Billy was fired, with enthusiasm….

Ffolkes,

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”

~~ Udana Varga, c. 500 B. C. ~~

o-HIGH-DEFINITION-EARTH-PICTURE-900

    Having again greeted the day with a groan, I arose from bed, left arm aching, left hand numb, only to find my head swirling like the proverbial spinning top. Fortunately for me, I hadn’t already taken a step, so I didn’t fall very far, just sitting back down on the bed. Ah vertigo! Such a fine way to greet the day. So, here I sit, spinning rapidly through space/time with my eyes spinning like little slot machine cherries, fighting the need to swallow, in case my stomach…. well, you get the picture. If I took that any further, all of us might spew…. I’m not in the mood to have to take the computer apart to clean it…. I can barely see yet!

Okay, complaints done. It’s another day, which is quite enough to say about it. If it’s going to continue in this vein, I might just go back to bed, & wait to try again tomorrow, but, first things first. If I don’t get this done first, I’ll feel like crap all day & night; I’ve become rather addicted to this process, I guess; I can’t seem to get comfortable in my head if I don’t post…. Since this process has kept me sane, if not happy, for going on four years, I have made it part of my persona, so to speak; the day just isn’t complete without it….

Since I have the added complication of a left hand wanting to go numb every other word typed, I’m going to replay the intro from a few days ago, to save some time, and misery. To do so, we’ll resort to an early application of emergency exit technique #4, which works like this….

Shall we Pearl?

“And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the bible  were used to beat plowshares into swords…” — Alan Watts

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

I’ve mentioned in previous Pearls how I enjoyed the alternative comics that were such a part of the art scene during the 1960’s; perhaps the most well-known of the artists who drew them was the man in the following interview… Robert Crumb, author of the most successful of all the New Age comics that came out at the time, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Phineas, Franklin, and Fat Freddy, all residents of Haight Ashbury during its prime era of hippiedom…. Enjoy, ffolkes, this man was not only THERE, he drew us the pictures we now have in our memories….

***********************

The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987)

***********************

***********************

***********************


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

Dont keep calm

    Here, then, to soothe my panic for something to put here, is an archived politirant, from sometime after the election in 2012…. actually, quite a bit after…. this one is from April 21, 2013…. not much has changed, in truth, so, it’s all good….

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

“A good indignation brings out all one’s powers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ah, yes, it does indeed….. This is the principle of human nature I exploit when I rant…. Well, I try, anyway…. It seems as if Ralph Waldo had the inclination to rant strike him on occasion, and, competent observer that he was, he examined how it made him feel, and act when he was in ranting mode. When in full flight, ranting makes one feel ten feet tall, able to leap arguments with a single quote, impervious to sarcasm or belittling remarks, and capable of chewing up the toughest pundit and spitting him out, before breakfast….. Whether or not one could actually do so doesn’t matter in the slightest, for it is what we THINK we can do that determines what we CAN do…. Like the dragons of Pern, who could lift any weight when flying, as long as they thought they could….

“Whenever you eliminate the inedible, whatever remains, however unpalatable, must be food.” — Smart Bee

Now, this is a truism; much as it seems like levity, it is quite serious, being a disguised version of a truth uttered by Sherlock Holmes, about Truth, to wit: “As I have previously stated, Watson, when one has eliminated the impossible, what remains, however unlikely, must be the truth.” (God, I hope I quoted it right… I’m lazy, and used the version in my head, rather than googling it to make sure…. but, I’m 100% positive that my paraphrase, if it be such, is completely accurate, in terms of meaning…..) Ranting is an area where this principle is key; it really doesn’t make sense to rant about something that isn’t true, unless the falsity is the actual subject of the rant…. as the following aphorism implies….

“It is a substantial advantage for any philosophy to be based on the truth.” — George Santayana

Of course, this doesn’t mean that being right will make reality conform to how we wish it to be. Much of the world, if not all, is controlled by a group of people who lie, constantly, without shame, completely indifferent to how it affects others, as long as their own needs are met first. But, they only do so because most of the public believes their lies, for the simple reason that it is too hard to believe otherwise. If they begin to see the truth of how they are controlled, they become frightened, often to the point of violence, because they don’t want to know the truth…. unless it comes from a suit on TV…..

“Given a sufficient number of people and an adequate amount of time, you can create insurmountable opposition to the most inconsequential idea.” — Devyver’s law

This is truth, too, sad as it may seem…. The general public will believe just about anything they are told, usually without any sort of critical thought applied to testing its veracity, if it is presented in a manner to which they are accustomed to being told what to do…. If the guy on the six o’clock news says it will rain money, most folks in this country would start looking for a barrel to catch it in, and wonder if it would rain in bills, or in coins… I kid you not…..

This may seem as if I have a poor opinion of the average intelligence of the average American, and in that estimation you would be absolutely correct…. I can say this with complete confidence, as it is a proven fact that the average American’s IQ is below the average for the human race at large….. fact, ffolkes, not supposition…. Of course, I could be lying, but, if so, you can just chalk it up to their bad influence…. If they can use untrue ‘facts’ to prove their assertions, I can, too….

Besides, I can show you almost 50 MILLION pieces of proof of my assertion, without having to look further than the Presidential election last year…. In that election, almost fifty million people voted for Mitt Romney, proof positive that they would believe ANYTHING…. How else could they decide to vote for a man who was PROVEN to have lied during the campaign (independent fact checking organizations showed that he lied just about 50% of the time, or, put more simply, every other time he spoke, he lied…), and indicated, on tape, his complete disdain for over half the people in the country?

It is such an incredibly huge number, it just isn’t possible to understand how gullible people can be, when one sees this statistic, (50 million votes for an asshole….). It is equally hard to believe that so many of our peers are this incredibly dumb, but, truth will out, as it always does….. It also speaks to the number of truly bigoted, racist people that are still in this country, hiding behind their cowardice, and their misguided, ignorant patriotism…. but, that’s a subject for another rant….. (All stupid people aren’t bigots and racists, but ALL bigots and racists are stupid people…..)

“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” — Lazarus Long

You won’t get a better, more clear warning than that; on that note, I proclaim this rant, such as it was, to be complete…..

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

In 2013, I participated in the National Poetry Writing Month challenge, to write a poem a day…. Here is what I came up with on 4/22/2013…. I hope you enjoy them…. The haiku is particularly appropriate; the poem sorta fits, too….

Haiku XI

Mindfulness is hard
in the early morning light.
Fuzzy eyes and ears.

~~ gigoid ~~

Random Exposure

If I only knew what I was doing here,
I could give others a clue.
Reality gets stranger every year,
and I’m not sure what I should do.

Singing happy old tunes, in an old, gravely voice,
gives me a lot of pleasure.
I’m only glad I can still make a choice,
to look at life, to take its measure.

Memorable moments keep passing by
gilded, framed in precious emotion.
I never have to ask anyone why,
no need for a stronger potion.

Everything in life is clear, to me
there is no doubt, no misunderstanding.
We’re all good, as you can see,
members of Life, in good standing.

Life can be hard, or it can be great fun;
the right path is there for each of us to take.
That choice is often a difficult one;
pay close attention to the choice you make.

~~ gigoid ~~


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

I just don’t have it today, ffolkes. I’ve already had to go to the archives for a rant, and for a poem…. Now, we’re going to have to go back there for an old school pearl, too…. Oh well next time, I’ll save myself the effort, and just re-blog a good older Pearl. For now, this will do nicely….

From 4/22/2013:

So, there I was, cruising around Smart Bee, looking for pearls, when it occurred to me that I was engaged in a futile pastime, from the standpoint of the Universe…. I mean, what do I hope to accomplish with this stuff I write?…. Nobody’s mind will be changed, nobody will stop the carbon monoxide from getting pumped into the air, nobody is going to get mad enough to throw out all the assholes who are screwing us all…. This makes what I’m doing an exercise in mental masturbation, essentially, with as much hope of changing society as….. well, there is no hope for society, so I can’t think of a metaphor for it…. Nor is there any hope of anybody taking any of this seriously, even if read…

Having thus determined the absolute uselessness of our pastime, I will continue, fully cognizant of how lame it is…. I’m calling this a Pearl of Forlorn Lost Hope…. sort of…. Actually, it’s a subliminal pearl, and will worm its way into your head, where it will work on your attitudes, polishing and brightening them without you ever noticing…. By late this afternoon, you will have done a complete 180 from wherever you were, and will enjoy the rest of the day (that’s a subliminal post-hypnotic suggestion….)  Enjoy…..

But sure the eye of time beholds no name

So blest as thine in all the rolls of fame.

~~ Alexander Pope (1688-1744) ~~

~~ The Odyssey of Homer, Book xi, Line 591 ~~


“Does history repeat itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce?   No, that’s too grand, too considered a process.  History just burps, and we taste again that raw-onion sandwich it swallowed centuries ago.” — Julian Barnes

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.” — Marcus Aurelius

“But whether there’s some grand design really matters little to me. My only hope was this: to see what might be, to believe that it should be, and then to do all I could to bring it to pass, whatever the cost. When a life spins out as joyfully as mine has done, then the price, once paid so painfully, is now recalled in gladness. I have received full value. Here among the shepherds, my cup is filled with the water of life; it overflows.” — Orson Scott Card, “Treason”

” It is now some years since I detected how many were the false beliefs that I had believed to be true since my earliest youth.  And since that time, I have been convinced that I must once and for all seriously try to rid myself of all the opinions which I had formerly accepted, and begin to build anew, if I wanted to establish any firm and permanent structure for my beliefs.” — Rene Descartes, Meditations

“There is no cure for birth and death other than to enjoy the interval.” — George Santayana (1863-1952)

The human heart has hidden treasures,

In secret kept, in silence sealed.

~~ Charlotte Bronte ~~


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

Okay, so, I cheated. A lot. S’okay, ffolkes, it’s done, and I’m not yet at a point where anyone is in danger, unless they come right to my door. Since I’m staying in today, to avoid just that possibility, I’ll finish up, and be out of your hair…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I can’t talk myself out of it…. I don’t try very hard, so, see ya then….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.


“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3

À bientôt, mon cherí….


			
Advertisements

Practical methods simply won’t do…..

Ffolkes,

“All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience.” — Goethe

July 20 2014 006    More often than not, sitting down to write in the morning becomes problematic, at least from a mental standpoint…. These days, the physical aspect of almost everything is complicated by the aging process, thus removing itself from the onus of discussion; I decided if I can’t feel 25 any more, at least I can show some dignity about it, and quit whining about it…. Sure, I wake up tired… doesn’t everybody this age do that? It sure has become more common over MY lifetime, so, I figure it must be one of those things they forgot to put in the manual, and one of those things we just have to deal with….

Fortunately, today’s physical outlook was greatly improved, by the application of a long-needed massage to this tired old wreck of a body…. Yep, I broke down, & spent the extra money to get a massage, and I feel at least 100% better for it….. The effects last for days, before the pain levels again get to the point of ridiculousness, and I have to drug myself into oblivion, so I’m cruising on good vibes now, left over from yesterday morning’s hedonistic, most welcome rubdown…. It also makes me realize I’m going to be doing it more often…. it’s just too damn good for me to ignore….

It’s pretty nice to wake up without the usual degree of stiffness & pain; one forgets what it is like to go without such morning gifts….. which probably explains the picture…. The flowers were arranged for maximum color effect, as part of the display at a Farmer’s Market, and appealed to my sense of artistic appreciation, as a form of art that creates itself, so to speak…. Looking at the picture makes me feel good…. it’s really just that simple, and that good feeling will, I can tell, get me through a lot of the day before it wears off….

I feel so good, I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to rant, even though there is a good headline to work with; sexual predators are one of my favorite targets for vituperation and/or vitriol, but, today, I won’t be vicious enough to do it justice….. Pedophiles, as a group, and individually, are one of my most hated categories of human perversity, right up there with pimps, politicians, bankers, and preachers…. If and/or when one of them appears before me, my hands tend to curl into claw-like appendages that I cannot prevent from reaching for their throat, to throttle them, and watch them die right in front of me, experiencing the fear and shame they give their victims, as they steal, and pervert their victims’ innocence….

I’m not sure what may happen at this point…. I’m going to take a break, then come back and decide how to proceed…. In the meantime, refresh your coffee, or your adult beverage of choice, and make sure you are well-fastened in, because the ride today could get a bit bumpy…. or, it could go as smooth as a baby’s bottom…. Let’s go see….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“You’re aware the boy failed my grade school math class, I take it?  And not that many years later he’s teaching college.  Now I ask you:  Is that the sorriest indictment of the American educational system you ever heard?  [pauses to light cigarette.]  No aptitude at all for long division, but never mind.  It’s him they ask to split the atom.  How he talked his way into the Nobel prize is beyond me.  But then, I suppose it’s like the man says, It’s not what you know…” — Karl Arbeiter: former teacher of Albert Einstein

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

Below is the article I mentioned above, about the newest information from Britain, regarding the revelations of a pedophile ring in the Houses of Parliament, what they call “Westminster”, back in the 60’s and 70’s, a ring that included numerous peers of the realm, dukes, earls, and the like, and a number of Members of Parliament (MP’s), of both houses, all of whom used their positions of authority to hide their perversions…. I read it, and, can only say, one has to consider the source that printed it….

It’s pretty salacious, and depends a lot on hearsay…. but, it’s clear that, in spite of any lack of hard evidence at this point, the investigation is going to reveal a LOT of cover-ups and abuses of power…. In short, there will be more examples coming out, you can be sure…. Before they are done, I’m pretty sure that a large percentage of the British aristocracy, and a significant number of the political class, will have been taken down due to their part in the crimes being found out….

Count on it…. and that’s all I’ll say on the matter, for now…. Below the link, you’ll find a seven-star pearl, to drive home some of what I’m trying to say by not ranting…. whatever THAT means….

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/10978492/My-father-was-a-sexual-predator-like-Jimmy-Savile-says-son-of-former-Tory-MP.html

“America will tolerate the taking of a human life without giving it a second thought. But don’t misuse a household pet.” — Dick Gregory, The Shadow that Scares Me, 1968

“Wherever there is a crowd there is untruth.” — Soren Kierkegaard

“The ass is still an ass, e’en though he wears a lion’s hide.” — William Shakespeare

“We don’t pay taxes.  Only the little people pay taxes.” — Leona Helmsley, quoted in the NY Times, July 22, 1989

“Populus vult decipi.”  [The people like to be deceived.] — Some random Caesar

The Bible is true this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.

— Jordan Henderson

(A most perfect example of the term “ipse dixit”….)

“What kind of sordid business are you on now?  I mean, man, whither goest thou?  Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?” — Jack Kerouac

Hmm…. It came out a bit eclectic, but, I think you’ll get the picture…. Onward, he said, hopefully….

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

To keep from spreading the blame around to those who don’t deserve it, we’re going with another of mine…. Enjoy, please….

Roses for Noses

I have a bozoid personality, of the first degree;
 nobody, I mean nobody, knows that better than me.
I often wonder, as the world goes around, and around
 how many others have realized just what I’ve found….

I know for a fact, I’m not the only bozoid one;
 too many people laughing out there, having fun.
Is their laughter, though, at themselves first?
 Or is it some other impulse, like purple liverwurst”….

I’ve always loved to make others laugh and giggle,
 since my tender youth, when my ears began to wiggle.
 The world is full of humor,  but not always easy to find
  so laughing at myself I learned never to mind….

We bozos know each other, here, there, and everywhere
 there’s no hiding such joy, it just wouldn’t be fair.
We all have one feature, our great bulbous nose,
 and there’s no doubt at all, cuz it just grows….

There’s nothing like a good, big mistake, a disaster,
 to show us the folly of living life faster and faster.
Nothing in the world can ever take the place,
 of seeing in the mirror, a happy, smiling face….

Don’t be shy, just let it all hang out;
 we bozos have more fun, there’s no doubt.
Life’s too somber and gray if we let it get on top
 if we don’t stay loose, the pain won’t ever stop….

My advice to all of you, out there in the world,
 let noses grow round & red, keep hair tightly curled.
Find a way to let your spirit out often to play,
 you’ll never once regret any price you pay.

~~ gigoid ~~

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

I’m running late, having slept too well, and too long….. So, sue me….. Here, then, as a time-saver, is a discussion from last year, a “retrospective” that is actually pretty okay…. Enjoy….

From 11/30/2013:

A man who can fool chiefs, and even gods, must still face the monsters he himself created.” — Old Maori saying

Introspection has always been a hobby of mine, but, since turning the ripe old age of 63, it seems to have become even more of a time-consuming process for me than has been true for most of my life….

I can remember lying on my bed in the state of Washington, when my father was stationed there at Fort Lewis…. I would stare at the bottom of my brother’s upper bunk, and imagine all manner of things, including about myself, and my place in the universe…. Even at the tender age of 8 or 9, as the son of an Army sergeant, I had been many places, and seen more of the world than is usual for anyone other than Army brats…. our proud designation for ourselves…. The quest to maintain one’s personality in the face of all the changes going on around us gave me the impetus to perpetually be aware of more than is the norm for kids of that age; at least, it always seemed so, from what I can tell from my knowledge of others of that age….

Now that I’ve reached an age that completely got skipped in my earlier musings of what life would be like, I seem to be thinking back and forth more often, making connections with the past that explain certain elements of my own persona as they manifest today…. My hair, for example…. (I know, I know, my hair isn’t generally the subject of a rant, but, that’s not really what this is…. this is more of a…. a retrospective, yeah, that’s it…. a retrospective…. so, calm down, I’m not going to get all graphic, or gloomy, or pick at anyone in particular, other than myself…. ‘kay?…. ‘Kay!….)

So, I was looking at my picture on my About page, and can only say that, well, there I am…. My hair is even longer now, (a bit grayer, too….). as I see no particular reason to cut it…. which is the root thought that stimulated this entire subject today…. A little while ago, I was standing outside a moment, with my hair not yet tied back into the usual ponytail, and the wind was blowing it around a bit…. I started to get annoyed, then realized I could only blame myself for it getting in my face, because the solution to that problem is right over there in the drawer, where the scissors live…. I thought to myself, how many times has someone asked me, “why don’t you cut your hair?”, and realized I couldn’t count that high….

My own reaction to that particular query is to think, (again…), to myself, “Well, actually, the question that occurs to me to ask is, why don’t I NOT  cut my hair?”…. It seems to me, when I stop to consider the matter logically, and reasonably, that if the hair grows, as it has always done, it must have some sort of evolutionary purpose for doing so, right? It seems logical to me…. Therefore, it seems logical to ask, as well, “who am I to fuss with evolution?” This line of reasoning, naturally, tends to piss of most of the folks who make the original statement to me…. but, I figure that sort of anger is a personal problem, don’t you? I can’t go around taking the heat for what other people don’t like about me, when their anger is based on THEIR beliefs, not mine….

In a way, I suppose it’s the old hippie in me…. Aha, you say, now we’re getting to the meat of the matter! And, typically, I am supposed to say, at this point, “Just what do you mean by that? I don’t know what you’re talking about….”   Then, I smile, and get on with what I was doing, which is explaining why being a hippie is not what most people would think…. I mean, there were a lot of popular misconceptions floating around all during the 60’s (Believe me, it was a very confusing time…. I know, I was there….), when there were a lot of people who thought that there was something wrong, or even evil, about being described as one of those misunderstood knights of the sub-culture….

Yes, I said knights…. Jedi knights, before they were the iconic, eternal, peaceful warrior as made popular in later years…. Hippies were the knights of the 60’s and 70’s, diligently tilting at all the windmills we could find, poking our noses into the business of the military-industrial complex, which I now refer to as the BRC, until they were sick of the sight of anyone with long hair…. Back in the day, even the most rigid of conservative hawks understood that they were witnessing a change of culture, and there was nothing they could do to alter the course that history was taking…. The power of love, and compassion, and freedom swept through the entire world, as well as refreshing American society, with repercussions still being felt today….

One of the most important characteristics of hippies that I don’t think most people understood is that we were only interested in revolution in the sense that revolution means change; no hippie worth the name ever wished to violently overthrow anything that didn’t threaten violence first…. But, it is also true that real hippies have no objection to using violence to defend themselves, a fact which always comes as a big surprise to those who would try to oppress them. As with any tool, honor has to be the regulatory agency for determining which tool should be used, and how…. This, sadly, is a concept that those who prey on other people, who seek power over them, can never truly understand, as it is not a part of their perception of reality….

I see that I’ve reached a point where this must either get very pointed, or fade into the background for the time being…. I’m feeling mellow, due to re-connecting with the halcyon days of my youth, so I’ll show mercy here, and opt for the latter…. Besides, I’m all out of introspection for the nonce, and there’s no telling when it might drop back by…. I’ll leave y’all with one final pearl, to seal the deal….

“Oh, how we fear the metamorphoses through which we truly become fledged humans, real mensches of the species homo sapiens. Yet even if we do not willingly undergo them, changes pursue us just the same. The woman who never bears a child metamorphoses in different ways. We may dig in our heels and dare life never to change, but, all the same, it changes under our feet like sand under the feet of a sea gazer as the tide runs out. Life is forever undermining us. Life is forever washing away our castles, reminding us that they were, after all, only sand and sea water.” — Erica Jong: Parachutes and Kisses

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

All things considered, it came out okay; that’s actually just a guess, but, I guess we’ll go with it, trusting to my basic skills to carry the day…. That may be ill-considered, but, what the hell…. It’s Monday, right? I can always blame it on that….. Tomorrow, it’ll be Tuesday, which means all bets are off, so, we may as well get started on getting there…. See y’all tomorrow, 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

Bedraggled remnants are all that remain….

Ffolkes,

One might think that today’s title was an entry for a contest, or something equally inane(insane?); how else to explain such an outburst of unwanted, uncalled-for alliteration? I’m not sure what came over me, except it SEEMED like the right thing to do at the time…. which, I suppose, could be said to be a rather universal excuse for some people…. We all make mistakes (see: Theory of Bozoid Tendencies….), but, mine are often so egregious, it can take months for me to overcome whatever handicaps I’ve created for myself by giving in to the bulbousness….. This morning’s title may just fit into that category, as it is obviously something thrown together at the last moment, and settled on with reluctance….

In fact, I’m going to make this entire opening a wash, and go change it…. It’s really terrible, and I don’t think I want people to associate my name, or this blog, with such crap…. although why that should bother me NOW, I don’t know… Regardless, it’s got to go… I’ll be right back…. There, much better…. This one has all the characteristics of a decent title, with just a bit of uncertain implication, and some shy uncertainty, to draw in the interest of any readers flashing by…. We’ll go with this one, so forget the first one, & act like it never existed…. which, for you, I suppose, it didn’t, as you never saw it at all…

This, of course, means this intro is now completely off-kilter, and possibly more than just a little confusing…. Since the first paragraph makes references to which you have no connections, and thus, no possibility of ever making any sense of any of it, I’ll just tell you now, FORGET THE DAMN TITLE!…. It never has anything to do with what is in here, and never makes any sense anyway, so trying to fit my titles into some slot isn’t going to work…. they’re just not made for that…. Suffice it to say at this point…. the first title of today’s Pearl was really, really badly done, so I got rid of it, and you’ll never know just what it said, other than knowing all the words began with one letter (outburst of alliteration, yes?)…..

That being said, I think it’s best now if I just give up…. Not forever, just for now, because, let’s face it, this intro is history, in terms of ever becoming what it was supposed to be…. I’m not sure I can even make it work for today’s Pearl, except it HAS to work, because I’m just not going to start completely over, not even at 0405 in the morning…. Not even Murphy can make me do that, hard as he has tried, so, I’m certainly not going to do it to myself…. that would be even more bozoid than is common for me, and not a habit into which I intend to lock myself…. So, we’re going to once again employ emergency method #4 to get us out of this…. That’s the one where I deny everything, ignore the previous paragraphs completely, and just go on, like this…..

Shall we Pearl?….

” The shortest distance between two points is off the wall.” — The Abrams’ Principle
_____________________________

This link is to an article that details some pretty obvious, but, let’s be fair, and call it alleged, political corruption, on the part of a Democratic state legislator…. You can read it, but, it really doesn’t have much to do with the discussion that comes afterward, other than peripherally, as just an extra set of data to add to the whole concept under discussion….

So, not reading it, or waiting until later to get to it, would be acceptable, and, possibly, less confusing…. It can be confusing enough around here without providing any assistance, so, just skip on down to the rant, then, if you wish, you can read later about the naughty California fat-cat politician, and his weak-willed brother….. They’re only willing dupes and/or ignorant pawns in the scenario about which you’ll read below….

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/State-Sen-Ron-Calderon-brother-indicted-5256860.php

With the above link, I began collection of a number of links to articles that would demonstrate a point I intended to make regarding the way the administration in current power in Washington DC manipulates the news so efficiently, and so effectively, in terms of fulfilling the agenda THEY have in place for how events should proceed….

Then, I stopped collecting links, and articles, when I realized just how thoroughly the media manipulates itself, as well as the public it purportedly serves, in directions it is not aware of, out of ignorance, lack of cohesive communication, and an unfortunate tendency to avoid what makes them uncomfortable…. along with not being smart enough to see what stares them right in their own faces…. I realized this entire process is so entrenched in society, we aren’t even aware of it most of the time, which is how the SCSM’s like it….

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2014/02/21/judge-on-muslim-surveillance-any-harm-is-the-medias-fault/

See? It’s the media’s fault…. so says a judge, firmly in the pocket of the corporate masters…. Now, even those who decide what gets into the news are being manipulated, by those who own EVERYTHING, (aka, the SCSM’s, the Shadowy Corporate Slave Masters….), said manipulation having just one primary purpose, to keep their existence, and the machinations with which they control society, OUT of the public eye…. If a majority of the common people, to wit: the public, ever realized exactly how FEW are those who control 99% of all the resources on this planet, and the degree of power those few possess over the rest of us, in their insane quest to control it all, those few people wouldn’t stand a rat’s chance in a colony of cats….

The true rulers of mankind, the shadowy mega-corporate slave masters, who control virtually ALL the money and resources in the world, if unmasked, and made to acknowledge their crimes against humanity, committed over thousands of years, in their selfish quest for power, would be be hunted down and ripped limb from limb, slowly, by angry mobs, wherever they were revealed, all over the world…. a risk of which they are well aware ….

These are SMART, ruthless, self-centered people, who have absolutely NO compassion, or concern for the rights of anyone outside their immediate circle, and they’ve had long years of practice at hiding their existence, and their actions, from the general public’s eye…. The actual number of people in this clandestine group of mega-rich individuals is actually far smaller than 1% of the total world’s population, so few, their very lack of numbers makes all of what they’ve accomplished that much more of a risk for them….

They are fully aware of the danger of having their nefarious activities exposed to the public eye; they take extreme care to never let their faces become known, or, if so, only in ways that would fool the public into believing they are saintly philanthropists, making them beloved by the people for their generosity…. Long, drawn-out, agonizing, vicious, inhumanly torturous deaths would be their lot, should the downtrodden poor, and the ignorant, delusional middle classes, ever find out the truth of their slavery…. which would only be right, given their willingness to use the same violent methods as part of their own bag of tricks, which they are all-too-willing to employ, in service of their need to dominate….

Hence, as it stands today, we have their centuries-long charade, to keep themselves, and what they do to keep their control of events, from ever becoming common knowledge…. If such knowledge became known to the world at large, it would mean their death, for certain, and they know it….. But, I don’t think they’re too worried, at this point….

They have too much control over what people see, and hear, in terms of what is actually taking place in the world…. These people control governments, newspapers, corporations, television networks, and every channel of communication present in the world…. Even the Internet is under their control, as they have the power to shut it down, whenever they wish…. As we were taught by Muad ‘Dib, true power is the ability to destroy what is necessary to survive….

But, the use of such extreme force isn’t necessary for them to employ, yet, as they also have the resources to employ as many idiots writing for their side, as there are people such as myself, writing to try to expose their evil to the light of day….. Hence, the message I, and others like me, try to send is diluted before anyone ever sees it…. Simple enough, from their point of view, but, then, they wouldn’t have allowed the advent of the ‘Net, if they thought it would be their undoing….

Having the Internet may help us, though, by increasing our own abilities, and opportunities, to spread information, even if the odds of their winning, as they have for so many millennia, are not appreciably altered…. Mankind has always been under the clandestine control of these assholes…. That’s why we are in the mess we’re in…. So, let THEM figure out how to survive what even they don’t understand….. I don’t think they have any clue as to the Hell they have unleashed on themselves by not accepting the reality of global warming, and I’m almost looking forward to seeing it hit them, and watching them cry like babies when they understand what they’ve done to themselves….

They’ve done to us all, I know, but, they won’t care about that, so, I’ll take my pleasure from knowing they’ll suffer worse than the rest of us, because it is they, themselves, who MUST face up to reality, and not having a choice in that is something at which they have no experience at all…. I won’t feel any better, but, it will help make it more palatable, to know they’re going down, too…. This is a situation their sense of entitlement, (which, like any such emotion, isn’t going to alter reality…), isn’t going to get them out of having to face up to in the end….

“A duty dodged is like a debt unpaid; it is only deferred, and we must come back and settle the account at last.” — Joseph F. Newton

Whether anyone, 99%er, or 1%er, likes it, or not, this is what I would call a universal truth, in that, for us humans, it comes true, universally, whenever it is tested in reality….. Translated into more simple, more specific terms… whether we like it or not, our account with reality on this planet is about to come due, and it WILL be settled…. Like it or not, we WILL be judged, according to whether or not our duty to the planet has been met, or deferred until now…..

Since, to my way of thinking, the people who made the decisions about how the resources were used are the ones who assumed the duty, they should be the ones to answer…. Unfortunately, ALL of us have to answer for what they’ve done, because they, being the cowards they are, won’t ever take responsibility for it…. They’ll still reap their share of the reward, because reality knows who is responsible; NOBODY skips out on their bill in this restaurant…. I don’t think they’re going to enjoy their reward, though….

“I had a friend who was a clown.  When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car.” — Steven Wright
_____________________________

I am fully aware this is not a poem….. but, it doesn’t have to be if it doesn’t want to….. It’s a leftover piece of my history, which I, along with many young people, discovered during the 60’s, when the piece experienced a revival of interest, fifty years after it was written, by the Hippies, such as myself, who embraced this somewhat naive manifesto as part of the philosophy of love and peace they developed during those turbulent years…. You can consider this, if you wish, as an example of “pulling  my covers” as a closet romantic, and a hopeless optimist, who believes we humans are filled with such beauty of spirit, the universe will not allow us to perish…. It’s a fantasy, I know, but, hey, it FEELS better than all the doom and gloom in which I normally engage around here…. So, enjoy this little break from the heaviness, and take this to heart…. It’s naive, and somewhat unschooled, but, it’s all good advice, for sure…..

Desiderata
 
(1927)

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all
persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”

~~ Max Ehrman ~~

_____________________________

I’ve gone and screwed the pooch again, but, that’s neither here nor there…. it’s merely for me to note, and try to fix…. Any whom, here we are, once again, all the way in section three, with a rant under our belts, and a decent entry for section two, in spite of its less than perfect rhyming patterns…. which are especially apparent, since it ISN’T a poem…. S’okay, though, cuz I don’t give a shit, mostly…. We’ve gotten this far, nobody is bleeding, and we haven’t had to call for any expert help for ANY of the usual reasons; I’m happy with how it’s gone so far, and you should be as well, whether you realize it, or not….

All of this blather and dross is merely a fill-in, you know, as the time for actual work approaches…. In fact, it’s approaching at such a rate as to make me quite nervous, so, I’m going to drop all the pretenses, and get on with this pearl…. It will be, naturally, an old-school pearl, without parameters, other than a vague desire to laugh…. at myself, at the world, at y’all, I don’t care…. Let’s see what Smart Bee can find today, shall we?…..

OPTIMIST, n.  A proponent of the doctrine that black is white.

A pessimist applied to God for relief.
“Ah, you wish me to restore your hope and cheerfulness,” said God.
“No,” replied the petitioner, “I wish you to create something that would justify them.”
“The world is all created,” said God, “but you have overlooked something — the mortality of the optimist.”

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Govern a family as you would cook a small fish – very gently.” — Chinese Proverb
(This truism is also applicable to governing a nation…..)

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” — Stephen Roberts

“Abstain from beans; that is, keep out of public offices, for anciently the choice of the officers of state was made by beans.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of the Training of Children

“It’s green.” — Scotty
(Yep. It sure is….)

— How many dead politicians does it take to change a light bulb? As many as possible. — Smart Bee

— Bother! said Pooh, as a woozle bit his bottom. — Hoop (Pooh’s evil twin….)

The process of creating pearls remains a mystery, as does the point of many of them, such as this one, whose meaning has reached levels of obscurity previously unknown to mankind…. But, hey, it all SOUNDS really cool, doesn’t it? And it’s so pretty!…. Well, maybe not, but, it really does have a point, and, it really isn’t ALL that obscure…. But, if I don’t create a little confusion, where would the fun be for any of us?….. Hah! Gotcha there, didn’t I?….
_____________________________

Beneath this stone lies Murphy,
They buried him today,
He lived the life of Riley,
While Riley was away.

I found the above in Smart Bee, just as I was finishing up the pearl in section three…. I almost soiled myself in excitement, until I realized it probably was just a joke…. Boy, though, wouldn’t THAT be good news?…. Any who, I think I’ve done as much damage as possible for one morning, so, I’m wrapping this up, just like a piece of fish, and taking it to the marketplace to try to get rid of it….. Wish me luck, ‘kay?  See you tomorrow, with a bit of luck….

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

dozer3

Always twinkle before lifting…..

Ffolkes,
As time goes by, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep myself from becoming homicidal. I’m sure it is a problem common to every man; it is, after all, a part of our nature as natural born killers. Denying that part of us is foolish and dangerous. Without the proper understanding, and therefore control, of this part of being a human male, it can jump up and bite one at the most inappropriate times. I know, because it has happened both to me, and in front of me, on numerous occasions…..

Now, happening in front of me is not particularly a problem for me, unless I am the object, or target, of the other person’s violent outburst. Being the target happened frequently when I worked in mental health, due to the nature of the mental conditions of the individuals with whom I worked. Typically, they had poor impulse control, and when they became angry, for whatever reason, it could often lead them to become violent toward others; it was part of my job to let that other be me most of the time. I learned to deal with these situations well, and do not suffer any particular fear or anxiety over facing them any longer, though it isn’t one of my favorite pastimes. Even when one is not afraid of violence, its presence is not any fun whatsoever, for anyone involved.

But, even worse than being involved in peripheral violence aimed at others, or just random outbreaks, is the violence that I am tempted to carry out myself on others, every time some political or religious pundit opens their mouths to spew out more lies to me and the American public. I am so tired of being lied to…..

I’m tired of that kind of condescension, that assumes that I don’t hear the lie, or that I won’t do anything about it. It pisses me off the most that they are right, at least for most people. Most folks don’t hear the lies, or if they do, they don’t do anything about it. Hell, I’ve seen seemingly intelligent people go out and vote for someone they KNOW just lied to them, mere moments before….. it is disgusting, and infuriating, to say the least……

The worst part is there is nothing to do…. I keep speaking up about it, and folks nod their heads in agreement, then go out and do the same damn thing they’ve always done, just because they don’t know, or don’t have the courage to do anything else….. it’s pathetic, and it makes me want to buy guns and go shoot them at people until they start to wake up…… Maybe it won’t do that, but I will certainly feel better, so, hey, it’s worth a shot, don’t you think?…..

Well, maybe not just now…. we’ll go Pearl instead….. shall we?….
___________________________________

“Hurting other people unnecessarily is the only “sin”. All the others are made up nonsense. (Hurting one’s self isn’t a sin, it’s just stupid).” — Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Original sin…. who said it was? And why does anyone believe it? (That’s me asking…and not rhetorically, but literally…)

I saw Robert Heinlein’s quote, as related above, about sins the other day, and it got me to thinking about the concept upon which much of Christianity is based, to wit: Original Sin. Supposedly, as a metaphor, God made a snake, which talked Eve (whom God had refused to educate about snakes, merely saying “do as I say”) into talking Adam into taking a bite of the apple, which oddly enough (it’s hard to indicate a raised eyebrow in prose), was the metaphor for the knowledge of Good and Evil….. Then, when they had done so, this merciful god proceeded to punish them, with a most severe sentence for a first offense, for disobeying his decree (thereby blaming them for what he, being omnipotent, already knew would happen…. He set it up that way, in a lose-lose scenario, you can’t claim omnipotence and say he didn’t know it was likely…..). What a cruel, hateful set-up! It all sounds so….. human, doesn’t it?

This, to me, has always seemed like a very vicious thing for God to do…. very childish, in most ways that count.  And don’t give me all that crap about free will and choosing God’s love…. it’s not free if one is punished for using it, and God doesn’t love Man, not if he goes around setting him up to lose like that. You will note, that the knowledge that this merciful, loving God didn’t want us to have was the knowledge of Good and Evil… which, if we did not have it, we could not judge whether what God did to us was good, or evil, now could we?  Int other words, God did not want us to know that He was playing us for fools…. another scenario that, according to the creationists, was completely his idea….

I remember distinctly when I first heard the story of the Garden of Eden, when I was about four or so years old… and I remember thinking, at the end, why did God put the apple tree in Eden, if he didn’t want Adam or Eve to eat from it?  I didn’t know anything about the metaphorical nature of the story then… even I wasn’t that precocious, smart as I am. But I do remember thinking that it didn’t seem quite fair to put it there, and then tell them not to eat it. Even at age four, the question “Why?” was at the forefront of my thoughts when I heard the story, but nobody would ever answer me when I asked, other than to parrot the eternal, “God works in mysterious ways….”

Even a four year old knows a crock of crap when he hears it….. I didn’t fall for it then, and I still can’t seem to find anyone who can give me an answer that doesn’t make God look like a cranky five-year old who needs a nap….

“God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. It says so right here on the label. If you have the kind of mind that can believe all three of those things at once, then I have a wonderful deal in a bridge for you! Cash only, no checks….” — Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
___________________________________

Conjure with ’em,–
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Julius Caesar — Act i, Sc. 2

Not much to comment here, other than to say, “Puke!”….. All I can say is, teaching Shakespeare as classical literature seems to me to be practice for convincing voters that a politician is going to be working to help his constituents, not spending his time lining his pockets with gelt…. in other words, not bloody likely!…. ‘Nuff said…. Hell, it doesn’t even rhyme! Doesn’t even try!….

Like to the Pontic sea,
Whose icy current and compulsive course
Ne’er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont,
Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,
Shall ne’er look back, ne’er ebb to humble love,
Till that a capable and wide revenge
Swallow them up.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Othello — Act iii, Sc. 3

In a mathematical proof, one would say at this point, Q.E.D….. I’ll just add, “What? What did he say?”  Long-winded way to say “I’m pissed off…”, don’t you think?….  What is it about people that needs things to be complicated? I just don’t get it…..
___________________________________

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn’t any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I’m not at the bottom,
I’m not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.
— A.A. Milne

Lovely. That’s all….. just enjoy….
___________________________________

politics, n:  From the Latin ‘poly’, meaning many, and ‘tic’, meaning little bloodsucking insects. — Smart Bee

Smart Bee was smarter than usual when it came up with this one… A perfect description of a modern talking head. It’s almost enough to send me off on a rant…. but, I’m tired this morning, from fighting pain for the last couple of days, and can’t seem to find enough outrage in me to get started… Oh, I’m sure it’s there; all I’d have to do is go read the news first…. but, not today. I’m going to slap on a Lidocaine patch to try to ease the lower back & hip grinding, take an extra pain pill, and try to get it to ease up a bit. My views on the current state of the circus we call election year are fairly well documented anyway…. just breeze back through just about  any random Pearl over the last few months, and you’ll find more than one rant that can best be summarized by the following statement from Mr. Jefferson, one that I believe implicitly….

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is its natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov.  13, 1787
___________________________________

“[In the 60’s] there was madness in any direction, at any hour …  You could strike sparks anywhere.  There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was `right’, that we were winning …

And that, I think, was the handle — the sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil.  Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that.  Our energy would simply `prevail’.  There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs.  We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave ….

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — the place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

When the 60’s began, I was a fifth-grader living with my family on an Army base in Washington, near Tacoma. One year later, I was in sixth grade in a small town (population: 686, counting my family), adjusting to being the new kid in school, again. By 1970, I was a student at UC Berkeley, marching with thousands of other hippies against the war in Vietnam…. In between I entered high school (and puberty), graduated as a three-year-and-sport letter athlete/valedictorian (sports and studying were less frightening than dating….), and left my tiny little home town, now with over 800 residents, for the University of California at Berkeley, where there were over 42,000 students, not counting the city of Berkeley, a significantly populous part of the megalopolis that the East Bay had already become.

Hunter Thompson was a more active participant than I in many of the activities in the early part of the decade, but I experienced enough of what was happening in society at the time to say that what he says here is quite accurate. A great deal of the power that kept those demonstrations of outrage against the system going was the exact energy he describes, a feeling of harmonious invincibility, a complete faith in the power of human love united in one purpose. There were no enemies to fight, other than apathy and indifference; those who opposed what we were engaged in manifesting would be enlightened by the very purity of our intent, and the rightness of our actions, and join us in marching on to Utopia.

It was a very heady wine, and the after-effects have not really disappeared altogether. That is some small comfort to me, as I myself get old enough to feel a lessening of my strength in a physical sense, if no other. Such forms of energy can fill up those empty fuel cells that age has emptied over time, with a different, but serviceable form of alternate energy. Maybe it won’t help me run fast any more, but I can think faster than ever, and that is a distinct advantage, to be sure…..
___________________________________

Such as it is, it is…. I kinna do morrre…. I’d say it will glide fairly well, if not fly strongly, and that will suffice…. It must, because I’m done, finito, serioso, and outta here. Wow… I’m driving my spell checker crazy here…. kind of fun, actually. But, enough whimsy, it’s time to go do some actual productive stuff… even we procrastinators have last minute deadlines we have to observe….

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!

Even aged literati won’t bow or scrape before six….

Ffolkes,
At 0607 in the morning, I don’t expect my reaction time to be at maximum, nor am I be surprised to find my mind less than fully awake and prepared for immediate use, at least not for any use of sustained duration, or of a complex nature. But, it is a bit embarrassing to sit here and watch the screen-saver come on, while vacantly staring at the screen, and to still be frantically searching the empty, echoing corridors of my thus-far uninspired mind for an opening statement or idea. I have the screen saver set to come on after 3 minutes of no user activity, so I am forced to admit that I sat here and blankly stared for at least that long. Pathetic…..

On further reflection, however, I can see that having the screen-saver pop on has acted as some sort of release, or stimulation, if you will, and the words are now flowing. I guess serendipity comes in different colors and shapes after all…. whatever the case may be, I’ll take it.

I’ve learned not to question such little gifts from the universe; if I did, they might cease to happen, and so far, they’ve been responsible for some of my best work (and, in fact, have often been responsible for the creation of ANY work at all…..). Now, if I could only see what to write about next, I’d be good to go…… can’t have everything, I suppose. As Steven Wright said, “Of course you can’t have everything. Where would you put it all?”

Since I already lack sufficient storage space, we’ll just get on with the business at hand….. shall we Pearl?…
___________________________________

We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. — Proverb

This is the sort of pearl that is much, much deeper than it appears at first glance. (Note: It seems common to find the most complex and deep issues described or related in very short sentences. Hmm…. probably something to do with K.I.S.S., which the universe believes in strongly…) Applied as a metaphor for human interactions with reality, the proverb assumes an even greater degree of relevance, as it implies both choice and hope. Both are always present, but not always in view; such aphorisms as this can help one to find where they are standing, hidden in plain sight…

It is clear to most by now that reality does not adjust to our desires; any adjustments made must be on our part, as we have absolutely no power to change any aspect of reality other than our response to it. A hard lesson, one that many never learn, or come to terms with, and one which guarantees they will find life to be one long struggle, as they spend their days in doomed attempts to make what is into what they wish it to be. To use the analogy provided, they never learn to trim the sails of their vessel, and find themselves constantly fighting with, and cursing, the wind, never realizing their own lack of understanding is what sends them into uncharted waters.

Thus, from simplicity does great wisdom arise; to reach our desired destination in life, one must learn to trim and adjust the sails of our vessel, to make the best use of the wind that the universe sends in our direction. Or, more plainly, we can only make changes to ourselves, not to reality. Learning this one simple lesson can turn a life out of balance completely around, and give it the direction and stability it has ever sought, enabling the most troubled soul to sail into the light, and out of the darkness that engulfs those who argue with reality…..
___________________________________

“I think the sky is blue because it’s a shift from black through purple to blue, and it has to do with where the light is.   You know, the farther we get into darkness, and there’s a shifting of color of light into the blueness, and I think as you go farther and farther away from the reflected light we have from the sun or the light that’s bouncing off this earth, uh, the darker it gets … I think if you look at the color scale, you start at black, move it through purple, move it on out, it’s the shifting of color.  We mentioned before about the stars singing, and that’s one of the effects of the shifting of colors.” — Pat Robertson, The 700 Club

At last! The true, unacknowledged, but obvious, proof of how the concept of Christian Science came to be…… This has to be one of the finest examples I’ve ever seen of a man who, a) had no idea when he started to speak of what he meant to say, and b) opted to “fake it” and just make something up. Pat has apparently been listening to his own hype, and is convinced that, if it comes out of his mouth, it must be divinely inspired….

I imagine that the God that Pat claims to speak for lets him get away with shit like this because He is too busy laughing His divine Ass off to do anything about it. No point in throwing the lightning bolt too long after the causal event; no one would get the lesson. Plus, why give up such a cheap form of entertainment?….. It’s not like Hee Haw, or Laugh In, is still on the air….. and I imagine even God needs a break every so often from listening to Pat, or Oral, or Jim-boy, to keep from frying them in their tracks on live TV…. even He thinks twice about scaring the cattle, er, paying customers, er, congregation……
___________________________________

“The greater your need to make a good catch, the greater the probability your partner will deliver his worst throw.  (If you can’t touch it, you can’t trick it.)” — The Ninth Commandment of Frisbee — Dan Roddick

Ah, sweet memory! I’ve previously mentioned my status as a hippie, forged during the late 1960’s in Berkeley, at the UC where I attended post-high-school. My life and times in the birthplace of hippie culture during this era of societal change imbued me with a true and complete set of hippie skills and attributes. I play guitar and sing folk music. I wear my hair long. I am politically active, dedicated to peace, brotherhood, and love. And, I am a master of the Frisbee. Well, used to be. Now I’d probably throw myself into a world of hurt if I even made the simplest toss, even if I warmed up first. But, back in the day, (what does that mean, exactly? Which day?….. slang is funky sometimes….) trick catches were one of my specialties, and I can attest to the accuracy of the Ninth Commandment.

One of my best tricks involved a softly hovering throw that approaches the catcher on a level about waist high. I would first kick the disc in the center, on the fly, knocking it straight up, but keeping it spinning in a hover. I’d then step under it, and bump it as it came down, right in the center again, with the top of my head. It went up again, and as it came down, still spinning, I’d strike it with one finger, again in the center, to send it back up again. On the fourth time the disc descended, I would catch it on one finger, in the center, and watch it spin there until I flipped it up and grabbed it with a flourish, or just let the spin run out and let it hang on the finger as it stopped.

In reading back over that passage, I can see that it would definitely be more impressive to see than it is to read…… but, it sure felt good when I nailed the trick, and it invariably impressed any girls in the vicinity; at 19 or 20 years-old, that was key….. especially if I hit the immediate throw back to my compatriot with a double-skip, right to his moving target…. Always a crowd-pleaser, the double-skip…
___________________________________

A programmer from a very large computer company went to a software conference and then returned to report to his manager, saying: “What sort of programmers work for other companies? They behaved badly and were unconcerned with appearances.  There hair was long and unkempt and their clothes were wrinkled and old. They crashed our hospitality suite and they made rude noises during my presentation.”

The manager said: “I should have never sent you to the conference. Those programmers live beyond the physical world. They consider life absurd, an accidental coincidence. They come and go without knowing limitations. Without a care, they live only for their programs. Why should they bother with social conventions?”

They are alive within the Tao.

Yesterday, a short discussion was posted here on the subject of hacker culture, and the myths and philosophy popular among those who program computers, the ones who write the programs the rest of us use every day…. This pseudo koan exemplifies the type of thinking that permeates the culture, perfectly describing how true hackers see themselves.

As a group, hackers are highly educated in comparison to the general population, and share a certain predilection for science fiction and fantasy literature and media, mythology, philosophy, (particularly Zen Buddhism and Taoism), and properly spoken and written English (very important in computer programming; computers are VERY literal, and precise use of the language is a key element of creating successful programs, i.e. programs that actually perform as requested….) Hacker jargon assumes a deep knowledge of the subjects pertinent to them, and shows not vicious, but amused disdain for “normals”. Ambitions among hackers involve successful hacks, or writing the code for a major OS, or some other piece of programming that achieves industry-wide acceptance and acclimation; to become a demi-god is the ultimate goal, one whose name is familiar to anyone who writes code.

Contrary to many segments of society at large, where too much education creates mistrust, and the most admired qualities are simplicity and acquiescence to being average, in hacker culture, complexity, elegance, wit, a defiant roguishness, and strong math skills are qualities admired by all, and the status of demi-god is sought after assiduously by every individual who considers themselves to be a true programmer…. and demi-gods aren’t required, or expected, to act like normal folks….

“The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs.” — Joseph Weizenbaum, _Computer Power and Human Reason_
__________________________________

“And if it please you, so; if not, why, so.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), The Two Gentlemen of Verona — Act ii, Sc. 1

Okay, so we all know how Will the Thrill failed to make my most wanted list by now, so I won’t go into that. But, more evidence in my argument’s favor keeps cropping up, and this is a fine example. Though I know it is likely a bit clearer if taken in context to the surrounding action in the play, still, this line is just about as obscure as can be. I’m certain that the reaction from the audiences who first were exposed to this was the same as mine; I immediately thought, upon reading it, “HUH? What did you say?” My next thoughts were, in approximate order, “Let me outta here! I’m late for an appointment! I hear my mom calling! I’m on a mission from God! Anything! Just don’t make me listen to that again!”

Perhaps I can make myself clearer re: this opinion by making a small analogy. If Will The Middle English Thrill were alive today, who do you think he would most resemble, in terms of his fame, his literary and/or entertainment skills and accomplishments, and his overall status as a celebrity?  In my inner eye, a picture of Michael Jackson and Madonna fight over who is to pop up first. That frightening image is replaced by Stephen King, which is even more frightening. In a final attempt to find an acceptable comparison that is also accurate enough for my purposes, my third thought was “Aha!” followed by an old image of Yoko Ono sitting with John Lennon on a white bed….. I suppose John Lennon isn’t such a bad comparison, but Yoko Ono? Please… spare me…. and please spare me from any more Shakespeare…. that overblown twit….
___________________________________

Well, it’s another fine mess I’ve created here, now, isn’t it? Fear not, I’m nothing if not accommodating; you’ll find a box of handi-wipes by the door as you leave the building. I’ve found it to be a well-appreciated amenity after sessions such as this one. Just remember, please, to dispose of them in the proper receptacle, also placed near the exit door for your convenience, and painted a bright orange so you can’t miss it…..

In the words of the prophet, ta ta, then, luvs….. y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Plain, old-fashioned articles of modern design….

Ffolkes,
Malaise. An innocuous word, wouldn’t you say? Almost sounds like one of those drinks you get on a cruise ship, in a colorful plastic cup with a bamboo umbrella sticking up from the top….. Makes me thirsty just thinking about it, until I think about what the drink inside those cups usually taste like, to wit: six fruits, sugar, and a bunch of cheap rum, with bubbles. This is also only until I remember what the word actually means, and its relevance this morning…..

In the psychiatric healthcare industry, malaise refers to a certain set of symptoms experienced by people who suffer a wide range of mental issues; it is common in depression, neurosis of several types, schizophrenia, and a number of other diagnoses. Malaise is generally reported as a vague, unsettled feeling, centered in the abdomen, much like a low-grade fear, but without any specific cause or stimulus that the sufferer is aware of. All that unfortunately afflicted individual knows is that they are accompanied by a constant sense of impending doom, of dread at what may happen; they cannot tell you why they feel that way, they just do so.

I am here to tell you, it isn’t fun. As a man who has in the past suffered from the deleterious effects of long-term exposure to violence, i.e., post traumatic stress disorder/syndrome, I experience this on an irregular, unwelcome basis. This morning is one of those unwelcome times. I awoke, no earlier or later than usual, and from sleep not troubled by uncomfortable dreams, or excessive pain, either of which are common.

But, as I sat up to begin the morning routine, I was washed over completely, like an unexpected wave at the beach, by a feeling of trepidation and mild fear; sort of anticipation of disaster, much akin to the first moments before wading in to physically control a raging psychopath bent on ripping my head from my shoulders, an event with which I am all-too-familiar.

As a result of all the years I spent doing just that, it is a feeling I know well, and recognize easily. What isn’t so easy is convincing my conscious mind that all that fear does not require any action on its part; the fear is accompanied, you see, by a good strong jolt of adrenaline, which kind of takes over the metabolism, preparing the body for fight or flight. No fight, no flight, just the adrenaline coursing through my system, looking for a convenient asshole, or a plane ticket….

So, here I sit, vibrating lightly in every muscle, determined to ignore this feeling that I should be up searching for the danger so obviously present, according to the feelings of malaise I’m trying to ignore.  It will pass, after a time; it always does. It resembles Murphy in that respect; you never know or expect it when he might show up, and can never be sure he’s really gone, just because you don’t see him anymore. Patience, and will power, are the keys to handling this without ill effects, and needless to say, I’ve had lots of practice at this particular process.

So, we’ll just gather up our belongings, and get back on the bus, which will take us directly to the jumping off point for the day….. Shall we go Pearling? I say we must….. or I’m doomed to spend the rest of the day in a medicated haze, in order to keep from running around naked, throwing rocks at the seagulls, and scaring the neighbors….. Shall we be off, then? Let’s do………
___________________________________

Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of Heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature’s favourites: a wealth
That never encumbers, nor can be transferred.
— John Armstrong (1709-1779)

Virtue is the subject of this poem, and justly so, as it is a key element in the make-up of an evolved Man, by my definition of such. In my mind, one of the most important of these virtues is Duty, which could also be said to possess the same qualities as ascribed to virtue in this beautiful piece, in that it “never encumbers, nor can be transferred.”  In fact, Duty is unique among the most important virtues, as it is completely a matter of choice. One must choose Duty; it cannot be thrust upon us by others, unless we consent. It may not be our first, or best choice to assume a Duty, but it is OUR choice, not that of society, or of other people, or of Fate, whatever that means to you.

For the first ten years of my life, my family spent most of those years living on US Army bases. Fort Lewis, Fort Ord, off-base housing in San Pedro, all were what we called home until my father mustered out in 1961. As a result, my upbringing was a bit different from that of most of my civilian classmates. By the time I started school at age 4.8 (November birthday), I had already been to Japan with the family, was well able to perform such tasks as making a bed on which you could bounce a quarter, sweeping and vacuuming, mowing lawns, raking leaves, minding my younger siblings, and a bunch of other stuff that a family with five kids tends to outsource to the young’uns for completion.  And, most significantly, I could perfectly address my seniors with well-rehearsed protocols of politeness, as well as give a pretty fair definition of what the term Duty meant……

Duty has remained as one of the most important elements of my life; to this day there are certain things I must do before I can go to sleep at night, all related to a chosen duty of some sort. And that is the point of this little discussion (at last, they cried!)….. Duty is chosen, not given. It may be accepted if offered, but the choice still remains. If we do not choose a Duty, then we will not be invested in fulfilling it, other than for how we wish others to see us, a very poor way to structure one’s actions. Only by choosing our Duty do we feel the responsibility for completing it; only the choice determines our investment. But, the reward for making that choice, and for meeting the demands Duty places upon us, is being able to sleep at night, with a clear conscience, and an easy heart…..

Self-respect . . . is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has its price. — Anonymous, but true nonetheless….
___________________________________

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” — Thomas Paine

The Founding Fathers had a strong, and justifiable, lack of trust in organized religion, and that mistrust is exemplified in this statement from Thomas Paine. It is a sentiment shared by a significant number of those men who left us our legacy of freedom, as evidenced by similar statements seen in correspondence written by, and/or to, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, among others. All these men had direct experience with how organized faiths fall into corruption and oppression, and how those organizations attempt to force non-believers into submission to their dogmatic influence. This corruption and oppression was, after all, the driving force behind their journey to the New World in the first place…..

If we look around society today, the picture that organized religions present is very similar to what was seen back then, only on a much grander scale. The leaders of those religions continue to pervert the teachings of Christ, changing them around to suit their own agenda and purposes, until what they say is completely unrecognizable by any true Christian, and would most likely have Jesus blushing down to his toes at the thought of them using his name to justify their perversions. The only difference in today’s world is in how many different sects of Christianity have surfaced over the intervening 240 years. When the US Constitution was signed, there were maybe eight or ten sects among the populace; now there are literally thousands of different interpretations of what the Bible, and the New Testament, say about life. This doesn’t even address or count the presence of at least five other major religions that the American populace embraces. And each one is thoroughly convinced of their own rightness, that all the others are wrong, and will go straight to hell when they die…..

SIGH…. all I can say at this point is, a) I am VERY, VERY glad that our forefathers had the good sense to build a solid wall between church and state, and b) I am equally as happy that I have not bought into the lies, perversions, or dogma that ANY of these charlatans in priestly robes are handing out, even when they make the offer with candy, or cakes, or sacramental wine, not even a nice Chianti, with some fava beans….. otherwise, I’d feel worse about it all than I already do…..

“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Bertrand Russell
___________________________________

Truckin’, like the do-dah man
Once told me “Gotta play your hand.
Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a damn
If you don’t lay’em down.”
Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been.
— Truckin’ by Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Hunter

I’m pulling my covers again, though I’ve never really worn them very tightly. I’m a hippie. I became a hippie in 1968, when I decided to attend the University of California at Berkeley, and entered into a world so different from that I had heretofore experienced that I am still seeing, and feeling, the effects, both good and ill. This verse from an iconic tune from those halcyon days is a very good expression of how I feel today, some 44 years later…..

I’ve met the do-dah man, even played a few gigs with him back in the day. I’ve played enough poker to know he was giving me the straight skinny on that; it’s good advice, as evidenced by my lifetime record of breaking even at the game that isn’t a game. I’ve been in the light, and found my way out of the darkness on more than one occasion. And I am completely convinced that my long, strange trip is not yet done, and that there are strangeness’s and wondrous beauty still to be seen and experienced before I pass into the great unknown that awaits us all.

I’m not ashamed of being a hippie. We, as a group of American citizens, were directly and indirectly responsible for a great many societal changes, and the activism we espoused back in the day has not mellowed with age. I’d guess that a significant number of us are active in such organizations as MoveOn.org, the Occupy Protests, the push for equality between the sexes, and those that seek justice for the victimized and oppressed, that are active today, as has been true since the 60’s. Just because I’m getting older doesn’t mean I’m going to cut my hair, stop playing poker, or reduce my sense of outrage at the atrocities I see in our society.

In fact, just the opposite is true. Though much thinner these days, my hair still reaches half-way down my back, and there has been no less outrage in my responses to the news, not that I can see. (I do play less poker, but that is due to lack of available playing partners and a stake, not lack of want-to….)  I can only hope now to provide an example for the youth of this time, to continue to show that honor, duty, and and the journey toward justice for all (Free our sisters, free ourselves!) are not out of favor, but continue to be key elements of right behavior, and right action, for a large number of citizens, past their prime or not…. hell, it just makes us meaner and tougher, not weaker. The PTB and the beloved ruling class might do well to remember that…..

“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.” — little known, but apt, advice from Merlin the Wise, the most influential wizard in the history of Mankind….
___________________________________

,+*~~*+___+++_
,*~~~~              )
_+*                     ~**+_
_+~~*+_    (     ,+*~ ~          \+_        )
{       )  (    ,(    ,_+–+–,      ~)      ~\
{ (@)    } f   ,(  ,+-~ __*_*_  ~~\_   ~\       )
{:;-/    (_+*-+~~~~~+*+*<_ _++_)_    )    )      /
( /  (    (        ,___    ~*+_+* )   <    <      \
U _/     )    *–<  ) ~\—–++__)   )    )       )
(      )  _(~)~~))  )  )\~~~~~))~*+/    /       /
(      /  (_))_~)) )  )  ))~~~~~))~~~)__/     +~~
(     ,/    (~))~))  )  ) ))~~~~~~~))~~)       _)
*+__+*       (_))~)  ) ) ))~~~~~~))~~~~~)____*~
\             \_)~)_)) ))~~~~~~~~~~))~~~~)
(_             ~\__~~~~~~~~~~~~))~~~~~~~)
~\___            ~\__~~~~~~))~~~~~~~~)\\
~~~~~\uuu/~~\uuu/~~~~\~\~\~\~\~\~\~\
___) >____) >___   ~\_\_\_\_\_\_\)
~~~//\\_~~//\\_~       ~(\_\_\_\)
~~~ ~~ ~~~ ~~

This beautiful example of ASCII art will hopefully translate from where I found it to this post and still retain its clarity. To be certain, and to segue into the discussion I’m planning, allow me to say that you SHOULD see here a picture of a magnificently plumed Tom Turkey, as envisioned in the mind of J. Random Hacker.

Now, when I saw this, after my initial response (“Perfect!”, I thought….), a second, slightly more wicked thought struck me, and I thought I should share it. I have a proposed change to suggest for both, or hell, all of the political parties in the US today. Republicans,Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Whackos (the Santorum/Romney/Gingrich contingent….    …. sometimes called the Tea Party), they all need to consider taking this image as one to replace the elephant, the donkey, the cartoon characters, etc. that they now use to represent their party line, and how they wish to be viewed. A turkey is very American, much more native here than the majority of political hacks on parade.

Turkeys are survivors, and are considered to be one of the toughest birds to hunt and kill, as they are fast fliers, hyper-alert, and smart as hell in their own environment. Of course, none of these characteristics are common to these political groups as they exist now, but hey, maybe by changing their icons, they can take on some of these virtues…. it couldn’t hurt, and just might make them more palatable to the rest of us……. What do you think? Think they’ll go for it?…. They might just earn my vote, if they should all of a sudden show some common sense, and go along with this novel idea…. Probably not going to happen, but I can dream, can’t I?……
___________________________________

Limericks are art forms complex,
Their topics run chiefly to sex.
They usually have virgins,
And masculine urgin’s,
And other erotic effects.
— Anonymous

Haiku are always
calmly directing our eyes
pointing to the way.
–gigoid

So, it occurred to me, after writing the above haiku, to ask myself, “Self, which came first, the limerick or the haiku?”  At first, I thought I was just being silly. Then I realized I really wanted to know, but I’m too lazy to Google right now. So, here is the deal…..

I’d appreciate a response from anyone who has any ideas or reactions on this, either by commenting, or by posting a reply; if I follow your blog, I’ll be notified of either method of response, and be able to reply in turn. No prizes will be awarded, though I will mention your name, and your answer to this time-honored query, in a future Pearl. (Well, it’s been honored for the two or three minutes since I asked it, and by the time you answer, it will be more, so….) So, join in the fun, and the challenge, and send me a response today! You won’t regret it, much…..

It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don’t be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit, it’s so easy to quit:
It’s the keeping-your-chin-up that’s hard.
It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten–and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight–
Why, that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each grueling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try–it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.
— Robert W. Service — The Quitter
___________________________________

Got ahead of myself there for a moment. I was so excited at being done, I started to copy and paste to the appropriate destination files, and only then noticed I had not quite finished. So, here I am, to compose one more witty ending to another meandering journey through the labyrinth I call my mind…. easy money, as they say.

Well, the meandering and the ending parts are easy; the witty part is, as always, a notably arguable characteristic of what I write for publication. Ah well, I suppose it is well to remember that the journey is the lesson, not the destination…. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!