Yep… The whole village is excited….

Ffolkes,

My mother told me, “Elwood,”–she always called me “Elwood”–“in this  world you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant.

Well, for years I was  smart.  I recommend pleasant.”
 
— James Stewart —

(as Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey,  screenplay by Mary Chase and Oscar Brodney)

—————————————————————————

“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”

~~ Theodore Isaac Rubin ~~

August 1 2014 045

    I think this picture is one of the better ones I’ve taken recently…. even if it did need a tiny bit of digital enhancement and correction. It still came out nicely, I think, and makes the perfect complement to the two opening pearls, adding beauty on a visual level to the beauty of the spiritual beauty implied in the two quotes…. These two quotes would also make a fine introduction to a rant, on human nature, and the flaws therein…. or, on the effect of those flaws on our society, but, I’m not in ranting mode yet, as I’m still not recovered from yesterday’s ordeal….

When inside a period of pain such as the one that beset me yesterday, Emily Dickinson’s lines on that subject often come to mind, to wit:

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


Time ceases to have the same meaning for us when in that state, seemingly becoming a vicious, crafty enemy, spreading out endlessly before our weary eyes, slowing itself until one wants to scream at it, even knowing it refuses to hear. Everyone who experiences such bouts with what is normally merely a warning system develops their own approach to dealing with the pain, an approach that manages to reflect the personality of the one in pain…. Me, I tend to try to push through it, unless I’m drugging myself into oblivion. I don’t like to allow the pain to stop me from living, so I try to go do things, until it becomes so hard I am close to breaking down…. at which time, danger appears, and must be acknowledged

The danger lies in being near other people when I get to that point, of being close to letting go, allowing myself to strike out against reality in some way, any way, that will, at least for a moment, give me some relief from the constant, unrelenting assault from my own nervous system…. When I get near the end of my rope, I’m always afraid I’m going to dump my reaction on somebody close by, who has no reason to suspect they’re about to be bitten, or yelled at, or otherwise dumped on by my amped up emotional state….

Being a tough guy, though, means one must man up, and try to ignore the pain for as long as possible…. So, yesterday, after the morning’s waves of pain had eased off, I took off for a walk, & ended up going to the local commercial entertainment park, Discovery Kingdom, to try to get some photos of the wild animals…. Mission accomplished, with the bonus of talking myself into a membership pass, so I can go back whenever I have the urge….

The potential for photos is, of course, pretty unlimited at the park, what with tigers, penguins, elephants, and dolphins all available for photo ops… I got a few good shots, plotted out future photo safaris,  and wore myself out completely, to the tune of a 3 hour nap when I got home…. But, it did feel good to be able to say I hadn’t let my pain stop me from doing what I wanted to do…. Now, if I could only convince all my joints that’s a good thing, I’d be all set….

Ah, the hell with it…. I’m up late, due to the aforementioned fatigue factor, and need to get going on the rest of this…. Once again, we’ll have to resort to one of the more abrupt endings for these intros, such as they are, so we don’t get stuck here all day…. Belts all fastened? Okay, hold on, we’re going in…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

” You are a member of the British royal family. We are never tired, and we all love hospitals.” — Queen Mary (to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II)

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At this point in time, I don’t have any idea what will be put here today…. I’m not going to rant, as I can barely think…. I already put together an old-school pearl, which you’ll find in the third section, where they are accustomed to find themselves…. I could put in some art, from my photo trip yesterday, but, the pix aren’t processed yet, so, that’s out…. Oh well, y’all know what this means…. something from the archives…. Don’t worry, I’ll try to make it a good one, okay? Given my state of mind today, that should be well within the realm of possibility…. let’s see now…

From 5/18/2012:

“And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.” — John Dryden (1631-1700) — Britannia Rediviva, Line 208

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

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

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

So, you see, this blog is really a public service in disguise…. No thanks are necessary: since they are my words, I take responsibility for them, and consider it my duty to keep them from harming others (except, of course, when I want them to do so…..). I just didn’t want y’all to think I was hiding anything important…. I just call this my Literary Guantanamo Bay for Wayward Words, where we have the leeway, and the executive authority, to torture those nasty little terror-inducing buggers into submission….

gigoid has spoken…. So be it…..

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This poem is one I wrote in 2012, soon after ending the thirty year hiatus I had going of NOT writing poetry…. I remember quite clearly, it was written soon after a bout with my PTSD, that happened to occur on a day when my physical pain was also quite active, so, it was, in simple terms, a bad day… But, if work of this nature comes out of it, I cannot entirely regret the experience, though I hope not to live through it too often…. It’s not what I’d call the most comfortable way to exist…. Any who, all that aside, I hope you enjoy the poem….

Pieces of broken spirit….

Deep within the inner abyss, tears lay in wait
Ever on the verge, tending to infuriate.
Real moments of sadness cracking our need
Swift, deadly waves of appalling terror freed.

Memory hurts badly when visiting now
Leaving me alone, forgetting even how
Killing the sunshine still pouring over all
Darkening all spirit, holding it in thrall.

Knowing no blame seems almost to heal
Yet healing is blunted, plainly not real.
Innocence is pointless compared with pain
On the soul it tattoos an indelible stain.

Hours become days, days turn to a year
Serving up only a compendium of fear.
Blind groping for light finds only dark
In caverns of terror, angry and stark.

Trails of endless sorrow fill up the nights
Confounded at last by unfathomable sights.
No hope can find its way to the fore
Never to sail safely, lost forever more.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Okay, ffolkes, here’s what we have…. Below are a bunch of pearls, all on one particular subject, with which I am sure you are familiar… we all are. The process of modern political phenomena is complicated, even more than the natural state of the beast, by the influence of those flaws in human nature, which tend to lend themselves to the obsessive pursuit of power and control over others…..

However, instead of ranting today, this is my sublimation of that urge, a group of political pearls, that hopefully, poke some holes in the faux dignity all of the pundits assume when they climb to the podium, wrapping themselves in the flag, issuing veiled proclamations of intended thievery and crimes against the populace they so despise….

“If the people are given the power to vote themselves bread and circuses, then they will.” — Cicero

(Actually, you will note, in the case of this nation, they did…..)

“The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor,  to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” — Anatole France (1844-1924)

“Happiness is being famous for your financial ability to indulge in every kind of excess.” — Calvin & Hobbes

(The latest version of the American Dream….)

“Take away the right to say ‘fuck’ and you take away the right to say ‘fuck the government.'” — Lenny Bruce

“If A can prove, however conclusively, that he may, of right enslave B, why may not B snatch the same argument, and prove equally, that he may enslave A.  You say A is white and B is black.  It is color, then; the lighter, having the right to enslave the darker?  Take care.  By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet with a fairer skin than your own. You do not mean color exactly?  You mean the whites are intellectually the superiors of the blacks and therefore have the right to enslave them?  Take care again.  By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet with an intellect superior to your own. But, say you, it is a question of interest; and, if you can make it your interest, you have the right to enslave another.  Very well.  And if he can make it his interest, he has the right to enslave you.” — Abraham Lincoln, 1854.

“Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us:  we regard every person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster and a threat and by so doing turn our own selves into monsters and threats to our fellows.” — Octavio Paz

“There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government  working for you.” — Will Rogers (1879-1935)

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Well, ffolkes, there you have it; another fine mess from the messy mind of gigoid….. Remember, what I said above, about how the pain had gone? Well, it’s back, so, I’m going to go engage in the necessary activities to prepare myself to do battle with my own body…. In short, I’m going to go take a bunch of heavy drugs, and go back to sleep for a while, in the hope it will go away again…. This Pearl, choppy as it is, is done…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, as long as I win the battle….

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

Acres of discount bishops, reduced cardinals, and one used pope…..

Ffolkes,

“I have many CHARTS and DIAGRAMS!” — Zippy the Pinhead

I don’t, but, in spite of that lack, I’m pretty sure I can make it through the day. Not that I’m saying that they wouldn’t be useful, for something or other, but, for our purposes here, which are, happily, much more mundane activities, not requiring the use of scientific paraphernalia, I don’t think we need to get that precise in our calculations. In fact, taking the time to fill them out, or in, could conceivably cause problems, and work to our disadvantage.

This, I think, is the primary reason that more ffolkes don’t use them on a regular basis, and why the market for them is often depressed. I’m sure it makes life difficult for those poor people who manufacture them for society’s use, but, it can’t be helped…. Perhaps it would be in their best interests to find a new line of work, one that isn’t quite so dependent on the current whims of society…. but, then, I’m not sure just when the market for charts and diagrams is going to get better…. Maybe they could start making lullabies, or perhaps, yogurt?…..

Don’t know why I woke up silly….. And if you try to tell me that the above wasn’t silly, I’ll slap you until you cry for your mama…. Well, okay, it could  have been sillier, but I don’t see how, really, unless we dressed Zippy up in a clown costume…. Oh, wait, he already wears a clown costume….

Okay, well, that proves it, right? Silly is as silly does, and clown costumes define the parameters, I should think. If not, they should, especially when they are covered in polka dots, like his often are… Surely, there’s nothing sillier than a gangly, pasty-white, pointy-headed dude, in need of a shave, fetchingly clad in a polka-dot clown suit, unless it’s imagining his mother and father, and how THEY might be dressed…..

Now that I’ve spoiled any appetite for breakfast you might have had, it must be time to get on with the day’s business, such as it is. I realize it isn’t of much importance to y’all, other than as a means of wasting more time before you start your own day, but, it keeps me off the streets, at least for a few hours, and the public authorities are always appreciative of that, given the extra officers they feel they have to have on patrol when I’m out and about…. I don’t know why, though; I haven’t eaten anyone in years….. They get SO nervous and worked up, just because of a few youthful indiscretions….

Be sure, however, that period of my life is in the past, to stay; my diet these days is much more exotic, as I now stick to political pundits and religious dogmatists for the greater part my nourishment; they’re much less of a loss to society than your average man on the street, and, with generous amounts of mustard and cheese, can be quite tasty…. yum! Almost as good as a corporate elitist, or one of those savory military-industrialists, glazed with sugar and cinnamon….. Throw in the occasional sautéed police commander, and I’m a happy gourmand….

Hmm…. okay, you tell me…. Did that cross the line of good taste? It’s hard to tell, in the case of those assholes I consider responsible for the mess the world is in…. I mean, they have no compunctions about screwing over the rest of us, just so they can think of themselves as one of the elite, to whom the rules don’t apply. Why should I worry about offending them?

Essentially, I don’t, and I don’t care much what they, or anyone else, for that matter, thinks about it…. As long as they are out there, actively making decisions that affect the entire world based on their own perverted sense of entitlement, then I’ll feel no qualms about taking the odd shot or two at them, whenever I feel like it…. Fuck ’em, if they can’t take a joke….

On that note, shall we Pearl?…..

“If you’re going to tell people the truth, be funny or they’ll kill you.” — Billy Wilder

(Okay, NOW I’m officially worried…..)
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The quote above is what I call a ‘settlefer’, because that is what I did…. settled fer it. It does fit, though, so it can stay…. Below you will find…. well, I don’t know, yet, what you’ll find, as I have yet to pick them out…. Let’s just say that I think you’ll like it, and leave it at that…. Nothing I seem to come up with to say about these harlequin style pearls ever seems to quite make the grade, accuracy-wise, so I’ll just trust to fate, and the inherent integrity of Smart Bee, to make it worthwhile…. it usually works…. Let’s see what we can find….

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” — Plutarch

“If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” — Will Rogers (1879-1935)

“I figure that if God actually does exist, He’s big enough to understand an honest difference of opinion.”  – Isaac Asimov

“In a philosophical dispute, he gains most who is defeated, since he  learns most.” — Epicurus

“Take away the right to say ‘fuck’ and you take away the right to say ‘fuck the government.'” — Lenny Bruce

Hmm… not too shabby at all….. I should leave it there, as it is quite perfect as it is, but, I’m an incurable meddler, when it comes to pearls, anyway…. Two more ought to round it out nicely, I think….

“Why did Nature create man? Was it to show that she is big enough to make mistakes, or was it pure ignorance?” — Holbrook Jackson

“In heaven all the interesting people are missing.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Alright, now you can slap me…. I’ll even hold your coat…. Sorry, couldn’t resist, but, at least it’s done for the day, eh? (Practicing my Canadian dialect…. or would that be the Canadian Dialectic?…. Eh?….)
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The poem I have percolating is still doing just that, so, once more, I turn to one of the masters, with a poem that appeals to me, if for no other reason than the title…. as previously noted, I am easily entertained….

Another Song Of A Fool

This great purple butterfly,
In the prison of my hands,
Has a learning in his eye
Not a poor fool understands.

Once he lived a schoolmaster
With a stark, denying look;
A string of scholars went in fear
Of his great birch and his great book.

Like the clangour of a bell,
Sweet and harsh, harsh and sweet.
That is how he learnt so well
To take the roses for his meat.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~

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I’m not feeling lazy, but, I AM feeling lazy, so I’m dipping into the past to come up with today’s third section…. It has been some time since I posted this, which I try to do at least once a year, to keep new ffolkes apprised of my history, and provide some background for the stuff I write here…. some of the back story, as it were…. So, here is my philosophy of Life, and some of the rationalizations that prompted its creation….. Though Peruaosophy originally was composed in the 1980’s, this article was posted on the site, GoodBlogs.com, sometime in early 2011, prior to starting this blog on WordPress….

Birds Do It, Bees Do It
So Do I…

    In the dim, dark past, when I was, sort of, attending college at UC Berkeley, (1968-70) discussing philosophy was standard in many of the BS sessions in which I participated. In order to not be thought of as someone who was ignorant in the field, I naturally read the classic tomes by such philosophers as Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kirkegaard, Plato, Socrates, Epicurius, Solon, and Jung, as well as more modern folks, such as Bucky Fuller, Sartre, and John Lennon (yes, him too…his philosophy tends to lean way to the left…).

One day later on, sometime in the 80’s, I was involved in learning to raise kids, deal with a wife, and in general going quietly crazy trying to balance all the balls one must keep in the air to get by in today’s world. As I sat this particular day, it struck me how long it had been since I stretched my mind. It seemed as if I’d been buried in mundane details forever, and upon examination & reflection I decided I wanted to expand my consciousness, using the flight of imagination to lift me above the everyday cares and woes to which I had fallen prey. And I found, as well, that I had been unconsciously acting according to many of the precepts that I had learned in those halcyon days of my youth.

Encouraged by this revelation, I went one step further, and made the decision to codify my own personal philosophy, to put down in writing those things that I consider to be essential to becoming a well-grounded, well-rounded, productive and contented member of society. The process went more quickly than I had imagined, and I came up with seven basic concepts, all of which I hold to be an integral part of what I believe. Axiom #4 was added later as a necessary part of the whole, overlooked in the initial version, bringing the total number of axioms to eight.

The word I coined to describe this philosophy is Greek; “perua” means “pearl”, and of course, “osophy” is “the study of”.  Thus I give you Peruaosophy, the study of pearls of wisdom. Each axiom stands alone, and together they describe fairly well how I approach Life…..

Peruaosophy

The wisdom of pearls…
(The world is my oyster; which way to the pearls?)

Axioms

1)  I think I am; that’s close enough.

2) The nature of the Universe is Change.  Unpredictable, innovative
transformation of Reality is the Norm. If you have a problem with this, you’re in for a rough ride in Life.

3) Thou art God, you know.  Let’s do lunch.

4) Excellence is its own reward.

5) Girls think differently.  So do boys.  Don’t fight it.

6) Axiom #2 X axiom #5 = And God so loved the world, He said,
“Quit whining!”

7) Do your Duty.   Respect Life.   Honor the Truth.   Share your Love.

8)  Go back.  Everything you need to know is in the first seven axioms.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Well, don’t I feel like an infinite number of monkeys with typewriters?!….. Well, at least it isn’t Shakespeare….. Let’s see how it holds up to scrutiny of the relatively easy sort….. All I can honestly say is that it’s a good thing I like my standards down where they are, and they’re getting used to the smell, so…. we’ll take it, and run….. 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

Rebates are better than debates….

Ffolkes,
Pitiful….. just plain pitiful. Maybe, pathetic would fit better? I suppose both, or either, will do…. Hmm? Oh, sorry, forgot y’all were due in now…. Oh, nothing much, just trying to come up with the right adjective to describe my social life…. I do have a lady friend, with whom I have been spending some pleasant hours, but it’s a slow process, carrying out a campaign of courtship with virtually no funds that can be assigned to recreational purposes. Other than the small number of hours I spend with her, I’m pretty much limited to my trips to the library for my social interactions….. Not exactly party central around here, is it?…..

S’okay…. I never was a big partier, anyway…. I always preferred just a few folks sitting around shooting the breeze and imbibing adult beverages, or other recreational pastimes that shall remain unnamed, due to the statute of limitations, which has NOT expired….  🙄  Let’s just say I wasn’t what might be called mainstream, not that I ever have been…. But, clubs and big crowds were never on the list of stuff I enjoyed a lot…. Thankfully. I never saw much sense in the group scenes that were prevalent in my youth; it all seemed to me to be the same impulse as getting excited over celebrities, and I just wasn’t going there….

What does all this boring shit have to do with a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom? Well, not much, really, other than the physical facts, i.e., here it is, sitting here at the front of this post, taking up space that could have been filled with biting sarcasm, or thrilling inspiration, or even a compelling poem. Instead, all you’re getting this morning is a chatty, boring discussion of my social history…. whoopee….

I know, I know, now you’re wondering what I intend to do from this point on…. which, if you will stop to think about it, is a rather silly question, considering of whom it is being asked….. Do you think you’ll get a straight answer to that query? If you do, you haven’t been paying very close attention…. and you will deserve whatever happens. Those of you familiar with my style will know by now that all of this is just a smoke screen, covering my retreat from reality, until I can consume enough coffee to ensure that I won’t kill anybody in the first hour after arising….. It’s not a guaranteed outcome, but, it’s better than the alternative, which involves a lot of screaming, and more blood than is convenient….

And, there, see?…. Here we are, five dumb paragraphs in, and it’s enough to call an intro! Well, we can call it that, as it is big enough; whether or not it meets ANY of the other parameters for such is questionable, to say the least. But, given the issues I’ve been encountering in getting these intro sections done, I’m not going to be overly picky. Especially on a morning like this, when I’m not even sure if I WANT to be awake at all…..

Thus, we will gird our grid, hitch up our belt, gather up our rosebuds, and get on with the show…. I’m sure we’ll all be better for it, and who knows? We might even find something worthwhile in our search for pearls…. If not, we can always drop back ten yards, and punt….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Though I have said above that all men by nature are equal, I cannot be supposed to understand all sorts of equality. Age or virtue may give man a just precedence. Excellency of parts and merit may place others above the common level … And yet all this consists with the equality which all men are in, in respect of jurisdiction or dominion, one over another.” — John Locke

Whew! As an explanation of the opening of the Declaration of Independence, this hits the top of the pomposity scale, but, all in all, is quite clear, and correct in its conclusions. It’s merely a long-winded way of saying that all men are not created with equal abilities or resources, but, they all are created with equal rights under the law…. hopefully. (That last qualifier is my contribution to the idea, prompted by my opinion of most of those involved in the justice system as, shall we say, less than completely honest, and less than completely impartial?) (I mean, really, ffolkes…. we choose our judges from the ranks of LAWYERS!…. How many honest, impartial candidates are we liable to find?…. Not many, I assure you…. it just doesn’t go with the territory….)

“Once I belonged to a group that really had THE WORD.  I fought like hell for them.  But another group came along and exposed the word of my group as shallow and degenerate.  They had a better word.  So I quit the first group and lost all the friends I had made and I joined up with this new group.  I fought like hell for them.  But another group came around.  They exposed the word of my group as false and materialistic.  Their word was very much better.  So I quit the second group and lost all the friends I had made.  And I joined up with this new group.  I fought like hell for them. Till this one guy came along and proved that there wasn’t any word at all. That I should go off as an individual and grow!  So I quit the last group and lost all the friends I had made.  And now I sit home alone all day and all I do is grow.  It would be nice to join up with some others who feel the way I do.” — J. Feiffer

One of the reasons we humans have such a hard time with the concept of equality lies in our own level of ignorance regarding ourselves. There is a delicate balance between what a person thinks of themselves, and what the world knows about them to be true…. If the two are not at least within shouting distance of each other, that person’s life will be filled with pain and controversy, as his own self-image is repeatedly destroyed by reality…. And, our self-image can be a very difficult thing to maintain because, as humans, we need the company and approval of other humans. The paragraph above by Mssr. Feiffer describes very well the philosophical journey that many take while learning to assess their own place in the world…. it’s kind of pathetic, in a way, but typical for all that….

“In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.” — Jane Haddam

This lack of understanding of self is what allows most humans to be controlled by others. The others, by whom I mean the BRC, the priestly hierarchies, and all those with no compunctions about how they go about achieving their own ends, find those who have no self-knowledge quite easy to fool, to convince, and to control. They merely tell them what they wish to hear, no matter how outrageously false it may be, and the blindness of the ignorant will supply all the belief required, because it is what they WANT to hear…..

A man, or a woman, who knows themselves cannot be fooled into that kind of acceptance of anything without compelling evidence; their self-image allows them the confidence to make their own decisions, rather than relying on someone else to do it for them. Because they are honest themselves, they are able to differentiate truth from fiction, and thus cannot be fooled into accepting what they know to be false.

Their own self-honesty acts as a protection of sorts against that sort of manipulation, while at the same time giving them the freedom to exercise the right to make their own choices. Those who do not believe they are strong, are not….. This is why people are not equal, not in abilities; it is also why it is important that the law ensures that they at least are granted equal rights with everyone else… This at least makes an attempt at leveling the playing field, while acknowledging that a great many of the players are going to cheat…..

“For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.” — Ivan Panin

Whenever I look at humanity as a whole, I am often filled with a sadness that comes from my own knowledge of science, sociology, psychology, and extensive experience in Reality. The sadness is because I know how much promise humanity holds, such promise as to make the gods weep in envy of the beauty we are able to create with our imagination…. and I know that our own foolishness is very close to shutting off that promise forever, or at least, for this period of the history of the universe…. I suspect we will have another opportunity to interact with reality, though it may not be this particular version of it….

But, there are just too many of the selfish, unfeeling, manipulative, power-hungry assholes mixed in with all of us relatively nice ffolkes, intent on grabbing all the power and money, which they equate with happiness, that they can during their short stay here. They are, unknowingly, rushing us all to an early death, seemingly, without caring, as they do not believe they are vulnerable to the same dangers as the rest of us…. Ignorance is firmly tied to belief, and even strong evidence does not convince those who will not see it…. All I can say is, it’s a damn shame…..

“The improver of knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” — Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

Luckily, there are still a few of us out there who don’t buy into the BS that most of society goes along with…. and a great many of us are blogging…. It gives me a bit of hope, though not much; there is a LOT of historical momentum to overcome for anything to change, and I am not aware of it happening, try as I might to see it. But, every time I read more blogs, I see more ffolkes who have a clue, so, I guess I’ll go so far as to cling to that one little hopeful sign, and keep on preaching to the choir…. It’s about all I can do these days to try to help the situation, and little as it may be, I’ll keep on truckin’ down that lonesome road…..

“The disappointment of manhood succeeds to the delusion of youth: let us hope that the heritage of old age is not despair.” — Benjamin Disraeli (Earl Beaconsfield) (1805-1881) — Vivian Grey, Book viii, Chap. iv
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It’s been awhile, and I feel like some Emily…. here’s a three-fer…. Please enjoy!  (Shawna, you may skip down to the last section, if you wish….  😆   )

I stepped from plank to plank
So slow and cautiously;
The stars about my head I felt,
About my feet the sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch,–
This gave me that precarious gait
Some call experience.

~~ Emily Dickinson
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I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d advertise — you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

~~ Emily Dickinson
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I went to heaven,–
‘T was a small town,
Lit with a ruby,
Lathed with down.
Stiller than the fields
At the full dew,
Beautiful as pictures
No man drew.
People like the moth,
Of mechlin, frames,
Duties of gossamer,
And eider names.
Almost contented
I could be
‘Mong such unique
Society.

~~ Emily Dickinson
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Not being inclined to fuss with something that isn’t broken, here for your delectation is a harlequin pearl, fresh from Smart Bee to you, with only the bare minimum of rational thought involved in the selection process…. I find that irrational works better in these cases…. enjoy! Oh, yes, if there does end up being a point, you get a bonus prize for voicing it…. The nature of that prize will remain my secret, until launch hour, er, until such time as I find a winner….  😀   It won’t be on the test, though, so that’s something….

“Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.” — Voltaire

“I thoroughly disapprove of duels.  If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us.” — Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

“Humor is, I think, the subtlest and chanciest of literary forms. It is surely not accidental that there are a thousand novelists, essayists, poets or journalists for each humorist. It is a long, long time between James Thurbers.” — Leo Rosten

“Every day, people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” — Lenny Bruce

“I searched into myself.” — Heraclitus

The cup goes round:
And who so artful as to put it by!
‘T is long since Death had the majority.

— Robert Blair (1699-1747) — The Grave, Part ii, Line 449
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Is it possible to be mindful and detached at once? Well, I guess that’s rhetorical, because it must be; that’s how I feel right now. Let’s see if the Pearl reflects that at all….  Hmm…. not too shabby at all…. I’ll take it. Such being the case, I’m going to break tradition, and leave it at that….  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

Nights lost at the behest of Morpheus….

Ffolkes,
Turning, tossing, chasing pertinent dreams down echoing hallways in my mind. Finding, time over time, a new vision, drawing me close with promises of passionate engagement, and warm, welcoming eyes. Such longing for intimacy cannot be denied, nor lost to inner sight, yet knowing it all a dream, the pain of never meeting flesh to flesh is mellowed and set aside. Feelings burgeon into deeply held belief, carnivals and lights, and moments of quiet smiles, then turn to fear of loss. As the visions fade, in the harsher light of day, melancholy regrets set forth, scattering thoughts into disarray. All that remains to treasure is the memories grasped so tight, and hope to meet again, waiting in dreams again tonight….

Now I know…. poetry is the way for me to go these days, when I’m gripped with a vision…. I kept trying for prose in the above paragraph, and you can see that no matter where I took it, it kept falling into rhymes, without apparent volition on my part; I didn’t notice until I was almost done with it. This one is perhaps a bit sappy to warrant re-doing as a poem, and it seems a bit silly anyway….. Writing down one’s dreams may have worked for Coleridge, but I’ve never found my dreams to be particularly compelling when I look at them in the light of day…. Oh, they’re nice at times, I admit, but the unconscious mind is NOT discriminating, and often lacks smoothness, or elegance, other than as a vague promise, to my way of thinking. As the unconscious, it doesn’t get a lot of practice dealing directly with the real world, and tends to be a bit naive in that respect…. It makes the women I meet in my dreams quite beautiful, but not terribly realistic in other ways…..

Plus, I’m a bit disappointed, as the dream was not compelling enough, quite, to keep me asleep. Here ’tis, six o’clock in the morning, and I’m wide awake, after a night of particularly light sleep, haunted by this dream, and now up early, with gritty eyes, a stiff, sore back, and a lingering sense of melancholic  regret that the girl I dreamed of is not real…. at least, not that I know of, yet. One is allowed to be hopeful, after all…. But, once again, here I am, filling in the intro section with blabbering nonsense about nothing much at all….

I suppose this means that, since I’m not going back to bed just now, I should probably go diving for pearls…. I didn’t write at all last night ( I got busy reading, and listening to the Cardinals pound on the Giants, whose offense has gone South. I thought it might, as they clinched their Division way too early, and had time to lose their momentum, and their fighting edge. Now they will have to really want it bad, in order to take three games in a row in Cincinnati, a feat which I’m not sure has been done in the playoffs as yet. SIGH…. there go the dreams of a Bay Bridge Series this year…..)

On that sad note…..  Shall we Pearl?…..
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“You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.” — Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, January 14, 1991

So, I count at least three major flaws in this guy’s reasoning, not to mention the most obvious piece of asininity, there at the end. I always knew that the TV evangelists were stupid and greedy, but I never took the time to really look at what they said very much…. It generally caused a severe case of mental indigestion if I listened to it for more than a few seconds. This was short enough for me to get down in one quick bite….. and it just went to prove what I had previously believed about them….

These are the men who give Christianity a bad name, the most avaricious, lying, cheating, dishonest, and woman-hating men I have ever seen. Every one of them is the same, as far as I can see; it takes a special kind of asshole to get involved in evangelism…. You’ve got to be not merely greedy, but frankly and clearly so. You’ve got to have a sense of entitlement and conviction of your own rightness as to make Jesus himself blush. You have to hate women, and mistrust men. And, you have to have enough chutzpah to take your act on TV, for all to see….

“I see little divinity about them or you.  You talk to me of Christianity when you are in the act of hanging your enemies.  Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense!” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), The Devil’s Disciple

Oh, and I forgot, you have to have a good sense of the odds of human nature, which, unfortunately, most of them have….. What I mean by this is, they know that, yes, 90% or so of the public will mock them, or ignore them, or some combination of the two. But, the other 10% are stupid enough to fall for the crap they are handing out, which includes sending them money.

Let’s do the math…. If only 50,000,000 people form the statistical universe in question, then 10% is 50,000 of them. If each of them is persuaded to send in $10, the take is $500,000. If the average donation goes up to $25, or the base number of donors goes over 50,000, then that number rises significantly. Do that 200 days a year, and we’re talking about some serious money, ffolkes…..

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” — Romans 12:1 (One of Pat’s favorite scriptures, as it is easily twisted to support his story…..)

Personally, I’ve always been leery of sending my money off to anybody in the mail; even paying bills that way seems risky to me. How do I know the mail-person is trustworthy? How do I know if the mail system is really sending things where they are supposed to go. One seldom actually receives verification, unless asked for, and even then, are they telling the truth? And, if so, how do you know? In my experience, people lie for their own benefit just as often as they act with honesty and integrity; perhaps the odds are worse than that…..

Then, to send it off to someone who tells me that by doing so I am both enabling and promoting their work (which is making money….. though they will tell you different….) and ensuring my own place in Heaven, at God’s right hand…. it just doesn’t sit right. We are supposed to swallow all that, without sugar, and without any guarantees, other than their word….. And, if you have a mind that can believe that, I have a wonderful opportunity for you in a bridge…. cash only, no checks…..

IDIOT, n.  A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.  The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.”  He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable.  He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

These worst type of preachers are not even liked or respected by other preachers…. for much the same reasons as demonstrated above in Mr. Robertson’s egregious claim. He, and most of the other televangelists, commonly say things such as this, implying that all other religions are works of the Devil, or the Antichrist, and should be crucified for their beliefs. So, not only do they steal from their constituents, but from other religions as well, trying to lure away their congregations in favor of their own.

This serves to create even more schisms between Christian sects, or cults, as I call them…. as well as being divisive to the entire public arena, as they typically include not just other Christians in their portrayals of others as enemies of their sect, but also any other religion, atheists, politicians who try to regulate them, judges who rule against them, and anyone else who has the temerity to challenge their sense of entitlement…..

“Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Yet, people watch them on TV, and send them money, just as if they could actually buy their way into Heaven…. which again serves to act as proof of Robert Heinlein’s observational admonition, “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.”  These assholes take advantage of the vulnerable, and the stupid, and the weak-willed among us, and they do so legally, since they make enough to buy good lawyers to protect them from litigation, and enough to buy honest politicians (who STAY bought once paid for….)….

To my mind, I think this is taking religious freedom just a little too far, and I wouldn’t mind a return to older days, when shooting them wasn’t viewed as a crime, but rather as public trash removal….. But, that’s me…. I’m a bit of a curmudgeon, but with compassion, and I don’t like to see the stupid taken advantage of like that….

“Every day, people are straying away from the church and going back to God.” — Lenny Bruce
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Our share of night to bear,
Our share of morning,
Our blank in bliss to fill,
Our blank in scorning.

Here a star, and there a star,
Some lose their way.
Here a mist, and there a mist,
Afterwards – day!

~~ Emily Dickinson
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Sometimes, inspiration can be elusive…. in such dark moments, I generally turn to Art, with a bit of wily text thrown in (both of these pix were found on either WordPress, or Facebook, forgot to write down which from where)…. Here are three pearls, two a combination of visual and textual wisdom, and one quote from Kwang-tzu, a Taoist scholar…. Together they make a fine pearl, with wit, and wisdom, solid and true, and worthy of consideration…. enjoy!….A selection from the Taoist Writings: Lao-Tan asked Confucius: `What do you mean by benevolence and righteousness?’ Confucius said:  `To be in one’s inmost heart in kindly sympathy with all things; to love all men and allow no selfish thoughts: this is the nature of benevolence and righteousness.’ — Kwang-tzu

    “And that’s the Truth…. Thpppt!” — Lily Tomlin
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As you may have guessed, today’s Pearl is the result of lack of sleep, lack of inspiration, and lack of compensatory drugs…. take that as you will. I try to make it worthwhile on these types of days, by including a poem known to history as a good one, so if nothing else, you have a small portion of palatable material on which to chew. Nevertheless, I always feel compelled to apologize for being lazy, even though, as a retiree, it is allowed. Or, if not allowed, at least tolerated….. As a practicing curmudgeon, I don’t really give a shit; it’s done, and that will have to do….. Not really, ffolkes, that’s a joke… a cheap one, I admit, but that is the theme today, so, deal with it…. Not that the material provided is cheap… it’s all certifiably genuine virtual wisdom…. Ah, hell, just go with the flow…..  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!

Rampant factors of delta are part of the design….

Ffolkes,
These Pearls present me with a daily conundrum, which, most simply stated, is this: how to keep things fresh and new, without making myself sick, or bow in submission to cuteness, which I swear to you I will never do, deliberately….. You can be sure, if you see cute here, it is imported, or someone was holding me at gunpoint….. But, that leaves me with how to draw the reader in every day, without getting too crazy about it…. How’m I doing so far?…..

I know, today doesn’t count, because the subject itself is the focus of discussion; it shouldn’t count, if for no other reason than being too obvious a choice. Obvious isn’t any better than cute…. Nonetheless, one can only ramble incoherently so long on any subject, and this one doesn’t have a lot of meat on its bones, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Also, it is also a question of note as to how long I can continue to write drivel like this without getting pissed at myself, and just breaking out into a poem, or something else to break the grip such crap can get on a writer when he’s not paying close enough attention. Don’t MAKE me burst into song!….

Usually, I don’t give warnings about breaking into song; it detracts from the surprise factor of hearing a curmudgeon singing in a pure tenor. But, there are regulations about that sort of thing, and little as I like it, I am required to inform anyone who is in danger of hearing me sing without warning, as it has been known to cause bleeding from the nose and ears after a few moments….. It’s a gift….

Thus, you see how I solve the conundrum each day…. by retreating into nonsensical proclamations and outrageous claims of competency. People are so easy to fool, unless, of course, they’ve been here before…. But, then, if they’ve been here before, they know better than to expect anything to be just like expected…. at least, I hope so. We do try to not get too predictable ’round here…. predictable makes too easy a target, and security is a watchword at Exploring Consensual Reality…. well, security for ME, anyway….. since there isn’t anyone else to blame for this, security for one works fine…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Comedy = Tragedy + Distance” — Lenny Bruce

“Comedy is tragedy plus time.” — Carol Burnett

I’m sensing a theme here…. both of these people are known comedians (I know, kind of like known criminals, but legal….), yet both have deduced a common principle of humor…. It would be interesting to know the timing of these statements, if only to see who was plagiarizing whom. Regardless of which of them was the more dishonest, both were right, and both saw clearly how pain is directly tied to humor….. I’ve heard it said that we laugh because, if we didn’t, we would cry…… and I think everyone alive can identify with that…..

“Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained.” — John Powell

I’m either lucky, or smart, and since I know for a fact that the only luck I’ve ever seen is of the bad variety, I’m counting on smart….. I’ve known this for many years; in fact, I distinctly remember a moment when I was about 4 or 5 when something happened to drive the point home to me, and I stood there laughing at myself, distinctly enjoying my own silliness, and realizing that I would always be able to do so….. It was also a revelation about humor in general, because it allowed me to identify with other people, and what they found to be funny, thus enlarging my world by several degrees…. and opening up vast new worlds of humor….

I once read a book that proposed the theory that the feelings we get in life that are of value to us are not merely pleasant to feel, but are actually good for the body and system, to the extent that experiencing those valuable feelings would stop, and in some cases, reverse the aging process. In other words, laughter doesn’t just make you feel younger, but actually makes you younger by its effect on your overall well-being.

Whether or not this is true, it feels true, and I’d like to think it so…. it would be very heartening to know that the more I laugh and enjoy life, the longer it will go on…. talk about a win-win situation! Even if it is not absolutely true, having “value experiences” seems like it can only be good for us; there doesn’t seem to be a down-side to this idea…..

“One of the things older folks like to give is advice, as a form of  consolation for not being able to give bad example.” — Smart Bee

And if nothing else, it sure makes it a good thing to enjoy life to its fullest, so how can you lose? Nobody knows us like ourselves, so it should be pretty easy to come up with something about ourselves, and our often comical dealings with reality, to laugh at regularly, thereby giving ourselves a few more years to enjoy living…. And, if it is a just a bunch of backwash, well, at least you got a good laugh out of it…. that can’t be all bad…..

A guy calls 911: “My buddy and I are hunting, and he accidentally shot himself! I think he’s dead…. what should I do?” The operator, true to their training, says to him, “First, make sure he’s actually dead.” There is a moment of silence, then a gunshot is heard…. The guy comes back on the line to say, “Okay, now what?”…..

See, now isn’t that better?…..
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Beyond Agapé

Passion burns and shines like iridescent paint
yet solitude stands mocking such mundane complaint.
Schemes and dreams promise to tempt attraction
never ending effort spends wit in perverse reaction.

Hale and hearty reports of honor and love
draft recruits to collect manna from above,
while searching each soul for that which will serve
to bring pure sensation to each expectant nerve.

How simple to fall into complete helpless hope
of two hearts bound in tradition, with cultural rope,
living a simple life, shared, in joy and in grief
promises consummated, in consensual belief.

Reality dictates our degree of control over its state
insisting on changing whether or not we can wait.
Love will be present when we are completely at peace,
with allowing ourselves, to give of ourselves, without cease.

~~ gigoid

Hope, says Emily, is that thing with feathers……. I’m not Emily, but I know what she means….. Hope you enjoy my little twisted confessions…..
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“Beauty is a form of genius–is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.” — Oscar Wilde (1856-1900)

I tend to agree with Oscar on this one…. which is actually quite honest of me, since I cannot make any claim to beauty, but have some trifling evidence of genius, in the kitchen if nowhere else…. until you’ve tasted my signature soup, you really haven’t lived well…. (I call it creamy Jambalaya… a short description is, it is a chicken veloute, with the addition of shrimp, sausage, smoked gouda, and a touch of filé gumbo. It is to die for, trust me…..
But, though I have no claim to beauty, I can, like any human being, point to beauty, and know that I am perfectly correct in my assessment….

Like Oscar points out, no explanation is needed…. I point, and you nod in agreement…. same for you. You point, and I can see what you mean, without having to yabber at each other to make it understandable…. we just KNOW when something meets the standard of that word….

When I am short on that feeling, I know just where to go….. over to Carol Welsh’s blog site, where it is all about Beauty…. the pictures she posts of her flowers are some of the best I know of, and just seeing one of her close-ups o a rose can bring me right down from high dudgeon, or lift me up when I’m down…. I’m going to end this piece, and this Pearl, with a picture I got from her web site, which can be found at  http://carolwelsh.wordpress.com/     It neither requires nor needs  explanation, so just enjoy!…..


    See what I mean?…..
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Some days the Force is with me, and some days I can’t find it with both hands and a flashlight…. Ah well, it’s too late now to start complaining…. it’s all finished. The poem isn’t too bad, so I’m going to let the rest of what is here get pulled along on the strength of that….. hopefully, it will live up to the standards that I never can seem to meet quite rightly….. whatever those standards may be….  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!

For lovers of panache, a film noir…

Ffolkes,
As I walked to answer the knock at the door, I wondered who could be disturbing the usual quiet of my retreat; my granny unit house isn’t generally reachable from the street by the casual seeker. The door opened to reveal a suit, with some dorky looking white guy about 5’10” filling it up to the point of nearly-bursting buttons, standing, hip-cocked, and holding a clipboard (what else?….), sweating in the 85 degree afternoon sun.

He had a pleasant enough, if a bit vacant, expression, and immediately launched into his obviously memorized by rote routine, “Good afternoon, sir, I am a college student….” I interrupted him to demand, “Who let you in here? How did you find this house?” in my most intimidating voice. If this guy was really a college student selling magazines, he should be easily intimidated, and demanding they stop their spiel always disturbs their timing. Usually…..

This young man, however, had a different reaction…. he smiled, and started to reach into his jacket…. without thought or hesitation, the knife that I keep by the front door was in my hand and at his throat while he was still lifting the hand. I spun him around, knife still in place, and pulled him inside the door, kicking it shut with  my foot. Reaching up, I grabbed his head and rapped it sharply, once, against the door (looks like nice wood, but it’s metal…), and my unwanted guest slipped silently to the floor, out like the proverbial light.

I started to gasp a bit, in reaction to the adrenaline now surging through my bloodstream, but keeping my wits, bent down to frisk my faux collegian. My instincts were rewarded as I pulled out a very lethal-looking Glock 9mm from a shoulder holster, a deadly stiletto from the lining of the coat, and a few other little surprises from his pockets, one of which was an ID card. This surprised me, and worried me as well…. if he is carrying ID, he’s probably from my own government, and I’m now guilty of assaulting an officer of the so-called Law…..

Alright, that’s enough of that…. You can see from the above just where my dreams have been going of late… One might get the impression from this that I don’t trust my government.    You’d be right in that….. The only part of the above that isn’t true is the guy in the suit…. The rest of it is exactly how my place is arranged, and how I have it prepared for unwanted visitors…. Of course, it doesn’t mention the subtly placed web cameras watching the yard, or the little buttons here by my computer, that lead to the small, shaped charges in random spots around the grounds…. or any of the other little surprises that may be encountered if one is an uninvited guest…. I wouldn’t want to scare away any real visitors…. But then, of late, there aren’t any of those anyway, so it’s all moot….

Probably enough fooling around for one morning…. It’s time to get to the Pearl, so I’ll quit screwing about, & bragging about my setup… probably a good idea not to advertise it too widely anyway…. shall we dive for Pearls?….
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“Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of other persons.” — Mark Twain, “Notebooks”

Sounds as if Sam nailed me again…. Though I make no claims as to the first part of the above statement, I think I’m too-often guilty of the latter. I can’t help it; people just keep on doing really dumb stuff, right in front of me. Not just in front of me, in front of the whole world! Hell, let’s just take a moment, and go over to a news site, and pick out a random headline to demonstrate this point…. be right back….

“UC Berkeley adviser fired after affair”  This is the headline of the first story under the three feature articles on SFGATE, so it is considered to be pretty hot news…. Apparently, a female at UCB doubled the salary of her paramour during their 15 month affair while she worked as an assistant vice chancellor. This is just one example of the chicanery that is typically part of what we see each day, as the human circus performs all around us in way more than just three measly rings. Finding this article took about 30 seconds, but choosing which of the many examples that presented themselves took about five times that long…. I opted to avoid any articles that entailed bloodshed, to respect pre-breakfast sensibilities…

I don’t think I’m especially good compared to most folks; I know exactly what goes on in my head. I know that most folks are just regular folks trying their best to get by without trouble, a commodity life presents all of us with without any help. But there seems to be a lot of folks out there in the world who just don’t have a clue as to what is right and what is wrong. Or, if they do, they don’t seem to care that they consistently choose the wrong, or even admit that they do so.

I don’t get it. It’s like head-banging is becoming a national sport; I wouldn’t be surprised to see a reality game-show where young idiots would sign up to run full tilt into a wall, head first, with no helmet. The winner would be the one who could do it twice…. and he would get $10,000 for his survivors, and free coma-care for what was left of his life…. Nope, wouldn’t be surprised at all, considering some of the game shows I’ve seen, such as the one where they do extremely dangerous stunts for cash prizes…. fucking crazy, is all I can say….
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“All men possess in their bodies a poison which acts upon serpents; and the human saliva, it is said, makes them take to flight, as though they had been touched with boiling water. The same substance, it is said, destroys them the moment it enters their throat.” — Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) — Natural History, Book vii, Sect. 15

Interesting idea from Pliny…. Not having read the entire work listed, I can’t say whether he presents any evidence to support this assertion… I can only say from my own experience that though it may not be true, it is useful as an operating principle, at least in one respect. Though not poisonous to them, I am sure that our odor, and especially that of our saliva, is somewhat repugnant to snakes, if only because it indicates our presence, which is not usually very healthful for them when it occurs; they tend to get bashed with the nearest big stick or rock if they don’t hasten elsewhere….. a fact of life that I am sure gets widely distributed among the snake population….

Thus, even if one is confronted with a large, even poisonous snake, spitting at them first can be an effective defensive maneuver, at least initially, and may surprise the snake as much as he/she surprised you…. It is also good to remember that, as a human, you are not completely without defenses against a snake (such as the aforementioned rock/stick combination), and need not freeze in fear. In truth, with focus and concentration, that movie trick you see where the martial artist hero snatches the snake out of the air, mid-strike, by hand is not all that far-fetched. The human hand is MUCH faster than a snake, even in full strike, when not restricted in its speed by fear.

Mongooses use this kind of speed when they fight snakes (not just cobras, they hate them all….). They are amazing to watch, allowing the snake to strike at them, fading back just a half-inch from the snake’s snout to the end of its length, then smoothly and wickedly fast, swerving around to bite them just behind the head, killing them instantly. In tests, the human hand has been clocked at a speed 6 times faster than that of a snake in full strike…. more than fast enough to catch them, if one can move past the fear…. Pliny may not have been completely correct in his assumptions, but he at least approached the subject objectively, and didn’t let fear affect that study….
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“All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Even when invasive events smash this concept upside their heads, there are people who do not understand this principle of reality. In truth, I would say that very few people at all even think about such concepts as the subtle difference between perception and knowledge, much less use it as a coping tool in their lives. I’m not certain why, though my cynicism could certainly supply some reasonable theories, since, unlike those folks, for me it has long been an obvious signpost that shows the path to successful living.  Knowing the difference can make all the difference, you see….

Knowledge originates in perception, but does not end there, and that is what many do not see. The mere act of perception is only the beginning of what is needed to make right actions arise from right thinking. What we have perceived must be evaluated, for truth, for accuracy, for intent, for its relative importance in many different lights, all before it can be effectively used to create action. Acting only on the perceptions, without evaluation, can be more than just erroneous; it can be deadly.

With this last piece of understanding, it becomes more clear just how the beloved ruling class uses this misunderstanding of perception and knowledge to their advantage… for it is said that, “True power is control of the routes of perception…” (gigoid, 1974) That same ruling class is in full control of the media, and assiduously applies its influence to reduce and/or control the amount and quality of the information available for the general public to perceive.

We only hear what they want us to hear on TV and the radio…. only in the last few years, since the advent of the internet, has their control of this source of data been challenged. Even here, on the information highway, the Powers That Be continue to try to pass laws that will allow them to control what is put out there for publication, because they know they are doomed if they cannot achieve the control over information that they have thus far enjoyed. Only an ignorant public is easily manipulable…. Ffolkes need to remember that all one sees and hears is NOT all there is to see and hear, and to remember to always check out any perceptions you may take in for their relevance and truth…. it is for your own good, believe me….

“It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive.” — C. W. Leadbeater

“Take away the right to say ‘fuck’ and you take away the right to say ‘fuck the government.'” — Lenny Bruce
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“Ah, you know the type.  They like to blame it all on the Jews or the Blacks, ’cause if they couldn’t, they’d have to wake up to the fact that life’s one big, scary, glorious, complex and ultimately unfathomable crap shoot — and the only reason THEY can’t seem to keep up is they’re a bunch of misfits and losers.” — A analysis of Neo-Nazis, from “The Badger” comic

I’m using this as a form of a cheat-sheet…. I could rant for days, and not come up with a better way to describe the motivation that drives our beloved ruling class (those lovely political thieves…), the 1%, the clergy and the churches, the bankers and megacorp CEO’s, and all those who choose deliberate ignorance over the pain of original or independent thought. Not only does this save me a rant, it saves you the time and energy to read through it… I should get a medal or something….

But, being the modest, unassuming sort of fellow that I am, I’m just going to leave it at that…. You may consider yourself ranted upon, minus the spew….   🙂

According to Descartes, Rush Limbaugh doesn’t exist. — Smart Bee
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…The Universe is thronged with fire and light,
And we but smaller suns, which, skinned, trapped and kept
Enshrined in blood and precious bones, hold back the night.
— Ray Bradbury

Ah, serendipity! I was lamenting the lack of poetry that so far had passed before me this morning in my search for pearls, when this perfect gem from Mr. B popped up, and ended the search. The poem itself is such that my comments won’t add to its beauty, so I shan’t make any other than to say that this is a very nice way to look at our place in the universe, nice being, of course, totally inadequate to express its power… but, nice it is, nonetheless… Enjoy!
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Another day, another Pearl… it works for me. This has taken an inordinately long time this morning…. good thing it’s Sunday, and there’s nothing much of importance going on, so all is good….

Oh, and for those bloggers I follow…. I have had some problems accessing sites, not just here on WP, due, I think, to a browser update from Mozilla that isn’t quite up to snuff… beta versions can be that way sometimes… So, please don’t think I haven’t tried to get by to read anyone’s work… I’ve been limited to a few sites that don’t seem to have the difficulty, but I’ll keep trying, and will catch up eventually…. thanks for your patience….

Enough dithering…. 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!

The Plight of the Stumble Bee…..

Ffolkes,
Unable, or unwilling, to enter the door, the clumsy-looking, shabbily dressed man, in a grimy overcoat that had seen better days, stared hungrily through the window toward the lights inside, a look of quiet determination crossing his face for an instant. I watched, then, as he straightened his shoulders, drew himself up to his maximum height of about 5’3″, and strode purposefully to the door, yanking it open with a fierce pull, banging it against the porch railing, hard. The ensuing deafening crash had the noise of the diner falling silent, as everyone crowding in the booths, and lining the counter, turned to look, startled, toward the noise.

The small man, now trembling with the force of whatever deep emotion held him in thrall, stood quivering in the doorway, moving his eyes from face to face, starting on his left, and working rapidly around the room. As his eyes came to rest upon a party about half-way down the aisle between the counter and booths, just being served at a table by the window, his expression hardened, and he started toward the object of his search, now appearing to glare at the people at the table with the sheer intensity of hatred and loathing.

I, along with the rest of the diner watched in rapt fascination as he came to the table, where he stopped, gazing down at the four well-dressed men who sat there, looking up at him with expressions of polite disinterest, somewhat incongruous, considering the drama of the small man’s approach, and the threatening, hateful visage that he now presented. For a long moment, he stared at each face in turn, then, in a surprisingly soft, lilting voice, he spoke, “Zo! You would send your assassins to the house of Giaccomo, eh? Your trained killers, zo dangerous, no? I will show you dangerous!”

On the last words, he reached into the pocket of his grimy coat, and pulled out a small, indistinct object. “Here….I give you back your assassins, both of them!” With that, he threw down what he held onto the table in front of the four silent, now grim-faced men. They looked down, shocked eyes wide, to where lay two human ears, covered in dried blood, looking a bit worse for wear. “Next time, send more! You will need them, and my garden can use the fertilizer!” Before they could move, the man swept the flatware, dishes, and glasses into the laps of the seated men, who reacted not at all, but merely watched, silent and still, as the small figure turned, and walked out the door, into the night. Inside the diner, silence held reign……

Once more, my manic-depressive Muse has taken over my fingers, to lay out the preceding paragraphs for your reading pleasure, or confusion, as the case may be; I’m tending toward the latter. I hope it does give pleasure, though… because it’s a little weird, having to sit here while words go down on screen that have never passed through my creative filter…. an odd feeling to have one’s subconscious mind playing tricks like that so early. I barely got a sip of coffee down before the Muse just took over, so I’m going to take a short break to soothe my nerves…. be back shortly…. I wonder who Giaccomo is?…

Okay, all better now…. I sure wish I could get my subconscious to quit doing that; it’s a bit disconcerting to have one’s volition so rudely usurped in such a cavalier fashion. It’s not like I wouldn’t share screen time….. ah well, I guess it will all come out in the wash. Let’s Pearl, shall we?……
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“The ideal life is in our blood and never will be still. Sad will be the day for any man when he becomes contented with the thoughts he is thinking and the deeds he is doing — where there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul some great desire to do something larger, which he knows that he was meant and made to do.” — Phillips Brooks

I’ve been pushing this quote forward every day for a week, since I found it and copied it here for discussion. I keep putting it off. I haven’t figured out why that is, but I’m sick of dealing with it, and it’s too good to throw out, so…. deal with it, Ned…

I think the problem here is that I agree with this, and really couldn’t say it much better. And, it’s such a great little piece of insight disguised as a homily, it doesn’t need any expansion to increase or enhance its positive direction. So, I’m going to use a bit of cosmic Judo, and go with the flow… just enjoy it, and its message, which is, essentially, “Carpe diem, as soon as you recognize which diem you’re in!”…..
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“[The artist] speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation — and to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity in dreams, in joy, in sorrow, in aspirations, in illusions, in hope, in fear which binds together all humanity — the dead to the living and the living to the unborn.”     — Joseph Conrad

I can state, with some confidence, my belief that this is what most of us are shooting for as artists. Few of us can express how we approach our Art, or why, or easily answer any such pertinent questions, but all of us can feel what we wish to share, impatiently waiting for our keyboard/camera/computer program/clay/other artistic medium to be applied to the task at hand, giving to the Universe a small piece of our Soul, pieces that cry out for release, eager to be off to be consumed by other ears, other eyes, other minds.

For some of us, it is therapy. For others, it is the creative impulse. For still others, it is ambition, or outrage, or pride of accomplishment, or the desire to be understood. For a million and more reasons, our Art forces its way past our fears and denials, to find the light it must seek in other’s eyes. It is, to me, more proof of humanity, for the impulse to create Art is proof of our innate need for each other, and our need to be acknowledged, and loved. This is why we place our hearts, and souls, firmly in our work, and then give it away, gratis……
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“I wanted a perfect ending … Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” — Gilda Radner

Why do the best of us have to die so young? “Delicious ambiguity.” What a brilliant summation of a wonderfully wise statement! One wouldn’t normally expect a woman known for her comedy to have such insight into Life, but then, there certainly are precedents for it. Will Rogers, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Dick Gregory, even Steve Allen, all were best known as comedians, and justly so. But all of them are also some of the most lucid, intelligent, and erudite social critics that ever lived, and they were certainly the most accurate, and important voices of that genre in the last century.

It makes one wonder, what our world would be like, if the love of humanity, the brilliant political and social conscience, and the acerbic wit, shown by these few masters of innuendo and sarcasm were to be set as the rules governing society at large. I know one thing for sure…. there would be more smiles seen everywhere, on the faces of children, adults, and elders, and it would be considered a social faux pas to darken another person’s attitude with sobriety…. much healthier for all of us, don’t you think?……

How he lies in his rights of a man!
Death has done all death can.
And absorbed in the new life he leads,
He recks not, he heeds
Nor his wrong nor my vengeance; both strike
On his senses alike,
And are lost in the solemn and strange
Surprise of the change.
— Robert Browning (1812-1890) — After
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…I’ll sulk for the rest of your days and make your life a living hell. So there.

Wait a minute! Who let my ex- in here without telling me?….. ah, okay, it’s only a random memory stim….whew! I thought for sure I’d gone back to Hell on Earth, where I resided for several years prior to her dramatic departure….. I never did get what I did to her that pissed her off so much, but I guess if I had a clue as to that, things would be different….no sense in living backwards, is there?….

But it does bring up a subject not often discussed, or even considered, due to its volatile nature; the impulse to hurt others, for perceived injuries of whatever nature, revenge, at its most petty. I suppose it is mostly a natural response, arising from the basic instinct to preserve life, but it seems to me it gets carried a lot further than necessary; the responses are usually much more powerful than the initial events that cause the perceived injuries.

For some reason, an attack on personal beliefs or self-image is less easily dismissed as are less personal affronts, and there seems to be no limit on the degree of intensity one may use in these instances. For example, it seems a bit harsh to me to throw silverware at someone’s head as a response to being asked “How are you this morning?”, or to scream uncontrollably at someone for being tardy for a meal by less than a minute, because of having paused to pick a flower for the screamer (both of which I have been treated to on more than one occasion….) But, maybe it’s just me….

“We need to talk.” — The scariest words known to man…. as engraved on the Tomb of the Unknown Husband….anonymously, of course….

SIGH… I guess it just goes to show, that everyone has their own idea of what love is, and finding someone who feels exactly the same is still a matter of chance. I’ve always preferred to approach it from the direction implied by the following little piece of common sense…. (well, it’s common in my world…..) It is a sentiment that naturally predisposes one to avoid those sorts of things that one would potentially need to be sorry about….

“There is never anything to feel sorry about with love. Never.” — Robert Heinlein

Curse on all laws but those which love has made!
Love, free as air at sight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Eloisa to Abelard, Line 74

Weird….sometimes after I finish a discussion, a number of good pearls on that jump out at me in the search for the next… hmph! Good thing I’m easygoing…. wait, no I’m not!….. oh well, screw it….
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Boop Boop Bee Boop – Betty Boop

I saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s; his hair was perfect.–from “Werewolves of London”

Some things are just perfect the way you find them…. and serendipity is real!

“I just can’t help myself!” — Standard disclaimer — Babs Bunny
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Well, I’ve probably done enough damage for one morning, and I’m running out of hit points, so I’ll bring this to an end here…. timing, as we know, is everything…. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Merciless penguins patrol the perimeter…

Ffolkes,
Reluctantly, I am awake. That may be the extent of my involvement with the day….only time will tell…..

“Be what you is, ’cause if you is what you ain’t, then you ain’t what you is.” — Satchel Paige

Get it? Got it? Good….one learns to pay attention when some people speak. Satchel Paige pitched in the major leagues well into what was believed to be his fifties, and was still getting folks out more often than not. I say what was believed to be his fifties because nobody, including Satchel, had any real idea of when he was born. But his hair was grey and sparse, so it was estimated then to give a ballpark figure (sorry, couldn’t resist). I say anybody who can still be active and competent at that age has stuff worth paying attention to, and this one certainly fits that description….
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“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone.” — William Wordsworth

That’s me, to a T. Ever wandering, without a map, or even a nap, but never lost.  Searching for lights in the darkness, content to be alone, but never lonely. Feeding the elephant’s child an all-you-can-eat buffet, and loving every minute. Of course, those minutes alternate with my bouts of severe depression, but hey, who wants to be a bummer on such a nice morning? Not me….
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“I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.” — Garrison Keillor

So THAT’S what happened! Mr. Keillor’s popularity has apparently put us all in  very delicate position. I had not realized that what was wrong in the world could be so simply explained, but this is the only one I’ve come across that makes any sense. This attitude of denial has become entrenched in every level of human interaction in this country, and the world, for that matter, and the effects are obvious. Economy out of control; overpopulation, war on two or more fronts; societal breakdown, global warming, rampant greed, all are present and accounted for in today’s culture, and are rapidly growing  to a size that will push us the rest of the way to extinction. Which, given our stupidity, arrogance, and undeserved sense of entitlement, is right where we belong. It’s getting pretty scary out there in the Big Blue Room, ffolkes……
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“The truth is what is; what should be is a dirty lie.” — Lenny Bruce

Trust Lenny to give the straight line; he suffered no fools, gladly or otherwise. His clarity of vision and deeply sardonic wit were, naturally, somewhat unpopular with the straight and narrow among us, and to the beloved ruling class, he was anathema.  But the truth will out in the end, and we were lucky enough to have him around as one of society’s most vocal critics for quite some time (though, like all the best, he died young…). This could be described as a paraphrase of a notion like overpopulation, which happened yesterday, though everyone thinks it won’t happen until tomorrow. That notion can be most simply stated as, “the American Dream has officially become a nightmare”.

It isn’t possible anymore for just anyone to become President; you have to start with access to well over a million dollars, or you won’t even be considered. Consider my position as an example; all my life I’ve worked hard to get ahead, so I could enjoy my declining years without stress, something with which I am far too familiar. I’m intelligent, work hard, and keep my nose clean for the most part. And I’m struggling, just like probably more than half of this country, just to get by; forget travel, or hobbies, or even just eating out, because they’re not in the budget. Ah, shit! I’m getting more worked up the more I think about this subject, so I’m going to make one more statement, then move on. The American Dream is a lie, perpetrated by the 1% upon the rest of us to distract us and keep us busy trying to emulate their success, never realizing that it just ain’t gonna happen……there’s no profit in it…..

“If voting could change the system it would be illegal.  If not voting could change the system it would be illegal.” — Schroedinger’s Cat
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Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper, I love you
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me
— Gus Kahn, Dream A Little Dream of Me

Poetry and music are to life as is chocolate to peanut butter, and the world would be a sadder place than it is if we didn’t have it. But, we do, so all will be well. No profound thoughts or meaningful truism’s here, just wanted to include something a bit on the lighter side. It tends to wear on the soul trying to make sense out of all the nonsense we experience, and I just needed a bit of fresh air, so to speak…..
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Well, the weather outside looks fine; we’ll see if that is so after putting away my rose-colored glasses….y’all take care out there….


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!