“You can easily judge the character of others
by how they treat those
who can do nothing for them
or to them.”
~~ Malcolm Forbes ~~
From the London Daily Telegraph, Animal Pictures of the Year, 2014
Reality, having assumed a configuration untenable to my sanity, has retreated from my perception, leaving me stranded, forlornly seeking a fantasy world in which to spend my time. Of course, there are many from which to choose, making the process of making a choice that much more intimidating. The feeling of doom, with its concomitant companion, depression, lies in wait behind a number of them, always ready to kick me to the curb with its melancholy insistence on dwelling upon that which cannot be changed…. Others are more friendly, yet, contain their own demons, certain to devour even more of my soul than even Reality can consume…. All of them, from the first to the last, are certain to make things worse, for any retreat from what is Real only worsens the issues one has in that state….
Wow…. now THAT is a bummer of a way to start the day, isn’t it? I think, maybe, given how downright depressing nature of the above paragraph, the proctors will allow me to begin again. The authorities who regulate this process are aware of the problems that can ensue when such material is spread around; the damn stuff grows like weeds, given half a chance….. So…. I think we should start over, don’t you? Well, too bad, because we are…. Here, let’s try this….
What was that? Who’s there? Did I say something? Oh, I see, alright…. Good morning, L & G, I see you all have your boarding passes correctly stapled to your foreheads, so, the scanners should be able to get us all on board shortly. Allow me to welcome you to ECR Airlines, your friendly first-class carrier to Reality, and back. We hope you enjoyed the visit to our waiting room by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Old Maid Division, who treated us all to a rendition of John Sebastian Bock’s Ode to Fish. To enhance your vacation experience, and to give you an opportunity to regain your hearing, no on-board entertainment will be provided…. If you’d all take your seats, and buckle yourselves in, we can be on our way….
There, is that a bit better? No? Well, shit. Oh well, fuck it, I’m done. We’ll just have to go with what we’ve got, and trust to our luck to see us to the other end of the Pearl…. I’m tired of this nonsense, so, as I have already mentioned at least once, fuck it…. Let’s dive….
Shall we Pearl?
“‘If everybody minded their own business,’ the Duchess said, in a hoarse growl, ‘the world would go round a deal faster than it does.'” — Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
“Life is full of surprises when you’re up th’ stream of consciousness without a paddle…”
~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~
There is a great deal I could say about this man; his words, and books, have had a strong influence on my life. More importantly, that influence has been one I can truthfully say has brought me nothing but good results, for having embraced the knowledge, and the mindfulness, Mr. Watts shared with the world for much of his life. He was truly one of the most important philosophical minds we, as humans, have ever seen; his presence is missed sorely in these troubled times, but, his words of wisdom and reason remain, showing us the way to reach our true potential, if we choose to listen…
Alan Watts: Full TV series
“Never create by law what can be accomplished by morality.”
~~ Charles-Louis Secondat Baron de Montesquieu ~~
We begin today’s section devoted to venting the frustration and angst created in me, by the state of our society/world, with yet another ironic statement of advice from a reliable social critic, giving voice to a warning, one which has been repeated often throughout history. Sadly, it is also a warning never, ever remembered by those who MAKE laws, to the everlasting regret of everyone alive. Even today, in our computerized world, fueled by the availability of universal access to ALL of mankind’s accumulated wisdom, nothing seems to prevent modern fanatics and/or ignoramae from continuing their efforts to force their own morality upon everyone else, by passing laws intended to shape the societal norms….
Even considering the wide array of sources of information I try to use, to maintain an even balance from all sides of the issues at hand, everything in the world seems to be, quite simply, turning to shit, right before our eyes…. Nothing any of the great sages of history have said, warning mankind of the danger of unreasoning stupidity, generally involving some sort of delusional, or self-serving institutional system of thought, has altered the overall prevalence of deliberate ignorance in shaping society’s approach to Life at Large. In short, nothing we’ve ever had told to us, by those among us smart enough to see the Truth, has ever been of use in keeping our inherent tendency to look for the easy way…. or, to prevent the more ruthless and immoral among us from taking advantage of those who allow fear to rule their existence.
“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” — Lazarus Long, from Time Enough For Love, by Robert A. Heinlein
I first read this when I was about 12 or 13 years old; every day since that time has provided me with evidence in support of its ongoing relevance, reinforcing my decision to adopt it as a proven theorem, suitable for everyday wear as armor against the worst effects of such ubiquity…. Every day I witness people performing acts of incredible stupidity, not just on TV, but, everywhere I look; on the streets, in the stores, in churches, in businesses, homes, and, most especially, in Congress….
Calm down, you knew we had to come to this point, didn’t you? You should have known, as soon as the quote from Lazarus showed up, talk of the public humiliation embodied by the US House of Representatives, along with the US Senate…. Hell, ffolkes you MUST have known such talk couldn’t be far behind…. Both of those houses, by their actions over the past 50 years, for all of which I’ve steadily observed their antics, showed, to the world, as well as me, a consistent, practical demonstration of the very definition of the word “stupid”….. Anyone who disagrees is free to do so, but, obviously, they must have been living on another planet since before 1950…. Tough to do, since we humans didn’t even get to our own Moon until 1969….
“Imagine, if you will, that I am an idiot. Then, imagine that I am also a Congressman. But, alas, I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain
As is apparent, our generation is not the first in this country to suffer from the asinine goings on in Washington D.C. In the less-than-glorious past of our country, more than one Senator, and/or Representative of the House, have acted as role models, prompting Twain to hold them up as examples of idiocy, one of his finer talents. In fact, one of his most telling insults, in my mind, is one I’m positive was made in reference to a politician of his era, though I couldn’t say which one it might have been…. If his work, and that of Ambrose Bierce, who wrote a bit earlier than Twain, are any indication of the public perception of typical politicians, then the following pearl makes a perfect statement of that view during most of the 19th century….
“His ignorance covers the world like a blanket, and there’s scarcely a hole in it anywhere.” — Mark Twain
Unfortunately, the description also can be, and must be, applied to far too many of the human race; the sheer, ever-increasing number of mundanes in the world, each one determined to maintain the status quo, imparts to society so great an inertia, any changes needed require herculean effort by large numbers of people, before any real reform, or even negative progress, can show any effect on society as a whole…. Only massive outpouring of human energy, over long periods of time, can cause society to alter the slightest custom….
This is why I like to say humanity’s bus is driven by, and, maintained by, those of whom the most charitable description of their relative intelligence might be considered to be derogatory….. In short, our fate as a species is being decided by folks who have trouble out-thinking rocks, who serve chiefly as a means for transporting their own ass from chair to toilet, while demonstrating, on a consistent basis, the emotional range of a button-hole.
In case it isn’t apparent, I’m not a big fan of politicians…. preachers either. Nor anyone whose primary goal in life is in any way involved in controlling other people for their own gain…. To me, that includes far too many of those who are in positions of authority in our world, in which sociopathy has become the most valuable and efficient means of gaining power and influence, not merely in what used to be termed the underworld, but, in government, churches, business, academia, the medical community, police and military…. All these powerful entities are all under the spell of the cult of self-love, what my uncle called ‘Me-Firsterism’, but, which I simply call ‘Evil’, borne out of a deep laziness, lack of compassion, and amorality….
But, then, that’s me…. Most of the world doesn’t even think about much of this sort of issue; they’re too busy trying to get by, to make the rent, or the car payment, or the food bill, to spend much mental energy on wondering why their lives are so hard…. S’okay, one of the most critical lessons my years on this sad old ball o’mud taught me is a simple one, which tells us, “Stupidity is its own reward”…. To me, ignoring, or accepting, those who would enslave us all is, quite simply, stupid….. I refuse to countenance such indifference of spirit, in me, or in my life….
I’ll leave you now a relatively short group of pearls, with some advice on the proper attitude to take when dealing with members of several of the categories mentioned above, all of which, by association, are applicable any time we are forced to deal with representatives of those we here at ECR call, the Asininnies….
“There is one sure way of telling when politicians aren’t telling the truth — their lips move.” — Felicity Kendall
“Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.” — Claud Cockburn
“I have an understanding with my local police–I have them outgunned, but they have me outnumbered” — gigoid
“For your penance, say five Hail Marys and one loud BLAH!” — Smart Bee
“All them surgeons – they’re highway robbers. Why do you think they wear masks when they work on you?” — Archie Bunker — All in the Family
“If idiots could fly, Congress would be an airport.” — Smart Bee
“Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.” — Lazarus Long
Well…. the poem I’ve been percolating decided to leak out of the vein I opened this morning…. I’m really not sure what I think of it yet; it’s still too close to my nose, so to speak…. I hope you enjoy it, such as it is….
Feel the bones, watch them burn
allow the rage
accept the wage
seek out the page
waiting in vain, never to turn.
Craving only simple signs of justice
compelling each social act
cancels all critical impact
no virtue to be left intact
falling swiftly out of practice.
Simple acts of sincere compassion
nothing left to pretend
no stone, no able friend
only the pain to amend
ably fulfilling current fashion.
Memories help alleviate pain
no youth so callow
no field so fallow
no spirit so shallow
convince each inmate to remain insane.
Reality offers no pathetic amnesty
no contract with indemnity
no party to suffer serenity
shall stimulate dishonest pity
nor bring back Truth, or Honesty.
~~ gigoid ~~
Weird…. I asked SB to make up a pearl, without giving any parameters, or any clue at all as to what might work…. When I came back to see the results, this is what I found; it seems to be SB’s interpretation of my life, as it currently exists…. Since it also seems to be pretty damn accurate, speaking, of course, metaphorically, we’ll let it fly, trusting to luck to see no deleterious side effects come into play …. You may want to take notes; this one could end up on the Quiz….
” The road to truth is long, and lined the entire way with annoying bastards” — Alexander Jablokov, “The Place of No Shadows”
“If a cat spoke, it would say things like “Hey, I don’t see a problem here.”” — Smart Bee
“Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.” — Charles Schulz, Charlie Brown
“Is consciousness just a special form of hallucination?” — Frank Herbert
“And when the physician said, “Sir, you are an old man,” “That happens,” replied Pausanias, “because you never were my doctor.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Pausanias the Son of Phistoanax
“To use words but rarely is to be natural.” — Lao Tzu
“Not for me” — gigoid, the dubious
“Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.”
~~ Clarence Darrow ~~
Just before I wrote the poem you see in the poetry section, above, I found this most excellent pearl, without any good place to put it…. So, since it fits into our whole concept so well, I thought I’d use it today as a closing thought, to highlight the importance of teaching our children how to think, how to learn, rather than just how to obey…. On that singularly coherent note, I shall take my leave. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….