I should probably know better, by now, than to put fingers to keyboard during that period before the coffee is done. In spite of my advanced years, though, here I am, typing away, with nothing to say, just passing time until my brain decides to function…. Perhaps I should go first to perform my morning ablutions; yes, that is the right idea…. I go now, to worship at the porcelain throne, and contemplate my sins, myriad though they be….. according to the local preachers, anyway….. But, we don’t pay them any mind, as they are just jealous of my shirts…. I’ll be back, as Arnie is wont to say when in Terminator format….
Sorry ’bout that, ffolkes…. as I said, I should know better….. Well, here we are again, in a dangerous place. Why dangerous, you ask? It’s difficult to explain, but I’ll try…. It’s dangerous, for me, and consequently for you, because it’s too soon….. Too soon, you ask? Why, yes, I reply, too soon…. Well, what if we just waited a while? Hmm… not a bad suggestion, I think, but, probably destined to fail, as are almost any attempts to correct the situation, since I detect the hand of Murphy at work in this matter. As with almost everything he touches, waiting will only make things worse, as it gives him more time to turn his creativity to the punishment phase of his operation….
What now? Good question…. maybe I should look for a pearl for a moment or two, to see if there are any instructions or tips from my subconscious, or from the SB hackers….. be right back….
“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib.” — Old Testament — Isaiah i, 3
Well, that’s an interesting find….. I generally try to stay away from the Old Testament; the pressure of life back then was such that the people who wrote the books in that tome tend to be more than a little touched by the sun, or Son, as you desire….. So, their advice is often a bit out of date, like when it counsels one on proper care of their ass (donkey variety, not human _ _ _ hole types…. Not too useful in changing the oil on your Toyota…. This one seems a bit more useful than most, though I’m really not absolutely certain what kind of metaphor they are trying to make…. maybe something to do with ownership rights; they were sticklers for the laws back then…. Let’s try again, since that one wasn’t quite sufficient….
“A good old man, sir; he will be talking: as they say, When the age is in the wit is out.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Much Ado about Nothing
— Act iii, Sc. 5
As you may have noted in past Pearls, I’m not overly impressed with Shakespeare, either, but have always admitted that he did write some fairly coherent, and majestically beautiful, prose, a category into which this one falls. It’s right on the money, in terms of its accurate take on human nature, in general, though it is a bit harsh on seniors, and does further the stereotype of seniors as being senile, a characteristic not all of us share.
I think this particular play, Much Ado About Nothing, is probably my favorite of all of his works, with the best cache of witty quotes and jokes, including a number of puns, and plays on words….. With Will, it’s kind of like Pearls…. there is a LOT of stuff written, but the gems are often buried in the crap surrounding it…..
And, on THAT note, one not completely inspiring, but true, I see we have reached that tenuous barrier that marks the boundaries of acceptable introductory sections…. In fact, it blew right past acceptable, and is now chasing after totally overboard…. Before it catches up to that, and the ensuing struggle tries to throw us all out of our seats, I think we’ll go for a dive…. now….. Shall we Pearl?
MORAL, adj. Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right. Having the quality of general expediency.
“It is sayd there be a raunge of mountaynes in the Easte, on one syde of the which certayn conducts are immorall, yet on the other syde they are holden in good esteeme; wherebye the mountayneer is much conveenyenced, for it is given to him to goe downe eyther way and act as it shall suite his moode, withouten offence. _Gooke’s Meditations_
— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
A reader commented to me recently that my rants have gone soft; she enjoys it when I rake someone over the coals, figuratively speaking, and asked me when I was going to get back on my white horse, or my soapbox, as the cliché may be…. I told her it is most likely a result of having some of the pressure of living removed, by the acquisition of my SS benefits, so much so that I’m finding it hard to summon up the outrage needed to rant effectively…. Like Voldemort told Harry, when he tried to use the Cruciatus Curse against Bellatrix Lestrange, in HP5-The Order of the Phoenix, “You’ve got to MEAN it, Harry!” Funny how not worrying about where the next meal is coming from takes some stress out of one’s life, isn’t it?….. Ha Ha…..
So, anyway, then I saw the above entry from the Devil’s Dictionary, and thought to myself, “AHA!” (I do that a lot…), “Now, here’s a subject worthy of a rant!”…. This is absolutely true, even though morality is sort of like reality…. there are as many versions of what it means as there are people…. of which, each and every one believes that what they perceive is the only correct version, obviously…. Right….
So, you can see the problem right away…. As a society, we have an unfortunate tendency to try to legislate morality, so that everyone is compelled to behave according to a commonly accepted pattern of behavior…. Supposedly, this legislation is supposed act as some sort of magic bullet, that will stop all the bad things from happening, like stealing, killing, and general misbehavior that is upsetting to the rest of society…. It never works, at all, but, we keep on passing laws designed to enforce a common morality anyway….
Such a drama is now being played out on the national stage, as the Senate just defeated the new gun control reforms that 90% of the populace wants in place. Out of a hundred Senators, it only took 45 Republicans to bring the proposed law down, meaning that once again, a very small percentage of people have forced their views on the rest of the public, to suit their own morality, and, more importantly, to suit their own special interests, who paid good money for their votes, dammit!…. I am somewhat piqued about this, but see little in the way of anything to be done that will make any difference, in the big picture…. No matter how stringent the laws, people who want guns will get them, and use them on other people…. The new laws would have made that a bit more time-consuming, but no less possible, or even less probable….
Since I can’t thing of anything positive to suggest, other than to stay alert to what may end up as a critical issue, I will fill out what should normally be a rant, with a number of cogent pearls, to try to jab the stick into the appropriate eyes…. and my friend will have to wait a bit longer for a good, old-fashioned brouhaha, as I get nasty and vicious in my denouncement of the BRC, the churches, and the corporate masters….. I will say this to her….. have no fear, my outrage isn’t gone, just temporarily dormant, and I WILL be back to rant….. meanwhile, enjoy these tasty gems…..
“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.” — Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
Linear Model: An assumption concerning the nature of reality applied unquestioningly to every relationship as though God had determined that truth must always run in straight lines. — Smart Bee
“The clinching proof of my reasoning is that I will cut anyone who argues further into dogmeat.” — Sir Geoffery de Tourneville (ca. 1350)
“Has history ever recorded a time when the majority was right?” — Lazarus Long
“He would be the finer gentleman that should leave the world without having tasted of lying or pretense of any sort, or of wantonness or conceit.” –Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 2
“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” — Saul Bellow
“If you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other.” — Carl Schurz (1829-1906)
I suppose, in a way, I’ve failed at the poetry challenge for the month, as I haven’t been creating one per day (except haiku, which I produce whenever I wish….. like today’s, which is fresh and clean….), and again today will need to use one from my archives, which, fortunately, have enough to choose from for all the days I’ve missed…. This one speaks to, and about, the friends who helped keep my hope alive when I was struggling, just to get enough to eat….. As every day this month, these are being included as part of the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here: http://www.napowrimo.net/ I hope you enjoy them…..
Making it all up
I go merrily along;
waters of Lethe.
~~ gigoid ~~
“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.” — EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994
Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.
Still, a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.
Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.
Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.
Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.
To attempt to soothe the ruffled feathers of my friend who wants me to rant, I give you now a rant from 2012, post-election category…. It kind of fits in with the morality play above…. sort of, maybe…. any who, enjoy…..
“Integrity is when what you say, what you do, what you think, and who you ARE all come from the same place.” — Madelyn Griffith-Haynie
Okay, I know we are all probably sick to death of politics, and the election, and everyone would like to have a break from talking and thinking about it….. I know I am. So, I’ll try to make this fairly short, and make it the last political diatribe for at least a day or two. It may be possible, if nothing in the news jumps up to stimulate my outrage (which may be on a short vacation itself….. I hope. I could do with the emotional space….).
Any who…. here is what I was thinking when I came across this little gem…. What if we devised a test, that in some way would enable us, as voters, to determine the relative status of each of the candidates according to this rule? A way, as it were, to measure their degree of integrity, which is something I think we can all agree would be a good thing to see in a politician, unlikely as it may be. If we could, say, set up a scale of integrity, and make it law that a person had to score in the top 5% of the scale in order to merely be eligible for office, I think we might see a whole new set of politicians, who had never before been seen in public.
In fact, in thinking about the current crop of those in office, it is entirely possible that ALL of those in office now might not be eligible…. I am not excluding the President, out of fairness, though I personally believe he might score in the top 10%…. I still have questions about some of the stuff he has signed that didn’t seem to be very well publicized, as they didn’t exactly fit with his image….. The newest version of the Patriot Act, the NDAA, that he signed last New Year’s Day comes immediately to mind….
I don’t care if he did try to mitigate some of the deleterious effects of the law, he still signed the damn thing, thereby seriously endangering a number of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. Plus, the method he used to keep it from the public awareness was rather suspect, in my mind, and reminiscent of the old days under Nixon, Johnson, Reagan, and the two Shrubs, may they all rot in whatever level of Hell they are destined to occupy….. (I know, I know…. not being a Christian, that curse has little weight, but, hey, it’s a pretty clear indicator of my opinion of all of them….)
As I suspect it might, this grew to be somewhat more than I intended it to be, so I’ll cut it short here. But, my suggestion above, about the test for integrity that should be a given for political aspirants, is completely serious, and I wanted to get that out. Maybe by the next election, we can get the rest of the country to buy into it…. which should be interesting, and fun. I’ll be looking forward to the expressions on the faces of all the supporters of those now in office, when their people gloriously fail to pass the test…. and to the results it will have on society, should it ever be adopted…. I don’t see any way at all that it could do anything that wouldn’t improve the situation…..
And so I penned
It down, until at last it came to be,
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.
— John Bunyan (1628-1688) — Pilgrim’s Progress, Apology for his Book
Well, that went fairly well, if somewhat less than totally creatively…. I’m still looking for that magic bullet, unfortunately; old habits die hard. Nonetheless, I’m done, so that has to count for something, doesn’t it?…. Let’s see how it flows….. Okay, again, not too bad, all in all, so, it’s going out, as is…. gigoid has spoken. Also, gigoid is tired now, and wants to go back to sleep…. Say bye, bye, gigoid…. 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,
I just sits.