“… for there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life.”
~~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~~
~~ “Archaic Torso of Apollo” ~~
A Small Congress
A bit of housekeeping… Yesterday, when I wrote the lines wherein I wished all my Gentle Readers a happy season, I, apparently, was not completely mindful, as I described my words as a Winter Wish…. It SHOULD have been a Winter/Summer Wish; by forgetting the Nature of Reality’s Duality, I inadvertently withheld the wish for the many (read: several….) Gentle Readers who reside in the Southern Hemisphere, where it is NOT winter, but, summer….. (thanks to the 23.4º tilt of Earth’s axis, in relation to the plane of the ecliptic)…. (Trust me on this…. It’s true….)….
To all of those wonderful friends, in India, Australia, or, wherever you live south of the Equator, my bad…. Sorry ’bout that; everything I said yesterday was sent to you as well… Believe it….
A few days before Christmas, I went back in time, as suggested by a link below the day’s Pearl, at the bottom of the page, to July 26, 2013. I re-read the Pearl for that day, & I liked it well enough to use it today, in toto, but for the poem, which was used a short time ago here. Below this paragraph, written today, you’ll find the Pearl from that date, as it appeared, but, with a different poem, so as to refrain from repetition too often…. Pearls at that time didn’t have a video section, which evolved later, in 2014, so, no video today; sorry…. Not many quotations in the pearls, either; it’s all pretty serious/somber material…. Nevertheless, I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did….
Plus, posting this gave me a whole extra day to work on the next Pearl(s) you’ll see…. Bonus, for me, and you, as I’ll have more time to make it right…. Here then, is my version of a re-blog, but, of my own work… Works for me…. See y’all at the bottom of the page….
As some of y’all may have noted, yesterday’s Pearl was disrupted by Reality, whereas today’s will be characterized by Fantasy, or a reasonable facsimile thereof….The most pertinent item I recall seems to be the unexpected increase in planetary gravity that hit about 2 PM yesterday…. Didn’t you notice? It seemed quite significant to me; I had been struggling all day to keep upright, as the normally severe sucking power of our planet pulled at me constantly, no matter what I was doing…. sitting, standing, walking, typing, driving, all of it seemed harder, as if I were swimming through heavy syrup, or wearing extra bags of sand or something…. By eight o’clock at night, I was exhausted from the effort to remain a simian of the modern variety, standing upright like a true hominid….
And, then, I woke up…. t’was a new day dawning, turning the blues and grays of the morning sky to a pale pinkish blue, lifting spirits along with hopes, unbidden. All the bad, mad stuff that filled the last days was gone, banished to wherever such things go when pinned with the light of day, and I am once again filled with piss and vinegar, so to speak, ready for whatever the new day will bring. Of course, being an inveterate planner, I already know what will happen today, at least, according to my schedule, but, Murphy has a tendency to ignore my schedules in favor of his own, with mine usually ending up in the trash, while I adjust to his…. the asshole….
I’m up at my usual hour, and intend to write as usual…. Intentions aren’t always enough, though, so we’ll see how it goes today. It has to be better than it was the last two days, which, even sans the kind attentions of the Murph, I spent in the dumps, thanks to the gift that keeps on giving (PTSD). I’m all better now, having thrown off the unreasoning sense of anxiety that pervaded my conscious mind, and gone beyond whatever it was that triggered the episode…. Once more, I am completely in the dark as to what that might be; I do wish I could figure it out, as it is a pain in the ass, and if I knew how to block its ascent into my consciousness, I would do so in a heartbeat…. Until I do, I am at the mercy of whatever it is, destined to fall into despair in an instant, never knowing why….
Ah well, so what else is new? Life with PTSD goes on, as I said, yesterday, sort of, if we don’t hang on to it too tight, and I’m determined NOT to grip it tightly enough to hold it in its place…. If you see me doing so, please tickle me, or throw some water, or something to let me know, as I’m done with feeling bad for no good reason…. It’s a waste of time I could use to be doing something more constructive….. Of course, writing this blog may or may not fall precisely into that category, but, it’s what I do, so deal…. And, speaking of what I do….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most charming form of government ever devised by man. The reason is not far to seek. It is based on propositions that are palpably not true — and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.” — H. L. Mencken
With this statement, Mr. Mencken has put his finger on the pulse of America, that is for certain. It goes a long way toward explaining why so many people in this country are so willing to believe the outright, egregious lies that are told to them every single day by the officials they elect every year at the polls that characterize our republic…. They do lie, you know, with almost every statement that comes out of their mouths…. They begin with the most important lie they tell, from which all the others spring, and that is the lie they tell when they tell you that they want to be elected so they can work for YOU! Each and every politician learns early in their career, if they are at all to be successful, they MUST portray themselves as a public-spirited, honest, and tireless worker whose only purpose is to make life better for their constituents….
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth…. NONE of them are at all concerned with any of that nonsense; they are there to carry out their own agenda, which has very little to do with what is good for the general run of mankind…. No, they are there to serve the interests of the men and women who pay them, those lobbyists and special interest representatives who run the businesses of the corporate masters. The people on the street cannot provide them with the perks, or the cash, that the clandestine rulers are able to come up with, other than peripherally, by electing them in the first place…. Once elected, their true colors come out into the light of day, and it can be easily seen how their actions are never congruent with what they have promised to the people who elected them….
It’s all about power and money to these folks, not service. In my entire life of observing politics around the world, I have yet to see a single elected official who could be shown to be honest, not at the national level. The one who came the closest was Jimmy Carter, and his presidency was marked by how little got done, because he was so honest that the true politicians in Congress blocked every reform he tried to institute during his time in office. His actions during that time showed him to be the exception to the usual rule for politicians, which is why, I believe, he was so ineffective as a legislator….
Other than Carter, I have seen concrete proof that EVERY President of this country has lied to the American people, not just once or twice, but continuously, about nearly everything. Time and time again, public outcries are heard or seen in the news about some new revelation regarding something some politician lied about, just like it is breaking news or something, when it is actually the normal state of affairs….
I don’t know why it is, but if a man on a TV set, wearing a suit and tie, makes a statement to the public, the general public will believe it, sometimes fanatically, without ever examining it for whether or not it is true… Then, when it turns out they were lied to, they get all upset and vocalize their displeasure, never once admitting it was their own cupidity that allowed the lie to occur in the first place…. It makes me wonder what happened to people in this country, to make them go soft in the head….
“Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.” — Anton Chekhov
Did you ever notice how many politicians were lawyers, first? Most of them, as it turns out, for the simple reason that learning to be a lawyer gives a politician two advantageous types of training… One advantage is that law school teaches the student how to lie in every imaginable way, in order to ascertain which kinds of lies are legal…. The other advantage is their primary motivation…. I
f asked, a very large percentage of lawyers will tell you their reason for becoming a barrister in the first place is that it is a good way to get rich, ( without mentioning, of course, that this is true only as long as one doesn’t give a shit about other people, and what that might do to them)…. In other words they make their money by taking advantage of people’s misery, holding them as hostages against their own destiny, in order to gain resources, i.e. money, and its sidekick, power…..
Then the lawyers realize that their training is perfect for politics…. The ability to lie with facility comes in very handy to anyone who wants to be in the public eye, as that is how one gets elected in the first place…. Tell people what they want to hear, and they will vote for you, every time, coming back to the same trough to eat, even though they get screwed, time after time…. Having the facility to ignore what happens to others, due to their own actions, is the other skill so important to the political set, and the training one receives as a lawyer fits right into that category….
“Watching the democratic party in a presidential contest is like watching a washing machine with a defective bearing: It starts up smoothly enough, but soon, it begins to wobble and shake, jumping violently from place to place, until it tears itself to pieces, spewing dirty laundry all over the room.” –Smart Bee
Some people will say that there ARE some good lawyers out there, and I won’t argue that…. but, they’re still lawyers, not politicians, aren’t they? They’re doing what they can to help ffolkes find their way through the morass of our legal system to get what they need, even occasionally finding some justice….
But, they aren’t going further, and going into public service, are they? They’re still in place, where they can help, but, they are so few and far between, they are hard to find, and so are very busy, seldom having the time or resources to work against their less honest colleagues. Plus, they really are very few in number, as altruists seldom become lawyers in the first place….
I can see that this has evolved into a full scale rant, and we’ve just begun the day, so I’ll call a halt here. I often feel as if I’m preaching to the choir, anyway, when I go through this stuff again…. It’s all familiar material around here, so it isn’t as if I’m presenting new ideas for your examination…. No, this is all old stuff, and, sadly, doesn’t seem to ever create the outrage that I feel in very many other ffolkes… which is too bad….. I forget who said that “if you keep on doing things the same ways as you always have, things will always be the way they’ve always been….”, but, they were absolutely correct…. We are on a path to our own destruction, clearly, but, nobody seems to care…
Nobody, that is, who seems able to DO anything about it, and they are the ones who will need to make the changes….. The people in authority over the rest of us are wearing blinders in this respect…. The idea that what they are doing is wrong, and will eventually kill us all, doesn’t fit into their world-view, so they won’t believe it, and will continue to refuse to make any of the changes needed to re-direct our steps onto a path less dangerous.
It is up to the rest of us to get it done, and that may entail overthrowing the current crop of rulers, either by the vote, or by the less agreeable option of using the necessary force, while making sure the new crop will act in OUR best interests, rather than their own…. If it does happen, it will be the first time in history, which is fine with me…. just as long as it is not the LAST time in history….
“… democracy is not something you believe in, or a place you hang your hat, but it’s something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles and falls apart.” — Abby Hoffman
Today’s poem was not originally used in this Pearl; that one, “A Dubiously Soft Morning”, was used just a few days ago…. I’ve replaced it with a poem from the same year, but, of a different tone altogether…. I hope you enjoy it; it’s actually one of my favorites of those I’ve written, because it speaks of my father…. Abondanza!
Fried eggs got nuthin’ on me
Ah’m not even sure of mah name,
or how Ah come to be;
no idea from where Ah came.
Ah does like a mystery tho’,
puzzlin’ things out so’s Ah knows,
good from bad fo sho,
Ah sho don’t want no rock pillows.
If’n Ah cain’t figure out what’s best,
Ah just falls back on mah Daddy’s words,
seems he knowed just whut’d stand the test,
‘n how to gentle the scaredest birds.
‘Course, he’d lived a good long time,
‘n had lots of stuff go on by;
Went to a war, n’ lost a piece or two,
never once used it fer an alibi.
He tol’ me once Ah’d best learn to learn,
school’s only cool if ya ain’t already a fool.
Yer own good measure you can earn,
by startin’ yer learnin’ with the Golden Rule.
Always seemed to me as Ah growed up,
he mostly only spoke if it wuz true,
‘n by doin’ that clued me to what’s up,
kept me from stuff that’d a made me blue.
Without ever sayin’ the word itself,
Ah learned ’bout honor, ‘n helpin’ others
not some fake stuff from some shelf,
but, knowin’ whut’s right, ‘n that we’re all brothers.
Ah’ve been around long enough now, Ah think
to get around the block at least two times.
I s’pose long as my head don’t shrink
Ah’ll keep on doin’ right, ‘n makin’ these rhymes…..
~~ gigoid ~~
Last posted on WP 9/6/2014
“The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” — Max Born, physicist
I like this, mostly because of its clarity and brevity of expression…. It’s perfect no-frills wisdom, with no ups and no extras, all you need for enlightenment in one short, pithy phrase. It also exposes the basic untruth of the mindset against which Thomas Aquinas warned, when he cautioned us to “Beware the man of one book.” I often wonder how the Church scholars managed to rationalize that statement into their set of dogmatic rules, and still canonize Saint Thomas as one of the icons of their faith; this statement is so diametrically opposed to all they teach, how did it become his entry into sainthood, with all the perks that involves, like, I don’t know, what, a better seat at holy dinners?
Any who, all sarcastic smirking aside, it doesn’t make sense, but, then, most of what I have heard and read about the more popular Christian religious sects doesn’t make much sense, either…. People seem to find it compelling, though, and manage to invest a lot of time and energy fulfilling whatever agenda items having those beliefs will engender.
“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Lazarus Long
These, to me, are the folks who find it easier to go through life allowing what other people believe determine their own thoughts and feelings, as it is less troublesome for them to have someone else do it for them, than making the effort to understand the world on their own…..
I suppose it’s okay, for them, to allow this, but, for me, it would drive me crazy in no time at all to try to believe some of what they would have me believe, because A) It doesn’t make any sense, and B) the assertions made, aside from the fantastic unbelievability of their nature, are offered without any evidence of their veracity, no proof of their actual truth. Given just those two requirements of mine for accepting something as true, none of what I heard in church makes the slightest bit of sense…
But, for well over two thousand years, this church, along with two or three competing churches, with slightly altered versions of the same set of beliefs on the same subject, has attempted to dominate human existence, saying it has the ONLY answers to the eternal questions, to wit: Is there a God? and, if so, What is He/She/It like?…. Simplistic, I know, but, an accurate paraphrased summarization, I think…. Honest, anyway, right? I mean, when one strips down the basic ideas to their bare bones, they sound ridiculous; then, when one sees there is also no real, incontrovertible proof of any of it, beyond logical constructions based on assumptions not proven, they become simply unbelievable, to my way of thinking….
Of course, one must actually THINK about this stuff, and not just assume it is true…. even what I’m saying should be examined for its own veracity…. I think all I need to do to offer proof of most of my assertions is point to either some part of reality, which generally proves without question what is real, or to something in the news that demonstrates the fallibility of what the churches offer as their dogma, which is legion. T
hen, once the information has been presented, it must be examined for it’s connections to what is real, in order to be able to determine for sure that it IS or IS NOT true…. Sadly, in my experience, most people skip that last step entirely, preferring to go along with what they’ve been told since they were little, because to examine it, one must first accept the possibility of being wrong in the first place…. and, that they are not willing to do….
That is the simple truth folks, no matter how much anyone tries to deny it. Reality determines what is true, not belief, or faith, and nothing anyone can say or do will ever change that simple fact of reality. There are no magic bullets, so, if we want to have magic in our lives, we have to make it ourselves, which leaves out the possibility of depending on anything in nature to do so for us, no matter how much we want it to be so, or how strongly we maintain our faith in what is unreal…. As some other philosopher has stated, “Just because a million people believe something is so, doesn’t make it so…. A lie is still a lie, even if a lot of people believe it…….. or, more colorfully…..
“If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does the dog have? Four. Calling a tail a leg, doesn’t make it a leg.” — Abraham Lincoln
So, spare me, please, the sermons, and pitying looks, because, quite frankly, the concept of Heaven bores me to tears; it sounds as if the Angel Satan throws a better party, and doesn’t expect his acolytes to curry favor…. plus, they never expect him not to lie to them, as he is right up front about it….
“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.” — Jack London, Jack London’s Tales of Adventure
Such an outburst! I can see that I am right to write every day…. This stuff tends to build up if I go too long without letting it out, and there’s no telling what kind of harm THAT may cause to the space-time continuum…. Let’s see if it reads half as well as it flowed out….. Hmph, well, I think that the Pulitzer committee may want to stand down, but, it’s better than most Pearls, all in all, and it’s all freshly made stuff, so, so be it…. WYSIWYG, today, anyway…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
~~ gigoid, the dubious ~~
À bientôt, mon cherí….