I’ve never seen a poltergeist retch before…..

Ffolkes,
Having thus far lived, in many respects, a relatively uneventful life, it was a bit of a surprise to find myself, upon first arising today, gazing at a large, green, rather handsome alien, all seven or eight feet of him, sitting quietly in my easy chair, reading a Nora Roberts novel obviously plucked from my bookcase. He kept reading as I stared at him, obviously unaware of my regard, breathing, apparently, through his legs, which inflated and deflated in a regular pattern every few seconds. As he sat there reading, (I say ‘he’ for lack of any proper definition of his gender, or whether he has one at all… gotta call him something….) he gave the impression of infinite patience, and serenity, idly perusing the paperback novel he had chosen…..

Then, of course, I blinked my eyes, and he was gone, back to dreamland, from where he had escaped, apparently just to provide me with a compelling opening paragraph to grab your attention….. which, hopefully, worked well…. It would have grabbed me, I’ll give it that…. It leaves me without anywhere to go from here, but, I’ve been there a lot, and know I can just wander around in my head long enough to reach the legal requirement for an intro. It’s not as if there is any lack of nonsense on hand, it’s merely a matter of shoveling it into the correct venue…. a statement which will, I’m sure, cause as much confusion for you as it does for me….

Let’s face it, ffolkes, I’m lost already…. I suppose that isn’t a very unusual happenstance, but I’m not generally forced to admit it so early. It must have something to do with getting up so late; I actually slept in until 0610, and woke up in a panic, thinking I’d missed an appointment or something…. then spent a few minutes recovering from my alien visitation before successfully arousing myself to get coffee…. Once I’d had a sip or two, of course, all was well with the world, and I could turn my mind to composition….

Which brings us to here….. I’m going to NOT push my luck today, I think. I’ve got two days to get through before getting on a boat bound for Alaska, and I’m not taking ANY chances of fate intervening in any negative fashion. The lists I’ve made are getting checked off, item by item, and it’s down to the last few; my excitement level goes up with each item I gleefully check off….. Before I can turn to any of what is needed for today’s list, though, I have to complete this little chore that I’ve set for myself, so…..   Shall we Pearl?…..

“Is something VIOLENT going to happen to a GARBAGE CAN?” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Having come to this so late in the day (time is relative, you know….), I’m feeling a bit pressed for time. So, I’ve dipped into my massive archives of material, and come up with this old style pearl, from August of 2011…. It’s a pretty good pearl, quite stimulating in a cogitative sense, not lacking in irony, and possessing a small degree of style… Well, I think so…. Enjoy!…..

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Ffolkes,
As I was diving this morning in search of some fine, lustrous Pearls to start the day, it struck me that the decision making process in humans seems to have a definable limit. Not a limit of content, but rather a limit of use. No matter what it is that we are doing that requires a decision, there comes a point in the process where we say, “enough!” and end the process of gathering information by the decision to act upon it. Now in a cosmic sense this is not a particularly profound discovery, nor, I think, particularly useful. But then most things we discover don’t have a lot of practical use; we just file them away somewhere in the back of our memory where we seldom look for what we need now, but may find a use for later.

There may be moments in the future where such knowledge may become of use, perhaps even critical. But for the most part, a great deal of memory is crowded with stuff we’ve figured out on our own, but which has little relevance to our life at that time. I’m not sure if this trait is an important evolutionary development, or just something that stays with us because it does no immediate harm to our ability to deal with reality.

Little snippets of fact or conclusions we’ve come to, of a personal or general nature, seem to be destined to clutter up our memories, and I suppose that the mere fact of their existence my prove to be their evolutionary purpose; something to keep us from getting anywhere too fast for our mind to keep up. Who knows? Certainly not me, but hey, it was useful to me today, if only because I was able to finesse an entire paragraph while saying absolutely nothing important for you, or me, to know……useful after all……    🙂

“ICONOCLAST, n.  A breaker of idols, the worshipers whereof are imperfectly gratified by the performance, and most strenuously protest that he unbuildeth but doth not reedify, that he pulleth down but pileth not up.  For the poor things would have other idols in place of those he thwacketh upon the mazzard and dispelleth.  But the iconoclast saith:  “Ye shall have none at all, for ye need them not; and if the rebuilder fooleth round hereabout, behold I will depress the head of him and sit thereon till he squawk it.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
(So THAT’S what I’ve been doing all these years! Nice to know there is a word for it…..)

“Power is an illusion; only stupidity is real.” — Smart Bee

“Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.” — Oscar Wilde

“If we can put the names of our faiths aside for the moment and look at principles, we fill find a common thread running through all the
great religious expressions.” — Louis Farrakhan, 1993

“It may be bad manners to talk with your mouth full, but it isn’t too good either if you speak when your head is empty.” — Smart Bee

“Objective evidence and certitude are doubtless very fine ideals to play with, but where on this moonlit and dream-visited planet are they found?” — William James

Okay, “enough!”……. I guess it does have a purpose after all…..the prevention of terminal boredom…… Y’all take care out there…..
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At this point in time, I am uncertain as to what style of poem will appeal today, so, I’m leaving this section for last…. I’ll be back…. Okay, I’m back…. and I brought with me one of my all time favorites…..

The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.   

~~  Shel Silverstein ~~

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The way this has turned out, I should have just reblogged an old Pearl, and been done with it…  Instead, I have three parts of old Pearls that will serve to make up today’s Pearl, and the hell with the consequences…. Here is a fine old religirant I found, from late in 2012…..

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Originally this morning, I had intended to write something less controversial here…. but, Smart Bee is being a bit recalcitrant this morning in coming up with suitable stuff…. so, I’m going ahead with this discussion of religious thought, even though I was trying not to be so sober today….SIGH…. “The best laid plans of mice and men, etc….”  Such are the mysterious ways of Smart Bee….

I believe in god, I just don’t like him. — Smart Bee

Now, here is a concept I can get behind…. I am often unsure of how to express my own beliefs about the idea of a God, or god,  capitalization depending, I suppose, on one’s sense of reverence regarding same. All the twaddle I was taught in Sunday School was an obvious pack of lies; even at age 5 I was unconvinced of the stories they told me. None of them seemed any more real, or plausible, than the cartoons I watched on Saturday morning, and there was certainly no bloodshed in the cartoons…. mayhem, yes, bloodshed, no…. But, the story of the crucifixion is enough to give even the most ghoulish of child nightmares, for sure and for certain…. What were they thinking?….

But, the statement above goes along better with what I would like to believe (which is no more, and no less, than any other human…. believing what we’d LIKE to believe is always more attractive than what MIGHT be true…. neither of which necessarily has anything to do with what is actually REAL….), because most of the stories and lessons we heard as children about God make him out to be a petty, narcissistic, vindictive asshole, to be quite frank.

Well, there is that, plus, most of the preachers, to me, seemed to me to be much more interested in other people’s business than their own, with many of the same characteristics of their ignoble so-called creator. None of them were much of a recommendation to me as proper examples of what a good man should be, and none of what I heard about god, or God, put (H)him in that category, either.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” — Jesus Christ (Gnostic Gospel Of Thomas, Saying 70)

Or, better out than in…. so to speak. Which, as you know if you’ve been reading here previously, is something I believe in wholeheartedly….. Jesus, for me, falls into a similar category for me as God, or preachers…. kind of in limbo regarding all the stuff that was, and is, said about him. He was obviously a real historical figure, and not a mythical supernatural being, and as such his words and actions were recorded for posterity. The accuracy of what was written is, to say the least, questionable, if for no other reason that he spoke Aramaic as his primary language…. that is pretty well established.

What many fail to consider is this…. in order for us to hear his words, we have to hear what was translated through at least four or five languages, from the original Aramaic. First, it would have been translated to Latin, or possibly another middle eastern dialect of the time, then into Latin. Then it was translated to probably Italian, French, and Spanish; then into German and, possibly, it underwent its first change into English, back when it was still considered to be Middle English…. I’m pretty sure the first King James version didn’t occur until well after the Renaissance period.

So, my question is this…. how much of the original meaning of his words came through into the English translation? It’s funny, but when, as a teen, I asked this of my pastor, all I could get from him was that, because the words were inspired by God, then the meaning would have been accurately translated by all those different people, as they were doing God’s work…. which, even then, made me go, “Hmmm? Could you explain that again, in English, with something, anything, that approaches an answer?” (This was before I spoke Spanish, or German, or anything else but English….)

That seems to be a problem with preachers/priests… they tend to lump everything into the same mold, and expect us to believe that what they say is true, even though there is no direct evidence to support any such twaddle. “The Bible says God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it!” seems to be their logical train of deduction, even though there is no logic, or deduction, to it.

I wasn’t born in Missouri, but, you’ve got to SHOW ME the evidence before I’ll waste my time trying to place any belief into such grandiose ideas. When one of the church minions asks me, sarcastically, if I expect God to send me a telegram, I usually reply, “Well, that WOULD be more persuasive than expecting me to take it on your word, now, wouldn’t it?”  Idiots….

“God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.” — H.L. Mencken

This attitude, the elitist idea that those who believe are somehow superior to those who do not, is one of the root causes of most of the trouble our species is having today. The insane attitude that this planet, and all the other creatures on it, were placed here specifically for our benefit and use, is responsible for all of the pollution that continues to pump into the ecosystem, for all the abuse and chauvinism against the other life forms who live here, and for a great number of the social issues, such as poverty, racism, misogyny, and violence, that plague us as a culture. 

We are not only NOT the masters of creation, we are not even qualified to be our own masters; we cause ourselves as much trouble as we do the rest of creation, if not more, all because religionists insist that those who believe them are good, and everyone else is bad…. a stupid idea at best.

“God made Man to his image and likeness, and Man, being a gentleman, returned the compliment.” — Voltaire

Hence, my lack of faith in the nonsensical claptrap that the various religions attempt to pass off as truth. Reality, to me, is scary enough, without the idea of some insane supernatural creature, sitting up in some fanciful Utopia, looking down and giving a rat’s ass about what I’m doing with my life. It just doesn’t make any sense to me to try to visualize a god…. by the very definition of the beast, they cannot be imagined by a creature of lesser scope…. and telling me that you have a direct line to God, and know what he wants me to do with my life, only makes me wish I could order your new medications personally…. Oh, didn’t I mention it? We now have medications that will keep people from believing delusional material, or at least keep them from acting on those beliefs before thinking about them at least a bit….. but, who’s going to give it to a priest, when the doctor believes the same bilge?

Now that I’ve alienated any number of true believers out there, I guess I’ll let this discussion die a natural death. I could obviously continue indefinitely, but, the rest of the day calls, and I should get to it…. If you have any thoughts on these conclusions of mine, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below…. and remember, please, the rules of engagement prohibit outright flaming on this site…. Confine name-calling to short, impersonal epithets, and please, include some logical thought in your responses, as neglecting to do so wastes my time, and everyone else’s…. I don’t mind being called a fool, but, as I said, let’s see your evidence….

“I find your lack of faith in the Force disturbing….” — Darth Vader (Star Wars)
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Well, it’s clear that I’ve done some decent work in the past, though this may or may not fall into that category. Regardless,  I like it, so it stays…. Plus, this way, I can be done, and get on with what is important, like staring at the clock to make it go faster….. Where did I put those time distortion pills, anyway?….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Only subsets of Zero endure such innuendo…

Ffolkes,
Yabber yabber yabber, blah, blah, blah…. sometimes, this is all I find in my mind when I first get up. I generally try to wait until it has cleared a bit, and responded to the calming balm of coffee, before I try to type. (And if typing is going to be this difficult today, I may as well stop now…. averaged three strikeouts and typeovers per word on that last sentence, continuing into this one….frustrating)

It may have something to do with how I slept last night (well and long, not common at all…), or it could be withdrawal symptoms; I’ve been out of my primary vice (tobacco) now for about 5 days, and though I’m coughing more, I’m enjoying it less. I suppose I’ll need to dig deep to find the wherewithal to maintain some reasonable semblance of sanity, or even harmlessly mild neurosis, until the symptoms pass. It should make the process of producing a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom quite interesting, even more so than usual….. shall we get on with it?…..
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“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” — Terry Pratchett, “Diggers”

I too have noticed this…. there is a certain type of personality in this world who just cannot keep themselves from butting into everyone else’s business. They can generally be spotted easily, as they are often sporting bruises or other evidence of their unappreciated behavior, like splints or casts. That, or the color of their nose; it’s usually stuck somewhere it doesn’t belong, and most of them show evidence of that nasty little habit by the degree of brown matter smeared around the nasal area.

Humanity has given these folks labels, of course, it’s one of those things we do…. nosey parker, busybody, cockatrice (no, wait, that’s something else…scratch that one), backseat driver, butt-in, buttinsky, eavesdropper, fink, fussbudget, gossip, intermeddler, intruder, meddler, newsmonger, rubberneck, scandalmonger, sidewalk superintendent, snoop, snooper, tattletale, troublemaker, yenta, and the most annoying and dangerous kind, politicians.

As can be seen by the number of ways we have come up with to describe these rampant fools, this behavior is obviously not rare, but rather a frequent irritation. Most of us have come up with our own methods to deal with this kind of ass holiness, and otherwise don’t fret about it much, as one can’t change human nature. My own preferred method involves the eye for an eye concept. Whenever I hear that someone is spreading tales about me, I just smile and start a rumor about them. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, and I find that in this case, making up stuff about them is not only turnabout’s fair play, but immensely satisfying, and extremely effective. I suggest you try it yourself next time you one of these misanthropes crosses your path…..

“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”
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“If we can put the names of our faiths aside for the moment and look at principles, we fill find a common thread running through all the great religious expressions.” — Louis Farrakhan, 1993

In today’s society, one most likely must be around my age to remember Louis Farrakhan; he’s not well known to the white race as he once was, in his heyday, the 60’s. He was one of the scary-smart young Black Power advocates who converted to Islam during the preaching days of Malcolm X; he became of of the movements most vocal practitioners.

Though he was militant in his outlook, he yet maintained a sense of tolerance, and hope of reconciliation, instead of incessant demands for revolution, as is clearly indicated in the above statement. He wanted to believe that white and black people could learn to accept and appreciate the humanity in each of us, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary that is still common in modern society.

Attitudes change very slowly in society, a fact that doesn’t please either side of the controversy, as I think both blacks and whites are pretty fed up with the whole business. I believe strongly that the average person, white, black, yellow, brown, red, purple, and green all want the same thing deep down, and that is respect. We all want to be left alone to live our lives as we choose, and are willing to give respect to those who return it. However, the issue remains unresolved today, and will likely be with us until our impending extinction as a species, being one of the primary factors in bringing that extinction into play.

I find it quite sad, myself, as we could be so much more than we allow ourselves to be. If only people really believed what they preach in their churches, then utopia is possible; without it, our most likely end will be as just another broken thread in the tapestry of Life, to be ripped out and replaced with a species not so determined to kill itself…..
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Repetition does not establish validity. — Souder’s Law

Here is a truism I think we all wish some folks would learn to understand. It seems to be a common belief among modern politicians and demagogues of all sorts, that the more times they state their ignorant ideas to the unwashed masses, the more people will believe it. It annoys me no end to hear the same tired nonsense repeated from coast to coast, on every network, on every TV, day after day, until I want to bite the nearest idiot.

A perfect example of this is the entire “Birther” controversy over the current President’s qualifications for the job. There are entire networks, and websites galore that trumpet this idiotic nonsense over and over, insisting that all the evidence to the contrary is just a conspiracy to pull the wool over their eyes. Seemingly, they are incapable of understanding that the wool is part of their own costume, that they refuse to accept any evidence that doesn’t support their insane fears.

In my mind, this particular characteristic is so firmly entrenched in so many people, it has become one of the primary reasons bringing humanity ever closer to signing its own death warrant. And its a sure bet that those folks who buy into such idiocy will be whining and complaining all the way to Hell, with plaintive cries of “why didn’t someone tell me?”, or “it’s not my fault!”, never realizing that they have done it to themselves. Unfortunately, they will be taking the rest of us along for the ride, much to our chagrin……
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Having so much sleep at night has me pretty well discombobulated (love that word!); I’m having a bit of trouble deciding what to write about. I’ve come up with a temporary solution…..below are some pearls I’ve gathered in recent dives, and all have something important to convey to the reader; good advice for living, so to speak. I’ll let them speak by themselves, and leave any conclusions as an exercise for the Gentle Reader…..

“Philosophy removes from religion all reason for existing. As the science of the spirit, it looks upon religion as a phenomenon, a transitory historical fact, a psychic condition that can be surpassed.” — Benedetto Croce

“Self-improvement is a dangerous form of vanity.” — Alan Watts

“But my dear man, reality is only a Rorschach ink-blot, you know.” — Alan Watts

“Suppose that we are wise enough to learn and know and yet not wise enough to control our learning and knowledge, so that we use it to destroy ourselves? Even if that is so, knowledge remains better than ignorance. It is better to know even if the knowledge endures only for the moment that comes before destruction than to gain eternal life at the price of a dull and swinish lack of comprehension of a universe that swirls unseen before us in all its wonder. That was the choice of Achilles, and it is mine, too.” — Isaac Asimov, The New Hugo Winners

“In science, “fact” can only mean “confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.”  I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.” — Stephen Jay Gould

“He who has so little knowledge of human nature as  to seek happiness by changing anything but his own  disposition will waste his life in fruitless  efforts.” — Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

See? Well worth what you’ve paid for it, don’t you think?……
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“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion.” — Oscar Wilde

Oscar had a way with words, it cannot be denied. It’s been awhile since I used one of his epigrammatic quotes, and I’ve missed his irreverence. This one is particularly serious minded, somewhat unusual for him, but nonetheless insightful. Sometimes his ideas are presented with such an air of insouciance and humor that it is difficult to see the depth of his intended meaning. But, this one suffers from no such weakness; it is clear, profound, and absolutely true.

I’m going to let it stand as is, without my usual discourse, as it says all I would say, and says it so well that it would be gilding a lily for me to add more. Just take it as truth, and fit it into your calculations, and you’ll do fine…..Oh, and remember to not just believe it, but to do it…..takes a bit of courage, but is worth it for sure and for certain…..
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I find myself in an odd space this morning; this whole process has struggled mightily today, and finding myself at the end of the struggle is a bit of a letdown. All this angst, and nowhere to put it! Ah well, I suppose I should go forth into the day, and put all this behind me. If nothing else, it will be a different struggle, and that can make all the difference….. y’all take care out there…..

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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!