Seven reasons to stop gargling, now….

Ffolkes,

Intros! We got your intros here! Get ’em while they’re HOT!…..

Hey, boy! Over here!….. Thanks….

Today, I decided to forgo the usual struggle for introductory material, and move right ahead to purchasing one from the local vendor, who hawks them on the corner every day…. I know the boy well; his mother is ill, and he works all the time to support his seven little brothers and sisters…. I like to help him out because, hey, he’s only five, and it must be tough to bed the eldest at his tender age; it’s pretty young to have to be responsible for the whole family….

What’s that? Oh, the number of siblings? Oh, yeah, I guess that could be confusing, couldn’t it…. No worries, it’s not as strange as it sounds…. Yes, he has seven siblings, and he’s the oldest, at five…. That’s two sets of triplets (one boys, one girls…) and one last little girl, to even out the score in the family…. all born about 13 months apart, before the father was killed in an accident at work…. (He fell into a vat of boiling hot caramel at the Mars factory….) The insurance, while almost adequate, isn’t enough to make it comfortable for them, so he works, as any good son would do for his family… He can use all the help he can get, so I like to pick up one of their intro’s (the triplet girls write them….), even if I don’t use it right away, like today….

Damn! You know what I just did, right? I’m writing an intro, about another intro, talking about intros, while holding on to an intro that was written by innocent hands….. This, with its insidiously tenuous connection to reality could be dangerous to the health and well-being of the space/time continuum as we know it…. To stretch the boundaries of reality to such an extent can cause unknown stress fractures to appear in strange places, and at strange times….. It can cause reality to become unstable, at best, or, if left to itself too long, can cause actual holes in the fabric of time and space, through which nasty creatures from other dimensions can creep over into ours, and cause a lot of problems until they’re caught and sent home…. Hey, what did YOU think those cats were staring at over in the corner?….

Since we don’t want any of that to happen today (I’m short on funds, and can’t afford the charges from the Green Lantern League to put things right after such an episode…. Blast it, I remember when superheros would work for free!….) But, nonetheless, that’s how we’ll have to go today, because the old bank account isn’t going to stand up to that kind of stress…. What we’ll do now is a bit hard to define, because, in these situations, we have to fall back on an emergency method to get us out of here without further damage…. We’ll go with #4, which, in spite of its brevity, and lack of style, continues to work the best…. but, then, Denial has always been one of mankind’s favorite tools….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Everything is in a state of metamorphosis. Thou thyself art in everlasting change and in corruption to correspond; so is the whole universe.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 19
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Today’s Pearl, I’m thinking, is one that will someday be destined to be known as “that one”….. So be it….. I’m using an older religirant in section 3 today, because I can, and because I like it…. So, this section, naturally, will be an old-school pearl, but not a random harlequin…. Smart Bee keeps giving me good pearls about the BRC and their ilk, so, we’ll go with what we’re given, this time….

“Still one more thing, fellow citizens:  a wise and frugal government, which shall refrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.  This is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), inaugural address, 1801

“The white man is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land what he needs.   The earth is not his brother, but his enemy.  Continue to contaminate your bed and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.” — Chief Seattle in a letter to President Franklin Pierce in 1855

“The first measure of a free society is *not* that its government performs the will of the majority. We had that in 1930s Germany and in the South until the ’60s. The *first* measure of a free society is that its government protects the just freedoms of its minorities. The *majority* is quite capable of protecting itself.” — Jim Warren

“What good is it to me, after all, if there is an authority always busy to see to the tranquil enjoyment of my pleasures and going ahead to brush all dangers away from my path without giving me even the trouble to think about it, if that authority, which protects me from the smallest thorns on my journey, is also the absolute master of my liberty and of my life?” — Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859), Democracy in America

“A government solution to a problem is always followed by the creation of at  least two additional problems, either of which was worse than the original problem which the government set out to solve.” — Smart Bee

“And, after all, it is the 200th anniversary of the presidency. That’s something to celebrate. From George to George — in only 200 years, we’ve gone from “I cannot tell a lie” to “I cannot tell.” — A. Whitney Brown, “Weekend Update,” Saturday Night Live

“Give me the mind of a child of 4 and he’ll be mine for life” — Adolf Hitler
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Since the two other sections are somewhat somber in nature, I thought a bit of whimsy would go over well….. Enjoy!….

There Once Was A Fellow Named Nash – A Limerick Ode To Ogden Nash

There once was a fellow named Nash
He could write funny poems in a flash
But some of the time
The truth of the rhyme
Could give the poor subject a rash!

~~ Randy Imwalle ~~

I Do, I Will, I Have

How wise I am to have instructed the butler
to instruct the first footman to instruct the second
footman to instruct the doorman to order my carriage;
I am about to volunteer a definition of marriage.

Just as I know that there are two Hagens, Walter and Copen,
I know that marriage is a legal and religious alliance entered
into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut and a
woman who can’t sleep with the window open.

Moreover, just as I am unsure of the difference between
flora and fauna and flotsam and jetsam,
I am quite sure that marriage is the alliance of two people
one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgetsam,

And he refuses to believe there is a leak in the water pipe or
the gas pipe and she is convinced she is about to asphyxiate or drown,
And she says Quick get up and get my hairbrushes off the
windowsill, it’s raining in, and he replies Oh they’re all right, it’s only raining straight down.

That is why marriage is so much more interesting than divorce,
Because it’s the only known example of the happy meeting of
the immovable object and the irresistible force.
So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and
combat over everything debatable and combatable,
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, particularly if he has income and she is pattable.

~~ Ogden Nash ~~

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This is a pearl from February of 2013:


“The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just keep your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.” — Frank Zappa Playboy Interview, April 1993

Hmm…. Frank’s take on matters are such that I generally find myself in complete agreement with what he says. Here, he has again put his finger on one of the more obvious facets of Christianity, one that defies all logical explanation in lieu of subservient belief, to wit: faith vs. knowledge, and the Christian’s unfortunate tendency to embrace the former, without any appeal to the latter….. To my way of thinking, that is not only foolish, but cowardly….. but, perhaps, that’s just me….

The fruit of the tree of knowledge gives mankind the go-ahead to use the brain with which we were furnished at birth; the preachers would have us abrogate that use, having us, instead, give over all our power of belief into the hands of the faithful, who, naturally, have only our best interests at heart….. Sure they do…. NOT. I’m sorry, but, no matter how many times these folks say so, I am not going to accept that they know better than I what is best for me…. Nope, not even if there were twenty Bibles out there, all proclaiming how true they are…. Oh wait, there are twenty of them, aren’t there?…. Oh, well, you know what I meant….

Why do people fall for this? I cannot understand how people, who are normally reasonably intelligent, will, by conscious choice, bury their heads in the sand to buy into this, without ever taking even one moment to examine any of it for truth, or even logical assumption. Is there some kind of mind-control drug in that incense? Maybe in the sacramental wine…. Whatever it is, it turns normally competent, intelligent people into mindless slaves, and does so with their complete agreement and approval….. To my mind, it is one of history’s saddest, most incomprehensible features, when I look at just how easily people fall for such egregious, and so obviously self-serving idiocy, as most of the dogmatic proclamations of the major religions tend to offer up.

“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman

I am compelled to add, “Me, too!” to this sentiment…. In the recent past, I’ve been taking a lot of shots at religions, and need to make clear that I do not hate Christians, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or the followers of any religion. I think they are being silly, deliberately and evilly so, at worst, or at best, misguidedly so, but I don’t hate, or fear them, as is the case on their part whenever they consider me, or my criticisms of their beliefs. I don’t hold that against them, either, as it is logically consistent for them to do so, given the limitations of their dogmatic position. Since, however, the fervor with which they will often defend their position can reach a rather fevered pitch, I tend to treat many of them like a stinging insect, so I will move, and speak, slowly and carefully, so as not to frighten them more than they already are….

Ethical and moral behavior is not confined to those who follow the precepts of one religion or another, despite what any of the proponents of those religions will try to tell you.  In fact, if you look closely, the number of folks who are believers have a much higher percentage of failure in that area than do the non-believers, which only makes sense…. The believers all have a sense of entitlement that gives them the idea that the rules of behavior don’t always apply to them, in terms of how they treat people who are not of the same faith, so, to those who are not of their own sect, they don’t bother being truthful, or honest, or ethical, as those people don’t count, in their eyes. People who make their own moral codes tend to follow them, and are much more tolerant of those who do not share their beliefs.

Basic human nature dictates these responses in people; thus, one can see how dangerous it is to remain ignorant, in the Biblical sense. Those who choose to buy into the myth of the Garden of Eden, giving up all their personal independence of mind for the comfort and safety of dogma, will always fail to act according to their own morality much of the time, generally acting, instead, out of their sense of entitlement, and the belief that all of their sins will be forgiven, merely by the act of confessing them. Only those who consciously choose their moral code have the courage to act it out, it seems, except for those few people who actually try to live according to the morality that is espoused, and is seldom embraced by their less ethical peers.

Having the strength of mind to make one’s own moral code also implies the courage to act it out…. This is why I choose to deny the dogma I’ve been exposed to all my life, as being illogical, and, ultimately, immoral…. It makes more sense to me to make my own decisions on such matters, and tell the busybodies who assume they know best for all to go jump in a lake…. Even better, just shut the hell up, and get out of the way, so the rest of us can get something relevant done, without having to put up with all the nonsense from that quarter….

“What is a church? Our honest sexton tells, ‘Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.” — Crabbe

Note from 2014: Since the validity of the above remains strong, I leave you with the following pearl, to finish off this discussion with the proper tone of accusation, and indictment, of those guilty of this sort of crime against humanity….

“The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is that the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance.” — Eric Hoffer
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“The Earth is degenerating these days. Bribery and corruption abound.  Children no longer mind their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.” — Assyrian Stone Tablet, c.2800BC

4814 years….. That’s how long it has been since that tablet was written…. One wonders, at times, just how much credence there is to the idea that strong forces in history will somehow have been felt long before they came to fruition…. How else to explain the proven cases of accurate precognition that are found throughout our species’ short span on Earth? This tablet could have been printed yesterday, and would be no less valid than it was over 4500 years ago….. That is, to me, pretty damn scary, and not terribly encouraging…. Of course, I’m a worry-wart, so…. Y’all stay cool, ffolkes, & I’ll see you tomorrow….

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

dozer3

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Forget the biscuits, into the water taxi….

Ffolkes,
“What a charming delusion!”, I thought to myself. “He thinks he is a pothole.” Since he’d asked so nicely, I gave him the bit of ground up coal shards he wanted to fill himself in, and shut the door. Turning back to the stove, I noted that the bacon grease had caught fire, and the whole wall was burning. Sighing in resignation, I turned on the automatic fire suppression system, shut off the lights, and left to go get some breakfast at the corner deli….. Sometimes, it isn’t worth getting up at all….

The deli was crowded with the usual midnight crowd (hey, we all like breakfast at different times!…. and the corner is a LONG walk away….), just out of the theater down the street, which is playing a classic version of “Phantom of the Opera”, complete with appalling  organ music, shabby, out-dated costumes, and glaringly ugly stage sets. I could tell the theater-goers by the vacuous, glazed expressions of their companions, and the baldness of their heads under the top hats.

Hungry now, I pushed through them, and hollered over their heads to Kim, the Korean imam behind the counter, “My usual,  Kim!” He replied, as always, “Fuck you, white boy, you wait like the rest!”  Confident that would produce my plate of bacon and grits with raisins in no time, I meandered to the single booth, kicked the homeless sleeper’s feet off the bench, and sat down to wait….

Whoa! I’m glad that one let go when it did; I’m not sure I WANT to know where it was headed…. Loaded with strange, this morning I seem to be. Oh uh, Yoda-speak I have caught. Woe me is! Do, this never will; write I must, but like this, I cannot. Too weird it is, and scares me it does….. If stop it I cannot, do, can I what? Help!….

If I start to annoy you, just let me know…. my sense of strange often exceeds even my own tolerance, so I know it can bother other ffolkes as well. Maybe we should just get on with the normal (question-begging term, I know) program, and let the chips fall where they may…. It’s better than trying to translate English to Yoda…. shall we Pearl?…..
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“Writing comes easy.  It’s just a matter of staring at a blank  piece of paper until your forehead bleeds.” — Ring Lardner

If one may accept the above as true, then my opening line from yesterday makes a lot more sense. (I had blood running down my face at the time, if you recall…) It also fits right in with the experience yesterday gave me in being unable to write as I would like; it was a four-hour descent into Hell, punctuated with numerous slaps to the forehead and uncountable curses. Even the fictional outbreaks were written with great effort, as the words just fought harder to stay off the screen the more I pushed at them to go.

Such days are hard on me, as writing is, for me, therapy. If I don’t write enough, I have this feeling all day that something isn’t quite right. Kind of like leaving the house, getting all the way across town, and remembering you left the stove burning under a pot of rice. Then you race home, to find you cooked the rice the day before…. It lends new meaning to the term, PITA….

I need my writing. In reading the news, and watching the parade of ignorance that plays out daily on the public stage, I build up a lot of angst, ( a side effect of caring, oddly enough…), and writing is what keeps that angst from building up to the point where an explosion is the only way to get it out. Those explosions can be dangerous, in my experience, so I write to try to at least put them off for a time.

Fortunately for us all, this morning seems to be going much better than yesterday, at least from the standpoint of finding pearls. All those fine little snippets of virtual wisdom were hiding out for most of the day, and yesterday came very close to the flash point by the time the Pearl was finished. But they’ve all come back out to play again today, and we can rest assured that, for at least one more day, I won’t get to the point where the following would be a possible scenario…..

“If I didn’t have writing, I’d be running down the street hurling grenades in people’s faces.” — Paul Fussell
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A limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I’ve seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical. — Smart Bee

So true! If one loves poetry, one must have a small soft spot for limericks. Personally, I love them, even the filthy ones. I don’t know why the form lends itself so well to such degradation by people’s imagination; I suspect it has more to do with human nature than with the form itself. People can turn almost any form of words into pornography of some sort, so well, it seems one of our most advanced modes of thought is innuendo of a sexual nature.

I would guess this is an evolutionary left-over from our past, adapting itself to a more civilized mode of communication than grunts and facial expressions. Humans are, after all, the only creatures on Earth who experience constant sexual readiness; all the other species have only certain times of the year when they are sexually able to reproduce. This constant state of randiness is probably where the urge to limerick was born….. Ah, who cares? They’re still cool, no matter why we make them, and this is a classic of the genre….even though it is clean…..
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“Age ain’t nothin’ but a number. But age is other things too. It is wisdom, if one has lived one’s life properly. It is experience and knowledge. And it is getting to know all the ways the world turns, so that if you cannot turn the world the way you want, you can at least get out of the way so you won’t get run over.” — Miriam Makeba

It is always a surprise when an artist, known for their talent in a field of entertainment, says something that shows the kind of insight that this statement exhibits. Perhaps the fault for that lies within us, for there is really no reason to expect that a good artist is NOT insightful. In fact, one could make an argument that such insight would lead to a lot of this sort of wisdom in our most talented entertainers, just as it improves their art.

Of course, this isn’t true in all cases. There are far too many artists whose lives are obviously not under the control of a wise person, as they carry on their personal drama on public stages; dramas full of glaring stupidity, rather than wisdom.

But, in this case, and in many others I can point out (though I won’t just now….), the artist’s personal level of experience and knowledge has brought them to a place where they can see life quite clearly, and allows this kind of shared wisdom. It is a very nice bonus to see and hear such good advice as an addendum to Miriam’s body of work…. and, wow! Can she sing, or what?…. Amazing pipes!…..
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A Mexican newspaper reports that bored Royal Air Force pilots stationed on the Falkland Islands have devised what they consider a marvelous new game.  Noting that the local penguins are fascinated by airplanes, the pilots search out a beach where the birds are gathered and fly slowly along it at the water’s edge.  Perhaps ten thousand penguins turn their heads in unison watching the planes go by, and when the pilots turn around and fly back, the birds turn their heads in the opposite direction, like spectators at a slow-motion tennis match.  Then, the paper reports, “The pilots fly out to sea and directly to the penguin colony and overfly it.  Heads go up, up, up, and ten thousand penguins fall over gently onto their backs.  — Audobon Society Magazine

Whether this is true or not, the visual image it gives is priceless. If true, I find it to be possibly the best-spent millions of dollars of public money in all of history, without exception. I can think of no better way for these million-pound/dollar aircraft, capable of destroying entire cities, to justify their existence, than to act as entertainment for a colony of penguins! Nothing you could say could change my take on this, either; sorry, but this is just too, too cool for fools, and it just tickles me pink (boy, talk about dating oneself by slang!) to picture this in my mind….. brilliant!    🙂
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A man fell off a mountain and, as he fell, saw a branch and grabbed for it. By superhuman effort he was able to get a precarious grip on it.  As he was hanging there for dear life, he looked up and cried out,  “Is anybody there?”
A deep majestic voice answered,   “Yes my son, I am here. What do you need?”
“Help me!!” cried the man.
“I will help you”, said the voice, “just let go of the branch and you’ll be safe.  All you have to do is trust.”
The man thought for a moment and cried out:  “Anybody ELSE up there?”

Okay, I’m sorry…. I couldn’t resist. I know that taking potshots at religion is like shooting at empty beer cans; they have no real defenses. But this made me laugh out loud, and that in itself makes it worthy of inclusion in a Pearl. Besides, Smart Bee is once again trying to hide pearls from me, so I’ll take what I can get…. It’s worth a chuckle, then we can get on with the day….

As I edited this, I was reminded of one of my all-time favorite jokes, so, here it is…

Joe was a deliberate man, and waited a long time before falling in love, but when he did, he fell hard, and married at age 30. He took his beloved new wife to Mexico for their honeymoon, and they went to watch the cliff divers perform. A freak gust of wind blew his wife off the cliff, into the waves and rocks below; her body was never found.

Destroyed, Joe went home to LA and buried himself in work. After eight more years, he came out of his shell, fell in love, and married again. But, as they were boarding a cruise ship for a lovely honeymoon cruise, an earthquake struck, and his new wife was thrown overboard, and drowned before anyone could recover.

Naturally, Joe was again devastated, and hid himself again in his job. It took ten years, but he finally met a good woman, and decided to marry again. While flying to Las Vegas, the plane they were in was struck by a freak bolt of lightening, and crashed a few miles short of the lights of Las Vegas…

The pilot and Joe’s wife were killed instantly in the crash, but Joe was thrown clear, into a soft sand dune, only breaking his leg, and a few other insignificant bones. As he crawled, in agony, toward the lights in the distance, he despaired, and cried out in his anguish, “Why me, God, why me?”

A huge voice came out of the sky, and said, “I don’t know, Joe, there’s just something about you that has always pissed me off!”

Hah!….
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As is often the case after I finish a Pearl, a sense of confusion has stolen over me, and I am left with a feeling that something isn’t quite right. But, as in all of those cases, I don’t give a rat’s ass, because, hey, I’m done, and there is no power on Earth that can make me go back and do it over….. not with current technology, anyway.

Of course, I’ve never been tempted with unlimited sexual favors to do so, but, as that remains pretty unlikely, I’m sticking with my policy. If such were ever put in front of me, and offered to me if I didn’t write, perhaps I’d consider it…. Hell, I’d go for it in a New York second; it’s been close to two years now I’ve been celibate, and there is little a male in that state can do to resist such a temptation, other than running away, and who’s stupid enough to do that?

Well, I suppose a touch of innuendo is an appropriate ending for such a strange interlude, so I’m going to let this fly…. 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!

Side effects of eloquence, no charge….

Ffolkes,
SIGH….. I know…. one look at the big sigh, and you’re all, “So, what’s his problem?”  Typical…. just kidding. No, the sigh was for real, actually. It was in reaction to a thought I often have at this moment, a thought that can determine the entire day’s direction. Of course, while I was typing, that thought went completely away, and now I’m stuck in the middle of this paragraph with no subject matter, which is about par for my course this early in the morning. How, you are asking, will he ever pull himself out of this one? Well, I’ll tell you, he has no frigging idea at this point. He’s trying hard not to panic, but I’m afraid his effort isn’t getting very far, because he’s about to FREAK OUT!  Shit! Damn it! Now I’m pissed… hold on, be right back….

As you can see, he did. Freak out, that is. So badly, he was forced to take a break, and asked me to sit in for a moment while he pulls himself together. Who, you are asking, are you? Well, you see, I can’t tell you that, or I’d have to kill you, and we don’t want to leave our readers laying about the premises all dead, now, do we? No, we don’t. So, just take your curiosity and shove it quietly back into your back pocket, and we’ll just forget you asked, okay? Better for everyone that way…… that’s better…..

Oh, look, he’s back! It’s been fun, y’all…… ta then!  

Who the hell was that? What? No, I didn’t ask him to sit in, did he say I did? Why, that asshole! No, I have no idea who that might have been; I just had to go wipe up the mess I made when I freaked, and when I come back, there’s stuff all over the screen. Gad! It’s getting so you can’t even trust your own hallucinations!

Fuck this, let’s go Pearl, okay? I gotta get outta here for a while….. C’mon, follow me, I know a shortcut…..
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“[Spirituality is] being able to see anything in a context. If you’re stuck in something that you’re trying to do, you step back and say, “What is this about?” Put it in a larger context. This is what the Gestalt psychiatrists call “insight.” It’s what other psychiatrists call “reframing.” It’s the ability to do this, rather than being stuck in a particular pattern like a computer. This kind of thinking is always in the back of science — theories are provisional. If they don’t work, one steps back and takes another look at them.” — Ian Marshall, Salon 2/18/00

A voice of reason speaks! Of course, there is little hope that anyone is, or will be, listening. First attributed twelve years ago, this statement seems a balanced response to any questions or arguments one might have in the discussions (if such they may be called) that swirl and eddy around the subject of creationism vs. evolution. It accurately points out the mind-set, the attitude, as it were, that one needs to approach any question of science, or philosophy, or religion, or any other subject, that is essential to finding any viable answers to the inquiry. Any picture needs to be beheld in the proper perspective, in order to fully see the characteristics of which it is comprised; when viewed from a different perspective, the picture changes, and may no longer be an accurate representation of what is real, thus altering how we can deal with it.

The seeking of this perspective is a quality of inquiry that is too often overlooked by the proponents of creationism. The view of events and purported evidence that support their position does not yield itself well to such examination; the evidence upon which they are basing their belief shifts about, or disappears entirely if viewed from any viewpoint other than the one from which it is presented. This is due for the most part to the inability of these proponents to verify the evidence by independent means, or by reproducing the evidence anew in another experiment. They can’t do that, because the evidence has no real existence in reality, but is rather based on assumptions that cannot be verified. Generally, pointing this out tends to provoke a certain apoplexy in them, and it’s best at that point to leave them to their own devices, so as not to annoy them further by intruding upon their fantasy with your reality……

“If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?” — Thomas Henry Huxley
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ABSENCE
We’ve looked at the whole Solar System:
Mars, Venus, the Moon – you can list ’em.
Wherever we roam,
There’s nobody home.
Perhaps they stepped out, and we missed ’em?

Well, perhaps it isn’t exactly on a par with say, Keats, or Yeats, or Emily D, but I like it…. it speaks to the Bozo in me, as well as to the scientist, and the romantic. Not bad for a simple limerick, eh?

Now you can see why school was never really much of a difficult academic challenge for me, but rather a complex social challenge. Facts, philosophy, language, math, science, I could handle all that just fine, as my grades indicated so well. But, throw me into the mix at a dance, and I was mostly clueless, though not completely, coming from a large family. Having sisters did keep me from the worst social gaffes; but sisters aren’t known for their support and encouragement of younger brothers. In fact, one might say that ridicule and laughter are their preferred methods of emotional interaction with them. But, they didn’t want me embarrassing them in front of their friends, so a minimal amount of helpful information was given (with appropriate physical reinforcement) in that vein….

I also had the educationally neutral, yet socially advantageous status as an athlete, eventually earning varsity letters in three sports, for three years out of four. The before and after game activities were my primary social proving ground, my laboratory, so to speak; needless to say, it took me a long time to really learn anything substantially accurate regarding human interaction on more than a superficial level. In short, I was an engineer, in spirit, if not in actual practice…. pathetically naive about relationships, and women, in both the general, and the specific senses.

Then, I went to Berkeley…. I don’t think I need to say that my education, and even enlightenment in some cases, in social issues of every type, personal, political, relational, general, and specific, assumed a much larger importance, a much larger portion of my time and attention. Simply put, it blew what passed for my mind into tiny pieces of shattered illusions (to use the charming vernacular of the time….).

I’d guesstimate that 95% of what I had believed or thought I knew about most everything to do with society, and how people interact with one another, was either out-of-step, untrue, unreliable, or simply made up nonsense, that seemed to have no real purpose other than to allow some folks to manipulate others with more facility. Let me tell you, that first year away from home was an eye-opener, for sure and for certain….. and I thank my younger self almost daily for deciding on Berkeley the moment I first saw the campus, riding with my Dad in a tiny little Renault compact in 1967…. It was the only college I applied to, or wanted to go to…. and, fortunately for my mind/self, I did….
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“If you wish to make a man your enemy, tell him simply, You are wrong. This method works every time.” — Henry C. Link

This statement is another of those that I almost passed on, thinking it was too obvious a point to make for good discussion. But, as is often the case when I think that at first, a second look at the idea stimulated further thought….

For example, the question occurs to me to ask, “Well, if this is so, what is there in men that makes them so easy to manipulate like this?”  For that is what it is, a simple manipulation. Such a statement as  “you are wrong”, when uttered with confidence and surety,  doesn’t even have to be true; the mere fact that you have said it will activate most men’s towering ego, which, automatically it seems, refuses to believe that it CAN be wrong, much less accept being told so by anyone at all……

Generally, there is no need to even offer any proof of such an assertion. The ego of most who seek argument will blow right past that key step in finding truth, and head right on into outraged anger at the one who would be so rude as to question them. Actually, watching some folks go through the mental steps to this outrage can be pretty entertaining, especially when they turn all those colors in their faces as their anger grows, and they become increasingly apoplectic in response…. fascinating shades the human skin displays when aroused!…..

Of course, once made, you usually have an enemy for life, so it is often wise to withhold such applications of control over others. Allowing oneself to indulge in this sort of manipulation, while satisfying and amusing in the short run, often leads to later regrets, at having to deal with the consequences repeatedly over time (most folks have a long memory for being told they are wrong; they never forget, and they never forgive…. one would think they had nothing better to do…..)

This is another lesson to be learned in these interactions, that compassion for ignorance is not always misplaced, rare as it may be to find an ignoramus deserving of it. For myself, I find it hard to be compassionate when the other person chooses to be ignorant; whether due to fear of the unknown, faith-based denial of reality, or simple laziness, it all tends to piss me off, and I’m not shy about sharing that with them.

But, for those whose lack of understanding comes from an inherent inability to comprehend the necessary information, I am willing to show some tolerance, and make the attempt to educate them….. they can’t help using the deck of cards they have, even if it is missing a jack and half of the queens……

“Anybody who wants religion is welcome to it, as far as I’m concerned — I support your right to enjoy it.  However, I would appreciate it if you exhibited more respect for the rights of those people who do not wish to share your dogma, rapture or necrodestination.” — Frank Zappa, “The Real Frank Zappa Book”

“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne
___________________________________

“[The Equal Rights Amendment] is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” — Pat Robertson

🙂    So, where would you like me to begin with this? ….. Take your time…..  I know, hard to pick, isn’t it?  A few days ago, I found and included here another of Pat’s verbal miscues. That one was amusing mostly because it was so obviously his own natural stupidity that overcame his media chops, turning his attempt at deep philosophy into a soliloquy that Geraldo Rivera would have rejected. It wasn’t even necessary there to even point out what was wrong about it; sheer nonsense needs no explanation.

But this statement is another kettle of old stinky fish altogether. This one reaches for the heights; it seeks to climb the highest peak of human stupidity, and seriously would like to drag all of us along with him, into that clear air, free of any distracting truths. The sheer, complete refusal to even glance in the direction of Reality that this indicates in the speaker is, to me, absolutely astounding. I have watched with resignation and chagrin as the world has, step by step, little by little, “dumbed down”; the percentage of public acts that approach the ludicrous grows larger every day, hastened by the unstoppable march of population growth.

The mathematics of demographics leaves no room for argument with the FACT that average human intelligence decreases as the population increases; it is a proven equation, and not arguable in the slightest. The numbers simply cannot lie. Society is getting dumber. Deal with it…..

And prepare yourselves, as such egregiously insane and ignorant statements as this will no doubt become more frequent, as the number of folks who haven’t a clue, or a care, as to what may or may not be real, grows beyond all expectations, keeping the rest of us busy cleaning up the messes they make. Oh well, it will give us something to do until the inevitable result of such a trend takes effect, at which point the planet will be able to get back to normal, without the infestation of self-destructive mammalians all over the available surface space….
___________________________________

`Just the place for a Snark!’ the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

‘Just the place for a Snark!  I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark!  I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true.’

Is there anyone who doesn’t know who wrote this? Or hasn’t heard of he Snark and the Boojum? If so, I pity them, and wish they could have more fantasy in their lives, for they obviously have not had enough thus far, if these names ring no bells for them, and bring no smiles of fond remembrance of childhood days, reading or listening to tales of Wonderland.  Every child needs to experience times of joy in dreams, and flights of unfettered imagination, for without it, they are ill prepared to face reality with any hope of success.

gigoid has spoken….. so be it….
___________________________________

Any more signs of that asshole that jumped in here at the intro? Good….. I guess I’m going to have to put a password protection on my keyboard for those times I have to leave it unattended suddenly. Of course, since he was most likely a figment out of my own imagination, he could probably find the password in my mind anyway, so that won’t work…. hmm. I’ll have to think about this…. I don’t want to up my meds enough to completely eliminate such hallucinations; sometimes they’re the only company I have for days and days… but, I also can’t have them usurping this blog; it’s counter-productive at minimum, and probably not a completely healthy situation, at least not for me. Can’t say how it affects them…. I never ask, I never tell….

Now that I have thoroughly convinced you of my complete and utter insanity, I can move on to bigger things…… and, as I’m sure you will agree, it’s about damn time….. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Plain, old-fashioned articles of modern design….

Ffolkes,
Malaise. An innocuous word, wouldn’t you say? Almost sounds like one of those drinks you get on a cruise ship, in a colorful plastic cup with a bamboo umbrella sticking up from the top….. Makes me thirsty just thinking about it, until I think about what the drink inside those cups usually taste like, to wit: six fruits, sugar, and a bunch of cheap rum, with bubbles. This is also only until I remember what the word actually means, and its relevance this morning…..

In the psychiatric healthcare industry, malaise refers to a certain set of symptoms experienced by people who suffer a wide range of mental issues; it is common in depression, neurosis of several types, schizophrenia, and a number of other diagnoses. Malaise is generally reported as a vague, unsettled feeling, centered in the abdomen, much like a low-grade fear, but without any specific cause or stimulus that the sufferer is aware of. All that unfortunately afflicted individual knows is that they are accompanied by a constant sense of impending doom, of dread at what may happen; they cannot tell you why they feel that way, they just do so.

I am here to tell you, it isn’t fun. As a man who has in the past suffered from the deleterious effects of long-term exposure to violence, i.e., post traumatic stress disorder/syndrome, I experience this on an irregular, unwelcome basis. This morning is one of those unwelcome times. I awoke, no earlier or later than usual, and from sleep not troubled by uncomfortable dreams, or excessive pain, either of which are common.

But, as I sat up to begin the morning routine, I was washed over completely, like an unexpected wave at the beach, by a feeling of trepidation and mild fear; sort of anticipation of disaster, much akin to the first moments before wading in to physically control a raging psychopath bent on ripping my head from my shoulders, an event with which I am all-too-familiar.

As a result of all the years I spent doing just that, it is a feeling I know well, and recognize easily. What isn’t so easy is convincing my conscious mind that all that fear does not require any action on its part; the fear is accompanied, you see, by a good strong jolt of adrenaline, which kind of takes over the metabolism, preparing the body for fight or flight. No fight, no flight, just the adrenaline coursing through my system, looking for a convenient asshole, or a plane ticket….

So, here I sit, vibrating lightly in every muscle, determined to ignore this feeling that I should be up searching for the danger so obviously present, according to the feelings of malaise I’m trying to ignore.  It will pass, after a time; it always does. It resembles Murphy in that respect; you never know or expect it when he might show up, and can never be sure he’s really gone, just because you don’t see him anymore. Patience, and will power, are the keys to handling this without ill effects, and needless to say, I’ve had lots of practice at this particular process.

So, we’ll just gather up our belongings, and get back on the bus, which will take us directly to the jumping off point for the day….. Shall we go Pearling? I say we must….. or I’m doomed to spend the rest of the day in a medicated haze, in order to keep from running around naked, throwing rocks at the seagulls, and scaring the neighbors….. Shall we be off, then? Let’s do………
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Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of Heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature’s favourites: a wealth
That never encumbers, nor can be transferred.
— John Armstrong (1709-1779)

Virtue is the subject of this poem, and justly so, as it is a key element in the make-up of an evolved Man, by my definition of such. In my mind, one of the most important of these virtues is Duty, which could also be said to possess the same qualities as ascribed to virtue in this beautiful piece, in that it “never encumbers, nor can be transferred.”  In fact, Duty is unique among the most important virtues, as it is completely a matter of choice. One must choose Duty; it cannot be thrust upon us by others, unless we consent. It may not be our first, or best choice to assume a Duty, but it is OUR choice, not that of society, or of other people, or of Fate, whatever that means to you.

For the first ten years of my life, my family spent most of those years living on US Army bases. Fort Lewis, Fort Ord, off-base housing in San Pedro, all were what we called home until my father mustered out in 1961. As a result, my upbringing was a bit different from that of most of my civilian classmates. By the time I started school at age 4.8 (November birthday), I had already been to Japan with the family, was well able to perform such tasks as making a bed on which you could bounce a quarter, sweeping and vacuuming, mowing lawns, raking leaves, minding my younger siblings, and a bunch of other stuff that a family with five kids tends to outsource to the young’uns for completion.  And, most significantly, I could perfectly address my seniors with well-rehearsed protocols of politeness, as well as give a pretty fair definition of what the term Duty meant……

Duty has remained as one of the most important elements of my life; to this day there are certain things I must do before I can go to sleep at night, all related to a chosen duty of some sort. And that is the point of this little discussion (at last, they cried!)….. Duty is chosen, not given. It may be accepted if offered, but the choice still remains. If we do not choose a Duty, then we will not be invested in fulfilling it, other than for how we wish others to see us, a very poor way to structure one’s actions. Only by choosing our Duty do we feel the responsibility for completing it; only the choice determines our investment. But, the reward for making that choice, and for meeting the demands Duty places upon us, is being able to sleep at night, with a clear conscience, and an easy heart…..

Self-respect . . . is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has its price. — Anonymous, but true nonetheless….
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“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” — Thomas Paine

The Founding Fathers had a strong, and justifiable, lack of trust in organized religion, and that mistrust is exemplified in this statement from Thomas Paine. It is a sentiment shared by a significant number of those men who left us our legacy of freedom, as evidenced by similar statements seen in correspondence written by, and/or to, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, among others. All these men had direct experience with how organized faiths fall into corruption and oppression, and how those organizations attempt to force non-believers into submission to their dogmatic influence. This corruption and oppression was, after all, the driving force behind their journey to the New World in the first place…..

If we look around society today, the picture that organized religions present is very similar to what was seen back then, only on a much grander scale. The leaders of those religions continue to pervert the teachings of Christ, changing them around to suit their own agenda and purposes, until what they say is completely unrecognizable by any true Christian, and would most likely have Jesus blushing down to his toes at the thought of them using his name to justify their perversions. The only difference in today’s world is in how many different sects of Christianity have surfaced over the intervening 240 years. When the US Constitution was signed, there were maybe eight or ten sects among the populace; now there are literally thousands of different interpretations of what the Bible, and the New Testament, say about life. This doesn’t even address or count the presence of at least five other major religions that the American populace embraces. And each one is thoroughly convinced of their own rightness, that all the others are wrong, and will go straight to hell when they die…..

SIGH…. all I can say at this point is, a) I am VERY, VERY glad that our forefathers had the good sense to build a solid wall between church and state, and b) I am equally as happy that I have not bought into the lies, perversions, or dogma that ANY of these charlatans in priestly robes are handing out, even when they make the offer with candy, or cakes, or sacramental wine, not even a nice Chianti, with some fava beans….. otherwise, I’d feel worse about it all than I already do…..

“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Bertrand Russell
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Truckin’, like the do-dah man
Once told me “Gotta play your hand.
Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a damn
If you don’t lay’em down.”
Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been.
— Truckin’ by Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Hunter

I’m pulling my covers again, though I’ve never really worn them very tightly. I’m a hippie. I became a hippie in 1968, when I decided to attend the University of California at Berkeley, and entered into a world so different from that I had heretofore experienced that I am still seeing, and feeling, the effects, both good and ill. This verse from an iconic tune from those halcyon days is a very good expression of how I feel today, some 44 years later…..

I’ve met the do-dah man, even played a few gigs with him back in the day. I’ve played enough poker to know he was giving me the straight skinny on that; it’s good advice, as evidenced by my lifetime record of breaking even at the game that isn’t a game. I’ve been in the light, and found my way out of the darkness on more than one occasion. And I am completely convinced that my long, strange trip is not yet done, and that there are strangeness’s and wondrous beauty still to be seen and experienced before I pass into the great unknown that awaits us all.

I’m not ashamed of being a hippie. We, as a group of American citizens, were directly and indirectly responsible for a great many societal changes, and the activism we espoused back in the day has not mellowed with age. I’d guess that a significant number of us are active in such organizations as MoveOn.org, the Occupy Protests, the push for equality between the sexes, and those that seek justice for the victimized and oppressed, that are active today, as has been true since the 60’s. Just because I’m getting older doesn’t mean I’m going to cut my hair, stop playing poker, or reduce my sense of outrage at the atrocities I see in our society.

In fact, just the opposite is true. Though much thinner these days, my hair still reaches half-way down my back, and there has been no less outrage in my responses to the news, not that I can see. (I do play less poker, but that is due to lack of available playing partners and a stake, not lack of want-to….)  I can only hope now to provide an example for the youth of this time, to continue to show that honor, duty, and and the journey toward justice for all (Free our sisters, free ourselves!) are not out of favor, but continue to be key elements of right behavior, and right action, for a large number of citizens, past their prime or not…. hell, it just makes us meaner and tougher, not weaker. The PTB and the beloved ruling class might do well to remember that…..

“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.” — little known, but apt, advice from Merlin the Wise, the most influential wizard in the history of Mankind….
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~~~//\\_~~//\\_~       ~(\_\_\_\)
~~~ ~~ ~~~ ~~

This beautiful example of ASCII art will hopefully translate from where I found it to this post and still retain its clarity. To be certain, and to segue into the discussion I’m planning, allow me to say that you SHOULD see here a picture of a magnificently plumed Tom Turkey, as envisioned in the mind of J. Random Hacker.

Now, when I saw this, after my initial response (“Perfect!”, I thought….), a second, slightly more wicked thought struck me, and I thought I should share it. I have a proposed change to suggest for both, or hell, all of the political parties in the US today. Republicans,Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Whackos (the Santorum/Romney/Gingrich contingent….    …. sometimes called the Tea Party), they all need to consider taking this image as one to replace the elephant, the donkey, the cartoon characters, etc. that they now use to represent their party line, and how they wish to be viewed. A turkey is very American, much more native here than the majority of political hacks on parade.

Turkeys are survivors, and are considered to be one of the toughest birds to hunt and kill, as they are fast fliers, hyper-alert, and smart as hell in their own environment. Of course, none of these characteristics are common to these political groups as they exist now, but hey, maybe by changing their icons, they can take on some of these virtues…. it couldn’t hurt, and just might make them more palatable to the rest of us……. What do you think? Think they’ll go for it?…. They might just earn my vote, if they should all of a sudden show some common sense, and go along with this novel idea…. Probably not going to happen, but I can dream, can’t I?……
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Limericks are art forms complex,
Their topics run chiefly to sex.
They usually have virgins,
And masculine urgin’s,
And other erotic effects.
— Anonymous

Haiku are always
calmly directing our eyes
pointing to the way.
–gigoid

So, it occurred to me, after writing the above haiku, to ask myself, “Self, which came first, the limerick or the haiku?”  At first, I thought I was just being silly. Then I realized I really wanted to know, but I’m too lazy to Google right now. So, here is the deal…..

I’d appreciate a response from anyone who has any ideas or reactions on this, either by commenting, or by posting a reply; if I follow your blog, I’ll be notified of either method of response, and be able to reply in turn. No prizes will be awarded, though I will mention your name, and your answer to this time-honored query, in a future Pearl. (Well, it’s been honored for the two or three minutes since I asked it, and by the time you answer, it will be more, so….) So, join in the fun, and the challenge, and send me a response today! You won’t regret it, much…..

It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don’t be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit, it’s so easy to quit:
It’s the keeping-your-chin-up that’s hard.
It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten–and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight–
Why, that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each grueling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try–it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.
— Robert W. Service — The Quitter
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Got ahead of myself there for a moment. I was so excited at being done, I started to copy and paste to the appropriate destination files, and only then noticed I had not quite finished. So, here I am, to compose one more witty ending to another meandering journey through the labyrinth I call my mind…. easy money, as they say.

Well, the meandering and the ending parts are easy; the witty part is, as always, a notably arguable characteristic of what I write for publication. Ah well, I suppose it is well to remember that the journey is the lesson, not the destination…. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

If the Sweet Bird sings late, Fate lives….

Ffolkes,
Dark events are wont to take place under indifferent moons, which is why I make it a policy never to be out at the same time as a moon. This can be a tough policy to follow on a planet with six moons…. which is why I found myself in a meadow surrounded by tall oaks and madrone imported from legendary Earth, leaves shining in the pearly light, four miles from town in the dead of night, shivering under three of those bloody fake planets masquerading as moons, and watching morosely as a platoon of dark-clad Stank warriors silently filed into the clearing, laser-spears gleaming, to join the rest of us idiots. I could see, already, this was not going to be one of my nights, and I was seriously regretting my weakness in agreeing to join this mad party…..

Well, enough of that…. whoever that was, it doesn’t look like he’ll be having much fun for the next unknown period, so we’ll just leave him to his own devices, and get on with this morning’s real business, the fine art of hunting the creative urge, to trap, hopefully not to kill. T’is a wicked shy beastie, is creativity, and fond of leading me on long, winding chases in the dim morning light. It knows full well that I don’t sleep well, or deeply, and delights in taking advantage of the poor old fat guy who can no longer run very fast….. but, I’m getting smarter in my dotage, so to speak, and have learned to carry some of its favorite food, flattery cakes, which, given the chance, I can use to lure it close enough to use my magic lasso (the one I got from Wonder Woman, that time I loaned her a safety pin to keep her from having a wardrobe malfunction, just as she was getting ready to kick ass on the Penguin…..)  SIGH…. it makes for an interesting morning, but I kind of miss commuting…. NOT!

Having thus fulfilled the government-controlled and regulated daily quota of BS (who else would be in charge of it?), we will now Pearl……
___________________________________

All we are saying.. is Give Peas a Chance.

This is the bumper sticker I put on my six year old Chivvy Mule…. it complements the one on my Old Bike, that says, “Visualize Whirled Peas”. Both were designed and distributed for sale by the Whirled Peas Institute, a division of the Peas Porridge Hot Corporation, makers of fine cliches and elegant bumper accessories for the entire coven. With their ages-old motto, “Pining for Peas!”, which adorns the dignified Giant Pea Pod atop the whirled-famous Peas HQ in downtown Beirut, shining out of the 75 foot high testament to good taste with cheerful hope, this beloved company stands as an example of the power of Hope, and the profit margins to be made from its devotees among the ignorant masses….

This advertisement is brought to you courtesy of a grant by the Lizzie/Ginger Corp., with supporting funds from Linda Vernon, Inc., that fine old international firm dedicated to bringing humor and insanity to those who need it most. Normally, (if that term can be applied to ANYTHING they do….) they don’t give grants, but this one also serves as a bribe, for advancing their claims as Heiresses of World Domination in the Whirled courts….. a project they have set their sights on for some time now…. encouraged shamelessly by both El Guapo and yours truly, (from whom they will inherit, if they’ll just hold their damn horses…..), using mainly under-funded household accounts sadly neglected by their long-suffering spousal units. Provided all of us can get our shit anywhere close to together, the transfer of power should take place before Christmas…. BUT NOT IF THEY KEEP WHINING ABOUT HOW LONG IT’S TAKING!  CAPISCE, CHICAS?!!!  We now return you to your regularly scheduled nonsense….
___________________________________

According to experts, the oyster
In its shell – a crustacean cloister –
May frequently be
Either he or a she
Or both, if it should be its choice ter.

The die has been cast, and all dignity and sense is to be avoided at all cost today…. it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it…. You gotta love limericks…. they have to be one of the finest ways to stretch the mind through poetry there is, to my mind. Limericks join Haiku, along with the works of Ogden Nash, Shel Silverstein, Robert Frost, and a very few others, as those literary forms that are completely user-friendly. Anyone can learn to write limericks, or haiku, and learn to do it well. Not everyone may be able to match the creativity and precise outlook of these three sterling examples of this genre, which I like to call the People’s Poems, but just about anyone can make poetry that will please them and others, if only for its uniqueness. I don’t know about others, but writing a good haiku, or limerick, makes me feel pretty damn good…. and it’s a good way to meet like minded folks…. hell, it probably would help bring about whirled peas, if the whole whirled could just see it, and join in the fun….
___________________________________

“You have to realize that the government, any government, is insane.  You have to treat it the way pagans treated their gods:  As an irrational, capricious, and powerful entity which will mete out total destruction if not sacrificed to or otherwise placated.” — Mike Long (future Libertarian revolutionary)

Okay, so I couldn’t stay funny for a whole post…. so sue me. Wait! Scratch that…. these days, somebody might just take me up on it, claiming cruel and unusual punishment, or some such…. any who, the above statement makes far too much sense to dismiss lightly. Considering my belief that anyone who desires to assume the position of POTUS, or any other similar position of power over others, is, by definition, stark raving mad, this proposition makes perfect sense to me.

As a true Patriot of this country, one who is completely dedicated to protecting the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I regard it as sacred Duty to do all I can to prevent any further inroads on the rights we were given as our legacy. These American pundits, who seek office, and power over others, like an addict seeks his needle, are the most dangerous threat our country has faced in over two hundred years. Our Founding Fathers even predicted this; I’ve read several letters from one of them to another, cautioning against the danger to these principles from internal sources. They even identified the most probable culprits, corporations and banks, and those who took their money (definition of an honest politician: one who stays bought…) …. even then, such entities were regarded with mistrust and suspicion as to their motives.

Thus, it becomes not just preference, but Duty, to speak out when new outrages are committed against the principles of freedom, to fight against ignorance, and avarice, and the unholy forces of Indifference with all my faculties and skills. If I, and anyone else who also fears what these people would do in the name of the Almighty Dollar, do not speak up, if we do not fight the modern trend toward apathy and despair, then we will deserve the slavery we accept by so failing to act…….

“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“A ‘No’ uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.” — Mahatma Gandhi
___________________________________

In the interests of consistency, that hobgoblin, and of continuing today’s attempt to stick to a theme, I present the following, which, though found without any attribution (how could anyone not be proud enough of this to want their name on it?), remains the perfect addition to a lineup that has not merely approached wacky, but left it in the dust….

The sky was dark, the moon was high
All alone just she and I
Her hair was soft, her eyes were blue
I knew just what she wanted to do
Her skin so soft, her legs so fine
I ran my fingers down her spine
I didn’t know how but I tried my best
I started by placing my hands on her breast
I remember my fear, my fast beating heart
But slowly she spread her legs apart
And when I did it I felt no shame
All at once – the white stuff came
At last it’s finished, it’s all over now
My first time ever at milking a cow…

It got me…. how ’bout you? I just wish I knew who wrote it, so I could find more like it….. delicious!….
___________________________________

Three poets, in three distant ages born,
Greece, Italy, and England did adorn.
The first in loftiness of thought surpass’d;
The next, in majesty; in both the last.
The force of Nature could no further go;
To make a third, she join’d the former two.
— John Dryden (1631-1700) — Under Mr. Milton’s Picture

Do what you wanna, do what you will;
Just don’t mess up your neighbor’s thrill.
And when you pay the bill, kindly leave a little tip
To help the next poor sucker on his one-way trip.
— Frank Zappa, You Are What You Is

Our souls sit close and silently within,
And their own web from their own entrails spin;
And when eyes meet far off, our sense is such,
That, spider-like, we feel the tenderest touch.
— John Dryden (1631-1700) — Mariage a la Mode, Act ii, Sc. 1

John Dryden… 10 letters…. Frank Zappa… 10 letters…. John Milton… 10 letters….Coincidence?…. I think not….. further unquestionable evidence of reincarnation, or at least, serendipity, wouldn’t you say?……
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I can only hope that today’s unexpected, but welcome, outburst of whimsy has no deleterious effect on the remainder of my ephemeral consciousness on this diurnal interval, although there are worse ways to spend the day than with furious spates of capriciousness and unadulterated fun. Let’s follow the wisest course, of expecting nothing, and appreciating whatever does turn up…. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Righting controversial wrongs…..

Ffolkes,
Failing to summon inspiration is fairly common for me in the morning. Sometimes it takes a full cuppa and a session in the shower before I’m fully cognizant. It isn’t usually a problem, unless, like today, I sit down to write before I’m fully engaged. So, like any other sneaky-pants, I’ll just talk about it long enough to call it an intro, and head on down the road…..btw, the artwork worked out okay, but not as well as I’d hoped, so I’m going to put a hold on that until I can figure out an efficient way to include it…..
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“[E]lections amount to little more than choosing between the scum that floats to the top of the barrel and the dregs that settle to the bottom.” — L. Neil Smith

There are at least two facets of this gem that disturb me, aside from its obvious veracity, and I can’t decide which is the more unsettling. First, the fact that it is funny is a sad commentary on our political scene; we always laugh at what hurts the most, and having to laugh about the choices we have in the political arena hurts a great deal. I’m not particularly happy about it when I have to make a choice between the lesser of two evils; no matter which is chosen, it’s still evil. 

Even more disturbing to me, however, is the failure of courage this implies on the part of the general populace. Continually forced to make poor choices, the people have become resigned to low-quality leadership, and haven’t the heart to demand changes. The mere fact of existence for this ‘joke’ indicates that we, as a society, have given up, and are apathetic about which particular member of our beloved ruling class is currently stealing from us. We are so used to being bent over and violated, we walk around with no belt, and a jar of Vaseline, so it hurts less, and ends sooner……
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“Anyone can be a barbarian; it requires a terrible effort to remain a civilized man.” — Leonard Sidney Woolf

The number of barbarians in society keeps climbing, with no sign of stopping soon. It’s a proven mathematical fact that as human population grows, the average IQ of the species grows smaller. No way around it, it’s just mathematical reality. This means that as time goes on, we are slowly but steadily losing our capacity to use the only evolutionary advantage we possess, and as a side-effect, the ability to devise a strategy to overcome this process grows ever weaker.

To reach a civilized state requires the ability to learn, and the inclination to do so. It’s hard work, and as time goes by, fewer and fewer people are invested in making the required effort. This issue remains an insidious threat to our survival as a species, one that 99% of the population have not the wit to even perceive. One can only hope that the segment of society who remain capable of rational thought will be able to use their imagination and creativity well enough to thrive, or even just survive, in the future. At this point, the odds are not in our favor…..

“Must the hunger become anger and the anger fury before anything will be done?” — John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
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A limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I’ve seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

Limerick response;
small beauty creates
haiku forged in empathy.

Not too shabby. The limerick isn’t mine; I found it while diving for Pearls, and it is just so perfectly balanced, and witty, I had to include it. The moment I pasted it into this document, the urge to haiku struck, with a vengeance. Subsequently, the haiku itself almost wrote itself; it took less than two minutes to get it down and done. Unusual for me, to say the least, though if I am adept at any sort of poetry at all, it would be haiku. I like the way large pieces of reality can be crammed into merely a few syllables; just makes my little heart go all soft and gooey in appreciation. Now isn’t that a strange mental image to saddle you with on a Monday morning? Why, yes, I believe it is…..
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Where does it go?  It doesn’t matter.  Flush it.

Ugly, ugly, ugly…..this attitude, this arrogant entitlement that pays no heed to anything outside its own narrow little world-view, is a succinct demonstration of what will kill us all, most likely sooner than later. I know I’ve said it before, and I’m sorry if it sounds like I’m being redundant, but this message is one that will not wait for anyone’s sensibilities to evolve. This is what the CIA calls a ‘real and present danger’.  Our planet’s ecosystem is on the verge of collapsing; the very bottom of the food chain, plankton, is very near extinction. When it dies, all the other sea life will perish, followed in short order with the rest of the living creatures on this poor little ball of mud.

All of this is not merely theory, it is established, proven scientific fact. And what is the response of the beloved ruling class? Complete denial. Those few in positions of power who believe this, and consistently work toward a solution, have all of their efforts blocked, delayed, ridiculed, and otherwise fully opposed by the vast majority of our class of legal thieves. They, and their ilk, who flush indiscriminately, heedless of its subsequent effects, use every effort to keep any useful changes from ever becoming reality, because for them, the bottom line says simply, “there’s no profit in it for me”………never realizing they are dragging the rest of down with them on their headlong rush to meet the grim reaper……
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We’ll end today on a relatively light note. These are just a few randoms, part of which I found, and part of which was my response to my discoveries……

The following statement is true.
The preceding statement is false.

Quick Quiz Question: what is the next logical statement needed to complete the concept?

QQQ answer: And everything I say is a lie…….

“Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The trouble with common sense is that it is so uncommon.

Ain’t logic grand?

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Somehow, I feel like I missed something…..I can’t put my finger on it, but duty calls, and this effort will have to suffice. It’s not too bad, all things considered. I shall go henceforth into the day, and fear it not…… y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Grep that snazzy peripheral!

Ffolkes,
Softly, softly the lashes fall
Gently against her fair cheek
Happy dreams come to enthrall
and Morpheus’ chamber to seek.

Now you know why I don’t write poetry. I can make it rhyme, and the cadence isn’t bad. But it just isn’t very good stuff, is it? S’okay, I’m good with it. There are a great many things that I do well, so not being able to compose poetry very well isn’t the end of the world. But I sure wish I could……sigh…..
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“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” — Aristotle

In the past few weeks, I’ve made a few forays into discussing religion, and have probably upset some of my more devout readers. I will apologize if I have offended; however, I do not apologize for my opinions, such as they are. Religions have done a lot of good work throughout history, having always taken the side of the poor, and provided them with succor. But they have, in their own way, impeded the progress of mankind equally as much as they have done good deeds.


My primary argument with most of them is due to the sense of entitlement they give their followers, that sense of being different, and somehow better, than the rest of the universe. All of the Christian sects, and the Muslims, and for that matter, Hindus as well, tell their devotees that they are the “Children of God”, that we are the princes of creation, and have dominion over the rest of this planet’s inhabitants. This sense of entitlement is entirely false, and mankind is never going to grow up and look at the universe as an adult until they can throw that false belief aside, and assume a place alongside other life-forms, instead of over them.

     Our intelligence was not given to us for OUR benefit only. I believe that we are to use it to understand more of the universe, and learn how to improve the quality of life for all creatures, not just ourselves. I think, if there is a God, an attitude of benevolence and generosity toward other life forms would be more along the lines of what he would like to see, rather than an attitude of belligerent, prideful entitlement that is completely unjustified…..
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How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
— Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639)
— The Character of a Happy Life

There, now, see the difference? Here are four lines, just like mine above. The rhyme and scansion are the same, but this one is just so much better! The technique completely eludes my grasp of understanding; I feel foolish and humbled yet again, by the power of the poet’s quill…..the message here isn’t too shabby either. Independence, strength, integrity, honesty, all the best qualities of a man are praised here, and in a manner that makes it attractive to hear, to see, and to contemplate. Boy, I’d almost be willing to deal with the Devil to be able to do that; fortunately, I don’t think even he wants my soul. It’s been out in the real world too long, and isn’t very shiny anymore…..
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“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky.” — C.S. Lewis  _The Screwtape Letters_

Although it seems obvious once defined, this concept is a subtle one, and one that most people will never even stop to consider. Analyzing one’s own actions is an activity that most folks just don’t care to pursue, and analyzing the motivation for those actions is even more foreign to their mindset. Most folks just go through life reacting to whatever happens in their vicinity, using their ingrained belief system to formulate a response that is designed to be beneficial to themselves, without ever taking into consideration any of the considerations or needs that other folks might have, that might have a bearing on their own lives. And so each man trudges on through the halls of reality, oblivious to reason, experiencing a series of stimuli, offering in return actions that are generated completely from a stock of pre-prepared responses to any situation, without ever understanding why they act as they do.

     This predominant pattern of behavior among humans is a large part of why things are going to hell in a hurry. People have no idea of why they act as they do, and thus have no real control over it; they have no chance to apply any of the above mentioned virtuous actions, because they do not know that they can. Courage never comes into play, because they are reacting, not acting, and the presence or absence of virtue dooms the action to mere appeasement, rather than productive progress. The saddest part is that 99.9% of the people alive on this planet are in the group of folks who act without thought, and will spin their wheels in the same place for all time……I believe this would be an appropriate epitaph for Mankind: I prefer to stay where I am, thank you……..

“For the wise men of old, the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality. And the solution has been knowledge, self- discipline, and virtue. But for the contemporary mindset the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of man.” — C.S. Lewis  “The Abolition of Man”
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Limericks are art forms complex,
Their topics run chiefly to sex.
They usually have virgins,
And masculine urgin’s,
And other erotic effects.

Punning is to prose as limericks are to poetry. I love them both; does that make me strange? Or merely stranger? I also like Haiku, which is the one form of poetry at which I can claim a small expertise, having created some decent ones in my time (I AM 61 years old, so using the infinite monkeys w/typewriters = Shakespeare assumption, not too surprising). Perhaps Haiku would be in the de-literalized zone between a pun and a limerick; they are capable of great beauty, but lend themselves well to the silly, too.


Some time back, a local radio station announcer challenged his listeners to complete a certain literary query, which was: If you described your whole life in six words, which words would they be? Of course, there were some witty, some profound, and some downright silly answers, but I like the one that I came up with for myself (as did the announcer, as he gave it on air). My life could be described this way….. Looked for love, found it everywhere….. Pretty nifty, eh? I suppose it leaves a lot out, considering the amount of drama I’ve been unfortunate enough to encounter over the course of my years. But it gives the primary thrust, because all I’ve ever wanted was to love, and to be loved; everything else is just what I do to stay busy when I am not so fortunate as to be involved in a committed relationship. My kids, the product of my marriage of 23 years, are my proudest accomplishment; they are both honest, forthright, and caring, compassionate human beings. They have their share of drama as well, but are living their lives well, if not always comfortably. In the final analysis, I am content with my how my life has progressed, and its not over by a long shot, so that’s something, eh?…….
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“I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.” — H. L. Mencken

I believe the same as Mr. Mencken does, which makes, to my count, about eight of us now. It’s a start. Now all we have to do is get just one of the newest crop of potential world leaders to adopt this as their code of ethics, and their motivation for change. I know, I know, pipe dream, but a nice one, don’t you think?

“It’s easy to tell when a politician is lying. Watch his lips.  If they move, he’s lying.” — Charles Lyall

I also know that you’ve heard this one before, and not applied just to politicians. They just happen to be the most egregious examples. I’ve only included it here because it’s the best expression of one my reasons for the ongoing argument I’m trying to provoke with our beloved ruling class. This statement doesn’t require any more proof; it is thoroughly documented in every major news outlet around the world every day.

     The media’s coverage of the political arena in the last few days has been truly and amazingly oblivious to its own shortfalls. One series of articles was focused on discussing how much a current presidential candidate had been unchallenged for an obvious lie in an advertisement, editing a sound bite from the President to change its context. The media let the whole issue slide with merely a discussion that it was doing so, without ever going back to make an issue of it with the candidate. It was, and remains, an act of unaccountable cowardice on the part of the media, and I am ever more reluctant to confer on them any trust that what they report is either meaningful or accurate. A self-serving act of lying by omission, and it goes unnoticed by the public at large. 235 years ago, there were men living in this country who would have fought to eradicate any ties with such a society as quickly and as forcefully as they did with the English society of the  time……

“And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the bible were used to beat plowshares into swords…” — Alan Watts

Alan has nailed it again. This is what we are now witnessing in our culture today. The religious fundamentalist sector of the Christian milieu is working very hard to force the rest of society to abide by their narrow set of principles, and crying foul at any disagreement. Far too many of the current political crop of wannabes are committed to the concept of ‘Dominion’ (see the Huffington Post from yesterday to see the comments made in that respect by an aide to one of the candidates), which would set the code of white Judeo-Christian values as the standard of law. They are serious, folks, and their ignorance is spreading.

    I would advise everyone I know to stay alert to the news, because the day may come in the very near future when it will be time to jump quickly to avoid becoming a slave…….I only wish I were being humorous, but I don’t see much hope of avoiding major catastrophe of some sort in the next decade or two, as the minions of darkness and fear will set themselves against the seekers of the light and knowledge, with liberty as the spoils of the conflict……have a care!
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Well, I can’t think of anything I could write that would depress myself any more, so I’ll stop here, and hope I haven’t driven everyone away with my oppressive subject matter. I didn’t intend to get so deeply into the darkness, but I’m pretty afraid these days. Afraid that the darkness is winning, and I want to do all I can to keep dragging their secrets out into the light of day where they can be opposed more effectively. The powers that be may turn us all into automatons, but I’ll be damned if I will make it easy for them….. y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!