Who knows but that this life is really death,
And whether death is not what men call life?
~~ Diogenes Laertius — Pyrrho, viii ~~
Scenes from a train V….
Good morning…. But, then, you knew that, or you wouldn’t be here, reading this nonsense, would you? Of course not…. If nothing else, we here at ECR have respect for our Gentle Readers, such as they are. On that you may depend, if naught else…. It won’t pay the rent, or feed very many people, but, it’s got to feel better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, I would say…. Having said that, to no good purpose other than to fill in a bit more space between the front and rear of this paragraph, I believe I will take this opportunity to get the hell out of this seemingly never-ending initial blurb, so we can actually get started…. Here’s how we’ll do that….
Shall we Pearl?….
“If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Rather than spend a long time agonizing over our selection today, I decided to just go with our default choice for this section, to wit: classical music. Here is another mix of artists and composers to chill out your morning reading….
“My nose feels like a bad Ronald Reagan movie…” — Zippy the Pinhead
Yesterday was July 4th, our holiday to celebrate the birth of the nation. For much of my life, I was one who could be called patriotic; having observed history now for over 60 years, my patriotism has turned mostly to sorrow, for promises unkept, and a dream that died…. The warnings given by our founding fathers, to watch out for professional politicians and corporate influence in government, were mostly ignored during the last century, and we are now paying the price for our lack of attention…..
I intended to comment copiously about all the events and issues that have soured my patriotism, but, find myself unwilling to even go there today. I’ve been in pretty severe pain for days now, and feel I would become too worked up to do it justice…. It’s such a great opening line, I hate to let it go, so, I’ve found an older politirant from the days before my second retirement kicked in, and my sense of outrage was pretty much left in the “ON” position for a couple of years…. It’s all still completely valid, so it will do…. Think about the events of yesterday, in light of Zippy’s comment, and you’ll see what I’m talking about…. We’ve all been stuck in a bad B movie, since the days of Reaganomics, and the final assault on the Bill of Rights….
“It is useless for sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while wolves remain of a different opinion.” — William Ralph Inge, D. D. 1860 – 1954
I’ve seen this little statement before, and like it a lot, for its honesty in describing our Beloved Ruling Class in relation to the flock of sheep that comprises most of mankind. And, yes, this is the beginning of another politirant….. This one is prompted by the most recent activities that our leaders, if such word applies, have been shown to be engaged in by the news outlets I watch…. to wit: the legislation under review and up for vote in the House of Reps that is concerned with the economy, to wit: the “sequester”, and the recent comments by the POTUS re: global warming and climate change…. Let’s see what we can note about these issues, shall we?….
I have noticed that the Congress, and the POTUS, are currently at odds, as usual, over the economy, and arguing over how to address an issue over which they have absolutely no control…. I just don’t get it, actually…. There is no evidence whatsoever that anything the government does, or has ever done, about the economy has any effect at all on it…. none. Zero. Zilch. Nada damn thing…. The economy of the world, or even just this nation, is not subject to any manipulation by us; it’s too big, too amorphous…. It’s like trying to herd cats…. a lot of effort for small results, and you end up with a bunch of pissed off felines… If you know anything about cats, you will realize that this is never a good thing….
Yet, because the public demands that something be done, the politicians start their idiotic posturing, pontificating, and, otherwise polluting the airwaves with nonsensical suggestions as to what should be done to fix the problems. NONE of those ever work, nor will they ever work; the economy does not move according to any rules that we can control, or even know, and any action we take is just as liable to have a bad effect as a good one….. But, the public wants the government to fix it, so they try to make noises as if they actually could do something helpful, when in fact, anything they do is as liable to hurt as to help….. Sad, but, true as the day is long….
It’s actually kind of fun watching the contortions they go through for issues such as this; since I know for a fact that none of it will have any real effect on the issue, I can enjoy the parade without worrying about whether it will actually do anything useful…. It is a bit depressing to watch, since I am aware of just how little can be done, but, the show can be entertaining, and it does pass the time… The depressing part is knowing that the public is actually buying all of what they are saying, and really do expect something to change for the better… But, then, I am always amazed at the depth of human stupidity. I don’t know why, as I KNOW how dumb people can be… I am one, you know…. but, it always is a surprise to see just how deeply that stupidity is ingrained in the human condition…
Of course, this stupidity is part and parcel of why we are experiencing the second issue I mentioned above… global warming and overpopulation. I will be very interested to see exactly how the POTUS intends to address the issue, as he has promised to do, several times now since his inauguration. Since the issue is well advanced beyond the point that most people think it is, it will be a telling factor in deciding how seriously the issue is being taken, and whether or not it will have any chance at all of being either enough, or soon enough… Both of these are critical factors, as the point of no-return for the ecological balance of this planet is so near, it may have already been passed some months ago…..
I’m not sure how scientifically minded many of y’all are, but, I am… scientifically minded, that is, and I can tell you without fear of contradiction (from anyone with any reliable scientific knowledge, anyway….) that the atmosphere of this planet is, without doubt, and without evidence to the contrary, on the very edge of becoming unbreathable for humans…. The millions of tons of carbon monoxide and other toxic substances that are being pumped into the air EVERY SECOND, and that has been pumped in now for over a hundred years, has reached the point where it will begin a process of leaching oxygen from the air, and the balance of gases we need to survive will change, hell, IS changing, and fairly rapidly, until it is no longer of a balance that we can safely breathe… This is scientific FACT, not speculation, not a guess.. the process has already begun, the only question remaining is, how quickly will it happen?
“In the game of life you get to choose where you keep your brain – heads you win, tails you lose.” — Smart Bee
So, we’ll see where the POTUS keeps his brain, as he speaks in the next few days about this issue… Whatever he decides to do, you can bet that it won’t be enough, and it won’t make a damn bit of difference, other than in a few Presidential approval polls, perhaps. After all, even though he is a fairly reform oriented politician, he is still a politician, and you can lay good money, without fear of losing, on the fact that whatever he does is designed to benefit him and his Presidency, and any benefit for the public is a secondary concern….
He IS a politician, after all, and his primary concern is for his own success; it’s NOT the welfare of the people… He has merely discovered that being the “People’s Champion” is currently a good political stance to take…. if it ever becomes too itchy a coat to wear, he will take it off in a heartbeat…. Count on it…. You don’t get to that level of the game without being a complete asshole in some respects, and I don’t think anyone who WANTS to be President can be accused of not being ambitious, and, in the process, sociopathic….
“No people in the world ever did achieve their freedom by goody-goody talk and moral suasion: it being immutable law that all revolutions that will succeed, must begin in blood, whatever the answer afterward. If history teaches anything, it teaches that.” — Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
In this case, we aren’t talking about freedom, unless by that one means, freedom to stay alive…. and the BRC isn’t going to do anything about it, I don’t believe…. Or, rather, I’ll believe it when I see it, and, so far, no dice in that respect. I’m enough of a cynic to believe, sadly, that it isn’t GOING to happen, either… because I don’t believe that the POTUS, or the rest of the BRC, gives a damn about the rest of us, as long as they have their own….. This much is obvious from history, but, when did mankind at large ever pay any attention to history?….
If you have some evidence that contradicts that belief, I would dearly love to see it…. Truly, I would, because, quite frankly, my own intelligence, and the evidence I have now, forces me to conclude that we humans are shortly about to come to a bad end…. not with a bang, not with a whimper, but, choking to death in our own planet’s toxic air, victims of our own stupidity, and cupidity….
Daniel: “We’re damned if we do, we’re damned if we don’t; we need other options…” — from Stargate
Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.
Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks —
Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the sea will appear at all.
The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.
One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.
The only thing to come now is the sea.
From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me,
Slapping its phantom laundry in my face.
These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me
To the hills’ northern face, and the face is orange rock
That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space
Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths
Beating and beating at an intractable metal.
~~ Sylvia Plath ~~
SB decided to take the day off, so, I had to go to the archives for this section’s pearl; it’s not bad, all things considered…. Of course, I probably forgot something, but, hey, it’s the last section, so, who cares?….
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” — H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
Sometimes, I think we have already arrived at this point in time….. but, if not, then we are not far away…… with this firmly in mind, please find the following, all of which lead one gently to an idea that may, or may not, make you feel better. Which, of course, is NOT the purpose…. nonetheless, the conclusion framed by these quotes is one you NEED to know……
“It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell
“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” — Dalai Lama
As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian (politician’s too!) can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose. — Bhagavad Gita
“Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience.” — Diogenes
“Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really know what’s going on.” — Edward R. Murrow
“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” — Smart Bee
Sometimes, by the end of the day’s effort, I’m destroyed; today is one of those days…. The process of deciding, and writing, and formatting all of the above, due, no doubt to the underlying angst involved in the subject matter to which we tend to gravitate, has left me grumpy, and damn glad to be done…. Perhaps tomorrow will be better…. It’s our only hope, Obi-wan!…. See ya, ffolkes, like it or not….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….