Oh, Jim, where’s your squeegee?….

Ffolkes,

“Work is not an end in itself; there must always be time enough for love.”

~~ Robert Heinlein ~~

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Oh, right. Christmas…. which means most everyone in this country is on holiday mode, and most likely won’t be dropping in to spend a lot of time reading my nonsense, or even my somewhat better than nonsense prose. This is probably a good thing, as I’m feeling pretty lazy myself, though not for the same reasons, obviously. I’ve made no bones about how I feel about Christianity, and the people who go in for such delusional systems; in my mind, they are all living a lie, one they’ve chosen to believe in, rather than having the courage to face up to those parts of reality they don’t understand, and, thus, fear…. In short, they are living in fear, allowing fear to control their every decision in life….

What a waste! But, nobody wants to listen, especially to the kind of real wisdom that means they would have to actually think for themselves, such as the quote at the end of this section…. Such insight into human nature, sadly, presupposes the one using it will have the courage to become lost; in my experience, the greatest proportion of humanity does not wish to ever become lost in this way. They would rather buy into a set of beliefs someone else has told them is true, in spite on never once being able to present any physical, or even logical, reasons to do so…. But, that is the way of the world, the same way it has been wobbling along for over 5000 years….

Ah well, it doesn’t do me any good to rant here in the intro; it’s just so hard NOT to say what I see as real…. I spent most of my life keeping these thoughts to myself, as they always tended to cause difficulties with other folks; after a while in Life, I decided, if they WANT to live in a delusional state, who am I to stop them? So, I said nothing, and allowed people to wander through their lives, in the dark, never realizing there is an entire universe of beauty and grandeur out there, just waiting for them to see it, if only they would take off the blinders they put on at age 5…. I guess that silence was my own adjustment to compensate; in short, it’s my way of giving in to expediency, a very bad habit, and one I no longer cultivate.

This probably explains why there are only about 20 people who come by to read this on a regular basis…. and, since I have over 463 followers on WordPress, and another hundred or so on Twitter, that number is a good representation of the breakdown of humanity’s state of mind re: laziness, and wisdom…. I know that reading this blog take time, and effort, and I know it isn’t the easiest task to take on, not on a daily basis…. Hell, it’s hard enough writing it all; it CAN’T be much easier to read it all every day….. But, I don’t worry about it; I just appreciate the ffolkes who come by regularly, a lot….

That is no doubt enough rambling and complaining for one day…. I did manage to cut off the rant, but, this still grew beyond its original intended size, so, I’ll break out the ol’ ruthless bone, and hit myself over the head with it, so we can get on with the rest of this mess…. Hold on, while I smack the pilot on the head with this ruthless bone, so he’ll take this next exit point, okay? Here now, stay in your seats! We’re going in!….

Shall we Pearl?

“For a man needs only to be turned around not once with his eyes shut in this world to be lost….

Not ’till we are lost…. do we begin to find ourselves.”

~~ Thoreau, Walden ~~


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Since we’ve started the day so soberly, let’s move to an entirely different domain, shall we? Here is some of the finest nonsense ever to come out of Hollywood, with four of the world’s greatest comedians filling the screen with their particular brand of sarcasm and wit…. Speaking of wit, we’re referring, naturally, to the one, the only, Marx Brothers, ffolkes…. Enjoy….


A Day at the Races (1937)

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“Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true.” — Demosthenes

Boy, what a great opening for a rant! I sure wish I had the wherewithal to write this one; it could take me a long way…. But, I don’t have such, so, we’ll have to go with an archived piece…. Enjoy, ffolkes, I tried to find a good one; it’s definitely worth a read….

From January 20, 2013:

“Nothing unreal exists.” — Kiri-Kin-Tha’s Law of Metaphysics

For the uninitiated, this is from Star Trek, a line from the fourth movie, The Voyage Home. It is the answer, and question, posed to Spock by the computer, near the beginning of the movie, just before it asks him, “How do you feel?” Though the quote, and its author, are part of a fictional story, and do not, as far as I know, exist in real life, the idea is nonetheless a potent philosophical assertion, and deserving of some meditation upon its implications, and ramifications. I like it, as it creates a series of doorways, one after another opening for welcome, inviting me to come in and examine its furnishings for their value…. A bit fanciful, perhaps, but then, it IS from Star Trek….

“Trekkies” have always taken the concept behind the show and movies much more seriously than most of us, and have created an entire panorama of alternate universe stories, legends, and characters as an adjunct to the original tales. I am certain that some fan, somewhere in the world, has put together a book that lays out Kiri-Kin-Tha’s philosophy for study, complete with Laws, Axioms, and Arguments. They probably even included material from other fictional works from the ST venue, weaving them into a coherent treatise, all of which is completely fabricated…. People can be pretty amazing when they are obsessed, indeed….

“Nothing unreal exists.”….. fascinating, as Spock would say. It is reminiscent, in a backwards fashion, of the question posed by the door to Ravenclaw Tower, in the final Harry Potter book, The Deathly Hallows, when Professor McGonagall is queried, “Where do Vanished objects go?” by the door, in order to gain entrance to the Ravenclaw common room. “Into non being, which is to say, everything.”, she answers immediately. “Nicely phrased”, replied the door…. I say backwards only because the ST movie came first in real time, by about 25 years or so…. As can be seen, however, the concepts involved in the two similar episodes are more than mere ideological throw-aways, but have some valid basis for their existence….

This is the power of Imagination at its finest, in my mind. People will take a good idea, and run with it into landscapes where it has never before been conceived, turning it into passionate variations on the original theme whose quality rivals that of it progenitor. At the height of the frenzy over the Harry Potter movies, a few years ago, I visited a site called MuggleNet.com, curious as to what the fans of the movie and stories were doing.

I was completely astounded by the prolific writings by fans, who wrote entire novels, short stories, and alternative plots by the dozens, all populated by the characters from the books by J.K. Rowling. Romances between the various characters abounded in the imagination of the fans, as well as the creation of new characters, and inventive new kinds of magical spells, objects, and creatures. The variety and depth of talent displayed is incredible, and goes to show how powerful is the influence of obsession on our imagination.

And hence one master-passion in the breast,
Like Aaron’s serpent, swallows up the rest.

~~ Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 131 ~~


Of course, obsession has the unfortunate tendency to go beyond the bounds of reasonable action in pursuit of its object of attention. It can easily consume all of the mind’s available store of common sense, submerging it in the raging river of passionate belief in whatever idea has emerged as the passion of choice. Pope was speaking no more than simple truth when he wrote these lines, which point again to the same fatal flaw that exists in other areas of human nature, the weakness of will that makes us choose paths that are self-destructive in their intensity, or in their ultimate logical end. Too many of us tend to make our choices in life without using even the most basic of mental tools we have, including imagination; the use of those tools can be hard, in the sense that it is harder to think than it is to allow others to think for you….

Thus, we come to another point where the subject under discussion can be expanded, and further explored. Or, we can leave it here, with the ideas already discussed as a springboard for private consideration. I have a feeling it could get a bit esoteric from this juncture, and I’d lose a lot of ffolkes to the fatigue factor. I am feeling that a bit meself, having now been sparring with this Pearl for a bit over three hours. I should have eaten some philosophical oatmeal, to increase the fiber content of my output, I guess….

Rather than go any further down that road, we’ll bring this pearl to a close…. Perhaps you can take a bit of what we discussed with you, and chew on it later…. it doesn’t seem to get any less crunchy over time, so it can’t hurt…. Fewer calories than jerky, and it won’t require flossing afterward….

“You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant (‘ceptin’ Alice).” — Arlo Guthrie

Note from the future, i.e. 12/25/2014: Since it’s Christmas, I’ll be nice and only say this, in support of the above, and, as a final word on the subject for the day….

“A physician is not angry at the intemperance of a mad patient, nor does he take it ill to be railed at by a man in a fever. Just so should a wise man treat all mankind, as a physician treats a patient, and look upon them only as sick and extravagant.” — Seneca

That is EXACTLY how I feel when writing these rants….

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As mentioned, laziness is the order of business today; hence, a bit of whimsy, as it were, from a poet OTHER than me…. Enjoy!…

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 ~~


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Okay, so, what we have here is a fresh pearl, with some strange parameters…. Looking in general for comments on Life at Large, SB gave me the following seven stars, which seem to hold together well, with some flexibility on your part…. Along with these it served up five or six other pearls which were perfect for other pieces, either planned, or completed… I guess it’s Smart Bee’s way of apologizing for the recalcitrance shown over the last week or so…. Whatever, it works for me, as it gets this done…. Yay!….

“One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.” — Aristotles Dictum.

“Good generally conquers evil. Unless, of course, good is stupid.” — Smart Bee

“Books aren’t written to be believed in, but to be questioned.” — Umberto Eco

Narim: What your mind doesn’t know, your heart fills in.
Carter: I don’t know what that means, exactly, but it’s beautiful.
Narim: Which is exactly what it means.

— from Stargate

“The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make.” — Smart Bee

“A good reputation is more valuable than money.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 108

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” — H. L. Mencken

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Well, there you have it…. Time has become the enemy, for the moment, so, we’ll leave it as it is, and get on with the day…. See y’all after the holiday, ffolkes….. Hope you have a good one….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Abrubtly, he mentioned his investments….

Update: 0945, 3/13/2012…. This Pearl of Virtual Wisdom was completed and ready to post at 0720 this morning. Sadly, my ISP is experiencing network problems, conveniently caused by the recent extremely large solar flare from out star, Sol, the munificent, that reached Earth day before yesterday, and continues to excite the Northern and Southern Lights… at this hour, there is still no word as to when they will overcome the problem, and restore service… SIGH….. if no change, I will update in two hours, just so I can keep from screaming aloud…..

1145, 3/13/2012…. Well….it’s a bit early, only 1138, but I’m getting that blood pressure spike that tells me that either I go for a walk and look for an innocent victim for my displaced anger, scream loud enough to hurt my throat and have the neighbors calling 911 for an ambulance, or begin my written rant… so here I am. With no news forthcoming regarding a time frame for restoring service, a time to be henceforth referred to as the Much Desired and Greatly Anticipated Moment of Deliverance From A Conveniently Disguised Plot to Censor My Blog by The Combined Forces of Evil Incarnate, I can do nothing but speculate as to the next form this devious attempt to silence me, and stay vigilant….. more later on that…. Okay then, 1145, Network still down, I’m off to make lunch and ponder the plan for how to fill up my time, and try to not think about the close to a hundred emails I expect to flood my inbox once I’m back online…. SIGH….

1300 Back online….the MDAGDTCMBBTCFOEI has arrived, and evil is once more on the run…. Blessed Be!….

Ffolkes,
Some days, such as this one thus far, the universe seems to be making a determined effort to be rude and contrary. So far, my ISP informs me that the network degradation problems they were having last night (8 hours ago) are still happening, but they are “working diligently” to overcome the problem, which affects ONLY my type of modem on the network! Then I go to answer a comment in WordPress with the new drop down menu function, and it refuses to scroll down past the bottom of the page, so I have no idea if what I’m typing is being reproduced, or where I am in my sentence. Then the absolutely rudest piece of unwelcome news… the coffee isn’t ready….because it is the one clock I neglected to turn forward on Sunday….so I have to wait for my coffee. Which is why I am whining and bemoaning my fate, just as if it mattered at all…… I guess I should go Pearl, and forget the rest…..tough without coffee….grumble, grumble, hmph…..

Oh, BTW…..my ISP problem is making it hard to get to other folk’s sites, so here is a comment, directed to Cracked and Snaap…. Oh, you have kids? I love kids! But I don’t think I could eat a whole one….. so don’t go to any trouble for my sake…..  🙂
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Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
Against stupidity the very gods
Themselves contend in vain. Exalted reason,
Resplendent daughter of the head divine,
Wise foundress of the system of the world,
Guide of the stars, who are thou then, if thou,
Bound to the tail of folly’s uncurb’d steed,
Must, vainly shrieking, with the drunken crowd,
Eyes open, plunge down headlong in the abyss.
— Johann Christian Friedrich von Schiller, The Maid of Orleans

This is one of my favorite verses, and the original source (I believe) for the sentiment “Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.” A paean to the power of reason, defiant in its resistance to ubiquitous Folly, it describes perfectly the anguish felt by all men of reason in the face of the unlimited power of human stupidity, to which I would add the unwholesome adjunct carried by most of the deliberately stupid, cupidity….. a word I use to describe how these unfortunates make a deliberate choice to be ignorant, rather than attempting the, to them, hellishly difficult task of trying to learn.

“There are two infinite things in the universe: hydrogen atoms and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the hydrogen atoms.” — Albert Einstein

These misguided and stubborn throwbacks to cave days will typically expend more effort fighting to preserve their lack of understanding than they will to change it, no matter how convincing the argument may be, and even if they are made to see that they would benefit from even the smallest lessons Life has to give them. They prefer their cocoon of soft cotton, covered by thick steel, that covers and protects their insistence on wearing blinders and sunshades to keep out any extraneous knowledge; ignorance must indeed be blissful, for those who have not the courage or the honor to seek growth instead of stagnancy will cling to it like an addict to his heroin…..

“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” — Lazarus Long
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Shakespeare is not our poet, but the world’s,–
Therefore on him no speech! And brief for thee,
Browning! Since Chaucer was alive and hale,
No man hath walk’d along our roads with steps
So active, so inquiring eye, or tongue
So varied in discourse.
— Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864) — To Robert Browning

Hmph! Poets, speaking to poets, about poets, in a poem… what were they thinking? Was it a literary challenge? A contest for prizes? Or just a temporary insanity, shared by more than one afflicted young sensitive dilettante? Maybe a virus, passed around by the English mail system, affecting only gullible poets of a certain age…. I don’t know, but it just seems a bit, well, cocky and indicative of an overweening pride, to my mind. Not the best poem, even for free verse; I expect more rhyming from a poet in the Romantic tradition, especially a contemporary of Browning, who couldn’t order breakfast without breaking into rhyme! Ah well, I suppose even Romantics have their bad days….. but I’m disappointed, to say the least……

Here ‘s to the maiden of bashful fifteen;
Here ‘s to the widow of fifty;
Here ‘s to the flaunting, extravagant queen,
And here ‘s to the housewife that ‘s thrifty!
Let the toast pass;
Drink to the lass;
I ‘ll warrant she ‘ll prove an excuse for the glass.
— Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816)  — School for Scandal, Act iii, Sc. 3

Now, that’s more like it! Rhymes that rhyme, structure, and a clever twist…. what more could a thirsty man ask for?…..
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“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.  True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.” — George Washington

I like this….it fits in well with how I’ve always perceived Washington to be; a slow, but deep and steady type of mind, that because of it’s deliberative nature, sees deeply into any question, and draws out the most pertinent and useful information as a response. I have a lifelong friend whose mind works like that; Chuck, if you read this today, I’m speaking of you. I’ve always admired the way your mind works; you took your own sweet time, but you always got to the correct destination, no matter what subject was under discussion. Sometimes it surprises folks who don’t know you, and think that because you speak and think deliberately, you aren’t very bright; it’s good camouflage, isn’t it? And, in addition, I would include you in those few people I call Friend; our relationship, though old and well-worn, is as strong and fresh as when we last saw each other; less than a year ago it was when we met and reconnected at dinner with George and Rick, after close to 45 years since we graduated….. and it was the same as if we had seen each other the week before….. I cherish these memories, as I cherish those few who I regard as my friends….. a very small list, all things considered…..
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“Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.” — Mignon McLaughlin (The Neurotic’s Notebook)

When people think of those characteristics that are important for personal growth and living life honorably, courage is often overlooked, yet it is of primary importance, to each and every person who seeks to better their life and stature, or to help others do the same. All other virtues are of no use, if one has not the courage to act upon them; there is no honor, and no gain, in keeping silence in the face of oppression, nor will any of the less fortunate be helped, if we have not the courage to reach out to them.

There are innumerable instances every day when a lack of courage causes pain and hardship for those who have no power or resources to reject evil influences; rank cowardice it is, on the part of those who oppress, on the part of those who are oppressed, and most disappointing, on the part of any who witness such events. Everyone may give lip service to their disapproval of oppression, and tout their rejection of the forces of evil, but when confronted by the reality, the most common reaction is “am I, then, my brother’s keeper?”, and to look away, thus giving their consent by their silence….. One must find courage first, before any of their integrity or honorable intentions will have any relevance; evil is only fought with acts of honor, but one must act, and courage is essential to that process; just thinking about it won’t help anyone but the aggressor….
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“Human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when all the time we are longing to move the stars to pity.” — Gustave Flaubert

Gus must have been a bit down in the mouth the day he wrote this, but he still managed to create a beautiful image, one that echoes the depths of the human condition, exposing the caverns of our collective soul. Sometimes I think that poetry manages to change the cracked kettle to a snare drum and brushes, rhythmic enough to have the bears dance a tango, or perhaps a waltz. Even prose, when well conceived, can make us howl at the moon and caper under the stars. And sometimes, we break the kettle, and get eaten by the bears….. I wish the last image was not so familiar as it feels….. but then, I’m no Flaubert, by any stretch of the imagination…… I’m closer to the level of say, the Marx Brothers…… Harpo was always my favorite, probably because he was a mime….. he had a natural understanding of what Harry Truman said, to wit: “I never have regretted anything I didn’t say….”   A pair of wise men…..
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We come sadly to the end of another day’s musings; endings are always a bit sad, aren’t they? But our sadness can be soothed by the knowledge that tomorrow will come, same as it does every day; that small assurance remains as one of our most reliable anchors to reality, for it has been found to be true for every day we have lived, and shows no inclination toward changing anytime soon. Comforting, don’t you think? I find it so….. but, I’m pretty easy to please, when it comes to reality…. it changes so often on me, I try not to anticipate events too far ahead; it seems to work out better for everybody that way….. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid