— Muad’dib, from Dune, by Frank Herbert
It was a tough choice, but, I’m sticking with the mouse…. This wee beastie is a Kangaroo mouse. Some photographer captured the image & sent it to the London Daily Yell (Telegraph), where it was included in their series of Weekly Animal Pictures. There are, no doubt, a number of people who, at this point, are thinking to themselves, “Why is he prattling on about a mouse, cute though it may be?” Pay them no mind; they are impatient, and deserve to wait. Instead, listen up….
The quote above, from Dune, was uttered by the character Muad’dib, which, in Fremen, the language of the people who gave him the name, means, approximately “Little old man of the desert” or “Teacher of boys”; it was the Fremen word/name for the type of mouse you see here, a co-denizen of the desert planet, Dune…. They called him that because the creatures were considered by them to be the ultimate survivors, able to thrive on the surface of Dune, in an environment that challenged the adaptability of every creature who lived there…. To survive, Fremen children were taught to emulate the habits of the mice, and to respect them as the teachers they were…
Why am I going with the mouse, rather than the brilliant quote, which would, obviously, make a perfect opening for a sober philosophical discussion of reality, and our manner of regarding it, or any number of related subjects? Easy….. which would YOU rather read? Yet another rant in the intro section, detailing one of the many horribly depressing issues we face as humans in a sick society, or a fluff piece about a terminally cute mouse? See, no-brainer, right? Right….
Now, the only question that remains is how to turn this fluff piece into an intro…. I had a few ideas originally, but, as usual with my planning ahead, it is now useless, as I can’t remember a single one of them…. Plus, the newest issue with my hands is surfacing, causing my left hand to go numb as I type… Oh, thrilling…
Oh, well, another little reminder from my abused body, of my poor decision at age 8, to become skilled at sports, at least as much as learning in classes, thus determining the course of my athletic involvement, which eventually led me into the martial arts…. and, a lifetime of physical activity, much of which stressed my body to its personal limits on a daily basis…. Which is what I am now paying for, in early onset of age-related conditions, and, quite simply, a world of hurt….
Ah well, I have drugs, and more drugs, and a long-time habit of being able to ignore much of the pain, by focusing intensely on whatever my mind is chewing on at the moment….There are times, of course, when the pain is stronger than my focus and will, but, fortunately, they are, thus far, not too frequent….. and, it passes off, eventually… As long as that remains true, I’ll be content to go on as I am, in pain, but, not debilitated to the point it interferes with my wants and desires…. It IS causing a bit of adjustment, and flexibility of planning, but, hey, that’s a piece of cake for a retired executive assistant….
I see now I’ve managed to whine, and meander in my head to a point where we can jump off this bandwagon, and get on with the rest of this mess… I am thinking, as well, it’s probably a good thing, because I can’t see me winding my way to anything particularly gripping by continuing in this vein…. So, I think it’s time to boogie on down…. whatever that means these days…
Shall we Pearl?…..
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”
— The Litany Against Fear, a Bene-Gesserit lesson, from Dune, by Frank Herbert
“Do not be angry with me if I tell you the truth.” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.)
Yesterday, I found quite a lot of material about which I would normally rant; in keeping with my new policy, instead, I’ve gathered some of the links to the articles that stimulated either my outrage, my sorrow, my pity, or whatever rantable material was found… Think of this as, sort of, a RSS feed, without having to set up any connections…. and with parameters that are only known to my subconscious mind…. Trust me, it’ll be better than a rant, even IF I end up having to throw in a comment or two, as is my wont with this type of pearl…. I’m also working on avoiding typos, which have been annoying me no end of late….
For now, forget all that, just read, and think, and, if necessary, or just desired, feel free to comment on any of them… I’ll get to a response within a few hours or so, hopefully; and, always, eventually…. Enjoy!….
At the time of the inclusion of the following list in this pearl, these were the most popular stories being read by the SFGATE readers on 8/11/2014 at their home page, at http://www.sfgate.com/….. where, if you like, you can find all of the links to the stories in the list…. It’s just a bit pathetic, wouldn’t you agree, in re: what the subject matter, as the headlines denote, implies about the taste, and the intelligence, of the average readers on the site? I’d say that is patently obvious, without my usual dose of doubt, but, then, we all know I’m a cynic…. This list, though, is pretty compelling evidence, to my mind….
‘Scarf Guy’ steals show at Apple keynote
Bay Area boasts top counties in California
What was that mystery mega-yacht in San Francisco Bay?
Frank Gore and Bruce Miller believe running game can improve
Best and worst of New York Fashion Week
La Taqueria in San Francisco named America’s Best Burrito
Below, I’ve placed a trio of the more “serious” pieces of journalism than those on the list, from the same site, which show well the prejudices and flaws in the media moguls who run the site; they always take a very obvious company line when talking about any political or foreign policy subjects, parroting and supporting whatever the administration is trying to get the public to believe….
This site also tends to get into the old “yellow journalism” sensationalism crap, with headlines screaming of danger from this, that, or the other, labeling them with hyperbolic adjectives, screaming of extreme dangers, only to read the actual statements made, and learn it’s no big deal at all, and is unlikely to cause any real problems… Apparently, though, the SFGATE news director felt that wouldn’t draw any readers, so they “pumped it up” so it could create feelings of panic in the gullible…. The link to which I refer is the first one; check it out, and realize, if you will, this sort of thing happens all the time, everywhere, whenever they feel they can get away with it….
There…. Do you see what it says on the link? “Scientists: Extreme solar storm heading to Earth” Once you’ve clicked over to the article, the following excerpt is what you will find, after a couple of paragraphs of basic information stretching….
“New calculations from satellite data show that the worst of the energetic particles streaming from the sun likely will go north or above Earth this time, Berger said late Wednesday…..So while the power grid may see fluctuations because the storm will cause changes in Earth’s magnetic field, it won’t knock power systems off line, Berger said. It may cause slight disturbances in satellites and radio transmissions but nothing major…..”We’re not scared of this one,” Berger said.”
Did you catch that? Headline: reason for panic trumpeted… and, the supporting quote? “We’re not scared of this one,” Berger said. ‘
I often find it instructive to compare the news coverage by the media from different countries; my favorite site to visit overseas is the UK Guardian, which is the agency responsible for publishing the revelations regarding spying by the NSA, leaked to them by the patriot, Edward Snowden, to bring the illegal activities out into the public arena…. Below are two links, which cover two of the subjects from above…
Differences found? Yes, a few, just on the surface… In the Guardian, there were four links on the front page to stories connected to the Net Neutrality issue, of which this link was one. There were two other articles, and one op/ed piece on that one subject IN A FOREIGN NEWSPAPER!…. On SFGATE, there was one fluff piece on it…. EFF is one of the organizations leading the legal battle against the corporations in that battle, so, they are very involved in that, and many other areas involving computers and the internet….
Another difference is in the 911 coverage; the American article is emotionally manipulative, and attempts to re-establish the fear generated by the original act, by, in the same sentence, the first one in the article, by reporting the celebration in NYC, then, at once, adding in a mention of the newest terrorist threats, from the newest acronym for a terrorist group, ISIL, and our president’s intention to intensify the illegal bombing in Syria, ostensibly as part of his stated campaign to, well, essentially, kill them all…. thereby, as noted, parroting the administration’s talking points and lies…. The Guardian’s article takes an entirely different tone and approach to the very same subject….
Also, the front page story on SFGATE, about the non-existent solar flare danger, was nowhere to be found on the UK site; apparently, it wasn’t important enough to print, as there wasn’t any danger involved, or, anything out of the ordinary to report….
Okay, so it turned into a rant anyway…. I won’t say, sue me, because, damn it, somebody would take that personally, and try to do so…. but, otherwise, all I can say is too bad, so sad. You’re all done now, anyway, so quit complaining, and just go read the poem, okay?
“And don’t think any more. I do the thinking around here.” — Sark
One last word, that came to me… well, later… but, in spite of what some may think, it fits with the overall conclusions to be made from the above diatribe…. plus, it’s such an appropriate indictment of today’s culture, of cruelly, and dangerously, asinine inanity that characterizes modern life in this country, from a historical sense, if no other, I had to throw it out here… I’m just crazy that way, I suppose…
“The late rebellion in Massachusetts has given more alarm than I think it should have done. Calculate that one rebellion in 13 states in the course of 11 years, is but one for each state in a century and a half. No country should be so long without one.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), in letter to James Madison, 20 December 1787
It’s a day….. I’m not sure, at this point, that I would like to commit myself further than that…. Such being the case, it is clearly best if I use a poem of my own, to keep from having anyone else’s reputation tarnished by association…. I’ll see if I can find one that either fits, or will give a break to your sensibilities, which are doubtlessly being given a workout today…. Enjoy, please…. Oh, technical note: reading this in a Missouri accent helps the comprehension level, as well as making it sound more genuine, more true-to-life…. Well, I think so…. and, I wrote it, so, you might show a bit of respect for my feelings on my own blog…. Now, I’m hurt…. just kidding, enjoy the poem…
Fried eggs got nuthin’ on me
Ah’m not even sure of mah name,
or how Ah come to be;
no idea from where Ah came.
Ah does like a mystery tho’,
puzzlin’ things out so’s Ah knows,
good from bad fo sho,
Ah sho don’t want no rock pillows.
If’n Ah cain’t figure out what’s best,
Ah just falls back on mah Daddy’s words,
seems he knowed just whut’d stand the test,
‘n how to gentle the scaredest birds.
‘Course, he’d lived a good long time,
‘n had lots of stuff go on by;
Went to a war, n’ lost a piece or two,
never once used it fer an alibi.
He tol’ me once Ah’d best learn to learn,
school’s only cool if ya ain’t already a fool.
Yer own good measure you can earn,
by startin’ yer learnin’ with the Golden Rule.
Always seemed to me as Ah growed up,
he mostly only spoke if it wuz true,
‘n by doin’ that clued me to what’s up,
kept me from stuff that’d a made me blue.
Without ever sayin’ the word itself,
Ah learned ’bout honor, ‘n helpin’ others
not some fake stuff from some shelf,
but, knowin’ whut’s right, ‘n that we’re all brothers.
Ah’ve been around long enough now, Ah think
to get around the block at least two times.
I s’pose long as my head don’t shrink
Ah’ll keep on doin’ right, ‘n makin’ these rhymes…..
~~ gigoid ~~
SATAN, n. One of the Creator’s lamentable mistakes, repented in sashcloth and axes. Being instated as an archangel, Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled from Heaven. Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in thought a moment and at last went back.
“There is one favor that I should like to ask,” said he.
“Man, I understand, is about to be created. He will need laws.”
“What, wretch! you his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of eternity with hatred of his soul — you ask for the right to make his laws?”
“Pardon; what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them himself.”
It was so ordered.
— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
While lamenting the necessity, I must acknowledge, and, take advantage of this opportunity to state the obvious, in light of the above entry from Bierce’s masterpiece, to wit:
And, the rest is history…..
Sorry, couldn’t resist…. it isn’t often such a perfect opening for a pun…. Since this section is now useless for anything else, I’ll just throw together a pearl, with the key word, with qualifier, “*fun*”, which should give us the results I’m seeking, after such a shameful start…. Besides, count your blessings; with that opening, I COULD have easily fallen into a religirant, but, refrained, to, no doubt, your immense relief… Mine, too, if you want to know the truth, and, since you’re here at ECR, I’m assuming you do, or, if not, can take it anyway….
Basta! Abondanza! Have fun, in any and/or all its conjugations, definitions, adjectival or adverbial status changes, stages, and permutations….. Y’all should be able to find something to enjoy from that list….
“When choosing between two evils I always like to take the one I’ve never tried before.” — Mae West, in “Klondike Annie” 1936
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams” — Willy Wonka, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”
“I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.’ — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Each generation has its sages. Ancient Greece had Socrates. We have bumper stickers.” — Smart Bee, chiming right in….
“Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time.” — H. L. Mencken
“This is the Nineties, Bubba, and there is no such thing as Paranoia. It’s all true.” — Hunter S Thompson
“If nothing went wrong today, you’re probably dead.” — Murphy’s Last Law
I am, patently, a Bozo. This we know. I am, also, done. Go figure…. And, in the interests of practicing the promised brevity, I’ll now bid thee adieu for another day, with the caveat, warning, and disclaimer, as required by law, to wit: see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious