What we have here, is a failure…. to cogitate. A scary one, too, since I can’t seem to get a handle on how to fire up the ol’ neurons this morning…. Dendrite, schmendrite, send me your nerve impulses…. Nope, not working, and the mojo I found yesterday has rolled into a corner again…. Okay, hang on, I’ll see if one of the fuses went out…. Oh, yeah, I don’t have the upgrade installed yet; I’m still on the old tube and knob wiring, so, no fuses….
Damn! Now I’m going to have to resort to emergency procedure # 4, which I haven’t employed since setting it up…. Since at least three of the stages it passes through on the way to getting my brain functioning are only marginally legal, please stand back, and put on the blindfolds that are conveniently located in your seat’s pocket, on the left side there…. got them? Okay, let ‘er rip, Biff!…. Oooh! That’s impressive!…..
Good morning….. Emergency procedure # 4 was apparently successful, though I will have to rely on you all to supply me with any evidence of that…. From this side of the procedure, there is a degree of amnesia produced, that lasts a few days, then passes away, leaving no scars or memories of the less than pleasant process involved in using #4…. Rather handy, all in all, as it gets things moving, but doesn’t waste any time on congratulations or other extraneous activities, but allows me to get right to work…. Of course, it can take several weeks to get all my memory back, but, hey, I don’t use it all at once anyway…. Some sacrifices must be made to pursue one’s art, you know…
Now that I have once again provided y’all with ample proof of my insanity, or at least enough to make it worth wagering on, I should, no doubt, move on to the main portion of today’s virtual circus. It’s getting more and more chancy here in the intro section, what with the weird hours I’ve been keeping in the mornings…. Again, today, I was up at 0430; it is now 0522, and all I’ve been able to come up with is this detritus, even WITH coffee on board….. Hence my use of the word ‘scary’ above….. The fertile fields of my mind are becoming a trifle depleted, methinks, which, given my output, shouldn’t be a surprise….
Well, no matter how scary it is, the rest of today’s effort calls to me, so I suppose I’d best start diving. In the interests of full disclosure, shut your eyes…. I had to use my old dive suit today, and the pattern has been known to cause seizures if one gazes at it too long…. Shall we Pearl?…..
“The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just keep your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.” — Frank Zappa Playboy Interview, April 1993
Hmm…. Frank’s take on matters are such that I generally find myself in complete agreement with what he says. Here, he has again put his finger on one of the more obvious facets of Christianity, one that defies all logical explanation in lieu of subservient belief, to wit: faith vs. knowledge, and the Christian’s unfortunate tendency to embrace the former, without any appeal to the latter….. To my way of thinking, that is not only foolish, but cowardly….. but, perhaps, that’s just me….
The fruit of the tree of knowledge gives mankind the go-ahead, to use the brain with which we were furnished at birth; the preachers would have us abrogate that use, having us, instead, give over all our power of belief into the hands of the faithful, who, naturally, have only our best interests at heart….. Sure they do…. NOT….. I’m sorry, but, no matter how many times these folks say so, I am not going to accept that they know better than I what is best for me…. Nope, not even if there were twenty Bibles out there, all proclaiming how true they are…. Oh wait, there are twenty of them, aren’t there?…. Oh, well, you know what I meant….
Why do people fall for this? I cannot understand how people, who are normally reasonably intelligent, will, by conscious choice, bury their heads in the sand to buy into this, without ever taking even one moment to examine any of it for truth, or even logical assumption. Is there some kind of mind-control drug in that incense? Maybe in the sacramental wine…. Whatever it is, it turns normally competent, intelligent people into mindless slaves, and does so with their complete agreement and approval….. To my mind, it is one of history’s saddest, most incomprehensible features, when I look at just how easily people fall for such egregious, and so obviously self-serving propaganda, as most of the dogmatic proclamations of the major religions tend to offer up.
“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman
I am compelled to add, “Me, too!” to this sentiment…. In the recent past, I’ve been taking a lot of shots at religions, and need to make clear that I do not hate Christians, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or the followers of any religion. I think they are being silly, deliberately and evilly so, at worst, or at best, misguided, but I don’t hate, or fear them, as is the case on their part whenever they consider me, or my criticisms of their beliefs. I don’t hold that against them, either, as it is logically consistent for them to do so, given the limitations of their dogmatic position. Since, however, the fervor with which they will often defend their position can reach a rather fevered pitch, I tend to treat many of them like a stinging insect; I move, and speak, slowly and carefully, so as not to frighten them more than they already are….
Ethical and moral behavior is not confined to those who follow the precepts of one religion or another, despite what any of the proponents of those religions will try to tell you. In fact, if you look closely, the number of folks who are believers have a much higher percentage of failure in that area than do the non-believers, which only makes sense…. The believers all have a sense of entitlement that gives them the idea that the rules of behavior don’t always apply to them, in terms of how they treat people who are not of the same faith, so, to those who are not of their own sect, they don’t bother being truthful, or honest, or ethical, as those people don’t count, in their eyes. People who make their own moral codes tend to follow them, and are much more tolerant of those who do not share their beliefs.
Basic human nature dictates these responses in people, so one can see how dangerous it is to remain ignorant, in the Biblical sense. Those who choose to buy into the myth of the Garden of Eden, giving up all their personal independence of mind for the comfort and safety of dogma, will fail to act according to their own morality much of the time, out of their sense of entitlement, and the belief that all of their sins will be forgiven, merely by the act of confessing them. Only those who consciously choose their moral code have the courage to act it out, it seems, except for those few people who actually try to live according to the morality that is espoused, but seldom embraced, by their less ethical peers.
Having the strength of mind to make one’s own moral code implies the courage to act it out…. This is why I choose to deny the dogma I’ve been exposed to all my life, as being illogical, and, ultimately, immoral…. It makes more sense to me to make my own decisions on such matters, and tell the busybodies who assume they know best for all to go jump in a lake…. Even better, just shut the hell up, and get out of the way, so the rest of us can get something relevant done, without having to put up with all the nonsense from that quarter….
“What is a church? Our honest sexton tells, ‘Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.” — Crabbe
Sometimes, I just gotta go with a classic…. if only for the patina of age that gives it such a shine…. Even reflected beauty is better than none, yes?….
Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.
The following is a piece that I wrote just before the recent Presidential election, as section 1 of a Pearl I cannot find without more effort than I care to spend right now, even though it is still only 0633…. Tracking it down would mean scrolling through at least a month’s worth of old Pearls, from last year, and I’m not ready for that today…. However, I’ve re-read it, and consider it worth a second posting, as it covers a lot of things that remain relevant after the election, in spite of the fortunate outcome we saw…. Any who, without further ado, here is a pearl I entitled, “Considering the Etiquette of Ignorance”…….
SIGH…. the only reason I did not write this in 1988 is that I did not see it until today….. it is never a good policy to suffer a fool gladly, so my code of honor demands a response…. This begins the tale, but by no means ends it….. be warned, and be nervous, if not afraid…..
“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” — George Bush in Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 1988
Actually, George, the Pledge of Allegiance has no legal standing, in relation to the Constitution of this country, or for that matter, in relation to what our forefathers were thinking when they founded the nation. In fact, what was said here by such an upstanding Constitutional scholarly type, is, in reality, completely contrary to everything that makes a true patriot, or an American citizen.
The part in the pledge, (which no one at all is legally required to take, or state…), that says “under God” was only added in the middle of the twentieth century, by the same Congressional idiots who perpetrated McCarthyism, and the Red Scare, on the American public. It has nothing to do with the Constitution, and in fact, could be construed as a Constitutionally illegal statement, considering the intended separation of church and state that is the backbone of what our forefathers wished us to have as our legacy…. True freedom, not Christian usurpation of freedom….. A person’s religious belief, or lack thereof, is protected by the Constitution, and a patriot is one who supports the Constitution, not a church, or a corporation…..
And if his name be George, I ‘ll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men’s names.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King John — Act i, Sc. 1
This kind of thinking from the Shrub, whichever one it was, Junior or Senior, is the same kind of narrow-minded fundamentalism that the colonists were escaping from in England back in the 16-1700’s when they came to the New World. The churches and corporations, both of which were singled out as dangerous to the republic by Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Adams, Hamilton, and many of the other founding fathers, have tried to usurp the Constitution ever since it was ratified. Their writings, to each other, and in public venues, were filled with precautionary admonitions about allowing corporations and preachers to have access to, or influence over, members of government.
Ultimately, their fears were justified, as we now are facing just the situations they predicted….. corporations are manipulating our “professional thieves”, otherwise known as politicians, to vote for laws that favor them (really, “corporations are people?”… I don’t think so…), and the ranks of our leaders are rife with fundamentalists and religious nuts of all varieties.
“Men tend to have the beliefs that suit their passions. Cruel men believe in a cruel God and use their belief to excuse their cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)
It’s difficult sometimes to tell which ones are more dangerous, or more disgusting: the corporations who buy votes from those who fit the definition of “good politicians” (…. a good politician is one who stays bought…..), or the religious demagogues who want to oppress everyone who doesn’t believe the same set of dogmatic constraints as they do. Neither one is particularly hard to spot, but they are protected by their tame dogs in Congress, who will do and say anything to make sure the cash keeps flowing…. right into their pockets.
As may be extrapolated, if one is exceedingly clairvoyant, one may infer from the above that the 2012 Republican Romney/Ryan ticket disturbs me; I have no problem ranting without end right off the top of my head about the lies and distortions of reality that continuously fall from their lips. As I mentioned in a separate post, a lot of people are catching on to this, as Ryan was roundly booed offstage at the AARP meeting he attended to try to sell their admitted intention to rape Social Security and Medicare (Smart? No. Arrogant? Completely.).
In retrospect, even this negative reception is disturbing to me, as it shows just how little they care, that they are showing themselves to be only interested in lining their own pockets, and the pockets of those who own them, without apparent shame or embarrassment. They aren’t even trying to hide their lies anymore; they just keep repeating them, even after having been shown to be false, believing that if they repeat the lies enough, people will buy them….
“Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book iii, Chap. xi
Unfortunately, they are right, to a large extent. Millions of people in this country, who have hung on to their prejudices and bigotry with desperation as the minorities have become majorities, are supporting these assholes, merely because they are white. They don’t realize, or seemingly care, that these are the same assholes who will be screwing them over completely as soon as they get sworn in, preferring to trust in the lies, because it soothes their fears of having a black President.
Beware of the half truth. You may have gotten hold of the wrong half. — Smart Bee
This is why I have been repeatedly reiterating that this election is bringing this country to a crossroads. The outcome will show whether we intend, as a nation, to continue to fight all attempts to curtail the freedoms that were bought and paid for by our forefathers, with blood, sweat, and tears, or will become just another religious, corporate-controlled entity, in a nation consisting of slaves and their masters.
I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll be at the polls as soon as they open, and will urge everyone I know to do the same…. vote early, and vote often (just joking…), but vote. We need to send a message to these fools, that there are still patriots and citizens of this country who believe in the vision embraced and established by the men and women who began this noble experiment in self-government…..
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” — Aldous Huxley
As I said above, the election came out okay…. but, the rest of what is said here remains relevant, and always in need of being heard….
Well…. Getting up early seems to be working for me, Pearl-wise….. Even though part of this was already written, it all holds together well, and will stand in the future as one of my most complete Pearls, if nothing else…. A bit of nonsense to begin, some pointed sticks thrown around at demagoguery, a bit of classicism in the center, for balance, and a long dissertation haranguing the BRC and PTB, as well as most of the religious institutions in the world…. I’m a happy camper, you betcha….
Not just that, but, it’s DONE! Yay!….. I think…… Hmm… it’s now 0650…… Now what the hell am I going to do? Ah, perfect!…… I’m going back to bed now, ffolkes, & see if I can fall back asleep…. I’ll be back later to see how many people I’ve managed to offend, or better yet, how many found a good laugh…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.