It’s National Hand Grenade Day…..

Ffolkes,
As the clock struck noon, the moon rose majestically in the west. Farther on, the homeless hunters preyed upon a dilapidated group of sun worshiping bank clerks, while the maitre d’hotel shouted for more wine. Belatedly, a large, crimson cake was delivered to the kitchen door, unbeknownst to any of the appropriate managerial cadre. A heffalump charged the main desk, only to retreat at the first sign of snow from the chandeliers; no animals were harmed, or even challenged in the making of the video version. As quietly as possible, one of the late arrivals poured his quota of abuse, and ketchup, into the designated slot in the south wall. The band played on…..

Whew! Writing absolute nonsense is harder than it looks from the other side. No way in hell am I going to take THAT one any further! It about twisted me up into knots as it is; trying to create more of it would put me in bed for days. But, every once in a while, I just have to get that stuff out of my head, before it takes over and makes me write poetry, or something equally frightening. Of late, the poems I’ve written haven’t been too bad, but if this kind of stuff got added into the mix, there’s no telling what might happen. The universe itself could come to a crashing halt, or split in two, or something, and I have no desire to cause a rift in space/time…

My head feels lighter though, and that is a good thing. It always feels better out than in, and there is less extraneous angst to deal with; always a bonus, in my mind. Since we seem to have some good omens for it (though I’m not superstitious at all, of course….) we should probably head right into the regularly scheduled program….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.  Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this; the only right is what is after my own constitution; the only wrong what is against it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I was about 15 or 16 years old when we first read this in English class, and I remember distinctly when it hit home. I was at home, studying the Essay on Self Reliance as homework. I remember how difficult it was to plow through Emerson’s style of writing, which is thick and convoluted; one must read slowly, and think about what has just been read, to fully ascertain the point he is making at the time. When I came across this line, and thought about it, I experienced an epiphany of understanding, and a lot of what he said in the essay became clear. Most simply put, he admonishes all to “Trust Yourself”…….

“I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself.  Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter To Francis Hopkinson, Paris Mar. 13, 1789

Tom Jefferson lived prior to Emerson, but had a similar approach to life, and to thinking. Individualism could be said to be Jefferson’s God; to him, each man was responsible for making himself into what he wished to be, and the self-reliance so ably encouraged by Emerson came to him naturally. Though a Christian by choice, he constantly challenged the church authorities in his writing, accusing the priestly hierarchies of the same crimes I am chastising them for today, to wit: twisting the word of Jesus Christ, manipulation of the teachings, and power-seeking behaviors more suited to barbarian chieftains than priests. Tom saw clearly the need for the continued separation of church and state, as he firmly believed that combining the two would inevitably lead to the loss of liberty he feared, and for which he fought so hard.

As we can see today, he was right. He feared both the church leaders, and the bankers and corporations. He wrote on numerous occasions of his lack of trust in those entities, as he clearly saw that they were inimical to individual freedom, and would eventually try to subvert the liberties we enjoy, by slow encroachment. Guess what, ffolkes….. he was dead right. Between the “corporate personhood” enjoyed by the elite fat cats, and the brainwashing carried out on a daily basis by the churches, the public has been manipulated into willingly giving up many of their rights for the sake of feeling safe. And why do they fear for their safety? Why, because the politicians, supported by the preachers, have convinced them that the rest of the world is out to get them, and wants to take away what they have; for God’s sake, they’re heathens!…..

Much of the nonsense that is foisted upon the unsuspecting public would be less believable if more people believed as Emerson does, and made up their minds on their own. Instead, most folks give in to their laziness, and, unwilling to think for themselves, allow the preachers and pundits to fill their heads with lies and manipulations. This lack of personal responsibility is what is killing this country; only those who are unwary can be fooled. One who takes responsibility for themselves cannot be fooled in that manner, for they are aware of the machinations that others will attempt, and react accordingly….. One can only hope that Emerson’s essay on Self Reliance becomes a best seller again, and people awaken from their self-induced state of somnolence…..
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Lamenting Empathy, No Grace

Strange, strong, passions burn from within
Selling nothing short, nor out
Consumed, loudly, failing to mark the spin
Sad, resigned, in singular redoubt.

Fallow grounds for twisted seed
Become fated, grow, and die.
Experience never fills critical need
Save perhaps once, in ages gone by.

Shouting in severe, dulcet tone
Brittle, flaking, destiny floats away
Making noise, rattling the bone
Simple ageless fears held at bay.

We mask our illusions in faux belief
Tied to reality by matter of rote,
Send them postcards, without relief
Consecrated time, forever remote.

~~ gigoid
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The following has been edited for the ironically impaired……

“The craving for power which characterizes the governing class in every nation is hostile to any limitation of the national sovereignty.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

I’ve been watching….. and I’ve come to the conclusion that the Republican bozos (Romney and Ryan) have neglected to consider one crucial factor in their tactical planning for the pre-election posturing done by both parties. That crucial aspect is commonly known as the Complete Asshole Factor….. This important principle is one that every successful candidate has learned to obey, while every loser in an election could be said to have neglected it, to their everlasting regret….

They’re assholes; they can’t help it. Complete assholes. They chose, years and years ago, to spend their lives pursuing their own selfish desires, to the exclusion of the rights and/or desires of anyone else, and the slimy stench that is produced by constantly spouting off the primary substance that issues from the area in question permeates everything they try to say or do. Often, since they HAVE learned to at least try to disguise it, they appear to be normal, reasonable men, but the smell always manages to come through, giving people the first clue as to the content of their speeches… If it looks like crap, smells like crap, and sounds like crap, it’s probably crap…..

“As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.” — Josh Billings

One might think, given the above, that the prospective political wannabees now touring the nation by bus, so the yokels can get a closer glimpse of them, would use at least a small portion of truth in their campaigns. But, from what I’ve seen so far, they have no intention of ever coming within shouting distance of the truth.

Unless, of course, one counts their statements about healthcare, women’s rights, human rights for LGBT citizens, immigrant rights, and Social Security; all of those are things they’ve promised to eliminate, and I think we can truthfully say they aren’t lying about those intentions. Of course, when asked about any of it in public, they hem and haw, and try to shuffle the question off with a distracting counter-attack of the questioner. so they don’t have to actually give an answer, knowing it would be a lie……

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus (Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon)  — Hogwarts School Motto

I have a feeling that Romney and Ryan have not remembered to take this into account. By their constant lying in public venues, they are actively tickling the dragon of outrage that sleeps in every patriot’s heart. Although this election is seeing a decrease in the number of young folks involved, I believe the actions of these two rogue pundits are becoming intrusive and obnoxious enough to awaken the largest dragon we have; the middle class, of all ages. Their constant stretching and bending of the truth, when they bother to address it at all, is becoming a rock in the shoe of the American people.

They have made statements that are guaranteed to lose the vote of seniors, women, gays and alternative lifestyle citizens, Jews, Muslims, Hispanics, animal rights activists, the poor and homeless; all of them have received notice that they will have no rights at all under the administration they are promising…. and I don’t think those folks are going to sit still for it….

Come November, I think the dragon will awaken, and will turn its dangerous attention to the Republican party’s blatant attempt to send our society back to the middle ages…. Romney and Ryan will learn the last part of the old statement about why one shouldn’t trouble dragons…. because to them, you are crunchy, and good with ketchup…..
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I have tried to live up to Ralph Waldo’s admonition today; all of the material created today is original, outside the attributed quotations. So be it…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

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Layered in pugnacious pyjamas….

Ffolkes,
I’m beginning to think that my habit of writing an average of 1500 words every morning is depleting my store of inspiration; if not, it is at least getting weary, and hiding from me more often. I can’t really blame it, as I’ve asked it to perform miracles almost every day, turning pearls, and what is in my head, into something worth putting down on paper (note: that phrase is rapidly losing all meaning, as computers become more ubiquitous….). That’s a lot of miracles in just about 300 days.

“This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.” — Winnie the Pooh

But, having set myself the goal of posting a Pearl every day (set long ago, and too late now to worry about changing…), I feel duty-bound to make the best effort I can to meet that goal. So, I carry on, in spite of the increasing difficulty. I suppose it has to do with how writing is not for the weak-minded, or for those with no staying power to their will. Since I’m now not a chef, or a psych tech, or an executive assistant, writing is what I do, so I’ve left myself with very little choice but to keep on keepin’ on, as Jerry and the boys would have said….

I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things –
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold –
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!
— William Butler Yeats, “Fergus and the Druid”

What does that mean for this process? Well, nothing really…. but it got me two more paragraphs of semi-literate, if relatively meaningless discussion of a personal problem, and a great pearl from Yeats, and that ain’t nothing…. so, we’ll just use that as a very, very loose segue into today’s dive for pearls…. shall we Pearl, then?…..
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“I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round.” — John Lennon

Men are afraid of women… hence all the jokes about them taking over, over slyly ruling us without us knowing it. Men’s fears of just that thing are what cause him to hate women, because they do not understand them, and fear arises out of lack of understanding. Here are a few examples of such lies, the lies that perpetuate the war between the sexes…..

“My notion of a wife at 40 is that a man should be able to change her, like a bank note, for two twenties.” — Warren Beatty

A lady is one who only shows her underwear intentionally. — Smart Bee

— Yo momma……so fat she has to buy two airline tickets. — Smart Bee

“A beautiful woman is paradise for the eyes, hell for the soul, and purgatory for the purse.” — Smart Bee

“Passionate kiss like spider web, lead to undoing of fly.” — Confucius say (No, he didn’t, but liars don’t care….)

Really, really sexist, misogynistic, and paranoid, yes? Yes….

The mere existence of these jokes, and others like them, indicates clearly what men are afraid of in women, and that is their sexuality. We… well, men, not necessarily we men, because not all of us hate them… No I don’t understand them, but that doesn’t make them any less fascinating or wonderfully different. I am aware of my own self, and my own powers, and they have naught to do with what women can do; I feel no need to compare the two, or to assume one is stronger or better. They are just different, and what is different about women is not to be feared, even if not understood. It is just to be learned, and appreciated, that’s all….and the learning is a totally awesome trip, I assure you….

But, back to the sexuality that men fear. Their fear exists because these men have never learned to understand themselves, or their place in the scheme of things; that makes them unable to understand women, and turns their ignorance to fear, and from thence to hatred and abuse against them.

Men cannot stand the thought that a woman might be more important than him, and that is a certain sign of lack of confidence, and of ignorance.  Men who know their place in life, and who are confident of their own ability to cope with that place and its demands, have no need or desire to be more important than anyone; they are complete within themselves….

Too many men in this world don’t come anywhere close to this kind of self-knowledge; most go through life without exercising more than two neurons at once, and those tend to lose function whenever the blood goes elsewhere than the brain (such as during an erection). Most men are so afraid of women that they spend half their life telling jokes like the above, and spreading the nonsensical lies that perpetuate this atrocity.

Yes, atrocity, because it is this fear and loathing, of both themselves and women, that leads to issues such as domestic abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, and abuse of children. The only women who are actively engaged in these activities are those who have been brainwashed to believe the crap they’ve heard all their lives, and who have given up their own humanity; they are very few in number. Otherwise, it is men who perpetrate these vile actions on women…. all because of their own fear and ignorance…. I say, shame on them, for they are not men, in my world…. They are vicious, irredeemable beasts, and should be put down like the dangerous creatures they are…..

“In the dark colony of night, when I consider man’s magnificent capacity for malice, madness, folly, envy, rage, and destructiveness, and I wonder whether we shall not end up as breakfast for newts and polyps, I seem to hear the muffled cries of all the words in all the books with covers closed.” — Leo Rosten
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“The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.” — Howard Zinn

I would like to take a moment here to acknowledge a very honorable, and brave, act by the President of this country, Barack Obama. Yesterday, in a press conference, the President put the power of his office behind the defense of human rights, by stating that his administration was fully convinced that legislation that denied marriage to gay couples, or to anyone else, was directly in opposition to the Constitution by which we live. He made this a national announcement, and set the stage for what is sure to be a fire-storm of protest from the political and religious factions that have made this issue their rallying cry.

The idea that marriage between people who are not male and female is acceptable is one whose time has obviously arrived. Current polls nationwide have borne out the fact that a large majority of the population agrees with that assessment. But it doesn’t detract from the bravery required to mount that horse at this time, for it had to be known that it would be a decision that would create a lot of noise from those who feel differently.

So, I am, for once, proud of what a President has done; it is something I cannot recall ever happening in the past, at all. Most of the time I am forced to shake my head and hide my face in shame, agreeing fully with the Dixie Chicks when they apologized for Bush to the rest of the world.

Let us all take this time to appreciate how this President has taken the reins of leadership firmly in hand, to direct our country toward a future where human rights are more important than living in fear and ignorance…. Yay, Barry!…. Good Job!

“A commitment to diversity is not a commitment to blacks or gays or any other group. A commitment to diversity is a commitment to respect and value each individual employee (person) for who they are, a commitment to help them become the best they can be by honoring their nature.” — Callan Williams
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OPERA
For centuries now, Opera has been the foremost method of humiliation available to the security forces. It began in the late 1600s, when peasant rebels were made to dress up as ridiculously fat people and get up on wooden planks in front of hundreds of their peers and shout the same things over and over and over, to a musical accompaniment. By the time the French Revolution came rolling along, it was the aristocrats who were forced to the stage to sing, gesticulate wildly and loudly perform plays devised to spread Revolutionary propaganda.  Nowadays, Opera has been driven underground, but is still carried out by the perverse, the deviant, and those with very big tits (both men and women), their audiences made up almost exclusively of establishment figures. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

That’s what I’m talking about! Opera, to me, seems like a perfect example of how a lot of folks get all worked up over something that everyone else says is cool, but really has nothing to justify that opinion. Sure, there is some good music that came out of opera, and a few cool songs (far fewer than any opera buff would have us believe…), but for the most part it is just a bunch of hype that normally smart folks seem to fall for on a regular basis, just because a consensus says they should. It seems to me that anything that anyone does because they ‘should’ gets exactly what they deserve, i.e., twaddle… and a good portion of it.

So, don’t fall for this nonsense folks. Remember, friends don’t let friends go to an opera… unless they’re mad at them….
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Underneath this sable hearse
Lies the subject of all verse,–
Sidney’s sister, Pembroke’s mother.
Death, ere thou hast slain another,
Learn’d and fair and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.
— Ben Jonson (1573-1637) — Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke

And as she looked around, she saw how Death the consoler,
Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it forever.
— Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Evangeline, Part ii

“For good men but see death, the wicked taste it.” — Johnson

“Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead.” — Scottish Proverb

Mankind has always had a fascination with Death, which, I suppose, is natural, considering it is one of the few things in this universe that all of us will experience at the same time in our lives. It is the Great Equalizer, in its finest sense; no one escapes. There are probably more books and treatises on Death, or involving some manifestation of Death, than of any other subject, save perhaps Love, another subject that deeply affects us all.

My writing about it probably enters the realm of superfluousness, but I found these great pearls, so I couldn’t resist…. Besides which, as I move ever closer to my own time to have a face to face with the Reaper, I find myself turning my thoughts to the subject, somewhat morbidly I’m sure….

How each of us faces that particular moment is about as personal as things can be, for we are all ourselves, little as we may understand that phrase, and the things we have learned in our lives are what will determine whether we are able to greet Death with dignity, or pitch a fit of major proportions….

I’m not going to go any further into this at this time, as I’m not so close to my time as all that. But, I will say that I hope that I can approach my own demise with some aplomb; I really hate to make a scene. It’s so embarrassing to wash one’s dirty linen in public, and I hope I have more panache than that…. I guess we’ll see, won’t we…. like we had a choice in the matter….  🙂
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“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.” — H.L. Mencken

Mr. Mencken has put his finger firmly on what I see as wrong in our culture today, to wit: the average person in this country has assumed the “slave” mentality, and has adopted security as their preferred state over that of being free. Far too many of my countrymen, and women, have given up the right to think for themselves, opting instead to let the beloved ruling class decide for them what they may think, and what they may do.

They have given up this right for the illusion of security; I say illusion for the word ‘security’ has no meaning in Reality. One can never be completely secure; it just isn’t possible in a world where there are so many people devoted to taking advantage of one another.

Most folks who allow this degradation of their own liberty don’t realize that they have chosen an illusion. They believe that the people who have promised them security can not only give it to them, but are doing so because they care about what happens to their constituents. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth, for not only are they NOT doing it for their constituents, they are deliberately lying to them to get them to believe it.

The actual danger of being taken advantage of does not come from outside our country, but from those very folks who tell us we need to be secure, rather than free.  The very people who they think are helping them are the ones who are ripping them off with both hands….

“Any body of men who believe in hell will persecute whenever they have the power.” — Joseph M. McCabe (1867-1957)

It’s enough to make a man want to drink… a lot…. At least when I’m stone cold drunk I don’t feel so bad about it. Of course, in that state I don’t feel bad about anything, so it’s obviously not a solution, but it does offer some temporary relief from having to watch it happen. Ah well, so much for the American Dream, eh?…..
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Well, I must say, this has been one of the most interesting, and chaotic Pearls that I’ve ever composed. It seemed to go all over the map as I was writing, taking me from subject to subject willy-nilly, and having a grand time about it. On looking back over it all, it seems to have held together fairly well, so I’m going to go with it once again without trying to make any sense out of why…. 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!

Synchronized tumbling pomegranates at last….

Ffolkes,
Acting normally seems to be a problem for me, which, in itself, is nothing particularly new; I’ve always been considered a bit tetched. It’s a family thing….. But in this case it refers to trying to act normally in a physical sense. Yesterday, being the first day in four that I felt approximately physically normal, (as close as I get these days) I tried to do normal things, such as staying up in the afternoon after my visit to the library.

What I accomplished was to fall asleep at 7:30 pm, practically nodding off in my chair as I tried to listen to a ball game. So, feeling much like a cranky five year old who didn’t get a needed nap, I trundled off to bed before dark, and slept, fitfully but asleep, until a bit before 5 am. I guess I was tired…..

But, the reward is that today I’m again fairly normal, all things considered, so we’ll take our blessings as they occur. Sleep, it has been said, is a weapon, so what say we go slay a few crafty oysters for their pearls, eh? I think that sounds like a grand idea…..
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“Education belongs pre-eminently to the church … neutral or lay schools from which religion is excluded are contrary to the fundamental principles of education.” — Pope Pius XI

I was surprised to see this in print, as it is an idea that I don’t think the Catholic Church really likes to publicize. Pius XI was pope from 1922 to 1939, so this becomes an even more important slip of the tongue. It has long been obvious to me that of all the Christian sects, outside of Fundamentalist zealots, Catholicism is the most oppressive to its constituency, and their assumption of control over those folks begins at a very early age. The earlier the better, in their eyes…. young minds do not have the defenses against crap that one picks up as life goes on, and they priests all know this, being, as they are, perfect examples of how well the system has worked for millenia.

So, as soon as children are able to stand up and speak on their own, they are started in catechism, a deadly form of brainwashing that has been perfected by over 2000 years of practice. Rote memorization of scripture is substituted for logical thought, and children are taught that obedience and submission are preferable to introspection and independence. In other words, they are taught to be good little Catholics, who would accept what a priest told them even if confronted with the proof of it being wrong at the same time. It is a policy that is best shown by the mere fact that millions and millions of Catholics actually believe that a priest is the best authority on love, man/woman relationships, and marriage, when in fact, they have no direct knowledge of any of those subjects……

Fortunately, this idea was rejected by the Founding Fathers of this country, who had had enough of religion meddling in their affairs, and set up our government to keep the two institutions separate…. Thank God!….  🙂   (Yes, that is ironic, or in this case, sardonic…..)  We certainly dodged a bullet that time!…..
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“It is simply untrue that all our institutions are evil, . . . that all politicians are mere opportunists, that all aspects of university life are corrupt.  Having discovered an illness, it’s not terribly useful to prescribe death as a cure.” — George McGovern

Pot, kettle…. George makes an interesting jump in his thoughts here, and it isn’t surprising, as this is a perfect case of using logic like a club rather than a knife, as well as the irony of him, a pot, calling the kettle, politicians, black. I tend to hold suspect any statement by a politician as to the nature of politics and those who indulge in it; it’s just a bit self-serving, don’t you think? He may have a point, though it is moot, mostly, as having any truly invested politicians, even if only 10% of all of them, would act as a brake on the actions of the rest.

I just don’t see either of these. There aren’t 10% of the pundits in office one can point to as an honorable man, or woman, and I see no brake on any of the stupidity in common practice in any public institutions. There certainly are no uncorrupted institutions that I can see in the Federal or State or Local governments; if you know of one, feel free to point it out…. He does mention universities, but I’m not sure exactly where that fits in to his argument, so we’ll just give it its due, and ignore that one….

Then he makes a jump, from politics to medicine, a chancy proposition even with good arguments at hand, and very specious when none are even offered. He assumes (always dangerous) that people will see institutions and politicians as a disease, AND that we, the people, would kill the patient as our first choice of treatment. Sounds almost Freudian, doesn’t it? It is typical of a national politician, such as McGovern was, to completely mistrust the American people; all of them are disdainful of the average American, and wouldn’t trust them to tie their own shoes without a proclamation.  It is not natural for those who are corrupt to respect those from whom they are stealing…..

Now, some might say that he, McGovern, was as close to a truly honest politician as we have seen in recent times. He was the darling of the hippies of the time, as he was one of the few Senators who publicly opposed the Vietnam conflict (though his voting record didn’t reflect that absolutely; trust me, I was there….). He was considered by the counter-culture to be the savior, the answer to Johnson, and Nixon, and the establishment. So, what happened in that election?…. Nixon won in a landslide, showing just how deeply ignorant the voting public was at the time….

“Those who voluntarily put power into the hands of a tyrant or an enemy, must not wonder if it be at last turned against themselves.” — Aesop (620-560 B.C.)

As I mentioned, I was there, and it seemed as if the vote was not so much an endorsement of Nixon and his policies as it was a vote against hippies and the culture they represented, a very frightening vision to the average Joe at that time. Sad, but typical of American politics, which hasn’t made any sense since it began over 200 years ago…. I don’t expect it ever will…. until people learn the following lesson from the Buddha, and learn to think for themselves, rather than just going along with the drivel falling from the mouths of the talking heads….

“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.” — Buddha
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“It matters if you don’t just give up.” — Stephen Hawking

It’s hard to say just how inspiring this is; it is off the scale, if one knows anything about Mr. Hawking. Here is a man who is considered to be the most revered scientist of the latter half of the twentieth century, one who is currently working on a Consolidated Theory of Universal Energy that would tie together all of the abstruse branches of science into one homogeneous grouping, and in the process explain how the universe is put together. If successful, it will be the crowning achievement of human history, and can conceivably bring us to the brink of a new Golden Age. His IQ is so powerful, no test we have devised can measure it….

He is also a man who suffers from severe physical handicaps. His body is small, weak, and unable to move about independently. His systemic problems also make it difficult for him to talk. So, he designed a wheelchair and computer system that allows him complete movement, and enhances his communication with others to the point where he has overcome all of his supposed challenges, and has lived for decades beyond what his doctors ever believed was possible for someone with his physical makeup.

His entire life has been one of meeting, and overcoming, such challenges, so the above statement assumes an entirely different status, becoming not just a valuable practical piece of advice, but a statement of the victory of the human spirit, and a testament to human will…. He is truly humanity’s finest example of what a human being can achieve with the proper attitude toward Life, no matter what challenges may be encountered along the way…..

“Whose little body lodg’d a mighty mind.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Iliad of Homer, Book v, Line 999
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Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once;
And He that might the vantage best have took
Found out the remedy. How would you be,
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are?
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Measure for Measure — Act ii, Sc. 2

More gibberish from a master of same…. Another long winded, obsucure way to say, “Careful, or God’ll get ya!”…. Sorry, but I just get so burnt when I hear people gush about Will all the time, holding him up as the greatest English author of all time. What a crock!….

I guess it goes a long way toward explaining how easy it is for people in general to be fooled by good publicity…. and toward explaining why politicians can get away with such outrageous BS…. all they have to do is quote from one of Will’s nonsensical plays, and everyone sighs, and thinks, “Oh, he is so smart, and so well-educated! Let’s vote him into office, and give him the keys to the treasury….”   Sounds pretty typical to me…..
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“Generally, he who occupies the field of battle first and awaits his enemies is at ease.” — Sun Tzu

Here is an example of the type of information that “The Art of War” is chock full of…. and perfectly shows how the ideas he professed were applicable to all situations in life, not just war. In essence, this says that preparation and timing are the most important factors to a successful conclusion, of a battle, or business, or even love.

When one has completed preparations and is in place to act, success is much more likely than arriving late, and without the proper materials, attitudes, and enthusiasm. Like all true wisdom, it is a simple idea, and relatively simple to execute, if one is disciplined in their thinking, and in translating thought into action…. Simple, but exquisitely effective…. This one is a true Pearl of Real Wisdom, and worthy of the name….
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I love it when a plan comes together…. Some sleep, acceptable levels of pain, good coffee, and some cooperation from Smart Bee, and voilá, a Pearl! Not a bad one, either…. Now I’m not sure what to do the rest of the morning, as I got done with this pretty quickly compared to many mornings. Ah well, since things have progressed so well thus far, I suppose it is best to just trust them to continue in that vein, and get on with the rest of the day. 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!

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?….
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“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
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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…..
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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….
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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
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“[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…..
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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!