, speculation, at best…. In other words, a waste of time, for the most part…. I don’t regard the time I spent on this as wasted, however…. I did find out a few things about myself I hadn’t known…. such as, I really do miss them, even though I never knew them… I think I would have enjoyed having an older sister named Emily, especially given my predilection for the poetry of Miss Dickinson….. and who wouldn’t have enjoyed a brother named Scott, who would, perhaps, have been my champion, my protector against my other older brother, Tim, who picked on me without mercy, as was his right and duty, and fought with me incessantly..

I guess it goes to show that growing up in a large family has its ups, and downs, and advantages versus disadvantages; it seems to me, though, to have been well worth it, if only for the socialization and interpersonal skills it develops in those children, from living in a small copy of society, with all its different pressures and dynamics.  Kids from smaller families, and only children, don’t get that same inundation in relationships, or the immersion in a melting pot of different personalities, thereby learning to deal with that issue, before having to do so out in the real world, outside the home, where one is, to a certain extent, protected from the vagaries of reality….

Okay, pensiveness fulfilled, and thus, easily dismissed… Though it isn’t my usual intro, it seems to have worked fairly well to break the ice for the day, with a good five paragraphs of material, all of which, though a bit personal, and irrelevant to much out in the BBR, or Reality at Large, nonetheless fulfills all legal requirements, and fills up the necessary space at the top of the page….  😉

Shall we Pearl?….

When stars are in the quiet skies,
Then most I pine for thee;
Bend on me then thy tender eyes,
As stars look on the sea.

— Edward Bulwer Lytton (1805-1873) — When Stars are in the quiet Skies

Hmm… see, pensive…. Onward, ever on, he cried!….
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A Gentleman Is

    There isn’t a lot that needs to be added to this, as is immediately apparent to anyone, such as myself, who was raised according to these principles…. I would add only this…. The world would, indeed, be a very different place, if all men were invested in this philosophy of living… Of that, there can be no doubt at all….. In contrast to how things normally go around this blog, that is all you get today, for this section, because it is complete, just as it is….
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In cruising around yesterday, I came across some older poems of mine, first written back in 2011, I think, & rediscovered in August of this year… This one is perhaps my favorite of those I found, as well as one of my all-around best efforts…. Well, I like it, anyway, and I hope you do as well….

Dreaming, I wait….

In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
giving no anxious fever, nor anger to eschew.

Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.

Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.

Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.

Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in deep oceans of natural delight.

When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
as the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.

Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art.

~~ gigoid ~~

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There are times in the making of these Pearls that I falter in my forward motion, and begin to wonder exactly what the HELL I think I’m doing…. Then, I grin at myself in the nearest mirror, and remind myself, hey, who gives a shit? At that point, I am free to go on, to bigger, and better, things…. Well, that’s the plan, anyway…

The following seven-star pearl is an odd one… It started out in one direction, then took a good 110 degree turn into another….. Far be it from me to interfere where I’m not wanted, so, I let it do its thing, promising to accept whatever happened…. In looking over the end result, all I can say is, keep your minds flexible, ffolkes, in reading these, and don’t let them push you into the wrong alley… There just might be something down that alley that could cause you some serious harm…. or not…. Let’s see just what happened, shall we?…..

“A mask has but one expression, frozen and eternal, yet it is always and ever the essential expression, and to hide one’s telltale flesh behind the external skeleton of the mask is to display the universal identity of the inner being in place of the outer identity that is transitory and corrupt. A mask, any mask, whether horned like a beast or feathered like an angel, is the face of immortality. Meet me in Cognito, baby. In Cognito, we’ll have nothing to hide.” — Tom Robbins

“I believe there is a limit beyond which free speech cannot go, but it’s a limit that’s very seldom mentioned.  It’s the point where free speech begins to collide with the right to privacy.  I don’t think there are any other conditions to free speech.  I’ve got a right to say and believe anything I please, but I haven’t got a right to press it on anybody else. …. Nobody’s got a right to be a nuisance to his neighbors.” — H.L. Mencken

“Victory goes to the candidate with the most accumulated or contributed wealth who has the financial sources to convince the middle class and poor that he will be on their side.” — Mark B. Cohen

“Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.” — Edward Abbey

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

“Lots of them go to the spring, but none of ’em ever drink.” — Footprints

“But Chrysippus, Posidonius, Zeno, and Boethus say, that all things are produced by fate. And fate is a connected cause of existing things, or the reason according to which the world is regulated.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Zeno, lxxiv

Zounds!…. If such astute men as Chrsippus, Posidonius, Zeno, and Boethus ALL say this, well, then, it must be true, right? I mean, those are all names that echo down the halls of history, shouting out their wisdom, right?… No?…. Oh, yeah, I guess I haven’t heard of any of them, either…. Oh, well, never mind… Just go with the flow, and it will all make sense… And if not, don’t worry about it; none of this will be on the Quiz….
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“Portions of the preceding were recorded.  As for the rest, I quite fear that it was all in your mind.” — Smart Bee

It is arguably a good thing that we have reached the end of this Pearl…. I’m not sure whether or not it would remain in a non-explosive state if continued any further…. Now, if it can stand up to the loose standards of scrutiny applied here, we’re good to go for another day…. Be right back, after I see what actually took place up there….

Once more, the resulting mess defies description, or analysis…. That, in and of itself, is probably for the best….. Before I do something, or write something that will cause more serious harm, I’m going to post this, and be done with it… I managed to get to some of my favorite blogs yesterday, to catch up a bit on my reading, and awareness of what is up out there in WordPress… It felt good, and I plan to do so again today, given the space from my pain I experienced yesterday…. we can hope, can’t we? Of course we can…. it doesn’t mean our hope will be justified, or fulfilled, but, hey, it’s better than a milkshake made of tree bark and turpentine, right? Definitely right…. See ya…..

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

Peaches and cream for lunch…..

Ffolkes,
Twilight razors, filled with ample screams of delighted salmon fillets, turned backward flips in the parlor, while the Doge Imperius strolled through the garden. Abby didn’t want hers, so I put her squiggly first course of lamprey eel down the bodice of the queen. But, that was only the first time. Afterwards, we all went into the big blue room to play charades. It was a good party…..

Sorry ’bout that. Before I sat down to begin, I was reading the Bathroom Reader, about the Bullwer-Lytton Writing Contest. That’s the one held each year to pick the best (worst) opening paragraph of the world’s worst novel, as patterned after the opening of the book “Paul Clifford” by Edward Bullwer-Lytton, which began, “It was a dark and stormy night…..”.  What I wrote above is certainly bad enough, but I think it’s actually TOO bad, even for that contest. Too much surrealism, and more than one run-on sentence….

Surreal isn’t unknown in this venue; I actually depend on it a lot, for contrast. Exploring reality can be somewhat stultifying to the mind, if one isn’t careful, so I take a dose of surreal before I try to deal with it directly. Kind of a prophylactic, eh? I suppose one could call it a literary condom…. that is, if one were so inclined. Me, I’m too classy for that….

Now that we have entered Fantasy Land, I think it would be best to start our morning task. In fact, I think that if we don’t, we could conceivably get stuck here for a long time…. shall we Pearl?…..
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“We live in a time when man would rather be envied than esteemed.” — G. Trudeau

One of the characteristics of the English language that I appreciate is adroitly demonstrated here by Mssr. Trudeau (Doonesbury’s creator…). That characteristic is the precision of meaning that can be found by using just the right words. This statement, because of that very precision, becomes extremely insightful, accurately putting its finger on the nature of society, and on the nature of the people who make up that society. This desire to be envied, to be looked up to, to be the object of jealousy, was very aptly labeled by my uncle, Russell Smith, back in the early 1960’s, when he dubbed this state “Me-Firsterism”.  (The title should be delivered with a slightly smug sneer….)

“Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.” — Frank Leahy

Personally, I think the word “selfish” describes the issue just fine.  “Entitlement” is another word that comes to mind, especially if paired with a descriptive adjective that implies that the entitlement is completely undeserved. The word “delusional” comes to mind in that respect….. These people see no conflict in claiming they love America, while also making it clear that they cannot stand Americans.

They love being able to hop down to the market to pick up fresh veggies any time, but would faint if they were asked to go out into the fields to harvest those veggies. At the same time, they want to send all the illegal immigrants home…. these are the same immigrants who harvest the fields for the veggies, at half the rate any American would demand.

“Character is a victory, not a gift.” — Smart Bee

These are the same people who will shout out at the top of their lungs how proud they are of being an American. Whenever I hear that, I am tempted to ask them, “Oh? You’re proud you are American? Tell me, what exactly did you do, to become one? What is it you did that should make you proud of yourself? Oh, your parents were living here when you were born? So, you didn’t do anything to become an American….”  I’ve done this in reality a couple of times, and it’s amazing how angry these folks get when confronted. It’s rather entertaining, actually, to see them turn all those different colors….

This is rigorous.  Well, it’s rigorous in the sense that … All right, it’s not rigorous. — Smart Bee

No, this isn’t a rigorous argument. This issue doesn’t require a rigorous argument; it’s too obvious. Our society is bursting at the seams with people who are both ignorant and arrogant, filled with a sense of entitlement and eliteness that is completely unconnected to anything in reality; there is no real basis for their pride, or for their belief in their own supremacy. But, since they believe they are the “Lords of Creation”, they carry on with their ignorant, destructive patterns of behavior, and, in the process, pull the rest of humanity along with them on their trip to the deeper regions of Hades….

Maybe I can’t stop them. Maybe I can’t turn the tide of historical events toward a safer shore. Maybe I’m shouting into the wind; it seems that way a lot of the time. None of these maybes are enough to keep me from trying, or to keep me from ranting about it. Maybe one of my rants will fall upon the right ears, and inspire someone to act. If not, well, at least I have the opportunity to sling a few darts in the direction of the pundits and the preachers. Or mud…. slinging mud is always fun…. and it’s not like getting muddy would be something with which they are unfamiliar….

“He probably just wants to take over my CELLS and then EXPLODE  inside me like a BARREL of runny CHOPPED LIVER!  Or maybe he’d  like to PSYCHOLOGICALLY TERRORIZE ME until I have no objection to a RIGHT-WING MILITARY TAKEOVER of my apartment!!  I guess I should call AL PACINO!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Clenched Soul

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.

Pablo Neruda

The images this brings to my inner eye are compelling, if a bit ambiguous. I found it to be a refreshing read, though I really have no clue as to its true meaning; it seemed very personal, like I’d feel embarrassed for the poet if I actually knew what he meant. So, it’s okay that I don’t. If you do follow what he’s saying, or think I’m missing something, please feel free to comment….
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Old school Pearl alert: Below are six quotations, all on the same topic. No adornment is possible, or desirable, other than to say that each one makes sense to me, and all are accurate reflections of reality…..

Blasphemy:  When a religious person dares to think. — Smart Bee

“All great truths begin as blasphemies.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), “Annajanska”

‘God says in the Bible’ carries as much moral imperative to me as  saying ‘Dr. Seuss says in Green Eggs and Ham.’  Both are interesting books  with some good messages, nothing more. — Smart Bee (I almost claimed this one as my own; it states my view perfectly. Integrity won, but it was a hard fight….)

“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.” — Aldous Huxley

“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

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

Editorial note: To be fair, one may place the name of any other religion in the spots where it says “Christianity”. None of the quotation’s meaning will be changed at all…..
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Time drags on, day by day, bringing me closer to…. now. While typing that phrase, it occurred to me that Now is all we really have, and I’m no closer to tomorrow at this moment than I was before, or will be after. All I’ll be is more confused about the implied paradoxes….. Hmm… be careful, please. Don’t think about that last part too long; I think it could turn into an infinite loop, and who knows what might happen…. 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!