I didn’t realize it would be so…. bulbous….

Ffolkes,

“Have the courage to live. Anyone can die.” — Robert Cody

August 1 2014 023 (2)

    After taking this picture, I stood looking at this little display on the street near where I live, attempting to deduce the reason for its being there… You have to admit, it isn’t the usual type of thing one sees walking down a street in a quiet neighborhood. Whatever these are, they don’t appear to be bowling balls, though they are the correct size, and colors… I could not, however, find any finger holes, unless they are on the underside, where I couldn’t see them…. I was thinking maybe they were seeds for planets, but, who’d have those in their front yard? And wouldn’t they need to be refrigerated?

All good questions, none of which were susceptible to answer, since nobody was around to ask, so, I took my speculations and guesses, and went home…. One of these days, I’ll go by again, & see if anyone is around to explain why they’re using planetary seeds for an art display in their yard…. and, what idiot in the government sold him the seeds, which, as far as I know, are not available on the open market (they were only developed successfully in the past year, and are not fully tested out yet…. To my knowledge, very few people even know they exist yet, so the next question that strikes me is…. are they safe, sitting there in the sunlight? Won’t they start growing?…. Interested parties wish to know….)

I’m done now, at least for the moment…. I couldn’t figure out why these colorful balls were sitting on the wall as I walked by, and, truthfully, no one was around, or I would have asked…. It wasn’t any big deal to me, but, I was curious…. then, when I looked again at the picture, I figured it would work for an intro, so, here we are, engaging in fruitless, imaginary speculation about nothing at all, save some random human’s urge to express some vague artistic impulse…. So, there is no need to sit there, wondering what the hell I’m going with this, as we’re not going anywhere…. at least, not on THIS bus!

Ah hell, ffolkes, I’m lost again…. I thought I had a good one going there, and it just sort of fell apart on me…. I guess that is what happens when one bases the material on nothing much; it requires some “punching up” to make it worthwhile for us to use, and, apparently, I just don’t have the power in my punches that would make it work…. Not surprising, given my state, which, rather than whine and complain about, I’m ignoring…. It doesn’t do me any good to fret and whine about pain like this, nor is it helpful to wake up the neighborhood with the groans and moans that escape me as I move about, pouring the coffee that will save lives….

Without going into TMI, we’ll just relate that my arthritic joints have decided to make today a day of celebration, so they are singing….. Typing is such wonderful fun, and so stimulating, it makes me want to bite….. Instead, I’m going to take a short break, then come back to try to finish this….

Well, so much for that idea…. I suppose we’ll just continue our policy of staying out of the way of anyone who might get bitten, consuming massive quantities of powerful pharmaceuticals, until they work, and generally just typing whatever comes to mind, such as THAT may be…. It’s not necessarily Art, but, it works for me…. I can see now, though, I’m going to have to get us out of here rather abruptly, or we won’t get out of here at all…. Hang on, ffolkes…

Shall we Pearl?….

“With the pride of an artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists, the small trumpet of your defiance.” — Norman Mailer

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Today, since I’m not in a state where any kind of rational arguments are likely to be generated in support of a rant, I’ll use a trick I know…. Here are a couple of links to articles that I expected to rant about today…. The first one is yet another example of how the police forces in this country have become so para-military in their attitudes, they assume they can do whatever they want, and only admit to what they are up to when exposed…. After the article, and an excerpt showing the need for worry, I’ll provide a couple of pearls to drive home the point I wish to make…. then we’ll go on to the next link after that…. Let’s see how this works, shall we?….

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” — C. S. Lewis

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/San-Jose-police-We-regret-secrecy-about-drone-5670183.php?cmpid=hp-hc-bayarea

“The purchase was approved by the City Council with no public debate and was not publicized until Vice’s Motherboard and MuckRock obtained public records on the drone.

“Another possible use would be for situations that threaten public safety,” the statement reads. “These could include dangers such as active shooters, hostage-taking, or other such tactical situations where lives might be in immediate danger.”

That troubled Nicole Ozer, an attorney who heads the American Civil Liberties Union’s Technology and Civil Liberties Project. “The City Council had been told it was approving a drone for hazardous material,” she said. “Now, in this statement, the SJPD says it wants to use it for any situation that will threaten public safety. As you can imagine, that can be very broad scenarios.” Ozer said the drone was “only approved because community members were kept in the dark. There hasn’t been any public debate about whether there should be drone use at all.”

— excerpted from the article

“Any excuse will serve a tyrant.” — Aesop (620-560 B.C.

“The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.” — Confucius

(Note: By this definition, none of the SJPD can make any claim to superiority, can they?…. They acted, but, then didn’t bother to speak; when caught out, they sheepishly spoke, but, once again, lied about their motivation…. thus, removing any attempt they might make at justification for their acts from the realm of possibility….)

“Habit is the nursery of errors.” — Victor Hugo

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” — Plato

(Did you ever wonder why cops all wear those mirror shades now, or some other kind of eye covering? It seems like you never see a cop’s real eyes any more; they’re all wearing “safety” glasses of some sort or another…. which, as we see by Plato’s astute observation, is a dead giveaway as to their real personal world-views…. Remember of whom we speak, now….

Do you think, even for a minute, the average cop is some altruistic, gentlemanly, heroic figure who went into public service because of their huge heart and wish to be socially useful? Don’t make me laugh, ffolkes…. Most of them NEED the authority and entitlement provided by the job to feel as if they are in control of their life, which is reinforced by their successful use of intimidation and aggressiveness to accomplish their ends, to feel as if they have that control, which they so desperately seek….)

“A thing either is what it appears to be; or it is not, but yet appears to be; or it is, but does not appear to be; or it is not, and does not appear to be.” — Epictetus

(I hardly need to point out that this applies perfectly to the SJPD statement regarding their alleged drone… because it is what it appears to be…. pure bullshit….)

(Okay, I’m done commenting now…. sure is an easier way to rant, though, I must say….)

Next, we have an article that celebrates the current crop of comedians who are poking fun at the Asininnies, on a larger stage than I can ever hope to find here at WP…. Jon Stewart, Russell Brand, Steven (Stephen? I dunno….) Colbert, and a number of others, all of whom continue the good works of society’s masters of critical humor, as epitomized by George Carlin,  who was so adept at putting the truth out there for people to see, while at the same time exposing the lies, and the lying liars who tell them, as they spread their slime from every podium in front of a TV camera, anywhere in the world….

This one isn’t so much a diatribe as a thank-you note to all these young societal gadflies, with some good links to some hilarious take-downs of some of today’s most ridiculous pundits…. This is one you can enjoy, guilt free… After, I’ll throw in a couple pearls to drive the points home, then we’ll be off to another section, just like we had some sort of routine….

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/08/05/fierce-comics-at-the-end-of-the-world/

“Politics, like religion, hold up the torches of martyrdom to the reformers of error.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

“An experienced, industrious, ambitious, and often quite often picturesque liar.” — Mark Twain

“Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.” — Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout (1866-1975)

“Intelligence has nothing to do with politics.” — Londo Molari

Yes, many primitive people still believe this myth…But in today’s technical vastness of the future, we can guess that surely things were much different.” — The Firesign Theater

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Here is a poem of mine, from   , that goes fairly well with today’s apparent theme…..

Rhyming is better than lying….

It’s all too, too much, he cried
   I can take no more!
It’s all crazy, my brain is fried,
   battered, bloody, and sore.

Talking heads shout out hatred and fear
   jam for my morning toast.
Pointing fingers far, middle, and near
   enemies everywhere, almost.

Women, gays, and seniors fall prey,
   easy targets, slow and weak.
Convenient fools, wanting only to play,
   used, and abused, even as we speak.

It enough to drive me floridly insane,
   or want to buy a gun.
I may end up in jail, or in massive pain,
   but, oh, it would be fun….

~~ gigoid ~~


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Having explained above the justification for any cheating I may do today, I won’t bother to repeat it here…. Suffice it to say, I’m using an archived pearl, one from a little over two years ago, a specialty format pearl that works quite well, I think…. I hope you enjoy it….

From 8/1/2012:

What we have here is a failure to…. wait, that’s been done…. Okay, here, I found it in the script…. What we have below is an old-school Sesame Street style pearl…. Taken together, in the order given, and with a relatively open mind, these quotes will lead one to the Thought For Today. If they don’t, well, that’s okay, too…. Once again, as we are going old-school, this will not be on the test….

“But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State.” — Thomas Jefferson, [letter?] To S. Kercheval, 1810

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” — Thomas Paine

“One sure way to determine the social conscience of a Government is to examine the way taxes are collected and how they are spent.  And one sure way to determine the social conscience of an individual is to get his tax-reaction.  Taxes, after all, are the dues that we pay  for the privileges of membership in an organized society.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt, campaign address, — Worcester, Mass., Oct. 21, 1936.

“The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.” — Thomas Babington Macaulay

“When I was made presidential press secretary my father sent me a telegram: “Always tell the truth. If you can’t always tell the truth, don’t lie.” — Bill Moyers

“What is left when honour is lost?” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 265

What, indeed….. on that note, onward…..

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I have done my duty; enough is enough…. On that note, I will take my leave, sans the usual crap…. I’m in too much pain to worry about that, at all…. I’m gonna go somewhere and whimper a while…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I manage to keep from getting arrested for biting someone…. Hey, wait a minute, I just had a thought…. Now, where’s that cat?…..

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 the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Olive, or peanut oil for the fries?….

Ffolkes,

“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
 — The Beatles, The last lyric of their last song
July 15 2014 017

    I’ve begun to put both a pearl, and a picture, at the beginning of the Daily Pearls, which, you may have noted, if you’ve stopped by in the last week or so…. After almost three years of, (literally, AND figuratively) pounding my head against the keyboard, in order to stimulate the wherewithal to create an introduction, I’m resorting to new ideas, and new techniques, to get the “little grey cells” working, or at minimum, provide a starting point for discussion….

Today, my choice of quote and picture, while at first appearing to be be quite normal, even a bit elegant, will actually, over time, create a rather disturbing inner dynamic, which could conceivably turn into unwarranted disaster….

All that, you might wonder, from one little picture of a nearly-dead flower, and a lyric? An old lyric, at that? Well, yes…. it is often a surprise to discover just how dangerous the world really is, so, it isn’t so much surprising, as it is inconvenient, and, to be honest, somewhat of a PITA…. Who needs this kind of crap from a blog, eh? Not me, for sure, and it’s MY damn blog! What the hell is going on here?

Nothing, ffolkes, relax…. that was hyperbole…. Faux panic is always a good way to move on to another subject; one can always claim personal preference, and be assigned to a new counselor…. Of course, you’ll never find another counselor like us, but, hey, if you’re too scared to go on, well, we won’t cast stones… We may jeer and taunt you for a while, but, stones are not allowed under the terms of our insurance….

So, please, just chill, and keep you eye a little closer on the altitude meter….. when you see us approaching a ceiling, see the instruction sheet in the seat back ahead of you, to learn how to don your life vest….

If you should happen to be at a seat without instructions, just observe how the person next to you deals with their own vest, and you should be fine…. We’ve never lost a Gentle Reader, so, that’s something, right? Of course, there was that one time, back in the day, when we couldn’t find that guy from Arkansas for a couple of hours, but, he turned out to be fine….. just passed out in the toilet from accessing the in-flight service bar once or twice too often…. He had a terrific hangover, but, no grounds for any litigation, so it all worked out well….

And look, so has this intro section! I’ve managed to wander, ramble, and blather enough to have found a proper jumping off point, which is all we need to get going on this deal…. So, I’m taking advantage of the suitable environmental structure we’ve come across, and diving right in…. Let’s go, ffolkes, you don’t want to get left behind….

Shall we Pearl?…..

I ‘m armed with more than complete steel,–
The justice of my quarrel.

 — Christopher Marlowe (1565-1593) — Lust’s Dominion, Act iii, Sc. 4   


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Ignorance of one’s ignorance is the greatest ignorance.” — Smart Bee

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/07/15/not-all-conservative-white-guys/

Fucking brilliant….. No other lesser phrasing would be powerful enough to express how strongly I believe in what Mark has written here…. He is absolutely, 100% on target with his observations, and delivers a message that even the most hardened idiot has to hear…. of course, until they just get that glazed look on their face, and deny, deny, deny…. which they will do, immediately, by the millions, should they get even two paragraphs into this article…. Mark has a way with words like no one else, and he uses them here to once again skewer the GOP, and the group that I call the Asininnies….. He’s done it so well, I’m tempted to say he did it perfectly…..

“Counts his sure gains, and hurries back for more.” — James Montgomery (1771-1854) — The West Indies, Part iii

Sniff…. It brings a tear of joy to my curmudgeonly soul to hear, and feel, the brilliantly sharp sardonicism Mark brings to bear, on the asininity, and the sheer stupidity that permeates the entire rich, white, Judeo-Christian fundamentalist, corporate mentality…. You know, the one that fills the halls of our government in Washington, all 50 state capitals, and every bloody church in this somewhat less than diversified land of ours….. The ranks of those who refuse to use their brains for anything beyond transporting their bowels from one toilet to another are bursting with politicians, lawyers, priests, preachers, quasi-military police nimrods, and corporate raptors, viciously dispassionate in their unending search for more power, and more resources to control…. all without any regard, or concern of any kind, for anyone whose lifestyle and/or beliefs do not match their own limited views….

It took me a while to compose the above paragraph; I tried to be as condemning as possible, without resorting to vulgarity…. I think it worked okay, in that it’s clear how I feel about those assholes…. but, due primarily to my own tendency toward pomposity, it could be better, and leads me to believe you just can’t replace a good round of swearing and cursing for delivering a message like this one…. I could have said most of that, and delivered the same message, with a simple, “the bloody fucking assholes are doing it again”, with minor amplification for corroboration of details….

Shit flows downhill, you know, so, it’s best to fling it before we get any on ourselves…. Besides, with the way most of those in the 1% treat most everyone else, they deserve every bit of our disdain and vituperation, as well as our vulgarity…. THEY are the ones who live their lives in a vulgar manner…. What word, other than “vulgar”, better befits the likes of Rush Limbaugh, or Dick Cheney, or Karl Rove, three of the bastions of conservative thought?…. None I can think of, and my vocabulary is pretty extensive…. Just putting their images in my mind gives me a shudder of revulsion, worse than any I’ve ever gotten from snakes, lizards, or insects, let me tell you….

Once again, Mark has said it better than I am currently capable of doing, so, I’m going to soothe my fevered brow with an old school pearl, to vent some of the angst and anger that builds up in me whenever I consider the egregious immorality of those at the top of the societal pyramid of power…. those fucking assholes…. Here is a seven star old-school pearl, with parameters designed to find some sharp, pointed sticks, which we shall then envision to be flying directly at the lying eyes of the pundits….

“Government of the people, by the lawyers, for the conservatives.” — Smart Bee

“You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.” — Malcolm X

“We are doing the right thing and we do not see the bad things.” — Vice President Dan Quayle pretending he is one of the wise monkeys

“If you can’t get a job, get a senate appointment!!!” — Smart Bee

“Basically a dog person.   I certainly, though, wouldn’t want to offend my constituents who are cat people, and I should say that being, I hope, a sensitive person, that I have nothing against cats, and had cats when I was a boy, and if we didn’t have the two dogs might very well be interested in having a cat now.” — Incoming Missouri Congressman James Talent, — responding to the question Are you a dog or a cat person? (Mr. Talent is a graduate, summa cum idiotum, of the Dan Quayle School of Political Science-Like Stuff)

“One can imagine a sane, healthy, cheerful human society based on no more than the principles of common sense, as validated each day by work, play, and living experience. But this remains the most Utopian and fantastic of ideals.” — Edward Abbey

“If God had intended for politicians to ski, he would have made bullshit white.” — Smart Bee

This is an example of what I call a “rock-solid” pearl…. When you see quotes from Smart Bee at either end, and smack in the middle, you can trust that this pearl is one that will hold its shape under the most trying of circumstances, as well as being so sharp, it can puncture the eye of a pundit without leaving a permanent mark….. It’s that solid, sharp, and real…. Much like a fine stiletto in the hands of Mack….. You know, Mack, the Knife? Bobby Darin? No…. Oh well, a sharp stiletto, in the hands of one who knows how to use it, is a VERY dangerous weapon…. silent, deadly, and leaves almost no trace of its work….. trust me on this…. Hmm, maybe we’d best go on…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I need some Emily….

No Rack can torture me—
My Soul—at Liberty—
Behind this mortal Bone
There knits a bolder One—

You cannot prick with saw—
Nor pierce with Scimitar—
Two Bodies—therefore be—
Bind One—The Other fly—

The Eagle of his Nest
No easier divest—
And gain the Sky
Than mayest Thou—

Except Thyself may be
Thine Enemy—
Captivity is Consciousness—
So’s Liberty.
     
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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Far be it from me to question reality, but, isn’t this the third section? Aren’t I supposed to be done now? I want to be done now…. Oh well, duty calls, so, I’ll put down my goblet of morning whine, & save it for later…. Instead, we’ll just get started on another old-school pearl, which will go right here, so I can say I did something today, other than just fool around….

I have, of course, fooled around enough so far today to beat the band, but, it works for me….. We’ll just ignore all that, and get on with this random, harlequin style pearl, fresh as a daisy, which, when you think of it, isn’t too fresh, because, hey, it just got picked, and is losing life and strength every second, and perhaps we’d better just get on with it, because, if I don’t take a breath, or end this sentence, I’m going to pass out….. Here, have some pearls….

“Time carves all.  Let yourself be carved to attain your true nature.” — Master Po

“Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.” — Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645)

“Nothing gives so much direction to a person’s life as a sound set of principles.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Know then this truth (enough for man to know),– “Virtue alone is happiness below.”  — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 309

“In formal logic, a contradiction is the signal of defeat: but in the evolution of real knowledge, it marks the first step in progress”toward victory.
— Alfred North Whitehead

“The effects which follow too constant and intense a concentration upon evil are always disastrous. Those who crusade, not _for_ God in themselves, but _against_ the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes even perceptibly worse than it was, before the crusade began.  By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself.” — Aldous Huxley — The Devils of Loudun

“What comes from this quarter, set it down as so much gain.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Adelphoe, Act v, Sc. 3, 30, (816.)

In the eternally relevant words of Edith Ann (Lily Tomlin), “And that’s the TRUTH! Thppppppt!”

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Okay, so, here we are again, at the end of another fine mess, created fresh this morning by yours truly, gigoid, the dubious, who has, in every respect, lived up to his sobriquet today…. If that confuses you, or makes you feel angry, and afraid, or even just silly, well, it can’t be helped…. I’ve never made any bones about this being a safe occupation; we do what we can to satisfy the insurance drones, but, if there is no risk, where is the motivation to stay alert, eh? The world needs as many lerts as it can get…..

So be it….. gigoid has spoken. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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 the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

These crib sheets are criminally inaccurate…..

Ffolkes,

In retrospect, life tends to disappoint, at least for most people, much of the time…. This, I think, is why most people are reluctant to engage in any sort of introspection of their past actions, since humans, as a species, don’t show a lot of courage when it comes to changing the only thing in the universe that is actually under our personal control, to wit: ourselves…. For whatever reason that people decide is real for them, they refuse to look at their own past acts in the light of any critical examination of virtue, or even mere accountability…. Most folks would prefer to wear their blinders all the time, so they don’t have to look at anything that might conceivably persuade them use their brain, or act in any way that is other than self-serving…..

Now, some might say that’s a bit harsh for the first paragraph of the day, but, I believe in calling a spade a club, er, a spade…. For that matter, I should make clear that I don’t dis-include myself in this category, because I am no better and no worse than anyone else…. Maybe, part of the time, I’m a bit more on the ball between the ears than the general run of bozos on this bus, but, my vaunted intelligence hasn’t made me rich, or exempted me from having to struggle in life, just like anyone else….

Well, I think so, anyway…. others might disagree with that assessment, but, my point is that my being smarter than others doesn’t make me better, or better off… In fact, it could be considered a curse, as I am more aware than your average bear of all the stuff in our world that needs fixing, but, can do no more about it than those who cannot see…. Our species has, for that matter, made the world such that intelligence is no longer of much value as a tool for survival…. It’s a lot more comfortable to be stupid, to not realize what we are in for over the coming years….

It’s a frustrating place to exist, if you want to know…. I can see what is wrong in society, and even point it out to those who do not; what I can’t do is make anyone DO anything about it, as I just don’t have it in me to manipulate others, not like the Asininnies do as a matter of course, in achieving their goals, and meeting their agendas…. Sometimes it seems as if the world deserves what is coming, because the degree of sheer stupidity that has been displayed by our species is so massively egregious, it makes me sick…. This is usually right before I realize how unjust it is that the rest of us, who didn’t have anything to do with getting to this point in time, will suffer the same ugly end as those who are responsible…. Then, of course, I realize my own culpability, and the tears begin to flow….

Of course, I don’t HAVE to feel bad, about this, or about anything, for that matter….. I can feel any way I wish to feel, and that would be my reality, but, I’ve never been able to keep out of Consensual Reality for long…. One of my favorite columnists at SFGATE is Mark Morford, about whom I’ve previously written…. His column from yesterday is a really, really good one, with just the right viewpoint, of a part of reality we often ignore, or just forget about,  to take my mind away from its usual haunts, taking it to that place he describes so well with his exquisite  command of the English language, a place where everything makes sense again, and all is right with the world….

This time, he touches on one of my deepest beliefs, which, ultimately, may become the very thing we need to save ourselves from our own stupidity…. Read the post, it will open your eyes… If not, well, I’d suggest you just crawl back into your hole, and try your best to ignore what’s happening outside, because it will just frighten you….. Read, think, and be happy…. or not, up to you, as always….

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/02/11/believe-this-and-live-forever/

Meanwhile, it’s time for me to get on with the reason for my being here…..  Without any further blather, dross, drivel, or nonsense, let’s get on with it….

Shall we Pearl?…..

PANDEMONIUM, n.  Literally, the Place of All the Demons.  Most of them have escaped into politics and finance, and the place is now used as a lecture hall by the Audible Reformer.  When disturbed by his voice the ancient echoes clamor appropriate responses most gratifying to his pride of distinction. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
_____________________________

I’m up a bit early today, having again slept hard for longer than usual…. I guess getting some good sleep is now the usual, which is, I suppose, a good thing…. but, the changes are such that it’s getting hard to figure out which reality I’m in at any given moment…. Oh well, I’ve had that particular conundrum to deal with ever since I first started experimenting with altering it…. Reality, that is…. We all do it, to some degree, but, I think, in toto, I’ve been just a bit more enthusiastic about it than your average bear…. a fact which is, mostly, fine by me, but, as I said, it can be confusing at times, to know exactly which reality is one’s current place of residence, thus making it problematic knowing how to act appropriately….

Fortunately for me, I’ve NEVER worried overmuch about being appropriate…. In fact, I often seek out the opposite standard, just for fun, and the profit supplied by amusement…. So, never fear for me, ffolkes, I’m an old hand at switching realities in mid-metaphor….  Y’all don’t need to worry a bit about anything other than paying your fare…. and, since this ride always has been, is, and always will be free of monetary charge, you’re in like Flynn…. This is a good thing, because it’s now time to go old-school, and I can’t do it without you…. I mean, what would be the point, if there was no one to read what I write? Right? Right…. Enjoy yourselves, ffolkes, I intend to…. Let’s go see what SB has for us today….

According to the Theory of Dubious Theories: All of the following are true and complete to the best of my knowledge….. certified, 2/12/14, by gigoid the dubious…..

How admirable,
he who thinks not,
Life is fleeting,
When he sees the lightning!

— Basho

“It is folly to punish your neighbor by fire when you live next door.” — Publius Syrus

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

“There is no evil in the universe which is not the result of ignorance, and which would not, if we were ready and willing to learn its lesson, lead us to a higher wisdom, and then vanish away.” — James Allan

“The most glorious exploits do not always furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue or vice in men.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Alexander

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” — C. G. Jung

“Don’t worry, nobody really LISTENS to lectures in MOSCOW, either! ..  FRENCH, HISTORY, ADVANCED CALCULUS, COMPUTER PROGRAMMING,  BLACK STUDIES, SOCIOBIOLOGY!..  Are there any QUESTIONS?? — Zippy the Pinhead

Ffolkes…. sometimes, it just happens this way…. I put together a pearl, with nothing really guiding my hand to indicate which pearls to choose for inclusion, and no conscious direction in mind…. Occasionally, on days such as this, a group of pearls is gathered that far outshines any chosen purpose I could have given it…. This pearl, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 set as ‘excellent’….. well, this one scores about a 13…. The inclusion of three pearls of ancient age may have contributed, but, the balance, and the imagery, is such that mere age is only an enhancement…. Let these sit in your mind, mix together for a while, and you’ll have something you can feel pretty good about…. guaranteed….
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I recently subscribed to an email service from a poetry web site, which is a good way to discover new poets (new to me)….. This is one whose name I’d seen, and heard, without ever seeing any of her actual work…. If this one is any indication, my exploration of her body of poems will be a delightful new experience…. This is a lovely poem, short, and powerful in imagery…. I like it, and so should you….. Enjoy!…..

It Is Not a Word

It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.

~~ Sara Teasdale ~~

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In looking around some old folders the other day, I came across a folder of articles I’ve posted on Triond.com, a publishing hub site that solicits work from online writers, which they submit to various web sites pertaining to the subject matter of the article…. Mine usually end up on Socyberty.com, a social commentary site that covers a lot of the political subjects I write about in my Pearls…. This one is a religirant I edited to fit into essay format, and sent to Triond…. It has apparently been taken down, as I don’t find it when I search, but, honest, it was there….

Posted on Triond, original written 5/27/2012….

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Searching for God~Dog among the Sillistines


“…it still remains true that as a set of cognitive beliefs about the existence of God in any recognizable sense continuous with the great systems of the past, religious doctrines constitute a speculative hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.” — Sidney Hook

Mr. Hook gives us here quite a long-winded, Shakespearean statement about the existence of God…. one that probably would better have been left at “Not bloody likely!”…. Both get the same point across, but the latter has more punch, as the listener doesn’t have to spend all that time trying to, first, figure out what the hell he said….

It’s a very good statement, in its way; accurate, logical, and with a proper reservation of judgment, proclaiming the idiocy of buying into such an implausible story without being snide about it. (It also has the advantage of being substantially true in reality….) But, as mentioned, it reminds me of a certain author, who shall now remain unnamed, who had the same habit when he wrote, to wit: “HEY! Lets cover up what this means with a bunch of extra words that will make the reader’s head spin with admiration….”.

Now, as one who writes (or types, anyway…. who’s to say whether it is writing?….), I tend to agree with Twain’s method of prose, which tends to be, by his own admission, somewhat spare, because he was determined to pare down what he wrote to its barest bones, leaving nothing but meaning and style; as with golf, one is trying for the lowest score. Twain, Hemingway, Steinbeck, all believed that good writing should be accessible, and clear, without having to be translated, or put into simpler terms, and Mr. Hook would have done better, I think, to keep that in mind. The idea he is promulgating is one that does need to be spread around, and should stimulate discussion. In its present form, it will only do that amongst the few readers and folks who can easily make out what he is talking about in his overly obese statement….

The idea he expresses here is one that is generally discouraged by those in leadership positions in modern religions. Discussing the veracity of the claims that religion makes is not encouraged by any of the sects I know of; in fact, doing so tends to produce some rather volatile reactions, to put it mildly. Most folks have a hard time maintaining their cool when their religious beliefs are challenged, due, I think, to the strong emotional connection they add to those beliefs. Their feelings are so tied into those beliefs that, in their minds, questioning one is the same as attacking the other….. Not logical, but true nonetheless, and not a good thing to leave out of one’s calculations; I try never to discuss religion without being rather heavily armed…. and not only with knowledge….

Here’s the thing that bothers me about the whole concept of an omnipotent entity…. How can we, who are not omnipotent, claim to understand either the actual form of a God, or the motivation of such a being? How can we claim to be certain that this omnipotent entity, capable of creating an entire universe, not only looks just like us, but actually wants us to bow down and worship Him, or Her, or It? Even when I was five years old, nobody could, or would, answer that question, other than to say, “because it’s in the Bible.” Even then, I recognized when I was being put off, and it just made me wonder more….

“Certainty is only a symptom of lack of imagination.” — Anonymous

Over time, as my knowledge of the world grew, I came to realize that religion, like government, is just another man-made institution, with the sole purpose of taking advantage of, and controlling, the general run of folks who are just trying to get by in life. I learned that the louder a person proclaims himself to be a Christian, the less like Christ they act. Being “safe in the arms of Jesus” is the perfect excuse to deny any responsibility for one’s own acts of immorality; Jesus forgives everything, right? Well, he does…. it says so right here in the New Testament, so it must be true….

“Our father who art in heaven..  I sincerely pray that SOMEBODY at this table will PAY for my SHREDDED WHEAT and ENGLISH MUFFIN..  and also leave a GENEROUS TIP…” — Zippy the Pinhead

I don’t claim to know God. I don’t know how God looks. I don’t know what God thinks, or even if what that entity does can be called thinking at all. I’m not omnipotent, so I have no frame of reference from which to approach such a question. I do know this, though…. whatever anyone says about God is bound to be wrong. It has to be; there is no way for us to understand anything about such a creature, not if we are to assume they are truly gods. If they are gods, or God, then I refuse to believe that what is important to me as a human is important to them; it just doesn’t make any logical sense. None….

ZEUS, n.  The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog.  Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance to the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frump insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Looking at a Universe without God doesn’t scare me…. I think it is quite beautiful, no matter how it came to exist. Knowing one way or another how it was created, or happened, or evolved, or whatever, isn’t important to me, in either the short, or the long run. Learning about it, experiencing its joys and trials, appreciating both its gifts and its burdens, these are much more important. Do your Duty. Honor the Truth. Respect Life. Share your Love. Do these, and the rest will take care of itself. I don’t think that God needs my approval, nor my worship, in order for the universe to carry on…. it’s just fine the way it is…..

“There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the existence of a hottest part implies a temperature difference, and any marginally competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat engine and make some other part of hell comfortably cool. This is obviously impossible.” — Richard Davidson
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Having cheated shamelessly today, I am now about to enjoy the fruits of my lack of labor, which, as it turns out, is more of a curse than a blessing…. You see, it’s now only 0605, and I’m done writing for the day, unless some news article jumps up and pokes my outrage button, while my text editor is still open…. This means I have over three hours until the remainder of the world gets up and gets going, to the point where I can get anything done of a business nature…. SIGH…. I’m so damn smart, I’m stupid…. See you tomorrow, should my brain cells condescend to operate well enough to allow me to survive until then….

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