Flood on the wax….

Ffolkes,

“I have always had the ability to attach my demons to my chariot.”

~~ Ingmar Bergman ~~

ru-done

Are you done?….

Hajime…. Personally, I think Ingmar’s assertion shows a lot of perspicacity, if she’s not pulling any legs. Myself, I’m still working on getting my demons to stand still long enough to talk to; hitching them up to my chariot may take a bit longer. I’m thinking, even when I manage it, they may still require a bit of training, to keep them amenable to the reins & traces they’ll need to wear; they get a bit rambunctious, as might be expected of demons, I suppose. Go figure….

Today’s Pearl is pretty special, for me. I remembered one of my favorite bands to use for music, finished a poem that’s been percolating for a long time, and began a rantish discussion of Reality and Life that is looking promising. It isn’t quite ready for consumption, but, it’s heartening to be able to sit long enough to actually get some more complex thoughts & arguments typed up…. The old-school Pearl, all by itself, is a masterpiece of the genre, if I do say so myself; I’m rather content with all of it, as a matter of fact.

As you can see from our opening picture today, Leelu is pretty cross-eyed; she is also sitting right where you see her, now, staring holes through me, to remind me it’s time for her morning session in the cat hammock (me…). Since we have a finished product, I’ll oblige her, while y’all move your way down the page. I’ll see y’all in the closing section…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“‘Truth’ never set anyone free.
It is only *doubt* which will bring mental emancipation.”

~~ Anton La Vey ~~

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wilburys

Image from travelingwilburys.com via Google Images

In the late 1980’s a group of iconic rock & roll mega-stars got the urge to play together, forming a band, cutting an album, and traveling on tour together for a year or two, exploring each other’s music, and generally, from all available evidence, having a great time making music together. Still considered one of the all-around best bands that ever played together, (and, with those players, how else?…) I give you Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, and Jeff Lynne… The Traveling Wilburys….

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Traveling Wilburys

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Comedy_Tragedy

Some unremembered number of days ago, after posting the Daily Pearl, I read over the initial paragraph, which I’d written, off the cuff, to begin the introduction. Upon re-reading it later, I noted the paragraph in prose was a poem. Since the two best poems I’ve ever written happened just the same way, I give you the edited/expanded version here, with which I am relatively content…. Enjoy, please…

Unconscious prophecy…

In the semblance of Time described below,
Circumstance plays its part.
Though Fate has its say,
only the most elemental of emotional responses
could conceivably hold sway before the throne of Reason.

As the light of Illumination grows stronger,
Fear retreats, hidden in shadowed halls behind the stairs,
while Serenity fills hearts and minds.
Gladly, the people sleep, unwary, unaware,
t’will be long before they wake….

Dreams, unnaturally natural, gently haunt slumber,
of course; how else to wander from various to sundry?
Angelic demons vie, posing as professional guides,
while demonic angels simply watch, impassively laughing.
Eternity, of a sudden, seems to yawn.

Twice now, Forever has come, gone; ah, look!
It came back, a bit bedraggled, to be sure.
(A little whiny, too…)
Perhaps, shifting reality into dreams is not such
a bad idea, after all.

If Time stops, how will you know?

~~ gigoid ~~

12/12/2016

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

All is not as it may seem….

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“All gold is fool’s gold.”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

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“In a museum in Havana,
there are two skulls of Christopher Columbus,
one when he was a boy and one when he was a man.”

~~ Mark Twain ~~

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“Didn’t I buy a 1951 Packard from you last March in Cairo?”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

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“What’s the most popular order at the Zen hot dog stand?
Make me One With Everything!”

~~ Laughing Buddha Bee ~~

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“It is convenient that there be gods,
and, as it is convenient, let us believe there are.”

~~ Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid) ~~

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“His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools:
the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans
– and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase,
‘You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him,
and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink.'”

~~ Terry Pratchett, ‘Small Gods’ ~~

*******

“Frivolity is important.
Frivolity is the species refusal to suffer.”

~~ John Lahr ~~

*******

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In the infamous words of the executioner of the Tower, whose services we employed to kill the latter half-hour, “very well, then. All done now…..” Okay, so, maybe that wasn’t what he said; sue me. It’s a perfectly appropriate phrase with which to end a rather fine Pearl, and nobody got seriously injured, so, it’s going to have to do. I guess this closing effort isn’t quite up to the rest of today’s mess, but, it’s now finished, so, we’ll apply a smidgen of modern expedience, & call it a day. It will be tough, but, I’ll do this again, and be back tomorrow to share the results, come what may. See y’all then, ffolkes; I don’t have any choice in the matter….

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

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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Platypae are indefatigable….

Ffolkes,

“He who possesses most must be most afraid of loss.”

~~ Leonardo Da Vinci ~~

leeloo 1 022

Practicing dignity at an early age….


Hajime…. Having engaged last night in an epic battle for sleep, (which I fought to a draw), I greet the new day with some anticipation, if only for the passing of the night. A small bonus; it’s St. Paddy’s Day, a day when every Irishman in the world goes out to find another Irishman to make a speech to, while pulling at a Guinness or five. It’s also said an Irishman is the only man alive who will step over ten women to get a bottle of stout, but, then I never did believe that one. I am, after all, part Irish, and I hate stout….

I see I’ve managed to lose my way with my usual efficiency in such matters. ‘Tis of little consequence today; I’m late, I’m tired, I hurt, and the day stretches out ahead of me with a promise of more. C’est la vie, as they say in Burgundy and the Cote du Rhone, which are across the channel from Cork/Cobh, hiding behind the Isle of Guernsey. Well, I guess the Cote du Rhone is also on the other side of France, but, hey, I’m talking mostly to Americans, who are famous for NOT knowing any geography. And, now, I’ve managed to insult my own audience…. SIGH…. Today, that’s a big, West Counties sigh, complete with huge indrawn breath, and a sad expression of sympathy.

Such dramatic expression is handy, as well; for example, it got me this much further down the page without much effort, with the possibility of leading us in yet another direction. Since to do so would be to lose our way even more so than we already have, I think we should pass on that, and go directly on to the oyster beds, before I completely lose my way. It shouldn’t take long, as Luigi decided to start his St. Paddy’s Day binge a bit early, like yesterday, and Guido had to be called in to get us on our way. I guess we should probably do something about Luigi; he’s getting a bit unreliable…. Ah, well, that’s for later…. For now….

Shall we Pearl?

“I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties
through my love for truth – and truth rewarded me.”

~~ Simone de Beauvoir ~~


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Riverdance-Cloudsong-Photographer-Jack-Hartin

Riverdance

Image from thriftynorthwestmom.com via Google Images


Here is my celebration for Saint Patrick’s Day. I’ve seen this company’s show three times now; it gets better every year, and that is saying something. For your enjoyment, here is a full show, well worth it just for the music; the dance and joy is a bonus…. Enjoy!….

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Riverdance

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Sandclock .jpg

    Given my battle during the night, you probably knew we were going to the archives today…. I’ll try to keep it light….

From 2/9/2014:

“The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just keep your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.” — Frank Zappa Playboy Interview, April 1993

Hmm…. Frank’s take on matters are such that I generally find myself in complete agreement with what he says. Here, he has again put his finger on one of the more obvious facets of Christianity, one that defies all logical explanation in lieu of subservient belief, to wit: faith vs. knowledge, and the Christian’s unfortunate tendency to embrace the former, without any appeal to the latter….. To my way of thinking, that is not only foolish, but cowardly….. but, perhaps, that’s just me….

The fruit of the tree of knowledge gives mankind the go-ahead to use the brain with which we were furnished at birth; the preachers would have us abrogate that use, having us, instead, give over all our power of belief into the hands of the faithful, who, naturally, have only our best interests at heart….. Sure they do…. NOT. I’m sorry, but, no matter how many times these folks say so, I am not going to accept that they know better than I what is best for me…. Nope, not even if there were twenty Bibles out there, all proclaiming how true they are…. Oh wait, there are twenty of them, aren’t there?…. Oh, well, you know what I meant….

Why do people fall for this? I cannot understand how people, who are normally reasonably intelligent, will, by conscious choice, bury their heads in the sand to buy into this, without ever taking even one moment to examine any of it for truth, or even logical assumption. Is there some kind of mind-control drug in that incense? Maybe in the sacramental wine…. Whatever it is, it turns normally competent, intelligent people into mindless slaves, and does so with their complete agreement and approval….. To my mind, it is one of history’s saddest, most incomprehensible features, when I look at just how easily people fall for such egregious, and so obviously self-serving idiocy, as most of the dogmatic proclamations of the major religions tend to offer up.

“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman

I am compelled to add, “Me, too!” to this sentiment…. In the recent past, I’ve been taking a lot of shots at religions, and need to make clear that I do not hate Christians, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or the followers of any religion. I think they are being silly, deliberately and evilly so, at worst, or at best, misguidedly so, but I don’t hate, or fear them, as is the case on their part whenever they consider me, or my criticisms of their beliefs. I don’t hold that against them, either, as it is logically consistent for them to do so, given the limitations of their dogmatic position. Since, however, the fervor with which they will often defend their position can reach a rather fevered pitch, I tend to treat many of them like a stinging insect, so I will move, and speak, slowly and carefully, so as not to frighten them more than they already are….

Ethical and moral behavior is not confined to those who follow the precepts of one religion or another, despite what any of the proponents of those religions will try to tell you.  In fact, if you look closely, the number of folks who are believers have a much higher percentage of failure in that area than do the non-believers, which only makes sense…. The believers all have a sense of entitlement that gives them the idea that the rules of behavior don’t always apply to them, in terms of how they treat people who are not of the same faith, so, to those who are not of their own sect, they don’t bother being truthful, or honest, or ethical, as those people don’t count, in their eyes. People who make their own moral codes tend to follow them, and are much more tolerant of those who do not share their beliefs.

Basic human nature dictates these responses in people; thus, one can see how dangerous it is to remain ignorant, in the Biblical sense. Those who choose to buy into the myth of the Garden of Eden, giving up all their personal independence of mind for the comfort and safety of dogma, will always fail to act according to their own morality much of the time, generally acting, instead, out of their sense of entitlement, and the belief that all of their sins will be forgiven, merely by the act of confessing them. Only those who consciously choose their moral code have the courage to act it out, it seems, except for those few people who actually try to live according to the morality that is espoused, and is seldom embraced by their less ethical peers.

Having the strength of mind to make one’s own moral code also implies the courage to act it out…. This is why I choose to deny the dogma I’ve been exposed to all my life, as being illogical, and, ultimately, immoral…. It makes more sense to me to make my own decisions on such matters, and tell the busybodies who assume they know best for all to go jump in a lake…. Even better, just shut the hell up, and get out of the way, so the rest of us can get something relevant done, without having to put up with all the nonsense from that quarter….

“What is a church? Our honest sexton tells, ‘Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.” — Crabbe

Note from 2014: Since the validity of the above remains strong, I leave you with the following pearl, to finish off this discussion with the proper tone of accusation, and indictment, of those guilty of this sort of crime against humanity….

“The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is that the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance.” — Eric Hoffer

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Comedy_Tragedy

Finisterre

This was the land’s end: the last fingers, knuckled and rheumatic,
Cramped on nothing. Black
Admonitory cliffs, and the sea exploding
With no bottom, or anything on the other side of it,
Whitened by the faces of the drowned.
Now it is only gloomy, a dump of rocks —-
Leftover soldiers from old, messy wars.
The sea cannons into their ear, but they don’t budge.
Other rocks hide their grudges under the water.

The cliffs are edged with trefoils, stars and bells
Such as fingers might embroider, close to death,
Almost too small for the mists to bother with.
The mists are part of the ancient paraphernalia —-
Souls, rolled in the doom-noise of the sea.
They bruise the rocks out of existence, then resurrect them.
They go up without hope, like sighs.
I walk among them, and they stuff my mouth with cotton.
When they free me, I am beaded with tears.

Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is striding toward the horizon,
Her marble skirts blown back in two pink wings.
A marble sailor kneels at her foot distractedly, and at his foot
A peasant woman in black
Is praying to the monument of the sailor praying.
Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is three times life size,
Her lips sweet with divinity.
She does not hear what the sailor or the peasant is saying —-
She is in love with the beautiful formlessness of the sea.

Gull-colored laces flap in the sea drafts
Beside the postcard stalls.
The peasants anchor them with conches. One is told:
“These are the pretty trinkets the sea hides,
Little shells made up into necklaces and toy ladies.
They do not come from the Bay of the Dead down there,
But from another place, tropical and blue,
We have never been to.
These are our crêpes. Eat them before they blow cold.”

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~


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pearls_3

    Our final pearl today is an eclectic, slightly humorous random, harlequin version of an old-school pearl. I hope you enjoy it, for it is one of my better efforts in a while….

The lake rises above the trees:
The image of Preponderance of the Great.
Thus the superior man, when he stands alone,
Is unconcerned,
And if he has to renounce the world,
He is undaunted.

~~ I Ching ~


“It really doesn’t matter if you’re the prey or the predator, if you want to live to see the sunset, you’ve got to start the day running.” — Realist Bee

“Are we THERE yet?” — Zippy the Pinhead

“Brains first and then Hard Work.” — Eeyore, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

“A life lived in fear is only half lived.” — Spanish proverb

“You can observe a lot just by watchin’.” — Yogi Berra

“The best way out is always through.” — Robert Frost

“If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.” — The Cowboy’s Guide to Life

“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself
(I am large, I contain multitudes).”

~~ Walt Whitman, Song of Myself ~~


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Well, it’s done, in spite of some severe demands for attention from our resident familiar, who, for some reason, seems to think today is HER day. Maybe she’s Irish, mixed in with the very apparent Siamese; must be the Calico in her. At any rate, it’s done, and pretty damn fresh, aside from the rant and the poem, which speak for themselves. I’m going to take this opportunity to take my leave, as it were, so, I’ll leave you with my usual caveat, to wit: See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…. Consider it a matter of submitting to the inevitable….

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

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Post-apocalyptic sticky buns for sale or mutilation….

Ffolkes,

“Hey, pal…”
“Yeah?”
“Got a match?”
“My butt, your face….”

Okay, so, this little furry, black alarm clock came stealing into our room this morning, loudly voicing its misguided insistence on company at 0430 in the morning, enforcing its tiny will with sharp claws to the mattress…. Since I was ready to get up, anyway, I let it have its way, to keep from awakening my partner, thus minimizing the damage to the furniture at the same time….

She (the cat…) has only begun this behavior in the last few days, having apparently taken this long, (four months since we moved in here…) to figure out my morning routine…. Or, she finally connected it in her head, to the coffee machine, which goes off at the same time each day, followed shortly by my ascent into the day….

Cats are funny about routines…. Once they are established in one, they do NOT like to have them change, either all of a sudden, or over time….. Any and all attempts to alter the routine are generally met with their full range of displeasure signs, including loud howling, pacing, scratching furniture, tail-whipping, and, the ultimate sign of anger from a cat, using your shoes as a litter box….

Of course, this doesn’t include the other worst type of cat reaction…. some of them are the nervous type, and a change in their environment, minor or major, will cause them to toss their cookies, in the most annoying and inconvenient places, such as behind your dresser, or under the bed….

Any who, since I was up, I went ahead and started this Pearl, with the nice little gift of a subject for the intro, provided most kindly by my small psycho kitty….. Now that I’m this far in, though, I’m wondering just how this is working…. Damn me, and my insistence on quality…. If I could get over trying to be “good” it would go a lot faster, and easier, that’s for sure…. Oh well, giving up is out of the question, given my father, and how I was raised, so, I may as well find something more amenable to complain about…. Perhaps the weather?…. No, that’s too crazy now, what with global warming playing its part….

I suppose I could go for some humor, but, it may too late for anything to save this…. Hell, I even started off today with a bit of mild, old humor (Very, very old…. I first heard this one BEFORE high school, though by the time I was IN high school, it was considered the highest form of humor…. especially if it could be scored off someone….), as sort of a visual, and mental, distraction, hoping to set the tone right away…. That seems to have worked alright… it’s the rest of it I’m not so sure about…. I suppose, though, now that it’s all done, there’s nothing more to be done about it…. not without starting over, and it’s far too late for that….

No, we’ll just have to take this in the manner in which we find it, and get on with our day the best we can….. Shall we Pearl?….

“Aha!  Pronoun trouble!” — Daffy Duck
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http://news.yahoo.com/video/nsa-code-breaker-090826676.html

“The National Security Agency is building a computer capable of breaking encryptions used to protect medical, banking, business and government records around the world. ”

Doesn’t this just make you proud? Does it make you happy, all tingly with excited pleasure, that your government, with the tacit, if not overt, approval of the public, is now trying to totally eliminate all privacy from the world, (in a race with the other governments, of course….), to make it impossible for anyone to hide from them anything they feel entitled to know about anyone….

Other governments, of course, are now trying to do the same, so, what they have created, with their unbridled, unchecked fanaticism based on paranoia, is a world-wide effort to find two things…. a way to encrypt data so it CAN’T be broken, and a machine that CAN break any encryption…. Once we have those, boy, think of all the neat stuff we can find out!…..

Oh, wait, we don’t want them to find out that stuff, do we…. No, no we don’t, because they don’t have any idea what it means, beyond their own small, paranoid interpretations…. We are talking, of course, of the Asininnies, those idiots who WANT the world to be insane, so that it fits their own perverted vision of how things are, as long as it meets all of THEIR needs, and the hell with anyone else…. These fools are out of control, ffolkes, and we need to rein them in, quickly, or they’re going to get the idea they can do this kind of stuff whenever they want….

In fact, it just might be time to get pissed off, and begin the process of dumping them altogether, in a way that ensures they won’t return to cause more trouble…. Yes, I’m suggesting it is time for the Second American Revolution, ffolkes…. I, for one, am very tired of hearing about shit like this, where the Powers That Be are acting out their fantasies on the real world, with the rest of us are paying the price….

The planet is on the verge of killing us, as the only viable way to stop our nonsensical, insane pollution of the atmosphere, a process our species developed and began years ago, with no regard for any of the other creatures who share this world with us…. We, as a species, are showing all the signs of advanced mental illness, and in these cases, there is no other certain cure, but death….

I’m ready when anyone else is, to take away the reins of power from those who want it, and start putting it in the hands of those who are the most qualified…. I’m thinking, the first requirement for being elected ought to be that the person doesn’t WANT the job, but, will do so if elected…. We can provide incentive by telling them they can get out early if they do a good job…. (Thanks to Arthur C. Clarke for the idea…) Only then will we begin to see government by those who are capable of governing with intelligence, and compassion, rather than ambition and fear…..

There are a number of videos on the page link shown above, many of which cover different aspects of this particular issue, so it might be a good way to see just how far these assholes have gone in their quest to become the world’s information pirates, to effectively corner the entire market for their own purposes…..

As an American, I am not just ashamed of my government, but appalled by their sheer selfishness and paranoid entitlement…. Fuck them, and the damn white horses they THINK they rode in on!….. It’s time we, as Americans, stood up and actually acted like free men, rather than the pale imitation of formerly free men that now inhabit this land…

“Do you know Presidents talk to the country the way men talk to women?  They say, Trust me, go all the way with me, and everything will be all right.    And what happens?  Nine months later, you’re in trouble!” — Murphy’s Discovery

Hmph! These days, in light of the state of global warming, and the erosion of the air we breathe, the gestation period is down to just a few weeks or months, and, most likely, not even nine of them, once the process of melting permafrost is firmly established….

We are literally looking at a matter of a few MONTHS until we can no longer breathe, if certain scientific scenarios are correct…. I can only hope that, this time, out of all the times they have been right, they might be wrong…. We may then have one last chance to throw out the assholes, and begin to save our sorry little asses from our own stupidity…..
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Back in my school days, we read a few of this woman’s poems, in English classes, but, beyond that, I never really looked into her work…. until recently, when I came across a fragment from one of her poems, in Smart Bee, and it sent me off to find more from her pen…. I’m really glad I went to look for more, for she is indeed a wonderful poet, worthy of all the fame she has enjoyed for the past two centuries…. Here is one that illustrates that quite well…. Short, to the point, and just plain brilliant….

Although they are

Although they are
only breath, words
which I command
are immortal

~~ Sappho ~~


One just isn’t quite enough, is it? Here is another, to soothe the urge for more….

He is more than a hero

He is more than a hero
he is a god in my eyes–
the man who is allowed
to sit beside you — he

who listens intimately
to the sweet murmur of
your voice, the enticing

laughter that makes my own
heart beat fast. If I meet
you suddenly, I can’t

speak — my tongue is broken;
a thin flame runs under
my skin; seeing nothing,

hearing only my own ears
drumming, I drip with sweat;
trembling shakes my body

and I turn paler than
dry grass. At such times
death isn’t far from me

~~ Sappho ~~

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The rant above, while somewhat mild in its execution (no blood involved being the main requirement to achieve “mild” status….), does fulfill my daily obligation, at least from a technical standpoint…. In this section, I’m going to go a little off wire, combining an old-school pearl with a previously written religirant…. Together, I think, they form a quite nice little scalpel-like instrument with which to poke at the Priestly Hierarchies, those Asininnies responsible for a great deal of the misery in this world….. Boy, I get so mad, when I stop to think about where Mankind COULD HAVE BEEN, had we not been handicapped by these assholes and their personal delusions of adequacy….

That being said, I offer the following five-star pearl, with a side of religirant from very early last year…. post election, pre-outing of the NSA…. The old-school section is quite sharp, so use care when handling….

“…this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” — John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1816

“I would not attack the faith of a heathen without being sure I had a better one to put in its place.” — Harriet Beecher Stowe
(Such arrogance and ignorance, in one phrase! Enough to fill the world!….)

“The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages–as if the savages weren’t dangerous enough already.” — Edward Abbey

“…and so — for weeks after — you won’t be able to swing a dead CAT in Jerusalem without hitting someone descended from the house of David… anointed by a close relative… riding into town on a donkey.” — The tantalizing tail end of the Judge’s soliloquy, from CEREBUS

“If a ferret bites you it is nearly always your own fault.” — Phil Drabble

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From 2/13/13:

“The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just keep your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.” — Frank Zappa Playboy Interview, April 1993

Hmm…. Frank’s take on matters are such that I generally find myself in complete agreement with what he says. Here, he has again put his finger on one of the more obvious facets of Christianity, one that defies all logical explanation in lieu of subservient belief, to wit: faith vs. knowledge, and the Christian’s unfortunate tendency to embrace the former, without any appeal to the latter…. To my way of thinking, that is not only foolish, but cowardly…. but, perhaps, that’s just me….

The fruit of the tree of knowledge gives mankind the go-ahead, to use the brain with which we were furnished at birth…. The preachers would have us abrogate that use, having us, instead, give over all our power of belief into the hands of the faithful, who, naturally, have only our best interests at heart…. Sure they do…. NOT…. I’m sorry, but, no matter how many times these folks say so, I am not going to accept that they know better than I what is best for me…. Nope, not even if there were twenty different Bibles out there, all proclaiming how true they are…. Oh wait, there are twenty of them, aren’t there?…. Oh, well, you know what I meant….

Why do people fall for this? I cannot understand how people, who are normally reasonably intelligent, will, by conscious choice, bury their heads in the sand to buy into this, without ever taking even one moment to examine any of it for truth, or even logical assumption. Is there some kind of mind-control drug in that incense? Maybe it’s something in the sacramental wine….

Whatever it is, it turns normally competent, intelligent people into mindless slaves, and does so with their complete agreement and approval…. To my mind, it is one of history’s saddest, most incomprehensible features, when I look at just how easily people fall for such egregious, and so obviously self-serving propaganda, as most of the dogmatic proclamations of the major religions tend to offer up.

“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman

I am compelled to add, “Me, too!” to this sentiment…. In the recent past, I’ve been taking a lot of shots at religions, and need to make clear that I do not hate Christians, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or the followers of any religion. I think they are being silly, deliberately and evilly so, at worst, or at best, misguided, but I don’t hate, or fear them, as is the case on their part whenever they consider me, or my criticisms of their beliefs.

I don’t hold that against them, either, as it is logically consistent for them to do so, given the limitations of their dogmatic position. Since, however, the fervor with which they will often defend their position can reach a rather fevered pitch, I tend to treat many of them like a stinging insect; I move, and speak, slowly and carefully, so as not to frighten them more than they already are….

Ethical and moral behavior is not confined to those who follow the precepts of one religion or another, despite what any of the proponents of those religions will try to tell you.  In fact, if you look closely, the number of folks who are believers have a much higher percentage of failure in that regard than do the non-believers, which only makes sense….

The believers all have a sense of entitlement that gives them the idea that the rules of behavior don’t always apply to them, in terms of how they treat people who are not of the same faith, so, to those who are not of their own sect, they don’t bother being truthful, or honest, or ethical, as those people don’t count, in their eyes. People who make their own moral codes tend to follow them, and are much more tolerant of those who do not share their beliefs.

Basic human nature dictates these responses in people, so one can see how dangerous it is to remain ignorant, in the Biblical sense. Those who choose to buy into the myth of the Garden of Eden, giving up all their personal independence of mind for the comfort and safety of dogma, will fail to act according to their own morality much of the time, out of their sense of entitlement, and the belief that all of their sins will be forgiven, merely by the act of confessing them. Only those who consciously choose their moral code have the courage to act it out, it seems, except for those few people who actually try to live according to the morality that is espoused, but seldom embraced, by their less ethical peers.

Having the strength of mind to make one’s own moral code implies the courage to act it out…. This is why I choose to deny the dogma I’ve been exposed to all my life, as being illogical, and, ultimately, immoral…. It makes more sense to me to make my own decisions on such matters, and tell the busybodies, who assume they know best for all, to go jump in a lake…. Even better, just shut the hell up, and get out of the way, so the rest of us can get something relevant done, without having to put up with all the nonsense from that quarter….

“What is a church? Our honest sexton tells, ‘Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.” — Crabbe
_____________________________

Well, there you have it…. another Pearl, in a long series of such…. such as they are….. I have no regrets, nor do I fear retribution or angst; all I fear is indifference, and ignorance, which often go hand in hand…. Lest we join those ranks unknowingly, I’m outta here…. 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

Initial ethical alignments are in progress….

    Ffolkes,

I made a small tactical error this morning…. Before I started to write this, I read an email, and took a few moments to consider what it had to say….. It was yet another unwelcome begging letter from Organizing for Action, the grassroots fund raising organization formed after Obama’s second election victory… This organization sends me at least two emails every day, each with another call to action, based on whatever political dust-up is currently on tap, followed by a request for money. The calls to action lately relate mostly to the news of what is happening in Congress regarding the current budget mess….. Each email tells me how critical it is that I send them money, or the big, bad Republicans, who have already raised more money than we have (“we” being the good guys, the White House myrmidons as opposed to the Republican myrmidons….), will shut down the government…

I’m torn at the prospect of seeing the massive bureaucracy we call our government grind to a halt; if nothing else the NOISE that is generated is offensive, consisting as it does of the cries of innocent victims, the cacophony of outraged citizens, the outlandish accusations and blame-throwing by both political parties, and the wails of frustration from ffolkes like you and me, who cannot comprehend the depths of ignorance that are being displayed on a daily basis in Washington D.C….. However, on the other hand, as Will Rogers said, the people never suffer so much as when Congress is in session, so, having the whole ball of wax inactive could conceivably do some extensive good, just by not doing anything….

My mistake, as you can see, was allowing the email’s content to get under my skin…. Here we are, government shut down, everything in society at sixes and sevens, and the best they can come up with is, send us $5, so we can fight back?…. What a crock! How stupid do they think people are? Obviously, pretty stupid, as they just continue with their begging, no matter what is going on, or how much they’ve collected…. I guess, for every million emails they send out, they probably have a couple thousand assholes who would send money to Mars, if the politicians asked them to, so they just keep sending them out, relying on the power of statistical percentages to keep the money flowing into their coffers…..

This whole situation is one that brings me to a point where my only reaction is “So? They’re screwing us again? So, what else is new?” I am not only outraged, frustrated, and sad at the ignorance and sheer idiocy currently on display in Washington, I am becoming bored with it…. The same old bullshit, not even dressed in new clothes, keeps falling at our feet, disgorged on a daily basis by people who seem to be congenital liars, thieves, and just plain assholes, ‘scuse my French, which I’m allowed to say because their actions indicate nothing else…. As I said…. BOORRRING…..

We are hearing the same old story, told at the same old stand, by the same old shameless people, insulting us with the same old lies…. I’d be angry, but, it’s more depressing than it is enraging, because of the simple fact that most people in this country not only don’t know they’re being lied to, but, when it is pointed out to them, they try to rationalize, rather than reject…. Rather than admit they have been in error, they’d rather try to justify being wrong, and refuse to change….

It’s saddening, and maddening, to see the LACK of intelligence and independence of spirit that once characterized this country and its people… The American public has turned into a massive crowd of willing slaves to their corporate masters, proud of their ignorance, filled with a false sense of both their own worth, and their entitlement to rights and privileges not earned.

Hmm… I see that I’ve again usurped the intro section to vent… If I have any hope of completing this Pearl by the usual time, I’d better get on with it…. Just consider this your starting point, and I’ll dive in here to begin the search for some outsourced wisdom for us to consider this morning….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“If you are beginning to doubt what I am saying, you are probably hallucinating.” — The Firesign Theater, _Everything you know is Wrong_
_____________________________

“It does no harm just once in a while to acknowledge that the whole country isn’t in flames, that there are people in the country besides politicians, entertainers, and criminals.” — Charles Kuralt

Mr. Kuralt, while correct in his statement, mostly, forgets to include one stupidly large, important group connected to the groups he mentions above, to wit: the huge number of IDIOTS among the unwashed masses who support the politicians, admire the celebrities, and regard the criminals as just another form of entertainment, unless it touches on them directly. It is a disturbing thought to realize the number of people who believe that politicians are honest, who think celebrities are role models, and who regard TV as the closest approach to reality they intend to tolerate…..

In part, he IS right, though…. There ARE people who don’t hurt others as their basic modus operandi…. There are people who don’t vote for thieving assholes (Though that’s a tough one to avoid, given that practically everyone who runs for office falls into that category…. I guess I mean that a lot of people vote for someone on the ballot, without fully realizing they are being lied to…. Mostly, I think they have suspicions, but vote anyway, because they can’t imagine any alternatives….)

Society does not consist solely of those who monopolize the news every day; it is simply the case that those people don’t fit into one of those categories that make compelling news stories, so they aren’t ever written up like those who lie, cheat, and steal, whether that criminality is expressed in Washington D.C. in an office building, in a sound studio, or on the mean streets… Actors end up in this group because they show the unwashed masses what the politicians and criminals are up to in stories and films….

“You could drop a leaflet or a Hubbard squash on the head of a person in any land, and you would almost certainly hit a brain that was whirling in small, conventional circles.” — E. B. White

Hence, due to what sells the best, those three groups end up on the news, in theaters, and on our TV’s, phones, and computers, all day and night, with all the bells and whistles they can figure out how to hang on them…. Since that is all there is to see, it is easy to start to believe that these are all there is, and the world is nothing more than one big illusionary collection of people and events that has no direction, other than straight to Hell in a Hummer….

Yes, there ARE other people in this country other than those three groups…. but, they aren’t making the news, are they? They’re watching it, and, sadly, mostly keeping their mouths shut…. which is pretty much why Hell is only a few miles away now…..

“Democracy is based on the assumption that a million men are wiser than one  man. How’s that again?  I missed something.” — Robert A. Heinlein

This will be a short rant, since I count it as merely a continuation of the first section; it’s a slight change of subject, but, not much, if one looks closely…. Besides the entertainment value of ranting, for me, it’s also my indictment of the very people who are dominating today’s headlines, so, I’m good with however it comes out, to be honest…. I’m disgusted, and disappointed, and a large number of other adjectives that indicate similar feelings, directed at the ‘assholes on parade’ we’re forced to watch… So disgusted, I am going to stop here, because it’s just making me crazy, and want to break things….

“In a cruel and evil world, being cynical can allow you to get some entertainment out of it.” — Daniel Waters, screenwriter of HEATHERS
_____________________________

For me, poetry has as much, or more, power to take my mind away as does the best prose, or the best films, and runs a parallel course with the words of someone I love, in how strongly I can be affected in my emotions….. In that light, my favorite poets are favored, not because of how popular or famous they are, but because of how I feel when I read them… From this poet, I always find both the power of elegance and beauty, and hope for the spirit we entail as humans….

As Once the Winged Energy of Delight

As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood’s dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.

Wonders happen if we can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.

To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not too hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.

Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions…For the god
wants to know himself in you.

~~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~~

_____________________________

What you will find below is a Classic pearl… It chose itself, which is the primary characteristic that sets this type apart; when I furnish the parameters for inclusion, the outcome is of a different nature. For some reason, probably having to do with magic, or something, this kind always comes out stronger, and stranger, and more beautiful in execution of the humorous parts, if not always more elegantly attractive due to the identifiable sources involved….

If any of that is comprehensible to you, I think you could consider yourself to be a regular…. It’s clear that you have a “different” sort of mind, for which logic and compassion dictate that one suggest, it possibly would be smart to make an appointment with your psychiatrist, should you have one…. If you don’t, I’m bound to remind y’all, the law requires you to engage one, if you spend more than the recommended amount of time pearling; you can get around that requirement by keeping your certificate of sanity at hand, as provided to you at birth, and again at your graduation from high school….. That IS what they gave us, right?…. I lost the one I got at birth, but, I just thought they gave me a new on at the commencement exercises in 1968…. Oh, well, no es importante, si?…

Just so it’s all clear… If it doesn’t say who said it, I found it in Smart Bee without any attribution….. and Google didn’t know either…. or possibly, it didn’t care…..

“It’s so clean. It’s certainly uncontaminated by cheese.”

“My main reason for adopting literature as a profession was that, as the author is never seen by his clients, he need not dress respectably.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

“Some professors asked a monk to lecture to them on  spiritual matters. The monk ascended a podium, struck it once  with his stick, and descended. The academics were dumbfounded.  The monk asked them, “Do you understand what I have told you?”  One professor said, “I do not understand.” The monk said, “I have concluded my lecture.”

“A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.” — Thomas Paine [Author of the Declaration of Independence and even more, but no politician.]

“Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious.” — Brendan Gill

“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman

NLTDB  🙂  🙂  :-):   Nothin’ Left To Do But Smile, Smile, Smile.
_____________________________

“Okay,” he said, self-consciously, “not bad.” Small cough…. “Not bad at all….” Larger cough…. “I wonder if anyone will read it?”, was his next plaintive question, so I kicked him out of my head…. But, after I caught my breath from coughing, I realized that, yes, it wasn’t bad at all, so, I can quit now, which is probably for the best, for all of us…. See ya 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

dozer3

“Mea culpa” he said, in a dismal voice, “Mea culpa maxima….”

Ffolkes,

I’d like to begin this morning with an apology, of sorts. In the last few weeks, even before going to Alaska, my time spent reading the blogs I like to read and follow has been severely limited, a fact that has probably been quite obvious by the lack of comments made. Usually, when I can spend the time to read, I will also comment, since, as is patently obvious from reading this blog, I can seldom shut myself up….. Of late, though, I’ve been having a hard time sitting at the computer for long periods, due to my back pain, with its new companion, hip ache, and have ended up sacrificing my time spent reading as a result…..

This doesn’t mean I don’t read, as I am as addicted to reading as I am to breathing; it just means I’m not doing it at the computer as much. As a result, the number of ffolkes who stop by to read this blog has also fallen off a bit, though the number of followers seems to keep growing. As it has been since beginning to write here on WordPress, a good percentage of readers come to read according to how much one time one spends on other blogs, making their presence known by either “Likes” or comments…. If they don’t see you at their blog, they don’t stop by yours, and it is perfectly understandable, given the platform we all use…. Time is, after all, our only resource….

There are about 12 to 24 people, apparently, who come by here practically every day to check out what I’ve done, and to them, I offer my heartfelt gratitude, for always letting me know they appreciate what I’m writing. Not all stop by every day, but the same icons keep appearing below the blogs, so I know who has been by, and who liked what was done…. Beyond the obvious stats available in those indicators, I have no idea how many are coming, nor does it affect what I write, or how often I write…. That is still all about keeping sane, as always…..  I just like to know, for my own curiosity….. Not knowing is frustrating, and is the only reason I care, as it creates stress for as long as I fret about it….

Fretting is something I didn’t do much of for most of my life, and still don’t much care for, but, since the advent of my PTSD about 30 years ago, I tend to worry more, until I can get hold of myself and dump such nonsense into the trash bin, where it belongs…. More folks have died of worry than ever bled to death, so I try to avoid it whenever possible…. but, there are times when my anxiety gets the better of me, and I fret, until I either resolve the worry, or remember to keep perspective, whichever comes first. And yes, I’m easily amused by reality….. easily distracted, too…. Where was I?…..

Any who, I wanted to apologize to all those bloggers, and, yes, friends, who keep dropping by, without any reciprocation by me…. Y’all are the rainbows in my daily existence…. (see below’s poem…) Have faith, my friends, I will be by to check out what you’ve been up to, it may just take a while. My back pain has been somewhat ubiquitous of late, and has caused me to wage a constant war with gravity, just to get done what is necessary to live; unfortunately, that doesn’t include reading at the computer for long. I’m hoping that it will calm down a bit before the end of next month, when I will be moving to a new place, getting Patty and I out of this erstwhile Peyton Place….

For now, I see I’ve blathered sufficiently for one morning, and should get on with the rest of the day’s effort, so…. Shall we Pearl?

Triumphal arch, that fill’st the sky
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art.

— Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) — To the Rainbow
_____________________________

Smart Bee seems to have its own idea of what to include in this section today; the following five quotes pulled themselves out and made themselves obvious in a short span of about three minutes….. Who am I to argue with such confidence? I believe it is a short observation of the perils and joys of parenting, with some pithy comments about how much FUN it can be….. And, yes, that was supposed to be ironic…. or, at least, sardonic…. Don’t worry, though, no matter how critical or sarcastic discussion of it may be, parenting remains our most challenging, and most rewarding, human pastime…. provided, of course, one lives through it….. Enjoy!…..

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.” — Mark Twain

“‘Tis better to be alone than in the company of fools.” — Bobby Matherne, American Philosopher (1940-)

To be clear… this is not about the company of children, but a general lesson I tried to pass on to my son, as it came from my father to me….

“There are more horses’ asses in this world than there are horses.” — Grandma Soderquist’s conclusion

Another lesson I received, and hopefully, passed on….

“Children aren’t happy without something to ignore, and that’s what parents were created for.” — Ogden Nash

“Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.” — Oscar Wilde

Remember, Oscar was a cynic of the first degree, and didn’t, as far as I know, have children of his own, so his comments need to be filtered through that data…. Perfectly truthful, though, as he seems not to have realized how difficult is the task of raising a genius, with an uncompromisingly honest, if injured, personality such as his own, a task uncomfortably endured by his own parents….

“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman

Oops! How did that slip in there? Sorry, ffolkes, Smart Bee thought it would play me for a fool, and slip in its own advice…. which, in this case, is just fine… It doesn’t make any sense, but it is still good parenting advice, so it can stay…. Now, for one last zinger….

“No matter what, they’ll always be your babies.” — Mom’s Hint #065

Okay, so it isn’t a zinger…. it IS, however, the whole point, though, isn’t it?……
_____________________________

My own poetic output is still blocked up, but I always know where to find something worth including…. funny how it is almost always from another century…..

A Bard’s Epitaph

Is there a whim-inspired fool,
Owre fast for thought, owre hot for rule,
Owre blate to seek, owre proud to snool,
Let him draw near;
And owre this grassy heap sing dool,
And drap a tear.

Is there a bard of rustic song,
Who, noteless, steals the crowds among,
That weekly this area throng,
O, pass not by!
But, with a frater-feeling strong,
Here, heave a sigh.

Is there a man, whose judgment clear
Can others teach the course to steer,
Yet runs, himself, life’s mad career,
Wild as the wave,
Here pause-and, thro’ the starting tear,
Survey this grave.

The poor inhabitant below
Was quick to learn the wise to know,
And keenly felt the friendly glow,
And softer flame;
But thoughtless follies laid him low,
And stain’d his name!

Reader, attend! whether thy soul
Soars fancy’s flights beyond the pole,
Or darkling grubs this earthly hole,
In low pursuit:
Know, prudent, cautious, self-control
Is wisdom’s root.

~~ Robert Burns ~~

_____________________________

“No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.” — Lily Tomlin

Yesterday, I began the day with a rant of considerable length, and threatened to expound further in future blogs. It would be, and will be, relatively easy to come up with one, given the state of the news I’ve seen since returning to reality from the cruise ship. The Zimmerman trial is over, and justice was NOT served; Texas, along with more than 10 other states, is attempting to pass legislation that will put the cause of women’s rights back fifty years, with the apparent blessing of the Supreme Court. Drones are still being employed to spy on American citizens in their own homes, and the NSA and FBI are diligently monitoring the communications devices of Americans along with those of the rest of the world, gathering data about each and every one of us, all without our knowledge, and, hopefully, without our approval…..

These four issues are only a small part of what is going on in the world today, as the forces of the corporate masters continue to befuddle and confuse the public, spewing their lies and misinformation all over the TV, radio, and internet, using the very technology that can free our minds to control them. The internet, used correctly, can be a liberating influence on the human mind, but, only if its use is unrestricted by all, not just by those in authority. When we allow the government to stick its fingers into the media pie, whether print or digital, we give up our only hope of keeping track of what our ostensible leaders are up to, and may as well just hand over the keys to our entire lives to them…..

“The capitalist can only make a whole people go to war — want war, clamor for war as, again and again, we have seen whole peoples doing — by capturing the popular will. The only prophylactic against that situation is to make the public aware of the way in which it is being misled.” — Sir Norman Angell (1872-1967)

Obviously, this principle is not new…. yet, when the government’s malfeasance is confirmed by evidence for people can see, they act surprised, and can’t believe their own leaders would do that to them! Even the media we have, who ignore so much of what transpires, can’t help but give clues in the news each day; they do, however, try to downplay any suggestions of wrongdoing by those who are in power; it doesn’t do to annoy the entity that feeds you, and the media is fully aware of their own complicity. They just don’t care, any more than the sociopaths who are in the government….

You may have detected a certain degree of bitterness in my writing today; good catch. I’m right pissed is what I am. I’m getting tired of how those in positions of authority seem to no longer even care if they are caught lying, or cheating; they just blithely go on doing what they’re going to do, offering up some weak justification that doesn’t make any sense, knowing the public cannot DO anything about it. Once in office, there is very little recourse for us voters; we just have to live with whatever we’ve voted in…. Sadly, that is becoming more and more obviously intended to our detriment, not our benefit, but, hey! We voted, didn’t we? You betcha….

Not like our votes meant anything, when both sides of the political scene are corrupt, and intent on carrying out their own agendas, which have nothing to do with benefiting the public. No, as my lady said yesterday, our votes don’t really mean anything, and won’t, until we make at least a start at reforming our corrupt government…. beginning with the elimination of the electoral college, a device most useful for hiding the true purposes of the powered elite. Intended as a protection for the landed owners who framed the constitution, it guarantees that only those with sufficient financial resources can ever truly control the outcome of elections, making the popular vote a mere sop to the collective conscience of the public, as it has no real final effect on who gets into office…..

Bah, humbug! That’s enough for one day…. None of what I’m saying is particularly hard to figure out, or to see, if one is a careful observer of society. But, none of it will convince most folks that they are trapped in an  untenable position, unless they are willing to admit their own complicity in creating the issues. We all are a part of the problem, and it will take a great number of ffolkes a lot of effort to get us out of it, if we possibly can. Sadly, I don’t see a lot of hope for mankind as a whole. Our species is killing itself, by fouling our own nest, making it, at the least, more difficult to live in, and, ultimately, making it impossible to survive…. The evidence is clear, for those with eyes to see….

“Real eyes realize real lies.” — Anonymous: seen on a wall in a combat zone somewhere in the middle east…..
_____________________________

“I love KATRINKA because she drives a PONTIAC.
We’re going away now.
I fed the cat.
Zippy”

— Zippy the Pinhead

I’m rushing a bit to get done with this, as I’ve got a dental appointment later, and need time to fret about that…. Not really, but, I do have other stuff to do first, so let’s see how this went today….. Be right back…. Well, I’m pleasantly surprised…. it’s better than I’d hoped…. I hope y’all agree, and, if not, well, feel free to tell me why not…. remembering, of course, as would all MY readers, to refrain from vituperation or loss of emotional control… I hates drama….   😆    Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Isn’t he just the bee’s knees?….

Ffolkes,
What we have here, is a failure…. to cogitate. A scary one, too, since I can’t seem to get a handle on how to fire up the ol’ neurons this morning…. Dendrite, schmendrite, send me your nerve impulses…. Nope, not working, and the mojo I found yesterday has rolled into a corner again…. Okay, hang on, I’ll see if one of the fuses went out….  Oh, yeah, I don’t have the upgrade installed yet; I’m still on the old tube and knob wiring, so, no fuses….

Damn! Now I’m going to have to resort to emergency procedure # 4, which I haven’t employed since setting it up…. Since at least three of the stages it passes through on the way to getting my brain functioning are only marginally legal, please stand back, and put on the blindfolds that are conveniently located in your seat’s pocket, on the left side there…. got them? Okay, let ‘er rip, Biff!…. Oooh! That’s impressive!…..

Good morning….. Emergency procedure # 4 was apparently successful, though I will have to rely on you all to supply me with any evidence of that…. From this side of the procedure, there is a degree of amnesia produced, that lasts a few days, then passes away, leaving no scars or memories of the less than pleasant process involved in using #4…. Rather handy, all in all, as it gets things moving, but doesn’t waste any time on congratulations or other extraneous activities, but allows me to get right to work…. Of course, it can take several weeks to get all my memory back, but, hey, I don’t use it all at once anyway…. Some sacrifices must be made to pursue one’s art, you know…

Now that I have once again provided y’all with ample proof of my insanity, or at least enough to make it worth wagering on, I should, no doubt, move on to the main portion of today’s virtual circus. It’s getting more and more chancy here in the intro section, what with the weird hours I’ve been keeping in the mornings…. Again, today, I was up at 0430;  it is now 0522, and all I’ve been able to come up with is this detritus, even WITH coffee on board….. Hence my use of the word ‘scary’ above….. The fertile fields of my mind are becoming a trifle depleted, methinks, which, given my output, shouldn’t be a surprise….

Well, no matter how scary it is, the rest of today’s effort calls to me, so I suppose I’d best start diving. In the interests of full disclosure, shut your eyes…. I had to use my old dive suit today, and the pattern has been known to cause seizures if one gazes at it too long…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just keep your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.” — Frank Zappa Playboy Interview, April 1993

Hmm…. Frank’s take on matters are such that I generally find myself in complete agreement with what he says. Here, he has again put his finger on one of the more obvious facets of Christianity, one that defies all logical explanation in lieu of subservient belief, to wit: faith vs. knowledge, and the Christian’s unfortunate tendency to embrace the former, without any appeal to the latter….. To my way of thinking, that is not only foolish, but cowardly….. but, perhaps, that’s just me….

The fruit of the tree of knowledge gives mankind the go-ahead, to use the brain with which we were furnished at birth; the preachers would have us abrogate that use, having us, instead, give over all our power of belief into the hands of the faithful, who, naturally, have only our best interests at heart….. Sure they do…. NOT….. I’m sorry, but, no matter how many times these folks say so, I am not going to accept that they know better than I what is best for me…. Nope, not even if there were twenty Bibles out there, all proclaiming how true they are…. Oh wait, there are twenty of them, aren’t there?…. Oh, well, you know what I meant….

Why do people fall for this? I cannot understand how people, who are normally reasonably intelligent, will, by conscious choice, bury their heads in the sand to buy into this, without ever taking even one moment to examine any of it for truth, or even logical assumption. Is there some kind of mind-control drug in that incense? Maybe in the sacramental wine…. Whatever it is, it turns normally competent, intelligent people into mindless slaves, and does so with their complete agreement and approval….. To my mind, it is one of history’s saddest, most incomprehensible features, when I look at just how easily people fall for such egregious, and so obviously self-serving propaganda, as most of the dogmatic proclamations of the major religions tend to offer up.

“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman

I am compelled to add, “Me, too!” to this sentiment…. In the recent past, I’ve been taking a lot of shots at religions, and need to make clear that I do not hate Christians, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or the followers of any religion. I think they are being silly, deliberately and evilly so, at worst, or at best, misguided, but I don’t hate, or fear them, as is the case on their part whenever they consider me, or my criticisms of their beliefs. I don’t hold that against them, either, as it is logically consistent for them to do so, given the limitations of their dogmatic position. Since, however, the fervor with which they will often defend their position can reach a rather fevered pitch, I tend to treat many of them like a stinging insect; I move, and speak, slowly and carefully, so as not to frighten them more than they already are….

Ethical and moral behavior is not confined to those who follow the precepts of one religion or another, despite what any of the proponents of those religions will try to tell you.  In fact, if you look closely, the number of folks who are believers have a much higher percentage of failure in that area than do the non-believers, which only makes sense…. The believers all have a sense of entitlement that gives them the idea that the rules of behavior don’t always apply to them, in terms of how they treat people who are not of the same faith, so, to those who are not of their own sect, they don’t bother being truthful, or honest, or ethical, as those people don’t count, in their eyes. People who make their own moral codes tend to follow them, and are much more tolerant of those who do not share their beliefs.

Basic human nature dictates these responses in people, so one can see how dangerous it is to remain ignorant, in the Biblical sense. Those who choose to buy into the myth of the Garden of Eden, giving up all their personal independence of mind for the comfort and safety of dogma, will fail to act according to their own morality much of the time, out of their sense of entitlement, and the belief that all of their sins will be forgiven, merely by the act of confessing them. Only those who consciously choose their moral code have the courage to act it out, it seems, except for those few people who actually try to live according to the morality that is espoused, but seldom embraced, by their less ethical peers.

Having the strength of mind to make one’s own moral code implies the courage to act it out…. This is why I choose to deny the dogma I’ve been exposed to all my life, as being illogical, and, ultimately, immoral…. It makes more sense to me to make my own decisions on such matters, and tell the busybodies who assume they know best for all to go jump in a lake…. Even better, just shut the hell up, and get out of the way, so the rest of us can get something relevant done, without having to put up with all the nonsense from that quarter….

“What is a church? Our honest sexton tells, ‘Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.” — Crabbe
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Sometimes, I just gotta go with a classic…. if only for the patina of age that gives it such a shine…. Even reflected beauty is better than none, yes?….

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

John Keats
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The following is a piece that I wrote just before the recent Presidential election, as section 1 of a Pearl I cannot find without more effort than I care to spend right now, even though it is still only 0633…. Tracking it down would mean scrolling through at least a month’s worth of old Pearls, from last year, and I’m not ready for that today…. However, I’ve re-read it, and consider it worth a second posting, as it covers a lot of things that remain relevant after the election, in spite of the fortunate outcome we saw…. Any who, without further ado, here is a pearl I entitled, “Considering the Etiquette of Ignorance”…….

SIGH…. the only reason I did not write this in 1988 is that I did not see it until today….. it is never a good policy to suffer a fool gladly, so my code of honor demands a response…. This begins the tale, but by no means ends it….. be warned, and be nervous, if not afraid…..

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they  be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” — George Bush in Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 1988

Actually, George, the Pledge of Allegiance has no legal standing, in relation to the Constitution of this country, or for that matter, in relation to what our forefathers were thinking when they founded the nation. In fact, what was said here by such an upstanding Constitutional scholarly type, is, in reality, completely contrary to everything that makes a true patriot, or an American citizen.

The part in the pledge, (which no one at all is legally required to take, or state…), that says “under God” was only added in the middle of the twentieth century, by the same Congressional idiots who perpetrated McCarthyism, and the Red Scare, on the American public. It has nothing to do with the Constitution, and in fact, could be construed as a Constitutionally illegal statement, considering the intended separation of church and state that is the backbone of what our forefathers wished us to have as our legacy…. True freedom, not Christian usurpation of freedom….. A person’s religious belief, or lack thereof, is protected by the Constitution, and a patriot is one who supports the Constitution, not a church, or a corporation…..

And if his name be George, I ‘ll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men’s names.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King John — Act i, Sc. 1

This kind of thinking from the Shrub, whichever one it was, Junior or Senior, is the same kind of narrow-minded fundamentalism that the colonists were escaping from in England back in the 16-1700’s when they came to the New World. The churches and corporations, both of which were singled out as dangerous to the republic by Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Adams, Hamilton, and many of the other founding fathers, have tried to usurp the Constitution ever since it was ratified. Their writings, to each other, and in public venues, were filled with precautionary admonitions about allowing corporations and preachers to have access to, or influence over, members of government.

Ultimately, their fears were justified, as we now are facing just the situations they predicted….. corporations are manipulating our “professional thieves”, otherwise known as politicians, to vote for laws that favor them (really, “corporations are people?”… I don’t think so…), and the ranks of our leaders are rife with fundamentalists and religious nuts of all varieties.

“Men tend to have the beliefs that suit their passions. Cruel men believe in a cruel God and use their belief to excuse their cruelty.  Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

It’s difficult sometimes to tell which ones are more dangerous, or more disgusting: the corporations who buy votes from those who fit the definition of “good politicians” (…. a good politician is one who stays bought…..), or the religious demagogues who want to oppress everyone who doesn’t believe the same set of dogmatic constraints as they do. Neither one is particularly hard to spot, but they are protected by their tame dogs in Congress, who will do and say anything to make sure the cash keeps flowing…. right into their pockets.

As may be extrapolated, if one is exceedingly clairvoyant, one may infer from the above that the 2012 Republican  Romney/Ryan ticket disturbs me; I have no problem ranting without end right off the top of my head about the lies and distortions of reality that continuously fall from their lips. As I mentioned in a separate post, a lot of people are catching on to this, as Ryan was roundly booed offstage at the AARP meeting he attended to try to sell their admitted intention to rape Social Security and Medicare (Smart? No. Arrogant? Completely.).

In retrospect, even this negative reception is disturbing to me, as it shows just how little they care, that they are showing themselves to be only interested in lining their own pockets, and the pockets of those who own them, without apparent shame or embarrassment. They aren’t even trying to hide their lies anymore; they just keep repeating them, even after having been shown to be false, believing that if they repeat the lies enough, people will buy them….

“Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book iii, Chap. xi

Unfortunately, they are right, to a large extent. Millions of people in this country, who have hung on to their prejudices and bigotry with desperation as the minorities have become majorities, are supporting these assholes, merely because they are white. They don’t realize, or seemingly care, that these are the same assholes who will be screwing them over completely as soon as they get sworn in, preferring to trust in the lies, because it soothes their fears of having a black President.

Beware of the half truth.  You may have gotten hold of the wrong half. — Smart Bee

This is why I have been repeatedly reiterating that this election is bringing this country to a crossroads. The outcome will show whether we intend, as a nation, to continue to fight all attempts to curtail the freedoms that were bought and paid for by our forefathers, with blood, sweat, and tears, or will become just another religious, corporate-controlled entity, in a nation consisting of slaves and their masters.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll be at the polls as soon as they open, and will urge everyone I know to do the same…. vote early, and vote often (just joking…), but vote. We need to send a message to these fools, that there are still patriots and citizens of this country who believe in the vision embraced and established by the men and women who began this noble experiment in self-government…..

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” — Aldous Huxley

As I said above, the election came out okay…. but, the rest of what is said here remains relevant, and always in need of being heard….
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Well…. Getting up early seems to be working for me, Pearl-wise….. Even though part of this was already written, it all holds together well, and will stand in the future as one of my most complete Pearls, if nothing else…. A bit of nonsense to begin, some pointed sticks thrown around at demagoguery, a bit of classicism in the center, for balance, and a long dissertation haranguing the BRC and PTB, as well as most of the religious institutions in the world…. I’m a happy camper, you betcha….

Not just that, but, it’s DONE!  Yay!….. I think…… Hmm… it’s now 0650…… Now what the hell am I going to do? Ah, perfect!…… I’m going back to bed now, ffolkes, & see if I can fall back asleep…. I’ll be back later to see how many people I’ve managed to offend, or better yet, how many found a good laugh….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3