“Frabjous day, O Caluca lay!”, expostulated Lord Peter….

Ffolkes,

“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”

~~ Confucius, “Analects” ~~

10-8-2014 013

    Threatened by the imminent arrival of a houseful of relatives, Mickey Stone found himself retreating to his basement “hubby-cubby”, where, in spite of all notions to the contrary, he does NOT perform evil rituals in the dark…. He does, occasionally, watch horror flicks on the 52-inch flat-screen TV late at night, but, that’s about as evil as the Big Mick is capable of contemplating. Shuddering at the thought of four days trapped with cousin Franklin, not to mention the dreaded presence of his mother-in-law, Mickey pulled a beer out of the mini-fridge, dropped into the leather recliner, and prepared to thoroughly insulate his consciousness with alcohol….

Me, I’m going to finish this Pearl, then go for a drive…. once my hands have recovered, that is. Not only do I have a bunch of stuff to accomplish out in the BBR (again), the day and a half break I’ve had from the worst of the pain seems to have been officially ended, as I woke up with aching joints, and a piss-poor attitude…. Thankfully, thinking about poor Mickey’s upcoming torture got me into a better head-space; the pain, however, continues unabated, laughing, as is its habit, at all the powerful medication I consume, as well as complicating this process by necessitating frequent breaks to rest my hands and wrists….

Ah well, such is life, as they say, so, I’m going to once again usurp the usual opening program, which I tried to begin the old-fashioned way, by abruptly ending this section, & moving on to the next. I call it ruthlessness, you can call it whatever you like…. just don’t call it Percy. It HATES that name!….

Hmm… We are approaching severe nonsense way too early for me. I’m getting us out of here, ffolkes, before I lose control completely…. Hang on, & do NOT get up from your seats for the next few moments…. You may never get back into it…. Well, not without a visit to the ER first…. Hold on, ffolkes, we’re going in, ready or not….

Shall we Pearl?

“He was a man, which, as Plato saith, is a very inconstant creature.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — On the Tranquility of the Mind

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I used to like this show; Bob’s one-sided conversations on the phone were the funniest stuff on TV at the time…. which probably goes to show just how bad TV has always been…. It’s funny, but, with the network censors working overtime back then, it was pretty mild, in terms of social commentary…. But, that was America in the 60’s & 70’s…. Oblivious….

THE BOB NEWHART SHOW – SEASON: 1 EPISODE: 1 – FLY THE UNFRIENDLY SKIES


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As mentioned, busy, busy, busy…. plus, hey, why not?, I’m lazy. Hence, another replacement pearl from the archives…. I’m also going with my “nice guy” costume today, making it a rantish old-school pearl, rather than the usual straight-out rant…. Better for all of us under the circumstances, I think…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it’s a “good” pearl….

From 9/29/2012:

I’ve been very lucky with my latest incarnation of Smart Bee…. it seems to be giving me a higher percentage of usable quotes than it did before I had trouble with it. In fact, so many quotes are worth saving that I’m starting to group them into subject lots…. Here are a significant number of intriguing and/or interestingly accurate observations on modern life in America, land of the marginally civilized….

I swear to the Lord
I still can’t see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.

~~ Langston Hughes ~~

~~ The Black Man Speaks ~~


Homosexuality is *not* a sickness.  Bigotry is. — Smart Bee

“Whether you have an abortion, what you put in your own body, with whom you have sex – these are not the affairs of the state.  A government does not exist to control the citizens.  When it does, it is a tyranny, and must be fought.  The tree of liberty, Jefferson warned us, must be refreshed with the blood of tyrants and patriots.” — Gore Vidal

“Government is about coercion. Limiting government is the single most important instrument for guaranteeing liberty. We’re working on a third generation which has little in the way of education about what our Constitution means and why it was written. Thus, we’ve fallen easy prey to charlatans, quacks, and hustlers.” — Dr. Walter Williams

“The discovery of America was the occasion of the greatest outburst of cruelty and reckless greed known in history.” — Joseph Conrad

“Democracy is government by the people with open discussion and free speech. This allows those with no ideas to unload their thinking in the most tedious and lengthy manner. After this, a vote is taken, and the least informed will oppose the most confused. The result, inevitably, will be known as model legislation. In time, it will proliferate, and eventually a commission will be formed to review what has been done and why it isn’t working and it will recommend reforms of the previous efforts. All of this will be published in various government journals and cause great debate. There will be a veritable waterfall of newspaper editorials and Johnny Carson will use the whole thing as a part of his monologue. In the end, the reforms will be defeated. –Smart Bee

“Christianity:  Please help find the cure.” — Smart Bee

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist…. A few days ago, as I sat in a shady spot outside, on a beautiful California day, I began to think, for some misbegotten reason, about Christianity in this country. I wondered, no idea why, exactly how many different definitions of the word “Christian” there would be. There are so many different interpretations of the Bible, and so many different definitions of what is “Christ-like”, that I can see no hope of any consensus answer to this question.

A conservative guess would be about 5,000 different churches, each with a different interpretation of scripture; it’s likely that Los Angeles and New York City, alone, contain that many; nation-wide, the number is probably closer to a hundred thousand….. None, I repeat, NONE, of the people who embrace the dogma associated with each of these various cults {yes, cults, by definition…look it up….} are at all willing to even consider any truth in any of the others, and they ostensibly are all worshiping the same dude…. It’s a bit pathetic, when one stops to look at the broader picture…. SIGH… ah well, back to general culture, and our caricaturization thereof…..)

You may be redneck… if you refer to Mason jars as “the good glasses.” — Smart Bee

“Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

On that note, we will go ever onward, seeking approbation, or at least hoping for poor aim….

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When I don’t know what I want, or what I need, I turn to this poet…. every time….

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him,–did you not,
His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun,–
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


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With so much to do today, I don’t much feel up to arguing with Smart Bee over pearls… so, here is a pretty good one from the archives…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it’s a classic….

From 10/9/2012:

In keeping with today’s theme, as it evolved, I offer these pearls…. Each is, of course, a stand-alone thought, but, I let my whimsy dictate which would go well together, to further demonstrate my devotion to illogic, and it’s concomitant companion, crooked reasoning…. Crooked though it may be, there still exists a direct link to Reality, especially in today’s society, which goes much further than I have ever gone down the path to Strange….

“No matter how much cynicism you have, it is never enough to keep up.” — Lily Tomlin

“But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State.” — Thomas Jefferson, [letter?] To S. Kercheval, 1810

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” — Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

“Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“The late rebellion in Massachusetts has given more alarm than I think it should have done.  Calculate that one rebellion in 13 states in the course of 11 years, is but one for each state in a century and a half. No country should be so long without one.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), in letter to James Madison, 20 December 1787

‘But he hasn’t got any clothes on,’ a little boy said. — from The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen

“Remember that man’s life lies all within this present, as ‘t were but a hair’s-breadth of time; as for the rest, the past is gone, the future yet unseen. Short, therefore, is man’s life, and narrow is the corner of the earth wherein he dwells.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iii, 10

Well, there you go…. If you can’t make heads or tails of it, don’t sweat it. None of it will be on the Quiz….. But, if you let your mind drift as you consider the parts of the pearl as a whole concept, you just might find that you’ve hit upon a very deep, very ancient, immensely valuable insight into not only the nature of Man, but your own nature as well….  If not, well, have some chocolate; then, you can, at least, feel the same way…..

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Not too shabby for an old fart with flat feet and flatulence…. plus, it’s done. Since that state offers no opportunity for improvement, we shall take our leave, post haste…. 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….

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In the final analysis, partial hydrogenation was a key factor….

Ffolkes,

“Do not be angry with me if I tell you the truth.” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.)

I used this tagline yesterday, as an apology, sort of…. In retrospect, I’m thinking this may just be something I could have tattooed on my forehead, as it seems to be one of the most common phrases I use, in a figurative sense…. This entire blog demands that I express some sort of explanatory excuse quite frequently, just by the nature of my chosen subject matter, and my chosen manner of discussion…. Well, in my world, it demands an explanation, anyway; just because other folks don’t live by what my daddy taught me gives me NO reason to do so. In fact, a big part of what he taught me is the concept of Duty, which precludes any sort of shirking, or abrogation of responsibility for our words and actions…..

In conjunction with that thought, came another…. It had to do with something else my father said to me one time, a piece of wisdom that, as it does at one point or another in every father’s life, occurred to him, and prompted him to share with me; I have since shared it with my own children, as part and parcel with the other important lessons I felt they should be taught, as I was…. He said to me, in so many words, “I have taught you all that you know; I have not taught you everything I know.” He smiled as he said it, to take some of the pain from its delivery, but, he couldn’t hide the truth of it, which often causes pain to those who insist on having it, straight up with no ice….

That being said, I have, at least in one respect, tried to do a bit more for my own children, as I am aware of my own failures as a father (we all have them…. we just try not to dwell on them….), and can’t hope to emulate the example he set, in some respects…. But, I have left a legacy for my two kids my father never had time to create, if he so desired…. and that is this blog, along with all the years of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom I created before 2011…. a history that goes back to 1997, when I was first in computer school, and chose my user name, gigoid…. The first Pearls came out, via email, a year or so later, when I got my first computer & Internet hook-up, slow as it was….

The rest, of course, is history, sans any editing by the winners/losers of any societal issues that may determine whose version lasts any length of time…. In the past three years alone, in putting out the Pearls for this version of the Follies, I’ve written well over two million words, all in my own inimitable, irritable style…. These words, and those yet to come, are what I leave my children as my legacy…. With these words, I am trying to transmit to them all the things I’ve never had the time to relate to them, thus giving the lie to that old saw about not teaching all I know….

It may not be the most lucrative legacy ever left, but, it’s what I’ve got, and it ain’t bad…. To further the process, I’d say I’ve wandered around this idea long enough for one day, and now decree it is time to get on with today’s business…. I’ve been working on this one for a while now, as the idea for the first section today struck me solidly in the forehead about two days ago, and I’ve been trying to find periods of time without major spasming to work on it….. my walk around the pirate conclave on Sunday was a bit more draining than I had first imagined…. I’ll live, but, it’s been a bit of a struggle to keep wanting to do so….

Ah, the hell with it; if I don’t get on with it, it’s going to explode, or dissolve in its own tears…. Shall we Pearl?….

“Language is the apparel in which your thoughts parade before the public. Never clothe them in vulgar or shoddy attire.” — George Crane

Oops! Now what?…. Oh well, we’ll just go on, as if we hadn’t seen this at all….

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Welcome, gentle readers, to another episode of the Life and Times of the Wise Old Pine Cone…. Like me, you’ve probably heard stories all your life, telling happy tales with magical, happy endings, filled with anecdotes and descriptions of the Old Cone, and how his wisdom and understanding of The Way, and the Force, as well as the Metaphorse, helps him, and all who hear of him….

I know, I didn’t expect to find him here, in this somewhat bedraggled excuse for a city, either, but, I was waiting for a bus one day, and, there he was, just hanging out, waiting to catch the same bus…. We got to talking, and one thing led to another…. He came home with me, to continue our conversation, and further explore how he could help me, and I could help him, to leave a record of his words, and actions, for generations to follow…. Of course, I was humbled, and honored, agreeing at once…. We tried a couple of forays out into the BRC last week, and now are heading out for another walk, just to stretch a bit after the Pirate Festival I attended, and ended up walking A LOT more than is normal….

First, here is the Wise Old Pine Cone himself…. basking in the morning sun, looking forward to the day….. For all I know, he was meditating, as well, on some esoteric point of philosophy beyond my comprehension…. or not…. He looks content, though, doesn’t he?….

June 16 2014 002    As we walked, we came across some of his friends from the tree, a married couple, the Burleycones, (I know, they’re HUGE, aren’t they? The WOPC tells me they’re examples of a certain strain of cones, who are all much larger than the rest of them…. kind of like a whole sub-species of giant sized cones….), who apparently had something very serious to discuss with him, to which I was not privy…. All I know is the Old Cone was a bit withdrawn for a while, kind of thoughtful…. Here he is talking with the two towering Cones….

June 16 2014 003    You can see from the Wise Old Pine Cone’s expression, he’s got a lot on his mind…. He sat on this bench, staring at a small congress of crows, for over a half-hour before we set off for home….

June 16 2014 005    When we got back to the house, I found out we’d been followed…. by a young pine cone I’d never seen before…. It seems the Burleycones have a son, and the Wise Old Pine Cone agreed, after much inner turmoil, to take the youngster on as his new paduan learner cone…. It’s a big job, for both of them, from what I know of the tradition…. As well, knowing what I do about the Wise Old One, it promises to be a very long, arduous, involved, and challenging time for the young cone…. He looks pretty sturdy, though, and seems to have an intelligent look about him…. We’ll see how he fares, at the Art of learning the Way…..

June 16 2014 010    Here we see the Wise Old Pine Cone giving the Paduan his first reading assignment…. It’s a book written by a blogging friend of mine, Jeremiah Stephen, titled, “Sphere(s)” (as you see below….)….. Jeremiah’s blog, where you can find a link to purchase the book, (I did, and consider it well under-priced for the value of its work, and the worth of its contents, which is virtually incalculable….), is located here….  http://knowthesphere.wordpress.com/

Having read portions of it, (thus far; I’ve only had it a couple of weeks, and Jeremiah’s work is DEEP…..), I know that the young learner has his work cut out for him; it’s a challenging book, excellently written, full of solidly based, well-thought-out, and eloquently presented points of philosophy, all using a metaphor connected to spheres, which allows him to display his deep insight into reality…. He does all this in a fresh, innovative style of writing that engages the reader without becoming overwhelming….. Heavy praise, I know, but, which doesn’t even mention the accuracy and sheer, instinctive  rightness of the conclusions he presents, as the logical, and meta-logical, results of his arguments. It will be interesting to see what our young paduan makes of it….

June 16 2014 012    Here we see the young pine cone meeting Guan Yin, the Chinese goddess, aka the Empress of Heaven…. The Wise Old Pine Cone, in his wisdom, knows there are many things the young paduan can learn from her, things only she can teach him…. If you don’t know what they are, you don’t want to know, or it would do you more harm than good, thus negating the purpose of sharing the knowledge…. Trust me, the WOPC knows what he is doing, and so does Guan Yin….

June 16 2014 027Below you see the paduan meeting another of his teachers…. The Wise Old Pine Cone, having learned long ago to not try to do it all himself, assigns much of his paduan’s learning to other teachers, to provide more than just one point of view of the same material…. and, since Buddhism is an inherent part of what he teaches, why not go directly to the source to obtain the needed instruction?….  Wise, indeed….

June 16 2014 017In the picture below, we see the young paduan learner being introduced to a peer, one of the students of the Buddha…. Scrappy-Doo found out about the school, and figured out he would benefit from the calming effect the teachings have…. You see, Scrappy has entered puberty, and would like to meet some girls…. but, his aggressiveness and scruffy manner puts them off. So, he’s trying a bunch of different things to improve his chances of meeting a girl…. which, when you think about it, isn’t stupid….

June 16 2014 021Here you see the two famous teachers relaxing with an adult beverage, (or, perhaps, two or three of them….. they’re adults, after all….)….

June 16 2014 023    The kids are tucked in bed, & Guan Yin doesn’t drink, so the two enlightened Ones have the place to themselves…. I hope they don’t go overboard, like they did last month…. The school had to shut down for three days until they recovered…. Oh well, we’re all bozos on this bus…. or, so I have come to understand…. which means that everyone, even the driver, gets more than just one chance…. After all, we are all bozos, right? Right….

I hope you enjoyed today’s little foray into silliness… I did…..

“A little nonsense, now and then, is cherished, by the wisest men.” — Willie Wonka

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Since we’re being silly today, here’s a poet who does silly better than most anybody…. Enjoy!….

A Boy Named Sue

Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
and he didn’t leave much to Ma and me,
just this old guitar and a bottle of booze.
Now I don’t blame him because he run and hid,
but the meanest thing that he ever did was
before he left he went and named me Sue.

Well, he must have thought it was quite a joke,
and it got lots of laughs from a lot of folks,
it seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I’d get red
and some guy would laugh and I’d bust his head,
I tell you, life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue.

Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean.
My fist got hard and my wits got keen.
Roamed from town to town to hide my shame,
but I made me a vow to the moon and the stars,
I’d search the honky tonks and bars and kill
that man that gave me that awful name.

But it was Gatlinburg in mid July and I had
just hit town and my throat was dry.
I’d thought i’d stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon in a street of mud
and at a table dealing stud sat the dirty,
mangy dog that named me Sue.

Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad
from a worn-out picture that my mother had
and I knew the scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old
and I looked at him and my blood ran cold,
and I said, ‘My name is Sue. How do you do?
Now you’re gonna die.’ Yeah, that’s what I told him.

Well, I hit him right between the eyes and he went down
but to my surprise he came up with a knife
and cut off a piece of my ear. But I busted a chair
right across his teeth. And we crashed through
the wall and into the street kicking and a-gouging
in the mud and the blood and the beer.

I tell you I’ve fought tougher men but I really can’t remember when.
He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laughin’ and then I heard him cussin’,
he went for his gun and I pulled mine first.
He stood there looking at me and I saw him smile.

And he said, ‘Son, this world is rough and if
a man’s gonna make it, he’s gotta be tough
and I knew I wouldn’t be there to help you along.
So I gave you that name and I said ‘Goodbye’.
I knew you’d have to get tough or die. And it’s
that name that helped to make you strong.’

Yeah, he said, ‘Now you have just fought one
helluva fight, and I know you hate me and you’ve
got the right to kill me now and I wouldn’t blame you
if you do. But you ought to thank me
before I die for the gravel in your guts and the spit
in your eye because I’m the guy that named you Sue.’
Yeah, what could I do? What could I do?

I got all choked up and I threw down my gun,
called him pa and he called me a son,
and I came away with a different point of view
and I think about him now and then.
Every time I tried, every time I win and if I
ever have a son I think I am gonna name him
Bill or George – anything but Sue.
     
~~ Sheldon Allan Silverstein ~~

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Well, it’s been a productive morning…. We’ll finish off today with, of course, an old-school pearl, just as if we had it all planned out that way….. which, of course, we didn’t…. but, serendipity is our friend around here….

“I spent hours trying to come up with the perfect tagline.  This isn’t it.” — Smart Bee

“After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will repeat itself.” — Farnsdick’s Corollary to the 5th Corollary

26. Read more books and watch less TV. — Instructions for life

O!  If I were a fish
I’d lay hap’ly on my dish.
Yes, that’s my one and only wish —
To be a fish!

For fish don’t ever mish;
They needn’t flush after they pish!
Yes, and life’s just swish, swish, swish,
For all the fish!!!

— found in Smart Bee with no attribution, other than the essential quality needed, to wit: it’s damn silly….

“Facts are stubborn little bastards, be careful with them.” — Smart Bee

“One useless man can be called a disgrace. Two really useless men can be called a law firm. When you get more than these together, you have all the  essential ingredients for a committee. And after the committee has made one or two criminal errors which are against the law, you have all that is deemed necessary for the formation of a congress. Our country has two separate bodies of these people, no one room being quite large enough to contain them all. And then there is the executive branch, but we shall discuss this later under the heading: “Extreme Absurdities You Would Not  Believe!””– parts attributed to John Adams (though I suspect the last sentence or two were added sometime after the new millennium began….)

“Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” — Langston Hughes, Dreams

“Therefore, be ye lamps unto yourselves, be a refuge to yourselves. Hold fast to Truth as a lamp; hold fast to the truth as a refuge. Look not for a refuge in anyone beside yourselves. And those, who shall be a lamp unto themselves, shall betake themselves to no external refuge, but holding fast to the Truth as their lamp, and holding fast to the Truth as their refuge, they shall reach the topmost height.” — Buddha

“In dealing with the State, we ought to remember that its institutions are not aboriginal, though they existed before we were born: that they are not superior to the citizen: that every one of them was once the act of a single man: every law and usage was a man’s expedient to meet a particular case: that they all are imitable, all alterable; we may make as good; we may make better.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1802-1882)

This is an unusual pearl, ffolkes, but, that fits right in with today’s essential theme…. This one went from silly to sublime, in nine (mostly) short steps…. I hope you enjoyed it….

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Ffolkes, I just don’t see how I can do this any better than this…. and, if so, I’m not sure I want to…. The best part is, I get to try again tomorrow… Well, that’s the best part for me…. y’all have to take your chances, as we all do when surfing…. I’ll make it worth your while, though, you can be sure of that…. Until then, stay silly, ffolkes, it’s a good excuse….

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

Bursting with possibility, the newest day dawns, as ever, in shades of grey….

Ffolkes,

I’m certain, if not completely unsure, I’ve never experienced such a long-term tweak…. Usually, it takes a day, maybe two to get the ol’ back to calm down enough to return to relative normalcy…. This time, it keeps relapsing, so to speak, with each morning’s level of pain in the lower part competing to see which day will get the prize…. which means, given that my back and its pain are NOT being nice, NONE of the prior six or seven days will ever be called a winner…. No prizes will be awarded, unless I get one for not killing anyone, in spite of numerous episodes of encountering people who gave every impression of WANTING to become martyrs at the throne of stupid….

The above paragraph, however, is all the whining you’ll see…. (Trust me…) I’ve decided that today’s Pearl WILL be fresh, even if somebody must die…. Well, not me, of course; if I die, who’ll write the Pearl? But, if anyone gets in my way, or even in my vicinity, I’m taking them down, and that’s a promise…. I’m tired of Mr. Nice Guy…. Whether it’s me, or somebody else assuming that guise, I’m done with it….

That being said, there will be no rant, unless you consider this ill-mannered outburst as such….. There WILL be two old-school pearls, and a poem…. but, that’s ALL there will be today, and hell, if I find something better looking than what I feel SB can do today, then what you get will be from the archives…. Deal with it….

That is all I have today, ffolkes…. I’m not even sure I can follow my own rules today, and play nice with others…. We’ll see, I guess… In the meantime….

Shall we Pearl?….

“I’m PROUD to be a CARBON-BASED life form!”– gigoid, asb SB

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I have yet to begin searching through Smart Bee for some appropriate aphorisms, because I wanted to issue a warning, to both Smart Bee, and to y’all, to protect your sensibilities…. To SB, I say this…. DO NOT FUCK WITH ME TODAY. That’s it….. and, it had better be enough….

Oh, and, Smart Bee? If I were you, today, I would pay close attention to that warning, too…. To the Gentle Reader, my warning is this… if SB doesn’t behave, I will ask you to please avert your eyes; nobody should HAVE to see what I will do to the damn thing, as it will be guaranteed to cause nightmares, in both the recipient of the thrashing, and in anyone careless enough to watch…. Otherwise, enjoy, yes?…..

“Don’t overestimate the decency of the human race.” — H.L. Mencken

“Every event that one would master must be mounted on the run, and no one ever caught the reins of a thought except as it galloped past.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

“Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.” — Smart Bee

“In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears.  Things are not only what they are.  They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.” — Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-78)

“As a computer, I find your faith in technology amusing!” — Arthur, my laptop

“Humility is a virtue all preach, none practice, and yet everybody is content to hear. The master thinks it good doctrine for his servant, the laity for the clergy, and the clergy for the laity.” — John Selden (1584-1654) — Humility

“Anything that is good and useful is made of chocolate.” — Smart Bee

Okay, well, I like it….

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To avoid any accusations (or worse, litigation…) of cruelty to a poet, here is another one of mine, so nobody else gets blamed for this… I wrote this some time in the latter half of 2012…. It’s about Pearling, or, Life as We Know It….

When life calls, ready or not….

Memories are all we have sometimes
to keep our sanity intact,
with learned phrases and subtle rhymes
lessening life’s vicious, vibrant impact.

Presently all seems composed and intent
in stark contrast to hollow day,
forlorn patchwork emotions of unheralded bent,
fill up night’s bower, leaving hell to pay.

Such vigorous and elevated temper
brings us rare moments to ponder,
filled with lessons all need to remember
lest base perception lose valued wonder.

Laugh loud when entropy sticks fast
leaving shameless anger in its wake.
Let bygones pass quietly into the past
reaping only what is left to take.

Final words of wise imagination
tell us living well’s the best revenge, it appears
ever eluding choirs and congregations
finally finding home, never buried in tears.

~~ gigoid ~~

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

Not too shabby so far; nobody’s dead, and no injuries requiring stitches…. bonus! In keeping with today’s pattern of insanity, here is another old-school pearl, fresh from SB’s database of virtual wisdom, hacker-style….. This one may be a bit loose, so don’t try to hang on to any of it too tight; just an easy grip, enough to allow you to follow it to where it leads….

“Happiness is the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest.” — Robert G. Ingersoll (American lawyer and orator)

“The land of the free!  This is the land of the free!  Why, if I say anything that displeases them, the free mob will lynch me, and that’s my freedom.  Free?  Why I have never been in any country where the individual has such an abject fear of his fellow countrymen.  Because, as I say, they are free to lynch him the moment he shows he is not one of them.” — D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

“Ignorance is never out of style.  It was in fashion yesterday, it is the rage today, and it will set the pace tomorrow.” — Franklin K. Dane

“How do you know that electrons are political? Because you can never determine their exact position.” — Smart Bee

“Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” — Langston Hughes, Dreams

“An it harm none,
Do what ye will.”  — This is the core belief in Wicca, upon which all the rest of their philosophy of life is based….

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

Ooh, nice finish! There you have it, ffolkes…. THIS is a pearl of virtual wisdom, clearly….

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

I did it…. In the interests of not hurting myself, though, I don’t think I’ll pat myself on the back just yet…. Instead, I’ll just trust in my instincts, and put this out for consumption, sans further attention or editing…. See you tomorrow, ffolkes, most likely…. Considering my record, the odds are good….

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

Some folks never do understand fractions….

Ffolkes,

Destroy his fib or sophistry–in vain!
The creature ‘s at his dirty work again.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, Prologue to the Satires, Line 91

Aye, he is, indeed. Up, that is, and at his dirty work, again…. Well, I am, anyway, even if the creature isn’t quite awake yet…. Actually, it’s a good sign, being up early, considering how early I fell asleep. I felt like a little kid, falling asleep before dark, afraid I was going to miss something. I didn’t, though, so it was okay to fall out that early, as I had already done everything there was to do, up to, and including, dinner with my lady. Eating well, good company, and a double shot of Jack will put me under every time, especially now that I’m old and frail….

Hah! Caught ya! Old and frail, indeed…. While I must admit that I am old, and I do get tired pretty fast these days, I don’t think I’m quite ready to join the Geezer Society, or to become a member of the “let’s go sit down for that” group of senior citizens, who never get out to do anything, spending their time rocking on the porch, watching the world go by…. Thanks, but I’d rather be part of the parade marching past, even if I must limp, and, even if it means getting tired all the time, eh? Fatigue is  a small price to pay, for not turning into a slug…. Besides, as a slug, you’ve got to always be on the lookout for salt….

I should know better than to start writing before I drink some of my coffee…. I AM up early again, at 0500, but, since I fell out at 8:30 last night, that is quite enough sleep, and I’ve got no worries there…. But, the content of anything that streams out of my pre-caffeinated brain is suspect, at the very least, and, potentially, toxic, at the worst. This, I think, falls in between, and isn’t dangerous, by any means….. But, then, neither is it particularly interesting, or gut-bustingly funny, and it certainly isn’t going to make anyone run out and wake up the Pulitzer Committee members…. Hell, it may not even hold anyone’s interest as far as this paragraph, and that is sad, indeed….

I must try to overcome my sadness, though, and go on…. nothing else would be honorable. Okay, well, you’re right, it doesn’t have anything to do with honor, but, I’m human, and I, too, occasionally fall prey to those human foibles, of making things up, or more plainly, lying to suit my own purposes, in this case, just getting on with it…. This lie, intended to speed things along, like the lies our beloved leaders tell us, aren’t BAD lies, they’re little white lies, and won’t hurt anyone…. right? Right? Lying CAN be a good thing, yes?….

Well, no, it can’t…. It isn’t really a good idea, even to spare someone’s feelings…. The truth, painful as it can sometimes be, is always best. We tend to forget that, because we sometimes wish we hadn’t known the truth…. But, knowing the truth, unpalatable as it may be, will never poison us, whereas lies will cause us toxic pain, one way or another, every time they are used, either as a passive recipient, or as a guilty perpetrator….. We all hate the fact that pain is our best teacher, but, we all know it is true, which is the source of the old adage about “sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind”, one we all acknowledge as truth, though we don’t always like it….

There I go again, ranting in the intro section…. SIGH…. I wish I could get a solid handle on this stuff; it’s getting a bit frustrating….. Though, that, of course, totally ignores the fact that I do it to myself…. Ah well, I guess we’re all Bozos on this bus, so, I may as well let my humongous proboscis do its thing, and honk away…. meanwhile….

Shall we Pearl?…..
_____________________________

“King Arthur and his armored goons of the Round Table functioned as the Politburo of a slave state: Camelot. Of all who have written on the Matter of Arthur, from Malory to White, only Mark Twain understood this. But Mark Twain was a great writer.” — Edward Abbey

Which means, by implication, all the others were not good writers….. I happen to agree with this assessment, but, then, I’m  curmudgeon by nature, and by training, so accepting an unpopular truth comes easy to me. It’s unpopular because all those other authors have agents, too, and hate to see their charges maligned, even posthumously.

Then, there is also the fact that the lies, of which the history of any historical period are comprised, are considered to be the truth of the matter, as decided by the ruling faction at the time, and with the approval of the priestly hierarchies…. Historical writings are notorious for being colored by the wishes and desires of the church leaders and kings of the periods in question; an adage commonly held by all ages is, “history is written by the winners….”

This is not supposition, by the way…. This is a proven historical fact, and one that, though everyone seems to know it, and accept it, nobody seems to want to do anything about it. Not only that, but, our modern leaders, in both the governments, and, the churches, lie to us on a daily basis, and nobody seems to care about that, either….

It’s as if over half the human race just gives up all hope of understanding the universe, or having any overt personal control over their own lives, and gives up their right to make up their own minds to those in authority, allowing them to do all their thinking for them, and accepting whatever lies they choose to tell, implicitly….. It quite simply makes me crazy….

Those in power KNOW this, of course, and encourage it shamelessly…. The church leaders all preach tolerance, and submission to temporal authority, while at the same time accepting the kickbacks and privileges afforded them by their sanctified status, with no taxes, and all the other perks that go along with being a church.

The government leaders are more obvious in their machinations, but still are allowed to lie, and cheat, and steal, right out in the open, with the full approval of those who elect them…. Until, of course, someone points out the immorality or unethical nature of something, then there is a huge outcry, and some other idiot with a glib tongue is shoved into the limelight, in favor of the liar who got caught… which, in our culture, is the ultimate crime…

Yep…. killing, stealing, violence, lying, all are socially acceptable activities, provided one does not commit the ultimate crime of getting caught doing any of it…. Our culture REWARDS this kind of behavior, with laws that protect anyone who lives within its parameters.

We have, on the books, laws that allow for discrimination, cheating others, and/or outright violence, provided one a) has a legally approved reason (i.e., government or societal sanction, such as for the police entitlements, or, such as “stand your ground” laws, or, most egregiously, laws stating that corporations are “persons”….), or b) doesn’t get caught doing it…. According to the law, if no one saw you do it, it didn’t get done…. I guess that makes sense, in an unreal sort of way…. It sure doesn’t account for reality very well, though….

Okay, I’m done ranting for now…. I rant and rave about this stuff regularly, but, very seldom does it have any real effect out in the real world, which sort of puts it in the “useless wind” category of literature. Maybe someday, someone will listen, or read it, and get a clue, and spread it around a little wider….

It would be, in my estimation, a very good thing for a lot of people to know this stuff, because, believe me, none of your teachers, or preachers, or politicians, or policemen, are ever going to tell you any of this stuff, for the simple reason that they would rather you didn’t know, and would prefer that you didn’t even think about this kind of thing…. They’re better off when you don’t….

Me, I say, fuck ’em….  I prefer to live in Reality, as it exists, to “tell the truth, and shame the Devil,” as much as I possibly can…. the Devil being defined as that part of humanity that lies to the rest of us…. Maybe I’ll just call it The Asshole Syndrome, and let it go at that…. In conclusion, I have only these comments….

“Beware of the half truth.  You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.” — Smart Bee

“Who cannot give good counsel? ‘T is cheap, it costs them nothing.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part ii, Sect. 2, Memb. 3

“If voting could change the system it would be illegal.  If not voting could change the system it would be illegal.” — Schroedinger’s Cat

“Forbid a man to think for himself or to act for himself and you may add the joy of piracy and the zest of smuggling to his life.” — Elbert Hubbard

“A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.” — Mark Twain

“Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I’m rich.” — Daffy Duck, from Looney Tunes Ali Baba Bunny (1957, Chuck Jones)

And, of course, the kicker….

“History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.” — George Santayana
_____________________________

What better way to show how the subject of the above rant has affected society, than to exhibit a poet who rejected the lies he heard, and insisted on describing reality the way he saw it, much to the chagrin of the powers that be…..

Cultural Exchange

In the Quarter of the Negroes
Where the doors are doors of paper
Dust of dingy atoms
Blows a scratchy sound.
Amorphous jack-o’-Lanterns caper
And the wind won’t wait for midnight
For fun to blow doors down.
By the river and the railroad
With fluid far-off going
Boundaries bind unbinding
A whirl of whistles blowing.
No trains or steamboats going–
Yet Leontyne’s unpacking.

In the Quarter of the Negroes
Where the doorknob lets in Lieder
More than German ever bore,
Her yesterday past grandpa–
Not of her own doing–
In a pot of collard greens
Is gently stewing.

Pushcarts fold and unfold
In a supermarket sea.
And we better find out, mama,
Where is the colored laundromat
Since we move dup to Mount Vernon.

In the pot behind the paper doors
on the old iron stove what’s cooking?
What’s smelling, Leontyne?
Lieder, lovely Lieder
And a leaf of collard green.
Lovely Lieder, Leontyne.

You know, right at Christmas
They asked me if my blackness,
Would it rub off?
I said, Ask your mama.

Dreams and nightmares!
Nightmares, dreams, oh!
Dreaming that the Negroes
Of the South have taken over–
Voted all the Dixiecrats
Right out of power–

Comes the COLORED HOUR:
Martin Luther King is Governor of Georgia,
Dr. Rufus Clement his Chief Adviser,
A. Philip Randolph the High Grand Worthy.
In white pillared mansions
Sitting on their wide verandas,
Wealthy Negroes have white servants,
White sharecroppers work the black plantations,
And colored children have white mammies:
Mammy Faubus
Mammy Eastland
Mammy Wallace
Dear, dear darling old white mammies–
Sometimes even buried with our family.
Dear old
Mammy Faubus!

Culture, they say, is a two-way street:
Hand me my mint julep, mammny.
Hurry up!
Make haste!

~~ Langston Hughes ~~

_____________________________

“That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world! Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!” — Calvin & Hobbes (Bill Watterson)

Now, THAT’S what I’m talking about! This is an excellent approach to living life, as it deserves to be lived (whew, almost said “should”….see yesterday’s Pearl….), one that provides a lot of good insulation against the lies and general run of bad stuff life can bring…. Well, maybe not QUITE that excellent, but, it does show a good, strong, positive ego, with all the chutzpah Calvin will ever need to get by…

Actually, I just like it, because it’s typical Calvin, and, as such, is a contains many sharp metaphors for society at large… I know, sometimes my imagination takes me right up to the edge of sanity, and peers over to view the long fall, fearlessly…. It’s the only way I can do that without suffering vertigo….

Any who, I’m feeling a bit silly, and since my own writing currently seems unequal to the task of being achingly funny, I’ll leave it to Smart Bee to find some mild hilarity for me…. I depend heavily on SB these days, and, so what? What’s it to ya? You don’t like that? Are you talkin’ to ME?….. Pardon me, while I do a Bob Hoskins in Good Fellows on you……

No, so, anyway, the following will be a randomly chosen pearl, with only a vague concept in mind, a vision of a big, goofy-looking face bearing a huge smile, and a mirthful, yet vacuous expression…. Strait, sparse little spikes of red hair on his cone-shaped head, sky-blue eyes, and a scruffy, unshaven, sparse beard…. big, ruffly clown collar…. you got the picture? Okay, let’s pearl….

“When I met th’POPE back in ’58, I scrubbed him with a MILD SOAP or DETERGENT for 15 minutes.  He seemed to enjoy it..” — Zippy the Pinhead

“We ain’t got hold of culture yet, but when we do get hold of her, we will adjust her and settler her down and make her hum and run like crazy.” — Smart Bee

“If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.” — Voltaire (1694-1778) — Epitre a l’Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs, cxi

“Remember what the dormouse said…  FEED YOUR HEAD…” — Grace Slick

“You boys lookin’ for trouble?” “Sure. Whaddya got?” — Marlon Brando, “The Wild Ones”

“You can’t fall off the floor.” — Paul’s Law  “It takes children three years to learn Paul’s Law.” — Chapman’s Commentary on Paul’s Law

“It don’t mean a THING if you ain’t got that SWING!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
_____________________________

If you believe that I have crossed any lines, or used an excessive number of Zippy quotes (Thanks, Bill….), you are free to file a complaint with the Board of Outraged Citizens; I think you can get the form online now…. Let’s see how it came out, in toto….

Well, it’s certainly long enough, and has its moments, so, we’ll let it fly…. I suppose they can’t all be masterpieces, but, though this makes it partway there, (it DOES have rants, and pearls, and good poetry….), it’s just not worthy of that sobriquet, and, I have to admit it would be nice to see ONE of them achieve that exalted status…. SIGH…. Frustrated ambition is the pits…. I guess I’ll give it up, and save myself the angst for something more accessible… 

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Exercising your legal option to forage….

Ffolkes,
I remember what happened just recently when I tried to write pre-coffee, and since I promised not to allow it to happen again, hang on a second….. Oh, bless me, that’s good….. Okay, we’re good to go now…. Having consumed that first, life-giving sip, of “dark brown morning nectar”, (thanks, Doc….), I can now turn my mind to more productive matters…. Damn, that first sip is just so…… good! And the next few ain’t too shabby, either, as the world continues to come into sharper focus…..

Okay, now what? We are firmly ensconced in front of the keyboard, and the morning is bursting with promise…. Of course, we don’t necessarily know if that promise will be something we want, but, hey, you take what you can get, right? It’s always best to face the world with a touch of fatalism, especially when one’s subconscious mind wakes one up at 0533, with tears flowing down one’s cheeks, and no clue as to what the tears are for….. Most upsetting, without even going into the embarrassment factor….. I mean, how humiliating can it get? I’m 62 years old, a full-grown man, and my emotions are SUPPOSED to be under my control, not laying out there on my sleeve for the world to pluck at…..

Now, 20 minutes later, the tears are gone, but the fragility remains, along with the excessive amount of fluids in the head, that the body creates just to make things messier….. and that damn asshole Murphy KNOWS that I have that unreasonable fear of Kleenex, from that incident as a child, that I still can’t talk about much…. I think I told you about it….. You know, that time with the clown, the priest, the pony, and the convention of county sheriffs from around the US. It was a mess……  So, any who,  I’m stuck using TP to wipe my nose, which is really hard on it, as TP is NOT as soft as it claims…. Sometimes, this whole circus doesn’t seem worth getting out of bed for, you know?…..

But then I think about Pearls…. and I realize they are what make my life worthwhile…. The process of creating them each day has kept me sane now for going on two (or was it twelve?…) years, and I’m hoping it will stretch to include the next few months, until my SS comes through, so I don’t end up in a locked facility somewhere, babbling to myself and smiling at the butterflies only I can see…. They’re quite beautiful, you know…. Since most ffolkes, or folks, either, can’t see them, I tend to keep them to myself, though…. It’s just easier that way…. People can be so harsh…..

Now that I’ve reached the point of nearly pulling my covers completely off, I think it would be best if I just gave up trying to make any sense out of this intro, and get on with today’s dive…… Oh, look, over there!…. it’s Madonna! Oh, no, wait….. never mind, false alarm…. it was only Lady Gaga….. Oh well, I’ve got their autographs already, anyway…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“Disco oil bussing will create a throbbing Naugahyde pipeline running  straight to the tropics from the rug producing regions and devalue the dollar!” — Zippy the Pinhead

So, a few days ago, the POTUS said that one of his priorities for his final term would be the issues surrounding climate change and global warming, to try to make an effort to halt the greenhouse effect, caused by the particulate emissions from billions of motor vehicles, that is threatening our very existence. He then proceeded to make it clear that he was just kidding, as he also indicated that he will most likely approve the new, massively-destructive-to-the-environment XP Pipeline, that is proposed to be built from the Arctic to the US, because it will help the economy by producing, get this, about 6000 jobs for Americans.

6000….. That’s it…. There are over 20,000,000 (twenty MILLION) people out of work in this country, so we’re talking about a percentage increase of…. hold on, gotta find a pencil & paper….. okay, that’s .0003%….. In English, three ten-thousandth of a percent. So, basically, we’re talking about giving in to the fat cats, who want the billions of dollars of profits they will make, at the expense of the environment, out of our pockets, by the completion of this project, for an increase that barely registers on the scale at all…. What I am wondering is just how many of those billions of dollars made their covert way into the POTUS’s re-election campaign treasury…..

The XP Pipeline project has been labeled as a disastrous idea by almost every environmental agency in the country, and the world; there is no doubt whatsoever that building it will adversely affect hundreds of species of animals, reducing their habitat, and will further add to the already massive amounts of pollution going into the air every moment. It will only provide a minuscule number of jobs, jobs that could easily be created by the enhancement of the alternative energy industry, or by instituting programs that would repair our national infrastructure of roads, dams, and other public facilities, all of which are in need of renovation.

No, instead, the POTUS, in a move that gives away his real agenda in office, has agreed to allow the fat cats to have their pipeline, in exchange for a reduction in the amount of static they give him on other issues, of less vital interest to the rest of us, but have a greater PR value. I am disappointed, to say the least, but not particularly surprised…. I do believe that Barry has a higher degree of morality than the average politician…. but, it MUST be remembered that he shares one important characteristic with every other politician…. he WANTED the job…. That kind of ambition is, in and of itself, an indication of a type of insanity common to our leadership, all the more dangerous because he APPEARS to be concerned for the people….. And, if he believes his own hype, that makes him the most dangerous of politicians…. remember what is said about the Road to Hell, and what it is paved with….

Regardless of that, how can anyone claim to be concerned about the rights of the little man, and still approve the Patriot Act, or whatever they’re calling it now, large parts of which are in direct opposition to the Bill of Rights….. He signed that off on his first day of office, in his FIRST term…. That act, to me, was a dead giveaway that all was not as it seemed, in his case…. Subsequent events have proven that my initial unease was, and is, well-deserved, as he continues to smile and play to the people’s desires on one hand, his left, while covertly screwing them by signing them into slavery with his right hand…..

“The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering troops on citizens in time of peace.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), 1951

Ah well, I don’t suppose I’m surprised by these revelations; there have been hints and clues to be found since his first term as POTUS, and probably before…. I am, however, pretty disappointed, because I had held out some hope that he was different, and that the changes he would try to get done would be of help to the common man, i.e., me, and the rest of us here in the trenches of reality….. I had hoped that he would NOT compromise with the !%, standing up for the people instead….

I should have known better….

“If doctors ever tell you that you’ve “flipped out,” don’t believe them, and just keep on doing what you were doing, because something tells me “the Man” is behind this.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

“If I’ve offended anyone, my efforts have been rewarded.” — Smart Bee

“I had a hunch something like this would happen.” — Written on grave
__________________________________

Democracy

Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right
As the other fellow has
To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

Freedom
Is a strong seed
Planted
In a great need.

I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

~~ Langston Hughes
__________________________________

” — I’d love to, but… there’s a disturbance in the Force.” — 13 of 101 Easy Ways To Say NO

I’m going to remember this one…. We all have times when we need an excuse to say no to someone who asks for our time, especially as once you give in to them, they won’t stop asking…. I would say “that’s human nature” but you might think I meant it as an excuse. Let me assure you, I don’t…. or rather, I do…. or,…. hell, I don’t know what I meant…. but, it ain’t no excuse….

People will take advantage of others at every opportunity, it seems, and I don’t regard that as an acceptable characteristic, and hate to encourage it by giving in to the emotional blackmail that almost everyone resorts to to try to motivate people into doing their will….

Robert Heinlein made what I consider to be the best summary of this issue when he wrote:

“Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.”


“But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please — this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time — and squawk for more!”


“So learn to say No – and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you. (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.)”

None of us likes to refuse what others ask of us, but you must learn to differentiate between altruism, which is an indulgence we can little afford, or exercising our personal choice, which may, or may not, meet the other person’s needs…. But, then, their needs aren’t really your problem, are they?…. Nope, they aren’t…. no matter how much, or how often, those others may try to get you to buy into it….. Or, in other words, you have to CHOOSE to feel guilty, ffolkes…. nobody can do that for you, no matter what they tell you….

So be it…. gigoid has spoken…..   🙂
__________________________________

Well, it’s done, but that may be the best I can say about it…. In fact, I’m taking a chance here, and letting it go, in full appreciation of the risk I’m taking in doing so…. I could seriously damage whatever credibility I may have created with this one…. Oh well…. It’s a good thing I don’t do it for profit, or for fame…. sanity is good enough for me, and that’s all I hope for at the end of each Pearl….. Currently, I have to admit, the jury is still out…..   🙂

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


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

gigoid

dozer3

Artichoke juice is an efficient lubricant….

Ffolkes,
Normally, streams of accidental tourists would be barging through the parlor, trying to see the latest version of Alice’s knickers, but the piano tuner forgot to shut down the coverlets, which caused the maids to neglect the silver. It might have been salvaged, had not the vicar arrived with the generalissimo in tow, hoping to be invited to tea. Since even Timmons, the tinker, was perplexed, Maggot, the farmer’s idiot son was sent to fetch the constable, to file a report for the insurance. Even the cats at the barn door paused in washing their whiskers to watch the ambulance pull away.  Farragut Towers had never seen such goings-on, in all its days….

Hmm…. the nonsense doesn’t seem to want to flow this morning. Generally, a paragraph such as the above can fly onto the screen in about two minutes, but I had to struggle a bit to get this one down, taking at least 15 to wind its way to where it faded out. Ah well, I guess it just isn’t an English drawing room kind of day…. It’s probably just a hangover from dreaming last night, or something; I often find myself in dreams, involved in long, drawn out conversations with Lord Peter Wimsey, or Sherlock Holmes, sitting around in a smoky Victorian parlor, with the street noises of Piccadilly Circus or Baker Street muttering outside the window……

Unfortunately, that didn’t translate well onto the screen today. I don’t suppose I can expect to be able to do that on command; none of my other types of writing rely on focus or discipline. I rely far more on impulse and imaginative speculation when I’m deciding what to write, and try very hard NOT to apply a lot of conscious direction to where the decision ends up. My talent, such as it is, seems to work better for me when I just let it flow, without any direction from my conscious mind, and allow it to find its own path down to the sea, in a metaphorical sense. Metaphor is, after all, pretty much what we do around here….

Ranting at the world, even using the power of metaphor, is getting to be somewhat more dangerous, as our BRC (Beloved Ruling Class) is having a lot of success in fooling the public into being afraid, and letting them pass laws against what they fear, or, more dangerously, allowing them to make “executive” decisions to make laws, without bothering Congress about it. They are also performing a lot of surveillance on their own public, and, I am certain, marking down the names of those who are critical of the government’s actions in what they write.

To think that they will allow this criticism to go on forever is naive; they will eventually take steps to curtail freedom of speech further than it has already been eroded, just the same as how they have eliminated the right to protest in public, to gather in groups to obtain redress for grievances against the government, and the right to a fair trial by their peers. We lost the right to public oversight of the police some time ago, when the Patriot Act made it legal for them to arrest people and put them in undisclosed locations, without any judicial review or oversight. Very few of the original Amendments to the Constitution, which provided many of the rights we counted on, remain as law in this country. Americans sat around and watched, as the BRC has methodically and calmly sliced the Bill of Rights into shreds over the last 12 years since 9/11, using that day of infamy to justify their rape of the Constitution.

Oops…. I started ranting too early; forgot I was still in the intro. The latest outrageous moves by the BRC have me all worked up in that respect, as they are now, predictably, coming after the right bear arms, the one amendment that actually gives us real protection from the real world. The slippery slope of gun control is now on the public table, and the show is getting pretty raucous, on both sides of the argument….. But, all this is moot, here in the intro, or should be, so we’ll save it for below, should the subject come up….  (I know, that’s cheating, since I’m the one who picks the subjects…. deal with it…. I don’t cheat much, and when I do, it is merely a time-saving device, and has no direct effect on reality…..)

Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Gun control is not about guns. It is about control.” — Smart Bee

You had to know I couldn’t let this one go….. Yesterday, the POTUS signed several “Executive Orders” regarding the subject of gun control, addressing the issues that much of the American public is focused on (as directed to be by the BRC and the media….). Putting aside for the moment the issue of gun control itself, I wish to make it clear that the “Executive Orders” that were used to create the new regulations are a clear and obvious circumvention of the Constitution, and a direct attempt to bypass the checks and balances that our three pronged government is supposed to be subject to thereby. It seems to be escaping everyone’s notice that the Executive Branch of the government is now MAKING LAWS, not just enforcing them.

The whole system that has grown up around the concept of Executive Orders is, as far as I can see, completely illegal, according to Constitutional law. The President does NOT have the right to make laws, no matter how much urgency is seen to be present, or how much expediency is needed to address a situation. Congress is the body that is supposed to make laws, and the enforcement of those laws is the responsibility of the Executive Branch, with the oversight of both to be accomplished by the Federal Courts…. That is the way it was designed, and that is the way it has worked, to protect our rights as citizens for over 200 years….

Now, because of public fear, due mostly to the media frenzy at the behest of the BRC, and the manipulative dishonesty of the corporate masters of that same BRC, the rights we have enjoyed as Americans are now just about all gone. The assholes who run this country, the corporate masters who pull all the strings from behind the curtains, have successfully created a climate of fear amongst the general populace, and have neatly manipulated events so that it is the public itself clamoring for protection….. from itself. The media have so effectively spread the fear and horror, that the people on the streets are actually asking to have their rights curtailed, “for the good of society”…… What a load of bilge!

I am amazed at times at how naive people can be. The world is a dangerous place, and always has been, as human nature is anything but civilized. Yet people expect the government to be able to eliminate all danger from the public venue. They expect there to never be people who go crazy, and start shooting at everything they see, or attacking their delusional enemies. They expect there to never be an instance where police shoot unarmed citizens, just because they can. They actually expect members of the Beloved Ruling Class to have concern for what is important to them, instead of blithely pursuing their own agendas….. Such naivete is sadly all too common, and is the reason the rest of us will be forced to go along with the repressive regulations that are surely coming….

Yesterday, in discussing the gun control issue with a neighbor, it became clear just how naive, and unwilling to think, the general populace is…. This person is, I’d say, a pretty average citizen, perhaps less educated than some, but with more innate intelligence than many I know of. She actually said “yes” when I asked her if she trusted the police to be more ethical than the average citizen…. When I pointed out the multitude of incidents that occur every day that show police officers to be much less moral than the average joe, she acknowledged the point, but still would not voice mistrust of the police over the citizenry. She actually believes that policemen and women are more capable of carrying a gun, and not using it unethically, than are average folks…. A very, very foolish assumption, to my way of thinking…..

So, what we have now is a dual issue… First, the government wants to limit the citizenry’s access to guns, a direct abrogation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. (Read it…. it says the right to bear arms will “not be abridged.” Period.) Second, the executive branch of government is being allowed to make law, another direct abrogation of the Constitution, which assigns that function to Congress. If nothing else, these two subjects are going to provide the impetus for a shit-load of public discussion, for sure…. The trickiest part of that is to be able to winnow out the wheat from the chaff, for there will be a LOT of chaff thrown up, much of it by the BRC, as they do all they can to obfuscate the issues, and hide their own manipulative interactions.

You will, I’m sure, see and hear more on this, both here on this blog, and out there in the Big Blue Room. I’m not done ranting on either of these issues, you can count on that. For the moment, I’m going to go search out some pearls to use in the discussions, and leave you to chew on what I’ve already brought up. Don’t worry, I’ll be back, to chew on these bones some more…..

“I have the power to HALT PRODUCTION on all TEENAGE SEX COMEDIES!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Children’s Rhymes

By what sends
the white kids
I ain’t sent:
I know I can’t
be President.
What don’t bug
them white kids
sure bugs me:
We know everybody
ain’t free.

Lies written down
for white folks
ain’t for us a-tall:
Liberty And Justice–
Huh!–For All?

Langston Hughes
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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” — Robert A. Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

It would be difficult for me to try to describe just how influential this statement has been in my life. I first read it around 1965 or so, when it was first published as part of Lazarus’ first appearance, in “Methuselah’s Children”. This incarnation of the idea, which pretty well describes Lazarus himself, was published later, in The Notebooks, as part of Heinlein’s book, “Time Enough For Love”, his magnum opus in later years. When I first read it, I was, as with much of Heinlein’s work, impressed by its relevance, and by how much it appealed to my own view of the universe. To my way of thinking, this is a perfect definition of what a man should be, and how one should approach life in general…..

As humans, our ecological niche in the Earth’s environment is that of the animal that fits into all niches. Our ability to eat any kind of food, to cope with any kind of environment we encounter, are designed to act as characteristics that enhance our ability to survive, and reproduce, which is the genetic mandate of all species. I mean, think about it, anything other than focus on surviving, and reproducing in kind, is kind of counter-productive, isn’t it? So, having this kind of all-encompassing flexibility of talent would seem to be custom made to make us efficient at staying alive long enough to carry on the species by producing offspring.

One of the talents we possess that is an essential underlying factor for our flexibility is our imagination. This unique talent, seemingly absent in most other species, allows us to see into the future, into the realm of possible outcomes of real time actions and events, giving us the advantage of being able to prepare for dealing with such issues much more efficiently than we can by merely reacting to the immediacy of what is happening in front of us. It is a very, very powerful tool, and ultimately, it will be either our saving grace, or our own personal executioner……

You see, humans also have a flaw in their make-up, a flaw that is every bit as powerful as imagination in its effect on our existence. This flaw is part of our emotional make-up, our feelings about what we perceive in the real world, outside our minds and imagination. The flaw can manifest itself in a variety of ways, but the most harmful are when this basic crack in our armor assume the form of deliberate ignorance, exemplified by fearful bigotry, or in indifference to the feelings of others, as typified by the corporate masters of the world and the Beloved Ruling Class (not necessarily the same group of men….). The flaw is typically seen in those public events that are marked by a lack of morality, or ethical behavior, such as the common habitual lying to the public by the candidates during elections, or when the police murder another innocent citizen….

I’ve written myself into another corner here, so to speak….. This subject is one that is constantly in my thoughts of late, as I witness the historic battle that is being waged in today’s political arena, a battle that began the day after the signing of the Constitution. The unseen, hidden rulers of the world have been trying to tear apart the system of protective laws and concepts that our forefathers left as our legacy since that fateful day, and their efforts are coming to fruition now. We are watching every one of the ten rights in the Bill of Rights being eradicated, made moot, by the passage of illegal laws, executive orders, and manipulation of the public’s fear until the lost and ignorant are crying out for protection from the boogie man….

At this point, I don’t know what the answers may be, nor what they may entail…. History, and our place in that history, is about to come to a head, in a manner of speaking. A lot of very volatile issues are currently being played out on the world stage, and the outcome is still in question. I can only hope that there are enough of the people who fit the description above still alive and actively working to maintain human dignity and freedom, to make a difference in the final resolution. I’m not terribly confident of success, but, I haven’t quite given up hope…. I’m not sure why, because, damn it, the BRC and the corporate assholes are holding a lot of good cards, and have a lot of resources at hand that aren’t available to the rest of us.

Ah well, all you can do, is all you can do….. and this is all I can do for now….

“I know everything, but I’m sworn to secrecy.” — Smart Bee
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Since I can’t ethically reveal any more secrets, it seems to be time to bring this….. whatever it is…. to a close. One can only beat one’s head against a wall for so long, before concussion sets in, and I’d like to get through a day without all the dizziness and nausea that daily events can produce. It would probably help if I didn’t go read the news every day, but, as I’ve said before, and will again, it’s good to keep track of what is going on, if only to be able to jump when necessary, and to know which way to jump…. makes the landing more comfortable…..  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!

Only in feverish dreams do we dance….

Ffolkes,
With all due apologies to the fish sauce, another morning dawns…. As is often the case, my head is a bit befuddled so soon after arising, yet, here I am, typing away as if I knew just what to say. Which, of course, I do and I don’t, being a child of the 60’s. Very convenient, that….. I just have to mention it once, and all kinds of sympathetic concern is generated…. Shoot, if I tell folks I was actually AT People’s Park in Berkeley in 1969, why, nobody ever expects anything normal from me, especially written; they all KNOW my brain was fried back then…..

That’s my secret, you see…. I actually was there, but I survived with mind and memory intact, and no lingering states of confusion due to drugs….. Oh, I won’t bother to tell you I didn’t use them, but I never got so far into it that it became an issue with daily living or cognitive deficits…. So far, as all the evidence clearly indicates, my cognitive powers are completely intact…. They may be ALL I have intact, for that matter, as my body continues to give out at an alarming rate, which has more to do with being too athletic than with overdoing recreational drugs. My doctor tells me NOW that if I’d been less active when younger, I wouldn’t be paying the price I am now….. NOW they tell me…..

C’est la vie, I suppose…. There isn’t a lot I can do about it now, in any case, so I just live with the pain, and try to get on…. and in that spirit, I think we should get on with today’s Pearl…. after this bit of housekeeping…..

Correction, maybe…. Yesterday, I attributed a piece of poetry to Thomas Cowper… I am currently unsure, but that may have been in error. I have evidence that suggests it may have been William Cowper. I will research, and let y’all know…. Silly Smart Bee listed it merely as Cowper, and I filled in the Thomas out of memory…. which I now find may have been wrong…. alas, I am human, damn it!…

“That was Zen, this is Tao.” — Peter da Silva, April 24, 1993

Shall we Pearl?…..
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I’ve been very lucky with my latest incarnation of Smart Bee…. it seems to be giving me a higher percentage of usable quotes than it did before I had trouble with it. In fact, so many quotes are worth saving that I’m starting to group them into subject lots…. Here are a significant number of intriguing and/or interestingly accurate observations on modern life in America, land of the marginally civilized….

Homosexuality is *not* a sickness.  Bigotry is. — Smart Bee

“Whether you have an abortion, what you put in your own body, with whom you have sex – these are not the affairs of the state.  A government does not exist to control the citizens.  When it does, it is a tyranny, and must be fought.  The tree of liberty, Jefferson warned us, must be refreshed with the blood of tyrants and patriots.” — Gore Vidal

I swear to the Lord
I still can’t see
Why Democracy means
Everybody but me.

— (Langston Hughes) The Black Man Speaks

“Government is about coercion. Limiting government is the single most important instrument for guaranteeing liberty. We’re working on a third generation which has little in the way of education about what our Constitution means and why it was written. Thus, we’ve fallen easy prey to charlatans, quacks, and hustlers.” — Dr. Walter Williams

“The discovery of America was the occasion of the greatest outburst of cruelty and reckless greed known in history.” — Joseph Conrad

“Democracy is government by the people with open discussion and free speech. This allows those with no ideas to unload their thinking in the most tedious and lengthy manner. After this, a vote is taken, and the least informed will oppose the most confused. The result, inevitably, will be known as model legislation. In time, it will proliferate, and eventually a commission will be formed to review what has been done and why it isn’t working and it will recommend reforms of the previous efforts. All of this will be published in various government journals and cause great debate. There will be a veritable waterfall of newspaper editorials and Johnny Carson will use the whole thing as a part of his monologue. In the end, the reforms will be defeated. –Smart Bee

“Christianity:  Please help find the cure.” — Smart Bee

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist…. A few days ago, as I sat in a shady spot outside on a beautiful California day, I began to think, for some misbegotten reason, about Christianity in this country, and I wondered about exactly how many different definitions of the word “Christian” there would be. There are so many different interpretations of the Bible, and so many different definitions of what is “Christ-like”, that I can see no hope of any consensus answer to this question. A conservative guess would be about 5,000 different churches, and varying interpretations of scripture; it’s more likely that Los Angeles and New York City alone contain that many, and the number nation-wide is probably closer to a hundred thousand….. None, I repeat, NONE, of the people who embrace the dogma associated with each of these various cults {yes, cults, by definition…look it up….} are at all willing to even consider any truth in any of the others, and they ostensibly are all worshiping the same dude…. It’s a bit pathetic, when one stops to look at the broader picture…. SIGH… ah well, back to general culture, and the caricaturization thereof…..)

— You may be redneck… if you refer to Mason jars as “the good glasses.” — Smart Bee

“Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

On that note, we will go ever onward, seeking approbation, or at least hoping for poor aim….
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First I thought, “Keats, or Yeats, or Pope” for this morning, as I don’t have a poem ready for bleeding…. Then I had the irreverent but accurate thought, “Long time no Pope….”, so, here is a selection from one of my favorite poets, whom I also consider to be possibly the best ever, from a technical and creative standpoint…. He wrote A LOT, and almost all of it is wonderful…. He definitely makes the star of humanity shine brighter in the heavens….. enjoy!

Chorus of Youths and Virgins

Semichorus.
Oh Tyrant Love! hast thou possest
The prudent, learn’d, and virtuous breast?
Wisdom and wit in vain reclaim,
And Arts but soften us to feel thy flame.
Love, soft intruder, enters here,
But ent’ring learns to be sincere.
Marcus with blushes owns he loves,
And Brutus tenderly reproves.
Why, Virtue, dost thou blame desire,
Which Nature has imprest?
Why, Nature, dost thou soonest fire
The mild and gen’rous breast?

Chorus.
Love’s purer flames the Gods approve;
The Gods and Brutus bent to love:
Brutus for absent Portia sighs,
And sterner Cassius melts at Junia’s eyes.
What is loose love? a transient gust,
Spent in a sudden storm of lust,
A vapour fed from wild desire,
A wand’ring, self-consuming fire,
But Hymen’s kinder flames unite;
And burn for ever one;
Chaste as cold Cynthia’s virgin light,
Productive as the Sun.

Semichorus.
Oh source of ev’ry social tie,
United wish, and mutual joy!
What various joys on one attend,
As son, as father, brother husband, friend?
Whether his hoary sire he spies,
While thousand grateful thoughts arise;
Or meets his spouse’s fonder eye;
Or views his smiling progeny;
What tender passions take their turns,
What home-felt raptures move?
His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns,
With rev’rence, hope, and love.

Chorus.
Hence guilty joys, distastes, surmises,
Hence false tears, deceits, disguises,
Dangers, doubts, delays, surprises;
Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine
Purest love’s unwasting treasure,
Constant faith, fair hope, long leisure,
Days of ease, and nights of pleasure;
Sacred Hymen! these are thine.

Alexander Pope
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“Purity engenders Wisdom, Passion avarice, and Ignorance folly, infatuation and darkness.” — Bhagavad Gita (c. B.C. 400)

I first read the Bhagavad Gita sometime in my twenties, or possibly just before, while studying at UC Berkeley. I remember my sense of wonder at the depth of the insight into human nature, and my feeling of awe that the words I was reading were written well over two thousand years ago. Here was knowledge that, if commonly understood, could change the very face of human civilization. In my naivete, I couldn’t believe that this wasn’t the basis for everything that society believed, or that any of what I had read was not commonly held by everyone who ever went to school, or had read or heard the words spoken by Krishna to Arjuna……

The words in this little treasure-trove of wisdom had changed the world, when first written, I’m sure, with lasting effects on the culture of India at the time, effects that have carried over into modern times. Unfortunately, these effects have survived in altered state, changed to suit the priests and preachers with the same kinds of twists and perversions as happened to the teachings of a later sage, Jesus of Nazareth. The insight contained in the lessons of both Krishna and Jesus were used to benefit the only the institutions created by the icons, instead of being used to benefit all of mankind, as they were intended…..

The statement quoted above out of the ancient text, regardless of the degradations enabled by the avaricious, remains as true today as when first written. And, as proof of these assertions, I offer the following piece of BRILLIANCE….. pay close attention, it’s subtle….

I took Brad Templeton out to lunch one day, and afterwards, we stopped by a bakery to bring eleven doughnuts back to the office.  The baker offered a free sticky bun to pad our order to an even dozen, and Brad refused the bun.  After we left, I asked why.  He said that he never selects buns, especially pad buns. — Smart Bee

Sorry, I’m incorrigible. Don’t incorrige me…..  🙂    Just a little fun…. any who, if one looks closely enough, the truth is hidden in what has been said here…. hidden right in plain sight, in fact…. Like any such magical gem, it is visible to those who can see…..
__________________________________

Not bad for a Pearl with no rant…. Mitt the Twitt, and Mr. Lyin’ Ryan have obviously been told to shut the f__k up until after the debates, because they’ve been missing from the front pages in the last few days…. too many days in a row where they were pissing in their own corner, I guess, and their handlers got tired of the clean-up. It’s a nice break for my ears and my sense of outrage, but it’s probably hard on the writers who depend on politics for all their material…. Ah well, the election is almost here, and then Scary Black President can get back to frightening the poor Republicans….. stay alert, ffolkes, and make sure you know where your polling place is…..  In the meantime, 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!

On the trail of inner peace….

Ffolkes,
It is never a good sign when I start leaking tears within a few seconds of sitting up in the morning; it is a bit disconcerting to find oneself immersed in depression first thing in the day, even pre-coffee…. or especially pre-coffee….. So disconcerting, I have had to take some time to recover my equilibrium. Took a shower, had a smoke, and went back to bed for a bit….. and still feel like hell…. I’ve got to say, when my ex-boss perpetrated the bureaucratic blitzkrieg that forced me into retirement, I’m betting she had little idea just how effectively she was damning me to perdition, or at least poverty and misery….. so, to make myself feel just a tad better, I made a quick phone call, and asked her secretary, (my FORMER friend….) to pass on to her just how happy she could be with herself….. a little passive aggression always helps, ya know?……

Two hours later, and equilibrium is still just beyond reach…. but, life must go on, balance or no, so I’m casting my fate into the wind for the time being, and just going with the flow….. perhaps some time in the library will settle things; it is one of my places of power, so there should be something here to pull me out of this hole I’ve dumped myself in….. and if not, well, at least  I tried….

All of that being said, or whined, as the view may be, I think it’s time to get on with it…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Writing is HELL!! Every word is like giving birth to twins.” — Andy Shedlock, May 12, 1998
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“Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.” — Eric Hoffer

I am occasionally amazed at how one short phrase, well-turned, can be applied to such a huge range of human activity; this one from Mr Hoffer is one of those. This little idea gives one a perfect way to understand the phenomenon currently being played out on the public stage here in America. The election coming up in a little over a month illustrates very well that many, many of our countrymen spend their lives in fear of things they do not want to know, and will go as far as cutting off their own noses to keep from having to look at reality without the aid of rose colored glasses….

Take, for example, the millions of middle class IDIOTS who have decided that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the answer to their fears of having not only a BLACK man as President, but a progressive-minded one at that. They shut off their brains whenever news of something going right is published, and listen instead to the lies and misrepresentations being mouthed on a daily basis by the Republican candidates. Even when the lies are exposed, they just turn to another and start repeating it over and over, sort of like a little kid sticking their fingers in their ears and singing “la la la la, I can’t hear you” in order to shut off the truth that is in front of them.

I watched a short video of Paul Ryan the other day, when he was roundly booed by a gathering of AARP senior citizens while trying to convince them that his party’s platform was going to help them, an obvious lie, considering the platform outlines how they intend to gut Social Security and give all the money back to Wall Street and the 1%. The expression on his face was priceless! He was trying to smile, but his color had gone to an embarrassed shade of red, and his words ground to a halt, as everything he was saying was being booed by the audience, who were not about to fall for his bullshit. It was quite fun to watch, I must say….

I’m also looking forward to the upcoming Presidential debates, when the cool, compassionate demeanor of the President will be set up against the cold, uncaring, obviously prejudiced Mitt the Twitt. I wouldn’t be at all surprised, given Romney’s habit of shooting himself in the foot, if he (Romney) totally lost it, and started ranting and mouthing racial epithets. It is obvious that Mitt hates Americans of any color other than pure white (his purity being one more lie, since his family has no doubt had the same skeletons in their background that any other American family has, and he can probably claim only about 40% pure white ancestors….) and having to try to be civil, even on national TV, may be more than he is capable of being…..

I’m a bit worried about the eventual outcome, as I am fully aware of how deeply stupid the American public has become in the past 50 years, as corporate America has deluged the public consciousness with tons of lies and brainwashing, and there is almost no limit to the number of people in this country who fall for the demagoguery every time. I mean, how else could Ronald Reagan, GW Shrub, and GWH Shrub have ever been elected, if there were not an already massive number of idiots out there susceptible to their nonsense? Yes, there are plenty of fools available….

“Crime must pay, or politicians wouldn’t seek re-election.” — Smart Bee

But, this election, I think the rest of America, the true majority of which is NOT bigoted and racist, has become so outraged at the degree of disdain shown by the Republicans for real Americans that they will come out to vote, and send these fools packing off to their bankers, to soothe the pain and embarrassment of their failure with some malicious business practices…. you know, ship a few jobs overseas, count their money in the Caymans, take a quick trip to Switzerland to check their bank accounts there….

So, join the crowd this November, come on out to vote for President Obama, and help send the false Americans back into their holes, or more accurately, make them crawl back under the rocks they came from…..

“When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.” — Richard Cardinal Cushing
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Cultural Exchange

In the Quarter of the Negroes
Where the doors are doors of paper
Dust of dingy atoms
Blows a scratchy sound.
Amorphous jack-o’-Lanterns caper
And the wind won’t wait for midnight
For fun to blow doors down.
By the river and the railroad
With fluid far-off going
Boundaries bind unbinding
A whirl of whistles blowing.
No trains or steamboats going–
Yet Leontyne’s unpacking.

In the Quarter of the Negroes
Where the doorknob lets in Lieder
More than German ever bore,
Her yesterday past grandpa–
Not of her own doing–
In a pot of collard greens
Is gently stewing.

Pushcarts fold and unfold
In a supermarket sea.
And we better find out, mama,
Where is the colored laundromat
Since we move dip to Mount Vernon.

In the pot behind the paper doors
on the old iron stove what’s cooking?
What’s smelling, Leontyne?
Lieder, lovely Lieder
And a leaf of collard green.
Lovely Lieder, Leontyne.

You know, right at Christmas
They asked me if my blackness,
Would it rub off?
I said, Ask your mama.

Dreams and nightmares!
Nightmares, dreams, oh!
Dreaming that the Negroes
Of the South have taken over–
Voted all the Dixiecrats
Right out of power–

Comes the COLORED HOUR:
Martin Luther King is Governor of Georgia,
Dr. Rufus Clement his Chief Adviser,
A. Philip Randolph the High Grand Worthy.
In white pillared mansions
Sitting on their wide verandas,
Wealthy Negroes have white servants,
White sharecroppers work the black plantations,
And colored children have white mammies:
Mammy Faubus
Mammy Eastland
Mammy Wallace
Dear, dear darling old white mammies–
Sometimes even buried with our family.
Dear old
Mammy Faubus!

Culture, they say, is a two-way street:
Hand me my mint julep, mammny.
Hurry up!
Make haste!

Langston Hughes

A comment from me is hardly needed here, but I would like to have each reader ask themselves if they can envision Mitt Romney ever reading this poem, start to finish….. I didn’t think so…..
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I’m tired, and hungry, and this Pearl, though soothing to create, is getting longer than I can deal with well, so I’m going to cheat, and insert here a visual Pearl, which is, no doubt, self-explanatory….. I will note that it is applicable not only to life at large, but also to the subject above, i.e., the upcoming election….

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Well, that was…. something. Exactly what remains to be seen….. I’m broke again, so it will be a couple days until I can publish the email Pearls, so please have patience. In addition, I don’t get a lot of internet time, since I’m at the library until payday, and I only get two hours there…. It will have to do, for the nonce…..  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!

Stealing from politicians is not a crime, by definition….

Ffolkes,
Far into the night, I searched within, only to find….. nada…. No quotes. No ideas. No nothing. So I went to bed, and figured the morning would bring some inspiration…. fat chance! Now I’m stuck, writing off the top of my head, which is already complaining. I may have to retreat back to bed, just to get away from the drama, which I do not enjoy, and refuse to put up with in my life at all anymore. I have even considered putting my No Drama Allowed sign up on my front door, just so it is clear to all and sundry who approach….. I have yet to do that one, but it’s close, it’s close….

For the nonce though, we’ll have to come up with something for today’s Pearl, which is looking a bit thin at this juncture. Aha! I’ve got an idea, and it should work well…. let’s go see…..  Yep, I think it will work…. It may be disturbing to know, in this age of digital everything, but today’s quotes are all taken from books…. real, physical books, that I held in my hand and read by turning the pages….. It was fun….. and reassuring to know that even though my database of quotes is gone (until further notice), I still have a place to go to find what I need…. And it is a very fulfilling feeling to pull it out of the pages; I’ve always been a heavy reader, and it’s good to remember that real books are still the best source of, well, everything you want to know….

Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged few.” — Helen Keller

Being in my current position, it is natural to fall into the trap as described above by Ms. Keller. It reminds me in a way of the same thought from Socrates (I believe) who said, “If every man brought his troubles to a central place, where it was said that all men would bring theirs, and each would take away an equal amount, most would be happy to just take up their own troubles and go home.” I guess it has always been a natural tendency among us humans, to compare our own situation to that of others, and make a judgment about relative worth…. not an admirable trait, but understandable, given our ego-driven natures.

I do know for a fact that I am better off than most of the world; I am still overweight, and much of the world hasn’t enough food to ever get to that state. I also live indoors, with plumbing, and have enough clothing to cover myself in inclement weather. I have a steady, if currently small, source of income, even though retired. I have medical insurance, and even though the co-payments are hard to handle, I have no fear of not receiving medical care if needed. All of this is much more than probably 50% of the people alive on this planet have as resources, so I can hardly consider myself to be entirely poverty-stricken…. I’ve actually been there, or close to it, and this is not the same…..

One time, in my early twenties, I fell into an unemployed state for several months, and during the last month and a half, it got to the point where I was actually hungry a lot of the time. I was living in my truck, on the streets of Berkeley; the truck, fortunately, had a camper, so I did have a place to sleep and stay dry, but couldn’t ever get off the streets for long. I lived one entire month on a jar of peanut butter, some bread given to me by friends, and a jar of excellent multivitamins, which kept my teeth from falling out of my head from scurvy, and the like….. It was not a pleasant experience, at all, and I didn’t particularly enjoy the feelings of depression and despair that went along with it. At the end of the month of PB and vitamins, I was able to find a job, and have not been unemployed for long since then, for the most part.

Having felt at least some of what the folks who are stuck living in such poverty feel, I empathize with their situation completely. I also feel a great deal of disdain for the average American, who has no idea of how fortunate they are to be living in this country, where the opportunities to pull one’s self out of the hole of poverty are so much more available than in much of the rest of the world. I listen to these political pundits, screaming their outrage at how the poor are shiftless, and only want handouts, and to have society provide them with food and shelter, all at the expense of “hard-working Americans who pay taxes”, and I am completely filled with my own sense of outrage. These people have no idea of how lucky they are, or how little part they played in securing the resources they command, and have no idea at all of what it is like to not have those opportunities available to them.

These people are the same ones who spend so much time chasing the Devil, and spouting off about religion. They assume that the poor of the world are poor because God wants them to be that way, or that they are somehow responsible for their own poverty, having offended God. Ms. Keller also had something to say about them, which I believe completely, and share in her wish to see more of it in the world….

” It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.”

Pretty smart lady, that Helen Keller….. the world will never see her like again, and that is a shame, to be sure……
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Children’s Rhymes

By what sends
the white kids
I ain’t sent:
I know I can’t
be President.
What don’t bug
them white kids
sure bugs me:
We know everybody
ain’t free.

Lies written down
for white folks
ain’t for us a-tall:
Liberty And Justice–
Huh!–For All?

Langston Hughes

This poem gives voice to and defines the vast distance that still exists in this country between the folks who feel this way, and their opposite numbers on the other side of the issue. Racism is alive and all-too-well in this country, and this election is proof of that pudding. The Republican Party has adopted a platform that just barely avoids outright statement of such bigotry, but not by much. Their inner circle has already made public that the agenda of the GOP is to make Obama a one term President; there is no mention of taxes or the economy, jobs, medical insurance, war, or any other of the possible issues that are under the public eye. Their single goal is to get the black man out of the Oval Office; they don’t care, obviously, how many people they alienate in their efforts, either, as they chose the single most contentious candidate possible.

Yesterday, or the day before, I mentioned that this country is at a crossroads, which elicited some support among commenters, with good reason. This election is going to show exactly how many people are still out there ready to buy into any set of lies in order to maintain their own bigoted outlook. The Romney/Ryan team, and the GOP, has given up any hope of mainstream acceptance, and has sided with the fundamentalists and fanatics who believe that government should be secondary to religion. They have managed to alienate about 75-80% of the American public with their fascist, religion-based platform, while still garnering the support of millions of dim-witted people who are only concerned with their racist agendas. The campaign has already shown how racism has survived intact, and on election day, every bigot, every fanatic, and every religious nut in the country is going to vote to show their support for policies that will be the worst possible thing that could happen to them, all because they believe that a black man should not be President.

I am appalled, not only by the actual people who are voicing these asinine concepts, but by the media, who reports what the GOP candidates say, just as if it made any sense, thereby lending credence to the idiocy they espouse. But, I am also encouraged at the response to all of this, which appears to be swinging in favor of the incumbent President. All the most recent polls show the Democrats to be leading, in every issue, and the GOP campaign is scrambling around in terror, in absolute shock that their policies are being rejected by the majority of Americans. I am growing more hopeful of an outcome that we can live with, instead of one that promises to send society into chaos. It may be a slim hope, but it is a strong one, and I can only hold good thoughts for the ascendancy of reason over ignorance in our society in the years to come…..
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I came upon a treasure trove of quotes in one of my copies of the Bathroom Reader’s Institute’s tomes, called Uncle John’s Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader…. If you are unfamiliar with these books, take the time to access their website, where you can get a good idea of what they are like…. fun, interesting, and chock full of both nonsense, and sense…. Here are a series of quotes from some modern and historical figures, all of which pertain to the current campaign for the Presidency in this country…. at least peripherally….. These all have a pointed remark that leads us to some disturbing conclusions about public life in America, but, what else is new?…..

“Fundamentalism isn’t about religion. It’s about power.” — Salman Rushdie

“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

“A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity for any people.” — Frederick Douglas

“The universe is an intelligence test.” — Timothy Leary

“There is no place in a fanatics head where reason can enter.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

“There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honor.” — Benjamin Disraeli

There, that should lead to the proper level of confusion and glassy eyes…. I’m just glad the polls are showing some progress in the number of folks who have come to realize that the Romney/Ryan ticket would be disastrous, for everyone, not just a few. Perhaps there is still a chance for common sense to assume a place in public life…. one can always hope…..
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Another odd Pearl today, ffolkes…. it’s getting to be a habit. I can’t say it wasn’t fun, trying to figure out how to create material out of nothing much, but I think I’d rather try to get back to the old routine one of these days…. This waiting game is getting tedious, to be sure, and I will be very glad when something happens to change my situation….. It is said that having to wait for change leads to patience, but in this case, I wish they would just keep their bloody mouths shut…. I guess I’m getting cranky, which is understandable, if not desirable. So be it……. 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!