The stupidity factor was obviously miscalculated….

Ffolkes,
For most of my life, my favorite activity, above all things, has been to watch people, and try to understand them. I’ve never really known why it pleases me so to just sit, watching people walk by, pondering the ins and outs of the lives and motivations of the people I see pass before me, but, I know that I can no more stop wondering than I could stop thinking, or breathing…. It’s just too fascinating a pastime to resist, for me….

Though I am well experienced at that pastime, I can’t say that I have reached any particularly earth-shattering conclusions about human nature, though I think I’ve seen enough to not be too shocked by anything it can show me in that arena….. I learned long ago never to underestimate the power of human stupidity….

I also learned to never undervalue the potential for human courage, and to appreciate that piece of human nature, I don’t know it’s name, that makes a human rush into a fire to save a child, or step in front of a bullet to save a comrade, or to stand up for the weak against the wicked and evil. even though it may cost their very life….

That part of all of us, that is brought out in such situations in reality, is worth looking for, and encouraging to manifest in other parts of life, for it is a very powerful and inventive quality, of intuitive right action, based on a morality that is unspoken, but no less immediate, and no less compelling, for all that….

There are times when I make myself laugh….. and this is one of them. The above paragraphs, while all true as the day, are about as pompous as I can get, don’t you think? Oh, it’s interesting enough, I suppose, and all correctly punctuated (if one doesn’t count the three dot journalism habit I’ve developed over the years since Herb Caen made it his iconic style), but it’s just too high-falutin’ to be real….

Nobody talks like that, do they? Nope, unless, of course, they are asking ME to explain some sort of astronomy question, which can get me going, and can easily, by its nature, fall into that sort of pattern…. No, it’s written in what I like to call my Imperial style of writing, which, while true in the realest sense, can drive folks away quickly with its arrogant tone, and pedantic presentation…..  Nobody likes someone who talks like a prig, basically…..

To get back to the subject at hand, though, I’ll mention that watching people continues to be my favorite thing to do to pass the time…. When I was about 14 or so, I remember saving up my money for a couple months, to take to the County Fair, to spend on the carnival.    On the day my family went, I’d rush to the midway, play my games, ride some rides, try to win some prizes, and blow my saved up cash in about two hours of fun. 

I never minded it going so fast, because I would then go out to the main plaza, near the entrance, and watch the crowds, for hours on end, an endlessly fascinating parade of families, young couples, old retired folks, kids, the whole panorama of human culture, all right there, passing before my eyes…..

Now, I’m old, and watching people continues to be my favorite way to pass time, when there is nothing else to do to occupy the mind. The human parade is always changing, never the same, and provides an endless supply of food for thought, humor for the soul, and unlimited entertainment, watching how people interact, and live…. As Spock would obviously say, “Fascinating.”……

Since I’m old, I now have a few perks in life, one of which is what I like to call give-a-shititis, the most common attitude among those of us retirees who think…. We are at a point in life where it can no longer threaten us to behave in certain ways, and it’s difficult to make us do what we don’t wish to do…. What are they going to do to us? Make us old? Give us pain? Restrict our movement? Been there, done that….. For many of us, this means that all the things we’ve always been too polite to say, can now be said with relative impunity, as folks give us a bit of leeway in that respect. Besides, I call it what I do because it is what we DON’T do anymore, and that is give a shit what others think about what we say…..

This, as you might imagine, allows us to say stuff that we formerly would have kept to ourselves, and not care about whether or not that person wants to hear it…. It is a heady experience for a lot of oldsters, and can become habitual…. I don’t agree with those who say that is an occupational hazard that cannot be avoided; one’s demeanor toward others is always a matter of choice, regardless of age, and there is no excuse for being rude without cause; sadly, many older folks don’t get that.

They become grumps, quite simply, and find fault with everything around them, making life difficult for everyone with whom they come in contact…. I don’t ever want to be that kind of old person; I imagine one could end up pretty alone with that kind of attitude…. and I have no intention of being alone forever…. it’s lonely!….

So, I’ll work on my attitude, which isn’t too hard for me, because my own habit of watching others has given me a great love and respect for people, and I try to treat others as I’d want to be treated (the Golden Rule ALWAYS works well…. there is a reason it is a classic idea….). It works for me, as it would work for anyone who makes Love a greater force in their lives than Fear…. Fear is humanity’s greatest enemy, the one that steals our intelligence, our courage, and often, our life, when we let it control our thoughts and actions.

Hmm… I just noticed that I’ve been ranting, or at least, pontificating, for some time now, and we’re still only in the intro section…. Sorry ’bout that, I DO tend to get carried away sometimes, don’t I? Just can’t seem to shut up sometimes…. Oh well, c’est la vie, I suppose, and fairly common for this blog. I’m going to do what I usually do in these cases, and ignore the whole thing….

We’ll just leave things where they are, mid-flight, so to speak, and go on to the remaining portion of the program…. It won’t take TOO long, as I have a task to meet today in the BBR (the Big Blue Room, you know, the room on the other side of the doors of the place where your computer lives….)…. I have to visit my grandson, and spend money….   😆

So, to move things along toward completion of today’s task list, we’ll go on….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. (The conviction of the rich that the poor are happier is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are.)” — Mark Twain

This has a familiar ring to it, which isn’t surprising, as I’ve used it a number of times in previous Pearls…. It is a good springboard for discussion about society, and human interaction, and quite frankly, would have been a good place to start today’s first pearl….

Unfortunately, during my last break from the chair, I went to take a shower, in preparation for visiting with Zackary, my grandson, slipped on the wet tub, managing to keep from falling by a quick movement and grab at the sink, but, by doing so, gave my back a nasty twist, which is now causing a flood of spasms, massive increasing stiffness, and, a five-step increase in my old friend, Pain…. So…. This paragraph may seem smooth and readable; that comes with a cost, of having to stop to move around, or lie down, every few minutes…. which makes it hard to maintain any continuity of thought, or speech, as manifested by this missive….

This is a pisser, to be honest…. I was supposed to go visit with my grandson today, and now won’t be able to go, as I just can’t face an hour or two on my feet in the park, trying to keep up with a two year old and his father…. It’s one of my high points in life, as I don’t get to see Zack, my grandson, but for a few times a year, and I hate to miss this opportunity…. But, I couldn’t be as involved as I’d like, and I’d just as soon not have any of his memories of me be of an old, frail man who can’t play with him very much, and grunts a lot moving around…. Karma can be a real Bitch sometimes, you know?….

Any who, I don’t want to get into all that today, it’s too depressing, and the pain is enough to deal with…. but, I can’t think very well right now, so I’m going to have to cheat again, and use some of my previous work to fill in…. At least there’s plenty to choose from…. I’ll be right back with a pearl, a blast from the soi-distant past…..

“He who flees will fight again.” — Tertullian (160-240 AD) — De Fuga in Persecutione, c. 10

Okay, I found a perfect pearl, from Halloween of 2012… and it is actually covers the same subject as the one I began today, with the Mark Twain quote, or, sort of… so, since this is already turning into an epic Pearl, for one so broken up by my painful approach to the writing…. enjoy, it’s not bad….

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And here, poor fool, with all my lore
I stand no wiser than before.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

“This instant is thine; the next is in the womb of futurity, and thou knowest not what it may bring forth; maturity of the unborn is in the keeping of the Law. Each future state is that thou has created in the present.” — Akhenaton? (c. B.C. 1375)

“The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live.” — Joan Borysenko

Living life well is a subjective goal, and, as such, whether or not it we are successful in reaching the goal is purely a subjective judgment. This kind of judgment requires introspection, which makes it somewhat of a conundrum for many people, as their skills at that particular activity are severely limited from disuse. Very few people today spend much time in self-examination, from what I can see. If they did, they sure wouldn’t act the way they do, or dress the way they are, or carry on such a foolish, self-destructive course of living….

“The study of the errors into which great minds have fallen in the pursuit of truth can never be uninstructive. . . No man is so wise but that he may learn some wisdom from his past errors, either of thought or action, and no society has made such advances as to be capable of no improvement from the retrospect of its past folly and credulity.” — Charles Mackay

Introspection, however, requires both honesty and ruthlessness, in being able to recognize those things within us that are not of value, and to remove them from our persona. As such, it is what most folks would term as “hard” or “difficult”, and they will avoid it at all cost, laziness being a rather common human trait. It is much simpler, and easier, to just take what all the powers that be, (otherwise known as either the beloved ruling class, or those most heinous of criminal manipulators, preachers/priests), are selling as moral standards, and use them, regardless of whether or not they are truly moral or not…. and I assure you, mostly, they are not….

“Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

I often feel like Goethe, in what he stated above, as I believe myself to be one of the few who actually do use introspection on a regular basis. I believe this because, if other folks were using this process, the world would look a lot different. Women would feel safe walking the streets; old folks would feel cared for; gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals would not suffer discrimination for their orientation; racism would be dead, and religion would join mythology as a piece of mankind’s past, rather than its current status as our jailer/executioner…..

“Being good at being stupid doesn’t count.” — Smart Bee

All of these societal problems (bigotry, racism, discrimination, slavery, entitlement, misogyny, etc. )arise from the attitude of elitism held by those individuals among us who never look within, to see just how ugly their inner selves have become, from using the sick, twisted elitism as preached by the modern religious and political leaders.

We, as a species, cannot afford to listen any more to the Judeo-Christian (note: add Talmudic, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Shinto, etc…. gigoid, 3/24/13) ethic as propounded by the beloved ruling class; this kind of entitlement and aggrandizement has led us to the very brink of extinction, as we continue to treat the planet as our toy, instead of as our home.

We cannot keep pouring millions of tons of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere and expect nothing to happen, because what WILL happen is already happening…. our weather is changing, and not in a good way…. the planet is warming up, and when it is warm enough, the ice at the poles will melt, and everything on Earth will feel the effects….

“The faith in which I was brought up assured me that I was better than other people: I was saved, they were damned … Our hymns were loaded with arrogance–self-congratulation on how cozy we were with the Almighty and what a high opinion he had of us, what hell everybody else would catch come judgment day.” — Robert A. Heinlein

As Akhenaton pointed out over 3000 years ago, what we do in the present will determine how the future will be. What our species is doing now will guarantee that most of us won’t be around to see what happens in that future, because we will be dead within a hundred years, or less, if things don’t begin to change TODAY…. Since it is unlikely that will happen, well, we may as well take the advice given to many school children in the 50’s, in learning to deal with an atomic blast…. to wit: bend over and kiss your ass goodbye….  I hate to be so cynical, but, introspection requires honesty, so….

“You were s’posed to laugh!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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It’s probably a bit egocentric, but, hey, it is MY blog, right?…. Here is a poem I wrote last August, once again on the subject so close to my mind today…. my old friend and constant companion…. Pain….

Denial of Comfort

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

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

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

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

~~ gigoid

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Okay, so you already know I’m cheating today…. therefore, another pearl from the past isn’t going to fool anybody, unless I try to pass it off as fresh, and I refuse to go there…. Hence, here is another pearl, which may give any newbies more information than they need…. it might scare them off. But, I’m nothing, if not honest…. so, I give you this again too-long, but, too bad, so sad piece from November of 2012….

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

:GIGO: /gi:’goh/ [acronym] 1. `Garbage In, Garbage Out’ — usually said in response to {luser}s who complain that a program didn’t “do the right thing” when given imperfect input or otherwise mistreated in some way.  Also commonly used to describe failures in human decision making due to faulty, incomplete, or imprecise data.  2. `Garbage In, Gospel Out’: this more recent expansion is a sardonic comment on the tendency human beings have to put excessive trust in `computerized’ data. — from The on-line Hacker Jargon File V423

Many years ago, I adopted the user name gigoid, taking it from the above definition, and adding an “id” for, of course, identification purposes; with that suffix, I am assured of human status, i.e. hominid, humanoid, etc.  I chose this acronym because it is the perfect reminder of the basic integrity that is built into all computers, i.e., they can only do what we tell them to do, and cannot lie. Thus, if our results are wrong, the error lies in our input, not in the computer; this automatically cuts in half the number of places to look for the problem.

I like to think that my awareness of this principle characteristic is what has allowed me to use computers without suffering many of the common difficulties such as crashes, freezes, and blue screens of death. Only once have I ever encountered one of those on my own computer, and that was the result of a virus my defenses missed… my fault, of course, I hadn’t updated soon enough…

Oh, I’ve encountered that famous blue screen before, when I worked as a computer tech back in the late 90’s, setting up LAN’s and office systems for H&R Block…. a significant percentage of machines were dead soon after coming out of the factory box. But, on my own computers, I am very careful never to break any of the basic rules that govern those kinds of mishaps…. and I owe it all to a wise choice of user name…. Well, it’s fun to think about it that way anyway….

So, who is gigoid? Well, if you’ve hung about this blog site for long, I’ve certainly given y’all enough of my inner workings to look at, in my rants, and in my old school pearls, as well as in my poetry, which is quite revealing, to me….. but, then, if it wasn’t, I most likely couldn’t write it….

Any who, to give the short answer to that question, I’ll post below some pearls that give insight into what I believe to be true, and how I try to live…. Like any weak human, I don’t always succeed at being as moral or ethical as I can be, but, I do try, and I do feel pangs of regret when I don’t, so cut me some slack, eh? Just kidding…. What I am is all what I am, though I’m not Popeye…. and these pearls are what I see in the mirror…..

“They are able because they think they are able.” — Virgil

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.  We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.  We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” — Aristotle

“An epigram often flashes light into regions where reason shines but dimly.” — E. P. Whipple

It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs. — Smart Bee

Computers can never replace human stupidity. — Smart Bee

“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.


But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please — this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time — and squawk for more!


So learn to say No – and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you. (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.) “

— Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert Heinlein

“Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Well, that’s enough about me…. Hope this helps clear up any confusion, and if not, well, hey, life goes on…. all we can do is all we can do, and no more….
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I’ve tried to read this over, proofing-wise, and can only say, well, I’ve done all I can do…. I think it’s close to what it should be, and, if you will remember axiom #1 of Peruaosophy, you’ll realize that’s enough for me…. (For the uninitiated, Peruaosophy is the Philosophy of Pearls, as created by gigoid (yep, that’s me….) in 1986…. #1 says, to wit: “I think I am…. that’s close enough.” ) I’ve relied heavily on my past work today, but, given my justification, feel no remorse whatsoever… and neither should you….  😆      Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

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It says breakfast includes fizzy drinks….

Ffolkes,
I’m confused….. Oh, wait…. Right. That isn’t anything new, of course, so saying it right up front might not have quite the riveting effect I intended…. Y’all are accustomed to seeing me in that state, so announcing it probably isn’t going to produce the either the sympathy I was hoping to engender, nor will it produce the willingness to overlook the asinine trip this intro section puts y’all through…. So much for that technique…. I killed it myself, before it even had a chance to get started…. Well, shoot…. which, you may guess, is a euphemism for another word of similar pattern, but, with an “i” where this one has an “oo”…..

There I go, trying to trick y’all into using your mental acuity first thing, just as if I had some reason to expect good results; I’ve barely had enough coffee to keep from biting myself, and I’m expecting skillful cogitation from my audience!  ❗  This does not bode well for the rest of this morning’s output, to say the least. In fact, we are approaching the point of no return, in terms of legality of assumption, and I may just have to cite myself, with a court date just far enough away to annoy me…. It’s one sure way to get me pissed off enough to focus…. It won’t improve my writing at all, but it does force me to concentrate on what is important, and keep stuff like this from falling out of my head and onto the screen….

I managed to somehow convince Murphy to take a few days off, by telling him about this other guy I met, who really was having a good life, with everything going well for him…. I lied, but he fell for it, and has gone to pick at the other guy for… well, I don’t know how long I’ll have, so I’m making the best of it….. I imagine he’ll be pissed when he gets back, as he will have figured out how I tricked him by then, but, I’ll deal with the consequences of that when they occur…. No sense in worrying about milk that isn’t on the floor yet…. Of course, I’ll probably have to also deal with the guy who got the brunt of his attention, if he ever finds out it was me who gave him the referral, but, he’s just a little guy, and I happen to know he disapproves of guns, so, I’m safe in that respect….

Well, for heaven’s sake (I know, I’m probably breaking several canonical laws, and heresying on several religions when I say that…. oh well….  😈  )…. Will you look at that? I’ve been babbling, not really paying attention, and a complete intro section has just sprung up around my words…. imagine that! I wonder how that happened?…. Is that ingenious enough? (Or is that disingenuous enough?) Is it too over the top?  I don’t want to make anyone nauseous with too much schmaltz…. that stuff can be dangerous, if one is unaccustomed to its use, and I try to be sparing with it…. Okay, that’s a lie, but, I do try not to get it on anyone’s best shoes….

Besides, we got here, didn’t we? I’m not going to sit here and be insulted, so… Well, yes, I am. I’m the one who babbled and meandered around again to fill in the intro with nonsense and meaningless BS, so I’m the one who should take the hits for it….. Go ahead, I’ll sit here and take it….. All done? Good, now we can get on with the remainder of our business, such as it is…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“If good intentions are combined with stupidity, it is impossible to outthink them.” — Marion J. Levy, Jr.

Aha! So, THAT’S the problem with Reality! I should have noticed this sooner, and maybe, just maybe, you might have been saved from a rant or two…. Well, okay, so that’s a lie, but, it COULD have happened…. more’s the pity….

Actually, I’ve included this because it really is too true to be ignored…. This statement is a perfectly accurate description of many, many preacher/priests, and other delusional denizens of the organized religions, such as Catholicism, Islam, or even Hinduism, as the people who end up in those positions are generally motivated, originally, at least, by the desire to help their fellows, not to subvert them.

But, most are so weak-minded that they can’t even see that they, themselves, are being manipulated by their own leaders, manipulated until they believe the nonsense with which they are bombarded from day one in the seminary, or other school of divinity…. It is the Popes, and the Ayatollahs, and the other religious leaders, all of whom are well aware, down to the last decimal place of accuracy, of the degree of bullshit they are slinging, who are the evil minded ones, the true monsters who prey on their own kind, knowing full well that the religious dogma they are promoting is a pile of hogwash designed solely to keep the ignorant masses under control, in an attitude of submission….

Many of those at the top of the heap will even claim to be true believers, but, I have a hard time accepting that at face value, given the perks and privileges they seem to accept as their rightful due, even though those perks and privileges are directly in contrast, and directly in opposition to all they teach about worldly goods and their spiritual value…. Kind of blows their covers, wouldn’t you say? It’s hard to reconcile the talk about helping the poor, when one is wearing silk, and gold filigree, and dining on quail in aspic every night…. I don’t know about y’all, but I sense a bit of a conflict of interest there….

“If the Bible proves that God exists, then comic books prove the existence of Superman.” — Smart Bee

I will admit that a database, such as Smart Bee, is merely software, and not necessarily to be considered a solid reference for the statement made just above. But, then, I don’t regard the claim of men and/or women, who are “reportedly” divinely inspired, as a solid reference for the validity of the claims made in the Bible, either; to my way of thinking, the relative degree of believability by either one is questionable, if not absolutely ridiculous.

Sorry, but, the idea that ALL the people who contributed their writing to the Bible were “touched by the hand of God” tends to stretch my innate sense of credibility all out of proportion to what I know to be real. It just doesn’t wash, much less stand up to rigorous logical, deductive examination….. (Unless, of course, by “touched by the hand of God”, one means the onset of florid insanity…. I could buy that….)

“After you’ve heard two or more eyewitness accounts of an auto accident it makes you wonder about any “recorded” history.” — Smart Bee

Unfortunately for all of us, whether we are sighted, or blind, to what is real, the validity of the first pearl in this section remains unchanged…. to wit: it is damnably true, and there isn’t a damn thing to do about it, except to keep on trying to throw out enough real, true information to counteract, or at least attempt to balance, all the delusional crap that pours out of the religiously oriented fools, who, though they believe they are doing the right thing, are merrily, and obliviously, carrying on the agenda of those above them, who have no scruples whatsoever, further placing themselves and their issue under the thumb of a group of folks who have been manipulating and robbing from society for millennia, all under the guise of concern for our welfare.

(Wow, I impressed myself with that paragraph, filling it up with one, continuous run-on sentence…. pretty slick, eh? Move over, Godot….)

This concept, little as it pleases those in the position of clerical authority, is the historical basis for the observation that everyone has heard, to wit: “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”  You will find that every priest or preacher, or for that matter, any politician, to whom you utter that phrase, immediately will launch into a well-practiced litany of reasons why you should pay it no mind, as it does not fit in with the manipulation they espouse as their modus vivendi, or for that matter, their modus operandi…. They don’t want people even THINKING of things like that, as it tends to lead to other revelations regarding their truthfulness… not an activity they wish to encourage among the flock….

Right there…. I’ve just used a word that is a dead giveaway…. Did you ever wonder why pastors and priests call their constituents their “flock”, and assume the position of being the shepherd in the analogy? Because it is quite accurate, in their minds, as they consider their constituents to be sheep, whose existence and meaning is to supply them with wool, lanolin, and a steady supply of mutton chops….. Not the whiskers, but the savory, er, well, distinctively flavored, tasty with mint-jelly type…. Yep, pretty subtle, as well as inherently cruel, but, hey, that’s what they do…..

“We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.” — Eric Hoffer
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Poetry seems to come from a part of me that I don’t understand very well; it sort of forces its way out when it’s ready, and my conscious mind seems to play very little part in that process…. Whatever…. This started leaking out of my head yesterday afternoon, and the rest fell out this morning…. It seems pretty straightforward to me, but then, it’s all my imagery, so I guess that would make sense…. Hopefully, it will strike a chord with y’all as well… I hope you enjoy it….

After the odyssey….

Portraits of iconic symbols, crashing, singing, forgotten;
evolving into mature innovation, as yet pale, and rotten.
Still water justly breeds, impenetrable primal verses resound;
unholy moments tarry, emotion swirls in passion unbound

Spiritual ovulation precedes each pregnant pause;
gravid, time moves on, following destiny’s cause.
Cast adrift on waves of confusion, to a final, damp landing;
salvation beckons sweetly, fed well on understanding.

Dreams directly fall, in night’s grey bower, unbidden;
lingering flavors in simple taste, lovingly, cleverly hidden.
Childish laughter sounds, joyful, bright, and clear;
no need ever to hide, no more monsters to fear.

Temper most foul arrives under unregistered mail;
forgotten taunts live on, lashed by an ancient flail.
Plain dealing delivers such lasting specks of honest hate;
savage in retrospect, never hasty, always running late.

Forever, cries an ambient lover of the pending night;
his pale, weak issue forms its own failing light.
Still, fortune favors such as those who apprehend;
Sweet love of Gaia, let it never end.

~~ gigoid ~~


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I believe I’m beginning to get a solid handle on how often I can rant, without becoming overly pedantic, or approaching a point where it becomes too much, too shrill and strident, which can decrease its attraction to the reader, as well as distract from the issue at hand, which mostly benefits from a dispassionate discussion, rather than an emotional one…. and all of that is just two and a half lines of self-indulgent back patting, so, I’ll cease and desist, and get on with the rest of today’s effort…. Which, as I was trying to get around to saying, will consist of yet another harlequin pearl…. Why fix what isn’t broken?…. Any point to today’s group of pearls will be a figment of your imagination, as I am going to try to deliberately get strange…. a rather easy task for me…. Enjoy!….

“Every society needs someone  whose job it is to tell the Emperor he’s naked.” — Smart Bee

“Ignorance is not bliss — it’s oblivion.” — Phillip Wylie

“Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.” — Parker’s Law

1) A strong belief is more important than a few facts.
2) The stronger the belief, the fewer the facts.
3) The fewer the facts, the more people killed.

— Milton Rothman
(Taken directly from the Orientation Manual of the United States Congress, given to all newly elected officials….) (Honest….)

“God must love assholes — She made so many of them.” — Smart Bee

“If you are near the enemy, make him believe you are far from him. If you are far from the enemy, make him believe you are near.” — Sun-Tzu, The Art of War

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” — The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, 1951
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Try as I might, I can’t find enough to justify not going with this…. I can’t say I understand all of it as well as might be expected, but, I suppose you could say that could be said for my life in general…. So, rather than fuss with what is obviously fated, or, at least fatefully suggested in a firm manner, I’m letting it fly, as is…. Oh, I’ll proof it, best I may, but, as for content, it’s on its own…..  So be it….. gigoid has spoken….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Subsidized pets never rust…..

Ffolkes,
If there is one place in the world I would prefer to avoid during the month of July, Bakersfield would be that place. Hot, dusty, and ugly were the three adjectives that came to mind as I walked out of the bus terminal. The grimy faces of tired, old buildings lined the street, harsh neon lights looking pale and wan in the harsh, oppressive light of the sun. Nobody else appeared to be out in the midday heat except yours truly, acting the part of either mad dog, or Englishman, for the entertainment of whatever gods happened to be watching.

I knew of at least one goddess who would be doing so with rapt attention, for she is the one who sent me to this godforsaken hole in the wall of the universe, and she will want to know what I’m doing at all times…. The gods aren’t the most trusting of employers, but they pay well for success…. Of course, what I’ll do with all these old drachmae, I don’t know, but I’ll worry about it later…. Being the private eye on call to Olympus isn’t the easiest gig, but I like it, even if some of the major goddesses can be a bit testy about their entitlements…. As long as the money is good, I can put up with a lot of foolishness….

I might take this a bit further, but I just realized that this idea has been done already…. almost. “The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul” by Douglas Adams, tells the story of a PI involved in a case with a number of the old Norse gods…. Odin, Loki, and the like. I didn’t realize it until I typed “drachmae”, which is not Norse, but still reminded me of the adventures of Dirk Gently in a hostile universe that Adams put out. Not wishing to plagiarize his idea any further, we will leave that story right where it is, to die a long, painful, and horrible death, alone….. good thing I have no emotional attachment to it, or I’d feel some guilt….

Here’s a good piece of advice for all you youngsters out there…. Never….. wait, that’s too long…. okay, try this….. Always…. No, that’s the same thing, just backwards…. hmmm…. Sometimes…. there you go, that works….

Sometimes, you win, and sometimes, you lose. Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield. And sometimes, it all makes sense, until it doesn’t, and reality resumes its inevitable march toward our own personal doom…. so don’t sweat it. The end of the road will get here when it gets here, and not a moment before. We may as well enjoy the time while we’re waiting, eh?…. So be it…

I don’t know about y’all but I thinks that’s about enough of that nonsense for one morning…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Friendship is the only thing in the world concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.” — Cicero

Okay, let’s see…. I can agree with the part that says “Friendship is”…leave out some words leading up to “concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.” Obviously, I am contesting the “only thing” part, yes? Okay… so, let’s see if there are any other useful things “concerning which all mankind agrees”….

Honesty?…. Well, I think this one would probably be acknowledged as being useful by everyone asked, but I’m also pretty certain that many of them would be lying, which kind of negates that whole idea, doesn’t it? Yes, it does…. nod your head up and down, and let’s go on….

Loyalty?…. Hmm… I think this one would most likely run about the same as honesty. Everybody is going to say that they believe in loyalty, but some of them aren’t going to be telling the truth about it, not if 25,000 years of history are considered as evidence.

Love?…. I don’t think there would be any sort of consensus here; too many folks have had bad experiences with love, or more accurately, bad experiences from NOT having being loved, or given an opportunity to love. This would definitely NOT be a subject on which all would agree…. not even close….

Compassion? Fair Play? Opera?  Nope, I don’t think any of these would come close to being a consensus choice, much as some of us would like them to be, or not be, in the case of Opera….

Crispy bacon?  This, I believe, comes as close as anything else to being universally agreed upon. Of course, a lot of vegans and other cholesterol fanatics would SAY they disagree, but you know that deep in their hearts, they really, really WANT that bacon….  🙂

Okay, so maybe Cicero had a valid point. There doesn’t seem to be much of anything that all of mankind can agree upon, which is hardly a surprise, given the stubborn individuality most people cling to like a life-saver in a storm at sea. In fact, this innate insistence on being unique is part of the problem, as it makes it hard for people to accept that other people may feel the higher emotions, such as compassion, or honesty, when they are seldom present in themselves. They do not trust themselves, so they cannot trust others…. only when they are in the presence of a real friend can these virtues be shown….
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My Fancy

I painted her a gushing thing,
With years about a score;
I little thought to find they were
A least a dozen more;
My fancy gave her eyes of blue,
A curly auburn head:
I came to find the blue a green,
The auburn turned to red.

She boxed my ears this morning,
They tingled very much;
I own that I could wish her
A somewhat lighter touch;
And if you ask me how
Her charms might be improved,
I would not have them added to,
But just a few removed!

She has the bear’s ethereal grace,
The bland hyaena’s laugh,
The footstep of the elephant,
The neck of a giraffe;
I love her still, believe me,
Though my heart its passion hides;
“She’s all my fancy painted her,”
But oh! how much besides!

Lewis Carroll

Here is something a bit different from Lewis Carroll, whom we all know and love from “Through the Looking Glass: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. I think this poem tells a lot about the British culture of the time in which he lived, as I find a lot of pieces from that time that echo the sentiments described herein. At any rate, it’s a fun read, and brought me a little smile at the end, so I hope you enjoy it, too…..
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“We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should govern their spiritual horizon, nor Moslems that Lord Buddha is at the center of their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major prophet, nor Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual concerns, to say nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get Christians to agree among themselves about their relationship to God. But all will agree on a proposition that they possess profound spiritual resources.  If, in addition, we can get them to accept the further proposition that whatever form the Deity may have in their own theology, the Deity is not only external, but internal and acts through them, and they themselves give proof or disproof of the Deity in what they do and think; if this further proposition can be     accepted, then we come that much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.” — Norman Cousins, from his book “Human Options”

Mr. Cousins speaks in a very even-handed manner, with respect for all of the philosophies, religions, and churches he mentions in his statement. Though it is possibly too complex for the average follower of any religion to take in at one sitting, it does make a reasonable allegation, and leads the reader on a quite logical train of thought.

What fails to stimulate complete agreement in me is the question, “why do we make the assumption that what we need on earth is “a truly religious situation.” (whatever THAT means… I mean, really…. a religious ‘situation’? And who defines ‘truly’?…)  It is always a puzzle to me how people can use so much mental energy to chase themselves into a maze with no exit……

First, define a ‘religious situation’, and tell me who gets to decide when it is ‘truly religious’…. second explain why we need it on earth…. third, well, never mind, we’ll get to the abuse later….  Anyway, it puzzles me, how someone who can make the above argument, which shows a knowledge of religions which is at least wide, if not particularly deep, can also make such an unwarranted assumption.

I understand one purpose of such a statement, which would be to at least TRY to infuse some unifying connections between the various modes of thought, to get them to see other views, at least hypothetically. That purpose is a good one…. but trying to make the intuitive leap to a melding of religious thought is asking too much of people who, by the very nature of their beliefs, are unaccustomed to that kind of acceptance.  Indeed, one of the primary identifying characteristics of almost any “worshiper” is an extreme resistance to thinking….at all…. much less thinking about acceptance of another religion’s validity.

I believe Mr. Cousins is right to wish that everyone, of whatever religion they are, would open themselves to the idea that other religions have the same right to exist as do they, even though those beliefs are different from their own. A little bit of tolerance for the other fellow’s ideas can go a long way toward keeping the peace between nations, or people….

It’s a small thing, but with very large effect on how people treat each other…. It is also the most needed change to human nature that I see, the one that could lead the way to other changes to morality and ethics, thereby providing mankind with the tools needed to survive…..

You cannot face it steadily, but this thing’s for sure,
That time is no healer: the patient is no longer here.
— T.S. Eliot
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Homer: “Marge, is this a happy ending or a sad ending?”
Marge: “It’s an ending. That’s enough.”
— The Simpsons

I know exactly how Marge feels…. and it’s enough…. 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!

Clouds of vacuous attendants….

Ffolkes,
As I opened the door to the deli and pushed in out of the cold, steam from the sidewalk vent flowed in with me, disappearing in the warmth inside.  I had a moment of disorientation, a feeling of premonition that I realized had been with me all morning, distracting me during the walk through the dark streets from home.  Mrs. Cohen, one of the owners, looked up from behind the counter to smile at me, looking worried and relieved at once. “I wasn’t sure you would be in today, Nolan,” she stated in her soft accented voice, “I know you have a funeral to go to today.”

“I thought work might help me keep from thinking about it,” I replied. “And it seemed like what she would have wanted me to do.” With eyes shimmering, Mrs. Cohen just nodded, and said, “Well, then, you can start on the prep list, I suppose. We’re a little light on potato salads.” “Okay, I’ll cook off a bag of potatoes for the week.” Still somewhat distracted, I moved to the back of the store, into the kitchen, hanging my coat on the hooks by the back door. Flipping the lights on in the walk-in reefer, I ducked inside to check the inventory.

As I stepped back out of the reefer, I heard the front door bell jingle, and my feeling of premonition got stronger. Curious, I walked to the kitchen door, and looked out into the table area beyond the deli case. Just inside the door stood a…..

See, now, this is the problem…. I get started on a nice little story idea like this, then, just when it starts to get interesting, it all fades away, or like with this one, I have to take a break to stretch & ease up on the sitting. When I come back to it, it’s gone. Nowhere in my head to be found…. Oh, well, I guess it does provide me with some intriguing opening paragraphs, even if they’re pretty well non sequitor in re: the rest of what is here…. rather than complain any more about it, let’s go find some pearls, shall we?……
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EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don’t hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. Clean up your own mess.
6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
7. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
9. Flush.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life–learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup–they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned –the biggest word of all–LOOK.

— Robert Fulghum

Not everything needs a comment from me…. This doesn’t…..
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“If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known  will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.” — James Thurber

I think that Mr. Thurber must have been a nice man, because this could have been expressed much more harshly. Instead he chose to use implication to point up his disappointment in the human spirit. He could have used words that would define more precisely just what it is about humans that makes us choose to act immorally much of the time, and do so in spite of knowing it is wrong. Dogs don’t seem capable of making that choice, unless they’ve been taught by a human to do so. They will almost always choose the act that is more ethical, or more moral; I would bet that is one reason why they sleep so well….. and why so many humans don’t…..
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Summer

See what delights in sylvan scenes appear!
Descending Gods have found Elysium here.
In woods bright Venus with Adonis stray’d,
And chaste Diana haunts the forest shade.
Come lovely nymph, and bless the silent hours,
When swains from shearing seek their nightly bow’rs;
When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
And crown’d with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield.
This harmless grove no lurking viper hides,
But in my breast the serpent Love abides.
Here bees from blossoms sip the rosy dew,
But your Alexis knows no sweets but you.
Oh deign to visit our forsaken seats,
The mossy fountains, and the green retreats!
Where-e’er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade,
Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade,
Where-e’er you tread, the blushing flow’rs shall rise,
And all things flourish where you turn your eyes.
Oh! How I long with you to pass my days,
Invoke the muses, and resound your praise;
Your praise the birds shall chant in ev’ry grove,
And winds shall waft it to the pow’rs above.
But wou’d you sing, and rival Orpheus’ strain,
The wond’ring forests soon shou’d dance again,
The moving mountains hear the pow’rful call,
And headlong streams hang list’ning in their fall!
But see, the shepherds shun the noon-day heat,
The lowing herds to murm’ring brooks retreat,
To closer shades the panting flocks remove,
Ye Gods! And is there no relief for Love?
But soon the sun with milder rays descends
To the cool ocean, where his journey ends;
On me Love’s fiercer flames for ever prey,
By night he scorches, as he burns by day.

Alexander Pope

I subscribed to a new email notification service from a site called PoemHunter.com, and this is my first poem from them…. nice choice! Enjoy!…..
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I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night

I often feel like this after writing one of my political or religious rants, but it isn’t an unfamiliar feeling. For most of my life I’ve felt a certain distance between me and other folks. When in school as a boy, it was just how things were for us “eggheads”; other kids who found school work to be tedious or difficult often expressed their displeasure at the ease with which I completed the work, or that I always seemed to have the answer to the teacher’s questions.

It was obvious to me even then that they didn’t enjoy reading or studying subjects outside their normal frame of reference as did I; I got a lot of funny looks at lunch time when I would read while eating. They didn’t know that the book was, for me, a protective barrier as well as an enjoyment; they didn’t realize how hard it was to be ostracized for being smart. How could they understand, when they were the one’s perpetrating the divisiveness?

Even though it hurt some, I never minded their misunderstanding that much; the joy of learning, and the power of the knowledge it gave me was more than enough reward for me. It was harder on them, I think, to try to get through school when they worked so hard to deny the tools that would have helped them. I never could get why so many of my peers complained about how hard school was, or how unfair, when it was so easy for me. Back then, without the understanding and tolerance that age brings with experience, I just thought it was lame. “It’s a poor workman who blames his tools” always made perfect sense to me….

I guess it would be safe to say that the human experience is not for the faint of heart; it takes some strength and will to be able to fully appreciate all the facets that make up a human being. Loneliness, remorse, fear, heartache, loss, emotional stress of all kinds are part of what makes us what we are, balancing all the good things of which we are capable. Many of us never even consider such ideas, making it that much harder to deal with them when they occur.

It occurs to me that this reluctance to use the basic intelligence with which we are born is a root cause of a great many of the problems the world at large faces today. Mankind’s unwillingness to apply the power of the mind to tasks that challenge it, or to any concept that makes it work hard, has kept us from advancing as far, or as fast, as might otherwise be possible.

We are our own worst enemy, and lack the wit to see it…. and, unfortunately, I believe it will eventually be our undoing…. But, I keep trying, shouting into the wind, and will do so as long as I breathe, because, little reason though I may have, I love my brothers and sisters, all seven billion of them, and would much rather they woke up and smelled the coffee….
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It is Maya!
Dost thou not know her?
Illusion — dreams — phantoms.
But, to the wise, Maya is more.
——————
But, to the wise, Maya is more.
Look around:
All that thou see’st,
Trees and shrubs, The grass at thy feet,
All that walks or creeps,
All that flies from tree to tree,
All is unreal: All is Maya.
Our bodies, our limbs, our very thoughts.
We ourselves are slaves to Maya.
What remaineth?  Who can say?
Love to the lover,
The child to the mother,
The song to the singer,
God to the worshipper;
These, wandering thro’ the world of Maya,
Are perchance shadows of that which is.

— Holst, Savitri (based upon the sanskrit Mahabharata)

Reality is a slippery little devil; at times one can’t grasp its true nature with both hands and a vice grip. Even duct tape won’t always confine it to one shape, and that is saying something.  The ancient Indian philosopher who wrote this either knew this, or got into a powerful batch of cannabis indicus, and couldn’t find his way out. But, nonetheless, whoever wrote this managed to capture the chameleon-like quality of Reality, and to state it simply and beautifully.

At this point in time, any comments on the nature of said Reality from me would be not only superfluous, but would most likely add to the confusion already present in the very nature of what we are discussing. So, I won’t make any…. I’ll let Reality confuse you all by its lonesome, a task at which it has unlimited experience, and proven talent…. enjoy it while you still can! You never know when it will turn into something else less pleasant to contemplate….
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In retrospect, today’s Pearl went fairly smoothly, compared to most of my latest efforts. Rather than dwell on it, though, it’s probably best to just get on with the day, a policy that never fails. Fails to what, we may never know, but the fact that it does is sufficient to know for the nonce…. 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!

Real fun begins in the burrow….

Ffolkes,
It may, or may not, come as a surprise to you, but the material that appears here every day is as fresh and new to me as it is to you. All of what I write in this blog is made up every morning when I sit down to begin. I have no outlines, no lists of subject matter, no pre-written essays, or articles, or rants. I do save a few pearls here and there, in case the dB program, Smart Bee, is being recalcitrant, but I haven’t had to use the stash in six months or more.

Everything else is my reaction to the pearls that I pick, written moments after pasting the pearl into the word processor I’m using. Most of the ones I pick to write about each day are also fresh, as well, usually picked out that very morning. Sometimes a pearl will be in place, waiting, having been found the day, or a couple of days, before, but 9 times out of 10, I will move the waiting pearl to another day down the road, and use one I just found. It just seems to work out best this way, so that is how it is done…. It’s not logical, or even particularly well-designed and arranged. But, it works for me, and that, after all, is what it is all about…..

So be it…. I’m not sure why I said all that, but what the hell…. let’s just get down to it right away…. shall we Pearl?….
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Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn’d,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee: I ‘ll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
Revisit’st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous,
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act i, Sc. 4

Time for a short rant…. I know the above is probably considered to be one of the finest examples of literature ever written. This soliloquy from Hamlet has been dissected and discussed to death many times over, in classrooms, in theaters, at dinner parties, and is used often as quotations to illustrate some point or another…. and it is SUCH a piece of CRAP! 

I cannot believe that anyone still falls for this! What the fuck is he talking about? What has he said here, beyond some personal complaints about somebody that he has been rude to his entire life? Even when one filters out the middle English and puts it into more modern terminology, it doesn’t make any sense. It is just a litany of complaints that one can hear from one’s teenage son or daughter any time of day or night…..

I watched the movie, Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home, yesterday… it’s good entertainment, and has a lot of what made the original ST shows so watchable, i.e., interactions among the crew, specifically Spock, McCoy, and Kirk. At one point, when Spock’s memory is under question, McCoy delivers the first two lines above, whereupon Spock immediately supplies the play, act, and scene number from memory…. But I found it interesting that McCoy is one of the first to use the quote as a question of someone’s mental acuity…. it certainly is one of the few, if any, times that I’ve seen it used thus…. At least, used in this context, it at least admits the possibility that the speaker is less than completely sane, which to me seems quite apparent.

If I heard anyone spouting off like this, I would certainly be calling 911 to have someone come to take them away before they got violent….   But, humanity likes its heroes, even when it doesn’t even know why they are such….. so we’ll have to be subjected to Will’s overblown crap as long as people continue to put his work on a pedestal… when where it should be kept is in a locked vault….

“Hamlet is the tragedy of tackling a family problem too soon after college.” — Tom Masson
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“Some foolish men declare that a Creator made the world.  The doctrine that the world was created is ill-advised, and should be rejected.  If God created the world, where was He before creation?  How could God  have made the world without any raw material?  If you say He made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression … Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning and end.” — The Mahapurana, Jinasena

There are times when the human race baffles me…. Many moons ago (a clever writer’s trick to indicate a VERY long time…), when we were all sitting around a campfire, say out in front of a nice cave we’d appropriated from some poor idiot killed in lieu of a mortgage payment, somebody came up with the concept of a Creator.

Now, the first question that comes to my mind is, “Why?” (I know, I know, that is a question we are not supposed to ask…. again, I will repeat, “Why?”….)  What was it that prompted those folks to want to create some god-like figure to explain all the stuff we didn’t know at the time?

Were they sitting around blaming each other for the rain and thunder? Was there something about the way that wolf pack was stalking the same prey as we were hunting that indicated some sort of conspiracy? What? I don’t seem to be able to find out what impulse it was that caused them to make up such a specious and unlikely explanation for the way the world exists…. The one that they came up with does not fit the facts of the matter; it only fits the wishes of those who believe it. Even the explanation that pantheists like Hindi came up with are wishful thinking; it makes as little sense to assume that there are a thousand gods as it does to assume just one……

A Lie is still a Lie, even if you believe it. — Smart Bee

“Over 5,000 years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel,  “Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and load your camels, and I will lead you to the promised land.”
Not too long ago, Roosevelt said,  “Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, light a Camel, this is the promised land.”
Now Nixon is stealing your shovels, kicking your asses, raising the price of Camels, and mortgaging the promised land.” — Smart Bee

This is the result, you see, of having this sort of nonsense to contend with. The mere existence of this joke indicates the depths of contradiction that are inherent in any such creation theory. The presence in society of a large group of people who all believe that they may do whatever they please, and their acts will be either sanctioned by the deity, or forgiven by Him, thus releasing them from all responsibility for whatever it is they choose to do, is a large factor in how close we are to extinction as a species. The self-indulgence and lack of any personal responsibility allowed by these religions can be seen as a major contributor to both the evil that men perpetrate on each other, as well as the degradations that we have committed on our environment.

And the saddest part of all of this is the simple fact that nobody cares. Millions and millions, even billions, of people on this planet believe that their religion is the gospel truth, and all the lies they are told, and all the lies they tell, are sanctioned by Heaven, and no matter what they do on Earth, they will be rewarded in Heaven…. They believe this with all their being, and nothing will change their minds, because they will not entertain any other ideas, having been programmed to reject anything that doesn’t fit with what they’ve been told to believe.

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

Moreover, they are convinced that they have made the choice to believe all this; they cannot even see how they have been given no choice in the matter, having been indoctrinated from an early age, before they had the intellectual or mindful defenses against any such nonsense. Churches learned long ago to attack the minds of children first, for they cannot help but believe what their parents tell them…. thus, the vicious cycle of ignorance is passed on from generation to generation, all without ever being examined for truth…. a concept foreign to the very nature of the institution…..

“I honestly believe that the doctrine of hell was born in the glittering eyes of snakes that run in frightful coils watching for their prey.   I believe  it was born with the yelping, howling, growling and snarling of wild beasts…  I despise it, I defy it, and I hate it.” — Robert G. Ingersoll

“Advise is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.” — Lord Chesterfield

“The truth is incontrovertible.  Malice may attack it.  Ignorance may deride it.  But in the end, there it is.” — Winston Churchill
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A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than the pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.
— Odgen Nash (1902-1971)

As is always the case with the work of Ogden Nash, there is very little that can be added without becoming superfluous. He trims away any unnecessary words and ideas, and drives straight into the truth, adorned perfectly by whimsy. I can’t think of another poet who has such a consistent talent to make me smile; he never fails to amuse and uplift, and one always comes away happier, if not always wiser. His simple rhymes and snippets of humorous verse, in my mind, makes him one of the “best of the best” in that field…..

“Careful, Mister.  Old Zeek is liable to fire that sucker up!” — Smart Bee
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Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights…..  http://www.fdrheritage.org/bill_of_rights.htm

One of the bloggers whose work I enjoy, and whose work, and opinion I’ve come to respect, writes poetry and prose at his blog site, One Time Pad, located here: http://onetimepad.wordpress.com/    A while back, he referred me to an article discussing how our use of language affects how we look at the political forces at play in society. It was a very good article, thoughtful, insightful, and with some good, sound conclusions. But, I am not at this time going to discuss that article, as it could conceivably turn into a very long discussion. But, as part of the research the author performed, he looked at the above information, located at a site dedicated to the policies that are the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, arguably the most popular President our country has ever seen.

Having not studied Roosevelt’s political philosophy outside what is part of every school’s history program, I cannot say whether I would agree with all of it. However, I did take the time to look over what is in the above, which is a proposal for new Amendments to the US Constitution, a Second Bill of Rights, which Roosevelt saw as a needed change, if society was to avoid in the future the same disastrously ill effects that he had just worked to counteract during the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

He saw a need to create more balance in society in how wealth and resources were allocated and shared on a society-wide basis. The amendments he proposed are all intended to foster and maintain that balance, and they all have to do with what he, and other liberals of the time, considered to be an expansion of basic human rights as outlined in the original Bill of Rights. In looking over what is here, I have to agree with the assessment he made; these are all changes that society will need to make, if we are to survive…. because they all assume that the real power in society CAN be returned to the people, instead of being concentrated and jealously protected by a select few who, by all indications, do not have the best interests of society at heart.

I firmly believe that the Occupy Movement, which is about to re-start its activist efforts to make the same litany of changes, would do well to adopt these proposed Amendments as the basis for their platform of purpose, and to work toward making them a part of American constitutional law. It would give them a legitimate focus, and will, if utilized well, stand a very good chance of succeeding in making a big difference…. and it sure couldn’t hurt to try….
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“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” — Josh Billings

In the past six months or so since my pal Noah died, I have avoided writing about him, other than one relatively short piece that I wrote to honor his life with memories of his character.

That post is still available to read, here:

http://therealowner.com/dogs/an-ode-to-noah/

I haven’t done so because I am a coward; it hurts a lot, still, and I have a hard time typing through the tears… just as I am now.

But, I wanted to share this with everyone, and say only this…. if you have not ever had the privilege of knowing a dog (note I do not say “own” or “possess” or “have”…. dogs are people, period, and such terms imply, and create, chauvinism that prevents you from ever understanding the true nature of yourself, much less the dog….), and of living with one, then you have not truly experienced what Love can be. Even with another person, Love has limits; for a dog, there are none.

So, any who…. before I am unable to do this at all, I will now post a photo, which I found on Facebook, I believe. It also might have come from the blogging site, Dog Leader Mysteries, which is dedicated to saving homeless and shelter dogs… located here:  http://dogleadermysteries.com/  If this doesn’t touch your heart, nothing in this world can save you…. I’ve entitled it….

The Last Will and Testament of Noah Dog….

    If you cannot read it because the text is too small, right click on it, click on “Open with”, and let the default photo viewer open it in a window where you can enlarge it sufficiently to read…. and thank you for taking the time…. Blessed Be….
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Okay, my day is destroyed now… but in a good way……  

  …… The space you see here between the dots is a metaphor.  It represents the four minutes I just took to get up and walk away until I could control myself.  Whew! As I mentioned in the introductory paragraphs, I never know what I’m going to be writing about, and this may be about the clearest indication of the truth of that I can give you. The idea of including Noah’s Will in a Pearl has been circling around in my head for all the time since his passing, but today was the first time I have been able to follow through. In some ways I am glad, because it is now something I can cross off a list.

Alas, this issue is on more than one list, so, I’m sure I’m not done processing the feelings I have around Noah’s life and death; we were together for fully 17 years, and it’s only been six months since his demise. If not to you, it’s obvious to me I have some tears still to shed over that…. but, I’ve never been ashamed of tears, like most of the men I’ve known. Not that I let them rule me, but I believe it is human to feel the strong emotions that create the urge to give up our life’s blood (water) to express our emotional pain in a physical way. And I have nothing against being human….

Enough of my rumination…. I’m starting to annoy myself….  🙂   Well, as much as I ever do, anyway….. and I’m sure you’re getting tired of all the dots between thoughts…. so I’ll bring this to a crashing halt, here.  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!

Myths of ancient warrior kings….

Ffolkes,
Since my appreciation of the obvious is keen, I’m aware today is Sunday. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. It’s Sunday…..since finding a coherent thought doesn’t seem to be on this morning’s agenda, we’ll just dive in and see if the cold water can work its magic…..

A lawyer and a pope died on the same day, and both went to heaven. When the pope noticed that the lawyer had a larger mansion, he questioned Saint Peter about the allocation of rewards.  The justification was “Well, we’ve had 265 popes up here, but this is the FIRST lawyer!”

I have to confess, when I read this for the first time, I laughed so hard I got hiccups. It gives the world’s most perfect joke (**see below) a good run for its title, even though the whole idea of lawyer jokes is one more sad commentary on how humans can pervert a good idea. The jokes, while they take their humor from the frequent human experience of getting shafted by the kingdom of Law and its knights, fail to take into account the fairly significant number of lawyers out there who actually perform their function with compassion, and a sense of altruism. There are those in the legal field who make it their goal to assist normal folks in obtaining justice from our legal system, guiding them through the tortuously complex legal maze. But there are far too many other lawyers whose sole purpose is to find more billable hours, regardless of their client’s ability to pay, or whether or not they are guilty or innocent. To them, its all a game, one which they are the only ones who know the rules, and they use the needs of normal people to find justice to fuel their own avaricious ambitions. It’s unfortunate, perhaps, that the good lawyers get tarred with the same brush as their less moral colleagues. But, for my money, there is no better way to deal with bullies (for that is what they are, the same kids out on the school playgrounds who tortured other kids for their lunch money, grown up to hide behind the law, but continuing the same behavioral pattern) than to laugh at them. Even the most evil of men are afraid of being laughed at, and justly so……

**In a recent world-wide poll, researchers asked people to vote for the funniest joke ever told. The winner was this…. The 911 operator received a call: “My buddy and I are out hunting, and he accidentally got shot. He looks like he’s dead; what should I do?” The operator says, “The first thing to do is to make sure he is really dead….” The guy says, “OK!” and rushes away from the phone. The operator hears a gunshot, and after a short moment the guy comes back on the line, “okay, now what?”…..
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‘”Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.” — Walt Kelly, Potluck Pogo

I suppose one might say that this principle is the driving force behind this entire process of gathering, collating, and creating Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. At least, that is my primary focus of intent. I look at the world, and I am dismayed; my entire life I have watched as our society rushes ever closer to oblivion, with each and every person alive heedless of the part they are playing in their own impending demise. Those of us who struggle to bring our brethren into knowledge of the very real danger of not paying attention, of choosing deliberate ignorance over rational thought, are forced into the admission that it may too late. There may not be enough time, before everything falls apart completely, for humans to come to their senses, and stop the madness of our mindless march to extinction. In spite of the overwhelming evidence that pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a historically unprecedented rate is causing ecological changes that will eventually kill us, the average American is worried that they might not have enough money next month to drive their 5mi/gallon SUV down to Florida to visit Disney World. This is just how the one percenters want it; they don’t want anything that cuts their profit margin to be allowed into the public consciousness. And they, with their money to protect them, don’t believe that they will die along with the rest of us. Pogo’s observation above tells us why it is happening, to all of us…….the Grim Reaper doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, he just wants his dance with each of us…..
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“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures. It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers. It is the same life that is rocked in the ocean-cradle of birth and death, in ebb and in flow. I feel my limbs are made glorious by the touch of this world of life. And my pride is from the life-throb of ages dancing in my blood at this moment.” — Tagore

I have a wish….I wish that every human alive today could experience what Tagore has described for us. Whether one can agree with his world-view or not, the sheer beauty of his expression draws the reader into acceptance. I am unfamiliar with Tagore, so I cannot say for certain if their background is Oriental or Occidental, or even if they are male or female. But not knowing takes nothing away from this litany. Seeking this state, of oneness with the whole universe, is the goal of every living creature, whether they are aware of it or not. All of our human behaviors, as grandly outrageous as the spectrum may be, are all formulated within us for the purpose of finding this connection to…hell, we’ll just go with the most obvious word….the Force. The Force, as described in the Star Wars anthology, exists as a part of reality, and our knowledge of it is the connection we seek, whether we know it or not. It is where we came from, and where we will eventually return, and all our actions on this plane of existence have their basis in the need in us to find and maintain that connection to everything…..
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Oft in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone
Now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night

I don’t know whether other folks are like me, but when I find a poem that grabs my attention, I experience a giddy delight, just for a moment. It’s like the cadence, or the meaning, or something about the piece echoes in my soul as if it had always been there, and I get that odd, deja vu-like sense of “oh, there it is! I found it!” It’s probably why I spend so much time at looking for good pieces of it, trying to re-create that feeling of serendipity, and its companion, joy.  Each of us is alone here, inside our own head, and how we choose to find our sense of basic happiness is important, if only to ourselves. Some folks like music, some like tennis. I like to read, and poetry is one of my favorite methods of making myself happy. If I don’t, who will?……
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“When a man’s knowledge is deep, he speaks well of an enemy. Instead of seeking revenge, he extends unexpected generosity.  He turns insult into humor, … and astonishes his adversary who finds no reason not to trust him.” — Baltasar Gracian

Sometimes it is uncanny how a powerful idea insinuates itself into the public awareness. The concept proposed here by Mssr. Gracian is one of those powerful concepts, one that can apply itself to individuals, and to governments as well. It is the same concept as demonstrated in the Christian tale of Jesus of Nazareth, the same as in the ancient Hindu writings regarding Krishna, and the same as the precepts of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, where it is said, “The surest way to defeat your enemy is to turn him into an ally.” This principle, of seeking connection rather than controversy, choosing negotiation over dogmatic intransigence, echoes through the annals of history. It is unfortunate in the extreme that in today’s world, none of the world’s leaders seem to be aware of this, though history has proven it to be the most effective, efficient solution to conflict, with longer-lasting results than any other course of action. SIGH……I’m SO disappointed…….

Well, I’ve dragged just about all the angst out as can be dealt with in one sitting, so we will now return you to your regularly scheduled program…. y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer at play..

Kowabunga!

Keeping banker’s hours….

Ffolkes,
With a smile, a whistle, and a joyful heart, the day begins…..

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” — Buddha

Living in today’s complex culture gets to be pretty stressful and frustrating. The more we do, the more it seems there is more to do. Bombarded on every side with demands, duties, expectations, and a myriad of “it’ll just take a minute  of your time” favors for friends, we end up with no time left for ourselves. I recall the days when I had a wife, two small children, a mortgage, car payments, and two full-time jobs; I became the Master of the Nine-Minute Nap, and spent each day chasing my tail to try to keep up with all there was to do. And that feeling, of being hemmed in and having no time for anything except more work, is pretty common to much of our society. The complexity of what is needed just to survive these days has men and women scrambling and scratching to make ends meet, leaving little time for relaxation or much-needed recreational activities.

Is there a solution to this problem, common to so many? Yes there is….it is really very simple, and revolves around one little word that a lot of folks have trouble saying, or meaning. We all learned this word at the age of 2, or thereabout, and have used it with varying effect ever since. Naturally, the word is “No”. That’s correct, “No”. Nothing else is needed, or even desirable, when confronted with yet another demand for assistance from a “friend”, or another pile of work from a boss, or another fundraiser. As long as it is delivered in a voice that carries authority, it needs no other help to rescue those stolen moments. Nancy Reagan had the correct slogan, Just say No!, but tried to apply it to an area of society that just laughs at such puerile nonsense.

     When applied to one’s own self, however, it becomes an invincible shield, protecting you from yet another waste of your time on other people’s behalf. Time is precious enough for us; we are mortal, and have only a finite amount of minutes here on this plane of existence. We each need to learn to protect those minutes, and keep them for use in service to our own goals and aspirations, instead of everybody else’s. You’ll be amazed at how much time you actually do have……

If I had thought thou couldst have died,
I might not weep for thee;
But I forgot, when by thy side,
That thou couldst mortal be.
— Charles Wolfe (1791-1823)
— To Mary

This little gem was another instance of serendipity. I was looking for a specific piece of information, and came across this in my search. I love that feeling, of getting a free gift from the universe. And when it is produced by something like this, that good feeling gets re-created at every reading. What I like about this one is the depth and breadth of the ideas being expressed, and how a few little words in the proper order can create in one’s mind an image that is richer and more detailed than could be surmised from just the words alone. Two little couplets strung together are enough to bring back the feelings one has when in the midst of infatuation, that first blush of love when the entire world assumes a compelling dream-like quality, and every sunrise is cause for joy. In this state, the mind is focused only on the object of desire, and any other perceptions are ignored, swept away from consciousness as if totally unimportant. It’s a very passionate time of life, and I find this little poem to be a truly exquisite conveyance back to those times……”There is no happiness like mine. I have been eating poetry.” — Mark Strand

Happiness is a state of mind.  Not happy?  Change your mind.

When I was in my teens, many, many moons ago, I read a book that is part of the sacred writings of Hinduism; it is titled, “The Bhagavad Gita. In the book, a young prince named Arjuna was entering a battle in ancient days in India, riding a chariot. His charioteer is none other than Krishna, the original Hindu god, from which all the others sprang, who then had a conversation with the young prince about life and philosophy. In answer to a question from Arjuna, Krishna replies, “All anger arises from obstructed desire. Thus all anger can be controlled, merely by altering the desire.” The concept works for happiness as well…..

What a powerful idea! To be able to control all of our anger with a small attitude change is a tool that every single human child should be given at birth, or at the very least, before they reach the age of reason. Imagine, an entire generation of people able to control and regulate the most passionate parts of their nature, with the power of their mind. Controversy and argument would vanish. War would be a distant memory. And humans would face life without fear, having replaced the passionate but unreliable emotions based on ignorance with a mind free of fear, and of the distraction of emotional turmoil. I can speak from experience to say that I know it is true, and really does work. I still experience anger and emotional turmoil, but it doesn’t last long in the face of reason and knowledge. This concept could very well be the next evolutionary step for our species; changing the way we deal with ourselves internally, rather than trying to modify the world to fit our image very well could be the answer for us. It couldn’t hurt…….

Whew! I could keep on writing on this subject for a long time, but I do have other stuff to do today. This is a good start though, and I may write more on this idea; it’s worth a second look. In the meantime, y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!