Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
down the foggy ruins of time
far past the frozen leaves
the haunted frightened trees
out to the windy beach
far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Ah, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
silhouetted by the sea
circled by the circus sands
with all memory and fate
driven deep beneath the waves
let me forget about today until tomorrow.
~~ Bob Dylan ~~
The poster you see above this line is from NASA. Yep. If you click on the picture, you’ll see a larger version, which will allow you to read the small print beneath the picture. When I feel phantasmagorical (Specifically, in my case, the state of wishing for a fantasy world, wherein the human race DOESN’T become extinct….), I look at the poster, and the two others they have displayed over at the NASA web site, and dream of traveling to far-away planets…. It’s been happening a lot of late, as, here on Earth, life is becoming somewhat tenuous in nature, with a great deal of uncertainty as to how much longer our human presence will be tolerated by our abused home’s landlord, whomever that may be….
But, the intro is not the place to get into an issue of such scope…. Just click on the picture, and, if you wish, go download a copy yourself (or, download it right from the page where you see it…), and join me on the next flight to Kepler 16b…. I hear the interstellar transport ships are becoming quite luxurious, just like the old time cruise ships back on Earth, before the apocalypse….
Alright, I’m back, I think, though I don’t really want to be…. But, it’s just like that hive of bees there in my head, you know? There they are…. and, here I am….. SIGH….
Sometimes, I am more in tune with the future than I know. But, that’s a story for another time. Yesterday, the rant I wrote left me, for a while, in the dumps regarding any future for the human race…. Being a human, I was able to forget my/our doom, and get on with living, just as, eventually, I’ll get on with this Pearl. In fact, perhaps, given the fragility of my mood this recent past, we should do that now, before the risk of any unpleasantness becomes greater than my desire to avoid any such ungentlemanly behavior…. I do TRY….
Thus, if I could persuade y’all to place whatever adult beverages you chose for today’s dive, into the holders provided in your seat armrest, buckle up tight, and brace yourselves, we can be on our way. The sign re: no phone usage aboard this craft is there for a reason; please don’t make or take any calls, or we could drop from the sky like a stone…. But, no worries, the ink on the pilot’s license is fully dry; I checked…. Trust me….
Shall we Pearl?
“A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.” — Eric Hoffer
(Boy, ain’t it the TRUTH! Have you listened lately to FOX news? Or, for that matter, to ANYTHING on TV, or issued as a public proclamation of almost any kind? I can’t put my finger on exactly why, but, for sure and for certain, all reason in the world has gone missing, stranding us here on the train to madness, without a return ticket….)
One advantage of the internet over previous times, in at least one respect, is this: if one should wish, or need, some GOOD news, it’s a bit easier to find…. For example: I found this in a link to the ABC network channel web site you see below, , referred by an article on Rolling Stone’s web site I received in a daily email summary…. Believe me, this one makes it hard to find any reason to feel bad, if only for a moment or two….
Meet Eclipse, the dog who figured out how to ride the bus all by herself
I am currently so involved with affairs in the Big Blue Room, there is little room in my head to spare for collecting angst, at least while awake…. No telling what my unconscious mind throws out there while I’m sawing logs, as far as I do so…. One of the referrals to the archives that Word Press makes each day, as one of the suggested Pearls at the bottom of the post, held the following religirant, one of my better treatises on the subject of humanity’s oldest scam…. Enjoy, please, or, at least, don’t take it personally….
“Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is NOT a sin–just stupid.)” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”
It would be foolish to try to claim that there is NOT a part of me that wishes there was a God, as described by most of the Christian sects, or the Islamic, or Jewish, or any other of the major and/or minor religions in the history of Man. Who wouldn’t want to have all the responsibility for thinking, or for acting within reason, taken out of their hands? It would be wonderful, but as it’s pretty unlikely, to all appearances, that part of me will have to remain unfulfilled….. I’d rather adopt and set the above moral standard as my own, as I happen to agree with it wholeheartedly. It forms the root, the base, the touchstone of all of my morality, the basic raison d’etre for my every decision of whether or not to act, and how to react, from an ethical standpoint of my own choice, without thinking about whether or not it is according to dogma.
I first came across this particular quote from Lazarus when I was about 15 or 16 years old, right when I was taking classes at my parent’s church to fulfill the requirements for admission as an official, saved member of the church (Presbyterian, if it matters….), and wondering how I was going to break it to all of them that I couldn’t do it…. It was a hard decision, but, since the teachers couldn’t answer my questions about Bible incidents that puzzled me (not part of what we studied, but from different chapters I had read…), I stopped attending any services, because I didn’t want to be a hypocrite…. I could even rationalize my decision, as having been made out of concern for the safety of my family and friends, since now the church could conceivably fall down on them if they were with me when I came in…..
“Anybody who wants religion is welcome to it, as far as I’m concerned — I support your right to enjoy it. However, I would appreciate it if you exhibited more respect for the rights of those people who do not wish to share your dogma, rapture or necrodestination.” — Frank Zappa, “The Real Frank Zappa Book”
I also happen to agree with Frank on this one. What I do believe about religion, and the concept of God, or god, or Dog, is my own business, and begins with not pressing it on others, unless they ask; in such cases I will discuss the subject superficially, without expressing any preferences one way or another….. Unless, of course, they begin to proselytize. In THOSE cases, I will use every bit of shock value pop psychology I know of to lead them down some primrose path, messing with their heads until I get bored with them…. That usually doesn’t take long; they’re generally fairly uninteresting people. I tend to prefer people who have a bit of salt to their personality, just a touch of insanity somewhere in their blood…. Such ffolkes are much more fun to be around than folks who spend their time feeling bad about wanting to feel good….. and they annoy me far less often, as a rule…..
If God is omnipotent, why does he need my money? — Smart Bee
“The human condition is such that pain and effort are not just symptoms which can be removed without changing life itself; they are rather the modes in which life itself, together with the necessity to which it is bound, makes itself felt. For mortals, the ‘easy life of the gods’ would be a lifeless life.” — Hannah Arendt
In the same post with the rant in the section immediately above, I also found this poem, which I believe I may have not used since…. I don’t remember, and I’m certainly not going to go look…. It will do for today, certainly…. I hope you enjoy it….
Vague Glimpses of a Rainbow
All the sad notions of propriety had fled,
Screaming their anger for pausing in song,
Until late came the rabid fog, colored in red,
As serenity cried, unafraid to live so strong.
Fallow fields in faithful patience set free,
Dragged from birth, by their own nature cast
Saving each moment against fear yet to be,
Carved into silence, by ignorance held fast.
Historical forces plod slowly ’tis often said
Anxieties streaming stiffly, one epoch to the next.
Cultural mania stands nonchalant in its stead
No sadder epitaph has such bittersweet context.
Patterned bags of forgotten virtue lie in wait
Blessed by reminders whose souls value affinity
Frozen webs surround the fields in gravid state
Grasping passionately within obvious opportunity.
Passage to future realities isn’t guaranteed
Small favors for deities was left off the menu
No roses, nor manna, nor gallant aerial steed
Left traces of fatal, yet originally gracious venue.
~~ gigoid ~~
SIGH…. After almost an hour, the following pearl is the best I could coax out of SB…. Look at this….
“Anaximander says that men were first produced in fishes, and when they were grown up and able to help themselves were thrown up, and so lived upon the land.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Symposiacs, Book viii, Question viii
?!?!?!?! In the modern vernacular, WTF!
That, I have to say, is downright scary, it’s so…. weird. It’s probably deeper than it seems; much of what Plutarch said comes out that way. But, I think, with this one serving as the best we can find, it would be well to go back to the archives again, and call it a day…. Why, look! It seems the same Pearl I posted way back when, the same one wherein we found today’s rant, and poem, also had a very fine closing pearl, so…. It’s almost like Fate, isn’t it?…. Planning? No way….
Also from 9/7/2012:
Having just spent three hours (okay, I exaggerated…. only two….) searching in vain for a pearl with which to finish, 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, you do, as well….
Note from 2015:
Okay, I’ll confess. I also used a bit of hyperbole for THIS pearl…. I did find TWO pearls before giving up, but, when you see this one, you’ll realize why I went back to the past, rather than staying in the future, or the present, or whenever the hell we are now…. It’s gotten a bit confusing in here today…. SIGH…. Here, see what I mean? This is what SB gave me before I gave up…. It’s very poignant, for some of us, but, very, very naughty, in some respects, in a way that isn’t quite, well, healthy… Oh, hell, you’ll see….
“You are not permitted to kill a woman who has wronged you, but nothing forbids you to reflect that she is growing older every minute. You are avenged fourteen hundred and forty times a day.” — Ambrose Bierce “The Devil’s Dictionary”
See? True enough, but, a bit cruel, thus making it hard to appreciate the humor, or the irony, without a touch of guilt… Oh well, at least I’m done now….
And, thank God for that! Wait…. Can they arrest me for saying that? In the same post as a religirant? Hmm…. Maybe I should take it back….. Nah. That would be like, hypocrisy, man…. If I don’t believe it, why should I worry about blasphemy? Blasphemy, by definition, has no basis in reality, so, nobody can, in reality, punish me for saying it….
Well, that’s logical anyway, but, since most of the proponents of those who follow such beliefs tend to react so violently when someone doesn’t believe the same way, I think I’ll put on my Kevlar vest for a while…. Better safe than sorry, right?…. Right….
On that cheerful note, I bid thee adieu for another day. Provided none of those I’ve insulted today find me before then, I’ll see y’all tomorrow…. If they do, it’s possible I could be involved in a bit of a firefight; don’t worry about me, though, I recently upgraded my weaponry, and am now capable of withstanding an entire military platoon, as long as they are not equipped with anything more dangerous than, oh, say, a tank….
I could handle a tank, or two…. If they call for air support, I could have to retreat to my hidden compound, but, other than that, it shouldn’t be a problem…. When the Ground-To-Air SAM’s I ordered arrive next week, I’ll be all set to deal with any sort of conflict on my territory.
Okay, all of the rental time for our fantasies has now expired; it’s all been put returned to the vendor, and we may take our leave…. (Don’t tell the vendor, but, I kept the bazookas….) Again, ffolkes, I bid thee a fond farewell, until tomorrow…. Maybe I’ll find a touch of sobriety by then…. you never can tell, can you?….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….