Lost in the Sea of Choices

Ffolkes,

Life is not to be bought with heaps of gold:
Not all Apollo’s Pythian treasures hold,
Or Troy once held, in peace and pride of sway,
Can bribe the poor possession of a day.

~~ Alexander Pope (1688-1744) ~~

~~ The Iliad of Homer, Book ix, Line 524 ~~

2-16-2015 010

Pearl House


Aye, lost indeed…. Not that it’s anything new, or unexpected; merely a new variety of our least favorite category of feelings, to wit: a pain in the proverbial, and actual, arse. Any routine I may have had is now kaput, and the effects are beginning to register on the process, in a fashion nobody can call any version of good. Even I, with my vast store of words from which to choose, can only come up with a batch of stilted, whiny complaints that nobody, least of all, me, wishes to hear first thing in the morning….

Fuck it. I’m not going to screw around with it today. This, you may have noted, is the intro. Pearl, meet your Gentle Reader…. Gentle Reader, this is your Pearl for today…. Get on with it, both of you, or, no snacks….. I am now in full curmudgeon mode, and there’s no turning back now…. Luigi, take us out of here, stat….

Shall we Pearl?

“History has the relation to truth that theology  has to religion — i.e., none to speak of.” — Lazarus Long

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clipchipdale2 (2)

Image from Disney Clip Art


Who doesn’t know and love these two little scamps? Only a few bitter people…. Enjoy, ffolkes; we can all use a break now and then….

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Chip & Dale

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We the People...

Written 12/22/2011:

Modern Times, Indeed

Less than Random thoughts on Modern Society


“He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” — Confucius

“He who does neither is eligible to join the crowd as a Republican candidate for the Presidency in 2012.” — gigoid

Although there are moments, when I’m reading some new report on the latest verbal bomb from the Republican gallery of fools, that I despair for the race, I have to admit it’s really handy for us writers. Every day, sometimes several times, we are presented with a huge bounty of material by these folks, who seem to not only have the habit of shooting themselves in the foot, but seem to enjoy it, and, at best, are using it as a campaign tactic to draw attention. There isn’t even any need to go deep to look for stuff the politicos would rather we didn’t know, because they have taken it upon themselves to offer that information in their own statements, made obvious by their loquaciousness on certain subjects, and their reluctance to speak on others. It’s almost as if they are printing up pictures of themselves with arrows pointing to their most vulnerable points, and handing them out with their media packets.

I really don’t understand how so many obviously unqualified and deliberately ignorant group of  people ever got the notion that they could possibly do this, when their primary distinguishing characteristics are blatant religious bigotry and racism (or in at least two cases, demonstrably sociopatchic tendencies). The only thing I can come up with is that they are completely out of touch with any sort of objective information about reality, and have determined that their own subjective judgments are sufficient reason to qualify them for the Presidency. In other words, they are delusional, as that word is defined as “continuing to hold as truth information that has been proven false.” Now, do we really want anyone who suffers from delusional thinking to be the one holding the button that launches the nuclear holocaust? I don’ know about you, but I would give that question a resounding “NO!”…..and not feel even a smidgeon of guilt…..

“[E]lections amount to little more than choosing between the scum that floats to the top of the barrel and the dregs that settle to the bottom.” — L. Neil Smith

There are at least two facets of this gem that disturb me, aside from its obvious veracity, and I can’t decide which is the more unsettling. First, the fact that it is funny is a sad commentary on our political scene; we always laugh at what hurts the most, and having to laugh about the choices we have in the political arena hurts a great deal. I’m not particularly happy about it when I have to make a choice between the lesser of two evils; no matter which is chosen, it’s still evil.

Even more disturbing to me, however, is the failure of courage this implies on the part of the general populace. Continually forced to make poor choices, the people have become resigned to low-quality leadership, and haven’t the heart to demand changes. The mere fact of existence for this ‘joke’ indicates that we, as a society, have given up, and are apathetic about which particular member of our beloved ruling class is currently stealing from us. We are so used to being bent over and violated, we walk around with no belt, and a jar of Vaseline, so it hurts less, and ends sooner….

Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips.  Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me…

~~ Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus” ~~


In today’s tempest-in-a-teapot of political chicanery, and unbridled avarice, so-called “patriots” wander around spouting off about how proud they are to be an “Uhmurrikin”, (spelled phonetically to reflect the butchering of their native tongue), and shower us on a daily basis with their nonsensical claims and ignorant racism. How can one be proud to be American? Did you choose to be born here? No, it was an accident of birth. Your parents have the right to be proud, for having provided you with your citizenship, but you didn’t have any say in the matter, and have no reason to be proud. It’s just a false pride, stemming out of the Judeo-Christian concept of elitism so prevalent among the elitists.

I would wager a considerable sum, and give good odds, that none of the current political superstars knows where this poem is inscribed. Even if they do know, they would no doubt disagree with the idea, and will find some way to throw dirt on the sentiment displayed, because as we all know, we only want new immigrants who are white Christians with money. Persons of color, the poor, or heretics, aren’t wanted by a surprisingly large number of politicians who live on the Right side of our two point six party system.

The idea of sharing is foreign to them (pun intentional, naturally), and learning to embrace both compassion and diversity is well beyond their self-limited, and self-limiting, capabilities. Ignorance has won a lot of battles recently, in the eternal war it carries on with the forces of Reason and Knowledge. I’m thinking it’s time for the proponents of the latter to remove their gloves, and get down to the serious business of beating ignorance out of the human spirit…. We hold the keys to our final destiny in our own hands, and regardless of the outcome, we are responsible….though one would be hard-pressed to find a member of our beloved ruling class who would admit to it….

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Comedy_Tragedy

Written 2/19/2013:

Waiting to Find

Feeling and looking routinely fabulous,
seldom seems as hauntingly ridiculous,
scintillation is hardly more perilous,
or quite as fascinatingly anomalous.

Gaia pales in the face of redundancy,
yet welcomes elemental shades of necromancy,
never failing, episodic bouts of philanthropy,
can often be misconstrued as misanthropy.

It’s all much too fancy,
yet not sufficiently chancy,
to fulfill the promise made for pants.
It can’t be the thyme,
so it must be the rhyme.

~~ gigoid ~~


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About Hopi Indian Symbols

    I’m going to be giving up on Smart Bee soon. It’s getting more difficult each day to get it to let loose of anything worthwhile… Ah well, it’s apparently got a few old-school pearls left in it, even if they’re a bit obscure in their conclusions, like this one…. Enjoy, but, don’t try too hard; I have a feeling it’s booby-trapped…. Hence the picture of Kokopelli, as a warning to examine your Reality closely when it is handed back to you….

“Imagination creates reality.” — (Wilhelm) Richard Wagner

“Fear is not in the habit of speaking truth.  When perfect sincerity is expected, perfect freedom must be allowed;  nor has anyone who is apt to be angry when he hears the truth, any cause to wonder that he does not hear it.” — Tacitus

“There are occasions when it is undoubtedly better to incur loss than to make gain.” — Plautus (254-184 BC) — Captivi, Act ii, Sc. 2, 77, (327.)

“A man cannot speak but he judges himself…no man thoroughly understands a truth until he has contended against it.” — Emerson

“A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.” — Eric Hoffer

“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.” — Kahlil Gibran

Truths would you teach, or save a sinking land?
All fear, none aid you, and few understand.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 261 ~~


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Okay, I’m done, and glad to be so…. I enjoy this, even when it’s hard work, such as it was today…. Go figure. Any who, if nothing happens to convince me otherwise, I’ll see y’all tomorrow…. Stay alert, ffolkes, it’s getting a bit crazy out there….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

As the plan developed, Murphy laughed….

Ffolkes,
Lost again in reverie, I gaze blankly into space, imagining beautiful words parading across the screen, words so poignant, so powerful, they bring tears. The words speak to the part of each reader that is within me, that common ground of fellow-feeling, that spark of humanity that connects us all.  The tears are not always sad; often they are (in my mind’s eye) full of such joy that the tears fall of their own accord, as if the morning sun had arisen in our very souls. Whether sad or joyous, beauty remains, always there for us to reach out and touch, and be touched. And when the words have worked their benign magic, the world turns again, and a new day begins…….
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“Life is cruel? Compared to what?” — Edward Abbey

One of the better methods for identifying wisdom is to learn that it is generally close by the person who asks the questions that occur to no one else. I’ve noticed this a lot with Edward Abbey’s writings; he has a pretty powerful grip on what is important to know, and a very deft touch in putting it into a palatable form.

This, as it turns out in reality, is a valuable characteristic, and one of the ways society passes knowledge from one person to the next. Not everyone is curious, even if they should be. All too many folks spend the greater portion of their mental energy just coping with everyday life, with little left over at the end of the day to put into “frivolous” activities. Sad, but true.

But, fortunately for society, not everyone can curb their curiosity; some of us just HAVE to know what is out there to be found, or seen, or learned. It’s like breathing; you can stop if you like, but you won’t enjoy the outcome at all. By learning to put questions to the universe in perspective, they are shared with others, thus sharing the product of their curiosity with their fellows, who don’t have the time or inclination to use their mind for anything other than mundane pursuits. I’m awfully glad that those folks are out there; the world would be a lonely, and confusing place to live if they were not……

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” — Voltaire
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“There is the truth, and there are lies, and there is nothing on Earth or in the Netherhells that does not fall under one of these two headings, with the exception of politics.” — The Teachings of Ebenezum, Vol. LXXXVIII

Watching the political scene in this country unfold over the last few months has been enough to place the impulse to make political commentary on a par with repeatedly banging one’s head against a brick wall. Hell, there are times when the brick wall looks like a better way to spend time than trying to either make sense of the circus, or waste time criticizing it.

I don’t yet have enough of a reading audience to spread my particular brand of ideology to the great unwashed masses, and I often feel like a blind man in a dark room, trying to hit a piñata with a wiffle bat while listening to bad mariachi music (which is, come to think of it, an oxymoron). I think, in fact that I will have to take a sabbatical from political discourse; it’s beginning to have a deleterious effect on my sleep patterns, and I’m certainly not going to allow such nonsense to affect my health.

Have no fear though; I am sure that the antics of the talking heads leading up to the election in November will pull and push me into commenting before too long. But, it’s so depressing….. makes me wanna go take a nap, and hope it goes away while I’m dozing……fat chance of that, though…..
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Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips.  Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me…
— Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus”

As most know, this is the poem that was written for the Statue of Liberty, to show the rest of the world how tolerant and free American had become; it espouses the (supposedly) American ideal of society. Today, I’d wager a significant amount of money to bet that 75% of the Americans not only couldn’t tell you the source of the poem, but would tell you they disagree with it. Our leaders, and much of the populace, no longer believe in the melting pot; they would rather seal the borders, and keep the rest of the world out.

Diversity, while already fully ensconced in the structure of society, is being systematically attacked by the forces of ignorance and intolerance, who would rather keep freedom to themselves. They don’t even realize that they have already lost; there are too many outlooks and cultures assimilated into this society to be removed without destroying themselves along with those members of society of whom they disapprove. The pot has already melted the disparate parts into a homogeneous whole; the folks who want to make this a “one-book” society are already in the minority. They just refuse to admit it, which creates a lot of hassle for the rest of us.

Sometimes I am unsure whether to be optimistic, or pessimistic; both have their uses.  Optimism feels better, but pessimism is right more often. Oh, well, I guess I’ll go take a nap…..
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“You can always tell an old soldier from the inside of his holsters and cartridge boxes.  The young ones carry pistols and cartridges: the old ones, grub.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), “Arms and the Man”

Though I managed to avoid that whole mess in Vietnam, I was raised as an army brat, living mostly on bases where my father was stationed until he retired from the Army, when I was ten years old. Having been raised on army bases, I was made fully conversant with how the army works, by the process of osmosis; you can’t help but pick up a lot of abstruse knowledge living around soldiers all the time. Thus, I can say with some degree of confidence that although Mr. Shaw’s statement is true, it is only true as far as his knowledge goes. And, it is clear that he himself never served in an army, or he would never have made such a simple mistake.

Yes, an old soldier will carry food, but even more important to him (and his mates) would be to make sure he was carrying toilet paper and clean, dry socks. THOSE are the most highly prized items for a soldier in the field. Bullets and guns are never in short supply, unless a troop has an inept company clerk, and food will eventually show up (or you can commandeer it from the citizenry), but once the TP is gone, it’s gone, and there is no good replacement in nature. And, to an infantryman, dry socks are better by far than gold or jewels, for foot soldiers live only as long as they can still walk…..comfortably……
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These in the days when Heaven is falling
The hour when Earth’s foundations fled
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.
Their shoulders held the sky suspended
They stood and Earth’s foundations stay
What God abandoned these defended
And took the sum of things for pay.
–A.E. Houseman–Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

It is said of people that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In the case of my daughter, that is both true and not true; but mostly it is true. She followed my example and learned to read by age four. By the second grade, she was devouring books at an alarming rate, books well beyond her grade level (she read the Hobbit at age six). I say alarming only because she was reading so far above her grade level that I was worried it would cause problems in relating to her peers. But, she indeed didn’t fall far, because instead she learned to use, and still uses, what she has read to help her in dealing with the surprises that life brings.

The above is a a poem that she wrote down for me, from memory, one day when we were on a high-flying discussion of some of what we had read in common. She feels the same as I do about poetry, and for much the same reasons, in that she appreciates the poet’s ability to use the language in such a powerful way.

Both she, and her older brother, learned to read at four years, although he is of a personality type that, while he enjoys books and literature, and reads well beyond the average, he prefers to partake of the bulk of his learning from experience. Both of them make me proud, and glad that they will always have the comfort of books to ease their path through the mazes of life. And I am content that, if no other way, I gave them tools that will always serve them well……
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Thus ends another morning’s musings. Hopefully, you have found some food for thought, or at least a humorous snack. I have been up since 5 AM again, so I may just take my own advice, and go back to bed until a more reasonable hour. Hmm….sounds attractive. Unless something pops up before I can get comfy, I can’t see any reason to deny myself that little indulgence. There ARE advantages to this retirement stuff, besides having a lot more time to write….good thing, too, as there are other parts that aren’t as pleasurable, like aging…..y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

This space for rent or lease……

Ffolkes,
How lame it is to hate or bully,
I’ll never understand it fully.
Instead of living life on a level,
The bully gives his time to the devil.

See! This is what happens when I turn my hand to poetry. Oh, I know, it’s technically correct, and rhymes as well……it’s just not very good. It’s generally why I stick to prose for the most part, but every once in a while this irresistible urge to rhyme strikes me square between the eyes, and if I don’t give in, it drives me nuts until I do. Today, we were all fortunate that the urge came when it did, and that I was able to fulfill the urge quickly; this means we may now return to our regularly scheduled activities…….and top of the morning to you!
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“Do not be afraid of enemies;  the worst they can do is to kill you. Do not be afraid of friends; the worst they can do is betray you. Be afraid of the indifferent;  they do not kill or betray. Yet only because of their silent agreement, betrayal and murder exist on earth.” — Bruno Yasienski, contemporary Soviet novelist

This is a very subtle, yet powerful insight into human nature. Most people never think deeply enough about any particular subject to ever discover any insight, so finding this is serendipitous, leading the way as it does to our subject matter, to wit: indifference, otherwise known as active apathy. I’ve said it before; people are lazy. If they can accomplish their ends without any effort on their part, they consider it their due, and that they have the right to do so. If they must actually perform some act in order to get what they want or need, they will complain about it the whole time. And if they are forced to think, they become teenagers, resistant to any form of communication or control, and refuse categorically to use their mind for anything other than figuring out how to keep from thinking or acting.

In most of us, this inherent laziness is balanced by an understanding of the twin concepts of honor and duty. For these folks, laziness still exists, but their reaction to it, is to use it as motivation to think up new ways to do things that save time and effort. In short, they use their imagination to their benefit, rather than using it to find excuses for not getting things done. Mr. Yasienski’s insight is what this concept looks like when taken to its logical conclusion…..I hope to find a book or whatever this young man writes; he appears to have a good grip on reality, or at least of his version of it…..
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My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But, ah, my foes, and oh, my friends —
It gives a lovely light.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ah, sweet bird of youth! These days I have trouble keeping one end of one candle lit, much less both ends. It’s like the early days of solar power, when the panels needed 3 full sunshine days to accumulate enough power to run the household for one day; every expenditure of energy on my part requires at least an equal amount of downtime, in order to maintain minimum function while conscious. In short, I’m getting old. It’s an interesting process, really, and can be quite entertaining at times, while at other times it can just be a drag. I don’t think I mind the grey hair that grows out of my ears; I have scissors and a mirror. And I can usually deal okay when I find some physical activity I used to perform easily is now a pitched battle; that is expected.

But I wasn’t issued a manual with clues to how one should, or can, deal with the aging process, and I’m finding that lack to be problematic. It would have helped if I knew that with advancing years comes the creeping butt syndrome, where one’s ass spreads to fill the available chair space, and that makes one feel like they are walking around with a bowling ball strapped to their gut. It would have been nice to get a little warning about the importance of fiber; it is amazing to me how many of life’s activities at this age can be affected by the presence or absence of sufficient fiber in the diet. Get too much, and spend the day bouncing between bed and toilet; too little, and well, we don’t want to go there, it’s ugly. SIGH…..and there’s no road back to Youth, for any of us…..
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In Tennessee, it is illegal to shoot any game other than whales from a moving automobile.

Which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense…..in the Bizarro Dimension. No, but really, I’ll bet there’s a really good story behind the passage of that particular piece of legislative frivolity. Obviously, the intent of the law is to stop folks from shooting at game out of their vehicles altogether; I have no idea if it worked or not (considering the fact they felt they needed the law in the first place, it’s doubtful it had any real effect other than to make people look around for witnesses before firing). But, as one who appreciates whimsy in all its disguises, I find it to be a delightful attempt at injecting a bit of levity into such a thoroughly stuffy process as making laws It’s no worse than the warning labels the FDA requires, to prevent us from having to live with our own stupidity, warning us against eating something any child of 3 knows better than to touch, or seeing if one can take a suppository orally (that one is real; someone actually did that…shudder…). Making laws like this, to protect us from ourselves, is a futile pastime, but for some unknown reason, we keep trying to legislate morality, and attempting to repeal the laws of natural selection, which is a fool’s game at best…..it reminds me of the old saw about trying to teach a mule to dance. It’s a waste of time and effort, and it just annoys the mule. In this case, we are the mule……
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Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she
With silent lips.  Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me…
— Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus”

In today’s tempest-in-a-teapot of political chicanery, so-called “patriots” wander around spouting off about how proud they are to be an “Uhmurrikin”, (spelled phonetically to reflect their butchering of their native tongue),  and shower us on a daily basis with their nonsensical claims and ignorant racism. How can one be proud to be American? Did you choose to be born here? No, it was an accident of birth. Your parents have the right to be proud, for having provided you with your citizenship, but you didn’t have any say in the matter, and have no reason to be proud. It’s just a false pride, stemming out of the Judeo-Christian concept of elitism.

I would wager a considerable sum, and give odds, that none of the current political superstars knows where this poem is inscribed. Even if they know, they disagree with the idea, and will find some way to throw dirt on the sentiment displayed, because as we all know, we only want new immigrants who are white Christians; persons of color, or heretics, aren’t wanted by a surprisingly large number of politicians who live on the Right side of our two point six party system. The idea of sharing is foreign to them (pun intentional, naturally), and learning to embrace both compassion and diversity is well beyond their self-limited, and self-limiting, capabilities. Ignorance has won a lot of battles recently, in the eternal war it carries on with the forces of Reason and Knowledge. I’m thinking it’s time for the proponents of the latter to remove their gloves, and get down to the serious business of beating ignorance out of the human spirit……
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“A child can go only so far in life without potty training.  It is not mere coincidence that six of the last seven presidents were potty trained, not to mention nearly half of the nation’s state legislators.” — Dave Barry

I enjoy Dave Barry’s sense of humor, especially when he points it at politics. I really don’t have much to say about this, other than to note that it is probably gospel truth. It may even be generous in its estimation of the number of elected officials who were able to complete the training; I’m not sure if even that many of them possess the required number of functioning brain cells to absorb the course material, much less the number needed to perform these essential functions without some supervision. Otherwise, we’d be seeing a lot more congressmen on camera with zippers in the open, unlocked position, or with yellow shoes…….I could go on like this forever, it seems, so we’ll call for mercy now……pity them, but never give them encouragement…..
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And another one bites the dust……it’s been real, folks. See you on the flip-side…..y’all take care out there….


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!