~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~
“One of these things is not like the other…” — Numerous Sesame Street characters at various times
A few days ago, the opening picture was also one of my own photos, taken outside my back door, here in Northern California, this February, in what the rest of the world considers the dead of winter, almost two-thirds of the way to Spring. The East Coast has been pounded by massive storms; blizzards, hurricanes, all sorts of weather which, though seasonal, keeps breaking old records for the most massive storms in history. Today, as I write this, I’m sitting in my living room, with no heat on, a window and door open for ventilation, without a shirt, because it’s too warm to wear one indoors…. even for an old man who can’t take the cold like he used to….
But, hey, there’s no such thing as global warming, or unalterable climate changes taking place, so, why worry about it? It certainly isn’t snowing here, so, I guess I’ll go for a walk today in the sunshine, to take some more pictures of evidence of the world, trying to warn us of our impending doom….
Oops…. Sorry, ffolkes, I forgot. No ranting in the intro…. But, but, ffolkes, it’s just so bloody tempting! SIGH…. Ah me, so much for this attempt to open up with aplomb, or, even, coherency. Not that I care overmuch about coherency, so long as I can find it in myself to spout some nonsense, but, I’m not sure how I’d do at that today. I’m not feeling very silly; that generally means if I try to be funny, or apply silly to what I write, I end up displaying bozoid tendencies, more so than any wisdom, or style, or any other sort of communication to stimulate the slightest interest, beyond the expected snickering at my discomfiture….
Y’all should remember, though, anyone who can use the word discomfiture isn’t going to let a little thing like propriety, or mainstream morality get in the way of getting this Pearl done. No way. I’ve done this too long now to listen to the ignorant, any more than I ever did, other than to keep track of whatever they are babbling about, just for the purposes of intel…. Remember? “Keep your friends close, etc…..” Beyond the bare minimum necessary to keep them in my sights, I ignore them as much as possible…. It doesn’t mean I don’t know they’re there…. (Not bad… two of the three “there’s”, each used correctly…)
It does mean my paranoia is in good working order, though, so, perhaps it would be best now to get on with the making of today’s mess, so I can get back afterward in time to take the appropriate medication to keep me from going postal on anyone before lunch. Perhaps it would be best if you ducked now….
Shall we Pearl?
“A form of open-mindedness is the pathway to wisdom. Close your mind and you open the way for ignorance to flourish, but you will never even know it.” — Smart Bee
These two artists are responsible for a LOT of the tunes I grew up with in the 60’s and 70’s. Watching them play together after all these years was a more emotional experience than I’d imagined; I found myself tearing up at song after song. It was also fun to see the two of them having such fun playing together; they were feuding for many years, and it’s nice to know they’ve healed the breach…. Enjoy, ffolkes, this one is a real treat, a true walk through a gentler past…
Carole King and James Taylor Live at the Troubadour
Sometime during my teens, I stopped trying to convince myself to give in to the pressure applied by peers, and well-meaning adults, to join the Presbyterian Church, where I’d been attending with my family for some years. I had begun a study of as many different faiths as I could find time to do, without ever getting so far into it as to call myself a religious scholar, discovering in those studies I could not bring myself to be hypocritical enough to claim belief in the credo they espoused. Any of them.
This decision was not because of a lack of spiritual feeling (I wouldn’t have bothered to look for answers, if that were the case), but, more of an acceptance of the rightness of my choice, to NOT pretend to believe what I could only consider a very complex set of dogmatic derivations, having nothing to do with reality, but, in truth, were deductively and erroneously based on specific delusions, regarding forces of nature we humans do not, as yet, fully understand. Ascribing those forces to be the result of supernatural causes seemed a bit specious, if not completely lacking in evidence to support such their existence, thus, highly unlikely.
I suppose I always felt what H. L. Mencken said in the third pearl below; everything I heard about how cool and special God, and religion were supposed to be, all seemed to me to be pretty improbable. Since this improbability was supposedly supported by what I found to be merely interpretations, and opinions of reality, not reality itself, I could never find any good reason to buy into any of it…. In short, I recognized what I heard as a made-up story, designed to soothe people’s fears about a universe they could not comprehend…. I always figured, if we don’t know, well, let’s find out. Why make something up? But, I guess that’s just me…. At the time, I’d never heard of Nancy Reagan, but, I’ve always been glad I “just said no.”
Below are seven pearls which, sort of, speak to how I view the concept of religion, as one of the primary reasons for a large part of the reason Mankind continues to act more like an brutish naked ape than an advanced, ethical sentient entity. The God of the Christians, as is apparently true with most Gods I’ve looked into, acts much like a wounded, maddened predator, insanely attacking all who come near. Almost all of the deities I found in my reading over the years, all had a common cruelty, a mercilessness completely antagonistic to human feeling, which, naturally, mirrors the trait in humans, thus giving divine attribution to our most base emotions…. According to what I read, most gods show the behavior of a spoiled child, a trait unfortunately reproduced in His followers….
HE, Yahweh, or Allah, all same/same, seemed, to me, always ready to use any cruelty or violence to achieve His ends, threatening Hellfire and damnation for the slightest disobedience, while claiming to be merciful. Have you seen some of the stuff God has had his followers do in His name? In today’s world, they all continue to act out their insane bigotry and ignorance…. but, now, there are billions upon billions of followers, of all sorts of vicious butthead gods, and they have shiny new toys to kill each other with, with increasing ferocity and destructiveness…. What a bloody mess….
Nope, God just never has been my kind of dude, for sure, much less what I’d be looking for a in a god…. But, even I could see, back before I had so much rational proof of how wise was my decision, it sure does make life easy for those who hang with God, using his ‘grace’ to either justify their actions, or remove the blame for any of them, as long as the conditions of membership in the club are met….
Ah, well, here, this is what I mean, more glibly, if not more clearly…. Sometimes, that’s how it works with metaphor….
What can we reason but from what we know?
~~ Alexander Pope — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 17 ~~
“Any system of religion which has anything in it which offends the mind of a child cannot be a true system.” — Thomas Paine
“Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.” — H. L. Mencken, “Prejudices”, Series iii
“Preacher to me: “A dollar for the Lord, brother?” Me to preacher: “That’s all right, I’m headed his way. I’ll give it to him when I see him.” — Edward Abbey
“Pray, pray very much; but beware of telling God what you want.” — French Proverb
“If the average man is made in God’s image, then such a man as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God.” — H. L. Mencken
“…and remember you’re a Man, not just a god, and for you there aren’t and never will be any easy answers, only questions, and no reasons, only causes, and no meaning, only intelligence, and no destination and no kindly magic smiling down from above, and no fires to goad you from below, only Yourself and the Universe and what you make out of the interface between the two equals.” — Keith Laumer, _Night of Delusions_
Okay, so, it wasn’t all THAT…. Look at it this way. It wasn’t a rant…. Well, not much of one…. After all, I didn’t shout, not once….
“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.
James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.
Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.
Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.
~~ gigoid ~~
“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.”
~~ Joseph Joubert ~~
It occurred to me the other day, as I sat to peruse SB for an old-school pearl, my greatest enemy is reality. I’ve fought it successfully for 64 years, now, finally reaching a point where I am relatively certain of the outcome; in short, I’m winning, mostly.
On the heels of such a perfectly egotistical proclamation, allow me to also say, in this case, given much of what history has taught me, a draw may be considered a win, so, don’t think I’m getting too big for my britches. I’m well aware of my bozoid tendencies; in my mind, that makes coming out dead even (so to speak) all the more an admirable, if not impossibly unlikely, outcome, to an what has certainly been an epic ordeal… and, it’s not over yet!
Hence, the following nine-star, sort of fresh pearl, which, you will note, is bookended by Zippy. That ought to give you a clue as to the meaning of the gestalt concept at which SB apparently took aim, with unusual precision; all nine came up one after the other, with only one extra, usable elsewhere… Pretty nifty, I thought…. and, so will you. Enjoy, ffolkes, and try not to hurt yourself falling out of the chair…
“I’m having an emotional outburst!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum — “I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
“…life is long enough if it is well-spent.” — Erasmus
“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” — Hunter S. Thompson
“But Aristarchus of Samos brought out a book consisting of certain hypotheses, in which the premises lead to the conclusion that the universe is many times greater than that now so called. His hypotheses are that the fixed stars and the sun remain motionless, that the earth revolves about the sun in the circumference of a circle, the sun lying in the middle of the orbit, and that the sphere of the fixed stars, situated about the same center as the sun, is so great that the circle in which he supposes the earth to revolve bears such a proportion to the distance of the fixed stars as the center of the sphere bears to its surface.” — Archimedes, The Sand-Reckoner, Third Century B.C.
“Humorous or profound remark or quotation pending.” — Smart Bee
“When two goats met on a bridge which was to narrow to allow either to pass or return, the goat which lay down that the other might walk over it was a finer gentleman than Lord Chesterfield.” — Cecil
“All those things which are now held to be of the greatest antiquity, were at one time new; and what we today hold up by example, will rank hereafter as precedent.” — Tacitus
“Life is full of surprises when you’re up th’ stream of consciousness without a paddle…” — Zippy the Pinhead
See what I meant? Okay, I’ve been cruel long enough. You may go now….
Fortunately for me, most of this Pearl was already constructed, in pieces, which I only had to piece together today to get this done. I’m glad because I’m just not in the best of spaces, for unknown reasons…. I think I’ll take today off from dealing with anything at all complicated…. nothing more complex than, oh, say, planning my next nap…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I can work up the energy….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….