Motivation, denigration, invocation, potato….

Ffolkes,

“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together!”

~~ The Beatles, “I Am The Walrus ~~

foxy stump

Foxy the Stump….

Hajime…. Today is…. blank? Hmm. As I sat to begin, my mind felt full of relatively creative urges; when I began to type, it all went away. This, of course, tells me our old friend Murphy is hanging somewhere about the premises, looking for trouble. This isn’t to say we can do much about it, except to try to be mindful, so he doesn’t catch us completely flat-footed. It does mean I should speed up this intro a bit, in order to keep ahead of him as long as we can…

I suppose I could abandon all formality, & just dump y’all down the page. But, we’ve got some good stuff here today, so, I’ll ease you in as best I can, with a little prep. For your listening pleasure, I’ve included an hour of Wolfie Mozart, with two of his best pieces one after the other. Our ranting section today is filled with a most excellent guest piece, by our friend Dean Baker, with one of the finest takes on modern culture I’ve seen. Period. There’s also a rather nice old-school pearl, bringing us to the closing section with dispatch if not aplomb. Not bad for an old drunk curmudgeon, eh?

What? Oh, drunk… no, not now, but, much of last night was spent at some level of that condition; kind of fun, & makes sleep come quick…. I guess I could do without the mild hangover, but, the price has to be paid, one way or another, eh? A hot shower, a bit of mild walking, & I’ll be fine. To get moving toward completing some of that, I’ll end this here with my new-found sense of ruthlessness, which, though still a bit uncomfortable, works quite well for this sort of thing…. It works just like this, as you well know….

Shall we pearl?….

“It’s like brother Nietzsche said –being human is a complicated gig,
so give that dark night of the soul a hug and howl the eternal yes.”

~~ Chris, DJ, Northern Exposure ~~

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mozart2

Wolfie M….

Today’s musical selection is simple. The two symphonies you’ll hear are both from Wolfgang Mozart, the last two he wrote, considered two of his best. Together, they give us an hour of delightful noise, as fine as any ever produced by humans…. I hope you enjoy it….

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphonies 40 & 41

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Dont keep calm

https://tormentingthemonkey.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/suicide-citizens-and-lethal-force/

Yesterday, after procrastinating a bit for a day or so, I finally checked out the post of an author/writer/poet/musician/scholar/curmudgeon/magician named Dean J. Baker. I am privileged to be able to call him friend, as I consider him one of the finest artistic souls of our generation. (As a side note of some personal satisfaction, I can safely say I know at least three such souls, none of whom are celebrities in the normal sense, but, are those who, in my more than normal experience, exhibit the qualities I know to be, in human terms, eternal… I guess that will need to be explained further, but, that can be for another time…. To return to reality, real-time…

I found, upon relieving the stress of procrastinating, a literary gem. I’m going to reproduce it today, but, you can read the original at the link above. Considering the recent news, and all the hullabaloo in the news regarding violence in society between the police and the public (which I’ll point out is a mask/metaphor for the true battle, between the narcissist sociopaths and the rational humanists, comprising the two most influential segments of the human bell curve….), this is both an extremely timely examination, as well as both exacting an indictment, and offering a potential direction to take…. I give you, Dean Baker….

tormonk1

Suicide Citizens, and Lethal Force

How stupid do you have to be to get shot by the Police?

Things are obvious. You get stopped. Stopped, not interrupted. Stopped by legal representatives of the Law who are empowered to shoot, and kill you.
They are not going to wait or hesitate to see if you have a gun, if you make a movement. They aren’t saying to themselves, ‘Hey, maybe this guy or girl is reaching for a gummi bear to alleviate their tension at being stopped, so maybe they won’t fire off a quick shot and if they do maybe I won’t get hit.’

Whether or not they’re mean themselves or generally helpful outside the situation has nothing to do with anything. You’re stopped, you stop.

Whether or not the situation dictates that they should shoot you a few more times once you’re down is a legitimate reason for a fast debate since there is reason from examples that they not only shoot to stop you from shooting them, but that they shoot to kill you.

But really, what kind of special retard do you have to be to move, shift, disobey directions meant to keep you safe, them safe, and prevent you from being shot?

Consider this: you likely have one or two .40 caliber guns pointed right at you. In less than five seconds, you can be dead. The news is full of unlawful victims, righteous shootings, and the use basically of lethal force.

Are you an idiot who cannot read? Are you blind that you cannot see these? Or maybe you climbed off the Special Bus that says ‘none of that real world stuff applies to me.’

Then consider the fact that on the side of the Police there is likely an assumption that you are half way intelligent, and/or aware.
And then you move..

Certainly the rules of, and teachings for, policing may need to be reviewed immediately – and more than casually.

I’m not in favor of getting shot, certainly. I detest the idea that people, stupid or not, are getting shot, resulting in trauma all around. What’s going to happen? A citizen-ruled committee that says we must trust that you are a well-intentioned person who may or may not have made an error, so we’ll wait to see.

Duh, no.

The entire idea of policing in regards to stops is to establish bona fides, or not.

The vulnerability rests in the fact that in this society there is a built-in idiot factor.
Doctors won’t inform on a colleague who may be doing irreparable harm. Schools won’t fire a teacher who likely ought to be taking, not teaching, classes. Bureaucracies employ idiots.

You know what I mean – you probably have a relative or friend you know who needs being replaced.

And cops won’t say yeh, some of us are true assholes who ought to be arrested because with their training and knowledge they’re more dangerous than some ignorant citizen.

Until that idiot factor is corrected you’re going to have wrong doing on both sides of the law.

The other side of that idiot factor is punishment that does not fit the crime.

When it’s light, there’s outrage. When it doesn’t exist, and seems to cater to authority, even greater outrage.

People do talk about justice, but make no mistake: there’s also a need for vengeance legally administered. The only real debate is on whether the degree is sufficient to satisfy the counter balanced requirement for justice and revenge combined.

And yes, there are morons who merely want their criminals to say they’re sorry. They’re all sorry they got caught, and those fools who require only acknowledgment are victims-in-waiting.

As for incidents where there are a group of police and one antagonist with a knife, I would think citizens would say ok, disarm the crazy, although from recent reports the Police would say, screw that, kill them.

Citizens would hope that their Police would make an effort to beanbag, taser, or beat the perpetrator. Not simply shoot, then shoot again when they are down as has happened too many times.

If a citizen can defend against such a crazy by shooting them, where’s the difference between them and the Police who do the same if they are in a group?

That sounds and looks like Police rules, not law.

Cops ought to have greater and more useful methods and manners of dealing with the wild ones, most especially if they are contained by being surrounded, or trapped in a vehicle unable to get out because they’re surrounded.

Otherwise, let’s admit to a truth: if you have a knife, and may or may not be crazy, and there is a group of Police around you, rather than finding a way to disarm you, they will kill you instead – all the talk and persuasion is a false idea of Police work when the end result is no different from what a citizen can accomplish.

Let’s at least recognize the idiot factor so changes can be effected, even if it would be stupid to assume people will alter their inclinations.

And as for the retard instigators who are merely glorifying themselves – establishing the fact that they need an authority to rebel against – know that they are simply the other side of authority, without the empowerment, and without the knowledge and practical applications, and thus even more dangerous than what they protest.

Where are they before any incidents? Are they stupid, waiting for a mess to occur before they channel their outrage when it’s more than likely it won’t be organized and thus effective at change? At most that is intellectually lazy and at least it’s a passive violence. Are they really self-servingly waiting for an excuse to exact a self-righteous rage, and thus not to be taken seriously?

However, if they choose the proper channels, establish a grouping of citizens to establish a fair protest against unfair rules and rulings, then to challenge authorities afterwards is as legitimate as the method in which this nation was founded.

Don’t be a tool of the media which enflames for its own end.

Nor the billionaires who fund movements for their own selfish reasons: which are never to the good of the individual citizen. You’re being manipulated by the self-righteous who are getting paid.

©Dean J. Baker

You can purchase Dean’s Books here:

https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/awards/all-print-books-links/

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Comedy_Tragedy

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back ~~

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert

12/2/2012

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Simple Truths

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“You can observe a lot by just watching.”

~~ Berra’s Law ~~

~~ Yogi Berra [Brooklyn Dodger’s Catcher & Major League Philosopher] ~~

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“Be not afraid of going slowly; be only afraid of standing still.”

~~ Chinese Proverb~~

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“Safety is on the shore, but the pearl is in the ocean.”

~~ Chinese Proverb ~~

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“The character of human life,
like the character of the human condition,
like the character of all life, is “ambiguity”:
the inseparable mixture of good and evil,
the true and false, the creative and destructive forces —
both individual and social.”

~~ Paul Tillich ~~

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“If there is no wind, row.”

~~ Latin Proverb ~~

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“Remember that what pulls the strings is the force hidden within;
there lies the power to persuade, there the life,
–there, if one must speak out, the real man.”

~~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, x, 38 ~~

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“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

~~ Confucius (551-479 BC) ~~

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“Costing not less than everything. “

~~ T.S. Eliot ~~

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“Love;
While you have life to give
Live;
While you have love to give.”

~~ Piet Hiem ~~

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Thankfully, this came together well, in spite of my hung over state, and the ubiquitous threat of Murphy hanging about. To show my appreciation in the most relevant way, I’ll end it now, here. I will, however, be back tomorrow to torment, er, try this again. See ya, ffolkes; take that as you will….

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….

Wait! Isn’t it supposed to wiggle?….

Ffolkes,

“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.”

~~ Chinese Proverb ~~

g-ville 002 (2)

Duh. They’re flowers.


Good morrow…. Rather than giving in to impulse, I’m going to perform a 180° turn, at four gravities, just to demonstrate how much I care about my Gentle Readers…. This means you will NOT be subjected to a series of formerly patented paraphrased versions of discarded Buddy Hackett jokes…. Instead, you will be forced treated to a collection of archived material, presented in the guise of aged clerical treatises of historical note… In other words, I’m feeling lazy, and I intend to cheat, unmercifully, until this damn thing is done…

Damn it! If I have to be up at 2 AM, everybody’s going to suffer be rewarded….

Shall we Pearl?

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin

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Albert_King_1978

Albert King 1978


Finding & posting videos has become a relatively simple, consistent routine, so, this will be the freshest portion of today’s Pearl…. A while back, this section featured a live performance by Stevie Ray Vaughn, recorded in studio, with Albert King…. Albert was, to me, the best of all 3 Kings of the Blues (BB, one whose given name escapes me, and Albert….)…. Here he is playing on his full album, “I’ll Play The Blues For You”….


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Albert King

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Sandclock .jpg

Nice clock, eh?


As may or may not have been noted, sometimes, I’m lazy. Today is one of those days; asking why would just piss both of us off, so, we’ll just get on with it…. Here, from the archives, (where else?) is a little foray into nothing much…. It’s a format I once called a “new-school pearl”, so, why not call it the same now?…. No reason at all, but, then, that could be said of ALL of today’s Pearl, couldn’t it?….

From 10/21/2012:

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

~~ Rudyard Kipling ~~

~~ Just So Stories (1902) “The Elephant’s Child” ~~


I first read the phrase “feeding the Elephant’s Child” in a Robert Heinlein novel, many years ago, enjoying it as a metaphor for reading/learning, before I knew from whence it originally came. Once I did know (a moment of illumination whose exact placement in time is hazy….), I liked it even more, from an aesthetic standpoint. The above little ditty is brilliant doggerel, astute observation, and deep insight, all presented in a simple, straightforward style, with a powerful, basic lesson for any would-be philosopher, or any one who wishes to encompass reason as their modus operandi, so to speak. Besides which, I find that another piece of Bob’s advice, as related by his character Lazarus Long, fits well with this one, to wit: “Life tastes better in big bites….”

“Never wear anything that panics the cat.” — P. J. O’Rourke

I like this a lot, too. It summarizes perhaps one of the most elemental rules of getting along in the Universe, in essence saying, “You can learn a lot by watching what happens around you…” It’s the perfect companion to the concept of learning as presented above, as it contrives to speak to both sides of Reality, i.e., how you approach reality (the clothing you choose to show to the cat….) and how reality will change to react to your approach (the cat’s opinion of your clothing….) It also gives one a subtle warning about how the wrong clothing can produce unwanted consequences, and we all know how an offended cat is likely to respond…. as Mark Twain once remarked…. “A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning valuable things. He will never again be dim or doubtful. Chances are he’ll not carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!”  You can’t say fairer than that, in my opinion….

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” — Buddha

One can always trust the Buddha to state the most profound thoughts in the simplest way…. I often wonder how he came to such a complete understanding of Murphy, whose presence is acknowledged in all of what the Buddha stated, but whose ministrations seem to have passed by the Buddha’s existence…. It’s that, or Murphy shows him a lot more respect than he does anyone else alive. At times, it seems, what the Buddha states, such as in this statement, is, in at least one respect, an answer to a question raised whenever Murphy intervenes in our lives…. More simply, the Master explains why Murphy is able to affect us as he does, by cutting through the bullshite we perceive to the truth of what is real….. SIGH…. One of these days, I suppose, enlightenment will slap me upside the head, and I’ll be able to see Murphy coming…. I can hope, can’t I?….

There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan

Often, I feel, not only is life a joke, but, it is our duty and purpose on this plane of existence to codify that joke, to put it down on paper, or on screen/disc, as a means of freeing ourselves from the prison of sobriety, achieving an understanding of Reality which tells us everything in this silly universe is here for our amusement, and, we have been taking it, and ourselves, too seriously, for entirely too long….. So seriously, we have begun to offend those parts of the universe whose purpose is to allow us to relax and enjoy ourselves. Moreover, the time is growing nearer when we will have to admit the joke is on us, for not being able to change our inner selves enough to be able to perceive the humor of our situation…. See, the universe thinks death is funny…. not because it is cruel, but, because death is just another part of life, which doesn’t care about one more than the other…. See, now, isn’t it funny how you never noticed that?…..

I once read a science fiction novel, whose title and author escape me completely; in truth, the book was very poorly written, filled with prose unable to live up to the great plot line…..Specifically, there was one chapter I liked, which had the book’s protagonist, an orphaned super-genius from Earth, taking on the task of finding the solution to a mathematical treatise, an equation so complex, so advanced, no civilization in the galaxy had ever been able to solve it.

The genius/hero/complete git shut himself up in his room for three weeks, working on the problem. At the end, he was thinking so hard he entered a trance-like state, computing while nearly dead…. After a week of this, he suddenly opened his eyes, gave a look of astonishment, and burst into uncontrollable laughter for approximately 25 minutes. When he could finally control himself, he simply said, “It’s a joke….” and would never discuss it again….

In a pearl such as this one has grown into, there comes a time when I must decide whether to continue on, to try to reach the conclusion nebulously hovering somewhere in my mind as I began, or, to sheepishly admit I have again wandered into uncharted territory, and might find it a bit tricky to find my way back to clarity. This is that time…. and I’m leaving it up to Smart Bee, as always…. If I don’t find a proper pearl to carry on the tenuous chain of thought I’ve created, we’ll take the first one able to serve appropriately, to officially wrap it up as a lost cause….. all within a specified number of attempts…. so, here we go… You’ll know in a moment what will happen….

“In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap xi

There, see?…. That didn’t take long at all…. and I managed to find the perfect pearl to cover both bases…. In this case, we will use it as an ending quote, since it sort of summarizes a lot of the discussion, after a fashion. It could conceivably also be used as a springboard for further discussion, but this has gone on long enough, and I wouldn’t want to lose anybody due to an injudicious application of excess verbiage, culminating in tedium…. Of course, we may have reached said point some time ago, but, hey, who’s counting?…. Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little foray into not very much….

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Comedy_Tragedy

    This was written, and first posted in December of 2012; you can probably tell why it hasn’t been seen since…. I’m not proud; I am, as has been clearly indicated, lazy….

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

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Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou hast not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid ~~

~~ two sheets to the wind, and back ~~

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“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.”

~~ Joseph Joubert ~~


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buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    An old pearl, but, a good one, from September of 2012, just because I’m lazy today (Did I say that already? Oops…)…. It’s only a five-star, but, some of those were the best….

First posted 9/20/2012:

Where else can you find intellectual games, with no pressure to win, all of which allow you to pick your own conclusions, other than right here, Exploring Consensual Reality with gigoid? Nowhere, that’s where…. To further cement that reputation, here is another old-fashioned pearl for your perusal, with the conclusion right there in plain sight, for anyone to see…. It’s Hobson’s choice, all over again….

“Politics is what happens to democracy when not enough people care.” — Anonymous, Thursday, 1992

After his Ignoble Disgrace, Satan was being expelled from  Heaven.  As he passed through the Gates, he paused a moment in thought, and turned to God and said, “A new creature called Man, I hear, is soon to be created.”
“This is true,” He replied.
“He will need laws,” said the Demon slyly.
“What!   You, his appointed Enemy for all Time!  You ask for the right to make his laws?”
“Oh, no!”  Satan replied, “I ask only that he be allowed to make his own.”
It was so granted.

— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill  in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” — Voltaire

“A man that expects to train lobsters to fly in a year is called a lunatic and is locked up. But a man that thinks people can be turned into angels by legislation is called a reformer and allowed to walk free.” — Mr. Dooly

Sometimes, it’s just too easy….. but, somebody’s got to do it…..  Right?

Right? Well…. Okay, perhaps not. But, then, why not?….

It’s definitely less dumb than any Reality TV show, guaranteed, or your money back….

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Yes, I did, but, it’s legal. Anyone anal enough to go back & check will see I added a touch here & there to polish up some of the material from past Pearls…. It’s okay, ffolkes. I wrote it the first time; I’m allowed to edit. Besides, I’ve learned a lot in three years, I think, so, any changes made are certainly an improvement; in some spots, that’s a big “for sure!”…. Any who, I’m just too frigging honest to not say so; otherwise sleep would be even harder than the period which prompted much of today’s mess….

On that cryptic, yet transparently pandering note, I’ll take my leave for yet another day, where I’ll do my damnedest to do this again…. Count on it, unless Reality bites me too hard…. See ya then, ffolkes….

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….


Sweet sorrow, my ass….

Ffolkes,

“Every day passes whether you participate or not.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~

2-15-2015 009 (2)
Another View Outside the Door Into Summer


“One of these things is not like the other…” — Numerous Sesame Street characters at various times

A few days ago, the opening picture was also one of my own photos, taken outside my back door, here in Northern California, this February, in what the rest of the world considers the dead of winter, almost two-thirds of the way to Spring. The East Coast has been pounded by massive storms; blizzards, hurricanes, all sorts of weather which, though seasonal, keeps breaking old records for the most massive storms in history. Today, as I write this, I’m sitting in my living room, with no heat on, a window and door open for ventilation, without a shirt, because it’s too warm to wear one indoors…. even for an old man who can’t take the cold like he used to….

But, hey, there’s no such thing as global warming, or unalterable climate changes taking place, so, why worry about it? It certainly isn’t snowing here, so, I guess I’ll go for a walk today in the sunshine, to take some more pictures of evidence of the world, trying to warn us of our impending doom….

Oops…. Sorry, ffolkes, I forgot. No ranting in the intro…. But, but, ffolkes, it’s just so bloody tempting! SIGH…. Ah me, so much for this attempt to open up with aplomb, or, even, coherency. Not that I care overmuch about coherency, so long as I can find it in myself to spout some nonsense, but, I’m not sure how I’d do at that today. I’m not feeling very silly; that generally means if I try to be funny, or apply silly to what I write, I end up displaying bozoid tendencies, more so than any wisdom, or style, or any other sort of communication to stimulate the slightest interest, beyond the expected snickering at my discomfiture….

Y’all should remember, though, anyone who can use the word discomfiture isn’t going to let a little thing like propriety, or mainstream morality get in the way of getting this Pearl done. No way. I’ve done this too long now to listen to the ignorant, any more than I ever did, other than to keep track of whatever they are babbling about, just for the purposes of intel…. Remember? “Keep your friends close, etc…..” Beyond the bare minimum necessary to keep them in my sights, I ignore them as much as possible…. It doesn’t mean I don’t know they’re there…. (Not bad… two of the three “there’s”, each used correctly…)

It does mean my paranoia is in good working order, though, so, perhaps it would be best now to get on with the making of today’s mess, so I can get back afterward in time to take the appropriate medication to keep me from going postal on anyone before lunch. Perhaps it would be best if you ducked now….

Shall we Pearl?

“A form of open-mindedness is the pathway to wisdom. Close your mind and you open the way for ignorance to flourish, but you will never even know it.” — Smart Bee

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These two artists are responsible for a LOT of the tunes I grew up with in the 60’s and 70’s. Watching them play together after all these years was a more emotional experience than I’d imagined; I found myself tearing up at song after song. It was also fun to see the two of them having such fun playing together; they were feuding for many years, and it’s nice to know they’ve healed the breach…. Enjoy, ffolkes, this one is a real treat, a true walk through a gentler past…

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Carole King and James Taylor Live at the Troubadour

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le penseur-rodin
Le Penseur, The Thinker, Auguste Rodin, photo from The Rodin Museum web site


Sometime during my teens, I stopped trying to convince myself to give in to the pressure applied by peers, and well-meaning adults, to join the Presbyterian Church, where I’d been attending with my family for some years. I had begun a study of as many different faiths as I could find time to do, without ever getting so far into it as to call myself a religious scholar, discovering in those studies I could not bring myself to be hypocritical enough to claim belief in the credo they espoused. Any of them.

This decision was not because of a lack of spiritual feeling (I wouldn’t have bothered to look for answers, if that were the case), but, more of an acceptance of the rightness of my choice, to NOT pretend to believe what I could only consider a very complex set of dogmatic derivations, having nothing to do with reality, but, in truth, were deductively and erroneously based on specific delusions, regarding forces of nature we humans do not, as yet, fully understand. Ascribing those forces to be the result of supernatural causes seemed a bit specious, if not completely lacking in evidence to support such their existence, thus, highly unlikely.

I suppose I always felt what H. L. Mencken said in the third pearl below; everything I heard about how cool and special God, and religion were supposed to be, all seemed to me to be pretty improbable. Since this improbability was supposedly supported by what I found to be merely interpretations, and opinions of reality, not reality itself, I could never find any good reason to buy into any of it…. In short, I recognized what I heard as a made-up story, designed to soothe people’s fears about a universe they could not comprehend…. I always figured, if we don’t know, well, let’s find out. Why make something up? But, I guess that’s just me…. At the time, I’d never heard of Nancy Reagan, but, I’ve always been glad I “just said no.”

Below are seven pearls which, sort of, speak to how I view the concept of religion, as one of the primary reasons for a large part of the reason Mankind continues to act more like an brutish naked ape than an advanced, ethical sentient entity. The  God of the Christians, as is apparently true with most Gods I’ve looked into, acts much like a wounded, maddened predator, insanely attacking all who come near. Almost all of the deities I found in my reading over the years, all had a common cruelty, a mercilessness completely antagonistic to human feeling, which, naturally, mirrors the trait in humans, thus giving divine attribution to our most base emotions…. According to what I read, most gods show the behavior of a spoiled child, a trait unfortunately reproduced in His followers….

HE, Yahweh, or Allah, all same/same, seemed, to me, always ready to use any cruelty or violence to achieve His ends, threatening Hellfire and damnation for the slightest disobedience, while claiming to be merciful. Have you seen some of the stuff God has had his followers do in His name? In today’s world, they all continue to act out their insane bigotry and ignorance…. but, now, there are billions upon billions of followers, of all sorts of vicious butthead gods, and they have shiny new toys to kill each other with, with increasing ferocity and destructiveness…. What a bloody mess….

Nope, God just never has been my kind of dude, for sure, much less what I’d be looking for a in a god…. But, even I could see, back before I had so much rational proof of how wise was my decision, it sure does make life easy for those who hang with God, using his ‘grace’ to either justify their actions, or remove the blame for any of them, as long as the conditions of membership in the club are met….

Ah, well, here, this is what I mean, more glibly, if not more clearly…. Sometimes, that’s how it works with metaphor….

Say first, of God above or man below,

What can we reason but from what we know?

~~ Alexander Pope — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 17 ~~


“Any system of religion which has anything in it which offends the mind of a child cannot be a true system.” — Thomas Paine

“Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.” — H. L. Mencken, “Prejudices”, Series iii

“Preacher to me: “A dollar for the Lord, brother?” Me to preacher: “That’s all right, I’m headed his way. I’ll give it to him when I see him.” — Edward Abbey

“Pray, pray very much; but beware of telling God what you want.” — French Proverb

“If the average man is made in God’s image, then such a man as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God.” — H. L. Mencken

“…and remember you’re a Man, not just a god, and for you there aren’t and never will be any easy answers, only questions, and no reasons, only causes, and no meaning, only intelligence, and no destination and no kindly magic smiling down from above, and no fires to goad you from below, only Yourself and the Universe and what you make out of the interface between the two equals.” — Keith Laumer, _Night of Delusions_

Okay, so, it wasn’t all THAT…. Look at it this way. It wasn’t a rant…. Well, not much of one…. After all, I didn’t shout, not once….

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

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends
Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid ~~

~~ two sheets to the wind, and back ~~

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.”

~~ Joseph Joubert ~~


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

It occurred to me the other day, as I sat to peruse SB for an old-school pearl, my greatest enemy is reality. I’ve fought it successfully for 64 years, now, finally reaching a point where I am relatively certain of the outcome; in short, I’m winning, mostly.

On the heels of such a perfectly egotistical proclamation, allow me to also say, in this case, given much of what history has taught me, a draw may be considered a win, so, don’t think I’m getting too big for my britches. I’m well aware of my bozoid tendencies; in my mind, that makes coming out dead even (so to speak) all the more an admirable, if not impossibly unlikely, outcome, to an what has certainly been an epic ordeal… and, it’s not over yet!

Hence, the following nine-star, sort of fresh pearl, which, you will note, is bookended by Zippy. That ought to give you a clue as to the meaning of the gestalt concept at which SB apparently took aim, with unusual precision; all nine came up one after the other, with only one extra, usable elsewhere… Pretty nifty, I thought…. and, so will you. Enjoy, ffolkes, and try not to hurt yourself falling out of the chair…

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

Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum — “I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“…life is long enough if it is well-spent.” — Erasmus

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.” — Hunter S. Thompson

“But Aristarchus of Samos brought out a book consisting of certain hypotheses, in which the premises lead to the conclusion that the universe is many times greater than that now so called.  His hypotheses are that the fixed stars and the sun remain motionless, that the earth revolves about the sun in the circumference of a circle, the sun lying in the middle of the orbit, and that the sphere of the fixed stars, situated about the same center as the sun, is so great that the circle in which he supposes the earth to revolve bears such a proportion to the distance of the fixed stars as the center of the sphere bears to its surface.” — Archimedes, The Sand-Reckoner, Third Century B.C.

“Humorous or profound remark or quotation pending.” — Smart Bee

“When two goats met on a bridge which was to narrow to allow either to pass or return, the goat which lay down that the other might walk over it was a finer gentleman than Lord Chesterfield.” — Cecil

“All those things which are now held to be of the greatest antiquity, were at one time new; and what we today hold up by example, will rank hereafter as precedent.” — Tacitus

“Life is full of surprises when you’re up th’ stream of consciousness without a paddle…” — Zippy the Pinhead

See what I meant? Okay, I’ve been cruel long enough. You may go now….

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

Fortunately for me, most of this Pearl was already constructed, in pieces, which I only had to piece together today to get this done. I’m glad because I’m just not in the best of spaces, for unknown reasons…. I think I’ll take today off from dealing with anything at all complicated…. nothing more complex than, oh, say, planning my next nap…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I can work up the energy….

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….


					

Stealing a reflective moment….

Ffolkes,

“For my part, I had rather be the first man among these fellows than the second man in Rome.”

~~ Plutarch ~~

 Life of Caesar

look

    Given the degree of dignity so obvious in the above photo, I think a group of fellows such as he would be a fine bunch with whom to consort, as stated in the quote…. with which I have to agree completely….. In fact, I would choose almost any animal at all, other than Man, to be my constant companion and friend, and feel the same way as Plutarch…. To me, the face in the picture (found in another Daily Telegraph photo feature on animals; attribution is in the corner) is one of great spirit, showing in the eyes the depth of intelligence, humor, compassion, and dignity….

Some might say that is anthropomorphizing, and to that I would say, so what? It doesn’t make it any less true… Besides, if a gorilla doesn’t have those characteristics, and we are evolved from them, how can we expect to have them, eh?…. As Mama Gump said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”, and, as far as I can see by the visual evidence, mankind shows a lot more stupidity than any of the gorillas I’ve observed…. by a LOT…..

At this moment in time, even though in the midst of what could be an excellent discussion, I have to interrupt to issue some necessary information about today’s effort…. Yesterday, as Murphy’s gift, he gave me an episode of arthritic hip and back pain that pretty much curtailed the major portion of my semi-annual visit with my grandson; I had to give up walking around with my son and his four-year old, as I just couldn’t keep up, and the pain became debilitating…. I ended up sitting and watching for a bit, but, only managed a couple of pix, and a few seconds of video, then Murphy handed me the second part of the gift, a dead camera battery….

So, this morning, though I have pix, I also have more pain, plus, the bonus round, a toothache, as one of my teeth scheduled for extraction next week decided it didn’t wish to wait, and is demanding to come out very soon, or it will, no doubt, make my life a living hell for a while…. I do wish I knew why this part of my life is turning into a pitched battle with my own body….

Perhaps it’s all payback for how hard I pushed it for so many years…. I have to admit, I did work it hard there, from the time I was 12, until my early forties, what with baseball, football, basketball, volleyball, Judo, Karate, Kung Fu, golf, biking, hiking, and all the other physical stuff I used to do…. and, I still miss being able to do all of it (except maybe the golf…. fun, but it will drive you absolutely nuts, trying to get it right….)

Ah well, I’m getting into TMI, so, let is suffice to say that, I hurt again today, and will be shortcutting here in the Pearl wherever I can, to save time…. I’m also up late, almost an hour later than usual, so, there is that, as well…. So, be prepared for some cheating, ffolkes, which will begin right here, with an abrupt exit from this intro….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” — Albert Einstein

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

So, for section one, I am putting below three headlines from yesterday’s news…. All four speak about separate incidents of police misbehavior, which, unfortunately, though it sounds innocuous (‘misbehavior’, indeed….), when police act out, people tend to die…. Yet, for some reason, no court ever seems to find them guilty of any crime, and, in fact, many never even get charged, as they are usually cleared of any wrongdoing by internal investigations, or one by the local “lawyers” who work hand in hand with them…. a fact of corruption, almost incestuous in its nature, as the cops, and the investigating offices of district attorneys, are almost siblings, in the relationship they share in ‘fighting crime’….

But, even the media ignores that little oddity…. I’m putting these here because, since I won’t have time to rant about it, at least I can have you read the articles, and get angry right along with me, thus providing your own private little rant, in the privacy of your own head…. Here, read these, weep a little, then enjoy the pearls which I’ll throw together to drive the points home…. See y’all in section two….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/NAACP-Feds-should-investigate-black-teen-s-death-5679684.php#photo-6707581

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Jury-to-decide-if-Huntington-Beach-police-wrongly-5675811.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Group-protests-at-Wal-Mart-where-man-fatally-shot-5679694.php

“The first rule of gun fighting is — bring a gun.” — Smart Bee

(But, the law says the police are the only ones who are supposed to use guns…. or, it will, as soon as they finish their war on the Second Amendment…. Think about that one, ffolkes…. Are the people you read about above the ones you want to have as the ONLY armed people around? I certainly don’t think I want to be in a place where I am not allowed to have my own defense against THEM, as I don’t see many of them who are worthy of that kind of trust….)

(Okay, I’ll just let the pearls talk now… If I keep commenting, it will turn into a real rant, and take too much time…so, I’ll quit now…. It just irks me SO MUCH…..)

“The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.” — Eugene V. Debs, US labor leader.

(Note: Debs received one million votes in 1920 as candidate for US President, while serving a 10-year jail sentence for having said in June 1918: “Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder…the master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.”)

“The better the state is established, the fainter is humanity.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Liberty means responsibility.  That is why most men dread it.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Do not use a hatchet to remove a fly from your friend’s forehead.” — Chinese Proverb

“The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.” — Smart Bee

Was there a time when dancers with their fiddles
In children’s circuses could stay their troubles?
There was a time they could cry over books,
But time has set its maggot on their track.
Under the arc of the sky they are unsafe.
What’s never known is safest in this life.
Under the skysigns they who have no arms
Have cleanest hands, and, as the heartless ghost
Alone’s unhurt, so the blind man sees best.

~~ Dylan Thomas ~~

“Was There A Time”

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

As noted, I don’t have time to search out a poem, so, one of mine will have to do…. I’ll try to make it one we haven’t seen in a while…. Okay, so, here we have one I haven’t used since I wrote it, in December of 2012…. which speaks to what I spoke about in the intro, to wit: my old friends, Jim, and Jack…. or, as they are known to those closest to them, James and John…. I’m reproducing it in the original format used to post it….

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back ~~

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert


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

I promised you I wouldn’t rant today, but, I didn’t promise not to include any rants…. Here is a religirant from a couple of years back, that still hits the nail on the head…..

From 5/18/2012:

“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

First, let me apologize…. I hadn’t meant to go into a rant this morning, especially about religion; sitting down is as difficult as standing up or walking, so the time it takes to express the outrage necessary to produce a rant is more than I wanted to take. But then this popped up in front of me….

After I had picked myself up from the floor and recovered my breath, I still could barely stop chuckling and giggling long enough to use the mouse to cut and paste it to this page. Now I find myself almost speechless at the sheer arrogance, the complete lack of respect shown for humanity at large by this astounding statement.

In one short phrase, this deeply disturbed man has attempted to manipulate his listeners into a complete subjugation of their will, and in doing so, implies that they are not only unworthy in a moral sense, but are not smart enough to be allowed to think for themselves. I’m surprised he didn’t ask for money in the same sentence…. You can bet he did so before he got to the end of the speech….

I remember seeing Billy Graham when I was quite young, speaking on TV to a football stadium full of enthusiastically cheering, excited, identical clones in white cotton dresses, with skirts below the knees, and blue suits, with white shirts, no vests, and thin ties. Even at the tender age of 11 or so when I saw it, my first impression of him was of a used-car salesman, with a smarmy-looking smile at inappropriate moments, and a smooth, fawning manner of speaking that ranged from sly confidences to outraged proclamations of evil and sin, in very obviously scripted stages.

The words and phrases he used, straight out of the King James Bible, mostly, seemed to promote love and tolerance, but the underlying message was one of elitism and divisiveness, as indicated by the insistence that only those who accepted JC according to their rules would be allowed into heaven…. The rest of us would be doomed, consigned to everlasting hell for having the audacity to think differently…. It was pretty over-the-top, as far as I was concerned, though entertaining in a circus sort of way….

It is now 50 years since I saw that particular revival meeting, and Mr. Graham has continued to spew his particular brand of ignorance for that entire time. He is indeed one of the men of whom St. Francis of Assisi warned us to beware, a man of one book. And the above statement, to me, is proof of just how little he thinks of the general run of human beings. His basic message is, “You are a miserable sinner, and have no right to exist, other than at the mercy of God. You are not smart enough to keep from sinning on your own, so just shut up and listen, and do what you are told….”

It is certainly proof, I guess, that the world takes all kinds, for there are millions of folks out there who regard what Billy Graham says as just as much gospel as what is in the Bible…. but then in for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose…. Me, I’d rather listen to a ball game…..

Note from 2014:

“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

Aha! Well…. that explains that….

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

Well, I did it…. I’ve put together a Pearl, under trying circumstances, in jig time (whatever THAT means….)…. Rather than push my luck, I’m going to go post this now, and be done with it for the day…. Hell, since I’m going to be taking a LOT of extra drugs, maybe later I’ll go surfing for a little while, when I get to a point where I can think past the haze of pain…. I hope so… it would be nice to be able to see another web site than just my own, and the news…. Any who, I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; this pain has to ease off a bit some time…..

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

Featured Image -- 2780

We’re inspecting hot beef sandwiches…

Ffolkes,

Howdy… Come on in, & look closely at this paragraph…. Please note the obligatory placement, here at the front of this article, where one expects to find it, in all its introductory glory. If it were another kind of paragraph, we wouldn’t be able to abuse it like we do here at ECR…. The others are all too vocal in their complaints. This one seems to just lie there and take whatever I throw its way, never complaining. Of course, it never does much to help, either…. it just sits there, allowing me to force practically ANYTHING down its gullet, to see if we can come up with something new and fresh for ffolkes to enjoy. I suppose it would be nice if it had a bit more pizazz, but, hey, what do you want in an actual intro?…. Style? Hah! Interest? Bah!…. A bold faced LIE! That’s what we need!…. It always works for Barack….

Sorry, couldn’t help myself….. I get carried away by my enthusiasm at times, as you may have noted…. or not. Regardless, I do tend to go a bit overboard in certain literary instances; it’s habitual, you see, from my misspent youth, the major portion of which I spent as a captive journalist in an unnamed Third World country….

I was on safari with my family when I was very young, when I was taken by slave hunters, and sold to a business man in China…. He forced me to slave away my tender years in his newspaper office, chained to a desk in the Features section, writing fluff pieces for the insert magazines in the weekend edition…. It was a torturous way to grow up, and I don’t miss it, except, occasionally, I’ll feel a pang of nostalgia for the fond memories I have of removing my master’s head from his shoulders with a nice, sharp katana….

Now that we’ve had our little sojourn into the land of fantasy, and a short break or two, (I’m a bit stiff this morning…. and not in a good way….), I think I’ve figured out how to extricate myself from this intro section with a bit less pain than usually is the case…. we’ll use some WD-40!…. It’s amazing how many things can be unstuck by a little bit of this technological magic…. Just a bit of it, right on the keyboard, and there’s no typing on it for hours, until it has all ‘penetrated’ to its required depth….. I know, it SOUNDS perverted, but it really isn’t any big deal, and for all its a tool, AND a household tip, it’s actually pretty clean in its habits…. Doesn’t whine much, either…

Of course, now that we’ve adopted this somewhat odd method of introductory shenanigans, there is a distinct possibility of becoming hidebound, or, alternately, completely deranged….. Both have been seen in clinical trials of this product, so, we’ll have to wait and see on those…. In the meantime, I’m looking back over what’s been done so far, and it’s not bad…. I don’t see any blood anywhere, and nobody has asked for any bandages; this makes for a nice, quiet morning, don’t you think? I do, sort of…. think, that is…

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It is only the superficial qualities that last. Man’s deeper nature is soon found out.” — Oscar Wilde
_____________________________

This pearl will be what I call an odd duck…. well, I guess one could say it already is, and I’m just pot/kettling, or, prognosticating without a license…. Any who, in the normal course of events in our mornings around here, a rant would be the order of the day for this point in time…. A rant, however, requires from me a certain state of mind, fueled by outrage, supported by angst-filled emotional turmoil left over from my days as a certified, full-on crazy dude, before I tore up my certificate, and went natural….

As is patently obvious by this time, that state of mind is in a different state, probably Minnesota by this time. (I don’t KNOW why it would, or should be Minnesota…. that’s just what was in the note…), so a rant won’t be forthcoming, despite having beau coups material to choose from out in the BBR…..

What I DO have for you is a very, very good article by one of my favorite columnists, on one of the subjects about which I tend to rant, to wit: recent events in the central arena of the political circus, wherein we have DiFi (Her Gargantuan Majesty, Senator Dianne Feinstein….), and her current feud with the CIA, over the continuing cover-up of their involvement in torture during the Shrub’s reign, a cover-up they have been (clumsily) trying to extend to include her precious Senate Committee on Intelligence, by refusing to show documents, or hacking into Congressional computers to try to steal back documents they didn’t want seen…. She is now pissed off at them, big time, and the following article discusses that issue with great clarity and insight….

After you read the article, like a good little Gentle Reader,  I have included a nice little seven-star pearl for your reading pleasure, and, hopefully, your eventual enlightenment…..

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/carroll/article/DiFi-bites-the-hand-that-fed-her-5315594.php

(The parameter for this pearl is: “Politics, schmolitics…. Back off! We’re talkin’ business here!”…. Joe Lobbyist…)

CUI BONO?  [Latin]  What good would that do _me_? — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary

(You will find this engraved over the doorway to every law school in America….though, in many cases, the translation reads, “What’s in it for ME?”)

“Be not as one that hath ten thousand years to live; death is nigh at hand: while thou livest, while thou hast time, be good.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 17

“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.” — Gaiman and Pratchett, Good Omens

“There’s no problem so awful that you can’t add some guilt to it and make it even worse.” — Calvin and Hobbes

“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.” — Joseph Joubert

“All the world’s a Schrödinger Box, and we are merely kitties.” — Smart Bee

“We read of a certain Roman emperor who built a magnificent palace. In digging the foundation, the workmen discovered a golden sarcophagus ornamented with three circlets, on which were inscribed, “I have expended; I have given; I have kept; I have possessed; I do possess; I have lost; I am punished. What I formerly expended, I have; what I gave away, I have.” — Gesta Romanorum — Tale xvi

No, I don’t know, so, please, stop asking me why it turned like that…. It just did, and wouldn’t let me turn it back…. Oh well, there must be a lesson in there we need to learn…. I’ve found that to often be the case when I don’t get a pearl’s subconscious point at first look… It can take a few readings, and some percolation of ideas before it becomes clear just what my inner sage was trying to get us to see…. I think, though, given the pearls I see here, you can trust that this lesson is one worth meeting the challenge to figure it out….
_____________________________

There are days when finding the right poem becomes problematic…. Usually, it’s because I can’t make up my mind, not for any esoteric, intelligent reason, so there’s no need for sympathy…. I’m just telling it like it is…. Any who, in many of those cases, as in today’s instance, I turn to the person whom I most admire as a poet…. If you asked me “why”, my only response would be “because”…. because of poems like this….

Death sets a thing significant
The eye had hurried by,
Except a perished creature
Entreat us tenderly

To ponder little workmanships
In crayon or in wool,
With “This was last her fingers did,”
Industrious until

The thimble weighed too heavy,
The stitches stopped themselves,
And then ‘t was put among the dust
Upon the closet shelves.

A book I have, a friend gave,
Whose pencil, here and there,
Had notched the place that pleased him,–
At rest his fingers are.

Now, when I read, I read not,
For interrupting tears
Obliterate the etchings
Too costly for repairs.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

_____________________________

I don’t know if it is obvious to y’all, but I’m suffering today from  severe burn-out; my creative juices are dried up, to the point of choking me on dust when I try to compose anything more complex than whining, as is patently the case today. Rather than subject y’all to any more of my less-than-dignified complaining, we’ll go for another old-school pearl, with the only parameter being that the each included pearl should say something “nice”…. Let’s see how realistic THAT is….

“For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.” — David H. Lawrence

(It took me four readings of this before I finally figured out what other name David H. Lawrence is known by…. think, “D.H…”) (Yeah, me too…. Doh!)

“There is no difference between a wise man and a fool when they fall in love.” — Murphy’s laws on sex

“It sometimes happens, even in the best of families, that a baby is born. This is not necessarily cause for alarm. The important thing is to keep your wits about you and borrow some money.” — Elinor Goulding Smith

“Sir?  She’s giving “Reality” as a *previous* address!” — Smart Bee

“Do not do unto others as you would they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same.” — George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903), Maxims for — Revolutionists: The Golden Rule

“I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge?” — The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“Consider the daffodil.  And while you’re doing that, I’ll be over here, looking through your stuff.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

I don’t care what anyone says…. I like it. Since it, surprisingly, measures 8 on a scale of 10 for whimsy, it may be one of the better pearls we’ve found in some time…. I hope reading it is as much fun for you, as putting it together was for me….
_____________________________

Having thus completed the required number of sections, without calculating the cost, or the consequences, I shall now proceed to perform the last act of defiance…. meaning I’ll go post it, regardless of how insane that may seem to anyone else…. I stopped worrying about that a long time ago, thank goodness…. Fair warning: see you tomorrow….

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

We don’t need no stinkin’ paradigms….

Ffolkes,

The title of today’s Pearl, somehow, got close to meaning something, as well as connecting that meaning to what is contained herein…. I’m positive, however misguided that may be, if I just ignore that, it will pass off without comment…. Hell, I’m not sure if there’s enough ffolkes out there TO comment, but, since that’s neither here, nor there, we’ll ignore that, too. It seems like the best thing to do on a day such as this promises to be…. I’m not sure exactly where my head’s at, but, it ain’t here, exactly, and I haven’t a clue as to how to go about finding out where it might be….. You know, just in case I need it? I’ve been told that I could use it around here, but, I don’t know what they mean by that…. do you?….

Honesty….. there’s a subject. Trust….. There’s another one… Honor, truth, integrity, compassion…. These are all good subjects, I think, and I’d love to be able to write about them directly, much more often than I do…. Mostly, though, I find myself ranting, about lies, intransigence, ignorance, and ambition, which is avarice by another name…. Oh, and stupidity…. Can’t forget THAT!…. Mankind possesses ALL of these characteristics, good and not-so-good alike, displaying them all at various times, when challenged by events, or while otherwise attempting to cope with reality. The funny thing is, ALL of them are available to us, but, we have to CHOOSE which ones we will use regularly to achieve our ends….

This is why I rant, or perhaps, more accurately, this is what I choose to rant about…. In today’s world, much as it has been for all of history, a small number of people spend an inordinate amount of time and energy achieving their desires, which involves the use of most of the negative qualities I mentioned, if only by implication, i.e., lying, cheating, stealing, and manipulating the rest of society, to ensure that they are in control of the most critical resources (you know, the law, and, therefore, the money….), thus ensuring that they possess the power to control the very large number of others (i.e., not them….) that make up society/humanity at large. This small percentage of humanity is very good at what they do; it really isn’t very hard to be a nasty person. It takes far more work, more inner strength, and more courage to live with integrity, than it does to live without it….

But, these folks prefer to live life “the easy way”, and allow their own vicious inner spirit to dictate how life will be for everyone else, for all those who don’t subscribe to their selfish need for self-aggrandizement, self-promotion, and a psychopathic need for power. They go into politics, (almost all of them start by studying law, so they know which ones are most easily circumvented….) or into the armed/police forces, or into the priesthood, ostensibly out of a sense of civic duty, or a desire to protect others (the “knight errant syndrome”), or of having received “a call from God” (they have medicines for that now, you know….), all of which have been used to rationalize their need to go forth and pester the people unto death….

My ranting has reached a certain limit though, one recognized, and most likely created, by my own mind…. I’m getting tired of pointing out all the obvious (to me) evidence that shows up every day on the news, evidence that supports my contentions about the Beloved Ruling Class, the Shadowy Corporate Masters, the Hierarchies of Priestly Delusion, and the misguided myrmidons that make up the armed/police forces, who act as the enforcement arm of the master classes, mostly without any idea of how they are being manipulated by them. I’m tired of it, not because I can’t find any more to show, or any more to say about their chicanery, but because it’s not having much of an effect….

I know that I shouldn’t EXPECT my ranting to have much effect on Reality…. It takes a lot of power and energy to have any effect at all on society, due to the massive inertia involved in any changes made, and I’m not so egotistical as to think that I’m such a great writer, everyone will fall right in with what I’m saying, or so full of myself as to think I can convince society to make changes that could conceivably make things better for a lot of people….But, after all, how much damage will it cause if we treated each other with more integrity, started telling the truth more often, and began working toward a better existence for ALL of us…. It certainly wouldn’t hurt, would it?

Nope, I don’t think so…. But, nobody’s listening, pretty much, and those who are, I believe, pretty much agree with me, so there’s little more to do in that direction…. I’m going to take a break from ranting, I think, at least in one respect, which is, I’ll confine my rants to old-school style pearls, which put the onus of the most critical ‘thinking’ part of the deal back onto the Gentle Reader….. Or, conversely, I’ll merely include links to articles of interest on the subjects I usually rant about, giving y’all, if nothing else, more evidence of what is going on out there, the stuff they do that can hurt y’all, if you don’t keep an eye on it… with, perhaps, a comment or two of an ironic, or even sardonic, nature, just to keep my hand in….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“We are as different from one another on the inside of our heads as we appear to be different from one another on the outside of our heads. The world “out there” is as much a projection from inside our heads as it is a perception. It is almost unbelievable that we are all dealing with the same reality. We operate on a kind of loose consensus about existence.” — Robert Fulghum “It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It”
_____________________________

To begin well, one must begin as you intend to go on…. or, so it has been said….. Who am I, then, to question such ancient wisdom? No one… No one at all…. Here is a pearl of the most ancient variety…. Deliberately obscure, yet pointedly cruel in its indictment of those who would be king….

“Arguments seem futile to me, for behind every argument I have ever heard lies the astounding ignorance of someone.” — Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941)

“To be forced by desire into any unwarrantable belief is a calamity.” — I.A. Richards

“Just because an animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

“Custom is almost a second nature.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Rules for the Preservation of Health, 18

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” — Mark Twain

“I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.” — Samuel Johnson

“It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.” — H. L. Mencken
_____________________________

A poem is there, inside my head, but won’t come out to play yet…. A Pearl such as this one, however, should have one of mine, if for no other reason than to save anyone else from guilt by association… hence, this one, which I wrote in 2012….

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid ~~
~~ two sheets to the wind, and back ~~


“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert
_____________________________

As promised above, I’ll not rant any more than I already have done…. Also as promised, I’m including some links, to several articles regarding the continuing revelations about the extent of the spying our Beloved Ruling Class has been doing on, well, everyone in the world, it seems…. The scariest part of the whole deal, for me, is the one quoted piece of text after the first link. The quote comes from that article, and is scary because of its implications…. The President doesn’t sign off on this stuff? Does that mean they get to decide for themselves who to spy on? Well, yep, to them, I guess it does…. which means that nobody at all is overseeing what they decide…. Ah well, enough, see for yourself just how bad it is, ffolkes….

http://news.yahoo.com/us-ended-merkel-spying-program-report-062120305.html

“These decisions are made at NSA,” the unnamed official told the Journal….”The president doesn’t sign off on this stuff.”

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Feinstein-plans-bill-to-codify-NSA-s-phone-spying-4931092.php

More proof that political chicanery is NOT limited to the Republican Party, but, rather, continues to run rampant on both sides of the congressional aisle….

“People believe it’s surveillance, but it’s not,” Feinstein said. Some may have a problem with the collection of data,” she said, but “realistically, it’s the only way we prevent an attack.”

    Oh, really? The ONLY way? When did she get appointed to dictate what is realistic? The use of semantics to make a point like this is a clear indication that something is NOT being said, or, in other words, somebody isn’t telling the whole truth of the matter…. In short, it’s a lie….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/world/article/Report-US-monitored-60-million-calls-in-Spain-4931617.php

“But it’s all for you own good!”…..  Right, mm hmm, sure…..
_____________________________

In the interests of reducing the average number of words I post each day, I’ll leave this here; as Lao Tzu said, “One who knows he has enough is rich.” See ya tomorrow….

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

The only quest I know….

Ffolkes,
There is always a lot of stuff going on in my head, and, in spite of how it should, or could be otherwise, I’m pretty sure that not all of it is completely under my control. This, as might be deduced, is both blessing and curse, and causes me no end of moments of temporary confusion, moments that can stretch to what seems like eons….. Hell, sometimes, it seems like confusion is my most natural state, especially when reality is going through its contortions right in front of me like it does; reality does not always conform to what I think of it, either regarding expectations, or expedience. Hard to say which is more annoying, having my expectations dashed by reality, or having my time killed by it, used up dealing with mundane details rather than exotic dreams, or even hopeful ones….. (Whew! A four line sentence, desperately trying not to run on, and failing spectacularly!…. Oh well…. I just got up, give me a little slack, here, ‘kay?….Or, just call me Balzac….)

If this all sounds a bit vague, you are paying attention, as it is deliberately so. I’m trying to discuss a point that can easily slip over into whining about how Murphy always f___s with me, without crossing the line of demarcation for that state of asininity. Whining feels good, right up until it leaves the mouth, then it is just pathetic, and the shame and guilt set in…. I really don’t know why we even bother with it, as it has no effect at all on reality, and only makes us look and feel bad. Another of those delightful human characteristics that we are constantly working to eradicate from our personalities, if we have any sense. Of course, the possession of sense is another discussion entirely, and would take up far too much space right now, so let’s not go there, eh?

To get back to our original point of discussion, not being entirely in control of what is happening in my head is a deliberate state on my part. I’ve found that a lot of my artistic impetus comes from that area of my experience, so I’ve developed the habit of allowing part of my consciousness free rein to go wherever it may wish, without any oversight by the tapes and rules that govern most of the rest of my persona. This is my version of allowing my imagination to soar, and it seems to work for me, so I don’t fuss with it, or think about it much, as I don’t want to disturb whatever balance and tension that keeps it running smoothly.

Below you’ll find a poem, an original I composed last night, under non-normal circumstances. It’s okay…. not the best I’ve ever done, but honest, and real in its intent and style. Oh, and, of course, it rhymes…. to me, that is important in one of my own poems these days. I spent a lot of effort in my youth writing free verse, with no structure, and no deliberate rhyming. Most of what I wrote back then was pretty sappy…. emotional, at times powerfully so, but lacking in direction, or a whole lot of style.

S’okay, I’m good with it, because nobody will ever see it again but me, and maybe my kids, when they go through my things after I pass (Oh for goodness sake, I hope they don’t try to publish any of it posthumously, I’d die of shame….   🙂   ….) Any who, this poem was written on the edge, as I was about two sheets to the wind, an unusual state these days, especially on a mere half-pint over the course of an hour and a half…. not exactly the consumption of a lumberjack, or even myself three years ago….. But, it was enough for my payday splurge for the month, and gave me a full three hours of wonderful relief from back pain (I’d forgotten how alcohol can do that…. it’s just not something one can use regularly, for a lot of reasons, but, occasionally, it sure provides a kind, and depth, of relief that is very rare for those of us who suffer constant pain….)

Any who, let’s see what else we can come up with here on an early Sunday morning, with the rain and wind blowing and blustering outside, making me glad to have a warm, dry place to stay, with food, and things to occupy my mind, and time. I am indeed a rich man, for all that I don’t have, that is to say, the worry of those who have no such advantages as these. It’s almost enough to make me rant, but I’ll wait until I find a pearl to base it on…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“There is one God, but which one is He?”– Smart Bee

Now, this is the proper use of reason and inquiry! Such a small question, made gargantuan by the depth of its insight. Which one, indeed, is the real God? There are as many answers to this question as there are what I like to call “preachers”, for want of a better word (I should maybe try to pick a better one, I suppose….); “preachers” are men, or women, who have decided upon one particular system of beliefs on the subject of divinity as being the correct one, to the exclusion of all the others. In spite of the lack of hard evidence on hand for any of the different belief systems, these folks choose one, and stick to it like a barnacle…. which, come to think of it, is probably what it feels like, after a while….

Depending on to whom the question is put, the answer may vary from Odin the All Father of Norse mythology, to the God of Zoroaster, whose specific appellation escapes me just now. In between you will find God, also known as Yahweh/Jehovah to the those of the Tribe, Allah to the Muslims, and just plain old God to most of the Christian sects. There is the voodoo god, Jobu, in the Caribbean; Set, or Bal, or Mammon, or any of the other ancient earth gods;  Ra of the Egyptians; Krishna, and all his incarnations, i.e., Kali, Yama, Ganesha, Maya, and the others in the Hindu pantheon. The American Indians seemed to favor the Great Spirit. Ancient Druids and Wiccans follow the Goddess, with gods and goddesses from the Greeks and Romans thrown into the mix, just for fun. The list seems as endless as human imagination….. which it is, since all of them spring from that source.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” — Smart Bee (and, most likely, the Dalai Lama….)

As far as I know, Buddha never claimed to be a god, and was, to my mind, not particularly clear on the subject of divinity, as directly related to humanity. The same seems true of Taoism, though certain of its sages seem to hold some of the old Chinese mythology beliefs on Heaven, and the creatures who inhabit that domain, another concept for which there is only imaginary evidence to support its veracity, and its reality. In this way, I see these philosophies as superior to the religious doctrines that purport to worship a deity, as they rely on reason, personal responsibility, and compassion to direct action, rather than fear of reprisal, or hope for reward, as is the wont of religious dogma and doctrine.

This perception of mine may be because I have always thought that the entire concept of a deity is not capable of being described, or understood, if one is to assume that a god is what it claims to be. How can a mortal understand an immortal? There is no common ground, other than the assumption of existence, for which there can be any reason for one to be connected to the other, as we could not comprehend their existence. We, limited to our human perceptions, have no direct evidence of a deity that can be experienced by those perceptions.

Anyone who tells you they do is lying, even if they believe it to be true, unless they can share that experience with another human, directly, with evidence for the senses we possess, not merely for what we wish to be true. Feelings don’t count, nor visions only seen by them, or voices in the head, and neither do personal revelations, or religious fevers, or speaking in tongues…. See, hear, touch, smell, taste…. that’s what we have, along with the ability to reason, and our imagination. That is our tool kit, and unless one of the tools fits, it isn’t real, to our perceptive ability. Items purported to be evidence that come from imagination are just that…. imaginary, and cannot be considered proof of anything other than the naivete of the speaker, and of any who choose to believe them.

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

SIGH…. People are people, though, and they will choose what to believe according to what they feel, most of the time, rather than according to what is the truth, which requires effort to find. It has even been said that humans have a tendency more often than not to make choices that are bad for them, just for that reason, that it is too much effort to think their way through to the truth that would ultimately help them. As long as this is true, then our species is in danger, from itself, and its own delusions…. Sad, in a species of such promise…..

And on the 8th day, God woke up and said “Whew! It was just a dream!” — Smart Bee
__________________________________

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert
__________________________________

If birth is a miracle, is not death also a miracle? — Smart Bee

Smart Bee is living up to its name today…. Here is a question that most will avoid asking…. Well, perhaps not so much avoid as ignore, by preference. Which amounts to the same, little as they’d like to admit it. It’s okay, though, nobody is blaming them, or suggesting they do anything other than what is comfortable…. Karma exists, like it or not, as the proper and logical counterbalance to entropy, giving it meaning, and everyone gets out of life exactly what they deserve. This is not an arguable conclusion, it is mere fact of reality, and fighting against it is pointless, as well as tiring…..

“You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is, what he is doing, or where he is going.”– Smart Bee

Everyone gets what they deserve….. what a novel concept! Of course, many folks, of the sort who don’t like to accept merely what they deserve, try to manipulate reality, and end up accumulating much more than they deserve. What they don’t understand is that time is not on their side, and karma will eventually come to them for an accounting, and all will be brought into balance, at their expense. It’s not a pretty sight when it happens, and it is so unnecessary, considering the consequences that can be avoided by simple acts of honor and integrity. Sometimes, living is a worse punishment than dying, in such cases….

Another lesser-known part of karma is one that most folks have a hard time both understanding, and, once they do, accepting. This principle is stated simply as: Not only are you 100% responsible for what you DO, you are 100% responsible for what happens TO you. Yep…. completely. If the world has punched you in the face, well, all I can ask is, what was your face doing in front of that fist? There are no excuses in the eyes of karma, and we become truly ourselves when we learn to understand this, and to make it a part of how we make decisions in life, including those leading up to the second miracle of our existence, dying.

“When the ten thousand things are seen in their oneness, we return to the source to remain where we have always been.” — Seng Ts’un.

In the ultimate sense, this goes back to the discussion in section one above, tying all of it together in this way: “the ten thousand things” is the Chinese literary euphemism for reality, or Heaven, or the universe at large, depending on who one asks at what time of day….. By this statement, Ts’un shows his knowledge, and acceptance of his own divinity, and connection, according to the principles of karma and how we interact with reality, to everything that exists in the universe, including all gods, or ideas about gods, or God. Take your pick, they are ALL correct, in their own little way, or according their own little piece of the Truth. What is actually TRUE for everyone always makes itself obvious…. because that is what happens. What is, is….

“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not.” — Epictetus
__________________________________

I have to say, this one isn’t bad…. I’m not going to even question why it came out as well as it did, but will go with the flow of karma, and accept what is….. Unless I wish to wait until late this afternoon to post this, I will have to hike through the rain for a few blocks to get to the Wi-Fi spot at the coffee shop, which I believe will be the best way to go. I’m no tireless, invulnerable warrior like I used to be, but I think I can make it three blocks in the rain for this without suffering the tortures of hell. Unless, of course, pneumonia sets in…. Well, no point in tempting Murphy any more than that, so I’ll close this here, and hope for the best…. All I need is twenty minutes of cooperation from the rain gods, and all will be well…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Methodical methods for modified slavish sycophants….

Ffolkes,
Today, I am a man. I was a man yesterday, too. Tomorrow, I’m turning in my papers, and will be out of the door, and well on my way to a better existence, as a cat.

Yep. A cat. I’m tired of this mankind nonsense…. this species has none of the characteristics with which I would prefer to live my life, spending it instead in mad paroxysms of idiotic warfare, abuse of women and children, and self-hatred disguised as racism and bigotry. Cats don’t do any of that stuff, and after long negotiations with the gods of reincarnation (they’re pretty nice once you get to know them), I have secured an appointment to change species…..

Day after tomorrow, my biggest decisions will involve when and where to nap, whether to annoy a human or comfort one, or whether to eat now, or later….. I won’t have to worry about Mitt the Twitt threatening to destroy all the progress our society has made in the last 100 years. I won’t have to worry about taxes. I won’t have to worry that some asshole banker wants more of my money, or that some politician is spreading more lies. None of that will have any more bearing on what I’m doing, and boy, am I looking forward to it…. After all, ignorance is bliss, right? Just ask any conservative American church-goer….. you can find a passel of them hanging around at the Westboro Baptist Church….

Today, however, I am tasked with once more heading into the breech, taking up the challenge, and producing a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom (affectionately known as “Pearls”…). Since that is a task that promises to be quite a challenge today, I’d best be about it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

“Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no.” — J. R. R. Tolkien

What we think is less than what we know:
What we know is less than what we love:
What we love is so much less than what there is:
and to this precise extent, We are much less than what we are.
— R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience

Psychobabble, by any other name, could not be any stupider than this. And that is a period at the end of that sentence, which means  no more that needs to be said about it. Since that goes against all the rules here, I’ll have to say this…. R.D. Laing was first caught spouting the above nonsense just about the time I was in Psych. Tech. school at Cuesta College/Atascadero State Hospital, and was one of the psychotherapists we studied in that school. At the time, he had a lot of followers, though not many in our class; our exposure to the individuals who received treatment at ASH made his techniques rather useless. But, it is another example of the power of human stupidity, and how it permeates every level of society….

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 15

Any fool can read a book or two, then write one that makes fun of those books. Then, they start spouting nonsensical, meaningless aphorisms such as the one above in public, on radio and TV talk shows, and go on a whirlwind tour of bookstores to encourage more people to buy the book, and spread their nonsense out over the whole of society. This is proof of Mssr. Pope’s first line, “A little learning is a dangerous thing,”, as the little bit of learning the author has engaged in becomes his/her tower of information, their bastion of expertise,  unassailable by either logical or intuitive reasoning, until their brand of ignorance joins the top-ten list of humanity’s follies, right up there with religion, and politics…..

“How many people eat, drink, and get married; buy, sell and build; make contracts and attend to their fortune; have friends and enemies, pleasures and pains, are born, grow up, live and die – but asleep!” — Joseph Joubert

Our culture is dying, if not already dead. When it reaches the point where 20 million people, or more, will choose a man like the Twitt over the incumbent president, just because his skin isn’t white, (yes, racists, all of them. They just use the healthcare, birther, and other issues they jump on to sublimate their fear of the “darkie” in the Oval Office….), then culture is dead. If not now, it certainly will go down in flames should that fool be elected, as he tries to guide society back to the Stone Age. Should he enter that office, I shudder to think of how our image to the rest of the world will suffer, as Mitt the Twitt knows NOTHING about other countries, other than how their tax laws may favor him in his goal to become a modern Croesus….

Face it, ffolkes, this election isn’t about healthcare, or jobs, or women’s rights, or immigration. It is about race, and the time has come for those of us who are aware of this to speak out, to shout out, and point out the ignorance and lies that are being bandied about like candy at Halloween. The forces of Evil are at large, and have taken control of the fanatic zealots on the conservative right. In addition they have recruited all those in our culture who are closet racists, supplying sublimation issues for the real reason they fight so hard against this president. It is the responsibility of those who are on the side of Reason to fight back, as best we may without resorting to the methods used by the other side, which would put us in the same hypocritical boat.

Stay alert, ffolkes, the time is coming when hard decisions will need to be made…. be ready, or we will all be going down the road to Hell in the same handbasket….. and remember….

“It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
___________________________________

A clock stopped — not the mantel’s
Geneva’s farthest skill
Can’t put the puppet bowing
That just now dangled still.

An awe came on the trinket!
The figures hunched with pain,
Then quivered out of decimals
Into degreeless noon.

It will not stir for doctors,
This pendulum of snow;
The shopman importunes it,
While cool, concernless No

Nods from the gilded pointers,
Nods from seconds slim,
Decades of arrogance between
The dial life and him.

— Emily Dickinson

I was in need of a bit of esoterica, to bring some balance after ranting, and this little piece of Emily does the trick just fine…. enjoy!
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Fetch the holy hand grenade …. — Smart Bee

I am perplexed. Perhaps you can help?….. This tagline popped up in front of me twice in a three-second period this morning while searching for pearls, so I figure Smart Bee wants me to use it pretty badly. Unfortunately, I can’t, as I’m uncertain as to its exact meaning.

Does the fact that it is holy come from being blessed by some earthly representative of a holy figure? Or was it created from nothing, a virgin-birth sort of thing, by God Himself? Or is it a holy hand grenade because it blows up holy stuff, or maybe because it leaves places all holy (full of holes…)? These are important things to know before I can commit to using it as basis for a rant. Ranting is a delicate undertaking, and it could be potentially embarrassing to rant for a while, then discover my subject is completely 180 degrees removed from what I thought it was; I blush easily, and don’t enjoy making such mistakes…

Ah well, it doesn’t matter in the long run, I suppose. Whether it is one, or the other, really shouldn’t matter to me; as a writer, I should be able to use it either way. But, I’m a stubborn old cuss, if nothing else, and I insist on knowing beforehand exactly who it is I am defiling, or exactly what weapon I’m using to cut through the bullshit to the core of meaning. It’s just a Ned-thing, you wouldn’t understand….

Four paragraphs of prattle isn’t too bad, especially on such short notice, so I guess we can call this a pearl, if just barely. I’m getting very close to 400 posts here on WP, and over a thousand pages of material have been created to fill those posts, so, as might be suspected, I am getting very short on material upon which  I haven’t previously expounded. Hence, fill-in material such as this, where I can waste a good three or four hundred words just fooling around, without ever approaching anything remotely important or relevant to our purpose. It’s a gift…..  🙂

Now, if you would please, sit down, remain silent, and no one will get hurt…. I don’t wish to harm anyone, but I will not be thwarted in my quest to finish this pearl on a dignified note. Just where that dignity is supposed to come from, I haven’t the foggiest notion, but, having done all I could possibly do to find some, I find myself stuck for an ending line.

Please, stop me! This damn pearl won’t let me finish. It keeps wandering from one non-concept to another, and dragging me along like a stupid dog. I guess I will have to resort to a hard re-boot. Here goes…..    Eureka! I have found it!  And I’m not giving it back….
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Well, that was interesting….. a new method of wasting time and energy. As if I needed any more…. Ah well, c’est la vie! 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!