Bones & stones in the dust….

Ffolkes,

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper
until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

~~ Gene Fowler ~~

dancing ferries

Dancing ferry boats, Victoria, B.C.

Hajime…. Having awakened in what can be termed a funk, if not an actual ‘mood’, I find myself unwilling to put a lot of effort into today’s mess. As a result, I can also say, the results bear out the funk, perfectly. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s not good; it does fulfill all of our standard requirements. More than that, I will refrain from addressing, lest I further worsen what is already promising to be a funky day. Rather than complain, any more than I’ve already managed, I’ll limit myself to one paragraph, & just get on with it, before I either change my mind altogether, or having given up, let Murphy have his way. What you see is, patently, what you get….

Shall we Pearl?

“It’s like deja-vu, all over again.”

~~ Yogi Berra~~

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royalty-free-clip-art-vector-logos-of-black-and-orange-floral-acoustic-guitars-by-seamartini-graphics-6573

Yep, you guessed it; more classical music. It’s a default day, & this is my default. Chosen, as per norm, by random methods developed over time to decrease Murphy’s influence. It doesn’t work, but, we use it anyway… Enjoy!….

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Classical Music

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Comedy_Tragedy

Unheralded Sagacity…

To many, who will not see beyond their nose
the world becomes a dangerous place,
a bullet in every gun, a thorn with every rose,
no magic comes to save us, reality leaves no trace.

Minds closed, wrapped tight in manufactured fears,
men become clay, easily molded into complacent form.
No chains needed, held in thrall for years,
lies become gospel, when dishonesty is the norm.

Shed the chains you wear in durance, in kind;
Oh, ye of little faith, and much doubt
Strength is found in an unfettered mind,
Cry “freedom” with a great shout.

No help from any gods can hinder so much
as our own lack of confidence;
finding the light within, knowing it as such
confirms us, becoming consequence.

Illumination…..

~~ gigoid ~~

4/17/2013

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Getting there is half the fun….

*******

“There is more to life than just avoiding death.”

~~ Jeff Hummel ~~

*******

“I prefer to be true to myself,
even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others,
rather than to be false,
and to incur my own abhorrence.”

~~ Frederick Douglass ~~

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“Anywhere, anytime,
I’d sacrifice the finest nuance for a laugh,
the most elegant trope for a smile.”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

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“I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him.”

~~ Booker T. Washington ~~

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“Whatever games are played with us, we must play no games with ourselves,
but deal in our privacy with the last honesty and truth.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

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“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.”

~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ~~

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“Are we THERE yet?”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

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Still here? Lucky you. I am, shall we say, near the edge, where it seems to be my lot to remain today…. Oh, well, at least it’s a nice view from here. I’m gonna go now, before I do, or say anything I’ll regret later. Of course, that will depend entirely upon whether, or not, I decide to go back & read this again, which might just tip me over into a free-fall through the vast spaces I can see from where I stand. Or, sit. Whatever. I’m outta here, ffolkes, to go find my equilibrium, if it is to be found. I’ll need luck, but, save yours; I’ll pick some up where I find it…. See y’all tomorrow, given a fair wind and a rising tide…..

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Say it loud and proud, if you dare….

Ffolkes,

“A man’s character is his destiny.”

~~ Heraclitus ~~

Day 3 and 4 008

    Gentle Readers mine…. Should you not be able to tell before reaching the end of this section today, I am not exactly at my best,  & I wanted to give you a head’s up as to the reason why I am in this state, as well as ask you to bear with me, if I get too…. well…. too weird. You will admit, I hope, that to admit any such thing is strange enough for any one day, even for me, if only for the reason it is pretty odd to consider anything we do here as anything other than weird to begin with. For me to admit to it is akin to Barry the O admitting his lies in front of the entire nation. In short, if it gets too weird, feel free to skip down to the video to ease the shock…. You’ll need the serenity to get through today’s rant….

The reason for my possible tendency to display more than the usual degree of wobble today can be directly attributed to the past 48 hours, during which the increased level of pain, the tardive dyskinesia from lacking enough medication to deal with the pain, AND, the stress level created by fighting both of them while simultaneously trying to rationalize to myself WHY I am in this condition, all peaked at once, sending me into HELL, stranding me there for hours at a time, with only short, unpredictable breaks from it all, when I could rest a bit, breathe, and try not to let the rage filling my consciousness become so strong I give in to the urge to go down to the nearest available store that sells weapons, buy a long rifle and scope, ammunition aplenty, and head out to begin hunting appropriate targets, all of whom would be easy to find, wandering around the nearest Kaiser facility…..

This is the first point where my regular Gentle Readers may begin to suspect I am in more than the usual state of anger and frustration that is, oh, so naturally engendered, by trying to deal with the insanity of a soulless multinational billion-dollar corporation, run by bankers and lawyers, who control the medical community with the insane amount of money that comes from stealing from the public, trading on their sickness and misery, charging outrageous prices for the medical care which SHOULD be the given right of every living member of any truly human society.

The sort of interpersonal interaction that is implied by the very nature of healthcare is, in my mind, one of the very reasons, possibly one of the most important of any such reasons, we humans form societies in the first place, for the advantage to be gained by living in a way which supports and encourages the well-being of every member of that society…

When I say my readers will know I am upset, it will be for the simple clue I’ve left them in two of the above paragraphs…. Note, if you will, without even thinking about it, or trying in any way to do so, each of those paragraphs (the 2nd, and 3rd after the picture) consists of one perfectly punctuated, long winded, crazily organized, but, understandable run-on sentence, covering more than one simple thought, almost as if I were ranting out loud, with my words tumbling faster and faster as they slide off my tongue, without taking a breath, for two or three minutes…. Whew! I almost need to catch my breath, and all I’m doing now is typing while sitting uncomfortably in a chair….

This sort of angst, a not terribly frequent sort of visitor to my psyche, thank goodness, is not merely enervating, while simultaneously depressing to experience, it is almost actively painful to have to deal with, for it arises from a sense of injustice, the result of having suffered harm for no good reason, other than the whim and indifference of a soulless corporate entity, whose “personhood” in the eyes of the law allows them to routinely perform acts which flesh and blood humans are proscribed, such as denying the rights of anyone, for the sake of profit.

The sheer injustice of such laws, which allow these unnatural conglomerates of resources and power to prey upon humanity, reserving the bulk of the resources, which belong to ALL of society, for their own use, to maintain their oppressive hold over the rest of their species, all for personal gain, laws which have been enacted because these same bankers, lawyers, dogma dogs, and their mindless myrmidons, in their body armor, helmets and automatic weapons of death and destruction, have been eminently successful in corrupting the courts of this country, beginning within hours of the ink drying on the US Constitution.

That assault upon the laws of our country continued right up to the middle of the 19th century, (reinforced by today’s even more corrupt judges) when pervasive influence of corrupt bankers achieved their ultimate goal, to corrupt a Federal judge so far as to grant them the boon of legal personhood, paving the way for what we see today…. Even if I CAN write a run-on sentence like nobody’s business, I can’t quite get to a point where I can be coherent in trying to describe such immensity of evil, and the crushing weight of the sheer injustice of such perverse corruption.

Gosh, I think I’ve done it again, this time to a degree hard to reconcile with how miserably I feel; how I typed this much without having my hands go numb is a complete mystery…. One so distracting, I’ve never actually gotten around to finishing the reason for today’s extraordinary level of weird and strange.

(almost sounds like a law office, doesn’t it? “Hello, this is the law offices of Weird and Strange, LLC…..”) (You DO know, don’t you, what the “LLC” behind a law office name means, right? It means they have incorporated their law offices, into a legal corporation, thus, handily claiming the rights of “corporate personhood”, much greater than those of the average, flesh-covered variety of citizen, with the complete legal authority to financially prey on society, complete with the right to lie, steal, and otherwise do whatever is necessary to maintain their chosen profit margin, no matter the cost in human suffering to their victims, er, customers….)

Funny how I keep distracting myself, isn’t it? Any who, the other part of the reason I’m in this state has to do with the time…. I’m starting today’s Pearl at oh shit. No, that’s not right; sorry, I surprised myself. I’m not sure of the exact time I started, as I was a bit blurry at the time I gave up trying to sleep through the urge to jump out of my skin, at, I think, 12:47 AM… Yes, that’s forty-seven minutes after midnight, about four hours after I finally got a sufficient handle on the pain to get to bed. It’s now 0155, a bit over an hour later, & I’ve been typing for much of that time, when not pacing around ranting to myself to give my bones a break from the chair…

So, here I am, once again driven out of bed by the completely dispassionate machinations of a soulless corporate entity, fully deserving of the name I award them as of this moment, to wit: Ultimate Assholes, for actions of deliberate evil intent, designed to manipulate me into complying with their own insane moral code, sending me into a version of physical and mental hell, simply because they want me to shell out more than I have been, putting into THEIR pockets all the money I’ve been spending elsewhere, using both the threat, and the act, of punishment for any resistance, causing in me immediate and increased levels of pain and misery, as a direct result of their exercise of power.

Later, in a few hours, I will go to the doctor’s office, at great effort and expense on my part, to do battle with them over this issue. I’m well prepared, and, by the time I get there, will be in what I know will be a full-out, incredibly huge, long-nurtured, righteous RAGE, which I will use as fuel, for the energy I need to place said rage upon their heads, and spirits, with great vigor and velocity, hopefully causing large amounts of pain and suffering, as the just reward for their stupid underestimation of me, and their intransigent insanity to believe I would stand for it…. They will, I guarantee, rue the day they decided to fuck with me….

Think I’m grandiose? Well, just be patient, and keep your eyes on the news. If they keep it up, they, and I, will end up there, for sure and for certain. I can also guarantee that they will NOT appreciate, or enjoy, the events which will put us both in the public eye…. That much, I will personally make sure of, if it kills me in the process….

I may be grandiose, but, I’m pretty sure my rage is equal to the task; they know not what they have done…. NOBODY is granted the right, or the privilege, of stepping on my rights without suffering the just consequences, which it is my intention to make as painful, if not more so, than what has been done to me… Sorry, but, a slave’s collar just never fit me very well; it chafes, terribly. I refuse, categorically, to wear one, regardless of the consequences, for me, or for the poor fool who tries to make me wear one…

(I’ve never been entirely certain as to EXACTLY what “categorically refusing” actually means, but, it certainly SOUNDS more impressive that way, don’t you think? I do….)

Fair warning….

Shall we Pearl?

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler

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Since the rest of today promises to be a bit tense and stressful, lets see what we can find for a bit of fun…. Okay, well, this works….. In fact, I can’t think of a better act to suit the mood promised by today’s events…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it might be MY last chance to feel this light-hearted for a good long while….

Weird Al Yankovic Playlist

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“Our schools have been scientifically designed to prevent over-education from happening.  […] The average American (should be) content with their humble role in life, because they’re not tempted to think about any other role.” — U.S. Commissioner of Education, William T. Harris, 1889 — “The Tyranny of Government Schooling”, John Gatto, 1992

We the People...
“Being good at being stupid doesn’t count.”

~~ Smart Bee, with gigoid’s complete agreement ~~

 

    Thomas Carlyle once said, “The three great elements of modern civilization, Gunpowder, Printing, and the Protestant Religion.” Though I believe he may have had a certain mischievousness in mind when he said it, knowing it would invite comment, he hit the head of the nail more squarely than he knew. The three elements he assigns to such an exalted position are three which afford the elite ruling class all the tools they need to continue their millennia-long oppression of the world’s less fortunate.

Guns, to enforce their authority; Printing, the means to spread lies and misinformation far and wide; and, most serendipitously, the Protestant Religion, that bastion of support for those who rule… This corrupt institution, by its nature, supplies a cadre of trained manipulators, conversant with the process of brainwashing the ignorant into believing a rather improbable delusional system, designed to establish, and maintain, a form of mental control over the weak-minded and ignorant, playing perfectly on their most powerful fears. These master manipulators then proceed to extend the scope of their lies to include the fostering of respect for temporal authority equal to respect for the sanctity of religious dogma.

The most common message of every religion on Earth, insidiously hidden in pious, grand-sounding lies, effectively persuades their penitents, long since convinced of their own unworthiness, into slavish submission to worldly authority, like the good little sheep they are. In reward for wearing the slave’s collar, they receive a most solemn promise of life everlasting, AFTER they die, all for the privilege of surrendering their minds and souls now…. Kind of brings the opening quote, about stupid, into stark relief, doesn’t it?…. Remember this point, it will be important further down the page.

“It’s not what you call me — it’s what I answer to.” — African proverb

Whoa! Deep waters, here, ffolkes…. While performing some system maintenance yesterday, I had to reboot the computer. Smart Bee starts up during the boot sequence, leaving itself centered in the screen as the first program of the day I view, with its first offering laid out for my perusal. The proverb you see is what I first saw, whereupon I reacted how you see in the first word of this paragraph, with shock and awe at the depth and scope of the metaphor contained in this little gem. It is, at once, a very powerful reminder of our own center, and the power which is available there for those who can use it, a form of magic to many people, but, simply acknowledgment of one’s own correct place in the universe.

The other side of the powerful meaning, hidden by its very simplicity, is how to apply that power…. There is powerful magic in knowing the true name of a thing, whether that thing is animate, or inanimate. Knowing the true name of things imparts the wisdom of knowing, inherently, the truth of any proposition, thus, the advantage of seeing the real nature of any interaction between people; in essence, it reveals motivation.

We all know, to some degree, below the level of conscious thought, how to do this. How many times have you met someone, who tells you their name, but, you can clearly see the word “fool”, or “asshole” in the depths of their eyes…. Sometimes, the true name of a person seems stapled to their forehead, or flashing in neon letters over their head, it is so obvious… Others have learned to conceal their true name behind distracting behaviors, or false displays of virtue, for the purpose of betrayal…. People are diverse creatures, thanks to good ol’ DNA, which seems to have limitless ability to combine in unique configurations, making people as unique as the word itself.

When we meet someone, we call them by certain names; sir, mister, doctor, madam, miss, etc. When we don’t exactly know their true nature. these words give us, and them, clues as to how to determine one’s best approach to the person, to meet the motivational impetus toward the desired goal, obviously, different for each. In our minds, whatever name, or word, used is likely to be influenced by our own perceptions, below the conscious, surface thoughts we have, no matter what the person’s name or title might be in their own minds. For example, when a doctor thinks of his patient, a certain set of attitudes are generated, then used as motivation, for however the doctor treats the individual.

Most often, in my experience, the doctor makes the assumption of their own inherent superiority, in knowledge, in authority, in status, for whatever reasons they have found to be comfortable for them to use as their justification/rationalization of their attitude. The patient is thus automatically placed in the unenviable position of having to deal with a person who starts with the belief in their own rightness, who intends to take control of the interaction, determining the outcome according to THEIR position’s requirements and standards.

In consequence, the patient’s own feelings, thoughts, opinions, and, in essence, their rights, are completely disregarded, as not being equal in value or importance to those of the doctor…. In short, the typical doctor assumes a completely unjustified mantle of infallibility, always dependent on the use of manipulation and control, instituting a hidden contest of wills, as it were, before interaction has even begun…. But, knowing this ahead of time is the advantage possessed only by those who can see such interaction in the harsh light of reality, knowing the true nature and name to apply to the person who has assumed an adversarial position at the outset…. most people don’t see it, whether or not they can….

To my way of thinking, this sense of automatic entitlement, especially in a physician, is not merely wrong, it is reprehensible, as it goes against the grain of everything mankind has learned about the ethics needed for doctors to do their job without falling prey to the exact issue I have described, to wit: the danger of believing in their own inherent importance, simply for being entrusted with knowledge others don’t possess, thus giving them the power to harm by their simple indifference to the rights possessed by every man, woman, and child by virtue of life.

It’s my belief, strongly held, these rights, possessed by every person alive, includes the right to make the final decisions on any issue pertaining to their own health or well-being. No other person, at all, has the right to make that decision for them, without their full agreement, given freely, without coercion or influence, nor is there ANY justifiable reason, ever, for denying that right, particularly for people who are at a disadvantage due to age, or youth, gender, or physical or mental deficiencies, i.e, the weak and afflicted. Those who deny rights to anyone are, simply, without any ethical character, and can lay no claim to any sort of honor. Their mamas and daddies would be ashamed of them; if I acted like that, my father wouldn’t have had to say a word to me. I would have KNOWN he disapproved….

In the hands of a doctor, pride and arrogance are akin to a loaded weapon in the hands of a child; they can harm without awareness, justifying it by believing the ends justify the means, the time-worn fallacy common to all those who embrace such loss of humanity. A doctor who believes in their own  omnipotence, implying their infallibility, to me, is one of the most terrifying of examples of how evil can inhabit the most talented of people, destroying all sense of connection with their own humanity, replacing it with unbridled, unassailable pride in their own position as demi-gods, possessing the power of life and death over their subjects….

Now, I am not a fool; I have proof, somewhere…. I realize that many doctors are not complete assholes; some actually do care about other people, using that motivation to help whomever they can. But, they are few and far between in today’s medical model, which is founded upon the massive sense of entitlement enjoyed by the powerful, entrenched traditions so prevalent in the AMA, and other spokespeople for the medical community.

(Doctors, you see, believe they are of paramount importance in the scheme of things, more so even than the other people who assist them; nurses, aides, technicians, secretaries, all are less powerful, and less important, in their eyes, and regard…., and please, let’s not insult ANYONE’s intelligence by suggesting such an observation isn’t obvious to the most simple minded…. In fact, if you ever want an eye-opener, ask a hospital aide, or a janitor, in a hospital, about how doctors typically treat them, when they bother to even notice their presence…. If you can find one brave enough to risk their job to tell you, it will raise your brows all the way to the top of your hairline….).

The rare ethical souls, who still remember the symbolic, yet powerfully real function of the recitation of the Hippocratic Oath, which signifies commitment to its stated principles , are too few, without any organization to be of any permanent effectiveness in reforming the current model. Generally, they don’t even notice, anyway; expediency is now standard training for all American citizens…. as encouraged by those who now own the medical community, those corporate interests who run Big Pharm, and the huge HMO and insurance organizations, who are in complete control of the AMA, working hand in glove with the agencies the government maintains to regulate our lives for us….

The big corporations LIKE the doctors thinking they are powerful; but, notice, please, who must follow COMPANY protocols, in order protect their livelihood. The corporation isn’t worried about the doctors at all, for they wear their own version of the same collar worn by the general public; it’s just more stylish, and doesn’t chafe as much, as long as they don’t concern themselves with anything like self-respect, or honor.

Many people forget when looking at modern medicine, not even doctors have anything to say about what will be allowed, and what is appropriate medical theory to hold as truth. The actual people in charge of every HMO and insurance scam, of every Big Pharmaceuticals Corporation, (Merck, Lilly, etc.), are not even trained as medical personnel; they are trained businessmen, with degrees in Hospital Management, or MBA’s from Yale or Harvard, whose ONLY goal in life is to secure as much power and money (i.e, resources) as they can before they die.

The avowed purpose of Kaiser Permanente, that corporate giant so ubiquitous here in the US and around the world, is to see that their “members” THRIVE…. Do you believe, for a moment, that idea has anything at all to do with the actual purpose behind the company’s motivation? I would suggest, the company’s primary goal is to make money; if they happen to provide some services, well and good. But, their first loyalty is to the transaction, not the parties involved in the transaction. It would seem to me, their vision statement might be more accurately read as, “Protect the bottom line, and screw the rest; it doesn’t matter who suffers if it is profitable to the company.”

If one happens to look at the policies and rules by which their “members” must abide to receive any services at all, it becomes crystal clear that the only true goal in evidence is to squeeze every bit of money they can out of each individual who falls into their grasp, in a relationship which would be more accurately defined by the word “victim”, than it is now, i.e., “members” If one needs more than merely one piece of proof of the attitude Kaiser takes toward its “members”, consider the first and second questions asked by any Kaiser employee when speaking on the telephone to a person they suspect of being a “member”….

First, one is asked if one is a Kaiser member; second, one’s Kaiser number is demanded as proof of membership…. Without that number, one may not even speak to someone who might be able to help them, unless it happens to be a sales operator, perfectly willing to sign them up as a member. so they, too, can be awarded their own number, which they are perfectly free to staple on their forehead, to smooth the process of receiving medical care from their “providers”….. Or, you can just memorize it to speed up the phone conversations, as many of the Kaiser employees have learned to skip the first question, going straight to asking for the  number, which is all they really need to identify your status as a victim, er, member….

Doesn’t it all just give you a warm, fuzzy feeling? If so, you are a perfect candidate for their particular version of slavery; perhaps they’d feel less insulted if I merely called it “indentured servitude”, but, I’m not in the habit of mincing words, though  I admit to a tendency toward some lingering resentment showing through, on those occasions when I call a spade a spade…. Hard not to, when I’m speaking about events of which I have personal experience as evidence of their veracity…. I’ve a patient man, as well as a victim, er, patient of Kaiser’s, on two different occasions, for a total of more than ten years of my life, so I am quite familiar with their continuous attempts to destroy my soul, & turn me into an obedient little slave, who hangs on the doctor’s every word as if it were a direct message from God….

I figure, those who wish to “assume the position” are welcome to do so; any and all attempts, by anyone, or, anything, to force me to do so is destined to fail. I’m too old, too fucking smart (as in, NOT stupid, or weak-minded, or manipulable by any normal means…), and too mean to ever allow any such atrocity to take place. My soul’s health, my body’s health, and my mind’s health are not separate objects to me; they ARE me….  Any decisions about my condition is MINE to make, no matter how entitled anyone else may feel they may be; I guarantee, by making such a dangerous assumption, they will be taught, at their own expense, they are wrong in their assumption. Thus, they are NOT entitled to any consideration on my part, for their safety or well-being, at all, at all….

Anyone who believes they can, or are entitled to abrogate my rights, or my own decisions about anything to do with ME, is in for a most terrible disappointment, with the added risk of pissing me off…. The last entities to do so are now enjoying the hospitality of a different dimension, and the world is no wiser to their absence than that of any other insignificant insect that has passed on to another plane…. But, it’s not my job, or my chosen duty, to prevent anyone else from making mistakes they will regret; it’s only my duty to stop them when they try to do so to me. Rest assured, I have no problem with doing so….

So be it.

gigoid has spoken…. a lot, it seems.

“Beware the fury of a patient man.”

~~ John Dryden ~~


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It seems that being up most of the night and day stimulates my ranting glands, in such a way they produce massive quantities of freshly chewed material, a great deal of which seems to have been included in today’s Pearl. This, of course, means you’ll have to put up with my poetry again, to save the reputation of anyone else I might include… It’s just better for all concerned…. I hope you enjoy it anyway….

When life calls, ready or not….

Memories are all we have sometimes
to keep our sanity intact,
with learned phrases and subtle rhymes
lessening life’s vicious, vibrant impact.

Presently all seems composed and intent
in stark contrast to hollow day,
forlorn patchwork emotions of unheralded bent,
fill up night’s bower, leaving hell to pay.

Such vigorous and elevated temper
brings us rare moments to ponder,
filled with lessons all need to remember
lest base perception lose valued wonder.

Laugh loud when entropy sticks fast
leaving shameless anger in its wake.
Let bygones pass quietly into the past
reaping only what is left to take.

Final words of wise imagination
tell us living well’s the best revenge, it appears
ever eluding choirs and congregations
finally finding home, never buried in tears.

~~ gigoid ~~


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The pearl you see below is an interesting collection. When I started the process, my only intent was to find a subject by letting my subconscious mind let out a yell at the first one it liked…. My version of ghost-writing, so to speak….

Letting my mind coast through the quotes, the following pearls, along with a few others trimmed out for another rant on government malfeasance, seemed to go together, though the reason wasn’t readily apparent to my pain-distracted conscious mind. Later, I figured it out, but, would rather let it stand without any explanation, to see what happens…. Some of the included ideas come from sources I usually don’t find much use for, but, they fit in with this…. My version of a lab experiment, again, so to speak….

Whether or not any of this makes any sense to you, each pearl, taken individually, should, at the very least, stimulate the random thought or three (there appear to be a lot of them….), making it a worthwhile occupation for a couple of minutes of your valuable time….

So to speak…

“There is no ancient gentlemen but gardeners.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act v, Sc. 1

“Advice is probably the only free thing which people won’t take.” — Lothar Kaul

“Never ascribe to an opponent motives meaner than your own.” — John M. Barrie

“I came not to send peace, but a sword.” — Matthew 10:34

“The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.” — Thomas Babington Macaulay

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” — Proverbs 3:27

“Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant.” [They make a desert, and call it peace.] — Tacitus (54-119 AD), Agricola, 30

“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave…” — Ernest Hemingway, “A Farewell to Arms”

“Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. You cannot consistently practice any other virtues without being courageous.” — Maya Angelou

“Bow to no patron’s insolence. Rely on no frail hopes; in freedom live and die.” — Seneca

“They say you can’t do it, but sometimes that isn’t always true.” — Casey Stengel

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What a perfect pearl for the closing line! I’ll bet they said I couldn’t do it today, but, that has been shown, patently, not to be the case. Having thus defied the odds once again, in spite of the handicaps encountered by being up in the middle of what should have been my night of restful sleep, I shall take my leave, with more dignity than I imagined would be possible. Some quiet relief in there, too, ffolkes, you betcha…. Well deserved, too, after an outburst of more than 5000 words! See y’all tomorrow, if I’m not in jail for blowing up a Kaiser facility…. I guess I’ll stick to metaphorically blowing up some Kaiser employees, strictly for medicinal purposes, I assure you…. Ta, then….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Four plastic tug boats and a waffle iron….

Ffolkes,

“Thoughts are mightier than strength of hand.”

~~ Sophocles ~~

 (496-406 BC)

 — Phaedra, Frag. 854 —

Artist’s concept of supermassive black hole within M60-UCD1

    Okay…. the quote? It’s a good one, but, hey, duh! As for the picture, you may have seen it; I’ve seen it two places on the web, just in the three days since it was released; this copy came from Space.com… It is a picture of an artist’s rendering of a massive black hole, found by astronomers in a dwarf galaxy near another larger galaxy it orbits, or, more accurately, is part of in a eons long dance of exchanging materials….. Just a little reminder of how small we actually are, in relation to the Universe…. Of course, when one speaks of the Universe, and the stars, one must also think of the music of the spheres, so real, yet invisible to any as-yet-known instrument, our Home rings with music, pouring out of everything that exists, with most only as silent witness…

Music….. It’s a huge part of me, which, for too long, I haven’t allowed to be as much a part of my life as I’d prefer, for a number of reasons… or, if I have let it in, it hasn’t been to the degree I’ve recently come to realize is important to my health, in more than merely a physical sense. How much it CAN be has yet to be determined, but, I’m going to give it more of a chance to fulfill the need in me, to listen to it, to play, to sing, to dance, even if only in a chair. It has always been around, it seems, but, not always at the times I, perhaps, needed it most…. which is a bit mysterious, as music is pretty readily available anytime, anywhere…. Fortunately for all of us, it will have to remain a mystery, as I don’t have time to go into long, sad stories, especially to start the day….

Ever since I managed to stumble onto the method for posting music videos here on the blog, I’ve been listening to some of the stuff that first got me involved in playing my own music, through the simplest expedient at the time, learning to play a guitar, singing the lyrics, and, quite simply, freeing my spirit…. which had not even realized there was a sky, much less that it could fly in it…. Since that time, making it, along with listening to it, has almost always been a part of my life; always, but for the last few years, at least, not to a degree I would like it to have been…. But, my passion for it remains, dormant for now, until the urge to play hits…. “Then I’ll pick up my guitar & play…” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera to paraphrase Pete, and Yul….

In addition to its power to affect each of us individually, music can be a powerful teacher, to all those who hear it…. Ideas (freedom, liberty), attitudes (patriotism, loyalty, community spirit), language (slogans, songs, poems), all are susceptible to modification under the magic auspices of music, affecting people on a society-wide basis, merely by a popular song, or a series of articles, or movies starring heroic actors….

Witness the US government movies prior to, and during WWII, and the Korean ‘conflict’…. (Do fewer people die in a conflict than in a war?…. Just wondering….) Many Hollywood musicians, singers, dancers, actors, and all the supporting people in the studios worked diligently to pass on the government’s key ideas and attitudes that would support the war efforts…. Very strong stuff, some of it, hidden in most excellent swing band style, complete with singing sisters…

See how easily I can fall into a rant…. Ah well, I am in too good a mood to worry about all that right now…. besides, I’m sure there is plenty of THAT going on down below…. For now, just know that I love music, and, most likely, so do you…. so, I’ll give you a tip, that may help you, or not…. Most of the videos I’ll be adding in the new second section, inserted after the intro (where I’ve decided the video pearls will live here on ECR….), if you let them run to the end, no matter how long, will offer you choices of similar videos, by the same, and other artists…. So, merely by stopping by to read, you can, if you wish, have the entire day’s play list right at your fingertips…. as long as there are more music choices you enjoy…. after each of which, more choices show up…. Cool, eh, what?….

We’re all about public service here at ECR, as y’all well know…. so, I’ll also take this moment to mention the Walk the Walk for Climate Change that is happening right NOW in NYC, and in cities all over the world, to tell the leaders there at a summit on that subject, that the people want to see real changes made, and no BS….. I’d be there if I could, but, since I can’t, I’m sending all my curmudgeonly outrage into the airwaves to them, and letting y’all know you can do the same…. Give the asininnies and the BRC a loud THPPT!, and tell them to get off their duffs, and get to work saving our asses before it’s too late….

I for one am probably too old to make it to the first Mars or asteroid colony, or even the second, if it works…. but, if that looks like our only hope, well, I’ll be pounding on the air lock door before they take off; hell, I’ll ride on the outside, if I have to…. Just give me a space-suit, a rope, and a strong magnet or two, and I’ll get there if I have to tie myself to the radio disc….

Probably enough fantasy for one morning, wouldn’t you say?…. Well, too bad; I would. No, just joking, fantasy is always in order, almost anywhere but on a space ship, where mathematics works better…. It did get us this far, though, which will do for our purposes…. In fact, we can just turn right here, and….

Shall we Pearl?….

“It may be true that my desk here is really “nothing but” a transient eddy of electrons in the flux of universal process. Nevertheless, I find that it continues to support my feet, my revolver, and my cigars all day long. What happens when my back is turned I don’t know. Or much care. That’s no concern of mine.” — Edward Abbey

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:

Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
  Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
  Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
  Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
  Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

~~ Marcus Tullius Cicero ~~


http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Officials-demand-criminal-probe-of-PG-amp-E-s-5767564.php

I had originally thought to put an older rant here, and shall do so, forthwith…. The above link is to a current article, from a day or so ago, talking about the most recent corruption shown by PG&E and the Public Utilities Commission, which is, ostensibly, a public entity charged with overseeing the utility company…. As the article shows, the relationship they’ve developed has gone beyond that, into a symbiotic state, showing quite well how businesses work to corrupt government agencies….

But, rather than rant on that today, I’ll give you an older rant, that deals with the same issue, to wit, lies, lies, and more damn lies from the people who are allegedly working for us, the people, but, who, in fact, have been looting the treasury, giving most of our money to the bankers and shadowy corporate interests (most significantly, the arms dealers who make such a profit on all the wars the governing assholes engage in….), who give not the slightest shit for anyone but themselves, for almost the entire history of this country….

Below, you will find a small temporal anomaly, but, as long as you don’t try to keep up with where in time you may be at any particular point in the piece, you’ll be fine… In other words, suspend your normal hold on reality, and just go with the flow…. believe me, you DON’T want to actually try to know when you are; it could cause problems in the space-time continuum that might get out of hand, potentially resulting in an explosion to rival the FIRST Big Bang…. It would be better, all around, if you just didn’t even bother to try….

From 6/3/2013:

I have a lot to do today, and need to get started early to get it all done,,, so, I’m cheating here, but in a good way. This is a Pearl from November of 2011… Much of it is apparently written around the same subject as discussed in section one of today’s effort, so I’m including it here, to save myself some time, and give y’all a bit of contrasting text to compare…. You can check for me to see if what I wrote then is consistent with what was done today, or if it was better, or worse…. Whatever it was, it’s a bit long, so, here it is, so you can get started….

11/16/11
Ffolkes,

Good morrow to you…. let us begin as we mean to go on….

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler

This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…. whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody. Bloody well used up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out. The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which after all requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush, actually….

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley

This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.

What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in it is decreased below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.

There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of all of this planet’s life forms.  Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.

Remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday….

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.  Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein

I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, and do so out of their love of mankind. Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, and the ability to share their deep insights into life and the universe for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.

He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, and lived his life in a way that it stands as an example for the rest of us. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably….

“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau,  were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.

But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid even if incomplete. And it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness….

So much for another day…. Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory…. in the meantime, y’all take care out there….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s music video will be classical, because I like it, and I’m feeling the need for something uplifting, to go with the change of pace….

Enjoy!…..

Classical Music for Spring : Vivaldi, Strauss, Schumann

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today, I feel like one of the classical romanticists…. Ah, here’s a good one….

He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This section normally holds an old-school pearl, and, it shall… but, first, a bit of artwork that will drench your eyes in beauty….. The web site at Space.com held an astronomical photography, posting the winning photos here:  http://www.space.com/27197-astronomy-photo-contest-winners.html?cmpid=558274   The photo you see is the overall winner; I’ve included the link so you can go see the rest of them…. some are incredible, like this one….

Aurora over a glacier lagoon

    Gorgeous, yes? Now, here is the pearl that was originally to go here….    This one is DEFINITELY random….

“The most important thing in acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you’ve  got it made.” — George Burns

“If a person offend you and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures.   Simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick.” — Mark Twain, Advice to Youth Speech, 1882

“If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

“Give me a place to sit, and I’ll watch.” — friend of Archimedes

“You say you want a revolution, well you know, we all want to change the world.” — (Beatles) Revolution

“Now is the time for all good men to come to.” — Walt Kelly

“Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.” — George Bernard Shaw

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s a bit of an epic, but, it’s done, and I’m not going to second-guess myself at this point….. In fact, I’ll be unusually brief, and merely say, see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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, the dubious

“The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.”

Kowabunga!

À bientôt, mon cherí.

 

A burning desire for justice….

Ffolkes,

“Nadie tiene mas imaginacion que la realidad.” — Miguel de Unamuno, “El Espejo de la Muerte”, 1941

better out than in

“Nothing has more imagination than reality.” — Miguel de Unamuno, “The Mirror of Death”, 1941


This picture, which I got on the web, somewhere ( I know, it calls for more accuracy than that…. I found it in a photo feature on the London Daily Telegraph web site…..), perfectly illustrates how I feel almost every day when I am trying to create these Pearls…. Because of who I am, such a task, having been assumed as a duty, requires that I give each one my best shot, in terms of using my mind for what it was intended, to wit: …….

Okay, I’m busted, again…. That long, echoing silence you heard was me, repeating to myself all the different thoughts that were NOT running through my mind, in response to the above attempt at intellectual levity, first thing, even before the coffee has hit the blood stream…. It’s a complete wash…. I CAN’T think, at all, but, especially not of what we are supposed to be using our minds for….. Whatever it is, doing this will either help me find out, or will make it so I will never, ever have any such luck…. Luck is probably my best bet, anyway, because sheer grit isn’t going to do it, and, obviously, my vaunted intelligence isn’t completely up to the task, at least, not to the perfectionist degree for which I’m asking….

Just look at the picture, and you’ll get a better idea, anyway, of what it feels like to try to create a Pearl, and get it out to the Universe….which makes the picture all that much more appropriate, as it appears that my Pearls, and the light from this guy’s exploding consciousness, seem to be about equal, in relation to how much the Universe will pay attention…. In short, neither one of us is liable to ever become rich, famous, or notorious, or even ridiculous, very much at all… In fact, he may be at the North Pole, or thereabout, but, he’s probably got as many followers as me….

Pity party all done…. I’m just screwing around, anyway, passing time until something more coherent, or more hilarious, or even more tasteful should come along… Of course, we all know there’s a “fat chance” of any of those happening anytime soon, don’t we? Of course we do…. And we don’t go off to cry ourselves to sleep at night, either….  Just kidding again, I’m actually sleeping well… some days I just tend to go for the cheap jokes right away, or, in truth, when they present themselves. What can I say, it’s a weakness….

The normal course of events would, at this point, find me frantically trying to figure out how to extract myself from the intro section; as is patently clear, today is no exception, with the only difference to be noted in my relative feeling of calm…. I’m not overly amped, or even awake, for that matter, so, even though I AM kind of stuck here, I’m not fretting over it. That’s because I have a secret…. What is it? Well, now, if I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret any more, now would it? Nope…. So, I’ll just show you…. watch closely…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m in a rather strange frame of mind, even for me…. I couldn’t find any headlines that stimulated any anger, or angst, either, which is pretty new…. I’m also having trouble finding anything in my head that would potentially serve to create anything worthwhile for this section…. You know what that means, I’m sure…. Yep, a trip to the archives…. Here is a fairly short discussion, originally from November of 2012, which I think you might enjoy…. I hope so….

“He who dies a thousand deaths meets the final hour with the calmness of one who approaches a well remembered door.” — Heywood Brown

I almost passed this by when I first read it, then, after I thought a moment about it, it occurred to me that it sounds like a defense of cowardice, which is what we usually associate with the phrase “He who dies a thousand deaths”…. Upon further reflection, though, that phrase, though certainly appropriate for describing the state of uncontrolled fear that brings a human to react with cowardice, could also be used to describe some of my own experience in dealing with violence. To generalize that thought, it could be said that a person who faces situations where death is hovering nearby, always a threat to manifest its presence in reality, is also dying a death each time, because their imagination is always aware of the proximity of the possibility….

I once made the mistake of counting how many times I faced off with a person who wanted to rip my head off, and would have done so had I not acted to prevent that from becoming reality. Suffice it to say it was entirely too many times, though somewhat less than a thousand (not by much, but less….), those were enough to estimate a conclusive figure, showing how often my imagination was stimulated into conjuring visions of possible outcomes that included my own death…. which was each and every time.

Of course, the key to success in such situations is to be able to put aside, or ignore, those visions, in order to keep them from becoming real…. I learned very well to react very quickly in such situations, in a way that allowed me to control the outcome, rather than random chance or, worse, having the other party assume that control. Fortunately for all involved, I never lost…. at least, not in the sense of becoming physically injured, or dead. (Nobody else that I controlled was ever hurt or killed,  either, a fact I’m pretty proud of…. although, mental injuries are another story, entirely….)

The quote at the beginning of this entry is one I find to be a comfort to me as I get closer to the time when death will come to make my acquaintance in this lifetime. As a conscious being, I naturally have to believe that my mind, or soul, if you prefer, will not cease to exist; only a change that we do not understand will happen, one which no one has ever successfully explained with any degree of certainty. There is, of course, no evidence to support the belief that we do not merely stop existing, like the flame of a candle, when we die…. Nor any to support the idea that we will somehow “wake up” somewhere else, according to our particular set of preferences in such philosophies.

Nothing tangible can be produced, or has ever been produced, that makes such a belief a proven conclusion; contrarily, there is also no evidence available that it is not true. We each have a strong feeling that our soul is indestructible, like energy of any type, but no incontrovertible proof is available for either side of the issue. Thus, we can only hold on to our sense of spiritual connection to the universe, that part of us that knows that, like sunlight, or electricity, or heat, our conscious mind is a manifestation of energy, one which, like all the other kinds of energy we perceive, does not cease to exist, ever. It may change forms, or even types (as light can become electricity, or motion become heat….), but it does not leave the universe at all.

To me, and to certain philosophies, the qualities of water are a good example to use as a way of understanding this principle. Water cannot be destroyed. You can, by altering its temperature, cause it to change form, from ice, to water, to steam…. but it cannot be destroyed at all. Our minds, and thoughts, our spirits, if you will, can be thought of as water, ever flexible, ever changeable, yet never ceasing to exist in any way, and retaining within its being all the qualities that make it, and us, what we are…. another unique part of a beautifully complex and wonderful reality….

To me, that is, indeed, a comforting thought….

“If I am I because you are you, and if you are you because I am I, then I am not I, and you are not you” ~~ Hassidic rabbi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Since I’ve gone off the rails with archived material, I thought I should put in a really good poem here…. Sadly, all I could find was one of my own…. sniffle, gasp, moan….

Dreaming, I wait….

In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.

Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.

Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.

Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.

Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.

When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.

Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art…..

~~ gigoid ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m cheating again…. I found this while cruising the archives, and it is one of the best of the Pearls from the year it was created…. Since my head is achingly, heartbreakingly empty, this will make a nice replacement for what might have otherwise gone here…. This is better, trust me….

From 11/16/2011:

Ffolkes,

Good morrow to you…. let us begin as we mean to go on….

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler

This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…. whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody….. Actually, bloody well-used-up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out, taking a a kidney with it. The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which. after all. requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush actually….

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley

This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.

What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in contains falls below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.

There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of ALL of this planet’s life forms.  Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.

You must remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday….

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein

I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, and do so out of their love of mankind. Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, and the ability to share their deep insights into life and the universe for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.

He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, and lived his life in a way that it stands as an example for the rest of us. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably….

“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau,  were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.

But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid even if incomplete. And it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness….

So much for another day…. Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory…. in the meantime, y’all take care out there….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s Pearl is one of the reasons I go with my instincts a lot…. I was going to write fresh today, but, every time I turned around, a better alternative presented itself…. So, I went with the flow, and can only say I’m glad I did…. This came out pretty well…. Now, if I can get more than five or six ffolkes to read it, or even a few more folks than normally drop by,  I’ll be happy as a clam at high tide…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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 the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

13 Simple Steps to A Newer, Cleaner Planetary Unit!

Ffolkes,

May seventeen foul demons from the deepest hells of Mordor make fun of your face! There, take that! I guess THAT will teach you!…. Back, foul fiends, begone with you!….

Huh? Oh, sorry, forgot it was time for that….. Half a second, let me just….. ugh! Okay…. last one dispatched…..Come on in, I was just putting away these old attitudes, and they didn’t want to go. I have new ones ordered up & delivered every few years, just to make sure the ones I have aren’t getting too inflexible, or unable to adapt to changing conditions…. Nowadays, what with the new, forced adaptations we’re going to be going through, it’s a good idea to rotate out the old ones regularly, lest one be caught with one’s spiritual pants down, so to speak… While the new ones are always cool, the service that delivers them doesn’t haul away the old ones, so, that part is up to me, & I thought I’d get a head-start on that this morning, since I was up at four in the AM….

Today, I’ll be creating a different sort of Pearl….. and I’m not even going to tell you how, or even why….. How, you may ask, am I able to show you such a fine example of showmanship, and still keep the inner workings of the process to yourself? You say I can’t ever seem to shut myself up, so how do I expect to do it now? Simple…. Oatmeal, dried into a crust, burnt, and shoved down my nose…. Then, we prop up my stiff carcass at the keyboard, boot up the computer, and hope for the best…. Seems to work pretty well, so far, every time…

Disgusting, yes? I hope so, that’s what I was shooting for…. I wouldn’t even have minded a case or too of spew, as long as y’all remembered to use the bags provided in the seat back in front of you. Oh, jeez, Harry, did you have to use the one with the hole in it? I told that flunky not to recycle them, but, do they listen? Of course not…. Well, sorry, I guess you can use the old towels in the corner there, and, if you need it, there’s some Windex in the cabinet under the bathroom sink…. go ahead and use that, if you think it will help…. Thanks for trying….

Well, now that the excitement is, hopefully, over with for one morning, (I’m not sure I want to encourage this much hilarity again; we’ve used up a pretty fair supply of paper towels, and we’re only done with four paragraphs or so….), WHERE shall we begin?…. Oh, I just have so many things I want to tell you…. I’ve been so busy, thinking, and…. oh, shit…. I’ve been thinking again, but, as usual, I forgot to fire up the backup server, so there’s no extra copy if I forge…… well, shit, again…. If I forget, is what I was saying, when it struck me forcefully that, hey, I already forgot!…. Damn…

Okay, new plan…. First we wobble, then we Pearl…. and since, by the evidence presented above, we’ve wobbled aplenty, we’ll now be going on to the meat of this sandwich, or, whatever may come next in this plane of Reality, such as we find it…. a bit worn, but still willing to play the game…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of our men and women. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.” — Thomas Paine
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Yesterday, part of the ranting portion of the program spoke about lawyers…. Serendipitously, one of the old pearls that I went to read, upon the suggestion of the WP suggestion bots, who put their ideas at the bottom of my posts, had a wonderful rant about lawyers, specifically, from way back in November of 2012…. Here ’tis, to finish off my remarks on those oh-so-despised members of our Asininny class…..

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“He who dies a thousand deaths meets the final hour with the calmness of one who approaches a well remembered door.” — Heywood Brown

I almost passed this by when I first read it, then I thought a moment about it, and it occurred to me that it sounds like a defense of cowardice, which is what we usually associate with the phrase “He who dies a thousand deaths”…. Upon further reflection, though, that phrase, though certainly appropriate for describing the state of uncontrolled fear that brings a human to react with cowardice, could also be used to describe some of my own experience in dealing with violence. To generalize that thought, it could be said that a person who faces situations where death is hovering nearby, always a threat to manifest its presence in reality, is also dying a death each time, because their imagination is always aware of that proximity of possibility….

I made the mistake once of counting how many times I faced off with a person who wanted to rip my head off, and would have done so had I not acted to prevent that from becoming reality. Suffice it to say it was entirely too many times, though somewhat less than a thousand (not by much, but less….), and my imagination was stimulated into conjuring visions of possible outcomes that included my own death, each and every time.

Of course, the key to success in such situations is to be able to put aside, or ignore, those visions, in order to keep them from becoming real, and I learned very well to react very quickly in a way that allowed me to control the outcome, rather than random chance or, worse, having the other party assume that control. Fortunately for all involved, I never lost…. at least, not in the sense of becoming physically injured, or dead. (Nobody else that I controlled was ever hurt or killed,  either, a fact I’m pretty proud of…. and mental injuries are another story, entirely….)

The quote above is one that I find to be a comfort to me as I get closer to the time when death will come to make my acquaintance in this lifetime. As a conscious being, I naturally have to believe that my mind, or soul, if you prefer, will not cease to exist; only a change that we do not understand will happen, one which no one has ever successfully explained with any degree of certainty. There is, of course, no evidence to support the belief that we do not merely stop existing, like the flame of a candle, when we die, that we will somehow “wake up” somewhere else, according to our particular set of preferences in such philosophies.

Nothing tangible can be produced, or has ever been produced, that makes such a belief a conclusion; contrarily, there is also no evidence available that it is not true. We each have a strong feeling that our soul is indestructible, like energy of any type, but no incontrovertible proof is available for either side of the issue.

Thus, we can only hold on to our sense of spiritual connection to the universe, that part of us that knows that, like sunlight, or electricity, or heat, our conscious mind is a manifestation of energy, one that, like all the other kinds of energy we perceive, does not cease to exist, ever. It may change forms, or even types (as light can become electricity, or motion become heat….), but it does not leave the universe at all.

To me, and to certain philosophies, the qualities of water are a good example to use as a way of understanding this principle. Water cannot be destroyed. You can, by altering its temperature, cause it to change form, from ice, to water, to steam…. but it cannot be destroyed at all. Our minds, and thoughts, can be thought of as water, ever flexible, ever changeable, yet never ceasing to exist in any way, and retaining within its being all the qualities that make it, and us, what we are…. another unique part of a beautifully complex and wonderful reality….

To me, that is, indeed, a comforting thought….

“If I am I because you are you, and if you are you because I am I, then I am not I, and you are not you” ~~ Hassidic rabbi
_____________________________

Again, it seems serendipity is guiding my attention…. In searching this morning for a poem a bit off my usual track, I came across this one, from William Blake…. In light of my recent rants on how America is, well, heading for the toilet, and not to enjoy a soothing episode of relief, but, to get flushed…. Perhaps, my imagery isn’t exactly the most elegant for its intended purpose, but, you get the drift….

Any who, I thought it was interesting to see how someone from another country viewed ours, from the vantage point of the past…. Blake was an interesting man, to say the least…. A poet of little renown in his own time, he is now considered one of the most seminal Romantic poets; in addition, he painted, and one contemporary critic was moved to remark of his work in no small way, when he described Blake as, “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced” (Information from Poemhunter.com).

America, A Prophecy

The shadowy Daughter of Urthona stood before red Orc,
When fourteen suns had faintly journey’d o’er his dark abode:
His food she brought in iron baskets, his drink in cups of iron:
Crown’d with a helmet and dark hair the nameless female stood;
A quiver with its burning stores, a bow like that of night,
When pestilence is shot from heaven: no other arms she need!
Invulnerable though naked, save where clouds roll round her loins
Their awful folds in the dark air: silent she stood as night;
For never from her iron tongue could voice or sound arise,
But dumb till that dread day when Orc assay’d his fierce embrace.
‘Dark Virgin,’ said the hairy youth, ‘thy father stern, abhorr’d,
Rivets my tenfold chains while still on high my spirit soars;
Sometimes an Eagle screaming in the sky, sometimes a Lion
Stalking upon the mountains, and sometimes a Whale, I lash
The raging fathomless abyss; anon a Serpent folding
Around the pillars of Urthona, and round thy dark limbs
On the Canadian wilds I fold; feeble my spirit folds,
For chain’d beneath I rend these caverns: when thou bringest food
I howl my joy, and my red eyes seek to behold thy face–
In vain! these clouds roll to and fro, and hide thee from my sight.’

Silent as despairing love, and strong as jealousy,
The hairy shoulders rend the links; free are the wrists of fire;
Round the terrific loins he seiz’d the panting, struggling womb;
It joy’d: she put aside her clouds and smiled her first-born smile,
As when a black cloud shews its lightnings to the silent deep.

Soon as she saw the terrible boy, then burst the virgin cry:

‘I know thee, I have found thee, and I will not let thee go:
Thou art the image of God who dwells in darkness of Africa,
And thou art fall’n to give me life in regions of dark death.
On my American plains I feel the struggling afflictions
Endur’d by roots that writhe their arms into the nether deep.
I see a Serpent in Canada who courts me to his love,
In Mexico an Eagle, and a Lion in Peru;
I see a Whale in the south-sea, drinking my soul away.
O what limb-rending pains I feel! thy fire and my frost
Mingle in howling pains, in furrows by thy lightnings rent.
This is eternal death, and this the torment long foretold.’

~~ William Blake ~~

_____________________________

Now you see the nefarious genius of my plan…. I’ve created an entire pearl, using primarily work I accomplished over two years ago…. Pretty slick, eh? Now I have time to prepare myself mentally for the important event I have on my plate for a couple hours from now…. What happens at that time will play a big part in determining the physical AND emotional tenor of a lot of the next few months, (or, alternately, it could have little effect at all, which is okay, as long as one particular issue is resolved to my satisfaction….)…. so, I’m looking forward to the challenge of making things come out the way I intend…. SIGH….. Shaping Reality to suit our needs and purposes can be exhausting…. So, here is my third cheat of the day…. but, I think you’ll agree with me that it couldn’t be any better if it was fresh….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
11/16/11
Ffolkes,

Good morrow to you…. let us begin as we mean to go on….

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler

This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…. whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody….. Actually, bloody well-used-up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out, taking a a kidney with it.

The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which. after all. requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush actually….

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley

This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.

What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in it is decreased below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.

There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of all of this planet’s life forms.  Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.

You must remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday….

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.  Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein

I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, purely out of their love of mankind. I also admire that Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, spiritually, and physically, in a simplistic fashion, and had the ability to share his deep insights into life and the universe, for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.

He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, living his life in a way that stands as an example for the rest of us, of how to live well. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably….

“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau,  were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.

But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid, even if incomplete. And, it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness….

So much for another day…. Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory…. in the meantime, y’all take care out there….
_____________________________

So much for the sanctity of the mind, eh? We’ve put the lie to that one rather well today, haven’t we? If nothing else, I’m pretty sure I felt the foundations of Reality tremble in fear for a few moments, and we can’t hope for any better than that….. 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

Just fill in the holes, William….

Ffolkes,
And then, I woke up….. afraid….. SIGH…..

I had hoped to never find myself in this position again, but, that was apparently wishful thinking, at best. I really don’t enjoy some parts of my PTSD symptoms; actually, I don’t really enjoy ANY of the symptoms I experience in that respect. Tears and emotional lability sometimes, depression others, and in between, just a bunch of anxiety and near panic attacks, for good measure, as it is said…. Who says it, I don’t know, but, you hear it all the time…. None of which is of any particular moment to me just now, as I am sitting here struggling with my emotions, trying to keep them out of my head, so they won’t make me cry (for no apparent reason I can see…..)…. Ah shit, it’s not working…. I’ll be back….

Sorry ’bout that…. I had thought, what with all the money, and cruising, and general gaiety going around, I would be immune from such attacks, but, I guess not…. Fuck, fuck, fuck….. Actually, I know why this is happening, and I’m not happy about the reason. I have an appointment with my doctor to discuss medications, and I am worried that he is going to turn conservative on me, and start getting all weird about my use of drugs that are not what he prescribes, exactly…. Unfortunately, discussing this in a public venue could conceivably have bad results, so I can’t really go into it much…. suffice it to say that my own doctor is the one causing this anxiety in me, and I need to do something about it, today…..

I can see that this is getting a bit sticky, and obscure, so I’m going on into the pearling process now, before I lose all control, of myself, and this Pearl. I hate to do this, but, I’m going to surgically excise any further nonsense in the intro section, and get on with the dive for today, before I seize up and get really weird… It’s been known to happen on such days….. For now, let’s get on with it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“Will this never-ending series of PLEASURABLE EVENTS never cease?” — Zippy the Pinhead

http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Damaging-storms-moving-through-east-south-4569342.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Quakes-kill-2-in-Taiwan-injure-33-in-Philippines-4569405.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/UK-politicians-caught-in-lobbying-scandal-4569418.php

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Apple-antitrust-suit-over-e-books-set-for-NY-trial-4569709.php

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/4-wounded-in-3-Oakland-shootings-4569499.php

“One U.S. lawmaker has been to Bangladesh since the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on April 24, 2013, killing, at last count, 1,129 garment workers. That would be Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, who returned to the Bay Area Thursday after a week of meetings with government officials, garment factory owners, and survivors of the building’s collapse.

He had harsh words for Gap and Walmart, who have refused to sign a legally binding Bangladesh safety accord. “It’s very clear whether you are Walmart or you’re the Gap, you have to make a decision now whether you want to have blood on your labels. The fact is, they’ve led this race to the bottom over many years and it has led to this dangerous situation in the industry.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The foregoing are all taken from the news in northern California on Sunday, June 2, 2013. I collected them because I was struck by how the batch of them, taken together, is almost surreal in its degree of negativity. 13 dead in storms; 2 dead, 35 injured in quakes; politicians taking money (gasp! what will they do next?); Apple and publishers conspiring to steal money from consumers (another gasp!…); 4 wounded in shootings….. and OVER A THOUSAND garment workers dead, crushed and/or burned up in a building that collapsed, because the builders cheated on the materials, the owners didn’t care, and no safety measures were in place at all. The owners/operators crammed about five times the safe number of people and machines in the facility to grind out more cheap stuff for the big stores to sell. So many people, and so much machinery and materials, the building collapsed.

Garment workers…. That’s a nice, impersonal title, don’t you think? Not bad to describe, and disconnect from, the OVER A THOUSAND human beings who died there, all of them so poor they had to cram into one building with no possible escape, just to earn a starving wage, so fat white folks can make more money off the cheap stuff they’re making…. But, hey, they’re just gooks, right, not even Christians, or white, or anything, so it’s not like it counts, or anything like that, is it?…. Hell, most of ’em were probably women and children anyway, living on welfare…..

“Will it improve my CASH FLOW?” — Zippy the Pinhead

One day’s worth of headlines… I can’t wait to see tomorrow’s leading stories….. Somehow, I don’t think they will provide any of the balance so badly needed, unless, of course, the aliens land, and give us the answers to all the tough questions. The odds on that are slim, at best, so I think I’ll just try to not read them any more…. Of course, then I won’t know just when it all is going to finally collapse, will I? Oh well, I’ll just have to remember to read the comics first, I guess….

“… if the democratic nations fail, their failure must be partly attributed to the faulty strategy of idealists who have too many illusions when they face realists who have too little conscience.” — Reinhold Niebuhr

The world is currently in what Robert Heinlein used to call “The Crazy Years”, merrily going to hell in a handbasket; the above headlines are proof positive that we are a society out of control, with no apparent way back to any sort of sanity. I don’t know at this point if there is any chance to pull ourselves back from the brink of extinction, not with the way things have proceeded thus far. And, to be frank, it would, and will be, our just desserts, for all the lack of understanding and wrongheadedness we have displayed in our sad history….. Ah well, it must be time for a nap……

If of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, `It might have been,’
More sad are these we daily see:
`It is, but hadn’t ought to be.’

— Francis Brett Harte
__________________________________

Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet, has been in the news of late; apparently, he didn’t die of prostate cancer, as first reported when he died, but, may have been murdered by a CIA operative on the orders of the dictator of Chile at the time, Augusto Pinochet…. His body has been exhumed, and forensic scientists are examining his remains for poisons, and/or signs of terminal cancer…. Results are pending…. Regardless of all that, he was an exemplary poet, and great philosopher, in my opinion…. Here is one of his works that seemed to speak to my mood today….. It’s a bit grim, but, sometimes, we need grim….

A Song Of Despair

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot’s dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.

Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.

Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.

And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

You still flowered in songs, you still brake the currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.

The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.

It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!

~~ Pablo Neruda ~~

__________________________________

I have a lot to do today, and need to get started early to get it all done… so, I’m cheating here, but in a good way. This is a Pearl from November of 2011… Much of it is apparently written around the same subject as discussed in section one of today’s effort, so I’m including it here, to save myself some time, and give y’all a bit of contrasting text to compare…. You can check for me to see if what I wrote then is consistent with what was done today, or if it was better, or worse…. Whatever it was, it’s a bit long, so, here it is, so you can get started…. It’s long, I know, but not bad, so, enjoy….. please….

11/16/11
Ffolkes,
Good morrow to you…..let us begin as we mean to go on…..

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler

This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…..whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody. Bloody well used up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out. The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which after all requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush actually…..

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley

This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available.

What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in it is decreased below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.

There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of all of this planet’s life forms.  Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse.

And remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday…..

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.  Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein

I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, as well as one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, and do so out of their love of mankind. Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, and the ability to share their deep insights into life and the universe for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity.

He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, and lived his life in a way that it stands as an example for the rest of us. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably……

“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau,  were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality.

But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid even if incomplete. And it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness…..

So much for another day…..Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory….in the meantime, y’all take care out there….
__________________________________

I can’t say that was entirely painless, but, it’s done, and thus joins the ranks of so many others that have been thrown out there for y’all to peruse, and abuse, if you must…. Once they leave here, I have little control over that, so I’m becoming a fatalist in that respect…. So, we’ll leave this one to its fate, and go on with the day’s business……  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

Ramblin’ Rose is still dancing…..

Ffolkes,
Good morrow to you…..let us begin as we mean to go on…..

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” — Gene Fowler

This line is included today merely to give y’all an idea of what I go through every morning to produce this…..whatever it is. It is a pretty good description, actually, because when I’m done, I actually feel battered and bloody. Bloody well used up is what it is. Maybe it’s easier for other writers; I don’t know. But for me, to produce something that my standards will allow me to publish for others to read, is much like having a piece of my soul ripped out. The funny thing is, though it hurts a lot, I wouldn’t stop doing it, even if I could. The pain of creation, which after all requires destruction first, is a worthy payoff for the sense of accomplishment I get when I see one of my pieces online for all to see. Quite a rush actually…..

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.” — Aldous Huxley

This observation, as far as I can tell, is 100% accurate, and because it is, many of the problems society is facing are easily explained, if not easily resolved. For example, when was the last time you gave a thought to what else besides oxygen is in the air that you take into your lungs on the average of 15-20 times per minute.? When you last got a glass of water from the tap, did you stop to think about what was in the water you use to drink, cook with, and bathe in? As Mr. Huxley pointed out, most folks, yourselves included, seldom think about or appreciate such simple necessities, or what might happen if they were no longer available. What will we do when the air is so full of carbon dioxide that the amount of oxygen in it is decreased below the point where it will sustain life? Will we all have to wear breathing apparatus in order to brave the outside world? What will happen to all the other animals if there isn’t sufficient air? What will you do when the water you drink is no longer safe to consume? We need water as much as we need air; our chemical make-up is 90% water, and not having enough of it to replace what we lose is a sure path to the grave within a matter of days.


There are other issues connected to this subject; the consistent degradation of our planet’s ecosystem has a great many negative effects, small and unnoticeable at first, but growing larger over time until they are added to the list of processes that will eventually lead to extinction of all of this planet’s life forms.  Part of the problem is that it is a slow, insidious process, this degradation, and the deleterious outcomes are not evident until too late to reverse. And remember, the Universe doesn’t care, one way or the other, whether we survive or not; the rules are the rules, and fighting against the natural laws of our space-time continuum is a fool’s bet. Like it or not, we, as a species, are going to need to make some serious changes to the way we do things, if we are to survive at all. And we will need to do it starting yesterday…..

“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary.  Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” — Albert Einstein

I really admire Albert Einstein, and not because he was a great scientist, and one of history’s shining examples of men and women who greatly advance human knowledge, and do so out of their love of mankind. Albert’s wisdom was not restricted to the principles of physics and math; he had a unique way of looking at the world, and the ability to share their deep insights into life and the universe for the benefit of others. He was an eternal optimist, and as the above quote demonstrates, had a firm grip on the concept of living with honor and dignity. He believed in the inherent goodness of every man, and lived his life in a way that it stands as an example for the rest of us. I cannot wholly agree with what he states above, because I have a much darker view of what human nature is capable of, and less faith in mankind’s willingness to submit to natural law. But what he said does show with clarity where our salvation lies, and in his own inimitable manner, he shares his deeper knowledge with the rest of us in the hope it will inspire others to act honorably……

“To laugh often and love much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give of oneself; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sing with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier: this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

From what I gather in my study of 19th century American writers, a lot of the best were what I would call masters of advanced curmudgeonry. Emerson, Walden, Thoreau,  were all libertarians living in compromise with a democracy, and spent much of their time either complaining about society, or hiding from it in their forest retreats. This is not to say that what they wrote was bad or mistaken in premise, necessarily, but if you read their work with this in mind, it becomes apparent that they didn’t much like other folks, or put much trust in their rationality. But, as the included quote indicates, being a curmudgeon doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t understand humanity, or what it takes to make life complete. This paragraph from Mr. Emerson demonstrates this perfectly. One cannot argue with conviction that all of these attributes listed, and experiences from a long life, are positively rooted, and make perfect sense. Whether or not we actually have all of these characteristics is unimportant; the list remains valid even if incomplete. And it provides anyone with a good map and directions that can be useful to us in our pursuit of happiness…..

So much for another day…..Hopefully, you have consumed a fair portion of food for thought, and found it palatable enough. If not, feel free to let me know, and I’ll see if I can come up with something more savory….in the meantime, y’all take care out there….


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!