Quick! Smash that roach!…. Oh, it’s a politician?…. Smack it harder, they’re tough….

Ffolkes,

For fate has wove the thread of life with pain,
And twins ev’n from the birth are misery and man!

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ The Odyssey of Homer, Book vii, Line 263 ~~

NG Dragon ice art
From the National Geographic Pictures of the Year for 2014


‘Tis morning, but, I cannot truthfully add any positive qualifiers to the greeting. All of my patterns of sleep have successfully resisted any attempts on my part to develop any consistency whatsoever…. For example, having consumed what I thought was my correct last dose of medication at 1800, and, being exhausted from a day fighting both arthritis and diverticular symptoms, I went to lay down at about 1900 or so…. At 2300, or 11 pm, for those unfamiliar with military time, my eyes shot open to see the clock displaying the hour, whereupon I realized every muscle in my body was humming with electricity, jumping and shimmying to beat the band….

Sleep eluded me until about 0130 in the morning; I spent the intervening time pacing, wandering the house (it’s damn cold outside… about 31-34 degrees, according to the online weather folks), with the occasional run at this document’s draft, trying to at least get SOMETHING done, since I was up…. Trying to write distracts me, a little bit, though not for long…. I did manage, over two-and-a-half hours, to complete quite a bit of it, which has helped immensely… So, I lost half the night’s sleep, but, at least I accomplished more than simply suffering through the effects of my young paduan doctor’s foolish cowardice….

Arthur, the robot writer I use, did a good job yesterday…. A bit smarmy in spots, but, all in all, a damn good Pearl…. I can only hope I do as well myself today…. Not that it matters a whit, of course; it’s only in my head it really matters at all, and, there, I’m okay…. Tired, a little pissed at myself, but, all in all, not in too much pain, which always makes my day a little brighter…. until that changes, naturally, which, sadly, it alway does…. I just try to appreciate the few moment of true freedom I am given each day; true freedom, of course, exists in those moments when the pain is gone, always to return, but, whose absence I rejoice…

All that being said, to no real purpose, other than to get us to this point on the page, we will now move on to the next section, where you’ll find today’s video selection…. Since I have yet to review that part, it will be a surprise to me, too, as I let Arthur pick it out…. He’s a damn good robot, and very helpful…. though, I admit, he’s programmed to be that way. It’s fine; it works for me, and, whoever did the programming at least gave it a sense of humor…. Damn fine coding, I have to say…. For now, we’ll be on our way down the page, to whatever we find below….

Shall we Pearl?

“Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.” — Matsuo Basho

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Yesterday, Arthur picked out some pretty good stuff, hitting the nail right on the head with Linda Ronstadt’s concert. The page where it is found also had some other great music by some of my favorite voices from my youth…. Here is, perhaps, the best voice of them all, as well as one of the icons of the twentieth-century peace movement, a woman who has devoted her entire life to singing for peace, in one way or another, with consistency, devotion, endless compassion, and a voice as pure as the music of the spheres….

JOAN BAEZ (full concert,1965)

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Before beginning today, (or, this morning, as I am writing this at 0115 AM….), I’d like to use the following pearl, a rogue, unattributed tagline, which I have claimed for my own; it explains, in a few short words, the reason for the presence of the section devoted to ranting, and other discussions from the curious mind of gigoid that are found at this point in the process of producing these Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. I won’t say it makes it entirely clear, but, anyone used to my way of expressing ideas should get the picture without any trouble….

“My mind is not for rent to any god or government.” — gigoid

It’s my estimation, which I make with reluctance at such presumption, but strong confidence in my reasoning, for 99% of the population of the world, the above statement is NOT true…. In one way or another, without ever really thinking about it at all, most people have given up their right to think for themselves to someone else, most commonly, one of the two institutions mentioned. Most often, both are found to be operating in conjunction, reinforcing the degree of control over that person’s mind, and actions, turning them into what can best be described as a fully-programmed robot slave, which doesn’t know it is a slave, or that it has agreed to be one…. I use the term “it” because, to my way of thinking, anyone who gives up the right to think for themselves isn’t quite all the way human…

“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” — Aesop

The American public, along with much of the adult world on this planet, are little more than trained consumers, who not only ignored this advice from Aesop, which ALL of us learned when little, but, have actually been trained to LOOK for the shadow, believing it to be more valuable than the reality it hides…. I will grant that the largest portion of that massive number of people were trained this way before they had any chance to resist the training; sadly, the parents of them all were mostly trained to believe the same lies, when they were small and vulnerable themselves. Those who control the world, through the auspices of religion and government know well the truth of what Adolf Hitler said, to wit: “Give me the mind of a child before age of five, and he will be mine for life.”

Some might think it crude to quote Hitler, but, ffolkes, he was trying to usurp the place of the elite monsters who control the world, (which, you will note, he was NOT allowed to do….). It is clear to me, as someone who does NOT fall into the category of slave, (not in my head, anyway…. they still can’t touch that….), Hitler was stopped, at least in part, because he was clumsily giving away too many of their secret techniques of control, though, he tended to use them more as a hammer than a scalpel….

I’m sure they also didn’t appreciate him trying to force his way with such mad rudeness into their private gig, which I am sure they consider to be the natural order of things; they prefer a quieter, less visible presence in achieving control of worldly events, than one that relies merely on brute force…. They use money, lies, and assassination, to much greater effect, by spreading ignorance, encouraging avarice, and rewarding those who cheat and steal the best…. Hitler was merely telling the absolute truth about how to control the ignorant masses of society, exposing techniques which have been used for millennia to fool them into carrying out the agenda of those hidden manipulators.

With that in mind, look at what Aesop said, then think about who DOES educate those children…. Until the age of five, it is, mostly, parents, who are, almost without exception, themselves under control, aided at this stage by the churches, (Sunday School, in all its incarnations…), who teach those innocent, unsuspecting young minds to fall for the ages-old scam, the same as they did, before most of the children are able to know better than to believe it….

Some, like myself, successfully resist the propaganda to which all children are subjected, or, are able to spot the flaws from the beginning, but, mostly, kids just accept what their parents tell them, part of which is strong training to believe anyone in a position of authority, such as preachers, police, or politicians…. Teachers, too, but, the techniques used in those areas are different, slightly, in approach…. All have the same goal, though, which is best highlighted by the following statement, from one of the ‘free thinkers’ in history, who sometimes try to warn the foolish how to see what they are missing….

“Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.” — Clarence Darrow

Now, perhaps, y’all will have the answer to why I chose the user name and title I did…. gigoid, the dubious. Doubt is the beginning of reason, the womb of curiosity, and the spark that fires the imagination. Without it, we would still be sitting in caves at night, cowering in apparent, yet, illusory safety, from the fearful, unknown dangers of the dark….. Except, of course, some of us doubted the tales, and stole out at night to see what could be seen…. Yet, we teach our children NOT to doubt, not to question, not to want to examine all they see, hear, and perceive for truth, and whatever knowledge can be gleaned from those perceptions, knowledge to drive out ignorance, and worse, the fear that springs from not knowing….

“It’s not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.” — Will Rogers

This is, as I am fond of saying, for sure and for certain; of that I no longer have any doubt. But, we give the control of our minds, and our lives, to people who are either programmed, delusional slaves themselves, or are predatory sycophants, who will lie, cheat, and steal to achieve their own ends, no matter the cost to others, all at the behest, and under the control of a very small number of extremely powerful, completely selfish, paranoid, morally bereft excuses for human beings, who have been in control of society from almost the beginning of recorded history….

So, don’t expect it to change quickly, as these evil humans have learned how to take advantage of the flaws in human nature, which isn’t going to change at all, from without, unless slowly…. Well, that is true now, but, only until physical reality sets in. The physical laws these fools have been ignoring for a long time now are going to catch up to their ignorance, causing changes to the environment of this planet that even their vast wealth cannot halt, or prevent, or alter in any way. It will be interesting to see the outcome; I can only hope it comes before I’m gone, because, I worry about my kids, and grandkids, and how it will affect them….

“I believe the moral losses of expediency always far outweigh the temporary gains.” — Wendell L. Willkie

Now we see why Wilkie wasn’t allowed to win the election; the masters of society couldn’t allow such a man, with such beliefs, to gain any real degree of power or influence over society…. any more than they allowed such men as Eugene Debs, Adlai Stevenson, or either of the Kennedy brothers, to achieve any real power…. all of whom, even if flawed as part of the elite class, still displayed a lot of empathy for the masses, and promoted agendas not acceptable to the true powers that be….

Yes, that’s right, you’re hearing some conspiracy theories…  Hell, conspiracies are at least better than believing that all this shit is happening by chance, or because people are TOO STUPID to see what is going on. At least, with a conspiracy, we are allowing that the people who are causing all this shit are competent and able to plan…. a damn sight preferable to getting taken out for no reason at all….And, if conspiracy isn’t the case, what the hell is going on?….

When I start down that road, I get very close to going out to buy a gun, or a cross-bow, and going hunting, just to try to find and eliminate as many of the master class as I could find…. SIGH…. I hate when I feel like that, though I know I’d feel better afterward…. Just like I’d feel guilty about it…. Sure I would. I’d get over it, but, I would feel guilty for a while…. Nothing would change, either, but, at least I’d feel better…

Can’t have everything, I guess…. I’m done now. I’m not sure just what that was all about, but, I feel some better, anyway….

Why, look!…. I found some pearls, all commenting on the Asininnies, in one way or another, whether from the direction of telling it like it is, or showing how it isn’t, while simultaneously implying how it is supposed to be…. Imagine finding these here!…..
____________________________

Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.” — Edmund Burke

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” — Edward Abbey

“Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.” — Henry Clay (1777-1852) — Speech at Ashland, Ky., March 1829

“Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.” — Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

“Creative semantics is the key to contemporary government; it consists of talking in strange tongues lest the public learn the inevitable inconveniently early.” — George Will

“The rifle and handgun are “equalizers”–the weapons of a democracy. Tanks and bombers represent dictatorship.” — Edward Abbey

“Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.” — Bill Watterson, cartoonist of Calvin & Hobbes

Hmph. Onward….

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There are times when nothing but the best will do; here is one I consider to be counted among that exalted category….. Enjoy, ffolkes, this old favorite is a powerful poem, with a great deal of insight into human nature…. But. then, reading it will show you that; you don’t have to take my word for it….

The world is too much with us; late and soon

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

~~ William Wordsworth ~~


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Well…. This pearl took a long time, relatively speaking, and a lot of formatting, but, I think I’ve got it the way I want it…. This would be a suitable set of quotes for a poster, stitched onto material, or printed on a parchment…. Of course, it’s a bit abstruse and esoteric for any mainstream display; hell, it’s probably too much of that for even the avant garde crowd…. My suggestion is to just leave it be, absorb the symmetry, which I worked so hard to preserve, on every level of this pearl, all of which points at what it means to be Human…. or, at least, the kind of human I would like to be….

Wow…. It’s so symmetrical, it works even if you switch to reading it upside down!…. Try it! I dare you….

Oh, right…. I should say this…. By upside down, I mean, read them in reverse order, or, turn the order upside down…. not the words, or the computer, or you…. You don’t need to stand on your head to do this; just use your imagination….

“I Know A Joke”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

**********

O happiness! our being’s end and aim!
Good, pleasure, ease, content! whate’er thy name:
That something still which prompts the eternal sigh,
For which we bear to live, or dare to die.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 1 ~~

**********

“It is not the one with many possessions who is rich, but the one who has no needs.”

~~Philoxenos ~~

**********

Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man’s erring judgment, and misguide the mind;
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,–
Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 1 ~~

**********

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through.

Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it.

This is a kind of death.”

~~ Anais Nin ~~

**********

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 15 ~~

**********

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” — Seneca

**********

All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~

~~ Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 289 ~~

**********

“HELLO, everybody, I’m a HUMAN!!”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


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Considering my condition today, it’s a damn good thing most of this was done last night, during my enforced middle-of-the-night work session. So be it; I’m not one to look at horses’ teeth, gift or burden. I leave that to the county vet….. Any who, I’m outta here, in the vain hope of finding a bit of leftover sand, left by the sandman…. Wish me luck on that; I’ll need it…. See y’all, ffolkes…. maybe even tomorrow….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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Only the freshest innuendo served here…..

Ffolkes,

Yesterday’s title is more connected to reality than I had previously realized; I can feel the changes happening here at ECR as I type. Yet, it all looks the same from this vantage point; a blank, white screen, filled only with trepidation for the need to fulfill my chosen duty….. which is NOT going to get it done. Perhaps if I petitioned for an extension?…..

Reality, however much we would prefer it do so, does not do extensions…. When the bill comes due, it’s payable in full, or deal with the immediate consequences, regardless of whether or not those consequences are something with which we are capable of dealing. In short, duty gets done, or a price is paid. No exceptions, no excuses, and whining, though optional, is considered wimpy, and not encouraged by any right-thinking participants…. Reality itself adopts the cat’s position, i.e., it doesn’t give a shit either way….

Regardless of how much I blather about it, or dance around the point, it remains…. changes are coming to this blog…. In fact, they started yesterday, but, even I didn’t notice…. not that it matters now, does it? Once it’s posted, there’s no more editing allowed; once you set out on that slippery slope of scree, there’s little hope to ever get done with it…. and, given the idiosyncrasies of the WP editing page, I don’t like to chance it, anyway, as one never knows how one’s proposed changes will actually turn out on the page…. That’s too much of a crap shoot for me….

All of this blather, of course, is merely a prelude, to madness and folly, I’m sure, but, that actually remains to be seen…. One thing I DO know for sure, and that is that I am going to be spending a LOT more time out in the BBR, looking for suitable pictures to illustrate the pearls…. I say that because my first outing, yesterday, for that purpose was more of a wash than I like, as you’ll see from the pix taken…. It’s not going to be as easy as I had thought, which is fine….. a little complexity is good for the soul…

I’m wandering…. I can feel it. I’m circling around, just filling in lines until enough of them have accumulated to call it an intro…. AND….  I believe I’ve reached that point already. From what I can see from here, this appears to be sufficient, and I don’t hear any objections from the court-appointed monitors, so, I think we can go on now, and see how this is going to work, exactly…. You see, it’s all new to me, too…. Isn’t that encouraging?….

No? Oh well…. I guess that means we’re all committed to this fabulous folly, so, we may as well just get on with it, before I manage to screw this up any further….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It’s snowing still. And freezing. However, we haven’t had an earthquake lately.” — A.A. Milne’s Eeyore

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Here is how I’m going to have this work…. First comes the picture; below the picture will be a pearl, followed by some quick, hopefully amusing or engaging prose or poetry from me, then the next picture…. and so on, down the line. It’s not complicated, but, what do you want to bet I can screw it up? Okay, don’t everyone offer money at once; I know I’m a Bozo, so you can’t hurt my feelings…. I do hope you enjoy this new experiment, designed to save the sanity of everyone involved….. That said, let’s be off…. Oh, if it isn’t my own picture, attribution will be listed after the picture, & before the pearl….

1 for now
This picture came from the SFGATE.com “Day in Pictures” gallery, on 5/30/2014….

“A child is a curly, dimpled lunatic.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Actually, kids are cool…. Ralph, I think, had just spent two days babysitting his nephews, and was a bit overwrought when he wrote this particular aphorism…. This picture is included just because it was so cool; it’s hard NOT to anthropomorphize this one, and believe the hippo is actually smiling at having her picture taken with the little girl, who is more bemused than pleased, to judge by appearances….. It’s also hard to not believe that both are familiar with the whole picture-taking thing, aren’t really INTO it, and are putting up going along with it out of politeness….

See, now isn’t this fun, and educational? Speculating nonsense about odd configurations of animals and people is always a kick in the pants, eh? No? Oh…. Well, we’ll go on anyway…..

2 for now
“With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.” — RFC1925

The picture is a study of a park, across the street from the bus stop where I awaited a bus home from a nearby town. It has no particular significance, other than the desire to get started taking photos for this experiment….. I guess I’ll figure out how to make the pictures fit into the pearls better as the process evolves…. One may only hope….

3 for now
“Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of his tail.” — Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885))

The picture is the kid’s playground at another park, near my house, next to the field where a local semi-pro baseball team plays, a few blocks from where I live…. The pearl, once again, has little to do with the picture; I just thought it was a good pearl, and a good bit of logic with which to approach reality…. As mentioned above, this process is still evolving, so, bear with me, please…. It will get more compelling, I promise….

Four for now
“A warped sense of humor is vastly better than no sense of humor at all.” — Smart Bee

This picture is my first attempt at an action shot…. not too bad, all in all. The accompanying pearl is my firm belief, and I hope that whatever sense of humor is possessed by the Gentle Reader will extend itself to include this Pearl, as the first of its kind…. I have a feeling this new technique is going to work out well, if I can only get enough pictures to work with…. If nothing else, it will get me out of the house, and save me from any further descent into sloth and lethargy…. For now, let’s go on, & see if I can pull the rest of this together for today….

“You see things, and you say “WHY?” But I dream things that never were, and I say “WHY NOT?”” — George Bernard Shaw, “Back to Methuselah”

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I’m saving time today by not searching for a poem; here, instead, is one of mine, to keep the blame for all this where it belongs….

 

Honorable Request

Days, filled to a brim with fluff and time, pass
dimly into memory, bit by combative bit,
ever mournful, yet loud with life and sass,
only in dream do we meet, and dance, and flit.

Souls, spinning ’round in gleeful wonder, comply
as they must, never given a reason,
somberly proper, yet limber and quite spry,
dancing on to greet each bright new season.

Storms, angered by apathetic care, rage
proceeding into ministerial glare, unknown,
clothed in colors, purified solely with sage,
past an infinite future, already flown.

Life, plumbed to its depths and secrets, keeps
flowing with currents, strong and fairly found,
love stands, asking release, as it slowly weeps,
seeking refuge unasked, to stay honor bound.

~~ gigoid ~~

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To finish off today’s effort, an old-school pearl is pretty much a given…. If nothing else, it will give me a feeling of familiarity that should soothe the pain of the newest part of this, which is working muscles that aren’t accustomed to such a workout…. I’m not whining, because I like it; it feels good to stretch out in directions heretofore neglected, and my muscles can use the work. They’re actually more used to being worked hard than they are NOT being used, which is the case far too much in my current position…. Changes comin’ all around, ffolkes…. Hope you enjoy today’s gathering of gems…..

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.  With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Essays: First Series (1841) “Self-Reliance”

“Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.” — Henry Clay (1777-1852) — Speech at Ashland, Ky., March 1829

(This pearl may seem out of place, but, I thought that maybe a politician might drop in to read today, and, if so, it would be good for them to see a reminder of what they are SUPPOSED to be doing….. The rest of the pearls all go together pretty seamlessly, I think….)

“I gained nothing at all from Supreme Enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called Supreme Enlightenment.” — Gautama Buddha

“A thing either is what it appears to be; or it is not, but yet appears to be; or it is, but does not appear to be; or it is not, and does not appear to be.” — Epictetus

“Often, the surest way to convey misinformation is to tell the strict truth.” — Mark Twain

“Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think laughable.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

“The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” — Anais Nin

Just so you know, this pearl is one for the ages…. I mean it. It’s got a LOT of what is needed to make ourselves into better human beings…. happier, too, if done right….

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

This certainly put the effort back into the job, I’ll say that. I suppose anything has a learning curve, at first…. Let’s hope it turns out to be worth it…. which I’ll never know if I don’t get this posted, so, see ya, ffolkes….

 

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

 

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

Which is Why….


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Patterns in the dust say otherwise…..

Ffolkes,
My schedule of posting is all screwed up…. First, I missed a day from rain. Today, the day I am writing this, is Christmas Day, one which I have worked very hard to both ignore, and to reach, and is another day I will be unable to post again, as there are no buses, the library is closed, and it is too far to walk to the nearest Wi-Fi spot (at Starbucks, about a mile and a half away)…. In addition, even though I wasn’t able to post on two days, I still wrote a complete Pearl for them. Now, I’m sitting on two days worth of material, and losing track of what goes where, and in what tense I should be speaking…. In the words of our dark little bear of little brains, Winnie the Pooh, “Bother!”…..

I don’t believe I’ve ever had this much material done ahead of time. Two complete Pearls ( each minus only a poem, generally supplied by a couple moments with Google and Poemhunter.com…), and another entire day to get through until I can post any of it. Today might be a good day to do some editing of past Pearls, to see if I can combine any of them into a salable book. Sounds like a plan….

Or, maybe I’ll spend some time in trance, and see if I can come up with a couple more original poems to go with these two almost finished products. The shout-out I wrote to Congress from us seniors was a pretty good one, I thought, especially the last quatrain and couplet; I thought they had a certain panache, that pleases me…. and they certainly were an accurate demonstration of the average senior’s feelings about the government just now, as they are making concerted attacks on Social Security, even as I write. I’m not going to start another rant in the intro, but, it sure pisses me off, that is for sure and for certain….. Makes me want to go up to Barack, and Congress, and read to them from the Book of Righteousness….

In lieu of that, I suggest we get on with this Pearl…. Basically, it is done, so that is merely a matter of filling in a poem, proof-reading the results, and it’s good to go. Since I don’t have anything further I can add at this point, I’ll abandon you here, and leave it to the format of the following Pearl to lead you where you need to go….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

In order to counter at least some of the saccharine in the air this time of year, it is good now and again to take the time to take a few unsolicited shots at targets who, by dint of their absence, cannot defend themselves…. Great fun for this slow-news time of year. Besides, my usual choices for such targets have no defense anyway, as they are continually assuming indefensible positions in a public venue. Here is an old-school pearl with some random  thoughts on my absolute favorite group of erstwhile clowns, those at which I most prefer to shoot darts of shame…. the creepy, dangerous kind who infest the halls and streets of Washington D.C., and numerous state capitals…..

“Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.”– Henry Clay (1777-1852) — Speech at Ashland, Ky., March 1829
(This one seems to have been overlooked, or at least ignored, for the most part, for the last 171 years…..)

“Imagine, if you will, that I am an idiot. Then, imagine that I am also a Congressman. But, alas, I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain

De la peau de lion l’ane s’etant vetu
Etoit craint partout a la ronde.
(Dressed in the lion’s skin, the ass spread terror far and wide.) — Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695)
(Think about it….)

CONSUL, n.  In American politics, a person who, having failed to secure and office from the people, is given one by the Administration, on condition that he leave the country. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

A successful American spends more supporting the government than a family. — Smart Bee

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)
(This is especially true for politics, but remains valid for preachers, as well….)

“Since when is “public safety” the root password to the Constitution?” — C. D. Tavares

I find myself having to assert some control at this point. My feelings of anger at the government’s cupidity are rather raw this morning, and I find myself continuing my search for sharp, pointed sticks with which to poke, despite having already found a sufficient number to complete a pearl. The meaning is beginning to lose coherence, and adding more will only further confuse the issue, so we’ll go on to the final section, to compose some soothing prose…. Just remember, ffolkes, preachers, priests, imams, presidents, senators, judges, bankers, CEO’s….. none of these folks are looking out for your interests, nor will they ever do so, as they are too busy looking out for their own. It would be a good thing to keep it in mind, for your own protection…..

“If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” — Will Rogers (1879-1935)
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A poet is a kind of liar who always speaks the truth. — Smart Bee

A child said, What is the grass?

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
luckier.

Walt Whitman
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“Silence can be the biggest lie of all.  We have a responsibility to speak up; and whenever the occasion calls for it, we have a responsibility to raise bloody hell.” — Herbert Block

I’ve been looking at this pearl for a week, turning it over in my mind. I think, after due consideration, I can honestly say I have lived up to this responsibility quite well, at least in the past two years. Though my audience is not quite as large as I might hope for, I have faithfully accosted that audience with my own words of what I believe to be truth, truths that needs to be declared loudly, and often. Motivated partly by self-interest (relieving the stress of holding my thoughts in….), partly by a sense of humanity, and partly by patriotism. Outrage often supplies the emotional force behind my arguments, when my compassion is aroused, or when my sense of justice is affronted…..

My only wish is that I would be preaching to the choir, in the sense that the subjects about which I write are offensive to others, as well. In fact, I would love to see more people like myself shouting out their own outrage at the shenanigans of those in power in society. Those same beloved ruling class members have only themselves to blame if they become targets for criticism; their own actions are responsible for that. Mind you, I regard them to be insane, as a group, anyway, for their perverse desire to wield power over the affairs of others, and the most effective way to stop their depredations is to bring them into the light of public scrutiny, where society’s moral compass may be applied to redirect them into more socially acceptable, and socially beneficial, activities….

Sadly, I’m intelligent enough to read the writing on the wall, which says the beloved ruling class is never going to allow anything, or anyone, to take from them the riches and privileges they hold so tightly as their due. They have control of all the media, and the governments, and the banks, and the churches, and that control enables them to do just exactly as they please, hoarding all the resources available for themselves and their own purposes, leaving the dregs of whatever is left for the rest of us….

“And it shall come to pass that idiots shall roam the earth, and morons shall rule the masses.” — Smart Bee

I think it was Nostradamus who made this prediction; maybe not, though. Regardless of who said it, it is certainly apt. There are moments when even I, who have long known and understood the depths of human stupidity, am amazed and appalled by what somebody says, or does, right out in public where their idiocy is on display for all to see….. Even more, I am continually astounded at the depths of stupidity shown by the general public by their acceptance, and tacit approval, of the lies told to them every day by their erstwhile leaders.

Many millions of people recently voted for Obama, because it seemed clear, by his own words, that he would do all he could to protect seniors, Social Security, and Medicare. Now, at the first hint of opposition to one of his pet projects, he turns completely around on that promise, offering up massive cuts to the SS program over the next 20 years, cuts that would cripple the program, and send millions of seniors, like me, into poverty….. I find this to be not merely mendacious, but cruelly reprehensible, as well as morally indefensible. This kind of thing MUST be stopped, and the people responsible MUST be held responsible for their lies….

“Let honor be as strong to us an obligation as necessity is to others.” — Pliny the Elder

This is the ONLY solution to the problem, ffolkes…. In today’s society, our beloved ruling class has learned that it can act according to expediency, by claiming it as necessity, without any lasting consequences for them, and the public lets them do it. Only when honor replaces expediency can we hope to see society begin to function in the best interests of all; until that happens, only the power-hungry will be served in that respect. I cannot see how it will happen at all, unless the majority of humanity can put aside its blinders, and start calling a spade a spade…. which, historically, has never happened…. That is, after all, why we are in this mess in the first place….
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Hmm….. not too shabby, all in all. I’ll take it…. wrap it up and send it over to my hotel, would you? Thanks…..

I’ve always wanted to say that….. Now that is out of the way, I suppose I should try to repair some of this time confusion created by yesterday’s rain delay; if only I had a vague idea of where to start!…… Ah well, fudge it…. it will just have to settle itself, as it always does, given the time…… I’m outta here for today, ffolkes…..  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!

Clocks are intensely rabid this month….

Ffolkes,
“Peculiar” seems to be the word that governs my current existence…. I’m giving up…. It’s not quite 5 AM, and I am once again sitting here staring at the screen, wondering what form today’s madness will take. I’ve been tossing and turning since about 3, trying mightily to convince myself to resume slumber, but two hours of that is enough. It means another day of intermittent fatigue, coupled and contrasted with periods of manic activity designed to keep my head occupied with anything but my situation. Fortunately, the pain is only half of what is keeping me from sleeping. Somehow, it is easier to deal with the angst and emotional distress that comes with the insomnia than it is with the pain when it is sufficient to cause me to awaken…. I can’t say why that is, but, there you go…. one more mystery for the ages…..

Since I’m up, I suppose I’ll start in on today’s Pearl; all the books I’m currently reading don’t seem to appeal this time of day. I’ve been reading some old mystery stories by G.K. Chesterton, whose work I knew only by reputation. I have used many of his aphorisms in my pearls, and, in reading some of his fictional stories, find him to be an extremely intelligent and insightful author, as well as an impressive wordsmith. Hmm, strange, Spell Checker doesn’t like that word, and it is such a good one; descriptive and precise… Ah well, I’ll have to add it to the dictionary, so SC won’t freak every time I use in in future; I hate having to cater to software, and I refuse to put a space between the two elements that make up such words, just because SC wants it….

Any who, enough with the aimless rambling, even though I’m getting rather good at it. One thing I am glad of, and that is how much easier typing has become over time. I guess writing over a million words using a keyboard has other effects than just wearing out plastic keys…. which is happening to this laptop. There are now five letters that are completely obscured, the paint having been rubbed off, and the space bar is developing a shallow depression from being struck so many times. It kinda makes me proud, ya know? My typing speed and accuracy has increased in the last two years, as well. I haven’t measured it, but I can compose, and edit, a 2000 plus word document in less than an hour, on a day when the ideas are flowing well. Not too bad for an old fart with flat feet and flatulence…..   🙂

On that elegant note, we should probably begin the day’s dive into my head, perilous as that may be. It can’t be any worse than what has already occurred today, and who knows? We might get lucky, and find something of value hiding around a random corner in the back corridors of my mind. Of course, there is always a risk, but have no fear…. nothing I write is intended to harm, and very little is contagious (hopefully, only the outrage is catching….). Just use gloves when handling it, and you’ll be fine….. Shall we Pearl?…..

No letters of the alphabet were harmed in the creation of this blog…..
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“An oppressed people are authorized whenever they can to rise and break their fetters.” — Henry Clay (1777-1852) American Statesman — Speech,  House of representatives, March 4, 1818

It is a most peculiar feeling, at my age, to become more radical in my opinions of society, and of the corruption and disparity that exists in equal measure at almost every level of that society. In my college years, of course, I spent my share of time and energy protesting the illegality and insanity of the war in Southeast Asia; in this I was not in any way different than many millions of my peers. The extent and depth of that urge to protest, however, was not as great as it is now, for the simple reason that I now have more experience in real life, and know far better just how corrupt our government has become.

Sure, we had Nixon to pick on, and Johnson, and Reagan. But, in retrospect, I can now see that the latter day politicians we now have in the public sphere are much more evil than any of those three (though, in Reagan’s case, that would be hard to top…. he was an evil man, to be sure….) (Nixon was just a pathetic loser, trying to be bigger than he was; Johnson was pretty evil in his own right, being the kind of guy who would smile as he inserted the knife in your back…..). The Shrubs are living proof that despotism and nepotism go hand in hand, and that an evil nature can be inherited.

In the recent election, I was encouraged to see that those in this country who value a life with honor over expedience were more numerous than those who are corrupt. The current President is, all in all, by all accounts, a good man, with the interests of the common people, if not foremost in his mind, at least present in his regard. But he is only one man, even if he is at the pinnacle; the man at the top operates under severe handicaps in getting anything done, especially now, with the large number of absolutely criminal psychopaths who inhabit the houses of Congress. This continuing disparity of purpose between honest men and those who are corrupt promises to become a battleground of some note in the next two years, leading up to the election in 2014, when the controlling percentage of the houses will next be addressed.

I have, in the last two years of living on low income, become more aware of the problems faced by so many of my peers in this country, and I am not anywhere near as handicapped as are many others. It has given me both an appreciation for the adaptability, and the courage and inner strength, of those in our society who are trying to live with less than the minimum amount necessary to do so, and a sense of outrage that such qualities are necessary. I have lived so long with enough, and more, that learning to do without has been a struggle of some proportion, a struggle different from those who are struggling to survive, and have done so for their entire lives. I have friends, and resources, that many do not have, and those will not allow me to sink into total poverty and despair. I also now have a strong desire to see some of this disparity eliminated from society, even if I have to resort to Robin Hood style activities to accomplish a redistribution of wealth….

Robin Hood…. hmmm…. You know, the more I think about it, the more attractive that sounds. Not the name itself, mind you, but the practice of robbing the rich to give to the poor. In fact, it sounds wonderfully attractive, and makes me all tingly with anticipation. I believe that it might just be possible to arrange things so that money that now resides in the pockets of corrupt officials, or asshole rich folks such as the recent failed candidate for Prez to find its way into the hands of ffolkes who would put it to more honorable, and more humanitarian use.

Actually, it just occurred to me that I could add churches to that list of potential…. let’s call them donors, okay? The coffers of almost any of the major religions are chock full of money they stole from the poor anyway, and very little of it ever finds its way into the charitable activities that they hold up in their defense, and in my opinion, would be much better utilized by taking it away from them, using whatever means are at hand, and giving it directly into the hands of the people who can put it to a more honest use.

I know this sounds like a bunch of talk, and as such is of little real value…. but, I tell you now, and with sincerity, that I will be thinking about this most seriously, and I intend to come up with a plan or two that will serve to achieve Robin’s purpose, and not just here on this blog, but in the real world. Those plans could take any number of shapes, but they all will have the net result of helping those who need it, by taking the resources they need from people who have either stolen them, or gotten them by chicanery, or merely hoarded that which they inherited, knowingly keeping it from being of any use to anyone but themselves…. You can take that to the bank…. where I will pick it up and take it to the poor…. So be it….

“And I’ll try not to sing out of key…” — Ringo Starr
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Old Men

People expect old men to die,
They do not really mourn old men.
Old men are different. People look
At them with eyes that wonder when…
People watch with unshocked eyes;
But the old men know when an old man dies.

Ogden Nash
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“..the television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little…” — Ray Bradbury

I’ve never been a heavy TV watcher, always preferring a book to the tube. But, being an American, I did kind of keep track of what it was doing, if only to stay in touch with what most of the country was thinking, or whatever they do in place of that activity. Since retiring and moving to where I am, I haven’t had one, so I’ve now been pretty much completely out of touch with it for over two years. I think the only TV I’ve seen in that time has been whatever game was playing in the bars I used to go to…. Since my reduction in income almost two years ago, even that habit is non-existent, as I haven’t been into one in that time…. Oh, wait, okay, once, which was enough to convince me I’d lost my taste for it…..

In truth, I regard television the same way I do rattlesnakes…. interesting, but dangerous, and just easier to avoid than to engage. Most people never think objectively about either the act of watching the TV, or about the content, and intent, of what they watch. In fact, I would say the average American regards what he sees and hears on that medium to be the gospel truth, insofar as they have any idea of what that may be. It is almost as if they have come to believe that the activities of the people on TV are more real than their own lives, and therefore have more validity. How often have you heard a conversation between two followers of a soap opera talk about the characters on the show as if they are real people, with real problems, instead of being merely the imitation of life that springs from the fertile minds of the writers….

This is where the dangerous nature of the beast enters the picture, and it has never been more clearly indicated than in the recent election. The race for the Presidency was made out by all the TV pundits and polls to be close the entire time; the final results show just how inaccurate that was in reality. Polls, being composed of statistics, can be made to show whatever one wishes them to show, and the results can be manipulated by merely changing the demographics of the respondents. But, a clear-cut decision wouldn’t make for good TV, or for what the networks considered enough drama. Neither would it suit the networks to allow the voters to receive clear messages…..

So, all the pundits who supposedly “analyzed” the polls, and the opinions of the populace, talked about how close the race was, and doctored and manipulated the actual words of each candidate to suit whatever their own particular desires were, thus manipulating the voting public. Fortunately, a lot of their manipulations came to naught, as there was a large percentage of those who voted who never spoke to a poll taker, or let on, in any way, how pissed off they were at what was being promulgated by the TV media hounds….. It became clear late on election night that the actions of the challenger had angered and alienated far more of the voting public than was understood by either that party, or by the media, and the result was a landslide victory for the incumbent….. fortunately…..

It’s my firm opinion that there should be a lot more oversight when it comes to what the TV networks are allowed to do. Yes, we have free speech in this country…. but does that mean that they should be free to lie to, cheat, and manipulate the voting public without consequence? It seems to me that there should be some value placed on Truth in these events, and that the organizations which report on public or governmental activities should be held responsible when they deliberately lie, with or without the intent of manipulation. I also believe that there should be penalties exacted on any public official who is caught telling a lie to the public…. If that were the case, then at least two of the candidates for the highest offices in this country would now be facing jail time, for sure and for certain…. It disappoints, and even angers me no end, that none of what Romney and Ryan lied about in their campaign (which was practically everything that came out of their mouths….) will ever be challenged, or better yet, prosecuted…..

It seems that I could go on in this vein for a very long time without running out of things to say on the subject. My enthusiasm for it has waned a bit, though, as it does when I’ve said all that is important to say…. I say it should be law that anyone in an elected position should be held to an even higher standard than the public when it comes to honesty and truth, and the penalties should be severe enough to make anyone who wishes to run for office think long and hard before trying to fool the public. I know, I know, it would change the face of American politics forever, and people might not know exactly how to deal with the truth, after having been lied to for so long. But, in my mind, the end result would be a far more responsible government, one whose actual goal was to look after the best interests of the people, instead of being a sinecure, with the keys to the treasury given over into the hands of thieves…..

And the TV networks would have to find a new way to operate, without the advantages of being able to lie without subsequent punishment, or even mere disapproval….. who knows? We might even end up with something worth watching……

A man may well bring a horse to the water,
But he cannot make him drinke without he will.

— John Heywood (c. 1565) — Proverbes, Part i, Chap. xi
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“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.” — Oscar Wilde

It appears that getting up so early stimulated my Opinion-o-matic, which apparently operates without a lot of dependence on Smart Bee, or any other form of mental goad. Only five pearls in the whole shebang, with well over 2500 words of rather sincere ranting (hence the quote from Oscar….). All in all, it should make for an interesting read, and hopefully will stimulate some random cogitation among the Gentle Readership. If not, well, I’ve been ignored before, and will be again…. I’m used to it.    🙂

If any of the above gives you cause to disagree strongly, or agree even weakly, feel free to let me know in the comment section, or, for those of you receiving this via email, tell me in a Reply…. I can take it, as long as you stick to logic and/or reason; constructive criticism will be sincerely considered, and, appropriately, flaming and other forms of antagonistic asininity will be cheerfully deleted…..  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!