Plugging holes on the Wall of Logic…

Ffolkes,

Almost…. It almost happened…. I’ve been struck with a HUGE lazy stick, hard, right on the ol’ schnozzle…. If it were an actual blow, it would HURT! But, it’s not, and it didn’t, it only put a big hole in my ambition, taken a big bite out of my dignity, and dropped my energy level below the legal limit for breathing creatures in this plane of existence. I slept well enough, under the influence of my chocolate cannabinoids, but, just don’t feel all energized, spunky, sparky, and full of what we like to call piss and vinegar…. Actually, that last part MAY be just about right for how I feel this morning, but, the rest of it fell a bit short….

I am poised, like ice on the verge of melting, at least, that’s what I am…. but, rather than making me resemble an ancient Taoist sage, it was close to being a case of the ice being too thin, and I almost broke down, coming very close to displaying the absolute deepest form of laziness I can think of….. I was going to reblog one of my older posts….. Yep, me, gigoid, depraved enough to go down the path to egocentricity far enough to fall into the quicksand of narcissism…. I’ll tell ya, it was a close one, but, I managed to fight it off, long enough to get my fingers on the keyboard….

That’s all it took, fortunately, to kick me into the well of angst and/or anxiety and/or outrage, where the cold, clear water of reason shocked me awake; only thus was I able to resist the urge to go back and use the old Pearl I had in mind…. Oh, it would have been a good one…. In fact, I was going to put up the Pearl that is often listed by the stat monkeys as my most-read-piece, one entitled, “Our best quality yak butter is on sale….” I went back to see it one time, and it IS a good one, but, I’m not ready yet to start reposting them, unless I’m sick, or otherwise indisposed, and UNABLE to write for some legitimate reason, not just laziness…

Now that I’ve shown this heretofore nonexistent sense of morality about laziness, which, if one HAS to be picky, we could, in all honesty, call prudishness, I guess we could just go on to today’s rant, or perhaps an old-school pearl, to start…. I seem to have accidentally created an actual, really, truly, introductory section that actually goes through introductory convolutions, for once, setting the stage for the rest of the blog…. I’m not sure, really, how that happened, so, I wouldn’t count on it being true every day from now on, but, hey, it’s nice for today, eh?

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
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“Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty.” — Germaine de Stael

Ripped straight from the internet news outlets, below is a collected panoramic parade of some of the most current shenanigans perpetrated by those I like to call Asininnies, (a group consisting of politicians, preachers, bankers, police, judges, and the military myrmidons…..) along with some artwork, that shows off the more obvious of their handiwork, included herein for those who require obvious evidence, something they can SEE, if not actually touch, to convince them of what is already slapping them in their wallets, and soon, will slap them directly upside their heads….. There can be no downside to that slapping, as we will, no doubt, see for ourselves as time progresses….

This pearl is an ugly one…. It’s an outgrowth of another author’s technique to illustrate the ills in society, without having to come out and actually SAY what is wrong…. Here are nine articles, all of very recent vintage, from the news that everyone reads online…. The first two are the artwork, with pictures that show exactly what we will be experiencing over the next hundred years or so, as the weather continues to become more unpredictable, and the world continues to alter its chemical balance…. The other seven links lead to examples of just how insane our culture has become…

These are just minor examples, at that, showing the fringes of the actual problems, the symptoms, rather than the disease, which resides in the human spirit, and psyche…. One of the more obvious symptoms of these perversions in the human soul is the behavior of lawyers; the mere presence of lawyer jokes in our culture shows the universal mistrust of those who go into the law…. These three are present for the simple reason that it is the one profession where the human characteristic of greed is most easily seen…. For some reason, which I don’t even WANT to think about, many people decide to use the law as their means of stealing from other people, and manipulating them for their own purposes….go figure….

Most politicians are lawyers, and lawyers are the ones who PROTECT the bankers and shadowy corporate masters, so it is clear that the law has been usurped for the use of those who break it more often than anyone else (see the third link down, entitled “Jamie Dimon – Yes there is no justice” for a clear example of this, remembering that the scenes described in the article are reproduced EVERY DAY on Wall Street….). Lawyers are, in my estimation, the single group of people who are the most responsible for the state of the world as we see it today; it seems that the law, and its complexity, is the perfect camouflage for those who would become pirates, and thieves, otherwise known as politicians, and preachers.

Some folks, and, even some ffolkes, might say that is a bit harsh, to condemn an entire class of work as evil… which would be dumb, which is why I know none of MY readers would go so low as to say anything like that….. I’m not saying the class of work is evil…. It is the PEOPLE who use it to their own purposes, at the expense of others, to whom I refer, and there are far too many more of that sort in the legal profession than there are of any other type, those types of people who are more honest, compassionate, and HUMAN, using the law to HELP rather than harm…..

The law is too integral a part of our society for it to be in the hands of the unscrupulous, but, the simple truth of the matter, ffolkes, must admit that it is…. Most lawyers, especially those who become elected officials, are, if not precisely evil, court the title by their evil acts, and deserve every bit of laughter at the jokes we make to express our feelings about how we’re treated by them…. and, I say, fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke…..

What do you call a lawyer buried up to his neck in sand? Not enough sand.

How can you tell the difference between a dead snake and a lawyer on the roadway? Skid marks leading up to the snake….

Why do lawyers never get buried? They’re so crooked, they just screw them into the ground….

(These three are just what was hanging around the top of my mind…. didn’t even have to go look for them…. which is a testament to the ubiquitous nature in society of the nearly-universal disdain for lawyers….)

http://www.businessinsider.com/pictures-of-environmental-destruction-2013-4?op=1

http://www.businessinsider.com/us-city-sea-level-rise-maps-nickolay-lamm-2013-4?op=1

http://blog.sfgate.com/bottomline/2014/01/24/jamie-dimon-yes-there-is-no-justice/


http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Legendary-Silicon-Valley-VC-Says-Criticism-Of-The-5174842.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Police-disable-devices-found-in-Md-gunman-s-bag-5174710.php

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/72-year-old-mom-disabled-son-lost-on-S-F-streets-5173848.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Anti-abortion-activists-march-in-San-Francisco-5174706.php

http://blog.sfgate.com/topdown/2014/01/24/the-governor-his-wife-and-the-ferrari-careful-what-you-wish-for/#19974101=0

It’s getting pretty weird out there, ffolkes…. I’d suggest you stay alert, and keep your powder dry…..

“America, how can I write a holy litany in your silly mood?” — Allen Ginsberg
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Enjoy the spring of love and youth,
To some good angel leave the rest;
For time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last year’s nest.

— Longfellow (1819-1892), It is not always May

Sometimes, just a stanza of poetry will put me into a reflective state, nudging my mind to wander along the pathways suggested by the poetry’s vision, allowing me to follow whatever trail it finds, to stimulate curiosity or a random thought….. This stanza from Longfellow is a good one for that kind of indulgence…. Let’s see what else I can find today to help us improve our mind, or merely our mood, in some way….. Ah, this will do nicely….

Shui Tiao Ko Tou

Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don’t know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorrow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks luster, brightly shines; is all, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!

~~ Su Tung-po ~~

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I’ve done my duty, with, perhaps, the LEAST amount of enthusiasm I could muster, ever….. But, it’s getting there, in spite of my recalcitrance…. Plus, having reached this stage, I am rewarded by the opportunity to take it a bit easier, with an old-school pearl, since I’ve completed a rant-like piece, and a poem is on board…. So, we’ll go hook up with Smart Bee, and see what’s shakin’…..

Please, ffolkes, while I’m performing this maneuver, remember to remain seated, and keep those safety harnesses hooked up, at least loosely, as we can encounter rough weather at any time during the flight…. Oh, you didn’t know we were flying?…. I guess I’m getting pretty smooth at the take-offs….

“The grave’s a fine and private place, but none, I think, do there embrace.” — Andrew Marvell

“We all have been for all time…and we shall be for all time…As the Spirit of our mortal body wanders on in childhood, and youth and old age, the Spirit wanders on to a new body: of this the sage has no doubts.” — Bhagavad Gita (c. B.C. 400)

“What if there were no hypothetical situations?” — Steven Wright

“Facts are not truths; they are not conclusions; they are not even premises.  The truth depends on, and is only arrived at by a legitimate deduction from all the facts which are truly material.”– Smart Bee

“Never esteem anything as of advantage to thee that shall make thee break thy word or lose thy self-respect.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iii, 7

“And though all cry down self, none means his own self in a literal sense.” — Butler

“What is history but a fable agreed upon?” — Napoleon Bonaparte
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So, laziness having been defeated for the time being, I think I’ll go back to bed for awhile…. Yeah, that’s the ticket…. I mean, hey, it’s not even 8 AM yet, so, I’m actually just returning to bed after an extended trip to the bathroom, and a slight detour for a Pearl and 3 cups of coffee…. Isn’t it amazing how easily we can lie to ourselves? Is it any surprise we are all Bozos on this soon-to-be crashing Bus? Yeah, that’s what I thought, too…. See ya, hopefully 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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Dwelling now in the fields of Endymion…..

Ffolkes,

I may stop looking at the statistics for my blog altogether, after the lesson I was taught yesterday….. Two days ago, I wrote a very short Pearl, to say I was taking the day off, essentially. After weeks of seeing only 4to 6 people visit the blog, and only a few Likes, the short blurb garnered 11 Likes in the first 12 hours. I was astounded at that outburst of visitors, but, even more astounded yesterday….. I wrote what I thought to be an excellent Pearl, with a rant and everything…. I just now looked at it, and ONE person has seen it…. ONE. LMAO ROFL!…. as they say in the text world…. One regular reader came by and left their mark, and that was it… total = 1. I suppose this could also be expressed as a box score, to wit: Universe 1 – gigoid 0……

Hilarious! It just goes to show I made the right decision when I stopped paying a lot of attention to the Likes that are garnered each day. I know that what I write here is a lot to take in, both from a quantity standpoint, and because there is some rather pointed, opinionated material discussed, at great and wearisome length. I know also that some of my regulars only come by every few days, and read several day’s worth at once, to catch up, as it were… That’s all well and good, but, it’s a good thing that I write for sanity rather than money, or fame, because those two characters are fickle, and hard to pin down for long…. or, so I’m told, not having a lot of experience with either one, either over time, or in great quantity.

That will teach me to even think about who is reading this stuff; it has never been the driving force behind what I write, though I’ve always paid attention to the stats. The motivation for all this remains in the realm of my angst and tendency toward a loose hold on reality, and won’t be changing soon. Now, though, this process should be even less of a bother for me, because I won’t be thinking about the number of visitors at all, and thus won’t be distracting myself from the material at hand for discussion. Whoopee….

I know, boring, eh? Well, some days, y’all just have to put up with my meandering blather…. oh, wait…. That happens every day, doesn’t it? Well, so be it. It’s my blog, and that’s the way it is, so, nyah, nyah, nyah….. Sorry, sometimes the inner child comes out in its obnoxious brat uniform…. Noting that did serve to alert me to the fact that I’ve reached a minimum legal limit for an intro, and can get out of this mess, should I so choose…. which, given the bilge that is so far populating these pages, is probably a good idea….. So, we will now get on with the regular business of the day, or, if that isn’t possible, a reasonable facsimile thereof will be provided…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“The world is a dangerous place to live — not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” — Albert Einstein
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Oh that those lips had language! Life has pass’d
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.

— William Cowper (1731-1800)

This section is dedicated today to my  high school classmate, and friend, Carole Anne Heaton Olivero, who passed out of this plane of existence last night in Texas, after a more-than-a-year-long battle with cancer. I could say a lot of things about her passing, and will, at some point, but, for now, let it suffice to say that the world has lost a bright spirit, one whose like will never be seen again. Carole lived a life filled with laughter, and love, and infused her happy spirit into everyone she met over the course of her life. She will be missed, and remembered with fondness by all who knew her…. She was my friend, and I loved her….

Her track, where’er the goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and gen’rous shame,
Th’ unconquerable mind,

— Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

Ah, the souls of those that die
Are but sunbeams lifted higher.

— Longfellow (1819-1892)
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I don’t think I need to explain this one, given my state of mind today…. All I can say is, thank goodness for Emily….

I died for beauty but was scarce
Adjusted in the tomb,
When one who died for truth was lain
In an adjoining room.

He questioned softly why I failed?
“For beauty,” I replied.
“And I for truth,–the two are one;
We brethren are,” he said.

And so, as kinsmen met a night,
We talked between the rooms,
Until the moss had reached our lips,
And covered up our names.
 
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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Time constraints have worked to limit the time I have today to write, so, this final section will be an old-school pearl, because they take less time to put together, as long as Smart Bee is cooperating. The point of this one is to paint a picture of politics, as we practice it here in America in the twenty-first century…..

“Most people seem to think that trampling individual rights is OK if it is “for the good of society as a whole.”  However, society is but a large number of individuals, and how can harming the individual parts better the whole?” — Andrew Ford

“For himself doth a man work evil in working evils for another.” — Hesiod (c. 700 BC) — Works and Days, Line 265

“Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.” — Smart Bee

“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie.  I can lie, but I won’t.” — Mark Twain

“Be careful what you vote for. You may get it.” — Smart Bee

“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the Legislature is in session.” — Lysander Spooner

“What is left when honour is lost?” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 265
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“I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore.  What is reality? Nothing but a collective hunch.” — Lily Tomlin

Ain’t that the truth? I’m not sure just how this one will look, but, it won’t matter, because it’s done, and that’s the way it will stay. Not too shabby, all in all, and well worth the money you will pay to read it. As for me, I’m done, and, I’m outta here….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole…
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

Splendid specimens, sir….do they wiggle?

Ffolkes,
We go now, in search of cognitive dissonance… heavily armed with oodles of insouciance, and eager to wage war with words. Let us then take a foray into the day, spreading the contagious joy of living……

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
— Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — A Psalm of Life

Alrighty then, let’s have at it……
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“With the first link, a chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” — Picard, ST:TNG, quoting a fictional judge, The Drumhead

One doesn’t often find profundity in Picard’s words, though he has one of the best voices for delivering such gems. This one seems timely, considering that we Americans just watched quietly as Congress passed another version of the Anti-Bill of Rights (aka, the Homeland Security Act), abridging even more of our Constitutionally guaranteed liberties. I find it reprehensible that the fear of terrorism that followed the attacks on 9/11 was used to justify an attack on the Constitution, and even fanned into flames, by the very people who are supposed to protect the liberties outlined in the Bill of Rights.

We no longer have the right to freely assemble to protest, unless we meet stringent regulations. Our telephone conversations are being monitored, both land-line and cell, for key phrases that would indicate terrorist activity. This law alone has caused a number of illegal arrests, which were made possible by the easing of the restrictions on police when performing searches. They now have the right to invade your home, just because they “suspect” terrorist activity. Racial and cultural profiling is rampant, and long-time citizens of this country are being harassed and vilified, just because they are Muslim, or “appear to be” Muslim.

What I’m saying here isn’t paranoia speaking. The incidents I’ve mentioned are all documented in the news. What disturbs me the most about the whole situation is that the American public isn’t protesting at all, not about what is important. Yes, it is the 99% who are perpetrating all these incidents of oppression, but that is normal; they’ve always done whatever they could get away with in their single-minded pursuit of most of the money in our pockets. The real danger lies in what they are doing to our basic liberties as outlined in the Bill of Rights. 

They are accomplishing all this without censure, without oversight, and without conscience. I can only hope that enough people like me can shout it out loudly enough, and often enough, that the sheep out there masquerading as adult humans will become afraid of the correct enemy, to wit: those attempting to erode our rights. These are not necessarily the rich, though they are paying for it; these are the hired gunslingers of the rich, placed in power by virtue of the almighty dollar and their gift of Lies…….

“If a lie is repeated often enough all the dumb jackasses in the world not only get to believe it, they even swear by it.” — B.B. Franklin

“There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise.” — Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

and, lastly…..

“Any hack can safely rail away at foreign powers beyond the sea; but a good writer is a critic of the society he lives in.” — Edward Abbey
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Hmph! Seriousness.  Hmph! Sobriety.  A Jedi craves them not.

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.

If humanity has any hope at all, it rests in those parts of our nature that are often only seen in times of crisis. Courage. Loyalty. Compassion. Love. Creativity. Imagination. Introspection. Will. These are our finest qualities, the parts of us that are always in in harmony with the universe, and represent  possibly our final hope for redemption.

In today’s complex world of the future, (thanks, Firesign Theater) we are bearing witness to the increasingly obvious symptoms of decay and dissolution exhibited by modern culture. Divisiveness in public affairs. Imminent economic turmoil caused by severe inequity across the board. Global warming and severe climatological changes caused by pollution of the air, land, and sea. Erosion of human rights. Threatening species extinctions occurring continuously. Damage to the bottom of the food chain, which will have effects that ripple and spread all the way to the top of the pyramid, ie., us.

The evidence for all of this is overwhelming, and the theoretical conclusions are approaching certainty; this planet, and the species that exist today, are what we like to call “one sick puppy”, and the prognosis for recovery is guarded and uncertain; death is very nearly certain without treatment of the causes, not the symptoms. At this point, its not a good bet…..

I’ll bet when you started on this little section, you thought it would be funny. Just goes to show how far you can trust words, doesn’t it? Even when the one speaking is on your side, as I am, you can never tell from outward appearances just what may lie hidden under the surface. It could be, as it is here, with the intent of contrasting and illuminating a desired point, a lesson, as it were. Or it could be that all that is going on here is another attempt to fool you into doing something you don’t necessarily agree with; this too, should be a familiar experience, as that is the most commonplace gift we receive from our beloved ruling class. What I’d like you to take from this, is a renewed attitude of personal responsibility for what we say and do; none of us will be free, if we do not free ourselves…….okay, here’s a little humor…..

“Truth … never comes into the world, but like a Bastard, to the ignominy of him that brought her forth.” — John Milton (1608-1674) (which throws light on the tradition of killing the messenger….)
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“Being frustrated is disagreeable, but the real disasters in life begin when you get what you want.” — Irving Kristol

This being the case, it points out another disturbing issue regarding our political choices today. Obviously, it is our preference (what we want) that only those who are the most skillful liars are allowed the opportunity to lie to the public at large, a privilege befitting their exalted position as a member of the beloved ruling class. After all, we vote for them, don’t we? Every time there is an election, both parties sally forth with their distorted truths and distractions, all cleverly designed to deflect attention from what is actually happening, which is a contest to see whose particular set of untruths is given precedence until the next election. Then we get to do it all again, whether anything good or bad has happened, or not happened.

It all seems a bit silly, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it make you feel just the slightest bit of embarrassment at not only bending over, but for willingly supplying the lubricant for the perversions to which these…people… are subjecting us? Sometimes, I get so ashamed, I refuse to even leave the house on election day, for fear I’ll snap, and start haranguing prospective voters as they wander in to cast their programmed responses, telling them they were all going to hell in a handbasket, just as if I were a preacher, or a politician, or someone of that ilk…..
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“If any man can convince me and bring home to me that I do not think or act aright, gladly will I change; for I search after truth, by which man never yet was harmed. But he is harmed who abideth on still in his deception and ignorance.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, vi, 21

It may have come to your attention that this seems to be a recurring theme here at Gigoid’s Folly. And you would be right in that. I’m scared, folks, and I don’t care who knows it (it just makes me more dangerous, not less). I’m scared to death that the degree of ignorance at work today in society is going to push us all into the path of the bulldozer of Extinction. I didn’t have children because I wanted to see them die, wallowing in the filth with which we have fouled our nest, choking on the air that is becoming thicker and more foul with each passing second. (Don’t believe me? follow this link to see just how fast we are killing ourselves….  http://www.poodwaddle.com/clocks/worldclock/ ) It’s getting to the point where I can see the muck in the air; look across a valley sometime, and see how much detail you can see across the way. In most of the world today, you would be lucky to be able to determine colors, but not shapes.

I reiterate. I’m scared. And I am monumentally pissed off, as well! Deliberately ignorant assholes are constantly filling the airwaves with the most egregious bullshite I’ve ever heard, and as an American who has witnessed election politics all my life, that is some pretty fancy doo doo.  What right do these ignoramuses have that allows them to spew their fear and loathing all over the rest of us? And how long is the general public going to allow this kind of self-destructive behavior in the people who are supposed to be protecting and nurturing our growth? It’s already gone on far too long, and I sense that change is in the air…..kind of smells like gunpowder in the morning air, doesn’t it?……
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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

Eureka! I have found the epitaph for my headstone, should I ever need one. This is me all over……this is not to say I’m perfect, far from it. But this is my picture of the ideal me, the prototypical me, from which all other possible me’s take their substance. It’s the kind of person I strive to be, even when I’m not. Even though I cannot yet spend all my time comfortably ensconced in the contented glow of this state of mind, I find it to be a most worthwhile goal for me to pursue. I shall go now and do so……
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That went well, I think. It would no doubt be best now for me to stop doing this, and go do something else. One nice thing about both retirement, and freelance writing, and that is getting to make your own schedule, without having to worry about anyone or anything other than one’s own whimsy. We all could use a bit more whimsy in Life, wouldn’t you say?  Y’all take care out there…..

P.S.  I’m once again writing for Examiner.com, as the Oakland Examiner for Social Issues. You can find all my articles for them by following this link. Page hits and clicks on advertisements are how I get paid, so feel free to come back often. I hope you enjoy reading my work there as much as I enjoy creating it…..

http://www.examiner.com/social-issues-in-oakland/ned-moore 

Thanks again, and carpe that old diem!…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Beleaguered by faceless minions….

Ffolkes,
Morning brings such sweet sorrow……oh, wait. Sorry, just a little pre-coffee dsylexia….let us begin the dance….

ASS, n.  A public singer with a good voice but no ear.  In Virginia City, Nevada, he is called the Washoe Canary, in Dakota, the Senator, and everywhere the Donkey.  The animal is widely and variously celebrated in the literature, art and religion of every age and country; no other so engages and fires the human imagination as this noble vertebrate.  Indeed, it is doubted by some (Ramasilus, _lib. II., De Clem._, and C. Stantatus, _De Temperamente_) if it is not a god; and as such we know it was worshiped by the Etruscans, and, if we may believe Macrobious, by the Cupasians also.  Of the only two animals admitted into the Mahometan Paradise along with the souls of men, the ass that carried Balaam is one, the dog of the Seven Sleepers the other.  This is no small distinction.  From what has been written about this beast might be compiled a library of great splendor and magnitude, rivaling that of the Shakespearean cult, and that which clusters about the Bible.  It may be said, generally, that all literature is more or less Asinine.

“Hail, holy Ass!” the squiring angels sing;
“Priest of Unreason, and of Discords King!”
Great co-Creator, let Thy glory shine:
God made all else, the Mule, the Mule is thine!”
G.J.
— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

A few days ago, I came across an article reviewing this book, The Devil’s Dictionary, which is being reprinted and released for consumption. When I started creating these Pearls, over ten years ago, I would occasionally come across one of the definitions from the book, in some pretty odd places. But the quotes were always witty, fun, and beautifully satiric in the way they poked fun at society and mankind. I had no idea at first that it was first published in the mid-1800’s, because most of what I had seen was excruciatingly accurate in its critical observations on government and politics, as well as less prominent subjects as the Ass. Combining wit, poetry, and wonderfully tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, it remains as valid today as the day it was first released. I don’t use too many of the definitions I find, as they usually are of the sort that would outshine whatever I could write about them, so I usually save them for occasions such as this, when the quotes can stand alone, or provide a clear subject for my dissection. I’m going to go buy me a copy of the book myself once it hits the bookstores; it will be a valuable, and well-thumbed, addition to my library…..
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What Congress means by ethics is best explained by the tailor’s story: “Suppose I sell a suit to a young man for $200.  He tells me that his family is footing the bill and that if I give him a receipt for $400 to give to his parents, he will pay me $100 on the side. The question of ethics is: Do I keep the extra $100 myself, or do I tell my partner and split it with him?”

Even though there was no attribution with this, I had to include it, just because there is very little to add. As a parable it is priceless, producing just the right amount of derisive snicker. As a metaphor, it is even more perfect, as all that is needed to make it congruent with reality is to add about 5 or 6 zeros after the digits, and it would easily be taken as a factual statement as it applies to our current crop of Congressati. 

It continues to amaze, and depress me how willingly the public buys into the nonsensical garbage these politicians throw out there into the public arena. There are new stories every day that give proof of how much our beloved ruling class is stealing from us, but the public continues to ignore every instance of a new lie, and keeps falling for the same old lies. It isn’t necessary for me to list here just how many of our public officials are engaged in this constant pilfering; you can open up any newspaper for that. And it is doubtful that my cries for help will be acknowledged, just as if I were a tree falling in an unoccupied forest…….but just because nobody hears, doesn’t make it any less true…..
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EXCESS, n.  In morals, an indulgence that enforces by appropriate penalties the law of moderation.

Hail, high Excess — especially in wine,
To thee in worship do I bend the knee
Who preach abstemiousness unto me —
My skull thy pulpit, as my paunch thy shrine.
Precept on precept, aye, and line on line,
Could ne’er persuade so sweetly to agree
With reason as thy touch, exact and free,
Upon my forehead and along my spine.
At thy command eschewing pleasure’s cup,
With the hot grape I warm no more my wit;
When on thy stool of penitence I sit
I’m quite converted, for I can’t get up.
Ungrateful he who afterward would falter
To make new sacrifices at thine altar!

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

It has been said that an important key to living well is to practice moderation in all things. There is a lot of evidence to support this notion, and the infamous SAGOPM (Self-appointed guardians of public morality) would have us believe that it is sinful to behave otherwise. But what these notorious busybodies forget in their zealous efforts to make everyone believe as they do, is that the concept also implies that even moderation should be practiced moderately.

There is a lot to be said in favor of every once in a while letting it all go, and spending some time at the outer limits of human experience, rather than always pulling back from the edge. There is a lot to be learned from pushing the envelope, and none of it can be learned by habitually avoiding the possibility of danger, or even just the possibility of embarrassment. It’s kind of like learning how to hit a curve ball from a major league pitcher; it can’t be done if you never step up to the plate. Sometimes, to learn the important stuff, you gotta let it all hang out……
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Art is long, and time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still like muffled drums are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
— Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882)
— A Psalm of Life

Somewhat broody, with a heavy air, beautifully spare. This is my favorite type of poem, even though I believe it is merely one scansion from a larger piece. The structure of the lines and the consistency of the rhymes lends itself well to the progression of ideas being presented. Though I can’t completely agree with some of the intended point it espouses, I can also find no fault in the manner of expression. I am reminded by this of the reason I don’t spend a lot of time reading Woodie, i.e., too sober for my taste. Great, brilliant poetry, but often rather saddening, or otherwise depressive. I admire the technique a lot, even though the ideas are not what I would prefer…….just goes to show, one can learn from anything; even a negative is an answer of sorts…….
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That is probably enough for one day. I wouldn’t want to go overboard this early, water’s too cold…..Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!