Such a waste of appealingly bitter waffles….

Ffolkes,

“No human thing is of serious importance.”

~~ Plato ~~

Second shots 001

Struggling Beauty


Good morning….

 “Sleep is a weapon.”

~~ Philip D’Anjou, “The Bourne Identity” by Robert Ludlum ~~


I first read the above words in the 1970’s, I think, when the book was first published. Regardless of the book’s qualities, I’d have liked it, anyway, if only for that line…. It’s such a powerful idea, and is, to my own knowledge, a very important piece of data for anyone to know, at least, if they’re the kind of person who enjoys life. It has so many applications to every part of life, it touches on all we do, and all we accomplish….. Without a sharp, strong, flexible weapon, life can be very hard, and very dangerous…. The weapon, of course, is our own mind….

Why is this relative to our purpose here today? Well, that’s simple actually…. Sleep, or rather, finding the means within myself to sleep, has become one of the more pressing issues in my life, as I am currently unable to predict at all when I’ll be able to go down for some rest…. Some days, I feel like I’m back in boot camp…. Of course, I never went to boot camp, aside from having been raised by a Master Sergeant… I guess that would count…

I’m not going to go into all the reasons for my reluctant insomnia; it’s TMI, and, no doubt, pretty boring for anyone not going through it. I will say, it’s not the kind of thing designed to make one into a happy camper, an assertion of which I possess no doubt whatsoever as to it’s truth….. In short, FUCK ME! THIS IS A PAIN IN THE BLOODY ASS!

Okay, I’m done. We can go now, to see if there is anything else in my head that might have some little entertainment value…. It may be a long search, so grab some of the trail mix before we head out; it could be a long time to lunch….

Shall we Pearl?….

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.” — from “Manual of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan

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early HAL from FP

Image from blu-ray.com via Google Images


Today’s video selection is a classic Science Fiction movie, long considered the definitive “First” in that genre. Shot on a minimal budget, with young stars, such as the then-unknown Leslie Nielsen, alongside fading Hollywood stars, such as Walter Pidgeon, the movie was shot as an entirely serious movie with a dramatic plot; it came out unintentionally hilarious, and campy, due to the special effects, for which the kindest word to describe would be “cheezy” ….. (Look at that robot!…. and, the alien landscape!…). I’ve included links and players for the official trailer, as well as some of the outtakes from the shooting process. To watch the entire movie, you can pay $2.99 to You Tube, or follow a link to many sites streaming old movies online…. Type “forbidden planet full movie” into the YT search bar, & it will furnish you with any number of links to the movie… Enjoy!…


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Forbidden Planet

Trailer & Outtakes

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Sandclock .jpg


Last posted on 11/20/2013:

Below you’ll find a short, but concise, religirant, another blast from the past, as I continue to mine my archives for material I can use today, to save me a bit of time, and mental energy, which I can always use to decide where I’m going for my next trip to…. ANYWHERE!…. Any who, all personal idiosyncrasies aside, this one is pretty good, I think, so pay attention, if you please, and take heed of what it says, for it is good advice, if naught else….

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Today’s effort is, to my chagrin, falling somewhat short of my expectations; not surprising, given the handicaps with which we began our journey today…. As I mentioned above, or, not, I’m going to cheat; this, of course means we go to the archives for our thoughts for today…. This one is pretty good, I think, but, regardless of its quality, it’s going to have to do…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it’s the best we’ve got today….

From April 27, 2012

“He that doubteth is damned.” — Romans 14:23

It took a while, but it was worth the time spent searching…. This is a perfect example of how, if we let them, all those folks who would have us believe that the Bible, (or any other sacred books inspired by alleged supernatural entities), is a direct line of information from God, will go to almost any lengths, trying to trick us into doing exactly what that book tells us to do. In this case, they apply both guilt and fear of retribution in the next life if we question any of what we are told by that book, or any of what we are taught by those who hold it as truth….

I have previously written here as to the value Doubt possesses, in the bag of tools people have to get by in this complex, confusing universe we inhabit. It is our only defense against information or events that can cause, or even intend, us harm, rather than good; such information invariably is given to us by other people, whose only intent in doing so is to achieve some sort of power or control over us. I don’t think this is a particularly hard concept to understand; its proof lies in almost every interaction we have when faced with organized religions. Anyone who has studied the psychology of humans can point out the techniques of behavioral modification used by the religious hierarchies to assert their will upon the public….

The above short little warning/threat, drawn directly from the Christian Bible, (Old Testament, if memory serves….), implies that anyone who does not bend over in submission to its decree will spend eternity in Hell. Hmm, a bit harsh, don’t you think? For merely entertaining a question regarding the accuracy of a concept presented, one with no evidence that proves its reliability? The Universe at large presents us with such false information regularly; anyone who doesn’t learn caution in such instances is liable for the consequences, which can be severe, such as in the case of being confronted by an apparently friendly, but in reality, rabid dog. Rabies is no picnic, from all reports, so, Doubt, used as a tool in such instances, is very appropriate, patently a valuable one.

However, in the minds of the folks who are selling faith-based products, Doubt is the last thing they want people to have in mind when considering what they say. It tends to cause their arguments to fall apart right in front of their eyes, and they cannot make the sale that way. If they can’t convince people to accept what they say without questioning it, their entire house of cards will come tumbling down around their ears, and they would have to give up all those nice little perks that go along with having everyone believe everything they say, like having poor people willingly give up 10% of their earnings in tithe, or getting to reside, with no rent, in a house built by the labor of others…. Did you think they would give that up easily?…. Well, then you’ve lost your strongest ally against such degradations to your sensibilities…. a healthy sense of Doubt….

“Fear not, for I have given you authority to do so.” — Smart Bee, via some random preacher’s King James version….

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Comedy_Tragedy

    As intimated would be the case today, here’s one from the archives….

After the odyssey….

Portraits of iconic symbols, crashing, singing, forgotten;
evolving into mature innovation, as yet pale, and rotten.
Still water justly breeds, impenetrable primal verses resound;
unholy moments tarry, emotion swirls in passion unbound

Spiritual ovulation precedes each pregnant pause;
gravid, time moves on, following destiny’s cause.
Cast adrift on waves of confusion, to a final, damp landing;
salvation beckons sweetly, fed well on understanding.

Dreams directly fall, in night’s grey bower, unbidden;
lingering flavors in simple taste, lovingly, cleverly hidden.
Childish laughter sounds, joyful, bright, and clear;
no need ever to hide, no more monsters to fear.

Temper most foul arrives under unregistered mail;
forgotten taunts live on, lashed by an ancient flail.
Plain dealing delivers such lasting specks of honest hate;
savage in retrospect, never hasty, always running late.

Forever, cries an ambient lover of the pending night;
his pale, weak issue forms its own failing light.
Still, fortune favors such as those who apprehend;
Sweet love of Gaia, let it never end.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 3/10/2013.

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About Hopi Indian Symbols

    I’m not sure about this one; it’s an odd, obscure little pearl…. I like it, so, it stays…. Follow the bouncing ideas, and you’ll get to a lovely surprise…. Trust me….

“Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.” — Mark Twain

“Bear, do not blame, what cannot be changed.” — Publilius Syrus

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” — Flannery O’Connor

“Virtue is its own revenge.” — E. Y. Harburg

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” — G. K. Chesterton, Everlasting Man, 1925

“Before enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood. After enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood.” — Zen Proverb

“In a mad world, only the mad are sane.” — Akiro Kurosawa

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I suppose they can’t all be gems…. Whether this came out good, or bad, or indifferent has now become irrelevant, when weighed against the fact it is done. So be it. I don’t know why, but, I’m a grump…. I guess I’ll go out into the BBR and torment some mundanes…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; it’s the primary reason I’m not in jail yet, so….

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….


			

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

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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”

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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


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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….

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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

Major fun for trapezoids….

Ffolkes,
Maybe I should follow Robert Heinlein’s advice more often, and wash my hands after writing. It’s possible that what gets on them during that nasty process is turning toxic, and slowly destroying my brain. If so, this is one of those things that should be included in the manual for burgeoning authors…. but, then, perhaps it is not there for a reason. Perhaps that particular piece of knowledge has been deliberately withheld in order to limit the total number of authors who are writing at any one time. Perhaps there is a quota that the Universe maintains, so that too many authors aren’t haranguing the public all at once.

Nah…. I don’t think so. That would imply assigning just a bit more intelligence to the universe than I’m willing to believe in, even considering Murphy, and his interfering ways. No, there must be something else going on to make my brain feel so much like mush. I’m sleeping too much, I can’t concentrate, I’m easily distracted, and subject to fits of emotions I thought I’d banished years ago (such as the guilt described yesterday…. haven’t felt that in many moons….). If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was coming down off crack, or some other addictive drug, and suffering the withdrawal symptoms. But, since the only addictive drug I’m using is prescribed, and I’m not out of it, that doesn’t explain it either.

Perhaps it’s the celibacy thing catching up to me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a period of my life where I’ve gone so long without a least token physical intimacy, even when I was married….  🙂   Since I have not experienced such a drought before, I can’t say whether the symptoms are congruent with what I’m experiencing now, but I have heard that it can be quite strenuous on the organism when the absence of that particular form of exercise is in effect. It isn’t something I’ve ever really thought about…. I don’t think that’s it, though, it just doesn’t make sense, unless one believes that to create well, an artist must suffer. Suffer, okay, but is there any need to be cruel?…. Oh, yeah, forgot…. Murphy…. well….

Whatever is going on, it’s like pushing through clouds of cotton candy to find a thought; finding one worth writing about may turn into a real struggle, if this intro is any indication. I suppose it would be best to just ignore this brain thing as much as possible, and get on with the rest of what is planned…. who knows? It may turn out just fine…. we’ll just have to dive in and see, won’t we? Shall we Pearl?….
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“And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.” — John Dryden (1631-1700) — Britannia Rediviva, Line 208

Wow! Have you ever seen a better description of this blog?  🙂   I’ve been torturing words now for over 12 years, at least in a bloggy sense; that’s about how long I’ve been doing these Pearls. I’ve learned over the years not to hear their screams, or read the petitions, or pay any attention to the ones who try to distract me with their flexibility of meaning; I just strap them into the rack and start hacking away. Sometimes in the intro, I force them to assume the shape of a short fantasy; other times I will completely embarrass them by telling them they are haiku, or a poem, when they know for certain I am no poet. I can be pretty cruel to the words in my head…..

I figure it’s only fair, considering how they treat me much of the time. I don’t ask much of them, really…. just the morning group of five good pearls I can use to create these missives, and I’d leave them be. But much of the time, such as today, they insist on playing games, hiding, shifting about, presenting only the quotes they know I’ve already used, or massive amounts of Shakespeare, which they KNOW just annoys me…..

No, they’re not very nice to me, so I feel no compunction about torturing them to get them to do what I need them to do. If I didn’t, I’d never get anything written. If I didn’t write as much as I do, I’d build up all this incredibly strong angst and tension, and eventually it would have to come out…. and at that point, it can be dangerous, especially if there is anyone else in the immediate vicinity of the blast zone….

So, you see, this blog is really a public service in disguise…. No thanks are necessary: since they are my words, I take responsibility for them, and consider it my duty to keep them from harming others (except, of course, when I want them to do so…..). I just didn’t want y’all to think I was hiding anything important…. I like to call this my Literary Guantanamo Bay for Wayward Words, where we have the leeway, and the executive authority, to torture those nasty little terror-inducing buggers into submission….
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“I believe that it should be perfectly lawful to print even things that outrage the pruderies and prejudices of the general, so long as any honest minority, however small, wants to read them.  The remedy of the majority is not prohibition, but avoidance.” — H.L. Mencken, “Baltimore Evening Sun”, March 31, 1924

The key idea here is in the last line… I like to call it On/Off Button Training, and should be required of all children from the age of 5, with periodic refresher courses throughout life. It is a lesson that apparently has been completely forgotten or ignored for a long time by society at large, and our culture badly needs to re-learn it.

Put most simply, this lesson says, “If you don’t like it, turn it off. Change the channel. Walk away. Mind you own business, and let other folks mind theirs.” The lack of general knowledge of this principle is, in my mind, responsible for at least three-quarters of the issues that are currently being argued in the public arena, especially that of LGBT rights, women’s rights, and separation of church and state.

Mrs. Grundy, Robert Heinlein’s archetypical busybody, and the forces of religious intolerance, have been creating a firestorm of outrage and public hullabaloo for years now about these issues, especially gay marriage. For goodness sake, why is it so hard for them to understand? If they don’t like gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay person! Sheesh! Seems pretty simple to me….

But, for some reason, a large part of humanity seems to think that what they believe should be what everyone else is forced to believe, and for the most part, they refuse to even listen to any arguments that would belie that delusion. It is impossible to reason with someone who refuses to even discuss an issue, who has closed their mind to any possible change.

So, it places all of us who would rather try to get along with folks rather than fuss and fight all the damn time to use our own On/Off Button, and switch channels, or walk away when we are confronted with their ignorance…. But, make sure you are watching your back as you turn away; they can turn vicious if they feel threatened by your indifference…. just like any small rodent…..

“And what is a good citizen?  Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual.  Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point.  A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.” — H.L. Mencken
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“It may be irrational of me, but human beings are quite my favorite species.” — Doctor Who, Ark in Space

It probably seems to most folks reading this blog that I don’t like people very much. I tend to spend a lot of time finding and pointing out the things I see in them that I don’t like, and discussing them at nearly interminable length, which would seem to indicate a lack of affection for the species as a whole. In reality, the opposite is true…. I love people… I love watching them, listening to them, thinking about them, writing about them…. They afford me no end of intellectual stimulation, entertaining comedic genius, and fertile fields of thought and endeavor to explore, virtually and actually.

Human society and culture is an incredibly beautiful, complex tapestry of emotion and creativity; nobility, cruelty, heroes, villains, puppies, cats, love, hate, and all the rest of the things that make people what they are unfolds before us every day, growing and adding length and breadth to that tapestry of existence.

I can’t think of anything more interesting than the drama/comedy that is human history in the making…. I might wish it to be a more compassionate world, with less tyranny and oppression, without slavery and starvation. I might wish that my life would not be so complicated by ignorance and intolerance, and I might wish that the small percentage of humanity that holds the remainder in the grip of their own avarice would die horrible deaths worthy of their own evil natures.

But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Nor would I say that any of these changes are particularly apt to happen without many more people in the world taking an interest in them; most folks just go through life trying to get by, and not be bothered with anything more complicated, and one can’t really blame them, bless their cowardly little hearts…. My own method of dealing with how much I’d like to see reality change is to write about what I see, and what I think can be different, with the right set of attitudes.

This desire to see the changes arises out of my love for my fellow man, not from indignation or outrage, though they are present. But what I write, and what I’m trying to accomplish, is to help folks deal with life in a way that allows them more freedom, of whatever kind they wish to have, whether monetary, intellectual, religious, or physical; my motivation is to share the strength and freedom of thought that I have sought so hard to achieve… Mankind has much more potential than we are showing in our actions, and I would love to see more of it fulfilled, rather than stifled, as in current society…. we can be so much more…..

“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.” — Albert Einstein
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“Such bickerings to recount, met often in these our writers, what more worth is it than to chronicle the wars of kites or crows flocking and fighting in the air?” — John Milton (1608-1674) — The History of England, Book iv

Did you ever wonder why a group of crows is called a congress? I didn’t. It makes perfect sense to me…. Dark, sinister looking creatures who act in odd ways, even for birds. Their behaviors tend to lean toward stealing shiny objects from wherever, or stealing the food of people or other animals and birds. When they speak, it is in a voice that grates on the ear like fingernails on a slate. In groups, they mill around, cackling and grumbling and jostling each other, until they all fly off to different areas to carry out whatever nefarious schemes they have hatched among them. No, I have no problem envisioning a congress of crows; in fact, I believe they are in session now in Washington, D.C. ….
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“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 that I have, 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 before 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 skinny 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, all delivered 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 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 to 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…..
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One more time unto the breach, and out again on the other side… Not bad for starting two hours late, and I only had to take about a dozen breaks to stretch and move a bit. I’ll take it…..

Hmm…. I just realized there is no poem….can’t have that… be right back….

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion — I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more — I could be martyred for my religion — Love is my religion — I could die for that…” — John Keats

Okay, so it’s not a poem… but it’s from a poet, and one of the best. I like the thought too, so it will have to do for today. I’ve been stuck with a fork, I’m done…. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

It gives truffles a bad name….

Ffolkes,
One of my most strongly held beliefs is that “regret” is a useless emotion, and should be eliminated from those feelings I allow myself to entertain. This, or course, assumes that I can actually control what I feel, an assumption that, while true in the realm of possibility, is not always so in reality. Our feelings just happen, often as a reaction to new information or a surprise event (though we can control what happens inside us, for the most part, we cannot do the same in the real world, outside us….). Thus, we sometimes must suffer feelings that are not welcome, at least until we are able to banish them with our will. Regret is one that I try to root out at its first appearance, as it does nothing to help resolve anything, especially not whatever has caused it.

Some religious moralists will point out that regret can be useful in preventing future similar situations, but I challenge that presumption as overly optimistic, as well as morally manipulative. More often, I would say, regret causes us to avoid the type of situation where it might occur, not out of morality, but out of guilt, and fear. Plus, the situation that regret avoids may be one that is necessary to improve one’s lot, if only it is faced squarely, and resolved, rather than regretted, and avoided. Fear and/or guilt are never good motivations to act upon, except in situations of impending life or death, when the speed it adds to an honorable retreat is welcome. Any other time one acts from fear, the result is generally “regrettable”……

Why have I started out with such a serious subject? Hell, your guess is as good as mine. I just started typing, and this is what came out….. I think I was having some thoughts of regretting getting out of bed, which, since I was already up and typing, served no real purpose. Hence, this short, somewhat mellow diatribe….. it could be worse. I could have started in on health issues, always a pleasant topic, and always available for discussion, what with their daily insistence on being in the forefront of my consciousness. It can be hard to ignore my carpal tunnel symptoms when one hand is numb while trying to type, for sure….. But, I didn’t want to take the chance of driving the Gentle Reader away so early in the morning by creating too many unpleasant images…. bad policy, all around….

So, we’ll just fly with what I’ve written so far, relatively useless as it is for any purpose beyond filling space in the intro section….. We have more important fish to fry than to “regret” what has already taken place….   🙂    Shall we Pearl?…..
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“I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair.  Then I thought,  wouldn’t it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them?  So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.” — Marcus, Babylon 5

Here is one of those statements that, at first look, does not appear to be particularly important, or helpful. But, after a second look, it grows…. and, in reality, I have to remark that it is a pretty good way to look at life in its most real sense. If one can come to understand, and to believe in the indifference of the Universe, then its apparent malice becomes moot.

We all know of terrible things that happen in this world, and many of them make no sense to us; it’s hard to understand why little children have to die in natural disasters or fires or such events. There is no reason that we can find, and none that anyone can give, that will explain or expiate such a tragedy to the parents of the children.  Sometimes the violence that can shatter lives is perpetrated by other people, sometimes the Universe itself seems to have picked out the weakest, most vulnerable targets upon which to display its irresistible power. However it occurs, it will never seem fair, or just, nor can any justification be offered that would assuage the pain that is engendered.

Thus it becomes an important tool for us to be able to accept the unfairness that is inherent in the indifferent nature of Mother Nature. She doesn’t mean to be cruel; it is just the way it is.  If we choose to believe that the world is fair and just, then we can only believe that She hates us, both individually and as a species, for she regularly presents us with reasons to do so, if we assume her hostility. No other explanation fits the evidence.

Unless, of course, one learns to understand that there is no special animosity on Her part, it is just Her way of expressing Herself, and we happen to be there when She does so. In the final analysis, it is quite a comforting thought, to know that we are not the special target of all that goes wrong in our lives…. we’re just lucky, I guess…..  🙂
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“Prayer carries us half way to God, fasting brings us to the door of his place, and alms-giving procures us admission.” — The Koran

As may have been guessed, I find the precepts and concepts that are put forth by most organized forms of religion to be not merely false, but deliberately so, in order to foster the control over people that is the sole intent of such organizations. No matter how pure they claim their motives are, they are no more interested in the well-being of their devotees than they are of anyone outside their church. This is true not only of every Christian sect I have examined, but of other major religions as well. The above serves as evidence in favor of this observation, as well as showing that I don’t apply this to only one religion; it is a hidden purpose behind all of them.

Now, let us examine the above statement. If we take away all the guilt-ridden phraseology, and strip away the delusions that are presented, we can re-state this more accurately as…. “Let’s talk to our imaginary friend to ask for favors we don’t deserve… then we’ll put our bodies in great stress in order to experience hallucinations that we are in the presence of our imaginary friend…. and to top it off, we’ll give our hard-earned money to the ones who tell us to worship, so they can build golden domes to the everlasting glory of the supposed deity. Hmm, makes perfect sense, eh what?

I’m not going to go into a huge rant today; I’ve got some stuff to post later that precludes any long, drawn-out discussions. But, I didn’t want all the Christians out there to think I pick on them exclusively, or that they are the only targets of my critical eye. No sirree, they are not…. any religious organization that puts out the kind of crap as listed above is my target, and they certainly don’t have to be Christian (though, in truth, I don’t believe there ARE any organizations at all that would actually deserve to call themselves such, as none of them follow His teachings closely at all… mostly they’re not even in the same ballpark….) .

Muslims, Hindi, Buddhists who mistakenly give Gautama godhead, Taoists who foolishly look for god instead of understanding of the Way, Baptists, Episcopalians, or any other such organizations that exist, in reality, solely to support a priest-hood, a group of men (usually… women don’t seem to lead these movements, though they often fall prey to them) whose only interest in other people is how much power over them can be obtained; these are what I choose to speak out against, with all the intellect at my disposal. Call me Don Quixote, if you wish, but that’s just the way I am, by deliberate choice….

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.  But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
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“Abolition of a woman’s right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State.” — Edward Abbey

Here is perhaps the clearest statement of this idea that I’ve seen in a long while. Of course, it is an opinion that will be vigorously opposed by a great many people, too many of whom are women who have been brainwashed to believe that their male masters have the right to make such decisions for them. These women have abrogated their very person-hood, their entire feminine nature, becoming mental and physical slaves to men who have no right to call themselves such.

The arrogance and misogyny that is implied, and proved, by those who would disagree with this statement by Mr. Abbey is astounding. I regard such an attitude as evil, plain and simple, and only those who refuse to acknowledge reality as it is, instead of how they wish it to be, are able to give credence to such flagrantly dishonorable ideas. It is, to say the least, disheartening to realize the extent to which the average person will allow themselves to give up the control of their own minds, just so they don’t have to make the effort to decide what is right for themselves. It is much more to their advantage to go along with what is obviously wrong, as it feeds into their own egotism and misplaced arrogance.

And I say, fuck ’em. When any assholes who would argue with a woman’s right to control her own body speak up in my presence, I will never fail to put them straight, even if it entails reading to them from the Book of Righteousness (ref: Louis Lamour, from any Sackett novel), after tactfully pointing out the errors in their thinking. 

In fact, when such opportunities arise, I have a hard time preventing myself from advancing directly to that step in the discussion at the first asinine platitude that escapes their mouth. That first blow always sends a particularly pleasant shock of power from my fist to my shoulder at first contact, and though usually unnecessary, makes a second blow very tempting. But, if I do that, they’re not awake to hear the lesson….. Oh well, assholes, all of them….

“What’s on your mind, if you will allow the overstatement?” — Fred Allen
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“He that doubteth is damned.” — Romans 14:23

It took a while, but it was worth the time spent searching…. This is a perfect example of how the folks who would have us believe that the Bible (or any other sacred books inspired by supposedly supernatural entities) is a direct line of information from God, will go to almost any lengths to trick us into doing exactly what that book tells us to do. I have previously written here as to the value that Doubt has in the bag of tools people have to get by in this complex, confusing universe we inhabit. It is our only defense against information or events that can cause, or even intends, us harm, rather than good; such information invariably is given to us by other people whose only intent is to achieve some sort of power or control over us. I don’t think this is a particularly hard concept to understand; its proof lies in almost every interaction we have when faced with organized religions.

This short little warning/threat implies that any who do not bend over in submission to its decree will spend eternity in Hell. Hmm, a bit harsh, don’t you think? For merely entertaining a question regarding the accuracy of a concept presented with no evidence that proves its reliability? The Universe at large presents such false information regularly, and anyone who doesn’t learn caution in such instances is liable for the consequences, which can be severe, such as in the case of being confronted by an apparently friendly, but in reality, rabid dog. Rabies is no picnic, from all reports, so Doubt in such instances is very appropriate, and useful.

But, in the minds of the folks who are selling faith-based products, Doubt is the last thing they want people to have in mind when considering what they say. It tends to cause their arguments to fall apart right in front of their eyes, and they cannot make the sale that way. If they can’t convince people to accept what they say without questioning it, their entire house of cards will come tumbling down around their ears, and they would have to give up all those nice little perks that go along with having everyone believe everything they say, like having poor people willingly give up 10% of their earnings in tithe, or free rent in a house built by the labor of others…. Did you think they would give that up easily?…. Well, then you’ve lost your strongest ally against such degradations to your sensibilities…. a healthy sense of Doubt….

“Fear not, for I have given you authority to do so.” — Smart Bee, via some random preacher’s King James version….
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She what was honour knew,
And with obsequious majesty approv’d
My pleaded reason. To the nuptial bower
I led her blushing like the morn; all heaven
And happy constellations on that hour
Shed their selectest influence; the earth
Gave sign of gratulation, and each hill;
Joyous the birds; fresh gales and gentle airs
Whisper’d it to the woods, and from their wings
Flung rose, flung odours from the spicy shrub.
— John Milton (1608-1674) — Paradise Lost, Book viii, Line 508

Once again, I have included a poem here, just because…. What I’ve written above is serious enough, and a little balance is called for…. and here it is…. enjoy!
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Okay, so, not so bad for an off-the-cuff sort of morning…. a fairly eclectic group of observations, fraught with my customary sardonic views on most everything. Without even going back to re-read yet, I’m going to let it fly…. even though I know in my heart that once gone, there is no retrieving any of it…. but, hey, what’s life without some risk, eh? Pretty damn boring, that’s what…. so, enjoy, or not, as you will… if not, feel free to comment on any of it. And if you do enjoy it, I’m glad to hear that too… not necessary, though, a simple click on the “Like” button will suffice to make my day….  🙂

Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!