Swatches of unconsecrated plaid….

Ffolkes,
Okay, okay, I’m up, no need to yell……what? Who’s there? Oh, it’s y’all…..well, since I’m up…….I suppose I should get started….
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“The real money is in starting your own religion.” — L. Ron Hubbard

Back in the late 1920’s or 30’s, I’m uncertain which, L. Ron Hubbard and Robert A. Heinlein were both cadets at Annapolis, the Navy’s officer training facility. They were friends, of a sort, and later in life would carry on a semi-friendly competition, to see whose work of science fiction would sell better. Although Heinlein usually won (his style of writing was more palatable to the general reading audience than Hubbard’s), Hubbard also created a large body of work, most of which, though somewhat out there on the fringes of space, were engaging and powerful stories. Though he never achieved the status that his friend did in the SF field, he still has a large following of fans who believe him to be the best, and they have some arguable points.

Dianetics, the so-called religion of Christian Scientists, is based on a book that L. Ron Hubbard wrote. He wrote it, had it published, and then sat back and watched it become far more popular than anything else he had published. The Christian Scientists now have chapters all over the world, with several million devotees who are convinced that it is the road to salvation and eternal peace. It is, to say the least, the best practical joke ever played on the unsuspecting human race, and the longest lasting as well.

You see, Hubbard wrote the book as a joke, He proposed the above statement to Bob Heinlein, and when Heinlein expressed his skepticism, Hubbard made the claim that he could make up his own religion, and people would flock to it. Heinlein dared him to try, and the result was the book, Dianetics. The book succeeded far beyond Hubbard’s expectations, and he was still laughing on the day he died, laughing that none of the folks who bought into it could see the obvious chicanery…..

You see, he left a very obvious clue in the structure of the book, a clue that immediately throws the entire book into the realm of fantasy. Science, by definition, is about measuring the universe, and to measure, one needs mathematics. In the entire book, there is not one mathematical principle, and no other evidence of any scientific method. The entire philosophy was a mental exercise, sheer intellectual masturbation, produced by a creative genius out of the fabric of his own mind, for the single purpose of pulling the wool over people’s eyes. It has succeeded beyond any expectation, and I think it’s hilarious……
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“It’s like brother Nietzsche said–being human is a complicated gig, so give that dark night of the soul a hug and howl the eternal yes.

Yes! Howl it loud! And leave the guilt at home…..”life tastes better in big bites” (Lazarus Long) Too many folks get caught up in the everyday drudgery that afflicts most of us in this culture, and in doing so, forget to take the time to nourish the spirit. A moment of two of play, laughing with a friend, splurging on that special blouse, just some kind of reward to yourself for putting up with all the demands made on us by everyday life, and not losing control enough to start biting people. (If I haven’t said it before, that’s a tough one for me; when I get worked up, it makes me want to bite somebody bad….) Not doing so is a good thing, and justifies a little pampering and self-indulgence. Life is tough enough, and trying to get through it without letting off some steam now and again is a fool’s game. And you can’t win if you don’t play…..
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Given a conflict, Murphy’s law supersedes Newton’s.

Murphy, that playful, grinning SOB, besides being an a__h__, is unfortunately a manifestation of one of our universe’s general laws, to wit: Entropy. He represents that power of chaos that permeates every molecule in existence, and provides the balance to the general orderliness of reality. His presence at every human interaction, and every human action, for that matter, is ubiquitous, and keeps us from ever getting completely comfortable in our skins, never knowing when the other shoe will drop. It gets to be a real pain after a while, especially when, like with me, Murphy takes a personal interest in our activities, and follows me around just waiting for the right moment to drop a load of manure on my head (figuratively speaking, of course….). He particularly loves it when I sit down to play solitaire, as it seems his greatest delight is to stack the decks so I lose, but only after ten minutes of trying to uncover that last king, or even longer trying to find an ace to play. I think it’s because he knows I don’t like him much, but hey, that’s not gonna change, so I guess both of us will just have to get used to it……and that’s the name of that tune……
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“Humankind cannot stand very much reality.” — T.S. Eliot

This is probably why most humans spend so much of their time foolishly trying to deny reality, or change it into something more like what they want or expect. I think most, if not all, people are unhappy with their lot in life, at least in the respect that they wish to make changes that will enable them to be more comfortable. What they seldom realize is that all their efforts are for naught; reality changes to suit itself, according to the precepts of natural law, and any changes we humans make are ephemeral, temporary at best, and completely useless for the most part. So, these folks have a tendency to ignore or deny reality, and then can never understand why they never seem to get anywhere. They have no notion of where they are going, so that is where they end up, once again disappointed and confused, a state all too familiar to most folks…..Accepting reality, and working within its constraints, is a much surer way to obtain at least some of what we want in life…….and less frustrating for sure…..
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Each time that Americans hold another election, about the only thing they learn is that they did not learn much from the last election.

Politics, necessary evil that it is, has been in the control of the wickedly avaricious for a number of years now. There is no longer any possible way for a normal, middle class person to be elected to any of the higher offices in our government. It takes a minimum of 5 or 10 million dollars just to think about entering the fray, and that is before money gets collected from supporters. That is the ‘ante up’ amount that qualifies one to be allowed to be considered.

So what does this mean for those of us not in the ‘ruling class’? It means that the only power we have left to us is in our vote, and only about a third of Americans can usually work up the interest to bother voting at all. In the election prior to this last one, the Shrub’s second stolen term, the figures worked out to show that he was elected with a mere 15% of the American voters choosing to give him their vote. That means we chose our leader (superficially) by letting about 5-10% of our population determine who will lead the rest of us. Pretty scary, eh?

But it’s not going to change, at least not until more than just myself, and a few like-minded miscreants, want to make a radical change, and take back the power and freedom that we have let slip away. And since I can’t seem to find any of the others who feel this way, I guess I’ll just have to do as I always do…..stay alert, and be ready to jump, because things are going to get pretty nasty our there, when all of the chaos and entropy we have been attempting to ignore rushes in and sends us down the same road as the dinosaurs, and the Dodo bird…..
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Well, gosh, I feel like I just got started, and here I am done. Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess. The weather out in the Big Blue Room looks pretty cold and blustery; we’re deep into fall now, and winter’s just down the street. It’s a good day for being indoors, and a good day to be thankful for having the wherewithal to be able to stay indoors, out of the inclement weather. There are a lot of our fellow humans out there who don’t have that luxury…….y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Marmosets in plaid waistcoats…..

Ffolkes,
It’s a strange morning….nothing seems to want to settle down in my head long enough to get it on screen. Even the usual bits of nonsense or profundity aren’t happening, nor is any new character popping up demanding I write their story. I could write a story about Noah, or a memorial for my Mom, but I would indubitably start crying halfway through, and I’m just not in the mood for grief today. So far today, the only agreeable activities I’ve taken part in were my first few sips of coffee and picking out the Pearls for this issue. There is something soothing to my spirit about the picking out of each day’s offerings. I think it probably has to do with the Pearls themselves. By taking each into my consciousness and considering it according to the criteria my mind has developed (I don’t know what the criteria are, as I just observe the process, without taking an active part), there is an uplifting, wholesome side-effect that leaves me feeling, if nothing else, better than I had been. I guess it makes sense; happiness is contagious, and mere contact with thoughts that produce the higher emotions can infect the spirit with positive germs. Just like when you’ve got the Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie-woogie Blues, and the only cure is some Good Lovin’!
Now I’m proud…..the above paragraph, complete with cute nonsensical conclusion that, despite its nonsensical nature, provided a logical end to a series of loosely connected thoughts that were heading precisely nowhere, with one short line that brought the entire mess to a much-needed end. I’m also encouraged, as serendipity seems to be in the neighborhood, so who knows what good things might be encountered today, even if we weren’t looking for them? In any case, I’ve babbled long enough, and should probably go do something constructive…..please enjoy today’s Pearls, if only for their positive germs…..

“Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without
fighting.” — Sun Tzu (fl. c. BC 500)

Of all forces acting on man, change is the most beneficial and the most cruel.–unknown

I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
— Oft in the Stilly Night

“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.” — John Churton Collins

An it harm none, do what thou will. — Wiccan Credo

A fine looking group, think you not? A good omen for a new day….. y’all take care out there….


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!