Abrogating moral rectitude in mufti….


“Since it is Reason which shapes and regulates all other things,
it ought not itself to be left in disorder.”

~~ Epictetus — Discourses, Chap. xvii

trinity globe

Prophetic Globe

Trinity College, Dublin

Hajime…. Little did he know just how little he knew; in this he joins hands with most of humanity…..

Good morrow, ffolkes. No, I’m not sure where that came from. It just sort of flowed out when I began to type, and, voilá! Instant aphorism on human nature, a fascinating subject which continues to elude the understanding of mankind, despite centuries of trying to come to terms with it. An objective view of the way our species has approached the quest to find themselves does not inspire much confidence; most of our history shows a firm intention on the part of most people to deny all which makes us human, in favor of fulfilling their base desires for power and control over their peers, in order to assuage their innate fear of their own inadequacy.

Now, I know it’s not a good policy to rant in the intro, but, hey, I’m human, so, back off, mate. As such, I do what FEELS best, and then try to repeat the feeling as often as possible, regardless of how it affects anyone else. This particularly human trait is, as far as I can see, the fatal flaw in that nature, one which can, and, obviously IS, leading us on a path to self-destruction, through the denial of our own capabilities, and the abrogation of virtue in favor of comfort. This, to me, is clear, yet, for most of mankind, it is an issue of which they seldom, if ever, even contemplate.

SIGH…. At this point in the narrative, it becomes clear this is going not much of anywhere useful for our purpose, which is to post a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom. If I continue this discussion, we may never even get to the music, so, to keep things on an even keel, and moving, we’ll go on now, leaving this subject for discussion below. Perhaps this will save some time, and, if nothing else, makes it seem as if we are sure of what we are doing. The cat seems to agree, even if she would rather I threw some paper for her….

We’re going to go now, and, I’d suggest you hang on; Luigi’s at the helm, so, things can get a bit rambunctious. It won’t take long, though; just remember to breathe through it…. Here we go….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Education is not a preparation for life;
Education is life itself.”

~~ John Dewey ~~



Playing For Change

Today’s musical selection comes again from the Playing For Change playlist. This one is a recording of 75 Cubans from around the world playing and singing the song that means ‘home’ to them, whether they are in Cuba, or anywhere in the world….. This is for Mari, whose family had to flee Cuba in the latter part of the twentieth century, when she was just a child. She now writes some of the most powerful poetry I’ve ever read, and still dreams of returning one day…. Enjoy, and then go donate to the cause, for it’s a good one, making peace through music….







Dont keep calm

“A rich man has no need of character.”

~~ Hebrew proverb ~~

There is just so much wrong with this statement, it is difficult to know where to begin. To my way of thinking, this piece of folk ‘wisdom’ can be viewed as the single most destructive idea mankind has come up with in our entire cultural history. If one embraces this idea, individually, or as a society, the resulting culture would be, and, to be honest, has become, a parody of human nature, bringing out the very worst of our fears and inadequacies, using them to lie, to cheat, and, live a life of conflict and trouble. To assume this attitude is to deny the connection to all other life, demanding reality conform to the shape of our most degrading fears, with no attempt to reconcile these with any other entity. In short, it gives every person alive the clear permission to act like an asshole.

I see this attitude as a root cause of all the wars mankind has engaged in through history; it fosters divisiveness, bigotry, racism, and discrimination, with no attempt to define justice for anyone at all. To anyone embracing such a position, the needs and rights of others become immaterial; to them, the only thing that is important is their own desires. This, to my mind, is not merely stupid, but, inhuman; those who act without virtue do not belong to the same species as do I; they have abrogated their humanity.

I had originally planned to rant about this for a long time; there is a lot with which to take umbrage in those who live to take advantage of others as a matter of policy. But, I find myself unwilling just now to put myself through the wringer; this subject tends to stimulate my adrenal gland, and I’m not going there today. Instead, I have put together a pretty good seven star pearl to take my shots for me. It’s not a rant, but, it will do for an indictment…. The people who buy into the statement at the top of the section are, in my mind, the root cause of all of the other issues with which humanity is currently engaged; the war, the racism, the injustice, all can be traced to this attitude on the part of one segment of humanity, which decided many thousands of years ago they were better than everyone else, and have maintained that insane delusion, at the expense of the rest of mankind, for all that time….

Here then are some comments on how to spot them, how to look at them, and, hopefully, how to bury them, once and for all….

“Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.” — Nietzsche, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”

“I see little divinity about them or you. You talk to me of Christianity when you are in the act of hanging your enemies. Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense!” — George Bernard Shaw, The Devil’s Disciple

“I know of no book which has been a source of brutality and sadistic conduct, both public and private, that can compare with the Bible.” — Lord Paget

(Need an example? “When Yahweh your gods has settled you in the land you’re about to occupy, and driven out many infidels before you…you’re to cut them down and exterminate them.  You’re to make no compromise with them or show them any mercy.” — Deuteronomy 7:1 (KJV)  There’s more, even worse insanity in that one short chapter, but, that gives the flavor…)

“Collective responsibility brings a lowering of moral standards.” — Freeman Dyson

“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

“Without civic morality communities perish; without personal morality their survival has no value.” — Bertrand Russell

“Between those who use their neighbors, and those who use a cane.
Between those in constant power, and those in constant pain.
Between those who run to evil, and those who cannot run.
Tell me which ones are the cripples, and which ones touch the sun.”

~~ Ceili’s Muse “What you do with what you’ve got”~~



I Must Have Wanton Poets
MUST have wanton poets, pleasant wits,
Musicians, that with touching of a string
May draw the pliant king which way I please:
Music and poetry is his delight;
Therefore I’ll have Italian masks by night,
Sweet speeches, comedies, and pleasing shows;
And in the day, when he shall walk abroad,
Like sylvan nymphs my pages shall be clad;
My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns,
Shall with their goat-feet dance the antic hay;
Sometime a lovely boy in Dian’s shape,
With hair that gilds the water as it glides,
Crownets of pearl about his naked arms,
And in his sportful hands an olive-tree,
To hide those parts which men delight to see,
Shall bathe him in a spring; and there, hard by,
One like Actæon, peeping through the grove,
Shall by the angry goddess be transform’d,
And running in the likeness of an hart,
By yelping hounds pull’d down, shall seem to die:
Such things as these best please his majesty.

~~ Christopher Marlowe (1563 – 1594) ~~

~~ Edward II, Act 1, Scene One ~~



    Our final pearl is a simple, random collection that talks about Life at Large. Any conclusions not made obvious are the responsibility of the Gentle Reader, just like in the real world….

“All is flux, nothing stays still.”  — Heraclitus (540?-480? B.C.)

“Just as there are laws of Conservation of Matter and Energy, so there are in fact Laws of Conservation of Pain and Joy. Neither can ever be created or destroyed. But one can be converted into the other.” — Spider Robinson

“…the greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor. It is the one thing that cannot be learned from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in dissimilars.” — Aristotle, _Poetics_, 22, 1459a 5-7

“The questions remain the same. The answers are eternally variable.” — Subtle Bee

“The great mountains of the world are a great remedy if men but did know it against our modern discontent and ambitions. In the hills is wisdom’s fount. They are deep in time.” — E. R. Eddison, The Worm Ouroboros

“And it is not our part here to take thought only for a season, or for a few lives of Men, or for a passing age of the world.” — Gandalf

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me.  That means nothing.  People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” — Albert Einstein


Well, it’s done. Since I was only half-conscious for much of it, I shan’t comment on its quality, or even its quantity. I will however, make another attempt at coherence tomorrow, if all goes as planned. But, then, y’all know what they say about plans. Regardless, I’ll be here; fair warning.

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.


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Savory bytes of digital dessert….

One hopes, given an even chance, that life will be fair…. it is a fool’s hope, to be sure, one smashed on a regular basis by reality, yet it is never driven completely away, nor smashed so thoroughly that it disappears. Each of us will hang on to this hope well beyond the point where it is never going to happen, even though we know it is foolish…. and then will feel badly, because it did not happen. We place far too much importance on a quality of life that doesn’t exist in reality, and bemoan our fate when it fails to materialize…. We ARE a bunch of mopes, aren’t we?….

It’s part of our charm, I suppose, to hope for what we cannot have, for what we really hope for is justice. Human nature craves justice, and deplores its absence, even though it is only a creation of our minds, and has no real existence other than as a human quality, or judgment. The universe is completely indifferent to such ideas, and will not act in any fashion to either support, or deny, any such concepts. It is only by human intervention does justice, and fairness, occur, and people need to understand this more clearly than they do. So many people expect the world to be fair, when it is merely a human desire to force the universe to meet our wishes that fairness exists at all. Mama Nature just doesn’t give a shit…. and that is a fact, a natural law, not subject to either debate or change….

So, it behooves us all to, a) stop using words like behooves, grand as it is…. and b) quit being a pack of idiots, when it comes to expecting reality to fit our notions of what it should be. It just isn’t going to happen, and hoping and wishing is NOT going to turn the tide in your favor, no sir…… not even a little bit.  We may as well get used to it, and get over it….

Well, that was certainly a rude awakening…. so to speak. The previous three paragraphs were apparently sitting in there, just panting to get out and onto the screen, as they just flowed out, first thing after sitting down this morning…. That is a good thing, omen-wise, but a bit of a facer for me to realize how unconscious this whole process really is sometimes…. Ah well, going with the flow is the ONLY way to fly, or float, as the case may be….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“I’m not paranoid – just a student of history.” — Smart Bee

“I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.” — Edith Sitwell

Well, there you go….. that about sums it up perfectly, don’t you think? I do…. I’ve also heard it said that stupidity has a certain charm, but deliberate stupidity is boring and without redeeming value. I can agree with both of these strongly, as they are congruent with my own feelings on the subject, which I’ve developed over too many years of dealing with said condition. It’s a sad state, but not always a choice, so some slack has to be given. And will be, always, up until that slack is taken up with manipulative intent, or with just plain laziness, either of which will earn my immediate disdain, followed closely by an appropriate response, with my own self providing the parameters for appropriate….

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.” — Albert Einstein

I also hold this to be true, which is why I feel justified in my former statements. I try not to judge people too harshly, especially if they are challenged by holding more than one opposing idea at once without yielding to belief without evidence, or at least suspending belief until more data is collected. Now, that may sound a bit elitist, but not if you consider that I hold myself to the same standards, and in fact, find myself shipwrecked a lot, with the echo of laughter ringing in my ears….. and from these life lessons, I’ve tried to learn. Not learning, by choice, is what I object to in folks who otherwise are capable of doing so, when not learning causes harm to others, or themselves, or the universe at large. Which it does. A lot….

yOU HAve OfFIcialLY eNTereD tHe PRepoStERous ZonE. —  Smart Bee

This is how I often feel, especially after cruising Facebook of late, and seeing some of the sheer ignorance that passes for conservative conversation of late. I’ll see a posting from someone who normally seems to have a brain cell or two that work together on occasion, a posting that, usually, repeats one of Romney’s lies or distortions about Obama (such as the birther nonsense, or blaming the lack of jobs on him, when it is the Republican Congress that has blocked any jobs reform laws 104 times in the last two years, while coincidentally voting FOR increases in military spending for wars we no longer are pursuing…..). I don’t bother to comment on these posts; it only encourages them, but it saddens me to see just how ignorance can be passed on so easily….

“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely  rearranging their prejudices.” — William James

In fact, this sort of rearrangement is what the people of whom I just spoke are engaged in when they post those lies from their bigoted, racist hero, the Great White Hope, who shall save all the white Christians from the big bad black man with the silver tongue…. They are so caught up in their fears that they don’t even realize, and would never admit, their racism and bigotry…. In fact, their usual reaction to such accusations is to accuse their detractors in turn, calling them unpatriotic, or traitors,  other such supposedly derogatory terms….. I don’t know about y’all, but it always makes me feel pretty good to have one of them call me a name, as it means that what I’ve said got through to them, and stimulated a response, even if it is only a defensive one….

“The sky is not less blue because a blind man does not see it.” — Danish Proverb

Nor does a lie become the truth by repetition, despite what the Republican Party, or the Democrats, for that matter, would have us believe. I am thoroughly convinced that the beloved ruling class of this country (and don’t even try to tell me there isn’t one….) truly believes they can tell the American public whatever they wish, and they will be believed, as long as they repeat it enough times…. Sadly, they have been proven correct, as millions upon millions of fearful people attach themselves to the candidate who promises to replace that which they fear with their own programs and policies…. no matter how destructive those policies will be to themselves…. Stupidity has become the greatest political tool of the twentieth, and now the twenty-first century, both in the candidate pool, and the voting public….

“Opinions founded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest violence.” — Hebrew Proverb

Since we are using pearls from around the world, perhaps one might think that it does not apply to American politics; this would be a mistake, for American politics has evolved into its current state by mirroring what happens in the rest of the world. What, for example is the solution, according to the Republican Party’s platform, to the question of birth control, and/or overpopulation…. Why, denial, of course, of the root causes, and then let’s go blow up a Planned Parenthood building. This can be done after passing laws to take women’s healthcare issues away from women, and place it in the hands of misogynistic men…. How to handle terrorism? Why, let’s go bomb some more little brown people somewhere else in the world, sending some of our finest young people to sacrifice themselves at the altar of the Almighty Dollar while we are at it….

“Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.” — Smart Bee

If you can’t tell, I am getting a bit incensed…. which is not uncommon when I start in on the political scene as it currently is being played out.  I’m going to end this rant here, as it is getting me somewhat worked up, and I’m quite emotional enough already, thanks very much…. I know, I know, I’m the one who started talking about a subject that I know will get me going…. but, it all needs to be said, ffolkes, and I’m the one to say it…. Get out there and vote…. I hope you will vote on the side of reason and tolerance, rather than siding with ignorance and fear, but, as long as you vote, at least you have the right to an opinion…. Try thinking…. it may hurt at first, but it will lessen, the more you keep at it….

“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” — A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner

“Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike.” — Plato, The Republic. Book VIII. 558

Nothing bubbling up from my head’s hidden depths today, I’m afraid…. or perhaps that is relief?…. Any who, I need something to feed that part of me that craves verse, so, here is some…. Nash Hash….

Come On In, The Senility Is Fine

People live forever in Jacksonville and St. Petersburg and Tampa,
But you don’t have to live forever to become a grampa.
The entrance requirements for grampahood are comparatively mild,
You only have to live until your child has a child.
From that point on you start looking both ways over your shoulder,
Because sometimes you feel thirty years younger and sometimes thirty years older.
Now you begin to realize who it was that reached the height of imbecility,
It was whoever said that grandparents have all the fun and none of the responsibility.
This is the most enticing spiderwebs of a tarradiddle ever spun,
Because everybody would love to have a baby around who was no responsibility and lots of fun,
But I can think of no one but a mooncalf or a gaby
Who would trust their own child to raise a baby.
So you have to personally superintend your grandchild from diapers to pants and from bottle to spoon,
Because you know that your own child hasn’t sense enough to come in out of a typhoon.
You don’t have to live forever to become a grampa, but if you do want to live forever,
Don’t try to be clever; If you wish to reach the end of the trail with an uncut throat,
Don’t go around saying Quote I don’t mind being a grampa but I hate being married to a gramma Unquote.

— Ogden Nash

“Become what you are.” — Buddha

How powerful is that? How deep is his understanding of human nature, and of our place in the scheme of things? There is none of this, “Do right, and you shall be rewarded”….. No “Do wrong, and you shall be punished.”  No “The almighty God is a jealous God, and craves, nay, insists upon, your worship.” No “Send me money, and you will be saved!”  Just, be yourself, just the way you are, and things will work out… Now, that’s MY kind of religion! If I had one, that is….

I’m not entirely certain that Buddhism meets ALL the requirements to be called a religion, anyway. It’s kinda relaxed about the whole thing, actually, not lending itself well to manipulative pressure on people to do or say any particular thing. Dogma seems to be lacking in their writings, and, in fact, seems to be assiduously avoided in all their efforts at educating people about what they believe. You won’t see any monks going door to door seeking converts, not in any traditional sense…. their way is more a matter of living the way they believe, and inviting others to watch, and join in if they wish…. but, if not, no worries, mate…..

Oh, I’m sure they end up with their share of bozos, but, in general, that is sort of self-limiting, as one of the basic tenets of the philosophy is that each person should undergo a constant state of self-examination, to determine if what they are doing is in harmony with the rest of the universe. This kind of introspection is not merely uncommon, it is often discouraged by more traditional religions, as introspection can lead to independent thinking, and gasp!, rejection of dogmatic, self-destructive religious laws. Can’t have the constituency thinking on their own, there’s no telling what they’ll discover…. and since control is what they are all about, thinking is heavily discouraged in most religious cults. “The Bible says God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it!”  Brilliant logic, eh?….

Ah, me…. I’m such a curmudgeon, sometimes…. I start off in praise of Buddha, and end up ranting on fundies again…. It’s just so easy! I mean, they are the ones who insist on trying to stuff their insanity down everyone else’s throats, then complain that their rights are being denied because they have to listen to anyone else’s opinion on anything….. Frustrating, for those of us who bump neurons against each other regularly, to view the effects of long-term starvation on a human brain that has been denied truth for so long…. So, in the interests of tolerance, and fairness (which, as I amply stated above, is up to ALL of us to ensure….), I’ll let this die a natural death, before I start on anyone else…. There are just so many good targets out there, it is hard to resist sometimes….

“If I had my life to live over again, I’d be a plumber.” — Albert Einstein (You KNOW it’s a good pearl if it has Buddha and Albert to bookend it…. and in this case, though the Buddha is absolutely right, I’m with Albert…. Actually, if I think about it, and I can’t help doing so, what the Buddha said applies to plumbers just as well as to anyone, so…. go with the flow, as it were….)

And in your dreams you can see yourself
As a prophet saving the world
The words from your lips
I just can’t believe you are such
A fool.
— Frank Zappa, “Oh No”.

No, I’m not such a fool, though I do enjoy spouting off words that, if heeded, could conceivably serve to work toward saving the world….  My dreams, however,  don’t assume that as a foregone conclusion, so I’m safe from foolishness in this particular instance. I’m happy with the above, mostly; I cannot always make that claim…..  🙂   Ah well, So Be It…. I’m not in a space to worry about it, so this will be going out as is, when I can get down to the library…. Here’s hoping something herein has tickled your fancy, or stimulated a random thought…. that’s all we’re shooting for around here…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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