Lofty goals, impudent desires….

Ffolkes,

“…life is long enough if it is well-spent.”

~~ Erasmus ~~

Magic 004

How to relax….

Hajime…. Today, along with the rest of this week, (and, the rest of the month, the way it is developing), is busy, with events taking place out in the BBR. It will take up most of the day, so, I have worked hard to complete this Pearl, as I am unsure when I’ll be able to get another fresh one done. The good news, for me, is, I finished the discussion/rant on which I’ve spent a week or more. It isn’t quite as planned, but, it’s definitely a feast for the mind, so, it will do. The rest is pretty much a throw-together, with another of my old poems, and an archived pearl of pearls for the last section. Since it all flowed together smoothly, I’ll take it, and be content. So, then, must you…. I mean, that’s what blogging is, right? Right….

All that being said, to our regular lack of defined purpose, I’ll make this intro a short one; they seem to work best for days such as the one in which we currently find ourselves. I shan’t apologize; I shall, however, issue a warning. To make it through this one, you’ll need to put on your thinking caps, if you have one; the following is NOT for the weak-minded, or, anyone who is afraid to challenge their own beliefs. It’s all about doubt, which remains our most relevant tool for finding our way in life…. a statement we’ll defend another time, if necessary. Today, we’re going elsewhere, with gusto….

That’ enough; we/I have a lot to do today. Let’s begin, while we are still fresh….

Shall we Pearl?

There is nothing like death. To it, everything is a metaphor.

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

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“You’re not ready for what I think.”

~~ Fox Mulder ~~

Plato-Aristotle

“History does not record anywhere at any time
a religion that has any rational basis.
Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough
to stand up to the unknown without help.
But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion
and spend time and money on it
and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.”

~~ Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1972) ~~

The above passage from Mr. Heinlein happens to be one of my favorites, in all I have read, in more than 60 years of pursuing the truth in books. In that sixty years, I’ve read an average of a book every other day; I no longer claim one per day, though I managed that average for the first 45 years or so; I’ve slowed some, trading quality for quantity in these latter years. In all that time, I have found this to be the most tactful, sardonic, and accurate statement summarizing my own thoughts, and my own opinion on the matter of religion.

I know such a statement meets with knitted brow, (I can hear the needles clacking together…), showing obvious disapproval from the majority of humankind; I noticed that at age four, the first time I asked my Sunday School teacher to explain the nonsense I was hearing there. I have noted no lesser degree of disbelief from almost everyone in the ensuing years, though not so frequently as if I had not learned to avoid discussions of religion, at least without some observable indications of an open mind. Since turning 60, or so, I’ve given up caring if people get offended, as I simply no longer care what they think about it, and am prepared to discuss it with anyone who cares to risk it.

Moreover, I’m not alone in my distrust of religions, especially the one in which I was made the subject of attempted indoctrination, almost from birth. Quite a number of the men who led the struggle to formulate this country, whom we were raised to call our “Founding Fathers”, also shared this mistrust. For example, here are some of their thoughts on the matter, followed by a closing thought from a modern poet….

“But a short time elapsed after the death
of the great reformer of the Jewish religion,
before his principles were departed
from by those who professed to be his special servants,
and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind,
and aggrandizing t heir oppressors in Church and State.”

~~ Thomas Jefferson, [letter?] To S. Kercheval, 1810 ~~

*******

“What is it the Bible teaches us? – rapine, cruelty, and murder.
What is it the Testament teaches us?
– to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery
with a woman engaged to be married,
and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.”

~~ Thomas Paine — The Age of Reason ~~

*******

“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 ~~

*******

“The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept
for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines,
and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery
that we find in Christianity.”

~~ John Adams ~~

*******

“…this would be the best of all possible worlds,
if there were no religion in it.”

~~ John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1816 ~~

*******

For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered.
But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula,
the big answers don’t remain stone-written.
We adjust to new conditions and discoveries.
We are pliable.
Love need not be a command or faith a dictum.
I am my own God.
We are here to unlearn the teachings
of the church, state, and our educational system.
We are here to drink beer.
We are here to kill war.
We are here to laugh at the odds
and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

Let’s finish this part…. For just a moment, wrap your head around the following statement, without attaching any emotional or even intellectual importance to whether it is true, or, not: “There is no God, or gods. No Allah, no Jehovah/Yahweh, no Jesus, no Krishna, nor any supernatural force which created/controls the universe.”

Got that idea? Is it comprehensible, simply as a statement of alternative possibility? I contend this statement is the Truth of Reality; in fact, I contend there is no rational reason to suspect otherwise.

Further, the belief there is such an entity has caused more harm to our species than any other single idea. It has caused people to be divided from each other, over something that merely plays upon their fears of the unknown to manipulate them into serving purposes that have no benefit for them, beyond an ignoble death, at the hands of another person suffering from the same manipulation, by another name.

Even worse, this ‘belief’ predisposes humans to then transfer their ‘belief’ to other ideas that are not in their self-interest, such as believing one is better, or worse than any other human, simply because of where they were born, or the amount of pigment in their skin, or that money implies worth. Humans are not naturally hierarchal; we all die, so what is to make one ‘better’ than another? Yet we find it easy to believe in such hierarchal fantasies, to the point of offering up our lives for an idea we never thought ourselves, but, had planted in our head before we knew enough to be able to tell for ourselves….

You see, the idea that humans NEED a government to solve their issues between each other is yet another silly notion, not supported by reality. The concept of money as a part of reality necessary to our success is also a false idea; there is nothing hierarchal about Nature, of which money is NOT a part. Yet, because humans are easily convinced, by their training to believe ideas are real, people set themselves up to fail, to be manipulated to expend their efforts and their attention on matters which serve no useful (to them) purpose….

“Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.”

~~ Bertrand Russell ~~

*******

“Some writers have so confounded society with government,
as to leave little or no distinction between them;
whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.
Society is produced by our wants,
and government by our wickedness;
the former promotes our happiness *positively*,
by uniting our affections,
the latter *negatively*, by restraining our vices.
The one encourages intercourse,
the other creates distinctions.
The first is a patron, the last is a punisher.
Society in every state is a blessing,
but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil;
in its worst state an intolerable one….”

~~ Thomas Paine, opening lines of _Common Sense_ 1776 ~

~~ *asterisks denote Paine’s use of italics* ~~

*******

“Money made a vow to itself, that no one who didn’t love it, would ever have it.”

Irish Proverb

As can be easily seen, merely by reading the history of our species, this trio of delusions, i.e., religion, government, and money, has caused more strife, conflict, and needless death, than any other single idea, for all the time since we began to gather in cities. It has been shown that humans lose their ability to function as a truly human animal when there are more than 200 or so sets of eyes; as we gather in towns, & cities, this number grows beyond our personal need for community, and the rules of engagement between people begin to fray, and those who have the need to control others, due to their own inner fears & perversions of spirit, begin manipulating the weak minded, and we see the development of rules and hierarchies to manipulate people into losing their own self-control of what serves their interests, in the mistaken belief it is necessary, when, in truth, what is necessary is increased personal responsibility, and self-reliance.

“The races of the Galaxy look towards mankind as the essential lunatic element.”

~~ Terry Pratchett, “Strata”, pg. 60 ~~

In sixty years of observing and studying human history, and humanity itself, both individually, and, as a species, I’ve come to two conclusions. First, our most compelling talent, as proven by any historical tome anyone has written, or read, is the ability to think of endless, inventive ways to kill each other, or anything else we come across in our wandering about the face of the earth. Second, almost everything we have invented, as weapons, is simply a more complicated method of throwing rocks, both sharp, and dull; most everything we have created as tools & systems/skills for use as non-weapons, is a response to this talent, in that it is designed to keep ourselves, in one way or another, from getting killed, mostly by each other….

Both sides of this talent, of course, stem from our imagination, which, in the most pure analysis, has been shown to be little more than an anomaly of our consciousness; neither can be quantified, or touched, or in any way seen to be a part of the reality we perceive through our physical senses. In short, it may be, as some speculate, merely a local phenomenon, in this small corner of the universe we perceive elsewhere, all around us, but too far to reach physically. This paradoxical sense, I think, is what gives most humans the tendency to ‘imagine’ themselves to be more than they actually are, denying completely the simple truth of reality as it exists, to assume that reality is what we imagine it to be. In short, we are able to deny our own nature….

Perhaps this is why so many are willing to believe in the lies and untruths on which our entire culture has been based for so long. In truth, we may never know; I probably won’t; if I haven’t been able to figure it out by now, I don’t think I have enough time left on this particular plane of existence to do so. Perhaps, after I have gone on to the next great adventure, the answers will be made clear; then again, anything, at all, can be no more than speculation, thus, exercising again that imagination… I’ve figured out enough to not believe anything that comes from that source; it tends to be less than real, at least as often as it is more so….

Enough, he cried, enough…. ‘Tis a feast, no more is needed.

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playing-for-change

Finishing the rant/discussion above took up all the spare time I had, so, we go with default, as is our wont. This is the original video, which started the whole idea of the organization. All of it is great music, by street musicians, along with the occasional music star to add their talent to the mix. I hope you enjoy it, and take the time to support the organization, which spreads love, and joy, and human kindness in all its branches, now located around the world at their music schools… Check our their website, it’s worth the time….

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Playing For Change

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Comedy_Tragedy

In case it isn’t clear, this poem, written over four years ago, is a rather complex version of the rant/discussion above, though, at the time, I didn’t know that…. *grin*…. I hope you enjoy it anyway….

Fatal Supplication

But what becomes of our deepest dangerous dreams?
Does fantasy rescue any part of life’s imperiled favor?
Reality becomes but silvery pairs of mismatched teams,
Dining with affable elegance, such diffident waste to savor.

Who decides what sorrows to carry bravely to term?
Will fragrant moments of sanity make hasty manifestation?
Only Time’s patient mutability sends messages so firm,
Yet salient impersonal vexation lends credence to ripe imagination.

Can folly bring out sadness and rampant visions of beauty?
What kindness can be found in distant open relations?
With countless faces the dead disturb with dire impunity,
From separate caches of wisdom come simple stylish privations.

Shall shallow emotion serve to provide such explanations?
When does avaricious intensity assume primary focus?
Plain answers slide softly through with multiple mitigations,
While conceptually indignant concepts engage a fatally personal locus.

~~ gigoid ~~

9/20/2012

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pearls_3

I’m in a bit of a hurry, for reasons I explained above, so, we’re filling in the final section with a group of pearls from an archived Pearl, which, oddly enough, fits right in with today’s post…. Go figure, eh? At any rate, it’s a good way to finish this off with some aplomb, if not complete dignity…. Enjoy!….

From 9/7/2012:

Having just spent three hours (okay, I exaggerated…. only two….) searching in vain for a pearl to finish with, I became incensed with frustration, and rather than scare my new neighbors with a verbal outburst, I calmly set a parameter, and collected the following pearls on one subject, to wit: human nature…. As far as I can tell, all of them rate a solid 10 on the truth scale….. As always, just follow the bouncing thought as it explores your own inner self….

“The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth–that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured on one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.” — H. L. Mencken

“The ultimate evil is the weakness, cowardice, that is one of the constituents of so much human nature. When, rarely, unalloyed nobility does occur, its chances of prevailing are slim. Yet it exists, and its mere existence is reason enough for not wiping the name of mankind off the slate.” — John Simon

“We are all terrible little creatures.” — Martin Amis

“The tragedy and the magnificence of Homo sapiens together rise from the same smoky truth that we alone among the animal species refuse to acknowledge natural law.” — Robert Ardrey, _The Social Contract_

“Man, were he not corrupted by Governments, is naturally the friend of Man, and that human nature is not of itself vicious.” — Thomas Paine

“I think we’re all Bozos on this Bus!” — Firesign Theater

Now I feel better….. and I hope you do, as well….

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Okay!…. That went well, for a change. This is one I put a lot into; in a certain sense, it might be considered an iconic Pearl, a representative of all Pearls, with an example of all of what I do. Of course, I don’t see it addressing any of the ‘why’ I do it, but, hey, we can’t have everything. At least, not all at once; that’s a bit much to expect…. At this point, you may expect your day to continue, and, in that, you’d be right. You see, this one is at an end; at least, as far as I can make it so. Since I can feel it slipping away from me, I’ll just say this…. See ya, ffolkes. I’ll be back, in a day, or possibly two, depending on how efficiently I can deal with the demands upon me set by what is happening out in the Big Blue Room. Should be an interesting week; lets get started on it, ‘kay? ‘Kay! Be cool, be strange, be alert, and most of all, keep those thinking caps close at hand….

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

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À bientôt, mon cherí….

Irregular behavior patterns on parade….

Ffolkes,

You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.”
~~  George Bernard Shaw ~~
dogs-dumbfounded_2863302k
“Did someone say “walk”?”


The dogs belong to a photographer in England. She rescued all three dogs, and now takes pictures of them together, and separately, from a unique viewpoint; I found this, along with a number of other excellent photos, on the web site of the London Daily Telegraph…. I love the pictures, which she uses to demonstrate a number of emotions or issues of a humorous nature…. If you have a chance, check them out some time… I forgot to take down the name, of either the dogs, or the photographer, but, Google will find the picture, if it is plugged in, just like it will find words….

Now that the housekeeping has been completed, we could go on to something more compelling, or intense, but, who wants to wake up to that? I could comment along the lines of the quote from George Bernard, above, or, I could even start a rant in the same vein, i.e., political asininity…. We could take a 90 degree turn, heading off toward some shiny thought off in the distance…. Or, I could ignore everything, and just start babbling, much as I usually do each day….

I can’t seem to make up my mind, which, although not all that unusual, is a trifle more stubborn than I generally find it to be…. There’s no rhyme, nor reason, I can find, other than an impish sense of fun that is sort of hovering about, looking for a way to insert itself into the conversation…. It’s bound for disappointment today, I can tell ya…. My mood is such that “fun” might cause sparks, and a fire…. we don’t want to have to deal with that before I’ve had more coffee, believe me…. I’m already riding the edge of control, couldn’t say why, but, I can say, it would NOT be a good day to test my patience….

Maybe it’s because I was all set to do a politirant, right off the bat today…. The quote, a good one, is also a good springboard for a discussion of the dangers of patriotism without the intelligence to operate such a dangerous state of being…. To be a true patriot of this country, it requires, no, it demands the citizenry be educated, and not by merely one book; anything less will not allow us to keep the freedom to think, and to act in ways that are actually free, and not merely conforming to custom, or tradition…..

But, then, most of the citizens of this country can no longer use their minds for independent thought, having given away the right to use their own minds a long time ago…. In fact, I’m pretty sure the fundies and zealots were already planning their insidious take-over of the government, in collusion with the corporate snakeheads and their bribes…. Now, both of them have the government in a choke hold, and nothing gets done unless they say so…. If you don’t believe me, just look at how many bills this Congress has voted on…. it’s pathetic….

Both of these groups, neither of which gives a shit about the common man, other than as the means by which they can assume control of the world’s resources, have infiltrated the ranks of those who believe they are in charge, to manipulate them into making laws that favor two entities only….. Business, which is protected by the granting of “corporate personhood”, and religion, which is protected by all sorts of special advantages in the laws, just like the corporations… such as no taxes on their operations or properties…. What a scam!

Oh gosh…. look at that. I’ve lost control again, and started ranting in the intro…. when I said I probably shouldn’t rant at all….. and, I find I was right, as usual…. (I know, being right so often is annoying at times, but, hey, it’s still better than being wrong!…..) My mood is such that just that little bit of expressed ire, and my blood pressure banged up a few notches…. Bogus!

Ah well, we’ll pretend it never happened, and try to go on…. In fact, we’ll take this opportunity right here to make our escape, n’est pas? Oui….

Shall we Pearl?….

“The greatest torture in the world for most people is to think.” — Luther Burbank (1849-1926)

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“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/07/29/prove-your-love-at-city-hall/

“The “rules” are more like frightened guesses based on pious fairytales, superstitious dogma, the thing that sort of worked for a few people, once, way back when. The church is more full of sh-t than anyone save maybe the government, right along with all developed cultures of the world, all clueless as stoned cats but simultaneously desperate to keep the populace locked into some sense of behavioral norm. ” — Mark Morford, Monday, 2014

I’ll bet you’re thinking, “Oh no! He’s going to rant again, against religion!” Well, you could be right, but, then, again, you might be wrong, too…. To be honest, I myself am, as yet, unsure which path to take…. Mark’s article is a good one, again, and this single paragraph is one of the finest short summaries of reality in our culture that I’ve seen in a long time… The last sentence in the excerpt, “….church is full of sh_t….”, etc. is BEAUTIFUL!, It’s precise, coherent, and shows reality in a strong, bright light….. such as it is….

I COULD rant…. goodness knows there is enough going on in the world to rant about, especially now the various branches of our government, which have been at war for generations, have apparently gone completely bonkers, with one branch trying to sue another branch, by filing suit with the third branch…. which just goes to show, the tree is rotten, to the core….

Rather than making it worse for you by pounding that into your face and mind, with a religirant, or a politirant, or even a politireligirant, I’ll make the same points, with a lighter touch, by putting together a pointed old-school pearl, with all of them, the politicians, the judges, the police, the corporate snakes, the preachers, the pimps, and all those other assholes who spend their lives taking from others, as the common target…. Enjoy….

“The Second Amendment doesn’t grant the right to keep and bear arms. You already have that right.  The Constitution just prohibits the government from taking it away from you.” — Smart Bee

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” — H.P. Lovecraft, “Supernatural Horror in Literature”

“There are two sentences inscribed upon the Delphic oracle, hugely accommodated to the usages of man’s life: “Know thyself”, and “Nothing too much”; and upon these all other precepts depend.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Consolation to Apollonius

“In fact, one thing that I have noticed . . . is that all of these conspiracy theories depend on the perpetrators being endlessly clever.  I think you’ll find the facts also work if you assume everyone is endlessly stupid.” — Brian E. Moore

“Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, so don’t kid yourself…” — Frank Zappa

“Money talks. Usually it says, “Bend over.”” — Solomon Short

“Don’t ever tell anyone they ain’t free, ‘cos they’re gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ just to prove they are.” — Terry Southern (script for Easy Rider)

And there, but for the grace of, well, somebody, go you or I…

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I’m using one of my poems, just because it fits the theme, perfectly…. Well, of course it does, silly, I wrote it, didn’t I?….

Geezer to Congress, with Love

Politicos don’t care much ’bout seniors and their ilk,
except for their money, I thinks;
Though they talk as if they’d cozen them in silk,
what they actually do, it stinks.

“The banks are failing, we can’t allow that!”,
steal from the aged, that’s their plan.
“Their life’s ending, that’s plainly where they’re at,”
lie shamelessly, because they can.

Maybe just once, if we all act together,
it couldn’t miss.
Right on their shoes, no matter the weather,
take careful aim, and piss.

Why the hell not?
It’s worth a shot!

~~ gigoid ~~

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Okay, so, it’s getting a bit late, and I’m tired, even though I haven’t ranted very hard or long…. Just a factor of my age, I suppose…. which is something I refuse to give in to. Rather than ranting, though, which could cause bleeding from the ears at this juncture, we’ll go old school again, with a random, harlequin style pearl, sans parameters, to make the process of searching faster and simpler…. Now, watch Smart Bee screw with me, and keep me busy for a half-hour or more, looking for that last perfect pearl…. Wish me luck….

“Generally, he who occupies the field of battle first and awaits his enemies is at ease.” — Sun Tzu

“In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.” — Aristotle

“It is vain to look for a defence against lightning.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 835

“Let not thy mind run on what thou lackest as much as on what thou hast already.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, vii, 27

“The man who boasts that he habitually tells the truth is simply a man with no respect for it. It is not a thing to be thrown about loosely, like small change; it is something to be cherished and hoarded and disbursed only when absolutely necessary. The smallest atom of truth represents some man’s bitter toil and agony; for every ponderable chunk of it there is a brave truth-seeker’s grave upon some lonely ash-dump and a soul roasting in Hell.” — H. L. Mencken, Prejudices: Third Series

“The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common.  Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts  to fit their views…which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to  be one of the facts that needs altering.” — Doctor Who, “Face of Evil”

This is thy hour, O Soul;
Thy free flight into the wordless
Away from books, from art.
The day erased; the lesson done.

Thee fully forth emerging,
Silent, gazing…
Pondering the themes thou lovest best:
Night, sleep, death, and the stars.

~~ Walt Whitman ~~


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Naturally, I was, again, too bloody right…. except it took 45 minutes, rather than a mere 30…. But, the results were worth the time & effort, I think, so, I’ll let it go without further comment, which would only serve to anger me, and bore y’all…. Neither of those outcomes is desirable, so, we’ll just call it a day…. Well, we will, as soon as I can figure out the correct combination of words to get us out of here…. Oh, right, here they are…. See ya, ffolkes…. tomorrow, if everything goes the way it should….

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

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