With a suitably dour expression, the dowager duchess demurred….

Ffolkes,

“‘Tis not knowing much, but what is useful, that makes a wise man.”

~~ Thomas Fuller ~~

more palsBosom Buddies


In keeping with my resolution to lose weight (no, not a New Year’s resolution; I started three months ago…), and to take a more proactive attitude toward my overall health, I’m making good progress, 25 lbs; gone, so far, in 3 months…). In terms of the pain, not so much has been achieved, as yet, though I have high hopes, so to speak. In general, I also intend to be a bit less of a curmudgeon, at least in the way I look at certain subjects…. I have no intention of giving up my insistence on not suffering fools gladly; I’ll just be a little nicer to shopkeepers, and other folks who cannot properly defend themselves from my ire when they act stupid right in front of me…. It will probably help my karma, too, so, it’s a win-win…

So what does that mean for today’s intro? Not a damn thing, but, something had to go there, right? Right. Now that it has, I suppose it would be advisable to direct your attention to our next abortive attempt to engage your interest…. Sad thought the attempt was, (To be truthful, I tried to warn them/us/myself, it wouldn’t work… and, as you see, it didn’t….), it may not have snatched up your attention, to nail it on our chosen theme, but, it did get you down to this paragraph. Let’s see, where to now?….

Perhaps you’d like to see the pictures I got from…. no, that’s right, we don’t post genitalia pictures, thought I’m told some people get a lot of them sent to them via email…. I wish I got genitalia pictures in the mail; what a thrill that must be! (Why yes, you do detect a trifle bit of sardonicism in that statement…. why do you ask?….) What I would do with them isn’t clear, nor do I want to think about it, but, at least somebody out there could be nice enough to give me a choice in the matter…. How will I ever learn to judge them by quality of form?…. No, I’m not serious…. In fact, I believe I’m lost again, having completely wandered away from any sort of direction I may have thought to go….

Oh well, it’s okay…. Even though I spent a miserable night, and felt for a time like borrowing my neighbor’s AK-47, I managed to get back to sleep for an hour, which allowed me to rescue my mood, so as not to start the day with an urge to sink my remaining teeth into some soft, pink flesh…. preferably the throat of a Kaiser executive…. Oops, didn’t mean to rant, even for one partial sentence… Oh well, I guess that’s a good sign, indicating this would be a good time to get our asses out of here, and get on with today’s effort…. Okay, I’ll do it…. Watch….

Shall we Pearl?

“The countenance is the portrait of the soul, and the eyes mark its intentions.” — Cicero (B.C. 106-43)

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

My friend Lou, at http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/, sent me a link yesterday, with a suggested video for my readers to enjoy while reading their morning pearls…. I checked it out, and he’s right…. It’s a great little compilation of soothing sounds and music, suitable for reading, studying, meditating, or yoga…. take your choice….

Zen Garden – Cherry Blossoms, Relaxation & Meditation – 50 minutes

http://youtu.be/l_YSyUpf8Ec

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

UBIQUITY, n.  The gift or power of being in all places at one time, but not in all places at all times, which is omnipresence, an attribute of God and the luminiferous ether only.  This important distinction between ubiquity and omnipresence was not clear to the medieval Church and there was much bloodshed about it.  Certain Lutherans, who affirmed the presence everywhere of Christ’s body were known as Ubiquitarians.  For this error they were doubtless damned, for Christ’s body is present only in the Eucharist, though that sacrament may be performed in more than one place simultaneously.  In recent times ubiquity has not always been understood — not even by Sir Boyle Roche, for example, who held that a man cannot be in two places at once unless he is a bird. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

I’ve related my take on religion previously, but, I find the following rant from the archives makes fine reminder of why the entire concept is one we could do without, if we so chose…. Taking personal responsibility for our own morality has always seemed, to me, to be a much more moral way to live, than to allow others to determine for me how I should act…. My comments re: the rightness of eliminating those who deliberately harm others, or society, are a bit radical; in truth, they are a bit harsh even for me. In truth, though, ’tis no more radical than basing the same act on someone else’s idea of how morality should be defined….

From 12/6/2012:

Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?”  The Master said, “Is not Reciprocity such a word?  What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” — Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

Ah yes, the Golden Rule…. For how long have the sages of our species been reiterating this rule? Years? Centuries? Millennia? Yes, all of the above. Yet, in today’s society, there is ample proof that a large portion of humanity totally ignores this rule, instead operating under a different rule, to wit: “I’m going to get mine first, and do unto others, first, before they can do unto me” This rule has never been precisely stated, unlike the Golden Rule, which has been stated in any number of ways over time. But, those who live by this rule are just as committed to their own self-interests as sages are to the interests of all…..

The struggle for the Soul of Man has been raging since the beginning of history, for though we now drive cars, and wear ties, and use telephones, our emotions and desires are the same ones we had when we lived in caves and ate unrefrigerated foods on a daily basis, if we were lucky. To this date, no one has been able to discover why some people just won’t go along with the program, but insist on making their own rules, to the detriment of everyone else. I suppose if we did discover the reason, it wouldn’t be a problem any more, but it is still frustrating to know that we are, as a species, still fighting the same old ignorances and cupidities that we had in the beginning of history, and are still losing far too often…..

I believe in the inherent goodness of people, but, at my age, I also must qualify that belief to include the very significant number of folks who choose to act against that part of their nature, giving rein to that beast in all of us that yearns to take, and to destroy. Yes, we have goodness in our makeup, but we also have evil, and there are a lot of people who choose to dwell on that side of their own nature, and basically don’t give a crap about what it means to other people. As long as they meet their own needs and desires, everyone else can just go to hell…. I don’t much like it, but it is true nonetheless….

So, I say this…. If one sees a person who is harming others by their actions, and you can determine that they are doing so deliberately, then I believe it is within the boundaries of the Golden Rule to destroy them on sight (or, at minimum, administer a sound thrashing)…. for this reason: if I were acting in such a manner, I would wish that the rest of rational society would judge me, and bring me under control, for the good of all. If that necessitated destruction, so be it; it is a final solution, if a bit harsh. I also do not believe that anyone who deliberately acts to harm others has the right to exist as part of society, and it is perfectly sensible to remove them….

I know, this sounds as if I’m speaking in favor of the death penalty, and in one sense, I am. Unfortunately, the one problem with the death penalty is that nobody can agree on who is capable of making the correct, rational, and honorable decision in such cases. Myself, I’m a bit more of a curmudgeon, and believe in personal responsibility…. so I’m not going to fret over killing a rapist, or a child molester, or a senior abuser, as long as their guilt is clear. They made their choice when they acted against the rules and morals of society, so my choice makes perfect sense in response, according to that same Golden Rule.

A bit different view of that rule, eh? Well, nobody claimed this would be a smooth, level flight, or a soft landing….

“I stared into the abyss. The abyss stared into me. Neither of us liked what we saw.” — Brother Theodore

Google says that this particular phrase is attributed to Brother Theodore (whoever he was….) Nietzsche gave a very similar expression, when he said , “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” Either one of these is a fitting closer for this section….

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

Along the same lines as the above, here is one of mine, in what I would define as a call to reason….

Early Observations

Until I knew there was more,
I wanted to know God.
They said he was a nice guy,
and would let me live forever.

All I had to do, they said,
was live my life for Him,
always living by scripture
cleaving only to his Way.

But, everyone I saw in church,
acted different at home.
Living wild, cussin’ and fussin’,
nobody lived like they said.

Still, I tried to be like Jesus,
he was sort of cool.
He never hurt nobody
and walked on the right path.

‘Course they killed him for that,
they couldn’t stand his example.
Turned him into a martyr,
 hid his real words among their own.

Then I found the Buddha,
and met Lao Tzu at the gate.
They saw things real different,
showed me how to see straight.

Right thought, and right action
replace blind obedience and faith.
Reality becomes manageable,
fear retreats, the universe expands.

Brother John said it pretty well,
“Imagine there’s no heaven,
it’s easy if you try.”
Sounds like he knew why.

Day to day, life is grand,
we walk in eternal beauty.
Open your eyes and hearts,
find yourself already immortal.

~~ gigoid ~~


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

This is what I’d call a prototypical pearl, which is of a variety which makes it plain life isn’t as simple as it seems, yet, provides us with all we need to understand any complexity, if we are open to developing a character of honor, dignity, and courage, tempered by kindness, and its outgrowth, compassion….

“Life is a struggle with the obvious. We have been so blinkered with expectations or so blinded with choices that seeing and accepting the obvious becomes rare and courageous.” — Callan Williams

“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” — Buddha (B.C. 568-488)

“Man is a religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion – several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) — The Damned Human Race

“Determine never to be idle…It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Character is much easier kept than recovered.” — Thomas Paine

“Of all the benefits that virtue confers upon us, the contempt of death is one of the greatest.” — Montaigne (1533-1592)

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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

Having survived the black hole that was my mind this morning, and emerged, relatively unscathed, on the other side of reality, I see that what I’ve created here today is, once again, more than I intended, while less than I’d hoped…. Not bad for a late start after a misery of a night…. I’ll take it, and run…. See y’all tomorrow, if all goes as planned…. Oh, I’d also like to mention the addition of Richy to our call for blessings in the ending blurb, as well as a brand new worthy sentiment, from our old friend, Oscar, which I’ve added to the very end, (the only appropriate place for it….), just for fun….

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


À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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Supplicants in front, mendicants to the rear….

Ffolkes,

“Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

chandra-nasa-ngc2207_0
Colliding Galaxies, picture taken by NASA’s Chandra Deep Space Telescope


It’s no use. Nothing is going to help this morning; that much is already clear. Not the opening quote, nor the most excellent photo, illustrating the sheer size of our Universe, nor any of the weird, silly, and/or just plain odd thoughts running around in my head will serve to open up today’s post…. None of it is stimulating anything in my head other than reluctance, both to start, and to make a decision about WHERE to start…. It can make a huge difference in where we end up, obviously, so I do like to at least have some input….

Today, however. it isn’t going to work, not the way it usually works, anyway. Since I have no alternative opening ready to use, we may end up wandering around, listening to me panic, until we’ve managed to fill in enough to satisfy the monitors (whoever they are….). We could also try something new, and dangerous…. what do you think? Want to try it? The danger isn’t as much as we face any other day; it’s just more specific to the section than is normal, due to the strange laws concerning such matters, none of which are on the books, or even published…. They’re the unwritten laws that control all writers, which, if they knew of them, would doubtless drive them even crazier than they are….

Of course, that, too, is merely another figment, drawn from the depths of my insecurity, just so I could fill in a few more lines, thus, getting us further down the page…. Did they work? No? Ah, shit….

“I find myself beside a stream of empty thought.” — Smart Bee

Well, that sinks it…. Now, of course, I’m gonna have to step in, and settle this for once and all, or we could be stuck here for days…. Since the usual methods haven’t worked at all, I’m going to apply the ruthlessness which has saved us so many times already…. It’s amazing what tossing out the bullshit can do for one’s decision making abilities…. It sure is easy to make a decision when one only considers ONE set of expectations, i.e., one’s own…. It’s amazing how much more gets done…. Here, watch, it works like this….

Shall we Pearl?

“He that respects himself if safe from others; He wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.” — Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

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

For some reason, when I went to find a video, I thought of this show, from my childhood; it was one of my favorites… How could it not be? Space flight, magic, and Barbara Eden, a young man’s fantasy woman…. all hit my interests right on the money…. When I went to look for episodes to watch, I was delighted to find an entire page with several seasons’ worth of shows to watch…. Yay! I know where I’ll be wasting my time for a few days….

I Dream of Jeannie Season 2 Episode 1-2

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

Here is one from the archives, which fits in with some of our recent discussions quite nicely…. (I’m still saving my hands, a very good excuse to be lazy, I find…)….

From 12/12/12:

“He who proselytizes in the cause of unbelief is basically a man in need of belief.” — Eric Hoffer

This is true…. you never see an atheist going door to door, trying to convert the pious to their unbeliefs. However, I would go further on this train of thought, and add that, “He who proselytizes, in any cause, in basically a man in need of a life.” I’m sure it occurred to Mr. Hoffer, but he was too busy trying to explain this statement to somebody who didn’t understand the word ‘proselytize’…..

For my own case, I have never, ever understood why people feel compelled to go door to door to try to get other people to believe what they believe; it’s one of the most persistent delusional systems I’ve ever witnessed, to believe that anyone wants to hear what they have to say, much less they will find their beliefs palatable to others, or find anyone who believes them to be superior to their own…..

“More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying they made them.” — Smart Bee

Humans seem to have an immense blind spot when it comes to their own actions and beliefs. Most of them never seem to question the things they are told, even when those things are presented with no evidence other than faith. Of course, the people who are invested in the religious system, to wit: the preachers, begin their indoctrination when their constituents are very young, when they are still prone to accept whatever an adult says as truth.

This ensures a life-long predilection for being simple to control…. or, in short, mental slavery, if you will. Unless there is some sort of rebellion of spirit, where new knowledge is injected, these poor saps will spend their entire lives believing that what they have been told is real, when, in fact, they are fitting themselves with shackles, that will forever imprison their minds, and their imagination…..

“To defend one’s self against fear is simply to insure that one will, one day, be conquered by it; fears must be faced.” — James Baldwin

In my life-long quest for the truth, I’ve come to believe that religions, while originally intended to benefit people, (by their iconic progenitors, anyway…. I’m sure Jesus was a quite nice man, and wanted the best for those to whom he preached his own philosophy of compassion….), have historically been taken over by the predators who live to control others.

To be fair, some of those who become priests, or any of the other varieties of religious fanatic that prevail in our society, may indeed believe that their beliefs are true, and act accordingly, but the majority are, as far as I can tell, only concerned with maintaining status quo, thereby benefiting themselves, while never actually allowing any REAL progress in the development of the human condition. They would have society behave as if we were still living in caves, in essence, still cowering in our meager shelter while the storms and lightning are raging outside, terrified of the power of what we do not understand, and, therefore, allow ourselves to fear….

“A universe of death, which God by curse
Created evil, for evil only good;
Where all life dies, death lives,
and Nature breeds Perverse,
all monstrous, all prodigious things,
Abominable, unutterable and worse
Than fables yet have feigned, or fear conceived,
Gorgons, and Hydras, and Chimeras dire.”

~~ Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II ~~


(Side note: I’ll bet Milton had a hard time sleeping….)

The Universe is a big place, and there is a lot to learn. Fearing that knowledge, or fearing what changes that knowing will always bring, is the act of a coward, to my mind, and should not be encouraged. Supernatural beings of unlimited power are not a required component to the understanding of Nature and the Universe; we need not fear that our lack of knowledge of how things work is unattainable. Just because we do not understand a part of reality does not mean that whatever it is, is beyond our understanding.

It is not necessary to ask for exemptions, or intervention by our own personal gods, for us to achieve happiness, or even contentment; that is completely within our own power, if we but acknowledge that part of us that is free, and connected to everything else we can perceive. The connections may not be fully understood, but they are there, and if we can only learn to recognize it, the power to change reality lies within us, all the time…. As Epictetus said, “Happiness lies in learning to accept a simple truth. There are some things you can change. And there are some things you cannot.” It’s really quite that easy, you know, once one learns to accept this fact of life…. No dogma required…..

“If brains were outlawed, nothing would change.” — Smart Bee

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

Today, you are getting one of my poems, simply because I’m too lazy to go find someone else’s…. So be it…. Here is one I haven’t used for a while, first created on a Friday in 2013…

A Dubiously Soft Morning

Idiosyncratic images, clamoring for regard,
fill up the white, white screen on which I view
my life, never seeing, nor invited to sup
ambrosial remnants of anything new.

Still, yet almost in motion, allegory sails away
bobbing gently, quick and easy to find,
signs of one happy child, seriously at play,
blissfully immersed, focused joy in mind.

Formidable cries of outraged simple justice
echo plaintive relevance, in half the time.
Maladaptive infants, destined for hospice
salvage an only child, daring to sing in rhyme.

Creativity equals unquestioning farce,
often reaching for absurdity, brazenly afire.
Instead, a blow is felt that no joy will soften,
accepting the price, added to the cost of desire.

~~ gigoid ~~


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

Whew! It’s a good thing I got up early today; today’s final pearl may be in the top five, on the list of pearls that took the longest time to complete…. Smart Bee appears to be in a mood… Ah well, all’s well that ends well, as we all know…. quite well… This one SEEMS abstruse, but, once you’ve finished it, you’ll see it really isn’t…. In fact, it’s quite transparent, in many respects…. Enjoy!….

“Reason is not measured by size or height, but by principle.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap. xii

“Every man is guilty of all the good he didn’t do.” — Voltaire

“Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness; on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires, Necessity and Freewill.” — Carlyle (1795-1881)

“The miser is as much in want of that which he has, as of that which he has not.” — Publius Syrus

“Depend not on fortune, but on conduct.” — Publius Syrus

“Cato requested old men not to add the disgrace of wickedness to old age, which was accompanied with many other evils.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Roman Apophthegms, Cato the Elder

From ignorance our comfort flows.
The only wretched are the wise.

~~ Matthew Prior (1664-1721) ~~

~~ To the Hon. Charles Montague ~~


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

I know, already, without having gone back over this yet, it will be okay…. It may not ever be considered as one of the best Pearls ever, but, it will definitely do for our purposes today…. Hell, a lot of it is even fresh…. or, what passes for fresh these days…. Regardless of all my rationalizations and/or excuses, it’s done…. As I’ve been reduced to saying already today…. So be it…. gigoid has spoken…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…. most likely….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


It’s the sordid truth for you, boyo….

Ffolkes,
Say what you will about it, moving from one house to another is upsetting to the psyche. Maybe it’s just me, but I am, to say the least, discombobulated. (And isn’t THAT a great word?….) Plus, I’m really tired of being poor. I sure wish there was a way to stimulate the federal bureaucracy in such a way that one specific part of it would stop acting as if it is doing us a favor by doing their job in a timely fashion. I applied for my SS last year some time, and keep getting told stuff like “the department responsible for those forms is 148 days behind in their work,” which translates into “nothing is being done, and won’t start being done until we feel like it, 6 fucking months from now.”

Okay, enough whining. Lots of folks have it much worse than I, so I’m the one who ends up sounding the twerp here. Any who, I’m alive, and that’s all that really matters…..

“I’m having an emotional outburst!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

There, I think that is enough drivel for one morning; any more and it will be piled so high I won’t be able to see the keyboard….. Shall we Pearl?….

— “Bother!” said Pooh, as he ripped the fabric of Time and Space. — Smart Bee
___________________________________

“There is a higher law than the Constitution.” — William H. Seward (1801-1872) — Speech, March 11, 1850

After searching awhile, I was getting the feeling there wasn’t anything worth ranting over this morning. Then I saw this….. Have you ever encountered this? I call it “mouthing platitudes”, and see it most often in the speech of faith-based individuals, especially those of a political bent. Candidates for public office make many speeches filled to the brim with this type of insidious lying, couched in language that makes it sound as if it should be true. I regard this practice as completely reprehensible, fit only for the criminal mind to consider using in real life……

Paul Ryan’s speech at the recent RNC was a perfect example of this type of statement, along with just about every other type of lie he could come up with; lying by omission, lying by generalization of a specific, lying by making it up, lying by taking out of context, and just plain old lying through his teeth, he hit them all. It was masterful, in a way; one seldom witnesses such complete lack of truth in one convention, much less in one speech.

In THIS country, there is no higher law than the Constitution. Our forefathers made sure of that when they deliberately kept Church and State as two separate entities; they had the experience of kind of trouble that is found when the two are conjoined. That is why they came to these shores in the first place….

Mouthing such untruths as above, in the mistaken assumption that saying it as an assertion proves its truth, the speakers are trying to undo the separation of the two institutions, as they, the bankers, the priests, and the beloved ruling class, have tried to undo the Constitution’s precepts since the moment they became law.

That attempt to return the populace to slavery continues today, with the advent of two individuals who are under the complete influence of their religious beliefs, and are determined in their efforts to take over the government, effectively sending us back to the middle ages.

What they have brought forth as their platform resembles very much the same kind of law that was in place in the years prior to Christ’s birth two thousand years ago; it’s quite Old Testament flavored. One can only hope that there are enough citizens who are immune to this type of persuasion, and will hopefully come out to vote in record numbers, to show the rest of the world that not all Americans are idiots, trying to live with their heads so far up their ass, they taste their coffee twice….

If not, well, it’s a big world out there, and there must be a few places left where a man can live without having to constantly be on guard against fools…. there MUST be! And if there is, I’ll find it, as will many others, I would assume.

Ah well, I suppose by now I should be used to this; it’s been going on a long time, and the folks who spend their lives trying to avoid personal responsibility for everything are everywhere. All my life I’ve had to watch the show in the public arena as it goes through the contortions and reconfigurations every four to eight years. In a way, I suppose it just goes to show the accuracy of that old saw, “For every new foolproof invention there is a new and improved fool.” Or something like that…. it all boils down to “Stay alert out there, ffolkes”, and be sure to vote this November, whether you are voting to return to the 1700’s, or to find our way further into the 21st century…..

And never, ever forget….. Jesus was killed by a Moral Majority……
___________________________________

Piraeus calls me, silently

Sizzle, sizzle, crash, bang, boom.
Intellect burning with subsequent doom.
Lingering long over decisive style,
Whistling up chaos all the while.

Such frozen thoughts may shatter,
Should we infer, but, no matter.
Firing blanks is children at play
Blooded sages all gasp in dismay.

Nonsense is good sense at times
Mundane idols trip lightly in rhymes.
Fallen angels dance on a pin
Until each sinner enters within.

Fast moments with natural rain
Bring ashes, yet still must remain.
Final thoughts clamor for more
Find them only on a far distant shore.

~~ gigoid

Hmm….. weird. Subtle, and well-rhymed, but weird, nonetheless. I’ll take it….. wrap it to go, please…..
___________________________________

Old school, old school, just follow the bouncing thought…..

“Christ believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.” — Bertrand Russell

“Facts are stubborn things.” — Alain Rene Le Sage (1668-1747) — Gil Blas, Book x, Chap. i

Faith:  not wanting to know what is true.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Hail holy light! offspring of heav’n first-born. — John Milton (1608-1674) — Paradise Lost, Book iii, Line 1

“If I had a plantation in Georgia and a home in Hell, I’d sell the plantation and go home.” — Eugene P. Gallagher

“Half a bubble off plumb.” — attributed to Mark Twain
___________________________________

If this material is offensive to you, and admittedly it will be offensive to someone, than you should take time out to contemplate this truth. Seriousness is the refuge of the truly shallow! — Smart Bee

I’m pretty certain I can do more damage, so I’m cutting it off here. It’s been real, if nothing else, eh? Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Subsidized pets never rust…..

Ffolkes,
If there is one place in the world I would prefer to avoid during the month of July, Bakersfield would be that place. Hot, dusty, and ugly were the three adjectives that came to mind as I walked out of the bus terminal. The grimy faces of tired, old buildings lined the street, harsh neon lights looking pale and wan in the harsh, oppressive light of the sun. Nobody else appeared to be out in the midday heat except yours truly, acting the part of either mad dog, or Englishman, for the entertainment of whatever gods happened to be watching.

I knew of at least one goddess who would be doing so with rapt attention, for she is the one who sent me to this godforsaken hole in the wall of the universe, and she will want to know what I’m doing at all times…. The gods aren’t the most trusting of employers, but they pay well for success…. Of course, what I’ll do with all these old drachmae, I don’t know, but I’ll worry about it later…. Being the private eye on call to Olympus isn’t the easiest gig, but I like it, even if some of the major goddesses can be a bit testy about their entitlements…. As long as the money is good, I can put up with a lot of foolishness….

I might take this a bit further, but I just realized that this idea has been done already…. almost. “The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul” by Douglas Adams, tells the story of a PI involved in a case with a number of the old Norse gods…. Odin, Loki, and the like. I didn’t realize it until I typed “drachmae”, which is not Norse, but still reminded me of the adventures of Dirk Gently in a hostile universe that Adams put out. Not wishing to plagiarize his idea any further, we will leave that story right where it is, to die a long, painful, and horrible death, alone….. good thing I have no emotional attachment to it, or I’d feel some guilt….

Here’s a good piece of advice for all you youngsters out there…. Never….. wait, that’s too long…. okay, try this….. Always…. No, that’s the same thing, just backwards…. hmmm…. Sometimes…. there you go, that works….

Sometimes, you win, and sometimes, you lose. Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield. And sometimes, it all makes sense, until it doesn’t, and reality resumes its inevitable march toward our own personal doom…. so don’t sweat it. The end of the road will get here when it gets here, and not a moment before. We may as well enjoy the time while we’re waiting, eh?…. So be it…

I don’t know about y’all but I thinks that’s about enough of that nonsense for one morning…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Friendship is the only thing in the world concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.” — Cicero

Okay, let’s see…. I can agree with the part that says “Friendship is”…leave out some words leading up to “concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.” Obviously, I am contesting the “only thing” part, yes? Okay… so, let’s see if there are any other useful things “concerning which all mankind agrees”….

Honesty?…. Well, I think this one would probably be acknowledged as being useful by everyone asked, but I’m also pretty certain that many of them would be lying, which kind of negates that whole idea, doesn’t it? Yes, it does…. nod your head up and down, and let’s go on….

Loyalty?…. Hmm… I think this one would most likely run about the same as honesty. Everybody is going to say that they believe in loyalty, but some of them aren’t going to be telling the truth about it, not if 25,000 years of history are considered as evidence.

Love?…. I don’t think there would be any sort of consensus here; too many folks have had bad experiences with love, or more accurately, bad experiences from NOT having being loved, or given an opportunity to love. This would definitely NOT be a subject on which all would agree…. not even close….

Compassion? Fair Play? Opera?  Nope, I don’t think any of these would come close to being a consensus choice, much as some of us would like them to be, or not be, in the case of Opera….

Crispy bacon?  This, I believe, comes as close as anything else to being universally agreed upon. Of course, a lot of vegans and other cholesterol fanatics would SAY they disagree, but you know that deep in their hearts, they really, really WANT that bacon….  🙂

Okay, so maybe Cicero had a valid point. There doesn’t seem to be much of anything that all of mankind can agree upon, which is hardly a surprise, given the stubborn individuality most people cling to like a life-saver in a storm at sea. In fact, this innate insistence on being unique is part of the problem, as it makes it hard for people to accept that other people may feel the higher emotions, such as compassion, or honesty, when they are seldom present in themselves. They do not trust themselves, so they cannot trust others…. only when they are in the presence of a real friend can these virtues be shown….
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My Fancy

I painted her a gushing thing,
With years about a score;
I little thought to find they were
A least a dozen more;
My fancy gave her eyes of blue,
A curly auburn head:
I came to find the blue a green,
The auburn turned to red.

She boxed my ears this morning,
They tingled very much;
I own that I could wish her
A somewhat lighter touch;
And if you ask me how
Her charms might be improved,
I would not have them added to,
But just a few removed!

She has the bear’s ethereal grace,
The bland hyaena’s laugh,
The footstep of the elephant,
The neck of a giraffe;
I love her still, believe me,
Though my heart its passion hides;
“She’s all my fancy painted her,”
But oh! how much besides!

Lewis Carroll

Here is something a bit different from Lewis Carroll, whom we all know and love from “Through the Looking Glass: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. I think this poem tells a lot about the British culture of the time in which he lived, as I find a lot of pieces from that time that echo the sentiments described herein. At any rate, it’s a fun read, and brought me a little smile at the end, so I hope you enjoy it, too…..
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“We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should govern their spiritual horizon, nor Moslems that Lord Buddha is at the center of their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major prophet, nor Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual concerns, to say nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get Christians to agree among themselves about their relationship to God. But all will agree on a proposition that they possess profound spiritual resources.  If, in addition, we can get them to accept the further proposition that whatever form the Deity may have in their own theology, the Deity is not only external, but internal and acts through them, and they themselves give proof or disproof of the Deity in what they do and think; if this further proposition can be     accepted, then we come that much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.” — Norman Cousins, from his book “Human Options”

Mr. Cousins speaks in a very even-handed manner, with respect for all of the philosophies, religions, and churches he mentions in his statement. Though it is possibly too complex for the average follower of any religion to take in at one sitting, it does make a reasonable allegation, and leads the reader on a quite logical train of thought.

What fails to stimulate complete agreement in me is the question, “why do we make the assumption that what we need on earth is “a truly religious situation.” (whatever THAT means… I mean, really…. a religious ‘situation’? And who defines ‘truly’?…)  It is always a puzzle to me how people can use so much mental energy to chase themselves into a maze with no exit……

First, define a ‘religious situation’, and tell me who gets to decide when it is ‘truly religious’…. second explain why we need it on earth…. third, well, never mind, we’ll get to the abuse later….  Anyway, it puzzles me, how someone who can make the above argument, which shows a knowledge of religions which is at least wide, if not particularly deep, can also make such an unwarranted assumption.

I understand one purpose of such a statement, which would be to at least TRY to infuse some unifying connections between the various modes of thought, to get them to see other views, at least hypothetically. That purpose is a good one…. but trying to make the intuitive leap to a melding of religious thought is asking too much of people who, by the very nature of their beliefs, are unaccustomed to that kind of acceptance.  Indeed, one of the primary identifying characteristics of almost any “worshiper” is an extreme resistance to thinking….at all…. much less thinking about acceptance of another religion’s validity.

I believe Mr. Cousins is right to wish that everyone, of whatever religion they are, would open themselves to the idea that other religions have the same right to exist as do they, even though those beliefs are different from their own. A little bit of tolerance for the other fellow’s ideas can go a long way toward keeping the peace between nations, or people….

It’s a small thing, but with very large effect on how people treat each other…. It is also the most needed change to human nature that I see, the one that could lead the way to other changes to morality and ethics, thereby providing mankind with the tools needed to survive…..

You cannot face it steadily, but this thing’s for sure,
That time is no healer: the patient is no longer here.
— T.S. Eliot
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Homer: “Marge, is this a happy ending or a sad ending?”
Marge: “It’s an ending. That’s enough.”
— The Simpsons

I know exactly how Marge feels…. and it’s enough…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Bitter occidental visions of midnight sun….

Ffolkes,
Puppies…. everybody likes puppies, right? So why did I get all the funny looks when I served some for dinner the other night? Tell me, what’s the big deal? How come all the women rushed to the bathroom to spew, and all the men started yelling at me? I don’t understand…. if everybody likes them, what’s the problem? No mint sauce?…. Are they supposed to be baked instead of grilled? What?…..

Okay, okay, there’s no call for hissing and booing. It’s just a joke….. and damn funny, too!  Bet you were surprised, eh? I generally don’t use puppies for humor’s sake, especially not in such a film noir sense. It’s too hard to get anyone to laugh, at least not until they’ve said “Awwww”.  But, I thought it was worth a shot, and I was right….. at least, I think so….. Besides, I wouldn’t want to destroy any illusions about the classy way I run this blog….. high class, that’s me….yup. It says so right here on the label…..

Rather than continue in this vein, I think we’ll open up a different one…. I get the feeling this one could end up somewhere I don’t want to go. Instead, let’s Pearl, okay? Okay!…..
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Fundamentalism:  an effective form of mirth control. — Smart Bee

Smart Bee is almost always right on the money, and this one is one you could take to the bank. Have you ever noticed this? It seems that in order to be ordained as a fundamentalist minister, one must lose or destroy their sense of humor. This lack of funny bone is one of the primary characteristics by which one may recognize this fortunately rare beastie; it is often accompanied by a very strong sense of hypocrisy, and a sense of entitlement all out of proportion with Reality….. and they get all upset and frothing at the mouth when someone (like me…) points out their hypocrisy, especially if the proof is obvious.

“I see little divinity about them or you.  You talk to me of Christianity when you are in the act of hanging your enemies.  Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense!” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), The Devil’s Disciple

This hypocritical nature is shared with the fundies by politicians, bankers, and lawyers. Of course, the fundies dress differently than the latter three categories, who all dress the same, in power suits with white shirt and power ties.  You can differentiate one from another by the type of accessories they wear.  Politicians usually have an American flag pin on their lapel. Bankers, of course, have a diamond stick pin for their ties.  And the lawyers will usually add a vest to the suit, or wear the scales of injustice on their lapel…… Although each claims they are different from the other, all of them are adept at lying with great facility…..

“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” — H.L. Mencken

This insight is quite powerful, and very true to Reality. This characteristic of the American voting public has always fascinated me, in the same way that a poisonous snake is fascinating to study…. they’re beautiful, but very dangerous to one’s health. I suppose the public’s calm, even resigned, acceptance of the lies they hear, from the beloved ruling class, and from the priestly hierarchies, is a natural outgrowth of the hypocrisy inherent in each of them individually. In other words, because they’ve chosen to believe in a certain set of lies, i.e. Christianity, they are only too willing to accept being lied to by their ruling class. It’s kind of pathetic, if you ask me….

“Instead of striving to be like Jesus most Christians would rather presume that Jesus was just like them.” — Callan Williams

I guess the most ironic part of all this is the absolute cluelessness of those who choose this path. They really have no idea how insane their beliefs have become; they refuse to look at any evidence that doesn’t agree with what they have chosen to believe, other than those (often erroneous or irrelevant) passages from the Bible that they will toss out with such finality. It cracks me up when someone quotes the Bible; they act as if merely referring to that book denies the truth of any other source, like once they have referenced scripture, no other answer is acceptable…. when in fact, what they’ve quoted often has no relation to reality at all.  And the colors they turn when this is proven to them are fascinating…..

“I don’t mind being screwed, but the government thinks I’m a nymph.” — Smart Bee

Okay, I’ll stop harassing the poor churchies now. I know it’s dishonorable to have a battle of wits with people who are unarmed, but some days I just can’t help it. I look at all the damage that churches have perpetrated on society, and my blood boils, my brain ignites, and my fingers start typing accusatory dross and ironic drivel, without conscious volition. Besides, they certainly have it coming, and they’ve had lots of practice, at deflecting accusations, and at outright lying about their motivation. So, fuck ’em, as we like to say downtown…. they’ve been doing it to me, and us, for a long time; now it’s my turn….

Man, n.:  An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.  His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
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A Dialogue Of Self And Soul

i{My Soul} I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
‘Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
Fix every wandering thought upon
That quarter where all thought is done:
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul

i{My Self}. The consecretes blade upon my knees
Is Sato’s ancient blade, still as it was,
Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass
Unspotted by the centuries;
That flowering, silken, old embroidery, torn
From some court-lady’s dress and round
The wooden scabbard bound and wound
Can, tattered, still protect, faded adorn

i{My Soul.} Why should the imagination of a man
Long past his prime remember things that are
Emblematical of love and war?
Think of ancestral night that can,
If but imagination scorn the earth
And intellect is wandering
To this and that and t’other thing,
Deliver from the crime of death and birth.

i{My self.} Montashigi, third of his family, fashioned it
Five hundred years ago, about it lie
Flowers from I know not what embroidery —
Heart’s purple — and all these I set
For emblems of the day against the tower
Emblematical of the night,
And claim as by a soldier’s right
A charter to commit the crime once more.

i{My Soul.} Such fullness in that quarter overflows
And falls into the basin of the mind
That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind,
For intellect no longer knows

i{Is} from the i{Ought,} or i{knower} from the i{Known — }
That is to say, ascends to Heaven;
Only the dead can be forgiven;
But when I think of that my tongue’s a stone.

i{My Self.} A living man is blind and drinks his drop.
What matter if the ditches are impure?
What matter if I live it all once more?
Endure that toil of growing up;
The ignominy of boyhood; the distress
Of boyhood changing into man;
The unfinished man and his pain
Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;
The finished man among his enemies? —
How in the name of Heaven can he escape
That defiling and disfigured shape
The mirror of malicious eyes
Casts upon his eyes until at last
He thinks that shape must be his shape?
And what’s the good of an escape
If honour find him in the wintry blast?
I am content to live it all again
And yet again, if it be life to pitch
Into the frog-spawn of a blind man’s ditch,
A blind man battering blind men;
Or into that most fecund ditch of all,
The folly that man does
Or must suffer, if he woos
A proud woman not kindred of his soul.
I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.

William Butler Yeats

I could probably write a nice, wordy piece dissecting this poem, but, for the sake of both of us, I won’t. I’ll just say that I can see why Yeats is a member of the top 20 poets of all time, in every list of that nature ever made…. He’s got game….
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_
_  / \                           o
/ \ | |                       o           o             o
| | | |                            o               o
| | | |   _                    o    o                 o       o
| \_| |  / \                 o                     o    o
\__  |  | |             o                           o
| |  | |            ______   ~~~~              _____
| |__/ |          / ___–\\ ~~~             __/_____\__
|  ___/          / \–\\  \\   \ ___       <__  x x  __\
| |             / /\\  \\       ))  \         (  ”  )
| |    — —–(—->>(@)–(@)——-\———-< >———–
| |   //       | | //__________  /    \    ____)   (___      \\
| |  //      __|_|  ( ——— )      //// ______ /////\     \\
//       |    (  \ ______  /      <<<< <>—–<<<<< /      \\
//       (     )                      / /         \` \__     \\
//————————————————————-\\

“Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas … with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.” — H. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Ya gotta love ASCII art…. each piece created is another example of just how silly the human mind can be when over-used, or suffering caffeine withdrawal…. throw in Hunter Thompson, and you’ve got a hit!…. Enjoy….
___________________________________

All things considered, I like it. So, I’m going to leave it alone, for better or worse. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

We’ll tantalize them with caramelized onions….

Ffolkes,
La tabula rasa. The blank slate. Such is my mind today, as I gaze with hopeless longing at the empty screen. I’ve stared, and stared. I’ve torn at my hair. I’ve jumped up, spun around, and rattled the bones. I’ve cast the sticks, and I’ve sacrificed a chicken. I opened up two different veins. I’ve even broken down and prayed. And nothing….. there isn’t anything in there. Not a joke, or a story, not a poem or haiku. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I feel like a bloody Republican, (or a Democrat…equal opportunity bashing here….), you know “head’s all empty, and I don’t care”…..

Okay, so that last one was cruel. You’re probably right, I shouldn’t pick on them. Even though they deserve it, it is probably bad for MY karmic burden, which is, no doubt, already weighted heavily on the wrong side. But, what’s a guy to do? I can’t find any inspiration anywhere, and there are people out there panting for their morning Pearl….. Well, perhaps not. I have to keep telling myself that, or I’d give up. After all, it’s not as if I’m doing this because the money is so good,  is it? No, it’s not….

Now that I have established myself in your minds as completely nuts, I think it might be a good thing if we just went and started pearling. If I stick around this intro much longer, I’m going to start pulling out what little hair I have left. Good grief, the way I feel this morning, this could conceivably turn into a MUSICAL, and we’ll all burst into song! To avoid that, we will now dive in & start our search for material…. shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

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

Sometimes Zippy just hits the nail right on the head! This is EXACTLY how I feel today, though I couldn’t say why this is so. My sleeping schedule has gotten really messed up, for some reason probably known only to my subconscious mind. The last two days, I’ve laid down to nap for a couple hours, and ended up sleeping for five hours, waking up just in time to go back to bed. So, I’ve ended up staying up late, which makes me get up later, etc.  Add in my normal degree of insanity, some hunger pangs, and tobacco withdrawal symptoms, and what you end up with is one seriously funky attitude….

Now, funky is a question begging term, but in this case it happens to be precisely the right word to describe my mental state. I’m reminded of an old Tower of Power song, “I’m funky, but I’m clean!”. Of course, I’m not clean yet…. I shower after the morning Pearl, so I guess that makes me 100% funky. Yay…..

I know this is cheating. I know I’m just stalling, trying to fill up column inches with prattle and nonsense. I suppose I’ll have to justify all this by actually creating something….. SIGH…. okay, I’ll try that…..

Morning Pearls

Such mornings as these
chase away my dreams of light.
I won’t cry again.

gigoid

That will have to do, for the nonce…..
___________________________________

“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1972)

There are many folks out there who, when reading my material for the first time, might get the impression that I am an atheist, and an anarchist. The stuff I write would tend to give that impression, I have no doubt. But, it really isn’t the case, and just goes to show that not everything is always as it seems…..

I’m not an atheist, at least not in a classical sense. I would more accurately be described as agnostic, as I believe strongly in a spiritual component in the universe. But, the very concept of omnipotence, and omniscience, implies that one cannot define God, or whatever entity one considers to be the ultimate authority. A finite mind cannot comprehend an infinite mind; anything we can imagine cannot, by definition, be accurate or complete, as our minds are not infinite in scope.

It could be said that our imagination IS infinite. We can, at the very least, comprehend the concept of infinity, even if we cannot touch it, or see it, or count that high. But, to actually think that what we imagine about God is the same as reality is not only arrogant, it is foolish. Yet a large percentage of the human race not only believes they know what God looks like (ironically, God always looks like the folks who are claiming Him as their deity….), but that they know what He wants. To my way of thinking, this is sheer self-aggrandizement, and unjustifiably arrogant….

I suppose it helps them in dealing with the everyday stresses of life to think that they are special. To think they are beloved of God, and what they do is important to Him. This sense of belonging is important to a lot of folks, due I think, to their own fears about their ability to deal with reality as it exists. It gives them a sense of entitlement, and justifies their actions, no matter how immoral or unethical they may be. It allows them to act upon their impulses without restraint, to lie, to cheat, to steal, all in the name of the Lord. And, if they should happen to feel a tiny shred of guilt about what they are doing to other folks, why, they just confess their sins to Jesus, and all is forgiven!….

Sorry, folks, but I could never buy into the whole scenario, from my earliest days. All of my experience, and all of my reasoning have led me to a different view of reality than what is described by any religion. I have observed the behavior of most people of a religious bent to be, as a rule, hypocritical, cruel, bigoted, racist, and, for the most part, unrelated to any moral or ethical system of any depth. The most religious in society go so far as to threaten violence toward anyone who disagrees with their beliefs, justified by their own self-proclaimed right to spew their hatred on anyone who differs.

I believe in compassion and kindness. I believe in love. I believe in protecting the vulnerable, and helping the less fortunate. I believe in beauty. And, I believe in reality, whatever that may be; it’s purely subjective for the most part. I DON’T believe in the divinity of Jesus, or Buddha, or Lao Tzu, or Mohammad, or any other religious prophet. I don’t believe there is some white haired, bearded old guy sitting on a throne of gold up in the sky somewhere, looking down and getting his pants in a bunch because I didn’t salute his graven image first thing after I got up.

That whole graven image thing, and the idea that God wants, or needs, our worship has always been a thorn in my side. I mean, can’t these zealots understand the irony of worshiping an image of Christ on the cross? Don’t they know that the cross is a graven image? And why would an omnipotent being need MY worship? It makes no sense. None. I cannot imagine of ANY reason for a God to care at all about such petty bullshit; I don’t care to be worshiped, why should He? Having someone act that way toward me makes me uncomfortable, so I can’t see why a God would even want to go there. What purpose does it serve?

Well, one of my computer alarms just went off, and made me realize I was ranting, which I had not started out to do. I think y’all can get the gist of my arguments by this time, and those who are in disagreement with what I’ve written aren’t going to be persuaded away from their long-held delusions by my words, so further soliloquy would be futile.

I’ll just finish by saying this….. until Mankind grows up enough to be able to put aside the crutch of religion, and learns to stand up to reality as it exists, without the delusional imaginary friend to intercede on their behalf with the universe, then our path to extinction will remain clear…. It’s too bad really, because our species shows a lot of promise…. it’s too bad we will never be allowed to explore our limits as an adult species, because we will have killed ourselves off before we ever got out of childhood….
___________________________________

The cricket sang,
And set the sun,
And workmen finished, one by one,
Their seam the day upon.

The low grass loaded with the dew,
The twilight stood as strangers do
With hat in hand, polite and new,
To stay as if, or go.

A vastness, as a neighbor, came,–
A wisdom without face or name,
A peace, as hemispheres at home,–
And so the night became.

Emily Dickinson

No comments required…. just enjoy!….
___________________________________

So, some folks might say it was cheating, but I don’t think so, and I’m the only one here, so…. thus we get through another fine morning, hopefully with some panache. If not, well, there’s always tomorrow…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Transformers in a creamy sauce….

Ffolkes,
I think everyone out there has experienced being left on hold by some large corporation with whom you have tried to conduct business over the phone. Once, while speaking with my internet service provider, I got left on hold, and forgotten, three times, over the course of a 45 minute call, that dealt with an issue that took 20 seconds to correct. I’m sure you all have a horror story or two to add to this; it’s a common practice these days, for companies to increase their profit margins by reducing services, such as phone operators. It is also a big pain in our collective ass….

My whole life is currently on hold, by the Federal government, bless their pointy little heads. The Social Security Department, having decided in their wisdom that I am not yet worthy, have denied my disability application, so I am compelled to go through the appeal process, adding perhaps another 6 months to the time I will have to survive without the additional funds that SS will provide from the money I have put into the system over the last 45-50 years.

Six months more of this…. This includes never being able to go anywhere, as I cannot afford a car, and riding buses, though efficient financially, is very slow and laborious, not to mention hard on my back. Riding across town to buy my bread at the discount store is a four hour bus trip, to cover a distance I could drive in 8-10 minutes each way. Also, the buses don’t run before 8 AM or after 9 PM, so no staying out late or starting early.

No going out to dinner, and no going out for a cocktail; those events are not even close to being included in the monthly budget. Hell, if I buy more than a hundred dollars or so of food, it puts a strain on things. I don’t starve, by any means; I do have more than many families with kids have to get by, and for that I am grateful to my 29 years of state retirement contributions.

But, there are no extras included in there…. no laundry, no clothing, no shoes can be purchased, without first doing without something else that may be critical. I am impressed more and more all the time with the creativity shown by the families who are getting by on less than my retirement; this isn’t easy, at all.

Living this way has given me two things… One, as stated, a feeling of intense admiration for the folks in society who get by on the pittance that they can earn, given the lack of jobs and the determination of the 1% to keep things this way. Two, a burning, intense hatred (a word I don’t much use, as I consider it unhealthy in general…) for that same 1%, in which I include all politicians, priests, preachers, rabbis, imams, bankers, industrialists, and specifically Mitt Romney’s asshole of a wife. (Well, him, too, but she is particularly noisome…. “average housewife” my dying ass…..) It is clear by the daily nonsense I see in the news just how little they care, or even comprehend, about the situation in today’s culture of disparity. And, as far as I can tell, by all available evidence, it is deliberate on their part; they just don’t care about anyone else….

Ah me…. I had not intended to rant first thing this morning. But, having awakened once again in pain, followed by a bout with my PTSD’s lovely gift of depression and tears this morning, it just sort of flowed out of my head and onto the screen. I don’t wish to make this sound like a litany of whiny complaints. I know I have it better than a lot of folks.

But, damn it, it doesn’t have to be this way, and if there was even one person in government that I could point to and say, “Look, there is an honest man, trying to make things better for those who elected him,” then I would feel at least a little bit encouraged. As it is, I can only look forward to more of the same, for at least six more months…. and I defy anyone out there to tell me I’m wrong here. It should be easy, one would think…. all you have to do is find ONE person in office you can show me who is trying to do right. One, that’s all…. go ahead, I dare you…..

That will take you a good, long while, so in the meantime, I’m going pearling…. y’all can come along, or not, as you wish…. I’m too much in the depths of depression to care….. but, you are welcome, if you so desire…. let’s go…..
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O men with sisters dear,
O men with mothers and wives,
It is not linen you ‘re wearing out,
But human creatures’ lives!
— Thomas Hood (1798-1845) — The Song of the Shirt

Yesterday, I reblogged an article posted by rmott62, a very strong, inspiring young woman who writes about her experiences as a sex trade slave. I use the word “slave” deliberately, for no other word describes the women, and children who are trapped, abducted, or even tricked into becoming prostitutes. I have reblogged her work, and the work of a couple others who have been fortunate enough to have exited the system in which they were entrapped, several times, and I will continue to do so as long as she, and I, still are publishing. I do this because I am ashamed….

Yes, ashamed…. I am ashamed at myself, and of all the other men in the world who turn their faces away from this issue, and pretend that there is nothing they can do about it. I am ashamed that this practice, of raping and abusing women and girls, just for their own pleasure (though I fail to see how it can be pleasurable to rape or abuse…), just because they can, not only has been present for thousands of years, but continues unabated in today’s supposedly enlightened culture. To my way of thinking, all of us men are responsible for this, and it is our DUTY to do whatever we can to put a stop to it.

Back in the days when mankind lived in caves, when a man in the tribe became dangerous to others in the tribe, for stealing, for abusing others, for whatever reason they had that went against what was good for the tribe, the other men in the tribe made it a point to discipline that man. It may have been merely a physical beating, or banishment from the tribe, or even death, but the other men took it upon themselves to see that the will of the tribe was upheld. Somehow, when culture grew, and started inhabiting cities, and there was more interchange between various tribes, the system broke down. The people of the society were now supposed to be protected from such depredations by law….

But, at about this time, the unscrupulous among us started to solidify their power over society; the richest among the tribes were those who made the laws; they were also the same ones who saw nothing wrong with raping and abusing women, assuming that was their privilege as one of the beloved ruling class. And so the laws were made to reflect that attitude, and the die was cast.

This system has survived the centuries, and now the attitude that prostitution is an integral part of society is so ingrained that even those without any other kind of power over others can go to a brothel and act out their sick fantasies, at the expense of a woman or child who has no defense against the violence that occurs if they should object…. and if there is a discussion it is always about a “victimless crime”….

It disgusts me, right down to my core. It is perhaps the sickest part of our society, and very few people are even aware of it. There is certainly no discussion in the public at large of the issue; it is far too volatile for any politician to ever take the chance of siding with the women who are being abused. Hell, a good half of those assholes in office are trying to take away the few rights women have managed to get into law over the last 40 years; Roe vs. Wade has already been set aside, and the asshole men who can’t stand the thought of a woman having the right to choose anything, much less their own sexual nature, are trying to make sure it never gets revived.

I’m not sure what can be done, at least not on a society-wide scale. The attitudes, and laws, have been so set in stone for so many years that it may require surgical removal to make any progress. But, on a smaller scale, I can make noise about it, and try to shame any man who believes otherwise that he is not only a fool, but an asshole fool, and doesn’t deserve to call himself a man.

When I was in college, the women’s rights movement was in its beginnings, and there was a phrase coined that says it all, to me…. Free our sisters, free ourselves…. None of us men will ever be truly and completely free until we have freed our sisters from such servitude.

That is a fact. It is not just my opinion, it is a fact, and we would do well to pay heed…. and those who engage in this industry had best watch out, for if no one else does, I will be looking for them, and when I find them, I will do all I can to end them. And you can interpret that however you wish; I have no doubt in my mind as to what I mean, and I mean “end them”…..
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“It is ridiculous to suppose that the great head of things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs.” — Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) — Natural History, Book ii, Sect. 20

This has always been an issue in my mind, from the very earliest times I was exposed to religious instruction, in some Presbyterian Sunday School when I was a young lad. Even at the age of five or six, I had a hard time understanding two things about God, if what they were telling me about Him was true. First, I couldn’t believe that a God, supposedly able to create an entire universe, would take the time and/or energy to care whether or not I was paying attention to His rules. (I also questioned why He would make rules in the first place….)

Secondly, the whole idea of worship made me uneasy…. it seemed a bit, hmm, needy, or vulnerable, to me. I knew that the admiration of others made me feel weird; uneasy and uncomfortable with their fawning (baby sisters & brothers, little kids, and others who show such feelings for their older, more accomplished siblings….). Even the admiration I held for my older siblings, and my heroes, made me a bit uncomfortable. So, I could never understand why an all-powerful being would want any part of such a thing.

So, even then, before I had any real defenses, I suppose my ability to reason made it hard for me to accept a lot of what I was told. It never made sense to me that the pictures I saw of God made him look just like some human patriarch (hmm… no Freudian comments?); I mean, if he was so far above us, how did we know what He looked like? I didn’t remember seeing any photos of Him, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, (another questionable entity to the mind of a five-year old….) playing in the Dead Sea surf, nor did I recall any such word from God Himself. There were a lot of folks saying that the Bible is the Word of God, but the only ones saying so were people, not Gods.

So, maybe I’m a bit different than the average young bear cub, but much of what they tried to foist upon my unsuspecting mind never took hold, as I found it completely unbelievable. It just didn’t make any sense, even by the rules they were setting up for it.  If I, a little kid, didn’t like to be worshiped, why would an omnipotent being have anything to do with it?  Give me a reasonable, rational answer, and I will consider the concept. But, I think you’d best bring a new and different set of arguments, because the ones that have been in play for several thousand years just don’t cut it in my book….

“Everybody has the right to be stupid, but they’re abusing the privilege.” — Smart Bee
___________________________________    Today’s material has been a bit heavy, to match my mood, so this is here merely to provide a bit of comedic relief before we go on…. silly looking, isn’t he?…. But happy, too…. The picture was found on No Ruff Days, a WordPress blog site that has wonderful pictures paired with quotes, all about dogs and their relationship with mankind…. the address is:  http://www.noruffdays.com
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“You can have a winner [in a nuclear war].” — George Bush, 1980.
In 1984, he said, “I never said that.” — The original interview had been taped…

The funniest part of this is that he continued to deny it after hearing the tape…. There isn’t really much more about this I can add; it’s pretty clear as it is. I’ll just say this: It’s not his fault…. Yep, I said that. It’s our fault. We, the voting public, are the ones who not only overlook this sort of asininity, but show our approval by electing these same liars time and time again. As long as this habit continues, then we will continue to see nothing but liars in office, and our journey toward a rational society will be put off that much longer….

Just desserts, I’d say…. If you need an example from current times, just go to any of the several sites that have been set up with the expressed purpose of showing the lies that just ONE candidate has been spewing all over the airwaves, to wit: Willard Mitt Romney. This man is possibly the most clueless candidate to come down the pike in many a year, and he still has millions of people willing to ignore his lack of ability to speak the truth….    Pretty sickening, to my way of thinking…. but, deserved, nonetheless….
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“All riches come from iniquity, and unless one has lost, another cannot gain.  Hence that common opinion seems to be very true, “the rich man is unjust, or the heir to an unjust one.” Opulence is always the result of theft, if not committed by the actual possessor, than by his predecessor.” — St. Jerome (340?-420)

Funny, isn’t it, how certain religious figures from the ancient past seemed to have an entirely different view of reality than did the prelates of the churches of which they were a part? I suppose it is just another example of how those in power are corrupted by their position, and become the very thing against which they preach. I would imagine that today’s modern church has de-canonized St. Jerome, as his philosophy seems to have diverged from what is common practice in the church; they are far too deeply involved with stealing from the people, and supporting those politicians that support them in that practice. Beware the man who says he is doing something “for your own good” for he is reaching into your pocket as he speaks…..
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Well, that was certainly a journey of some distance; I wasn’t sure if it would ever get to a point of closure. But, as always, I fooled myself long enough, and everything came out alright. It’s done, anyway, and that is all I care about at this point. It’s been a struggle, pain-wise, but with a lot of breaks, not too bad; I’m no worse than when I got up, and that is a decent starting point. I’ll just take an extra pill, and see how it goes. Most importantly, it is going…. 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!

Not all pundits are bellicose….

Ffolkes,
If it hadn’t been for Nosy’s dog, the aliens might have enslaved us all. He (Nosy, not the dog) always said that Useless wasn’t a normal dog, but we figured he was just saying that to make Useless feel better. And who’d a’thought a dog that wouldn’t even chase cats could be a hero? Goes to show, I guess, you can’t never take nothing for granted…..

It was one of them days in the desert when even the wind was too hot to blow. Shimmering waves of heat were coming off the packed dirt surrounding the old shack that housed the only gas station and general store for 100 miles in any direction. Pop Doolan and Bill Watson were in their standard positions, perched on chairs that were old & battered when they were boys, puffing away on a pipe and a cigarette, respectively. As I strolled up toward the door, Pop hailed me, “Hey, boy! When you goin’ to start shaving?” Since he knew as well as me I’d never have to worry about that (long story), I just grinned, waved, & stepped on inside the screen door…..

Hmm….. and interesting little opening. I wonder if it will go anywhere? We’ll find out another time; right now it’s time to rein in the horses, and buckle down to work….. seems a shame though; I was kind of interested to see how Useless saves the world…..
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Amor, ch’al cor gentil ratto s’apprende,
prese costui de la bella persona
che mi fu tolta; e ‘l modo ancor m’offende.
Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,
mi prese del costui piacer si` forte,
che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona.
Amor condusse noi ad una morte.

Love, which is quickly kindled in a gentle heart,
seized this one for the fair form
that was taken from me-and the way of it affects me still.
Love, which absolves no loved one from loving,
seized me so strongly with delight in him,
that, as you see, it does not leave me even now.
Love brought us to one death.
— Dante, La Divina Commedia: Inferno V, vv. 100-106

I’ve never taken the time to delve deeply into The Divine Comedy; there were always reasons not to read it whenever it crossed my path, usually taking the form of books more in tune with my tastes. It may be the subject matter, or maybe the style, I don’t know, or much care. But I can recognize quality and talent when I see it, even if it doesn’t appeal to me particularly. I get the same reaction to William F. Buckley and Ayn Rand when I try to read their work. It’s okay though, there are plenty of other reads out there, and I can thus enjoy and appreciate snippets from these works for their artistic flair, or their relevance to reality.

In this case, I included this excerpt for the sheer beauty of form and content it exhibits; the Italian poem reads so well it engenders an audio image of great power and majesty. It is also impressive how well the translation of this piece, and of the others I have seen, mimics the original so closely, in both tone and grandeur. It almost makes me want to go pick up a copy and dive in….. nah! Too much work….. but, it’s a good one to remember for the next time I’m hard up for something to read….. that’s the nice thing about the Classics. There are so many of them, you can always find one you’ve never tried before, and be virtually guaranteed that it will be a good read……
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“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” — Edward Abbey

Sad, but true. And even more relevant in today’s political climate, which often resembles a carnival sideshow on Mental Health Day. As an American patriot, I have become inured to the constant lies and grasping avarice common to the current species of candidates. Don’t get me wrong, now; I mistrust the Democrats just as much as I do the Republicans. It’s just that the news and media is always full of the GOP right now, due to the feeding frenzy they call the caucuses, or some such euphemism for circus.

Every day, we are assaulted with reports of the latest gaffes, misstatements, outlandish claims, prophesies, and the random reasoned response (usually from some man-on-the-street), all of which are examined, re-examined, and speculated on endlessly. By the time the relevant election gets here, in November, I, and every patriot with a lick of common sense, will probably either boycott the election altogether, or find an empathetic psychiatrist to deal with the rage, one who can persuade them (us) not to shoot at the poor little candidates, at least not with live ammo…..

“It is of some small consolation for you to know that we have survived every President the electorate has thrust upon us.” — Anonymous

“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” — Gore Vidal
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Some days, pearl diving is an occupation fraught with frustration; other days, like today, quotes on a particular subject just keep jumping into my lap. I had intended to write about the Bill of Rights, and how it is under attack by the PTB, otherwise known as our beloved ruling class, so I had that as a thought in the back of my mind when I dove in. Et voila’, quotes galore…. now I don’t need to write about it, because these say all I needed to say….

“Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the _real_ object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” — Patrick Henry

“…it is hard for me to see how one can argue that circumstances have so changed as to make mass disarmament constitutionally unproblematic.” — Professor Sanford Levinson, — The Embarrassing Second Amendment, — The Yale Law Journal, Vol 99, No 3, December 1989, p637.

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” — The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment 2, 1791 (That pesky Second Amendment….)

“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency… Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded.  Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.” — General Douglas MacArthur, 1957

“Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Avert misunderstanding by calm, poise, and a .44 magnum.

I think that about covers it….. stay alert, ffolkes, the world needs more lerts…..
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“People are divided into two groups – the righteous and the unrighteous – and the righteous do the dividing.” — Lord Cohen

People are funny, aren’t they? Lord Cohen (another royal I’ve never heard of…) has hit squarely upon one of the more perverse qualities common to the human spirit. It always struck me as pretty hilarious (as well as hypocritical) that the people in the world who make the most noise and trouble over insignificant cultural or ideological differences are the same people who lay claim to being the only true devotees of the Great Redeemer, the only ones who really see the light.

It says right there in every translation of the Bible, even theirs, that the core of Jesus’ message is “Love thy brother as thyself”; he spent his whole time on this planet teaching compassion and encouraging diversity. But that’s not good enough for them, so they just pay lip service to that part of the Bible, and base their fundamental cruelty on interpretations of the Old Testament that serve their bigotry and ignorance. Too bad…. the world could use a few more good Christians, to help offset the karmic imbalance created by those who choose to fear the unknown, rather than embracing and understanding it…..
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politics, n:  From the Latin ‘poly’, meaning many, and ‘tic’, meaning little bloodsucking insects.

I think this is self-explanatory. It’s here merely because it fits in so well with my raison d’etre, my modus operandi, my….. my very real and unrelentingly hostile opinion of the type of human who enters the political arena in today’s society. I make no secret of my repugnance for those who seek power over other people, on any level, but especially in the political level, whether local, state, federal, or foreign, Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever. Doesn’t matter to me, they’re all certifiably insane.

Even those who retain even the slightest shred of human decency are made irrelevant by the sheer weight of numbers. The corporate thieves, the sociopathic manipulators, and the deluded fundamentalists outnumber any such foolish milquetoasts to a degree that makes them ( the altruistic idealists) completely meaningless, and effectively powerless.

The picture is bleak enough that I, who swore never to own a gun, have decided to arm myself as soon as possible. The Second Amendment, one of the branches on the Tree of Liberty, may need to be protected and nourished, by the blood of patriots, and tyrants…..
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Having thus purged myself of a large buildup of angst, I can now face the rest of the day with a more cheerful mien. So, that’s what I’m gonna go do…. Y’all take care out there……

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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!