Counting the cost in plaid pyjamas….

Ffolkes,

“I have been a lucky man. But someone has to be.”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

84408166
Psst! Want some candy, boys and girls?

    I find myself today in an unenviable position, one in which my only thought can be “PEACE!” Perhaps I am getting old, for the problems I face in my life are challenging my ability to adapt to them, leaving me without the balance I so treasure. It is certain my physical issues are presenting many difficulties for me; what is not so certain is whether or not there is any solution to them, other than learning to endure even more than has been asked of me to this point. That, simply put, gives me no peace….

I suppose also that this feeling marks me as human. But, that brings no comfort either, for I know human nature to be flawed, and dangerous, to itself, and every other creature on this planet. Claiming my humanity does not bring me any comfort, only confusion. But, then, confusion seems to be rather ubiquitous of late, in my life, anyway…. It isn’t a state of mind with which I’m terribly familiar, having been fortunate to possess a mind capable of resisting it with some skill; of late, it seems to have increased its power, or I am getting old, losing my ability to adapt quickly enough to suit reality….

Since the latter is more likely, it may mean there IS no solution to my conundrum; another step further away from peace of mind, clearly. SIGH. It may also be another sign of advancing age, I guess, to feel that peace of mind is the only goal worth pursuing….. In fact, that sounds particularly cogent, to me…. Of course, that may be because we are speaking of my issues, but, I think, maybe, this is something we may assume to be a universal issue for any human reaching my age…. I don’t know about other ffolkes, but, obtaining a bit of peace of mind has assumed a large importance in my world, if only for moments at a time….

That being said, we can now move on to a more practical issue, to wit: what the hell do we do with today’s Pearl? I’ve usurped this intro already, turning it into a no doubt too long piece of introspection, clearly personal, with very little hope of providing any direction to the rest of today’s post. Getting from there to the necessary point, where we can dive into the ocean of knowledge that is the world wide web is proving to be…. Wait, look! There’s a jumping-off point now! I’m grabbing it, while I can…. Hang on, ffolkes….

Shall we Pearl?

“Some people write to please, to soothe, to console. Others to provoke, to challenge, to exasperate and infuriate. I’ve always found the second approach
the more pleasing.” — Edward Abbey

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potd-giraffes dancing

(From the London Daily Telegraph-Animal Pictures of the Week)

“Yow!  Are we laid back yet?”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


According to one study, in the United States, 14.215% of respondents have consumed cannabis in the last year. In a total population of approximately 330 million people, this comes to (hmm… here is proof that math skills need use to maintain their freshness…. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to find a percentage with such odd figures… It took me a while to pencil it, having abandoned the calculator, as I didn’t recall how to work that function…. SIGH….), approximately 43 million ffolkes (making the obvious connection, are you?)….

When one considers that any such study is limited in scope, the figure assumes a larger significance. It must be remembered that, for the most part, cannabis users are accustomed to hiding their use; it is habit to deny such use, or minimize how much, or otherwise skew the picture with inaccurate data. Given that caveat, one must assume the figure of 43 million is far lower than is the actual case in Reality….

Personally, given what my experience over the years has shown me, going by what I KNOW of the ubiquity with which marijuana is present among the populace, I would say that figure could be revised upward to right about 50% of all Americans, and possibly more…. Remember, not very many of them will tell the truth about it, for fear of repercussions…. I would also guess many of the rest would just take a pot shot at the questioner with their rifle, for having the temerity to ask them about their private business…

Below you will find a wonderful song, a parody written by Weird Al Yankovic, using a great Alanis Morrisette song as the basis, along with link to an excellent summary of information on the current state of the legal battle to legalize cannabis, for medical AND recreational use, in these United States…. compiled with great skill, and compassion, by our old (well, maybe not so old, just familiar….) friend, Lou, over at Tales From the Conspiratum, his blog site, which he writes from his home in Montreal, Canada, graciously sharing his knowledge with his mates around the world….. Enjoy, ffolkes…. it won’t be long now, from the way things are looking….

You can find Lou’s site at:  http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/2015/01/12/latest-us-cannabis-news/       By the way, today’s opening picture is from the same post as was noted yesterday, and the day before, from a post on Lou’s most excellent blog….


What if God Smoked Cannabis?

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“None can love freedom heartily but good men; the rest love not freedom but license.” — John Milton

I found two pearls which seemed to perfectly form the bookends for a rant on political issues, but, find myself in a state of mind incapable of ranting…. I’m simply too tired. So, I’ll take a little time, & find an appropriate rant from the archives to fill in between the bookends I found, and be done with it…. I’ll be right back….

From 4/10/2013:

Artfully, he dodged the bullet, turning to watch it plow into the wall by his head. Slapping one palm to his forehead, he gave out a great shout, “ki aieeeeeee!”, striking to the left with his other hand, shattering the small bird statue on the pedestal. The bird screamed….. As entropy increased, gravity grew weak, then strong, tossing the players about the room like ten-pins in a row. Finally, a loud gong sounded, whereupon everyone dutifully trooped into the great hall to hear the daily proclamation from the beloved Leader in Mystery. Headache gone, thanks to the bird’s scream, he joined the parade, knowing he would find what he sought in the great hall…. His quest neared the end, and he could almost taste the cold dish of revenge, demanded by the blood of his murdered master…. Not for nothing was he called, “Pujin, the Merciless, Nearly-Master Killer of the Temple of the Divine Duck…..

Oops! That isn’t a rant, is it? Hmm…. It appears I lost track of my mind there for a few minutes; see what happens when I’m  not paying attention? I go right for the nonsense…. Oh well. Here is the rant, now that I’m thoroughly embarrassed….

From 4/11/2013:

“He who conceals a useful truth is equally guilty with the propagator of an injurious falsehood.” — Augustine

If ever there was a perfect lead in to a rant about the Beloved Ruling Class, or our/their Corporate Masters, or about the Priestly Hierarchies, those fawning sycophants who support those two entities in their chicanery, well, I don’t know what it would be, if not this. It’s perfectly positioned to attack any, or all of these groups, all of whom make the described action, to wit: bare-faced lying, a habitual choice in their daily interactions with others. They do this with full knowledge of the harm they may cause, but are not concerned with that, other than as it pertains to the maintenance of their own image; they want us to see them as people who care about those over whom they hold sway. In short, they live a complete lie, they know it, and they like it….

Whether we speak of the political leaders of our nations, the corporate leaders of the banking crowd, or the Pope, Ayatollah, and other figures held as religious icons, they speak “with forked tongue”, in the vernacular of Tonto, our favorite TV Indian stereotype. Not only do they lie to the public almost every time the open their mouths, they know they are lying; with many of them, you can see it in their eyes, as they speak…. Some of them (perhaps even most….) are very good at concealing their cupidity from most people; it’s part of why they are successful. But, to anyone with even a hint of street smarts, or even moderate intelligence, and the patience to observe with impartiality, their lies are obvious…. Hell, it’s been said, with some reason, that you can tell a politician is lying, because his mouth is open….

“If I can’t misquote it, I don’t want it.” — Rush Limbaugh

This statement, whether he actually said it or not, explains quite accurately why he is so popular among the conservatives and ignorant fundamentalists in this country…. I would guesstimate the majority of elected officials in this country use this principle on a daily basis, as one of the standards by which they formulate their public policies, and one of their bywords when speaking in a public venue. Nothing is accepted so readily by the uneducated listener as a quote, or a statistic, that sounds elegant, and real, and comforting, even though it is an absolute untruth, or a mistake, or even a misquotation…. None of that matters to those in power, because they know that their success hinges on their ability to lie successfully to the public….. It’s a time honored tradition in our government, one every politician knows in his bones…

“It’s not that simple, no matter how you wish it so.  You made public statements from a position of false authority;  now you’re having them shoved down your throat.  Welcome to netnews. — Smart Bee

The advent of the internet has made it possible to detail these lies as never before in history. As always, however, the information is only accessible if one reads, and is competent enough to be able to use the internet to its full capability for gathering data. So, the lies continue, though they are much more visible now than in previous periods of history. They will continue as long as people are too lazy, or too brainwashed to think for themselves, and to question what they hear from those who hold power over them.

I don’t think it is reasonable to ever expect those who are in power to stop what they are doing, do a complete reversal of attitude, and start using their positions to advocate for the people, instead of their corporate masters; it isn’t going to happen, as they LIKE being able to raid the public treasury at will. There is no benefit for them, in their eyes, for them to stop lying, so they won’t…. No, if we want things to change, it will have to begin in that part of society that does not answer to the moneychangers, or to the call of avarice, to wit: with you, and me…. Otherwise, we may as well just bend over, and kiss our asses goodbye, because ultimately, the way things are going, we are all headed down the universal toilet, where all of Mother Nature’s failed experiments get flushed…..

I can rant on this subject without limit, I think, as there is no lack of material to work with; the news is all over the net every day with more evidence of the lies the BRC wants us to believe. Hell, one can take almost any large newspaper, look on the front page, and find at least two examples of issues that arise out of corruption in government, or some environmental disaster that is a warning of our impending doom…. In any of these, you will find at least one government official making a statement that is just plain wrong, or false in some way, intended to spin the information to benefit the administration, or to denigrate it, depending on which side is speaking….  It’s a circus maximus, for sure, and provides us curmudgeons with all the rantable material we could wish for, gratis (well, for the price of a computer, and internet access, anyway….).

“God said it, I believe it and that’s all there is to it.” — Smart Bee

I had to put Smart Bee as the attribution here, probably because nobody in their right mind would ever claim credit for having said it…. But, as I, in my lifetime, have actually heard several people say this, (realio trulio, I swear…. three times I’ve heard it, in person, come out of a real live idiot’s mouth….), I can only credit it as being a common feeling among a certain percentage of people. Be that as it may, as long as there is ANYONE who thinks this way, we are all going to be held back from being all our species could be, as well as being in danger of facing extinction because of the intransigence of their ignorance…..

“Misanthropology: the study of why people are so stupid and why most of them should die, SOON!” — Smart Bee

I don’t know the exact figures, but I would say that at least 50% of all the elected officials in this country hold this attitude, if not as gospel or dogma for all issues, at least as true for most issues. Our government has been taken over, insidiously, over time, by religious fanatics, who are working frantically to cement their hold over everyone else by enacting their own morality as law…. As history has proven, time after time, legislating morality is ALWAYS doomed to failure, but, as this group believes implicitly in the rightness of their articles of faith, they will listen to no evidence to the contrary….

“Religion is the highest vanity.” — Friedrich Hebbel

Ah well, I guess all I can say at this point is I think we’re all going to hell in the proverbial handbasket, and I, for one, would just as soon not be involved in this particular picnic…. Nope, not me…. Sadly, there isn’t anywhere else to go, where I can get away from these fools, as they have infested almost every corner of this sad old globe, and are busy destroying the chances for any of us to survive their ignorance…. Unless I, and all those like me, change our nature, and become like the ones who are in power, willing to kill our brethren over these issues, there is little to be done, for they will never give up until they kill us all….

~~ gigoid has spoken….

“Buy a rifle, encrypt your data, and wait for the Revolution!” — .sig of Travis J.I. Corcoran (TJIC@icd.teradyne.com)

“Speak the truth, but leave immediately after.” — Slovenian Proverb

Note from 2015:  Well…. There you go. As I look at the above, I note it is pretty thorough; as well, it has its own ending pearls, so, I’ve eliminated the one previously chosen, since it isn’t needed, and would be overkill on a rant already far too long for your comfort…. Sorry ’bout that, but, I get a little carried away once I get going….. No worries, ffolkes, it’s done now, and we can go on….

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I chose today’s poem for its relevance to my current state of mind; it just seems to fit…. I hope you enjoy it; it was one of the first I wrote after my nearly 40 year hiatus from writing poetry…. Before this, the last poem I wrote was in my early twenties….


Gently Came a Wounded Child

But you shall not escape my iambics.

Soft, sinuous patterns of unearthly beauty
blithely commune with sinking stars,
as pale shadows of former virtue hover
near, ever clean, ever tolerant.
These unbidden habits are worn with age and care,
ready now for dissolution,
welcoming gladly the kiss of Death’s handmaiden.

Unknown to all, the child stands aside,
weeping for the lost days of youth,
days that now shall never be,
nor yearned for ever after.
Only darkness shall lay upon the landscape,
cold, hard, eternal.

Such then are the signs and portents
as we enter into the unknown future,
they are grave indeed.

Uncertainty will be our sole companion,
as the search for hope yields no result.
The lamentations of the gods
shall sound the elegy for Man,
who never learned to see the gift that was made,
so many echoes ago, in the hopeful past;
thus will we pass this plane of existence
as we came, baffled and afraid….

~~ gigoid ~~

written 2/2/2012


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This is what I would call a serendipity pearl; in choosing the inclusions, I gave no instructions or parameters to Smart Bee. With seemingly no effort at all, it gave me the following seven-star pearl, within an incredibly short time, and, only a few offerings that were rejected…. Nice of SB, don’t you think? Especially as it came out very well…. It speaks, of course, of LIFE, or as we like to call it, LAL, or Life at Large….

Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises.

~~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616) ~~

~~ All ‘s Well that Ends Well — Act ii, Sc. 1 ~~


“As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy.” — Christopher Dawson, “The Judgment of the Nations”

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” — Confucius

“Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion.  Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 10, 1787

“In practice it is seldom very hard to do one’s duty when one knows what it is, but it is sometimes exceedingly difficult to find this out.” — Samuel Butler

“There is only one blasphemy, and that is the refusal to experience joy.” — Paul Rudnick

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910)

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Considering how little of my native intelligence is at my disposal this morning, I am astounded; for finishing, and for writing so much, even if much of it was archived material…. But, my astonishment doesn’t outweigh my inertial state, which is balking at thinking at all…. I think I’ll go eat some worms…. Well, maybe I’ll make it oatmeal. Whatever, I’m outta here, ffolkes, with the very real hope I can see y’all tomorrow….

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

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Down the slalom with the Elven King….

Ffolkes,

Please Note: Any mental functions attempted in this area must be re-evaluated during a subsequent period. It has been discovered that standard logic works sideways in this area due to the influence of the occupant. — Smart Bee

Since this is mostly true, I decided it should be included today, before starting, with the addendum of this: logic may not only work sideways in this space, it may be wrestled to the floor and tormented beforehand, in order to keep it in the properly reserved state of activity. It is a useful tool, but tends to get pushy, and start to think it is infallible, so it must be firmly conditioned to rein itself in at the first sign of any such usurpation. Just thought you should know, so you don’t accidentally cut yourself on Occam’s Razor, which has a tendency to show itself at unexpected moments….   🙂

In this paragraph, you will find this morning’s real beginning…. The above was written last night, as that is when I found the disclaimer; it’s still the right opening for today, but, I thought I’d create a bit of early confusion, and reverse polarity, thereby switching the North pole gravitational pull to the South pole, and vice versa. Of course, the two pull gradients are identical, so you can’t tell the difference without instruments, but, hey, I’ll know….

Well, it’s obvious to me, if not to y’all, that I’ve gone ’round the bend. The waiting has finally tipped me over the edge into insanity, and now I’ve got y’all worried and upset. That may be because now you’re wondering how that will affect the Pearl(s)…… Have no fears, dears. It shouldn’t show at all…. I”m always insane, so there won’t be any significant changes to the tone or the depth of the material I produce. Hah!  Fooled ya!…..

As you can also see, I’m resorting to cliches and old methods of distraction, to try to force your minds into the mold necessary for today’s journey into the bizarre corners of gigoid’s brain. It may seem like a cheap imitation, or like I’m disrespecting y’all, but, believe me, it is for your own protection. These old methods are very stable, and help to form a protective layer around you, of a material that is the opposite of bozone, so you are safe from flying weirdnesses and random enthusiasms…. Bozone? Oh…. here’s the definition….

Bozone (n.) The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future. — Smart Bee

As the dedicated scientist I am, I developed an opposite substance to the bozone, one that enhances one’s ability to absorb bright ideas, and I use it freely around here, when needed. Today, it is certainly needed, as the weird and strange are falling like rain, and my own head is firmly entrenched in some sort of odd state where nothing is real for long, and only a constant prattle will stave off the bad things that can happen. Not that prattle is unknown here….

I guess I’ve probably scared y’all enough, and we should get on with the normal (hah!) state of affairs here on ECR. Upon looking above, I KNOW it is time to get on with it…. Shall we Pearl?….
__________________________________

20. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

— Instructions for life

Smart Bee puts out these little instructions every once in a while, and most of them are pretty good ideas. Both of these strike a chord in me that harmonizes with my own experience, so they make a good little start for this section, and a cogent, potentially productive pearl…..

One of the first of these I saw was Instruction #1, which reads, “Always give more than is expected, and do it cheerfully!” Now, if that isn’t good advice for success in living, I don’t know what is. It is something my own parents taught me and my siblings without ever saying a word about it. Some people in life know these rules, but many don’t; I was fortunate, as my folks did. This little piece of advice is what pushed me to become a good student, to learn all I could in school, and it is the most useful tool for school that I know of, for it provides a reason, and a method, to seek and achieve excellence in school, or anywhere, for that matter.

#20 above is a concept, and a  habit, my father made clear his entire life, and he passed that philosophy on to his sons, for sure. (I can’t speak so much for my sisters…. one left home when I was six to marry, so I’ve never known her well, and the other became estranged many years ago, for many sad reasons….) I can’t speak for my brothers, even though I know they got the message, but this particular little idea has helped me countless times in my life, both to minimize the effects of a mistake, and to repair those effects. It is also a technique that other people note in us, one that increases trust and goodwill. One can’t possibly have too many ways to do that….

#21 This one is subtle, but effective. What it says is absolutely true; the caller will know when you smile, and I would guess that in 99% of all calls, the caller will immediately return the smile, as well as soften whatever tone they intended to use. I’ve actually seen it happen to others when speaking on the phone; you can tell when the other end is a happy person, as the one they are speaking to lights up in turn, eyes widening, lips curling, and words becoming more lighthearted. I’ve also experienced the feeling of hearing someone smile at me over the phone, and let me tell you, nothing feels better, especially if the person you call is important to you….

I could spend a long time laying out the ways these rules can help one achieve the kind of serenity in life that we all seek, but, they are really just as effective just by themselves, without any enhancement (if one could describe what I say as such….), so I’ll leave it here. As Smart Bee reveals more of these little gems, I’ll share them, because they are good to have handy…..

Listen to the MUSTN’TS child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVE’S
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

— Shel Silverstein
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If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again
I shall not live in vain.

~~ Emily Dickinson

Yesterday, at the library, I found a book of the collected works of Emily Dickinson, and I am in heaven! For the next few weeks, I’ll be picking out the best of what I find there to share. I regard Emily as arguably the best poet that ever lived, and can only feel happy that she left 1775 verses of what she termed her “letter to the world”. Already, I’ve been impressed and astonished all over again by the depth of insight she possessed, and by the simple clarity of her poems, and look forward to reading every one of those poems before returning the book…. Hopefully, you will appreciate what I share with you as much as I do…. except for Shawna, who can’t get into Emily…. S’okay Shawna, I’ll have other stuff, too…. Enjoy!….
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One day a gate breaks down between heaven and hell. So St. Peter arrives on the scene and calls out for the devil.

And the devil saunters over and says, “What do you want?”

And St. Peter says, “Satan, it’s your turn to fix it this time.”

And the devil says, “I’m sorry. But my men are too busy to worry about fixing a mere gate.”

And St. Peter says, “Well, then, I’ll have to sue you for breaking our agreement.”

And the devil says, “Oh yeah? Where are you going to get a lawyer?”

— Soupy Sales

It occurs to me, Soapy’s next line from St. Peter would have to be…. “I don’t need one, I’ve got a fix in with the judge….”  That would give not only balance to the argument, but would accurately reflect the actual level of corruption implied in the picture of the universe painted by the Judeo-Christian model of religion. It would also probably more closely reflect Soapy’s sense of humor, which was much more pointed than he got credit for…. People just thought he was a little strange sometimes, not recognizing lines that were making active fun of the establishment (as we old hippies were wont to call the mainstream of American society…..).

In reality, this joke is another example of the bad press that the Devil always gets; it isn’t often you’ll see a joke that ends up with Satan coming out on top. No, he is always given the role of the asshole, the manipulator, the one who wants to drag us down into Hell for eternal torment. Everyone seems to forget that they have ascribed omnipotence, and omniscience to God, and that He is the one who a) made the Devil the way he is, and b) could change it if he wished…. which seems to indicate that he DOESN’T wish to rid us of Satan, but prefers he be around to tempt and distract us…. That sounds to me like just a bit of manipulation in itself; how ’bout y’all?….

The preachers would have us believe that God allows Satan to exist out of his sheer benevolence, forgetting this is the same God who, in the Old Testament, sent forty bears to a town to kill all the children, just because a few small boys made fun of one of His prophets. He is also the one who threw Satan out of Heaven for objecting to some of what He had done on Earth, then turned around and allowed him free access to us humans, just so He would have a ready-made way to test us at His convenience. Just a little self-serving, don’t you think? This God, to my way of thinking, acts more like a spoiled little kid than a deity capable of creating universes…..

Okay, I’ll quit now. It’s really too easy to shoot at dogma; it never tries to hide, and just stands there, looking dumb, as you sight in on its forehead. But, hey, it’s a necessary job, and somebody’s got to do it…. Boy, it sure would be nice, though, to see humanity grow up, and learn to face reality without crutches, and without having to invent a supernatural being to explain away the stuff that isn’t clearly understood…. But, I guess it is job security, in that sense, because it means I’ll always have something about which to write….

“I’m RELIGIOUS!!  I love a man with a HAIRPIECE!! Equip me with MISSILES!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
__________________________________

I was right to give warning in the intro…. without it, this could conceivably create some serious psychopathy among the readership, and who knows how many lawsuits? Thank goodness for disclaimers, eh? All in all, I’m happy with it, though. If nothing else, it shares the primary characteristic of any good Pearl, to wit: it is done. Caveat emptor, as they say…. whatever that means. I’m heading off into the Big Blue Room in a while, so I’ll leave this now, and hope it flies as well as it crawls….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

The only quest I know….

Ffolkes,
There is always a lot of stuff going on in my head, and, in spite of how it should, or could be otherwise, I’m pretty sure that not all of it is completely under my control. This, as might be deduced, is both blessing and curse, and causes me no end of moments of temporary confusion, moments that can stretch to what seems like eons….. Hell, sometimes, it seems like confusion is my most natural state, especially when reality is going through its contortions right in front of me like it does; reality does not always conform to what I think of it, either regarding expectations, or expedience. Hard to say which is more annoying, having my expectations dashed by reality, or having my time killed by it, used up dealing with mundane details rather than exotic dreams, or even hopeful ones….. (Whew! A four line sentence, desperately trying not to run on, and failing spectacularly!…. Oh well…. I just got up, give me a little slack, here, ‘kay?….Or, just call me Balzac….)

If this all sounds a bit vague, you are paying attention, as it is deliberately so. I’m trying to discuss a point that can easily slip over into whining about how Murphy always f___s with me, without crossing the line of demarcation for that state of asininity. Whining feels good, right up until it leaves the mouth, then it is just pathetic, and the shame and guilt set in…. I really don’t know why we even bother with it, as it has no effect at all on reality, and only makes us look and feel bad. Another of those delightful human characteristics that we are constantly working to eradicate from our personalities, if we have any sense. Of course, the possession of sense is another discussion entirely, and would take up far too much space right now, so let’s not go there, eh?

To get back to our original point of discussion, not being entirely in control of what is happening in my head is a deliberate state on my part. I’ve found that a lot of my artistic impetus comes from that area of my experience, so I’ve developed the habit of allowing part of my consciousness free rein to go wherever it may wish, without any oversight by the tapes and rules that govern most of the rest of my persona. This is my version of allowing my imagination to soar, and it seems to work for me, so I don’t fuss with it, or think about it much, as I don’t want to disturb whatever balance and tension that keeps it running smoothly.

Below you’ll find a poem, an original I composed last night, under non-normal circumstances. It’s okay…. not the best I’ve ever done, but honest, and real in its intent and style. Oh, and, of course, it rhymes…. to me, that is important in one of my own poems these days. I spent a lot of effort in my youth writing free verse, with no structure, and no deliberate rhyming. Most of what I wrote back then was pretty sappy…. emotional, at times powerfully so, but lacking in direction, or a whole lot of style.

S’okay, I’m good with it, because nobody will ever see it again but me, and maybe my kids, when they go through my things after I pass (Oh for goodness sake, I hope they don’t try to publish any of it posthumously, I’d die of shame….   🙂   ….) Any who, this poem was written on the edge, as I was about two sheets to the wind, an unusual state these days, especially on a mere half-pint over the course of an hour and a half…. not exactly the consumption of a lumberjack, or even myself three years ago….. But, it was enough for my payday splurge for the month, and gave me a full three hours of wonderful relief from back pain (I’d forgotten how alcohol can do that…. it’s just not something one can use regularly, for a lot of reasons, but, occasionally, it sure provides a kind, and depth, of relief that is very rare for those of us who suffer constant pain….)

Any who, let’s see what else we can come up with here on an early Sunday morning, with the rain and wind blowing and blustering outside, making me glad to have a warm, dry place to stay, with food, and things to occupy my mind, and time. I am indeed a rich man, for all that I don’t have, that is to say, the worry of those who have no such advantages as these. It’s almost enough to make me rant, but I’ll wait until I find a pearl to base it on…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“There is one God, but which one is He?”– Smart Bee

Now, this is the proper use of reason and inquiry! Such a small question, made gargantuan by the depth of its insight. Which one, indeed, is the real God? There are as many answers to this question as there are what I like to call “preachers”, for want of a better word (I should maybe try to pick a better one, I suppose….); “preachers” are men, or women, who have decided upon one particular system of beliefs on the subject of divinity as being the correct one, to the exclusion of all the others. In spite of the lack of hard evidence on hand for any of the different belief systems, these folks choose one, and stick to it like a barnacle…. which, come to think of it, is probably what it feels like, after a while….

Depending on to whom the question is put, the answer may vary from Odin the All Father of Norse mythology, to the God of Zoroaster, whose specific appellation escapes me just now. In between you will find God, also known as Yahweh/Jehovah to the those of the Tribe, Allah to the Muslims, and just plain old God to most of the Christian sects. There is the voodoo god, Jobu, in the Caribbean; Set, or Bal, or Mammon, or any of the other ancient earth gods;  Ra of the Egyptians; Krishna, and all his incarnations, i.e., Kali, Yama, Ganesha, Maya, and the others in the Hindu pantheon. The American Indians seemed to favor the Great Spirit. Ancient Druids and Wiccans follow the Goddess, with gods and goddesses from the Greeks and Romans thrown into the mix, just for fun. The list seems as endless as human imagination….. which it is, since all of them spring from that source.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Smart Bee (and, most likely, the Dalai Lama….)

As far as I know, Buddha never claimed to be a god, and was, to my mind, not particularly clear on the subject of divinity, as directly related to humanity. The same seems true of Taoism, though certain of its sages seem to hold some of the old Chinese mythology beliefs on Heaven, and the creatures who inhabit that domain, another concept for which there is only imaginary evidence to support its veracity, and its reality. In this way, I see these philosophies as superior to the religious doctrines that purport to worship a deity, as they rely on reason, personal responsibility, and compassion to direct action, rather than fear of reprisal, or hope for reward, as is the wont of religious dogma and doctrine.

This perception of mine may be because I have always thought that the entire concept of a deity is not capable of being described, or understood, if one is to assume that a god is what it claims to be. How can a mortal understand an immortal? There is no common ground, other than the assumption of existence, for which there can be any reason for one to be connected to the other, as we could not comprehend their existence. We, limited to our human perceptions, have no direct evidence of a deity that can be experienced by those perceptions.

Anyone who tells you they do is lying, even if they believe it to be true, unless they can share that experience with another human, directly, with evidence for the senses we possess, not merely for what we wish to be true. Feelings don’t count, nor visions only seen by them, or voices in the head, and neither do personal revelations, or religious fevers, or speaking in tongues…. See, hear, touch, smell, taste…. that’s what we have, along with the ability to reason, and our imagination. That is our tool kit, and unless one of the tools fits, it isn’t real, to our perceptive ability. Items purported to be evidence that come from imagination are just that…. imaginary, and cannot be considered proof of anything other than the naivete of the speaker, and of any who choose to believe them.

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

SIGH…. People are people, though, and they will choose what to believe according to what they feel, most of the time, rather than according to what is the truth, which requires effort to find. It has even been said that humans have a tendency more often than not to make choices that are bad for them, just for that reason, that it is too much effort to think their way through to the truth that would ultimately help them. As long as this is true, then our species is in danger, from itself, and its own delusions…. Sad, in a species of such promise…..

And on the 8th day, God woke up and said “Whew! It was just a dream!” — Smart Bee
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“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert
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If birth is a miracle, is not death also a miracle? — Smart Bee

Smart Bee is living up to its name today…. Here is a question that most will avoid asking…. Well, perhaps not so much avoid as ignore, by preference. Which amounts to the same, little as they’d like to admit it. It’s okay, though, nobody is blaming them, or suggesting they do anything other than what is comfortable…. Karma exists, like it or not, as the proper and logical counterbalance to entropy, giving it meaning, and everyone gets out of life exactly what they deserve. This is not an arguable conclusion, it is mere fact of reality, and fighting against it is pointless, as well as tiring…..

“You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is, what he is doing, or where he is going.”– Smart Bee

Everyone gets what they deserve….. what a novel concept! Of course, many folks, of the sort who don’t like to accept merely what they deserve, try to manipulate reality, and end up accumulating much more than they deserve. What they don’t understand is that time is not on their side, and karma will eventually come to them for an accounting, and all will be brought into balance, at their expense. It’s not a pretty sight when it happens, and it is so unnecessary, considering the consequences that can be avoided by simple acts of honor and integrity. Sometimes, living is a worse punishment than dying, in such cases….

Another lesser-known part of karma is one that most folks have a hard time both understanding, and, once they do, accepting. This principle is stated simply as: Not only are you 100% responsible for what you DO, you are 100% responsible for what happens TO you. Yep…. completely. If the world has punched you in the face, well, all I can ask is, what was your face doing in front of that fist? There are no excuses in the eyes of karma, and we become truly ourselves when we learn to understand this, and to make it a part of how we make decisions in life, including those leading up to the second miracle of our existence, dying.

“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness, we return to the source to remain where we have always been.” — Seng Ts’un.

In the ultimate sense, this goes back to the discussion in section one above, tying all of it together in this way: “the ten thousand things” is the Chinese literary euphemism for reality, or Heaven, or the universe at large, depending on who one asks at what time of day….. By this statement, Ts’un shows his knowledge, and acceptance of his own divinity, and connection, according to the principles of karma and how we interact with reality, to everything that exists in the universe, including all gods, or ideas about gods, or God. Take your pick, they are ALL correct, in their own little way, or according their own little piece of the Truth. What is actually TRUE for everyone always makes itself obvious…. because that is what happens. What is, is….

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” — Epictetus
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I have to say, this one isn’t bad…. I’m not going to even question why it came out as well as it did, but will go with the flow of karma, and accept what is….. Unless I wish to wait until late this afternoon to post this, I will have to hike through the rain for a few blocks to get to the Wi-Fi spot at the coffee shop, which I believe will be the best way to go. I’m no tireless, invulnerable warrior like I used to be, but I think I can make it three blocks in the rain for this without suffering the tortures of hell. Unless, of course, pneumonia sets in…. Well, no point in tempting Murphy any more than that, so I’ll close this here, and hope for the best…. All I need is twenty minutes of cooperation from the rain gods, and all will be well…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Age before beauty, beauty before fish sauce….

Ffolkes,
In the beginning, there was fish sauce…. and not much else. Of course, this was because things were still new and confusing, and no one had even thought about ice cream, or margaritas. But, the weather was good, so it was okay with most everybody…… people didn’t used to be so greedy. Then, of course, came the rules, first set up by a preacher, and things have gone downhill ever since…..

Life got really hard once there were rules, because, hey, no more fish sauce at bedtime, and folks have been playing the blues ever since that fateful day. We’d probably all rather have the fish sauce, but the blues are a pretty good trade-off, when you stop to think about it. And nobody pays any attention any more to the preachers, so things will get better, unless we start that old politics thing again. Boy, every time we try that crap, somebody’s got to get all elitist and big-mouth, dissing everybody else and hogging all the money, which we need for ice cream and guitar picks….. I hate when that happens….

So, rather than fall prey to the depredations of rogue politicos, or assholes, as we call them downtown, I think we should go diving in the web for pearls, & see if we can find some really shiny ones…. Toothsome, over at adollyisciousirony, also known as All About Lemon, her blog site, has started another game, a story game, and today’s first section will talk about that…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

One of my absolute favorite blog sites is called All About Lemon, aka adollyisciousirony, or Toothsome’s Place…. Dolly posts the most amazing stuff, and is always starting a new game for bloggers to play along…. Now we have the Story Game…. Dolly gives the first five words of a story, then the next blogger writes five more, then another blogger writes five more words, and so on to the end of the story that develops, with each blogger tagging one of their blogging friends or followers to provide the next five words, AND, with each blogger providing a link to the original post, to the tagger’s post, and to their site, where they’ve listed their five words…. Once the words are written, that blogger then tags another blogger to give five more words, and so on… So, the original story line started here, …….

http://allaboutlemon.com/toothsome-story-game/    …….  

with these five words from Dolly…”Once upon a Toothsome Day,”……

then, Illustrious Illustrator Mark Armstrong added, “a truck full of donuts” at his site, here: 

http://wp.me/PRFVr-1DO

So, now we have, “Once upon a Toothsome Day, a truck full of donuts…”

Linda Vernon, the next taggee, added these words, …..  “pulled up at Al’s house…”

as listed on Linda’s post at: 

http://lindavernon.wordpress.com/falderal/   

Linda, to my surprise, tagged me follow her, so…… here is my response, with five more words of brilliance, of course….. The story now reads…..

“Once upon a Toothsome Day, a truck pulled up at Al’s house….”

My contribution is: “leaking glazed all-bran crullers”…..  So, the story now goes like this….

“Once upon a Toothsome Day, a truck pulled up at Al’s house, leaking glazed all bran crullers…..”

Now, it becomes the turn of the person who I am tagging, and that person is:  WillowDot21, from her site here:

http://willowdot21.wordpress.com/  

Good Luck Willow!

Keep an eye on Dolly’s site to see the eventual finished product of our fooling about……
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Denial of Comfort

Baleful chairs become the enemy, heralded in red
seemingly welcome softness beckons with a smile,
waiting, content with slaughter, they are finally led
screaming in agony, deluged in venom all the while.

Desperate distraction becomes such a friendless fire
for all the patterns of autumn’s pale dismay,
leaving sincerely latent trails in spirals of twisted wire,
while memory insists upon failure, palpably evil, and fey.

Fat, jaded tears would have fallen in good time,
if only the suitable suitor had scaled the garden’s wall.
Credence for discounted prices luckily in their prime
bring only fascinated eyes into such a hallowed hall.

Searching for answers is ever a clever portrayal
with studious accouterments to fulfill each common rule.
Arguably patient pictures of science and honest betrayal
shall evermore languish, in light of passion so elegantly cruel.

~~ gigoid

Ouch, that hurt…..

“I was reading the dictionary.  I thought it was a poem about everything.” — Steven Wright
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Where else can you find intellectual games, with no pressure to win, that allow you to pick your own conclusions, other than right here, exploring consensual reality with me? Nowhere, that’s where…. So, here is another old-fashioned pearl for your perusal, with the conclusion right there in plain sight, for anyone to see…. it’s Hobson’s choice, all over again….

Politics is what happens to democracy when not enough people care. — Anonymous, Thursday, 1992

After his Ignoble Disgrace, Satan was being expelled from  Heaven.  As he passed through the Gates, he paused a moment in thought, and turned to God and said, “A new creature called Man, I hear, is soon to be created.”
“This is true,” He replied.
“He will need laws,” said the Demon slyly.
“What!   You, his appointed Enemy for all Time!  You ask for the right to make his laws?”
“Oh, no!”  Satan replied, “I ask only that he be allowed to make his own.”
It was so granted.

— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill  in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” — Voltaire

“A man that expects to train lobsters to fly in a year is called a lunatic and is locked up. But a man that thinks people can be turned into angels by legislation is called a reformer and allowed to walk free.” — Mr. Dooly

Sometimes, it’s just too easy….. but, somebody’s got to do it…..   🙂
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Well, that was a thoroughly enjoyable Pearl to make, other than the poem, which hurt like hell getting it out. But, better out than in, as I always say….. And, it’s cost effective, too! The overhead is really low on that stuff….. but, I know you’re not interested in the economics of writing a blog, any more than I am, so we’ll just forget all that, and bid thee adieu for another day…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

 

Emerald green tofu makes better ballast…..

Ffolkes,
All attempts to establish routine are now considered futile; only random acts that resist routine will be allowed. And damn! I wish I could find a comfortable chair in which to sit…. Yes, I know that sounds stilted and pompous, but grammar is grammar, so whattya gonna do?

Any who, back to routine, or lack thereof….. Waking in the middle of the night, sobbing over a dream, is not what I’d call conducive to making a routine. It took me an hour, and two or four solid shots to get back to a state where I could fall asleep again, and consequently gave me a late start this morning…..SIGH…. (That’s a west-county Irish sigh, a long full breath, and slow exhale, accompanied by a sorrowful expression and a sad shake of the head….)

I should probably be getting used to this randomness in my life; not having to work, or to spend any significant time worrying about what other folks need or want, is both the greatest perk, and the most stinging curse of retirement. The outer world no longer has a say in when I do something, or even what I do. I make my own schedule, and thus have no one to blame if it doesn’t suit me…. which, I’m sure you can see, is a reflection of that blessing/curse relationship. Ah well, such is life….

Since I’m late, and will be later, given the upcoming events this morning, we should get to the searching portion of the process, as it is the most time-consuming part. So…. shall we Pearl? Anything has got to be better than what has been happening thus far…..

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao-Tzu, Tao Teh Ching
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The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. — Old Testament — Job i, 21

I don’t know if it actually was Job who first said this particular phrase, but, given what God eventually did to him, all on a bet with Satan, it could have been…. If so, it goes to show, one shouldn’t go too long in the desert sun without finding some shade….

Here we have a statement that purports to provide reason for worship, a justification of why we should bow our heads in prayer to the heavens…. in short it says, “God is unpredictable, and omnipotent; it makes good sense to kowtow to Him…. he likes appeasement.” Well, maybe not, but you get the idea. We are theoretically in the power of a mad God, one who will fuck with his creation at the drop of a hat, just to entertain himself and the Devil over a wager.

He put Job through some outrageous times…. boils, plagues, genocide, hordes of locusts, deformity, God really did a number on Job, trying to see if his mind-conditioning would hold…. Since, according to the story, Job did hold out, and suffered all he did at God’s hand, and still wouldn’t curse him, we see that it did hold fast. What a dolt he must have been! No, I meant Job, but you may be right…. God surely acted like a dickhead in this one….

Sorry, but along about the third time God took everything away from me (had I been his chosen target instead of that stubborn boob, Job…), I would have started trying to figure out some way to fire back a few warning rounds, just to let Him know I’d had enough of that kind of treatment. A certain amount of leeway should be given, of course, but nobody gets more than three, I don’t care who they think they are…. By the act of persecution of Job, in my mind, He gave up any rights to worship, or even belief…. and He ought to know that, as he made me the way I am (according to the theory as given in Genesis).

I’d make this piece longer, but I think I’ve probably offended the Christians out there enough for one day…. also, the next section is a great poem, by my favorite poet, and I’d as soon you read it all, long as it is…. onward…..
___________________________________

This poem is rather long…. but I hope you read it all; it’s a great follow to the previous pearl, and well worth the time it takes….. enjoy!

A Tale Of The Thirteenth Floor

The hands of the clock were reaching high
In an old midtown hotel;
I name no name, but its sordid fame
Is table talk in hell.
I name no name, but hell’s own flame
Illumes the lobby garish,
A gilded snare just off Times Square
For the maidens of the parish.

The revolving door swept the grimy floor
Like a crinoline grotesque,
And a lowly bum from an ancient slum
Crept furtively past the desk.
His footsteps sift into the lift
As a knife in the sheath is slipped,
Stealthy and swift into the lift
As a vampire into a crypt.

Old Maxie, the elevator boy,
Was reading an ode by Shelley,
But he dropped the ode as it were a toad
When the gun jammed into his belly.
There came a whisper as soft as mud
In the bed of an old canal:
“Take me up to the suite of Pinball Pete,
The rat who betrayed my gal.”

The lift doth rise with groans and sighs
Like a duchess for the waltz,
Then in middle shaft, like a duchess daft,
It changes its mind and halts.
The bum bites lip as the landlocked ship
Doth neither fall nor rise,
But Maxie the elevator boy
Regards him with burning eyes.
“First, to explore the thirteenth floor,”
Says Maxie, “would be wise.”

Quoth the bum, “There is moss on your double cross,
I have been this way before,
I have cased the joint at every point,
And there is no thirteenth floor.
The architect he skipped direct
From twelve unto fourteen,
There is twelve below and fourteen above,
And nothing in between,
For the vermin who dwell in this hotel
Could never abide thirteen.”

Said Max, “Thirteen, that floor obscene,
Is hidden from human sight;
But once a year it doth appear,
On this Walpurgis Night.
Ere you peril your soul in murderer’s role,
Heed those who sinned of yore;
The path they trod led away from God,
And onto the thirteenth floor,
Where those they slew, a grisly crew,
Reproach them forevermore.

“We are higher than twelve and below fourteen,”
Said Maxie to the bum,
“And the sickening draft that taints the shaft
Is a whiff of kingdom come.
The sickening draft that taints the shaft
Blows through the devil’s door!”
And he squashed the latch like a fungus patch,
And revealed the thirteenth floor.

It was cheap cigars like lurid scars
That glowed in the rancid gloom,
The murk was a-boil with fusel oil
And the reek of stale perfume.
And round and round there dragged and wound
A loathsome conga chain,
The square and the hep in slow lock step,
The slayer and the slain.
(For the souls of the victims ascend on high,
But their bodies below remain.)

The clean souls fly to their home in the sky,
But their bodies remain below
To pursue the Cain who each has slain
And harry him to and fro.
When life is extinct each corpse is linked
To its gibbering murderer,
As a chicken is bound with wire around
The neck of a killer cur.

Handcuffed to Hate come Doctor Waite
(He tastes the poison now),
And Ruth and Judd and a head of blood
With horns upon its brow.
Up sashays Nan with her feathery fan
From Floradora bright;
She never hung for Caesar Young
But she’s dancing with him tonight.

Here’s the bulging hip and the foam-flecked lip
Of the mad dog, Vincent Coll,
And over there that ill-met pair,
Becker and Rosenthal,
Here’s Legs and Dutch and a dozen such
Of braggart bullies and brutes,
And each one bends ‘neath the weight of friends
Who are wearing concrete suits.

Now the damned make way for the double-damned
Who emerge with shuffling pace
From the nightmare zone of persons unknown,
With neither name nor face.
And poor Dot King to one doth cling,
Joined in a ghastly jig,
While Elwell doth jape at a goblin shape
And tickle it with his wig.

See Rothstein pass like breath on a glass,
The original Black Sox kid;
He riffles the pack, riding piggyback
On the killer whose name he hid.
And smeared like brine on a slavering swine,
Starr Faithful, once so fair,
Drawn from the sea to her debauchee,
With the salt sand in her hair.

And still they come, and from the bum
The icy sweat doth spray;
His white lips scream as in a dream,
“For God’s sake, let’s away!
If ever I meet with Pinball Pete
I will not seek his gore,
Lest a treadmill grim I must trudge with him
On the hideous thirteenth floor.”

“For you I rejoice,” said Maxie’s voice,
“And I bid you go in peace,
But I am late for a dancing date
That nevermore will cease.
So remember, friend, as your way you wend,
That it would have happened to you,
But I turned the heat on Pinball Pete;
You see – I had a daughter, too!”

The bum reached out and he tried to shout,
But the door in his face was slammed,
And silent as stone he rode down alone
From the floor of the double-damned.

Ogden Nash
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The following is an old-school pearl, with a specific thought in mind for you to deduce….. for the sake of everyone’s blood pressure, that specific thought will be revealed at the end…. I don’t usually, but thought I’d give a treat, just ’cause I’m a nice guy…. really, I am……

Child:  “Supreme Being, why is there evil in the world?”
Supreme Being (Sir John Gielgud in a Savile Row suit): “Oh, dear, I can’t remember, exactly. . . something to do with free will, I believe.”
— Terry Gilliam, _The Time Bandits_

“The character of human life, like the character of the human condition, like the character of all life, is “ambiguity”: the inseparable mixture of good and evil, the true and false, the creative and destructive forces — both individual and social.” — Paul Tillich

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn’t any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I’m not at the bottom,
I’m not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.
— A.A. Milne

“Belief gets in the way of learning.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.” — Oscar Wilde

“SANTA CLAUS comes down a FIRE ESCAPE wearing bright  blue LEG WARMERS.  He scrubs the POPE with a mild soap or detergent for 15 minutes, starring JANE FONDA!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

You may be asking yourself at this point, just what have I gotten myself into? Well, relax, it’s no big deal….. all of the foregoing is intended to lead you to the following….. which WILL be on the quiz…..

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

Alternate answer, also correct:

There’s little in taking or giving,
There’s little in water or wine:
This living, this living, this living,
Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
The gain of the one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
And love is a permanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
And rest’s for a clam in a shell,
So I’m thinking of throwing the battle —
Would you kindly direct me to hell?

— Dorothy Parker

“Birth, school, work, death.  About sums it up, I think.” — Smart Bee
___________________________________

For a rush job, this didn’t come out too badly…. it will have to do, anyway, so let’s get on with it….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you……

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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Pickles and mayonnaise on rye….

Ffolkes,
Gosh….it seems like only yesterday I was right here in this chair, going through the same old routine of trying to figure out how to get this show on the road. Oh…. right, it WAS just yesterday. SIGH….

As you may be able to tell, I’m having a bit of a problem this morning with the intro…. nothing new there, I guess. But, today seems a bit stranger (than usual) somehow; I have one of those feelings you get when deja vu is taking over your consciousness, and everything seems like it should be the same, but different, if you know what I mean….. Hmm, actually, after reading that sentence again, if you know what I mean, please, tell me, because I don’t have a clue….

“Hopelessly lost, but making good time…” — Letterman

Alas, alas, I mourn for those bygone days, when I could sit down at the computer, and inspiration flowed through me like a soft, summer breeze, wafting me gently into the higher realms of thought, safely bringing me back down to earth when I got too far into the hinterlands.

Nowadays it seems like I spend half of the morning just figuring out how to begin. This morning I’d even settle for an appearance by Murphy, if only he would confine himself to humorous japes, rather than horrifying instances of terror. Hell, even my pain isn’t so bad today; can’t even complain about that!…..

“Contrary to what you might think, a career in letters is not without its drawbacks– chief among them the unpleasant fact that one is frequently called upon to sit down and write.” — Fran Lebowitz

Ah the hell with it, let’s go Pearl, shall we?……
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A Question

A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.

Robert Frost

This, to me, is a fine example of the best of poetry. In four short, pithy lines, Frost takes the mind of the reader on a trip into the depths of philosophical inquiry, and leaves it there to finish the process alone. Exquisite in its seeming ambiguity, colored with insight!….
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“Since I’ve seen this *several* times in this group, the actual context of the God is dead quotation of Nietzsche: The Madman. — Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lighted a lantern and ran to the market-place calling out unceasingly: I seek God! I seek God! — As there were many people standing about who did not believe in God, he caused a great deal of amusement.   Why! is he lost? said one.  Has he strayed away like a child?  said another.  Or does he keep himself hidden?  Is he afraid of us?  Has he taken a sea-voyage?  has he emigrated? — the people cried out laughingly, all in a hubbub.  The insane man jumped into their midst and transfixed them with his glances.  Where is God gone? he called out. I mean to tell you! *We have killed him*, you and I!   We are all his murderers!….” — from THE JOYFUL WISDOM

I have no doubt whatsoever that Nietzsche was not a popular character with the clergy of his time, given the rather high degree of blasphemy this quote entails. But, I think that what the theists are upset about is not so much the claim that God is dead, but rather that people are shown as the creators of God, not the other way around, as they would have us believe…. It is anathema to their existence to have people even consider such a proposition; they spend most of their time convincing their parishioners to NOT think about the nature of God, or theology in general, at all. If they could figure out how to keep people from thinking about anything, they would gladly do it….

“However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being.  But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent.  If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.  I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D.”  Just who do they think they are?  And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?  And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate.  I am warning them today:  I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.” — Senator Barry Goldwater, from the Congressional Record, September 16, 1981

I spend a lot of time and effort here working toward the opposite end; I want people to think all the time, rather than seldom, or never. If I can get people to question some of the dogmatic principles upon which they base their lives, I consider it a good day. If even one person’s faith is disturbed by what I write, then I have achieved, at least partially, what I set out to do.

I see this as the single greatest barrier to our survival, to wit: people just don’t want to think. They’re lazy, thinking takes effort, and they’ve been taught all their lives to avoid putting any effort into that practice. It’s not encouraged in our society, unless the thinking one does is done within the narrow guidelines set out for them by the clergy and the beloved ruling class.

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” — Thomas Paine

So, vilify me if you must, discourage me at every turn if it makes you feel better. But, none of what is said to me, or done to me, will ever keep me from thinking, or from trying to get others to do the same. Our beloved ruling class, and the clergy of ALL religions, would have us believe that what they tell us is Truth, when in fact it is anything but that.

They know that the less the people think, the less they are educated, the easier they will be to manipulate, and they will expend every effort to see that the practice of thinking is discouraged. So, I have chosen to dispute that at every chance, and care not how they feel about it. So far, they’ve had things their way, and it’s time we took back some of our independence from them…..

“I count religion but a childish toy … there is no sin but ignorance.”– Thomas Jefferson, paraphrased.

gigoid has spoken. So be it….. Here is a bit of Art to go with the above discussion, found on Facebook…


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Pearls are…

Long, deep thoughts always
bring truth to the eyes of man,
and light into dark.

gigoid
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Some might say that today’s effort shows signs of cheating on my part. They would be right, and wrong, all at once. I’ve used some extra stuff from others, but feel compelled to point out the original haiku just above. Such output leaves me exhausted; it took about 15 minutes to compose the damn thing; therefore, it can’t be called cheating….  and any criticisms will be cheerfully ignored….  🙂

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


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!