“Alexander [the Great] asked Diogenes if there was anything in the world he wanted.
Diogenes, without looking up, replied: `Yes. Get out of my light.'”
~~ Plutarch ~~
No way, Jose…. There’s no way in Hell I’m putting myself through this today, not with all the stuff I have to do out in the Big Blue Room. I can barely stand up straight, and certainly not without putting myself into severe pain, as the lower back has picked this morning to act as if it were a new condition, perfectly happy to demonstrate all the different postures and movements which will cause it…. So far. even magic cream is failing the test, so, the remainder of the day has taken on new, dark colors….
In order to deal with it as best I may, though, I’m again going to be ruthless in composing today’s Pearl. In fact, this paragraph is the last one you’ll get in the intro; when I said ruthless, that’s exactly what I meant. If I give myself any room at all to start, I’ll rant, or start blathering, either of which, today, would just be absurd, not to mention bad…. But, it will probably be okay, as the relative length will cause most of y’all to celebrate, at least in the privacy of your own minds…. As for the rest of us, we’ll be down below, trying to finish off what got done yesterday, and get this posted…. See, ruthless…
Shall we Pearl?…..
“He declared that he knew nothing, except the fact of his ignorance.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Socrates, xvi
“I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleges, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.” ~~ Tolstoy
Now THAT is a proper beginning for a rant…. too bad I’m not up to ranting…. Y’all will have to make do with a blast from the past…. It’s still valid, so, that’s something, anyway….
“There is always a second right answer. Look beyond the obvious.” — Smart Bee
I am glad that I found this quote this morning. I was looking for something to go with a discussion around the events that took place in Colorado yesterday, wherein a young man shot and killed 12 people, and injured many others, before being subdued and arrested. I have not engaged in reading any of the stories about it, as they all follow the same pattern, and repeat the same cliches trying to describe the horror of the scenario, and to describe the terror felt by the victims. The news coverage of events of this nature vary little from one to the next; the only difference lies in the number of victims, and the place it occurred.
I don’t watch the stories, but the headlines always give enough information to satisfy my level of curiosity. The part of these events that interests me is always the amount of outrage and dismay that is expressed by those who are not even involved. People from all over the world will write articles condemning guns, or lamenting the victims, or expressing sorrow, or otherwise giving their reaction to the story. One of the reactions that is common after an event such as this is from the people who would like to see ALL guns taken off the streets, and make it illegal for citizens to even own a gun.
This to me is the reaction of a scared child. Yes, terrible things happen, and sometimes those terrible things are perpetrated by some idiot who has managed to get his hands on guns. But, it is folly to blame the guns themselves for the deaths of those people. The person is responsible, not the guns. But, to these frightened children, the very idea of guns is too scary to deal with, and they would like to see reality changed to suit their fears. It’s kind of like saying that “oh my, cars cause over a million deaths a year. Let’s get them off the streets!” It is an over-reaction, common to those who typically refuse to stand up for their own rights, preferring to allow the government to tell them what to think.
I agree that it is tragic that events like this should happen, and I feel bad for the victims. I also feel bad for the idiot, because only a soul that is in extreme distress could ever consider such actions. If it were to happen in front of me, I would not hesitate take him down and put him down like a sick dog, but I would do so in sorrow, knowing that he is a broken man. This event will mark a moment in time that none of the victims will ever forget, and it will change their lives in some way, for certain. But, to let these events cause us to make poor decisions about guns is an error in thinking, and can lead to the loss of more rights than we have already lost to the fear-mongers.
Living involves risk. This is a truism, and is not subject to debate. One may prepare for that risk by making themselves strong and educated regarding the extent of the risks, and dealing with those risks in an adult fashion. Or, one can retreat to their childhood, and give over the handling of risk to the authority figures in our lives, and feel snug and safe in their little delusional bubble.
What these people fail to understand is this: prohibiting guns, or making them illegal, is NOT going to make guns go away. It will just drive them underground, and make it harder to keep track of them. The risk will be even greater, because NOW there is nothing to stop criminals from victimizing others, other than the police, and we can see already how little effectiveness the police have in stopping events like this.
This shit is going to happen, whether guns are legal or not. I am personally unwilling to trust the government of this country, or of any other, to protect me and my interests. If they have guns, I want mine, because otherwise there will be no reason at all for them to keep from taking from me whatever they want.
Police in this country are NOT to be trusted; most of the time they have a poor opinion of the public, and a sense of entitlement that puts them above the law. The same goes for politicians; I’m not going to trust them any further than I am the police. Probably even less, as they have shown time after time that they are not to be trusted. If they can’t be trusted with my money, I’m certainly not going to trust them with my guns….
Attitudes adjusted, while you wait. — L.A. Police Car Bumper Sticker
I’m not overly concerned whether or not anyone agrees with me on this; everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Some will say that I am calloused and indifferent to the pain those people felt. Well, they are free to say whatever they like…. The simple truth is that I feel very sorry for all the victims, and their families, knowing full well that they are now looking at years of therapy and healing before they will ever be comfortable again. But it is also the simple truth that I am not going to get all worked up over something that happens all the time, and will continue to happen as long as the world remains so overpopulated that we are like rats in a cage, fighting and biting each other over the limited resources.
“Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” — Oscar Wilde
If one wants to get outraged over needless deaths, then let’s begin a dialog about the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who continue to die for no good reason. We were told that the wars in those two countries were started to “get Osama bin Laden” and put an end to terrorism. Ten years and trillions of dollars later, bin Laden is dead, and terrorism is NOT ended. Probably, more than 12 soldiers are killed every day in both countries, but there is no outrage that I see….
So, let us not engage in the orgy of feelings, and outpouring of outrage, over an event that, while not normal or desirable, should nonetheless not be a surprise. And, let us not thrash about in fear, and center our anger on the wrong target. Guns are not the problem; people who are broken are the problem, whether they are shooting people in a theater in the mountains, or passing laws in a building in Washington D.C. The answer is not to get rid of guns; that is never going to happen. The answer is to fix the broken people…. and you can take that to the bank….
“Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an ‘inconvenience.’ We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy. We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and then wonder how all those assholes got in there.” — Frank Zappa
Here is another legendary rock band from the sixties, with two members of The Jefferson Airplane (the bass and lead guitar players), a rogue drummer, and one of the best freelance fiddle players to ever draw a bow…. Enjoy!…..
Hot Tuna: Live at the Fillmore, 1984
Nobody else should ever receive any blame for this, so…. Here’s one of mine that I wrote on a morning such as this one seems to be….
Absently casual, memories pester endlessly
leaving only bleeding remnants, amiable and loving.
Coming awake, I cry to still the pain, shamelessly.
Elsewhen, time gives surcease, if only to live,
shoring broken pilings, worn and gray.
Passing on, I laugh at the pain, accept all it will give.
Time will build a shelter, warm and ever safe
save for Fate’s busy hands.
Enduring, I follow the pain, knowing it will chafe.
Fixed against a darkened sky of starry black
such beauty brings us to our knees.
Entranced, I welcome the pain, ’tis all I lack…..
~~ gigoid ~~
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” — Robert A. Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
I first read this paragraph when I was about 14, or thereabout; as might be imagined, it had a very strong effect on me, and how I looked at the world…. and, is a view of human nature I’ve tried to accept, and utilize, for all the years since. By implication, there are other qualities and skills that any human should cultivate, for their own benefit, and for the benefit of all around them…. One of those is a sense of the absurd, or, as I like to think of it, a keen appreciation for irony, and its place in reality….
Being silly, and accepting one’s Bozoid tendencies, to me, is an attitude that can only help in life; very few situations are immune to the power of an ironic eye, even the most emotionally tense, confrontational issues can be made more palatable through the application of some humor, thus aiding in achieving a successful resolution, where it might otherwise have created ugliness and pain…. Today’s final section is therefore comprised of a nine-star pearl, to celebrate and practice that very skill….. If you wish to LOL, feel free….
“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” — Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
“I want you to organize my PASTRY trays… my TEA-TINS are gleaming in formation like a ROW of DRUM MAJORETTES — please don’t be FURIOUS with me –” — Zippy the Pinhead
“He had been kicked in the head by a mule when young, and believed everything he read in the Sunday papers.” — George Ade
“`She said you were born to hang,’ said Anathema. Adam grinned, Notoriety wasn’t as good as fame, but heaps better than obscurity.” — Pratchet & Gaiman, _Good Omens_
Demonstrating once again the importance of the lowly comma, this telegram was sent from a wife to her husband: “NOT GETTING ANY, BETTER COME HOME AT ONCE.”
“Courtroom: A place where Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot would be equals, with the betting odds in favor of Judas.” — H.L. Mencken
“There comes a time in every man’s life, and I’ve had many of them.” — Casey Stengel
“If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.” — Smart Bee
“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde
Well, I managed to get it done…. but, that’s all I can do…. I’m going to post this, before I can’t…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, hopefully from a better starting point…..
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,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
À bientôt, mon cherí….