Lost on a red brick road, searching in vain for Oz….

Ffolkes,

Seven days to go until my last indulgence for the year is to begin…. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but, Patricia and I will be taking another cruise a week or so from now… (nine days, technically, but, we don’t count today, and we don’t count the day we board…. only the days between us and the event count…. That way, we are allowed to get enthusiastic when it gets below double figures, and that comes sooner using this method… It’s all in the wrist, see, and how you look at it…. really….) It’s a seven day cruise, out of SF, to Ensenada, Mexico, and back, with stops in Santa Barbara, Long Beach/L.A., and San Diego. before getting to Ensenada.

Any who, I can hardly wait, especially since it is looking more and more likely that I won’t be able to afford another one for a long time, because the stupid assholes in Congress are willing to completely trash the economy for the next 10 years or so in order to keep from showing any sort of willingness to compromise, or show any sort of minimal intelligence.

According to the most trustworthy financial experts, the actions of these fools are sure to push the economy to the brink of another massive recession, exactly as they did back in the Reagan era, and as will continue to happen as long as Reaganomics, or any other form of Republican conservatism, is given ANY CREDENCE AT ALL….

The fiscal policies that conservatives believe in are much of a type with their religious views, i.e. delusional at the very base of it. Just like there is no Caucasian senior citizen with a big white beard, sitting up in the sky, making judgments about our morality, there is no fiscal magic bullet, and it is delusional to think that taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich is going to make it all better for the middle class….

It doesn’t make any sense, arithmetically, mathematically, financially, morally, or by any other set of standards you wish to apply. No matter what anyone tells you, or how nice a suit they’re wearing, if they tell you that you can trust them about this sort of elitist bullshit, well, ffolkes, you’ll get exactly what you deserve…

I’m not sure how I fell into a rant, when I started out telling y’all about my upcoming trip…. but, I guess all of this has been in the forefront of my mind for some days, and I’m getting pretty upset about these gobshites…. I’ll rant about this below, anyway, as I’ve got some great stuff already picked out to direct the discussion… In fact, today’s piece may just combine my usual two targets into one rant, if I can work it….

But, it won’t happen if I write it all in the intro, so, since I’ve already rambled through about five or so paragraphs, without ever touching very strongly on any of what I wish to say, I’m sure the authorities won’t object if we just get on with it for the day, and leave the intro in the very common piss-poor state it’s in…. And, if nothing else, I got a full cup of coffee into me, which is a good sign, and bodes well for my typing speed for the rest of the day….

Shall we Pearl?…..

Mourn not the dead…
But rather mourn the apathetic throng —
The cowed and meek
Who see the world’s great anguish and its wrong,
And dare not speak.

— Ralph Chaplin (1887-1961)
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“Carlyle said that men were mostly fools. Christianity, with a surer and more reverent realism, says that they are all fools. This doctrine is sometimes called the doctrine of original sin. It may also be described as the doctrine of the equality of men. But the essential point of it is merely this, that whatever primary and far-reaching moral dangers affect any man, affect all men. All men can be criminals, if tempted; all men can be heroes, if inspired. And this doctrine does away altogether with Carlyle’s pathetic belief (or any one else’s pathetic belief) in ‘the wise few.’–  — G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

This statement is an excellent overview of the Christian elitist philosophy that has, patently, and demonstrably, been the primary cause behind almost all the major problems now afflicting the human race, as we struggle against our own nature to keep from committing species suicide…. It shows quite clearly the attitude that is the key factor in how most Christians view the world at at large, which is to say, as their own property, as Lords of Creation…. It also shows the attitude of entitlement, so unjustly claimed, that almost every Christian feels, surrounded as they are by the blanket of invulnerable certitude….

“Self-righteousness is a leading cause of blindness.” — Smart Bee

Even the most intransigent Christian will usually admit the correctness of this…. until it is applied to them. They don’t see their own beliefs as being self-righteous…. Wait, no that is wrong…. they DO see themselves as self-righteous, but, they believe that, because they are convinced they are right, they have a perfect right to be that way…. It’s slightly different, and much more dangerous for society, in that respect, for it gives them, in their own minds, carte blanche to decide what is right for everyone else, too….

“God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it…..” is a popular catch-phrase in their clique, as it both states their main philosophy, and at the same time, indicates their complete and utter refusal to consider any other ideas…. (Thereby protecting them from ever having to think for themselves, and, more importantly, from having to even think at all….Just nod your head, praise Jesus, and live forever, no matter what you’ve done here on Earth….)

Then we come to their perverted view of “equality”…. I’m sorry, ffolkes, but the old saw about “everyone is equal” or even, “everyone is created equal” is just so much bullshit, and anyone with even half a brain can see it isn’t true…. People are not equal…. they may have equal rights….. to life, to love and to any other part of life that they can, and are willing to defend…. But, in the real world, the one we’ve all agreed to call Reality, nobody is equal, my friends….

If you believe they are, well, I’d be happy to demonstrate several ways in which you are not superior, or, if you prefer, how you are worse at some things than others, and how, most certainly, you are not equal, to someone, or anyone else…. People DON’T have equal abilities…. some are faster, some are smarter, (…. Gee, I wonder who that might be?….  🙂   ), some are better cooks, some dance better…. it all depends on a lot of factors, none of which support the idea that everyone starts out the same, or ends up the same….

But, these misguided fools would have us believe that everyone “is equal in God’s eyes”…. a statement that their every act denies…. If they truly believed that, then how do they account for all their missionaries? What kind of attitude is it presenting when you are going out to force religious beliefs on whomever there is in the world who has different ideas, especially in “backward” countries, defined as people who have never been exposed to their particular form of insanity in the past? If they really believed in equality, they would acknowledge the possibility of truths other than their own, and that other people don’t require their condescension to live honorably….

Now, in modern times, we come to the Tea Party, an entity which, to me, is the most terrifyingly ignorant, and most dangerous, form of human political interaction to come out of the last 60 years. It represents, in part, the culmination of that much time of people trying, time after time, to prove that Reagan was right…. This, in spite of the incredible amount of evidence that all of his policies not only did not, and do not, work, but, in reality, will actively cause more problems than they will ever solve, conclusions drawn directly from the Reality of the last 40 years, watching the economy repeatedly go down the tubes from having adopted his ideas for a time….

These people, and I use the term loosely, with their white Christian sense of entitlement, and delusional belief in their own rightness, are still trying to force the same old crap down everyone’s throat, and are willing to tell any number of lies, of all varieties, and on any subject, in order to accomplish the purported purpose… Witness, if you will, the sheer effrontery of the following statements by the people responsible for the government shutdown…. I tried to count the number of sheer fabrications I read, but, I couldn’t count that high…. Also, please note the dismissive tone in most of the quotes, as if any argument that might be presented is unworthy of consideration, looking as they are from the lofty heights of their asinine certitude….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/slideshow/Most-outrageous-quotes-on-the-debt-ceiling-71829/photo-5302328.php

It seems to me that, in spite of the American public’s downright STUPID trust of those who have not earned it, the greater number of people who see stuff such as these egregious confabulations ought to be able to at least SEE what I’m talking about, and begin to question why there are so many inconsistencies and “inaccuracies” in the statements made by their heroes….

Instead, the average Joe in this country, who has a severe dislike for using the empty space between his ears for anything other than a place to wear a gimme cap, preferably with a John Deere logo, will buy every word they hear, and nod their pointy little heads in agreement, even though they have no real idea of what is true, and what is not…

This government shutdown, and the ensuing economic problems that it will create for society, is the direct result of a small number of assholes who found a loophole in the law that would allow them to hold the entire country hostage to their demands, all of which are completely in direct opposite contrast to what society itself wants, or believes…. Every poll made since the start of the shutdown has clearly shown that the majority of this country does NOT agree with what these assholes are doing… a LARGE majority, at that….

But, since they are fully assured of their own invincibility, and protected by their misplaced sense of entitlement, they don’t care, (not that they ever did, it just seemed appropriate to point it out now….), and they stubbornly refuse to consider any compromise…. even though it is becoming increasingly clear they are signaling the end of the Republican Party as a political force in this nation…..

This subject is one I could rant about for days, and, in truth, already have done so…. So, I’m going to cut this short here, and merely restate my position….  The Christian churches, who have saddled Western society with the burdens of their delusions for over 2000 years, along with the political conservatives over whom they have control, in the halls of government, have taken the rest of this nation hostage, and are sending us all into financial ruin, just so they can try to “prove a point”…..

The saddest part is, the point they are trying to prove is one that the nation at large has already rejected, in favor of moving on into the future, and is no longer willing to endure… They may have accomplished the purpose they wanted, though that is not any clearer than any of their arguments, but, in doing so, have alienated so many people, they have effectively ensured their own demise as a political party of any influence….

“I hope, when they die, cartoon characters have to answer for their sins.” — Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

Substitute “politicians and preachers” for “cartoon characters”, and I’m right there with Jack…. Come to think of it, there aren’t a lot of visible differences I can see in the two groups, which just goes to show you, you never know where serendipity will turn up….
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I’m not sure why, but this just seemed like the right poem to go along with today’s subject matter…. Besides, I like it…..

Sonnet To Liberty

NOT that I love thy children, whose dull eyes
See nothing save their own unlovely woe,
Whose minds know nothing, nothing care to know,–
But that the roar of thy Democracies,
Thy reigns of Terror, thy great Anarchies,
Mirror my wildest passions like the sea,–
And give my rage a brother—-! Liberty!
For this sake only do thy dissonant cries
Delight my discreet soul, else might all kings
By bloody knout or treacherous cannonades
Rob nations of their rights inviolate
And I remain unmoved–and yet, and yet,
These Christs that die upon the barricades,
God knows it I am with them, in some things.

~~ Oscar Wilde ~~

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I had originally intended for this section to contain another rant, on an important matter, but, I’m tired of ranting for the time being…. Since I’m in charge, nominally, I’ve made an executive decision to go old-school, just as if it were something new and different…. Not only are we retreating to our default position, we’re going there without parameters, random, harlequin style…. Is that anything like Gang Nam style?…. No? Okay, good….

“It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 785

“One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.” — Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“The universe is as it is because if it were any different, we wouldn’t be here to observe it.” — Stephen Hawking

“If it had not been for the discontent of a few fellows who had not been satisfied with their conditions, you would still be living in caves. Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization. Progress is born of agitation. It is agitation or stagnation.” — Eugene V Debs (1855-1926), American socialist

“I came up with a new Politically Correct term…. Religiously Impaired…. Unfortunately, I don’t know if it applies to atheists or fundamentalists.” — Smart Bee

“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.” — Martin Fraquhar Tupper

One might consider the last quote as the perfect closing statement for such a pearl….. But, that would be like taking my own advice, or something, so we’ll go with the classic format, and add in the seventh star…. which is pretty perfect, itself, IMHO….

ZEUS, n.  The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog.  Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance to the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frumpp insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
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Some days, I’m more equal than others…. If you know what that means, well, you’re a better man than I, Gunga Din…. No, actually, I do know what it means, and in this particular case, it’s a good thing I do…. Let’s see how this came out today…..

Hmm… this one is a bit hard to call…. It SEEMS okay, and it’s got a lot of good stuff in there; I just don’t know if it is coherent enough to make its points… Oh, well, I’ll never know if I don’t post it, so…. Of course, even if I do post it, I still may never know, but, I’ve learned to live with not knowing a lot of stuff I’d like to have on tap…. Bang the drum, slowly, my friends, and let the sunset fill your souls…. until the next sunrise…. 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

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Even tax codes are tasty with hollandaise….

Ffolkes,
“With chattering teeth, wheeling eyes, and muscles tensed, as if in anticipation of a blow, he sits before the object of his reasoned fear, aghast at the level to which feverish apprehension rises uncontrollably. Sheer unbridled terror rules over all courage, bringing the morbid, deathly paralysis that comes to all in such straits. Yet, we see his face harden, and fill with purpose; he reaches up to the table, sets his hands upon the magical keys, and begins, despite, or even because, of his fear…..”

And so begins another day here at ECR, where even the panic inspired by the vision of a blank white screen cannot overcome my unyielding dedication, my purposeful, yet idiotic need to blather out all that is in my head each day. No matter how much sleep it costs me, no matter how little money I make from it, and no matter what anyone says, I will have my way, and will have my say…. If nothing else, it is important, to me, to keep my string unbroken, if a bit frayed. Goodness knows why, but, asking the universe to answer any ‘why’ questions is futile, so we shan’t bother with it…

Not everything in this universe needs an explanation, which I find to be a soothing thought, all in all. It certainly helps me out quite often, as I tend to not worry about the stuff I can’t change, and finding explanations for everything I do gets tiresome very quickly….. It is only other people who wish for us to be up front about motivation, and I’m happy to say, I don’t live by their expectations or desires. That may sound a bit callous, but, in fact, it is not, as I certainly afford them the same courtesy as I demand…. Thus, in my view, and in that respect, the scale is balanced.

I find myself wandering a bit far afield this morning, delving into such a rather abstruse and delicate trend of thought, and I’m wondering if I am quite up to handling it with the required alacrity. My savoir faire, as it were, is not always at its strongest in the mornings, and I’m fairly certain that, if I continue in this vein, I’ll hurt myself…. Since I have no intention of taking any chances of missing my embarkation on Saturday next, (and certainly not because of a failure of savoir faire….), we’ll go on to something a bit less dangerous, from a literary, or even physical, standpoint…. Of course, given the material that usually ends up being presented here, even that may be asking a bit much…..

Oh, well, hell…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.” — George Orwell, 1984

As the story about E. Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, unfolds in the news, I am struck by how the US government is reacting in such a way as to PROVE the accusations that were made, of not merely spying and illegal mining of data from its own citizenry, but of doing so without any oversight, or any legal recourse for its victims.  Even Saint Barack has shed the hooded mantle of secrecy, and is not only admitting that the spying is going on, but is trying to legitimize it in the eyes of the public. At the same time, the legal arm of the government is preparing to bury this young man with a conscience, for blowing the whistle on how far the powers that be have gone, in their quest for absolute control over society.

In the book from which the above was excerpted, 1984, George Orwell painted a vision for us of how things might be, if ever the general public gave up all power to the government…. At the time of its publication, almost all of the things in the book that showed how that worked were not present in real life, except in secret…. However, if one looks at the book now, just about every technological technique used to monitor the populace of the world, is now in play in our world…. Big Brother is now watching us, and if he doesn’t like what we are doing, well, that’s OUR problem, and they will make sure that we are aware of that….

I really want to rant about this today, but, for some reason, my mind is refusing to cooperate… It might have something to do with the fact that this whole scenario makes me almost incoherent with anger…. Anger directed at the government, and at all the lying politicians, and cowardly judges, and  and all of the other assbites who support them, such as the police, the churches, and, sadly, the ignorant and afraid among the citizenry…. I would like to take them all and just shake some sense into them, but, I happen to know they are immune to such treatment, their minds having been indoctrinated into blind obedience before they reached the age of reason…..

“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

What is most infuriating to me is that the people ALLOW this all to take place…. The politicos put out all their lies and illusions, and the people buy into them, without ever examining any of it for truth, or even relevance…. In the last presidential election, over 48 million people, who otherwise might be considered relatively sane, went out and voted for a man who lied to them consistently for six months.  48 fucking million! That is an incredibly large load of stupid, ffolkes, and makes me afraid all over again….

Fortunately, there were enough other ffolkes who didn’t fall for Mitt the Twitt’s line….  They did, however, fall for the line of a man who is, perhaps, even more dangerous, for he is adept at diverting attention away from what he does in secret, by performing public acts that seem to prove he is aboveboard…. which he is not…. I was, at first, encouraged by the election of a black man as president, hoping it signaled a weather-change in society, but, there doesn’t seem to be much difference, ultimately, in what he has done, as opposed to any other president….

If he was at all different, we would not have had the NDAA signed while the nation’s attention was diverted by a holiday; that happened right after he won the second election in 2012.  If he actually intended to fulfill any of the campaign promises he made, he would have done so by now, but, Guantanamo is still open, people are still being detained and questioned in prison camps overseas, where we cannot observe them, and drones ARE being utilized inside American air space, to spy on our own citizens…. Don’t even bother to try to deny any of that, because the proof is all over the news and the internet…. Moreover, he isn’t denying any of it, as he now knows he cannot be stopped, having fooled everyone into compliance, and secured his position until 2016….

I guess I did end up ranting… anger will do that…. I HATE being lied to, by anyone, but, I hate it the most when I am lied to by elected officials. I don’t know why I hate it so much, except that it has been going on for my entire life, and it is a direct contradiction to the way it is supposed to be. We are, theoretically, supposed to elect the candidates who demonstrate the most honesty and integrity, but, due to the extreme gullibility of the public, we always end up with the candidate who is the most convincing liar, instead…. It drives me crazy, for sure, but, some might say that is a short drive…. I don’t care, I’m too pissed off to worry about it….

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning  ourself.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“I love my country too much to be a nationalist.” — Albert Camus
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I’ve left the selection of today’s poem for last, though I found the little excerpt by Cowper earlier, and included it for its relevant beauty…. What I found can only be described as appropriate…. it is strange, disturbing, and esoteric by intent, thus making it the perfect counterpoint to what comprises the rest of today’s effort…. Not that what I’ve created isn’t strange or disturbing; I suppose it is more of a type of trim, than a counterpoint… Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy it, if only for its oddity….

There is a pleasure in poetic pains
Which only poets know.

— William Cowper (1731-1800) — The Task, Book ii, The Timepiece, Line 285

Father Death Blues

Hey Father Death, I’m flying home
Hey poor man, you’re all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I’m going

Father Death, Don’t cry any more
Mama’s there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don’t hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts’ll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body’s gone
Father Death I’m coming home

Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we’ll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.

~~ Allen Ginsberg ~~

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All things considered, it’s been a good morning…. This isn’t to say it hasn’t been without its difficulties, but, I’m trying really hard not to be a whiner, so we’ll pass over all that, and get on with it…. Here is a seven-star pearl for your delectation, lovingly selected over the last hour from Smart Bee, who has been a bit off, but, came through in the end. The point of this pearl is related to the above rant, but, not so’s you could tell at first glance…. Don’t sweat it, it’s all good stuff, even without the point, and who wants a point that’s all belabored, anyway, right?…. So, make sure you have your chopsticks, the protective bib provided for your convenience is in place, and you should be able to get through it without any new laundry bills…..

“You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.” — Wendell Berry

“All things come round to him who will but wait.” — Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Tales of a Wayside Inn, The Student’s Tale

“Against those skilled in the attack, the enemy does not know where to defend.  Against the experts in defence, the enemy does not know where to attack.” — Sun Tzu

“What matters today is not the difference between those who believe and those who do not believe, but the difference between those who care and those who don’t.” — Abbe’ Pierre

“If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.” — Don Marquis

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say.” — Marshall McLuhan

“The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” — Eden Phillpotts
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Having thus sharpened my wits as far as possible on the whetstone of virtual wisdom, and, convinced I can do no more damage, I will take my leave, once I’ve checked this over for typos, etc., a statement of intent which you are, no doubt, grateful to hear….. Okay, well, that took a while, but, we’re all good to go now…. Having once more defeated the forces of Murphy, if only for a time, I bid thee a fond adieu… Oh, yeah, only five days to go, four, if one looks at it right, and y’all won’t have me to kick around any more…. Just kidding…. Nixon pops up at the weirdest times; I just meant we’ll be off to Alaska on Saturday, come Hell or High Water…. Any who….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

This recipe calls for “floated ferrets”….

Ffolkes,
For a time, it looked as if I was going to make it work….. Then, of course, Reality stepped in to remind me not to make assumptions like that, so, I put aside my anger, and disappointment, and unloaded….

No, sorry, this isn’t going to work, and I’m not speaking in any fictional voice this time…. I had thought to begin today’s Pearl with another spate of fictional fantasy, but, the stuff that is coming to the surface isn’t what I was hoping it would be, quality-wise, and I just don’t feel like forcing it out, then polishing it to a point it would fly unassisted. I don’t like to post stuff that comes out like that; I feel like I’m settling for less than my best….

So, here I am, chatting away, nattering, really, with nothing particularly compelling to say, or discuss…. I guess I could talk about my Life, such as it is, but I doubt that would be any more compelling, and would most likely end up as being much more embarrassing, on a  personal level. Besides, I have found that blogging tends to magnify the apparent size of problems, at least in the sense that issues sound worse than they are, and people get the wrong impression of what is real, inadvertently causing them distress…. It’s best not to get too detailed in these moments of sharing….

I suppose I could mention a new piece of information that I realized regarding my SS disability. Once it begins, I am forevermore restricted from working at all for pay. This, apparently, includes writing books…. If I publish a book, any money I make from its sale will be deducted from what SS pays me as benefits, because it would be viewed as income, meaning, to them, I am able to work…. So, in order to be able to enjoy my retirement without worrying about whether or not I can make anything from what I might write, I must forgo all attempts to better my situation, and must accept no more in compensation than they are pleased to give me, until I die….

From one aspect, I can see the virtue in this, as it seems to say that the money should only be given to people who are unable to make money any other way than the accepted forms of work. In  other words, if one is educated, and able to use their mind for acquiring income, without using the body, then they are not qualified for disability, no matter how badly disabled they may be, or how much it costs them to perform whatever mental functions they do to make money; writing, speaking, etc. It doesn’t seem to matter that they may be doing all that in pain, or at great physical cost; if they make money, they are disqualified to the extent that they are allowed to make no more than they receive from SS….

As usual with any federal bureaucracy, this policy is treated as if it is a religious tract, and the people who make decisions about whether or not to allow exemptions or exceptions to the rule are chosen for their unwillingness to make any changes at all. They are bureaucrats down to the bone, and their sole purpose in life is to maintain the status quo in re: federal regulations, to make sure NOTHING is done to challenge their validity, or make them more flexible, and thus, more able to help the people for whom they are ostensibly designed. That would make too much sense, and would never be allowed to be taken under consideration in any federal institution.

So, I have to decide if I can make more from “potential” book sales than I would make, for certain, as a disabled retiree…. which is a scary proposition, to be sure. There is no guarantee that anything I publish would sell well… One may hope, but it wouldn’t be wise to count too heavily on the tastes of the general public to support me in my golden years…. That particular grouping is a bit too unpredictable to make that something worth betting on with real money…. People are too random to ever let myself fall into that trap….  But, there is also my pride to consider, and my belief in myself….

Ah well, having reached an age where I can use my mind to look ahead, as well as behind, I know the best thing to do for now is NOTHING. I’ll just go along for a while, and see how I like living on disability, and whether the amount I’m able to count on will be enough for my wants…. I know it will meet my needs, for I’ve been doing that for over two years now, on less than half what I’ll be getting….

If what I will be making is enough to fix my financial picture, set up a legacy, and get some traveling done, then I’ll just go with the flow for a while…. Then, when I’ve got several books ready for publishing, I’ll maybe take a chance, and put them on the market…. I figure I’ll need to make about a half-million or so to be able to cover my retirement for the remainder of my time, so, after a time of waiting, I will have a better chance at making it work…. Hey, it’s a plan, anyway…. Even if it doesn’t come to fruition, it’s will give me a direction in which to travel…..

Well, that was certainly chatty and informative, wasn’t it? Being positive y’all are mostly asleep by now, I’ll quickly change directions, and see if the cabin movement will wake anyone up, without frightening anyone with loud noises…. I’m not sure where all this personal chat stuff came from; I guess I’ve been brooding more than I thought, being forced, again, to wait for the bureaucracy to finish grinding its wheels…. I’ve got verbal confirmation, but, so far, nothing else…. Oh well… Since this intro has grown beyond all rational bounds, I’d best be off to dive….  Shall we Pearl?
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I’m uncertain at this juncture whether a rant is on tap, so we’ll begin with an old-school pearl, to see how the waters are today…. Random pattern, with, hmm, let’s see, I know…. I’ll keep the word “truth” in mind today as I cruise, using it as the touchstone for picking today’s pearls, and we’ll see what we can come up with for your edification, and positive delectation…..

“It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 785

“You thought, as a boy, that a mage is one who can do anything.  So I thought, once.  So did we all.  And the truth is that as a man’s real power grows and his knowledge widens, ever the way he can follow grows narrower:  until at last he chooses nothing, but does only and wholly what he _must_ do.” — Ursula K. LeGuin, _A Wizard of Earthsea_

“It is not enough that we swallow truth: we must feed upon it, as insects do on the leaf, till the whole heart be colored by its qualities, and show its food in every fibre.” — Coleridge

“The goal of all life is death.” — Sigmund Freud

“Beware of me, for I am a poet!” — Friedrich Nietzsche, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”

Well, that turned out fairly well….. Let’s see what else we can find…..

“..  does your DRESSING ROOM have enough ASPARAGUS?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Whoops!  😳  Sorry, couldn’t help myself…. One more, then I’ll leave you be for the moment….

“Being intelligent is not a felony.  But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” — Lazarus Long

There you go, a complete, accurate take on truth in advertising in modern America…. Really, it is…. Oh, hell, just let is simmer for a while, until it gets to a consistency you can use….. Meanwhile, we’ll go on….
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I had hoped that a poem was percolating in my head, but, if so, it’s not giving out any advance notices…. so, I will retreat into one of my default positions, and find an appropriate piece by another of my favorites…. We’ll see what Google comes up with today…. Okay, this will do nicely…. Here is one from a most powerful voice; the poem has nothing to do with anything in particular for me today, I just like it….. and so will you, I think….

SWEENEY AMONG THE NIGHTINGALES

APENECK SWEENEY spreads his knees
Letting his arms hang down to laugh,
The zebra stripes along his jaw
Swelling to maculate giraffe.

The circles of the stormy moon
Slide westward toward the River Plate,
Death and the Raven drift above
And Sweeney guards the horned gate.

Gloomy Orion and the Dog
Are veiled; and hushed the shrunken seas;
The person in the Spanish cape
Tries to sit on Sweeney’s knees

Slips and pulls the table cloth
Overturns a coffee-cup,
Reorganized upon the floor
She yawns and draws a stocking up;

The silent man in mocha brown
Sprawls at the window-sill and gapes;
The waiter brings in oranges
Bananas figs and hothouse grapes;

The silent vertebrate in brown
Contracts and concentrates, withdraws;
Rachel née Rabinovitch
Tears at the grapes with murderous paws;

She and the lady in the cape
Are suspect, thought to be in league;
Therefore the man with heavy eyes
Declines the gambit, shows fatigue,

Leaves the room and reappears
Outside the window, leaning in,
Branches of wisteria
Circumscribe a golden grin;

The host with someone indistinct
Converses at the door apart,
The nightingales are singing near
The Convent of the Sacred Heart,

And sang within the bloody wood
When Agamemnon cried aloud,
And let their liquid droppings fall
To stain the stiff dishonored shroud.

~~ T.S. Eliot
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Okay, so I’ve decided to cheat…. I’m feeling lazy, and late, so I’m going to fall back on some of the material I’ve written in the past…. Below you will find two Pearls, both of which were created sometime in 2006 or 2007; it’s hard to tell, but from the format, and the placement in my archives (which are NOT clearly labeled for posterity….), that is about when these first appeared. Both were written for the 250 or so ffolkes who received it when I was sending them out at NSH, from my office in Program 3…. The first is from a Friday, the second is from the following Tuesday, I think…. Any who, I think they’ll be perfect for today’s mood….

Fit is never a problem…

Ffolkes,
No I don’t know, so don’t ask. It is Friday, and it promises to be very….interesting. And it has already been a somewhat remarkable week, in perhaps too many ways. I can’t recall feeling this fatigued, even on a Friday, for a long time. Some of it is no doubt medication related, but the brain is not just tired, but deep-fried. Hence….

Warning: Whimsical when bored.

Paradise : two cubes with dots on them.
Paradox : Dr. Kildare & Doc Holliday

“Consciousness is that which it is not, and is not that which it is.” — Sartre

“This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.” — Winnie the Pooh

Y’all take care out there….

Next, this little gem, from a few days later….

if you have to ask….

Ffolkes,
When I am distressed I tend to retreat; I think that is a natural reaction. What may be the important thing to consider is to where we retreat. What gives us shelter from Reality and its’ harsh and painful nature? Most times I’ll pick up a book, and try to find something in it that eases the pain, or at least postpones it until I can deal. Here is what I found today……

“It did not matter, after all. He was only one man. One man’s fate is not important.
If it is not, what is?
He could not endure those remembered words.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin

Too, too deep, and yet deeper still we shall go, in search of a Truth…

Y’all take care out there…..

So, there you go…. a double blast from the past…. I hope you enjoyed it….  🙂
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Alright, so it turned into a real battle today; this Pearl did NOT come quietly….. But, it’s done. Let’s see how it drapes on the wall….  Aside from the altogether-too-long intro section, not too bad. The intro, though not quite classifiable as a rant, nonetheless used up most of what I might have had to say about either politics or religion today, so, they get a rest, no doubt well-deserved…. I try not to give them very much slack; they already have things too much their own way….

Any who, it all works, I think, for another attempt to rescue my head from tearing itself to shreds from inside…. which is often how it feels in there…. Don’t think too much about it, it will only give you a headache, like it does me…. Better to just ignore it, and now that you’ve finished today’s torturous path through the wilds of Neddom, (homeland of the dubious few, the ONLY place where gigoid’s rules are valid), you can congratulate yourself at having gotten through the experience without bruises, bloodshed, or excessive stains on your character….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Well, it does match the door stop….

Ffolkes,
One week into the six, and my ass hurts already….. I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it all six weeks here in front of the computer without suffering from some major ass bite. Which is fine, if only I had some way to exercise without turning into a lump of pain. That, to me, is the worst part about having the type of pain I do, i.e., I can’t DO anything I used to do, in the way of physical exertion…. it’s all history, thanks to the cumulative effects of hard physical exercise during the first 40 years of my life…..

Some years ago, when I was first seeing my doctor about my back, and the pain therein (which, at the time, was constant and unrelenting….), he told me that my condition was becoming increasingly common in men and women who had been athletic for much of their lives…. It seems that in later years, the body begins to break down faster, and to a greater degree, than those of people who were not so sports oriented. According to him, my years of playing football, basketball, and baseball, when added to my martial arts conditioning, and over 700 fights in which I engaged in my work, all served to take its toll on my back and joints…. If I had stuck with being a nerd, rather than a warrior/nerd, I’d have been better off, it seems….

I found, and still find, it ironic, that the very activities that I was always told would keep me healthy until my dying day are responsible for the rapidly deteriorating tissues and joints that are giving me fits, here in my declining years. And still, because of the way our culture is skewed, sports and physically extreme activities are encouraged, because it is a billion dollar business, selling sports, and sports accessories.

Sports figures are made into cultural icons, and even held up as examples for the young to emulate, no matter how strange or stupid they may be….. There are a number of things that the BRC encourages among the populace, such as sports, for one, that are NOT what they seem to be….. More than anything else, these activities, (the movie industry, travel industry, and others) exist for the benefit of the BRC, not the people, and actually serve to distract the public from what is actually going on…. The public is actually encouraged to take part in these activities, as the leaders know that those things keep the public busy with stuff that really doesn’t matter, and not focused on what they are doing behind the scenes, about things that DO matter….

How the hell did that happen?….. Here I am, only four or five paragraphs into the intro, and I’m ranting already…. I didn’t even notice when I slipped on the Ratty Old Robe of Outrage and started in on the BRC…. it’s becoming too natural, I guess; I barely know I’m doing it…. Well, it could be worse, I suppose…. I could be the kind of person who didn’t give a shit, and not get outraged at all…. which wouldn’t make ME a happy camper, though there might be some who would smile and nod in approval….

Ah well, it’s quite liberating to let that kind of angst out, so I’ll just let it go without further comment, and get on with today’s Pearl…. Once more, I’ve managed to create an intro out of virtually nothing; that’s got to count for something, right? It says so right here on the label….. Right….. Shall we Pearl?….
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“Laws are only words words written on paper, words that change on society’s whim and are interpreted differently daily by politicians, lawyers, judges, and policemen. Anyone who believes that all laws should always be obeyed would have made a fine slave catcher. Anyone who believes that all laws are applied equally, despite race, religion, or economic status, is a fool.” — John J. Miller, And Hope to Die (in _Jokertown Shuffle – Wild Cards IX_)

Fiction is the repository and temple of the Metaphorse…. which explains this passage from a novel I haven’t read, but obviously need to get around to finding, so I can. This is such a perfect statement of Reality in society today, it could only be said in a work of fiction, because anyone stating this in the public venue would be shouted down by the aforementioned politicians, lawyers judges, policemen, and may I add, preachers/priests and the rest of the priestly hierarchies…. none of whom would wish for the truth of the idea become commonly held knowledge, or even a point of discussion…. They have too much invested in keeping things just as they are to allow any such utterance, without the protection of metaphor….

With metaphor, in both prose and poetic form, the truth can be intimated, and made clear for those who otherwise would never even consider the concepts involved, without being connected directly to Reality itself. Most of society has been brainwashed since birth, and are trained to accept as true anything told to them in a newspaper, on a TV by a person in a suit, or by someone holding a Bible, no matter how disconnected from Reality that may be. Reading things in a book, a piece of fiction, they are taught, is suspect, and not to be believed without corroboration from someone in authority….

“God said it, the Bible told me, and I believe it, so that’s the end of it!”  How many people do you know who would say that? It saddens me no end to know that even I, who tend to drive that sort of person crazy in no time at all, know several folks who feel this way. I have to say, if nothing else, these folks are stubborn, but, stubbornness is not always a survival technique… it can also serve as a death warrant. One has to learn to give up knowledge that is shown indisputably to be false, or face consequences not to their liking.

As I’ve stated before, I have no issue with ffolkes who are sincerely devout in their beliefs…. I’ve found that people who do try to live by the rules that Jesus put forth are generally good people, with good instincts, and have a lot of compassion and kindness in their nature.  I have at least two people in my own family who fit that description, and at least three of the people with whom I grew up are what I would call true Christians, because they use their faith as a supportive tool to enhance their lives, not as a crutch, or a reason to feel entitled…..

In other words, they don’t use their faith as a mask, to hide from the world what they really are like inside…. or, as tool of manipulation, to further their own agenda, which generally involves theft from everyone else, in one form or another….. I have found, by experience with real people in the real world, that a good 95% of those who claim to be Christians are NOT true believers…. Only about 5% of those who call themselves Christians make any attempt to live up to that social reformer’s rigorous standards….

Of that figure, 95% of all self-identified Christians, the great majority can be considered, and are generally labeled, as the ignorant masses, whose minds have been under the control of someone else their entire lives. The smaller percentage of that number, probably only about 1 or 2% of the 95%, are those who either don’t believe in the dogma at all, but use it as the modus operandi for their sociopathy, or those who at least believe it on the surface, but only because it is to their advantage to do so… They would believe anything at all, if it kept them in power….

“Always watch where you are going.  Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

I’m not sure whether those who stubbornly cling to their faith (i.e., they walk through the Forest with eyes closed….) are like that because of their nature, or their nurture, and in the final analysis, it doesn’t matter. But, it sure would be nice, for those of us who ARE aware of the truth behind the lies we’ve been told all our lives, to have a few more of us out there, working against the small percentage of people who are taking advantage of the massive ignorance and apathy of the great masses of people, who don’t have the time or mental energy to care about anything but what is happening right in front of them.

Those who control society for their own personal benefit, without any regard for the rest of humanity’s suffering at their hands, aren’t going to change, and they aren’t ever going to give up what they’ve got without a struggle…. I can only wish for enough ffolkes like myself, who can see the truth, to find a way to save at least a few of our species, if only for some galactic zoo of extinct species…… If enough of us get together, there is still a small chance, though the odds of success are diminishing, second by second….

“I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.” — John Wayne

(Did your jaw drop as far as mine when you read that?)

Bah! Enough pessimism for one day…. let’s go find something a bit more uplifting, shall we?….. As a parting thought, please note the following, which serves to illustrate and define the general feeling in modern society, in terms of ethics and morality…. Consider, if you will, the cultural paradigms that are needed to make this statement a joke, one that no one at all would think was out of place…. In other words, by its calm acceptance of the implied lack of ethics, it shows how deeply ingrained is the attitude (made crystal clear by Mr. Wayne…), in the members that make up that society….

“I think our No.1 problem is that nobody wants to take responsibility for anything, but don’t quote me.” — Randy Glasbergen, “The Saturday Evening Post
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The Meehoo with an Exactlywatt

Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Me!
Me who?
That’s right!
What’s right?
Meehoo!
That’s what I want to know!
What’s what you want to know?
Me, who?
Yes, exactly!
Exactly what?
Yes, I have an Exactlywatt on a chain!
Exactly what on a chain?
Yes!
Yes what?
No, Exactlywatt!
That’s what I want to know!
I told you – Exactlywatt!
Exactly what?
Yes!
Yes what?
Yes, it’s with me!
What’s with you?
Exactlywatt – that’s what’s with me.
Me who?
Yes!
Go away!
Knock knock…

~~ Shel Silverstein — from the book “A Light in the Attic” (1981)
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Having spent most of my severe angst in section one, I’m not even going to try to start another rant, but will instead move right to an old school pearl…. Gotta save a little of that negative energy in case some store clerk gets uppity….    🙂

This one is truly random, with just a hint of order hidden amongst the entropy and chaos, kind of like a hidden treasure, y’know? Well, that’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway. If not, well, it’s all good stuff to think about, and will get us through to the end….. or close enough for our purposes here today…. Someday, I’m going to have to figure out just what that is…..

“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“When you live in the shadow of insanity, the appearance of another mind that thinks and talks as yours does is something close to a blessed event.” — R. Pirsig

“I know th’MAMBO!!  I have a TWO-TONE CHEMISTRY SET!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
(You’ve got to love Zippy’s ability to put his finger on what’s REALLY important!….)

A word is dead
When it is said
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

— Emily Dickinson

“Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman–a rope over an abyss. A dangerous across, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and stopping.” — Friedrich Nietzsche, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”

— Bother! said Pooh, as he talked Kanga and Roo into a threesome.
(Oh, that Pooh!…. such a naughty bear…..)

“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have kindled this inner light.” — Albert Schweitzer

Well, there you go…. If y’all can’t figure out a moral, or a hint of one, from that seven, well, I’m failing in my task…. But, if you can’t, no worries, as it’s my fault for being too obscure, and not leaving enough sign posts to the clues…. We don’t grade in this class anyway, it’s not even pass/fail, and doesn’t count toward graduation…. In fact, the only way to take this course is to audit it unofficially…. Ah well, as I said, they will all stand alone, anyway, so…. if nothing else, enjoy!….
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I don’t like to judge these Pearls as they go out, other than from the basic standards I apply to everything I do in life, so I’m not going to say anything about this one except I’m satisfied with it, and it’s done…. Those last three words alone make it all worthwhile, given the effort it took to get there…. So be it…. there’s another three appropriate words for today….    🙂

Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Saving the pieces for posterity…..

Ffolkes,
For the first time since starting this blog, I’ve missed posting for two days, which one or two of y’all might have noted. On Saturday, I woke up with a raging head cold, spewing fluids from one chamber in my head to another with every cough and sneeze, and aggravating all my incipient pain. It has been, to be brief, a miserable two days, to be sure. I did write…. enough material, in fact, that today’s post won’t suffer for originality, at minimum. In fact, I’m adding an extra section today, just so I don’t have to sit on this stuff for too long….

Having done virtually nothing in the past two days but sleep, to the tune of about 19 hours a day, I’m feeling fairly rested, if still a bit congested. I’ve decided to acknowledge my age, and not test my limits by trying to act normal yet, so, I’ll get to the library later, to post this, but I’ll probably nap first, and afterward, to make up for the effort I know it will entail….. Another point for foresight, eh?…. It’s times like this I kind of wish I could have afforded to keep my car; it would be nice not to have to try to depend on bus schedules, especially with the cold, wet weather we’ve been having. Makes it hard on us poor folk, don’t ya know?….

I wrote an intro section on Saturday, but, most of it has turned irrelevant in the ensuing time, so it is being done over. I hate to throw out anything already composed, but, it really was whiny, anyway, and isn’t any loss. It’s not as if I ever run out of stuff to write, is it? I can’t seem to shut it off, not that I’d wish to, but, some overt control would be welcome at this late date….

Strangely enough, my head is relatively empty this morning, at least of material I want to put down. It is most likely a good thing I already have enough done for today; last time I wrote too much ahead of real time, I got all lost and confused, if only in my own head, and it was a mess, figuratively speaking. Today, instead, you’re getting everything I did while not posting, just to get it out of my way….. Don’t worry, it’s not bad, and not TOO long….relatively….. Without further ado, Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its one sure defense.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910), Notebook, 1888

I’m positive I’ve used this in the past; it’s too good, and too familiar an idea for me to have passed it up. Since I have no idea when I did use it, it’s okay to use it again, according to the loose rules I go by around here…. This idea is one I embraced many years ago, even before the Beatles used the Blue Meanies vs. Laughter & Love as a metaphor for life, in their movie, Yellow Submarine. It seems I’ve always known that things that live and thrive in the dark, things that exist only to cause pain and misery in the world, cannot stand up to the light of laughter, or the power of love. It is almost a sad sight to watch a bully deflate and slink off when laughed at, rather than accommodated….. It might be sad,  if it weren’t so satisfying….

In the twentieth century, George Carlin was probably the best defender of liberty, one of the most adept at using irreverence, and original critical thought, to poke fun at the ruling cadre. He was merciless at exposing the true motives held by those rulers, making it plain for all how the crap that people put up with in life is deliberate on the part of the ruling classes. His biting wit was graphic, clear, and undeniably true, for he never made statements that weren’t drawn from real life experience, with vivid evidence of chicanery on the part of the elite, in support of his assertion of their evil intent. He did all this, and made us laugh about it, and at them, and, most importantly, at ourselves….. Only the very best can do that…..

He took his vorpal sword in hand
Long time the manxom foe he sought
Till rested he by the tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought

— _Jabberwocky_, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson)

In today’s world, manxom foes are much easier to find, so thoughtful moments by the tumtum tree aren’t required as often. By this bit of nonsensical reality, I’m trying to make a point, one that escapes me completely, now that I’ve started the process. I really did have a thought that made this verse appropriate, or at least comprehensible from an odd viewpoint, but, for the life of me, I can’t find it anywhere in my head.

It had to do with bullies, and the Beloved Ruling Class (two interchangeable entities, to be sure….), and was actually, according to my memory, quite elegantly powerful in its indictment of the BRC as assholes….. It’s too bad I can’t remember it…. Just go look at a picture of a politician, or the Pope, or somebody of that ilk, and spit at the image…. you’ll get the idea, and feel better, too…..

“The last Christian died on the cross.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

Now you’re talking! That’s the way, Friedrich, you tell ’em! I happen to agree with this statement quite strongly, and couldn’t have said it better. Tom Jefferson was of the same opinion, in fact, ….

“But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State.” — Thomas Jefferson, [letter?] To S. Kercheval, 1810

Tom was quite outspoken in his indictment of the entire class of those who lie to others, for power and personal gain…..

“They [preachers] dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live.” — Thomas Jefferson

Ah me, such rants as these can go on forever, if we let them. There is always more ammunition to fire off, so we don’t have to condemn all of them at once, I guess. We’ll leave some for a later date….. For now, let me leave you with more timeless wisdom from our favorite insane person…..

“I know things about TROY DONAHUE that can’t even be PRINTED!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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” I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear friend, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

This statement, to me, is the modern version of a literary Holy Grail….. Not merely the beauty of the ideas expressed herein, but the elegance of the expression is of such power it is almost magical. “…you will… live along some distant day into the answer.” Even though presented in prose form, this is poetry at its finest. I say it is the Holy Grail because I can only hope to seek such power and grandeur, such obvious compassion, and love for life, in my writing, and wish with all my being that I find it….. Here is a poem from Rainer….. for balance….

Black Cat

A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place
your sight can knock on, echoing; but here
within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze
will be absorbed and utterly disappear:

just as a raving madman, when nothing else
can ease him, charges into his dark night
howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels
the rage being taken in and pacified.

She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen
into her, so that, like an audience,
she can look them over, menacing and sullen,
and curl to sleep with them. But all at once

as if awakened, she turns her face to yours;
and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny,
inside the golden amber of her eyeballs
suspended, like a prehistoric fly.

Rainer Maria Rilke
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“Reality is the flaw in the perfection of nothingness.” — Nyarlathotep, Reed College, Portland, OR –

“So sure are you! Tried have you? Always with you it can’t be done. Hear you nothing that I say? Try not. Do! Do! Or do not. There is no try.” — Yoda [The Empire Strikes Back]

“And I said to myself be still, wait without hope. For hope would be hope of the wrong thing. Wait without love. For love would be love of the wrong thing. Wait without faith. For the faith and the hope and the love are all in the waiting.” — T.S. Eliot

“Food, sleep, fear, propagation; each is the common property of men with brutes. Virtue is really their additional distinction; devoid of virtue, they are equal with brutes.” — The Hitopadesa (600?-1100? A.D.)

O love, could thou and I with fate conspire
To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire,
Might we not smash it to bits
And mould it closer to our hearts’ desire?

— Omar Khayyam [tr. FitzGerald]

So, there I was, still in relatively massive discomfort, cruising through Smart Bee, and letting my unconscious mind pick out pearls to make a pearl. (Or are those oysters?…. Never mind….)  Once again, I am unsure of exactly what my unconscious is trying to say, but, damn, it sure said it well, didn’t it? In reality, or as close as we ever approach that state on this blog, it makes a very cogent statement about the structure of human nature, if not exactly claiming to be a complete explanation, or even representation, of that nature. Given my current mental condition, I think it’s the best for which we can hope….. It’s just been one of THOSE days, y’know?….. But, really, this isn’t a BAD pearl, it’s just obscure… so it should fit right in, right? Right?….. Well, maybe not….. Ah, the hell with it…..
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(This is an extra pearl, brought to you by the cold virus, rhinus virusii, and by the word, “plonk”……)

“When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations.  When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence.  When power corrupts, poetry cleanses, for art establishes the basic human truths which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.” — John F. Kennedy

For a long time now, I’ve been ranting periodically, about a certain flaw in human nature I have observed, a flaw that all of us possess to some degree. This flaw is the tendency to manipulate other people for personal gain, rather than mutual benefit. We all manipulate; if we didn’t, we’d starve. This is a lesson we learn in our first days on Earth, as we find out that our cries will bring attention, food, and comfort. To varying degrees, our lessons in this sort of manipulation of other people continue on to adulthood…. The difference in degree we learn arises from several factors, both environmental and genetic, and is the crux of the problem our species faces now…..

You see, after a certain point, most folks don’t wish to make others do for them what they can do for themselves; it is more satisfying to accomplish something when one knows exactly what one has done to achieve it. But, a certain number of people decide, at an early age, usually, that they enjoy the power of getting others to follow their suggestions, and start finding ways to make their manipulations acceptable to others, even though those ways are immoral and unethical. These folks learn how to lie with a straight face, convincing the naive to allow them to act or think for them, because it is to their advantage. In reality, the entire manipulation is designed to benefit only the perpetrator of the lies…..

So, time passes, and these trained liars become preachers, and politicians, and lawyers, and anyone else in society who learns they can have far more than they ever need, or deserve, by hoarding resources for their own use, by writing laws, by manipulating society in ways that are advantageous to them, rather than being a boon to society. They lie, they cheat, they steal, and they tell everyone they are doing it “for YOU!”  Most insulting of all, they use the pretense of “morality” to disguise their true intentions.

“Morality is the best device of all for leading mankind by the nose.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

These foul flibbertigibbets have their flunkies to make the laws for them in Congress, they have the hawks in the military to protect them from the “heathens”, they have their judges in their pockets to rule in favor of business rather than people. And, they have the preachers proselytizing the great, unwashed masses of humanity to control them, masses who never question anything they do, but continue to put their heads down and slog away, trying to win a game that was fixed from the start…..

When looking at JFK’s statement above, one might believe that he had the public in mind when he said this, and that he was indeed a champion of the people. Myself, I have a hard time seeing anyone worth over a billion dollars as a champion of the people, no matter how sincere they might sound. More likely, what he says above is merely a sop to public opinion, stated as a means of convincing the common man that he has something in common with them…. a tough sell for a boy who grew up in the biggest compound in Hyannisport, the bastion of the truly rich.

He would, by this assertion, have us believe that exposure to poetry will moderate the impulse to cruelty among the powerful, a statement which, if examined critically, is seen to be completely untrue. I haven’t seen ANYTHING in particular that has that effect, not in this world…. Technically, the statement may be true, regarding art as the touchstone of judgment, but asking me to believe that a Kennedy, a person who has never had to suffer any such judgments, actually AGREES with it, well, that’s asking too much….

“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport.” — William Shakespeare, “King Lear”

To my mind, politicians, and anyone else who lives by the insane dictates which they do, are like these gods to whom Will refers; they do what they do to us, just because they feel they can, and don’t give a rat’s ass for what anyone else believes. That may sound like a strong indictment, which, hopefully, it is…. In my own defense, I defy anyone at all to disprove the statement. Show me the evidence, if you have any, of how the government, or the churches, or the corporations, or the police, or the courts are acting in a way that is beneficial to the public. I’m willing to look at whatever anyone may have to show me, though I am quite convinced that nobody will be able to do so, as I don’t believe there is any such evidence……

“Perhaps we are wiser, less selfish and more far-seeing than we were two hundred years ago. But we are still imperfectly all these good things, and since the turn of the century it has been remarked that neither wisdom nor virtue have increased as rapidly as the need for both.” — Joseph Wood Krutch

This is a statement you may confidently place in the “fer shure” column, and forgeddaboutit.  All the wisdom we need is already present in the world, I think, but the amount of virtue, or rather, the amount of influence that virtue commands, is severely limited; it is that lack that our nature shows when put to the test of Reality.

It is unfortunate in the extreme that, in this world, there are those who exhibit the flaw, those who don’t, and literally, billions of folks who don’t know, and don’t have time or energy to care, what we’re talking about. The most unfortunate part of this, is that the former group comprises the Beloved Ruling Class, and will, in all their insane glory, bring the rest of us with them down the path to our inglorious demise, unless we can bestir ourselves to wake up and throw them all out on their asses…..

“Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes, and feel with their own hearts.” — Albert Einstein
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“We have standards and expect you not to exceed them.” — Smart Bee

Plainly, I have succeeded in not exceeding any standards whatsoever…. I am just content that I was able to piece together this Pearl; I wasn’t certain I was going to have the strength of will to push through all the residual pain hanging about. It’s done, though; that’s enough for me….. If all this stuff stays in my head too long, it can cause serious issues, and not just for me…. The rest of the world tends to have to put up with it, too…. Hopefully, it isn’t too whiny, or too self-serving; Yoda’s advice about not trying, but, instead, doing, is always timely, isn’t it?…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Trapped in porcine orbs of vision….

Ffolkes,
Herein is set forth the last will and testament of Ned Russell Moore…. Not really, but it is, perhaps, fitting to begin today’s Pearl with that opening line. I am now, as of some hours ago this morning, sixty-two (62) years old, or young, take your pick. The opening line is actually there as a reminder, that I have yet to take care of that little chore, i.e., making a will. Being a non-materialist for virtually all my life (I decided at age 12 I had no interest in getting rich…. seriously, that’s when it happened, because I remember making a conscious decision about it, as it kind of determined the path I would take, academically….), I won’t have a lot to leave, but, there are personal items to bequeath to my children, such as my father’s bronze star, and my books, and hopefully, before I check out, I’ll have saved some of the money I’ll make between now and the fateful day….. which, I hope, is still another 30 or 40 years away. With today’s medical knowledge, that is a distinct possibility, provided my own physical condition doesn’t get any worse than it already is….

It’s funny, in a way…. all my life I’ve never made enough to save a lot of money…. and have been successful at that, having thus far saved none, in fact,  other than the money that went into my retirement and SS accounts, and that was taken out before I saw it, so I’m not sure it really counts as savings. I have always believed that “if you wish a life full of trouble, fill your house with treasures,” so the accumulation of gelt never attracted me very much. I do like to make enough to be comfortable, with an occasional foray into luxury, but the acquisition of a lot of property just never appealed to me. I guess that makes me a bit different than most Americans, who seem to enjoy the piling up of stuff they’ll never be able to use in the next life, or often, even in this one….. makes no sense to me….

“The supreme irony of life is hardly anyone ever gets out of it alive.” — Robert Heinlein

Aha! Eureka! He said, happily…. sorry, silliness seems so appropriate today, somehow…. Any who, while searching for pearls, I found one that explains my whole problem, and gives me a solution, all at once. Gotta love that real wisdom when it rears its ugly if welcome head, right? It’s like this….

“The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.” — Mark Twain

See? Perfect…. This is why it has all gone the way it has, and shows clearly the way to fix whatever may be wrong with it. Of course, that’s assuming there is something wrong with it, “it” being all the stuff I write. Of late, I’ve been less than totally thrilled with the quality, of the material,  of the discussion…. it all seems redundant, or repetitive, which, is, obviously, proof of that part of the assumption, if nothing else. Maybe I need some new subjects to discuss…. I’ll have to think about that…. I had thought that discussing Life, Society, Philosophy, and so forth would pretty much cover the bases, but I’m thinking I need something more down to earth, or lighter in nature, perhaps…. Ah me, the choices are endless, thank goodness…

As you can see, the introspection part of the birthday program has already begun, even though I spent some time at it already. I should probably save some of it for the pearls, rather than using up a bunch of good thoughts in this intro, but, hey, this only happens once a year, thankfully, so I don’t mind splurging a bit. It’ll all come out in the wash, so to speak….. I have yet to find any good material about which to expound, but, since I’ve been very productive already today (you didn’t even notice that I slipped out to go to the grocery store, did you?…. Hah!….), I can afford a bit of slack…. better up my meds though, I can feel the stiffness building…. no worries…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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T’is now almost 1030, and it has already been a very busy little day for me…. For reasons which I’ll not go into now, I got up early to go to the grocery store, and was back here by 0845, sweaty but unbowed, and still with time to work on a Pearl…. I’ve been dutifully doing that since then, and fell pretty accomplished, all in all, having written some decent prose, percolated a bit of poetry, and researched, formatted, and put together a very nice Art Deco pearl…. so, we are going for an old school pearl here…. they are less time consuming all in all, and require less pure cogitation on my part, since there is distinctly less original material to include…. Any who, all excuses and rationalizations aside, here is a pearl to think about, as it directs your mind hither and thither through the realms of madness and reality…. all at once, hopefully, because Life tastes better in Big Bites!….

“One of the most frightening things in the Western world, and in this country in particular, is the number of people who believe in things that are scientifically false.  If someone tells me that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, in my opinion he should see a psychiatrist.” — Francis H.C. Crick

“Too many people have decided that perfection is boring, preferring a mess that supports their habits instead of a quest that challenges them, but what they forget is that while perfection may be boring the quest for it never is for it reveals the human and the divine inside of us.” — Callan Williams

“I live in my own place have never copied nobody even half, and at any master who lacks the grace to laugh at himself — I laugh.”
— inscribed over the door to Friedrich Nietzsche’s house

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” — H.H. the Dalai Lama

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini
(So THAT’S what I’m doing here!….. Writing the autobiography of an oyster…. hmmm….)

“{I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.” — Garrison Keillor
(Now I know why this show was so popular with middle America….)

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. — Things We Can Learn From Dogs

Well, there’s an eclectic group of pearls, eh, what? I’m not sure just what my subconscious mind was shooting for, but, I have to assume it knows and we’ll let it slide this time…. maybe next time, it will make it a bit more obvious, eh?…… I think it all works, anyway, even if I’m unsure of its precise purpose and meaning…. I guess that makes it a good metaphor for life…..
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The poem I’m gestating is stalled today…. couldn’t get it even a line further on toward completion. Oh well, you, and I, will just have to settle for whatever I come up with via Google when I get to the internet this morning…. let’s see, whom shall we persecute, er, sorry, peruse, today?….. Ah, here is one that appeals to that introspection of which I have spoken…. Enjoy!

A Dialogue Of Self And Soul

i{My Soul} I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
‘Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
Fix every wandering thought upon
That quarter where all thought is done:
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul
i{My Self}. The consecrates blade upon my knees
Is Sato’s ancient blade, still as it was,
Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass
Unspotted by the centuries;
That flowering, silken, old embroidery, torn
From some court-lady’s dress and round
The wooden scabbard bound and wound
Can, tattered, still protect, faded adorn
i{My Soul.} Why should the imagination of a man
Long past his prime remember things that are
Emblematical of love and war?
Think of ancestral night that can,
If but imagination scorn the earth
And intellect is wandering
To this and that and t’other thing,
Deliver from the crime of death and birth.
i{My self.} Montashigi, third of his family, fashioned it
Five hundred years ago, about it lie
Flowers from I know not what embroidery —
Heart’s purple — and all these I set
For emblems of the day against the tower
Emblematical of the night,
And claim as by a soldier’s right
A charter to commit the crime once more.
i{My Soul.} Such fullness in that quarter overflows
And falls into the basin of the mind
That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind,
For intellect no longer knows
i{Is} from the i{Ought,} or i{knower} from the i{Known — }
That is to say, ascends to Heaven;
Only the dead can be forgiven;
But when I think of that my tongue’s a stone.
i{My Self.} A living man is blind and drinks his drop.
What matter if the ditches are impure?
What matter if I live it all once more?
Endure that toil of growing up;
The ignominy of boyhood; the distress
Of boyhood changing into man;
The unfinished man and his pain
Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;
The finished man among his enemies? —
How in the name of Heaven can he escape
That defiling and disfigured shape
The mirror of malicious eyes
Casts upon his eyes until at last
He thinks that shape must be his shape?
And what’s the good of an escape
If honour find him in the wintry blast?
I am content to live it all again
And yet again, if it be life to pitch
Into the frog-spawn of a blind man’s ditch,
A blind man battering blind men;
Or into that most fecund ditch of all,
The folly that man does
Or must suffer, if he woos
A proud woman not kindred of his soul.
I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.

William Butler Yeats
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_____oOOo_=^..^=_oOOo_____ — The cats ARE watching… — Smart Bee

No deep concept here…. I just thought this was cute, as well as creative. I miss my cat, Tony, who lived with Noah and I for several years…. He thought Noah was his big brother, and followed him around everywhere. When Noah got old, and it got hard for him to get up the stairs where we lived, Tony would walk behind Noah, batting at his butt with his paws to encourage and help him get him up the steps. His favorite place to sleep was cuddled up to Noah, too. Once, when Noah was feeling a bit stiff, and feeling his age, Tony walked up to him, sniffed gently at his ear, then gave him a couple of head bumps, then a couple licks on the muzzle, before settling in next to him, where he lay next to him and purred for hours…. He really loved ol’ Noah, Tony did….

I’m going to go for what I call an Art Deco pearl here…. below are some quotes about cats, and some very fine pictures that show the many sides of Cat…..

“The only mystery about the cat is why it ever decided to become a domestic animal.” — Compton MacKenzie, “Cats’ Company”

“A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning a valuable lesson. He’ll never be dim, or doubtful. Chances are he won’t carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!” — Mark Twain
In ancient Egypt, cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this. — Smart Bee
    And, how can we not love an animal who starts out life like this?…..
    I believe these pictures were all found on Facebook…. including this perfect picture to bid thee adieu!….
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“Hi there!  This is just a note from me, to you, to tell you, the person reading this note, that I can’t think up any more famous quotes, jokes,  nor bizarre stories, so you may as well go home.” — Smart Bee

Ack! Nooooooo! It can’t be true…. Smart Bee is just messing with me, I know it…. and I am so confident of that, I will trust that it will be there just chock full of new, funny stuff the next time I open it up…. And, if not, well, I’ll tear out my hair then, what little is left…. It has been a very interesting path this morning, getting to this point. Now that I’ve completed this Pearl, I must go out and deal with the real world, so as to get it posted today…. and take care of online business while I’m at it…. I’m having a very productive birthday, so here is wishing you all the same kind of positive energy today, and every day….. 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!

Who will pay the price for sanity?….

Ffolkes,
Times of great import are approaching, it is told. Events are to take place that will rock the foundations of our world, while I, an old man with sharp eyes, sit and watch the important people scurry about, involved in their important jobs, communicating their important ideas….. Only us old men see the truth, though…. Nothing is important, it is all an illusion, and nothing will ever change…. So it has been, for centuries, and so it will remain, as long as men wish to feel important…..

I don’t think it will come even close to winning the Bulwer-Lytton Award, but it’s pretty bad, nonetheless, don’t you agree? Sadly, when I wrote it, I wasn’t trying for bad, but was in fact, until the very end, shooting for a grim sort of eloquence. But, after one read-through, that goal went by the wayside….. Not everything can be worth writing, I suppose, and that paragraph certainly falls into that category…. We’ll just pretend it didn’t happen, and go on, okay?…. No need to mention this to the doctors, or the overseers, now is there?….. I wouldn’t want to lose my privileges over it…..

Actually, I’m sitting here this morning, a bit dazed…. I feel pretty good…. The pain pill I took two hours prior to getting up might have helped a lot, but, all in all, this is the best I’ve felt of a morning in, well, a long time… in recent memory at least, and damn if it isn’t encouraging! Payday is near, I have food left, thanks to those friends who won’t seem to let me go under, the coffee tastes like ambrosia, and I’m not feeling any blockage of my writing mode…. there is HOPE! It’s amazing, really, how much feeling better will improve the attitude we face the day with; I must say, it’s awfully nice to NOT have stuff to complain about….

I’m thinking, since I feel so good, even if only in a relative sense, I should get started without further delay. I’m actually looking forward with glee to this morning’s dive for pearls, which hasn’t happened in far too long…. In any case, Shall we Pearl?…..

“Three out of five people aren’t the other two.” — Smart Bee
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“How people play the game shows something of their characters. How they lose shows all of it.” — Smart Bee

This is SO true! Not only is it true, it is beyond true, because it also implies another truth, which also happens to be true…. Funny how that works, eh?…. Any who, what I mean by that is this: How people approach the idea of playing a game at all indicates a lot of things about their mental status, in short, their attitudes, as well as their character. I spent more than a few years providing psychiatric therapy to adolescent and adult individuals, and using games was one of my favorite therapeutic tools. It became a valuable one indeed in being able to gauge a young lad’s, or lass’s, mental attitude, after tossing them a ball, of some kind, and seeing what they did with it….. Within a minute or so, they would reveal a lot about themselves, that would often be useful later in figuring out how to help them.

If they missed catching it, or showed a lot of awkwardness, it would give an indication they hadn’t played much with balls, and perhaps were not sports oriented. If they caught it, then that showed they had some experience and/or interest. How they tossed it back also showed things about them, and the expressions and body language they displayed, while performing the basic physical skills, indicated their degree of familiarity with the movements involved in the different tasks of moving, catching, and throwing. Whether or not they reacted with pleasure, or fear, or surprise, or whatever emotion they display when the ball is tossed to them (a simple, easy toss, not a fastball…. give us a little credit….) also gives some pretty accurate data on how they deal with such surprises, showing how they feel about themselves in the process….

In a basketball game, one could observe to see whether the player understands the team concept, and how to adjust their own play to flow with others. How a person spends the slack time in baseball, while waiting for a pitch, or a delay, can indicate their inner state, as well as their investment in the game…. And if they refused to play at all, then that showed something about their social adaptation skills as well….. Almost everything these young individuals did in relation to playing games, of any kind, whether physical, or table, party, or other types would tell something about their psycho-social development stage, and even give clues about where problems might be encountered in helping them.

Humans have a very long history of experience with games, and though other animals have been noted to have created games, no species has been anywhere near as prolific, or creative, in the ways in which they test themselves, against each other, and against themselves. Historically, of course, many games were designed to develop the skills needed in the culture for warfare, or for business, or for other sorts of competitive interactions with others of other cultures, tribes, or nations.

In the modern world, of course, the business side of games, and the impulse to compete in every human is highly developed, in hundreds, even thousands of different venues…. Professional sports, amateur sports, computer gaming, Olympic sports, mountain climbing, all tests of various degrees of difficulty in the quest to improve the human spirit by improving the mind and body, under the most trying, demanding conditions that can be devised.

Games, whether we actively play them, or sublimate those impulses in other ways, are a part of human culture and society, and permeate all levels of societal interactions…. How many soccer moms are there who never played a game of soccer outside P.E. class in their lives? How many people enter the business world, and pit their minds and will against others in the financial arena…. No one can tell me that the whole stock market isn’t based on gaming theory, not without a lot of charts, easels, and time to expand equations…. and I wouldn’t believe them then….

Our society spends literally TRILLIONS of dollars each year on professional sports, with all their merchandising and high pressure sales of every single physical item involved in either the playing of the sport (Football, baseball, basketball, tennis, hockey, soccer, and literally hundreds of others….), or involved in the following the sport, equipment to play, equipment to watch the professionals play, tickets, posters, jerseys, and other fan merchandise, including the watching of the sport on the entertainment media of choice, also for sale at a store near you….. It is a HUGE part of the American economy, even the world-wide economy, at least in countries that are connected to the media world.

The impulse to play games, however sublimated it may be, is a basic piece of human nature, stemming from the inherent need for the species to improve itself, thereby improving chances for survival. Though society has advanced enough that not everyone has the need to be able to throw a spear or run fast to survive any more, we still have the part of our nature that says we do need to be able to do that…. so we want to practice somehow…. Games are how we practice those skills; always have been, and always will….

Today, practicing survival skills for many involves sitting in front of a TV, with a beer and like-minded former game-players, to watch a game of their favorite sport on TV, and cheer for the good plays…. Or it means taking your kids to soccer practice every week at three different fields around town, “because sports is good for them”…. Or it means a teenager becoming pale and wan from playing a video game for 36 hours straight….. Or, it can mean calling your broker when you’ve received a good stock tip….. We all find our ways to practice the age-old skills we no longer need, one way or another….

“It’s all a game — play it to have fun.” — Price’s Advice

“Life IS a game, but the rules are written down in so many different ways, there tends to be as many interpretations as there are players…. Do your best to play fair, by anybody’s rules, by keeping to a level field of play, and you stand a better chance of not only winning, but of enjoying the game…” ~~ gigoid
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A new poem from gigoid is still in the cooker, simmering until it is done. As you may know, I can’t rush it, or it will disappear, never to be seen again, at least in my fears, so it will be left to finish without any interference from my conscious mind…. In the meantime, here is something from another poet of no little note…. Enjoy!….

The day came slow…

The day came slow, till five o’clock
Then sprang before the hills
Like hindered rubies, or the light
A sudden musket spills

The purple could not keep the east,
The sunrise shook from fold,
Like breadths of topaz, packed a night,
The lady just unrolled.

The happy winds their timbrels took;
The birds, in docile rows,
Arranged themselves around their prince
(The wind is prince of those).

The orchard sparkled like a Jew, —
How mighty ‘t was, to stay
A guest in this stupendous place,
The parlor of the day!

— Emily Dickinson
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Old school! Old school!…. and all the better for it, eh, what? Since tomorrow is Halloween, we will celebrate by blowing away some of the cobwebs of ignorant fear associated with so many of the symbols of the holiday’s featured religion, Wicca…… from which much of the lore of this date is drawn. It was merely hijacked by the Christians as their own, back when they rewrote all the history books to suit themselves….. They’re good at that….

Below you will find a number of quotes, all targeted and locked on one of my ongoing peeves, deliberate ignorance, and the exploitation of that by the world’s religions…. Well, you know what I mean…. people are mean, sometimes, you know?….. They just like to cover it up with talk about redemption for original sins (of which I swear I have no recollection), and penance for sins, and confession of sins,  and hellfire, and such. I think they’d be better off getting a real job…..

“For “ignorance is the mother of devotion,” as all the world knows.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part iii, Sect. 4, Memb. 1, Subsect. 2

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority.  Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.” — Giordano Bruno (1548- burned at the stake, 1600)

“Those who believe without reason cannot be convinced by reason.” — James Randi

“I call Christianity the *one* great curse, the *one* great intrinsic depravity, the *one* great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, *petty* — I call it the *one* mortal blemish of mankind.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

(Just threw this in to make it clear exactly “who” we were discussing…..) (Plus, I happen to agree with Freddy on this one….)

“It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment or the courage to pay the price… One must abandon altogether the search for security and reach out to the risk of living with both arms… One has to embrace the world like a lover… One has to accept pain as a condition of existence… One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.” — Morris L. West, “Shoes of the Fisherman”

(Oops, sorry, this is 180 degrees from all of the above, talking about the other end of the scale of human nature….. Well, just use it for contrast, okay?…….)

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

(Hmm…. Freddy seems to have a problem with Christians, doesn’t he?….. Can’t say as I blame him…..)

In regards to Oral Roberts’ claim that God told him that he would die unless he  received $20 million by March, God’s lawyers have stated that their client has  not spoken with Roberts for several years. Off the record, God has stated that  “If I had wanted to ice the little toad, I would have done it a long time ago.” — Dennis Miller, SNL News

“The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert A. Heinlein

Enough! I could do this all day, and not get the point across any better…. Plus, Smart Bee is getting testy, so we will now leave off our regularly scheduled daily battle against the advance of DUMB in society…… Stay alert, ffolkes, the world needs more lerts……
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“I’m having a BIG BANG THEORY!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Well, all things considered, it could be worse…. That third section almost got away from me there for a while, but, all is well that ends well…. Life is good, except when it isn’t, and that’s about the best we can expect, I reckon….. I’ll take it….. Can you just wrap that up for me? Thanks…..  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!

Tears will fall for feathers….

Ffolkes,
As a computer geek of long standing, glitches of a technical nature, while usually fun in a challenging way, are not what I care to confront upon first sitting down to write. Early morning is the best time, I suppose, to perform reboots, but being forced to do so by recalcitrant software trying to live up to pre-coded requirements for updates is a pain, like any other unwanted activity we are forced to engage in, such as paying taxes, and NOT shooting at politicians. Grumble, mumble, hmph! Now I feel all curmudgeonly, and I haven’t found a single pearl yet…. this could get ugly, ffolkes….

Grump, is, I believe, going to be the order for the day. Other than my usual ranting, I haven’t really put on my cranky shirt or pants for a while. Even my recent bout of pain didn’t put me there, surprisingly, but I can feel a good-sized quantity of grumpy stuff piled up in there, just looking for a subject upon which to spew. Well, so be it….

I’ll just issue a warning here to keep back a bit while reading today, or wear your favorite lobster bib or rain slicker to help avoid any splatter on your clothing…. it may get messy. Episodes of spewing this type of material have, in the past, exceeded local regulations for release of toxic materials all in one place, so have a care….

Before I panic anyone further, I believe I’ll just dive in, start the search for suitably grim pearls, and hope that at the end of today’s efforts, we end up with a worthy Pearl…. hope is our only friend right now, I think…. Okay, the tide is in, let’s go……
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“The programmers of old were mysterious and profound. We cannot fathom their thoughts, so all we do is describe their appearance.

Aware, like a fox crossing the water. Alert, like a general on the battlefield. Kind, like a hostess greeting her guests. Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood. Opaque, like black pools in darkened caves.

Who can tell the secrets of their hearts and minds? The answer exists only in the Tao.” — Smart Bee

Although this is intended as parody, it is, in reality, quite accurate. If one replaces the word “programmers” with “Taoist sages”, it is a nearly exact copy of texts I have seen by Taoist scholars discussing the Way that is not the Way. What impresses me the most about this is the descriptions they use to portray the image of the sages, to show those attributes that can give the seeker a clue as to how to find that which they seek.

“Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.”  This is purely Zen not merely in its depth; the Zen Buddhists also use the Uncarved Block as a talisman of focus for meditation and mindfulness. “Aware, like a fox crossing the water.” Can one be more alive, and more aware if it, than that?

Another line of this type that I’ve seen is one of my favorites…. “The ancient sages were alert, like ice on the verge of melting”…. Ah, what an exquisite image, and an admirable state of mind to seek after. It is often puzzling to me to think of how differently the world would appear should more of mankind choose to follow such philosophies.

What would be the overall effects of having the greater portion of society seeking to increase the world’s supply of rationality and right action, including those who govern? How much further down the evolutionary road toward Utopia could we be if religion and politics had not achieved the stranglehold on the rest of us that they have? How different would life be if everyone was “Kind, like a hostess greeting her guests”?  My guess would be, things would be a lot different….
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‘T is sweet to hear the watch-dog’s honest bark
Bay deep-mouth’d welcome as we draw near home;
‘T is sweet to know there is an eye will mark
Our coming, and look brighter when we come.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Don Juan, Canto i, Stanza 123

I guess the curmudgeon in me went back to bed…. This is just here because I like it. It’s a nice little paean to dogs, and how their unconditional love for us, hard to understand as it is, can make our whole day better, just by being who and what they are….
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Calvin: “Do you believe our destinies are determined by the stars?”
Hobbes: “Nah.”
Calvin: “Oh, I do.”
Hobbes: “Really? How come?”
Calvin: “Life’s a lot more fun when you’re not responsible for your actions.”
— “Calvin and Hobbes,” Bill Watterson

Sharp, sharp wit! Pointed straight at the very heart of modern society, laughing at those who cannot laugh at themselves. Robert Heinlein once said that you could tell how rational a person was just by asking their opinion of astrology, and he was mostly correct in that. To my mind, astrology is what I would call a half-assed science, in that it assumes that the motion of the stars and planets in the sky determine the characteristics of our personality, and affect the events of our lives, depending on our decisions, of course.  😉

This assumption is theoretically possible, I suppose, if one also assumes a somewhat different set of natural laws to be in effect than what seems to be the case. But, at a stretch, it COULD be true. If true, however, it still fails to take into account the actual nature of reality, in that things exist only in duality, each with its counter-balancing opposite number in the universal scheme of things. This is incontrovertible fact, clearly demonstrated on every level of reality, from atoms to stars. With this in mind, it becomes clear that if the stars and planets affect the events of our lives, then those same events have an equal effect on the motions of the stars and planets.

Well, there goes that theory…. Observation of those motions show absolutely no changes that can possibly be ascribed to what is taking place on Earth. None. Oh, they’re all moving about, and it is an extremely complex and beautiful dance indeed that they perform. But to try to imply that what I’ve done this morning, or what anyone did, in some way affected what time the Sun came up, well, that is what I would call plain stupid, with a strong dose of denial thrown in for increased stubbornness….
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“A chair has no problems … It’s there; nobody bothers it. It doesn’t have to pay rent or get involved politically. A chair can never stub its toe or misplace its earmuffs. It doesn’t have to smile or get a haircut, and you never have to worry that if you take it to a party it will suddenly start coughing or make a scene.  People just sit in a chair, and when those people die other people sit in it.” — Smart Bee

Though reading this makes me want to stick my tongue firmly in my cheek, it sort of grabs me by the shirt-front and gives a bit of a shake, too…. Obviously, it is a very concrete look at the duality of existence, and does very well at outlining the advantages of being an inanimate object, over being a member of a pathological society of sentient entities.

Of course, since it is so concrete, it fails to mention any of the disadvantages that a chair has in society, such as never getting to eat a cheeseburger with grilled onions (sheer bliss!). A chair can’t really get a lot of enjoyment out of playing in the mud, and then getting to take a shower with a friend, either, can it? And even though it can’t lose any earmuffs, neither can it make a snowman on a crisp winter morning, cold ears or not….

This sort of stuff (my all-inclusive term for such distractions) is probably best avoided, or if not avoided, disregarded, as far as being useful is concerned. It may be a nice, easy way to spend a few moments to read, but spending much time in consideration of its content is giving it too much relevance.

To my mind, it encourages sloth, and ignorance; it champions the concept of non-involvement in reality to avoid the pain of commitment, and offers a rationalization for non-action. As such, it is insidiously evil, for it draws one in with apparent humorous affection for a well-known image, then uses that affection to create a state of mind that is contra-productive to independent thought or action.

Better to spend time more constructively, I should think, but, hey, to each his own…. I’ll be busy thinking about my refrigerator, and won’t have time to think about chairs….  🙂

“Joyous distrust is a sign of health. Everything absolute belongs to pathology.” — Nietzsche
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“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: (1) not going all the way; and (2) not starting.” — Buddha

What a perfect last pearl! This could easily be applied to the previous section on astrology, either as a beginning, or ending, quote. But since I just found it, I’ll just serve it up fresh, as it stands alone quite well, don’t you think? I do…..

Not only is this a perfect ending to what has been a fairly normal strange journey, but really requires no enhancement. This one is good for both motivation, and for meditation, so, enjoy!….
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There are mornings when the words flow like good wine from my mind to the screen. Then there is today, when each one had to be kicked forcibly out into the light, complaining all the way. Ah well, having already been reminded of karma, I have no reason to complain, so we’ll just put this to bed, and send it on its way, to mix my metaphors a bit….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

 


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

Kowabunga!