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!

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Custom platitudes built while you wait….

Ffolkes,
Shadows followed, dark and fluid, as the band of silent intruders picked its way up the narrow path to the castle. Not a whisper of sound could be heard; only a slight background hiss, as the wind blew softly, rustling the leaves of trees bordering the path. No weapons clattered, no feet scraped, no harsh breath drawn; only the silent shadows slipping through the night. As the wall looms above the group, a cloud passes, and the troop is revealed as eight men with darkened face and skin, clothed all in black, bearing strangely shaped weapons that softly gleamed in the pale light cast by the half-moon, high above the eastern horizon.

Still no sound is heard, as the men spread themselves evenly across the base of the wall, facing the bricks. Each man laid the palms of his hands on the wall, and began to mutter soft incantations; power now crackles through the night air, almost a sizzle along the nerve endings. As the chanting continues, the men’s bodies begin to become indistinct, translucent, fading and merging with the wall. In mere seconds, all eight forms are gone, as if they had never been, and the night’s silence covers the now empty space of wall where they stood…..

One of these fine mornings, I’ll sit down and write a paragraph like the above, but I won’t stop writing until something actually happens to the people in the story. It may be this one; it came out pretty well, and could very easily be a good opening for a science-fantasy tale, set on some fantastic planet peopled by a race of beautiful women who need….. some kind of help…. see, there’s the problem. I get so far into a story, and it peters out on me. Oh well, this is mostly a form of self-therapy anyway; it doesn’t HAVE to mean anything, or go anywhere other than where I feel like wandering in my head. And, honestly, I kinda like it this way; I never know from one day to the next what is going to tickle my fancy, and get written about today. And that’s okay, too….. let’s get on with it, shall we?…..
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Buzz off, Banana Nose; Relieve mine eyes
Of hateful soreness, purge mine ears of corn;
Less dear than army ants in apple pies
Art thou, old prune-face, with thy chestnuts worn,
Dropt from thy peeling lips like lousy fruit;
Like honeybees upon the perfum’d rose
They suck, and like the double-breasted suit
Are out of date; therefore, Banana Nose,
Go fly a kite, thy welcome’s overstayed;
And stem the produce of thy waspish wits:
Thy logick, like thy locks, is disarrayed;
Thy cheer, like thy complexion, is the pits.
Be off, I say; go bug somebody new,
Scram, beat it, get thee hence, and nuts to you.

I’m sorry, but once more, there was no attribution for this. It’s too bad; I’d have enjoyed looking for more of this author’s work. It’s delightfully silly, yet strongly written. And that’s why it’s here, simply because I like it. You don’t have to, but if you find you don’t, there’s no shame…. it’s also pretty bad, when viewed from certain viewpoints. Hey, it’s free, right? What else have you done today where you can say that?…..
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“Waiting is.” — Robert A. Heinlein, ‘Stranger in a Strange Land’

Taken by itself, in this format, without the supportive structure of the book from which it was taken, this seems a bit obtuse, too inscrutable. But when one adds in the philosophical background from which this statement springs, a direction is given to the path one’s thoughts must take to find and absorb the meaning, and the lesson, that these two words hold. Even without the book’s help, using the phrase as a focus of meditation is very soothing, almost healing. It may be the shortest koan known to man; I can’t think of any I’ve seen that are simpler or deeper than this. And using it is so simple! Merely close the eyes, relax, and say the words, inflecting them as a question, and follow the march of your thoughts and images as they lead you further inward, toward the center, where balance lives…..
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“You can’t have a light without a dark to stick it in.” — Arlo Guthrie

Serendipity, by its very nature, is always a surprise; knowing that, one shouldn’t be surprised when it happens. But we always are; it’s just the way we’re built, I guess. This little tasty bite of truth becomes all the more savory for knowing it came from the same guy who wrote “Alice’s Restaurant”. In at least one respect, though, it’s not surprising at all; Arlo grew up under the influence of one of the century’s most talented artists, Woody Guthrie, a very perceptive social historian himself, so I’m certain his education and personal paradigms show the effect of that on his intellectual abilities. No matter how one looks at it though, it’s still a great quote, very perceptive and insightful…. may contemplating it bring you illumination….
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‘God says in the Bible’ carries as much moral imperative to me as saying ‘Dr. Seuss says in Green Eggs and Ham.’  Both are interesting books with some good messages, nothing more. — Anonymous

Thank goodness this quote came from such a distinguished, well-respected source; some folks might take it wrong coming from someone of less renown, such as, say, …me? No, I didn’t say it, I just found it, but I can’t dispute it either, as it has a valid point. I’ve read both books, and each is composed of a very large amount of nonsense surrounding some nuggets of truth; at least, that’s what my crap detector tells me. I’m sure Green Eggs and Ham would be just as popular as the Bible, if it also had dozens of chapters obviously written by biased people, who had their own agenda, conveniently disguised as sacred, ‘divinely inspired’ gospel.

That agenda generally includes the unwritten but inherent assumption of entitlement that humans have over the rest of ‘creation’, otherwise known as the Universe. I’m afraid that the Biblical divine mandate that theoretically allows humans to ‘have dominion’ over everything they see, just isn’t supported by the facts in evidence. In fact, the evidence points to humanity being more of a pimple on the face of Mother Nature, and once the build-up of crud we’ve created with our foolishness comes to a head, it will burst, be drained, washed away, and the earth will continue on as though we were never here….. and in truth, were we ever really here, or did we just imagine ourselves?…..

“…to emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on Heaven is to create hell. In their desperate longing to transcend the disorderliness, friction, and unpredictability that pesters life; in their desire for a fresh start in a tidy habitat, germ-free and secured by angels, religious multitudes are gambling the only life they may ever have on a dark horse in a race that has no finish line.” — Tom Robbins, _Skinny Legs and All_, 1990, p. 305.
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“If science were explained to the average person in a way that is accessible and exciting, there would be no room for pseudoscience.  But there is a kind of Gresham’s Law by which in popular culture the bad science drives out the good.  And for this I think we have to blame, first, the scientific community ourselves for not doing a better job of popularizing science, and second, the media, which are in this respect almost uniformly dreadful.  Every newspaper in America has a daily astrology column.  How many have even a weekly astronomy column?  And I believe it is also the fault of the educational system.  We do not teach how to think.  This is a very serious failure that may even, in a world rigged with 60,000 nuclear weapons, compromise the human future.” — Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, The Skeptical Inquirer, — Vol. 12, Fall 87

This is the kind of statement that can be used to demonstrate the difference between a reasoned, rational response, with evidence included, to a concrete, relevant question, and an answer formulated by someone with a belief system based on matters of faith. The attraction of such belief is rooted in the ease of living with it; when faith provides all answers, no thought is required to find them. Nor is evidence required…. only faith.

It’s a very safe feeling, to exist with the knowledge that no matter what one does, personal responsibility never has to be assumed. Just confess, and accept Jesus, and forgiveness is yours….. and if someone gets hurt along the way, well, they’re probably heathens, anyway, and not like us…..so, treating them like animals is okay…. these are the same folks who don’t see what is wrong with Americans soldiers overseas burning Muslim holy books, or torturing and humiliating helpless prisoners, and yet want to pass an amendment to the Constitution to make it illegal to burn a US flag. What is wrong with this picture?….

I’ll tell ya what’s wrong with it…. but it will have to be another time. I don’t think I have enough left in me now to begin a whole new rant.  Probably just as well, considering my mood; I’m already wound up, and letting it out now could easily cause a rift in the space-time continuum; we certainly wouldn’t want that. Consider yourselves lucky, this time….. I’ll just leave you with this…..

“The mistake began when God was created in a male image. Of course, women would see Him that way, but men should have been gentlemen enough, remembering their mothers, to make God a woman! But the God of Gods–the Boss–has always been a man. That makes life so perverted, and death so unnatural. We should have imagined life as created in the birth-pain of God the Mother. Then we would understand why we, Her children, have inherited pain, for we would know that our life’s rhythm beats from Her great heart, torn with the agony of love and birth. And we would feel that death meant reunion with Her, a passing back into Her substance, blood of Her blood again, peace of Her peace! Now wouldn’t that be more logical and satisfying than having God a male whose chest thunders with egotism and is too hard for tired heads and thoroughly comfortless?” — Eugene O’Neill, “Strange Interlude” [1928], Act II
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I have a feeling this one may cause some flak; I see that I’ve gone a bit overboard this morning in my discussion on belief systems; it’s certainly long enough. If it helps, no offense is intended; everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. I write what is in my head at the time; some of it is not acceptable for public consumption, and I don’t bring that stuff out for review. But, I also don’t shy away from giving my take on just about any subject that concerns society at large, so those who disagree or actively dislike what I say are free to either stop reading and go elsewhere, or write back with a response. I’m happy to engage in dialogue, it’s a great way to check the validity of one’s arguments, comparing them to someone else’s take on the matter at hand.

I’ve reached the end, finally. Happy days….. now I shall sally forth and carpe that old diem! Y’all take care out there…..

 


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!