Repeat performances….

Ffolkes,

Today’s Pearl is a stealth re-blog; it’s from December of 2012, & I didn’t feel like finding it online, so, I went to my draft archives & pulled it out. Here then, for your viewing pleasure (we hope) is the entire Pearl posted on 12/15/2012, with a few minor alterations to make it look better in today’s format. I hope you enjoy it….

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Sandclock .jpg

From 12/15/2012:
Ffolkes,
I’m not sure I can do this….. not this way. I’m sitting on a complete Pearl, you see. The one that was completed for posting on the 13th has not made it to the Net, as I haven’t figured out yet whether it will work to edit the old post, or just add a new one with that material….. The title I came up with on the 13th was certainly one of the best I’ve done “Despite the disaster, yak butter was still on the menu….”  Brilliant, if I do say so myself, as it tells a whole story all by itself, without any supportive material, and I don’t know about y’all, but I get a mental vision of some poor sap in a dingy kitchen, struggling to chop vegetables, as he worries about the price of yak butter…. perhaps not quite Hemingway, but perhaps, Raymond Chandler?…. Okay, Steven King, and he’s my last offer….
Any who…. I’ve got all this material already finished, ready  to post, and can’t seem to settle enough to sit down to write a Pearl. I’ve got pieces in progress (who doesn’t?) but it all seems pointless, when I don’t have to do anything at all, and will still have stuff to put up. I had not realized just how tied into the routine I’ve become, I guess; I’m still human, it seems, and can fall prey to mundane habit-forming drills like anyone else, until it becomes the dreaded “routine”, harder to break than a five minute egg. (Five minute eggs won’t break; they just smoosh….) These can be fatal, if not treated at an early stage….
And the verbs! What will I do with the verbs? All my conjugation, so precisely aligned to the proper time frames and concomitant pronouns, all useless! How will I ever know what day it is, if I’m always a day ahead?

 

Since retiring, keeping track of what day it is has become hard enough; I don’t need any help in forgetting. But, it should be okay, in the end…. I’ve finally figured out the bus schedule, and it can tell me what day it is, just by what time the buses go by the house. Of course, that is assuming they are running anywhere close to on time, an event of scarcity during the major portion of the week…..
Enough blather…. I could produce such for hours, probably, if I ever gave myself the chance. But, since nobody is paying me for this, it doesn’t seem very productive, so I’ll take this opportunity to get on with today’s effort at composition, and dive on in. I must say, the water looks inviting today, all blue and refreshing…..
Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

 

“This is the true joy in life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you consistent.” — George Bernard Shaw
When I first began creating Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, there was only one quote each day, with short comments by me, only to introduce, and perhaps provide a bit of background to, the pieces I chose, generally on the subject of Liberty, Freedom, Honor, Truth, etc. In those days, this pearl would have definitely made the grade, and, given that I don’t remember all the quotes I’ve used, it may have been used back then. It still makes the grade, so much so that I’m leaving it to stand alone, aside from the closing quote from Mr. Twain, which echoes the sentiment expressed by Mr. Shaw perfectly….
“Let us endeavour to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar (1894)]
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“Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave.” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Winter, Line 393
The only possible comment is the same word that made up the first thought in my head when I read this… WOW…. Such an incredibly powerful line, so gripping and real, it makes me as jealous as I allow myself to feel. To write such a phrase would be enough for me; I could die happy. I’ll do so anyway, (die happy, that is….), just to spite Murphy, but, if I can write one line half as strong as this, I’ll be content, for sure…. Here is something that came to me last night…. at least, it began last night…..
Territorial imperative….

Beauty must define, as augment to existence,  as life must be more than mere subsistence.Nature demands more.Truth helps.
~~ gigoid ~~

It ain’t long, but it’s much…. and better for being so, rather than the reverse….. Just as an afterthought to this section, I offer the following as proof that even genius can feel insecurity and jealousy….

“There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

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“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right actions arises by itself?” — Lao Tzu
Ever since being first exposed to the precepts of Taoism, back when I was in college in the late 60’s, it has always appealed to my sense of rightness, and makes the closest approach to what I personally believe about the Universe at large. Not the mystical parts, that cater to the religious order of the time it first was clarified by Lao Tzu, but the essence of the concept of reality, as being both within our perception, and unknown to us as beyond our understanding. We may not possess the necessary sense to be capable of receiving such information, whether about reality or fantasy, and if we assume the omnipotence of a god, then we would not be able to comprehend their existence, lacking the tools to perceive them with our five or six senses…..
This knowledge, however, is tempered by the deduction that, as a physical part of the universe, we are connected to it, and to every other part, if only by sharing that existence. The connection, intuitively, is deeper than merely the physical; it extends somehow into the spiritual plane, which, though not tangible, is nonetheless a proven part of our mental reality. (What IS the mind?) It is this very lack of the ability to explain by which we may know the connection exists, as it echoes the nature of reality itself, which cannot be explained in words. Goodness knows why I’m trying, to be sure…. this is getting pretty esoteric, although, so far, it is consistently rational, if not entirely illuminating.
“Since everything in life is but an experience perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.” — Long Chen Pa
And what better way to acknowledge and celebrate the perfection that we can see, or hear, feel, smell, taste, or imagine?…… It’s certainly preferable to a long, dusty discussion of esoteric concepts, and will encourage enlightenment just as efficiently, if not quite so verbally. In some way, I’m always looking for the perfect quote, the ultimate aphorism, that delivers that cosmic truth we are all seeking in one swell foop, and the above from Long Chen Pa comes very close to it, especially when considered in the light of what one concludes from considering the answers to the first two questions today. As a Westerner who has learned to appreciate what the East brings us, the following resonates very well….
“Somehow, in the midst of their horrid history, the best among the _gaijin_ learned a wonderful lesson.  They learned to distrust themselves, to doubt even what they were taught to believe or what their egos make them yearn to see.  To know that even truth must be scrutinized, it was a great discovery, almost as great as the treasure we of the East have to offer them in return, the gift of harmony.” — David Brin – Dr. Pak’s Preschool
There’s the key, ffolkes, right there in front of you…. Even truth must be scrutinized, or the universe will have its way with you, and you may never find the gift of harmony that is also there for the taking….. There, not so esoteric, after all…. not too shabby, eh what?…..
“The ancient Taoist sages were poised and alert…. like ice on the verge of melting.” — Taoist proverb

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All things considered, this didn’t come out too badly. It’s going to have to do, as I now have more material ready to post than I’ve ever had previously, and I’m not sure quite what to do about it. I know what I’d like to do, but, I’m still waiting for the green light from SS on that, so…. I suppose I’ll just have to pretend it’s the day before tomorrow, when it’s really the day after yesterday….. if you see what I mean….
Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

 

dozer3

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Curving around square corners….

Ffolkes,

“Misfortune shows those who are not friends.”

~~ Aristotle ~~

Whats that

Is that a spider?….


Hajime….. I know, I know; the picture is a repeat. I don’t care, because it’s so cute. Besides, I’m up too late, again, to worry about it now. I did manage to get most of this done yesterday, leaving only one section undone for this morning. That, however, has since gone beyond my current capabilities in its scope, so, we’ll be archive diving for that. Go figure. Other than that, we’re good to go…. Also a go figure….

I suppose I COULD wander around a bit, make up a bit of nonsense, or, just blather a bit. But, I’m really not in a space to do that, either; my sleep isn’t what it could be of late, & I find myself pretty tired a lot of the day, not having stored up sufficient down-time to fully recharge the batteries. But, duty calls today, so, fatigue is irrelevant. Ah, for the days of my youth, when I could throw it off like a cheap coat in the sun! Now, it’s more a matter of moving a small mountain in order to get out of bed…. SIGH….

There. Obligatory complaining out of the way, we can get on with this mess. We won’t even bother excusing ourselves for using such abrupt measures. Our insurance is all paid up, so, to hell with the collateral casualties!…. On to the oyster beds, ffolkes!….

Shall we Pearl?….

“If you judge, investigate.”

~~ Seneca ~~


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harp twins

The Harp Twins

Image from Tumblr.com via Google Images


I love finding new music, especially instrumentalists I’ve never seen or heard before. I once saw a harpist play a solo gig at a bar in Napa, CA, who was, quite frankly, the best I’ve ever seen, playing all the band parts alone for the songs she included. She could make the harp sound like a piano, a guitar, a violin, and even horns…. amazing. These two are pretty damn good, too, from what I’ve been listening to while typing…. Enjoy, ffolkes. it’s some damn fine music….

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The Harp Twins

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Sandclock .jpg

    As promised, a discussion from the archives, on a subject near and not-so-dear to my heart, sanity/insanity….. Enjoy!….

From 2/15/2013:

“How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it takes a really long time and the light bulb has to want to change.” — Smart Bee

Boy, if it wasn’t for the power of metaphor, I would be lost!….. This statement, though presented in a manner that makes it obviously a joke, is actually quite serious in its relevance to sanity, psychiatry, and how the mind works, in general. I worked for many years in the field of mental health care, as a therapist, and I can tell you quite honestly, that this is absolutely true, in many cases of what the rest of society terms insanity….. a word, and a concept, that most of society avoids at all costs, and completely misunderstands, for the most part…. You see, every person who lives in this society on Earth today is just a little insane, with some of them reaching higher levels through their own efforts to excel…… 🙂   Society itself is insane, you see, and one needs to be the same in order to effectively cope….

It may surprise some ffolkes to know that they are insane; I know it surprised me when I first became aware of this fact. We all go through our lives with a certain image of ourselves, and very rarely does that image in our minds look insane. But, let me assure you, there really isn’t any visible way to be able to tell if a person is insane, as it is completely invisible, under most circumstances, as long as the person isn’t speaking, or acting in some way that provides a clue as to their inner state of mind. Even for those of us trained in recognizing its presence, through the use of observation of other defining characteristics, there is no guaranteed method for spotting someone with a mental condition, unless they give it to you up front by acting out in some overt fashion.

Sure, there are tells, as a gambler would say…. when one eye is happily spinning in the opposite direction as the other, it’s a pretty good sign of some inner turmoil…. Pacing and mumbling to oneself, back and forth in a small area, while ignoring all around them, can be another dead giveaway of someone who is experiencing a few extra perceptions in comparison to the rest of us. Sometimes, really bad grooming can be a sign that the person’s mind isn’t focused on how they affect others, and staring at a wall, holding what appears to be a conversation with oneself, can be another indication that not all is well in that person’s world….

But, without some overt signs such as these, you just can’t spot mental illness, and it is extra hard to see it in one’s own image, since we tend to clean that up before we look at it, or try to share it. And, since EVERYONE ELSE is also insane, at least a little, it can be hard to spot, for the same reason one cow in a herd is hard to pick out. You may have heard the old saw about “one in four people are insane, so if you have three sane friends, it’s you”….. What would be more accurate to say is, “all of you are insane, but three of you are coping well with it in an effective manner, and one isn’t…. ”

It’s helpful to know that the overt signs one may see are indicative of the severity of the condition, i.e., the more acting out one observes, the more severe the break in the mental state. But, that isn’t always accurate, as normally sane folks, acting in the grip of strong emotion, can show the same kind of acting out, with the difference of not having it occur all the time, but only when provoked. Thus, it can be seen, it can be very difficult to judge whether a person is insane, or merely temporarily out of control…..

This is where I bring it all together, by referring back to the original pearl…. Coping with life can drive anyone crazy, and does, every day….. Some  cope with it better than others, and those are the people who are considered to be sane, as they can deal with reality without resorting to outlandish ways of dealing with their fears. Those who cannot find ways of coping with their fears, which arise from what reality gives us to deal with, end up acting in ways that are strange and uncomfortable for the rest of us, and are often dangerous, in a physical sense, for them, and for those around them…..

In all my experience, with every kind of mental illness I saw in almost 30 years working in mental hospitals, the primary characteristic of those who got better, was that they made up their own minds to do so…. That’s it…. Simple as it may seem, deciding to give up the methods they used, and make a change, was always based on a personal decision on their part, and was THE key ingredient in the regime of ideas, medicines, therapies, and treatments used to combat their illness. In other words, it took a long time, and they first had to want to change….. Without that, nothing worked…. It is a well known aphorism among mental health therapists that, “they get better IN SPITE of what we do, not because of it….”

So, if you’re getting worried about your own coping skills, just keep in mind that to remain sane, it means you have to want to do so…. But, that’s all it takes, if your are sincere, for you will do whatever else is needed, once your will power has been engaged…. That’s what people do….

“Great minds think alike, apparently so do we.” — D. Bennett

“Falsely luxurious, will not man awake?” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Summer, Line 67

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Comedy_Tragedy

    Today’s poem first appeared on ECR the same day as the discussion above, since it fits in so well with the subject matter….. It’s always been one of my favorite poems, by one of my favorite poets…. Enjoy!

Mad Girl’s Love Song

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

~~ Sylvia Plath


Brilliant! Absolutely, insanely brilliant!       🙂

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pearls_3

    Now, THIS is a pearl of virtual wisdom! Nine classic gems, forming a necklace of peerless brilliance… I think I’ll call it….

Naked Pearls

Use it, or lose it….

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“He who ceases to learn cannot adequately teach.”

~~Headmaster Bee ~~

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“Mere longevity is a good thing
for those who watch Life from the side lines.
For those who play the game,
an hour may be a year,
a single day’s work an achievement for eternity.”

~~– Gabriel Heatter ~~

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“I think the one lesson I have learned is
that there is no substitute for paying attention.”

~~ Diane Sawyer ~~

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“If you’re going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.”

~~ Whimsical Bee ~~

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“The wisest man is generally he who thinks himself the least so.”

~~ Nicholas Boileau-Despréaux ~~

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“There are as many nights as days,
and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course.
Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness,
and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning
if it were not balanced by sadness.”

~~ Carl Jung ~~

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“Laughter is by definition healthy.”

~~ Doris Lessing ~~

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“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift;
the rational mind is faithful servant.
We have created a society
that honors the servant
and has forgotten the gift.”

~~ Albert Einstein ~~

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“Life is not meant to be easy, my child;
but take courage — it can be delightful.”

~~ George Bernard Shaw ~~


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I suppose it isn’t a surprise to learn cats don’t understand deadlines. Ah, well, she’ll have to learn, I guess, for we all must bow to the gods of necessity at times…. even cats, though they would have us believe otherwise. That said, to our common cause of no good purpose, we’ll take our leave for another day, to see if we can find out why we keep falling into the royal ‘we’, when we write…. SIGH…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, whether we figure it our, or not….

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….


					

Scruff, the tragic flagon….

Ffolkes,

“The living world is a continuum in each and every aspect.”

~~ A. C. Kinsey, The Kinsey Report ~~

Clean elephant

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside….


Hajime…. Okay, so, here’s the deal. I’ll write ’em, you read ’em. Deal? Deal.

Of course, this presupposes I will be able to come up with something to write. Since that, at the moment, seems a rather remote possibility, we’ll cut this intro off before it gets rolling, keeping us trapped here again. So short, you’ll need to keep the oxygen handy…. It looks like this…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“And those who were seen dancing
were thought to be insane
by those who could not hear the music.”

~~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~~


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mozart2

    I’m in a mood, & when I’m in a mood, this is who I listen to…. Today, you can listen, too…. Even if you’re not in a mood…… Enjoy!….


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Mozart Symphonies

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le penseur-rodin

“Grown men do not need leaders.”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~


The quote from Ed Abbey is a perfect lead for a rant on a subject I can write about endlessly, apparently. I’ve related any number of times how humanity needs to grow up, give up the illusions of their fearful youth, and learn to face the damn universe with some courage…. But, has anyone listened, other than the choir who end up here, listening to me preach? No, not really, for they don’t wish to hear they need to stop acting like children….

To save y’all from any further haranguing on this, I decided to sublimate, with some thoughts from historical figures, all of whom have seen the same issues during their own time on Earth, and wished to give warning to those who will not see…. There are only nine, so, don’t fret too much; besides, I know my Gentle Readers could, using these aphorisms, create the same rant I might have written, had I gone with the urge to do so…. Enjoy, if only for its brevity…..

“I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.” — Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order

“There are more stars known to exist right now than the total number of all the grains of sand on every beach in the entire world. With those kinds of odds, it would seem downright naive for someone to go to a beach in, say, some out-of-the-way inlet in Baffin Bay, stoop to pick up only one tiny grain of sand, and declare that that grain alone was the only place where life could exist.” — Hugh Downs

“If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Anatole France

“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” — Noah Webster

“In this world of sin and sorrow, there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” — H.L. Mencken

“Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don’t they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything?   If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.” — Will Rogers

“Held to be a crime when committed by individuals, homicide is called a virtue when committed by the state.” — Obvious Bee

“Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on them [public offices], a rottenness begins in his conduct.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1799

“The purpose and function of government is not to preside over change but to prevent change. By political methods when unavoidable, by violence when convenient.” — Edward Abbey

“Is it not a noble farce, wherein kings, republics, and emperors have for so many ages played their parts, and to which the whole vast universe serves for a theatre?” — Michael de Montaigne — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xxxvi, Of the most Excellent Men

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Comedy_Tragedy

    As noted above, I’m in a mood. In this mood, only one poet will do…. In fact, we’ll overdo, with two….

Had we our senses
But perhaps ’tis well they’re not at Home
So intimate with Madness
He’s liable with them

Had we the eyes without our Head —
How well that we are Blind —
We could not look upon the Earth —
So utterly unmoved —

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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Said Death to Passion
‘Give of thine an Acre unto me.’
Said Passion, through contracting Breaths
‘A Thousand Times Thee Nay.’

Bore Death from Passion
All His East
He – sovereign as the Sun
Resituated in the West
And the Debate was done.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


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pearls_3

    Easy money here, ffolkes. It’s just a classic nine-star pearl about living life large…. Well, I think so; if not, you tell me what it says….

I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot rob me of free Nature’s grace,
You cannot shut the windows of the sky
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave:
Of fancy, reason, virtue, naught can me bereave.

~~ James Thomson. The Castle of Indolence, Canto ii, Stanza 3 ~~


“Let honor be as strong to us an obligation as necessity is to others.” — Pliny the Elder

“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.” — Marcus Aurelius

“Have the courage to live. Anyone can die.” — Robert Cody

“True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.” — Halifax

“Once, I read that a man be never stronger than when he truly realizes how weak he is.” — Jim Starlin, “Captain Marvel #31”

“The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort.” — Confucius

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.  I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.  Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me.  It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it onto future generations.” — George Bernard Shaw

Listen to the MUSTN’TS child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVE’S
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

 ~ Shel Silverstein ~~


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That went well, don’t you think? No? Well, I do, and guess who’s driving this bus? Yep. To keep with the tone set in the intro, I’m outta here. See y’all tomorrow, given the proper set of Time/Space coordinates….

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….


					

Apricot puree, or pineal glands?…

Ffolkes,

“What one fool can do, another can.”

~~ Ancient Simian Proverb ~~

800px-FarmHouseSunderban

 Farm in Indonesia, formerly on dry land.

Soon to be inundated due to rising waters from global warming.


You gotta love serendipity. Well, maybe YOU don’t, but, I do. Especially when it applies to these Pearls….. Once again, my brain is on early-morning strike, in a manner of speaking, making the creation of today’s mess problematic to an extreme degree. Fortunately for all of us, the Pearls at the bottom of the page have furnished me with enough archived material, appropriate to the day, to use today to complete my chosen duty. Hallelujah!…

You see, I’ve got way less than nothing today; I don’t even have any excuses. My pain is present, yes, and so is the usual angst; this provides the impetus to go into literary trance-mode, which keeps me from giving in to depression…. it’s quite an effective routine, when it works. But, getting into the trance state can be a problem when…. well, that’s just it. I don’t KNOW when it will happen; it just does…. Thus, having material to fall back on becomes a saving grace…. and just in time, too….

But, we won’t go any further into the process now, as we need to get on with this…. I hate to use it again, but, nothing works quite so well as our old standby, emergency method #4, so, we’ll go with that, just so we can say we tried. We’re going to try a new maneuver today, a special route down into the oyster beds, which we’ve not used before; it involves a bit of aerial acrobatics that may cause some spillage, so, please make sure your adult beverages are securely fastened to the clips provided, and the lid is on tightly…. You’ll like it better if you do…. Okay, hang on, ffolkes, here we go….

Shall we Pearl?

“What Chinese prophet did we annoy?  Interesting times, my ass.” — gigoid, paraphrased by SB

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steven-wright
Image from laughingsquid.com


Somehow, for today’s Pearl, this seems most appropriate; go figure…. Ladies and germs, I give you the world’s strangest mind…..


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Steven Wright Special (1985)

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13923408614402

From 2/15/2013:

“How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it takes a really long time and the light bulb has to want to change.” — Smart Bee

Boy, if it wasn’t for the power of metaphor, I would be lost!….. This statement, though presented in a manner that makes it obviously a joke, is actually quite serious in its relevance to sanity, psychiatry, and how the mind works, in general. I worked for many years in the field of mental health care, as a therapist, and I can tell you quite honestly, that this is absolutely true, in many cases of what the rest of society terms insanity….. a word, and a concept, that most of society avoids at all costs, and completely misunderstands, for the most part…. You see, every person who lives in this society on Earth today is just a little insane, with some of them reaching higher levels through their own efforts to excel……     🙂   Society itself is insane, you see; one needs to be the same in order to effectively cope….

It may surprise some ffolkes to know that they are insane; I know it surprised me when I first became aware. We all go through our lives with a certain image of ourselves; very rarely does the image in our minds look insane. But, let me assure you, there really isn’t any visible way to be able to tell if a person is insane, as it is completely invisible, under most circumstances, as long as the person isn’t speaking, or acting in some way that provides a clue as to their inner state of mind. Even for those of us trained in recognizing its presence, through the use of observation of other defining characteristics, there is no guaranteed method for spotting someone with a mental condition, unless they give it to you up front by acting out in some overt fashion.

Sure, there are tells, as a gambler would say…. when one eye is happily spinning in the opposite direction as the other, it’s a pretty good sign of some inner turmoil…. Pacing and mumbling to oneself, back and forth in a small area, while ignoring all around them, can be another dead giveaway of someone who is experiencing a few extra perceptions in comparison to the rest of us. Sometimes, really bad grooming can be a sign that the person’s mind isn’t focused on how they affect others, and staring at a wall, holding what appears to be a conversation with oneself, can be another indication that not all is well in that person’s world….

But, without some overt signs such as these, you just can’t spot mental illness; in addition, it’s extra hard to see it in one’s own image, since we tend to clean that up before we look at it, or try to share it. And, since EVERYONE ELSE is also insane, at least a little, it can be hard to spot, for the same reason one cow in a herd is hard to pick out. You may have heard the old saw about “one in four people are insane, so if you have three sane friends, it’s you”….. What would be more accurate to say is, “all of you are insane, but three of you are coping well with it in an effective manner, and one isn’t…. ”

It’s helpful to know that the overt signs one may see are indicative of the severity of the condition, i.e., the more acting out one observes, the more severe the break in the mental state. But, that isn’t always accurate, as normally sane folks, acting in the grip of strong emotion, can show the same kind of acting out, with the difference of not having it occur all the time, but only when provoked. Thus, it can be seen, it can be very difficult to judge whether a person is insane, or merely temporarily out of control…..

This is where I bring it all together, by referring back to the original pearl…. Coping with life can drive anyone crazy; it does so, every day….. Some cope with it better than others; those are the people who are considered to be sane, as they can deal with reality without resorting to outlandish ways of dealing with their fears. Those who cannot find ways of coping with their fears, arising from what reality gives us to deal with, often end up acting in ways that are strange and uncomfortable for the rest of us. Often, as well, their behaviors become dangerous, in a physical sense, for them, and, for those around them…..

In all my experience, with every kind of mental illness I observed, in almost 30 years working in mental hospitals, the primary characteristic of those who got better was clearly due to the simple process of making up their own minds to do so…. That’s it…. Simple as it may seem, deciding to give up the methods they used, and make a change, was always based on a personal decision on their part; it was, clearly, THE key ingredient in the regime of ideas, medicines, therapies, and treatments used to combat their illness. In other words, it took a long time, and they first had to want to change….. Without that, nothing worked…. It is a well known aphorism among mental health therapists that, “they get better IN SPITE of what we do, not because of it….”

So, if you’re getting worried about your own coping skills, just keep in mind that to remain sane, it means you have to want to do so…. But, that’s all it takes, if your are sincere, for you will do whatever else is needed, once your will power has been engaged…. That’s what people do….

“Great minds think alike, apparently so do we.” — D. Bennett

“Falsely luxurious, will not man awake?” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Summer, Line 67

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a poem from one of my absolute favorite poets; I’ve never seen a poem from her that didn’t have a strong effect on the reader. I am not sure exactly why, but, her words are, somehow, even more powerful than they seem to be…. Whatever it is, it makes for some incredible poetry, such as this….

Mad Girl’s Love Song

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~


Brilliant! Absolutely, insanely brilliant!

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Not too shabby for random parameters, I think… Today’s final old-school pearl is comprised of some good stuff; observations on living which, if not already present in your goody bag, should be amongst the stuff you’ve learned this far into the game…. If it’s all stuff you know, well, it’s always good to remember…. and, remember also; practice helps, because the mind is much like all your other muscles and organs. It works best if used a lot, and well….

“If you don’t care where you are, you ain’t lost.” — Rune’s Rule.

“I expect nothing.  I fear no one.  I am free.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910) — Inscription beneath his bust in the Hall of Fame

“No man steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river, and he’s  not the same man.” — Heraclitus (540?-480? B.C.)

“After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” — J.K. Rowling, The Man with Two Faces, — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1997, — spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

“Of all the strange “crimes” that human beings have legislated out of nothing, “blasphemy” is the most amazing–with “obscenity” and “indecent exposure” fighting it out for second and third place.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“A wise man never loses anything, if he has himself.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book i, Chap. xxxviii, Of Solitude

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I love it when I beat the odds; they weren’t very good at the start of today’s effort. Since it came out so well, as such things go, I’ll apply the “gift horse” theory of acquisition, & take my leave post haste. If things go anything like I’ve planned, I’ll see y’all tomorrow; if not, well, I’ll see y’all tomorrow, bloody and bowed though I may be…. Ta, then, luvs….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

Complex & time-consuming? Try making felafel for the masses!….

Ffolkes,

“From the depths of Hell I will follow thee; to the heights of Heaven, and back, I will hate thee.” Weird, huh? Often, in these early morning sessions with the computer, phrases will come to me, out of nowhere, apparently, niggling at my mind for attention, until I either put them down, like the one at the head of this paragraph, or dismiss them to the limbo of wherever stuff like that goes when it is deleted….. As with a computer, deleting something doesn’t mean it goes completely away…. with a bit of finesse, we can even find such items, if we know where to look, and how to get there….

Now, if that isn’t obscure enough for you, I can try again…. I’m pretty sure, though, that I can’t possibly BE any more unclear as to just what the hell I’m talking about, or where we might go with it…. The funniest part of this particular opening is that it doesn’t matter at all whether it goes anywhere, or even whether or not it informs us of our destination, or not…. Yep, none of it matters at all, not in THIS reality, anyway…. Maybe if we were in some OTHER reality, where they cared about this stuff, we WOULD care about that, but, as it isn’t, we aren’t, so we don’t, and we won’t….

Aren’t, won’t, don’t, yep, that’s got it covered….There, that probably did the trick…. If you’re not confused yet, I’m doing this wrong…. As I mentioned a couple of days ago, this is Consensual Reality, not some cheap imitation, so you can expect that level of quality confusion with your order every time you grace our presence with yours….

Of course, that sort of luxury doesn’t come cheap, so the price is somewhat higher than the normal level of confusion you find here; we had to adjust all of our menu venues to reflect the new service levels, but, as I said, it was worth it, to keep that same high level of quality in whatever Reality we explore….

Not that we go too far afield; consensual MEANS we have to stay at least within sight of the parameters under which we operate, or we can’t claim any consensus….. But, it doesn’t mean we don’t get out of the box now and again, to go where no mind has gone before, just to see what it looks like out there on the fringes of human imagination…. and when we do, you can bet we’ll be taking y’all along for the ride, because, hey, that’s the kind of ffolkes we are….

Now that I’ve completely gone bonkers, again, I suppose I ought to start winding my way back toward that reality we share here in the cockpit, so I can at least complete the proper paperwork for our journey today…. I mean, it’s like Tommy Toilet always says, ffolkes…. “The job isn’t finished, until the paperwork is done!” With wit, and wisdom, such as that, how can you lose? Of course, it’s also good to remember what else Tommy reminded us about, when he said, “Remember to always wipe thoroughly, kids! Rectal itch is NO picnic!”…. Ya gotta love it, right?….

On THAT note, I think it would be best if we just slip quietly into the water, to begin our dive for pearls for the day, yes? Yes…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I might make you feel, but I can’t make you think.” — Gerald Bostock

“Oh, thou hast a damnable iteration, and art indeed able to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon me Hal, God forgive thee for it. Before I knew thee Hal, I knew nothing, and now am I, if a man should speak truly, little better than one of the wicked.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King Henry IV — Act i, Sc. 2

(I know, I know…. My opinion of Will is well-established, and well-known…. but, he wrote so damn much, SOME of it HAD to come out good!….. I’ll use ANYTHING, if it’s good….)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(Note: You will find a number of pearls scattered throughout the text of the following rant; they kept popping up AFTER it was done; each one fit so perfectly, I had to add them to the narrative at the appropriate points…. They actually do add quite a bit of punch to what is related, so, deal with it, okay?…. Thanks… We now return you to your regularly scheduled program….)

“That the gods superintend all the affairs of men, and that there are such beings as daemons.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Plato, xlii

Well, ffolkes, the wait is over…. at least, for now…. I found this article in the news yesterday, 4/26/2014….  My immediate reaction was to realize we had finally been graced by the boon of receiving word from our Beloved Leader, the potUS, His Most Puissant Self, Barry the Obama, of the planned next steps they will take, all of which I predicted weeks ago, in the ongoing saga of Eric Snowden’s revelations, the NSA, the White House, Congress, and the American public, which has been such riveting entertainment for so many months now….

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/White-House-Discrimination-potential-in-data-use-5431708.php

“If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.” — Noam Chomsky

“President Barack Obama requested the review in January, when he called for changes to some of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs that amass large amounts of data belonging to Americans and foreigners. …… The technology that enabled those programs also enables others used in the government and the private sector. The White House separately has reviewed the NSA programs and proposed changes to rein in the massive collection of Americans’ phone records and emails.” — excerpted, verbatim, from the above article

It seems the White House, and the shadowy corporate masters who “advise” them over there, have, in their infinite wisdom, decided how to address the public’s fears about how they are spying on them, and how the data they have stolen is to be used…. In this article, in essence, they artfully begin to lay the groundwork for their next set of lies, preparing the public’s perceptions to be distracted by what is essentially the same scam they pulled after 9/11…..

Thanks to the candor of Herr Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring, exhibited in his statements at the Nuremberg Trials after WWII, we know this is is easily accomplished, by fanning the public’s fears of what CAN happen, thus convincing them they are working to protect them from the depredations that MAY, potentially, disrupt their feelings of security, giving lie to their sense of false entitlement, to a life without thought, danger, or, ultimately, liberty…. Lots of security, but no freedom, you know? Just the way the corporate masters like it….

“Ignorance is no excuse — it’s the real thing.’ — Irene Peter

The above excerpt from the article states that the President called for changes to what the NSA was doing…. It says that right out, just as if it were true…. Well, no, ffolkes, I hate to point this out, but, actually, he didn’t…. Back a few months, in January, after the most recent disclosures of the extent of the spying came out, he did make one (Yep, that’s one…. 1….) suggestion for a change, one that, in reality, had no teeth to it whatsoever…. but, by all the evidence to date, that one, I’m pretty certain, never got instituted, either, just suggested…. If it did, THAT information wasn’t published anywhere I was able to find…

Nothing of what the NSA has been doing in the last ten years has changed at all, as far as I can see…. There have been lots of noisy, vague statements made, all talking loudly and insistently about changes, but, to my knowledge, no actual reforms were ever actually instituted…. Go ahead, check that out…. I’ll wait while you do, because I know it won’t take long to discover there isn’t anything to find…. It’s perfectly true, you know….

The government has made lots of noise about it, but, there has been absolutely nothing done or said, anywhere, that actually states that the laws, that enable the NSA and their cohorts to do what they do, have been changed at all…. Not a bit, nowhere…. I’ve been watching….

There have been deliberately timed articles stating This, That, or The Other, but, none of them have claimed to report any actual changes, just the noise that both parties are making over it…. Fake arguments between the Senate and the CIA are not changes, nor are they anything other than distractions, designed to get people thinking along certain lines, which will lead them where the administration wants them to go….

Now, after the matter is beginning to fade from the public’s consciousness, they come out with this article, which seems to be yet another attempt to get me to believe that something is actually happening, or has been…. when all that has been taking place, in reality, are a lot of strategy sessions, where groups of spin doctors put together their pointy heads to figure out how to approach the task of altering the public perception of what has taken place, and what continues to take place, in the shadows, where the public cannot see, thanks to the blanket of secrecy thrown over the whole mess by the White House, and the rest of the 455 assholes who think they have the fucking right to impose their own beliefs on the other 300 million of us who live here….

Whew! Sorry, ffolkes, sometimes I forget to take a breath, and the sentence in which I’m stuck goes on forever…. Any who… onward….

The decision as to how to handle the hullabaloo, as it appears from the evidence in this article, seems to be to fan the flames of fear in the public, telling them how many different ways the data that has been stolen, and continues to be collected, can be used to compromise their well-being….

Back when I was in high school history class, learning about the early days of the Information Age, (they called it the Cold War back then….), this was known as “propaganda”, ffolkes…. and, theoretically, it was something the governments of OTHER countries engaged in, not ours….

In my history classes, we were taught to recognize these essentially “communist” techniques of mind control, so we could resist them…. The examples we saw were just like these info-bits with which we are now being insulted, straight from the White House lackey’s statements…. Large, impressively overblown, inflammatory statements of dubious plausibility, designed to create fear, of the unknown, or of the unknown “other”, in the hearer, without the superfluous need to tell anything resembling the truth…. It only needs to SOUND as if it could be true….

“Creative semantics is the key to contemporary government; it consists of talking in strange tongues lest the public learn the inevitable inconveniently early.” — George Will

I’m sorry, but they aren’t telling me anything I didn’t already know about their data collection; anyone with any technical knowledge at all knows what CAN be done (which is just about anything, if you throw enough money at it….), so, telling me how many ways the information is potentially harmful is NOT making changes; it is deliberate fear-mongering, and not even particularly well-disguised mongering, at that…..

In case you couldn’t tell, this has pissed me off royally…. It’s all just more posturing and noise by the BRC and their lackeys & myrmidons; nothing is actually changing at all…. Only their story, which they will change ad lib, as they blatantly attempt to transform the lies they’ve told already, from those folks might not want to believe, into something people WILL buy into, thus proving, again, how gullible is the public, and how egregiously unscrupulous are those who pretend to care about serving that public….

Just in case you might think this is all new subject matter for me, I give you now a short diatribe, against the same group of unscrupulous assholes as those who stimulated the above rant, but, written over two years ago, posted on the date shown, here on this blog…. It fits right in with the above, and it’s been sitting around, asking to be included in another Pearl for some days now, so, you get it today, as a bonus, and as added evidence of what I contend in the current missive….

From 3/28/12:

“By calling attention to ‘a well regulated militia’, the ‘security’ of the nation, and the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms’, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian-military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important.” — April, 1960 (Then) Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

President Kennedy was a pretty smart guy; not exactly the most ethical bulb in the box, but he had his head screwed on his shoulders fairly solidly. He also took the unusual political stance of actually wanting the American people to have a chance at what they deserve, and are promised by our form of government, i.e., a shot at “the pursuit of happiness”…..

However, in this statement, he makes an unwarranted and dangerous assumption, to wit: “it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation.”  Jack was an optimist…. and as is often the case, the pessimists were closer to right on this one…..

Our rights are in imminent and clear danger of being abrogated, permanently. This is an indisputable fact. This kind of fact is provided with partial proof of its truth by the reaction of those responsible for this subtle attack on our legacy of freedom, who, when confronted with knowledge of their intent, immediately accuse the confronting entity of “spreading communist propaganda”, or “attacking the principles of freedom” or my favorite complete lie, “you’re threatening our national security.”

It’s would be somewhat amusing, if it weren’t so dangerously disgusting…. I mean, do they really expect the American people to sit around and do NOTHING?  I kind of hope they do believe that…. it will be then a bigger surprise to them, when the American people stand up, point their gun at the head of these idiots, and take their rights back….. call me treasonous if you will; I call it patriotism, of the first water…..

“Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First, his Cromwell; and George the Third [“Treason!” cried the Speaker]–may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.” — Patrick Henry (1736-1799) — Speech in the Virginia Convention, 1765

Quemadmoeum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.  [A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killers hands.] — Lucius Annaeus Seneca “the younger” ca. 4 BC – 65 AD

“You can lead a yak to water but you can’t teach an old dog to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke.” — Opus

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Since the first section combines a new rant with an old one, I figure a reprint of a full second section wouldn’t be inappropriate today…. Hence, the following….. which you will find to be mercifully short….

From 12/15/12:

“Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave.” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Winter, Line 393

The only possible comment is the same word that made up the first thought in my head when I read this… WOW…. Such an incredibly powerful line, so gripping and real, it makes me as jealous as I allow myself to feel. To write such a phrase would be enough for me; I could die happy. I’ll do so anyway, (die happy, that is….), just to spite Murphy, but, if I can write one line half as strong as this, I’ll be content, for sure…. Here is something that came to me last night…. at least, it began last night…..

Territorial imperative….

Beauty must define,

as augment to existence,
  as life must be
more than mere subsistence.
Nature demands more.
Truth helps.

~~ gigoid ~~


It ain’t long, but it’s much…. and better for being so, rather than the reverse….. Just as an afterthought to this section, I offer the following as proof that even genius can feel insecurity and jealousy….

“There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

There you go…. Even as smart a guy as Oscar could fall prey to the weaker emotions, eh? We all do stuff that, upon reflection, we may wish we hadn’t…. It doesn’t mean we’re bad, just momentarily weak…. What matters is how we react to that weakness; do we accept it as part of our nature, or work to change it? That, I believe, is just as, if not more, critical to becoming the person we are most desirous of being…. Well, it works for me, anyway, and that will have to do, won’t it?….. Onward…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The rant in section one today was actually written yesterday; when I saw that article, my outrage exploded, and what you see above poured out in about ten minutes or so; it’s all been in there percolating since January, or longer, so, it flowed right out, just the way I like a rant to do…. As a reward, for you, and for me, here is an old-school, random harlequin style pearl, fresh as the day is long…. Abondanza!…..

Joshu asked the teacher Nansen, “What is the True Way?”

Nansen answered, “Every way is the true Way.”

Joshu asked, “Can I study it?”

Nansen answered, “The more you study, the further from the Way.”

Joshu asked, “If I don’t study it, how can I know it?”

Nansen answered, “The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things  unseen. It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown. Do not  seek it, study it, or name it. To find yourself on it, open yourself as wide as the sky.”

— Smart Bee Tzu

“If you go to a gunfight, take a gun” — Charles Nichols’ Law

“Lord, how the day passes! It’s like a life – so quickly when we don’t watch it, and so slowly if we do.” — John Steinbeck

Uhura: “This isn’t reality…this is fantasy!” — “Star Trek III:The Search For Spock, Stardate 8210.

“Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“In the world there are only two tragedies.  One is not getting what one wants and the other is getting it.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

And, last, but, most certainly, NOT least…..

“Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke.” — J. R. “Bob” Dobbs

Well, there you go…. Such as it is, this pearl is what I like to think of as “special”, but, not for the reason you may think…. In fact, there isn’t any reason at all, just as there is no justification for such inanity before dawn…. But, at least we’ve stuck to inanity, without tipping over into insanity…. This is good, yes? Yes….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am almost afraid to look at this one; it felt pretty powerful coming out, so I don’t know how it will come across… I suppose I’ll have to trust myself, at least that far…. So be it…. Okay, I’m confused, and so, too, will you be, in the end…..

My work here is done, ffolkes….. 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 the dubious

dozer3

Bowing to history in gratuitous shoes…..

Ffolkes,

If such were not overtly mundane, I’d let myself go insane today; the weather’s perfect for it….. But, as with any activity whose successful application depends on timing, this one requires the highest degree of precision possible, in order to have even a small hope of making the grade. No doubt, the responsible parties involved won’t assume any blame, should things go badly, even though any such event would be entirely their doing, but, I knew from the get-go that would be the case….

In fact, that is precisely why I allowed them to be present at all; now that the time for action draws nigh, I can admit, at least to y’all, that this whole thing has been a sting operation…. We’re running a clandestine operation to find and gather together the largest collection of bad metaphors ever created in one space, in order to use them as the kindling for a massive concept burning this evening….

No, I haven’t a fucking clue as to what any of the above means, or even if it SHOULD have any meaning…. My brain is so foggy and, well, empty this morning, I just started typing, to see what would come out…. The above paragraphs are the result, and yes, I’m pretty ashamed…. It’s as bad as anything I’ve ever written, I think, and is only saved from immediate deletion because I can use it as an example, of how NOT to go about drawing people into one’s story, or post, with a compelling beginning…. I mean, I’d feel lucky to know that ANYONE got through those paragraphs without retching, or otherwise showing the natural reaction to such dross and drivel…. Hell, even as an example, it’s boring….

I’m still not sure what this will mean for today’s Pearl, but, THAT is nothing unusual, I would guess…. I often haven’t much of a clue as to where I’ll end up…. Hell, I mostly haven’t a clue as to where I’ve started…. All I know right now is that I’m still sleepy, and typing is making me cranky…. I should probably go have some pizza for breakfast, to get back into creative mode….

If the pizza didn’t have jalapeños all over it, I’d do that…. For me, it’s a bit early for hot peppers, no matter how savory they may be after a night’s marination, swapping flavors with the pizza cheese…. In addition, having had a LOT of experience with pizza for breakfast, I can guarantee that consumption of both pepperoni and jalapeños before 6 AM is considered too dangerous for someone of my age…. Someone (not me….) could die before everything returned to normal…. As you are well aware, we HATE dead bodies around here before 8 AM; once the kids are off to school, disposal is much more convenient….

Having lost all sense of proportion and/or culpability, I give up, officially…. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but, this isn’t it….. You may end up with a great deal of recycled material today, which, given what I’ve seen so far, is probably a good thing…. It may well be the only thing that saves my ass, and yours, should you choose to come along for the ride….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“There are no educators. As a thinker, one should speak only of self-education. The education of youth by others is an experiment, conducted on one as yet unknown and unknowable, or a leveling on principle, to make the new character, whatever it may be, conform to the habits and customs that prevail: in both cases, therefore, something unworthy of the thinker – the work of parents and teachers, whom an audaciously honest person has called ‘nos enemis naturels.'” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), The Wanderer and His Shadow
_____________________________

I was right in at least one respect; you’ll see quite a bit of archived material today, even if this section is all you get to read….. Here is a discussion of the ins and outs of mental health, or the lack thereof, from someone who has a pretty good grasp of BOTH sides of that issue, to wit: yours truly, with over 15 years having worked as a psychiatric therapist, and over three decades of experiencing personal insanity of varying degrees, at various times throughout the latter half of my life…. Been there, done that, so let’s move on shall we?…. Hope you enjoy this small interlude, and short journey into the precepts of madness, gigoid style….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it takes a really long time and the light bulb has to want to change.” — Smart Bee

Boy, if it wasn’t for the power of metaphor, I would be lost!….. This statement, though presented in a manner that makes it obviously a joke, is actually quite serious in its relevance to sanity, psychiatry, and how the mind works, in general. I worked for many years in the field of mental health care, as a therapist, and I can tell you quite honestly, that this is absolutely true, in many cases of what the rest of society terms insanity…. which is a word, and a concept, that most of society avoids at all costs, with a complete lack of understanding of what it is, for the most part…. You see, every person who lives in this society on Earth today is just a little insane, with some of them reaching higher levels through their own efforts to excel at what they do…. Society itself is insane, you see, and one needs to be the same in order to effectively cope….

It may surprise some ffolkes to know that they are insane; I know it surprised me when I first became aware of this fact. We all go through our lives with a certain image of ourselves, and very rarely does that image in our minds look insane. But, let me assure you, there really isn’t any visible way to be able to tell if a person is insane, as it is completely invisible, under most circumstances, as long as the person isn’t speaking, or acting in some way that provides a clue as to their inner state of mind. Even for those of us trained in recognizing its presence, through the use of observation of other defining characteristics, there is no guaranteed method for spotting someone with a mental condition, unless they give it to you up front, by acting out in some overt fashion.

Sure, there are tells, as a gambler would say…. When one eye is happily spinning in the opposite direction as the other, it’s a pretty good sign of some inner turmoil…. Pacing and mumbling to oneself, back and forth in a small area, while ignoring everything around them, can be another dead giveaway of someone who is experiencing a few extra perceptions in comparison to the rest of us. Sometimes, really bad grooming can be a sign that the person’s mind isn’t focused on how they affect others…. Staring at a wall, holding what appears to be a conversation with oneself, is generally considered to be a clear indication that not all is well in that person’s world….

But, without some overt signs such as these, you just can’t spot mental illness; it is extra hard to see it in one’s own image, since we tend to clean that up before we look at it, or try to share it. And, since EVERYONE ELSE is also insane, at least a little, it can be hard to spot, for the same reason one cow in a herd is hard to pick out. You may have heard the old saw about “one in four people are insane, so if you have three sane friends, it’s you”….. What would be more accurate to say is, “all of you are insane, but three of you are coping with it in an effective manner, and one isn’t…. “

It’s helpful to know that the overt signs one may see are indicative of the severity of the condition, i.e., the more acting out one observes, the more severe the break in the mental state. But, that isn’t always accurate, as normally sane folks, acting in the grip of strong emotion, can show the same kind of acting out, with the difference of not having it occur all the time, but only when provoked. Thus, it can be seen, it can be very difficult to judge whether a person is permanently insane, or merely temporarily out of control….

This is where I bring it all together, by referring back to the original pearl…. Coping with life can drive anyone crazy, and does, every day…. Some  cope with it better than others, and those are the people who are considered to be sane, as they can deal with reality without resorting to outlandish ways of dealing with their fears. Those who cannot find ways of coping with their fears, which arise from what reality gives us to deal with, end up acting in ways that are strange and uncomfortable for the rest of us, and are often dangerous, in a physical sense, for them, and for those around them….

In all my experience, with every kind of mental illness I saw in almost 30 years working in mental hospitals, the primary characteristic of those who got better, was that they made up their own minds to do so…. That’s it…. Simple as it may seem, deciding to give up the methods they used in the past, and make a change, was always based on a personal decision on their part, and is THE key ingredient in the regime of ideas, medicines, therapies, and treatments used to combat their illness. In other words, it took a long time, and they first had to want to change…. Without that, nothing worked…. It is a well known aphorism among mental health therapists that, “they get better IN SPITE of what we do, not because of it….”

So, if you’re getting worried about your own coping skills, just keep in mind that to remain sane, it means you have to want to do so…. But, that’s all it takes, if your are sincere, for you will do whatever else is needed, once your will power has been engaged…. That’s what people do….

“Great minds think alike, apparently so do we.” — D. Bennett

“Falsely luxurious, will not man awake?” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Summer, Line 67
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As is often the case, I have no idea why this particular poem is the one that ended up here today…. I found it while searching through old Pearls for material for today, and it INSISTED on being included…. I’m a sucker for poetry, as you know, no matter whose it may be, and more so with my own…. so, here it is, such as it is…..

Time, and again….

Life, and/or love, will seldom fit
into any box we keep for them to sit.
Loose and limber, without any reason,
always somewhat out of season.

Surprise, surprise, they seem to say,
can’t help it, it’s just our way.
If only you would learn, instead of know,
maybe you’d find yourself with one to show.

Deal, just the way it is, now and here,
follow the path, on the other side of fear.
Finding the future isn’t all blood, sweat, and pain,
far, far more than mere joy we stand to gain.

The sages all say not to try, just do,
sounds as simple as putting on a shoe.
I’d say we could really go places,
if we could learn, to tie up the laces….

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

Well, it’s two and a half hours since I arose to begin this missive, and my brain continues to function at a level somewhere near the floor, so to speak…. Neither sugar, nor caffeine, nor jalapeños have had any significant effect on my stupor to date, and it’s getting late…. I’m going to go old-school (as if I would go somewhere else….), with the only search parameter being one of simple, basic direction, which will hopefully bring me to where I need to be….. Hmm… I guess that’s a lot to expect from a few little quotes, but, hey, I can be as unreasonable as the next guy….. These are all intended to find ME, or at least, point out where I’ve been hiding….

“I guess a cynic smells different.” — Smart Bee

“The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception.” — Nietzsche

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” — Buddha

“I admire the serene assurance of those who have religious faith. It is wonderful to observe the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces.” — Mark Twain

“As to values, I was taught — and still believe — that a sense of honor is necessary to personal self-respect; that duty, recognizing an individual’s subordination to community welfare, is as important as rights; that loyalty, which is based on the trustworthiness of honorable men, is still a virtue; and that work and self-discipline are as essential to individual happiness as they are to a viable society. Indeed, I still believe in patriotism — not if it is limited to parades and flag-waving, but because worthy national goals and aspirations can be realized only through love of country and a desire to be a responsible citizen.” — Lewis F. Powell (Former Supreme Court Justice)

“For the skeptic there remains only one consolation: if there should be such a thing as superhuman law it is  administered with subhuman inefficiency.” — Eric Ambler

“There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.” — Irwin Shaw
_____________________________

It seems like I’m forever using this closing statement to apologize in advance for any damage I may have inadvertently caused in my thrashing about; I suppose it’s as good a place as any, and I’m too honest, and compassionate, to ignore the potential damage that my material is capable of causing….. Me father would be proud, if a trifle confused….. and, I can just hear my mother saying, “Oh, Ned!” in that exasperated tone of voice she employed so well to dish out portions of the guilt, which was her weapon and tool of choice for manipulating her offspring….

That may sound a bit critical, but, it really isn’t…. I loved my mother, deeply…. I just learned very early to recognize the ways she had to get her kids to do her bidding; those methods weren’t always what I’d call completely reasonable, but, they were what she knew, what she had been taught to know, and she was no more capable of changing those ways than she could change her gender…. I never held it against her, I just learned to deal with it without letting it affect me greatly, and without hurting her unnecessarily…. I hope….

How did I get off on THAT tangent?…. Oh, right, the closing damage assessment…. Let’s see what happened up there, shall we?….. Well, I don’t think it will cause any loss of blood, unless someone overreacts enough to bash themselves somehow… which would be THEIR problem, now, wouldn’t it? Yep, it would…. Anyone who has been here before knows enough to watch their heads, and first time visitors are covered by the “ignorance of the law” codicil, excluding them from bringing any liability suits for their own reactions…. Well, that’s what the lawyers told me, anyway…. I suppose only time will tell, as it always does….

Okay, I’m giving up trying to make any sense out of all this…. 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

Sparky was filing his teeth when he exploded….

Ffolkes,
Once again, fear strikes deep into my soul, faced as I am with a blank sheet of paper and an empty mind. That’s figuratively speaking, of course, as we’ve progressed beyond the paper stage, so it’s actually a blank white screen I’m looking at…. The mind remains empty, alas, and the fear grows….. Well, literal or figurative, we’ve got some issues to deal with, so, I’d likely do well to follow my usual policy in such cases, and go take a break now…. I’ll be right back….

In the usual state of affairs around here in the morning, such a break would solve any difficulties I am encountering in getting started, but today seems to be resisting normality a bit more than is standard. Of course, ‘normality’ is rather scarce here anyway….. The paper/screen is now a bit less blank, thanks to my gift for producing something from nothing, but still with no indications of anywhere brilliant to head off to…. I’m going to have to figure something out here pretty quick, as we’re now two paragraphs in, and still not a single clean idea, or literary device, to be seen…. The brain cops are going to want me to move along soon, so let’s try this….

Howdy, ffolkes! How are y’all this fine morning? It’s 0458 here in Northern California, and I’m once again up, eyes wide open, and rarin’ to get going on today’s Pearl, having already had coffee and a session of worship at the porcelain throne! Why I am up at this hour remains a mystery, but, since I’ve been arising at 0400-0500 now for the last six days or so, I suppose I have to accept that arising at this insane hour is becoming a new routine, that my brain has decided upon without any input from my conscious mind. I’ve tentatively come to terms with it, as I don’t seem to be able to sleep past those hours, no matter when I crash….

But, that’s okay! I’m fine! I’m happy! I’m absolutely fucking crazy!…… Well, maybe not quite that far yet, but, if this keeps up, it won’t be long before that latter statement becomes reality….. Come to think of it, though, maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing….. If nothing else, it might give me a whole new set of ideas for intro sections, coming at the issue from a totally new, and unpredictable direction every day! Hmm…. well, for now, I’ll keep total insanity in reserve, as a backup procedure, such as I had to use yesterday, when it was necessary to break down and use Emergency Procedure #4….. I think I’ll call this one the Bell Jar Procedure, in honor of Sylvia Plath….

And, see, it works….. or, rather, it worked today…. Without having to actually go totally batshit crazy, and without actually having to write anything particularly coherent, or sensible, I’ve completed a five-paragraph-intro….. without you ever noticing what I was doing! Amazing, eh? And so creative! And, if I keep on with the exclamations, and the back-patting, I’m going to hurt myself, so, maybe we’d best get on with the rest of today’s effort….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.” — Steven Wright
__________________________________

“How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but it takes a really long time and the light bulb has to want to change.” — Smart Bee

Boy, if it wasn’t for the power of metaphor, I would be lost!….. This statement, though presented in a manner that makes it obviously a joke, is actually quite serious in its relevance to sanity, psychiatry, and how the mind works, in general. I worked for many years in the field of mental health care, as a therapist, and I can tell you quite honestly, that this is absolutely true, in many cases of what the rest of society terms insanity….. a word, and a concept, that most of society avoids at all costs, and completely misunderstands, for the most part…. You see, every person who lives in this society on Earth today is just a little insane, with some of them reaching higher levels through their own efforts to excel…… 🙂   Society itself is insane, you see, and one needs to be the same in order to effectively cope….

It may surprise some ffolkes to know that they are insane; I know it surprised me when I first became aware of this fact. We all go through our lives with a certain image of ourselves, and very rarely does that image in our minds look insane. But, let me assure you, there really isn’t any visible way to be able to tell if a person is insane, as it is completely invisible, under most circumstances, as long as the person isn’t speaking, or acting in some way that provides a clue as to their inner state of mind. Even for those of us trained in recognizing its presence, through the use of observation of other defining characteristics, there is no guaranteed method for spotting someone with a mental condition, unless they give it to you up front by acting out in some overt fashion.

Sure, there are tells, as a gambler would say…. When one eye is happily spinning in the opposite direction as the other, it’s a pretty good sign of some inner turmoil…. Pacing and mumbling to oneself, back and forth in a small area, while ignoring all around them, can be another dead giveaway of someone who is experiencing a few extra perceptions in comparison to the rest of us. Sometimes, really bad grooming can be a sign that the person’s mind isn’t focused on how they affect others, and staring at a wall, holding what appears to be a conversation with oneself, can be another indication that not all is well in that person’s world….

But, without some overt signs such as these, you just can’t spot mental illness, and it is extra hard to see it in one’s own image, since we tend to clean that up before we look at it, or try to share it. And, since EVERYONE ELSE is also insane, at least a little, it can be hard to spot, for the same reason one cow in a herd is hard to pick out. You may have heard the old saw about “one in four people are insane, so if you have three sane friends, it’s you”….. What would be more accurate to say is, “all of you are insane, but three of you are coping well with it in an effective manner, and one isn’t…. ”

It’s helpful to know that the overt signs one may see are indicative of the severity of the condition, i.e., the more acting out one observes, the more severe the break in the mental state. But, that isn’t always accurate, as normally sane folks, acting in the grip of strong emotion, can show the same kind of acting out, with the difference of not having it occur all the time, but only when provoked. Thus, it can be seen, it can be very difficult to judge whether a person is insane, or merely temporarily out of control…..

This is where I bring it all together, by referring back to the original pearl…. Coping with life can drive anyone crazy, and does, every day….. Some  cope with it better than others, and those are the people who are considered to be sane, as they can deal with reality without resorting to outlandish ways of dealing with their fears. Those who cannot find ways of coping with their fears, which arise from what reality gives us to deal with, end up acting in ways that are strange and uncomfortable for the rest of us, and are often dangerous, in a physical sense, for them, and for those around them…..

In all my experience, with every kind of mental illness I saw in almost 30 years working in mental hospitals, the primary characteristic of those who got better, was that they made up their own minds to do so…. That’s it…. Simple as it may seem, deciding to give up the methods they used, and make a change, was always based on a personal decision on their part, and was THE key ingredient in the regime of ideas, medicines, therapies, and treatments used to combat their illness. In other words, it took a long time, and they first had to want to change….. Without that, nothing worked…. It is a well known aphorism among mental health therapists that, “they get better IN SPITE of what we do, not because of it….”

So, if you’re getting worried about your own coping skills, just keep in mind that to remain sane, it means you have to want to do so…. But, that’s all it takes, if your are sincere, for you will do whatever else is needed, once your will power has been engaged…. That’s what people do….

“Great minds think alike, apparently so do we.” — D. Bennett

“Falsely luxurious, will not man awake?” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Summer, Line 67
__________________________________

In keeping with the tradition established for today, and in honor of yesterday’s romantic events, here is a brilliant poem by someone very familiar with the idea of insanity, as it was her lifelong companion….. Maybe that’s why I feel so connected to her?…..

Mad Girl’s Love Song

“I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”

~~ Sylvia Plath

Brilliant! Absolutely, insanely brilliant!   🙂
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“The media are now the tool of tyrants and despots. Tyrants and despots encourage fear, because fearful people will accept extreme political solutions, will demand extreme political solutions.” — Jon Carroll, S. F. Chronicle, January 8, 1997

Jon Carroll, on the political scale, would be considered to be just a bit left of the center, maybe a foot or two, as he tends to side with liberal ideas more than conservative. Over the years, I’ve found his take on life and society to be, most of all, even-handed, and reasonable. He avoids the trap of becoming overly critical of conservative ideas, while at the same time showing absolute fearlessness in addressing difficult questions and issues. As a media member, for him to make this statement was most likely painful, in that he had to admit his own culpability to do so. He does that, quite well, without becoming overly pedantic or shrill about it…. while still nailing the controversial point he is shooting at….

The recent hullabaloo over gun control is a perfect example of the process he describes, in action. Whenever a madman grabs a gun and starts shooting people randomly, or even targeting one group or another, the media immediately descends in hordes on the location of the shooting, giving out endless bulletins with the latest news on the events, interviewing police, victims, bystanders, and pundits to provide “balanced coverage” of events the public “has the right to know”…. regardless of how degrading, or painful, or ignorant, or insane, or stupid it may sound, or how much pain it may cause the victims. No stone is left unturned to examine and evaluate every emotional nuance for the viewing public, without any regard for morality, or justice, and definitely without any regard for compassion, or empathy….

After the event has ended, the media then turns to the “discussion” of the meaning of the events, which means it gives the Beloved Ruling Class a free source of advertisement for its agenda, which, allow me to reassure you, has nothing to do with what may be good for YOU. All the talk you hear from politicians after these shootings is aimed at increasing the fear of the public, to make them believe they are powerless in the face of a madman with a gun, and only if the people will allow ONLY the police and government to have guns, why, everything will be fine, and there would never be any more shootings at public schools…

I’m sorry, but, I’m afraid I can’t buy that…. There are over seven billion people on this planet, and there is nothing at all that is going to prevent some of them from going crazy, getting a gun, (or knife, or poison, or grenade, or dynamite, or…….) and using it on other folks. Believing such nonsense is, I’m sorry, just stupid….. It won’t stop, and there is nothing that will stop it, unless we figure out a way to change human nature…. a quest that, so far, has been completely unsuccessful, and isn’t likely to ever be otherwise….. People have violence in their nature, and thinking that the government, or any other entity, can change that is, well, not too bright….

But, fear is strong in most of society, and those folks have no clue, in general, that they are so easily manipulated. They tend to allow anyone who promises them to stop the fear to tell them what to do, just so they don’t have to think about it, or face it themselves. Governments have known this for centuries; look up Hermann Goering, the Nazi general under Hitler, some time, and see what he had to say about the people, and how their leaders could, and did, make them do whatever they wished, just by fanning their fears….. It’s a practice by no means uncommon among governments throughout history, up to and including the present day version….

Yep, ffolkes, that is indeed what it means…. most people are cowards, plain and simple…. When it comes to their own fears, they won’t do much of anything in the way of conquering those fears themselves…. They would much rather let the politicians promise them to keep the streets safe, if only they will give up the right to defend themselves, or allow a preacher to tell them to submit to earthly authority in order to receive eternal life (Or, in other words, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today…..” — Wimpy, Popeye’s friend, and metaphorical common man….). The media, whether out of ignorance, or out of deliberate dispassion, will continue to give them a public platform from which to perform their manipulations, and never blink an eye in guilt….

Me? I’ll pass on the hamburger, thanks, and go make sure my powder is dry…..

“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.” — Ronald W. Reagan
__________________________________

Okay, that will do…. It is barely after 0700, and I’ve proofed once, and buffed a few scuffs so they shine a little…. It will have to do, as I’m not going back and doing it again…. not unless I suffer a power surge that deletes it all, an unlikely event in the face of the precautions I have in place to deal with that possibility….. 🙂  

Nevertheless, precautionary techniques notwithstanding, it’s done…. So be it…. It’s probably a good thing, as I’m getting tired of pretending to be sane, and need to go let it out somewhere…. Oh, wait, that’s what THIS is supposed to do…. Oops…. Well, we’ll just have to hope for the best, I suppose…..  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

Fleeting moments of clarity and grace….

Ffolkes,
I’m not sure I can do this….. not this way. I’m sitting on a complete Pearl, you see. The one that was completed for posting on the 13th has not made it to the Net, as I haven’t figured out yet whether it will work to edit the old post, or just add a new one with that material….. The title I came up with on the 13th was certainly one of the best I’ve done… “Despite the disaster, yak butter was still on the menu….”  Brilliant, if I do say so myself, as it tells a whole story all by itself, without any supportive material; I don’t know about y’all, but I get a mental vision of some poor sap in a dingy kitchen, struggling to chop vegetables, as he worries about the price of yak butter…. perhaps not quite Hemingway, but, maybe Raymond Chandler?…. Okay, Steven King, and he’s my last offer….

Any who…. I’ve got all this material already finished, ready  to post, and can’t seem to settle enough to sit down to write a Pearl. I’ve got pieces in progress (who doesn’t?) but it all seems pointless, when I don’t have to do anything at all, and will still have stuff to put up. I had not realized just how tied into the routine I’ve become, I guess; I’m still human, it seems, and can fall prey to mundane habit-forming drills like anyone else, until it becomes the dreaded “routine”, harder to break than a five minute egg. (Five minute eggs won’t break; they just smoosh….) These can be fatal, if not treated at an early stage….

And the verbs! What will I do with the verbs? All my conjugation, so precisely aligned to the proper time frames and concomitant pronouns, all useless! How will I ever know what day it is, if I’m always a day ahead? Since retiring, keeping track of what day it is has become hard enough; I don’t need any help in forgetting. But, it should be okay, in the end…. I’ve finally figured out the bus schedule, and it can tell me what day it is, just by what time the buses go by the house. Of course, that is assuming they are running anywhere close to on time, an event of scarcity during the major portion of the week…..

Enough blather…. I could produce such for hours, probably, if I ever gave myself the chance. But, since nobody is paying me for this, it doesn’t seem very productive, so I’ll take this opportunity to get on with today’s effort at composition, and dive on in. I must say, the water looks inviting today, all blue and refreshing….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“This is the true joy in life – being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you consistent.” — George Bernard Shaw

When I first began creating Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, there was only one quote each day, with short comments by me, only to introduce, and perhaps provide a bit of background to, the pieces I chose, generally on the subject of Liberty, Freedom, Honor, Truth, etc. In those days, this pearl would have definitely made the grade, and, given that I don’t remember all the quotes I’ve used, it may have been used back then. It still makes the grade, so much so that I’m leaving it to stand alone, aside from the closing quote from Mr. Twain, which echoes the sentiment expressed by Mr. Shaw perfectly….

“Let us endeavour to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar (1894)
__________________________________

“Cruel as death, and hungry as the grave.” — James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Seasons, Winter, Line 393

The only possible comment is the same word that made up the first thought in my head when I read this… WOW…. Such an incredibly powerful line, so gripping and real, it makes me as jealous as I allow myself to feel. To write such a phrase would be enough for me; I could die happy. I’ll do so anyway, (die happy, that is….), just to spite Murphy, but, if I can write one line half as strong as this, I’ll be content, for sure…. Here is something that came to me last night…. at least, it began last night…..

Territorial imperative….

Beauty must define, as augment to existence,
as life must be more than mere subsistence.
Nature demands more.
Truth helps.

~~ gigoid

It ain’t long, but it’s much…. and better for being so, rather than the reverse….. Just as an afterthought to this section, I offer the following as proof that even genius can feel insecurity and jealousy….

“There are two ways of disliking poetry; one way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
__________________________________

“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right actions arises by itself?” — Lao Tzu

Ever since being first exposed to the precepts of Taoism, back when I was in college in the late 60’s, it has always appealed to my sense of rightness, and makes the closest approach to what I personally believe about the Universe at large. Not the mystical parts, that cater to the religious order of the time it first was clarified by Lao Tzu, but the essence of the concept of reality, as being both within our perception, and unknown to us as beyond our understanding. We may not possess the necessary sense to be capable of receiving such information, whether about reality or fantasy, and if we assume the omnipotence of a god, then we would not be able to comprehend their existence, lacking the tools to perceive them with our five or six senses…..

This knowledge, however, is tempered by the deduction that, as a physical part of the universe, we are connected to it, and to every other part, if only by sharing that existence. The connection, intuitively, is deeper than merely the physical; it extends somehow into the spiritual plane, which, though not tangible, is nonetheless a proven part of our mental reality. (What IS the mind?) It is this very lack of the ability to explain by which we may know the connection exists, as it echoes the nature of reality itself, which cannot be explained in words. Goodness knows why I’m trying, to be sure…. this is getting pretty esoteric, although, so far, it is consistently rational, if not entirely illuminating.

“Since everything in life is but an experience perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.” — Long Chen Pa

And what better way to acknowledge and celebrate the perfection that we can see, or hear, feel, smell, taste, or imagine?…… It’s certainly preferable to a long, dusty discussion of esoteric concepts, and will encourage enlightenment just as efficiently, if not quite so verbally. In some way, I’m always looking for the perfect quote, the ultimate aphorism, that delivers that cosmic truth we are all seeking in one swell foop, and the above from Long Chen Pa comes very close to it, especially when considered in the light of what one concludes from considering the answers to the first two questions today. As a Westerner who has learned to appreciate what the East brings us, the following resonates very well….

“Somehow, in the midst of their horrid history, the best among the _gaijin_ learned a wonderful lesson.  They learned to distrust themselves, to doubt even what they were taught to believe or what their egos make them yearn to see.  To know that even truth must be scrutinized, it was a great discovery, almost as great as the treasure we of the East have to offer them in return, the gift of harmony.” — David Brin – Dr. Pak’s Preschool

There’s the key, ffolkes, right there in front of you…. Even truth must be scrutinized, or the universe will have its way with you, and you may never find the gift of harmony that is also there for the taking….. There, not so esoteric, after all…. not too shabby, eh what?…..

“The ancient Taoist sages were poised and alert…. like ice on the verge of melting.” — Taoist proverb
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All things considered, this didn’t come out too badly. It’s going to have to do, as I now have more material ready to post than I’ve ever had previously, and I’m not sure quite what to do about it. I know what I’d like to do, but, I’m still waiting for the green light from SS on that, so…. I suppose I’ll just have to pretend it’s the day before tomorrow, when it’s really the day after yesterday….. if you see what I mean….  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!

Look, Nancy, it’s a pregnant Paradox!

Ffolkes,
People often ask me, “Why am I asking all these things?” The answer is simple. It distracts me from thinking about all the scary stuff wandering around in my head. It also keeps me from doing nothing but sit around and plot a world-takeover, a life-long dream of mine. It’s not easy you know, being a megalomaniac. People are always out to get me…..


Enough fooling around….I am a bit saddened today. Yesterday, one of the Pearl Drops (those lucky few to whom this email is sent each morning) opted out, due to annoyance at my politics. I’m not upset that someone disagrees with me; I’m disappointed because I didn’t make it clear enough that my opinions aren’t written in stone. Yes, I express myself forcefully; it goes along with believing in what I’m writing, and from being a triple Scorpio. But I never intend for anyone reading it to think they would not be welcome if they wish to believe differently, and to say so. In fact, I would enjoy the dialogue, for that is what makes the true democratic process function the best. 

If anyone has something to say, then say it. Holding it in and letting resentment build never ends well. I know I take the risk of being misunderstood, or even reviled, when I start to rant on politics, and I don’t at all mind some spirited argument; it’s very cleansing. But it’s disheartening when someone who believes differently doesn’t have the courage of their convictions; at least not enough to speak up and say so in a public forum …….let’s go on to something more uplifting……

“A witty saying proves nothing.” — Voltaire

“I always have a quotation for everything– it saves original thinking.” — Dorothy Sayers
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Inadmissible:  Not competent to be considered.  Said of certain kinds of testimony which juries are supposed to be unfit to be entrusted with, and which judges, therefore, rule out, even of proceedings before themselves alone.   Hearsay evidence is inadmissible because the person quoted was unsworn and is not before the court for examination; yet most momentous actions, military, political, commercial and of every other kind, are daily undertaken on hearsay evidence.  There is no religion in the world that has any other basis than hearsay evidence.  Revelation is hearsay evidence; that the Scriptures are the word of God we have only the testimony of men long dead whose identity is not clearly established and who are not known to have been sworn in any sense.  Under the rules of evidence as they now exist in this country, no single assertion in the Bible has in its support any evidence admissible in a court of law…

“But as records of courts of justice are admissible, it can easily be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were a scourge to mankind.  The evidence (including confession) upon which certain women were convicted of witchcraft and executed was without a flaw; it is still unimpeachable. The judges’ decisions based on it were sound in logic and in law.  Nothing in any existing court was ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and sorcery for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches , human testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.” — Ambrose Bierce “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Truly, a fine exercise of logic and pure reasoning……nothing to add, except to remind you to take this, like everything else, with a grain or two of salt, before you decide whether or not it is Truth…..
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(to The Caissons Go Rolling Along)
Scratch the disks, dump the core,        Shut it down, pull the plug
Roll the tapes across the floor,           Give the core an extra tug
And the system is going to crash.        And the system is going to crash.
Teletypes smashed to bits.                     Mem’ry cards, one and all,
Give the scopes some nasty hits          Toss out halfway down the hall
And the system is going to crash.            And the system is going to crash.
And we’ve also found                              Just flip one switch
When you turn the power down,             And the lights will cease to twitch
You turn the disk readers into trash.      And the tape drives will crumble in a flash.
Oh, it’s so much fun,                               When the CPU
Now the CPU won’t run                        Can print nothing out but foo,
And the system is going to crash.        The system is going to crash.

— unknown genius poet/hacker

This may not be poetry in the classical sense, though it does fulfill all the technical requirements. I don’t much care how good it may be technically; it’s damn good, whatever it is. I previously printed a poem, whose author escapes me at this moment, that was structurally identical to this, with 3 poems in one. The left column stands alone, as does the right column. Together, they form another complete poem/song, and in doing so have earned my undying admiration……
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LaForge: “On the other hand, I remember everything about the time I got my first pet, a Cirkacian cat.  I was eight.  I remember how funny-looking he was, I remember how excited I was.  It was if it happened yesterday.”
Data: “Perhaps you remember the pleasant memories and forget the unpleasant ones.”
LaForge: “No, sometimes the bad memories can be the most intense of all.”
Data: “It would seem there is no predictable pattern to human memory.”
LaForge: “‘It would seem’.”
— “Violations”, Stardate 45429.3

Memory is a fascinating subject. I’m considered to have a pretty good memory, and it has always served me well, especially when I discovered an important clue to how it functions in humans. You see, I’ve found memory to be just about completely dependent on our will. Think about this; almost everyone I’ve spoken to about this has the same experience. When something is important to you to remember, you will do so. If you don’t particularly care one way or another, your memory may be fuzzy. And if it is something your unconscious mind disagrees with, you will probably not find it when you go looking for it. In other words, memory in humans is almost 100% selective, and the selective criteria are different in each person.

The bottom line is this: if it is important to you, you will remember. Thus, having a good memory can be accomplished very simply. Just make everything you perceive important. Program your mind (which in reality is nothing more than a biological computer) to believe that everything you hear, everything you see, taste, smell, or touch is important to you. If you are persistent, it will become a habit, and you’ll find those memories you wanted were there all along. This little idea has helped me immensely all my life; I applied the attitude toward what I read, beginning at a young age, and now have almost eidetic memory for the printed word; I can often remember where on each page a particular phrase is located, and whether the page is on the left or right side of the open book. This shortens research time greatly.

So, if you’d like to remember the anniversaries, birthdays, and seminal events without fail and without stress, then give this a try. It’s not easy at times; the mind is lazy and requires motivation. If you need motivation, think of the expression on the face of your significant other when you give them their gift on the correct day. In the words of the commercial….priceless……
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I’m a little leery of discussing politics today, but can’t see myself giving in to fear or disillusionment without a fight, so I’ll compromise, and let the quotes speak for me today. These all go together, and would normally form the nucleus of an examination of whatever is currently biting my ass in the political news…….

“The public demands certainties;  it must be told definitely and a bit raucously that this is true and that is false.   But there are no  certainties.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), “Prejudice”

“Neither do the ignorant seek after wisdom.  For herein is the evil of ignorance, that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself; he has no desire for that of which he feels no want.” — Plato (428-348? B.C.)

“If you wants to get elected president, you’ve got to think up some memorable homily so’s school kids can be pestered into memorizin’ it, even if they don’t know what it means.” — Walt Kelly, The Pogo Party

TRAITOR (n.): A person winning an argument with a liberal.

COMMUNIST (n.): A person winning an argument with a conservative.

That’s probably enough to make the point…….if it isn’t clear, just dump it all in and let it percolate; it’ll come to you…..
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I’m sorry. I’m afraid I’ve caught poetry.

I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot rob me of free Nature’s grace,
You cannot shut the windows of the sky
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave:
Of fancy, reason, virtue, naught can me bereave.
— James Thomson (1700-1748)
— The Castle of Indolence, Canto ii, Stanza 3

That should take care of that; better than garlic……

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DISCLAIMER: “Any resemblance between the above views and those of my employer, my terminal, or the view out my window are purely coincidental.  Any resemblance between the above and my own views is non-deterministic.  The question of the existence of views in the absence of anyone to hold them is left as an exercise for the reader.  The question of the existence of the reader is left as an exercise for the second god coefficient.  (A discussion of non-orthogonal, non-integral polytheism is beyond the scope of this article.)’ — Ralph Jennings

Well, I guess that’s enough fussing for one day. I’m thinking of substituting this for the lines now in my sig file; what do you think of it?

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Close in sentiment I think, but not good enough. We’ll stick with what we’ve got……y’all take care out there…..

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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Unassailable Grace, Impervious Beauty….

Ffolkes,
As mentioned yesterday, today’s offering will assume the new position. With no further ado, I give you the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom (remember, kids, don’t try this at home)……

“I may not understand what you say, but I’ll defend to your death my right to deny it.” — Albert Alligator, in Pogo, 26 September 1951

Pogo, the comic strip by Walt Kelly, was still being drawn by Mr. Kelly when I was a kid. However, being just a kid, I was often confused by the things that Pogo, Albert, and all their  swamp-mates would say, and often wondered why people thought the strip was so funny. Later, when I went away to college, I was re-introduced to the strip, and came to understand why Walt Kelly was considered a genius. His droll sense of irony and his keen wit had, in the swamp society he created, a perfect outlet for all his sharp observations of American culture and politics, delivered in a down-home, laid-back way that belied the depth of his cutting wit. This Pearl, from Albert Alligator, is a perfect example of that wit, and how he used one single line to portray a number of concepts. This particular phrase sounds as if it could have been uttered by almost any of our modern talking heads. It is certainly no less potent a point than those being brought out by the group of Republican presidential wannabees; it actually sounds like something Rick Perry might blurt out, then spend the next three days “refining” his meaning. Though today we have our own modern version of Pogo in the characters of Doonesbury, I would love to have seen some of the strips Mr. Kelly would have drawn on the subject of today’s culture, were he still alive, especially those that would poke gentle fun at what I like to call the Motley Crew (Perry, Cain, Romney, Bachman, etc.)……

I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot rob me of free Nature’s grace,
You cannot shut the windows of the sky
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave:
Of fancy, reason, virtue, naught can me bereave.
— James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Castle of Indolence, Canto ii, Stanza 3

IMHO, (in my humble opinion, for the uninitiated) poetry is possibly the one divine attribute that mankind can truly claim as his own. There is some unique part of the human psyche that is able to take the most complex, powerful emotions we experience and, in just a few well-chosen, gracefully arranged words, give powerful expression to what otherwise would take hundreds of words to explain. Love, death, betrayal, honor, independence, sorrow, joy, all of the most powerful of human feelings, all are perceived by the fertile minds of poets, who then, by some unknown inner process, give back to the world what they perceive and feel, in a form that inspires and illuminates. This particular excerpt, from James Thomson, is one I had never come across before, and before I even understood what it was saying, I knew I’d be using it, because it is just plain beautiful to read. When reading it, try reading it aloud; it’s got a wonderful rhythm to it that is just fun to speak out loud……and the message I get from it is pretty inspiring as well. What did you see or feel when you read it?…….More on this subject in future missives…..

Nuke a gay whale for Jesus. — an attempt to be as politically incorrect as possible, of unknown origin

Like most of us probably have, I’ve seen this floating around the net (there’s a phrase you wouldn’t have seen even as little as 20 years ago); whether it made you smile, frown, or just groan is immaterial for the purposes of this discussion, plus I don’t really care. 🙂 What I’m interested in just now is the phrase ‘politically incorrect’. I have serious misgivings when I consider the societal gestalt that created the whole idea of ‘political correctness’; the phrase alone is suggestive of an idea that keeps cropping up, an idea that Mrs. Grundy has been promoting for centuries, to wit: morality can be legislated. (Mrs. Grundy, for those of you who don’t know her, is that old lady across the street whose curtains twitch all day long as she takes note of all her neighbor’s activities, so she has ammunition for her busybody opinions and critical judgments of the rest of us. Also known as Nosy Parker) Trying to tell people how they should act is not the function of government, and what goes on in my house is MY business, not anyone else’s. This is another subject that we will explore again, when I’ve gotten the hang of this new format. So far, I’m being a bit too long winded (surprise!)…..

“For a man can lose neither the past nor the future; for how can one take from him that which is not his? So remember these two points:
first, that each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle, and that it signifies not whether a man shall look upon the same things for a hundred years or two hundred, or for an infinity of time; second, that the longest lived and the shortest lived man, when they come to die, lose one and the same thing.”  — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ii, 14

The author of this little statement of philosophy re: reality and life was born one thousand, eight hundred and ninety years ago. I think we can agree that that is a long time ago. He lived without TV, without radio, without air-conditioning, cars; hell, they didn’t even have toilets yet. (Put THAT picture in your head; 10,000 or so people in ancient Athens, no toilets!) We modern folk tend to look upon those times, when we think of them at all, with scorn or amusement for what they had to put up with (or without). We have theoretically made a lot of progress since those days, but I can think of very few modern thinkers who have come even close to such insight into human nature, and the proper alignment of that nature in the universe. I actually find this to be the case in a large number of instances, and can only regard it as more data that points toward Armageddon in the not-so-distant future. Mankind as a species is in a period of grave danger, and that danger lies within our own nature, for we are quick to deny that which doesn’t fit our conception of how things should be, and turn our attention elsewhere. This denial will end up, I believe, as our Achilles’Heel…..

Well, that’s enough doom & gloom for one morning. Wow…..in looking back over today’s piece, I am underwhelmed, but hopeful. There was no lack of subject matter, but this format seems to feed into my tendency to fall into pedantry (see?), so we may have to make some adjustments. Here, then is your final Pearl for today, more wisdom from the ages, and sans comment……

‘We give to necessity the praise of virtue.” — Quintilian (42-118 AD) — Institutiones Oratoriae, i, 8, 14

Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!