Bess’s fine messes, at cost….

Ffolkes,

“Arguments derived from probabilities are idle.”

~~ Plato ~~

portobello market

An alley market on Portobello Road, London


Hajime…. Had I known yesterday, when beginning to put this Pearl together, that the intro would end up being the most contentious section to get done, I would have done it first. Since I’m doing it last, so to speak, it seems to have taken it personally, now refusing to coalesce into anything worth putting on screen, This isn’t to say we haven’t encountered this issue previously, though it’s not a frequent problem at all. No, the empty mind is our biggest issue in this section, as it usually occurs pre-coffee, or, nearly so. Since I’m about to go pour my second cup, that isn’t a factor…. Yet, here it sits, ugly, and relatively empty, save for this single paragraph of almost pure blather.

I wonder if they give refunds…. Nah, probably not, since nobody’s paying, and posting is free. Oh, well, another opportunity lost through lack of any comparatively sane thought processes as needed for basic comprehension. As we’re fond of saying around here in such situations, c’est la fucking vie. We’re going on in spite of our complete lack of talent, or intent, or even coherence. Of course, we could employ one of the Tardis toys to distract and discombobulate, (what a fine word!….), but, we’re not IN the Tardis yet. I suppose I could quit fooling around with this, and get on with it, but, what fun would that be?….

Oh…. okay. Well, since that’s the case, there’s nothing left to but this…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“Once you’ve seen the face of god,
You see that same face on everyone you meet.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~


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Yield_Logo

    I’ve used this in the past, but, I’m running a bit late today, so, we’ll go with it, as when it’s done, you can choose from a large number of other numbers from Playing For Change artists, from the suggestions that You Tube gives after each video. Enjoy, ffolkes; this one is one of my favorites…. It’s hot!….

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Gimme Shelter

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About Hopi Indian Symbols

    The rant for this section turned epic on me; it’s not quite done yet. To take it’s place, here is a discussion from 2012, on one of our most frequent subjects, to wit, politicians, the BRC, and Asininnies in general. It’s a bit long, but, there’s some humor involved, so, it won’t hurt too bad. I find it ironic to note how relevant many of the old rants I wrote have remained over time… I guess it goes to show we humans are a bit slower learners than we’d like to believe…. Enjoy!…..

From 10/2/2012:

This old-school pearl started off in one direction, then veered off into another…. and I don’t blame it a bit. I’m just as tired of all the political bullshit being flung around as the next guy, and the election can’t get here quick enough to suit me, that’s for sure. What with the amount of crap flying around, I feel like I’ve got to shower it off at least once or twice a day……

Any who, I was collecting the pearls for this, when I noticed that each one of them, from the first to the last, make a pointed statement that could easily be applied to this election, and most specifically, to the Republican party’s platform and candidates…. As far as I can see, they fail at every one of these, and this then becomes an indictment of their failings, all without intent, but with great accuracy….

“The majority never has the right on its side. Never, I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over.” — Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.” — G. K. Chesterton (gigoid sez: There being none of those, to wit: honest rich, in this election, we can pretty much take this as gospel, or at least accept it at face value……)

“It is the edge and temper of the blade that make a good sword, not the richness of the scabbard; and so it is not money or possessions that make man considerable, but his virtue.” — Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.) (gigoid sez: This could NOT be clearer…. since Mitt the Twitt feels compelled to rattle his scabbard at every opportunity…..)

“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie.  I can lie, but I won’t.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)   (gigoid sez: In modern times, the concept of a politician lying is not merely common, it is expected, and, sadly to say, empowered by the voting public, by their passive acceptance of same….)

“It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” — Noel Coward

“Intemperate speech is a distinctive characteristic of man. Hotheads blow off and release destructive energy in the process. They shout and rave, exaggerating weaknesses, magnifying error, viewing with alarm. So it has been from the beginning; and so it will be throughout time. The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for the restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.” — Justice William O. Douglas

“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don’t deal drugs.  When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I’m innocent.  When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don’t own a gun.  Now they’ve come for the first amendment, and I can’t say anything at all.” — Tim Freeman

“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Frag. 385

Yep, it’s going to be a real dust-up this year, as the forces of evil have gathered all of their minions and myrmidons, ready to sally forth on election day and try to lie and cheat their way into office. The degree of illegal, ill-advised voter suppression efforts that the Republicans have made are coming to light on a daily basis, with the money they’ve paid to companies dedicated to blocking the votes of seniors, poor people, and veterans being exposed as well. It’s truly a disgusting development, although it isn’t new to them; they’ve managed to steal two elections already, for the junior shrub, in 2000 and 2004, once in Florida, and once in Ohio.

They also managed to distract the public away from looking at those election results, by talking a bunch of Islamic militants into attacking New York City, right at the time when the Shrub’s chicanery in Florida was about to be investigated by an independent commission…… I always thought the timing there was a bit suspicious, and it couldn’t have been better for the Shrub, even though he probably wasn’t in on the planning of it himself…. his daddy never trusted him THAT far…..

But, you may remember, the senior Shrub was the head of the CIA for many years, before he was President, and is considered by most to be  personally responsible for the establishment of the cocaine trade in this country; see the book “The Cocaine Papers” written in the 1980’s, if there are still copies around. There may not be; I’m sure the dark-side operatives snap them up for destruction whenever they come across one…. This man would suffer no ethical restraints, and would not even hesitate, to have some of his operatives clandestinely trick terrorists into attacking when and where he wished it…. Civilian casualties are always more compelling when trying to distract the public…. And, it is funny how nobody ever investigated where the money for the 9/11 attacks came from…. Usually, in any such event, finding out who paid for it is a primary goal of the investigating teams…. but, nobody ever did that for 9/11…. Kind of makes one wonder, doesn’t it?……

Ah well, conspiracy theories aside, this election is seeing every dirty trick the two parties can think of between them, with the most egregiously immoral actions taking place on the conservative side…. voter suppression efforts in swing states, outright lying, misinformation spreading, magical bean platforms, all are being employed with gusto…. The upcoming debate tomorrow promises to be quite a show for the American public, and it will be interesting to see the contortions that the Republicans go through to try to show their man to their advantage, when every time he opens his mouth, he drops another bomb that indicates just how clueless and uncaring he is…. I’m almost looking forward to it, if it didn’t promise to be so bloody…. c’est la vie, I guess, and we’ll have to see how time will tell the tale…..

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Comedy_Tragedy

    While researching yesterday in SB, I came across this, which I remember hearing live, watching TV with my kids & family, many years ago, on a show called The Muppet Show, in which characters from Sesame Street performed with live actors & artists, as well as performing solo, as Kermit did once in a while; generally, he, or another, or, occasionally all the Muppets on the show also did a duet with the live guest. I like this one, a lot, which is why it graces our poetry section today…. Enjoy, ffolkes; it’s a bit soft compared to our usual fare, but, hey, as noted, I like it, so, deal….

Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
and what’s on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions
rainbows have nothing to hide.

So we’ve been told and some choose to believe it
I know they’re wrong, wait and see.
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thoughta’ that and someone believed it
 — look what it’s done so far.

What’s so amazing that keeps us stargazing
and what do we think we might see?
Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

All of us under its spell
we know that it’s probably magic.
Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
I hear them calling my name.

Could it be the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice may be one and the same.
Well I’ve heard it too many times to ignore it
it’s somethin’ that I’m s’posed to be.

And someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

~~ Kermit the Frog ~~

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buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    This, ffolkes, is an odd pearl. For me to say that is, well, unprecedented, if only in its stark simplicity. It’s also quite cogent, in its own weird way, for it wanders around quite drunkenly, almost randomly, yet, still manages to fulfill whatever it is trying to say. The exact nature of that is, of course, left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader, though, as always, you may decline the mission. It will, however, at least partially, probably end up on the Quiz….Ya never know what ya might need to know…. Pay attention, now; some of it is tricky…. In fact, it begins with a bit of subtlety many might get stuck on, but, trust me, and keep going…. You’ll be fine.

“Avoid fried foods which angry up the blood.” — Satchel Paige

“We all carry it within us; supreme strength, the fullness of wisdom, unquenchable joy. It is never thwarted and cannot be destroyed. But it is hidden deep,
which is what makes life a problem.” — Huston Smith

“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.” — Virginia Satir

“Watches are a confidence trick invented by the Swiss.” — Chiun, in “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins…”

“For water continually dropping will wear hard rocks hollow.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of the Training of Children

“Don’t pick on your sister when she’s holding a baseball bat.” — from Observations on Life From Children

“In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing.” — Antonio Porchia, Voces

“Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“The flesh surrenders itself. Eternity takes back its own. Our bodies stirred these waters briefly, danced with a certain intoxication before the love of life and self, dealt with a few strange ideas, then submitted to the instruments of Time. What can we say of this? I occurred. I am not… yet I occurred.”
— Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah

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“..  bleakness….  desolation….  plastic forks…”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~


Now, now, don’t fret; it doesn’t mean anything, other than I’m a strange person. Well, I guess, if you really enjoyed today’s Pearl, it might have some relevance for you; other wise, it’s where it is simply because I thought it was damn funny. Hell, I could fill most of a ranting section with it, but, I just figured I’d add it here at the end, sort of like a, what? Oh, how, ’bout, an innovation. That works; we’ll go with innovation. Don’t worry, I won’t try this again. Zippy just hit the right note, so, there he sits. Now, as noted below, it’s time for me to go sits…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, Zippy or no Zippy….

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….


			
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Worshiping at the altar of self-mockery….

Ffolkes,

“The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.” — Thomas Jefferson

10-9-2014 018

    I’m not altogether proud of this picture, obviously with good reason… It’s the best shot of the full moon I managed with my little Cool Pix camera, sitting on top of my walking stick to keep it steady as the moon rose over the trees…. It has kind of a hint of all that, the clouds, the trees, the moon… without ever quite bringing into enough clarity to make it compelling, other than as an exercise for the eye/brain imagery interface, to resolve the flaws when it gets into the brain, using our resident equivalent to Photoshop… sort of a Photoshop for the brain, so to speak… I suppose one could claim it is ‘mysterious’, but, that might imply one was TRYING to make it that way, which would be a lie….

According to Jefferson, then, I have naught to fear…. from truth, or lies…. Well, at least, in this instance, anyway….

Other than that, it serves only to anchor down the top of the page, after a very good quote, while, at the same time, yet, inadvertently, I assure you, providing material to fill the first paragraph…. SIGH…. I couldn’t have done it better if I’d actually tried, believe me or not. Oh, and, no worries if you don’t; believe me, that is….. I’m not very much offended by being misunderstood, even when that misunderstanding isn’t my fault, or doing; I just hit the miscreant with a brick, and go on about my business. So,as you see, as long as you put on the helmet we offered you at the door to the cabin, you’ll be fine. They (the helmets) are fully tested to be able to withstand much more than a mere brick wielded by an old man with arthritic hands & a grumpy disposition….

Golly, Wally, now what? The usual lack of creative material is currently holding sway in my brain, in spite of adequate morning ablution. This means it will get rantish later on (oops, I think I just coined another word, applicable to blogging…. rantish…. I like it…. It’s going in the dictionary….), but, it can’t be helped. I’m betting though, just the mere act of coining has distracted all of us enough we didn’t even notice how well the new word will fit well into a poem…. Spell Checker showed me several similar words that rhyme quite nicely, when I told it to add it to the list of acceptable words, one of which was an all-time favorite of mine, as it is another word that describes ME…. that word, of course, is dilettantish….

Okay, I’m going to be a nice guy…. I’ll stop here, without subjecting you to further early morning teasing. I know this hasn’t quite achieved the usual level of aggravation, to which y’all have become accustomed, but, we’ve got a ways to go, and I’m a bit tired this morning…. I guess opening that second bottle of John Daniel’s finest wasn’t a good idea, though, I must confess, it seemed like it at the time…. Of course, that was probably just the first bottle talking, but, hey, we listened, so, we have no excuses….. nor, are any offered, as my relationship with John is a private matter, between the two of us alone… and, I’m lying anyway, to prepare you for section one, where we will talk about our beloved ruling class; it’s best to give some warning, I think….

Of course, warning you gives you the chance to slip out, and just go on to the video section, but, hey, I’m required to make the attempt, if only for my own records, to cover my butt, which is hanging out quite attractively, don’t you think? I do…. But, whether or not the sight of my butt drives anyone away, we are going to go on with this, just because my dad taught me to finish whatever I start…. even the silly stuff….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity – these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing. They are not ashamed.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910) — Letters from the Earth (1905-1909)

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REVOLUTION, n.  In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.  Specifically, in American history, the substitution of the rule of an Administration for that of a Ministry, whereby the welfare and happiness of the people were advanced a full half-inch. Revolutions are usually accompanied by a considerable effusion of blood, but are accounted worth it — this appraisement being made by beneficiaries whose blood had not the mischance to be shed.  The French revolution is of incalculable value to the Socialist of to-day; when he pulls the string actuating its bones its gestures are inexpressibly terrifying to gory tyrants suspected of fomenting law and order. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/oct/11/russell-brand-revolution-alienation-despair

Perfect timing; Russell Brand, the British comedian/shock jock/social critic, just released a new book, entitled, “Revolution”. The above link leads, not to the book, but to a reporter’s review of it, including comments from the author as to his motivation for writing it, and for now espousing revolution in the world, for realio-trulio, no foolin’, no bullshit…. which, as you might imagine, is a concept I can get behind in a New York minute (which, as you may know, lasts about a nanosecond…)…. Can I call ’em, or what?

I’ve been saying for a couple years that the Asininnies were getting so egregious in their looting of society, they’re not bothering to hide as much, and that this would eventually lead to revolution… Of course, I was the one making the suggestion, but, I also knew, and stated, that society was going to mirror my own reactions, and the idea of revolution would become more real as time went by. It had to happen, as history provides us with many examples of following the same path in previous centuries…. This has all happened before, ffolkes; the names have been changed, not to protect the innocent, but, just because new assholes are born every minute…

“The United States has entered an anti-intellectual phase in its history,  perhaps most clearly seen in our virtually thought-free political life.” — David Baltimore

And, WHY are the Asininnies so able to lie to the public so successfully? Well, because people, for the most part, and in the greatest number, are fools, easily led by the nose, and perfectly susceptible to manipulation, due to their gullibility…. They, the pundits and talking heads who get elected, KNOW this about people, and are shameless, and ruthless, in applying it as often as they can…. which is all the damn time, every damn day…

“If a lie is repeated often enough all the dumb jackasses in the world not only get to believe it, they even swear by it.” — B.B. Franklin

I was glad to see that the movie about Edward Snowden is coming out; it will certainly add to the situation described above, i.e., it will provide that much more evidence of how the governments of this world have worked to subjugate and repress the general population, increase the wealth gap, and, steal as much as they can, while they can…. Below, you’ll find a link to a review of the film, a link to the trailer on You Tube, and a player to watch that trailer here, if you wish…. I hope everyone alive with two working neurons in their head will see this, for then, revolution would be assured….

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/oct/11/citizenfour-review-snowden-vindicated-poitras-nsa-journalism

“He means well” is useless unless he does well.” — Plautus

As far as I can see, Mr. Snowden has done well….

At this point, I will show mercy…. I could easily rant for a while longer, but, to spare you further torment like that, I’ll finish off this section with a relatively short pearl, to take the rest of my shots at the Asininnies, wherever they might be….

“There is a great deal of human nature in people.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910)

“The right to revolt has sources deep in our history.” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” — Isaiah, Isaiah 2:4

(Gee, why does it NOT surprise me to see this, and to realize that, when it comes to government, they stopped paying attention to this sort of idea long ago?…. In fact, I’m fairly sure it has NEVER been tried….)

“Cops do it with nightsticks.” — Smart Bee

“The remedy in the United States is not less liberty but real liberty — an end to the brutal intolerance of churchly hooligans and flag-waving corporations and all the rest of the small but bloody despots who have made the word Americanism a synonym for coercion and legal crime.” — Archibald MacLeash (b. 1892)

“The price of liberty is, always has been, and always will be blood: the person who is not willing to die for his liberty has already lost it to the first scoundrel who is willing to risk dying to violate that person’s liberty. Are you free?” — Andrew Ford

That should do it….. So be it. gigoid has spoken….

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A great many people will never have heard of this artist, which is a shame, but, pretty much was the way he wanted it. Fred Neil was a legendary performer, not to the public, who only knew of him through two of his songs, which EVERYONE heard on the radio at one time…. Other than those, he produced only three albums, which never hit the mainstream….

But, among other artists, he was, and, is still regarded as one of the very best blues players/singers to ever live, with an incredibly creative talent on the guitar for making new melodies and riffs, and a voice that could rip out your heart with feeling…. The video is the best version of his most famous song, but, you can see more of his work, including all his albums, by following the link to the You Tube page…. Enjoy, ffolkes; if you haven’t heard him before, you are in for a huge treat… You especially must listen to his song, “The Dolphins”…. it is INCREDIBLE!…..

Fred Neil: Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me

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While searching for another poet, I came across this gem, which is new to me…. Since it also fits in with an ever-present theme here on ECR, I though it would go well, even if it’s a bit long…. It makes up for it with relevance….

Television

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

~~ Roald Dahl ~~


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To finish of today, Smart Bee came up with a seven-star pearl made up of some comments/observations regarding the bane of our existence as humans…. ourselves….

“And it shall some to pass that idiots shall roam the earth, and morons shall rule the masses.” — Smart Bee

“We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.” — George Bernard Shaw

“It’s not very pleasant in my corner of the world at three o’clock in the morning. But for people who like cold, wet, ugly bits it is something rather special.” — A.A. Milne’s Eyore

“When we talk of tomorrow, the gods laugh.” — Smart Bee

“The frightening thing is not dying, the frightening thing is not living.” — T-Bone Burnett

“Extinct is forever.” — A little reminder from Smart Bee

“A little learning is a dangerous thing but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.” — Bob Edwards

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Here is your homework for tomorrow, ffolkes; as determined by SB, this will give you the best chance of surviving the night with your insanity intact…. Write an Essay: “Describe the universe in 500 words or less and name 2 examples.” I thought it would be a good addition to also have you explore one of your two examples (not this one), with proof of completion to be provided by a video recording of your trip…. If you need a camera, the equipment desk has a number of Go-Pro models for you to check out for use….

There…. I don’t believe I can do any more, or cause any more confusion, so, I may as well get on with the rest of today…. I hope y’all enjoyed today’s Pearl; it took some effort and thought, both of which I am currently in short supply….. and, no comments from the peanut gallery about always being in short supply of those products…. Do I insult you? Well, not directly, anyway…. I think it would be best if I just go now…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!

À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Tossing beans with butter, in a bowl….

Ffolkes,

Late, again…. Fuck it, I’m not even going to worry about it a little bit; whatever happens, happens. I’m too bloody grumpy to care, so, it’s just as well I’m giving up right out of the gate…. I have the distinct feeling that if I made any attempt to be normal, not only would it fail, but, the Universe at large would enjoy a huge guffaw at my expense…. with which, I’m sorry to say, I’m becoming all too familiar…. Murphy’s myrmidons must get promoted by merit, because each bloody one of them laughs harder than the last one, whenever they’re around at those moments I try for normalcy…. Bloody assholes, every damn one of them….

There, now that I’ve whined enough, we can start the day with a different tenor…. How about a bit of fiction? Let’s see….

Harry couldn’t figure out if he should knock at the front, or go around to the back door, where all the servants entered the house…. He knew, as he’d been watching all morning, screwing up his courage to approach the magnificent edifice, standing in all it’s Victorian elegance on the corner of Harper and Main…. Harper House, home to the rich, powerful Harper family, the original settlers of the town, way back in colonial days, had stood on that corner since its construction in 1802, by Hiram Harper, the first white man to settle in the valley. It was 1797, when he walked over Harper Mountain, & got his first view of the valley below, spreading out to the south, trees covering the slopes, with leaves gilded from the sun, shining down with strong promises made to the future….

Well…. that was…. something. Not particularly gripping, but, not too bad…. It sets a stage, and paints a picture, but, I’m not sure I’m happy with the flow, or the elegance…. Oh well, for an early morning throw-away, it’s not bad…. and it did get us this far down the page…. Today, that’s a big help, as my brain isn’t cooperating…. I guess I’m a little excited (and when I say stuff like that, I feel six years old again, but, hey, old age is known to cause its victims to display a retreat to a younger time, when we could actually walk to another part of the house without having to make a plan for the return trip….), because my daughter is coming by today, and we’re going to go to dinner with my son, her brother, and hopefully, his new friend(s)….

Since I am so excited about this evening, I am in a quandary this morning, as I just can’t seem to get going on this…. Oh well, this calls for the immediate application of an emergency bail-out method, and, I’m thinking, #4 is always the most effective, so…. hang on, and we’ll apply that…. NOW….

Shall we Pearl?….

“My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.” — George Santayana

(I’m encouraged now…. finding that quote so quickly gives me hope for the rest of this mess…. I hope it’s an indication that Murphy has taken his leave for now, and the rest of this will be left alone…. we can always hope, can’t we?…. Onward, with new bravery…. Huzzah!…..)

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http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Expert-witness-in-toy-gun-case-has-history-of-5614736.php

When I saw this, I became somewhat depressed…. It’s absolute truth; you can tell. This guy, this “expert witness” is nothing more than a shill, whom the courts and the police have been using to defend the indefensible for years….. In those instances where officers use their weapons, this guy has been set up as a final judge of the events that lead up to the incidents, whose word is the equivalent to law, in essence, as it is given more credence than even scientific evidence…. which is a crock, and they know it…. It’s a disturbing thing to find out, as it gives more evidence of how the courts, the police, and the government at large is ignoring or obstructing the issue of police militarization, one I see as a distinctly egregious problem, and one that really NEEDS to be watched….

In fact, this whole idea, of having such an obviously biased individual being given priority in court, makes me so angry, I’m having trouble organizing my arguments…. There are just SO MANY moral and ethical objections to such an event, I can’t decide where to begin…. So, instead, I’ll ask you to read the article, and make your own arguments…. It isn’t hard, particularly…. they are so fucking OBVIOUSLY prejudiced, you’ll find some objections, I’m sure…. Me, I’m going to raid the archives, for something that won’t make my stomach so damned upset, or at least, that won’t offend my sensibilities so badly….

Ah, here we go….. y’all enjoy this, ffolkes, I’m going to go calm down for a few minutes, before I try to deal with poetry…..

From 12/22/2012, a very numerological day…. It’s almost a poem, stated out loud…. One two, two two, two oh one two…. pretty cool, eh? Okay, I’ll stop now…. read on, ffolkes, it’s a fun one… (a Funyun?….):

“Unknowingly, we plow the dust of stars, blown about us by the wind, and drink the universe in a glass of rain.” — Ihab Hassan

What a beautiful line! I wasn’t sure when I saved it last night just what kind of pearl it would make, but it creates such a beautiful image in the mind, I couldn’t resist. I suppose it makes a fine contrast to how I feel just now, and as such, can be used to demonstrate how our attitudes are under our control, if we but choose to assume it…..

I feel like shit, emotionally, for various reasons, and that is reflected in my attitude toward the day; I don’t want to face it. I’d like to be able to just turn it all off, and go visit a friend somewhere far away. But, being stuck here, waiting for relief from my financial limitations, keeps me on the edge of depression, as well as keeping me in place…. If only for the time it takes to read, and contemplate this line, beauty takes over, and my thoughts and attitude undergo a marked change for the better. All it takes is a reminder of what we always have as creatures of this reality, our potential for grace.

“Grace”. Interesting word, that…. I like what it implies, the feeling of being connected to the universe, and enjoying that tie for the joy it can bring. To live in grace means to act rightly, surrounding oneself with beauty, increasing the joy in life by living it well, passionately, with compassion and humility. I can understand how religious folks would seek to receive such from the practice of their faith, though I can’t agree with them about exactly where grace comes from. They seem to believe that it is something given to them, as a reward for their faith, when in reality, it is something they have to learn to give, and can only be found inside themselves, because that is where it always is…. It just isn’t always free to let itself be known….

“The supreme irony of life is hardly anyone ever gets out of it alive.” — Robert Heinlein

Perspective…. the proper perspective can be hard to find, and it is good when such can be provided for us by a simple phrase, like this one, and the first one, above. The first phrase tells us to remember there are two sides to life, and only one side is inherently painful. This quote, from the Grand Master, is a reminder to SEEK perspective, and is one nobody should ever lose track of, as it is universally applicable. One may, at least temporarily, find ways to avoid paying taxes, but there is no avoiding death…. none.

Mere contemplation of our own death is a sure way to gain perspective. It may not always be the most amenable, or comfortable perspective, but it is the most truthful that can be acquired, without exception. Nothing will ground us better than thinking about our own demise, as there is no room for anything but truth when dealing with the whole concept. Anything less than the truth just fails to compute….. Not the most comforting line of thought, unless one has learned not to fear death, but, who is ever very successful at that? I mean, that’s why there are so many different religions out there, all offering their own way of dealing with that fear…. they’re just not very good at it. Well, not very truthful, anyway….

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — W. W. Zeige

I’m not sure whether I can truthfully classify this as a pearl. The criteria for that decision  are pretty loose, all in all, so it will fit in that respect. But, I do rather like to make some valid point, and this one doesn’t seem to have one I can find offhand. We humans spend a lot of our mental energy on stuff like this, which may be a clue as to the whole problem of the inability of so many of us to cope with reality without some kind of crutch, or without letting someone else do our thinking for us. That isn’t a danger for me, thank goodness, but most of humanity seems to fall into that pattern, and that, in itself, presents me with perspective issues, as mine differs radically from most everyone in the mainstream of society.

Oh, there are a lot more ffolkes such as myself out there; WordPress is proof enough of that. But, the major percentage of the population of this country generally prefers not to have to exercise their mental muscles any more than is absolutely necessary. Whether the inertial momentum that is built up by such a large percentage is amenable to adjustment remains to be seen, and all we can do is our best, to spread the virus of rational thought as far as we can….. “You’re our only hope, Obi-wan!”……

“I feel better about world problems now!” — Zippy the Pinhead

And, so do I! Shall we move on?…..

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I’m not sure yet what will go here, so, you’ll just have to wait…. Hey, I’m waiting, too!…. Okay, waiting done…. If you’ve been here with any regularity, you’ll know who I will pick, for, when there is any question about it, I always turn to her…. It’s Emily, of course…. writing on a subject very near, if not dear, to my heart….

The hallowing of pain

The hallowing of Pain
Like hallowing of Heaven,
Obtains at a corporeal cost —
The Summit is not given

To Him who strives severe
At middle of the Hill —
But He who has achieved the Top —
All — is the price of All —
     
~~Emily Dickinson ~~

emily icon
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This old school pearl has been collected with parameters that should, hopefully, cause some fairly steady bleeding among our Beloved Ruling Class, should any of them happen to see it…. I found the first couple of pearls sitting here, having obviously been collected previously, with that in mind… Well, so be it…. I never block any of my impulses, if I can keep from doing so…. and this one will, no doubt, be a good one, pointed and sharp, just the way I like them…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. I intend to….. Oh, also…. this will be a rare pearl, a nine-star, just because, when I use nine, the pattern of the wounds makes such a lovely design on their bodies….

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” — Samuel Johnson

(I know…. I said this pearl would be taking shots at the BRC, and asininnies in general…. But, read that line again, and tell me you don’t automatically think of politicians…. I know I do, because the phrase accurately describes no other segment of our society better, than it does those whom we have elected…. Sad, I know, but, all too true….)

“Most people seem to think that trampling individual rights is OK if it is “for the good of society as a whole.”  However, society is but a large number of individuals, and how can harming the individual parts better the whole?” — Andrew Ford, forda@agcs.com

“The First Amendment does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the talk is not `dangerous’. It does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the utterance has no tendency to subvert. It does not put free speech and freedom of the press in the category of housing, sanitation, hours of work, factory conditions, and the like, and make it subject to regulation for the public good. Nor does it permit legislative restraint of freedom of expression so long as the regulation does not offend due process. All notions of regulation or restraint by government are absent from the First Amendment. For it says in words that are unambiguous, `Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.'” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, 1958

“A politician will always tip off his true belief by stating the opposite at the beginning of the sentence.  For maximum comprehension, do not start listening until the first clause is concluded.  Begin instead at the word “but” which begins the second, or active, clause.  This is the way to tell a liberal from a conservative–before they tell you.  Thus: “I have always believed in a strong national defense, second to none, but … ” (a liberal, about to propose a $20 billion defense cut).” — Frank Mankiewicz

(Don’t worry about the labels here, ffolkes…. Mr. Mankiewicz seems to show a bit of bias toward conservatism…. but, it’s still true…. liberal, conservative, whatever…. they ALL do this….)

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!” — Albert Einstein

“If God wanted us to have a President, He would have sent us a candidate.” — Jerry Dreshfield

“A conservative is a man who wants the rules changed so no one can make a pile the way he did.” — Gregory Nunn

“Curse all his virtues! they’ve undone his country.” — Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Cato, Act iv, Sc. 4

(I really do love irony…. and, its twin sister, sarcasm…. When both are used in conjunction with hyperbole, well…. awesome is the word that comes to mind for me…..)

“Do not speak of what men deserve.   For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead Kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved?  Will you punish us for that?  Will you reward us for  the virtue of starving while others ate?  No man earns punishment, no man earns reward.  Free your mind of the idea of *deserving*, of *earning*, and  you will begin to be able to think.” — Odo, The Prison Letters (Ursula LeGuin, _The Dispossessed_)

I probably don’t need to mention (to this crowd…) that, learning to think in this fashion makes it much simpler to perceive the lies and oppression that the BRC and Asininnies spread around like the clap…. with exactly the same effect on society as that dreaded bacteria has on an individual, if not treated…. sickness, isolation, loss of self and others, and eventual death, from either the disease itself, or the loneliness it can engender in its victims….. Sadly, most of society hasn’t even a clue they’ve been infected by their own leaders, so, no treatment is even considered necessary…. which, as noted, will eventually lead to…. what was that? Oh, yeah….. DEATH….

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It may not be the best Pearl I’ve ever done, but, it has the one primary characteristic that makes it good enough…. it’s done. I can’t do any more damage to it; it’s already dead. So, I’m going to post the corpus, and hope for the best before it starts to deteriorate…. At least I know it won’t smell bad…. at least, not until the technology advances to the point of making what we see on our comps complete with information for the other senses…. i.e. “sensies”, Virtual Reality complete with smells, touch, sounds, sights, and tastes….. Boy, once that happens, we all will need to be more careful about what we leave lying around, won’t we?  Until then, this will do…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I’m not in jail….

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

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Illusion, adeptly applied, as an ointment….

Ffolkes,
Pillows, soft with feathers light, pound the walls and floors in flabby anger, until only the linens in the hall remain unsullied. Vast differences plagued the malodorous jack o’knapes, forgotten in all the noise. But the platoon of badgers gave a good golly, in honor of their fallen comrades, and the absentee butler stocked his pantry with everything from Forsythe and Spritz, not Dumbry. It was a real stand-up, as far as it went….. and the critics were struck speechless for once, missing deadlines, on the phone to their liaison with the Pope, losing bonus minutes by the truckload….. but, then, it’s only April.

Thank you, very much… it is an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the Academy….. oh, wait, that’s for a different speech…. sorry, forgot where I was, thanks to the disorienting paragraph that started this menagerie today….. That stuff builds up, like plaque on the teeth, and if I don’t get it out of my head, it can cause all sorts of trouble, especially if I try to talk to anyone else…. I get some funny expressions, you betcha….. It almost makes it worthwhile getting up….. 🙂

I’m feeling giddy today, in full-on waiting mode…. I’ve done all I can do, and all you can do is all you can do…. yabba dabba do.  See, it even rhymes! To say that I am hopeful of a positive outcome is to say the very least; I am TOO hopeful. It’s enough to make me look around furtively to see if Murphy is hanging about….. though I don’t know which would make me more nervous…. having him standing here looking at me with that fatuous smirk, or not seeing him at all, and knowing he is just waiting for the proper moment to deliver his coup de grace….. rather a poor choice, eh what? Sort of like the choice between two sisters…. whichever you choose is going to hurt, no matter how hard one tries to be fair… and in Murphy’s case, he doesn’t care a whit about being fair…. as long as he causes the maximum of hassle for his victims, he’s happy….

Rather than tempt him too much, by mentioning his name more than twice, I believe we should get on with the day’s business…. yes, I think that would be wise….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Someone asked someone who was about my age: “How are you?” The answer was, “Fine. If you don’t ask for details.” — Katharine Hepburn
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“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” — Clarence Buddinton Kelland

I am a fortunate son, and have known so for many years; it is a source of quiet joy to me that I was given, and took, the opportunity to let my father know how I felt about him, and how much I appreciated what he had given me, before he died. The year he died, 1984, is still sort of hard for me to think of, and there are still moments, even now, at 61, when I wish I could ask him his advice. But, then I realize he already gave it to me, and I know what to do…. In fact, most of my life, if I was confronted with a question of what was right to do, I would imagine that he was standing behind me, watching me, as I did him as a boy…. that usually helped me to remember what the right thing was, and made clear the choice to the honorable path….

My dad’s own father died when he was 14, whereupon he left school, and went to work to support his mother and two younger brothers. He never would talk much about those years of his life, saying only that he did what he needed to do to survive, and ensure the same for his family. To give you an idea of how difficult it must have been, the 1929 Crash, and subsequent Great Depression, took place when he was 17, and had been the family’s source of support for three years already when it happened….. He got everyone through it well enough that he and his brothers were all able to marry, with my father meeting and marrying my mother in 1939….. and my grandmother was still alive to celebrate the event…..

“The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“Excellence is its own reward.” — Axiom # 4, Peruaosophy, c. 1990 ~~ by gigoid (1950-????)

As a result of what I learned from my father, I have always known the rightness, and the real joy of acting honorably. He also taught me that doing one’s best, at whatever one turned their mind, and hands, to, was, in both the short and the long run, the most effective, and ultimately the most satisfying  method of approaching life. Paying attention to detail, observing alertly, reading with attention, thinking about what is learned, applying what is learned in practice, all were brought home to me as important elements needed to be successful at anything. When used conscientiously, these become habitual, and excellence becomes not just a desirable outcome, but one that is completely achievable on a regular basis. And, having done it well, it does indeed become a reward unto itself….

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me.  That means nothing.  People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” — Albert Einstein

My dad died, as I said, in 1984, and I still miss him (as I do my mother, too, who passed on last year; apples and oranges, and another post, for another time….). But, as I said, I saw him just before he passed on. I brought my 3 year old son, and almost one year old daughter, with me to see him in the hospital, after he had decided not to go to any lengths to stop the spread of the disease, to save the expenses, which would then be available for my mother when he was gone…. it was just the way he was…. He got to play with the kids, and had the biggest goofy smile on his face, as my daughter Kelly pushed and pulled on his nose, babbling at him in toddlerese….. I asked him to leave me some trail sign wherever he went in the next dimension, and he said he would do so, so I am content. I know he will always be there, behind me, watching me, as I do my best to make sure I live up to his standards, and his memory….. and am therefore providing the same example for my children…..

How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
— Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) — The Character of a Happy Life

“When someone loves you for a long time, really loves you, then you become Real. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out, but this doesn’t matter . . . when you are Real you can’t be ugly.” — The Velveteen Rabbit
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I’ve been waiting to fill this space, hoping a poem was percolating on one of my back burners…. alas, nothing has surfaced, so you’ll just have to settle for one of the classics…. hmm, let’s see….. whom should we choose today?…… How about….. Keats? It’s been awhile, and he IS one of the best…. I’ll see what I can do about finding one I’ve heard quoted often, The Eve of St. Agnes…..

Hmm…. well, so be it…. having found it, it turns out to be about three days long…. well, almost. It’s a long one…. but, you know what? I don’t care…. it’s beautiful, and I loved every line of it. So, you’ll have to just put up with the entire poem, epic read though it be….. I’m not afraid, are you?….. Don’t feel bad if it takes more than one sitting… it is indeed, a long one…

The Eve Of St. Agnes

ST Agnes’ Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp’d trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told
His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem’d taking flight for heaven, without a death,
Past the sweet Virgin’s picture, while his prayer he saith.

His prayer he saith, this patient, holy man;
Then takes his lamp, and riseth from his knees,
And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, wan,
Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees:
The sculptur’d dead, on each side, seem to freeze,
Emprison’d in black, purgatorial rails:
Knights, ladies, praying in dumb orat’ries,
He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails
To think how they may ache in icy hoods and mails.

Northward he turneth through a little door,
And scarce three steps, ere Music’s golden tongue
Flatter’d to tears this aged man and poor;
But no—already had his deathbell rung
The joys of all his life were said and sung:
His was harsh penance on St. Agnes’ Eve:
Another way he went, and soon among
Rough ashes sat he for his soul’s reprieve,
And all night kept awake, for sinners’ sake to grieve.

That ancient Beadsman heard the prelude soft;
And so it chanc’d, for many a door was wide,
From hurry to and fro. Soon, up aloft,
The silver, snarling trumpets ‘gan to chide:
The level chambers, ready with their pride,
Were glowing to receive a thousand guests:
The carved angels, ever eager-eyed,
Star’d, where upon their heads the cornice rests,
With hair blown back, and wings put cross-wise on their breasts.

At length burst in the argent revelry,
With plume, tiara, and all rich array,
Numerous as shadows haunting fairily
The brain, new-stuff’d, in youth, with triumphs gay
Of old romance. These let us wish away,
And turn, sole-thoughted, to one lady there,
Whose heart had brooded, all that wintry day,
On love, and wing’d St Agnes’ saintly care,
As she had heard old dames full rnany times declare.

They told her how, upon St Agnes’ Eve,
Young virgins might have visions of delight,
And soft adorings from their loves receive
Upon the honey’d middle of the night,
If ceremonies due they did aright;
As, supperless to bed they must retire,
And couch supine their beauties, lily white;
Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Of Heaven with upward eyes for all that they desire.

Full of this whim was thoughtful Madeline:
The music, yearning like a God in pain,
She scarcely heard: her maiden eyes divine,
Fix’d on the floor, saw many a sweeping train
Pass by—she heeded not at all: in vain
Came many a tiptoe, amorous cavalier,
And back retir’d; not cool’d by high disdain,
But she saw not: her heart was otherwhere;
She sigh’d for Agnes’ dreams, the sweetest of the year.

She danc’d along with vague, regardless eyes,
Anxious her lips, her breathing quick and short:
The hallow’d hour was near at hand: she sighs
Amid the timbrels, and the throng’d resort
Of whisperers in anger, or in sport;
‘Mid looks of love, defiance, hate, and scorn,
Hoodwink’d with faery fancy; all amort,
Save to St Agnes and her lambs unshorn,
And all the bliss to be before to-morrow morn.

So, purposing each moment to retire,
She linger’d still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire
For Madeline. Beside the portal doors,
Buttress’d from moonlight, stands he, and implores
All saints to give him sight of Madeline,
But for one moment in the tedious hours,
That he might gaze and worship all unseen;
Perchance speak, kneel, touch, kiss—in sooth such things have been.

He ventures in: let no buzz’d whisper tell:
All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords
Will storm his heart, Love’s fev’rous citadel:
For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes,
Hyena foemen, and hot-blooded lords,
Whose very dogs would execrations howl
Against his lineage: not one breast affords
Him any mercy, in that mansion foul,
Save one old beldame, weak in body and in soul.

Ah, happy chance! the aged creature came,
Shuffling along with ivory-headed wand,
To where he stood, hid from the torch’s flame,
Behind a broad hall-pillar, far beyond
The sound of merriment and chorus bland.
He startled her; but soon she knew his face,
And grasp’d his fingers in her palsied hand,
Saying, “Mercy, Porphyro! hie thee from this place;
“They are all here to-night, the whole blood-thirsty race!

“Get hence! get hence! there’s dwarfish Hildebrand;
He had a fever late, and in the fit
He cursed thee and thine, both house and land:
Then there’s that old Lord Maurice, not a whit
More tame for his gray hairs—Alas me! flit!
Flit like a ghost away.”—“Ah, gossip dear,
We’re safe enough; here in this arm-chair sit,
And tell me how”—“Good saints! not here, not here;
Follow me, child, or else these stones will be thy bier.”

He follow’d through a lowly arched way,
Brushing the cobwebs with his lofty plume,
And as she mutter’d “Well-a—well-a-day!”
He found him in a little moonlight room,
Pale, lattic’d, chill, and silent as a tomb.
“Now tell me where is Madeline”, said he,
“O tell me, Angela, by the holy loom
Which none but secret sisterhood may see,
“When they St Agnes’ wool are weaving piously.”

“St Agnes! Ah! it is St Agnes’ Eve—
Yet men will murder upon holy days:
Thou must hold water in a witch’s sieve,
And be liege-lord of all the Elves and Fays
To venture so: it fills me with amaze
To see thee, Porphyro!—St Agnes’ Eve!
God’s help! my lady fair the conjuror plays
This very night: good angels her deceive!
But let me laugh awhile, I’ve mickle time to grieve.”

Feebly she laugheth in the languid moon,
While Porphyro upon her face doth look,
Like puzzled urchin on an aged crone
Who keepeth clos’d a wondrous riddle-book,
As spectacled she sits in chimney nook.
But soon his eyes grew brilliant, when she told
His lady’s purpose; and he scarce could brook
Tears, at the thought of those enchantments cold
And Madeline asleep in lap of legends old.

Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose,
Flushing his brow, and in his pained heart
Made purple riot: then doth he propose
A stratagem, that makes the beldame start:
“A cruel man and impious thou art:
Sweet lady, let her pray, and sleep, and dream
Alone with her good angels, far apart
From wicked men like thee. Go, go!—I deem
Thou canst not surely be the same that thou didst seem.”

“I will not harm her, by all saints I swear,”
Quoth Porphyro: “O may I ne’er find grace
When my weak voice shall whisper its last prayer,
If one of her soft ringlets I displace,
Or look with ruffian passion in her face:
Good Angela, believe me by these tears;
Or I will, even in a moment’s space,
Awake, with horrid shout, my foemen’s ears,
And beard them, though they be more fang’d than wolves and bears.”

“Ah! why wilt thou affright a feeble soul?
A poor, weak, palsy-stricken, churchyard thing,
Whose passing-bell may ere the midnight toll;
Whose prayers for thee, each morn and evening,
Were never miss’d.” Thus plaining, doth she bring
A gentler speech from burning Porphyro;
So woeful, and of such deep sorrowing,
That Angela gives promise she will do
Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe.

Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy,
Even to Madeline’s chamber, and there hide
Him in a closet, of such privacy
That he might see her beauty unespied,
And win perhaps that night a peerless bride,
While legion’d fairies pac’d the coverlet,
And pale enchantment held her sleepy-eyed.
Never on such a night have lovers met,
Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt.

“It shall be as thou wishest,” said the Dame:
“All cates and dainties shall be stored there
Quickly on this feast-night: by the tambour frame
Her own lute thou wilt see: no time to spare,
For I am slow and feeble, and scarce dare
On such a catering trust my dizzy head.
Wait here, my child, with patience; kneel in prayer
The while: Ah! thou must needs the lady wed,
Or may I never leave my grave among the dead.”

So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear.
The lover’s endless minutes slowly pass’d;
The Dame return’d, and whisper’d in his ear
To follow her; with aged eyes aghast
From fright of dim espial. Safe at last
Through many a dusky gallery, they gain
The maiden’s chamber, silken, hush’d and chaste;
Where Porphyro took covert, pleas’d amain.
His poor guide hurried back with agues in her brain.

Her falt’ring hand upon the balustrade,
Old Angela was feeling for the stair,
When Madeline, St Agnes’ charmed maid,
Rose, like a mission’d spirit, unaware:
With silver taper’s light, and pious care,
She turn’d, and down the aged gossip led
To a safe level matting. Now prepare,
Young Porphyro, for gazing on that bed;
She comes, she comes again, like dove fray’d and fled.

Out went the taper as she hurried in;
Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died:
She closed the door, she panted, all akin
To spirits of the air, and visions wide:
No utter’d syllable, or, woe betide!
But to her heart, her heart was voluble,
Paining with eloquence her balmy side;
As though a tongueless nightingale should swell
Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled, in her dell.

A casement high and triple-arch’d there was,
All garlanded with carven imag’ries
Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass,
And diamonded with panes of quaint device,
Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,
As are the tiger-moth’s deep-damask’d wings;
And in the midst, ‘mong thousand heraldries,
And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
A shielded scutcheon blush’d with blood of queens and kings.

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,
And threw warm gules on Madeline’s fair breast,
As down she knelt for heaven’s grace and boon;
Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
And on her silver cross soft amethyst,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint:
She seem’d a splendid angel, newly drest,
Save wings, for heaven:—Porphyro grew faint:
She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.

Anon his heart revives: her vespers done,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
Loosens her fragrant bodice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees:
Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed,
Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
In fancy, fair St Agnes in her bed,
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.

Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest,
In sort of wakeful swoon, perplex’d she lay,
Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppress’d
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away;
Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day;
Blissfully haven’d both from joy and pain;
Clasp’d like a missal where swart Paynims pray;
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.

Stol’n to this paradise, and so entranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
And listen’d to her breathing, if it chanced
To wake into a slumbrous tenderness;
Which when he heard, that minute did he bless,
And breath’d himself: then from the closet crept,
Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness,
And over the hush’d carpet, silent, stept,
And ‘tween the curtains peep’d, where, lo!—how fast she slept!

Then by the bed-side, where the faded moon
Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set
A table, and, half anguish’d, threw thereon
A doth of woven crimson, gold, and jet:—
O for some drowsy Morphean amulet!
The boisterous, midnight, festive clarion,
The kettle-drum, and far-heard clarinet,
Affray his ears, though but in dying tone:—
The hall door shuts again, and all the noise is gone.

And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender’d,
While he from forth the closet brought a heap
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd
With jellies soother than the creamy curd,
And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon;
Manna and dates, in argosy transferr’d
From Fez; and spiced dainties, every one,
From silken Samarcand to cedar’d Lebanon.

These delicates he heap’d with glowing hand
On golden dishes and in baskets bright
Of wreathed silver: sumptuous they stand
In the retired quiet of the night,
Filling the chilly room with perfume light.—
“And now, my love, my seraph fair, awake!
Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite:
Open thine eyes, for meek St Agnes’ sake,
Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul doth ache.”

Thus whispering, his warm, unnerved arm
Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream
By the dusk curtains:—’twas a midnight charm
Impossible to melt as iced stream:
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam;
Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies:
It seem’d he never, never could redeem
From such a stedfast spell his lady’s eyes;
So mus’d awhile, entoil’d in woofed phantasies.

Awakening up, he took her hollow lute,—
Tumultuous,—and, in chords that tenderest be,
He play’d an ancient ditty, long since mute,
In Provence call’d, “La belle dame sans mercy:”
Close to her ear touching the melody:—
Wherewith disturb’d, she utter’d a soft moan:
He ceased—she panted quick—and suddenly
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone:
Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone.

Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep:
There was a painful change, that nigh expell’d
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep,
At which fair Madeline began to weep,
And moan forth witless words with many a sigh;
While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep;
Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye,
Fearing to move or speak, she look’d so dreamingly.

“Ah, Porphyro!” said she, “but even now
Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear,
Made tuneable with every sweetest vow;
And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear:
How chang’d thou art! how pallid, chill, and drear!
Give me that voice again, my Porphyro,
Those looks immortal, those complainings dear!
Oh leave me not in this eternal woe,
For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go.”

Beyond a mortal man impassion’d far
At these voluptuous accents, he arose,
Ethereal, flush’d, and like a throbbing star
Seen mid the sapphire heaven’s deep repose
Into her dream he melted, as the rose
Blendeth its odour with the violet,—
Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows
Like Love’s alarum pattering the sharp sleet
Against the window-panes; St Agnes’ moon hath set.

Tis dark: quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet:
“This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline!”
‘Tis dark: the iced gusts still rave and beat:
“No dream, alas! alas! and woe is mine!
Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine.—
Cruel! what traitor could thee hither bring?
I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine
Though thou forsakest a deceived thing;—
A dove forlorn and lost with sick unpruned wing.”

“My Madeline! sweet dreamer! lovely bride!
Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest?
Thy beauty’s shield, heart-shap’d and vermeil dyed?
Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest
After so many hours of toil and quest,
A famish’d pilgrim,—saved by miracle.
Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest
Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think’st well
To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel.

“Hark! ’tis an elfin-storm from faery land,
Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:
Arise—arise! the morning is at hand;—
The bloated wassailers will never heed:—
Let us away, my love, with happy speed;
There are no ears to hear, or eyes to see,—
Drown’d all in Rhenish and the sleepy mead:
Awake! arise! my love, and fearless be,
For o’er the southern moors I have a home for thee.”

She hurried at his words, beset with fears,
For there were sleeping dragons all around,
At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready spears—
Down the wide stairs a darkling way they found.—
In all the house was heard no human sound.
A chain-droop’d lamp was flickering by each door;
The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, and hound,
Flutter’d in the besieging wind’s uproar;
And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor.

They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall;
Like phantoms, to the iron porch, they glide;
Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl,
With a huge empty flagon by his side:
The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide,
But his sagacious eye an inmate owns:
By one, and one, the bolts fill easy slide:—
The chains lie silent on the footworn stones,—
The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans.

And they are gone: ay, ages long ago
These lovers fled away into the storm.
That night the Baron dreamt of many a woe,
And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form
Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm,
Were long be-nightmar’d. Angela the old
Died palsy-twitch’d, with meagre face deform;
The Beadsman, after thousand aves told,
For aye unsought for slept among his ashes cold.

John Keats

Well, there you have it, in all its glorious entirety….. good luck, and enjoy!…..
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This old-school pearl started off in one direction, then veered off into another…. and I don’t blame it a bit. I’m just as tired of all the political bullshit being flung around as the next guy, and the election can’t get here quick enough to suit me, that’s for sure. What with the amount of crap flying around, I feel like I’ve got to shower it off at least once or twice a day…… Any who, I was collecting the pearls for this, when I noticed that each one of them, from the first to the last, make a pointed statement that could easily be applied to this election, and most specifically, to the Republican party’s platform and candidates…. As far as I can see, they fail at every one of these, and this then becomes an indictment of their failings, all without intent, but with great accuracy….

“The majority never has the right on its side. Never, I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over.” — Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.” — G. K. Chesterton (gigoid sez: There being none of those, to wit: honest rich, in this election, we can pretty much take this as gospel, or at least accept it at face value……)

“It is the edge and temper of the blade that make a good sword, not the richness of the scabbard; and so it is not money or possessions that make man considerable, but his virtue.” — Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.) (gigoid sez: This could NOT be clearer…. since Mitt the Twitt feels compelled to rattle his scabbard at every opportunity…..)

“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie.  I can lie, but I won’t.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)   (gigoid sez: In modern times, the concept of a politician lying is not merely common, it is expected, and, sadly to say, empowered by the voting public, by their passive acceptance of same….)

“It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” — Noel Coward

“Intemperate speech is a distinctive characteristic of man. Hotheads blow off and release destructive energy in the process. They shout and rave, exaggerating weaknesses, magnifying error, viewing with alarm. So it has been from the beginning; and so it will be throughout time. The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for the restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.” — Justice William O. Douglas

“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don’t deal drugs.  When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I’m innocent.  When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don’t own a gun.  Now they’ve come for the first amendment, and I can’t say anything at all.” — Tim Freeman

“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Frag. 385

Yep, it’s going to be a real dust-up this year, as the forces of evil have gathered all of their minions and myrmidons, ready to sally forth on election day and try to lie and cheat their way into office. The degree of illegal, ill-advised voter suppression efforts that the Republicans have made are coming to light on a daily basis, with the money they’ve paid to companies dedicated to blocking the votes of seniors, poor people, and veterans being exposed as well. It’s truly a disgusting development, although it isn’t new to them; they’ve managed to steal two elections already, for the junior shrub, in 2000 and 2004, once in Florida, and once in Ohio.

They also managed to distract the public away from looking at those election results, by talking a bunch of Islamic militants into attacking New York City, right at the time when the Shrub’s chicanery in Florida was about to be investigated by an independent commission…… I always thought the timing there was a bit suspicious, and it couldn’t have been better for the Shrub, even though he probably wasn’t in on the planning of it himself…. his daddy never trusted him THAT far…..

But, you may remember, the senior Shrub was the head of the CIA for many years, before he was President, and is considered by many to be personally responsible for the establishment of the cocaine trade in this country; see the book “The Cocaine Papers” written in the 1980’s, if there are still copies around. There may not be; I’m sure the dark-side operatives snap them up for destruction whenever they come across one…. This man would suffer no ethical restraints, and would not even hesitate, to have some of his operatives clandestinely trick terrorists into attacking when and where he wished it…. Civilian casualties are always more compelling when trying to distract the public…. And, it is funny how nobody ever investigated where the money for the 9/11 attacks came from…. Usually, in any such event, finding out who paid for it is a primary goal of the investigating teams…. but, nobody ever did that for 9/11…. Kind of makes one wonder, doesn’t it?……

Ah well, conspiracy theories aside, this election is seeing every dirty trick the two parties can think of between them, with the most egregiously immoral actions taking place on the conservative side…. voter suppression efforts in swing states, outright lying, misinformation spreading, magical bean platforms, all are being employed with gusto…. The upcoming debate tomorrow promises to be quite a show for the American public, and it will be interesting to see the contortions that the Republicans go through to try to show their man to their advantage, when every time he opens his mouth, he drops another bomb that indicates just how clueless and uncaring he is…. I’m almost looking forward to it, if it didn’t promise to be so bloody…. c’est la vie, I guess, and we’ll have to see how time will tell the tale…..
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So be it…. since I don’t have the access time I’d like to have, the Pearls will just have to go out without major editing, or they won’t get done at all in the allotted time frame. I didn’t realize that the last section would turn on me, and become a mini-rant…. Romney/Ryan just lends itself to that process naturally, with every ill-considered lie they drop into the public well…. too bad it’s all toxic…. All will be well, though; that the Universe is proceeding as it should is perhaps my only point of faith. Therefore, let us get on with the day, such as it is, in full wait-mode…. toodle loo….  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!