Wait! Don’t shoot, it’s Bob’s uncle!…..

Ffolkes,

The life I lead now is much different from the one that I had back in the day, prior to the advent of the chronic pain with which I now live. For example, before the pain became a contributing factor, I could pretty much do anything, physically, that I wished to do. Sports, martial arts, camping, driving, cooking, virtually all of the activities I once pursued without a thought to how it might affect me are now proscribed, as being too painful to pursue.

Even activities such as walking are now limited to how long I can go without stimulating more pain, or becoming fatigued, which is the most common precursor to the upper realms of pain, otherwise known as pure agony, a state clearly distinguishable from any ecstasy, let me assure you….

I am not relating this to garner sympathy; thanks, but no thanks. I’ve had plenty of that, and would rather just get on with things, sans any more of it. No, I’m apologizing, in my own roundabout way, for my inability to sit and read the blogs I want to read, which I would very much LIKE to do….. I find, however, if I take that time to read, for more than just a few minutes, the pain takes over, and I have to get up and move around, or lie down until the spasms go away…. neither of which gets it done….. I have been hoarding the time I can spend at the computer for producing these Pearls each day; unfortunately, that is usually about the limit of what I can do, so, I end up posting, then having to shut down, or go do something else, because I am done with sitting comfortably….

Actually, sitting comfortably is what can be called a memory; there is no chair, and no position that can justify using that word, as it applies to sitting. It just doesn’t feel good after a couple of minutes, even with slight position changes every few seconds., and, unless some miracle happens to completely heal, or cure, the torn ligaments that are at the core of the issue, I can pretty much count on sitting comfortably again oh, say, in my next life, not in this one….

I’ve learned to be okay with that; I don’t piss and moan about it all the damn time, as I used to at first. I’ve accepted it as my lot, for having been so damn physically active when younger…. Yep, that’s right….. there is such a thing as being TOO active, according to my doctor…. Anyone who pursues a lifetime of sports or martial arts is TOO active, and, according to him, will pay a price in their later years for going too far when younger…. It’s not in the manual, but, it’s true, nonetheless….. and, if I am a typical case, then, he is right….

This is where the apology part comes in, to all of the bloggers I follow, and can seldom read…. It’s not as if I don’t want to read them, I just can’t sit long enough to get caught up to all of them I wish to get to…. I know there are a few ffolkes who make it by here every day, or nearly, and I really appreciate their custom…. Those who do come by often are also some of my favorite authors, so it burns my ass big time that I cannot get to their sites as often as I wish….. and, for this, I am sorry…. I keep hoping for a clear spell of pain-free time, but, since that hasn’t been fulfilled for over 8 years now, I won’t be holding my breath…. and neither should they…. I do hope they understand, though…

Now that I’ve bared my soul long enough to thoroughly embarrass myself, I’ll get on with today’s post, hoping I can last long enough to get some of it done before having to take a break from sitting…. I’ve been up 3 times already in composing this intro, so, it’s a bit dodgy today…. I’ll get it done, but, won’t be a happy camper for a while…. C’est la vie, reader-san!

Shall we Pearl?…..

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

~~ Emily Dickinson
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Obviously, ranting is out of the question when my back is like this; can’t sit long enough to get the outrage out onto the screen. But, Smart Bee has been pretty cooperative of late, so, we’ll let it pick out some nice pearls for your consideration…. We’ll make it a random, harlequin style pearl, with no set parameters, and see what happens….. Good luck, and don’t forget your lobster bibs….

I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things –
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold –
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!

— William Butler Yeats, “Fergus and the Druid”

“All things are the same,–familiar in enterprise, momentary in endurance, coarse in substance. All things now are as they were in the day of those whom we have buried.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 14

“Half the work that is done in the world is to make things appear what they are not.” — E. R. Beadle

“Rights” is a fictional abstraction. No one has “Rights”, neither machines nor flesh-and-blood. Persons… have opportunities, not rights, which they use or do not use.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

Warning: Politicians can damage your wealth. — Smart Bee

The thief
Left it behind —
The moon at the window.

— Ryokan

“At this precise moment, no reproach proceeding from men or gods can affect me: I have as good a conscience as if I had never existed.” — E.M. Cioran

“The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation, and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance called “faith”.” — Robert G. Ingersoll

“As God is my witness – I am that fool!” — Gomez Addams

Wow…. a nine-star pearl! I’ve never made one of those before, but,  I think it came out pretty well, especially for the harlequin style…. I hope you enjoy consuming it as much as I did producing it…..
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So far today, we’ve had Yeats, we’ve had Dickinson, we’ve had Ryokan …. it must be time for someone equally spirited….

The Loser

Mama said I’d lose my head
if it wasn’t fastened on.
Today I guess it wasn’t
’cause while playing with my cousin
it fell off and rolled away
and now it’s gone.

And I can’t look for it
’cause my eyes are in it,
and I can’t call to it
’cause my mouth is on it
(couldn’t hear me anyway
’cause my ears are on it),
can’t even think about it
’cause my brain is in it.
So I guess I’ll sit down
on this rock
and rest for just a minute…

~~ Shel Silverstein ~~

from the book “Where the Sidewalk Ends” (1974)

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I’ve just taken a quick look at the news, and nothing outraged me enough to start a rant…. thankfully, as I’m currently not in the condition to do that without more sacrifice than I’m willing to endure…. This means y’all are the winners again today, as I’ll be going with another old-school pearl, which, though less straightforward in their approach to cognitive stimulation and/or attempted thought manipulation than are rants, they are patently less pompous by a factor of infinity; moreover, they’re guaranteed to provide fewer instances of mental heartburn…. In fact, a good group of pearls will actually cure baldness in adult males, given the right amount of faith…. or, so I’m told….

“You don’t fool me!! You’re not really an idiot!!” — Smart Bee

“The improver of knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” — Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)

“I’ll tell you what kind of guy I was.   If you ordered a boxcar full of sons-of-bitches and opened the door and only found me inside, you could consider the order filled.” — Robert Mitchum
(My hero!…. It has always been one of my life’s goals, to achieve this degree of “badass”….)

“I would far rather be ignorant than wise in the foreboding of evil.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Suppliants, 453

“After a while he realizes that she is beautiful – he just hadn’t noticed it at first.” — Lazarus Long

MAD, adj.  Affected with a high degree of intellectual independence; not conforming to standards of thought, speech and action derived by the conformants from study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual.  It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that themselves are sane.  For illustration, this present (and illustrious) lexicographer is no firmer in the faith of his own sanity than is any inmate of any madhouse in the land; yet for aught he knows to the contrary, instead of the lofty occupation that seems to him to be engaging his powers he may really be beating his hands against the window bars of an asylum and declaring himself Noah Webster, to the innocent delight of many thoughtless spectators.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper.  Half never voted for President.  One hopes it is the same half.” — Gore Vidal

Some days, SB is just better than others…..
_____________________________

I do believe I’ve done it, Olly!  It’s another fine mess, just rarin’ to get read….. well, ready to be read, anyway. Let’s see how that goes….

Well, it’s definitely a Pearl, and, until someone disabuses me of the notion, I’m going to consider it to be a relatively good one…. I like it, anyway, so that’s something…. Y’all can make your own decision on that…. See ya…..

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

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!