Lonely, the severed head spoke from where it dwells, atop the garden gate….

Ffolkes,

Forlorn, empty of all hope, Barnabas Pettigrew trudged along the dusty highway, cursing every step with every breath, vowing to never again….. what? Blank, echoing vastness is all I see now, as Barnabas trudges along for no good reason, heading off into nowhere, presumably to give my head a good excuse for being up again at this ridiculous hour of the day…..

What is it about 3:00 AM that is so damned attractive, anyway? And why am I asking you? If I can’t figure out why my subconscious mind is out to get me, what chance will you have?…. Ah well, such is life in the blogosphere, where such absurdity may now be considered the norm, of sorts, for a great many otherwise stable personalities…. Honk, honk….

Now that the initial awkwardness is passing, let me ask you a question…. No, let’s change that…. Let me give you some advice…. No, that’s not a good idea; I forgot that my lawyer told me to stop doing that, or somebody was going to remember that I was the one who told them to do that, which might lead to more legal troubles than I already have….

Okay, so we’ll go another route…. if I can find one… I seem to be coming up against some kind of objection to every opening I’ve tried today. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that Murphy was hanging around, having fun, but, I happen to know he went on a short trip…. something about seeing a man about a dog, or something….

Hmm, now what? I’m unwilling to jump into just anything, or start on any subject at all today, at least, not here in the intro section, because, of late, whenever I do that, it turns into a rant; I’m trying to maintain a bit of discipline regarding structure, if at all possible, so almost anything that contains a shred of controversy is out, for the nonce.

(God, I LOVE that word!… “nonce”… and just LOOK at that sentence structure?…. Brilliant!…..I know, I’m strange…. deal with it, ffolkes, it’s too late to back out now; I’ve got your credit cards….)

It’s been so long since I tried to write about anything that WASN’T controversial, I’m finding it hard to even identify a subject worth investigating….. which isn’t all that surprising, given my usual fare here at ECR (for the uninitiated, that’s Exploring Consensual Reality, the actual title of this blog….).

I’m bored with this, which is a word I NEVER use…. Many moons ago, back before I even got into my teens, I made a conscious decision to eliminate boredom from my life, for the simple reason that it has no identifiable purpose, thus, it has no place in the life of anyone who uses their mind for more than merely existing.

To be bored, one must first admit that they are tired of what is going on in their own head,  an admission I refuse to make…. In short, one must DECIDE to be bored; it doesn’t just happen because we walked into the wrong room. We have to make that conscious decision to feel the ennui that settles over us when we fall prey to this self-indulgence, so, I refuse to entertain any such thoughts, thus, avoiding the entire issue, with all its concomitant troublesome side-effects upon the emotions, and on the degree of turbulence we experience in our life….

So, there’s your advice for the day, okay? Are y’all happy now, you’ve tricked me into divulging such inanities before I’ve even purged my mind? I’ll bet you are, you silly monkeys….. For that, I’m going to have to punish y’all severely, or, perhaps, just a little? Or not…. You know, I’m thinking, at this point, I’d better just give up on this intro, and get on with today’s dive…. Yes, I think that would be for the best….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“By this story [The Fox and the Raven] it is shown how much ingenuity avails, and how wisdom is always an overmatch for strength.” — Phaedrus (c. 8 A.D.) — Book i, Fable 13, 13

The question immediately arises, “What does one who has neither ingenuity, nor strength, do to avail himself?”

Oh, plus, “What the hell does “avail” mean, in this instance? How much can a word’s meaning change in only 2000 years?”

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“Power, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer; it dignifies meanness; to what is contemptible, it gives authority; to what is low, exaltation.” — Charles Caleb Colton

I found this article tucked away in one of the lower sections of SFGATE, kind of like being on the next-to-last page in a newspaper, before the opinions, in the bottom corner of a page where nobody reads much…. I’m not sure why it’s buried there, because this subject is liable to be one of the more volatile that the court takes up this year, (though it hardly compares to the gay marriage issue, or the corporate personhood issue, both of which tend to bring out the worst in everyone….), because almost EVERYONE has feelings about TV… Almost all of us alive now DID grow up with it, so we have long-standing, firm ideas about how it should operate, and how it should be regulated, if at all….

First, read the article, then we’ll talk….

http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/Will-the-Supreme-Court-promote-innovation-in-TV-5371849.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

“Did you hear they removed the word gullible from the dictionary?” — Smart Bee

I will be watching closely to see how the Supremes handle this decision; it will go a long way toward identifying just how much corruption the justices have condescended to allow themselves to show to the public…. By that, I mean just what it sounds as if I mean…. It is my contention that the Supreme Court, along with many of the other levels of Federal courts (District, Circuit, etc…..) has been purchased outright by the bankers and shadowy corporate masters of society, to the point where they no longer even try to hide their predilection for making legal decisions that favor business over people, in almost every case that comes before them…

The conservative justices who were appointed to the various courts around the US by the two Shrubs are starting to make their insane power-hungry beliefs a matter of public record, making decision after decision that perpetuates the myth of corporate personhood, solidifying the idea that in this country, profit is guaranteed by law, protected from being altered or diminished by any such mundane factors as public wishes, or the concept of the common good in society….

This is how PAC’s have sprung into existence, those no-longer hidden bastions of corporate greed that throw money at all the elections they wish to influence, unrestrained by any limits on how much they can spend to bribe their chosen politicians…. This egregious display of ugly judicial, and political corruption, now legalized by the courts, illustrates exactly why this nation is now recognized by the rest of the planet as being a failed democracy….

This nation is now officially an oligarchy, bought and paid for by the rich, fat (headed, if naught else…), mostly white, misogynistic bigots, those shadowy slave masters, snakeheads by name, the real rulers of society, who spend their days telling the politicians what they want done….

“A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.” — Howard Scott, Economist

Hell, some of them probably have posted lists, that show their lineup of Congressmen, Senators, and Federal Court judges who are on their payroll…. Maybe, all those pictures you see on the politicians’ walls, or those of CEO’s, with them posing with various public figures, are their way of posting the list of their acquisitions…. Makes sense to me…. Kind of like trophies, but they take up less space in the office….

Any who, now, the decision as to whether or not the big broadcast companies will have to actually live up to the deal they made, back before the Internet came along, is going to be made by the highest court (in THIS country); it will be very interesting indeed to see what direction it takes….

I don’t like to predict what the Supremes will do, because, if that court ever becomes predictable, then our form of government is finished…. Nobody should be able to say ahead of time what the court may decide; if it is predictable, then we have lost the balance on the bench that is required for them to remain objective about the law….

“Capitalism in the United States has undergone profound modification, not just under the New Deal, but through a consensus that continued to grow after the New Deal. Government in the U. S. today is a senior partner in every business in the country.” — Norman Cousins

Unfortunately, I’m thinking that in today’s world, it may just be that the court, the last hold-out against the corporate asininnies who would control us all, from cradle to grave, has been compromised, and will now begin the relatively short process of bringing this nation to its knees, in abject surrender to the forces of corporate avarice that control so much of our world. We’ll wait, of course, to see what takes place…. but, I’m pretty well convinced that we may have seen the last of real liberty in this country, and are now just waiting around to see when the revolution will begin, and how it will all fall out….

“Cheshire-Puss,” she began, “would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t care much where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re quite sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

— Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

The ball is now in the Supreme’s court…. let’s see which way they go from here, shall we?….. I suppose, if we wait, or walk long enough, we’ll end up somewhere….

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After ranting in such a sober fashion, a classic poem sounds like just the right next step for today…. Here is one that most of us have read, or seen, at one time or another in our lives, if only in sophomore English class…. I liked it then, and still do…. Enjoy!….

Death Be Not Proud

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

~~ John Donne ~~

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Before I started today, I had already planted an old rant, of sorts, in this section, from last February, a discussion of ethics and morality that came out fairly well…. but, after the rant above, I thought it might be too much sobriety for one day, and nobody needs to be THAT dedicated…. Quality of life isn’t about having justice, though it is good to have that, but, rather, it’s about having experiences that improve our spirit, making us want to become better people, while learning to enjoy the process of doing so….

In light of that concept, we’ll go for an old-school pearl, with loose parameters to keep it from becoming too constricting, or judgmental…. We’ll shoot for ideas from other cultures that can meld with our own ideas, to help us become more complete human beings… which might be a lot to ask from a group of aphorisms, but, hey, we’re nothing, if not ambitious, around here, right?…. Right….

“You white people are so strange.  We think it is very primitive for a child to have only two parents.” — Australian Aboriginal Elder

Happily may I walk.
May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful above me.
May it be beautiful all around me.
In beauty it is finished.

— Navajo (Anasazi) Night Chant

“Alas, reason is not effective against faith, or against searches for miracles by the desperate.” — Dr. Michael B. Shimkin

“There is no road or ready way to virtue.” — Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) — Religio Medici, Part i, Sect. lv

Remembrance and reflection how allied!
What thin partitions sense from thought divide!

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 225

“Who, being loved, is poor?’ — Oscar Wilde

Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain. Exalted reason,
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who are thou then, if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly’s uncurb’d steed,
Must, vainly shrieking, with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.

— Johann Christian Friedrich von Schiller, The Maid of Orleans

Astounded, I stare into the mirror, wondering how I could ever have doubted serendipity…..

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“My face is new, my license is expired, and I’m under a doctor’s care!!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Sometimes, the words Zippy gives us (Thank you, Bill Griffith!…) seem to connect to reality in my mind in a most satisfying, accurate fashion; this quote hits the nail squarely on the head for this morning, giving a quite exact description of my state of being after composing all of the above…. Save for the poem by Donne, and the authorship of the quotes, it’s all fresh, and well-purged, if I do say so myself….

Well, I feel better, anyway, so, I’m hoping that carries over into your life and times today, as well…. If not, well, I’m content; if you got even one chuckle, or even a querulous smile, from reading what I’ve written today, that will do nicely…. 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

dozer3

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Post-adenoidal adolescent fantasies for sale or trade….

Ffolkes,

I like to think that I’m a tolerant man in many ways, though there are a number of human behaviors that test that tolerance on a regular basis. Take, for example, being lied to…. When someone lies to me, my first reaction is akin to emotional pain, a sense of betrayal that hits me in my most vulnerable area, my sense of trust. Like everyone else, I’ve been lied to in my life; I’ve been fairly lucky in some respects with that, but, the very nature of trust is such that one cannot stop trusting, just because that trust is betrayed…. The result is wariness, and a lessening of the impulse to trust on faith….

“Appearances to the mind are of four kinds. Things either are what they appear to be; or they neither are, nor appear to be; or they are, and do not appear to be; or they are not, and yet appear to be. Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man’s task.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap. xxvii

Epictetus seems to have covered all the bases with this statement, showing perfectly the choices we must make in order to trust, once we’ve had a taste of lies…. which, if my case is any indication, started at about the age of 3 or 4 years, when I first had occasion to deal with the world at large, outside family. I can’t recall if I was exposed to any significant lying before that; I must have been, for siblings are competitive, if nothing else, and will not always tell the truth when confronted with their misbehaviors….Those occasions were overseen by parents, and resolved according to their parameters, giving us the lesson of truth amongst ourselves…. But, out in the real world, even at that tender age, I learned very quickly that not everyone had my dad’s commitment to honesty….

I remember going to church one Sunday, and listening to the preacher’s sermon about something or other, and even though I was only about 5, I remember thinking to myself, “That CAN’T be true!”, when he made some statement or another about God, or the Devil, or some such fantasy…. I guess my “crap detector” was on full that day, because I distinctly remember the feeling of confusion, and even youthful anger, at some adult NOT telling the truth, while pretending they were…. It seemed obvious to me that the preacher didn’t totally believe all he was relating, and I thought it wrong to be telling people to believe stuff that he didn’t believe himself….

But, hey, that’s just me, and we all know how far off the beaten track I’ve wandered in my life…. Maybe learning the world is full of lies at age 5 is unusual, but, to my mind, I’m a lucky man, to have, first, been raised by a man, and woman, who believed in the power of honor, and honesty, and taught those qualities to me, and my sibs (though, to be candid, I’m not sure how well a couple of them took it; they always skated the edge on that….   😉  If any of them read this, they will know of whom I speak….), and second, to have, as a result, a sure-fire standard against which to measure the truthfulness of others, thereby protecting me from the worst effects of lies, and the pain of being lied to by those who would take advantage of my trust…..

SIGH…. I did it again, didn’t I? I jumped right into a rant, barely pausing long enough to suck down some coffee before sounding off…. I keep forgetting this is the intro section, and that the ranting should come later, when I’m more lucid, and not so emotionally charged as when I first get up. Of course, ranting this way DOES put a lot of words on the screen, which gets me through the introductory section in a hurry, but, I’m not sure what it is doing to the flow of it all…. Maybe one of y’all could let me know how it seems?…. I’d appreciate some feedback on that…. or not…. Whatever is clever, ffolkes…

I suppose, though, this means that I have no further excuses for not getting started on today’s outburst, which you can see, has already burst out…. Shall we Pearl?….

“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.” — W.L. Bateman

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” — Jean-Paul Sartre

Sorry, both seemed appropriate, and I waffled on making a decision, so, rather than spend too much time over it, you get both…. consider it a bonus…..  😀
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In the past few days, I’ve put out a lot of words, ranting and railing against those fools in Washington, who are making such a display of idiocy that one can barely rationalize spending money to go to the circus, when the same show plays for free on all the network channels every day…. It’s kind of fun, actually, and easy, too, as those asinine fools just keep saying and doing the most outrageously stupid stuff, it’s like shooting ducks in a pond to find rantable material….

Apparently, as the above intro section indicates, I’m on full out rant mode these days, finding it very easy to take my shots at the public figures who so deserve all I can throw at them…. However, I’m going to be a nice guy today, and forgo another rant in this section, thereby relieving you of the need to gird your grid for another one. Instead, I’m going to refer you to another fine article penned by one of my favorite columnists, Mark Morford, who writes for the SF Chronicle website, SFGATE, as well as in the paper itself; he’s published a couple of books, and has put up a couple of websites that display his interests, which are, to be sure, esoteric, and a bit kinky, like his writing…

This article is one of the best I’ve ever seen, from him, or from anyone else…. and, if you know how much I read, you’ll know that is saying a LOT…. I mean it, though, because this one is special…. In it, you will find the Secret of Life…. Oh, I know, you’ve heard that claim before, and it never turns out to be quite what you expected, or hoped for…. This, however, is the real deal…. The article speaks about, and clearly states, a principle of living that anyone can adopt, and by doing so, can achieve the serenity and inner peace that are so deservedly touted by the sages of the ages…. S’truth, for sure, ffolkes… Read it, and you’ll see what I’m talking about…. I won’t prejudice your minds any further, or try to convince you, but, it’s all true, so, READ IT….

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2013/10/08/how-to-get-lucky/

See? What did I tell you?….
_____________________________

I’m feeling more than a little lazy today, so lazy I don’t even want to spend the energy to Google… which means we’ll be going with one of my own poems today…. I can feel a new one percolating; it’s been simmering now for several days, but, apparently, isn’t ready to come out to play yet… This one, though not the most elegant of my work, is one of my true favorites, just because it’s so real, and so true…. I hope you enjoy it….

Ah Ain’t Sho, but Mebbe So….

Fried eggs got nuthin’ on me
Ah’m not even sure of mah name,
or how Ah come to be;
Ah got no idea from where Ah came.

Ah does like a mystery tho’,
puzzlin’ things out so’s Ah knows,
good from bad fo sho,
Ah sho don’t want no rock pillows.

If’n Ah cain’t figure out what’s best,
Ah just falls back on mah Daddy’s words,
seems he knowed just whut’d stand the test,
‘n how to gentle the scaredest birds.

‘Course, he’d lived a good long time,
‘n saw lots of stuff go on by;
Went to a war, n’ lost a piece or two,
never once used it fer an alibi.

He tol’ me once Ah’d best learn to learn,
school’s only cool if ya ain’t already a fool.
Yer own good measure you can earn,
by startin’ yer learnin’ with the Golden Rule.

Always seemed to me as Ah growed up,
he mostly only spoke if it wuz true,
‘n by doin’ that clued me to what’s up,
kept me from stuff that’d a made me blue.

Without ever sayin’ the word itself,
Ah learned ’bout honor, ‘n helpin’ others
not some fake stuff from some shelf,
but, knowin’ whut’s right, ‘n that we’re all brothers.

Ah’ve been around long enough now, Ah think
to get around the block at least two times.
I s’pose long as my head don’t shrink
Ah’ll keep on doin’ right, ‘n makin’ these rhymes…..

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

Since I’m the one who put it here, I suppose this was in the back of my mind when I wrote today’s introduction, about lies… This article, to which I’ve supplied the link below, discusses the shutdown of a secure email client by the NSA, in response to their persecution. The article is a very complete, and erudite, examination of a complex issue the government is doing their best to cover up, or at least keep from the public awareness as much as possible.

The information contained herein is completely scary, in its implications of just how far the spying on the public has become a part of the governments usual order of business…. It is also frightening in that it shows clearly the extent to which the BRC will go to protect its soft underbelly of clandestine operations, none of which we are supposed to see, or hear of…

The extent to which the government is pursuing the whistle blowers who are revealing their hidden agendas, and the campaign against both the people who are supporting and aiding those whistle blowers, and against the public, who wants to know about all this, has reached what I consider to be not just immoral, but illegal, and ultimately, treasonous behavior against the citizens of this country….

The US government, by all that is implied in this article, has declared war on the unwashed masses of the American public sector, using the same techniques of spying and clandestine operations that are being perpetrated in wartime, against our country’s sworn enemies. The quest for complete access to the communications of terrorists has led the agencies involved to treat their own people as the enemy, and gather all the information possible to monitor the public’s private communications, ostensibly to catch terrorists, but, in reality, to look for reasons to prosecute, and persecute, normal, honest citizens, who just “happen” to disagree with that government, and have the temerity to say so in public…

I could go on for days on this, as there are now far too many examples of their chicanery for them to hide; many of those acts are detailed herein…. What disturbs me more than most of it is the way the government is using the Patriot Act to ignore the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, in their blundering about in search of the bad guys, which, of course, only they can see, and which, according to them, only they can find, and only if they are allowed do whatever they want….

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/10/how-lavabit-edward-snowden-email-service-melted-down.html

Pretty scary stuff, eh? Did you know that the government not only has access to your private email, but can, if they so desire, prosecute you for what you write in it, all without ever letting anyone else know about it? Yep…. It hasn’t quite come to it yet, but, if they ever get their greedy, grasping hands on Ed Snowden, you will see just how little they care about what the public thinks, as they will use all the power of the law at their disposal to bury him, and, if possible, will never even tell the public they’ve done so… If the CIA, or the NSA, or any other of our acronymical clandestine agencies, should ever find him, they will spirit him away from the public eye, and he will never be seen again…. Mark my words, this is not a guess, ffolkes, this is what they’ll do, if they can….

“The price of liberty is, always has been, and always will be blood: the person who is not willing to die for his liberty has already lost it to the first scoundrel who is willing to risk dying to violate that person’s liberty. Are you free?” — Andrew Ford

Eric Snowden is free, for the moment…. how long he stays free is up to us, I think….

The government, which is essentially under the control of corporate masters whose names you’ll never know, are getting bolder all the time in their continuing efforts to reduce the number and extent of our basic rights; we already have lost at least half of the Bill of Rights, and they’re working on eliminating the rest as fast as can be…. The whole time, they smile, and smile, and tell us they’re doing it all for our benefit…. What a load of crap!….

In the intro section, I mentioned my “crap detector”, which all humans have installed; many just never learn to use it, or are too lazy to listen to it. Mine tells me that we are being lied to more each day, as more of what is being done under cover is brought to light; it also tells me to be careful, because, if they can, these assholes are going to kill themselves with their deliberate ignorance, and their delusional belief that they are immune to the laws of nature. Not only are they doing so, but, they’re trying to drag the rest of us down into oblivion with them…

I, for one, don’t plan on making it easy for them….. To round this off, here is a five star pearl to drive these points home…. or, at least, toss them up into the face of the nearest NSA analyst…. bless their little black hearts….

“Our contemporary Tories (sub: politicians, or talking heads… gigoid…) prefer the term “ordered liberty” to “freedom”. The word “freedom” scares them; it has too much of a paleolithic ring to it.” — Edward Abbey

“Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated” — George Bernard Shaw

“Your own safety is at stake when your neighbor’s house is in flames.” — Horace

“A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.” — Howard Scott, Economist

“But it’s a sad reminder when your organ grinder has to come to you for the rent, and all you’ve got to give him is the use of your sideshow tent.” — Mark Knopfler
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Well, here we have another rambling, loosely coherent entry into the archives of nearly wasted words that makes up the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom library… let’s see how it came out, from an objective standpoint, should one be available….

I have to admit, I never seem to run out of stuff to say, do I? Oh well, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone (who doesn’t deserve it…), and as long as I stick to the truth of any matter I discuss, I’ll keep on saying it, because I can, and because I think it needs to be said…. Y’all will just have to take your chances along with the rest of us as to how that goes over…. Whatever that end result may be, or may not be, this one is done, and for that, we can all be thankful, yes?…. See ya….

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

dozer3